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Friday, 16 July 1926

Senator PEARCE(Western Australia -

Vice-President of the Executive Council) [2.45]. - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time, .

The bill covers the loan programme for 1926-27, as recently submitted with the budget. It will be seen that -


That is the amount covered by the bill now before the Senate, full particulars of which are set out in the schedule. The chief items of expenditure included in the bill for Commonwealth works, &c., are -


Asalreadyexplained,thebillalsoincludes£90,320forloanredemptionpurposes,and£2,000,000fortheFederal CapitalCommission..Ashonorablesenatorsareaware,theunexpendedbalances ofrevenueappropriationsatthecloseof eachfinancialyearlapse.Theunexpended balancesofloanappropriations,however, donotlapse.Asaresultofthispractice' therewas,untillastfinancialyear,a largeaccumulationofliveloanappropriations,manyofwhichcouldnotbe used.Itwasconsideredadvisabletoclear upthepositionbyprovidingintheLoan Actoflastyearforthelapsingofthe unexpendedbalancesthenexistingunder theannualloanappropriationsofformer years.Atthesametime,provisionwas madeforthefullamountoftheloan expenditureoflastyeartobeappropriatedintheLoanActoflastyear.It isproposedtocontinuethispractice.In thisway,eachyear'sloanprogrammecan bedealtwithasawholebyParliament whentheannualLoanBillisunderconsideration.Inaccordancewiththis practice,provisionismadeinthebillfor thelapsingoftheunexpendedbalancesof theappropriationsmadeinlastyear's LoanActs.Inaddition,authorityis soughtinthisbillortheexpenditureo the full amount of loan money required for the loan programme of this year. This provision regarding lapsing relates only to the appropriations of loan moneys. It does not relate to the authority given by existing Loan Acts for the borrowing of money. The effect of this is that authority still exists for certain moneys to he borrowed under the Loan Act of last year, but moneys so borrowed can bo spent only for the purposes set out in this bill. Towards the programme of loan works for 1926-27, there is a considerable amount of loan money in hand or in sight. These moneys consist of the present loan fund balances and the amounts payable, up to September next, as instalments of the recent London loan of £6,000,000. It will suffice, therefore, if Parliament now gives authority for the Treasurer to borrow £3,500,000 for the purposes of the loan programme for 1926- 27. It is not possible to state now the terms and conditions under which further moneys will be raised for works. I may say, however, that it has been definitely decided to borrow in Australia the amounts required for the Federal Capital, but the time for the raising of this money has not yet been decided. The bill does not provide for conversion or redemption operations in respect of war loans. Authority for dealing with these conversion operations is contained in existing laws, and it is not necessary to include such redemption operations in the annual Loan Bill. The loan requirements under the Migration Agreements are not dealt with in this bill, but are provided for in the bill relating to development and migration, which has passed the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Needham) adjourned.

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