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Thursday, 12 August 1926

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - (by leave.) - I move -

That the Senate concurs in the resolution transmitted by message No. 61 of the House of Representatives - "That, in pursuance of section 2U of the Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1924-26,' the Federal Capital Commission be authorized to borrow the sum of '£2,650,000 for the purpose of the exercise of its powers under that act."

This is a rather new procedure. Under the Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1924, the commission was. given power to borrow moneys, in pursuance of resolutions passed by both Houses of Parliament, to such amount, in such manner, and on such terms as the Treasurer approved. Pending the borrowing of such moneys, however, the Treasurer was authorized to advance to the commission, out of any moneys in the Commonwealth public account, such amounts as he might think fit. No resolution has yet been passed by both Houses of Parliament authorizing the commission to borrow, but up to the 30th June, 1926, a sum of £1,970,000 was advanced to the commission by the Treasurer out of the Commonwealth public account, and further advances have been made since that date. The rates of interest charged to the commission on these moneys have been the nominal rates at which the Commonwealth from time to time itself raised moneys on the market. A sum of £2,000,000 was included in the recent Commonwealth Loan Act for 1926-27, for the Federal Capital Commission. This money, when raised, will be applied towards liquidation of the advances which have been made to the commission by the Treasurer. The expenditure, which it is proposed to cover by the resolution now submitted to the Senate, includes a sum of £2,000,000 to meet the ordinary operations of the commission during this financial year. It is also proposed to provide for a sum of £300.000 to be obtained by loan from the Commonwealth Bank for the purpose of building residences in the Territory. A further amount of £350,000 is included so as to enable the commission to obtain temporary accommodation from the Commonwealth Bank if loan moneys are not, for the time being, available, and if the Treasurer should find it inconvenient to provide the amount required by temporary advances.

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