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Monday, 21 March 1927

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaVicePresident of the Executive Council) . - I think Senator Chapman is under a misapprehension. The figures challenged by the States had relation to the amount of taxation which the Commonwealth proposed to abandon, and which the States could reimpose. In regard to the schedule, the figures have been arrived at by the formula laid down in the Surplus Revenue Act. The figures circulated by the Treasurer in the memorandum to which the honorable senator refers, were issued in advance of December, 1926, and, therefore, were an estimate only. We arrived at them" in this way: We knew what the population was at the end of December, 1925, but had to forecast what it would be at the end of 1926. Basing our figures on the rate of increase in population during the preceding year, and adding that to the population as at the end of December, 1925, we arrived at the figures which were circulated by the Treasurer. We now know what the population was in 1926, hut we have to deal now, not with the year ending 1926, but with the year ending June, 1928. Therefore, again we have to forecast in exactly the same way as we did last year. We take the population at 31st December, 1926, and add to that the known rate of population increase for the preceding year. Excluding the special payment to Western Australia, this method of procedure givesus £134,678 more than was set out in the memorandum supplied by the Treasurer, but which, as I have stated, was arrived at by the same method of calculation.

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