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Wednesday, 23 September 1936

Senator JAMES McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - I notice that the total provision for the Department of Defence is to be reduced by an amount of £1,952,008, which is to be provided from the Defence Equipment Trust Account, leaving a balance of £1,117,772. I take it that that amount will be provided from loan funds. Can the Minister inform the Senate of the total funds standing to the credit of the Defence Equipment Trust Account?

Senator A.J. McLACHLAN (South - The provision in this bill for the Department of Defence is not to be financed from loan, but from revenue. The sum of £1,952,008, deducted from the total estimated expenditure, represents approximately the balance at the 30th June, 1936, of an amount paid in previous years into the Defence Equipment Trust Account for defence equipment. In other words, that amount of money was ear-marked for defence purposes. It has now been brought into account as a deduction from the total provision for the Defence Department, and £1,117,772 represents the amount of the charge against revenue in the budget for this year.

Senator JAMES McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - That absorbs the whole of the amount?

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Yes ; in 1934-35 the Government placed the sum of £4,160,000 into the Defence Equipment Trust Account.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Proposed votes- Department of Trade and Customs, £43,045; Department of Health, £25,000 ; Department of Repatriation, £123,000 ; Department of Commerce, £32,373- agreed to. commonwealth railways.

Proposed vote,£174,000.

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