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Thursday, 19 November 1936

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [5.40]. - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

This measure provides for the appropriation of revenue for the ordinary services of the various departments for the current financial year. In opening the budget debate in this chamber, I dealt fully with tlie expenditure proposals of the Government, and I do not propose again, to deal with the various items in detail. Any explanations that may be desired by honorable senators will be furnished during the course of the debate on the second reading or at the committee stage. For the first four months of this financial year, the ordinary transactions of the Consolidated Revenue Fund were -


This excess of receipts cannot be regarded as indicative of the surplus to be expected at the end of the financial year for the following reasons: - (1) Remission of taxes are only now becoming operative; (2) Heavy importation during recent months, particularly of motor vehicles, . brought about by anticipation of tariff charges has been largely responsible for a considerable increase of customs revenue; and (3) Expenditure for this year has not yet reached an average monthly rate commensurate with the total expenditure for the year. Expenditure is always light in the early months.

This bill provides for an appropriation of £14,316,363 for the services of the year 1936-37, to which should be added the amounts already granted under Supply Acts, Nos. 21 and 28 of 1936, namely £7,236,800 and £4,404,750 respectively, making the total amount of £25,957,913, which is- the estimated expenditure from annual appropriations for ordinary services for the year 1936-37 as set out in detail in the second schedule of the bill.

For the information of at least one honorable senator, who probably .has not had previous experience of an Appropriation bill, I suggest that honorable senators who desire closely to follow the consideration of this bill in committee should provide themselves with a copy of the Estimates and budget papers, as well as the bill itself, in order to have before them greater details than appear in this measure.

Debate (on motion by Senator Collings) adjourned.

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