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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - With all humility, and - in view of some of the speeches to which we have listened this afternoon - with some trepidation, I rise to seek information with regard to the first subdivision of this division. I have heard this afternoon, for the first time in any Parliament, the statement that honorable members have not a right to fully criticise a request from the Crown for the grant of Supply. I do not indorse such a doctrine, and no Parliament should indorse it. We ought to reasonably exercise our right to criticise; we should never allow Departments, Ministers, or officers to indulge in the unregulated and uncriticised expenditure of the money of the country. On the first page on which this division appears, an increase of £41,000 is shown, and of that increase £13,000 relates to the Estimates for New South Wales, and the remaining £27,000 relates to the Estimates for Victoria. The total increase is a very big one. Whilst they may be quite justifiable, I should like to know from the Minister the reason for these increases.

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