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Thursday, 9 November 1911

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - It appears, from the Minister's explanation, that we are charging the Northern Territory with the upkeep of a horse-breeding establishment, the benefit of which goes to the Post and Telegraph Department.Unless there be a contrary entry somewhere of which I have no knowledge, the Northern Territory is being placed in an unfair position. Why should it be charged with the cost of breeding horses for the Post and Telegraph Department ?

Senator Pearce - The horses are bred for the police, and for other purposes.

Senator MILLEN - If the farm were not there, the Post and Telegraph Department would have to buy its horses, and the cost would be charged against the Postal vote. It ought to be so charged now, just as when any Department renders a service to another Department it gets credit for it.

Senator Pearce - Not in all instances. The Defence Department is constructing vessels for the Trade and Customs Department, but does not get credit for doing so.

Senator MILLEN - Surely, if the Defence Department is to construct vessels for the quarantine service, the debit is not left against the Defence Department's vote.

Senator Pearce - Yes ; as far as this Bill is concerned; although there may be a book entry in the Treasury.

Senator MILLEN - As a matter of simplifying accounts, expenditure which does not concern the Department incurring it, ought not to be charged against that Department. The Northern Territory is going to require, on its own account, every pound we can spare for it. I do not wish to see its accounts loaded up with services which are primarily for the benefit of other Departments. Let the Post and Telegraph Department carry its own sins and provide for its own expenditure. Here we have a vote charged against the Northern Territory for a service which is not for the benefit of the whole of Australia.

Schedule agreed to.

Postponed clause 2 agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Bill read a third time.

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