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Thursday, 16 May 1957

Sir ARTHUR FADDEN (McPhersonTreasurer) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this bill, and of the associated Appropriation (Works and Services) Bill, is to obtain parliamentary authority for certain expenditure for which provision was not made in the 1956-57 Estimates. Details will be available and can be considered in committee. Major items include £3,600,000 for the redemption of savings certificates from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, in accordance with the practice of recent years.

Some re-allocation has been made within the total defence appropriation of £190,000,000, with consequential increases and decreases in individual votes. In addition, a further £1,000,000 is being sought for expenditure this year on the St. Mary's project. The staff of the Postal Department has been increased to meet the expanding business, calling for a further salary appropriation of £631,000 this financial year.

There has also been some re-allocation between the items of the Postal Department, civil works and acquisition programmes within the Capital Works and Services Estimates. Provision has also been made for certain other unavoidable capital expenditure which could not be foreseen when the budget was presented. The main items are a further advance of £335,000 for the Christmas Island Phosphate Commission, an additional £90,000 for the Atomic Energy Commission and £97,000 for the Flax Commission. It is not expected, however, that the budget total of £109,700,000 for capital works and services will be exceeded.

Other new items of expenditure are an advance of £450,000 to the United Nations for the Suez Canal clearance, £300,000 as a contribution to the Olympic Games, £450,000 for migration of Hungarian refugees, and the Commonwealth contributions to the South Australian and Victorian flood relief programmes.

In the last budget speech I intimated that the Government had decided to apply an amount estimated at £108,500,000 to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve to assist Loan Council programmes, or to meet other Commonwealth requirements for loan finance. An appropriation of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for this purpose is provided in the bill. The precise amount to be paid to the reserve will be determined towards the close of the year. I commend the bill to honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Ward) adjourned.

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