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Friday, 22 May 1936

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [2.48]. - I move-

That the bill he now read a second time.

This is one of those bills which from time to time are introduced to clear up the financial debris. It includes the items of expenditure in the financial year 1934-35, which were made from the vote for the Treasurer's Advance. The authority of Parliament has already been given for this expenditure by the appropriation in the annual Estimates of a lump sum under the item " Advance to the Treasurer ". This provision, which is usual, enables the Treasurer to make advances to the various departments to meet expenditure unforeseen when the Estimates were first presented, and for which, of course, there could be no provision in the ordinary way in the Estimates. However, details of expenditure met in this way are submitted to Parliament in the form of Supplementary Estimates. Accordingly, these items are now submitted for the consideration of the Senate. As copies of these Estimates have been circulated among honorable senators, it is not my intention to refer to the various items in detail.

The vote for the Treasurer's Advance for 1934-35 was £2,000,000. In recent years it has been the practice to make provision for that sum. The expenditure from that vote was £689,625, being £672,112 for the ordinary departmental services and war services payable from revenue, and £17,513 for additions, new works and buildings. Full details of the expenditure now submitted for approval have already been furnished to Parliament in the Estimates and budget-papers for the current year.

Reference to the Estimates for the current year will reveal, on the righthand side of each page, columns showing the amounts voted and expended in the preceding year, and in cases in which the expenditure is larger than the vote, the difference is provided from the advance to the Treasurer, pending the approval of Parliament under these Supplementary Estimates. Details are also included in the Auditor-General's report, and the Treasurer's financial statement.

In accordance with the provisions of the Audit Act, the Treasurer's statement was sent to the Auditor-General on the 10th October, 1935, accompanied by a statement of the amounts to' be included in the Supplementary Estimates. It is usual to await the report of the AuditorGeneral before submitting the Estimates to Parliament.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In committee:

Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.

The schedule.

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