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Thursday, 1 May 1902

Mr MCDONALD (Kennedy) - The Treasurer gave us t'he strongest reason why this Bill should be withdrawn or rejected when he told us that the £2,000 on the Estimates covered the whole of the official expenditure of His Excellency. If that be so, the additional money must be for some purpose of the Governor-General outside his official capacity.

Sir John Forrest - The £2,000 is for stationery and telegrams only.

Mr MCDONALD - I am taking the Treasurer's words.

Sir George Turner - The honorable member is misconstruing what I said.

Mr MCDONALD - I put the question to the Treasurer three or four times whether this £2,000 was for official expenditure.

Sir George Turner - The honorable member evidently tried to catch me on the word " official."

Mr Barton - That was manifest to everybody.

Mr MCDONALD - Why was it not explained that the £2,000 did not cover expenses which the Governor has to pay in his official capacity ?

Sir George Turner - I told the honorable member that the £2,000 is for departmental expenditure which the GovernorGeneral undertakes for lis.

Mr MCDONALD - For whom else would the Governor-General undertake the expenditure? Of course the expenses are departmental, and therefore official. I suppose the extra sum is to help the GovernorGeneral to entertain, and we have had too much entertaining on the part of Governors in the past. Victorian members have had a fair experience in connexion with granting sums of money for the expenses of Governors. It is not so many years ago that in Victoria the Governor's establishment, together with his salary, cost about £30,000 per annum ; and it is quite likely that if we allow any extravagance, we shall find ourselves in a similar position. The whole House seems to be against the Bill, and I shall say no more, but move -

That the word "now" be omitted with a view to adding to the motion the words " on the 1st of May, 1004."

That will give us an opportunity to have a general election, when we can ascertain the desires of the electors on this all-important question.

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