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Thursday, 2 October 1902

Sir GEORGE TURNER (BalaclavaTreasurer) - The Audit Act compels us to close down sharp on the 30th June. Last year we had unpaid accounts to the amount of £300,000. This year we have unpaid accounts to the amount of £83,000. Next year, I hope, by urging the departments to order their supplies in May, instead of waiting until June, to get the arrears down to a mere bagatelle, and then, probably, we shall be able to do away with the arrears vote, and incorporate the items in the Estimates for the current year. The amounts which I now ask the committee to vote are required to enable us to pay accounts - I believe that nearly all of them were voted in the Supply Bills - for goods which were ordered in May and June, the accounts for which were not received until July. I am anxious to get them passed at once, because I wish the printer to get on with the printing of the Appropriation Bill as far as possible. If the discussion on the Estimates of the Defence department were commenced first, it would occupy a considerable time, and I think that these arrears might be passed in globo.

Proposed votes agreed to as follow : - Department of External Affairs, £1,750; Attorney-General's Department, £104 ; Department of Home Affairs, £1,7,410 ; Department of the Treasury, £3,773 ; Department of Trade and Customs, £3,852 ; Department of Defence, £19,258 ; PostmasterGeneral's Department, £37,056.

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