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Tuesday, 28 June 1904

Mr WATSON (Bland) (Treasurer) .- I desire to intimate to honorable members that I intend, if possible, to-morrow - certainly not later than Thursday - to ask the House to go into Committee of Supply for the purpose of 'granting a sum for the Treasurer's advance vote, which will be available during the first month or so of the next financial year. As honorable members are aware, the financial year closes upon 30th June, and all votes for the current year lapse upon that date. In the absence of some such provision as I propose, the Treasurer would find himself without any money with which to meet emergencies. The same practice was adopted last year.

Mr Conroy - And objected to.

Mr WATSON - It was not emphatically objected to. I do not think that even the honorable and learned member was very emphatic about the matter.

Mr Conroy - It is a very bad practice.

Mr WATSON - I do not know of any better. That is the trouble. I admit that any system which intrusts the spending of money to the discretion of an individual is bad. But a better plan is not easily evolved. Some time ago I promised the honorable and learned member for Corinella to make the sum that is annually voted for the purpose of clothing the military forces - which represents £1 or 30s. per head - available as soon as possible this year, so that they might proceed with the ordering of their uniforms. That will involve a sum of ,£50,000 in anticipation of the vote which is granted every year. These two sums I propose to include in the Supply Bill, and nothing more.

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