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Thursday, 30 June 1904

Sir JOHN FORREST (Swan) - It seems to me that we are adopting an extraordinary procedure in treating this Bill merely as authorizing an advance vote to the Treasurer instead of a temporary Supply Bill. It seems to me that we could easily make an appropriation for the purposes of the coming year, and that the items of expenditure might afterwards be specified in the Appropriation Bill. Mr. Deakin. - Portion of it is. Sir JOHN FORREST. - I always understood that an advance to the Treasurer was designed to meet unforeseen expenditure.

Mr Hughes - That is so.

Sir JOHN FORREST - It seems to me, therefore, that this is really an appropriation for the' services of the year ending 30th June, 1905, the details of the expenditure to be subsequently specified in the Appropriation Act. In such cases an undertaking is always given by the Government that the purposes to which these moneys will he devoted will be similar to those agreed to in connexion with the appropria-.tion for the previous year. I do not think that the Treasurer will' require to spend this amount on unforeseen items, nor while Parliament is in session has he any right to do so. He knows exactly for what purpose he requires it ; and I presume that he needs it to meet current expenses of the year. I do not now intend to take any exception to the proposal, but consider that the procedure is not a right one, or one that should be encouraged.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 3 arid 4 and schedule agreed to.

Bill reported without amendments, and passed through its remaining stages.

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