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Tuesday, 2 April 1968

Mr FAIRHALL - I have seen the article published in this morning's edition of the newspaper. There may be some misunderstanding arising from these figures. It appears that they were taken from the National Accounting Estimates which were prepared by the Statistician's Branch of the Treasury. In fact, for accounting reasons, these figures are not always on the same basis as those of the Defence Estimates. There are certain items of Defence expenditure which do not appear in the National Accounting Estimates and there is sometimes a different basis used for taking in items of expenditure. The National Accounting Estimates, for instance, are on a delivery basis and deal with equipment whereas those under the Defence Estimates are on a basis of payment. I can tell the honourable member that under normal circumstances there is a review of Defence expenditure about every 3 months. The review carried out most recently, in the last few weeks, in conjunction with Treasury, indicates a probable expenditure this year of $1,1 15m against an estimate of $1,1 18m. Therefore, expenditure is on target.

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