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Wednesday, 1 August 1906

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - I think the arrangement of the provisions in the Bill is the better one. The clause under discussion provides when and under what circumstances the Minister may deposit the money in the Treasury, and, further, that he shall, at the same time, deposit a memorandum setting out the material facts relating to the matter. It would not be sufficient to make the amendment suggested by Senator Dobson. In clause 45 we propose to provide expressly that the Minister may, at the risk of the person, invest the compensation in the Government securities of either the Commonwealth or the States. These securities might bear interest either above or below 3 percent. ; and the interest that would accrue to the owner would be the actual interest earned by the investment. I think that is a more reasonable provision than to fix the Interest at 3 per cent.

Senator Dobson - What inducement is there for the Treasurer to invest the money in Government securities if he can keep it for nothing?

Senator KEATING - It is optional with the Treasurer whether he invests the money.

Senator Millen - If it be desired that the money shall be takenawayquickly. would it not be better to leave it uninvested ?

Senator KEATING - Quite so.

Senator Millen - Then, why does the Minister now support a proposal which a little while ago he said he did not approve ?

Senator KEATING - There might be cases in which it would be desirable to invest the money, and it is as well to give the Treasurer the power. In many cases, where compensation is not claimed, the Treasurer ought to have power to use the money, especially if it happens to be a large amount, the investment of which, in Government securities, would be of considerable advantage to a State or the Commonwealth, while not prejudicing, the interests of the person entitled to the compensation and interest.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 45 agreed to.

Clause 46 (Payment out of compensation).

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