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Thursday, 7 August 1930

Senator MCLACHLAN (South Australia) . - In supporting this request, I desire to make a few observations on the bill. I shall not offer any complaint, because I realize that complaint is futile in the case of a Government which is committed to the policy that was enunciated some months ago in the Governor-General's speech. The paragraph in that speech that made a deep impression upon my mind at the time, and which convinced me that the Government had failed utterly to realize the position was that in which it was declared that it would be a policy of despair to bring about a reduction in the cost of production. Accepting that as the basic principle that has been adopted by the Government in regard to taxation and administration, it is not astonishing that Parliament has had submitted to it such a budget as that which we discussed recently, and such an Appropriation Bill as that which we now have before us. The responsibility for that administration, and for the consequences that must result from it, rests entirely upon the Government. I feel, however, that the Government has not been consistent. It has retrenched certain employees of the Commonwealth on the one hand, and on the' other hand has made provision for more lavish expenditure.

During the debate that took place on this bill at an earlier hour, I was pained at the intrusion of a certain amount of personal feeling by an honorable senator whom we all respect, Senator Greene. I do not propose to enter into the personal controversy that has been bottled up for so long, between that honorable senator and the gentleman who, prior to the advent of this Government, occupied the position of Treasurer. The honorable senator used certain figures which he had obtained from the Commonwealth

Treasury as late as July last, for the purpose of making an attack upon that gentleman. I draw his attention to the fact that those figures could have been obtained by him from page 11 of the budget papers for this year. He there will find set out the transactions of the Commonwealth, the surpluses and deficiencies, and the amount of the accumulated surplus, from 1907-8 right up to the estimated balance for this year.

Senator Daly - I rise to a point of order. I submit that neither the figures that appeared in a previous budget, nor the statements made by Senator Greene in relation to them, can by any stretch of the imagination be held to refer to the issue and application of £17.204,259 for this year.

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