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Thursday, 16 September 1971
Page: 1430

Mr SPEAKER - There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr GRAHAM - The 131st report relates to the Treasury Minute on your Committee's 112th report which concerns Commonwealth advertising. The 132nd report refers to the Treasury Minute on the 115th report concerning expenditure from the advance to the Treasurer for 1968-69. Honourable members will recall that on several occasions the former chairman of the Committee, the honourable member for Cook (Mr Dobie), referred to the .Treasury Minutes arrangement as an important element in ensuring that through your Committee this Parliament maintains a significant role in the financial administration of the Commonwealth. I endorse that view completely. While under that arrangement it is open to the Committee to make such comments as may be necessary on any Treasury Minute arising from its reports, your Committee has not found it necessary to make any comment on the Treasury Minute relating to the 112th report. It has found it necessary, however, to comment on the Treasury Minute relating to the 115th report. This comment takes the form of an observation set out in chapter 3 of the 132nd report.

As honourable members will be aware, your Committee has been concerned on many occasions over the years with the quality of the evidence tendered by the witnesses. In this regard the Treasury Minute on the 115th report suggests that factually inaccurate evidence may have been submitted by the Department of the Inter ior in connection with item 363.2.02 relating to stationery and printing for the Australian Capital Territory Police Force. In view of the comments made in the Treasury Minute your Committee re-examined the relevant evidence and also sought advice from the Department of the Interior regarding the accuracy of the evidence that it had tendered during the inquiry in relation to matters of fact. On the basis of this re-examination and the advice obtained your Committee believes that the evidence tendered concerning an order that had been placed for a law manual and a police law reference book lacked clarity. Your Committee also believes, however, that evidence given in relation to an amount of $500 for the police law reference book was correct on the basis of information available to the Department at the time when the evidence was tendered to the Committee. I commend the reports to honourable members.

Ordered that the reports be printed.

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