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Thursday, 7 October 1971
Page: 2043

Mr GRAHAM - I thank the honourable gentleman for his interjection. This is evidenced by the range and variety of the 132 reports which have been presented to the Parliament by the Committee since 1951. Some of these reports relate to Treasury Minutes which embody the action taken by the Executive to implement the recommendations of the Committee. From its range of inquiries and the subsequent action taken by the Executive the Committee has demonstrated its very great value to the Parliament as a potent force operating on behalf of the Parliament. The Committee makes it clear to the civil service and to all the departments of state that the Parliament is paramount in Australia. But this is not to say - and I do not for one. moment imply - that the horizons and scope of activity of the Public Accounts Committee should not be widened further in the interests of the Parliament, if it is so desired.

Indeed, such a course appears to have more to offer, in terms of economy and efficiency of the resources of the Parliament itself, than the alternative of creating further committees which, should they be established, undoubtedly would place severe strains on the resources of this House and also of the civil service. In practical human terms there is an actual limit to the capacity of houses of parliament to proliferate committees, duplicating functions and creating more and more demands upon the limited human resources available.

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