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Tuesday, 8 November 1910

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - One reason why the 1st July is fixed is because that is the commencement of the financial year. In all our legislation we make a practice of conforming as far as possible to the financial arrangements of the Commonwealth. Tt would be extremely inconvenient if the term of three years took us three or four months into a new financial year. In such a case, the Treasurer, not knowing whether Parliament would continue the payment, would be unable to estimate the expenditure for the year.

Senator Rae - But does the honorable senator not think that there is something in the objection urged by Senator St. Ledger ?

Senator PEARCE - There is no doubt something in the statement which the honorable senator made, but why should it be regarded as an objection ? If the company have manufactured oil during the last month under the conditions prescribed, why should they not be paid the bounty upon that oil? Honorable senators should remember that this will not give the producers of oil an unchallengeable claim to the bounty. If the Minister is not satisfied that the prescribed conditions have been complied with, he need not pay the bounty. If he is satisfied that they have been complied with, and that the oil has bond fide been produced in Australia from Australian shale since 1st July last, why should he not pay the bounty ?

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