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Tuesday, 12 November 1974
Page: 2277

Senator LAUCKE (South Australia) - I appreciate very much the gracious action of the Minister in allowing me a minute or two to complete what I was saying about this highly important matter. When my time had expired there was no move to grant me an extension of time so I could not proceed. I thank Senator Sir Magnus Cormack for his expression in respect of this matter. There were 2 relatively small matters in the 1974-75 Estimates which we are now considering which were included as an annual service in the Bill which the Senate may not amend. One related to an act of grace payment to the Australian Government Advertising Advisory Council and the other to a grant-in-aid to the British Commonwealth Youth Program. Although the matters were small they served to remind the Committee that no action had been taken on the recommendation that it had made in November of last year in respect of referring this matter for consideration by the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs. Whilst dealing with the problems associated with the interpretation ofthe 1965 compact I would raise again for the Committee's consideration the appropriateness of placing the Estimates for Parliament in the Appropriation Bill (No. 1 ). Honourable senators will recall that in 1964 Senator Murphy expressed the view that Parliament is not an ordinary annual service of the government. In fact he said:

It may be ordinary; it may be annual; it may be regarded as a service; but it is not a service ofthe government.

The Committee of Government members in its 1965 report agreed with this view and recommended that 'appropriations for the purposes of Parliament should not be included in the Appropriation Bill for the ordinary annual services of the government'. This evening I mention that to the Committee as something worthy of note now. These are matters of profound constitutional importance affecting, as they do, the powers of the Senate, and as such I believe that they merit the consideration of all honourable senators. At the appropriate time I shall move for reference of this matter to the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs.

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