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§ 349. “The Expenditure of the Commonwealth.”

The phrase “expenditure of the Commonwealth” (which occurs again in sec. 89; and see secs. 87, 93) means all moneys expended for the public service of the Commonwealth. It includes the expenses of collection; so that the provision that “the revenue of the Commonwealth shall in the first instance be applied to the payment of the expenditure of the Commonwealth” is not inconsistent with the provision that the expenses of collection shall be a first charge on the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Money to be Appropriated by Law.

83. No money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the Commonwealth except under appropriation made by law350.

But until the expiration of one month after the first meeting of the Parliament the Governor-General in Council may draw from the Treasury and expend such moneys as may be necessary for the maintenance of any department transferred to the Commonwealth and for the holding of the first elections for the Parliament.

UNITED STATES.—No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.—Art. I., sec. 9, subs. 6. CANADA.—Subject to the several payments by this act charged on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada, the same shall be appropriated by the Parliament of Canada for the public service.—B.N.A. Act, sec. 106; and see Colonial Constitutions: e.g., Const. of N.S.W., sec. 53.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—The clause as passed in 1891 consisted of the first paragraph only. Mr. Thynne proposed to add “and for purposes authorized by this Constitution” in order to limit expenditure to those purposes. The amendment was negatived, as being unnecessary. (Conv. Deb., Syd. [1891], pp. 788–9.)




  ― 814 ―

At the Adelaide Session, 1897, the draft of 1891 was followed, with the addition of the words “and by warrant countersigned by the Chief Officer of Audit of the Commonwealth.” (Conv. Deb., Adel., p. 835.)

At the Melbourne Session, the Finance Committee recommended the omission of the provision for warrant on the ground that there would be no Officer of Audit at first, and that it was a matter for legislation. On Sir Geo. Turner's motion the omission was agreed to. Dr. Quick proposed to add “but section 82 [Consol. Rev. Fund] shall not be deemed to constitute such an appropriation.” The amendment was withdrawn for consideration by the Drafting Committee. (See Historical Note to sec. 81.) Mr. Glynn suggested that there should be provision for audit; which Mr. Barton promised to consider. (See sec. 97, Conv. Deb., Melb., pp. 774, 901–9.)

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