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§ 407. “On such Terms and Conditions.”

Even without the express mention of terms and conditions, the Parliament, as the party in whose discretion it is to either grant or refuse assistance, would have been able to make its own terms. But though apparently superfluous, the words are not really so. They help to place beyond doubt the intention of the section, and to make it clear that the discretion of the Parliament is absolute, and that no duty is imposed upon it of giving assistance without demur and without enquiry, whenever assistance may be asked. The section is not intended to diminish the responsibility of State Treasurers, or to introduce a regular system of grants in aid. Its object is to strengthen the financial position of the Commonwealth in view of possible contingencies, by affording an escape from any excessive rigidity of the financial clauses. It is for use as a safety-valve, not as an open vent; and it does not contemplate financial difficulties, any more than a safety-valve contemplates explosions.




  ― 872 ―

Audit.

97. Until the Parliament otherwise provides408, the laws in force in any Colony which has become or becomes a State with respect to the receipt of revenue and the expenditure of money on account of the Government of the Colony, and the review and audit of such receipt and expenditure, shall apply to the receipt of revenue and the expenditure of money on account of the Commonwealth in the State in the same manner as if the Commonwealth, or the Government or an officer of the Commonwealth, were mentioned whenever the Colony, or the Government or an officer of the Colony, is mentioned.

CANADA.— … subject to be reviewed and audited in such manner as shall be ordered by the Governor-General in Council until the Parliament otherwise provides.—B.N.A. Act, 1867, sec. 103.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—This clause, in substantially the same form, was in the Bill of 1891. At the Adelaide Session, 1897, the draft of 1891 was adopted verbatim. At Melbourne, after the fourth Report, verbal amendments were made.

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