LOAN FUNDS LOAN FOR ADVANCES FOR PURCHASE OF WIRE AND WIRE NETTING: WHETHER ‘REVENUES OR MONEYS’ IN CONSTITUTION s 81 INCLUDES MONEYS RAISED BY WAY OF LOAN: WHETHER MONEYS ARE REQUIRED TO BE PAID INTO CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND: TERMS OF APPROPRIATION: PAYMENT OF AMOUNT APPROPRIATED INTO TRUST ACCOUNT
LOAN ACT (No. 1) 1926: WIRE AND WIRE NETTING ACT 1927 s 4: SURPLUS REVENUE ACT 1908 ss 4, 5b: CONSTITUTION s 81
The Secretary to the Treasury has forwarded me the following minute for advice:
An amount of £500,000 was included in the Loan Appropriation 1925–26 for ‘Advances to States and to the Administrator, Northern Territory, for the purchase of wire and wire-netting’.(1)
Later the Wire and Wire-netting Act 1927, which provided for the establishment of a ‘Wire and Wire-netting Trust Account’, was passed. Section 4 of the Act states—‘There shall be payable to the Trust Account such sums as are from time to time appropriated by the Parliament for the purpose’.
Transfers from an Appropriation to Trust Fund are usually covered by the terms of the appropriation, the authority for transfer being conveyed by the addition of the words—‘To be transferred to Trust Fund’. In the case under notice the Vote does not contain this provision.
Where a transfer is not directly authorised by the Appropriation, the authority conferred on the Treasurer by section 5(b) of the Surplus Revenue Act 1908 is used.
In the present case there appears to be some doubt whether the powers under the Surplus Revenue Act can be availed of as the Act refers to transfers from ‘Consolidated Revenue Fund’, and it is not known whether that term covers ‘Loan Fund’, as it appears to do in section 81 of the Constitution.
Your advice is sought as to whether the necessary transfer may be made under the Surplus Revenue Act, or whether the general terms of the Appropriation and the Wire and Wire-netting Act contain sufficient authority therefore.
In section 81 of the Constitution the expression ‘revenue or moneys’ means revenue of moneys in the nature of revenue and does not, in my opinion include moneys raised by way of loan. I am not aware of any provision of Commonwealth law requiring that any moneys raised by way of loan shall be paid to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
It therefore appears that the £500,000 borrowed for advances for the purchase of wire and wire netting cannot be regarded as part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund; and be available under section 5 of the Surplus Revenue Act 1908 for crediting to a Trust Account.
It is now necessary to consider the effect of the words ‘for the purpose’ appearing in section 5 of the Wire and Wire Netting Act 1927; ‘the purpose’ means the purposes of the Trust Account established under that Act. The purposes of the Account is stated in section 4 to be the purposes of the Act which are to provide for the making of advances to the States and the Administrator of the Northern Territory for the purchase of wire and wire netting.
These are the terms of the appropriation and I accordingly advise that the Appropriation has been made for the purpose of the Trust Account and that the amount appropriated can legally be transferred to the Account.
[Vol. 23, p. 101]
(1) See the Schedule to the Loan Act (No. 1) 1926.