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Press Association—By Telegraph—Copyright.

MELBOURNE, December 3,

In the course of his Budget speech in the Federal Parliament to-day, Mr Fisher (Prime Minister and Treasurer) announced that the expenditure for the year included £11,742,050 in connection with the war. Approximately 42,000 troops would be despatched by June next. Experience had shown that tho creation of an efficient sea defence in the South Pacific was essential to the safety and the general welfare of the Impei-ial Dominions. The Government hoped that the day was not far distant when New Zealand, whilst maintaining her own identity unimpaired, would lie more closely assimilated with the Commonwealth in the creation and maintenance of effective defence in a common sphere of action.

Mr Fisher anticipates that tho cost of the Expeditionary Force up to next June, when it is expected that 42,000 men will have been despatched, will total £9,800,000. Already 22,373 men had been sent to the front, and 16,500 more are in training. A DEFICIT OF £13.000,000. HOW IT WILL BE MET. MELBOURNE, December 3. Mr Fisher further said that the revenue for tho past year was £21,740,423, and tho expenditure £23,161,327. It was estimated that the revenue for the current financial year would be £24,495,401, and the expenditure £37,583,715, making a total deficit of £13,088,314. The expenditure included £11.742,050 in connection with the war. If this wore deducted the ordinary expenditure would be £25,841,655, and the deficiency £1,546,264. The deficit would be made up by a loan from the British Government of £10,500,000, and Treasury bills for £2,588,314. Tho British Government were advancing altogether £18,000,000 for war purposes, but as it would be paid at the rate of £1,500,000 monthly, only £10,500,000 would be received during the financial year. It was proposed to raise £1,000,000 extra revenue by increases of the probate and succession duties, and it was anticipated that there would bo an increase of £1.100,000 in tho Land Tax. Against this, there would bo a falling oil of £700.000 in Customs and £.xcise. AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE. INCREASED EXPENDITURE PROPOSED. A NEW LIGHT CRUISER, MELBOURNE, December 4. (I'eecived December 4, at 9.50 a.m.) Continuing his Budget, speech, Mr Fisher stated that tho new Customs tariff had been hurriedly prepared, in the abseiHO of the Interstate Commission's report. It was anticipated that Excise duties would ykld an additional £1.250.000, and Customs duties an additional £250,000.

The Military and Navy Estimates provide for an increased expenditure of i! 75 0 :000; and the fleet construction vnt<e for an increase of £350,000, to be devoted to building a new light cruiser. The estimated outlay on military forces is £12,254,490. The Government intend to rommenco the construction of flying machines, and Senator Peajce (Minister of Defence) has ranctiored the construction of a coffer dam at Cockatoo Island docks, at an estimated cost of £30,000, for the purpose- of launching tho new cruiser Brisbane. CUSTOMS TARIFF. THE INCREASED DUTIES. GENERAL ADVANCE FROM 5 TO 10 PER CENT. MELBOURNE, December 4. (Received December 4, at 10.55 a.m.) Tho Minift'vr of Customs (Mr Tudor) explains that tho chief increases in the new Customs tariff include almost a general advance of between 5 per cent, and 10 per cent. Preference is given to the United Kingdom by advancing the duties on foreign to that extent. The increases for revenue purposes alone were con/i:icd m the duty on beer, wines, spirits, and tobacco. The other increases were purely of a protective nature, principally affecting liats. confectionery, biscuits, pianos, machines, and binder twine. There would also be an increase on timber of from 3 per cent, to 5 per cent.

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COMMONWEALTH FINANCE, Issue 15667, 4 December 1914

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COMMONWEALTH FINANCE Issue 15667, 4 December 1914

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