Hon. SYDNEY FISHER (Minister of Agriculture).
This stood over at the request of the hon. member for St. John who wanted an explanation of the method of dealing with those advances by the Agriculture Department. On looking up the item, I find that the amount of $1,000 in the public account has nothing to do with this vote. That is a special sum sent to my department by the Orange River Colony government to pay for some live stock purchased in Canada to be sent to South Africa. The item happened to be, at the end of the fiscal year, in the hands of the government, and thus appeared in the public accounts. With regard to the $10,000 all tills money is available on a special credit given by the Auditor General. The account is kept quite distinct from the ordinary business of the branch.
When revenue from the sale of butter is received, it is deposited to the credit of the vote of $40,000. For every dollar which is paid out of this vote, an equal sum must be, and is, returned to it. The amount may be expended two or three times over in the season. There is a statement in regard to this in the Auditor General's Report, page H-101 governing credit and debit account. It will be seen here that although the vote was only $40,000, the expenditure was $126,062,43-that is, the amount was paid out nearly three times over. The revenue was $156,320.76. This apparently extraordinary condition is due to the fact that a large amount had been paid in on account of sales of butter. The account runs for the season and not for the fiscal year, and the balance as on 1st July appears in the Auditor General's Report." But that balance will be entirely misleading as regards the season, because it appears right in the middle of the season for which the money is used by the department. But, of course, the statement of the account has to close at the end of the fiscal year. The revenue credited to this account does not appear in the public accounts, because the money is never actually expended, and the vote itself is not shown as an expenditure against the Agricultural Department in the public accounts. Page 33 of part 3, Public Accounts ending 30th June, 1004, shows the total expenditure for the Commissioner's Branch, Agriculture and Dairying, to be $219,993.70. This is the expenditure of the vote of $220,-
000. There is no item in the public accounts reports as to this $40,000 vote.
I believe this is a full explanation of what my hon. friend (Mr. Daniel) desired, and therefore I would ask the committee to pass the appropriation.
Subtopic: JTTXE 6. 1905