DAMAGE TO PROPERTY (COMPENSATION) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 1924—FIRST STAGE.

This Bill is one to give the Minister for Finance power to issue securities in payment of compensation in Report cases. In decree or award cases the principal Act provides that the Minister for Finance shall issue securities of certain amounts in payment of the amounts awarded. In Report cases where the payment is, as it were,ex gratia, apparently, through an oversight, there is no power for the Minister to pay otherwise than in cash. It is obviously undesirable that people who get reports should have a right to cash, whereas people who have got decrees or awards will receive in certain cases securities.

Question put—"That leave be given to introduce the Bill."
Agreed.
Second Stage fixed for Tuesday.

May I ask the Minister if he thinks this is one of the Bills which will require to be passed within the next few weeks?

It is, because we wish that there should be no delay in meeting these cases. As we do not want to pay cash in full, except in the very small cases, we would like to have power to issue securities, and I do not think that, on examination, it will be found that the Bill is of a contentious character. I think it is a principle that if it had been included in the original Bill would have been passed as being in line with the general provisions.