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Wednesday, 14 October 1931

Mr MORGAN (.Darling Downs) . - I appeal to the Minister to reconsider this duty in the light of its effect on the educational life of the people. The Minister said that my amendment would involve a loss of revenue amounting to £100,000 per annum. Even if that were the case, I submit that it would be a small price to pay in order to provide educational facilities for the people of Australia.

Mr Forde - The Minister will have power to bring the rate back to 4 per cent, as soon as the financial position improves. At present the Government cannot afford to reduce the rate. Moreover, to do so would be to break away from the Premiers Conference plan.

Mr MORGAN - Seeing that the Labour party has always claimed to be solicitous regarding the education of the people a proposal to tax educational textbooks ill-becomes a Labour Government.

Mr Archdale Parkhill - The Government wants to keep the people ignorant.

Mr MORGAN - I cannot endorse the interjection of the honorable member for Warringah (Mr. Parkhill), because 1 know that in the past the Labour party has striven to improve the educational facilities available to the people. For that reason, it gave me a shock to find that this embargo on learning emanated from a Labofur Government. I hope that the Minister will accept the amendment.

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