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Wednesday, 12 May 1920


Dr MALONEY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) .- I do not approach the consideration of this question from a party point of view. It is to be regretted that the Bill was not introduced in the last Parliament. In that event many of the differences that arose between the contending parties at the last general election would have been less irritating than they were. The two parties could have faced the country with a proposal to give our returned men a fair chance. At no time during the recruiting campaign was it said that in our treatment of returned soldiers we would differentiate, between Harry Brown, who worked in a saw pit, and James Jones, who worked on the land. We said that we would look after the dependants of all who went to the Front. This Bill, however, differentiates between different classes of men. According to the honorable member for Corangamite (Mr. Gibson), the alternative proposal made by the Senate would provide for the settlement of only 1,666 men'. By what right are we to say to one class of men, "You are the sheep," and to another " You are the goats." The honorable member who was responsible for the original amendment providing for the assistance of returned soldiers in co-operative enterprises will always be able to regard with satisfaction the action taken by him, and the f uture will do him honour. He did not propose that there should be any differential treatment. The Acting* Treasurer (Sir Joseph Cook) urged that there was need for economy. He admits, however, that the war-time profits tax has yielded only £2,000,000. Mr. W. L. Baillieu, to his eternal credit, publicly stated that that tax had never touched men like himself. It was not meant to do the work that we expected of it. Why do the Government not come forward with a strong measure of taxation which would take in a fair and equitable way from those who have most of this world's goods? It does not suit the Government to do anything of the kind, but it does suit them to meet demands of this kind with the cry, " The finances will not stand it." I know that the finances of the Commonwealth are in a dangerous state, and no one is more anxious than I am that they should be protected. It is for that reason I advocate the initiative and referendum and recall, since in that way the people would be able to control the Government. Sir John Quick, who may be fairly regarded as one of the leading jurists of Australia, says that the Government have full power-







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