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Wednesday, 12 May 1920

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) .- I do not know what the Government propose to do, but I understand that if we make the amendment suggested it will have retrospective action, and I know that in taxation Bills we always have to be very careful in this regard. I am anxious to give the Auditor-General this power as to the future, but to make the provision retrospective is another matter. I do not believe in any company being able to flout the Government or the Auditor-General; butif a bad contract was made, giving great advantages to one company which were not open to other companies, then the fault lies with the Government. I am not clear whether or not this contract was made by the Government of which the honorable member for Capricornia (Mr. Higgs) and myself were members.

Mr Hughes - This is the first agreement, not the one entered into the other day.

Mr TUDOR - Quite so; but I understand that the amendment is retrospective from the beginning of January, 1916. If the contract was made by the Government of which I was a member I shall vote for the amendment. I am anxious that no one shall be in a position to say that I refused to make the provision retrospective because the contract was made by a Government with which I was concerned.

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