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Thursday, 29 July 1920

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) .- I am glad that the Budget is to be brought down early, and I hope that honorable members will have an opportunity of discussing it early, too. Budgets have been brought down in August and September, and no opportunity has been given to discuss them before practically all the money required for the year has been voted in Supply Bills. It must not be forgotten that we have the Tariff to consider, and that on some lines persons are laying out thousands of pounds without knowing what Parliament intends to do. We shall have to decide whether the Tariff is to be Protective, or merely revenue-producing.

Mr Richard Foster - It is producing good revenue just now.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - And we need the money.

Mr TUDOR - The Treasurer seems to have forgotten 'the views which he expressed in 1901, when the Kingston Tariff was under discussion.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - That is hardly fair.

Mr Laird Smith - The honorable member cannot say that it is not a protectiveTariff.

Mr TUDOR - It may be in certain directions, but as regards commodities that are not produced here, it is merely a revenue-producing Tariff. Men in business in this and other States are anxious to know what this House intends doing, particularly in connexion with certain lines. I know that after the Tariff hasbeen passed by this Chamber it has to go to another place, and, although it may be amended there, it docs not become effective until finally dealt with by this House.

As we are discussing the first Supply Bill introduced by the new Treasurer, I would like to take the opportunity of congratulating him on his appointment.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - I shall need the honorable member's sympathy.

Mr TUDOR - I think the Treasurer will need not only my sympathy, but that of every honorable member in this House.

I understand that the Treasurer has stated that at the present time an enormous amount of wealth is escaping taxation.

Mr.West.- Yes; about £600,000,000. Mr. TUDOR. - Is that statement correct?

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - Not that amount.

Mr TUDOR - I can remember a gentleman who wasrespected on both sides of theHouse often saying, "What is a million?" Apparently the Government of the day are not concerned with single millions, as the policy at present seems, to be one of raising many millions.

The Treasurer has asked for Supply for only one month; but he must remember that he has already had one month, as Supply was granted in May before the arrival of the Prince of Wales. The amount for which he is now asking will take the Government up to the middle of September. I notice that there is a Treasurer's Advance of £500,000, and no doubt the Minister will give us some information as to the manner in which: that sum is to be expended.

Mr Bowden - Perhaps that is for Canberra.

Mr TUDOR - No, I understand that no provision has been made in the Supply Bill for any expenditure at the Federal Capital site ; and I hope that when that matter is brought forward it will be in such a way that honorable members will have the opportunity of directly voting for or against the expenditure. I would like 'the Treasurer to say definitely when he expects the Supply Bill to be passed by the Senate:

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - By next Wednesday.

Mr TUDOR - Then, if that is the case, I think it would be advantageous if the Senate sat occasionally of an evening.

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