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Friday, 11 March 1932

Mr BEASLEY (West Sydney) . - So far as I have been able to understand the explanation of the Minister, it appears that, under this measure as amended, the Commonwealth Government will have power to seize funds standing to the credit of semigovernmental institutions engaged in providing service to the public. The explanation seemed to indicate that such revenue could be seized even without the assistance of this amendment, but evidently the Government desires to make certain. The Government is prepared to go to any length to seize the funds of a Slate so that these may be sent abroad to satisfy the claims of bondholders. Even the money necessary for the upkeep of hospitals and the relief of the indigent may be attached by the Commonwealth. With the winter approaching, this is a very serious matter for many citizens of New South Wales, and I am compelled to enter an emphatic protest against it. The Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Gullett) chooses to laugh, and I only hope that he will never find himself in the position of absolute want, as many persons in New South Wales are to-day. This proposal to rob a State of its last penny of revenue is something to which I can never agree. Honorable members opposite, who regard this measure with such enthusiasm, should remember that before very long the same conditions as obtain in New South Wales may exist in the other States of the Commonwealth as well. As bad as the bill was when it left this chamber, the amendments of the Senate have made it worse, and appear to be designed to destroy entirely the State of New South Wales.

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