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Friday, 11 March 1932

Mr BEASLEY (West) (Sydney) . - This amendment is likely to bring about chaos beyond expression in an alleged . defaulting State. It provides for the passing by both Houses of the Parliament of a resolution in which all the revenues of a State, may he named. It is possible that the revenues named may be more than sufficient for the purposes of the Commonwealth, and if that occurred the so-called defaulting State would be placed in a serious position. The Government, after passing a resolution through both Houses of the Parliament, could go into recess indefinitely, and still retain the power to name and collect the revenues of an alleged defaulting State. We cannot look into the future, but it may happen that within the next eighteen months or two years we shall have falling revenues and increasing unemployment. lt may be exceedingly difficult to meet our commitments overseas, and if the Commonwealth is financially embarrassed, itmay, under the power which is now being given to it, seize revenues that are necessary for the maintenance of vital State services, such as health. If, in two years' time, the whole of the Governments of Australia were financially embarrassed, and the Commonwealth Government before seizing certain revenue of the defaulting States,' were compelled to obtain the sanction of this Parliament, I assert that it would be refused. :,We should not give a free hand to this Government when it is humanly impossible to determine what the future is likely to have in store for us. The Government and its supporters seem to be prepared to go to any lengths to save their faces, and to gloss over their past utterances. This is a brazen attempt on the part of the Government to try to sneak this measure through.

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