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Wednesday, 26 November 1941

Mr SPEAKER -Order! Personalities should not be introduced into the debate.

Mr FALSTEIN - Although honorable members opposite had ample opportunity during the first two years of the war to effect this amendment, they neglected to do so. Now they urge the Labour Government to repair their omission, despite the fact that the Treasurer had only a few weeks in which to recast the budget.

Mr Duncan-Hughes - That is not so; the act was amended in May, 1940.

Mr FALSTEIN - Why did the honorable member for Wakefield neglect to bring pressure to bear against the then Government to effect the reforms that he now advocates?

Mr Holt - The point is whether the amendment should be made now.

Mr Fadden - Is the proposal fair or unfair?

Mr FALSTEIN - As I stated in my opening remarks, this tax will raise £500,000 during the balance of this financial year. 'The Government requires the money for the prosecution of the war. Whether, in considering the budget proposals for 1942-43, the Treasurer will effect the amendment which the Opposition desires will be decided by Cabinet. The physical fact is that the bill does not contain the amendment, and if the alteration were now made, a considerable amount of revenue would be lost.

Mr Harrison - In doing justice to the soldiers!

Mr FALSTEIN - The honorable member for Wentworth was a member of the previous Government which had ample opportunity to make the amendment.

Mr Harrison - If that Government had remained, in office, it would have done so-.

Mr FALSTEIN - Those protestations are comical in the light of the actions of the previous Government. I commend the bill to the House and repeat that my only regret is that it does not contain a steeper rate of duty in order to ensure a more equitable distribution of wealth than is possible at present.

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