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Wednesday, 26 November 1941

Mr MCDONALD (CORANGAMITE, VICTORIA) - It is time that those provisions were rooted out of the statute.

Mr LAZZARINI - The honorable member was a Minister in the Government which should have rooted them out.

Mr Fadden - We were rooted out ourselves.

Mr LAZZARINI - I have just received a note from the Treasurer, in which he says that he will give immediate consideration to the matter raised by the honorable member for Wakefield. The honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Blackburn), who, like the honorable member for Fawkner, is a lawyer and should 'know, tells me that this bill, being a rates bill, cannot be amended to achieve the object desired by the honorable member. I suggest that the bill be accepted as it stands. I am not concerned about the man, whether he be a soldier or otherwise, if his estate is worth £30,000, £40,000, £50,000 or £100,000.

Mr Harrison - Will the Minister assure the House that something will be done in the Senate?

Mr LAZZARINI - I cannot give that undertaking. The Treasurer is not here, but he has intimated that he will give immediate consideration to the matter. If the honorable member for Wakefield persists in committee in moving his amendment, it will be his business, but I emphasize that honorable members opposite will not be allowed to get away with statements and innuendoes that the Government is doing anything to tax the estates of soldiers overseas, unless those estates are valued' at more than £20,000. If the provision about the estates of soldiers valued at £5,000 is an anomaly, the anomaly was created by the previous Government. The Government will sympathetically consider that matter, but it refuses point blank to accept the blame which the honorable member for Barker deliberately tried to put on it by talking about the enemy killing the soldier and this Government robbing him.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In committee:

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Prowse).Is it the pleasure of honorable members that the bill be taken as a whole?

Honorable Members. - Hear, hear !

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