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Wednesday, 26 November 1941

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES (Wakefield) . - I think that I can speak about the matter on this clause, which specifies that the act shall come into operation on the day on which it receives Royal assent. If there is anything in the bill relative to soldiers' assets, it will obviously come into operation on that day, which will be almost straight away. I realize that the Government is willing to investigate this mat tei1, but this unjust imposition has been operating since May of last year. Now the Treasurer has suggested that it should continue in operation until March, 1.942. The provision was brought into operation months after -many men had volunteered for service and gone abroad. It is not a very fine reward for them that afterwards the act, which then gave them full exemption, should be amended in order to reduce the exemption to estates under £5,000. I do not wish to be obstructive, and I content myself now with urging tie Treasurer to investigate the proposal. It should he decided upon the general feeling of the House, and not by partisan action. The committee should report progress, so that the Treasurer may consider the matter and make a decision before Parliamentgoes into recess.

Mr Chifley - The honorable member cannot move to amend this bill.

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES - I had proposed to move for the insertion of a clause which would make an exception in the case of soldiers who are killed.

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