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Wednesday, 20 May 1942

Mr BARNARD (Bass) .- 1 agree with the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Holt) .that, in the levying of estate duties, regard should be had to the principles of justice and equity, but I maintain that the Government has recognized those principles in framing this measure. It has for many years been recognized that, upon the death of a citizen, part of his estate should go to the public revenue. I recognize that the payment of estate duties sometimes causes embarrassment to persons administering a deceased person's estate, but that is no reason why an estate of £50,000 should pay in estate duty only £1,435. which would be the case if the amendment of the honorable member for Wakefield (Mr. DuncanHughes) were agreed to. The honorable member is always quite honest in his approach to matters of this kind, for which I give him due credit. He represents the wealthy section of the community, and wants it to be protected. If he can persuade honorable members that £1,435 is a fair contribution from a £50,000 estate-

Mr GUY (WILMOT, TASMANIA) - A deceased soldier's estate.

Mr BARNARD - It does not matter whose estate it is. This Government is doing more for the dependants of deceased soldiers than the last Government did. If anything, the provision in this bill errs on the side of generosity.

Mr Guy - Does the honorable member suggest that the Government is being too generous to the soldiers?

Mr BARNARD - Honorable members opposite are trying to make out that they are concerned in the welfare of the soldiers and their dependants. The fact is that, when they had the opportunity, they did very little for the soldiers. This Government is helping the soldiers and their dependants by increasing pay and allowances, and in this measure no injustice is being inflicted on any one.

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