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Wednesday, 20 May 1942

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES (Wakefield) . - It is regrettable that the Treasurer (Mr. Chifley) has not dealt with the merits of my amendment. Instead, he concentrated on the class of people whose (.'.-. talus may be assessed. He dealt almost solely with' an estate valued at £50,000. I. also 'mentioned that class of case. So -far as I am personally concerned, I agree with the honorable member for Flinders (Mr. Ryan). I am of opinion that all estates should be free of duty, provided that the owner lose his life as the result of service in the fighting forces. That principle was applied in the .last war. Why should it not be applied on this occasion? Is this war of less importance than the last war? Is it further away from our shores than was the war of 1914-1S? However, my present proposal is not to exempt all such estates entirely. It represents a compromise and ensures that the Government shall obtain considerable revenue from the larger estates. The British law which makes provision along these lines has been in existence for 2S years. I also point out that the law of New South Wales completely exempts from estate duty the estate of any man who loses his life on active service. The Treasurer contended that my amendment represents a benefit solely in respect of a big taxpayer. My proposal, however, must be read in conjunction with the provision in the hill that estates up to a value of £5,000 are to be completely exempt. It is only in respect of estates exceeding that value that a qualified form of duty is to be levied. We have not incorporated in this measure all of the provisions of the British act, and I point out that the British act of 1914 has a further provision giving such estates the benefit of the most favorable of two. different methods of assessment.

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