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Wednesday, 20 May 1942

Sir CHARLES MARR (Parkes [S.5SJ.) (1 give to the TreasurerMr. Chifley) all credit for having introduced this legislation in order to carry out his promise to the Opposition that if he found that its contentions were borne out he would amend the Estate Duty Assessment Act which we passed last year. 1 look upon the Treasurer as a most fair-minded man. He gives consideration to every case put to him.

Mr BRENNAN (BATMAN, VICTORIA) - What has he promised tt> the honorable member?

Sir CHARLES MARR - He ha*, promised and granted to me what I can never expect to receive from the honorable member for Batman.

Mr Holt - Courtesy?

Sir CHARLES MARR - No, the honorable member for Batman has always been courteous to me, but, when he was a Minister, no representation that I made to him ever bore fruit. But the Treasurer gives fair consideration to every case submitted to him. It is regrettable that political turmoil should arise out of a discussion in this National Parliament of such a matter as the death of men on active service and the treatment of their women folk. I regard it as indecent that honorable members of tho Opposition should be accused of representing only one class in the community when they propose amendments to legislation placed before them. In the last war many wealthy men refused to accept promotion from the ranks so that those less fortunate than themselves in civil life could be appointed to the higher positions. Among them were many men whom I am proud to call my friends. Unfortunately, there arc in the community many people who regard the present war situation with complacencyThey say, in effect, "Let George do the job. We will wave flags when others go off to fight and we will be the first to welcome them when they return ". This bill provides an opportunity to do something for the dependants of men who lose their life in the service of their country. There was a time when every man who served in the volunteer forces of his country was granted a piece of land as his right. The Treasurer said this afternoon that he was prepared to have a full investigation made of the matters that have been raised. We cannot ask him to do more at the moment, but I am confident that when the investigation is made he will accede to the request of the honorable member for Wakefield (Mr. Duncan-Hughes). The proposals 'before us do not contain any provision to meet the needs of women who are doing important and valuable work for their country.

Mr Chifley - That is not quite correct. I cannot allow the honorable member to mislead himself.

Sir CHARLES MARR - The subject before us is too big to become a matter for party political wrangling. We should recognize in our legislation that no man can do more than offer his life for others, t am content with the promise of the Treasurer to investigate these matters further, for I believe that when he has done so he will be found in agreement with the honorable member for Wakefield.

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