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Friday, 4 September 1942


Mr CHIFLEY (Macquarie) (Treasurer) .- I move-

1.   That, on and after the date fixed by Proclamation under the Act to be passed to give effect to this resolution, an entertainments tax be imposed on all payments for admission to any entertainment.

2.   That the rates of the entertainments tax be -

(a)   where all the performers whose words or actions constitute the entertainment are actually present and performing and the entertainment consists solely of one or more of the following items, namely, a stage play, a ballet, a performance of music (whether vocal or instrumental), a lecture, a recitation, a music hall or other variety entertainment, a circus or a travelling show - as set out in the second column of the Schedule hereto ; and

3.   That the Act to be passed to give effect to this resolution continue in operation until the last day of the first financial year to commence after the date on which His Majesty ceases to be engaged in the present war and no longer.

 

It is customary with taxing acts to embody the machinery for collection in a separate measure from that which actually imposes the tax. This motion is, therefore, complementary to the measure which has already been introduced and explained. It provides for the imposition of the tax, and sets out the r a. tes at which the tax will be paid. Honorable members will observe that the schedule to the motion sets out two scales of rates which, for simplicity, might be referred to as the full rate and the. reduced rate. The full rate is set out in the third column of the schedule, and, briefly stated, is 3d. on admissions of ls., increasing by .2d. for every 6d. or part, thereof, by which the price of admission exceeds ls. up to 5s. and therelifter increasing by 3d. for each additional fid. or part thereof. At 10s. the rate is 4s. Id.

This scale of rates will apply to all entertainments held on and after the date of proclamation for the commencement of the tax, except exempt entertainments and entertainments in which the whole performance is rendered by artists appearing in person. To this latter class of entertainment, which is more particularly referred to as an entertainment consisting of a stage play, a ballet, a performance of music, whether vocal or instrumental, a lecture, a recitation, a. music hall or other variety entertainment, a circus or a travelling show, the reduced rates will apply. They are set out in column two of the schedule, and represent as near as could conveniently be arranged without splitting pence a reduction of 25 per cent, from the full rate. It has been thought desirable to avoid halfpence in order to obviate difficulties which would occur at the boxoffices if they were adopted, -and also to lessen the drain on copper coinage. Where the actual calculation resulted in an odd farthing or halfpenny the fraction has been dropped, and where the fraction was three farthings the tax hasbeen taken at the next penny.

Honorable members are well aware of the difficulties which have been experienced by what is popularly known as the " legitimate stage " since the advent of motion pictures and " talkies and will,I am sure, welcome the preference which has been accorded to it in the matter of rates. Despite the concession, the contribution which will be required from the legitimate stage because of the generally higher charges for admission will be substantial, and will be sufficient to keep before the patrons thereof the facts that I have previously referred to, namely, that this nation is fighting for its very existence, and that those who have the leisure and means to attend entertainments should on those occasions make a contribution to the funds for waging war.

The tax will come into operation on a date to beproclaimed, and it is expected that all State entertainment taxes will cease as from that date. Suitable arrangements are being made with the State governments for the vacation of this field of taxation, and I shall explain the details of those arrangements when thebill to provide compensation to the States is introduced.

Progress reported.

PAPER,

The following paper was presented : -

Northern Territory Acceptance Act and Northern Territory (Administration) Act - Ordinance -1942 - No. 7 - Crown Law Officer Reference.

House adjournedat 10.48a.m.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS.

The following answers to questions were circulated : -

Synthetic Rubber.

Mr.Guy asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Did he receive recently from the Tasmanian Government a request that the Australian Minister in Washington, Sir Owen Dixon, be asked to approach the American holder of the patents for the manufacture of neoprene synthetic rubber regarding the manufacture of the rubber in Tasmania from Tas- manian carbide

2.   if so, has such a request been made to Sir Owen Dixon, and with what results?


Mr Curtin - The answers to the honorable members questions are as follows : -

1.   The letter containing the request referred to by the honorable member was received yesterday.

2.   Consideration will be given to the matter as soon as possible.

Apples for Red Cross Organization.

Mr.Guy asked the Minister for Commerce, upon notice -

In view of the waste of apples which occurs each year, will he take the necessary action to instruct the Apple and Pear Marketing Board to make available to the Red Cross organization in Tasmania, and other States if thought advisable, a quantity of such apples gratis, or for a nominal charge, for sale throughout the State, so that the waste will be reduced and the funds of the Red Cross benefit?


Mr Scully - It is the practice of the Apple and Pear Marketing Board "to make supplies of surplus apples available to charitable and similar organizations for distribution to hospitals and institutions, but such fruit cannot be made available for commercial distribution.

Bauxite.


Mr Francis asked the Minister for

Supply and Development, upon notice -

1.   Has the Government yet devised and completed any plans for the development of Australian bauxite deposits for aluminium production ?If so, what are the nature and details of the plans to be undertaken and what progresshas been made in putting them into effect?

2.   Will the Government take into consideration the fullest possible utilization of the extensive bauxite deposits at Tambourine Mountain in Queensland in their plans for the development of our bauxite deposits for aluminium production?


Mr Beasley - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The Commonwealth Copper and Bauxite Committee has made an extensive survey of Australian bauxite resources and has furnished the Government with full information in this regard. The committee has established that there are ample supplies of sufficiently highgradebauxite in Australia upon which to base an aluminium industry. In order, however, to establish the industry it will be necessary to procure essential plant and equipment from America. Negotiations with the object of obtaining this have been in progress for some time and are continuing.

2.   Full consideration will be given to the question of utilization of bauxite deposits at Mount Tambourine in Queensland as plans for the establishment of the aluminium industry are advanced.

Divorce Legislation.


Mr Blackburn asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice -

1.   Has he read in the judgment of His Honour Mr. Justice Rich delivered oh 4th February, 1942, in Waghorn v. Waghorn (65 C.L.R. p. 294) the following passage: -

Before parting with the case I venture to suggest that the legislature, under the express power contained in sub-section 22 of section 51 of the Constitution, might take into consideration the question of passing a Federal Divorce Act. It appears to be a matter of some importance that the residents of the six States of the Commonwealth should lire under corresponding conditions so far as divorce is concerned. The legislature would not be originating a system of divorce, but merely passing a uniform act in substitution for the divorce acts of the States, and thus, " To heavenliest harmony Reduce the seeming chaos ". ?

2.   Will he favorably consider the introduction of such a bill as His Honour has urged?


Dr Evatt - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Yes.

2.   The question is one for consideration by the Cabinet as a matter of Government policy, and I shall bring the suggestion of the honorable member before my colleagues.

Federal Aid Roads Agreement.


Mr Francis asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Since the renewal of the Federal Aid Roads Agreement between the Commonwealth and the several States, what sums have been expended during the financial years 1939-40, 1940-41 and 1941-42 by the State of Queensland under the altered conditions of that agreement for the provision of harbours, havens, shelters, jetties, channelling, beacons, beacon lights, &c. ?

2.   What was the nature of such works so carried out?


Mr Chifley - Inquiries are being made and a reply will be furnished as soon as possible.







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