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Thursday, 10 September 1942

Mr Guy y asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

Can he state whether the Attorney-General was expressing government policy when he publicly stated that the Government would seek to make uniform taxation a permanent feature of Australian finance?

Mr Curtin - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: -

1.   What the Attorney-General said was that the Commonwealth Parliament should have undoubted legal power to decide that uniform taxation throughout the Commonwealth should be a peace-time as well as a war-time measure and that it was by nomeans certain, having regard to the varying reasons of the judges in the recent case that the Commonwealth Parliament would be deemed to retain such legal power after the termination of the war.

2.   The whole question ofthe scope of the proposed constitutional referendum is now under preliminary examination by the Attorney-General. The House will have the fullest opportunity of discussing on a nonparty basis the questions which should be submitted to the people of Australia for the purpose of enabling the Commonwealth to deal effectively with a national programme for post-war reconstruction, which as was pointed out in the recent budget speech, covers a wide field of activity which, inthe absence of a constitutional alteration, will he closed to the Commonwealth at the end of the war.

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