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Tuesday, 22 September 1942

Mr CHIFLEY (Macquarie) (Treasurer) . - The honorable member for Richmond (Mr. Anthony) has urged the acceptance of bonds in payment of estate duty. So far as I can learn, this practice was previously in operation, but the privilege was withdrawn about 1934. I believed that it was still in operation until the honorable member raised the matter. I assume that there was good reason for its withdrawal.

Mr Spooner - The withdrawal was at the instigation of the Loan Council, and there was good reason for it.

Mr CHIFLEY - I shall have the matter examined.

The honorable member for Parramatta (Sir Frederick Stewart) referred to the estimated expenditure of £67,000 in respect of commission on the sale of tax instalment stamps. That commission is payable to the Postmaster-General's Department. The reason for the increased appropriation is the ever-increasing number of stamps sold.

The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Fadden), and another honorable member, drew attention to the proposed expenditure in the Census and Statistics Division. The work of this branch in connexion with various war activities has appreciably increased. To enable it to cope with the additional labour involved, a number of machines were ordered and delivered last year, but the vouchers were not presented for payment until this year. A further reason for the increase is the payment of increments and cost of living adjustments.

The honorable member for Parramatta cited the case of a seed merchant who had advertised his own goods in a text book of his own production. I believe that the honorable member corresponded with the department in relation to this matter some time ago. I do not pretend to have examined the legal position in connexion with the imposition of sales tax; but I am assured that the interpretation placed upon the act as it stands is that there was no escape from payment of sales tax on a pamphlet of this kind, which contained advertising matter. The subject was investigated by the Taxation Department when the honorable member communicated with it; but I shall have it further examined.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Attorney-General's Department.

Proposed vote,£295,800.

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