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Thursday, 8 December 1960


Mr JEFF BATE (Macarthur) .- I wish to support the amendment that has been moved by the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Bury). Mr. Temporary Chairman, you have ruled against a point of order raised by the honorable member for Lilley (Mr. Wight), who asked whether the honorable member for Reid (Mr. Uren) was in order in reflecting upon the honorable member for Wentworth. Might I say in reply to the statements that have been made by the honorable member for Reid that I have a high respect for the honorable member for Wentworth and so also have many other honorable members in this House. We are conscious of the fact that the honorable member for Wentworth resigned from the position of Executive Director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to enter this Parliament. He has advised many of us on financial matters and we appreciate his help. Might I add, for the sake of the record, that the honorable member for Wentworth said, by way of interjection, that he had no personal interest whatever in any effect that might flow from this amendment. I want to make it clear that many honorable members have a great respect for him and his financial knowledge, which has been of some help to the Government and the Parliament.

The honorable member for Reid said that he represented the trade union movement and the great mass of the Australian people. I am proud to be able to say that the honorable member does not represent the trade union movement and the great mass of the people. Maybe in the time of Andrew Fisher, the Australian Labour Party represented the great mass of the Australian people, but not now, because the Labour Party has made its arrangements with international communism. I repeat that because the Labour Party has made its arrangements with international communism, it does not now represent the great mass of the Australian people, and it will not do so as it is at present constituted.

I support this amendment, although I am wholeheartedly behind the spirit of the Government's financial measures. I believe they were necessary. I believe they were necessary some time ago. But now, because they are bold and courageous, I support them. I think that without the amendment, an injustice might be done. The spirit of the bill is that interest charges on financial advances by certain organizations should not be allowable as tax deductions. The measure is aimed at certain speculative undertakings in the community. The amendment seeks to remove from the effect of the bill those companies which have entered into contracts or made other arrangements and have perhaps done everything except actually make the loan. Because of their contracts and the arrangements they have made, they must go on and borrow, but the interest they pay will not be allowable as a tax deduction. This may do some financial damage, and, as a result, cause a loss of confidence and buoyancy and some unemployment. I ask the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) to study this matter carefully and to see whether he can accept the amendment, because it is in the spirit of the bill itself. which seeks to remove retrospectivity. I believe retrospectivity is inherent in the bill, and I support the amendment.







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