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Tuesday, 2 May 1961

Mr CLEAVER (Swan) .- This committee should recognize that the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth) has brought to us at least some original thinking. It does not surprise me that honorable members opposite, who show such great animosity towards the honorable member for Mackellar, are not very impressed with what he has presented, but we ought to take a moment or two to recognize some of the very sound basic thinking which the honorable member for Mackellar has presented. If, because of the limitation of time and the limitation of assistance available to him in drafting his amendment, the proposal is not sustained by the committee, let me express the hope that this basic thinking, this original think;ng which comes before us through the initiative of the honorable member, will not be discouraged. In the past we have had other instances in which, in all sincerity, the honorable member has submitted proposals worthy of serious consideration by this chamber. I do urge that this committee recognize that on this occasion the honorable member has brought forward a proposal which contains some very good points.

Those honorable members opposite who have just spoken have entirely overlooked that this proposal would provide for the Commonwealth Government a loan fund, an amount of money which could be used to offset any loss which might accrue through a reduction in taxation revenue. I am impressed with the fact that the honorable member suggests bonds of a face value of only £20. In reply to a question I addressed to him, he was emphatic in his insistence that in his estimation bonds of such a small face value would prove an attractive investment to many young people. As their incomes increased in the early days of their working lives, their savings would enable them to take up still more bonds of a face value of £20. One honorable member opposite referred to the advantages that would accrue to men on higher incomes. He failed to take into account the provision which the honorable member for Mackellar included in his proposal, and under which, whilst an investor obtains the benefit of a reduction of his taxable income by £500 if he invests that amount or more in one year, when he cashes those bonds, if the money so derived by him is not used for certain specific purposes, he will have to face the taxation that will be levied as the result of including the cash so obtained in his assessable income. I repeat that this point is entirely overlooked.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - But why benefit the rich man who gets married, as against the poor man who gets married?

Mr CLEAVER - That is a point that might well be looked at. And this is the point upon which the proposal may fail. Let me not forget to remind the committee again that the basic idea of this amendment holds a great amount of merit, which I am sure should attract the attention of the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron) and other members.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I agreed with it.

Mr CLEAVER - On this occasion, with an encouraging smile, we should say to the honorable member, " We admire your tenacity of purpose ". We appreciate the fact that he had to prepare this amendment with his own pen. Honorable members do not always find it possible to get experienced assistance when an amendment of this kind needs to be drafted. I for one will support the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth), and I hope he will persevere with this idea. I know that the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) has already had this matter investigated; and he will advise us in a moment of the points he has clear in his mind in regard to it.

I hope the basic idea will be looked at on another occasion so we can get the benefit of it.

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