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Friday, 26 November 1965

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - I welcome the question because I have read in the local Press references to my remoteness, aloofness, and arrogance - other unpleasant epithets were used - because apparently I am not disposed to receive at this stage direct representations on these matters. I assure honorable members that in the course of a year I receive literally hundreds and, I would say, virtually thousands of requests for interviews in relation to matters of taxation of various kinds. It is quite impracticable to have personal contacts in all of these cases. It is my usual custom to suggest that representations be put to me in writing. If I then find that an interview is necessary in order to have a complete understanding of what is proposed, this can be arranged. I think it can be said that honorable members, when they feel that they have a need to put to me representations that come through their constituencies, have little difficulty in achieving that result either by direct access to me or through my office.

In the case in question, whilst the Government has expressed a general attitude of policy, no detailed proposals have been worked out to a point where discussion would be either practicable or profitable. I can assure the honorable member for the Australian Capital Territory that, when the Government's mind has been more clearly formed on the details of this matter, we shall, as is our custom, either give some public indication of that or give either him, as the elected spokesman for the Territory, or some appropriate representative body from the Territory, an opportunity to put their views.

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