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Wednesday, 2 November 1910


Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - Whenever any honorable senator upon this side of the Chamber expresses a doubt in regard to any word which appears in a clause, or in respect of the dotting of an " i, " some member of the Opposition rises to submit an amendment.


Senator Walker - I told Senator Gould an hour ago that I intended to move the amendment which I have proposed.


Senator McGREGOR - Then the honorable senator embraced a very opportune time to move it. An hour is a very long time to consider the propriety of submitting an amendment. The honorable senator waited till a supporter of the Government questioned the advisableness of including certain words in the clause before he took action. It seems to me, therefore, that he is guilty of fraudulent intent to deprive this side of the Chamber of a vote. But I wish to point out that the legislation which we are now enacting differs in many respects from all other legislation that we have placed upon the statute-book. Under this clause an undervaluation by a landowner to the extent of 25 per cent, or more must be proved before any intent to defraud can be established. If it cannot be proved that the undervaluation was made with intent to defraud, there can be no case against the land-owner. The Commissioner has first to prove that there has been an undervaluation to the extent of 25 per cent, or more, and the onus is then thrown upon the taxpayer to establish the fact that that undervaluation was not made with intent to defraud. If an undervaluation of 30 per cent, were made by a land-owner, in the absence of intent to defraud, he would not be adjudged to be guilty.


Senator Givens - But we cannot presume that until after the jury have brought in their verdict.


Senator McGREGOR - The jury have to be satisfied first that there has been an undervaluation to the extent of 25 per cent, or more, and secondly, that that undervaluation was made with intent to defraud. If a person were accused of stealing a pair of boots, it would only be necessary to prove that he had stolen them to secure his conviction. Similarly, if a man were accused of killing another, the fact that he had killed him would of itself be sufficient to prove his guilt. It would not be necessary to prove that he had killed him with intent to cremate him. The clause is perfectly clear as it stands, and I hope that it will be carried.







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