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Thursday, 1 September 1921


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - I was delighted with the original suggestion made by Senator Pratten; but I do not approve of the way in which he has amended it at the suggestion of the Minister (Senator Pearce). I was also interested to note that, after we had had three divisions on requests relating to sub-item b, Senator Pratten suddenly woke up, and inquired what item we were discussing. That probably is the only explanation for the extraordinary votes he gave on the divisions in question. I listened, also, with interest to the protests made by Senator Guthrie against this attempt to make more difficult the lot of the man in the back country. Here we have once more a proposal to impose still heavier burdens on those who are developing our country. Such a proposal was, naturally, hailed with delight by Ministers. One has only to suggest an increased duty and they rush at it like a puppy at a lot of rats.. They have no consideration for the men most deserving of it. I agree with Senator Guthrie, that motor cars used for pleasure only should be well taxed. I should not object to almost prohibitive duties on such cars, but it is wrong to pile up taxation in this way on men who have to use motor cars for business purposes. The cheaper we can make motor transport for developmental and business purposes the better. I am sorry that Senator Pratten has fallen a victim to the wiles of the Minister, and has agreed to alter the form of his request. I hope that he will not persist with it in its amended form. If he does I shall vote against it.







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