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Wednesday, 16 June 1926

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - It. occurred to me, in listening to the remarks of Senator Elliott and the Minister (Senator Crawford), that when war broke outno oneanticipated that it would last for four or five years. Many things happened during that time. Life even among civilians is precarious. I do not think that Parliament intended that a man must be a partner in or the owner of a business before going to the war in order to participate in the exemption from thepayment of war-time profits tax.

Senator Crawford - The act specifically says so. You could not have more precise words than those used.

Senator PAYNE - I do not think that it does Bay so. I want to supplement my interpretation of the speech made by the Treasurer by reading a little more. The Treasurer said -

The amendment that has been introduced now is designed to meet these cases.

He was referring to certain cases not in this category. He continued -

The position ofex-soldiers who became partners in undertakings after they went away is more difficult. Now that the war is over, and we arelooking retrospectively on the position, the difficulty is to find a form of wordB to express what is intended without including some who arc not entitled to the relief proposed, and excluding others who are just as much entitled to it as are those mentioned.

If it was the intention to exclude soldiers who were partners in businesses after the war began, the Treasurer would not have made that statement.

Senator Pearce - If an attempt is made to meet an individual case, others who are not entitled to consideration might also be admitted.

Senator PAYNE - Yes; but in endeavouring to surmount a difficulty, we should not close the door 'to those who are entitled to consideration. I can easily -visualize the case of a young man who, when he enlisted, may have been actively engaged in business with his father. The father may have died soon after the son's enlistment, in which case he would succeed to bis father's position. Is it suggested that such a person should not obtain that relief under the act which would be extended to him if he had actually been a partner when he enlisted.

SenatorMcLachlan. - Will the amendment moved by Senator Elliott cover such a case?

Senator PAYNE - I cannot say that it will.

SenatorMcLachlan. - I do notthink it does.

Senator PAYNE - Perhaps not. I therefore suggest that the consideration of the clause be postponed, as it is impossible to deal effectively with it this afternoon. I was surprised to hear Senator Elliott say that a man whom he knows was refused the consideration provided under the act on the grounds that, immediately before the outbreak of war, he was not actually engaged in thecontrol of a business. Before the outbreak of hostilities he had been incapacitated, and had handed over his business to the control of a manager; but when he recovered, he immediately enlisted. There is nothinginthe act which provides that a person must have been engaged in the conduct of his business immediately prior to the outbreak of war, and I do not think it was the intention of Parliament to handicap ex-soldiers in such a way. The person in question was apparently the life of the business until his health became impaired, and instead of again undertaking the active management of the concern on his recovery, he took up arms inthe defence of his country. Yet he cannot claim exemption under the act in its present form.

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