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Thursday, 12 August 1926

Senator NEEDHAM - If honorable senators opposite will turn up the policy speeches of Mr. Bruce and Dr. Earle Page, they will find that this " bunch of carrots" was dangled before the electors, who were foolish enough to believe the promises that were made, and return the present Government to power. Had these promises of reduced taxation not. been made, Senator Pearce would now be either on this side of the Chamber or outside of Parliament altogether. Yet, he coolly and calmly tells us that the. Government proposes to continue the existing rates of taxation ! From one end of the continent to the other, every speaker who supported the composite Government promised the people of Australia reduced taxation.

Senator Thompson - No; they said that taxation had been reduced.

Senator NEEDHAM - Senator Thompson is quite correct; he has verified my statement. They not only said that taxation would be reduced but they went further, and said that it would be placed on a still lower level. Senator Guthrie, who is a loyal supporter of the Government, led the people of Victoria to believe that if he were elected the load of taxation would be lifted from their shoulders.

Senator Guthrie - I never mentioned taxation. .

Senator NEEDHAM - Senator Pearce has made a public admission that the Government of which he is a member secured a new lease of power under false pretences. The following figures show the taxati per head of population: -


During the first year of office of the present Treasurer (Dr. Earle Page) the taxation per head was reduced by 2d., but 7n the next year it was increased by 3s. Thus the people of Australia were misled. Senator Pearce, Senator Guthrie, and other honorable senators who supported the Ministry in the 1925 election campaign, said to the electors, "Return us to power and we will lift from your shoulders the burden of taxation." . Now, ten months later, Senator Pearce publicly admits that the Government gained power by a confidence trick. The Government should have introduced a measure to make the burden of taxation a little lighter, but as this bill does not propose to increase it I shall not oppose the second reading.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without request.

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