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Tuesday, 6 December 1927

Senator DUNCAN (New South Wales) . - I bring under the notice of the Government what appears to rae to be an extraordinary attitude which has been adopted by the Commissioner of Taxation with regard to funds raised by charitable endeavour for the alleviation of distress in very deserving cases. I refer more particularly to the limbless soldiers of Australia. If there is one body of mcn that can claim our sympathy and consideration more than any otherit is the men who have lost limbs in the service of their country, and who are suffering and will continue to suffer from their disability, because of what they have done for their country. It is true that Parliament has made certain provision for these men, but it is also true that there are a great many people in Australia who feel that they are not getting the consideration they deserve. ' At a time of the year like this, after the ordinary means of life have been provided for out of the limbless soldier's pension, there is very little left for the purchase of comforts. Consequently a large body of public spirited citizens have banded themselves together to raise a considerable sum of money, if it is possible to do so, by means of various projects that have been put forward for the assistance of the limbless soldiers of New Sonth Wales. One of the means adopted is to give concerts, dances and entertainments of that kind. One particular section of the citizens who are lending their aid to this purpose has conceived the idea of organizing a big ball at the Wyndhan. Hotel, Sydney, on the 17 th inst.

Senator Sir George Pearce - The honorable senator can raise that question to-morrow, when I shall probably bo moving the second reading of the Income Tax Assessment Bill, and when I shall have a taxation officer in attendance.

Senator DUNCAN - The matter I am referring to is urgent. Something has been refused in New South Wales which has been conceded elsewhere. These Estimites present an opportunity to ventilate the matter, but if the Minister givesme the assurance it will receive consideration when the Income Tax Assessment Bill is put before the Senate, I shall be quite prepared to reserve ray remarks until then. I have nearly concluded. I could have pointed on the stand taken up by the Taxation Commissioner and shownwhere I think the Government might with advantage take some steps to undo the harm which is being done.

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE (Western Australia - Vice-President of the Executive Council) [10.51]. - In Senator Needham's remarks we have an object lesson in absolute inconsistency. The honorable senator spent time the other day in denouncing the Qovernment for ils extravagance and in pleading for economy, yet now he puts forward a proposal to double the maternity allowance. The Government is already spending £675,000 a year on the maternity allowance, but the honorable senator would have it spend £1,350,000. As to the point raised by Senator Duncan I remind him that the Income Tax Bill will be before the Senate to-morrow.

Senator Duncan - The matter related to the entertainments tax.

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - There is no proposal to amend the entertainments tax, but I shall have' a taxation officer here to-morrow, and the matter which the honorable senator has mentioned can be referred to him.

Senator Needham - Senator Pearce has not explained the allocation of the old-age pension in the case of pensioners who are inmates of institutions.

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - That matter was raised at the last conference with the State Treasurers. Thu Treasurer promised to look into it again, and is now doing bo to see if any adjustment can be made.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Progress reported.

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