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Thursday, 17 September 1942

Senator DARCEY (Tasmania) . - I support the bill. I cannot agree with Senator Foll when he urges that the States should hand this source of revenue over to the Commonwealth without compensation. The States are faced with a difficult task in meeting their financial obligations. Commonwealth grants have been considerably reduced, and even when certain sums were sanctionedby the Loan Council, they were reduced by the Commonwealth Co-ordinator of General Works, Sir Harry Brown. It has been claimed that this tax will fall heavily upon a section of the community which is already suffering considerable hardship, but when one sees picture shows and other entertainments crowded almost every night of the week, and people paying asmuch as 7s. for a seat, one can only come to the conclusion that this is a source of revenue which the Government is justified in tapping. The compensation which is to be paid to Tasmania for loss of the entertainments tux field is only £36,469, whereas in the case of Victoria it is £373,259. It is obvious that the people of Victoria have a lot of money to spend on entertainments, when New South Wales is to receive only £160,830. Every effort should be made to see that in measures of this kind equality of sacrifice is the guiding principle. If this money were not refunded to the States it would simply mean that the States would have to raise the revenue in some other directions. Inthe present circumstances the Commonwealth Government is justified in exploring every possible avenue of revenue. If notice had been taken of the advice I have been tendering for a long time regarding national finances, these taxes would not he now necessary. As I have previously said, the attendance in this chamber usually thins considerably when I rise to speak on financial matters.

Senator Leckie - Whose fault is that?

Senator DARCEY - It is the fault of those honorable senators who walk out, although they are paid to remain and hear what is said in this chamber. I am glad that, there is a good attendance of honorable senators on this occasion. I hope that the bill will be passed without opposition, and will become part of the scheme to which the Government intends to adhere in order to raise the necessary war credits.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted.

Standing and Sessional Orders suspended.

Bill read a third time.

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