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Wednesday, 11 November 1964

Senator MATTNER (South Australia) . - I said earlier that throughout the whole of the debate on this Bill I have been very perturbed with what is happening, particularly on the question of trusts and concerning the attitude that has been adopted from the very beginning in discussing these matters. I hate the words " tax evasion " and " tax avoidance ". Senator McKenna said that tax has been evaded or avoided to the extent of £14 million. I do not believe it. If that is so, why have not the taxation authorities done their duty and collected this money?

I wouldlike to refer to the question of civillaw. I avoid breaking the law. I am considered an honorable citizen as long as I do not break the law. Now, during the whole of the arguments we have had on these taxation measures we have never been confronted yet with the fact that somebody has broken the law. The people have lived within the tax laws and what is wrong with that? If they have evaded their tax -and we have no proof of this whatsoever - then what has happened to the tax gatherer?

If a law needs strengthening and if we just say that we are going to tax, A, B, C or D, or a certain thing, well and good. Let us be frank about this. But when I have a look at this Bill and see the premium payable and what can happen to trusts, I am horrified. The whole thing is a worry to me because every time an honorable senator has risen and spoken he has dealt with tax avoidance as if the people concerned were criminals. Yet they have observed the law. Because of the whole atmosphere surrounding this Bill, it has not had a fair exposition of the real position right from the start of the debate. That is my opinion. Dealing with this present amendment moved by Senator Wright, I could not agree with it, although I was very happy to support his other proposals and I think that in three or four months time many senators may change some of their views.

Proposed new clause negatived.

Remainder of Bill - by leave - taken as a whole.

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