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Monday, 24 May 1965


Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) .- 1 want to make only one or two comments. First, the principle that the Minister has enunciated is thoroughly sound. I hope that we shall see a more uniform observance of it by the Government. The thing that disquiets one in matters of this sort is that the Minister is to take into his ken individual dealings with re-arrangements of companies and we know that companies are probably involved in this day of big financial interests. I think that the purpose of the amendment would be better met by a small amendment to proposed section 92e. If, after the words " a licence shall not be granted " there were inserted the words " or renewed ", that would eliminate all the disquiet. It would ensure that all these provisions, if they are proper provisions, would be properly applied when a renewal date arrived. Then we could act on the principle that transactions which were lawful when made would remain lawful, notwithstanding subsequent amendments, so long as they were brought into proper conformity with the new Act by the time the renewal of the licence was due for consideration.


Senator Sir William Spooner - Are these annual licences?


Senator WRIGHT - They are issued for five years in the first place and annually subsequently. However, the Select Committee recommended that subsequent renewals should be for three years. Therefore, each three years it would be practicable to consider conformity with the spirit of the Act.

I cannot forebear to say that this principle did not receive endorsement from the Government in the income tax measure in relation to little family trusts. Even though a trust was in favour of an invalid sister, if she was not immediately entitled to the income, and even if the income was only £200 a year, a confiscatory rate of 10s. in the £1 was imposed. There, as here, subversive inroads were made into the principle enunciated by the Minister by giving the Commissioner of Taxation discretion to exempt from the penalty. In the legislation now before us the Minister is taking to himself the power to exempt a company from the operation of the law if he approves any re-arrangement in accordance with proposed section 92 (3.) (b).

For those reasons I oppose the Opposition's amendment and invite honorable senators opposite to support the proposal which I intend to advance in relation to proposed section 92e.

Question put -

That the words proposed to be left out (Senator McClelland's amendment) be left out.







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