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Friday, 15 May 1942

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON (Barker) . - I assume, in the absence of an explanation by the Treasurer (Mr. Chifley), that the committee is now considering the appropriation message relating to the annual measure that grants financial assistance to South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Mr Chifley - No. The appropriation message now under consideration relates to the compensation that will be payable to States under the uniform tax scheme.

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - In my opinion, the Treasurer is putting the cart before the horse, because the uniform tax plan has not yet been accepted by this chamber. The introduction, at this stage, of legislation to reimburse the States, before honorable members agree to the far-reaching and vital Income Tax (War-time Arrangements) Bill, is out of order.

Mr Scullin - The State Grants (Income Tax Reimbursement) Bill will not be passed before the Income Tax (War-time Arrangements) Bill is accepted by this chamber.

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - Let us take one hurdle at a time.

Mr Fadden - The compensation that will be paid to the States constitutes an indispensable part of the whole scheme.

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - I am aware that it is indispensable. We might very well dispense with the whole plan.

Mr Chifley - Honorable members cannot intelligently consider the Income Tax (War-time Arrangements) Bill without knowing the arrangements for compensating the States.

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - If Parliament accepts the principle of a uniform income tax, the legislation providing for the payment of compensation to the States will then be required; but, until the principle is accepted, the other matter does not and cannot arise. Consideration of this motion is utterly out of order, and I propose to vote against it.

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