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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr FRANCIS (Moreton) . - ihave listened with interest to the observations of the honorable member for Parkes (Sir Charles Marr). He damned his case by describing the additional amount as small and paltry. The basis of my objection is that it is an unneces- sary irritation. This country is now being taxed to the limit of its capacity. No person who has the money to pay the tax that is levied objects to doing so, because of the special purpose to which it is devoted, namely, helping to win the war. At a time when the nation is taxed as it has not previously been taxed, and as it will not, I hope, be again taxed, this small and paltry amount should not be added, because of the irritation and annoyance it will cause. Many of those who will be asked to pay it are young men in workers' homes, who have built sets for themselves. The enthusiasm of the young amateur will thus be damped. I appeal to the Minister not to persist with the proposal. What an army of inspectors there will need to be, entering every home to inspect every room and garage in order to unearth any additional set that may be " tucked away " ! In addition to being an irritation and an annoyance, the effect will be to make criminals of many householders. I have never seen in any Parliament a more pettifogging impost imposed on the community. My objection to the report of the committee is that, in regard to those matters upon which it should have made a decision, it " passed the buck " to other committees. On the whole, however, the bill is a very good one, and will make for the development of broadcasting. The committee has agreed to 101 good clauses and it is a pity to spoil the measure by the inclusion of this one.

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