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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) . - The relevant part of the clause refers to the number of appliances capable of being used for listening. It is not intended that a set without valves shall be paid for, but the person with two working sets will have to pay two licence-fees.

Mr Francis - What about the boy making a crystal set?

Mr CALWELL - He will not have to pay anything in respect of the set until it is completed and in use. The man who wants sets all over his house must pay a fee for each set. The clause is directed against those persons who, for entertainment purposes, wish to have one set in the lounge, another in the bedroom, and another in a motor car, and why should they not pay for the extra sets?

Mr Holt - Why should not the commercial stations get a part of the revenue, seeing that they provide a part of the service ?

Mr CALWELL - The commercial stations are doing very well now out of advertising. Most of them got their licences for nothing. The great majority are making big profits, and those which are not have generally only their own bad management to blame. As a matter of fact, the commercial stations receive more in advertising revenue than the national stations receive from the licence-fees of listeners. There are nearly 100 commercial stations in Australia, as compared with 26 national stations. The proposed fee of 10s. for extra sets is not go great as to justify the violent protests we have heard. Parliament seems to be always ready to increase the sales tax upon necessary commodities, although such taxation bears much more heavily on the poor than will the payment of a fee of 10s. for a second wireless set.

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