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Wednesday, 19 June 1946

Mr Archie Cameron n asked the Acting Attorney-General, upon notice -

Were applications called for the position of Solicitor-General; if not, why not?

Mr Holloway - Applications were not called for the position of SolicitorGeneral as the Government did not consider it necessary to do so.

Re-establishment : Ex-Members of British Forces.

Mr White e asked the Acting AttorneyGeneral, upon notice -

In view of his recent statement that Australia was a belligerent in the European war, can he still defend- ,the ruling of the Central Preference Board' which found that a participant in the European war, who served in the British Forces, was not entitled to preference?

Mr Holloway -.^ - As the Central Preference Board is, by section 32 of the Reestablishment and' Employment' Act 1945,' for the time being entrusted with the function of deciding whether a person is entitled to preference, it would not be proper for me, as Acting AttorneyGeneral, to express any view as to whether the decision of the board regarding members of the British forces was correct or not.

Taxation: Interest on War Loan Bonds; Deductions; -Gift Duty.

Mr Fadden n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Is it intended to amend section 126 of the Income Tax Assessment Act with reference to taxation of interest on bonds held by local authorities in war loans?'

2.   Has the Commissioner of Taxation circuslarized local authorities giving instructions as to the next payment of interest, on the assumption that the law has already been amended?

3.   If so; does the Treasurer regard this procedure as an unauthorized Usurpation of parliamentary functions by the Taxation Department?

Mr Chifley - The answers to- the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   No.

2.   See reply to No. 1-.

3.   See reply to No. 1.

Mr Fadden n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

What is the latest ruling of the Commissioner of Taxation regarding- the' cost for income tax purposes of sinking a " dry " or unsuccessful bore?

Mr Chifley - The Commissioner of Taxation has informed' me that depreciation at the rate of 71 per cent, per annumon water bores is an allowable deduction for income tax purposes. The allowance of a- deduction is conditional on the asset being used for- the purpose of: producing assessable income. In practically al! cases, the value upon which depreciation. is based is the total expenditure on successful and unsuccessful water bores. In those isolated cases where expenditure on boring for water is completely unsuccessful, that is, where there is not brought into existence any asset which is owned and .used by the taxpayer for the purpose of his business, depreciation is not allowable.

Mr Fadden n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Is it the practice of the Taxation Department to levy gift duty on gifts of stock, bonds, &c, issued pursuant to section 52a of the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1011-1945? 2; If so, what amounts of tax have been so levied?

3.   Were there any declarations iri1 the respective prospectuses, under which any of the above-mentioned bonds, stock,- &c, Were issued, stating that such transfers would be liable to duty ?

4.   Has .the Attorney-General- been consulted as to whether t-lie persons so assessed have a right' of action against the Commonwealth Government for damages for breach of contract as iii the case- of McGrath v. TheCommonwealth?.

5.   If so, what was the Attorney-General's advice ?

Mr. O-HiFi-ey.-The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Yes. Gift duty is levied on all gifts over £500 irrespective of whether the gifts are made in Commonwealth securities, cash; or any other form

2.   - Statistics have not-, been compiled showing the amounts of gift duty' levied on stocks, bonds, &c.

3.   No.-

4.   No:

5.   See reply to No. 4.-

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