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Thursday, 8 December 1960

Mr POLLARD (Lalor) .- This bill is designed to amend the Customs Act 1901-1959 as amended by the Customs Act 1960. It comes to this House from the Senate. The bill makes provision, in the main, for simplification of administration by the Department of Customs and Excise, particularly in regard to the. collection of taxes imposed on refined petrol. There is also an amendment made necessary by an oversight in a previous amending Customs Act, and there is some provision for warehousing machinery as well.

The Opposition does not oppose the measure. Some doubts were held for a time as to the effectiveness of the new idea of policing the taxation provisions under a so-called honour system, under which the honour of the petroleum or the refining companies is relied upon, subject to certain safeguards. Some of us doubted that there was sufficient protection of the revenue in this system. However, the Department of Customs and Excise has circulated an admirable publication, the " Petroleum Products Handbook ", in which is explained the whole of the procedure involved. The handbook is a credit to the department. The Opposition believes that the bill is satisfactory. We adopt our usual attitude; we are all for anything that provides for simplification of administration.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted.

Bill - by leave - read a third time.

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