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Thursday, 18 October 1973
Page: 2350

Mr MORRIS (Shortland) - I do not think anybody regards seriously the comments of the previous speaker. One must be impressed by the continual defence of the life assurance funds and the reference to overseas corporations. The legislation provides for the raising of funds by several different methods through different divisions of the National Investment Fund. Because the contributions to these different divisions will be tax deductible up to the limit of $1,200, as is provided for in the present deduction for insurance and superannuation premiums, that will be an added attraction for the individual who wants a secure form of saving to invest in the Fund. The small savers will have an opportunity to participate in the ownership and development of Australian resources and industries.

I want to know why honourable members of the Opposition are opposed to an opportunity being extended to the ordinary Australian to participate in the ownership of their own resources. That is the opportunity the National Investment Fund will provide to all Australians. Are Australians to be denied the right to share in the benefits of their own heritage in the safe way? What is the motive behind the Opposition's attitude? I know that much mention has been made in recent days, both in the Press and in this House, of donations by foreign controlled companies to campaign funds of Opposition parties. Judging from the reaction of certain honourable members opposite there would appear to be some basis for believing that foreign funds have been received by Opposition parties. I do not know the answer to that question, but I am sure that the people of Australia would like to know.

Australians want to participate in the development of their own nation and to share in the benefits of that development. Why should they not have that opportunity? It is their right as Australians. In the few minutes available to me I want to draw the attention of the House and of the people of Australia to the inadequacy of the present financial structure of this country and to the loss of confidence that has developed in the whole financial sphere of activity in Australia. One has only to glance at the comments made at the election of the Chairman and Council of the Sydney Stock Exchange in recent days. The newly elected Chairman of the Exchange said that it was time to convince the investing public that the Stock Exchange had to take real strides to restore the confidence of the small investor in the operation of the Stock Exchange, and that many questionable mining stocks had been brought before the people of Australia. In fact each time one of these mining ventures or companies fail, generally it is the small man who gets burnt. 'The big man has the know; he has the nod and he gets out in time. It is the small investor whose fingers are burnt. We heard in this House only a matter of weeks ago-

Mr Lynch - Mr Chairman, I draw to the attention of the Committee, with the greatest respect, that there have been 4 Government speakers. The Government has guillotined the debate. It is taking up the opportunities to speak now. The Opposition will not have a chance to debate the other significant clauses of the Bill. We would have divided on this matter but for the question of time. I think it is a fair point to put down in the record that the Government has guillotined us and now it is using the time available.

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