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Wednesday, 23 November 1938

Mr FORDE (Capricornia) .- I deny the implication contained in the remarks of the honorable member for Darling Downs (Mr. Fadden) that the Premier of Queensland ascertained what a certain person's salary was and disclosed it in Parliament.

Mr Fadden - It is the honorable member who is saying that the Premier of Queensland made the disclosure. I did not. All I said was that the disclosure had been made.

Mr FORDE - The honorable member knows well that the Premier of Queensland was the only person who made the disclosure. I deny the allegation that in order to do so, he inspected the income tax returns.

Mr Fadden - I did not say that he did.

Mr FORDE - In the Queensland Parliament the Premier denied having either seen or obtained any information from income tax returns. There is a good deal of criticism to-day about the possibility of the Treasurer of Queensland having access to income tax returns, but I point out that it was a Nationalist government that had the income tax law amended in order to make it possible for the Treasurer to inspect the returns.

Mr Fadden - That does not make it right.

Mr FORDE - No, but the amendment was supported by Nationalist and Country party members of the Queensland Parliament as being qnite right, because their efforts were directed towards obtaining some mysterious information in respect of a certain individual who was opposed to them politically. It was a virtue in those days, but when the people who framed the amending legislation think that the powers conferred by a Nationalist government or a Nationalist Treasurer are being used by their political opponents it becomes a wrong. There is no need for me to justify the use by the Premier of Queensland of those powers, because he has not used them.

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