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Tuesday, 21 June 1949

Mr DEDMAN (Corio) (Minister for Defence and Minister for Post-war one observation that I wish to make about this bill. It arises out of the remark of the honorable member for BarkerMr. Archie Cameron) to the effect that certain days had gone and would never return. The days he referred to were the days when the State governments, because they had complete control over the revenues they raised, could increase the salaries of public servants, school teachers, or do anything else. I interjected to say that I took it that he was in favour of the uniform tax. The uniform tax is imposed and it continues because of an act of this Parliament. That act could be repealed, by a government that might succeed this Government. So the logical inference is that if the honorable member says that those days are gone for ever, the uniform tax is now a permanent feature of our system of raising the revenue of this country. That means one of two things. Either the honorable member believes that an anti-Labour government will never be in office in the Australian Parliament again, or, if it is, that it will not alter the uniform taxation laws. That is the clear inference to be drawn from the honorable member's 'statement. All that I did by way of interjection was to suggest that the only correct interpretation of the honorable gentleman's attitude was that he believed in uniform taxation. I think that it is about time the Opposition made its attitude clear on this subject. I challenge the honorable member for Barker, or the Opposition, to say through its leader that if it is returned to power it will abolish uniform taxation.

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