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Tuesday, 21 June 1949

Mr WHITE (Balaclava) .- But for the intrusion of the Minister for Post-war Reconstruction (Mr. Dedman) into this debate, this measure would have gone through speedily with a blessing of the Parliament. But Government supporters are endeavouring to win votes over the air. The honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Thompson) endeavoured to make political capital out of the hill. After he had referred to the Treasurer (Mr. Chifley) helping South Australia, he was exposed by the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron) who pointed out to him that he was a supporter of a government which constantly reduced the salaries of public servants.

This benevolence is really a disgorging of some of the excess money that the Treasurer has taken from the pockets of the people. As the honorable member for Franklin (Mr. Falkinder) has said, the Treasurer is extracting £500,000,000 a year from the people in this so-called golden age. The Treasurer is an austere man who boasts that he can live on the basic wage. Actually he is most prodigal with the taxpayer's money. He is a most extravagant Treasurer, not unlike King John with relation to taxation collections and Ethelred the unready in relation to defence matters. This measure only provides for a disbursement to two States that have disabilities not suffered by the stronger States. The Minister saw what he thought was a grand opportunity to embarrass the honorable member for Barker by asking whether the honorable member believed in the policy of uniform taxation. He challenged the members of the Opposition to say whether they believed in it or not. I was overseas at the time that the measure was passed otherwise I should certainly have opposed it. The Minister is shortly to go into eclipse because he is to be opposed at the forthcoming general election by a very prominent man who will run him right off the track. He has thrown out a challenge in an ill-disguised moment of political sagacity, and has asked whether the Opposition will abolish uniform taxation if again elected to office. The Minister is a Victorian representative. Does he not know that Victoria is not getting a fair share under uniform taxation?

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