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Thursday, 16 May 1957

Mr HAMILTON (Canning) .- I do not doubt the sincerity of the Minister. My interpretation of his remarks, particularly the concluding portion of them, makes me believe that there may come a time when the Government will be asked to contribute more than the amount collected by the tax. If that is so, the wording of paragraph (b) is less satisfactory still. If that thought is exercising the mind of the Minister and his advisers and they believe that the Government's contribution should be made on a £l-for-£l basis, paragraph (b) should specifically provide for that basis of contribution. To make the position clear, the words " at least " should be inserted. I repeat that I am not doubting the Minister's sincerity, but as I recall the position, he said, when closing the debate, that the collection would be on a £l-for-£l basis with a maximum amount equal to the contribution made by the wheat-growers.

Mr Pollard - When did he say that?

Mr HAMILTON - When he was replying to the Opposition.

Mr Pollard - I do not recall his saying that.

Mr HAMILTON - He did say it. I do not want to cause embarrassment, or keep honorable members late, by moving an amendment to test the position, but I do want to register my objection to this provision because I have seen this kind of thing happen before, especially in connexion with the wheat-growers. I remind the Minister that the bill could be altered in another place, and I do urge him to give serious consideration to an amendment along the lines I have suggested. I realize that this provision could be altered by another government, but the point is that the responsibility for proposing an alteration would be borne by that government, and the proposal itself would be argued throughout the length and breadth of the country. I should like to see the Government's intention stated clearly by the insertion of the words " at least " in the provision for the contribution on a £l-for-£l basis of moneys equal to the amount collected by the imposition of the tax.

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