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Thursday, 28 November 1935

Senator LECKIE (Victoria) .- I am somewhat amused at the statement of Senator Allan MacDonald that most of the gold produced in Western Australia has been exchanged for goods manufactured in Victoria. Let me put the position from the opposite point of view, and say that Victoria has sent manufactured goods to the value of £180,000,000 to Western Australia and received im return so many ounces of gold. I claim that, as there was a fair exchange of commodities, there is no ground for complaint. It may even be argued that Victoria sent valuable goode to "Western Australia an exchange for a certain weight of metal.

Senator ALLAN MACDONALD (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - The honorable senator will , admit that gold is a nice metal.

Senator LECKIE - I am also amused at the attitude of the Opposition in advocating greater pensions to persons whom I may describe as State pensioners, while proposing increased taxation of private pensioners, by which term I mean persons who receive dividends from industry. It is strange that a political party should so differentiate between a dividend drawn from industry and a pension provided by the State. I agree with those honorable senators who have pointed out that, if money is taken from industry, or if the amount of money available for investment' in industry, is 'reduced, opportunity to provide employment is lessened. Usually, a business which makes a profit expends some of its surplus in expanding its business, either by installing further plant or by some other development which provides further employment; but if the money is taken by the Government and is paid out as pensions, it is lost to industry.

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) - Money cannot be lost.

Senator LECKIE - On the contrary, money is the easiest thing in the world to lose. If goods "represent money, then the honorable senator must agree that much money was blown away and lost during the Great War

I regret that the Government has not seen its way to reduce the super tax to a greater extent than is proposed in this bill. It could have done so had it not under-estimated the revenue from Customs. In. view of the increased revenue from that source, lt should be possible still further to reduce taxation, and I hope that as soon ,as possible the iniquitous super tax will be removed, in the interest, not of the rich man who pays it, but of those workers who would find employment were it abolished.

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