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Tuesday, 3 December 1935

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- At the outset, I pay a tribute to Senator Sampson - I feel that I may do this without making invidious distinctions - for the excellent speech which he , delivered last week upon the defence of Australia. I am sure that we all were impressed with the wealth of detail which he furnished to the Senate, and I much regret that his remarks were not given the publicity which they deserved, because the defence of Australia is of vital importance to all sections of the people and no member of this chamber is more qualified to speak on this important subject than is my Tasmanian colleague. I hope that, even now, the newspapers of Australia will give publicity to the valuable contribution to this debate, made by 'Senator Sampson. The scant attention given to his important utterances causes me to wonder whither we as a nation are drifting. I also deplore the deliberate attempt, on the part of many public speakers, to mislead the people of Australia with regard to the urgent need for the more adequate defence of this country. Whenever senators on this side dare to suggest the necessity for more adequate defence measures, we are at once charged with being warmongers, the implication being that we desire the outbreak of another war. Nothing is further from the thoughts of those who advocate the efficient training of our youth. I have on many occasions declared that no country is blessed in greater measure than Australia, and I hope that the day is not far distant when all sections of the people will be fully alive to the need for its adequate defence. If we deliberately closed our eyes to the danger of leaving this, country practically undefended, we should be guilty of a crime against the people who entrusted us with the great responsibility of safeguarding their inheritance. There can be no better preparation for good citizenship than the training of the youth of a country with a view to its defence. Only in this way can they be expected to appreciate the value of discipline, and the obligation which they owe to their native land. I congratulate Senator Sampson upon his thoughtful speech and I sincerely hope that his observations will be fruitful of good results in the near future.

The vexed subject of taxation has been referred to by a number of honorable senators, including Senator Poll, who has just resumed his seat. A few days ago, I took the trouble to peruse the Ilansard debate of the discussion which took place when the first income tax bill was introduced in the House of Representatives and I read the speeches delivered by the then leader of the Government, the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes) and also by Sir Joseph Cook. As honorable senators are probably aware, the income tax was levied for the definite purpose of meeting extraordinary war expenditure, but our experience is that a tax once imposed is rarely removed. The burden of the income tax has been felt with increased severity.

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