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Thursday, 21 May 1936

Senator LECKIE (Victoria) .- Naturally, when money is being handed out to the States, especially for specific purposes - in this instance for the relief of unemployment - one does not like, to raise objections. Apparently the Commonwealth has - got the- money to spare and is merely handing it to the States, but this practice accentuates what I said last night concerning the undesirable dependence of the States upon the Commonwealth ; the principle of such dependence is wrong. The States should act independently in matters of this kind. Furthermore, all of the State governments levy special taxation for the relief of unemployment, and there has been no diminution of that impost, although unemployment has" decreased greatly during the last two or three years. I do not raise objection to this measure, except to point out that the system it embodies is wrong. Before very long we shall have to devise means of overcoming the dependence of the States upon the Commonwealth in this way. It is a new and dangerous condition, which arose during the depression years. No doubt these grants will come as "gifts from the gods " to the particular States, but, I repeat, the principle underlying them is wrong and should not be perpetuated.

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