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Wednesday, 16 September 1936

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) . - I do not feel inclined to become agitated over the remarks of Senator Hardy, because I feel that ai last he is realizing the truth of the arguments we have adduced. Although I cannot recall his exact words, I believe he wishes to be supplied with more accurate statistics concerning the inequitable distribution of wealth in this country. 1 am pleased that the subject has been raised, because, if the information desired is made available, honorable senators and the people of Australia will be able to

Bee how the wealth of the Commonwealth is distributed. At last the honorable senator is showing some consideration for those who have always been faced with adversity.

A census of the wealth of Australia, taken twenty years ago, showed that 4 per cent, of the people owned 60 per cent, of the wealth of this country.

Senator Hardy - How does the honorable senator define wealth?

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) - By wealth I mean material assets, such, as money in the bank, stocks and shares, and land. There is also, of course, wealth of mind, pleasure in the arts and sciences and other noble things, in which politics and perhaps what is known as statesmanship do not share. But the wealth of which' I am speaking is money or its equivalent, and does not consist of the reputation one has among friends or the disreputation one may have among enemies. If I had the time I could produce some propaganda issued by the Labour party at the time of the census, drawing attention to the disparity it revealed in the distribution of. wealth. Senator Hardy drew attention to the incompleteness of certain statistics, and much of his criticism wo members of the Opposition can endorse. For instance, I. should like to know how much each man in this country owns.

Senator Arkins - How much he owes.

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) - What a man owes can be concealed and it is also a fact that a man can conceal what he owns. ' This is known by the income tax officials.

Senator Dein - In the case of Trautwein-

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) - Trautwein is to be forced to pay £162,000 to the income tax authorities.

Senator Dein - He was a good Labour man.

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) - If he was ever a good Labour man I am glad that we have lost him.

Senator Dein - At any rate he was as good a man as money could buy.

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) - He is the man whose gold pass is embellished with some of the finest diamonds in Australia. It is very interesting to know what he owes. I am quite willing to tell people what I own, and earn, and owe, but we cannot get that, information about the big financial masters. It is against the law for the Taxation Commissioner to reveal it.

Senator HARDY - The information waa obtained from the wheat-growers.

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) - Most of the wheat-growers should know that they are in the position of working for masters, although they are certainly little capitalists.

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