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Thursday, 3 April 1941

The PRESIDENT - Order! The honorable senator must not continue in that strain.

SenatorCAMERON (Victoria) [9.46'J. - As Senator Keane has said, honorable senators on this side of the chamber have given the Government, for all practical purposes, full powers to raise money in order to organize a maximum war effort. But I feel justified in registering a protest, against this bill, because it proposes to raise money by a method which will have a detrimental effect on those persons least able /to pay. Public moneys should be raised on the principle that those in the best position to pay should make the greatest contribution. This bill provides for a complete reversal of that precept. Actually, the wage-earners, who, unlike the employer, are unable to pass on taxes, will be called upon to contribute the majority of the amount that the Government seeks to raise. That is the very antithesis not only of equitable procedure, but also of the policy to which every honorable senator on this side of the chamber has pledged himself. Those honorable senators of the Opposition who have voted with the Government on this measure have, in effect, voted for a reduction of the purchasing power of wages.

Senator Courtice - Does the honorable senator accuse the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives of doing that?

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