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Wednesday, 9 November 1904

Mr CHANTER - No. They say, however, that -

As no written protest was made at the time the duty was paid on the engine under notice, the claim for refund cannot be recognised.

Yours faithfully,

H.   N. P. W0LLAST0N.

In this case it will be seen that a person, paid duty under protest. But, because the individual was not so well versed in matters of law as to recognise the necessity for making a formal written protest, the Department is endeavouring to evade its just responsibility. J have had some conversation with the Minister upon this subject, and where the equities of a case are so clear as they are in this instance I do not think it is creditable to any Government to attempt to shield themselves behind a paltry in for.mality of that description.

Mr Groom - It is purely a technical point.

Mr CHANTER - Yes, it is a highlytechnical point. The Department do not dispute that the money was lodged under protest. They merely affirm that it was not lodged under a written protest. This individual did all that he possibly could to protect himself at the time the portable engine was about to cross over the South Australian border. He communicated with me, and was advised to pay the money under protest, and he did so. I claim that all the equities of the case are on the side of this widow. Money collected under similar circumstances has been refunded in the cases of Cowan and Company, and of Mr. Sandford ; why should it not be returned in that of this poor widow, who is not possessed of the means necessary, to establish her claim before a Court of Law ? I sincerely trust that the Minister, with the full consent of the House, will see his way clear to refund this amount of ^34.

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