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Tuesday, 18 September 1928

Mr PARKHILL (Warringah) . - The explanation of the AttorneyGeneral does not entirely satisfy me on the point raised by the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell). What would be the position if a father formed a company with four of his sons, and they stood in the same relation to the father in regard to the disposal of the profits of the company as strangers would ?

Mr Latham - The last words of the clause expressly exclude companies.

Mr PARKHILL - Let us assume, then, that it is a partnership, and members of the family are on the same footing as if they were strangers. The father would be dividing up the property, and relieving himself of taxation. Would he then be doing an illegal thing?

Mr Latham - There are many actions, the legal significance of which depends on the purpose or intention with which they are done. It is a matter of purpose or intention.

Mr PARKHILL - Then of course the Commissioner would have to deal with the intention or the purpose, and would be the judge.

Mr Latham - Subject to the Board of Review.

Mr PARKHILL - Will there be an appeal from the Board of Review to the ordinary courts?

Mr Latham - On this matter of fact the court would have to accept the opinion of the Commissioner or the Board of Review, whichever was the last to deal with the matter.

Mr PARKHILL - That brings me back to my original objection that the entire settlement of what is legitimate or otherwise is vested in the Commissioner subject to the Board of Review; and as it is quite apparent from the explanation given by the Attorney-General that it is possible for a number of difficult and intricate questions to arise in coming to various determinations, it seems to me that the responsibility is one that should not' rest entirely on the Commissioner.

Mr Scullin - But it is quite possible for the Board of. Review to be just as good a judge of the' matter as a court might be.

Mr PARKHILL - If the honorable member's contention is right, there is no need to have appeals from the Board of Review, yet in every instance appeals are permitted from the Board of Review.

Mr Latham - Only on questions of law. It was strongly desired by Parliament that the Board of Review should have the final decision on questions of fact, and that appeals from the board on questions of fact should be prohibited.

Dr Earle Page - That was also the desire of the taxpayers.

Mr PARKHILL - It is not. always a question of fact that is subject to review.

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