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Thursday, 18 August 1960

Mr POLLARD (Lalor) .- This is the vital clause. It enables the Minister, on receipt of a report by a deputy chairman of the Tariff Board appointed for 'the purpose, to impose, behind the back of the Parliament, duty on goods imported into this country.

Mr Cleaver - Temporarily.

Mr POLLARD - Temporarily! Human beings do many things of a temporary nature, but that does not justify a parliament delegating to a Minister, even temporarily, the right to impose taxation on people by placing a duty on imported goods. 1 notice that, whether by design or not, the honorable member for Warringah (Mr. Bland), a distinguished member of the Parliament, is absent from the chamber. He voted for the second reading of the bill but he is not now present. He was. until early this year, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and only recently I read his caustic criticism of the tendency of the Parliament to submit to being robbed of its rights and responsibilities, and his even more caustic reference to the willingness of ministers to delegate their responsibilities to officials of government departments. I hope that the honorable member for Warringah will return to this chamber when a division is taken on this clause and make his strictures effective by opposing it.

I would strongly advise honorable members who support this bill, particularly this clause which is the key to the whole measure, to read in " Hansard " and in the press of this country the strictures of the honorable member for Warringah on the very kind of thing to which the majority of members of this chamber are about to give their consent. I leave it at that, Mr. Chairman. I hope that the vote at least will show some adherence to the principle that Parliament, and Parliament alone, shall impose taxation.

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