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Tuesday, 19 December 1911

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) (1:40 AM) . - I should prefer to see subitem b struck out. In any case, if a duty is to be imposed on imported works of art, I see no good reason for exempting pictures imported by public art galleries. It would be peculiar for the community to exempt itself from a tax whilst laying an impost upon private individuals. What is a public gallery ? It is, of course, a gallery owned by the public. Yet, under this Tariff the public is to get benefits in the matter of the importation of works of art which are not to be extended to the individual. In other words, the persons who are most likely to import works of art, and who will do so most consistently, are to be the very people to be exempted from the operation of this tax. The Government are making the community say, " Wewill exempt ourselves, acting conjointly, but we will lay a heavy impost on any individual who does that which we, as a community, take a pride in doing."

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