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Wednesday, 6 August 1930

Senator McLACHLAN - The decision would lie with the Senate and another place. With the Minister, I do not think that the amendment would result in any appreciable monetary concession to the aero clubs; but its incorporation in the bill would be a gesture to those who are giving their time, and even sacrificing their lives, to develop an important science that will give the country invaluable assistance should Australia become involved in another war. Much as I desire to avoid making any exemption gaps in the bill, I shall be obliged to vote for the amendment moved by Senator Guthrie.

SenatorRAE (New South Wales) [3,36]. - I am sorry that so much misplaced sentiment is being intruded into the discussion. I am prepared to endorse all that has been said as to the merits of aviators and as to the use of aero clubs. By reason of their daring, aero clubs might almost be christened "hero clubs." However, if it is necessary to grant further assistance to such bodies, that can be done by additional subsidies. The chief object of this bill is to close all loopholes through which income taxation may be evaded. It is a wonderful testimony to the dishonesty of the commercial community that so many ingenious methods have been practised to evade the payment of taxation, and that it is necessary to tighten up the law as we are now doing. If we exempted aero clubs from taxation, we might well carry the principle further. Who could be more worthy of exemption than those brave people who risk their lives on the deep; the heroes who remain by their wireless sets, sending out S.O.S. signals, remaining on the ship until the last moment, and frequently going down with it? One could point to many ways in which heroism, which happily is inherent in human nature, manifests itself, but surely such things are irrelevant to the present debate. I put it as a matter of common sense that if aero clubs require special consideration, it should be given to them in the form of subsidies.

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