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Wednesday, 6 August 1930

Senator McLACHLAN (South Australia) . - Some honorable senators appear to have misunderstood the position. A man may divide his property among his children, allowing them to retain any income derivable from it, but if, later, he sees fit to form a company, he comes within the scope of this legislation, although he may have been perfectly innocent of any wrong intention. I wish to make my position clear. It was with no desire to assist any one to evade the law that I supported the amendment of the Leader of the Opposition, but I feel that an injustice is still being done to legitimate companies. I accept the Minister's assurance as to the retrospectivity of this provision, and I ask him to extend the same consideration to cases which might arise in the future. Some of these concerns will continue to operate, and if this legislation is applied to them - and the Commissioner will have no discretion but to apply it to them - they will be penalized. I suggest that we should vest in the Commissioner some discretionary power to meet such cases. That discretion should be unfettered, for I believe that he would use it only to deal with wrong-doers. I imagine, however, that the Commissioner will find himself in difficulties with some of these private companies. While not desirous of delaying the committee, or of proposing further amendments to this clause at this stage, I suggest that the Minister should see if something can be done to vest in the Commissioner an unfettered discretionary power to deal with evil-doers.

SenatorRAE (New South Wales) [5.50]. - In my remarks just now, I had no intention of attributing to honorable senators opposite any desire to shelter wrong-doers. I merely wished to convey the opinion that their action would have that effect, and that, therefore, obloquy would rest on them.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 11 -

Section 23 of the principal act is amended -

(e)   by omitting from paragraph (g) of sub-section (1.) the words "a tax payer who is in receipt of salary, wages, allowances, stipends or annuity, or whose taxable " and inserting in their stead the words " the taxpayer, if he is a resident and is in receipt of salary, wages, allowances, stipends or annuity, as if his net";

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