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Thursday, 7 August 1930

Senator DALY (South AustraliaVicePresident of the Executive Council) (10:35 AM) . - The Government obtained an opinion from Mr. E. M. Mitchell, K.C., of Sydney, a very high authority on constitutional law with regard to the point raised by the right honorable gentleman. Mr. Mitchell advised as follows : -

I am not satisfied that this amendment can be put in without risk, and that it would not, on the face of the statute, alter the character of the act and convert the tax into a tax on the purchaser instead of being a tax on the vendor, as stated in my previous memorandum. In addition, I do not think this amendment would be workable, because, in its present rigid form, it would not fit in with section 18 (3) of No. 1 Act or with section 25 of the No. 1 Act, and with corresponding sections of other acts, or with section 4 of the No. 9 Act. But, on the main point, I do not feel satisfied that the acts would not either be altered in character or alternatively deal with more than one subject.

A further difficulty about the proposed section 19a is that it might be held to deal, not with the imposition of taxation, but with reimbursement of tax paid, and, it might be held that, on that account, it could not be validly incorporated with the Rates Act. If it were incorporated with the Rates Act it might be held that it was inseparably connected with the condition of liability of the tax, and that if it fell for invalidity, or was deemed to be of no effect because it did not deal with the imposition of taxation, then section 19, with which it would be intimately connected as a sort of condition, might fall also.

Mr. Mitchellpointed out that the amendment suggested might be construed by the- court into a tax on the purchaser instead of being a tax on the vendor. Consequently, the section, and other sections to which it relates, might he held to be invalid.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 19 agreed to.

Clause 20-

Notwithstanding anything contained in the last preceding section, sales tax shall not be payable under this act by the person specified in that section upon the sale of -

(d)   goods made to the order of individual customers by persons who sell exclusively by retail; or

(e)   goods sold exclusively by. retail by an individual who manufactures some or all of those goods and total value of whose average yearly sales is not, or would not be,in the opinion of the Commissioner, in excess of £1,000.

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