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Thursday, 7 August 1930


Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) (10:50 AM) . - The Minister (Senator Daly) gave me a definite assurance last night that he would accept the amendment. He said he would not call for a division.


Senator Daly - I did not do anything of the sort.


Senator PAYNE - I waited throughout the night in order to move this amendment, and am now surprised to hear the Minister say that he did not give me any such assurance. Apparently something has happened in the meantime. I am astounded at the paltry attitude he has adopted. It is unreasonable that any impost, however light, should be placed upon organizations performing such wonderful work on behalfof these unfortunate people. It is unreasonable to compare the products of these institutions with those of other manufacturing concerns, because all the work undertaken in a blind institution is done by hand. If they have to pay this tax, they will not be in the same relative position as they were before. I am astounded that the Leader of the Opposition should make a comparison between a boys' reformatory and a blind institution, the inmates of which are reputable citizens who must be employed to enable them to get some pleasure, if only to a small degree, out of life. A communication which I received from one of these institutions states -

The institution would certainly be in a better position if the taxation is removed in view of the great handicap wc have to-day on account of the articles we produce.

The amount involved by this amendment is small, and as there is a long list of exempted goods, many of which have not as much right to be included as those manufactured by the blind, I intend to press the amendment.

Senator Sir JOHNNEWLANDS (South Australia) [10.53 a.m.]. - In the Minister's constituency in South Australia there is a fine institution in which a number of blind people are accommodated, and who are supported partly by pensions and partly by money provided by the institution. I think it would be a great hardship if the products of blind asylums were to bc subject to this tax. I should like to assist these people who are assisting themselves. As these institutions have to bear the cost of training the inmates, the Government should endeavour to help them whenever possible. In a sense, they are in a more unfortunate position than the inmates of many other institutions. They are endeavouring to help themselves when they could live entirely on charity, and I hope something will be done to assist them in the direction indicated.







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