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Taxation Without Rep-
A public meeting convened by the Northern Territory Industrial Council at the instance of the Darwiri branch of the Australian Workers’ Union was held in the Don Stadium on Monday evening, the 15th instant. The sub- ject for discussion was:—“Taxation without Representation, with the ob- ject of inaugurating some concerted movement as a protest against such taxation. Mr. J. Thomas, chairman of the industrial council occupied the chair. Among the speakers were Messrs. W. Blount, Hardie Gibson, Alf. Pain, Tom M'Donald and J. M'Donald.
It was moved by Mr. Alf. Pain, and seconded by Mr. T. M'Grath, "That we citizens of Darwin refuse to pay any taxation until we receive representa-
An amendment was moved by Mr. T. M'Donald, seconded by Mr. J. J. M'Donald:—"That this meeting of Dar- win citizens condemns the injusstice of taxation without representation, and calls upon the Minister through the Director of the Territory to withdraw all summonses on this head pending the question of taxation as it effects the Territory being fully discussed, and that we protest against the system of garnishee as set forth in section 50a of the Income Tax Assessment Act of 1915-18, and we warn the employers of Darwin that any attempt to put it into force from this date onwards will lead to industrial trouble."
A division was taken, and the am- endment was carried by a majority of at least three to one.
A further resolution was passed that the members of the Advisory Council place the above motion before the Di- rector of the Northern Territory.
(A Contributed Report.)
The following is a resume of the speeches delivered at the public meet- ing on Monday:
Mr. Blunt (Executive Council A.W.U.) said the present struggle reminded him of the light for liberty in '88, '89 and 1900, a struggle which he thought would never occur again in the history of Australia. He referred to the fight in which the machinery of the Coercion Act was used against them, to the rise and progress of the Australian Labor Party, the fight for adult suffrage, and never thought he would again be called upon to participate in a fight for representation in his own countiy. For ten years the Territory had been under the control of an Administrator, and very little was known of the coun- try. Presuming that the country's chief industry was stock-raising, the govern- ment appeared to think that the Terri- tory's best interests would be served by the appointment of a veterinary sur- geon as Administrator at a salary of £2000 a year. But every effort made for the advancement of the interests of the Territory was passed out by Gilruth. The ballot box, a boasted in- stitution throughout the British Empire, was not here, and the situation was irksome to any man, but especially to those who had enjoyed that privilege in other parts. Every man had a rightful claim to a say as to in what manner the country should be governed, and how their money was to be spent. Here in the Noithcrn Territory they had, however, direct taxation without any form of representation—an unjust condition of affairs which brought on a feeling of antagonism to all forms of government. The conduct of the Gov- ernment was rapidly creating in the Territory a strong feeling of antagonism to all forms of Government. We had a striking example of a similar in- stance when the British attempted to force the Americans to pay taxes with- out representation, with the result that the United States of America sprang into existence. He referred to the proposal by the British in the American war of independence, to let loose the Red Indians on the Americans, and to the statement by Pitt in the House of Commons "Shame on them! They would not be British if they would not
fight for their independence." Pitt glori- ed in the Americans in their struggle. How could a country be honestly gov- erned if the people had no say? Com- mon sense must tell them that where the government of a country rested in the hands of two or three people, they would govern it in their own inter- ests and not in the interests of the people. They wanted the Government of the Territory more in the hands of the people and he held that in Ihe local population sufficient brains could be found without sending 3000 miles away down south.
Mr. Burton, a returned soldier and President of the Darwin Branch A.W.U., endorsed the remarks of the previous speaker. He was one of those men who had left this country to fight for freedom on the other side of the world. Each and every one of those countries engaged in that bitter war, even the unspeakable Turk, had re- presentation in the Government of his country. Now he had come back to his own country to find himself plac- ed on the level of a blackfellow or a Chinaman. He had no vote. The Germans would have treated him bet-
Mr. Gibson (A.M.I.E.U.) referred to the agitation in Papua where a strong fight was being made against the in- justice of taxation without representa- tion. Territorians must keep up their reputation and not allow Papua to lead the way. He pointed out one unjust phase of the question as affecting the Territory in the fact that the Arbitration Court in New South Wales had ruled that an ordinary unskilled laborer re- quired not less than 12s per day as a living wage, and was exempted accord- ingly. In Queensland the minimum wage was £200 per annum, but if living was £50 per annum dearer in Queens- land than in Sydney a further exemp- tion of £50 above Queensland should be allowed in Darwin. He was afraid that pressing for payment of the tax would create a revolt in the Territory and he counselled first to endeavour to obtain their end by peaceful means.
Don't refuse to pay your taxation, but don't break your necks running up to the office to pay for fear of a blister. In other words he counselled passive resistance to see how far the authori- ties were prepared to go. They would pick their marks as was done in the case of the Mayor, but when the final move was made he would not be in the rear. Ho did not want trouble like they had last year, ho could not see the necessity for it, but unless the Government adepted different methods they would spread the seeds of Bolshev-
ism faster than by any other method. The Government had hounded men out of jobs they had occupied for years, and when these unfortunate men again got a job the Government carne down with a blister to take their money back again. Another unfair point: An un- skilled laborer may earn £150 in 14 weeks at the meatworks. The ex- emption being £56 he would have to pay taxation on the £94 despite the fact that he may be unemployed for the rest
of the year.
Mr. Bollon: We have held meeting after meeting and what good did it do? A few men hopping over the fence at Gilruth finished things at once. We should absolutely refuse to pay the tax until representation was granted. (Applause.)
Mr.. T. M'Donald said the attitude of the people was not so much against the tax—it was a question of taxation without representation. In all coun- tries a certain amount of representa- tion was given before the people were required to pay, the tax, and here in the Commonwealth all the States had representation in Parliament, the Northern Territory being the only ex- ception. He recognised that they were up against the Commonwealth Govern- ment, and was not anxious to cause trouble. They should be able to get along without trouble or with the least possible trouble, and he suggested that the Director of the Territory be ask- ed to keep back summonses until the
people have had a chance to discuss the matter and see what basis could be arrived at to pay the taxes.
Mr. Pain said he had moved at the A.W.U. meeting that those present pledge themselves not lo pay the tax till representation was granted. He
had been asked to modify the motion but refused to do so. They should xx nothing, but sit tight and let the Government do their best. Hang out—
stick to it!
Mr. Culliney: Can you tell us what to do if they put the bailiff in? It is all very well to lead us into the for- est, but who is to lead us out?
Mr. Paine said the baliff was a tough question, but if none would pay, no one would compel him.
Mr. Balding said he had refused to pay 12 months ago. Since then he had had numerous notices from the Govern- ment through the post. A Government officer had been instructed to stop the amount out of his pay, but he had chal- lenged them to do so without an or- der from the Court despite the fact that he had got a barrister's opinion that they could legally do so.
In answer to a question Mr. Gibson said the Act was rotten and ought to be passed out of the country along with the party that passed it.
The Mayor Before the Court.
On Wednesday'morning, the 17th in- stant, before Mr. E. C. Playford, S.M., Robert Toupein, Mayor of Darwin, was charged on an unsatisfied judgment summons, by the Commissioner of Taxa- tion, for whom Mr. D. A. Roberts appeared, with non-payment of income tax. Defendant, who went into the wit- ness box, admitted owing the amount, but stated that he declined, on prin- ciple, to pay income tax until such time as political representation was granted to the Northern Territory. An order was made for payment forth- with, but, so far as we have been able
to ascertain, payment has not yet been