It is not possible at the moment to say when the Bill will be circulated because consultations have taken place with mining interests and these have only recently terminated. The legislation will be drafted and circulated as soon as possible.
Finance (Taxation of Profits of Certain Mines) Bill, 1974: First Stage.
This is most unusual procedure. It must be the first time a Minister has come in and asked for the First Reading of a Bill which has not yet been circulated and, indeed, in respect of which certain consultations with outside interests have evidently been held. I can understand such a Bill being introduced on the last day of a term, but I do not see why a Minister should do so at this stage unless for the purpose of window-dressing.
There is obvious anxiety in the national interest and in the interests of the people who will be affected by the legislation to get the legislation through as quickly as possible. Such delay as has occurred has arisen at the request of the people concerned and not because of any failure on the part of the Government to proceed with their plans. It was in exchange for the Government's undertaking to have these consultations that we have this lapse of time between the original announcement and the actual tabling of the Title of the Bill. I would anticipate that this matter would be before the House within a month.
We agree to the First Reading. This is most unusual on the first day of a term.
Not at all. Consultations have finished and we are doing the work.
When will the Second Stage be taken?
Before the end of the month. On 27th February, 1974.
That is agreed with the same reservations as in the case of the other Bills, and more so in this case.