all. When Waterson sat down, however, the House began to stir, and in
the gallery people leaned forward. This was what they had come for.
Harry Oppenheimer stood up.
started on a calm note, easygoing and personal, like a man who hasn't
thought out beforehand what he is going to say—unlike Waterson, he
didn't use notes—yet it became obvious as he went along that he knew
precisely what he was up to. He criticized a proposed gift tax and a
proposed tax on dividends from outside South Africa. As he got into the
theme his manner grew even more easy: he talked rapidly and clearly,
swaying a little with the rhythm of the words.
. . Now the Minister here is concerned with tackling an evil, a
distinct evil, but a specific evil. He is trying to tackle the position
which arises when a man, in order to avoid tax, transfers dividends
which are earned in the Union to a company outside the Union, say in
Rhodesia or South-West Africa, and gets back these profits as dividends
from the company outside the Union and thus evades paying tax,"
Oppenheimer declared. "The Minister is quite right to stop that, but I
must say that I think that on the face of it, it must be wrong to
tackle a specific evil of that sort by throwing overboard what is a
fundamental concept and has always been a fundamental concept in our
taxation system. Because as long as I can remember (and no doubt
longer) it has been a principle of taxation in South Africa that
taxation should not be paid on income arising outside the country. Now
the measure which the honorable Minister is proposing in the first
place is going to have the effect to give the people a strong
inducement—the people whom the Minister is trying to attack—to keep
their profits outside the country, and to re-invest those profits
outside the coun-