Australian War Tax Resister Ian Henry Leys

Here’s a bit of a rarity: a conscientious war tax resister in Australia in , from The Melbourne Age :

Refused to Pay Tax on Moral Ground

“The Commonwealth has no moral right to levy taxes for war purposes, and therefore no legal right,” a tax offender claimed in the City Court .

The man, Ian Henry Leys, grazier’s laborer, of Burnbank, via Talbot, was being prosecuted for failure to furnish a tax return.

Leys told the court he was a Presbyterian. He said he had asked several people in authority if Australia was a Christian country — “as we are so often told it is.”

Cross-examined by the prosecutor (Mr. W.J. Smythe), Leys admitted he had written to the Prime Minister’s department saying he did not intend paying tax until certain questions were answered.

Fine or Gaol

Mr. Smythe said he had been instructed to ask for substantial penalties, as the department had gone to the considerable trouble of sending an officer to a country district to explain the matter to Leys.

Mr. A.J. O’Connor, S.M.: “I don’t know whether there is any legal or constitutional basis for this opposition. I am concerned here only with the law.

“No serious thought can be given to what Mr. Leys has said here today.”

He ordered Leys to pay a £5 fine or be imprisoned until it was paid, and ordered him to lodge a return within 14 days.

I had a hard time finding out much more about Ian Henry Leys, but then I went to a specifically-Australian newspaper archive and searched on “Ian H. Leys” and found a bit more.