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Tuesday, 31 July 1906


Mr ROBINSON (Wannon) .- 1 hope that the Minister will see his way to accept this amendment, because it embodies a principle for which honorable members in this House and in other Parliaments have fought for many years. It embodies what is a plank in most liberal programmes. It is a sensible application of the betterment principle which has been advocated all over the British Empire. To my mind it would be a mistake if, when this Federal Parliament, had an opportunity of this kind, it refused to adopt the betterment principle. A Government professing such markedly liberal tendencies as that now in office would be wise to accept it in order to show that it is in touch with democratic thought. Even in Russia the land question has assumed enormous dimensions. This amendment, in its humble way, also deals with that important question. It will mean that any increase in value given to the land by the expenditure of the Commonwealth will be secured for the benefit of the railway line. That is a principle which I believe every member of the present Government has advocated on platforms innumerable; and for the life of me T cannot understand why it should not meet with the most cordial acceptance from the Minister of Home Affairs. I urge him to consider whether the Government cannot, in accordance with its previous declarations, accept the amendment, and prevent therather appalling change 'of front which would come about if on. a division its members were found to have voted against it.







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