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Thursday, 29 October 1931

Mr HILL (Echuca) .-I cannot see how any apportionment of the bounty can be prescribed in the bill. If there is an agreement, as there always is, although it i3 sometimes verbal, in 99 cases out of 100 it is honoured. The landlord is as much the grower of the wheat as the share-farmer. The landlord provides the land, and, frequently, half or the whole of the fertilizer and seed. He frequently provides the horses and machinery. He is as much concerned with the growing of the wheat as the man who actually does the work. In some instances he helps in the actual work. There is generally an arrangement between the landlord and the farmer as to who is to cart the wheat. This is what happens. The man says to the landlord, "There are 1,000 bags of wheat, 500 for you and 500 for me ". The man takes his wheat to the railway siding and sells it. The landlord does the same. The two parties to the agreement deliver their own wheat, and each receives a bounty on the quantity that he delivers. I have had a fairly long experience of share-farming, and I know that the agreements differ. Sometimes the share-farmer in one locality obtains more than the share-farmer in another locality, because the value of the land or its productive capacity varies considerably. The cost of working the land varies, and so does the apportionment of the wheat as between the landlord and the share-farmer. But it is a known quantity, and when the wheat has been finally delivered, neither the Minister nor his officers would be able to make an apportionment more equitable than that made between the parties concerned. ^

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