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Tuesday, 25 October 1910

Senator SAYERS (Queensland) .- I have listened carefully to Senator Lynch's speech, and must say that I never heard a weaker argument than that in which he contended that because the average amount of taxation through Customs and Excise is £2 10s. 6d. per annum for every man, woman, and child of the community, therefore a working man with a family of four pays £15 a year. I give Senator Lynch credit for knowing that the basis of his calculation is radically wrong. Take an example: Suppose a working man is earning £3 a week. Is it to be supposed that he pays Customs and Excise duties to the same extent as a man with a salary of £600 a year ? We know, as a matter of fact, that a man with , £600 a year lives up to his income. Such a man, if he entertains, may consume in his household twelve cases of whisky per annum, and he pays on dutiable goods probably £100 a year. Persons with large means contribute more to the revenue than do those with small. The higher a man's expenses are, the more he pays. It is impossible to strike an average and say that the man with a small income pays as much as the man with a large one. In fact, it is possible for a working man to live in this country and pay no Customs and Excise duties whatever. He does not pay on his bread, nor on his butter, nor on his meat, nor on his tea. The only article on which he may pay some duty is his sugar. If he buys a suit of clothes made from Geelong or Queensland cloth, he pays no Customs duty. Consequently, the honorable senator's argument is entirely fallacious. I approach the Bill, as several previous speakers have done, with the knowledge that, no matter what facts and arguments may be adduced, honorable senators opposite will not listen to them.

Senator Chataway - The honorable senator supported a land tax in Queensland.

Senator SAYERS - I have always supported the principle of a land tax, but I have never supported a tax based on the principle of this Bill. Moreover, I am pledged by the people who returned me to Parliament to oppose interference by the Federal Government with taxation that should be left to the States, except in case of emergency. It was very well argued by Senator McColl that all prudent Governments reserve some source of revenue for emergencies. I believe that the Commonwealth Government should leave aside land taxation so as to be able to draw upon this source of revenue in case of some such emergency as war or pestilence. We have no such disaster to face now. This tax will, I believe, reduce the value of all land in this country, be the holdings small or large. Whether a man has , £5,000 worth of land or less, the value of his property will be reduced.

Senator de Largie - Will the land tax make our lands less fertile in the future?

Senator SAYERS - I am not a landowner. Fortunately, I do not own an acre of freehold land in the Com monwealth. I, therefore, speak without persona! feeling in this matter. I remind honorable senators that one man may have 100 acres of land which can be used for agricultural purposes within a few miles of Melbourne, and which may be very valuable, whilst another with twenty times the area in one of our remote western districts may not be able to get a living off it.

Senator Henderson - In that case it would not be assessed at the same value.

Senator SAYERS - Men holding 20,000 acres, secured for£1 an acre, might not be able to get as good a living off it as men gel from only 100 acres of good land close to the centre of a large population.

Senator Henderson - What a helpless, poor fellow he is who can only secure 20,000 acres at £1 an acre !

Senator SAYERS - I intend to deal with this matter in my own way, and will not permit the honorable senator to draw me aside. Three years ago we heard statements made about this land taxation.

Senator Henderson - We have heard of it for twenty years.

Senator SAYERS - I speak of the legislation now proposed. I have myself spoken on the subject of land taxation before Senator Henderson came to this country. I do not wish for any more of his' interjections. This is a very serious question, and should be considered in a rational manner. For the last three years we have been hearing from honorable senators opposite that a land tax was required for the purpose of bursting up big estates. I did not cavil at that. Where estates are so large as to be detrimental to the well-being of the Commonwealth, each being held by one person, steps should be taken to burst them up. But that is not the object of this Bill. We are now told that its object is to raise revenue, and that the revenue derived from it is to be ear-marked for the purpose of defence. No one can pretend that it is necessary to impose taxation in the way here proposed by the Government. Even Senator Lynch has admitted that this measure is likely to lead to a great deal of hardship. It proposes to tax, not merely the unearned increment, but the capital which a man has put into his land. The Government are asking that men should assess the value of their own properties, and in this connexion I refer honorable senators to a district in Queensland known as the Isis. The land in that district was originally covered with a very heavy scrub, and a few years ago nobody wanted it, because of the cost of clearing it, and making it ready for cultivation. When I visited the district recently I found that land there is now worth £40 an acre. How can the owner of land in that district assess its unimproved value? He may feel that he is justified in taking i»to account the amount he has expended in clearing it, and bringing it to its present high state of cultivation, and, if he does, he may be faced with the forfeiture of it under this Bill for having undervalued it. If a man is sent to the district from Victoria . to value land there, and knows nothing of what it has cost the settlers to clear the scrub, how is he to estimate its unimproved value? We are told that it is the object of the Bill to secure for the State the unearned increment in the value of land, but it will be found that we shall be taxing men on what they have spent in clearing and improving the land. It is impossible to say what price the land in the Isis district, and in many other districts of Australia, would realize to-day if it were still in a virgin state. A man may have paid £.1 an acre for land which to-day would fetch £2 per acre in the open market, though it may have been very little improved. The difficulty is that while it would not be so unreasonable to tax that land on the £.1 of unearned increment, it will be taxed on a valuation of ,£2 per acre. We shall also be taxing men who pay £2 per acre for that land to-day on its full value. We shall not be getting at the man who has derived the advantage of the unearned increment, but at the present holder of the land. I do not think that can be said to be a fair proposal. This measure will depreciate the taxable value of all unalienated lands belonging to the different States. Their value will be reduced as well as the value of lands that have been alienated. Men who can get land from the Crown to-day for £1 an acre will, when this tax is imposed, demand that they should get it at a much lower price. There is plenty of land in the interior of Queensland and the other States, with the exception, perhaps, of Victoria, which the owners are willing to sell at the price it cost them, or less. In such cases there is no unearned increment on which to levy this taxation. One of the principal objections to this Bill is that it will apply, not only to what may be regarded as shocking examples of the aggregation of valuable lands that are not being fully utilized, but also to lands that are being fully utilized, and are in the hands of persons with whom we can have no fault to find. I remind the Senate that in nearly every Bill we have passed this session we have encroached upon the sources of revenue available to the State Parliaments. I need mention only the Australian Notes Bill. Under that Bill, we shall take from Queensland from £30,000 to £40,000 a year of revenue at present available to the Government of the State. The Government of a large State like Queensland is forced to spend a great deal of money in the extension of railways and the opening up of its territory, and as a result of our legislation the Governments of the States, whether they be Liberal or Labour Governments, will be forced to impose taxation upon the owners of lands of a less value than £5,000. Mr. Watson, who was at one time Leader of the Labour party in another place, made a speech at Ipswich, in which he stated distinctly that it was not the intention of the Commonwealth Labour Government to tax land of a less unimproved value than £5,000. But I point out that the course taken of encroaching upon the sources of revenue available to the Stale Parliaments will compel them to tax those who own land under £5,000 in value. Senator Stewart has said that if he had his way he would not let an acre of land go untaxed. That is an honest and straightforward statement. There are other members of the same party who hold similar views, though they are not prepared to express them on the floor of the Senate. I say that by this legislation we shall be forcing the State Governments to tax those who hold land ranging in value from £5 to £5,000.

Senator Lynch - What is the good of fighting a shadow?

Senator SAYERS - The honorable senator knows that it is not a shadow, but a reality. It will be the inevitable aftermath of this legislation. Already the proposal has been made by a Labour Government in South Australia, and I believe that similar proposals will be made in the other States. We may be told that we have nothing to do with that, but I contend that we have, if it be shown that it is our legislation that compels the State Parliaments to adopt that course. I believe that every man should pay taxation according to his ability, and on' that account I regard income taxation as the best form of taxation imposed. In Queensland, with an exemption of £200, a man has to pay taxation on his income from investments in land, bank stock, or any other stock up to is. in the £1, or 5 per cent. The taxation on incomes above that amount, representing personal earnings, is 2J per cent. Very few complain of this taxation, because it is regarded as fair and reasonable, but the taxation proposed in this measure will not apply in the same way at all. It has been repeatedly said that under this Bill we may tax people out of their properties altogether. Honorable senators whose experience is not confined to lands within a few miles of Melbourne, or to a small State like Victoria, and who know something of the land in the interior of the larger States, will know that a landowner who may be considered a wealthy man this year may after two or three bad seasons be in a very different position, and require to borrow money to restock his land. This taxation in such cases will drive the present holders altogether off the land. We have been told many times that there is no land at present available for settlement in Australia. Either the Government are insincere in the statements which their representatives make in this Chamber, or the statements which have been circulated under their authority throughout the world are untrue. I leave honorable senators to decide which is the case. I have here a diagram which is contained in the Official Year-Book of the Commonwealth for 1901-1908. It shows the land which has been sold in Australia, the area which is held under lease, and the land which is either unoccupied or unsold. In the case of Queensland, the area which has been alienated is represented by a black mark, which one would almost require spectacles to see. In Victoria, not quite a half of the Crown lands have been alienated. In South Australia, the area which has been sold is less than that which has been alienated in Queensland. In the Northern Territory scarcely any land has been sold, and in Western Australia even a smaller area has been alienated than has been alienated in Queensland. About one-third of the lands of Tasmania have been sold. From the same source, I propose to give, in round figures, the areas which have been alienated and those which are unalienated. Queensland has already sold 15,000,000 acres, and the Crown still holds 273,000,000 acres. Yet we are told that there is no land available for settlement. When Senator Lynch was affirming that 400 acres represents the maximum area which a man can profitably work, I thought ,that he ought to have been located on the tableland in north Queensland, within 100 miles of the coast. If his existence were dependent upon the produce of 400 acres there, he would inevitably starve. The only use to which that land can be put is cattlerearing; and 1 would like to know how many cattle he would maintain in a dry season upon 400 acres ?

Senator Lynch - I was not referring to pastoral land.

Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 8 p.m.

Senator SAYERS - When the sitting was suspended, I was discussing the area that is required to support a man and his family. Naturally, this varies according to a variety of circumstances. In a thicklysettled district, which enjoys a fairly large rainfall, a smaller area is required to return a man a livelihood than is required in localities which are remote from a market. In my judgment, the State Governments have committed an error, in that, hitherto, they have offered men insufficient land. I know of individuals in Queensland who settled upon country, and who were able to grow maize and other produce. But, owing to their inaccessibility to market, the cost of transit of their produce deprived them of all chance of success. That has been the experience of many men in Queensland. As a result, they have been obliged to sell their blocks to some persons who have been prepared to hold them until they were made more accessible to market by railway communication. I recollect the time when it was impossible for men to make a living by cattle-rearing upon a fairly well-watered country like that of the lower Burdekin. But to-day they can make a very handsome livelihood there. A similar remark is applicable to the country in the Barron Valley, above Cairns. The disabilities under which the settlers previously laboured are now being rapidly removed. It is true that in certain localities a man may be able to cultivate a small area, but upon the coastal tablelands of Queensland he is abliged to keep cattle; and it is impossible for him to do this in a bad season. My contention is that the land which is suitable for cultivation will sustain a population as the country is developed. During the course of this debate, New Zealand has been held up to' us as a country which has enacted wise land laws. But I would point out that the New Zealand Act is not nearly so stringent as is the measure under consideration. We all know, too, that the

Government of the Dominion has been pouring immigrants into the country by shiploads every month. This accounts foi her increase of population. The other States are now following her example, and it will be a good thing for Australia when ou:' population has been doubled. The more people we have here the lighter will fee the taxation per head, and the more work will be available.

Senator Story - Land monopoly has hitherto prevented an accession of population to Australia.

Senator SAYERS - I am very glad that the honorable senator has made that interjection, because, in the light of the figures which I am about to present, I intend to ask him how it can be urged that land monopoly exists here? From the Y earBook to which I have already referred, I intend to quote the area of land which has been sold in the different States, the area which is in process of alienation, the area which is held under lease, and the area which is unoccupied. I would further invite the honorable senator to read the pamphlet which has been issued by the Government, and in which he will find an absolute refutation of his statement. In New South Wales 34,000,000 acres have been sold, 16,500,000 acres are in process of alienation, 126,000,000 acres are held under lease or licence, and 22,000,000 acres are unoccupied.

Senator Henderson - A considerable area of that is rock.

Senator SAYERS - Assuming that the 22,000,000 acres consist of rock, there still remain 126,000,000 acres which are held under lease or licence, and are not occupied by monopolists. In Victoria 23,000,000 acres have been sold, 4,500,000 acres are in process of alienation, 16,500,000 acres are held under lease, and 12,000,000 acres are unoccupied. In Tasmania 4,800,000 acres have been sold, 1,500,000 acres are held under lease, and 9,750,000 acres are unoccupied.

Senator O'Keefe - Does the honorable senator know the character of that 9,750,000 acres?

Senator SAYERS - No, nor does the honorable senator.

Senator O'Keefe - Nobody knows anything but the honorable senator.

Senator SAYERS - The Chairman of Committees should refrain from interjecting. I have not stated what is the quality of the land. I have merely said that in Tasmania there are large tracts unoccu pied which are fit for cultivation, and which are capable of successfully settling thousands of people if railway communication existed. I refer to the land lying between the east and west coasts of that State to the north of Hobart. I make this statement upon reliable authority. I have not been over the country, nor do I think has the honorable senator.

Senator O'Keefe - Why should the honorable senator say that? I have been over almost every acre of it.

Senator SAYERS - Only a few persons who have been sent out as explorers by the Government have been over it. Persons who were born there have not seen it, and have made an acknowledgment to that effect.

Senator O'Keefe - The honorable senator should not make a remark of that sort.

Senator SAYERS - The honorable senator should behave out of the chair as he does when he is in it.

Senator O'Keefe - I do not like the honorable senator to be offensive.

Senator SAYERS - The honorable senator is at liberty to get up and refute any statement of mine. Of course, if the YearBook is wrong, he knows better than does its compiler. In Queensland, 15,000,000 acres of Crown land have been sold. Surely no one, either here or elsewhere, wants to make the world believe that, with our 273,000,000 acres of unalienated land there is no good land left in that State? Such a suggestion would be ridiculous. We have millions and millions of acres of good land left, and in time it will be settled. I can remember the time when settlement was very sparse. I suppose you could count the settlers by the hundred, but now they can be counted by the thousand. South Australia has sold 8,500,000 acres of land, and has still 102,000,000 acres unalienated. Western Australia has sold 4,500,000 acres of Crown land, and has still 517,000,000 acres unsold. I do not think that even the honorable senators for that State will say that all the Crown land there is of no use.

Senator Henderson - Certainly not, but there is a scarcity of land which is accessible.

Senator SAYERS - A great proportion of this land is not accessible at present, simply for the reason that there is no market near it. The cost of conveying produce would exceed the price which was obtained. It does not follow, however, that it is not good land.

Senator Henderson - There is a monopoly of land which is proximate to markets.

Senator SAYERS - The speeches which have been delivered here, not only to-night, but during last week, would lead any person outside Australia to believe that we have no land of any value left, but that all the land of value is held by monopolists. Surely it is our duty to contradict such statements and prove to the outside world from official sources that there is land available, though I am quite willing to admit that, at present, a large proportion of it is not accessible. A great many of our present settlers took up land which was not accessible either by railway or by road, and had no means to get their produce to market. In regard to taxation, take the case of a municipality. It is the property owners who are taxed to make the streets, and, therefore, the improvements. To a great extent, those who occupy lands to-day have been taxed pretty severely by the local authority. At one time I had a selection in the Barron Valley, which I had to give up owing to my inability to find a person to go on it. One of the reasons why I took that step was because my shire rates amounted to nearly£60 a year. The money was spent in making tracks through scrub and in forming roads. Will any one say that if I had retained that land for sixteen years, and paid the rates, I should not have paid well for the improvements and helped to make a market for those who came afterwards? That is the case with a lot of land. I was not the original selector, but, through force of circumstances, I had to take over the selection.

Senator Lynch - Did the honorable senator have a dummy?

Senator SAYERS - After paying £300 on the selection, I realized that I was losing money year by year. I went to Cairns and Herberton to see if I could find somebody to take it up, but I could not; and so 1 returned it to the Government. That is what has tended to draw people into the towns where higher wages are paid. Although I offered persons the free use of the selection, and the district rate for every acre of scrub which they cleared, and all the products which they raised, no one would accept the terms. To-day, the selection would bring, I suppose, £10,000. That shows the ups and downs of land settlement. It is not always the man who expends his money and labours on a selection who reaps the benefit.

Senator Lynch - Ten thousand pounds for 300 acres of land?

Senator SAYERS - The selection contained an area of 1,280 acres; and to-day it would bring fully that sum. Why ? Because a railway now runs past it, and there is every facility for getting produce to market. Where there were perhaps 100 or 200 settlers, there are to-day some thousands. I maintain that the persons who have that selection, and those who have gone to the district since, have been heavily taxed to make roads and keep the country open. Without the imposition of a land tax, a great number of persons have had a very hard struggle.

Senator McGregor - Does the honorable senator know what he is demonstrating?

Senator SAYERS - I am demonstrating that a man who takes up land has a burden of local taxation to bear, without the Commonwealth Government interfering.

Senator McGregor - The honorable senator is demonstrating that he had more money than brains.

Senator SAYERS - I am not the only person who may have had more money than brains, for Senator Lynch has admitted that he was foolish enough to give £10 an acre for land in New South Wales which is not worth £2 to-day. So that, even on the Ministerial side there are some honorable senators who, although they may possess just as much brains as the Minister does, have not been clever enough to engineer themselves into so good a position as he occupies.

Senator Lynch - The only difference is that, whereas I held the baby, the honorable senator dropped it.

Senator SAYERS - Evidently, I had a little more brains than the honorable senator ; because, when I found that mine was not a paying proposition, I dropped it. I wish to show, from the Government's own publication, which is now, I suppose, being distributed broadcast in Great Britain, that the position in regard to land monopoly is not half so bad as honorable senators opposite want to make out. What do the Government say in their own book? Referring to Queensland, we read -

Any bond fide intending selector of an Agricultural Selection or a Selection under the Special Selections Act, wishing to inspect land previous to selecting, may apply to the Under Secretary for Public Lands for a certificate in respect of the railway journey to and from the railway station nearest to the land he wishes to inspect. On presentation of this certificate at the railway station at which the journey is to be commenced the usual railway ticket shall be obtainable at half the ordinary fares.

If the intending selector subsequently selectsa Selection of the tenure aforesaid, he will, on application to the Under-Secretary for Public Lands,, receive a refund of the half fare paid by him, and further certificates entitling him to the following concessions, namely : -

A free pass for the carriage by rail of the selector and his family to the railway station nearest to his selection.

A free pass for the carriage by rail of the selector's ordinary household furniture and effects, with exception of pianofortes and other articles that are not indispensable, agricultural implements, seed, one dray, and one set of harness, to the railway station nearest to his selection.

A reduction of 25 per cent, on the ordinary classification rates for fencing and building material in respect of the carriage of any such material intended for use in improving the selection. This concession will apply also to live stock to a limited extent, and to such other articles as the Minister for Lands may consider it necessary for the selector to use in working his selection.

These concessions must be availed of within six months from the issue to the selector of a licence to occupy the land.

A man can go and inspect the land ; if he does not select, he only pays one half of the fare, and if he selects, he gets all the concessions which I have quoted. In South Australia -

Intending settlers are allowed a rebate of onethird the cost of rail fare to and from the land applied for.

Senator Henderson - That is no argument against this land tax.

Senator SAYERS - I am making these quotations to refute the statement from the other side that there is land monopoly in Australia, and that, therefore, a man cannot get land. With regard to Western Australia, we read -

On production of a certificate signed by the Under-Secretary for Lands, certifying that the applicant is a bond fide selector, and has purchased land from the Government, the following concessions will apply : -

It will be seen that, whereas in Western Australia a man has first to prove his bona fides to be a selector, before he can get a concession, in Queensland he is given a pass at half the ordinary rate, the money being returned if he selects land. He also gets the benefit of the other concessions. According to all we have heard, Victoria is the State in which land monopoly is most rampant.

Senator Blakey - Especially in the Western District.

Senator SAYERS - I do not doubt that for a moment. But one swallow does not make a summer, and there is a way of getting at land monopoly without resort to the means proposed by this Bill, which presses harshly on every land-owner in the community. In another place, Mr. Hedges proposed to omit from the operation of the measure the first cost of land paid to the State Government. His amendment was rejected at the instance of the Ministry. Mr. Mahon, the honorable member for Coolgardie, although he is a Labour member, denounced as immoral the imposition of a tax upon the amount which an owner had originally paid for his land to the Government. There could be no unearned increment in that. Mr. Mahon also said that he believed that a reaction would take place if anything was done in a spirit of revenge. I am sorry to think that a good deal of this legislation has been actuated by such a spirit. There must be a reaction, because we as a people are justly proud of our fair play. We are known for it all the world over. I am sure that when the people realize that this land legislation will do such enormous injury to thousands who do not deserve to be oppressed, the reaction will be severe.

Senator Lynch - Does the honorable senator propose to favour especially those who purchased their land from State Governments ?

Senator SAYERS - While I believe in land taxation, I believe also that it should be imposed by the States, which can discriminate between individual instances.

Senator Blakey - Could the Victorian Government carry a Land Tax Bill through the Legislative Council?

Senator SAYERS - People in the State of Victoria are always howling about their Legislative Council. Let them wipe it out. Their cry has been worn threadbare. If the people of a State are determined to have a certain law passed they will find a way ; and I am satisfied that if a fair land tax were introduced by the State Government they could get it through. But I do not advocate, under any circumstances, a land tax such as is now proposed, because I believe that it would do injury to thousands of people. I am confident that before many years are passed this Bill will have to be repealed.

Senator McGregor - That is what was said about the New Zealand land legislation.

Senator SAYERS - The New Zealand land laws have altered very much. In any case, I have shown previously that the prosperity of New Zealand is due to borrowing money, and bringing immigrants into the country. Sir Julius Vogel, when he was Premier of New Zealand, borrowed £10,000,000. Before that time New Zealand was practically insolvent. Sheep were not worth 6d. a head when the wool was taken off them. But as the result of the new policy an era of prosperity was inaugurated which has continued ever since. What I complain about. is that it is unfair to make one law applicable to land in all States when the circumstances of the different States vary considerably. In Victoria there is a comparatively small territory, and the farms are generally accessible to market. In Queensland conditions are altogether different. We have railways carried out to Charleville, Roma, and Longreach, but no agricultural produce grown there would, under normal circumstances, bear the cost of land carriage. A man would be mad to take up land in the far western districts of Queensland, and expect to be able to compete with growers near the coast. I admit that east of Dalby they are growing wheat, but much of it is used for fodder. When prices are low it would not pay them, but when wheat reaches a certain figure it will pay, though the crop is very uncertain. Most of those who grow wheat are not dependent upon it for a living; they also run cattle and breed horses, in connexion with a certain amount of agriculture. I can remember the time when it was said that the Darling Downs would never keep a large population. But the Downs are being settled very fast now. The people there had great hardships to endure at first, and that must be the case in nearly all newly-settled districts. After a few years, conditions improve, and the settlers become prosperous. These early settlers are the pioneers of whom we hear so much ; though very few of those who use the word have done any pioneering. If the Government could open up an enormous area of land to-morrow, how many people would be fit to settle upon it, and earn their living? I can remember the time when there was free selection before survey in New South Wales. I thought then that that was an excellent piece of legislation. It enabled the men to take up land on easy conditions. But it also led to a great deal of blackmailing. People would select land on the run of a squatter, and would say to him, " We want so much for this land." He was compelled to give them their price in order to protect his own stock. No doubt the land laws of Australia are a difficult problem, and have been so for forty or fifty years. Some of the States have been to blame, because instead of surveying land ahead of railway construction, and running their lines through it afterwards, they built railways without having regard to the requirements of selectors. I also admit that there is too much delay in the matter of acquiring land from our Government Departments. But that is an evil which I hope to see rectified. The question that faces us now is whether it is a judicious and proper thing for the Commonwealth to impose land taxation under normal circumstances. I quite admit that if the circumstances were abnormal, no land-owner and no State Government would object to the Commonwealth levying a tax. Let us, however, turn again to the pamphlet issued under the authority of the Minister of External Affairs. It says that in Queensland -

Agricultural farms suitable for dairying and general farming may be acquired in areas up to 1,280 acres.

That is a fair area of land. A man could on such a farm combine agriculture with dairying or cattle raising -

The purchasing price ranges from 10s. per acre upwards.

Will any honorable senator tell me that there is a monopoly in land when a document issued under the authority of the Minister of External Affairs shows that such a farm can be obtained upon such terms ? -

The term is twenty years, and the annual rent one-fortieth of the purchasing price. No interest is charged, and all payments of rent are credited as part of the price. Within five years the selector must fence the land or effect improvements equal to the value of a fence. After five years the freehold may be obtained by the payment of the balance of the purchase money, but until the deed of grant is obtained the land must be continuously occupied by the selector residing personally on it, or by his manager or agent doing so. Those who undertake to personally reside for the first five years have priority.

A long term is given for the payment of the 10s. per acre; no interest is charged, and when the amount is paid the land becomes the property of the selector. Honorable senators will see also that priority is given to the bond fide selector who personally resides on the land. I say that these are fair and reasonable terms, and I. am very pleased that the Government should have published this information for the benefit of members of this Parliament and the people of Great Britain. There is another system of land settlement in operation in the States under which provision is made for perpetual lease selections. A great many people are firm believers in that form of settlement. I quote the following concerning it from this pamphlet

Land open as agricultural farms may also be opened for perpetual leases selection, and the latter mode may be conceded priority of application over the former. The rent for the first period of ten years is r£ per cent, on the price of the land for agricultural farm selection, and the conditions of residence are the same as on an agricultural farm.

Could there be any easier method of acquiring land than by the payment of ii per cent, on IOS. ?

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