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Wednesday, 26 October 1910


Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I move -

That the words " after the thirtieth day of June, but" be left out.

I recognise that the clause applies to this year only, and that next year it will be inoperative. The only object I can conceive for the insertion of this proviso is to ease off the shock which may be expected to be felt by land-owners when this Bill is first brought into operation. It is true that this is a concession to those who intend to sell their land. The Government propose that they shall have up to the 30th September within which to complete the sale of their land where they have made an agreement to sell after the 30th June. But a man who entered into an agreement to sell his land on the 29th June, and had not completed the transfer on the 30th June, would be denied the benefit of this concession.


Senator McGregor - He would not.


Senator MILLEN - The honorable senator must see that he would, if he made his agreement to sell on the 28th or 29th June, because the concession is limited under the proviso to those who made such agreements after the 30th June and completed their transfers before the 30th September.


Senator McGregor - The honorable senator must see that if a man had not completed his agreement to sell on the 30th June he would still be the owner of the land on that date. But if he wished to complete the agreement after that date he would have up to the 30th September to do so. The thing is quite plain.


Senator MILLEN - I am prepared to believe that I may be as liable to misunderstand the meaning of the clause as another, but I still venture to press the matter from my point of view. The Vice-President of the Executive Council says that if any man made an arrangement to sell on the 28th June he will not be shut out from the benefits of this proviso, but I point out that if a man made an agreement to sell on the 28th June, the transfer could not even by a miracle be completed before the 30th June.


Senator McGregor - If it was not completed the man who agreed to sell would still be the owner of the land.


Senator MILLEN - That is my point. He would be the owner on the 30th June, and would have to pay the tax.


Senator McGregor - No; because he would have completed the transfer before the 30th September.


Senator MILLEN - The assumption is that he would be able to do so. It is clear from the clause itself that it is considered that three months is not too long a time to allow for the completion of an agreement to sell, because where a man entered into an agreement on the 1st July he is given under this clause three monthsin which to complete the transfer of the land. What I wish to know is, why a man who entered into such an agreement on the day before the 1st July should not begiven the benefit of this concession as well.


Senator McGregor - Unless he owned' the land on the 30th June, he would not be taxed.


Senator MILLEN - But he would have owned the land on that date, though he- may have entered into an agreement the day before to sell it. The clause recognises that though a man may have agreed to sell his land, he will appear on the register as the owner until the transfer is completed. Under this clause, though a man may be registered as the owner of a piece of land on the 30th June, 1910, it is proposed to give him a concession in respect of land which, after that date, he entered into an agreement to sell. It is proposed to give him up till the 30th September, 1910, to complete the transfer of the land. I do not ask that there should be any extension of that term, but I cannot see why a man who has entered into an agreement to sell on the 28th June should not also be given the concession.


Senator McGregor - So he will.


Senator MILLEN - I am glad to hear the interjection, because it shows that the Minister thinks that such a man ought to be given the concession. The only question, then, is as to whether these words will insure that he will get it.


Senator McGregor - Yes, they will.


Senator MILLEN - The Vice-President says so, but I am afraid that I cannot accept his view.


Senator Findley - If the honorable senator cannot accept the view of the VicePresident of the Executive Council, whose view does he wish to accept?


Senator MILLEN - It is a novel proposition that an honorable senator on this side must accept the view of some honorable senator who for the time being happens to be a Minister. I can remember a time when I occupied a position similar to that now occupied by Senator McGregor, and when Senator Findley was not so ready to accept my view of anything. The clause says-

Provided that an owner of land who, after the thirtieth day of June, but before the thirtieth day of September, One thousand nine hundred and ten, has sold or agreed to sell - lt is not necessary that I should quote any further. Such a man is given a concession under the clause, and we need not bother even as to what it is. What I say is that a man who made an agreement to sell between the two dates mentioned is given the concession, but if he made the agreement to sell one day before 30th June-


Senator McGregor - He will still get the concession.


Senator MILLEN - No, it is clear from the wording of the clause that the concession is limited to those who make an agree ment to sell between the two dates mentioned. If Senator McGregor's contention is right, and the man who made an agreement to sell before the 30th June is given the concession, the reference to the 30th June in the proviso is entirely unnecessary, and it should read -

Provided that an owner of land who, before the 30th day of September, and so on. I put it to the Committee to pay whether the object of the clause would not be better served by striking out the words " after the thirtieth day of June, but."







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