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Wednesday, 26 October 1910

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) -531- - When I first heard this question mooted by Senator Millen, I was inclined to agree with him, but after a further perusal of the clause, I think that Senator McGregor's interpretation is fully borne out. Senator Millen has stated that there will be a handicap, comparatively speaking, on the man who agreed, between the 30th June and 30th September, to transfer his land.

Senator Millen - No, he gets the concession. The man who, on the 29th June, signed an agreement to sell does not get the concession unless he completed the sale before the 30th September.

Senator KEATING - I think not, as the honorable senator will- find if he will read the clause again.

Senator Vardon - That was the Minister's interpretation.

Senator KEATING - I think that it is correct. The proviso reads -

Provided thai 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 or conveyed part of the land or has sold or agreed to sell nr conveyed all the land to different persons, shall, if the Commissioner is satisfied that the sale agreement or conveyance was bond fide-

Senator Millen - Now take the case of a man who, on the 29th June, agreed to sell, but did not transfer until October.

Senator KEATING - He had agreed to sell.

Senator Millen - But when - before the date set out in the proviso?

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould --lt must be after the 30th June.

Senator Vardon - The Minister says that, having signed the agreement on the 29th June, and not having transferred before the 30th June, the seller does not get the concession.

Senator KEATING - I see that I did misinterpret my honorable friend's argument. As I understand the clause now, it is designed to protect anybody who intends to dispose ot his land in the way of cutting ir up or distributing it, and to give him at least three months during this year within which he may do something, and prevent him from paying the tax.

Senator Millen - If a man made an agreement to sell within those three months, it may be three years before he can complete the transfer, and he will still get the benefit of the Act.

Senator KEATING - Do I not know that perhaps better than my honorable friend? Senator McGregor spoke rather curtly, if I may say so, with regard to the disposition of land. But it is not every State which is so favoured as is South Australia with regard to the transfer of land. It enjoys the fortunate position of being the State into which the Torrens Act was first introduced, and under the Torrens system of title - the Real Property Title Act, as it is called in some other States - it is possible to deal with land just as quickly and effectively as it is to deal with shares in a public company. But in other States, more particularly in New South Wales and Tasmania, it is very difficult very often to trace back titles, and complications are very great. Sometimes, apart from the preparation of abstracts of titles, the searchings through the various records to ascertain the correct titles are very extensive, and run into months - at times into years. I understand now the purport of the amendment moved by Senator Millen-, and I hope that Senator McGregor will see his way to drop the particular words which have been suggested, and so give an opportunity to do so to all who were prepared to accept the spirit of this Act in its full and proper interpretation before the end of September.

Senator McGregor - That is past.

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