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Thursday, 20 June 1946

Mr CHIFLEY - I understand that land sales control is a part of the general prices control, the continuance of which has been agreed to by the Premiers of the States. Three Premiers have intimated that the power already referred to the Commonwealth Government by legislation may continue to be exercised with their permission in connexion with prices control. The other three Premiers have agreed to submit to their parliaments the matter of prices control 1650 Real Estate Transactions. [REPRESENTA TIVES.] Roofing Tiles. being carried on by the Commonwealth for a period. I cannot say, at the moment, because a final decision has not yet been reached, when land sales control will terminate. Until the present very strong inflationary' tendency in connexion with land values has been checked, and the position has been stabilized, some control of values ought to be exercised. The Commonwealth Government has found, and I am sure other governments have had a' similar experience, that whenever it does anything that is likely to assist any section of the community, such as guaranteeing or stabilizing the prices of wool, wheat and any other product, and, indeed, whenever it engages in any commercial activity on or close to land that is susceptible of speculative operations, there is immediately a sharp increase of prices, the final result of which is that the value of any benefits given to primary producers is destroyed because of the increased pricesor rents that they have to pay. There ought to be some control, whether State or Federal, of land values in the future. How that can best be achieved by collaboration between the States and the Commonwealth, or how long the existing land sales control regulations are likely to continue, I am unable to say.

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