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Wednesday, 26 October 1910

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) - - A, very long discussion took place on a similar amendment elsewhere. Although Senator Walker has assumed that all land alienated from the Crown has been paid for in some way or other, he must recognise that in this country a considerable quantity of land has been alienated for which nothing has been paid.

Senator Millen - Then nothing would be deducted under- the amendment.

Senator McGREGOR - Then there would be an inequality in the value of the land that could scarcely be ascertained by any Commissioner or any body of deputies. In most instances the value that has been received for land by the Crown has been given back in various ways.

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel SirAlbert Gould. -How ?

Senator McGREGOR - It has been given back in payments to agricultural colleges and similar institutions to assist land-owners, and also in payments for the destruction of rabbits and other vermin that land-owners themselves ought to have destroyed. Apart from that consideration, however, the complications that would arise from putting Senator Walker's amendment into operation in connexion with the land tax would be so enormous that the difficulties of administration would be greatly increased. It has to be remembered that this is a land tax, not merely a tax upon increments. There is nothing about increments in the Bill. Increments have been introduced by honorable senators opposite for the purposes of argument, and to give them an opportunity of airing their eloquence and knowledge.

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