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Wednesday, 26 October 1910

Senator RAE (New South Wales) . - I do not know how many Masons I " shall bump up against," but I am opposed to this amendment. I do not see why a Masonic Lodge should be treated differently from a Hibernian Society or an Orange Lodge. Furthermore, where do Socialist clubs come in?

Senator McGregor - Such a club will never own . £5,000 worth of land.

Senator RAE - I want to tax every person or association that does own land of that value. When we talk about exempting clubs, take Sydney. There is a club there which, in the days when members of clubs had special voting privileges under the State law, had a membership of 1,200. Of course, commoners like I am would not be allowed within coo-ee of some of the palatial clubs in Sydney. But there are clubs like the Union Club and the Athenaeum Club, whose members are wealthy men, and ought not to escape land taxation. Too many concessions are being made to these people. I am against the amendment, and think that if the Government were as democratic as they profess to be, they would never have dreamt of proposing such a thing. I shall certainly vote against it.

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