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Friday, 20 July 1906

Senator FRASER (Victoria) .- Clause 6, I understand, deals exclusively with Crown 'land; and surely it is not intended that the Federal Government shall force a State into a bargain against its own wish.

Senator Keating - That is just what we aretrying to avoid by this clause.

Senator FRASER - But surely it would be more courteous to differently frame the clause, the language of which appears very harsh, as affecting State lands. The Federal Parliament has nothing to do with the control, and so forth, of the lands of the various States, though, of course, there is power, with the consent of the States, to take land for certain purposes. It appears to me as if, in this clause, it was proposed to override the States, seeing that we have the words " notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the law of any State." I do not know whether legal senators regard the matter as I do; but it strikes me asbeing rather objectionable language to use when we are dealing with the lands of a State.

Senator Pulsford - It is a slap in the face.

Senator FRASER - These negotiations can only be conducted by means of communications between a State and the Commonwealth ; and the State is not compelled against its wish to sell land to the Federal Government, even in the case of the Capital Site.

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