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Wednesday, 25 July 1906

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) - Certainly, Senator Mulcahy has limited the scope of his amendment, but I do not think that he has improved it. Under the previous amendment, State land could not betaken otherwise than by agreement with the State, but the amendment as altered says that it cannot be taken otherwise than by agreement. With whom the agreement is to be made is not stated.

Senator Guthrie - This amendment does not deal onlywith Crown lands.

Senator PEARCE - That does not matter. In the present amendment there is practically no direction as to whom the agreement is to be made with.

Senator Mulcahy - There is no direction anywhere. The agreement is to be made with the owners of the land whoever they may be.

Senator PEARCE - The honorable senator lays down the proposition that any land which has been dedicated for the purpose of public amusement or recreation shall not be taken without an agreement. Is it to be an agreement made with the State Government?

Senator Mulcahy - The honorable senais overlooking a previous clause.

Senator PEARCE - If the agreement is not to be made with the State Government, then the honorable senator is seeking to bring, in irresponsible bodies, and the Commonwealth would have to make an agreement with perhaps a racing club or a cricket club. Questions of national moment would have to be determined by an agreement between a cricket or football club and the Commonwealth Government. That would reduce our obligation to an absurdity, and it is the only construction which can be put on the amendment. I wish to see the agreement made with the State, but the honorable senator has omitted the words "with a State," and used the vague term " by agreement." In the circumstances, one can imagine what would happen if the amendment were carried. 1 am sure that it will not be accepted in its present form.

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