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Wednesday, 1 August 1906

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - Senator Walker seems somewhat disturbed about the treatment of the mortgagee under this clause. It seems to me, in reading the clause, and bearing in mind a recent discussion here, that the mortgagee is the one individual specially singled out for favorable treatment. I desire to direct attention to the extremely enviable position in which he is placed as compared with the unfortunate individual on whose behalf I ventured fo say a few words some moments ago. Under this clause we do not merely tell the mortgagee that he shall get 3 .per cent. ; we provide that he shall have all he is legally entitled to, we give him six months' interest in advance, and then - and this is the point to which I specially direct attention - we go to the length of providing that if the interest to which he would be entitled if his mortgage continued in force is higher than the interest he could obtain by an ordinary investment at current rates of interest, the Commonwealth shall make good the difference.

Senator Walker - I am afraid I overlooked that part of the clause.

Senator MILLEN - It seems to me that the mortgagee is placed in a particularly favorable position. I do not quarrel with that; but I draw attention to the fact that there is no corresponding clause for the unfortunate mortgagor, nor for the unfortunate individual who must be content to take payment when the Commonwealth chooses to make it, and be satis fied "with 3 per cent. After the recent division I do not propose to press the matter. I find it idle to address arguments to honorable senators, who consistently abstain from listening to them.

Senator Keating - I am listening.

Senator MILLEN - I am not referring to the Minister, who is a model as an auditor. I direct attention to the fact that there is the discrepancy to which I have referred. Whilst we are especially tender towards the mortgagee, we leave the unfortunate mortgagor, and the equally unfortunate owner of the land, to the tender mercies of clause 42.

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