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Thursday, 10 October 1912

Senator READY - The letter is very clever, but it is quite a needless insult to the man who applied for employment in all good faith.

Senator Chataway - The honorable senator has not read the letter of application, in order that we may see the terms in which it was couched.

Senator READY - When the applicant received that reply, he handed it to me-. I think it is rather clever; but I say. it is a direct insult to the man who asked for work. When he received that communication he naturally felt hurt about it, par- ticularly as the land about which . Mr. Archer boasts is probably a part of the very extensive free grant which was made to the family in the early days of Tasmania. If honorable senators will turn to Henry Melville's History of Van Diemen'* Land, they will find that, notwithstanding the Ordinance which forbade grants being made in excess of 2,000 acres, the Archer family received a Crown, grant of 70,000 acres for nothing. Yet when a working man applied to a descendant of the family for employment, that descendant talked about his liberal horses and his liberal land. The best part of the land in Tasmania has been "peacocked" in this way. In passing, I may add that Mr. Melville, in the very interesting volume which I have mentioned, advocated the single-tax as far back as 1835 - before the time of Henry George. He contended that all revenue in Tasmania should be raised from quit rents, which should be re-appraised at regular periods, and that such quit rents should be applied wholly to governmental purposes. He pointed out that in twenty-five years these quit rents would suffice to defray the cost of all the Government services of that State. And this is the man whom the authorities gaoled.

Senator Chataway - Melville also wrote a series of articles on the hospital system- there.

Senator READY - Yes, and very interesting articles they are. We have also to recollect that in Tasmania what was. known as the " Scotch Thousand " was operated' for many years. Whenever a man arrived in that State with £1,000 he obtained a free land grant from' the Crown. The head of one of the foremost families of Tasmania, who possessed £1,000. promptly went to the Government and received a grant of so many thousand acres. Afterwards, he passed the money on to his relatives, who each in turn took the bankbook to the Government to show that they possessed the required £1,000, and were each granted some thousands of acres. In this way they obtained 200,000 acres of the best land in Tasmania.

Senator Stewart - They were financiers.

Senator READY - They were mora than financiers; they were robbers.

Senator Chataway - The honorable senator is going back to 1835.

Senator READY - I am dealing with the way in which land was obtained in Tasmania. As a matter of fact, there were in Hobart, in 1835, money-lenders who were prepared to" advance a couple of hundred pounds to any person who could not too readily clear out, to enable him to go to the Government and work the " Scotch Thousand " wrinkle. The authorities winked at this practice, which continued for years. During that time they brought out immigrants to Tasmania-

Senator Chataway - They " brought " them out irrespective of whether they liked it or not.

Senator READY - I am speaking of immigrants, and not of convicts.

Senator Millen - Is the honorable senator opposed to immigration ?

Senator READY - I prefer to deal with this matter in my own way. In those days immigrants were brought to Tasmania, but unless they had friends at court they could not get their grants of land surveyed. The result was that the big land-holders used to acquire these grants from them for the sum of £20 or £30, and even less, and the areas covered by those grants were added to their already large holdings. That is the way in which a good deal of the land in Tasmania was obtained.

Senator Chataway - What the honorable senator is saying happened about three-quarters of a century ago.

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