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Tuesday, 19 December 1911

Senator McCOLL (Victoria) . - I am afraid that Senator E. J. Russell may have left the Committee under a wrong impression by his statement that the landholders in Beech Forest are charging the saw-millers from £6 to £g an acre for the kimber on their land. These land-holders are small farmers, who took up a country which is very thickly timbered, and which will probably cost from ^£25 to ^50 an acre to clear. They will spend a life-time before they get the holdings cleared. Why should they, even if they pay only is. an acre for the land, allow the saw-millers to come in and get the timber for nothing? If they do charge from £6 and £9 an acre for the timber, the saw-miller will make enough out of one tree to recoup himself. I do not think that these farmers should be branded as grasping land-holders who are seeking to crush out the poor saw-millers.

Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) - I put no brand on any one, but merely stated the facts as they are.

Senator McCOLL - From the way in which the honorable senator put the matter it looked as though these men were grasping land-holders, whereas they are poor struggling farmers, who will spend a lifetime in clearing the land. Whatever little they get out of the timber they deserve.

Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) - I indorse all that.

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