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THE LAND ACT, ABERDNG BILL BEFOREPARUA BEET. PASTO]TL, CEAUJS AM? DED. The Legislative Aiembly disposed of the Land Act Amendment Bill in a compaza tively short time, after resuming yester day's early morning sitting of the House, following upon the conference held between those intertsed in the pastoral clauses ot the measure. Though considerable amend ment was made to these provisions on the resumption of the sitting there was little or no discussion, members having apparently agreed to the form the amend ments were to take. On clause 17 (Amendment of section 4 of Act No. 60 of 1915. Reduction of price of conditional purchase land), Mr. E. B. Johnston moved to amend sub clause 2 to provide that land already held under conditional purchase lease should be revalued on the basis of a value not ex ceeding e15.wr acre, and the price re duced accordingly on the application of the lessee. He explained that the amend ment was designed to remedy what he considered were the injustices many set tiers in his and other electorates in the Great Southern district were suffering The Minister for Lands, suggesting that the matter might well be left in the hands ed the Government for attention, Mr. John ston withdrew his amendment. Clauses 18 to 25 inclusive were passed as printed. On clause 26 (Pastoral leases), The Minister for Lands moved to amend sub-clause 1 by providing that the annual rental under the extended leases should be determined by the Minister, acting on the advice of a board of appraisers, con sisting of the Surveyor-General, who should be chairman and not more than three other members appointed by the Gover nor, instead of by the Governor, as ori ginally provided. The amendment was agreed to The Minister for Lands then moved to amend sub-clause 2 by striking out the pro vision that the rental should be not more than £3 per thousand acres per annum, ex cept in special cases to be approved by the Governor. In view of the provision for the appointment of appraisers, he said. this provision was unnecessary. The amendment was agreed to The proviso to sub-lause 2 was amended by the addition of a provision that the rental on lands applied for after the pass ing of the Act and before the land was appraised should be at the rates already provided for in the several divisions of the State. Sub-clause 4, as printed in the Bill, was deleted and the following substituted, the Minister for Lands explaining that the lan guage of the original clau?e bad not been considered sufficiently clear:--"Any lessee holding a pastoral lease granted under the provisions of Part X. of the principal Act may, at any time within one year from the commencement of this Act. apply for leave to surrender such lease, and for a new lease under this section: pro-ided that if the lease is subject to any registered mortgage or encumbrance the consent of the mortgagee or encumbrancer shall be necessary. If the application is approved rent shall be payable by the lessee at the rate reserved by the original lease to the date of such approval, and after such approval until the acceptance or refusal of a new lease by the lessee, as hereinafter provided, double the rent so rescrved shall be payable by 'the lessee. The Minister shall serve notice in writing on the lessee of the amount of the annual rent to be reserved by the new lease, and the lessee shall, within six months after such service, by notice in writing to the Minister, de clare his acceptance or refusal of such rent. If the lessee declares his acceptance, a new lease shall be issued to him accordingly, and the original lease shall by force ot this Act be surrendered, but any mortgage of or other encumbrance on the surren dered lease shall attach to the new lease and the approved application for such lease, and shall be endorsed on such lease accordingly, and any rent paid by him in excess of that reserved by the new lease shall be paid to him on demand. Provided that to such extent as improvements were effected on the land prior to the surrender of the lease, the lessee shall be exempt from the provisions of sub-section (3). If the lessee declares his refusal he shall re tain the original lease, "and the applica tion for a new lease shall be annulled, and any rent paid by him in excem of that reserved by such original lease shall be repaid to him on demand." The following new clause, to stand as clause 27, was added to the Bill:-"Trans fer of Portion of Pastoral Lease.-On pro duction to the Registrar of Titles of a transfer (endorsed with the approval ot the Minister for Lands) by .the lessee of his interest in any portion of the land comprised in a pastoral lease registered under the Transfer of Land Act, 1893, the Registrar shall register such transfer, and endorse an the original lease a memoran dum cancelling the same so far as it affects the portion of land the subject of the transfer. The duplicate of the lease shall be delivered up by the transferor, and after being also endorsed as aforesaid shall be transmitted by the Registrar to the Minister for Lands, who, after adjusting the proportion of rent payable by the transferee and the original lessee, shall issue a new lease to the trans feree of the land transferred to him and return the duplicate of the original lease to the transferor." Two further new clauses were added at the instance of the Minister for Lands, one providing for the insertion of a new subsection to stand as 5a in section 110 of the Land Act, 1898, legalising the issue of licences to fell, cut, or remove kingia grass tree or blackboy grown on Crown lands in the locality named in the licence, and the other providing for the addition to the 34th schedule of a provision that the charge for a grass tree licence should be 5s- per month per man- In moving the addition of these clauses, the Minister ex plained that when the Kingia Grass Tree
1wC, e 1S n Doo w" ass py' a p u .ue ..G Ar lative Council it was promised that a licence to cut kingia grass tree should be grantoa the proposed concesonaire for a period of 12 months. The new clauses were designed to give the Minister statutory authority to issue such a licence. Two new elauses were also added to the Bill on the motion of Mr. Taylor. Mr. Taylor explained that the object of the first of these clauses was to amend section 38 of the principal Act to provide for five divisions of the State, instead of six as at present, abolishing the Central Division and merging it into the Eastern, with the result that the present rental of leases in the Central Division would be reduced from 10s. to 5s. per thousand acres. qThe Minister expressed his concurrence in the new clause, remarking that the proposed reduced rental was quite enough to pay for the land in question. The other new clause, Mr. Taylor explained, was merely a conse quential amendment and provided for tae repeal of section 94 of the principal Act. The Bill was then reported to the House, and, the report having been adopted, it was read the third time and transmitted to the Legoisative Council. IN THE LEGISLATIVE COUNtCL. THE PASTORAL CLAUSES. PRQT?STS AGAINST "PUSHING THROUGH." DEBATE ADJOUR.NED. In the Legislative Council the Colonial Secretary, in moving the second reading of the Bill when it was received from the Legislative Assembly, explained that its purpose simply was to facilitate the de velopment of the industries associated with the agricultural:and pastoral lands of -,h State, and he outlined the provisions -o the measure as it had emerged from 'th Committee stage in the Assembly. Mr. Sanderson protested against such an important Bill being pushed through all stages at one sitting, and he suggested that the Committee stage should be post poned until next week. Mr. Sommers said that the only conten tious part of the 3.11 was that relating to the renewal of pastoral leases. He sug gested that that portion of the measure should be dropped, and it could be brought down again in :nother mce.-ure early next session. and given full consi~deration. Apart from those clauses there was nothing in the Bill which cou!ld not be disposed of in Committee in half an hour. Sir Edward Wittenoonm, in dealing with the pasloial lease pro-ciIon. said that the principal oee was for the appointment of a board of apprnisars. and, he ,-ontend ed tihat the conditions were so varied in this State that the pastornasts shbouki hare proper repreentation on the board. It would be difiltiilt to g-tr hear'! of the roughly lv c-. ic:lce1 men. but it was a matter which could safels hb left in the hands of the Minister.' He c:!l.l net ?ue why there should be any reasonuable oppo sition to the Bill escent, perhaps, that the nno;e h,, ' e.n sl-ar,. and, that time should he civen f-r reflec'?tn. dJr. King-'mill said .e would prefer to see the p',toral holdin* of the State made the subiert of ?~narate legislation, and he lhonce- that the 1Minid-rr during the recess would devote orcae attention to the question of dividing the ledtrisa!ton in that resp--ci- lie thought that the Govern ment shmuld postpone at all events the paetoral clao; tm!ntil vexrt estion, and, with that eservation. he would support the Seen,, reading of thlorBill. Mr. Drcd secured the adjournment of the debates.