By and large, the speakers mainly from the Opposition benches have in general terms welcomed the various provisions of this Bill. A few questions were raised. Deputy Dillon, the Leader of the Opposition, questioned the advisability, fairness, or justice of the rates remission for 20 years. He asked why it is not possible to give this remission of 20 years to those who have already built, for instance, during the years back to 1st April, 1949.
The Deputy will be fully alive to the fact, naturally, that this problem presented itself to me during the course of the investigation of what might be done and the changes we were about to make. First of all, we must have regard to the fact that rate remissions, whether they are new provisions or merely a continuation of that which existed in the past, are designed to encourage new building of various kinds and in this instance encourage new buildings on farmsteads and out-offices of the farmsteads throughout the country.
It is also quite evident, of course, that those already built do not require the encouragement of this improved rate remission to get them into existence. They are already there. Secondly, the bovine tuberculosis regulations are also making demands which are of pressing and urgent need on many of our farmers throughout the country. You cannot ignore those demands and, at the same time, make people build more in order to make the improvements called for. That was one of the arguments, and I think a fairly sound one, advanced as to why we should try to further encouragement by rate remission on these buildings.
It still leaves unanswered the question why we should not apply this back to the buildings commenced last year, the year before or 20 years ago. It is fairly evident in all these matters of grants or remissions, aid or assistance of any kind by any Department that the question of a dateline is one which has to be decided definitely one way or the other. No matter what dateline is decided, or has ever been decided in regard to benefits of this or any other nature, there are always those who have just missed by a day, a week, a month or a year and naturally enough they think they should get the benefits but the fact is that, no matter how far back one goes, there is always the person who, the year before or the day before, would have been entitled to benefit and who feels he should be included.