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NATURAL LAW.

OWNERSHIP OF PRIVATE PROPERTr.

SIR SAMUEL GRIFFITH'S PROPOSALS.

The following is the text of Sir Samuel Griffith's Bill, referred to m recent cablegrams :— A Bill to declare the Natural Law relating to the Acquisition and Ownership of Private Property. Sir Samuel Griffith, July 22, 1890. Whereas it is essential to the good order of every State and the welfare of the people, that all persons should have and enjoy the fruits of their own labor and to this end it is expedient to dec?are the natural laws governing the acquisition of private property. Be it declared and enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of Queensland m Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :— DEFINITIONS. 1. The term " land " means land m its natural condition resulting from the operation of natural forces unaided and undirected by man, and does not include any improvements made upon it. 2. When the term "value" is used with reference to land, it signifies the extent of the difference between the advantage of having the use of the land m question, and the advantage of having the use of the nearest other land, the use of which can be obtained by mere occupation without making payment to any person for such use. ; 3.. The return or payment demanded by persons having, by positive law, the right to the exclusive possession of land, for the permission to use that land, is called " rent." Rent is, therefore, the measure of the value of land. 4. The term "labor" includes all modes of exercise of the human faculties, whether of mind or body. It therefore includes the function of supervision or organisation of other labor. 5. The immediate remuneration of labor is called "wages." 6. The term "property" includes all forms of material things m the possession of man which have a value for the purpose of exchange or use. It also includes inventions and other immaterial results of the exercise of the faculties of the mind. 7. The term "production" includes any act or series of acts by which labor ia applied, either directly or indirectly, to property, and the result of which is new property, or property m an altered form, or m a different place. A It also includes the exercise of the faculties of the mind or body, the result I of which is property, although the exercise of those faculties was not applied Lo property. 8. The term "capital" means and includes all forms of property not being land which are m use for the purposes of production. It therefore includes as well proj>erty which is consumed or destroyed as property which is not consumed or destroyed m the process of production. 9. The term "interest" is used to denote either the immediate return derived from the use of capital for the purpose of production, or the payment received by the owner of capital from another person by way of return for the use of that capital. Interest is therefore a measure of the value of the use of capital. 10. The term " productive labor" means labor applied for the purpose oi producing some property which is, or m intended to be, of greater value than the value of the property (if any) to which the labor is applied. 11. The terms " net products of labor" and " net products" mean the net increase m property resulting from productive labor, after allowing for the cost of j>roduction. 12. The cost of production may include all or any of the following elements :— (1) The replacement of the property which is consumed, or destroyed, or altered m form or changed m place, m the course of the process of production ; (2) The wages of the labor engaged m the production ; (3) Interest on the capital used m the production ; (4) Rent of the land used for the purposes of production ; (5) Incidental expenses not falling under any of the foregoing heads. 13. The term " positive law" includes all written laws enacted by a competent legislative authority. It also includes all unwritten rules declared by any competent judicial authority to be the law of the State. FIRST PRINCIPLES. 14. All persons are, by natural law, equally entitled to the right of life, and to the right of freedom for the exercise of their faculties ; and no person has, by natural law, any right superior to the right of any other person m this respect. 15. The right to take , advantage of natural forces belongs equally to all members of the community. 16. Land is, by natural law the common property of the community, 17. Positive law is the creation of the State, and may be altered or abrogated by the State from time to time, 18. The application of the naturallaw of equality and freedom may be modified b 7 positive law, so far as the common advantage of the community may require, but not further or otherwise. 16. The rights of individual persons with respeot to land are created by, and their incidents depend upon, positive law. 20. All property, other than land, is the product or result of labor. The natural and proper measure of wages is such a sum as is a fair immediate recompense for the labor for which they are paid, having regard to its character and duration ; but it can never be taken at i\ less siun than sjich as, i;s sufficient, to. maintain the laborer and his family }n a state of health and reasonable comfort. 22. 4*he net products of labor belong to the persons who are concerned m the production. If one person only is concerned m the production the whole net products belong to him. It more persons than one are concerned m the production, the net products belong, tq them, and are divisible amongst them, m proportion to. the value of their respective' contributions to the production. 23. When t]?e hibor fa i\ot applied directly qr indirectly tp property, the whole produce belongs to the laborer. When labor is applied directly o? indirectly to property, the person who is lawfully entitled to the use of that property is deemed to be concerned m the production as well as the laborer. 24. When for the purposes of production the use of the land is required, $h>Mi the rent (if any) payable for timfe vise is a part of thq cost p£ jjpdue%m. person who receives'the rent is not, by reason only of his permission to use the land, concerned m the production,, U«t may otherwise be concerned; m, ib. Ife is t. h.ei'yj.fare not' entitled, by reason only, or such permission to any share m the not products^ 25. For the'purpose of ascertaining tlu> net products of productive labqr applied; to land, and the persons onfcftied to shave m those praduo.ts; the Wid to which the kbuv is apj^ied is to be considered as if it were capital, awl were the property of the person who for the time being is entitled to the possession of it. The amount of that capital is to be taken to be equal to the value of the land burdened with a. perpetual rent equal to

the rent (if any) payable by him for the time being. 26. The share of net products coming to the person who contributes to the pro- ! duction from which they arise is the property of that person,'and may, subject; to any positive law, be disposed of by him at his pleasure during his lifetime or by will. 27. Any person entitled to a share of the net products of any productive labc r may enforce that right by proceedings m any Court of competent jurisdiction, 28. It is the duty of the State to make provision by positive law for securing the i proper distribution of the net products of ! labor m accordance with the principles hereby declared. SHORT TITLE. 29. This Act maybe cited as " The Elementary Property Law of Queensland."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900821.2.7

Bibliographic details

NATURAL LAW., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2497, 21 August 1890

Word Count
1,347

NATURAL LAW. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2497, 21 August 1890

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