At any Tate, it would undoubtedly cause the settlers to settle near
the railway tracks. In this connection, I do not think it would be a bad idea to do away entirely with free homesteads. If we compelled the owners of unoccupied lands to sell, on their own valuation, at a reasonable price whenever the opportunity offered-and if you put a heavy enough tax on such lands the owners would have to sell at a reasonable price-we should then have, near the railway tracks, settlers who would produce traffic instead of rushing to outside localities and continually clamouring for branch lines, thus compelling us to increase our expenditures. I think we might well adopt this principle and put a heavy tax on all unoccupied and unused lands; and by some means or other we should compel all owners of those lands to put a fixed price upon them and to sell them, whenever they get the opportunity, upon reasonable terms, either to private persons or to the Government. I believe we could get considerable revenue under that system, and the railway situation would be very much improved thereby. At least, the suggestion is worth trying. Now, there are other means of taxation which have been suggested from. time to time, but I do not propose to suggest any more at the present time.
Subtopic: REVISED EDITION. COMMONS