Taxation of agricultural lands with special reference to Manitoba
"The law of England is in accord with common sense; according to the law land is not the subject of absolute property....He (any man) can only hold an estate in them (the lands), and that estate he holds only under the Crown as representative of the Community." (Judge O-Connor, in his separate report, in the Final Report of the Royal Commission on Taxation of 1901). Quoting this, Professor Nicholson sketches the history of what he calls the "Denationalization of the Land" and draws the following conclusion. By the beginning of the 18th century the Crown, as "representing the nation", has lost practically all claim to revenue from "land belonging to the nation" and such land had been placed on the same footing as other form of property." His line of argument is as follows: Sources of revenues from land pertaining to the Crown were of two kinds: (a) from demesnes belonging to the King, (b) from feudal lands pertaining to the Crown as representing the nation. Successive kings kept on alientating lands and revenues inspite of repeated protests by parliament. At last, under Charles II, there was so little left of both kinds of lands and revenues that Parliament had the King surrender his rights in exchange of certain excise duties (1672), prohibited future alienations, and recognized, by parliamentary acts (1702), the de jure ownership on formerly alienated lands to their holders at the time. There are two questions involved in the whole matter: (a) Did the land ever belong to the nation who supposedly entrusted it to the King as its trustee? (b) Had that parliament the right to finally declare the land denationalized? We leave these questions open for the present...