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Thursday, 30 August 1973
Page: 638


Mr MALCOLM FRASER (Wannon) - I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock)Doesthe honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - Yes. The Minister for Education (Mr Beazley) is an honourable man and he would not therefore want to leave the House with a false impression of what I was saying or what he was saying. I should like to draw the question back to the problem of recurrent per capita grants. If I heard him correctly, he did not quote the last paragraph on page 2 of his letter, which was the paragraph about which I was concerned, concerning recurrent grants. That paragraph makes it quite plain that the Government did not want a basic level of per capita grants to go to all schools. Quite plainly this was one of the paragraphs that Professor Karmel was referring to when he said that certain programs had been indicated to him - ordered by the Government to be phased out. I know there were the other matters about science laboratories, but they were incorporated in general capital grants. There is not an argument between us on the capital funds; the argument is about recurrent funds for the running costs of schools and the Minister should not confuse the argument by involving the matter of capital funds.

Mr BEAZLEY(Fremantle- Minister for Education) - I wish to make a personal explanation.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock - Does the Minister claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr BEAZLEY - Yes. I shall read the paragraph to which the honourable member for Wannon (Mr Malcolm Frazer) referred. It states:

The Commonwealth per capita grants to nongovernment schools in the States in respect of recurrent expenditure are being paid during 1973 at the rates already approved - $62 per primary pupil and $104 per secondary pupil. In the two Territories the per capita rates are twice those in the States. We wish the Interim Committee to make recommendations for contributions towards recurrent expanditure in nongovernment schools for 1974 and 1975 on the basis of its assessment of needs and priorities. In subsequent years this will be a matter for consideration by the Schools Commission. The effect of this decision is that the Government will not pre-determine a basic level of support for all non-government schools after 1973. It will be for the Interim Committee to recommend the nature and level of support for recurrent expenditure -

The Committee was told that there was no floor and no ceiling. It could recommend anything it liked. It could have recommended' the existing level or it could have recommended as a floor the doubling of it. I feel that the element of deceit is where the honourable member interpreted the statement giving the Committee complete freedom as an instruction that it was to reduce. That is not a change in its terms of reference and is not an instruction to reduce.

Mr MALCOLMFRASER (Wannon)-! wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock)Doesthe honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - Yes. The Minister for Education (Mr Beazley) has introduced the word 'deceit'. The deceit is thrown back in his face because it was the Minister for Education and the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) who previously gave undertakings that certain programs would be continued and not phased out. The words that he read made it quite plain that the Government was not going to continue with the programs which it had pledged itself to continue.







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