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Thursday, 3 April 1941

Senator DARCEY (Tasmania) . - I have before me the Commonwealth Housing Act of 1927-28, passed by the Bruce-Page Government. At that time a housing scheme had been placed before the electors at no fewer that -three elections. That Act involved an appropriation of £26,000,000 for a Commonwealth housing scheme, but I understand that up to the present only £300,000 has been expended in that direction, and that that amount has been expended in New South Wales only recently. I understand that the housing problem is serious even in Canberra, where more than 400 new houses are required. The act provided that the funds of the Commonwealth Savings Bank be used to finance the housing scheme. It is interesting to note that the Commonwealth

Parliament passed the act long before the Royal Commission on Banking and Monetary Systems made its report.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon.J. B. Hayes). - The subject which the honorable senator is discussing is not relevant to the bill.

Senator DARCEY - The extension of the war service homes scheme will create a new asset for Australia and the constructional work will absorb a large volume of labour. I agree with Senator Cameron that the building of houses for returned soldiers should be financed by the Commonwealth Bank free of interest so that men who fought in the war will not be compelled to pay part of its cost. I hope that the returned soldiers for whom houses are built by the War Service Homes Commission will have the properties transferred to them at a figure representing the actual cost of the land and building.

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