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Friday, 19 February 1932

Mr ARCHDALE PARKHILL - I am not aware of any diminution of the relief available to unemployed citizens of Canberra, but I shall consider the honorable member's suggestion with a view to providing as much work as can be financed for those in need of it.

Mr-. JAMESasked the Minister for Home Affairs, upon notice -

1.   Did he or his department issue instructions to the Chief of the Federal Capital Territory police to refuse food relief to twelve men at present in the unemployed camp at Canberra ?

2.   Have instructions also been issued that 43 other unemployed residents of the camp are not to receive any further relief after Wednesday, the 24th instant?

3.   Is it the intention of the Minister to have this camp demolished with the object of forcing these unfortunate people to seek food and shelter in the adjoining township of Queanbeyan, thereby throwing the responsibility upon the State of New South Wales for their maintenance?

Mr ARCHDALE PARKHILL - Instructions were issued recently that certain men at the travelling unemployed camp who were on a list of men receiving weekly rations, and had qualified for enrolment on the roll for the last election of advisory councillors, were to apply to be registered for employment and to be given the same consideration as permanent residents of Canberra in respect of relief work. Onwork being made available, the issue of rations was to cease. The balance of the men were given one month's notice, as from the 4th February, 1932, to vacate the camp. The camp was designed in the first place as a rest camp for travelling unemployed, and such men receive a " walk-in " and a " walk-out" ration, and are allowed to remain at the camp for two weeks. Men who produce certificates from the hospital receive rations until they are completely recovered. No travelling unemployed person has been refused a " walk-in " and a " walk-out " ration. All the men in this camp entered the territory originally from New South Wales. In the ordinary course, they would have received their " walk-in " ration and their " walk-out " ration and have passed on to New South Wales. The Commonwealth, however, has maintained a large number of them for a considerable period, and granted them many concessions, and thus has saved the New South Wales Government the expenditure of such maintenance. These men are not residents of Canberra, and their maintenance is not a federal responsibility. To assume responsibility for such men would only result in attracting large numbers of unemployed to the Capital City. Consideration is being given to the question of continuing the camp on the present site.

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