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Tuesday, 8 March 1932

Mr LYONS - On the 2nd March, the right honorable member for Cowper (Dr. Earle Page) asked the following question, upon notice: -

Can the Prime Minister toll me whether the Government of New South Wales has taken any action to give effect to the recommendation of Mr. Justice Pike in regard to the settlement of returned soldiers on the land, for which purpose the Common wealth Government voted £2,400,000 in 1929?

The answer to the right honorable member's question is as follows: -

Communications from the 'Premier of New South Wales convey the following information : -

That the Government of New South Wales has accepted the terms suggested by the Commonwealth Government as the result of the recommcndation by Mr. Justice Pike, That the terms of the agreement have been met in New South Wales with certain exceptions relating to home maintenanceareasand that the operations of the Home Maintenance Area Board have been completed and the settlement of soldier settlors now on the land has, as far as possible, been placed on a satisfactory basis. That it has not been possible to grant home maintenance areas in all cases, as 330 settlers still require amongst them a total area of approximately 100,000 acres of additional land. That the needs of these settlers are receiving preferential consideration when suitable areas of Crown land or forfeited or vacated holdings within reasonable distance of the settlers become available for disposal. That owing to the very unstable position of land values the Premier considers it unwise to purchase land for settlement at present. That further concessions in the form of writing down indebtedness have been made to a number of settlers and that the aggregate of these latter concessions has cost the State over £150,000.

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