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Tuesday, 15 March 1932

Mr MAKIN (Hindmarsh) .- I ask the Minister, when considering these matters, to recognize the need for an immediate revision of the interest rate that is paid by purchasers of war service homes, and urge the Government to reduce that rate by a further $ per cent. It should not wait for another five months until the report of the committee is submitted.

Mr.FRANCIS (Moreton- Assistant Minister) [10.8]. - I agree with the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Scullin) that the amendment submitted by the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. James) could not be embodied in the hill in its present form, as it would be impossible to administer it as it stands. Between now and the time when the bill reaches another place, I will give my attention to the matterand see what can be done about it. I raised the objection that the amendment could not be added to a clause which dealt with granting power to let a. war service home. On that issue I was ruled out of order by the Chairman. I also contend that the procedure adopted with regard to the amendment was an unsatisfactory one, as if similar methods were generally adopted, a bill entirely different from that intended by the Government would he evolved in committee. I do not think that any general rule could be adopted to compensate the occupants of war service homes for any improvements that they have effected. In one ease the addition might be of value, in another it might detract from the worth of the home. I am quite certain that if a good case was made out, very favorable consideration would be given to it.

The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Scullin) also suggested that the present was not an opportune time to undertake a general revaluation of war service homes or a writing down of values. The intention of the Government is that the committee of inquiry which has been appointed shall submit recommendations that will enable the Government to formulate a plan covering a period not exceeding five years, so that the opportunity may be afforded to span over the difficult conditions through which we are passing. If the committee can lay down the outline of such a plan, I am confident that many of the anxieties of honorable members will be brushed aside, and that an excellent scheme will be evolved in the interest of the occupants of war service homes.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a third time.

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