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Thursday, 20 November 1941


Mr Bernard Corser (WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND) r asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Isit afa ct that the issue and control of notes is in the hands of the Note Issue Branch of the Commonwealth Bank and not the private banks?

2.   Is it the usual procedure for the Commonwealth Bank to release an increaseof notes for the convenience and requirements of the public during the Christmas shopping and holiday periods.


Mr Chifley - A reply will be furnished as soon as possible.

Industrial Acceptance Corporation.


Mr Chifley y. - On Friday, the 14th November,the honorable member for Martin (Mr. McCall) asked the following question,without notice -

Will the Treasurer make inquiries to ascertain whether there is any financial organization, with the exception of the Industrial Acceptance Corporation, that will make small loans to poor persons on the condition that, if their security is destroyed by fire, no further payments will be required of them? Will he also inquire whether there is any other organization that will make similar loans to persons who, if they lose their employment, are given an interest-free postponement up to a period of three months?

Inquiries have been made and the answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - .

It is not known whether other organizations make small loans to poor persons on similar terms to those offered by the Industrial Acceptance Corporation. It is believed that it is not unusual for extensions of time to be granted, without any additional interest being charged, to borrowers of small loans who are in indigent circumstances, through unemployment or other circumstances. In considering the relative merits of the conditions attaching to these loans, however, the rate of interest must also be taken into consideration.

CommonwealthBank Officers: Temporary Commonwealth Employees.


Mr CHIFLEY (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - On the 12th November, the honorable member for Reid (Mr. Morgan), asked the following questions : -

1.   Is it a fact that, just prior to the war, a number of amendments to the Commonwealth Bank Act was proposed, including one which would have given the bank authority to pay in cash the whole or part of an officer's l ong-service leave, thus bringing the procedure into line with that in vogue in other banking institutions ? 2.Ifso, why was the proposal shelved?

3.   Will he reconsider the proposal?

4.   Will he give consideration to the position of temporary Commonwealth employees with a view to their being granted permanent status at the end of a certain period of service, or, alternatively, the setting up of a provident fund in lieu of superannuation privileges?

The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

1.   No such proposal was included in the amendments to the Commonwealth Bank Act which were underconsideration prior to the war. Conditions governing long service leave in the Commonwealth Bank are determined by the Bank Board The cash equivalent of any leave due but not taken is paid to an officer upon retirement from the bank'sservice. In the event of death payment is made tohis widow or dependants. 2 and 3 See answer to No 1 4 Except in the case ofreturned soldiers (who arerequired to have passed an examination as prescribed in the Public Service Regulations and who also are eligible for appointment to certain non-cler ical positions after a specified period of temporar y service), entrance to the permanent service in most positions is dependent upon the passing of competitive examinations The question of su perannuation or provident fund privileges for temporary employees with long service is receivingconsideration.

MURRUMBIDGEE IRRIGATION AREA.


Mr Langtry (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) y asked the Minister in charge of Scientific and Industrial Research, upon notice - 1 Will he inquire into the statements made bythe Rural Committee of the Murr umbidgee Electorate Council of the Australian Labour party which in effect said - (a) That thereportof Professor Prescott and Dr Dickson, of the Councilfor Scientific and Industrial Research, practically ignored the evidence br ought before them by that committee that the works, laterals, drainage,&c owned by the Water Conse rvation and litigation Commission were inefficient and that they were r esponsible for the major par t of the destruction of settlers' orchards on the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, and (b) That the majority of these men arereturned soldiers from the lastwar and that 75 per cent of them are bankrupt owing to the factorreferred to?

2.   Is it a fact that the Commonwealth Government supplied £625 perman in repatriation money to settle the men on these farms and that the money has been wasted, as well as twenty years of the lives of the returned soldiers?

3.   Is it a fact that thePrescott and Dickson report was prompted and suggested by an important officer of the Water Conser vation and Irrigation Commission?


Mr Dedman (CORIO, VICTORIA) (Minister for War Organisation of Industry) -Inquires will be made into the statements made by the Rural Committee of the Murrumbidgee Electoiate Council of the Australian Labour patty in connexion with the report of Professor Prescott and Dr. Dickson concerning settlers in the Murrumbidgee irrigation area, and the honorable member will be informed as eaily as possible

New Road at Granville.


Mr Morgan n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

Will he give early consideration to the following requests of the Granville Municipal Council submitted to the former Treasurer - (a) for a grant of half the cost of a load between Grand-avenue and Parramatta-road, the construction of which is urgently needed to provide access to the aluminium works and other defence industries operating in that locality, and (b ) for approval of the council itself raising the sum of £6,000, being theremaining balance of the cost?


Mr Chifley - Construction and maintenance of roads is a matter for the States and local authorities concerned. These are assisted by a large Commonwealth giant under the Federal Aid Roads and Works Agreement Responsible Commonwealth authorities advise that special assistance by the Commonwealth in this case is not necessary in connexion with the war effort The requests therefore cannot be acceded to.







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