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Friday, 12 July 1946

Mr FRANCIS (Moreton) .- I support the able and eloquent plea of the honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Turnbull) for the provision of a sustenance allowance of 3s. a day for those unfortunate members of the Eighth Division and others who served in various theatres in World War II. and were made prisoners of war. I have made representations to that effect to the Minister and in the House on previous occasions. T have also raised the question of granting leave to troops now in Australia similar to that enjoyed during the war. I have stressed the need for this leave and for field allowances. I was disappointed at the reply of the Minister for the Army (Mr. Forde) and T urge him to reconsider the matter. I hope that as a result of a. review these requests may he granted.

I have risen mainly to draw attention to the extraordinary difficulties of people engaged in primary and secondary industries in Queensland because of the neglect of that State for many years. The position has been intensified by five months of industrial trouble of the worst kind in the history of the State. In consequence of this turmoil, many commodities which Queensland lias to obtain from the southern States are now unprocurable, such as fencing wire, wire netting, barbed wire, galvanized iron, galvanized pipes and spouting, and galvanized iron for troughs and tanks. Galvanized piping required for housing, and for agricultural purposes such as for irrigation plants and windmills, is unprocurable in that State. The situation has been difficult for a long while, but the recent industrial trouble has made it very much worse. All honorable members know that the housing position is calamitous. Building operations are held up because goods made of galvanized iron are unprocurable. As a result of a question which I addressed t'o the Minister for Works and Housing (Mr. Lazzarini) two days ago, I was informed that the numbers of war service homes applied for in certain localities in Queensland are as follow: - Ipswich, 1G; Toowoomba, 39 ; Gympie, 3 ; Rockhampton, 32; Warwick, 3; Maryborough, 19; and Bundaberg, 22. Of the 525 applications for these homes in Brisbane, only fifteen are now being erected, but in the other Queensland towns which I have mentioned not one has' been built. Since 1941- 42, no. fewer 'than 14,952 war-service homes have been applied for. In 194.1-42 only seven of them were built; in 1942- 43 six, and, in 1944-45, eight. In the financial year just concluded, 98 homes Ifad been built up to- the 31st May. The position is acute in Queensland because of the inability to obtain the -necessary building materials, including nails. I ask the Minister at the table (Mr. Forde), as a Queenslander, to appreciate the many difficulties that the people of that State have .experienced in recent years. Those difficulties have been accentuated by the recent industrial turmoil. Will he ask the Minister for Supply and Shipping (Senator Ashley) and the Minister for Transport (Mr. Ward) to take all possible steps to ensure that all orders for essential materials for Queensland shall be executed and delivered with the utmost expedition. Let us forget thepast and have special arrangements and supervision provided to make certain that the commodities required urgently by those engaged in primary and secondary production and in house construction shall be provided with the utmost dispatch. If the ordinary routine procedure is followed it will be impossible to overtake the lag.

Final]}-, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I wish to 1)rot( t against the way in which the call has been exercised this afternoon. I rose to get the call immediately the adjournment motion was proposed. Although you have every right to call any honorable member you wish, the accepted practice is that members of the opposing parties shall receive the cai. alternately, but the call has been given in such a way that I did not get it "at the time when I had every right to expect it.

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