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Friday, 2 August 1946

Mr DEDMAN (Corio) (Minister for Post-war Reconstruction and Minister in charge of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) . - by leave - I desire to make a short reply to a question asked yesterday by the honorable member for Eden-Monaro (Mr. A. J.Fraser) relating to single-unit farms. The soldier settlement scheme agreed upon by the Slates and the Commonwealth provides that the States shall submit properties suitable for soldier settlement to the Commonwealth for approval. There is nothing in the agreement to prevent a State from submitting single unit-farms . and, indeed, a number of those submitted by the Government of Western Australia have been approved. The Commonwealth

Government, however, insists that all eligible soldier applicants shall have the right to apply for single-unit farms.

There has been no controversy about single-unit farms except in New South Wales. Under the New South Wales War Service Land Settlement and Closer Settlement (Amendment) Act 1946, the State authority has no power to initiate settlement proposals unless the property concerned is capable of subdivision.' Whether this act should be amended is a matter entirely for the State. Nothing in. the agreement with the Commonwealth prevents the State from making advances under its own act.

I have not received any representations from Federal or State officers of exservicemen's organizations asking for any alterations to the War Service Land Settlement Agreements Act 1945. On the contrary, at a deputation from the Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia representative of all States, which . I received . here in Canberra on the 30th May, I was assured that the Common wealth Governmeat's policy in relation to single-unit, farms had the complete and unqualified endorsement of that organization.

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