Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 11 November 1948


Mr ABBOTT (New England) . - I should not' have spoken but for the fact that- the honorable member for Griffith (Mr. Conelan) has attempted to mislead the people of Australia about the proposals contained in the bill. We are considering clause 3, which provides -

Moneys borrowed under this Act shall be issued and applied only for the expenses of borrowing and for making advances to the States for the purposes of housing, in pursuance of the agreement the execution of which is authorized by the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement Act 1945.

I protest against the limitation contained in the_ clause which provides that the money must be used only through State authorities. It is the policy of the Australian Country party to preserve the Australian way of life and not to turn to the way of life recommended by certain foreign countries.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- Order ! The honorable member may not develop that line of argument-


Mr ABBOTT - I do not intend to.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN. - Order ! Neither may the honorable member speak when the Chair is stating the procedure to be followed in considering the clause. Clearly the money to be borrowed is to be allocated for the purpose of. implementing the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement. The only debate that the Chair will allow on the clause will be on subjects that impinge upon the general housing programme. The Chair will not allow other matters to be raised.


Mr ABBOTT - Well, I refer to A bout Housing,, a booklet " issued under the authority of the honorable Nelson Lemmon, M.P., Minister for Works and Housiug I presume it was also issued with his approval. The limitation proposed in the clause is an imposition on the people. We have been told by the Minister for Works and Housing that the houses built under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement will be sold to the people who want to buy them. The booklet, under the heading, " State Government Housing Schemes ", states -

Interest is at the rate of 4i per cent, per annum ... In respect of applications for nuance to erect dwellings, a charge of £3 3s. is made by the Commission for inspection and valuation of land and examination of plans and specifications, fi ls. is charged on applications to purchase existing dwellings.

There are other restrictions that make it an expensive business to build or buy a house under State government schemes. But I turn to page 40 of the booklet, where I find, under the heading, " Trading Banks "-

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN. - Order ! I ask the honorable member to confine himself to the parts relating to the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement.


Mr ABBOTT - I am criticizing the limitations that are imposed upon people by confining the distribution of the money to be raided under this legislation to the States instead of also making it available- to the private banks that are so admiringly referred to by the Minister for Works and Housing in the booklet issued under his authority.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN. - Order ! The honorable member may not evade my ruling, which is that, on this clause, references may be made only to such' matters as impinge upon the general housing problem and the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement. I cannot allow a dissertation on private banks or any other banks.


Mr ABBOTT - May I quote from this booklet?

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- Only insofar as it deals with the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement.


Mr ABBOTT - I imagined that the allocation of finance for the building of the houses envisaged under the agreement would be a matter to which I should be in order in referring. This official booklet says -

Incidental expenses involved in acquiring a home are kept at the minimum by trading bank methods.

The .DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- If the honorable member persists in that line of argument, I shall ask him to resume his seat.


Mr ABBOTT - I turn to a matter adequately dealt with earlier by the honorable member for Balaclava (Mr. White). Under the Commonwealth and

State Housing Agreement Act 1945, housing was made a first priority. I hope .1 am not wrong in suggesting that it is commonly desired that the homeless shall be housed instead of being compelled to live iri shack; at Hargrave Park, near Warwick Farm, under conditions that were scathingly referred to b,y a stipendiary magistrate in Sydney as a breeding ground for crime.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.Order! The honorable gentleman has been asked repeatedly to keep to the clause. It is clear that he is trying to make a second-reading speech that he ought to have made when he had the opportunity to do so.


Mr ABBOTT - Not at all !

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.Order! The honorable member must not. interrupt when the Chair is stating its point of view. I have already stated the matters that may be discussed on this clause. They do not include the Hargrave Park housing settlement or any other temporary housing scheme of the State?.


Mr ABBOTT - The Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement Act 194& cannot be implemented if the resources without which houses cannot be built are filched by the Commonwealth Government and diverted to other purposes. I refer particularly to the question asked to-day by the honorable member for Griffith, in which he referred to the erection of a new Parliament House in place of the very large Parliament House that we already have in Canberra. The huge programme in Canberra for the building of government offices must seriously interfere with the housing programme. The figures quoted by the Acting Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Harrison) in the debate on the second reading show how badly the housing programme is being interfered with. The Premier of New South Wales, Mr. McGirr, said that in three years from 1947 onwards the Government of New .South Wales would build 90,000 houses.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.Order ! The honorable member may not pursue that line of argument. That is a matter that should have been raised in the debate on the second reading.


Mr ABBOTT - The point I make is that the official building programme in Canberra and other places is interfering with the housing programme. Within 200 yards of this building huge offices are being erected at the cost of more than £1,000,000. No one can tell me that that is not interfering with the housing programme.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN. - Order ! I shall not warn the honorable gentleman again.


Mr ABBOTT - I am sorry that I am not allowed to state the people's case.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN- Order ! The honorable member must withdraw that remark and apologize.


Mr ABBOTT - I withdraw and a pologize.







Suggest corrections