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Thursday, 11 November 1948

Mr DUTHIE (Wilmot) .- The honorable member for New England (Mr. Abbott) was pathetic in his efforts to criticize the Government for its decision to distribute to the State governments the money to be raised under this bill. He and other honorable gentlement opposite have always impressed upon us the need to decentralize power. By giving the State governments full authority over the spending of their respective shares of the £14,000,000 the Australian Government is ensuring that decentralization of authority. Honorable gentlemen opposite have no monopoly of interest in the housing of Australia's homeless people. We are at least as sincere in our desire to see people properly housed as they are. The increasing marriage rate is constantly creating a greater demand for homes. We are still trying to catch up the lag created before and during the war. It is a colossal task that will test our ingenuity and our ability to co-operate with both private enterprise and State housing authorities.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN. - Order ! The honorable member must also keep to the clause. He is tending to get wide of it. I have repeatedly pointed out that the clause clearly and solely relates to the implementation of the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement. I have allowed some latitude, but I do not intend to allow any more. The Chair will be strict in confining honorable members to a discussion of the clause.

Mr DUTHIE - It is difficult to keep within the clause. The honorable member for Balaclava (Mr. White) said that too much money was being expended on public works. I assure him that the Government of Tasmania is endeavouring to keep a proper balance between public works and the housing of the people. We need hospitals.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- Order ! This clause has nothing to do with public works. The honorable member must confine himself to the clause.

Mr DUTHIE - Many matters are incidental to housing, such as the. encouragement of the production of commodities that are used in housing, such as cement.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- Order ! The honorable member may not deal with that subject.

Mr Hamilton - Keep it foranother day.

Mr DUTHIE - I shall sit down and keep it for another day.

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