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Thursday, 11 November 1948


Mr ABBOTT (New England) . - I propose to pursue my remarks about the application of the moneys to be borrowed. The Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement, which is contained in the schedule to the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement Act 1945, provides -

Each State shall ensure that adequate legislation exists in the State to enable it at all times to control throughout the State -

(a)   rental housing projects under this Agreement;

(b)   slum clearance;and

(c)   town planning.

This afternoon the Minister for Works and Housing denied that he was opposed to slum clearance. The agreement relates to slum clearance and the erection of houses in the areas cleared. It seemed to me an extraordinary proposition for the Minister to say that it was the policy of this Government to condemn people to live under subnormal conditions in subnormal houses fit only for animals. The Minister said that the Government would not waste time in pulling the houses down and erecting new buildings onthe sites.


Mr Conelan - The honorable member should be called to order.


Mr ABBOTT - I submit that I am perfectly in order in mentioning that.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- The honorable member is apparently attempting to reply to something that the Minister said in a previous debate. That is out of order. The Minister has not spoken on that line in the committee stages of this bill so the honorable member has nothing to reply to. Secondly, the honorable member is getting wide of the clause. The Chair has ruled that clause 3 deals only with the appropriation of moneys raised. Whilst the limits are narrow, they must be observed.


Mr ABBOTT - Clause 3 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 1.945.

The relevant section of the agreement reads -

Each State shall ensure that adequate legislation exists in the State to enable it at all times to control throughout the State -

(a)   rental housing projects under this Agreement;

(b)   slum clearance; and

(c)   town planning.

As there has : not been any slum clearance policy in the States, I contend that the States are not carrying out the agreement between the Commonwealth and the Stateswhich was made in 1945, and ratified in Act 44 of 1945.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- The Chair again points out that clause 3 deals merely with the appropriation of moneys raised.


Mr ABBOTT - Although that is perfectly correct the advances have tobe made for the purpose of housing, in pursuance of the agreement, the execution of which is authorized by the Commonwealth and State.Housing Agreement Act.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- The honorable member makes a very generous concession to the Chair, which is appreciated, but the simple fact remains that under this clause he cannot deal with the whole of that act.


Mr ABBOTT - I am only dealing with clause 3.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- But that clause deals only with the appropriation of moneys.


Mr ABBOTT - I feel that there is a misunderstanding between the Chair and me. I am referring to clause 3--

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- But the Chair happens to be in charge of the committee, not the honorable member. If the honorable member does not comply with the ruling of the Chair, the Chair will be forced to invoke Standing Order 276, with which the honorable member is familiar. If the honorable member does not heed this warning he must bear the consequences.


Mr ABBOTT - To the degree that the agreement is being carried out, and houses are built, and slums cleared, 1 support the bill fully.







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