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Wednesday, 17 October 1956

Mr WARD (East Sydney) . - Because of the action of the Government in preventing proper debate on this important measure, I have been obliged to take this opportunity to say a few words, so far far as the Standing Orders will permit, on this bill.

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - Has the honorable member come back refreshed from his week's holiday?

Mr WARD - I appeal to you, Mr. Speaker, to keep the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Holt) quiet. During this debate, honorable members on the Government side have been very critical of some of the States and their administration of the scheme that is under consideration. I am going to make a practical suggestion to the Government under which it might be able, even with the limited money available for the land settlement of ex-servicemen, to extend the benefits to exservicemen who desire to settle on the land.

I suggest that the Government should take up with the various States a review of the agreement so that it might provide for compulsory acquisition of land at reasonable values. I remember that one member of the Government said that it was all very well to talk of increasing the amount of money available for this purpose, but he asked whether the Opposition would support the imposition of increased taxes to obtain the financial assistance that was necessary. I believe that if the Opposition were asked to consider that aspect of the problem, it could make sugestions to the Government as to a source from which taxes might be raised for the purpose of extending this scheme if the Government said that it wanted to expand it.

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - I rise to order, Mr.Speaker. The honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) is clearly out of order in speaking as he is doing on the motion for the third reading of the measure. He is confined, at this stage, to a reference to items which are specifically contained in the bill. As the honorable member apparently cannot proceed in this manner within the Standing Orders I move -

That the question be now put.

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