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Tuesday, 26 March 1957


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - The charge that you have just made against the honorable member for Lilley will be withdrawn. Otherwise I shall deal with you. The honorable member for Brisbane will withdraw at the Chair's request.


Mr GEORGE LAWSON - I withdraw the statement.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! Now I want to deal with the honorable member for Herbert. I apologize if it was not the honorable member for Herbert, but a statement was made at the table that the honorable member for Brisbane was too generous in his reference to the honorable member for Lilley. Was that the statement of the honorable member for East Sydney?


Mr Ward - I did not use the words that you suggest I used.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - I ask for a withdrawal.


Mr Ward - I did not use the words that you suggest I used, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but, in order to allow the honorable member for Brisbane to proceed, I will withdraw.


Mr GEORGE LAWSON - With all due deference to your ruling on this question, sir-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The ruling cannot be challenged.


Mr GEORGE LAWSON - Very well. I shall have something to say at some other stage on the question.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - The ruling can be challenged only in the proper way.


Mr GEORGE LAWSON - I want to say, in all sincerity, that there are at least three Liberal members from Queensland who endeavour to knock the Queensland Government at every opportunity. There are exceptions so far as honorable members from Queensland are concerned. As I said earlier, the honorable member for Moreton, for the purpose of giving an opportunity to the honorable member for Lilley to come in with .those snide, untruthful statements and charges-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! Is the honorable member repeating that personal reflection on the honorable member for Lilley? I give him another chance to withdraw. Otherwise, I shall name him.


Mr GEORGE LAWSON - I withdraw the statement, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I say deliberately that the honorable member for Lilley did not speak in accordance with the facts - and, so far as I know, has never done so - in attacking the Queensland Housing Commission and the Queensland Labour party. He is known as the ".knocker from Queensland". The honorable member for Moreton addressed a question to the Treasurer last Tuesday in tie following terms: -

I wish to address a question without notice to (he Treasurer. Is it not a fact that at the last meeting of the Australian Loan Council the Queensland Government asked that £2,750,000 be made available for housing purposes? Is it not a fact, also, that that sum of money was £250,000 less than the Australian Loan Council's allocation for housing in the previous year? Does not .the Treasurer consider that this request for a lower sum for housing would indicate the Queensland Government's determination to discredit the new Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement? Further, does the Treasurer not consider that every circumstance and sign would indicate that Government's intention to disguise from the Commonwealth Government its record of monumental stupidity in the housing field?

The Treasurer's reply was, "Yes". Subsequently, the honorable member for Lilley tried to discredit the Queensland Housing Commission and the Queensland Housing Minister. He said that the Queensland Government had asked for £2,750,000, which was less than it had asked for during the previous financial year. That is absolutely untrue. According to a reply given by the Minister to a question asked by the honorable member for Werriwa (Mr. Whitlam), the Queensland Government asked for much more than £2,750,000. The honorable member for Lilley argued that that was true, and that they had noi asked for more. The Minister for National Development (Senator Spooner) has used the same argument. He said that the Queensland Government asked for only £2,750,000, but I have pointed out that thai is not correct.


Mr Wight - Senator Byrne said it could have had £3,000,000 if it had wanted it.


Mr GEORGE LAWSON - I do not care what Senator Byrne may have said. I am citing figures that cannot be contradicted by the honorable member for Lilley or any other Government supporter. On 1 1th October of last year, the Minister for the Interior (Mr. Fairhall), in his capacity as Minister representing in this chamber the Minister for National Development, advised the honorable member for Werriwa (Mr. Whitlam) of the answer supplied by the Minister for National Development to a question that the honorable member had asked. In the course of the answer, the Minister for National Development pointed out that it was true that the grant sought by the Queensland Government had been approved by the Australian Loan Council. He stated that the Queensland Governmenhad sought from the council an allocation of £3,040,000 for housing. This is reported in " Hansard " and no one can refute it. No matter how the honorable member for Moreton and the honorable member for Lilley, and also the honorable member for Petrie (Mr. Hulme), who evidently intends to follow me, manipulate the figures, they cannot gainsay the reply given on behalf of the Minister for National Development. as reported in " Hansard ". I shall now detail some of the allocations made, not by the Australian Loan Council, but by this Government. New South Wales, which asked for £11,937,000, received £10,800,000. Victoria, which asked for £11,050,000, received £10,000,000. Queensland asked for £3,040,000 and received £2,750,000. The amount received by the Queensland Government was not the amount sought by it and approved by the Australian Loan Council, but was only £2,750,000. Yet the honorable member for Lilley and other Government supporters blame the Labour Government of Queensland for not asking for more than £2,750,000.


Mr Wight - The Queensland Government determines for itself how much it will allocate to housing.


Mr GEORGE LAWSON - Such statements are not in accordance with the facts. They are made only in an attempt to destroy the Queensland Labour Government, which has done a very fine job.

The honorable member for Lilley and other Government supporters from Queensland met representatives of the 400 unfortunate employees who have been dismissed by the Queensland Housing Commission because the Queensland Government could not obtain sufficient funds to maintain its housing programme at the former level until the end of the current financial year.


Mr Hulme - We met Mr. McCathie also.


Mr GEORGE LAWSON - That may be so. The Government supporters who met the representatives of the men said they were very sympathetic towards them in their , misfortune. They assured them that they would do everything possible to assist them, and they even undertook to approachthe Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) on their behalf, but they have not done so.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honorable member's time has expired.







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