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Tuesday, 9 April 1957

Mr Ward d asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Has the New South Wales Department of Education, due to lack of finance, been obliged to dismiss a number of casual teachers?

2.   If so, has the reduction of teaching staff resulted in the number of pupils per class being increased to a figure which necessarily must affect the standard of education?

3.   Are the difficulties of State education departments largely attributable to the great increase in school enrolments resulting from immigration?

4.   If so, is there an obligation on the Commonwealth to substantially increase the grant of financial aid to the States so that this position might be satisfactorily adjusted?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - 1, 2 and 3. The staffing and administration of schools in the States is a matter entirely outside the Commonwealth's responsibility. I am, therefore, not in a position to supply the honorable member with information on these points.

4.   Additions to the population, whether from natural increase or from immigration, automatically result in proportionate increases in the amount of the annual tax reimbursement grant to States.

Reception at Parliament House.

Mr Ward d asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   How many persons were invited to attend the reception arranged by the Government at Parlia ment House on the evening of Tuesday, 19th March, 1957?

2.   How many persons accepted invitations?

3.   In addition to members of the House of Representatives and senators, and their wives, what other persons were invited?

4.   Will he make available the list of persons who received invitations?

5.   Who was responsible for determining the persons to whom invitations were extended?

6.   How many persons actually attended the reception?

7.   What was the cost of catering per head?

8.   Did this cost include expenditure upon liquid refreshment; if not, what did this item cos.?

9.   What was the total cost of the function, including labour employed to move furniture, &c., and to rearrange it later and the employment of waiters, &c.?

10.   How many government cars were utilized to transport guests to and from Parliament House, and what did 'this service cost?

11.   What was the particular purpose of the function other than to permit those present, including members and senators, to be introduced to the Prime Minister?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -


2.   807.

3.   and 4. As per schedule attached.


5.   The Presiding Officers of the Parliament and the Leader of the House.

6.   800 approximately.

7.   10s. 6d. a head.

8.   No: ?278 13s. 5d.

9.   The total cost was ?1,065 19s. 9d. This includes expenditure under 7 and 8 above.

10.   12 cars, ?62 8s.

11.   To mark in a suitable fashion the opening of the second session of the Twenty-second Parliament.

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