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Tuesday, 10 November 1959

Mr MENZIES - I deeply regretted the news about these floods. I did, in fact, receive the honorable member's telegram.

Mr Curtin - You were too busy to answer.

Mr MENZIES - No. Perhaps I should point out to the honorable member that the Commonwealth Government does not deal with municipalities in such matters. We have, over a long course of years, whenever something in the nature of a considerable disaster-

Mr Curtin - My constituents would be grateful for an answer.

Mr MENZIES - Does the honorable member not want an answer to his question? The fact is, as the honorable member ought to know - he has been here long enough - that in these matters we deal with the governments of the States, and whenever a State government has felt that a matter was of such a kind as to enable it to ask for Commonwealth co-operation, we have, I think all honorable members will realize, behaved co-operatively and sympathetically.

Mr Curtin - You do when the Australian Country Party wants help.

Mr MENZIES - It applies to all members of all parties. So far, the only communication I have received on this matter is from the honorable member, and, as I got it about two days ago, it is obvious that he is anxious to take the fullest advantage of it.

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