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Tuesday, 24 November 1959

Mr Cairns s asked the Attorney-General, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that information given by Brigadier Spry to Professor Stout of Sydney University was information already published in the newspapers?

2.   If so, why was it necessary to have it provided by the head of the Security Service?

3.   Was this information, even though available in a normal way, provided by the head of the Security Service for the sole reason of giving it a " cloak and dagger " force more likely to influence Professor Stout to withdraw from the congress than if it had been read in the newspapers?

Sir Garfield Barwick (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   In part, yes; see my answers to the earlier questions asked by the honorable member: " Hansard " for 10th November, 1959 (pages 2524 to 2528 and page 2530).

2.   It was not necessary. It was, however, thought desirable.

3.   No.

Education of Sub-normal Children.

Mr Clay (ST GEORGE, NEW SOUTH WALES) y asked the Minister for Social

Services, upon notice -

In view of the longer periods and greater expense involved in educating sub-normal children and the heavy additional burdens which fall upon the parents of these children in equipping them to play some useful part in adult life, will he give urgent consideration to extending the benefits of the Aged Persons Homes Act to organizations which have been formed for the special purpose of educating sub-normal children so that their education may be continued beyond the age of sixteen years in special boarding schools erected for that purpose?

Mr Roberton (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: -

The valuable work being done by voluntary organizations which cater for the needs of mentally retarded children is fully appreciated. This field of welfare, embracing as it does both the education and care of sub-normal children, is, however, traditionally and constitutionally a matter for the-, respective State governments. The Commonwealthalready provides financial aid to States for mental hygiene purposes, through the State Grants (Mental Institutions) Act. It is not proposed to extend the benefits of the Aged Persons Homes Act to voluntary organizations interested in this work.

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