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Thursday, 3 December 1959

Mr DOWNER (ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Immigration) - I know that my honorable friend from Grey is interested in this subject. I, too, am aware of this shortage of school teachers in South Australia but I would add that, as somebody interjected, the shortage is not confined to the State from which the honorable member for Grey and I come.

Mr Ward - Why do you not do something about it?

Mr DOWNER - If the honorable member for East Sydney will have the patience to listen to my answer to this question, perhaps all these things may be made manifest to him. What I was going to say was that this shortage existed, not only in South Australia but throughout the entire Commonwealth. As the honorable member for Grey rightly says, it is particularly felt in the secondary schools. I am aware of these things, and I shall certainly see what can be done to recruit more school teachers in Great Britain and to try to persuade them to come out here. But I would 90,nd this note of caution: The same shortage that we are experiencing here, our kinsfolk in the Mother Country are also experiencing. I do not know whether honorable members realize that the annual increase in the population of the United Kingdom is, according to the latest statistics I have seen, something over 200,000, which, of course, implies an ever-increasing pressure upon schools and on all other educational establishments, and therefore on the demand for school teachers. I shall try to get them, Mr. Speaker, but if I do not succeed in getting enough to please the honorable member for Grey, I hope that this will reveal to him the extent of the difficulties.

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