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Tuesday, 29 November 1960

Mr HAROLD HOLT - I shall see whether 1 can get information for the honorable gentleman in respect of the first part of his question as the answer is not in my mind at the moment. On the second point as to why we have adopted a different attitude in respect of applications for drought relief from that taken in 1951, I explained earlier to the House that it has been the general practice of this Government, and of earlier governments, to treat requests for drought relief on a different footing from those of flood relief, cyclone damage or something of an abnormal and exceptional character of that kind which creates immediate hardship for individuals. The 1951 case was the only one I can recall, so far back as the records go that I have had before me, in which we have departed from the general rule so far as drought reliefis concerned. It was suggested to me, when I sought the reasons for this, that the circumstances in 1951 were regarded as so exceptional as to justify a departure from the general rule. We did not feel that the same criterion was evident in respect of the1960 application.

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