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Tuesday, 11 April 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - The housing situation has been thoroughly studied by representatives of the Reserve Bank of Australia in consultation with the Treasury. There have also been appropriate consultations between Commonwealth departments. In addition, there have been contacts between the Commonwealth Government and representatives of the State governments concerning the over-all housing situation in each State. As a result of these discussions there is to be, as I understand it, in Victoria and in other States, an increase in the level of lending for housing purposes by the savings banks, including State savings institutions and the Commonwealth Savings Bank. In addition, the Governor of the Reserve Bank has communicated some views to the trading banks on the question of housing. The trading banks have I believe, honoured very faithfully the terms of the directive conveyed to them towards the end of last year. The result of their observance of this directive has been revealed in their advances figures, but they have been reminded that included in the general directive was an intimation that lending for a social purpose such as housing should not be curtailed, and that, within the limits of their resources, lending for housing should now be increased.

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