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Wednesday, 8 December 1965

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - Like others in the House I respect the particular knowledge which the honorable gentleman has of the housing industry. He speaks with some authority on these matters, lt is true that in the announcement made recently the Governor of the Reserve Bank said that in approaching savings banks and proposing to them that they increase their current high level of lending for housing purposes he had suggested that the increased lending should preferably be for new rather than used houses. I think the objective was to give some quick stimulus to new building in view of a situation in which there had been some decline from the level of construction in an earlier period of the year. As the honorable gentleman points out, it may be that we could well achieve a somewhat similar result if finance went to a person who sells a house and with the proceeds of that sale sets about building a new home. But usually there is involved in this a lag sufficiently long for the bank to have taken the view that in present circumstances the quick response looked for could be got more realistically by lending for new housing purposes. However, Sir, I respect the views the honorable member has on this matter and I will be glad to pursue his suggestions further with those who are very much more knowledgable on the matter than I am. In particular I will refer to my colleague, the Minister for Housing, the remarks the honorable gentleman has put to me.

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