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Tuesday, 8 March 1966

Mr Griffiths asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Has the Government, in the current financial year, floated a loan for housing?

2.   If so, what was the amount sought and raised?

3.   How was the money distributed and what amounts were distributed?

4.   Was the general public invited to subscribe to the loan?

5.   If not, who were the subscribers and what were the respective amounts subscribed?

Mr McMahon - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

1.   The Commonwealth has not raised a loan in the current financial year specifically for housing.

2.   3. 4. and 5. Subscriptions to Commonwealth loans in Australia are invited from the public and proceeds are normally used to finance the borrowing programmes approved each year by the Australian Loan Council. The borrowing programmes approved by the Loan Council include amounts for housing, particularly for advances to the States under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement. Thus an important part of the proceeds of the two public loans raised in Australia this year and also of the net sales of Special Bonds, all of which are subscribed by the public, will be used to finance housing. The proceeds of these borrowings, and also of borrowings raised overseas for general purposes, are allocated between the Commonwealth and the States as necessary to finance the Loan Council borrowing programmes and redemptions of maturing securities.

The two public loans raised in Australia during the current financial year have yielded £114 million. Net sales of Special Bonds have yielded £8 million and $25 million has been borrowed overseas.

Freight on Butter. (Question No. 1453.)

Mr Gray asked the Minister for Trade and Industry, upon notice -

1.   Has the shipment of butter recently been held up in the Port of Melbourne because of the refusal of exporters to pay the additional 10 per cent, freight charge imposed by shipowners?

2.   Does the Government propose to take any action against either the shipowners for increasing freight charges or the exporters for holding up the port?

3.   Will the 10 per cent, freight increase place a further 9d. per box, or £1 14s. 8d. per ton, on the cost of the butter landed in England making the total freight now charged £24 14s. 8d. per ton?

4.   Is it a fact that the cost of loading this butter is, as far as the waterside workers costs are concerned, only 15s. per ton?

5.   Have overseas freight rates to and from Australia been increased by some £250,000,000 during the last 20 years, while during the same period, the amount being paid to waterside workers has decreased by approximately £2,000,000?

Mr McEwen - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

1.   A shipment of butter was recently delayed for a few days, but not in the precise circumstances outlined by the honorable member. The position is as follows: General freight increases of 6.6% were recently negotiated between the shipowners and the Federal Exporters Oversea Transport Committee which acted on behalf of all exporters. Subsequently the Australian Dairy Produce Board claimed that in the case of butter this increase should be off-set to some extent by savings which it claimed resulted from the introduction of a new type of packaging some eight years ago.

2.   The Dairy Board has now reached an arrangement with the shipping companies for the settlement of this claim and shipments are now proceeding normally. Thus the problem to which the honorable member referred has been resolved.

3.   The increase is not 10% but 6.6%. If this were applied fully the increase could amount to 9d. per box, or 30s. per ton, making a total freight charge of £24 10s.

4.   The cost varies from port to port and from shipment to shipment, and is in the region of £2 10s. to £4 per ton dependent upon delays and overtime.

5.   This is not the position. The sum of £250,000,000 does not represent freight increases but represents the approximate annual gross freight costs for imports and exports generally.

Woven Man-made Fabrics. (Question No. 1460.)

Mr Kelly asked the Minister for Trade and Industry, upon notice -

Will he have Table No. 3 in the Tariff Board Report on Woven Man-made Fabrics extended to give also the ad valorem protection recommended by the majority of the Board, the minority recommendation of Mr. Murray and also the Government's decision?

Mr McEwen - In answer to the honorable member's question, Table No. 3 has been extended and is shown hereunder: -


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