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Friday, 12 September 1969

Mr ACTING SPEAKER - Under the Standing Orders a Minister may answer a question as he desires.

Mr Whitlam - I take the point of order, Mr Acting Speaker, that the Minister is being invited to debate a question that he failed to answer when he spoke after me 3 days ago. This is reviving a debate.

Mr ACTING SPEAKER -Order! There is no substance in the point of order.

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) - I can understand the Opposition's reluctance to have the facts made available to the House in view of what was said on an earlier occasion, lt is entirely false for anyone to imply that there are only 2i times the number of scholarships available to those entering universities and other tertiary institutions as there were in 1951. I should like to give the facts. In 1951 there were 3,000 scholarships for all Commonwealth scholarship purposes. At present there are 7,500 open entrance scholarships - one category of scholarship - which, in fact, is 24 limes the earlier number. But if we restrict it to that, this ignores the fact that there are 4,000 later year awards and 2,500 awards for colleges of advanced education also in the tertiary field and that scholarships in this area for tertiary technical colleges earlier came out of the general scholarship quota. There are, in fact, now 14,000 scholarships a year for those entering tertiary institutions as opposed to 3,000 in 1951 and opposed to the 7,500 as applied by the Leader of the Opposition when he spoke. This is a higher proportion of all students in universities than it was at the earlier time. There has been a most noteworthy achievement over the last couple of years because from January 1968 to 1970, when the decisions of the last Budget will be put into effect, the increase in the number of tertiary scholarships made available by this Government will be increased by 55% in 2 years. This shows quite clearly that the Leader of the Opposition has again, I believe - and I say this advisedly - quite deliberately, for his own purposes, ignored the facts of the situation.

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