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Wednesday, 23 November 1927

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) . - The Minister's explanation is unsatisfactory.

Senator Sir William Glasgow - I cannot give the honorable senator any further information.

Senator FINDLEY - Well, we will endeavour to get a little more light on the subject. The Minister has just repeated what we were told during the second reading of the bill. He has stated that the Savings Bank Commissioners or representatives of the State Governments were consulted, except in Western Australia. I accept that statement; but what we want to know is the attitude they took towards this legislation ? It was most unbusinesslike to introduce a. bill of this nature before ascertaining definitely how the representatives of the States would regard it. Ministers must have had some idea of the lines upon which the housing scheme would be modelled, though, if we may judge by what happened in connexion with the Savings Bank Bill, they do not know from day to day what they are going to do? Apparently it was only at the eleventh hour that the directors of the Commonwealth Bank really comprehended what the bill means to them. I should think that, if the Government wished to work in co-operation with' the States in launching this housing scheme, it would have had serious consultations with representatives of the various States, and ascertained definitely their views on the subject. Honorable senators, in their capacity as business men, would not act as the Government has done, in connexion with this bill. We have been informed that the decision to fix the amount of advance at £1,800 was the result of a suggestion made by the Victorian Savings Bank Commissioners. I do not doubt that for a moment. All I wish to point out is that unless the Victorian Government amends its housing legislation, the Savings Bank Commissioners of that State will not administer the scheme in Victoria.

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