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Wednesday, 1 September 1937

Senator MARWICK (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) . - I am aware that anything that may be said in this debate will not alter the allocation of grants to the various States, but I wish to make it clear that I entirely disagree with the grounds upon which the grants have been made this year. As is well known, the personnel of the commission has been changed. Of the three original members only the chairman remains. This being so, the commission should have spent much more time in the various States than it did. When the commission was in Western Australia, one of the two new members was ill and unable to leave Perth, and the others spent only five days in the older and more established country areas. They did not see anything of the development that has taken place in the newer areas, and therefore were not in a position to decide whether money expended on developmental works had been used to the best advantage. I stated last year that the cost of clearing country and preparing it for full production was considerable. I also stressed this fact before the commission and they made the same comments in the report. The proposed grant to Western Australia is £61,000 less than last year, the actual amounts recommended being £439,000 as a grant and £136,000 as a loan.

Senator Sir George Pearce - Taken together, the allocation recommended for Western Australia is an increase on the grant for the previous year.

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