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Thursday, 3 April 1941

Senator COOPER - Was not the period of payment extended ?

Senator AMOUR - That did not relieve the position entirely. The occupants would have been in a far .better position had they not been obliged to meet the heavy interest charges. If I had the power I would put all returned soldiers who have lost their homes back into them. Many of the houses formerly occupied by returned soldiers are let privately to-day at 15s. a week. The tenants nave the same service as was given to the returned soldiers, but they have not to pay rates and taxes. The digger tenant who in many cases sacrificed his health during, his war service, had to pay the rent, and, in addition, he had to pay rates and taxes. He could not avoid such commitments. The Government probably has in mind offering homes that have been vacated to soldiers returning from this war.

Senator Collett - -I shall burst into tears in a moment.

Senator AMOUR - There is no need for the Minister to do that. The honorable senator's sympathy for returned soldiers is nought. I know what will happen. The facts must he faced. It is impossible for these people to -pay off the cost of their homes in 37 years. They may pay for twenty years without reducing the principal appreciably. I urge the Government to do something of real value, and reduce the rate of interest paid by occupants of war service homes.

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