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The D.L.P. and federal per capita grants to independent schools

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Senator The Hon. V. C. GA1 R

Leader Democratic Labor Party Phones: Canberra, 705 Ext. 523


Brisbane, 31o1o li E_xt 436


In his general comments on the Budget, Senator Gair stated:-"The provision for assistance to Independent Schools is, in princi?.le, and almost totally in amount, the policy of the D.L.P.

which advocated this assistance when all other parties opposed it. It is a matter of great satisfaction to the party that our long-sustained advocacy has been successful."

The various steps which Senator Gair and the D.L.P. took in their efforts to gain support for and publicise this method of pay-ment and the amounts, were as follows:--1. On 13 April, 1966, Senator Gair wrote to the Parliamentary

Draftsman seeking his assistance in the preparation of a Private Member's Bill providing for the payment of per capita grants of $50 (secondary) and $30 (primary) for children at Independent Schools. The money was to be paid to the States by way of a grant under Section 96 of the Constitution.

2. On 20 A ri l, 1966,INN :r. B.M. Snedden, who was then Attorney-General, replied on behalf of the Draftsman that pressure of work prevented the Draftsman's office from providing such assistance.

3. On 10 June, 1966,Senator Gair wrote to the Prime Minister and all State Premiers asking that the per capita proposal be discussed at the fort:'- ,coming Premier's Conference.

4. On 7 November, 1966,the per capita proposal was advocated in the D.T.F. Policy Speech for the General Elections.

5. The per capita proposal was again contained in the D.L.P. Policy Speech for the 1967 Senate Elections.

6. On 8 Nay , 1968 , Senator Gair introduced in the Senate his Independent Schools (Financial assistance) Bill which proposed per capita, payments of the amounts first advocated in 1966. (The Bill had been drafted privately).



7_ On 12 November 1968, Senator Gair delivered the second eading Speech on his Bill. Ten thousand copies of Senator Gair ls Second speech were printed and widely dis-

tributed. throughout Australia. The arguments used by the I.inister for Education in his statement to the House on 13th August last are almost identical to those used by Senator

Gair in the Second Reading speech on his Private Member's Bill. The Bill and the per capita proposal were referred to on every occasion when the D.L.P. participated in

the education meetings recently held in Sydney and major N.S. T. towns.

Canberra, 14 August, 1969