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D.L.P. appeals for support from C.P. on rural corporation

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Senator The Hon. V. C. GAIR L ea d er D em o cratic Lab o r P a rty

P h o n e s : C a n b e r r a , 7 0 5 E x t . 5 2 3

B r i s b a n e , 3 1 0 1 0 1 E x t . 4 3 6


Embargo; Mot for release before Sunday, 15th November, 1970

Senator V.C. Gair (Federal Leader, D.L.P.)

made an appeal on Sunday for Mr McEwen and the Country Party

to give their wholehearted support to the early establishment

of a National Rural Finance Corporation.

The D.L.P. Lender was speaking in Brisbane

after returning from an 800 mile tour of the South West and

Darling Downs area of Queensland ehere he spokeuto farmers

and graziers about the problems of rural industries.

"If Mr McEwen and his Country Party colleagues

are prepared to forget petty political differences and

join with the D.L.P. in a united move on this vital issue

before Election Day, many farmers now on the verge of despair

will be given fresh hope that effective aid is on the way.

. "I am more convinced than ever of the urgent

need for the establishment of a National Rural Finance

Corporation funded by the Commonwealth to make long-term

low interest loans available to distressed farmers.

•.../ Contd

- 2-

"The Corporation would also take over and

refinance rural debts and grant an interest free

non redemption period for the debts taken over and thereby

give the distressed farmer a chance to get on his feet.

"I am very strongly convinced of the hopeless

inadequacy of the Prime Minister's proposal to set up a

rural credit insurance scheme.

"This scheme is only designed to provide insurance

for private investors wishing to lend money to the man on the


"As there is insufficient private investment

finance available for this purpose, the Prime Minister's

scheme will solve nothing.

"Many farmers are on the verge of walking off their

properties. Others are being forced to borrow from private '

finance firms at excessive interest rates tonpay for their


"These are the tragic results of the current

problems of drought and rising costs. , · · .

"More serious difficulties are looming ahead but

unless thousands of distressed farmers are helped now only

the relatively fortunate ones will be left to worry about

the effects of Britain's entry into the Common Market and the

question of alternative overseas markets.

.... / Contd.

- 3 -

"The A.L.P. has given no indication thatvit

even understands the problems of the rural industries.

The Whitlam-Kawke 35 hour week proposal would only increase

the present crisis.

"Mr Gorton seemingly knows the problem but his

answer to it is completely unrealistic.

"The Country Party must be fully aware of the

problem and the need for early, effective action.

"Accordingly. I make a strong and sincere appeal

to Mr McEwen and the Country Party section of the Federal

Coalition to give their wholehearted support to the

early establishment of a National Rural Finance Corporation."


Sunday. 15th November, 1970.