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Wednesday, 18 November 1959

Mr STEWART (Lang) .- Clause 9 is the first clause in Part II. under the heading " Marriage Guidance Organizations ". This portion of the bill has received the praise of all sections of the community because it demonstrates that the AttorneyGeneral (Sir Garfield Barwick) has endeavoured to safeguard the sanctity of marriage and family life. He deserves the praise of all honorable members for having endeavoured, by the insertion of this clause, to help the marriage guidance organizations. Clause 9 is in these terms -

The Attorney-General may, from time to time, out of moneys appropriated by the Parliament for the purposes of this Part, grant to an approved marriage guidance organization, upon such conditions as he thinks fit, such sums by way of financial assistance as he determines.

How much money will be appropriated by the Government? To whom will that money be granted?

The annual report of the National Marriage Guidance Council of Australia shows that last year it conducted its activities in the various States on a grant from the respective State governments of £10,000, and gifts from well-wishers and clients amounting to £3,000. In other words, the activities of this organization last year were conducted on £13,000. The secretary of the council, the Reverend W. G. Coughlan, has indicated that there are various avenues open for the extension of marriage guidance in the community, and he has suggested such things as the selection and training of additional counsellors, the extension of the council's activities to such centres as Newcastle, Wagga, Orange, and Tamworth, and the employment of additional full-time staff to enable development of an educational programme. He has also suggested that if these plans are to be implemented, the organization will need perhaps ten times the amount of money that it has received from the State governments, the public and clients.

I should like the Attorney-General to indicate the amount of financial assistance to the marriage guidance organizations that the Government has in mind.

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