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Wednesday, 18 November 1959

Mr THOMPSON (Port Adelaide) . - Mr. Chairman, I must say that although the Government's purpose is a laudable one I am not clear how it will be accomplished. What is to be our attitude towards marriage guidance councils? Are we going to establish a major organization in the metropolis in each State and other bodies in all the big cities and towns? How are we going to interpret the matter? Let us take the position of a country town perhaps 250 miles from a capital city. In a country town with a population of 1,000 people there may not be any large body that would do this work. I would like to know whether it would be possible to bring to such a town, from a long distance, officials of the marriage guidance council in order to take up questions requiring attention. A remote suburb of a city might be in a similar situation. I should like to know how it is proposed to select the members of the marriage guidance councils. The Minister mentioned the Salvation Army which does most of its social work in the cities or very large towns. It may have a separate body for this kind of work. But. generally speaking, as the honorable member for Macquarie said just now, the work is done by the local captain of the Salvation Army or by the minister of a church. They may be the ones who will interview people. They may know the parties intimately and know all about their affairs and so can give the best marriage guidance. I cannot see that marriage guidance would be the major part of such a man's work yet, if marriage guidance is to be "iven successfully throughout the community somebody must be available in almost every area of Australia in which that work may be required. I think the

Attorney-General may be able to grasp what I am driving at and I should like to know what he has in mind in regard to these people and how they can be assisted financially.

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