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Tuesday, 9 May 1961

Mr HASLUCK (CURTIN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Territories) - I am not quite sure that I followed the whole of the convolutions of the honorable member's questions; but the Government's policy, which has been clearly announced, not by the officers of the Government but by the Government itself, is to establish medical education in the Territory so that eventually the Territory will be able to staff the whole of its medical services. Of course, the honorable member will recognize that the limits to medical training are set by the availability of candidates with a sufficiently high standard of basic education; but as candidates come forward qualified to embark on higher courses of medical education, that medical education will be provided for them in the Territory. I do not think there is a direct relationship between the latter part of the honorable member's question and the earlier part. Our major problem in the Territory at present is that, because of the fact, perhaps lamentable, that for many years education was not given the priority it deserved, we do not have large enough numbers of children in primary schools able to produce a high enough annual quota of children capable of taking higher education. The programme to which the honorable member referred was a programme designed to give village education at an elementary level in order to build up the number of children undergoing primary education, and thus increase the annual quota of children capable of taking higher education.

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