Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 31 March 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - In the course of his most recent remarks Senator Wright referred on a number of occasions to the three groups of lenders that were referred to in the Housing Loans Insurance Bill. He referred to them on one occasion as the favoured three. He referred to them continuously as if they were to remain the three groups - and the only three - who were to be approved as approved lenders under this scheme. He took the second reading speech of the Minister for Housing (Mr. Bury) and read from it the following sentence -

As time goes on other classes of lenders will almost certainly be approved.

He asserted that that statement meant nothing. I tell honorable senators that despite the assertion by Senator Wright it means what it says. It means what it says unless the Minister in charge of this Bill in another place is prepared deliberately to mislead the Senate. It means what it says because the Minister reaffirmed the statement in the course of debate in another place the other might in speaking about trustees.

The speech made by Senator Wright was a characteristically dramatic one but it was not very much to the point, unless the Minister is misleading the Senate. I have indicated that the Minister is moving towards a consideration of other categories of lenders. The categories are proposed to include other insurance companies - that is insurance companies other than life companies - trustee companies, certain classes of finance companies, and no doubt other classes of lenders will be included as approved lenders to be declared by the Minister from time to time.

This is a Bill which will be continually before the Parliament. This is a proposal which is exposed to public criticism. I believe that public interest in it will be high. I believe that any shortcomings that might be thrown up from time to time will be immediately seized upon. Equally do I believe that it is the intention of the Minister, and the Government, to move in this field with all the rapidity possible in the direction that he has positively indicated, by admitting more approved lenders as time goes on - to use his own expression. I ask the Senate to accept what the Minister has said as an assurance of good faith.

Suggest corrections