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Wednesday, 23 November 1927

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) . - No party, whether in municipal, State, or federal spheres, has clone more to awaken the public conscience in respect of the housing question than has the Labour party. It can truthfully be said that, as the result of that party's effort, thousands of persons in different parts of Australia are to-day living in their own homes. Before the Labour party became an active force in the politics of this country unionism was anathema to most employers. Their creed was " freedom of contract." They contended that labour was a commodity, and as such it should be governed by the law of supply and demand. The result was that sweating existed in every trade and calling. So deplorable were the conditions at that time that it was impossible for the average working man to purchase even the necessaries of life, much less to make provision for a home for himself and his family. However, by the persistent and consistent activities of the Labour party, the position of the average worker throughout Australia is much better today than it was in the period to which I have referred. He has a much greater chance of obtaining a home for himself and his family now than he had then. At the last election the Government announced its intention to introduce a housing scheme to cost £20,000,000. It led the people to believe that its scheme would be bigger, better, and more liberal than any of the housing schemes of the States. In that wayit secured a number of votes. But what do we find? Its so-called housing scheme is not a housbuilding scheme at all; it is a "jerrybuilt" scheme of the worst kind. It has little or no foundation. What has the

Government done to provide a groundwork for this scheme? It has not consulted with any of the State authorities.

SenatorCox. - The Government is providing the money.

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