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Wednesday, 2 December 1936

Senator COOPER (QUEENSLAND) - Has the Minister representing the Treasurer noticed a paragraph published in the Brisbane Courier Mail of the 26th November, 1936, under the heading -

Farmers' Debt Relief - No Federal Money yet Received. and covering a statement made by the Queensland Minister for Agri culture and Stock, the Honorable Mr. Bulcock, to the effect that no federal money had yet been received in Queensland for the purpose of relief under the Loan (Farmers Debt Adjustment) Act? In view of that statement, will the Minister inform the Senate -

1   . If any application has been made by the Queensland Government for Commonwealth funds under this act?

2.   The amounts of funds allocated by the Commonwealth as Queensland's share?

3.   Are these allocations under the Farmers Debt Adjustment Act to bo considered as loans or free grants to the States concerned?

4.   Is it first necessary for the State Government concerned to pass State legislation for the distribution of these funds before the Commonwealth grant can be made available?

5.   If so,has the Government of Queensland passed that legislation?

6.   What States, if any, have passed this legislation ?

7.   In the event of the Queensland Government not passing such legislation, is it possible for the Federal Government to directly assist the necessitous farmers in Queensland from the sum allocated to that State?

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - The honorable senator having informed me several days ago that he intended to ask these questions, I submitted them to the Treasurer, who has supplied the following answers: -

1.   Yes. The first advance was made recently, shortly after the passage of the necessary Queensland legislation.

2.   Of the total amount appropriated by the Commonwealth legislation the amount of £ 10,000,000 was apportioned by the act amongst the States. Of this amount the sum of £1,150,000 was allocated to Queensland. The allocation of the remaining £2,000,000 has yet to be determined in accordance with the provisions of the act.

3.   The amounts authorized by the act are in the nature of grants to the States for the purposes indicated in the act.

4.   It was necessary for the State Parliaments to pass legislation before the grants could be distributed.

5.   The Queensland Parliament has recently passed the amending legislation necessary to bring legislation previously passed into conformity with the Commonwealth act.

6.   All States have now passed the necessary legislation.

7.   See answer to No. 5.

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