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Wednesday, 31 March 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE (Western AustraliaMinister for Defence) . - I reply briefly to the honorable senator by repeating that, for the reasons which I have stated, it is not the intention to impose a limitation. To get the scheme going it is necessary to start with the three categories for which provision has been made in the Bill. I have quoted two or three statements made by the Minister for Housing himself which indicate in quite positive terms that the field will be widened. I repeat the following words used by the Minister -

The idea is to get the scheme under way without delay, using the existing institutions that have thenestablished patterns of valuation and so on. The Bill is designed to embrace an increasingly wide field of lenders.

That is the stated intention.

Senator Willesee - There is still a limitation. Of what advantage is it?

Senator PALTRIDGE - Where is the limitation?

Senator Willesee - Even if 99 out of 100 are included, there is still a limitation.

Senator PALTRIDGE - That is so - but merely nominally.

Senator Willesee - Of what advantage is it to the Corporation?

Senator PALTRIDGE - The only limitation that is applied at this time is because of a need to get the scheme going now. As the scheme gathers momentum, more categories of lenders will be brought in.

Senator Sir WILLIAMSPOONER (New South Wales) [10.55].- Hi had not wished to interrupt the Minister, but the approach adopted by my friends, Senators Wright, McKenna and Willesee, in which they got things somewhat out of order, calls for some comment. Surely the task that faces the Government is to get the scheme launched successfully. It is not an overstatement to say that to launch the scheme and allow it to run into a set of difficulties, to experience a series of failures, and to suffer certain losses, would be disastrous. As I said earlier today, the lending of money on real estate is good, safe business provided it is done carefully and the proper precautions are taken.

As I read the Bill, Mr. Temporary Chairman, no limitation is imposed upon the Corporation or upon those who are associated with it. The relevant definition merely provides - " approved lender " means a person approved by the Corporation . . .

As explained in the Minister's second reading speech, all that is being done is to adopt the normal, sensible procedure of starting off gradually with people who are experienced in these transactions to gain the benefit of their experience, and then to let the organisation develop in association with these people. If we are successful in doing that - we should be - then we can spread our wings. To start off a scheme of this magnitude by going out into the highways and byways, throwing out offers and inviting everybody to come in before the organisation is established, before we have officers who are experienced in the work, and before we can assess the risk that is involved, would be a great error of judgment.

I am sorry that I cannot go along with Senator Wright on either philosophic or practical grounds. I do not see any validity in his argument that the proposed procedure will mean restricting the advantages to certain classes of people. That is not the intention of the legislation. I repeat that the appropriate definition merely provides - " approved lender " means a person approved by the Corporation . . .

I do not see any limitation in that.

Senator Wright - Clause 5 (1.) confines it to certain classes approved by the Minister.

Senator Sir WILLIAM SPOONER - I see nothing wrong with that.

Senator Wright - The honorable senator said that it was not limited to certan classes.

Senator Sir WILLIAM SPOONER - No, 1 did not. The honorable senator misunderstands me. Perhaps I have failed to express myself correctly. As I read the Bill, it is proposed to nominate in the early stages certain classes of lenders and to develop from there. That seems to me to be simple common sense. I attach very great importance to ensuring that the scheme starts solidly and that it develops successfully. There is more at stake than the success of the Corporation itself. What is at stake is the encouragement of investment back to the real estate market. In addition tothe successful undertaking of this class of transaction by the Corporation one of the byproducts of this legislation will be the creation of an atmosphere that will lead to a development of the transactions to which we were accustomed in days gone by.

Consideration interrupted.

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