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Thursday, 26 February 1959


Mr HAROLD HOLT - I regret that I have not yet had an opportunity to study the proposal which, I gather, was included by the New South Wales Premier in his election policy speech earlier this week. Consequently, I cannot give a considered reply to the honorable gentleman. My understanding, however, is that as this proposal would involve - as I am sure it would - a provision out of the total loan funds which become available in the course of the year to the Commonwealth and State governments, it would be a matter which, if proceeded with, would require the approval of the Australian Loan Council.

The honorable gentleman also asked how the housing situation in New South Wales compared with that in other States. Again, I lack precise information, but such understanding as I have of the matter indicates that, paradoxically, although New South Wales appears to have the most acute housing shortage of all the States, the number of rooms per person in New South Wales, according to the 1954 census, was, I believe, higher than the comparable number in any other State. So it would appear that if there is an acute housing shortage in New South Wales the trouble is due not so much to inadequate housing as to an unsatisfactory distribution of the accommodation available. This, in turn, may be due to problems of housing finance, or it may be a consequence of rental policies followed by the New South Wales Government.

While dealing with this matter, may I amplify a reply that I gave to the honorable gentleman on Tuesday about loan funds and their employment in relation to the New South Wales coal-fields?


Mr Ward - A Dorothy Dix-er!


Mr HAROLD HOLT - No, this was not raised-


Mr Ward - Did he ring you up on the telephone?







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