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Tuesday, 17 May 1960

Mr HAROLD HOLT - If that comment were made it would be neither correct nor fair. Anybody who has studied the allocations made over recent years will know that there has been an increase of a substantial degree in the amounts which have been agreed upon - it is not a matter of Commonwealth decision - by the Australian Loan Council, for semi-government and local government purposes. Last year we agreed among ourselves, in the Loan Council, on a total figure of £100,000,000. Later, in February of this year, following further requests made by the Premiers, the Commonwealth said it would agree to the raising of the ceiling of loans for semi and local government purposes to £104,000,000.

I point out that in addition to that, this year the financial arrangements agreed upon - again unanimously - between the Commonwealth and the States provided for an increased grant of £27,000,000 by the Commonwealth, for general revenue grants, and an increased amount of £5,000,000 for roads purposes. What the various State governments do with those increased amounts is entirely a matter within their own discretion. How they allocate them between the local government authorities, is, again, a matter within their own discretion; but the Commonwealth has provided each year an increasing amount for this purpose.

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