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Wednesday, 7 September 1960


Order! The honorable member for Parkes is indulging in a continous stream of interjections which might almost be said to amount to a speech on these Estimates. I must ask him to restrain himself and cease interjecting.

Mr ANDERSON - As I was saying, the Premier of New South Wales left the last Premiers' Conference rubbing his hands, thoroughly satisfied with the result of his negotiations, because the Menzies Government has always been generous to the States. It recognizes the fact that the States have the responsibility of educating the children of the immigrants that are brought here, and so it always provides something in excess of the amount calculated under the formula that has been laid down. But it has also realized on every occasion that within a couple of months there would be more demands for money for education, hospitals, housing and so on. If we are to be forced to give more money for education, should we not say to the States, " You will spend this money on education "? If we are to provide more money for education we' must impose more taxes, and this means that the States will get more under the tax reimbursement formula. The States want it both ways; they want more money without the responsibility of imposing taxes to get it.

A by-election is to be conducted shortly, and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) will no doubt take part in the campaign and speak of education, housing and other matters in a highly dishonest manner politically. Every body believes in education. Adequate education facilities should be provided, and if the New South Wales Government cannot provide the necessary funds, then it should get out and make way for a government that can.

I feel very strongly about this matter, because these insidious statements, attributing money shortages solely to the Commonwealth Government, continually tend, to break down our federal system. If the taxing powers that the States had formerly were returned to them it would be a different story, because the States would have the responsibility of raising their money, and they could spend it as they wished. But while the States do not have these taxing powers, statements that are made by honorable members opposite merely tend to break down our federation, and ultimately to result in unification, which is, after all, the policy of socialist parties. When unification is brought about, socialism can very easily follow. It is this socialist objective, I believe, which is behind the constant drive to get more funds from the Commonwealth. If the New South Wales Government cannot shoulder its responsibilities, it should be replaced by a government that can.

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