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Tuesday, 7 May 1968

Mr McMAHON - These are a series of very complicated questions dealing with a lot of policy matters. I am surprised that at a time like this the Leader of the Opposition saw fit to ask them. He might easily have put his questions on the notice paper and thus obtained a more specific answer.

Be that as it may, the request for the increased credit foncier loans from the Commonwealth Savings Bank came from the Commonwealth Banking Corporation itself and I approved of the limit going to $8,000. What the honourable member has to keep in mind is not only the increase that has taken place in the cost of buildings but also the fact that better quality buildings are required or are demanded today. Secondly, he must bear in mind that unless the Commonwealth exercises some influence over the total amount of money made available for housing there is a distinct possibility that some builders - not necessarily all - will exploit the position and will increase the price of houses.

As to the question relating to war service homes, I state categorically that the limit imposed in respect of war service homes had no influence on the decision to allow the Commonwealth Savings Bank to increase its advance limit. If the limitation in respect of war service loans had influenced the decision in respect of the Commonwealth Savings Bank, that decision would have been retained for the Budget. Finally, as to the amounts allocated for housing in the two budgets which I have introduced, the amount in the second budget was lower than that in the first for the good reason that more people are becoming satisfied in respect of their demand for war service housing and the demand for war service homes is nowhere near as great as it was a couple of years ago.

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