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Friday, 11 July 1930

Senator DALY (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) I'll. 24]. - I assure honorable senators that nobody regrets more than the Government, the necessity for postponing the taking of the census next year. The Government had to decide between works which could, and works which could not, lie postponed. It also gave careful consideration to the unemployment problem. I remind the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Pearce) that if we had to employ a staff to collect the statistics, the census could not be taken for £360,000. The right honorable gentleman knows, of course, that the collection of the returns i3 usually done by policemen and postmen.

Senator Sir GEORGE Pearce - A special staff is usually employed for the census work.

Senator DALY - Yes, but a great deal of supplementary work is done by policemen and postmen.

Senator O'Halloran - Much is also done by district council clerks.

Senator E B Johnston - They are paid for it-

Senator DALY - Of course they are, hut they are not unemployed. After the returns have been collected the bulk of the expenditure incurred in dissecting and collating the information would be' spent in the Statisticians departments in the eastern States, so unemployment in Western Australia or South Australia would not be relieved to any appreciable extent, whereas the grant of £1,000,000, made available recently by this Government, was distributed among the States on an equitable basis. The collection of the statistics would give immediate relief for only a certain number of persons, and the subsequent work would provide employment for fl. larger number, chiefly in the eastern States, for some considerable time.

I assure the right honorable the Leader of the Opposition, that the Government fully realizes the need for the taking of the census, aud if it were possible to do it, even though the bill were passed, it would put the work in hand. In any case the census will bc taken at the earliest possible opportunity.

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