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Wednesday, 30 May 1973
Page: 2846

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock - Is leave granted? There being no objection leave is granted.

Mr ERWIN - Yesterday a former wartime Minister and Minister for Post-war Reconstruction, the honourable J. J. Dedman, called on me personally. Because of the respect I have for the honourable gentleman and his objection to a statement I made in this House last week I now make the following short statement and apologise for any inaccuracies. Last week in my speech on the housing Bills 1 said this:

.   .a socialist government does not believe in home ownership. Mr John Dedman, Minister for Post-war Reconstruction in the Chifley Government, spelt this socialist philosophy out loud and clear in 1947 when he was asked on the hustings whether his Government would make money available for people of low income to buy homes. Mr Dedman said that they would not, because home ownership only created a community of little capitalists.

It happened almost 30 years ago and down the period of years inaccuracies have crept into the original statement of the honourable J. J. Dedman. So I wish now to quote from Hansard that part of Mr Denman's speech to which I referred. It was not made in 1947, it was not on the hustings; it was in this place on 2 October 1945. Mr Dedman was making a speech on the Bill for the introduction of a Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement - the first such agreement, I believe. Mr Dedman said in part of his speech-

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - To get it in context you have to read what was said preceding his speech.

Mr ERWIN - Yes. Mr Dedman said:

The honourable member for Denison (Dr Gaha) suggested that, instead of augmenting the family income by the payment of child endowment, we should provide for the sale of houses at lower prices and that it should be possible to use the money now paid in child endowment to amortise the cost of such an undertaking. He said that in this way we would make the average worker a capitalist.

Mr Dedmanwas referring to a statement made by Dr Gaha. He continued:

That is too big a problem for me to discuss in detail tonight, but there is one argument which I would put forward: The Commonwealth Government is con cerned to provide adequate and good housing for the workers; it is not concerned willi making the workers into little capitalists.

The late Mr Anthony, the father of our present Leader of the Australian Country Party, said:

In other words, it is not concerned with making them home owners.

Mr Dedmanthen said:

If there is any criticism which may be directed against the policies of past governments supported by the present Opposition-

That is referring to past Liberal Party-Country Party governments which at that time were the Opposition, as those parties are today - it is this: Too much of their legislative programs was deliberately designed to place the workers in a position in which they would have a vested interest in the continuance of capitalism. That is a policy which will not have my support, at any rate.

I thank the House for the privilege of making this statement.

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