Services Department
Database House Hansard
Date 21-06-1946
Source House of Reps
Parl No. 17
Interjector STEWART, Frederick
Speaker DALY, Fred
Stage Services Department
System Id hansard80/hansardr80/1946-06-21/0070


Mr DALY - Even if only ten had been built that would be more than the number constructed when the parties now in opposition occupied the treasury bench in this Parliament. Actually between 200 and 300 houses have been built in my electorate.

Sir Frederick Stewart - Where are they?I know the honorable member's electorate well, and I have not seen them.

Mr DALY - If the honorable member forParramatta cares to take a trip around myelectorate by car anyday he will see them. -Undoubtedly the housing situation throughout the Commonwealth to-day is 'bad. There is a tremendous demand for better homes, and many people are living- under conditions which we as Australians are not prepared to tolerate; but the responsibility for that does not rest, with this Government. In cooperation with the States, the Commonwealth Government has inaugurated housing schemes under which at least 50 per cent. of all new homes constructed must be made available to ex-servicemen. In New South Wales, the most progressive State so far as housing is concerned, more than 60 per cent. of all new homes erected under the scheme have been occupied by ex-servicemen and their dependants. Therefore, to say that weon this side of the chamber are not doing our utmost to provide home's for ex-servicemen is completely false. Figures already quoted in the course of this debate show that thousands of former members of our armed forces have secured homes under the Commonwealth and State housing schemes. Like every other building organization, the War Service Homes Commission suffered during the war years because of the lack of skilled labour and the shortage of building materials. In the face of the many technical disabilities then existing, the inauguration of a large-scale housing programme was impossible. To-day, the Commonwealth is doing its best to secure labour. Years ago, when non-Labour administrations had an opportunity to build for exservicemen, they offered the lame excuse that money could not be provided for this purpose. Those who criticize the Commonwealth Government's handling of the housing problem should bear in mind the fact that this Administration has inaugurated a housing programme unparalleled in our history. The Minister for Works and Housing (Mr. Lazzarini) has been faced with a colossal task, and the Government has endeavoured to overcome the many problems that have arisen, with satisfaction not only to exservicemen, but also to every section of the community. The Government is doing its job well. There has been too rauch " knocking " of legislation sponsored by this Government, and too much talk by honorable members opposite of what, allegedly, the Government has failed to do. I claim that the Government has met with success in every sphere of its activities and that ex-service men and women can look forward confidently to social security and employment. The Labour majorities of three or four to one in recent byelections are eloquent evidence of the place that this Administration holds in the eyes of the general public and of the ex-servicemen. If honorable members opposite wish to do the right thing for Australia, and for our exse'rvice men and women who deserve the very best that we can provide for them, they will refrain in f future from " knocking" this Government's legislative programme, and be more impartial in their judgments. The Government has done its utmost to safeguard the interests of servicemen, and I suggest that members of the Opposition should be generous enough to admit it, and to co-operate with us in an endeavour to ensure a fair deal for the men and women who played such a noble part in our victory.

Sitting suspended from 12.S9 to 2.15 p.m.

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