House of Representatives
16 November 1964

25th Parliament · 1st Session

page 3054


Motion (by Mr. Chaney) proposed -

That the House do now adjourn.

Dr J F Cairns:

.Mr. Speaker-

Motion (by Mr. Aston) put -

That the question be now put.

The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. Sir John McLeay.)

AYES: 56

NOES: 39

Majority . . . . 17



Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Original question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 12.7 a.m. (Tuesday).

page 3055


The following answers to questions uponnotice were circulated -

Migration from Territories. (Question No. 568.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Minister- for Immigration, upon notice -

Under what circumstances can inhabitants of each of Australia’s overseas territories, including trust territories, migrate to Australia?

Mr Opperman:
Minister for Immigration · CORIO, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -

The eligibility for admission into Australia for residence of the inhabitants of Australia’s overseas territories, including trust territories, is subject to Government policy appropriate to the circumstances.

Immigration. (Question No. 633.)

Mr Beazley:

y asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice -

  1. Did the Secretary of the Department of Immigration in a letter in 1961 regarding the attitude of the Government to the migration of Eurasians state that if an applicant of mixed descent appears to be fully European in upbringing, outlook, mode of dress and way of living, and appears to be predominantly European to the extent that he is unlikely to experience difficulty in being accepted as a European in Australia, then for immigration purposes he is accepted as a European?
  2. If so, is this still the attitude of the Government to this matter, and is appearance still considered one of the most important factors in reaching a decision on the entry of Eurasians?
Mr Opperman:

– The answer to the honorable member’s questions is as follows -

The conditions governing the admission of persons of mixed descent have been reviewed from time to time. Under the present policy, while the extent to which the applicant appears to be nonEuropean is naturally a factor in assessing his general suitability for settlement (i.e. whether he is capable of ready integration into the Australian community), the decision, which is within the Minister’s discretion, essentially depends rather on factors such as compassionate reasons (for example, close family relationship to someone already resident in Australia); the applicant’s possession of knowledge, experience or qualifications useful to Australia; and his ability to make a contribution to Australia’s progress.

Taking these considerations into account, each case is determined on ils merits.

Overseas Companies in Australia. (Question No. 651.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Minister for Trade and Industry, upon notice -

  1. On what occasions has his Department conducted surveys on the extent and nature of restrictions imposed by overseas principals on the rights of their Australian subsidiaries and affiliates to sell their products outside Australia?
  2. How many (a) agreements ‘and (b) companies were found to be subject to such restrictions?
  3. To what areas were (a) sales limited or (b) exports forbidden by (i) American and (ii) British principals?
  4. To how many companies has he written In the effort to have the restrictions removed?
  5. In how many cases have the restrictions been thereafter removed?
Mr McEwen:
Minister for Trade and Industry · MURRAY, VICTORIA · CP

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows -

  1. The Department collected information on these restrictions in 1958 and again in late 1961 and early 1962. Officers of the Department, in their day to day contact with industry are constantly adding to and updating this information.
  2. An analysis of the information collected in 1961 and 1962 showed that 1,100 agreements which restricted exports in one way or another had been entered into by some 700 Australian companies.
  3. Because of the variety of licensing and financial agreements which restrict exports it is not possible to aggregate or summarise details in this way.
  4. Export franchise arrangements between overseas companies and their Australian subsidiaries or licensees are a delicate and important matter. I and the Department of Trade and Industry have therefore found it often as effective to discuss these arrangements with the firms concerned as to enter into formal correspondence, and have written to or held discussions with some hundreds of firms.
  5. Because of the complexity of most export franchise arrangements, it is not possible to state precisely the actual number of cases in which restrictions have been removed. However, I can say that the representations which have been made have resulted in a large number of cases where franchise restrictions have been either completely removed or significantly reduced.

Department of External Affairs. (Question No. 686.)

Mr Benson:

n asked the Minister representing the Acting Minister for External Affairs, upon notice -

  1. Is it the practice to encourage Australian diplomats and their wives to learn the language of Asian countries?
  2. What are the details of incentives given by this Department to encourage diplomats to learn Asian languages by means of (a) the payment for language lessons or (b) the payment of allowances or other incentives to officers to (i) attain varying levels of proficiency and (ii) maintain their proficiency in these languages?
  3. Is he able to give similar details of incentives given to diplomats by the United Kingdom and the United States of America?
  4. How many officers of his Department undertake full time courses each year in (a) Japanese (b) Chinese (c) Vietnamese (d) Thai (e) Lao (0 Malay/Indonesian (g) Burmese (h) Cambodian and (i) Tagalog?
  5. What sum is spent each year by the Department in promoting the study of these languages?
  6. In regard to the languages listed in part (4), how many External Affairs officers (a) can speak the language at an elementary level (b) have a working knowledge of the language (i.e. the ability to read newspapers, albeit slowly, converse generally and understand the general trend of speeches and broadcasts) (c) have attained fluency (i.e the ability to conduct business in the language, understand speeches and radio broadcasts and write and check translations with certainty) and (d) have attained complete fluency (i.e., the ability to speak the language as well as the natives of the country)?
  7. How many of these officers are at present in the countries whose languages they speak?
  8. Is the present number of officers with ability to speak these languages adequate for his Department’s needs?
  9. Are the incentives offered and the sums expended on this matter adequate?
  10. Is he able to say whether the present activities of his Department in promoting the study of Asian languages compare favourably with similar activities undertaken by comparable Departments in the United Kingdom and the United States of America?
Sir Robert Menzies:
Prime Minister · KOOYONG, VICTORIA · LP

– The Acting Minister for External Affairs has supplied the following answers -

  1. Yes. In the Department’s current language training programme, out of a total appropriation of some £15,000 over £5,000 has been allocated for expenditure on general Asian language training. The major portion of these funds will be spent on the training of diplomatic officers and their wives.
  2. The scale of incentives to learn languages is determined by the Public Service Board, and not by the Department; and the Public Service Board superintends the Department’s decisions to assist particular officers to learn languages. Subject to this explanation of the authority in these matters, the answer to this part of the question is as follows -

    1. Payment of tuition fees is met by the Department in all cases where the language training is being undertaken at the Department’s direction. When an officer himself suggests that he learn a language, tuition fees for him and his wife may be met if study of the language proposed is thought to be in the interests of the Department. Where an officer is engaged on full-time language training overseas, the whole cost of his tuition is met, his salary continues, and he receives the cost of living allowances and other like allowances normally payable to an Australian-based officer stationed in the particular country. Officers undergoing full-time courses in Australia, e.g., R.A.A.F. School of Languages, Point Cook, receive appropriate living allowances. Other incentives include the provision of time off for study and the payment of language proficiency allowances.
    1. (i) The payment of language proficiency allowances is dependent upon an officer’s qualifying at an examination prescribed by the Public Service Board. Payment for proficiency in various Asian languages is made in most cases at two levels, Grade “B” (normal competency in the language) £100 per annum, and Grade “A” (complete fluency) £200 per annum, with the exception of Chinese and Japanese for which there is an additional lower level, Grade “C”. The current rates of allowance for the oriental languages is £75 per annum (Grade “C”), £120 per annum (Grade “ B “) and £250 per annum (Grade “ A “). An allowance is payable in respect of only one language at a time and is payable only while the officer is stationed in a country where the language is in general use.
    2. When an officer in receipt of a proficiency allowance leaves the country in which that language is in general use, the allowance is reduced by 50%. Continued payment of this reduced allowance is subject to his passing a re-qualifying test at intervals of not more than two years. It is the policy of the Department to encourage officers to maintain their proficiency. Arrangements are made, where possible, for officers to have refresher tuition or to undergo intensive refresher courses, at the conclusion of which they may requalify for continued payment of allowances at the reduced rates. 3 (i) U.S.A.- The United States State Department has recently established a new incentive programme to improve the skills of Foreign Service personnel, particularly in difficult languages. It includes both salary incentives for junior officers entering the service and special incentives for officers already in the service undergoing training in difficult languages. If a junior Foreign Service Officer, on appointment to the service, can pass language proficiency tests at levels established by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, he qualifies for payment of salary at rates higher than he would otherwise receive. If he qualifies for a “ working knowledge “ rating or better in a

European language, his salary will be two steps ($400 a year) above the normal entry rate. If he qualifies at a similar level in an Asian language he will be paid a salary at four steps ($600 a year) above the normal entry rate. If he qualifies in more than one language, he may be paid as much as five steps ($800 a year) above the normal entry rate.

Foreign Service Officers and career reserve officers who are assigned to intensive language training courses lasting sixteen weeks or more receive a salary increase of $200 a year. If, as a result of the course, they qualify at the “working knowledge “ standard, the salary increase becomes $400 a year, provided the necessary test to determine the standard reached is held within 30 months of completing the course or during the officer’s first home leave after the course is completed.

Special promotion consideration is given to officers who qualify for foreign language proficiency.

  1. U.K.- The U.K. Foreign Service language allowances for major foreign languages are as follows (sterling currency) -

Officers of the U.K. Foreign Service may be paid appropriate allowances for any number of languages in which they have qualified for proficiency. Although allowances are reduced to half rate when an officer leaves the country in which the language is in general use, continuation if that allowance is not subject to requalification until an officer has been absent from the coun- try for five years. Wives of U.K. personnel may be helped with the cost of language tuition when accompanying their husbands to posts abroad. The number of hours tuition is dependent on the status of the officers and is in most cases greater that the maximum number of hours paid on behalf of wives of officers of the Aus- ralian service, i.e. 40 hours. Allowances are also paid to U.K. personnel for the purchase of text books used in language training.

  1. Since the Public Service Board agreed, in December, 1962, to the Department of Externa] Affairs having an annual language training pro gramme, the following officers have undergone, or are currently undergoing, full-time courses in Asian languages referred to above:
  1. In the financial year 1962-63, when the annual language training programme was first introduced, about £2,600 was allocated for expenditure on training in Asian languages. However, because the programme did not begin to operate until the financial year was well advanced, less than half the appropriation was spent. In 1963-64, approximately £3,000 was spent. In the current financial year £5,000 has been allocated for expenditure on training in Asian languages. This does not include the cost of salaries and overseas allowances paid to fulltime language students. The cost of training a junior officer who is just completing three years full-time study of Chinese has been approximately £A.12,000.
  2. It would not be possible for an Australian to learn to speak one of the languages listed in part (4) as well as the natives of the relevant country unless he had spent a large part of his formative years in that country: but subject to this limitation, the particulars required are:
  1. The number of officers who have the ability to speak various Asian languages has not been adequate for the Department’s needs. Although a small number of officers have been assigned to full-time language training courses for some years past, it was not until the Public Service Board, following upon representations by the Department, introduced the training scheme in

December, 1962, that real progress began to be made. Within the framework of the annual programmes, there is provision for tuition in all thelanguages - not confined to Asian languages - for which the Department has a special need. The main obstacles to progress have been:

  1. the inability of the Department to recruit officers in sufficient numbers to permit the release of sufficient officers from normal departmental duties for full-time language training;
  2. the time taken to master a difficultlanguage. For example, it takes three years full-time study for an officer with an aptitude for languages to attain sufficient fluency in Chinese to pass an examination at the interpreter level.

    1. The financial incentives offered are decided by the Public Service Board and not the Government.
    2. Allowing for differences in staff numbers, there is no reason to believe that the promotion of the study of Asian languages by the Department of External Affairs compares unfavorably with Britain and the United States.

Status of Forces Agreements. (Question No. 724.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Minister for

External Affairs, upon notice -

With what countries has Australia concluded a Status of Forces Agreement concerning - (a) Australian Forces in those countries, or (b) the forces of those countries in Australia?

Sir Robert Menzies:

– The Acting Minister for External Affairs has supplied the following answers to the honorable member’s questions -

  1. Australia was a party to the Agreement of 19th February 1954, concerning the status of United Nations Forces in Japan (in which there was an Australian component);
  2. An Agreement concerning the status of United States Forces in Australia was concluded on 9th May 1963.

Arrangements giving appropriate status to Australian servicemen abroad on short or long term missions are kept under close review, discussion and as necessary, negotiation. In the case of the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Malaysia, legislation in general similar to the Australian Defence (Visiting Forces) Act 1963 exists to govern the status of visiting servicemen in those countries. In Malaysia, our forces have the same status as other Commonwealth Forces in that country (see page 206 of Select Documents on International Affairs No. 1 of 1963, published by Department of External Affairs, a copy of which is in the Parliamentary Library). In Vietnam, the Government has ensured by technical bilateral arrangements that Australian servicemen are accorded by the Vietnamese Government a status equivalent to that accorded to servicemen of other friendly countries who are likewise serving there.

In the case of Australian servicemen in the United States, the UnitedStates Government has been asked to extend to them the provision of its Friendly Foreign Forces Act 1944. A reciprocal status of forces agreement with the United States to be concluded at a future date is envisaged in the protocol to the Agreement of 9th May 1963, concerning the status of United States forces in Australia.

Aid to South Vietnam. (Question No. 760.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice -

  1. On what dates did the Government of South Vietnam address the appeals for assistance to non-S.E.A.T.O. as well as S.E.A.T.O. countries, to which the Minister referred in his reply to me on the 20th October (“Hansard”, page 2130)?
  2. Did these appeals constitute the invitation to which the Prime Minister referred on the 13th August (“ Hansard “, page 186)?
  3. On what dates did Australia decide to give assistance?
Sir Robert Menzies:

– The Acting Minister for External Affairs has furnished the following replies -

  1. See answer to Question No. 392 on Notice Paper No. 33 printed in “Hansard” of the 20th October 1964 (pages 2131-2).
  2. As stated in the reply to Question No. 392 (“Hansard” of the 20th October 1964 page 2132), Australian aid to Vietnam has flowed from appeals from the Government of the Republic of Vietnam and from detailed consultations in pursuance of them which have taken place with that Government.
  3. Relevant dates are given in the reply to Question 392 (pages 2131-2 of “Hansard” of the 20th October 1964) and in the reply to Question No. 543 (page 2382-3 of “Hansard” of 27th October 1964).

Transport Conventions. (Question No. 762.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Acting Minister for External Affairs, upon notice -

  1. Which of the transport conventions to which Australia has not become a party (“ Hansard “, 22nd October 1964, page 2305) were supported and which were opposed by Australia?
  2. What countries have become parties to them?
  3. Which of the conventions have entered into force, and when did each enter into force?
  4. What steps have been taken to prepare for Australia to become a party to any of the conventions?
  5. What steps have still to be taken before Australia becomes a party to each of the conventions, and when does he expect those steps to be taken?
Sir Robert Menzies:

– The Acting Minister for External Affairs has furnished the replies set out in the following chart -

Civil Aviation. (Question No. 7(3.)

Mr Clyde Cameron:

n asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -

  1. Is it a fact that, although express requests have been made to the Commonwealth Government by the Government of South Australia for additional air services to meet South Australia’s requirements, the Commonwealth Government has, by administrative action, prevented this from being done?
  2. Has the Commonwealth Government, in this way, failed to implement its announced policy of fostering competitive air services and, as a result, has an airline subsidiary of Ansett Transport industries Ltd. been the chief beneficiary of the Commonwealth’s action?
Mr Fairbairn:
Minister for National Development · FARRER, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– The Minister for Civil Aviation has supplied the following information-

  1. The South Australian Government in 1956 and 1963 suggested to the Commonwealth that legislation might be enacted for a reference by it of “ air transport “ powers to the Commonwealth as a step towards enabling Trans-Australia Airlines to operate within that State. However, as it was the Commonwealth’s view that intrastate airline services in South Australia were adequately provided by the existing operator, and the intrusion of a second airline would result in overall uneconomic operation for them both, there was no progress made on the suggestion. The Commonwealth met a request by the Government of South Australia in 1956 for the licensing of additional air services to Leigh Creek and is not aware of any other requests for additional air services.
  2. No. The Commonwealth’s policy is to foster competitive services where they are economically justified but also to avoid the waste of uneconomic competition. South Australian air routes have not yet developed to the point of justifying competitive services.

Copper. (Question No. 771.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Minister for Trade and Industry, upon notice -

  1. Did a conference of scrap copper exporters and buyers agree on a compromise price for copper scrap?
  2. When was this conference held?
  3. On what date were manufacturers advised of the results of this conference?
  4. Did manufacturers subsequently dispute the figures on which the conference based its decisions?
  5. What was the nature of their disagreement with the figures?
  6. What reply was made to the manufacturers?
  7. What departments, other than his Department attended the conference?
  8. Did these departments agree with the compromise reached at the conference?
Mr McEwen:

– The answer to the honorable member’s questions is as follows -

On 21st and 22nd May 1964, a conference was held in Canberra attended by some 40 representatives of industry (including copper producers, scrap merchants and users of copper and of scrap) together with representatives of the Departments of National Development, Customs and Excise, Supply, and Trade and Industry.

At the conference there was a detailed discussion of the availability of copper scrap and copper alloy scrap in Australia and of the prices being paid for scrap by local and overseas buyers.

No firm decisions were taken at the meeting - but it was agreed that it would be desirable for manufacturers and scrap merchants to agree on compromise prices for scrap and for discussions to be held direct between the users of scrap and the suppliers. Subsequent discussions took place, compromise prices were adopted and exports of scrap declined.

Because manufacturers were present at the conference, there was no need to advise them of the results of the discussions.

Tobacco. (Question No. 782.) -

Mr Hansen:

n asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice -

  1. Do tobacco manufacturers in Australia claim that the addition of a greater percentage of local leaf to their products would cause an increase in the price of tobacco and cigarettes to smokers?
  2. Has his attention been drawn to an official Australian report that 2,998,839 lb. of tobacco was imported from South Africa during 1962- 63 at an average price of 68. 7d. per lb. and another report by the United States Department of Agriculture that this sale to Australia Was made at an average price of 21.8 cents per lb.?
  3. If so, has he investigated this matter?
  4. If no investigation has yet been made will he undertake to make inquiries as to why there is such a considerable difference in the two reports?
Mr Adermann:
Minister for Primary Industry · FISHER, QUEENSLAND · CP

– The answers to the honorable members questions are as follows -

  1. No. Under the present circumstances obtaining in the Australian tobacco industry manufacturers are not compelled to purchase and use Australian tobacco leaf but do so because there is an economic advantage deriving from its use.
  2. No. However, I have since seen the report by the United States Department of Agriculture in “Foreign Agriculture” to which the honorable member presumably refers. The price of 21.8 cents per lb. (equivalent to 23.3d. Australian) is obviously an error as the official South African publication “Foreign Trade Statistics” shows that exports to Australia in 1962 were made at an average of 46.2d. (Australian) per lb. The Commonwealth Statistician indicates that imports of unmanufactured tobacco from South Africa in 1962 averaged 76.0d. per lb. Insofar as the apparent discrepancy is concerned, I am advised that the 76d. per lb. shown by the Commonwealth Statistician represents the average value for duty and is not related to the selling or export price. Value for duty is assessed on the current domestic value in the country of export or the selling price to the purchaser whichever is the higher.
  3. See 2. above.
  4. See 2. above.

Productivity Statistics. (Question No. 531.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

Has the Commonwealth Statistician made any progress in preparing statistics on productivity since the Treasurer’s reply to me on 28th October 1963 (“Hansard”, page 2364)?

Mr Harold Holt:

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -

The Commonwealth Statistician informs me that because of the inherent shortcomings of such measures and, to some extent because of data deficiencies, he does not envisage publishing an official statistical scries purporting to measure labour productivity. Work is continuing on expanding and improving the data available in production and other scries usually considered in studies of productivity.

Public Service Board Reports. (Question No. 542.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

  1. Did the Public Service Board state in the preliminary statement which he tabled on 2nd October 1962, that its report for 1961-62 would be presented to Parliament later in the year?
  2. Did the Board state in the preliminary statements which he tabled on 11th September 1963, that its report for 1962-63 would be presented to Parliament later in the session?
  3. Does the Board intend to convey to him and to the Parliament in the opening paragraph of its report for 1963-64, which he tabled on 3rd September 1964, that it now declines to make a full statutory report for the two preceding years?
Sir Robert Menzies:

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows -

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes.
  3. .The Public Service Board has informed me as follows - The statements tabled in the House on 2nd October 1962, and on 11th September 1963, by the Prime Minister were presented by the Board as encompassing the information normally submitted in compliance with section 22 of the Public Service Act. The statements were designated “preliminary” because the Board had hoped to extend the normal reporting by the addition of a narrative confined to a discussion of those current issues likely to have a major impact on the organisation and development of the Public Service, e.g. the reviews of classification structures and pay levels stimulated by the Engineers Judgment of June 1961. In the event, the rapidly changing situation made this impracticable. The report tabled in the House on 3rd September 1964, includes the commentary the Board had hoped to develop in 1961-62 and 1962-63. It also illustrates the form and scope of reporting which the Board hopes to develop further in future years. The Board regrets the confusion which has arisen because of the delays in development of its plans to improve and extend its reporting. The Board has put in hand the action necessary to complete the record for 1961-62 and 1962-63.

Public Service: Salaries. (Question No. 572.)

Mr Clyde Cameron:

n asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

What are the names, positions and salaries of Commonwealth employees who are in receipt of annual salaries of £2,750 or more?

Sir Robert Menzies:

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -

At 1st January 1964, the number of positions in the Commonwealth Service where the whole of the salary range exceeded £2,749 (Actual) was 4,679. Details for each Division of the Service at

In addition there were 3,181 positions with salary ranges having the minimum below £2,749 (Actual) and the maximum above. Details of these positions at 1st January 1964, are as follows-

Some of the occupants of these positions, who were at or near the top of their respective ranges, would also be receiving more than £2,749 (Actual) per annum.

I realise I have not provided details of positions, salaries and names of occupants but, because of the numbers involved, this is not practicable.

Armed Services: Advertising for Recruits. (Question No. 627.)

Mr Beaton:

n asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

  1. What amount was spent by the respective armed Services in advertising for recruits in the last financial year?
  2. How much was spent in respect of each service on (a) press,(b) radio and (c) television advertising?
  3. How much was spent on (a) press, (b) radio and (c) television advertising through the medium of country newspapers, radio stations and television channels?
  4. How much will be spent on (a) press, (b) radio and (c) television advertising in country areas in this financial year?
Mr Fairhall:
Minister for Supply · PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows -

  1. The amounts spent by the Central Directorate of Recruiting for recruiting in 1963-64 were - Navy £187,000; Army £300,000; Air Force £1 14,000.
  2. The amounts spent on press, radio and television advertisements were -
  1. The amounts spent on provincial advertising were- Press £39,000; radio £8,000; television nil.
  2. It is not possible at this stage to give precise figures, but arrangements have been made to advertise on country television stations next year. In other respects expenditure will broadly follow the general pattern of the previous year.

There are other amounts expended by the individual Services on leaflets, brochures, staging of exhibitions and displays, &c, but the principal expenditure is incurred by the Central Directorate of Recruiting.

Finance. (Question No. 705.)

Mr Crean:

n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

  1. Does the Commonwealth Government itself directly or through the Reserve Bank have holdings of United States Treasury securities for the purposes of overseas reserves?
  2. If so, what have been the approximate holdings of such securities for each of the last several years?
  3. Is the interest received on such securities subject to United States federal withholding tax or any other form of United States taxation?
  4. If such funds as are held from time to time are not liable to United States taxation, under what provisions or agreement are they exempted?
Mr Harold Holt:

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows - 1 and 2. Nearly all Australia’s foreign exchange reserves are held by the Reserve Bank of Australia and its current holdings include a proportion of United States dollars invested in short term United States Treasury securities. The amounts so involved are not large in relation to the total; over recent years they have fluctuated between $50 million and $100 million. 3 and 4. The United States Internal Revenue Code provides an exemption from taxation for income derived by a “foreign central bank of issue” from United States Government obligations owned by the foreign central bank unless such obligations are held for, or used in connection with, the conduct of commercial banking functions or other commercial activities. The Reserve Bank qualifies for this exemption.

Housing for Immigrants. (Question No. 709.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Minister for Housing, upon notice -

  1. On what dates, in what form and to what extent have the Italian and Netherlands Governments assisted in providing houses for migrants from their countries?
  2. Has the British Government or any other government offered or been asked to assist similarly?
Mr Bury:
Minister for Housing · WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows -

  1. Both an Italian semi-government body, the National Institute of Credit for Italian Labour Abroad (I.C.L.E.), and the Netherlands Government have lent money towards meeting the cost of housing Italian and Dutch immigrants respectively. A condition of these loans was that they were to be matched by loans from Australian sources. Australian banks have, in fact, supplied most of the matching loans. The funds available have been lent to migrants through building societies whose loans arc guaranteed by the appropriate State Government. The amounts received from abroad and the years in which they were received were as follows: -
  2. I understand that there have been approaches by represenatives of Australian interests to British authorities and building societies to see whether these societies were in a position to lend to Australian building societies to assist in the financing of homes for British immigrants. So far these approaches have not been successful.

Representatives in Australia of other governments have inquired about the methods of operation of the I.C.L.E. and the Netherlands loan schemes, but, as far as I am aware, no other similar schemes are in operation.

Housing for Immigrants. (Question No. 710.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Minister for Housing, upon notice -

What steps have been taken by the Commonwealth and each State to allow migrants to procure houses built (a) by State housing authorities and (b) through building societies with advances made pursuant to the Housing Agreement Act?

Mr Bury:

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -

The Commonwealth has no power to direct the States to provide houses for migrants. Each State decides its own policy in this field. In general, the conditions under which a migrant may apply to buy a dwelling built by a State housing authority are the same as those for an Australian citizen. However, in some States, migrants may have to delay submitting their applications in order to meet a special requirement of the housing authority.

The Governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia either have made, or have agreed to make, advances from Housing Agreement moneys to match, in part, special oversea loans for the housing of Italian and Dutch immigrants. The oversea funds, together with matching funds from Australian sources, are lent to migrants through building societies. The Commonwealth Savings Bank plays a prominent part in arranging such oversea loans and the matching funds.

Many migrants become members of building societies, or form their own building society. Such societies are eligible to receive Housing Agreement funds allocated by the States.

Sewage Disposal. (Question No. 721.)

Mr Costa:

a asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

  1. Is he able to say whether George’s River near Sydney has been closed to swimming for three years because of sewage pollution and whether sewage effluent at Sydney metropolitan beaches is causing local government authorities great anxiety because of the hazards to health?
  2. If so, has the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization undertaken any investigation or research with the object of finding a more hygienic method of sewage disposal than that of draining it into rivers or out to sea?
Sir Robert Menzies:

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows -

  1. The problem of the pollution of George’s River and the Sydney metropolitan beaches is not a Commonwealth responsibility, being entirely a matter for the New South Wales authorities, and the Commonwealth Government has no knowledge of the matter.
  2. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has not undertaken any research on sewage disposal. This is a matter for the appropriate local authority, in this case, the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board of Sydney.

Homes Savings Grants. (Question No. 722.)

Mr L R Johnson:

son asked the Minister for Housing, upon notice -

  1. How many formal applications lodged under the provisions of the Homes Savings Grant Act have been unsuccessful?
  2. What are the five principal reasons for the rejection of applications?
  3. Has any dissection of the income of applicants under the Act been undertaken?
  4. If so, how many successful applicant couples had a combined weekly income in excess of (a) £20, (b) £25, (c) £35, (d) £45, (e) £55, (0 £65, (g) £75 and (h) £100?
Mr Bury:

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows -

  1. Up to 6th November 1964, 6,888 applications for home savings grants had been finalised, of which 612 had been unsuccessful.
  2. The two main reasons why applicants were unsuccessful have been -

    1. the contract to buy or build the home was entered into, or construction of the home commenced, prior to 2nd December 1963; and
    2. the applicant had not saved for the required minimum period of three years.

Other reasons why applications have been rejected include -

  1. the applicant had not resided in Australia for the required minimum period;
  2. the applicant failed to supply evidence of a contract in writing to buy or build a home; and
  3. the applicant did not have savings in an acceptable form. 3 and 4. No. The Act does not require applicants for the home savings grants to supply information regarding their incomes.

Australian Expenditure on War in Korea. (Question No. 747.)

Mr Uren:

n asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

What was the total expenditure incurred by Australia through its participation in the Korean War?

Mr Fairhall:

– The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer: -

The cost of Australia’s participation in the Korean war and garrison duties, including the cost of supporting units and establishments in Japan, from the commencement of operations in June 1950, to May 1964 when the final settlement was made with the United States of America for services supplied during the war, was £47.763 million. This does not include normal pay and allowances for personnel who were members of the Australian permanent forces.

Education in the Northern Territory. (Question No. 751.)

Mr Mortimer:

r asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

  1. Is a boarding allowance of £100 plus a travelling allowance paid by the Commonwealth in respect of Northern Territory children attending the St. Philip’s boarding school at Alice Springs?
  2. Is it a fact that children from the farnorth of South Australia who attend this school do not receive a Commonwealth subsidy?
  3. Has his attention been drawn to the recent statement by the South Australian Minister of Education that it is financially impossible for that State to assist further these outback children?
  4. If so, will he give consideration to subsidising the allowances of the South Australian children attending this school so that there will be no differentiation between these children and their counterparts over the border?
Sir Robert Menzies:

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows -

  1. . Yes, provided their homes are in the Northern Territory and arc more than ten miles from a suitable school, and provided they live away from their homes in order to attend school.
  2. This assistance from the Northern Territory Administration is confined to residents of the Northern Territory and, accordingly, children whose homes are in South Australia would not be eligible for these allowances.
  3. I am not aware of the recent statement made by the South Australian Minister of Education to which the honorable member refers. However, I understand that the South Australian Government does provide boarding allowances for children who have to live away from home to attend a secondary school.
  4. This is predominantly a State matter, and South Australia and all other States pay allowances to assist with the schooling of children living in remote areas. In the circumstances the Government could not agree to subsidise the allowances of South Australian children as the honorable member suggested.

Housing. (Question No. 759.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Minister for Housing, upon notice -

What means test does each State housing authority apply in allocating houses (a) for sale and (b) for rental.

Mr Bury:

– The following answers to the honorable member’s question have been supplied by the respective State housing authorities -

  1. Although no specific means test is applied by the New South Wales Housing Commission to determine the eligibility of an applicant to buy or rent a dwelling, the Commission does have regard to the income and financial resources of an applicant and his family in deciding whether or not to register an application.
  2. An applicant to be eligible to buy a dwelling from the Victorian Housing Commission must not be in receipt of an income of more than £30 per week. Applicants to rent Commission dwellings must not be receiving more than £25 per week. These amounts refer to the income of the principal bread-winner. In addition the gross income of the applicant’s family is also taken into consideration.
  3. Although no specific means test is applied to determine the eligibility of an applicant to buy or rent a dwelling from the Queensland Housing Commission, the Commission does have regard to the applicant’s need for financial assistance.
  4. The South Australian Housing Trust does not apply any means test prior to accepting an application to buy or rent a house erected with funds provided under the 1956 and 1961 Housing Agreements. However, in allocating dwellings it bears in mind its general responsibility to provide housing for people of limited means.
  5. An applicant to buy or rent a dwelling from the State Housing Commission of Western Australia must not be in receipt of an income exceeding £23 7s.10d. per week in the metropolitan area, £2816s.8d. per week in country areas, or £38 9s. 3d. per week in the North-West.
  6. Although the Tasmanian Housing Department does not apply a specific means test to applicants who wish to buy or rent one of its dwellings, it will not allot a dwelling to a person who, it believes, can afford to buy or rent a house on the open market.

Visitors’ Visas. (Question No. 761.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

From what churchmen or church bodies has he received protests or other communications concerning the refusal of a visa to Archbishop Alexei?

Sir Robert Menzies:

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -

It is not customary to publish a list of the names of people who correspond wilh a Minister of the Crown, even on a public matter. I do not propose to depart from this practice.

Southern Rhodesia. (Question No. 772.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

  1. Did he say on 27th October (“Hansard”, page 23 IS) that the Commonwealth Prime Ministers had gone on record that they could not recognise a government established by a unilateral declaration of independence on the part of South Rhodesia unless there was reason to believe that this represented the view of the people of Rhodesia?
  2. Did the Prime Ministers in fact state on 16th July that they noted with approval the statement already made by the British Government that it would not recognise any unilateral declaration of independence and that they made it clear that they would be unable to recognise any such declaration?
  3. Will he now make it clear that there is no qualification in his refusal to recognise a unilateral declaration of independence by the Rhodesian Government?
Sir Robert Menzies:

– The answer to the honorable member’s questions is as follows -


Civil Aviation. (Question No. 773.)

Mr Hansen:

n asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -

  1. Is the Minister able to say whether road transport hauliers, operating without permit through Canberra, have been fined recently for breaches of the State Transport Act?
  2. If so, has he considered the recently commenced operations of Airlines of New South Wales between New South Wales and Canberra in the light of such breaches of the State Act?
  3. Will he make a statement in connection with the matters?
Mr Fairbairn:

– The Minister for Civil Aviation has supplied the following information -

I have not considered the operations of Airlines of New South Wales between the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales in the light of any cases involving road hauliers, because these airline operations are licensed under Commonwealth law. I do not wish to make any statement on the subject because the High Court is currently dealing with a matter which is somewhat related.

Universities: Fees.

Sir Robert Menzies:

– When I replied on 20th November to question on notice No. 447, in which the honorable member for Werriwa (Mr. Whitlam) sought information of Australian universities under 11 headings, I stated that the Universities had been asked for information on part 11 of his question which was concerned with increases in fees this year, and that when their replies had been received I would advise the honorable gentleman. The following information from the universities ha: now come to hand -

General increases in fees were made by the Universities of New England, Western Australia, and Tasmania. There were small increases in fees for undergraduate tuition at the University of Queensland, while the University of Melbourne made changes in certain minor fees and in the fees for second year agricultural science. The University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Adelaide, Monash University and the Australian National University did not increase fees this year.

South Vietnam.

Sir Robert Menzies:

– On 23rd September the honorable member for Herbert (Mr. Harding) asked me a question without notice requesting that Australian servicemen serving in South Vietnam be allowed to accept foreign decorations. The honorable member also asked whether the Austraiian Government intended to issue a campaign medal for service in South Vietnam.

In accordance with well established principles, bravery and acts of gallantry by members of the Australian forces are recognised by awards bestowed by Her Majesty The Queen. These principles preclude the acceptance of foreign awards and decorations for such service.

The issue of a medal in recognition of service by Australian personnel in South Vietnam is receiving consideration by the Government.

Taxation. (Question No. 650.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

What estimated (a) loss or (b) gain would now be caused to Consolidated Revenue by each of the recommendations made by the Ligertwood Committee on Taxation in June 1961?

Mr Harold Holt:

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -

Many of the recommendations made by the Commonwealth Committee on Taxation were adopted in the 1961-62 and 1963-64 Budgets and estimates of their revenue effects were set out in statements accompanying the respective Budget speeches.

The Committee’s recommendation for the repeal of the clearance provisions relating to persons leaving Australia was implemented in 1962 and following detailed consideration of the Committee’s recommendations in relation to companies, leases, trusts and partnerships, superannuation funds and alienation of income, amendments to the income tax law have passed all stages in this House and in the Senate. Because of the nature of the proposals contained in those Bills it is not possible to make precise estimates of their effect on the revenue. Details of recommendations not yet dealt with by the Parliament and their estimated annual revenue effects arc set out in the following table: -

The optional simplified return form in use in the United States of America is the form used by taxpayers who claim the standard deduction to cover concessional deductions, other than for dependants, instead of claiming on the basis of actual expenditure. The standard deduction is expressed as a percentage of income with a prescribed maximum. The cost to revenue of introducing standard deductions would depend on the percentage of income allowed as the standard deduction and the maximum amount allowable before claims must be made on the basis of actual expenditure.

The Committee also made recommendations in relation to assessments, objections and appeals, registration of tax agents, penal provisions and prosecutions, and miscellaneous matters which have not yet been finally dealt with. Those recommendations, if implemented, would have little or no effect on revenue but in some cases would involve additional administrative costs.

Copper. (Question No. 769.)

Mr Whitlam:

m asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

What is the estimated cost to the mint of recent increases in copper prices?

Mr Harold Holt:

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows -

In normal circumstances, purchases of copper for minting purposes are made from local suppliers at world producer price which, for some time prior to 18th August 1964, was equivalent to £320 a ton. However, during periods when copper is in short supply, the price paid is the London Metal Exchange mean spot price on the date of despatch from store.

Shortages in domestic copper supplies occurred towards the middle of 1964 and, between 24th June and 18th August, purchases of copper totalling approximately 212 tons were made at prices ranging up to £460 lis. 8d. a ton, thereby involving the payment of £12,350 more than would have been paid at the world producer price of £320 a ton.

From 19th August the world producer price has been the equivalent of £340 a ton, and the cost of copper supplied for minting purposes has ranged up to £655 14s. 9d. a ton.

Between 19th August and 29th October, 342 tons were purchased at prices involving payments of £55,643 in excess of the amounts which would have been paid had the world producer price of £340 a ton applied.

A purchase of copper for minting purposes effected on 29th October was made after the establishment of the copper surcharge pool operated by the major copper fabricators. The Commonwealth, along with other purchasers, has lodged a claim on the pool for payment of the difference between the pool price of £396 a ton (i.e. the world producer price of £340 a ton plus a surcharge of £56 a ton) and the London Metal Exchange price in respect of that purchase. The claim involves the requested repayment of £10,376 to the Commonweal^.


Mr Harold Holt:

t. - On 1st October the honorable member for Cowper (Mr. Robinson) asked me a question without notice in which he suggested that farmers in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales were experiencing difficulty in obtaining bank finance for pasture improvement. I promised to make inquiries.

On the general question of the financing of pasture improvement, it is evident from inquiries made by the Reserve Bank that the trading banks have co-operated in making finance available to assist in the introduction of new pastures, and the Bank has no reason to believe that the banks will not continue to assist.

In the particular case of the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, the Reserve Bank understands that banks operating in the area are well informed on and keenly interested in recent developments in pasture improvement there. The New South Wales Department of Agriculture conducted a bank managers’ conference in Lismore in September last at which the bankers were given all the latest information on research findings and costs and returns. The Reserve Bank’s advice is that the bankers were keenly interested and asked that there be continued liaison between the Department’s workers and the banks. Bankers are now represented on the local Agricultural Research and Extension Committees. The Reserve Bank’s Rural Liaison Service and Rural Credits Development Fund also have been closely associated with developments in pasture improvement. I am advised that the Rural Liaison Service proposes to conduct a bankers’ conference in northern New South Wales next autumn at which prominence will be given to new pastures for the North Coast, with particular reference to costs and returns, credit requirements, possible changes in land values and other relevant factors.

Even allowing for the interest the banks are taking in pasture improvement developments in the Northern Rivers area, there have no doubt been, and will continue to be, cases where applications for bank finance do not measure up to trading banking criteria. In this connection I should like to mention that the Commonwealth Development Bank is also active in the financing of pasture improvement. I am informed that the Development Bank has provided at least 42 borrowers in the Lismore-Murwillumbah area alone with finance for pasture improvement work and has also provided loan finance to commercial seed producers in that area.

By way of indirect assistance, the Commonwealth Development Bank, with the Commonwealth Trading Bank, has been instrumental in having discussions promoted on a banker-farmer-extension worker basis with a view to spreading knowledge of problems and remedies. It is also relevant that, in the immediate future, one of the Development Bank’s specialist rural staff will be stationed at Lismore.

The Development Bank is, of course, required to be satisfied in considering applications that the finance is desirable but would not otherwise be available on reasonable and suitable terms and conditions. Subject to this statutory requirement, the Development Bank is, I am assured, prepared to give sympathetic consideration to applications from farmers for finance to undertake pasture establishment on their properties.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 16 November 1964, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.