House of Representatives
26 September 1969

26th Parliament · 2nd Session



Mr SPEAKER (Hon. W. J. Aston) took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.

page 2053

PETITIONS

Electoral

Mr BRYANT presented from certain electors of the Commonwealth a petition showing that they are concerned that many electors in the Commonwealth are deprived of equal electoral effect when voting for or against the Government at a general election and in reality are denied the democratic right of suffrage: The electoral game is stacked in favour of the two parties which form the governing coalition.

The petitioners pray that the members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled legislate for electoral system reforms - even beyond a more equitable redistribution of electorates - so that future general election results may be truly representative and satisfy the criterion of one man one vote, one vote one value.

Petition received and read.

Aboriginal Ownership of Land

Mr BRYANT presented from certain citizens of the Commonwealth a petition showing:

  1. the Commonwealth Parliament has a clear mandate to act for the advancement of the Aboriginal people;
  2. Aborigines require a sound economic basis to rise from their present position of poverty;
  3. the granting of special land rights would provide such a basis; and
  4. common justice and international standards require recognition of traditional ownership rights of indigenous people.

The petitioners pray that the House will make legal provision for:

  1. Aboriginal residents on existing reserves throughout the Commonwealth to obtain ownership of the reserves:
  2. The recognition of Aboriginal ownership of traditional land at present owned and leased by the Crown; and
  3. The development of mining, pastoral and other enterprises of all Aboriginal land to be subject to the consent of Aboriginal owners and such conditions as their own legal advisers may arrange.

Petition received and read.

page 2053

QUESTION

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL GALLERY

Mr WHITLAM:
WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES

– 1 ask the Prime Minister a question. It concerns not so much a political as a cultural matter because I want his last question time to start on a harmonious note. I ask: Why have not steps been taken to establish the Australian National Gallery Trust Fund which the National Art Gallery Committee of Inquiry recommended in March 1966? I also ask him: What is delaying the announcement of the appointment of a director of the gallery and related matters which for so many weeks have been awaiting Cabinet’s consideration and decision?

Mr GORTON:
Prime Minister · HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP

– I am not able to provide the Leader of the Opposition with a statement of the position in this matter, which has not been brought to our attention in any significant way. Since he did mention, kindly enough, that this was a cultural matter, he will no doubt recall, and I believe could scarcely but commend, the great increase in funds provided by this Government for cultural activities in Australia, so that this year they have gone up to very nearly $3m.

page 2053

QUESTION

CHEESE

Mr JEFF BATE:
MACARTHUR, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I ask the handsome, charming and efficient young Minister for Primary Industry whether in the terms of reference to the cheese committee of inquiry the Government could include sympathetic encouragement to the small factories that have spent years exploring home and export markets, thus eroding imports and assisting the balance of trade and marketing and disposal of dairy products. Will the Government carry on with more emphasis on marketing than productivity in the rural industries generally?

Mr ANTHONY:
Minister for Primary Industry · RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– Earlier this week, in answer to a question relating to the concern of the Australian dairy industry at the increasing amount of cheese being imported into the country, I mentioned that a committee or a joint panel of Government and industry representatives would be set up. This has been done. The Chairman is Mr J. Scully of the Office of Secondary Industry of the Department of Trade and Industry and the members are Mr A. P. Beatty of the Australian Dairy Farmers Federation, Mr

  1. W. Easton of the Australian Cheese Manufacturers Federation, Mr F. N. Giles from my Department and Dr Fairbrother of the Office of Secondary Industry of the Department of Trade and Industry. These people will collect all the information they can about the importation of cheese and about the structure of our own cheese industry, paying particular regard to the fancy cheese industry which is developing and in some areas developing very successfully. I think very much of the industry in the honourable member’s electorate and also his own enterprise at Tilba Tilba, which is developing a nation-wide reputation.

The honour-able member also mentioned concentrating more on marketing than production. This is an aspect that the committee will have to look at, but I am quite sure that there is a potential for greater market penetration and for getting a better consumer reaction in Australia. Our fancy cheeses are equal to, if not better than, any in the world and I am surprised that Australians buy a lot of these imported cheeses just for the snob value. In fact the quality of these cheeses is very low. People seem to buy them just because they carry a foreign label.

page 2054

QUESTION

MOTOR VEHICLES

Mr GRIFFITHS:
SHORTLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES

– My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Is he aware that great hardship is being imposed on some migrants who are required to pay customs duty and sales tax on the family car that they bring to Australia, allegedly because the owner has not owned that particular vehicle for IS months, while the more affluent person owning a more highly priced car is now able to bring it here duty free and dispose of it almost immediately? Were the recent lifting of the 2-year security bond and the retention of the 15 months ownership provision decisions of Cabinet? If so, what principle was the Government trying to preserve when it lifted this security bond while retaining the 15 months ownership clause? Is this a case of impoverishing the poor and enriching the wealthy? Will the right honourable gentleman look further into this problem with a view to allowing migrants who have for more than 15 months continuously owned a motor car of a value of less than $2,000, although not the same car, and who enter into a guarantee to retain the car for at least 2 years, to bring it into the country duty free?

Mr GORTON:
LP

– There is a great deal of detail in the question asking me for an answer on specific lengths of time and amounts of money and the number of cars individuals own before they come here. All I can tell the honourable member is what he no doubt knows; that the object of the Government has been and is to prevent persons, whether rich or poor, from being able to buy cars abroad, bring them in free of sales tax, and then dispose of them at a profit. That is the objective of the exercise. I will examine the specific proposals put forward by the honourable member - I will get the Treasury to do so and let him have a reply in writing on them.

page 2054

IMMIGRATION

Mr STOKES:
MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA

– The Minister for Immigration will recall that a week or two ago I requested him to consider a plan for a tax free period of 1 or 2 years for new migrants on low incomes in order to give them a better chance to establish themselves in Australia. As a similar suggestion has been reported in today’s Melbourne Press I now ask whether the Minister has had an opportunity to confer with his colleague, the Treasurer, to see that this matter receives full consideration.

Mr SNEDDEN:
Minister for Immigration · BRUCE, VICTORIA · LP

– The honourable gentleman did raise this matter a few weeks ago. I was opposed to the suggestion then, as I am now. There has been no change in my attitude. I am opposed to it essentially for the reason that the state of our economy - the way of our life - constitutes a very great attraction to people to come and live in Australia, as in shown by last year’s record intake. I believe that we will continue to attract migrants as we have in the past and as we are now. There is a lot to do in terms of making sure that a migrant coming here is not at a disadvantage compared with other “citizens, including those who a short time ago were themselves migrants. I am quite persuaded that one thing we will never be able to do is positively to advantage migrants compared with other persons in the community. The proposal referred to would positively advantage them and would be likely to lead to a reaction in the community’s not welcoming migrants because of their advantaged position. We certainly would not want to see this happen. It is essential that the community should support and participate in our immigration programme so that people may be integrated into our community successfully.

page 2055

QUESTION

POWER STATION FOR CENTRAL QUEENSLAND

Dr EVERINGHAM:
CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND

– Will the Minister for National Development announce in detail before the House rises what stage has been reached in the benefit cost analysis of proposals for a major central Queensland power station? What are the main obstacles to an immediate decision? What factors will influence this decision other than the economic and communal interests of the Australian population in general?

Mr GORTON:
LP

– The matter raised by the honourable member is, of course, of considerable importance and 1 will let him have a reply in due course.

page 2055

QUESTION

RADIO AUSTRALIA

Mr DOBIE:
HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES

– Is the Postmaster-General in a position to tell the House when the new booster station at Darwin will come into operation so that Radio Australia may once more provide its essential and excellent service to South East Asia, thereby providing the proper element of news and publicity to counter Radio Peking, which at the present time would seem to have the field of radio propaganda in this sensitive area of the world to itself?

Mr HULME:
Postmaster-General · PETRIE, QUEENSLAND · LP

– I cannot say when this station will come into full operation. There has been some difficulty with regard to the equipment which was installed there. Test announcements are made from time to time by this station. I am hoping that in the not too distant future we will have overcome the technical difficulties and that the station will be in full operation to achieve the result to which the honourable member has referred.

page 2055

QUESTION

RAILWAYS

Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP

– I want to ask the Minister for Shipping and Transport a question. Have the Commonwealth Government and the South Australian

Government yet agreed on which consultants are to be appointed for the Adelaide to Port Pirie rail standardisation project, which was proposed as long as 20 years ago, in the light of the proposals which the interested consultant firms forwarded to the Government 2 weeks ago. What progress has the Government made in examining the final recommendations made by the Commonwealth Railways Commissioner last January for the Whyalla railway line?

Mr SINCLAIR:
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry · NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– I am glad to see honourable members opposite following the honourable member for Grey in taking an interest in these railway projects in South Australia. The consultants are at this stage preparing an assessment, in respect of the Adelaide to Port Pirie line, of the way in which they would undertake the task. I expect to receive by the end of this month the submissions from the seven consultants including at least two from South Australia whose names have been included on the short list. Thereafter the Governments of South Australia and the Commonwealth will determine one name and the report from the selected consultant is expected to be received and subjected to examination not later than 1970. I have referred in the last few weeks in this House to development in regard to the Whyalla to Port Augusta line. At that time I said that a decision of the Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd to use rail instead of sea transport had changed substantially the economics of this line. There are still some details of planning to be finalised and it is expected that it will be possible to determine the route of the Whyalla to Port Augusta line fairly shortly.

page 2055

QUESTION

WHEAT

Mr ADERMANN:
FISHER, QUEENSLAND

– My question is directed to the Minister for Trade and Industry. In view of the importance to the Australian wheat industry and because of the considerable speculation, informed or otherwise, that is going on, can the Minister inform the House of the present position with regard .to the International Grains Arrangement?

Mr McEWEN:
Deputy Prime Minister · MURRAY, VICTORIA · CP

– Despite allegations that the International Grains Arrangement is not operative or is a dead letter, I can say that it is effectively operating at present. There is orderly marketing in the international selling of wheat. The governments of the wheat exporting countries which are signatories to the Arrangement have recently reaffirmed their intention to sustain the Arrangement and they are operating accordingly. As might be expected because of the record world crop last year great strains have been placed on the Arrangement and there was for a period an intolerable situation in which Canada and the United States were selling quite inadequate quantities of wheat while Australia was selling more than its normal share. Following a series of meetings, the first between senior officials in London, followed by the ministerial meeting which I attended in Washington, it was agreed at the latter meeting that it was necessary to take corrective action to lower the price of some wheats, but only to the extent necessary to restore fair relative competition and to secure sales which might otherwise go to the non-member sellers of wheat. It was also agreed that prices lower than the minimum laid down in the Arrangement should not be continued for longer than necessary.

The agreed objective, which is being observed, is that the member exporters should each get a fair share of the market. This is being constantly watched. Sir Alan Westerman went to a meeting in London in August, and Mr Dorman, the General Manager of the Australian Wheat Board, went to Washington and Winnipeg and conferred on . prices for at least a fortnight. There is a prospect of further meetings. The senior Deputy Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry is to attend another senior level policy meeting in Brussels next week.

The effective purposes of the International Grains Arrangement are operating satisfactorily as far as Australia is concerned. Australia is getting a fair share of the market. Other countries are also getting their share of the market. Lest there be any doubt as to the degree that prices have had to be sacrificed in order that Australia could secure this result, I can say that since the Washington agreement the average price by which Australia wheat has been reduced is about 5c a bushel. I am informed that at the moment the average selling price of Australian wheat is a little less than 5c below the minimum. I regard this as quite a remarkable recovery in the international wheat market in view of the all-out cut-throat price war which threatened a couple of months ago.

page 2056

QUESTION

ADELAIDE TO PORT PIRIE RAILWAY

Mr WHITLAM:

– 1 wish to ask a question of the Minister for Shipping and Transport. It is supplementary to the question asked of him by the honourable member for Hindmarsh concerning the railway line between Adelaide and Port Pirie which the Commonwealth and South Australian Parliaments authorised 20 years ago. The Minister will appreciate that a month ago he informed me that the agreed Arms of consultants had been requested to forward proposals by 12th September 1969 and that, after an evaluation of these proposals, an early appointment would be made. Are we to assume from the Minister’s earlier reply that the consultants did not forward their proposals by the due date, which was a fortnight ago? I again ask the Minister when he expects the chosen firm of consultants to be appointed?

Mr SINCLAIR:
CP

– I commence my answer by correcting an inaccuracy in the Leader of the Opposition’s question. The Commonwealth and South Australian Parliaments did not in fact authorise 20 years ago the construction of a standard gauge railway line between Adelaide and Port Pirie. What happened was that the Commonwealth and the State entered into an agreement that railway lines in South Australia should be standardised, subject to a timetable being established by the Commonwealth. There is no obligation on the Commonwealth to standardise any railway line in South Australia other than at a time that it has determined. It is in accordance with that arrangement and the recent undertaking, which has been reaffirmed by the Government, that the railway line between Adelaide and Port Pirie, or a connecting point on the east-west standard gauge line, not necessarily joining at Port Pirie, should be built. It is not my recollection that the consultants were due to send their preliminary assessments by the date the Leader of the Opposition gave. I shall check on the date that he gave. If the assessments had to be forwarded by 12th September, I shall ascertain whether they have been received. It is my recollection that they were due this month. I have not seen a list of the preliminary reports of the consultants at this stage nor have I had an opportunity to consult finally with the South Australian government to determine which firm of consultants will undertake the survey.

page 2057

QUESTION

POSTMASTER-GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT

Dr MACKAY:
EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES

– Is the PostmasterGeneral aware of the requirements as to information to be supplied by persons tendering for the delivery of postal parcels in New South Wales? In particular, I ask whether he considers that some modernisation may be required for the current form TI 28 which recently was forwarded to one of my constituents and which seeks information such as:

A full description of vehicle and number of horses . . . and which also states that:

No person who may have been convicted of any offence … the punishment in respect of which offence is death . . . shall be employed.

How many executed criminals have plagued his officers with applications for employment?

Mr HULME:
LP

– I appreciate the spirit of levity which perhaps inspires this question on the last day of a parliamentary sitting. Explanation makes the form appear not quite as stupid as the honourable member’s question might suggest. In regard to the first part of the question, some people in Australia have a remoteness in their thinking in relation to the remoteness of the outback areas of Australia. As part of the necessary routine in the Post Office, pack horses are still used to deliver mail. In fact until recently, if not currently, camels have been used to deliver mail in some areas. As to the first part of the question, I think there is justification for asking the questions set out on that form. In regard to the second part of the question, the House should be reminded that the death penalty is still the sentence applicable to some crimes in Australia, but if a layman may express a comment in relation to the processes of the law, I point out that the death penalty can be commuted to life imprisonment, that there is a parole system operating, and that such convicted persons can again be found in the community. We must have regard to the large number of exempt persons who cannot be employed in certain positions in the Post Office. We must consider seriously the type of people who are employed. Naturally the class of person mentioned in the form is excluded.

page 2057

QUESTION

DEFENCE

Mr BARNARD:
BASS, TASMANIA

– I ask the Prime Minister whether he has seen a reported statement by the Japanese Prime Minister that Japan would play a leading part in Asian security in the years ahead, with the United States performing a subsidiary role. If this is a correct assessment of future strategy in Asia how will Australia adjust its defence and foreign planning?

Mr GORTON:
LP

– I have seen a report in the Press of the statement, attributed to the leader of Japan, that Japan would be playing a greater role in the security of South East Asia or Asia generally, but I am afraid I do not see how I can even connect the second part of the question with the first part except to say this, Mr Speaker: Since the question was asked about our defences, Australia will, under this Government, after its return, build up and continue to build up and to strengthen our own defences. That is something that the country requires but which the Opposition would not do.

page 2057

QUESTION

AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Mr ARTHUR:
BARTON, NEW SOUTH WALES

– My question also is addressed to the Prime Minister. I refer to Labor’s election philosophy towards the voters which was summed up by the late J. B. Chifley as follows:

It is a mistake to show the rooster the axe when you are going to take his head off. You should show him a bit of corn first.

I ask the Prime Minister whether, during the coming election campaign, he will see that the voters are made aware of the axe which Labor is preparing for them while hoping to distract their attention with the corn.

Mr GORTON:
LP

– I am sure that the Australian people as a whole are quite sensible enough to have already noticed the axes which are poised or would be poised by the Opposition should it by any mischance ever be given the opportunity to use them. There are a great number of these, what might be called, axes. For example, pledges on unification and socialisation which are still an ineradicable part of the Labor Party’s platform; the control, in certain sections of the organisation, by Communist dominated unions, which will see-

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! There are far too many interjections from my left and from my right. Although this is the last day of the Parliament, 1 suggest that Standing Orders be adhered to.

Mr GORTON:

– This control- or ‘influence’ rather is the word - this influence would undoubtedly see that at every opportunity these pledges of nationalisation are put into effect. I suppose that perhaps the biggest axe would be the inevitably huge increase in taxation which would be required in order to finance plans, if we get specific plans, on such things as a health scheme, which has not yet been described, or the proposal to abolish the means test - to be a sort of Robin Hood in reverse, to prevent money going to the needy in order to pay funds to the wealthy. But these are axes I am sure the people of Australia will be able to see and have been able to see for themselves.

page 2058

QUESTION

THE PARLIAMENT

Mr COPE:
WATSON, NEW SOUTH WALES

Mr Speaker, I ask you a question. As you are responsible for members’ seating arrangements in this House I ask: What motivated you to seat the honourable member for Kingston between two bachelors?

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! In reply to the honourable member for Watson, it is always the wish of the staff of the House of Representatives and of the Speaker to provide members with all amenities. I would suggest that the honourable member for Kingston has endeared herself to members on both sides of the House and that when she is returned after 25th October she will again, of course, be sitting between the two bachelors. I would hope that they would make the most of their opportunities. I would remind the honourable member for Watson that we also have an excellent physician sitting in the same row.

Mr DOBIE:

- Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation. I claim to have been misrepresented. I should just like to say that it has been my pleasure and delight to sit next to Miss Brownbill, the honourable member for Kingston, for the last 3 years. I am sure that we will be together again. I thank the honourable member for Watson for his good wishes. Neither of us requires the services of the physician who sits on our bench. We are both in the best of health.

page 2058

QUESTION

WHEAT

Mr MAISEY:
MOORE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– Will the Minister for Primary Industry state in precise terms the exact source of the funds to be used by the Australian Wheat Board to finance the erection of storages to receive nonquota wheat in the States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Further, can he give a firm assurance that none of these costs will be borne either directly or indirectly by the growers of Western Australia or Queensland, who are already in great financial difficulty as a result of seasonal conditions in those two States? Finally, is he satisfied that the Board possesses the requisite legal authority to use funds for the purposes proposed?

Mr ANTHONY:
CP

– I would have thought that it would be unnecessary for me to answer this question because 1 have already given information to the Press about where these funds are coming from. They are funds that are held by the Australian Wheat Board which have been borrowed from the rural credit section of the Reserve Bank and which are part of the funds from which the first advance of $1.10 a bushel on last season’s crop is paid. Out of that money that is advanced by the Reserve Bank a certain amount is taken for the storage, handling and disposal of wheat. This year, because of the very large crop that was harvested, the slow disposal of the crop and the scale of operation, greater efficiencies have been effected and the Board has funds on hand. It is these funds that will be used for the provision of additional storage that the industry has been seeking for over-quota wheat this year. This is not unusual. These moneys are used from time to time to provide additional temporary storages. The Board has done this over the years, and it is quite legal for it to do so. But the amount of storage required this year was of such dimensions that Government approval was needed to spend the amounts of money required. That is why, in making my announcement, I said that arrangements had been made with the Wheat Board to spend money to this extent. It was the wish of the Australian Wheatgrowers Federation some weeks ago that no additional storages should be provided because it felt that such action would result in an impost on the Australian wheatgrower and that wheat growers in some States would have to pay the additional charge even though there was not any over-quota wheat in those States. The Federation considered that this would be an injustice to those farmers. But the Federation reconsidered the position at a meeting 3 weeks later, that is about a fortnight ago, and as a result said that it would support any request for additional finance from a State that had an over-quota problem.

As a result of a change of attitude by the Australian Wheatgrowers Federation arrangements were made with the Australian Wheat Board to use the Board’s funds for the provision of temporary storage, but in making the arrangements the Australian Wheatgrowers Federation asked that the States which received the benefit of the additional storage pay for the additional storage and that the cost should not be borne by wheatgrowers over the whole of the nation. What is happening at the moment is that the Wheat Board is consulting with the grain elevators boards in the States that need the extra storage, namely, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. A decision has already been made on how this money should be allocated. I think that storage will be provided for 20 million bushels in South Australia, 12 million bushels in Victoria and 32 million bushels in New South Wales. Those figures might not add up, but the actual figures are something like that. Financial arrangements are being worked out so that the additional storage will not penalise the States where no additional storage is being built. The parties are trying to work out a financial arrangement whereby the farmer who abides by the objectives of the scheme, that is the farmer who delivers only his quota, will also not be penalised. I believe that this can be achieved. The information that has come through to me informally from the Wheat Board is that a satisfactory arrangement has been worked out.

page 2059

QUESTION

SECURITY

Mr DALY:
GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES

– 1 ask the Minister for Defence a question. Is it a fact, as reported, that the Metropolitan Security Service has contracted to guard the Marrickville Military Depot at nights and weekends? If this is a fact, what other military establishments, if any, are guarded by private security services? Furthermore, if these are the facts, is it to be taken that we have reached the strange position that at a time when the Government boasts of the success of its defence programme no military personnel are available for guard duty and a private enterprise organisation has to be given the responsibility of guarding military establishments?

Mr FAIRHALL:
Minister for Defence · PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– I want to be precise about a question as deep as that. If the honourable member will place it on the notice paper I will obtain an answer for him.

page 2059

QUESTION

SOCIAL SERVICES

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– I ask the Minister for Social Services a question. Does the Minister recall my determined efforts to obtain a measure of justice for the families in my electorate who have been blessed with twins and triplets yet do not receive a corresponding baby bonus payment because they have only one other child? Will the Minister place this matter high on his list of policy speech recommendations, and will he assure the many lovely ladies in my electorate that I am no longer fighting a lone battle on their behalf? Will the Minister convey to the small and ever dwindling percentage of Australian Labor Party supporters in my electorate, the commonly expressed sentiment that they have not been so well represented since the Liberal Party took back the seat of Griffith in 1966?

Mr WENTWORTH:
Minister for Social Services · MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– I hope, during a visit to Brisbane in the near future, to be in a position to give to the electors of Griffith exactly that assurance. I know that the honourable member has made representations on this matter continuously and 1 assure him that as far as I am concerned they have not gone unheeded. I cannot, of course, give any policy commitment. But in view of the attitude that has been adopted by you, Mr Speaker, 1 am afraid that all 1 can do is to liken the honourable member to Mark Antony on that famous occasion and suggest that he should perhaps be doing more about it.

page 2060

QUESTION

DECENTRALISATION

Mr KENNEDY:
BENDIGO, VICTORIA · ALP

– My question, which is directed to the Prime Minister, refers to a report which may be submitted at about Easter time next year by the Commonwealth and State officials committee on decentralisation. Is the right honourable gentleman aware that the recommendations in that report could vitally affect the five areas selected by the Victorian Government for accelerated development, namely, Bendigo, Ballarat, Portland, Wodonga and the La Trobe Valley? Is he aware of reports that there is some apprehension among Victorian State officials that the recommendations of that committee may by-pass these areas or urge the formation of new towns, or urge the building up of towns other than those selected by the Victorian Government? Can he say whether there are any grounds for such apprehension?

Mr GORTON:
LP

– To the best of my understanding the honourable member’s question can be rephrased in this way: Would I comment to him on recommendations which have not yet been made in a report which has not yet been presented. If that is so, I am afraid I cannot.

page 2060

QUESTION

PENSIONER RAILWAY CONCESSIONS

Mr McLEAY:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– My question is directed to the Prime Minister. Has the Government made any decision on the possibility of providing concessions for pensioners who travel on the Commonwealth Railways, as consistently advocated by the honourable member for Grey?

Mr GORTON:
LP

– The answer is yes, the Commonwealth has decided to extend to pensioners the same kind of free travel facilities on the Commonwealth Railways as are extended to them by the States in such matters.

page 2060

QUESTION

TAXATION

Mr JAMES:
HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES

– 1 ask the Treasurer a question. Due to the upsurge in violent crime in Australia and as an incentive to the decent sections of the community to endeavour to reduce crime, will the Treasurer grant freedom from payment of personal income tax for, say, a period of 3 years to any person responsible for the arrest and conviction of anyone committing a violent crime or an armed robbery for which the law prescribes a sentence of not less than 10 years penal servitude?

Mr McMAHON:
Treasurer · LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– I think it is true that since the honourable member has left the New South Wales Police Force the incidence of crime has increased enormously. If legislation along the lines that he suggests were passed, I fail to see what benefit he would get out of it. Nevertheless I think it is a valuable suggestion and 1 will have the taxation authorities look at it. I doubt whether it will appeal to them, but after I receive their reply I will communicate it to the honourable member.

page 2060

QUESTION

TAXATION

Mr TURNBULL:
MALLEE, VICTORIA

– My question is addressed to the Treasurer. The right honourable gentleman is well aware of the averaging system for taxation purposes as it applies to primary producers and he also has knowledge of the falling levels of primary producers’ incomes. In view of the present circumstances and the desire of the Government to foster primary production, will the Treasurer urgently consider allowing those who have withdrawn from this system of taxation to rejoin it if they so desire?

Mr McMAHON:
LP

– This suggestion, like so many of the recommendations made to me by the honourable gentleman, reveals an area where consideration ought to be given to the requirements of the primary producers. In deference to him I will have the matter urgently looked at.

page 2060

SERVICES TRUST FUND

Mr SWARTZ:
Minister for Civil Aviation · Darling Downs · LP

– Pursuant to the provisions of the Services Trust Fund Act 1 947- 1950, 1 present the twenty-first annual report of the Trustees of the Royal Australian

Air Force Welfare Trust Fund for the year ended 30th June 1969, together with the report of the Auditor-General on the books and accounts of the Fund.

Ordered that the report be printed.

page 2061

BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY

Mr NIXON:
Minister for the Interior · Gippsland · CP

– For the information of honourable members, I present the annual report of the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology for the year ended 30th June 1969.

Ordered that the report be printed.

page 2061

ABORIGINAL HOUSING

Ministerial Statement

Mr WENTWORTH:
Minister for Social Services and MinisterinCharge of Aboriginal Affairs · Mackellar · LP

– by leave - I promised honourable members that I would make a statement on Aboriginal housing before the end of the session. In speaking on this particular topic I know I may rely on honourable members not to suppose that I am unaware of the fact that housing, health, education and employment in a real sense go together and should be considered together, but this morning I want to speak only of housing.

Although there are some heartening exceptions, Aboriginal housing generally is sub-standard. In the less developed parts of the continent, many thousands of Aboriginals are still living in huts of traditional or neartraditional pattern. Some others are in traditional type houses, and although in some country towns distinct improvements are noticeable many fringe dwellers are still living in humpies without proper facilities. Even in cities, overcrowding and slum conditions are common for many Aboriginals. The Government is actively concerned about this and, in co-operation with the States, is moving as quickly as it can to meet the varying needs of these different groups. In some cases, we are intensifying past endeavours; in others we have already started new projects; in yet others we have new plans ready to go into operation.

Briefly, our activities and proposals are as follows: (1) In the Northern Territory, we are constructing houses for Aboriginals, and subsidising missions to construct them, at an increasing rate. (2) We are directing a large part of our grants to the States - S3. 65m last year and $5.4m this year - towards an enlarged Aboriginal housing programme. (3) The States have accelerated their own programme of constructing houses for Aboriginals. (4) We are this year subsidising the erection of several hostels for Aboriginals near centres where education or employment are available.

I now announce four new proposals which will break completely new ground. In the Northern Territory, whether on mission stations or Government settlements, where houses are needed and suitable sites are available, and where houses can be constructed by Aboriginal labour by the use of a large proportion of local materials, we will find the necessary finance. We will actively recruit Aboriginal building teams to this end. We already have a mobile building force, mainly Aboriginal, which will help in this training. We will also push on with our building trade school. We will encourage the States to develop similar proposals and we will work co-operatively with them in such projects. Some States - Queensland, for example - are already involved in this approach.

We are already arranging to acquire some portable but ready to live in houses from the Snowy construction townships. Where the New South Wales and local government authorities agree to provide suitable sites, we will erect these for Aboriginal occupancy. May I say in partial explanation that in visits to New South Wales reserves and settlements I talked personally to some Aboriginals still living in humpies. Many of them said they would prefer to move into towns, and of course we will endeavour to meet their wishes and to provide normal type houses. Others - particularly the elderly - said they prefer to remain where they are. For these, we will make available these portable houses to replace their present huts. Two places I have in mind are Brown’s Flat near Nowra and Brungle near Tumut, but these are only examples, and the proposal is not limited to them.

We will offer to guarantee advances to co-operative building societies in any State or the Northern Territory to finance Aboriginals into houses in the normal way. Frankly, I do not think that many Aboriginals will be in a position to take immediate advantage of this opportunity unless they receive special subventions from some other source. There are already provisions under State and Northern Territory administration under which limited finance for home purchase is available to Aboriginals upon terms more favourable than co-operative building societies normally provide. But I regard it as being of great importance that normal finance should be available to Aboriginals who wish to take advantage of it.

We propose to take special measures to extend to Aboriginals the provisions of our Aged Persons Homes Act. Under the Act the Commonwealth meets two thirds of the cost of capital outlay by charitable organisations for housing the elderly. The other one third must come from nongovernmental sources. The legislation is, of course, inherently available to Aboriginals on the same basts as it is to other Australians, but it is not easy for them to find the remaining one third, even though in some cases shires and other local government bodies, who are eligible to contribute towards this non-governmental one third, may come to their aid. We now propose to establish a non-governmental fund to receive donations from the public in order to provide this one third for the housing of elderly Aboriginals. The Government will provide the remaining two thirds. 1 am very happy to tell the House that His Grace the Primate of Australia, Archbishop Strong. His Eminence Cardinal Gilroy, and Mr B. Callaghan, the Managing Director of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation, have agreed to be the three trustees of a fund to provide the nongovernmental component. The draft deed of the trust is at present being settled and will be submitted to them for approval before it becomes operative. lt is envisaged that the Office of Aboriginal Affairs will provide the continuing staff of the trust and that a Board of advice, consisting mainly of Aboriginals, will be constituted to advise on the use of its funds. Donations to the trust will be deductible for income tax purposes, lt is planned that they will be used either: (i) To contribute towards the one third contribution to a charitable body establishing an aged persons home, wholly or mainly for Aboriginals; or (ii) To provide the donation’ for an Aboriginal who has been accepted as a resident of an aged persons home by the committee running it.

Aboriginals have always had a high regard for their elders and special provision for them will accord well with the traditional Aboriginal outlook. Since the occupants of such homes will all be of pensionable age, they will be able to find the small amount necessary for their maintenance either from their pensions or from private resources. As soon as this trust is formally established it will provide an outlet for the charitable impulses of those “many Australians who wish Aboriginals well and are anxious to do something for them. The Government stands ready to contribute its two thirds of the cost and I am confident that the community will respond to the call for the remaining one third.

Mr STEWART:
Lang

– by leave- I must say that the Minister for Social Services and Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Wentworth) is now beginning to show some movement in his efforts to improve the lot of the Aboriginals of Australia. The Minister, in the statement he has just made, outlined four absolutely new proposals for the housing of Aboriginals. I want to make only a couple of comments on the statement. 1 feci that the Minister perhaps in some respects has not given as much information as I would like and which 1 believe a lot of honourable members would like. When talking about the new plans for housing of Aboriginals in mission stations the Minister gave no idea how many buildings have been constructed. He gave no idea of any success he may have had with encouraging the States to accelerate the construction of homes for Aboriginals. The Minister also said that this year the Government was subsidising the erection of several hostels for Aboriginals near centres where education or employment opportunities are available. However, the Minister gave no idea where these hostels will be constructed. 1 think the Minister will appreciate that I am still new in the shadow portfolio of Aboriginal Affairs and therefore I am looking for all the information that I can get. I suppose that after 25th October when I have the portfolio, the present Minister will be asking me to provide all this information for him, when he will be the shadow

Minister. The boot will be on the other foot. The first proposal announced by the Minister is to encourage Aboriginals to construct their own homes on mission stations or Government settlements. This proposal envisages that the construction of the homes will be undertaken by an Aboriginal building force and that local materials will be used. I think this is a step in the right direction, lt is certainly encouraging Aboriginals to help themselves and to provide better housing facilities than the ones they have had until now. The question that comes to me is how much demand is expected for the new housing? lt is perhaps easy for the Minister to say these words and to make these suggestions, but unless there is some hope that the efforts that are being put into this proposal will pay off and that the Aboriginal people themselves will take advantage of what is offered and try to help themselves then the Ministers statement is just so many words.

The second point made by the Minister related to ready-to-live in houses acquired from the Snowy construction townships. How much improvement will the provision of this type of accommodation make to the places that the Minister is thinking of at the moment? The Minister gave two examples of places where this portable accommodation could be used, although he said that these were not the only examples. But will this type of accommodation be much improvement on the present housing in the two places the Minister mentioned? Even when the proposed type of accommodation is provided will it still be a long way below the standard of accommodation that white Australians expect? How long does the Minister expect the houses from the Snowy construction towns to last and who is going to be responsible for the maintenance of these homes when they are moved to these areas?

In the same paragraph the Minister said:

Others - particularly the elderly - said they prefer to remain where they arc;

If the camp or township looks like being a continuing one, will services such as sewerage, water, gas, and electricity be supplied so that these people can improve the appearance of their houses and their standard of living? I cannot see that there is any great sense in just providing, for instance, a stronger type of home unless the

Aboriginals living in such homes are also encouraged to live at a higher standard than that at which they are living at present.

The Minister has pointed out that the Government will offer to guarantee advances to co-operative building societies in any State or the Northern Territory to finance Aboriginals wishing to build houses in the normal way. I think the Minister will agree that this is a bit of window dressing so that the Government can say that it docs not prevent Aboriginals from obtaining fiance through the normal lending institutions if they wish to build homes. The Government now guarantees the cooperative building societies that these loans will be repaid. I. am still inclined to think that it would be better to encourage the Aboriginals to use the special moneys which are available to them than to encourage them to obtain finance from the normal sources. Of course, the Opposition believes that money for housing - regardJess of whether it is sought by whites or Aboriginals - should be made available at a far lower rate of interest than it is at the moment. By offering to guarantee loans the Government is encouraging Aboriginals to borrow at a higher rate of interest.

According to the Minister, the Government proposes to take special1 measures to extend to Aboriginals the provisions of the Aged Persons Homes Act. The Minister referred to charitable bodies establishing aged persons homes wholly or mainly for Aboriginals. I am inclined to wonder whether this is a good idea. I think it is the Government’s intention generally to encourage the Aboriginals to mix in with the rest of the community and so to enjoy the higher standard of living, particularly in education and health, which the rest of the community enjoys; but in this instance the Government is inclined to put the Aboriginals aside in their own special1 homes for their aged. T think it would be better to allow any charitable organisation which is prepared to look after the elderly Aboriginals to derive benefit from the scheme. The Minister has pointed out that donations towards the one-third contribution by a charitable body establishing a home for the aged which is wholly or mainly for Aboriginals is deductible lor income tax purposes. The donation for an

Aboriginal who has been accepted as a resident of an aged persons home by the committee running it is also deductible. I repeat that I do not like the reference to the establishment of aged persons homes wholly or mainly for Aboriginals.

Another point I wish to make is that the Aboriginal eiders do not want to move away from the fringe towns in which they are living at the moment. Does the Minister think that the elders will be prepared to move into a home which has been specially built for aged people? 1 gather from the Minister’s earlier remarks that perhaps tradition will mitigate against the success of the plan. The Minister concluded by saying that he hopes that those Australians who have charitable impulses towards Aboriginals will contribute to this scheme so that the Aboriginals can be housed in better conditions. I hope they will, too. I believe that it would be to the benefit of the community as a whole if an election were held every 12 months. There have been more benefits, promises of legislation and assistance in the last 3 weeks than in the 3 years prior to that.

Mr CALDER:
Northern Territory

– by leave - I rise to commend the MinisterinCharge of Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Wentworth) and the Government for this further step towards assisting the Aboriginals. The honourable member for Lang (Mr Stewart) appeared to be opposed to the continued effort by the Minister and the Government to improve the conditions of the Aboriginals. Since the Minister has held this portfolio he obviously has made great strides towards securing a better deal for the Aboriginals. This is apparent from the amount of assistance which has been given to Aboriginals in recent years. The Aboriginal enterprises legislation, the provision of $10m for housing, education and health and the plan which I personally presented at Goulburn Island to many of the village councils, which envisages assistance for many different forms of Aboriginal enterprise throughout Australia, are indications of what the Government is doing in this field. But the honourable member for Lang ignores this and says that the Government has shown interest only in the last few months. It is absolutely wrong to make that statement.

In a slighting manner the honourable member for Lang doubts whether Aboriginals will be able to build their own homes and whether they will live in them when they are completed. When 1 visited the Arnhem Land region recently I lived in a house which had been built by a team of Aboriginal builders. I saw this team at work. The house was a good one by anyone’s standards. I suggest to the honourable member that he visit some of these places and have a look around before he gets up in the House and talks about how the Aboriginals behave and where they want to live. As the Minister has pointed out, many of the older Aboriginals wish to remain in the bush. I have seen many houses which have not been occupied by Aboriginals when they could have been. At certain times of the year the Aboriginals prefer to live in their natural surroundings. I do not have any further comments to offer. All 1 want to say is that the Minister’s remarks are an indication of the steps that the Government is taking in an endeavour to improve the lot of the Aboriginals.

Mr BRYANT:
Wills

– by leave- The honourable member for the Northern Territory (Mr Calder) said that the Opposition is critical of the actions of the MinisterinCharge of Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Wentworth). I do not think that the Opposition is opposed to the things that the Minister and the Government are doing, but it has different ideas about the way in which the problem should be attacked. The Opposition believes that the Minister should show a lot more vigour in the way in which he goes about the matter. The honourable member for the Northern Territory made one or two remarks about the honourable member for Lang (Mr Stewart) which I think indicate that he misinterpreted the remarks of the honourable member for Lang. I cannot imagine the honourable member for Lang having anything but most friendly feelings towards Aboriginals. As a matter of fact, I seemed to sense in the remarks of the honourable member for the Northern Territory that he too treats the Aboriginals as equals.

The point I wish to make is that I do not think that there is any real future in dealing through the State authorities. I sympathise with the Minister. I appreciate the inhibitions imposed upon him by the State rights attitude of his own Party and the conservatism of the Australian Country Party as well as the fact that there are five State organisations at present. I appreciate that one cannot trample upon them. I believe that we will have to approach this matter in a direct manner. The Commonwealth will have to step into the field in the States in much the same way as it does in the Northern Territory. We should establish an institution along the lines of the War Service Homes Commission which could provide finance at a low rate of interest. I would rather see no interest, but that is perhaps a Utopian attitude in our present form of society. The Aboriginals should be allowed to build their homes where they wish and of the type they wish. I would regard housing as the most important social need. 1 know that there are more important psychological ones, such as land rights, but the housing of the Aboriginal in Australia is a continuing cause. As far as I can tell from the figures I have seen, it is doubtful whether any State has done much about this. In fact the Commonwealth funds that go to State authorities for housing are not passed on to the Aboriginal people in proportion to their population in the State. It is some time since I looked up the figures but 1 recall doing some percentage arithmetic on those for Western Australia. It was apparent that the Western Australian Government was not spending on Aboriginals the proportion of funds from the Commonwealth that they deserved or in accordance with their population.

There is another point I would like to raise which the Minister might answer when he speaks again, as I think he will. What is to be the status of ownership of such housing in, for example, the Northern Territory? The Commonwealth has not got round to throwing its weight around constitutionally so far as the States are concerned, but I believe there is opportunity for a completely new approach in this area. Of course somewhere along the line we will have to do something through our other social organisations to see that Aboriginal people receive proper social or neighbourly assistance when they move into a new home. To move into a new home is to move into a complicated living machine. It is difficult enough for us and would be even more so for those living close enough to our side of society but who are now living in humpies. From my experience of this aspect of Aboriginal welfare, this point is confined to folk who end up in Melbourne, for example. They need friendly and neighbourly support and assistance about the place and this should be given in an unobtrusive way. They should be given to understand that if they are in trouble and can find the coinage to use a telephone there is somebody that they can ring who can attend to their problems. Moving people into a new home is a delicate social undertaking but it is a most important social undertaking and we should see that they do it successfully. I believe that constitutionally, politically and in every other way there will not be a great deal of future nor adequate progress made until we do this correctly by means of some institution under the control of a Minister of this Parliament.

Mr PETTITT:
Hume

– by leave- I too would like to commend the MinisterinCharge of Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Wentworth) for bringing forward this measure this morning. I do not doubt the sincerity of the honourable member for Lang (Mr Stewart) but I do not think he should have spoken in such a grudging manner. Surely no Minister has done more in a very short time, has tried harder, is more sincere or understands the position better than the Minister. I think the honourable member for Lang would have done much better if he had forgotten his politics and had supported the Minister for what he has done.

Mr Bryant:

– Who brought politics into it?

Mr PETTITT:

– The honourable member for Lang brought politics into it by unfairly criticising a Minister who has done a tremendous job in a short time. I think all honourable members concede that the Minister has made a tremendous effort. I am particularly pleased about the statement regarding the Brungle Aboriginal reserve in my electorate of Hume. Some months ago the Minister visited Brungle with mc and we made a thorough investigation of the whole area. I showed him the conditions under which many Aboriginal people were living. Some of them were living in mere humpies. The majority of them were very well kept and the people there have done the very best under the circumstances. We visited the school where some 50% of the children are Aboriginals. I believe that the Brungle settlement provides an opportunity to do something very worthwhile. There is a rather unusual acceptance by the people of Brungle of the Aboriginals in that area. There is not the segregation that exists in many other areas.

I do not think it is wise to seek special rates for Aboriginals building these homes. The very thing we are trying to do is to bring these people into the community and make them part of the Australian social community. Many of the Aboriginals at Brungle have first class jobs. One man is a forest foreman and has five or six white Australians under his charge. Another man is a foreman at the pine board factory in Tumut. Yet these people so far have not been able to borrow money to build their homes. They need assistance but I do not think we should make a special rate for Aboriginals. Given the opportunity they are capable of putting down a deposit and paying off their homes. I would like to see Aboriginals brought into the community as we are trying to do it at Brungle. Some of the older people want to stay there. They have power, water and all the amenities and prefer to remain. But many of the younger people travel to Batlow and to the forestry areas to work. Others work in the factories at Tumut. Those people need assistance to build homes in Tumut. What has been done in Tumut so far has been a success. What the Minister has proposed in his statement this morning will help tremendously. I commend and congratulate him. I express my appreciation for what he has done to improve the housing situation at the Brungle reserve and for what he plans to do throughout the Australian continent.

Mr J R Fraser:
ALP

– by leave - Mr Deputy Speaker, the Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Wentworth) recently had the opportunity at Nowra, I understand, to meet some representatives of the Wreck Bay Progress Association. Wreck Bay is a settlement, formerly regarded as a native settlement, within the Commonwealth territory at Jervis Bay. The area has particular problems. I am not sure at this stage whether responsibility for housing the people at Wreck Bay is still in the hands of the Minister for the Interior (Mr Nixon) or whether it is now the responsibility of the Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs. However I want to point out that certain improvements are necessary in this settlement. Certainly the standard of housing there is vastly above what has been provided in so many other Aboriginal settlement areas throughout New South Wales. This is because it was the Commonwealth which originally built these houses - they were erected in the late 1940 - and which has had responsibility for the management of the area. The Commonwealth has carried out improvements to the housing. The provision of reticulated water, a sewerage system and so on have lifted the standards that previously applied. There has been a vast improvement in the standards.

However, I want to point to one facet of the design of the houses which seems to indicate an attitude of mind in the part of the white man dealing with the black man. In those houses one room at the back contains the lavatory, the laundry and the shower recess. Consider a family of a man, his wife and 5 or 6 children. Someone wants to use the shower recess, someone wants to use the laundry facilities and someone wants to use the toilet facilities. If all want to use the facilities at the same time they can do so only in the same room. It seems to me fundamental that this room should be partitioned to provide the degree of privacy to which these people are entitled.

The children from this area are attending a school at Jervis Bay. It is now an integrated school. Previously there was one school for white children and another for Aboriginal children. The older children now go to the secondary school at Nowra and are doing well at their studies. They get together at the settlement and do their homework together under supervision. Through the New South Wales education system and the assistance of the Commonwealth these boys and girls are being given a chance to attain something better. But then we say to them that if they want to use the lavatory they have to use the facilities in this room where there is also the laundry tubs and the shower recess. I think this is the situation in the majority of the houses at Wreck Bay. Action should be taken to provide a partition in the rooms concerned.

I want to mention one other matter for consideration by the Minister. Recently there has been talk about the establishment of a nuclear power station on Commonwealth territory at Jervis Bay. Obviously, if this project is put in hand there will be a considerable work force engaged and housing will have to be provided for it. The residents at the Wreck Bay settlement have a very real fear that their area will be open to general settlement. They do not want this. They want to retain the present natural setting of the settlement with the houses se!, as they are, amongst the trees and on fairly wide blocks.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon Sir William Haworth:
ISAACS, VICTORIA

– Order! I presume that the honourable member’s remarks are associated with the subject matter under discussion, which is Aboriginal affairs.

Mr J R Fraser:
ALP

– 1 should think so - at least 1 would hope so. These are what the Aboriginal people at Wreck Bay want. I will certainly write to the Minister in more detail on these matters. I visited the area recently and this is what the people put to me at a meeting of the progress association. But the specific matter of housing to which 1 have referred is, I think, a rel’ic of the days when the white man thought that something inferior was good enough for the black man. These days, under the Minister’s guidance, I hope are passing. I. should like to see the Commonwealth take the lead to ensure that they do pass.

Mr WENTWORTH:
MackellarMinisterinCharge of Aboriginal Affairs · LP

– If there has been any political element in this discussion I, at any rate, am prepared to ignore it. I would hope that members on both sides of the House would approach this problem in a nonpolitical manner. Various matters have been raised. My statement was brief and it did not have as many figures in it as would cover the subject fully, but if honourable members will look at the speech 1 made a few weeks ago on the States Grants (Aboriginal Advancement) Bill 1969 they will see that some of the figures they have asked for were incorporated in that speech and are available.

I should like to deal, first, with the four points raised in my memorandum and discussed by the honourable member for Lang (Mr Stewart). Regarding the houses that are to be built in the Northern Territory he asked me about the numbers proposed. This varies from place to place. I went to most of the Arnhem Land missions recently and I inquired about possibilities there. On the average J should think that under this policy there would be 6 or 7 more houses a year built in each of the missions. This might mean 50 or 60 houses in the first year, but the number would be accelerated as the teams became trained and the Aboriginal builders became more competent to produce houses. The need is different in different places. In some places the need may have been reasonably satisfied but in others it has not. I would hope that in the first year’s operation we might be able to get 50 or 60 extra houses under this programme in Arnhem Land and perhaps another 50 or 60 in other parts of the Territory. In the following year I would hope that the number would be greater than that.

These programmes have to start somewhere and they have to be built up. The number will depend, very largely, on the supplies of timber that are available. I inspected the local timber mills which will be supplying the materials. A mill’ is just coming on stream at Lake Evella. Yesterday I was speaking on the telephone to the Reverend Shepherdson who has just come down from that area. He told me that logs are being piled at the Lake Evella mill now and he hopes that production will start within the next week - at any rate before the wet season starts. There is a big Government mill at Maningrida which wm come on stream, I think this month, or at any rate in October. When 1 was there recently I saw the construction of the big vertical saw bench and other facilities that are being provided. We are hoping that at Murganella another mill will come on stream next year. This whole programme has to be co-ordinated ami we must ensure a supply of materials. 1 have gone through the figuring and it seems to me that by the end of this year we should have the timber supply position well under control, and from thenceforth, even though an increasing number of houses will be built, there will be plenty of timber available in that northern area. lt is not possible, of course, for a Minister to go personally to every place. As honourable members know, a Minister has only a limited amount of time, but 1 look on this scheme and the South Australian scheme that 1 discussed in the House only last night as pilot projects which may be applied in other areas once we establish the general principles. I am endeavouring to take a personal interest in and to see as many of these projects as I can. When I go to an area I endeavour, in concert with the Aboriginals, because this is important, to work out plans which may be implemented for the advancement of that area. That answers, I think, the first point that the honourable member for Lang raised about proposal A.

Proposal B related to the Snowy Mountain houses. These are good houses. I have lived in them as, I dare say, have most honourable members who have visited the Snowy Mountains construction scheme. The houses are said to have a residual life of 45 years. This is the general view. There are mainly two types of houses, one for the larger family and one for the couple or single person. Both types will be used. In every case they will be connected to water and electricity and in most, if not all, cases they will be connected to sewerage. We will endeavour to provide as many of these amenities as possible.

The honourable member for the Australian Capital Territory (Mr J. R. Fraser) brought up a real point about house design. This is an aspect that I have raised, having visited many of these New South Wales houses. About a fortnight or 3 weeks ago I was in Nowra and I had the opportunity of meeting Mr Brown, who is an Aboriginal and chairman of the council at Wreck Bay. I discussed with him the points that the honourable member has raised with me. I think we can say that the people at Wreck Bay generally would prefer to remain where they are. They are a little isolated. One of the proposals that we put up to them for their consideration was that we might finance one of them in the purchase of a mini-bus to provide a service from Wreck Bay to Nowra both for the school children and for women who are taking employment in Nowra. Whether this will come to anything or not, 1 do not know, because it is up to the people. If they regard the proposal favourably and if there is an Aboriginal at Wreck Bay who could provide this service I think it would be reasonable for us to finance it. This is one of the ways by which we could improve standards at Wreck Bay. Although this area is the direct responsibility of the Minister for the Interior (Mr Nixon) rather than myself, and although, as the honourable member said quite correctly, the standard there is by no means at the bottom of the scale, I think that something further can be done there. If a nuclear power station is established in the area I am quite confident, first, that their amenities would not be interfered with and, secondly, that employment would be available for them. These are both desirable things.

The honourable member for Hume (Mr Pettitt) referred to Brungle. I was gratetfufor his guidance when we went there some months ago. The position is quite clear. Some of the elderly people would prefer to remain on the reserve but some, as the honourable member said, are capable of undertaking finance in the normal way and would be better placed in Tumut. I would not try to exert pressure in either direction, but would leave them .a free choice in this matter. There is too much of a tendency on the part of some do-gooders to try to uproot these people and tell them that they must live as other Australians do. The elderly Aboriginals sometimes find that living as other Australians do is not consonant with the habits they have accumulated over 50, 60 or 70 years of life. These people have to be given a degree of choice about what their own future is to be.

These houses in the Snowy Mountains area will have a long life and will have amenities. They are Perfectly comfortable to live in, as honourable members will know, and they will provide standards of accommodation very much higher than those which the Aboriginals at present enjoy. At Browns Flat near Nowra, for example, the people are living in humpies under quite sub-standard conditions. When one speaks to them they say: ‘We do not want to move from this area which we know.’ I am in consultation with the local council in this area. I believe that the

Shoalhaven Shire Council intends to endeavour to put the management of Aboriginal housing in the bands of the Aboriginals themselves. The local Aboriginal council, which is chaired by Mr Brown, will be taking over responsibility and management. It may be that the new homes will even be bought individually by the Aboriginals. This will be. as far as we can make it, an Aboriginal venture.

I agree with the points raised by honourable members that at the present time many Aboriginals will not be able to take advantage of this new housing but, as the honourable member for Hume rightly said, some Aboriginals are already part of our normal community. They are using the facilities available to other Australians and should not be requiring the special help which we give as a transition mechanism to those Aboriginals who cannot be entirely part of our community immediately. We want to help the disadvantaged Aboriginal with special privileges, but when they are ready to be part of our normal community they should accept the norma] responsibilities that every other Australian accepts. We are providing these special privileges, but they should be looked on as a temporary phase.

In regard to the aged persons’ homes, I must stress that there are two objectives here. I must be fair and say that the honourable member for Lang recognised this himself. Our first objective is to help older Aboriginals to move into the normal type of home in the normal community, and our second objective is to help in the provision of homes which are wholly or mainly for Aboriginals. The honourable member for Lang expressed some doubts about this matter, but I think those doubts may have been due to inexperience and not to lack of real knowledge of the situation. The position is that elderly Aboriginals have grown up in the old ways and all of them do not want to change. It is cruel to try to change them. Not all of them, but some of them want to live in a group. I would not try to put pressure on them to break that group. I am more concerned with the Aboriginal family, which is a very integrated unit.

The thing that worries me is not the possibility of separating Aboriginals from Europeans but the possibility of separating elderly Aboriginals from their own families and descendants. This is something for which we should have a special concern. 1 do not want a situation in which an elderly Aboriginal is divorced from his own people and placed in a different age group. That is a very important consideration. In view of the fact that many Aboriginals live in groups, particularly in the north of Australia, the provision of aged persons’ homes wholly or mainly for Aboriginals is the right approach. We do not want to be dogmatic about our objectives. We have to let the Aboriginal people have some choice themselves in what they do. T am sure that our committee of advice, which will consist mainly of Aboriginals, will have this kind of consideration in its sights.

I want to express again my thanks to the three very distinguished gentlemen who have agreed to act as trustees in this venture that will help quite considerably the elderly section of our Aboriginals who are more set in the old ways and who as individuals will never really live to adapt themselves fully into the normal Australian way of life. We will help them and give them every opportunity, but we should not endeavour to coerce them. As I have said. I regard this as a non-political venture. I hope devoutly that I shall continue to administer this portfolio of Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs in the new Parliament. If so, I shall continue to do my best. At all events, I shall welcome the help and assistance and, indeed, the advice of honourable members who have Aboriginals living within their own constituencies. All men of goodwill, I hope, will come to this party.

page 2069

BILLS RETURNED FROM THE SENATE

The following Bills were returned from the Senate:

Without amendment -

Loan (Drought Bonds) Bill 1969. Income Tax Assessment Bill (No. 2) 1969. Income Tax Assessment Bill (No. 3) 1969. Tasmania Grant Bill 1969.

Without requests -

Income Tax (Drought Bonds) Bill 1969.

page 2070

NEW SOUTH WALES LAW REFORM COMMISSION

Mr BOWEN:
AttorneyGeneral · Parramatta · LP

– For the information of honourable members I table the report of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission on infancy in relation to contracts and property which was presented to the New South Wales Parliament. I undertook to make this Commission’s report available to the House. A limited number of copies of the report will be available in the Bills and Papers Office and copies will be provided to the Parliamentary Library.

page 2070

ACCIDENT TO VISCOUNT AIRCRAFT NEAR PORT HEDLAND, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Ministerial Statement

Debate resumed from 25 September (vide page 1956), on the following paper presented by Mr Swartz:

Accident Investigation Report - Viscount 720C Aircraft VH-RMQ, near Port Hedland, Western Australia, 31st December 1968 - Ministerial Statement, 25 September 1969- and on motion by Mr Erwin:

That the House take note of the paper.

Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP

– In rising to speak to the report of the Safety Investigation Branch of the Department of Civil Aviation on the unfortunate accident to a Viscount aircraft at Port Hedland on 31st December 1968, on behalf of the Opposition, I move the following amendment:

That the following words be added to the motion: but the House is of opinion that, as has been done in the case of previous aircraft accidents at Mackay, Botany Bay and Winton, this aircraft accident should be the subject of investigation by a board of accident inquiry to be appointed for that purpose’.

I understand that the honourable member for Wills (Mr Bryant) will second that amendment. In speaking to the motion 1 want to say that I express regret that the Government has not seen fit to bring this report in a little earlier. I know that it will be said by members on the Government side that the investigating committee could not complete its inquiries and conclude its report any earlier, but members of the Opposition should not be expected at this late stage of the parliamentary session, a’ matter of 48 hours before the end of the Parliament, to peruse the report, acquaint themselves with the highly technical information contained therein and debate the matter. The Minister for Civil Aviation has in his Department officers to advise him on matters of a technical nature and I likewise have people to whom I can turn to seek technical advice and opinions on the technical matters contained in this report. However, it is absolutely impossible to obtain such technical information at this late stage. Originally this debate was to have taken place at 9.15 last night, but because of electioneering statements by Ministers the debate was deferred. It was pushed further down the line and now it has come on for debate today, almost an hour after the latest time it was supposed to have come on. I express my dissatisfaction with the way in which this report has been presented to the Parliament and the way in which the Opposition is expected to present its views

I am concerned about the fact that there has been no decision by the Government to refer this accident at Port Hedland to a board of accident inquiry. It appears to me that this report contains any amount of evidence showing that the accident is the result of faulty workmanship and inadequate supervision. To me, there is a clear case of negligence on the part of someone. I will not say it was on the part of the manufacturer, and I will not say it was on the part of the operator. This is a question which should be determined by an appropriate authority, namely, an impartial judicial inquiry, as was the case with the accidents at Botany Bay, Mackay and Winton. It is beyond my comprehension why the bush referred to in the report was forced into position. I am not an engineer or a fitter and turner, but at least I spent a large part of my life working with engineers, fitters and turners, and as a tradesman I have some knowledge of what is required in the placement of a machine fitting. I was accustomed to working with clearance holes. I know that in machine fitting under no circumstances is a tool applied, such as a hammer, or a bush forced into position, other than in accordance with the maintenance manual supplied by the manufacturer and the method laid down whereby tools are to be inserted in the hole. If a bush is forced into a hole it is then further machined.

As I have said, it is beyond my comprehension why the bush should have been inserted in the spar boom in the manner in which obviously it was. There is something wrong somewhere in the section of the Department responsible for carrying out this type of maintenance. The man who inserted the bush in the spar boom in the manner described must have been mentally deranged to think that he could carry out such work in this way. He could not have had any real awareness of what was involved in this maintenance. This is bad workmanship, not poor workmanship. The report sets out the following things which occurred as a direct result of this bad workmanship.

  1. No anodised material was evident on the wall of the hole.
  2. No anti-corrosion compound was evident on the wall of the hole.
  3. The hole surface had a bright burnish overlaying some circumferential grooves.
  4. There were heavy score marks on the surface of the hole parallel to its axis.
  5. Metal had been broached from the walls of the hole such that its mean diameter was in excess of the maximum allowable diameter by 0.008 inches at the lower end and 0.006 inches at the upper end.
  6. A circular Hp of metal had been formed around the circumference of the hole at a position corresponding with the upper or chamfered end of the bush.
  7. A plastic flow of metal had taken place in the direction of bush insertion and this was evident over all that portion of the hole occupied by the bush. The signs of this deformation were evident to a depth of 0.0043 inches beneath the surface.

To the average tradesman, after reading the information contained in those points, the manner in which this work was carried out is unforgivable. The report goes on to say:

  1. Although not called for in the manufacturer’s drawing chamfers existed at both end of the bore of the bush. In addition, a metallographic examination showed distinct signs on both of these Chamfers that, at least in part, they had been produced by the impact of some form of conical tool rather than by a machining process.

The report states that there is evidence that after the bush had been placed in position in this manner, some tool had been put through and the hole had again been reamed or drilled, which is something not required under the specifications set out in the maintenance manual.

The report went on to say that even in the same spar boom from which the fatigue cracking commenced there were three other holes with cracks commencing from the holes. This was the result of excessive strain and stress obviously brought about because of the bad workmanship in placing the bush into position, or structural weakness. I wonder whether there was some form of structural weakness in the spar boom. I also wonder why the manufacturer had not subjected previous spar booms that had completed their operational life to fatigue testing. After all, the manufacturer set down 11,400 flights as the life of a spar boom. When one of the spar booms had been removed why was not fatigue testing carried out on it? The report went on to say that after the decision was made to investigate this unfortunate crash the manufacturer agreed to issue a directive to all operators of this series of Viscount aircraft that these spar booms were to be removed after 7,000 flights. On examination it was found that quite a considerable number of them had fatigue cracks in them. The report had this to say:

A significantly large number of fatigue cracks was found and, although for the most part they were quite small, some 90% having a maximum crack depth of less than 0.010 inches, some larger cracks up to 0.054 inches in depth were also found and the manufacturer, in conjunction with the Air Registration Board, decided to confirm the new safe life of these booms at 7.000 flights. It is also of interest that none of the holes inspected in this programme was irregular or contained a flared bush such as had been discovered in VH.-RMQ.

For 16 years since this aircraft series was first manufactured in 1953 the accepted fatigue life of the spar boom was 11,400 flights, and this has now been reduced to 7,000 flights.

I cannot understand why some form of impartial judicial inquiry is not held and I would like to hear the Minister’s explanation. Undoubtedly he will say that there is no need for such an inquiry because the Air Safety Investigation Branch of the Department of Civil Aviation has conducted a comprehensive inquiry. The Minister said that in February when he first reported that there would be no judicial inquiry. He made a similar statement on 18th March of this year when he presented an interim report to the Parliament. On that occasion, on behalf of the Opposition, I moved an amendment calling for a full judicial inquiry. So what I am doing today is not new.

The cause of the crash is obvious from the report, but the report has not laid the blame on anyone’s doorstep. When twentytwo people lose their lives someone should be held responsible and someone should be blamed. There is a clear case of negligence here. The whole crux of the matter appears in the last paragraph on page 24. It reads:

The investigating officers made some considerable, although unsuccessful, efforts to discover when, why and by whom the Station 143 bush was flared and inserted in this spar boom. These efforts were hampered first of all by the fact that the boom was manufactured in 1963 in the United Kingdom and installed in Viscount VHRMQ by Ansett-ANA in 1964. Neither the records of the organisations involved nor the recollection of their personnel were of assistance in defining the details of the work done on these occasions or by whom the work was carried out. The second difficulty was to imagine a situation, arising either in manufacture or in the installation of the boom, which would induce any responsible tradesman to use the type of tools or to follow the practices that the physical evidence reflects. Although some important facts about the flaring of this bush have been established, after an elapse of 4 or S years there does not seem to be any strong prospect of establishing responsibility for this action.

That is the opinion of the Air Safety Investigation Branch. Were the people it interviewed placed on oath? Were they sub.poeanaed or otherwise required to bring all papers and documents that would be of assistance and value in determining responsibility and laying the blame at someone’s door? It is obvious to me that the Air Safety Investigation Branch has not done this, and it should be done. In my opinion it can be done only by a judicial body, which should, in the words of the report, inquire into when, why and by whom this flared bush was inserted in the hole. Who was responsible for this? As I said earlier, I do not care whether the manufacturer or the operator was responsible. Someone should accept the blame for this most unfortunate fatal accident.

Some of the facts are obvious. With the turbulence that this aircraft went through from 2,000 to 8,000 feet, the wing could well have come off at that point. Probably if the aircraft had had to climb through another 2,000 feet of turbulence, the wing could then have buckled and the crash could have happened over or close to Perth. lt is obvious that when the aircraft came down from its flight level of 19,000 feet to 7,000 feet the stresses and strains then imposed on the wing were too great, especially as they followed the earlier turbulence, and this brought about the accident. The aircraft was probably lucky to reach its cruising height. If the turbulence had been a little more severe the wing could have snapped off on its take-off from Perth.

I do not want to labour the point. I have put the views of the Opposition. In my opinion the evidence would justify the Government appointing a judicial inquiry to examine all aspects of this accident. The relatives of the men and women who lost their lives would then be able to go before the tribunal and question everyone involved. I have received a number of letters from the relatives of some of the people who lost their lives. They have asked me questions and they have asked me to obtain information for them so that they will know where they are going. I know they have also written to other members of the Parliament, on the Opposition side at least, because they have asked me questions about the accident. If the relatives are so concerned and so interested in what is happening, surely the Minister and the Government should not deny them the right to be represented before a judicial inquiry. Their questions should be answered and they should have the satisfaction of a decision being reached by a responsible inquiry.

Surely this is not asking too much. The Minister may reply that such an inquiry would cost $400,000, $500,000 or $600,000. But must the relatives be denied the satisfaction of knowing that everything has been done to establish who was to blame and to ensure that other people will not be placed in the same position of mourning the loss of their sons, daughters or parents in an aircraft accident? The Minister should discharge his responsibility to appoint a judicial inquiry. If time had permitted or if I had thought that any good purpose would have been served, I would have moved that this debate be stood over until the next Parliament assembles. However, at this stage the Minister and the Government should accept the responsibility for setting up an inquiry and should not brush it off. I have already cited the three accidents that have occurred. I am concerned at the number of accidents occurring in general aviation, though not with public transport. Hardly a week goes by without a newspaper reporting that a number of people have been killed in an air crash. Statements have been made by responsible officers of the Department of Civil Aviation that alcohol is playing a major role in the crashes that are occurring in general aviation today.

If public confidence is to be retained in aviation, no effort should be spared to ensure that the airline operators, not only Ansett Airlines of Australia, Trans-Australia Airlines and Qantas Airways Ltd but also the commuter operators, know that they are under proper surveillance at all times and that they must carry out their work properly. Negligence of the type revealed in this accident should not be permitted to creep into the industry. Neither the Air Safety Investigation Branch nor the Minister has denied that there was negligence on this occasion. The facts are there, and because of those facts the Minister and the Government should accept the amendment I have moved.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Is the amendment seconded.

Mr Bryant:

– I second the amendment and reserve my right to speak.

Mr SWARTZ:
Minister for Civil Aviation · Darting Downs · LP

– I have no doubt about the sincerity of the honourable member for Newcastle (Mr Charles Jones), who has taken a very special interest in this air accident inquiry, as he has in the past in other matters relating to air safety. The honourable member for Perth (Mr Chaney), the honourable member for Moreton (Mr Killen) and other honourable members from both sides of the House have raised matters pertaining to this inquiry. The manner in which these matters have been raised is indicative of the impartial attitude adopted in relation to them by honourable members on both sides. This is as it should be in matters of such gravity and importance.

The report that has been presented to the House is up to the standard of the normal technical investigation by experts of the

Air Safety Investigation Branch of the Department of Civil Aviation. I should make it clear at the outset that members of the Branch have autonomy in their operations. They are answerable only to the Director-General of Civil Aviation and, through him, to the Minister. They are not inhibited in any way in their impartial and technical approach to the matters before them. I stress this again because to my knowledge on previous occasions they have been, where necessary, critical of actions within the Department. This is the only way in which such important investigations can be conducted. In my experience with the Department of Civil Aviation extending over 2 or 3 years I can recall only one major disaster of this type. That was the one at Winton. On that occasion I departed from Canberra as soon as I heard of the accident to make an on the spot evaluation of the work being undertaken by our experts. I did the same thing last New Year’s Day when this unfortunate accident occurred at Port Hedland. I did this to assess the situation quickly on the spot because it is my responsibility to make a decision whether a Board of Accident Inquiry should be established to supplement the work of the Air Safety Investigation Branch or to inquire further into its report. In the case of the Winton disaster it was immediately clear that it would be some time before any cause of a technical nature could be established. Having received on the spot advice from our experts I decided within a relatively short time that a Board of Accident Inquiry should be established. The Board was established under Sir John Spicer. The report ultimately submitted by the Board, after considering the matter, coincided exactly with the findings of the Air Safety Investigation Branch. This has happened on other occasions. The Air Safety Investigation Branch did not find the cause of the accident for some time and before the cause was announced I had stated that a Board of Accident Inquiry would be set up.

In the case of the Port Hedland accident the cause of the accident became very evident within about 24 hours of finding the broken spar boom. Even so I did not make a decision on the spot. I waited until we were certain of the cause and so it was not until March that I stated in the House that a Board of Accident Inquiry would not be established on this occasion. It can be established only under terms of reference requiring it to determine the cause of an accident. lt is not a judicial inquiry in the sense of being a court. The facilities and procedures of a court are available if anyone so desires them, but a Board could only have reported on the cause of the accident, which has already been established. So a Board, after devoting considerable time to the matter and perhaps calling the same witnesses as were examined by the Air Safety Investigation Branch, and perhaps examining some other evidence, could only have established the cause of the accident, which was already known. For these reasons I did not believe that we should proceed on a basis of tradition in a serious matter of this nature. So I decided that a Board of Accident Inquiry would not be established. In tabling the report a couple of days ago I referred to this matter and indicated why the Board was not established.

Mr Duthie:

– Is this the first time a Board has not been established?

Mr SWARTZ:

– No, it is not the first time a Board has not been established when a accident has occurred. It is the first time in recent years that a Board has not been established in the case of a major disaster. But in other instances the cause of the accident has not been established at an early date. In other cases the cause was not known for some time. The expert investigation took many months, as did the inquiry, and in some cases it did not come up with a cause of the accident. In the case of the Winton disaster the cause was established after considerable time and effort by the expert investigators, and it was confirmed by the Board. In the case of Port Hedland we established the cause of the accident. This was confirmed within a couple of months. On those grounds there was no need to establish a Board of Accident Inquiry merely to establish the cause which was already known. The decision has been made. I appreciate the sincerity in this matter of the honourable member for Newcastle and other honourable members but I am sure that they will appreciate the background reasons for the decision that was taken. The honourable member referred to the timing of the tabling of the report. In answer to a question asked by the honourable member for East Sydney (Mr Devine) a few weeks ago I referred to the problem of metallurgical tests being undertaken in the United Kingdom. This took a considerable amount of time. A large number of samples had to be sent to the United Kingdom. We received the greatest co-operation from the United Kingdom Government and the British Aircraft Corporation. The results of these tests were received only in the last couple of weeks. It was then necessary to make a proper evaluation and finally to compile the report. The fact that the senior officers and other staff of the Air Safety Investigation Branch were able within those few weeks to produce a report which is up to the standard that we always expect in this country and which is a copy book example of this type of investigation for any country to note is a tribute to their skill and devotion to the job. I pay a special tribute to them. They worked day and night to get this report ready so that I might honour a promise I made to the House to make it available before the end of September. In fact, due to the early rising of the House the report has been presented a few days earlier than would otherwise have been the case. So far from being critical of the fact that the report has been presented at this stage I think we should pay a tribute to the officers of the Branch for the work they have done in getting it ready so soon.

The honourable member for Newcastle quite rightly referred to one of the basic matters raised in the report, namely the identification of the tradesman or person who caused the initial damage to the bush which caused the propagation of this fatigue crack. The investigations of the various aspects of the case were extremely thorough and most detailed, as the report indicates. But, of course, they did not produce evidence on which a positive conclusion could be reached. None of the numerous persons questioned in Australia and in the United Kingdom had any recollection of the circumstances or actions which could have produced the defect. This is understandable when we realise that the event must have occurred over 5 years ago and any one or more of many hundreds of people could have been involved. It could have occurred in the United Kingdom or in Australia. It could have been during the process either of manufacture or of the installation of the spar boom. Some of the people concerned in the manufacture or installation work could have been involved.

When we refer to gross defects and deformation in the report those terms are used in the context of their technical significance. They are technical terms used in the context of the report itself. But what we are really talking about in referring to deformation is an irregularity of about onefourthousandth of an inch. This would not be visible to the naked eye but would have to be picked up by some other method of evaluation. Therefore, the effects of the flared bush on the bore of the hole would not be visible unless the bush was subsequently removed, and of course this did not occur, as we know. There are many reasons why it is impossible to identify the individual person concerned. There is the lapse of time and also the hundreds of people and various organisations and governments involved. But while the individual who caused this problem in the first place cannot be identified this does not detract from the effectiveness of the action which has been taken in the interests of future safety in the air.

The final point I want to stress is in relation to the action that has been taken. While the company associated with the Viscount airliner, the British Aircraft Corporation, took some action on our advice immediately after the accident to reduce by 40% the expected life of the aircraft spar, and applied that action in all other countries throughout the world, we went one stage further. My Director-General issued an order to withdraw the licences of all the early 700 series aircraft in Australia. They were grounded and at present they are still grounded. We will licence no more of these aircraft in Australia. Indeed, there was only one still remaining in Australia that could have been in operation, and that was being phased out at the time. We will not licence any more of these aircraft in Australia although they can in fact operate in most other countries.

For the various reasons I have indicated, I recommend that this report be accepted by the House as an indication of the basic cause of the accident. It provides all the technical information that is required if someone at some time in the future wants to go through the procedures of a court. At the same time, I would like to pay a tribute to officers of the Accident Investigation Branch for the splendid job they have done.

Debate (on motion by Mr Chaney) adjourned.

Sitting suspended from 12.43 to 2 p.m.

page 2075

POWER HOUSE FOR CENTRAL QUEENSLAND

Ministerial Statement

Mr GORTON:
Prime Minister · Higgins · LP

– by leave - In September 1968 the Premier of Queensland wrote to me concerning negotiations between the Queensland Treasurer and industrialists interested in major development in Queensland. The Queensland Government intended to build a power house in central Queensland to feed electricity into the Queensland grid, and proposed that the Commonwealth might provide capital so that the power house would be larger than one required solely for this purpose, and so that the additional capacity could be used to attract industries to central Queensland. The basic requirement for such industries, if they are to be so attracted, is the provision of large blocks of power on a continuous load basts, at tariffs comparable with those offering in major industrial centres overseas. If this could be attained it appeared there was a real possibility of the development, in that under developed area, of a new industrial complex that would grow and become a tangible expression of our interest in decentralised development.

At this point I stress the advantages which this underdeveloped part of Australia possesses. There are vast coal deposits and cheap steaming coal is available as a by-product of the coking coal export industry. There are extensive brine deposits as raw material for a power intensive chemical industry producing caustic soda for the alumina industry and chlorine for export. The existing alumina industry will expand with consequent opportunity for aluminium production, which requires large amounts of power. A deep water port and harbour facilities suitable for bulk carriers are ready at hand in Gladstone. All in all it is an area crying out for that development, and for that use of its natural resources, which will benefit the area itself and add to the greatness of the nation, lt offers an exciting opportunity for a great stride forward in national development. And it offers opportunity to increase our exports.

After preliminary consideration I arranged with the Premier that Commonwealth and State officials should examine the proposal. In March 1969 our officials met with their Queensland colleagues to consider the technical proposals prepared by the State Electricity Commission of Queensland. These official discussions continued in April and May. At that time the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority was retained as consultants to make an independent study of the proposal. The Authority presented a comprehensive report. Following study of it by the officials, the Premier of Queensland, on 25th August 1969, presented the State’s financial proposals for the development of the project. An interdepartmental committee, after examining the project in depth, reported to us on 19th September.

The Government is greatly impressed with the potential of the project both for the development of central Queensland and for the development of exports. We are convinced that the project is feasible from a technical point of view. We believe the estimates of cost are soundly based technically and financially. We believe that - given the establishment of certain key industries - there is a real prospect of attracting a variety of other important industries in the future. Given an initial stimulus we think that growth will continue. We believe that the wide spaces of central Queensland, which are presently under populated, will be able to develop natural resources to the full and will see towns grow to cities. Therefore, on behalf of the Commonwealth I have advised the Queensland Premier and Treasurer that we are prepared to advance up to S80m to the State over a 6 year period to help with this scheme. It is proposed that the advance should be repayable over 30 years and that it should bear interest at the semi-Governmental rate.

This offer is made for the purpose of financing that part of the power station which will meet the requirements of the special industrial development envisaged and it is hoped that this will enable the power station to sell bulk supplies to the industries at rates which will enable them to compete in world markets. The offer will enable the Queensland Government to proceed further with its negotiations with industry and to settle with the Commonwealth, as a result of such negotiation, the exact amount of the advances which will be required and the final terms and conditions for the servicing of the loan. The offer is, of course, conditional on the State being able to satisfy the Commonwealth that it can attract a viable export-oriented industrial complex in central Queensland with a demand appropriate to the output of that part of the station which the Commonwealth contribution is intended to finance. Should this proposal come to completion I believe it will provide a great strengthening of Queensland and of the Commonwealth as .a whole.

Mr WHITLAM:
Leader of the Opposition · Werriwa

– by leave - Naturally the Australian Labor Party welcomes the Commonwealth’s participation in the provision of electricity in central Queensland, which is an area where power has been hardest to come by and is the most expensive in Australia. T should think that it would be quite clear to honourable members, particularly since the Commonwealth Department of National Development and the Queensland Department of Industrial Development made their report last April on the resources and industry of central Queensland, that power was the determining factor in the development of the natural resources in the area and the attraction of greater human resources to the area. I have had only a quick glance at the statement of the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton), but I do not think any reference is made to where the power house is likely to be located. I understand the experts have advised that it would be more economical to have it located near the components of water and coal than on the coast itself.

The only misgiving I have about the announcement is that the advance - it is not a grant - seems to be on much less favourable terms than the Commonwealth has hitherto made for its advances for similar purposes in other places. The Commonwealth’s advances are normally over a 50-year period at the long term loan rate of interest. This advance is to be for 30 years at the semi-governmental rate of interest. In this respect it is much closer to the terms of the advance for the Mount Isa railway line, which attracts a higher interest rate than has been charged for the other railway projects in which the Commonwealth has concerned itself. However, whereas the Mount Isa railway loan has to be repaid over 20 years, a term of 30 years is allowed for repayment in this instance. The financing of the project causes misgivings to my Party in that the advance is for a shorter period and at a higher rate of interest than is applied to railway and other projects outlined in the Budget document entitled ‘Commonwealth Payments to or for the States 1969-70’. The project is, of course, an admirable one and should help to achieve without delay the objectives, material and human, that the Prime Minister very property expressed.

Dr EVERINGHAM:
Capricornia

– by leave - I support the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam). Power and water are the two great needs of Queensland. Queensland is the area par excellence in that there is every prospect of a high return for an investment in power and water. I therefore regret that no grant is being made on this occasion - it is a repayable loan on not very easy terms. I regret that the Commonwealth has stipulated that the State must satisfy it that an industrial complex can be attracted to the area. This is a back door type of provision that has left the way open for the Commonwealth to climb out of the scheme altogether. How can the State satisfy the Commonwealth until an agreement has been signed and sealed for some organisation to establish an industrial complex there? This cannot be done until the power supply is available.

I think that the Commonwealth is putting the cart before the horse. I think there already is a prima facie case that Queensland has attracted industry. No further evidence is needed. If private enterprise backs out of attraction by the assurance of cheap power then it remains open to the Commonwealth Government to take the initiative in this matter, as was done by other Commonwealth Governments in regard to such things as the aluminium and other industries.

page 2077

ESTATE DUTY RELIEFS FOR PRIMARY PRODUCERS

Ministerial Statement

Debate resumed from 24 September (vide page 1879) on the following paper presented by Mr McMahon:

Estate Duty Reliefs for Primary Producers - Ministerial Statement, 24 September 1969 - and on motion by Mr Erwin:

That the House take note of the paper.

Mr HALLETT:
Canning

- Mr Speaker, the statement made by the Treasurer (Mr McMahon) on Wednesday night in relation to estate duty was very important indeed for people engaged in primary industry. For them estate duty has been a burden for a number of years. It has been a burden in a number of ways but chiefly because it has increased land values. These have been rising for some considerable years but have increased at a very rapid rate in later years. This rise in farm land values is due to a number of reasons. In recent years there has been tremendous expansion in the primary industries. At the same time we have seen increased demand for land in all agricultural areas in Australia. In some places excess value placed on land has been due to the trend in farming towards bigger holdings and bigger properties. We have found in many cases that land prices have been forced up because farmers have bought neighbouring properties and have been prepared to pay prices greater than the real land value of the day. They have been prepared to pay the higher cost in order to extend their properties and to make them what are termed better economic units. But then, when estate duty has to be paid, we find that the duties are based on the high land values.

The estate duties charged previously have caused grave concern to many estates in Australia. This has had a detrimental effect on primary industry. Farming is not a short term industry; it is a long term industry. It continues from generation to generation. In fact herds and flocks are built up over a long period, with extremely precise attention being paid to genetics and breeding. It is a tragedy for Australia, not just for the family concerned, if properties have to be broken up because of estate duties. This has been happening. Properties have been built up over many years not by single individuals in many cases but by family units. The owners have endeavoured to pass the property down to other members of the family. Because of estate duty in many cases properties have had to be broken up so that families could pay the estate duty involved. They have not been able to find the money. I am sure my colleagues in the Australian Country Party will agree that such properties should remain intact wherever possible. If there are sons or other members of the family concerned who want to carry on the management from one generation to another then every opportunity should be taken to make this possible.

The statement of the Treasurer on this occasion, setting out proposals to alleviate the charges involved in the field of estate duty in respect of the farming world, is a definite breakthrough in achieving a particular objective: The easing of the estate duty burden so that such family properties can continue in production. Other points are involved in the estate duty field. Consider the case of a man who is the founder of a property. His family, in turn, works within that unit and helps to build up the property, lt is not really only the farmer and his wife who contribute to building up that property; the younger generation also play a part. The younger generation gathers knowledge in the breeding world and in the techniques of running that farm. Every farm in Australia is a separate unit. Every farm has its own problems and is different in some way from others; it even is different from the farm next door. Therefore it is important that young people who move up through the family units take on the family property. They should be encouraged to do so. They should be given every opportunity. The payment of estate duty has been one of the big stumbling blocks.

There are several aspects of the scheme outlined by the Treasurer. There is to be one form of relief by way of raising existing exemption limits by 20%. Other relief wilt be spelt out in future legislation. This will ease the situation in respect of properties of a certain value, and rebates will be made available up to a certain value. Also there will be an extension of time in which to pay the estate duty finally assessed. The three points I have mentioned briefly are extremely important.

The main point I wish to make is that although farming land values in Australia are now extremely high they often have very little relationship to the economics of farming and the return available from investment in farming lands. The investment does not return what one might expect from other investments in Australia or elsewhere - far from it. Honourable members know that people wishing to borrow money expect to have to pay anything from 5% to 7% interest. In many cases they pay much higher rates of interest. In comparison, the return from investment in many farming properties today is much lower than 7%, especially when one considers the long term aspect, the droughts - such as we have in some parts of Australia today - and other adverse conditions. The return may not be as great as it might seem when one is looking from a distance.

The main point is that farming remains the backbone of this country so far as our economy and our balance of payments are concerned. The secondary industries - taking the mining industry as an example - are making up ground. The mining industry now makes a high contribution to Australia’s economy, to exports and to the balance of payments position. But primary industry, as we know it today, is still playing a very major part in Australia’s economy and will do so for some time to come. In my own State of Western Australia at this time men on the land are suffering adverse seasonal conditions. This will play some havoc in the economy of Western Australia because many millions of dollars will not be circulating as would be the case had the season been reasonable. This again has an effect on the particular matter we are discussing this afternoon, relief from estate duty. Obviously the overheads involved in operating properties will rise because of this drought factor. This has happened in the eastern States in recent years, and it is happening in Queensland now. This adds to the difficulties of farming. It is one of the hazards of farming and it is one of the factors responsible for the decrease in returns on capital invested over a long period of years. The Treasurer’s statement indicates that the adjustment to estate duty will apply from the time he made his statement. The legislation to be introduced in the next Parliament will be welcomed by primary producers because it will assure them that their families will have greater security in meeting the situation.

It is often said that a person can insure against the hazard to which 1 have referred. It has been proved beyond doubt that although a person can insure, the value of that insurance cannot be maintained. Within a few years land values rise and the insurance cover becomes inadequate, lt is impossible to provide for the situation at a reasonable cost and the only alternative is to amend our estate duty legislation as is proposed. I welcome the Treasurer’s statement and I know that it will be welcomed throughout the entire farming community of Australia. It will contribute to the maintenance of farming units that have been built up over the years by generations of people, lt will enable the units to continue producing as they have been doing. In recent times we have witnessed great improvements in the quality of our wool clip and even now we are examining measures to enable the clip to be presented better. Flocks of sheep and cattle stock cannot be built up in 5 minutes, lt is a task that continues over many years and it takes time for a person to gain experience to enable him to select the better animal. It is only when successive generations follow the same pursuit that our flocks and herds can be maintained. Their maintenance is not only an asset to the individuals themselves but to the nation as a whole.

The proposed legislation will give confidence to primary producers. In many parts of Australia land values have no relationship to farming but when large and increasing populations border on agricultural territory land values spiral. Farmers, whose properties are situated close to areas of expanding population, are confronted with this problem. They are not concerned with urban development but sales of land in the general area have an adverse effect on estate duty. Such land values are out of all proportion when related to land that is used predominantly for farming activities. This is an aspect that affects the economics of farming. The Treasurer’s statement will assist to meet that situation but we must have regard to increasing land values. The position at the moment is that the value of a deceased property is based on recent sales within the area. Such sales may have taken place 10 to 20 miles away and could be quite irrelevant to the property in question. This is another problem that we should keep in mind because the value of a property should be related to the purpose for which the property is used, and in this debate I am referring to agricultural property. Land values increase when properties are sold for the purposes of closer settlement which has no relationship to actual farming. I support the statement and look forward to the assistance that will flow ultimately from the proposed legislation.

Mr STREET (Corangamite) [2.261- This statement of the Treasurer (Mr McMahon) giving details of proposed legislation to be introduced in respect of federal estate duty must be surely one of the most welcome statements made in this session of the Parliament. It is welcome from the primary producer’s point of view and it is soundly based economically. It is a culmination of representations made by many honourable members on this side of the House during the last few years on behalf of various primary producer organisations. 1 have presented two particularly detailed submissions to the Treasurer on behalf of the Graziers Association of Victoria and the Australian Primary Producers Union of Victoria. I take this opportunity of congratulating those two organisations on the immense amount of work which they have put into preparing their cases. All of their submissions ha”e not been accepted but I am quite certain that the legislation that is now proposed will go a long way towards meeting the quite justified fears and concern that those organisations have had concerning the effects of estate duty on the economics of farming. Estate duty, when applied to primary production assets, does have significant differences to its effects when applied to other types of assets.

A good farm is an economic unit and once that unit is reduced significantly it affects not only the income of the people who happen to succeed to it but it threatens its survival as a viable economic unit. If there is one lesson that we have to learn today in respect of primary production it is the absolute necessity to preserve our farms as economic units. It is not so many years ago when anybody who said that Australia had a small farm problem, in the traditional sense that there is a small farm problem in Europe and in the United States of America, would have been ridiculed. He would have been told: ‘There is no possibility of a small farm problem appearing in Australia except in very limited areas’. It is common knowledge now that we are facing a real small farm problem in Australia. Anything that exacerbates this situation is going to stir up long term trouble for the Government. I am delighted to see the Government taking this realistic attitude. I stress the point that this is not merely a benefit to primary producers themselves but is of real economic benefit to the Australian economy.

Some years ago a reduction was made in Victorian probate, as it is called at the State level. As most honourable members know, the Federal estate duty is levied on the value of the residual estate after State probate duty has been paid. While the substantial reduction in State probate in Victoria was most welcome, its effect was not nullified but drastically reduced by this residual estate provision in the legislation, because when the Victorian State probate was reduced naturally more estate was left and the Commonwealth got a larger share. So in practice the reduction by Victoria was not nearly as attractive as it first appeared. This proposed legislation will be welcomed not only because it will reduce Federal estate duty but because it will have the double effect of making the Victorian provisions - and I understand there are special provisions in some other States - of more real value.

I notice that there are two main provisions in this proposed legislation. Firstly, at least 50% of dutiable assets are to be primary production assets and, secondly, 50% of the gross income of the deceased person in the last 5 years preceding death has to be directly from carrying on business of primary production in Australia. Both these provisions are soundly based. Imagine the situation if there were to be just a blanket reduction of estate duty on primary production assets. This would almost certainly lead to a change in the pattern of land ownership in Australia. It would distort the value of land and make it attractive for reasons which would not be based on economics, because if someone or a firm has very considerable assets in other forms of business, which of course will eventually become subject to probate and estate duty, and they see that there are very special concessions and attractions available to assets concerned with primary production, this will attract into the area of primary production money and resources which would not normally have been applied there. Whenever we get a distortion of resources in this way we end up with false values.

The honourable member for Canning (Mr Hallett) mentioned the fact that the valuations of land for primary production, on which probate and estate duty have to be paid, bear very little relationship to the return on capital which can be obtained from those assets. It is almost impossible to justify the present prices for land in most areas of Australia on purely economic grounds. If this pattern was further distorted by the attraction of money and resources which would not normally go to that sector, the primary producer who is already trying to earn a reasonable return on his capital would be in an even more difficult position than he is in now. So there would be two dangers. Firstly, it would lead to a misallocation of resources and, secondly, it would destroy the traditional form of Australian agriculture, which is a family firm, family business, family farm or call it what you like, but based on the family as the owning unit. I am not saying that there are not excellently run companies engaged in primary production. I am not saying that there is not a distinct place for companies in Australian agriculture, but I do feel strongly that anything which in the long term would tend to destroy the very strong family ties to the land would not be in the best interests of the country. It is in the best interests of the country to keep these families with a long tradition of farming behind them on the job. Earning a living off the land today is a highly technical business. It is a highly competitive business with high costs to be met, and one does not learn the business in 5 minutes. There are definitely advantages to be had by having people on the land who have .i long history of attachment to it and a wide background of soundly based knowledge on which they can base proper decisions for the running of their places.

It is also clear from studying the Treasurer’s statement that when the legislation is introduced it will have considerable implications for the way in which primary producers arrange their accounting and legal affairs. One of the great difficulties when any new legislation with quite farreaching implications is introduced is the problem of getting across to the people not only what it means but also how best they can take advantage of the concessions which are available to them. In the case of estate duty, I think people will tend to think: ‘Oh. yes, the exemption level has been lifted by 20% and there will be concessions available on estates up to $250,000’, and they will therefore have a tendency to think that the maximum benefit they can get will be more or less automatic and that there is not much they can do about arranging their affairs to get the maximum benefit. From the study I have made of the Treasurer’s statement it seems clear that, particularly for family companies, the legislation will need lo be examined very closely if it is to confer the benefits which the Government intends it to confer. 1 hope that in due course, when this proposed legislation becomes law, all honourable members who are concerned with this problem will make it their business to become fully acquainted with the provisions of the Act and give it the widest possible publicity and stress the necessity for farmers to get the best possible advice in both the financial and legal spheres so that they can take advantage of the benefits which will be available to them. J will welcome the opportunity, when the legislation is introduced in the forthcoming Parliament to speak again on this matter because, as I said, I think it is of very great importance for the future form of land tenure in Australia. Like the honourable member for Canning, I welcome the proposed legislation.

Mr PETTITT:
Hume

-We on this side of the House, particularly those of us interested in primary production and who understand the problems of primary production, warmly welcome this statement by the Treasurer (Mr McMahon). We feel that this has been a break-through, and a break-through in a form that we have been seeking for many years. At long last the Government has shown some recognition of the special position of the primary indus tries. A great deal of a farmer’s capital is tied up in land. Land is the farmer’s tool of trade. Take that away and his earning capacity is reduced and he loses his ability to remain a viable entity. The primary industries are in a very difficult position for many reasons. Land prices have certainly soared beyond economic values in many cases because of pressure from professional people or businessmen who want to invest to save taxation. As my colleague the honourable member for Canning (Mr Hallett) said, farmers realise that they must aggregate a certain amount of land to bring units up to economic units. Often, in desperation, farmers compete and pay more than the economic value of the land. The value of the land forms a very big proportion of the whole estate. Primary industry is in a very difficult position in that it does not have a tariff wall to stand behind. lt does not have a cost-plus system, as business has. Primary industries in Australia are very efficient. Most people are aware that the farmer engaged in primary industry in this country produces in value and production twice as much as the average farmer in the United States of America and three times as much as the farmer in the United Kingdom. This is no mean feat.

Of course I realise that farmers in this country have some things in their favour compared with farmers overseas. We do not have to house stock during the winter and we do not have to put fodder away over the winter period, but we do have extended droughts and these make very heavy inroads into primary production costs. Despite the costs this industry which is of tremendous importance to this nation still accounts for 70% to 75% of our export earnings. Tt will probably earn 75% this year. Export earnings are of extreme importance to Australia’s whole economy. Some 80% of our imports are machinery and equipment and raw material for use in industry. lt is only by earning export income that we can keep the wheels of industry turning and keep the people employed.

I believe that if a very careful analysis was made of the incidence and suitability of the imposition of probate on primary industry estates it would in many cases be found to be a losing proposition for the Government. Some years ago a survey was conducted in the US which proved pretty conclusively that the levying of probate on rural estates was a losing proposition for government and resulted in a loss of revenue to the nation. This is to a large extent also recognised in Great Britain where they now levy estate duty on about 40% of the recognised sale value of a property. Estate duty is a deterrent to production and to development in primary industry. Not only does it break up the old family property which has for generations been well run, but it breaks up the herds and flocks which have been built up and managed efficiently by trained men who are capable of doing their job more effectively than anybody else. It also breaks up properties which are economic and turns them into uneconomic units. This will be not only uneconomic to the original owner but also uneconomic for the Government and the nation.

In many cases production has been greatly reduced. The reasons for the fall in production are firstly a fear of excessive estate and probate duty, and secondly the incidence of these imposts. Many sound properties have been cut up into small uneconomic units and we find that with the standard of living that now exists what were once prosperous farmers have now been reduced to the peasant stage. The unnecessary cutting up of family properties militates very substantially against development. Many farmers, in an attempt to ensure that their children will inherit the estates that they have worked so hard for and for which tax was paid throughout their working lives in building up an interest in the property, have had to invest in life insurance to an extraordinarily high figure. It is most unfair that these farmers should have to pay estate and probate duty. This militates against every section of the community, and in the long run production will suffer, export income will suffer, and the Government will suffer because the tax will not be there to be collected. When probate duties are imposed we see properties which were once productive and efficient units broken up and disposed of piecemeal, placing people in difficulty in raising the funds that must immediately be found to pay the estate and probate duty.

Sometimes even the farm itself has to be sold and people who had been effective farmers and graziers are thrown out of their jobs and have to find some other type of work. We see pastures that have been built up over the years deteriorating because there is insufficient money to buy the necessary fertilisers to keep them going. We see properties run down because there are no funds with which to improve them. We see fences and sheds falling to pieces. We see the water reticulation systems which have been built up with a great amount of effort and expense being allowed to deteriorate. The total result is a fall in production on the farm. There is a fall in export income with a resulting fall in employment throughout the country.

Australia will for many years to come depend very largely for its export earnings on primary industry. As I said before, our primary industries are efficient. I want to pose a question which I have put before: When is secondary industry going to pull its socks up and become as efficient as primary industry? That question has often been raised. Let me put it in another way. If secondary industries were selling their products, with the present cost structure, at the prices they were getting 15 years ago or a Mule less, how many would be solvent? I venture to suggest that there would be very few indeed. This is just what the primary industries have been doing. I might say that they have been doing it pretty successfully. I do not say that the primary industries could not be more efficient, but there has been a tremendous improvement in the development and efficient running of these industries. We were delighted to hear the statement of the Treasurer (Mr McMahon). We believe that the forthcoming legislation is at least a foot in the door. We think that it should have gone further, but we believe that when it is proved in time to be of economic benefit to this country it will go further.

Mr Daly:

– I do not think it will go any further.

Mr PETTITT:

— It will not go any further if a Labor government gets into office. This has been the policy of the Australian Country Party for many years and a great deal of the credit for this projected legislation must go to the honourable member for Riverina (Mr Armstrong) who was chairman of a committee of the Country Party which did an enormous amount of work in relation to estate duty and probate duty. That committee was responsible for gathering the facts and figures. It put forward a very strong case in support of consideration of reduction of estate and probate duty. We are delighted to bear that legislation will be introduced, partly as a result of the case which we put up. It is not easy to get the Treasury to make concessions. It is most difficult to get the Treasury to see that there is benefit in something that would appear to reduce revenue. In the long run the proposals of the Government will be of great assistance to the primary industries of Australia. lt should be borne in mind that despite our vaunted mineral wealth and industrial development, the greatest assets that this nation has are still its rural assets, which include the agricultural and pastoral lands. Minerals can be found anywhere tomorrow and things can be produced in a factory built almost anywhere, but there is a limited amount of good agricultural and pastoral land in the world today. With world standards of living rising and a rise in world population the importance of rural industry will increase and certainly not decrease. Primary industries are going through a very difficult period because of the cost squeeze. At times there is a lack of appreciation by the Government of the problems facing the industries. The forthcoming legislation will help to preserve and encourage the people who, ever since this country was first discovered, have been the backbone of the nation. I am very pleased indeed to give my full support to this statement and I will be strongly supporting the legislation when it is brought before the House.

Dr GIBBS:
Bowman

– I am sure that all thinking citizens of Australia will welcome the statement and will look forward to the early introduction of the Bill that will give effect in law to the principles set out in the statement. I am very pleased to see that the new provision will have effect as from today, so that nothing will be lost by any delay in introducing the legislation. As the honourable member for Hume (Mr Pettitt) said, it is perhaps easy for city dwellers to lose sight of the importance of primary production. But in fact the importance of primary production is increasing tremendously all the time. The world’s population is exploding and in fact Australia’s birthrate is increasing. The enormously increased number of people to be fed and clothed defies the imagination.

One would suppose from this that the increasing demands for primary products would make life easy for the primary producers. However, as time goes on, the primary producers seem to be running into increasing difficulties. Throughout the world the costs of farming are constantly increasing: yet the prices of primary products are failing to keep pace with the increasing costs of production. This is having a serious effect in underdeveloped countries, lt is fortunate that this Government has been able to shield the primary producers to some extent by legislation such as that envisaged in the statement we are discussing. In general terms, the primary producer in Australia is able to make a reasonable living from his efforts. However, compared with the return from most other endeavours, the return from primary industry is still surprisingly small, having in mind the level of thought and effort that is put into farming and the amount of capital that is involved.

There are additional difficulties in this country. The honourable member for Canning (Mr Hallett) referred to the problems created by the increasing value of land, especially where urban settlement encroaches on a rural area. Many factors may cause the value of land to increase enormously. This has many undesirable features. One is the increased cost arising from the increased rates that must be paid on the increased value of land. Naturally the high cost of land generates an incentive to sell portion of the farm. Australia more than most countries suffers the terrible destructive effects of recurrent droughts. These factors create such vast problems for primary producers that at times one wonders at their ability to continue and to continue as efficiently as they do in Australia. The primary producers in Australia have a magnificent record, one that it may be easy for people not close to the land to overlook but nevertheless one to which we should pay tribute.

In every context, the economical working of the farm or rural property is vitally essential. Without economical working, the property must eventually go out of existence. If this happened primary production as a whole would eventually disintegrate with disastrous results for the nation. So it is essential by every reasonable means to promote the economical working of rural properties. Primary production can be upset not only by the factors I have mentioned but also by other financial stresses which crop up from time to time in an industry that is insufficiently protected. Because of some pressure that cannot be countered immediately, prices obtained for primary products fail drastically. For instance, a sudden severe fall in the price of beef can, and has in the past, impose tremendous stresses on people in the cattle industry.

When this happens, the primary producer must find some way to meet the problem. Two obvious ways spring to mind. Firstly, the producer may resort to false economies. He may cut down on the amount of fertilising he does on his property. He may not go ahead with water conservation. He may let his buildings or plant run down beyond the economic level. All this will evenutally result in serious problems. The second obvious solution is to sell part of the farm. This is highly undesirable. The honourable member for Corangamite (Mr Street) said that it would be hard to imagine a small farm problem in Australia. This is a very real problem. The soldier settlement project at Clare in Queensland was a disaster. Tobacco growing was undertaken, but the blocks were found to be too small for economical working. The dairy industry in some areas is running into similar problems and the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Anthony) is doing everything he can to correct the problems of small and uneconomic dairy farms.

For these reasons, all thinking Australians must welcome any measure that will cushion the effects of the problems I have mentioned and will counter the tendency to reduce the size of the farms until it is difficult to work them economically. In any event, it would seem to be unjust for a further disadvantage to result from the death of the owner of a rural property. It would be unfair if the simple process of death meant a reduction in the economy of a farm. This consequence goes beyond all natural justice and commonsense, not only because of the obvious emotional and sentimental aspects of selling part of a property that has been built up by the toil, care and thought of the family over many years, but also because of the diminution of economy resulting from the reduced size of the farm. Such a result would be contrary to the policy of this Government and it is only logical that the Bill foreshadowed in the statement should be introduced.

If I may I will mention several points that are inherent in the statement. The first is the eligibility of properties. A property is eligible if more than one-half of the assets that are dutiable are primary production assets and also if more than 50% of the gross income of the deceased person for the preceding 5 years was derived from primary production. It is good to see that for this purpose not only the land used for primary production but also the improvements, livestock, produce and plant and machinery are taken into account. The relief takes two main forms. Firstly, the existing exemption limits on eligible estates will be raised by 20%. The present exemption level, if the estate is passing to close relatives, is $20,000. Then it diminishes by $2 for each $8 and cuts out at $100,000. Now the basic exemption will be increased to $24,000 and it will not cut out until $120,000. For small estates which do not pass to close relatives the basic exemption is $10,000 and it cuts out at $50,000. Now the basic level will be $12,000, cutting out at $60,000. The elevation of the basic rate and the cut-out rate is one form of relief. The other form will be by allowing a rebate of part of the duty attributable to the value of primary production assets included in the dutiable estate. I am sure that all thinking people will warmly welcome these proposals and look forward to their introduction in the form of legislation.

Mr ENGLAND:
Calare

– I want to identify myself with this discussion for the particular reason that I have identified myself with some of the work that has gone on in bringing pressure to bear for the introduction of these proposals. As the honourable member for Hume (Mr Pettitt) said, these proposals represent a breakthrough. They are a breakthrough on a matter of principle. I would like to make one thing clear. When one starts to talk about relief from estate duty it may appear to some people that we are concerned only for the owner of a large estate. This is not so. One of the prime objectives of these proposals is the protection of small farms. The proposals are designed to obviate the necessity to break farms up into uneconomic units. I think it is evident that these proposals stem from the homework done by back bench members on this side of the House. They have put to the Parliament and to the Government the views of the people whom they represent. Back in 1967 I raised this matter in the House and I can remember other honourable members from this side raising it. Such unanimity on the subject indicates some merit in our suggestions.

In the debate on the Appropriation Bill in 1967 I sought a reduction in the duty levied on all estates and I made a particular plea for a special scale of duty in the case of those people engaged in primary production. At no stage did 1 advocate the total abolition of this tax. I dealt with the case of people game enough to go into business on their own in a small1 way. Quoting from the latest report available at the time of the Commissioner of Taxation I pointed out that the greatest number of income earners was in the $2,000 to $3,999 bracket. I pointed out that on an estate of the size which such people might be expected to hold the estate duty would not be a very large amount but, taking the figures compiled by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, to earn annually the amount of estate duty charged on such an estate it would need to have a value of about $67,000. I pointed out that in the list of Commonwealth income earners estate duty ranked seventh. It accounted for 0.8% of the Commonwealth’s total income. I conceded that theoretically a man could provide during his lifetime for estate duty. He could do this by taking out insurance. But I pointed to the fact that inflation has an effect on insurance and also that the value of insurance policies is included in the estate.

I can remember that at this time I was quite frustrated. Nothing was done about my suggestions. I did get a two page letter from the Treasurer. Apparently somebody had heard me. It was one of those letters written by an expert who can say no in a delightful manner. That was 2 years ago, and things have changed in the interval. I have shown the letter to a number of interested people. Against some of the Treasurer’s comments in a handwriting other than mine is the word ‘rubbish’.

Since that time we have made progress. We are debating a statement by the Treasurer (Mr McMahon) that some relief from estate duty will be granted to primary producers. I will not go into the details of the scheme; they have already been covered. The purpose of the scheme is to avoid the necessity to break up economic rural holdings, particularly family holdings, because of the need to pay estate duty. This is an important matter. Those who are affected by estate duty will know that the Commonwealth’s tax is far less than the State tax on estates. The Commonwealth has set the lead and I suggest that the States might follow, so that still greater relief may be provided to the people affected by these proposals.

Debate (on motion by Mr Irwin) adjourned. [Quorum formed.]

page 2085

SPECIAL ADJOURNMENT

Motion (by Mr Erwin) proposed:

That the House, at its rising, adjourn until a date and hour to be fixed by Mr Speaker, which lime of meeting shall be notified by Mr Speaker to each member by telegram or letter.

page 2085

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Motion (by Mr Erwin) agreed to:

That leave of absence be given to every member of the House of Representatives from the determination of this sitting of the House to the date of ils next sitting.

page 2085

ADJOURNMENT

Valedictory Motion (by Mr Erwin) proposed: That the House do now adjourn.

Mr GORTON:
Prime Minister · Higgins · LP

– We have now reached not only the end of the parliamentary year but also the end of the twenty-sixth Parliament and as a House of Parliament we hover on the verge of dissolution. During the life of this Parliament we have witnessed major changes, some of them unprecedented, and we have mourned the loss of friends and colleagues. It has been, I think, an exacting time for all. We have all been conscious of the privilege of being able to give some service to the nation and the people wc represent according to our lights and according to our beliefs.

As is traditional at the end of a parliamentary year, I would like to place on record some words of appreciation of those on who we depend for the efficient working of the Parliament. Firstly, I should like to congratulate you, Sir, on the way you have presided with great dignity, complete impartiality and, this morning, with some wit over this House. In this you have been most ably assisted by the Chairman of Committees, the honourable member for Lyne (Mr Lucock), and by your Deputies. I am personally indebted to my colleagues on this side of the Chamber. I would also extend my thanks to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) and to his Deputy, the honourable member for Bass (Mr Barnard), for their help in the workings of the democratic processes which are an integral part of our Parliament. Our appreciation must go also to the Leader of the House (Mr Erwin) and to the Whips for their contributions to the conduct and efficient management of the business of the House. We would like to express this too to the Clerk of the House, to his Deputy and to their staff for their ready assistance and advice in their important role. The Hansard staff have discharged their duties with their usual efficiency and their usual assistance to the grammatical expressions of members. We are most grateful too for the range of services which have been provided to honourable members by the Library. Then there are the large number of people responsible for the other day to day activities of the House. I refer to the broadcasting staff, typists, attendants and those who work in the dining room. In particular, 1 am sure honourable members would like mc to mention the transport officer, Mr Gordon Pike, whose job is to get us here and send us home again, a job he has been doing very efficiently and cheerfully for many years. 1 am sure that all honourable members were delighted when Her Majesty recognised his services in the birthday honours.

We should not overlook the contributions of the members of the Press Gallery in keeping the public informed of the activities of the Parliament according to their interpretations of the activities of the Parliament. We may not always welcome what we read or indeed believe it but the Press plays an important role in the working of our parliamentary system and they have been playing this role. Finally, I would like to mention those members who are retiring from the Parliament. Firstly, I would like to mention my friend and colleague of many years who came in in 1949, the Minister for Defence, Mr Allen Fairhall, who has been a member for 20 years and a Minister since 1956. Also from this side of the House we are farewelling the honourable member for Isaacs, the Honourable Sir William Haworth, and the honourable members for Denison (Mr Gibson) and Lawson (Mr Failes). On the Opposition side we are saying farewell to the honourable members for Banks (Mr Costa), Blaxland (Mr Harrison), Darebin (Mr Courtnay), Dalley (Mr O’Connor), Darling (Mr Clark), East Sydney (Mr Devine), Kingsford-Smith (Mr Curtin), Scullin (Mr Peters) and West Sydney (Mr Minogue). We extend to them all our best wishes for a happy life in their retirement.

Sir, there is no need on this occasion to exchange premature seasonal greetings. My colleagues and I confidently expect to be back in our places in the Parliament before Christmas and we will then have the opportunity to extend our seasonal greetings, with the warmest seasonal greetings to the members of the Opposition.

Mr WHITLAM:
Leader of the Opposition · Werriwa

– I support this motion as I have the last two which we passed in record time. We expect that the first motion moved by the Leader of the House (Mr Erwin), which concerns the special adjournment, will not be very onerous for you, Mr Speaker. The motion means that before the Governor-General dissolves the Parliament you have the right, and we have been unanimous in conferring on you the right, of calling the Parliament together. That means that you can call us together tomorrow or on Sunday. On Monday the House will be dissolved by the GovernorGeneral. It might help many honourable gentlemen to know that my advice to His Excellency will be that the Parliament be called together again on 25th November.

I join the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) in the remarks he made on all the people in this House and about it, and particularly in his references to you, Sir. Few, maybe, would have believed that you would have turned out such a good Speaker as you did. I think you are as good as your Party could have produced and I think you excelled yourself on your last morning. In the next 3 years I expect my colleagues and I will be fully occupied with the affairs of government. We expect the diplomatic posts to go mainly to the professionals. But if there are any to go to parliamentarians you will be our first choice. 1 have only one other commitment in that regard. The honourable member for McMillan (Mr Buchanan) I have promised Lisbon. Mr Speaker, you have been away in preparation for this sort of life on many occasions. With increasing frequency, in fact, you have represented this Parliament overseas. On those occasions you have been very well represented by your Deputy. He starts off with certain advantages, of course, at the initiation of each day’s proceedings. I think I might also say that on some occasions we have found his rulings even more acceptable than yours. To all those from both sides who have sat in the Chair, we offer thanks for their contributions.

Particularly do we appreciate the services of the Clerks. No-one watching the proceedings of the House could fail to ask themselves where even you, Mr Speaker, would be without the advice of the Clerks. We thank all those who at all hours of the day and night help us in all our activities, who look after our transport and communications, who provide us with research and refreshments, who keep our words within parliamentary and grammatical propriety.

I must single out, as the Prime Minister did, members of the Press. Everyone realises, from the configuration of this Chamber, how natural it is that the Press should look down on us and how necessary it is that we should look up to them. On this occasion I must make particular reference to those honourable members who are voluntarily leaving this place. There are thirteen all told, an exceptional number, who because of retirement or the distribution of electoral boundaries have chosen to retire from Parliament. Of this number nine belong to my Party. There are nine honourable members from New South Wales in the Parliament who will be leaving. Seven of these honourable members are from my Party.

I first mention the supporters of the Liberal and Country Parties who are voluntarily leaving. I join in the tribute to the Minister for Defence (Mr Fairhall). He would know that, however much we may have differed politically - which we did quite consistently - I have the very highest personal regard for him. He has made his way in life and in his Party by his own efforts, not through inherited advantages. He served his community - especially the business circles in the Newcastle district - and his Party in this Parliament with zest and effect. On a lighter note I would like to say that I should imagine that he is as disappointed as were his three immediate predecessors that it was not given to him to welcome the greatest thing with wings since angels. If there is ever a phantom of our Forces it is the Fill aircraft.

The honourable member for Lawson (Mr Failes) and his family before him have served consistently and arduously many parts of the western districts of New South Wales. I pay a tribute to him for his service in the Chair during the Committee stage and in parliamentary debates. His seat has been abolished. The Country Party is the only Party which can be sure that after the forthcoming election it will occupy the same part of the House. Whilst it may be losing the services of the honourable member for Lawson, it seems possible that if there is still to be a conservative representative for the seat of Paterson it will be Mr Frank O’Keefe, who is a member of the Country Party.

From Victoria the honourable member for Isaacs (Sir William Haworth) is another of the forty-niners. Before becoming a member of this Parliament the honourable member served in the Legislative Assembly of Victoria and was a Minister there. Another Liberal, the honourable member for Denison (Mr Gibson) is the only one of the thirteen honourable members whom we know to be leaving who will not be drawing a pension. We hope that he can afford the sacrifice entailed. He will be concentrating on the law. i would expect that in due course he will follow his distinguished father to the Bench. 1 must now speak about my own colleagues who are leaving the Parliament of their own choice. Seven of them are from New South Wales, which will mean that only ten of the present Labor members in this House from New South Wales will be in the next Parliament. In other words, the newcomers will outnumber the continuing ten by 2 to 1. The forthcoming election will produce remarkable ramifications in many other fields of public life. For instance, the upper echelons of the Public Service will be depleted when Mr Bill Morrison, a former Deputy High Commissioner in Malaysia, represents the electorate of St George, Major Peter Young, who was the senior intelligence officer in Vietnam, represents Lowe, Mr Vince Martin, a senior Treasury official represents Banks and Mr Bob Whan, the senior wool research officer with the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, represents Macarthur. Recruits from the New South Wales parliament will include not only Mr Frank O’Keefe, but Mr Grassby, and Mr Lionel Bowen, including Mr Cliff Maliana and the Hon. Roger Nott. There will be former members of the Federal Parliament returning - Mr Alan Fraser, Mr Les Johnson, Mr Jim Monaghan and Mr John Armitage. I have no time, despite the interjections, to go over the whole list of Labor recruits in New South Wales.

Seven New South Wales members of the Opposition will be retiring. The honourable member for Darling (Mr Clark) has been a member of this House for more than one half of the history of Federation. He joined it at the same time as the right honourable member for Murray (Mr McEwen), who will be like a gnarled oak on the horizon of national politics, we believe, for another year.

Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP

– 1 wish to raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Five of the honourable members whom the Leader of the Opposition has warned will lose their seats have gone out to pack their bags. Do you not think that they should wait and hear the rest of his speech?

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member will resume his seat.

Mr WHITLAM:

– The honourable member for Darling comes from a family which has rendered long public service. His father was a member of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales for 12 years before he himself was elected here. The honourable member has served under twelve Prime Ministers. He represents one of the largest electorates in the world. It borders on three States and one Territory.

Mr Pettitt:

– You would like it to be larger.

Mr WHITLAM:

– It was larger before we redistributed the electorates in 1949. He regards all Australian citizens as being equal. He represents people not acres. Because of the geographical situation of his electorate he has been impatient of State differences in road, rail and air transport and has advocated the development of the potential of the whole Murray-Darling river system.

The next in period of service in this House is the honourable member for Dalley (Mr O’Connor). He survived redistributions in 1948 and 1955 but he succumbed to the redistribution last year. He is away at the United Nations at the moment. On behalf of the Party I paid tribute to him before he departed on this mission. The honourable member for Blaxland (Mr E. James Harrison) served in the Legislative Council of New South Wales for 7 years before coming here. One of his great interests, flowing from his industrial life before entering the Parliament, was rail standardisation. One of the most effective displays of bi-partisanship in this Parliament occurred on 31st October 1956 when the Liberal Party and the Labor Party rail standarisation committees presented identical reports. The honourable members for Blaxland and Stirling (Mr Webb) and I comprised the Labor Party’s committee. Every proposal in those two reports has now come into effect. The only rail standardisation project on the statute book which has not come into effect so far is one which we enacted in 1949.

The honourable member for Banks (Mr Costa) has shown a particular interest in the House in matters relating to the Public Service because before he came here he served in the Post Office, in which half the Commonwealth’s employees are engaged and which is the greatest business in the southern hemisphere. He has, to an exceptional extent, been regarded as a spokesman and representative of public servants and has acted on their behalf consistently during his 20 years service here.

The honourable member for KingsfordSmith (Mr Curtin) will be remembered not only for his speeches and for his questions but also for his interjections. All would acknowledge that nobody is more penetrating in his interjections, both in terms of politics and acoustics. Because of his previous life he has always had a great interest in developing Australian heavy industry and Australian defence industries. As a trade unionist he gives confident and authentic expression to trade union ideals. I have never known a man who has enjoyed his life in Parliament more.

The honourable member for East Sydney (Mr Devine) is the last member for East Sydney. Such has been the spread of population in New South Wales during the course of Federation that he has represented part of an area for which my grandfatherinlaw was twice a Labor candidate. The honourable member has expressed great interest not only in urban affairs but in civil aviation. His dialogues with the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Swartz) have been more protracted than most. He is bound to be elected as a member of the Sydney City Council tomorrow.

Finally from New South Wales, Sir, there is the honourable member for West Sydney (Mr Minogue). He served in the Sydney City Council for 10 years and also served with the honourable member for Bennelong (Sir John Cramer) for a certain time on the Sydney County Council as well. He has had a particular gift for publicising issues in which he is interested, from Martin Place to Lord Howe Island. In particular we will remember him as one who has shown special concern for those who have been disadvantaged because of their faith and disregarded because of their age. He has never forgotten his city; he has never forgotten his birthplace; and he has made some memorable contributions to jurisprudence in the field of workers compensation.

Sir, there are two of my colleagues from Victoria who are leaving the Parliament, the honourable member for Scullin (Mr Peters) and the honourable member for Darebin (Mr Courtnay). The honourable member for Scullin, like the honourable member for Blaxland, is attending a meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. He is another of the fortyniners. We paid our tribute to him on his last day in the Parliament. The honourable member for Darebin has served my Party in the Parliament for 1 1 years. Before that he had had long political and industrial service in his home State. He has kept the faith bravely and consistently as all his colleagues inside and outside the Parliamentary Labor Party recognise.

Sir, in listing departing members, we are expressing appreciation to good colleagues and friends. We wish them health and happiness. I would like publicly to thank my own colleagues for the support I have received from them, in increasing measure, during the 17 years I have served in the Parliament, and during the last 3 years as their leader. I have confined my remarks to the honourable members who have announced their intention to leave the Parliament. It will be seen that between them they have served some 250 years in it. Their departure will leave a great gap in the public life.

This has been an interesting Parliament, as the Prime Minister has said. It has become more interesting as time has gone on. We are all looking with exceptional anticipation and interest to our comings and goings in the next few weeks. Mr Speaker, thank you again, and all your staff, the people in the chamber and the others in this Parliament over whom you hold jurisdiction.

Mr McEWEN:
Minister for Trade and Industry · Murray · CP

Mr Speaker, I want to speak on behalf of my colleagues in the Australian Country Party. I join with the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) in paying tribute to you on this occasion. It has been a very satisfying experience to serve as a parliamentarian under your speakership. I am sure there is no-one in the Parliament who doubts your integrity of decision or who has any second thoughts about your capacity to understand the Standing Orders and to manage the affairs of the Parliament. Therefore I join with the others in paying tribute to you. We thank you and your deputies who occupy the chair from time to time. I also pay tribute to my Party colleague, the honourable member for Lyne (Mr Lucock). As Chairman of Committees, as a Deputy Speaker and as Acting Speaker in your absence, he has discharged his duties with credit to himself and, 1 am sure, with satisfaction to the House.

For myself I say that this has been a pretty hard Parliament. 1 think it has been pretty hard for all of us. Because of the great issues we have all had to work hard wherever we sit in this place. I have had pleasure in working with my colleagues and with my Party. Turning now to the Prime Minister, he faces his first election. I have no doubt at all of the outcome. He will come through with great credit and great success to lead the coalition government again in the next parliament. The Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition members have discharged their duties in opposition with distinction and with credit to themselves. They will gain 3 more years of experience in Opposition and 1 am sure will be able to serve even better as Opposition members in the next parliament. I pay tribute to the Party Whips. They have kept all of us in order. Mr Speaker, we are all indebted to the Clerks and officers of the House for the service which they perform and I, with other speakers, also would like to put this on record. To the Hansard staff and the Library staff equally, all parliamentarians are indebted and I pay my tribute. To the Press I pay my tribute. This is a day when I feel I can do so without any hypocrisy. On odd days occasionally I would find difficulty in speaking.

Mr Daly:

– Does that include the ABC?

Mr McEWEN:

– No, not really. However, I do pay my tribute to the Press. I turn now to honourable members who, of their own decision, do not intend to re-contest seats in the Parliament. I refer first to my colleague, the honourable member for Lawson, Mr Laurie Failes. He has served this Parliament and his Party with great distinction for 20 years. There must be, in the history of Federation past and future, few people who have been the only member for a federal electorate. He came in when the electorate was newly created in 1949; he goes out when the electorate has been abolished in 1969. None of us has any doubt at all that had he wished to continue in the Parliament he would have won a seat to enable him to do so. The honourable member for Lawson has been a good companion, as well liked, I think, as any person in the Parliament. He has been an able man in presenting the arguments of our Government and of his own Party. He has been a very experienced man. In the Parliament, in the constituency, in public and when he has travelled overseas as a parliamentarian, he has held high the honour and reputation of the Australian Federal Parliament. I pay my personal tribute to Laurie Failes for his service, and I do not forget the company that his wife has given to us all here also.

To my colleague, the Minister for Defence (Mr Fairhall) who is, by his own decision, calling it a day, I say that the only mistake I have made is not to do the same thing at the same time. I do pay a tribute to the service that Allen Fairhall has given to the Government, to his Party and to this country in the very wide areas of responsibility that he has occupied over a period. My Party would wish me to wish him well in his retirement and to hope that he does not exert himself overmuch in the coming election. The honourable member for Isaacs (Sir William Haworth) has been a very old friend of mine, a very distinguished Victorian and Melbournian. He served in a ministerial capacity in the State Parliament before he came here. I offer to him the very warmest wishes of the Australian Country Party in his period of retirement.

I am defeated in any attempt to name the electorates of the Australian Labor Party members who, of their own decision, are not recontesting seats, but the honourable member for Darling (Mr Clark) occupies a particularly special place in my mind because he and I came into the Parliament in the same election. Incidentally, Sir

Robert Menzies came in in that election also. It was a very distinguished crop that came along in 1934 - and that seems a long while ago. To me it is more than half of my life and it is probably proportionately the same with the honourable member for Darling. In Opposition and in government the honourable member for Darling has discharged his responsibilities in such a manner as to be a credit to himself and, 1 am sure, satisfactory to the Parliament. 1 remember him particularly for two things: The first, that he came in in the same election as I did and the second that as Chairman of Committees he named me. So he stands brightly in my memory for both of those occasions.

Mr Calwell:

– He named three of you in the one motion.

Mr McEWEN:

– That is right. He introduced mechanisation or automation into the Parliament.

Mr Whitlam:

– That was a three star lot.

Mr McEWEN:

– That is right. I mention now Mr Eric Costa, Mr Frank Courtnay, Mr Dan Curtin, Mr Len Devine, Mr Jim Harrison, Mr Bill O’Connor, Mr Dan Minogue and Mr Ted Peters. These men have all been good companions and good parliamentarians and I, and my Party, wish them well in their decision not to stand further in the Parliament.

Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP

– This is the first time I have taken the opportunity to speak at this stage of a session. Like the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton), I entered this Parliament in 1949 when more than fifty new members entered this House, not to mention the Senate. Thirteen members are going out, eight of whom are forty-niners. Only twelve of the forty-niners will be left with us after the election, assuming that each of them is returned. I would like to pay a tribute to the Minister for Defence (Mr Fairhall), who is retiring. Like myself, he gained his political initiation through the Henry George League in which we learned some of the things which the Minister for the Navy (Mr Kelly) has stopped espousing. I refer particularly to the disadvantages of blind tariff protection. Neither of us believes implicitly in it any longer, but we did then agree with some of the things about which the honour able member for Wakefield spoke. I think the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr McEwen) is another honourable member who did not agree with what the honourable member for Wakefield used to say. 1 wish to pay a special tribute to the forty-niners who are going out. Mr Costa is a kindly and unassuming man. He is very sincere and liked by everybody. I do not think anyone has ever heard Eric Costa pass a nasty remark about another honourable member. Dan Curtin is a very generous person in every way. He is a straight from the shoulder man, and has the very epitome of the best qualities of a fair dinkum, rugged Australian trade unionist. We will be sorry to see him go. He does not look now any different from when I first saw him, in 1949. He has looked after himself well. I was once told that reformed drunks always finish up in good health. Dan has not had a drink for well over 40 years and the benefits of his abstinence are obvious.

Jim Harrison is another colourful character. He usually led for Labor on industrial matters but at one time there was an exception. Percy Clarey was here then, another great forty-niner who has long since departed. He felt that as a former President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions he ought to take the prime position. Dr Evatt, always a diplomat in these matters, said: ‘Both sit at the table’. And they did. At the table at that time was Harold Holt, as Minister for Labour and National Service, sitting in the seat now occupied by the Prime Minister. Eddie Ward said in his inimitable style: ‘There you have the Father, Son and Holy Ghost’. He never told us who was which. Wardie said that he refrained from identifying them because he did not want to offend anybody.

Dan Minogue is quite unique in this Parliament. No person has ever entered this Parliament, and it is probable now that no person ever will, with the same rich Irish brogue which characterises Dan Minogue’s speaking. He did a magnificent job to get the Sydney Post Office clock re-erected. That is one of his great achievements. He got shamrocks readmitted into Australia on the occasion of Heather Menzies’ wedding. He discovered that heather was being allowed in for the wedding and shamrocks were still banned because of a disease. He handled that matter with great distinction. Frequently he has drawn attention to the injustices suffered by the people of Ireland and has called out for unification of that country. He managed to get an air strip on Lord Howe Island put on the map, at least notionally.

His greatest achievement, as the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) has pointed out, was his success in wringing from the Treasurer (Mr McMahon) an undertaking that a Bill would be introduced - although it has not yet been brought in - to amend the compensation legislation to cover the loss of genitals. I take it that Dan Minogue meant it to cover women as well as men. He did not say so. However, we have the promise but not yet the fulfilment, which is so typical of the Government.

Mr Peters, who is at present overseas representing us, is one of the old school. He is an austere, undeviating protectionist of the finest calibre. I remember that once in caucus he said that we should remember that we were in an egalitarian party and a few minutes later I noticed him take his son into the dining room where they both ordered a return of oysters, which seems to me to be a good way of proving the point. Unfortunately, he is leaving us. He has been true to the Labor Party and he stands out in my memory, as does the right honourable member for Melbourne (Mr Calwell), for the way in which he resisted the great pressure of an attempt by the Democratic Labor Party to drag him away from the Australian Labor Party. He did not leave us.

Of the members who were in this Parliament in 1949 only twelve are still here today. But about only seven of the present members were here when I first came into the Parliament 20 years ago. I like to recall the very great men who were here when I came here in 1950 and who are no longer here. I wonder whether in 20 years time members who are just coming into the Parliament now will be able to look back on those of us who are here now and say of us, with the same sincerity as I say of those whom I intend to mention, that we were really great Australians who contributed very greatly indeed to the history of our country. I think of Larry Anthony, one of the greatest and most devastating oppositionists [ have ever heard. He was a great debater. I think of Howard Beale, who, in not such a prominent way, was a very good and effective member who became an ambassador for us in the United States. 1 think of Archie Cameron who, unlike yourself, Mr Speaker, was a man who did not worry much about Standing Orders. He made them up as he went along. You appear to do it yourself at times too, but not so consistently as Archie Cameron did. Archie Cameron took a very great dislike to Phar Lap, even to the extent of having his picture removed from the barber’s room downstairs. He was very quick witted. He liked to think that he was an authority on the Bible, although his quotations were not always terribly good. On one occasion, when Mr Pollard complained about not being able to ask a question, Archie Cameron said: ‘You are like Solomon’s barren wife. You can never be satisfied.’ Dick Casey was a great figure who later became Lord Casey and Governor-General of Australia. He is another man whose record in this Parliament, so far as I arn concerned, is highlighted by his wonderful talk on the habits of the rabbits. He was then the Minister responsible for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and he gave a very interesting talk about myxomatosis.

Ben Chifley was here when I first came into Parliament, and so was that great stalwart, Percy Clarey. Alex Downer, now High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, was also here, as were Arthur Drakeford and Dave Drummond, a very sturdy member of the Country Party who everybody loved and respected and who I know was a great friend of the present Leader of the Country Party. He was a great man. So was Bert Evatt, and there was Artie Fadden. I suppose Artie Fadden was easily the most hospitable Acting Prime Minister I have ever seen because he used to take over Sir Robert Menzies’ headquarters, which had a good larder of whisky and the like. I was one and there were many others present who had the good fortune to be invited in to help him drink it before his term of office finished. When Sir Robert Menzies came back from overseas the first thing he had to do was to fill up the larder. Very often it just got filled up in time for Artie Fadden to start getting right to it again. He enjoyed this very much indeed. Fadden’s Gap is a memorable part of this building about which T will not go into detail, but the older members know where it is.

I talked of Allan Fraser who, fortunately, will be back again. He was one of the few men who could really rattle the great Sir Robert Gordon Menzies. Sir Robert Menzies was a great man. He was one of the greatest parliamentarians I have ever seen and easily one of the finest orators I have ever heard. His 1951 speech on the Communist Party Dissolution Bill stands out as being by far the greatest oratorical effort I have ever listened to and, I suppose, that anyone will ever hear. A tape recording of his speech was made by Hansard, or it may have been by the Library.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member’s time has expired.

Mr FAIRHALL:
Minister for Defence · Paterson · LP

– I have never been a great user of time on the debate for the adjournment of the House and the likelihood that my voice will expire with my time will prevent me from falling into bad habits. When I entered politics in 1949 I did so with these words of that gallant Papal Knight, the right honourable member for Melbourne (Mr Calwell) ringing in my ears: Politicians are like poultry. They are roosters today and feather dusters tomorrow’. It would pay us all not to forget that piece of wisdom. I do not propose to go off into reminiscences this afternoon because there has been some of that, and perhaps it is very valuable in its way. There are quite a number of my colleagues who no doubt will want to say a word or two, and so I content myself with expressing my thanks to you, Sir, for your gentle discipline. I thank my friends on both sides of the House, happily, and say that when they face the barrier in the next week or two I will be in there working until the starter presses the button. But after that I would like to settle down. In my view the happiest result would be if every member of this Parliament, except those of us who retire, were re-elected. In that way the country would be assured of continuing good government. But in the meantime I merely express my thanks to the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton), to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam), to the Leader of the Country

Country Party (Mr McEwen) and others for their kind words, because I find that after 20 years in this place it is easier to take kicks than kind words.

Mr CLARK:
Darling

– I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you, Mr Speaker, and the officers of the House for the courtesy shown to me during the period I have been in the Parliament. I should like to thank the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam), and others who have spoken, for their references to me. This has been a very interesting period of my life. As the Leader of the Opposition said I entered the Parliament in 1934 and have spent more than half the time since Federation here. I think I have served under 12 of the 19 Prime Ministers we have had, and it has been a very interesting experience. When I first entered the Parliament we were going through a very great depression and there was vast unemployment and great economic suffering amongst the people. From 1939 to 1945 we went through a grave period of war, worry and anxiety and the Parliament had the problem of steering Australia through those grave times. Then came the period of rehabilitating those who had taken part in the war and who had to be returned to a place in the economic life of the country. That presented us with very great difficulties indeed. I think that the experience gained in those times has helped us very greatly in keeping down the unemployment which plagued us greatly when I first entered the Parliament.

We indeed have a great country. It has a most magnificent future and I feel that under a Labor government we can look forward to an even more favourable period than we have experienced in the past. But I would like to thank again the officers of the House and of the Parliament generally, also the Ministers and the staffs of the departments, for the courtesies which they have extended to me. Those officers have helped me in making my job lighter by handling the various problems which I took along to them from time to time. It is not easy to be in opposition to the Government. I have had 35 years in Parliament of which 27 have been in opposition. It gets a bit monotonous at times. I think the time is arriving when there will be quicker changes of government.

When J first entered the Parliament I was told by the member whom I had displaced that I was too young and knew too little about it. J said that was not a bad fault and that 1 would grow out of it. I have remained here long enough to grow out of that failing. I would like the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr McEwen) to know that his friendship over the years is appreciated by me. The right honourable gentleman, Sir Robert Menzies and 1 came to this Parliament at about the same time and for many years I used to think we were a very formidable group One was the Prime Minister, one was the Deputy Prime Minister, and I was the rank and file. I would like again to thank the officers of the Parliament and those honourable members and Ministers who have spoken today and have expressed kind wishes. I only hope that I have the good health to enjoy my retirement. It is my wish to retire while I am still young enough to enjoy life. If anybody comes looking for me in retirement he will have to get a boat and row out into the harbour to see me.

Sir WILLIAM HAWORTH:
Isaacs

– The Twenty-sixth Parliament is now very close to its demise and I would like to say a few words as, no doubt, would many others on this occasion. 1 thank the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam), and the Leader crf the Australian Country Party (Mr McEwen) for the generous remarks and good wishes they have extended to me. There are very many thoughts circulating in my mind at the moment, as no doubt there are in the minds of other honourable members who are retiring. There is one observation I would like to make. It concerns the very smooth way that this democratic institution of ours operates. From day to day it goes on, from session to session and from year to year. As far as I am concerned that is an observation that one cannot help but make without admiration. I perhaps have had more time to reflect on this matter and to see a little more than most honourable members. As you know, Mr Speaker, I have acted as a Deputy Speaker in this House for many years, and I have perhaps been able to make a closer observation of the operations of the House than many other honourable members.

We all take for granted the quality of parliamentary administration, but I shudder to think what this place might be like if the administration were not so good. We are indebted, as other honourable members have said, to those people, both inside and outside, who play a very active part in the operations of the Parliament. To all those people inside and outside I would like to say: Thank you. They have shown to mc many acts of kindness and courtesy and, indeed, at times they have shown a great deal of patience. I would like to go into detail and mention names, but names have already been mentioned this afternoon and therefore I think it is unnecessary for mc to repeat them. I am sure that the people to whom I am referring know very well whom I mean. Of course the Parliament works smoothly for other reasons and one of those reasons is that members come to this place with a sincere desire to make a contribution to the welfare of Australia and the people who live in this great nation. What divides us is only the method of reaching that objective. When all is said and done, there is a true understanding which generates friendship among us all, as the Minister for Defence (Mr Fairhall) has just said. lt is at times like these, when many of us are retiring from this Parliament for good, that one fully realises the reasons why this Parliament works so well. Of course, it should work well. This is as it should be but it is not so everywhere. As you, Mr Speaker, know, many parliaments in the world today do not operate as efficiently as we do. I have no fears about the future of this democratic institution. As long as honourable members come to this Parliament motivated by the same ideals that served us so well in two World Wars, this Parliament will remain the safeguard of freedom and liberty for the people. The differences between us will be settled in this chamber on the basis of agreeing to disagree and not by violence in the streets as, unfortunately, is happening around the world today.

In conclusion, I wish all members the very best of good health during this coming campaign. Campaigns can be a very great strain on members of Parliament. 1 wish them all the best. I hope they come back here after 25th October in the same respective numbers as at present. I will’ watch their individual fortunes with a great deal of interest and a great deal of understanding.

Mr BARNARD:
Bass

– I join with the right honourable the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton), the right honourable the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr McEwen), my own Leader (Mr Whitlam) and other members of this House who this afternoon have spoken about those who will be retiring at the end of this Parliament. Since becoming a member of the House of Representatives I have learnt that one must expect a large turnover at the end of each Parliament, but this Parliament is unique for the number of members who will retire voluntarily. Much has been said about all of them this afternoon. Naturally, 1 am more acquainted with those on my side that I am with those on the Government side. I have formed very great friendships with those members of my Party who will retire voluntarily after today. I would like to think that, just as I have made very good friends among all of them, there are members on the other side of the House, who will not be returning in the new Parliament, whom I could regard as friends. The Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and others have spoken individually about all those members. There is no need for me to repeat what has been said. T believe that they can leave this Parliament with a sense of having, in their own way, made a very significant contribution not only to the procedures of the Parliament but indeed to the development of the country and of the electorates that they have represented so well.

Finally, J pay a very special tribute to the Minister for Defence (Mr Fairhall). I refer to him particularly because during the last 3 years one of my responsibilities in this Parliament has been, as well as Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the shadow Minister for Defence. No doubt there have been many occasions on which the Minister for Defence and myself have clashed. We have differed on political issues. There have been occasions, too, I believe, when the Minister for Defence has found it necessary, because of something that I initiated, to prepare a speech hastily. I know that the Minister for Defence is not the kind of member who looks for tributes either from this side of the House or from his own members. But it can be said in all sincerity that there are very few people, irrespective of their political views, who would not agree that he has made a tremendous contribution as a member and as a responsible Minister in this Parliament. We may disagree with him politically, but the fact remains that he has not spared himself in his efforts on behalf of the Party he has represented with very great distinction and he has certainly not spared himself on behalf of the people of this country. So I pay that tribute to him and I wish him a very happy retirement. 1 come to one other matter that has been referred to by honourable members who have already spoken in this very pleasant debate. They have referred to the great assistance that we all receive from those who make it possible for this Parliament to function - the attendants and those who are responsible for all the minute details of the Parliament’s work. I also pay a tribute to you, Mr Speaker. You have always displayed complete impartiality. I appreciate the assistance you have given to me and I know that other honourable members on this side of the House appreciate the assistance you have given on all occasions. The Clerks and the Hansard staff at all times are most helpful.

I also express my appreciation to the Minister for Air (Mr Erwin) in his capacity as Leader of the House. We have worked together for only a very short period, but I have enjoyed a very happy relationship with him in this capacity, as I did with his predecessor. I know that all honourable members would agree that he has a very difficult task in ensuring that the House functions smoothly. Just as the Minister for Air as Leader of the House must at times find it difficult to satisfy all the honourable members on his side, 1 occasionally have the same problems. But I believe that together we have been able to ensure that the House has continued to function smoothly and for the benefit of all honourable members.

Since I am now referred to the responsibilities of the Leader of the House, I want to pay a special tribute to his assistant, Mr

George Brownbill. 1 think that without him it would be impossible for the House to function. I have in mind the work that is entailed when speeches and statements are to be made by Ministers, sometimes at very short notice. Mr George Brownbill has proved himself to be a very capable officer, and I am sure the Minister for Air would concur with this. There has been a good deal of co-operation between Mr Brownbill and myself and I want to thank him personally for the assistance that he has given, not only to me, but also to my staff.

I conclude by joining with other honourable members in wishing those who will be leaving the Parliament a very happy retirement. I know that they will always retain fond memories of their long and happy association with the Parliament.

Mr FAILES:
Lawson

– For several of us this is the last political roundup. It is a very sad occasion in many ways, but it is a proud occasion. It is an occasion on which those of us who have served here for a number of years realise that we have had a new education compared with anything that we had experienced before. At the outset I refer to the indebtedness that we have to a great number of people in this place. This has been mentioned already by other honourable members. I support the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) and other speakers in expressing my indebtedness personally and politically to you, Mr Speaker, as a friend and as the Speaker of this House, and I couple with you in those remarks my friend and colleague, the honourable member for Lyne (Mr Lucock), who is your Deputy Speaker and is Chairman of Committees. Then there are also the Deputy Chairmen of Committees with whom 1 have been associated over the years. The people in this little group, from different political parties and with different allegiances, have had a specific job to do and have set out to do that job to the best of their ability. We have been a very happy group, for which I thank you as our leader in this field.

References have been made to officers of the House. Anyone who has taken the Chair, particularly in Committee, knows very well how much we owe to the Clerks sitting on each side of us. They are always ready to help us and prompt us, particularly those of us who are Deputy Chairmen and who may not be completely au fait with the Standing Orders. We owe them a great debt. They have been very helpful to us. Mention has been made of Hansard, the Library, the House staff, refreshment rooms staff, transport staff, attendants and a great number of other people. I do not wish to traverse that area beyond saying that there are some departments in this place of which we know very little. One officer of whom little is known is probably the chief engineer who is responsible for the engineering services in this place. Every time we turn a tap, walk through a door or switch on a light we take advantage of these services. It is a service which never ceases and one for which we owe a great debt. One cannot speak highly enough of the attendants and their help to all honourable members. The transport officer has been mentioned. He is now trying his level best to make arrangements so that we may all leave Canberra in the shortest possible time after the House rises. For all of those things we owe a debt to the officers of the Parliament.

I propose now to refer to the personal and kind remarks that have been made to me. 1 acknowledge the kind and generous compliments that have been paid to me. I have served under two leaders in my own Party and three leaders of our coalition. To all of them I feel a debt of loyalty and appreciation that I could be a party to the magnificent development of Australia under their leadership. Parliament has seemed to me to be more than just an arm of government; it is a complex in which the Opposition and the backbencher play a vital part. It is a tremendous organisation. It is not possible to conceive of Parliament without a good Opposition, and in all humility I add that it is not possible to conceive of Parliament without the backbencher. There would not be a Parliament if every member were appointed to the Ministry, certainly in a country the size of ours and with the number of members that are required. In referring to all the people who make up this great complex and who work to keep it serviced and operating I am reminded of a remark that my father made to me, that it is not the job that counts but how it is done. Everybody in this place has always appeared to me to be pulling his weight and. doing the job for which he is probably best fitted. 1 have always tried to serve my constituents to the best of my ability. It is always a proud moment for a member of Parliament to receive from somebody unable to help himself in his adversity a letter thanking the member for the succour obtained through his representations in this Parliament, the organisation geared for that purpose and in which Ministers, with the help of their departments, play such an important part. Reference has been made this afternoon to the help which a member of Parliament receives from his wife. No-one but a member of Parliament who has the God-given gift of a good woman at his side will appreciate how much a member’s wife can mean to him. We owe our wives a great deal. 1 am pleased that their contributions have been recognised today. For so many years their value was disregarded.

After 20 years in this Parliament 1 remain the original member for Lawson. 1 understand that my friend, the honourable member for Mallee (Mr Turnbull), will, within a few months, be able to say that he has been the original member for Mallee for 20 years. During my time in this Parliament 1 have been indebted to my constituents for their faith in me and to my many friends in the Parliament and outside, in Canberra and beyond, for their help. In saying farewell to them I extend my very best wishes. This is a sad parting but, as my friend the honourable member for Darling (Mr Clark) reminded me, I have no wish to be carted away on a stretcher. We have taken the alternative of retiring voluntarily. I thank you all. I take my leave knowing that while the standard of parliamentary government which we have enjoyed over the years remains unblemished we have no fears about the vigorous growth of this great country.

Mr CURTIN:
Smith · Kingsford

– It has been a delightful afternoon to sit here listening to the tributes paid by the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton), the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr McEwen), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam), and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Barnard) to those members who are retiring from the Parliament. The tributes were well deserved. Tn good Australian language, this is it. Some of us are leaving after 20 years in this place, Mr Speaker, your electorate adjoins Kingsford-Smith. I have enjoyed your company and your friendship in this place. I will not bother with refine ments. This Parliament is a great Australian institution, so I will use good Australian language: You have been a very good bloke. 1 pay a tribute to our Transport Officer, Gordon Pike, one of the most important men in this place. He gets us here and takes us home, and he does everything for us while we are here. Parliament is without doubt a great institution but in the 20 years that I have been here I have been disappointed by the neglect of an even greater institution - the great Australian trade union movement, that great body of millions of skilled and unskilled Australians, male and female. 1 do not think the trade union movement gets in this Parliament the consideration that is due to it. After all, without the great body of trade unionists Parliament could not function.

Mr Turnbull:

– What about the primary producers?

Mr CURTIN:

– The honourable member for Mallee is a great friend of mine. Although we have come to grips at times, 1 have great respect for him. The primary producers can look after themselves. They form the most protected section of our community. If trade unionists could get half as much consideration as is given to primary producers they would be well satisfied. I can go into retirement with a smile on my face. I thank all of those people who are connected with the Parliament, especially one body of persons who have not been mentioned this afternoon, namely, the girls on the switchboard. They really make the Parliament tick. They should get the consideration that is due to them. Taking a line from what Laurie Failes said, I pay a tribute to my wife because she has helped me considerably over the years in which I have been the member for the great electorate of Kingsford-Smith.

I pay tribute also to the people of Kingsford-Smith. After all, they were responsible for appointing a great member named Dan Curtin to represent them in this Parliament. Dan Curtin can go out of this House today knowing that he did everything possible for these people, that every promise he made to them he kept to the best of his ability, and that every complaint that they brought to his notice was given the consideration due to it. Kingsford-Smith is a great electorate. I have lived in it for many years and the people of KingsfordSmith are great people. I leave this Parliament today with a clear conscience in regard to my work over the past years in accordance with the pledge that I gave to those people when I came into this House. Time marches on. I have had 55 years of hard work - 35 years as a member of that great organisation, the Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Society of Australia, and 20 years in this House. That is a total of 55 years out of 72. There is not much left. I am going out now to enjoy hard-earned leisure for the next-

Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP

– Thirty years.

Mr CURTIN:

– Twenty-five years, anyhow. I approach it with a smile on my face. I am in the best of health, thank the Lord, and I will carry on in the usual manner. When I wake up in the morning I will say to myself: ‘I am as free as the breeze. Where are you going today, Dan?’ Dan will say: ‘We will see where the sports are on, whether they are at that great place called Randwick or at Rosehill. We might go up to see the equines that are performing poorly, having in view the great spring meeting which will be held in the electorate at Kingsford-Smith in the next few weeks’. I hope to back a winner, too.

I thank everyone connected with the Parliament - the attendants, the girls on the switchboard, in the dining room and in the bar, the men in the broadcasting room and the representatives of the Press - they have been pretty critical in the past but I forgive them. I really believe that everyone connected with this Parliament, right down to the men in the boiler room, do a big job. I think that they should get the consideration due to them. In conclusion, I would like to make an appeal to the Government. Many fine words have been spoken this afternoon and I think deep consideration should be given to increasing the salaries of everyone connected with the running of the Parliament.

Mr MINOGUE:
West Sydney

– As one of the twenty members of Parliament who are retiring, I would like to thank you, Mr Speaker, and honourable members on both sides of the chamber for giving me the opportunity to represent Australia as a member of four overseas dele gations. I would like to thank my Party for selecting mc to represent it on those delegations. I believe that this was a great honour. On two occasions I have been away with delegations led by the Clerk of the House, Mr Turner. The last delegation of which 1 was a member was led by the Minister for the Interior (Mr Nixon) and we visited Rio de Janeiro and other places.

Naturally I was pleased when I was elected to this House 20 years ago. Before entering this place I had great experience in fighting and arguing at meetings. I belonged to an Irish association. I lived very close to Tilly Devine and to the people of Surry Hills, and what I did not know about rough and tumble was nobody’s business. However, when I came into this place I thought it was about ten times worse. What we see and hear inside this chamber and what we see and hear outside the door is as different as chalk is from cheese. You think you are representing the Liberal Party or the Labor Party and as soon as you get outside the door people air their grievances. Since I did not take sides to any great degree people used to tell me their grievances.

I have been asked on several occasions what I am going to do in retirement. Well, I am not going to do anything in the line of work because if you work for 20 years in a job you are entitled to long service leave and I intend to take advantage of that when I leave this House. I will have on honorary job in the morning helping to elect a Labor Council for the city of Sydney and to see that by the time the poll closes at 8 o’clock tomorrow night John Armstrong will be Lord Mayor of Sydney. This is not to say that the other candidates are not entitled to be elected. However, they are not entitled to butcher Sydney as the Liberals have done. They cut the size of the wards in Sydney, the second largest city of the British Commonwealth of Nations, in half. So, instead of there being 100,000 electors there were only about 43,000. To show how they have been gerrymandered, one of the wards has 6,000 electors on the roll, while the Labor-held ward next door has 14,000. Anyone who professes to be fair dinkum must admit that this election is off to a bad start. Nevertheless, I feel that our Party will win tomorrow.

I will do what I can at the elections; I will be right on the job.

The Australian Labor Party is very fortunate in having two such good leaders. It will not be their fault if we do not win the next Federal election. Mr Gough Whitlam is not Irish; he is not English; he is not German; he is not anything but a good Australian. If the people do not go to the polling booths and vote for the party that Gough Whitlam is leading, then 1 want to know what they want. 1 hope that they will not be carried away by side issues on this occasion. Mr Lance Barnard has continued the family tradition by doing a very good job.

I promised that 1 would speak for only 2 minutes. I think I have spoken for 3 minutes so far. Let me say that certain friends of mine reported that I was very sick and a docile sort of man, and that anything could happen to me. But, thank God, that was the furthest thing from the truth. Years ago I joined the Hibernian Society and the lodge. I hear people talking about social services, health benefits and everything else. I have had the honour of being in the lodge for 48 years, and I have never yet drawn a week’s sickness money. I have to thank God for that. My health is good. I hope and trust that Australia will continue to carry on the tradition that it is carrying on now. While honourable members are doing a good job, irrespective of the side of the chamber on which they sit, at least they are not contributing to anything like what is happening in my native country of Ireland. I read in the Press that men are being accused of doing this, that and the other thing and that they cannot be tried in an open court because the evidence of the policemen would be beard and there would be somebody watching them. The British Government, which as a Labor Government should know better, is now building a wire fence or wall in the north of Ireland. It is the greatest standing disgrace ever to come to the country. I am very happy to be here today. I assure honourable members that this will not be the last they will see of me, because I will visit them occasionally.

Mr DALY:
Grayndler

– I wish to be associated with the tributes that have been paid to you, Mr Speaker, and to the honourable members who are retiring today. This is not only the end of a Parliament but also a sentimental and sad occasion because the careers of many honourable members finish today for various reasons. Today marks the departure from this place of many men who have rendered valuable service. I add my tribute to all that has been said about the contributions they have made to the good government of this country and the welfare of the people of Australia.

As you know, Mr Speaker, the rewards of politics may be said to be great, but the disappointments and demands of this avocation are extremely heavy. All those who are leaving us today - whether as a result of facing the electors or because they are retiring - have experienced those things. To those honourable members who are leaving us permanently, whether of their own volition or otherwise, let me say that they know the tribulations of politics. It was nice today to hear honourable members pay tribute to their families who have assisted them in their work. I refer particularly to the honourable member for Lawson (Mr Failes).

I pay tribute to the Minister for Defence (Mr Fairhall), whom I believe to be a splendid Minister. On all issues on which I had dealings with him, he was quite nonparty political in regard to my representations. I believe that his retirement is a real loss to the Parliament. I thank the honourable member for Lawson, who has been a Deputy Chairman of Committees, for the courtesy and tolerance he showed on the few occasions on which I overstepped the limits of what should be done under the Standing Orders. I pay tribute to him for the representation he has given to his electorate, which has now been abolished.

I wish all honourable members who are leaving the House well. I express my thanks to them - both those in my Party and those in other parties - for our association. I thank you, Mr Speaker, for your tolerance and understanding on the few occasions on which I have transgressed. I hope that your successor will be just as understanding and tolerant as you have been in the time you have been in office. Whilst I cannot say Many happy returns’ to all honourable members, I wish them all the best of luck.

Mr ERWIN:
Minister for Air and Leader of the House · Ballaarat · LP

– Briefly, I wish to offer my personal thanks to honourable members for the assistance I have been given since becoming Leader of the House. In particular, I thank the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Mr Lance Barnard, for his co-operation in connection with the arrangement of the business of the House. I thank also the Government Whip, Mr Max Fox, the Deputy Government Whip, Mr Winton Turnbull, and the Assistant Whip, Mr Kevin Cairns, for the help they have given me. My thanks also go to Mr Alan Turner and the Clerks of the House for their guidance. I also wish to thank Mr Bill Bridgman and his Hansard staff as well as the attendants of the House. I make special mention of the Parliamentary Draftsmen, Mr John Ewens, and his staff as well as Mr Bob Linford, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet Office, for the tremendous job they have done. My liaison officer, Mr George Brownbill, has given me invaluable assistance. His task has been greatly assisted by Mr Clem Lloyd, private secretary to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. My thanks go to them. Finally, I would like to express my appreciation of the help my personal staff has given me during the year.

Mr BRYANT:
Wills

– It would not have been necessary for me to detain the House for one moment if it were not for the fact that the camel train of the Postmaster-General (Mr Hulme) had stringhalt. Some devoted people in my electorate forwarded a petition to me. I will not read it to the House. I think it would suffice to read the relevant part of it. I raise the matter in view of the fact that a lot of people have put a lot of work into collecting these signatures. The petition is about migrants. The petition states that, upon the acceptance by the Department of Immigration of any application for permission to migrate to Australia resulting in the entry into the country of that migrant, the right to participate in our society and to enjoy the standards and rights enjoyed by the people of Australia should be automatic. I put that petition to the House because these people have exercised their democratic right. The petition was posted in Melbourne last Wednesday, but I received it only this morning. As a Socialist, of course, I love everybody and wish everybody well. It just happens that a lot people need a lot of correction, Mr Speaker, but you have handled us with a great deal of discretion, tact and impartiality over the past 3 years. I wish you well, too.

Mr SPEAKER:

– Thank you. I wish to say how pleased I am to hear the comments which have been passed regarding the staff of the House. Reference has been made to the Clerks of the House, Hansard and the Parliamentary Library as well as to the attendants and others. I believe that those remarks are well merited. I think that the staff of the House serve members extremely well. I would like to thank the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) as well as the Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr McEwen) for their generous remarks about the occupant of the Chair. I also thank other speakers for their generous remarks. I think they have been extremely generous. However, I want to assure honourable members that when I take over again after the forthcoming election I will carry out my duties with the same impartiality. I shall conclude my remarks at this stage as the hour is late and many honourable members want to catch aircraft home. However, before doing so, I wish to say that this is a sad occasion. In spite of the thrust and parry of debate within the chamber and in spite of differences of opinion in the way in which one seeks to attain goals, whether they be nationalistic or socialistic, one finds that many true friendships have existed in the chamber. I join with other honourable members to wish those who are retiring today and their wives and families the best of health and a long life in the future.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 4.44 p.m. until a date and hour to be fixed by Mr Speaker and to be notified by him to each member by telegram or letter.

page 2101

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS UPON NOTICE

National Service: Enlistment of Doctors (Question No. 1845)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice:

  1. How many doctors are being examined for fitness for national service.
  2. Will those conscripted receive commissions.
  3. What has been the maximum number of doctors (a) accepting, (b) holding and (c) resigning commissions in each of the past 3 years.
  4. What are the corresponding numbers, excluding conscripts, expected for this year.
  5. What second year hospital resident training will be available to conscripts in competition with civilian applicants for such positions.
  6. How will remuneration and other benefits for conscript doctors compare with those for second year resident doctors at (a) repatriation hospitals and (b) armed services hospitals.
Mr Lynch:
Minister for the Army · FLINDERS, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. Medical examinations for national service registrants to be inducted early in 1970 are currently being carried out by the Department of Labour and National Service. On completion of these examinations and the court hearing of any applications for deferment and exemption, that Department will be in a position to advise the Army of the numbers to be called up.
  2. The Army endeavours to make maximum use of civilian professional Qualifications of national servicemen, consistent with its needs and the member’s preferences. In accordance with this policy, doctors called up for national service next year, who meet the following conditions, will be employed in their professional capacity; they must volunteer and be accepted for commissioned rank and complete courses in officer training and military medicine.
  3. The appointment of medical officers to the Permanent Military Forces (other than national service) is as under:
  1. Seven undergraduates, now undergoing residency, have been recruited and are expected to commence service in January 1970. No forecast of increases from other sources is possible.
  2. The selection of second year residents is a matter for the employing hospitals and those doctors called up for national service may seek such appointment on completion of their obligation.
  3. There are no second year resident positions in Army hospitals. However, the pay of Army doctors which will apply also to those called up and employed as medical officers, is aligned with that of doctors employed by the Departments of Health and Repatriation, according to duties and responsibilities.

Migration from Northern Ireland (Question No. 1914)

Mr Calwell:

asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

In view of the very high rate of unemployment which exists and has existed for a long time in Northern Ireland generally, and among the skilled and semi-skilled workers of Belfast particularly, will he instruct his Belfast officers to launch a special campaign to encourage as many of these people as possible to emigrate to Australia.

Mr Snedden:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s, question is as follows:

Migration promotional campaigns in Northern Ireland are a regular feature of the normal migration publicity programme carried out in Britain. For the balance of September and during October departmental film shows in two centres and lectures to clubs and the agricultural college have been arranged.

Since June 1969 there has been an increase in the interest shown in migration from residents of Northern Ireland. The results for the months June to September 1969 compared with those for the corresponding period of last year are:

page 2103

FIRST INQUIRIES

1969 1968

June .. 574 455

July .. 499 403

August .. 1,071 664

September 694 (to 20th) 435 (full month)

page 2103

APPLICATIONS (PERSONS)

June 275 245

July .. 193 210

August .. 742 288 September 607 (to 20th) 193 (full month)

Additional staff from London has been posted to Belfast to cope with this increased interest.

Unfortunately, because of recent events, it has been necessary to suspend temporarily some specific promotional activities, for example a promotional tour by the Mobile Office arranged for September had to be cancolled because of the civil disturbances. However, with the return to normalcy it can be expected that full-scale activities will be resumed shortly.

Immigration: Housing Requirements (Question No. 1915)

Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP

asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

What were the housing requirements of the migrants admitted to Australia each year since 1949.

Mr Snedden:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

A rough guide to the number of dwellings required by immigrants to Australia is provided by the number of married women among total settler arrivals, including wives coming out to join their husbands in Australia, These numbers are estimated as follows:

As the Commonwealth Statistician commenced recording settler arrival figures from 1959 only, the figures for 1949-50 to 1958-59 are based on ‘Permanent end Long Term Arrivals’, that is, persons who stated on arrival that they intended to reside for a period of one year or more in Australia. Since these figures would contain Australian residents returning and long-term visitors, they represent an over estimate of actual migrant housing requirements.

However, these figures do not include the number of dwellings required by migrants who marry after arrival or by single migrants who acquire a dwelling. Conversely, they include some migrant wives who do not initially require a separate dwelling because they live in hostels or share a dwelling with relatives or friends. It is not practicable to calculate an appropriate allowance for these factors. lt is also necessary to explain that in order to calculate the necessary addition to the stock of dwellings required because of overseas migration, it would be necessary to take into account the number of dwellings that are vacated by emigrants from Australia and to deal in terms of the net total immigration of families into Australia. The results would show that the number of additional dwellings required because of migration would be substantially less than the figures given above.

This point may be brought out by comparing the total number of marriages in Australia plus married women migrant settlers with estimates for the net annual addition to the dwelling stock, which consists of completions plug additions to the stock due to the conversion of houses into a number of flats, etc., minus losses to the stock due to demolition of dwellings and fire, etc.

The annual number of marriages plus married women settler arrivals is compared with estimates for the annual addition to the dwelling stock in the following table:

It will be noted that the sum of marriages plus migrant wives considerably exceeds the estimates for the additions to the dwelling stock. This is because the calculations make no allowance for the break-up of families by death, etc., or for the departure of settler families.

Indeed a considerable number of the dwellings added each year to the dwelling slock have the effect of increasing the proportion of families that occupy a separate dwelling; and of decreasing the number of families living in shared accommodation.

Taxation: Publication of Taxable Incomes (Question No. 1932)

Mr Calwell:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

  1. Is he able to say whether the names and taxable incomes of all taxpayers in receipt of a certain level of income in die United States ot America are published by the Income Tax Department in that country.
  2. If so, are there any valid reasons why Australia should not adopt the same practice.
  3. If there are such reasons, what are they.
Mr McMahon:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. The information available to me indicates that the names and taxable incomes of taxpayers are not published by the United States Internal Revenue Service. Prior to November 1966, lists containing only names and addresses of taxpayers who lodged income tax returns in the Internal Revenue district were, 1 understand, maintained in each district office for public inspection, but the practice has since been discontinued.
  2. and (3) See answer to (1). I mention, bowever, that the secrecy provisions of the Commonwealth income tax laws, which do not permit the Commissioner of Taxation to publish information along lines indicated by the honourable member, have been in the law since the inception of Commonwealth income tax in 1915. The principle of not divulging the taxation affairs of taxpayers has therefore been accepted by successive Commonwealth Governments and this Government does not propose to depart from that principle.

Superphosphate Subsidy (Question No. 1947)

Mr Barnard:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Customs and Excise, upon notice:

  1. Which manufacturers of superphosphate have been subsidised by the Government under the phosphate fertilisers bounty scheme.
  2. How much has each company received under the Scheme.
  3. When did each company begin manufacture in Australia.
  4. What percentage of the equity shareholding in each company is held by persons resident in Australia.
  5. Who are the main manufacturers of nitrogenous fertiliser in Australia.
  6. How much has each company received under the Government’s nitrogenous fertiliser subsidy scheme.
  7. What particular nitrogenous fertilisers does each company produce.
  8. When did each company begin manufacture In Australia.
  9. What percentage of the equity shareholding in each company is held by persons resident in Australia.
Mr Nixon:
CP

– The Minister for Customs and Excise has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

  1. The Government has paid bounty to the users of superphosphate produced by the following companies -

A.C.F. and Shirleys Fertilizers Ltd, Brisbane,

Queensland.

Adelaide and Wallaroo Fertilizers Ltd,

Adelaide, South Australia.

Albany Superphosphate Co. Pty Ltd, Albany,

Western Australia.

Australian Fertilizers Ltd, Port Kembla, New

South Wales.

Cresco Fertilizers (W.A.) Pty Ltd, Bayswater,

Western Australia.

Cresco Fertilizers Ltd, Birkenhead, South

Australia.

Cresco Fertilizers Ltd, Geelong, Victoria. C.S.B.P. and Farmers Ltd, Perth, Western Australia.

Electrolytic Zinc Co. of Australasia Ltd,

Risdon, Tasmania.

Esperance Fertilizers Pty Ltd, Perth, Western

Australia.

Greenleaf Fertilizers Ltd, Boolaroo, New

South Wales. I.C.I.A.N.Z. Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria.

Phosphate Co-op. Co. (Aust.) Ltd, Melbourne,

Victoria.

  1. Listed below are the amounts each company received for the period 14th August 1963 to 30lh June 1969. This bounty has been passed on to the users of phosphate fertilisers:

A.C.F. and Shirleys Fertilizers Ltd- 1919. Adelaide and Wallaroo Fertilizers Ltd- 1882. Albany Superphosphate Co. Pty Ltd- 1954. Australian Fertilizers Ltd - 1921. Cresco Fertilizers (W.A.) Pty Ltd- 1927. Cresco Fertilizers Ltd, South Australia - 1913. Cresco Fertilizers Ltd, Victoria- 1922. C.S.B.P. and Farmers Ltd- 1910. Electrolytic Zinc Co. of A’asia Ltd- 1924. Esperance Fertilizers Pty Ltd - 1964. Greenleaf Fertilizers Ltd- 1950. I.C.I.A.N.Z. Ltd- 1878. Prosphate Co-op. Co. (Aust.) Ltd- 1927.

  1. The various companies have advised the Department of Customs and Excise that the percentage of equity shareholding in each company held by persons resident in Australia is as follows:

A.C.F. and Shirley Fertilizers Ltd, Brisbane Ltd.

Australian Fertilizers Ltd, Port Kembla, New

South Wales.

Australian Gas Light Co., Mortlake, New

South Wales.

Austral-Pacific Fertilizers Ltd, Brisbane, Qld. C.S.B.P and Farmers Ltd, Perth, W.A. Cresco Fertilizers Ltd, Geelong, Victoria. Electrolytic Zinc Co. of A’asia Ltd, Risdon,

Tasmania.

Greenleaf Fertilizers Ltd, Boolaroo, N.S.W. I.C.1.A.NZ, Ltd-

Eastern Nitrogen Ltd, Newcastle, N.S.W.

Nobel ((A’asia) Pty Ltd, Botany, N.S.W.

  1. Listed below are the amounts each company received under the Government’s- nitrogenous fertiliser subsidy scheme for the period 17th August 1966 to 30th June 1969. This subsidy has been passed on to the users of nitrogenous fertilisers.

(7>-

A.C.F. and Shirleys Fertilizers Ltd - Sulphate of ammonia, aqua and anhydrous ammonia, NP/NPK* compounds.

Australian Fertilizers Ltd - Ammonium phosphate, NP/NPK* compounds.

Australian Gas Light Co. - Sulphate of ammonia.

Austral-Pacific Fertilizers - Ammonia, urea.

C.S.B.P. and Farmers Ltd - Ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphates, aqua and anhydrous ammonia.

Cresco Fertilizers Ltd, Victoria - Calcium ammonium nitrate, NP/NPK* compounds.

Electrolytic Zinc Co. of A’asia Ltd - Sulphate of ammonia, NP/NPK* compounds.

Greenleaf Fertilizers Ltd- NP/NPK* compounds.

I.C.I.A.N.Z. Ltd: I.C.I.A.N.Z., Melbourne- NP/NPK* compounds.

Eastern Nitrogen Ltd - Ammonium nitrate, ammonia. Nobel (A’asia) Pty Ltd- Urea.

N = nitrogen, P - phosphorus, K - potassium. (Ky-

A.C.F. and Shirleys Fertilizers Ltd- 1919 (ammonia - 1966). Australian Fertilizers Ltd- 1964. Australian Gas Light Co. - 1909. Austial-Pacific Fertilizers Ltd- 1969. C.S.B.P. and Farmers Ltd- 1968. Cresco Fertilizers Ltd, Victoria - 1969. Electrolytic Zinc Co. of A’asia Ltd- 1956. Greenleaf ] Fertilizers Ltd- 1969. I.C.I.A.N.Z. Ltd- 1965.

Eastern Nitrogen Ltd- 1969.

Nobel (A’asia) Pty Ltd- 1964.

  1. The various companies have advised the Department of Customs and Excise that the percentage of equity shareholding in each company held by persons resident in Australia is as follows:
Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

  1. Will airline services now linking Central Western Queensland with Brisbane direct be changed to connect with Rockhampton’s projected jet services.
  2. Can the facilities and staff of his department, present or planned, cope with the increased traffic at Rockhampton.
Mr Swartz:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. The feasibility of linking the Central Western Queensland ports with jet services at Rockhampton is currently being studied by the airlines. Should any connections prove to be possible, it is expected that they will be incorporated into the airline schedules by March 1970. It might be noted that the airlines plan to introduce jet services to Rockhampton in October 1969 which will be followed, in March 1970, by an increase in the number of services provided to the port by jet aircraft.
  2. The Department’s present and planned facilities and staff are expected to be able to cope with traffic at Rockhampton.

Education: Teachers’ Colleges (Question No. 1676)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. What is the location and enrolment ot teachers colleges conducted by the States and other authorities.
  2. What changes in the duration of teacher training courses have taken place since his answer to me on 19 September 1968 (Hansard, p. 1338).
  3. Which States have established or propose to establish Boards of Teacher Education.
Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. NEW SOUTH WALES

General Primary. A 3-year course is being progressively introduced to replace the 2-year course.

page 2108

QUEENSLAND

Primary Teacher Course. A 3-year course is being progressively introduced to replace the 2-year course.

Tasmania has established a Standing Committee on Teacher Education comprising representatives of the Tasmanian Education Department, the University of Tasmania and Indpendent Schools.

Education: Teachers in Government Schools (Question No. 1677)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

Since bis answer to me on 26th November 1968 (Hansard, page 3283), have the other States agreed, as South Australia and Western Australia had to release their predictions of numbers of (a) primary and (b) secondary teachers likely to be available in government schools up to and including 1975.

Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Information has now been made available by the other States and is contained in the following tables.

Education: Pre-school Enrolment (Question No. 1682)

Mr WHITLAM:
WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

What percentage of eligible children in each State and mainland Territory was enrolled for pre-school education in the last year for which information is available.

Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Sources.

Pre-school enrolments- Australian Pre-School Association, Department of Education and Science and Department of the Interior.

School enrolments and Population 3-5 years - Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics.

Northern Territory: Pre-School Education (Question No. 1683)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

Why is the percentage of children receiving preschool education in the Northern Territory so much lower than in the Australian Capital Territory.

Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The percentage of children attending pre-school in the Northern Territory expressed as a percentage of the relevant age group, as indicated in the answer to Question No. 1682, is 42.5, whereas that in the Australian Capital Territory is 48.8.

The difference is believed to be attributable to-

The greater concentration of population in the Australian Capital Territory;

A stronger social tradition of sending children to pre-schools in the Australian Capital Territory.

It is interesting to note that at the present time virtually all four year old children whose parents seek it are attending community pre-schools in the Northern Territory, and that typically there is a shorter waiting list for entry to pre-schools in the Northern Territory than is the case in the Australian Capital Territory.

Telephone Services (Question No. 1733)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice:

  1. What percentage of the total telephone applications in Australia was, and how many applications were, received in 1968-69 from (a) the metropolitan and (b) the country areas of each State.
  2. What percentage of the total telephone installations in Australia was, and how many installations were, made in 1968-69 in (a) the metropolitan and (b) the country areas of each State.
  3. What percentage of the total applications in Australia was, and how many applications were, deferred at 30th June 1969 in (a) the metropolitan and (b) the country areas of each State.
  4. What percentage of the total applications in Australia, and how many applications, has his Department estimated that it will receive in 1969-70 from (a) the metropolitan and (b) the country areas of each State.
  5. What percentage of the total installations in Australia, and how many installations, has his Department estimated that it will make in 1969-70 in (a) the metropolitan and (b) the country areas of each State.
  6. What percentage of the total applications in Australia, and how many applications, has his Department estimated will still be deferred at 30th June 1970 in (a) the metropolitan and (b) the country areas of each State.
  7. What percentage of the total amount spent in Australia was, and what amounts were, spent in installing telephones in 1968-69 in (a) the metropolitan and (b) the country areas of each State.
  8. What percentage of the total amount to be spent in Australia, and what amounts, will be spent in installing telephones in 1969-70 in (a) the metropolitan and (b) the country areas of eachState.
  9. By what date is it estimated that deferred applications will be no more numerous in any metropolitan area than in any other metropolitan area in proportion to population.
Mr Hulme:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. Demand for telephone services involving the provision of new lines or equipment in 1968-69 after allowing for withdrawn applications which numbered 37,920 was as follows:

In addition throughout the Commonwealth, 154,337 applications were received for services utilising lines and equipment already in place as follows:

Since provision of services utilising lines and equipment already in place involves little or no work effort, each of these applications was satisfied with virtually no delay.

  1. Service connections involving the provision of new lines or equipment in 1968-69 were:
  1. Deferred applications at 30th June 1969 were:
  1. It is estimated that the level of applications in 1969-70 involving the Post Office in providing new lines or equipment will be of the order of 290,000, made up as follows:

Separate forecasts are not made in respect of metropolitan and country areas.

  1. The Commonwealth target for service connections involvingthe provision of new lines or equipment in 1969-70 has been set at 290,000 and the individual targets for each State are detailed in the following table:

Each State will distribute its installation effort between metropolitan and country areas according to the relative incidence of demand and physical capacity to meet that demand.

  1. For some time there have been relatively few deferred applications in all States except New South Wales and Western Australia, and in these latter two States they were reduced by 2,198 and 656 respectively during 1968-69. It is expected that in 1969-70, 290,000 applications involving the provision of new lines or equipment will be received and the Post Office programme has been geared to meet this demand. While there are many unpredictable factors in the incidence of deferred applications, every effort will be made to reduce them further in New South Wales and Western Australia in particular. However, it is not practicable to give any precise estimate of the likely levels at 30th June next
  2. Capital investment on the installation of telephones in the metropolitan and country areas of each State during 1968-69, and the percentages of the Commonwealth total represented in each case were:
  1. The level of capital investment on telephone services planned for each State in 1969-70, together with the percentages of the Commonwealth total are:

The division of this expenditure between metropolitan and country areas will depend to some extent on the incidence of demand, but it is expected to follow a similar pattern to that for 1968-69.

Note - The amounts shown are not directly comparable with expenditure recorded during 1968-69.

Revised accounting procedures now ensure that expenditure on common plant, such as junctions, etc., is shown separately and not included in the telephone services expenditure as in past years.

  1. See answer to (6) above.

Education: Nation-wide Survey (Question No. 1868)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. On what date did the South Australian Minister of Education, as chairman for the time being of the Australian Education Council, announce the terms of reference of the nation wide survey of educational needs which was decided upon at a meeting of the Council in Adelaide in March.
  2. On what dates did he request and the State Ministers agree that the Catholic and independent schools should be invited to conduct their own survey on similar lines as a separate exercise.
  3. On what dates, by whom and to whom have the invitations been given.
Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. 8th August 1969.
  2. The inclusion of non-government schools in the survey was raised by the Commonwealth representative at a meeting of senior officers of State and Commonwealth Education Departments held in Adelaide on 12th June 1969. I raised the matter again in a letter to State Ministers of Education on 23rd July. All States had agreed to the inclusion of invitations to non-government schools to conduct a similar survey by 8th August
  3. The State Ministers of Education are in touch with representatives of non-government schools in each State about their participation in the survey. In the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, my Department is at present consulting with independent schools about the conduct of the survey of their needs.

Motor Vehicle Industry (Question No. 1868)

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

  1. Has his attention been drawn to a report in Road Ahead, the journal of the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland, that the Australian

Automobile Association and its constituent clubs deplored the poor standard and incomplete nature of pre-delivery service on new motor vehicles by both manufacturers and dealers.

  1. Can he say, from information available to him, whether some brand-new Australian made cars have been sold with bolts missing from such vital places as the front assembly and with leaking brake lines.
  2. Does he recall that last year I drew his attention to a case where the engine of a $4,000 Australian made car which had done only 400 miles had exploded and fragmented like a bomb and the manufacturers were only prepared to restore the car and not replace it.
  3. Will the Government, while continuing to support this Austraiian Industry and proper protection for it, take whatever steps are possible to prevent the careless prostitution of that protection at the expense of the Australian public which results from the marketing of sub-standard products.
Mr Sinclair:
CP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. I have seen the report referred to.
  2. and (3) The standard of Australian built vehicles does not suffer by comparison with that of any other car manufacturing nation. The fact that Australia exported motor vehicles worth $34m to over seventy countries last year seems ready proof of the acceptability of Australian vehicles by international standards.
  3. New vehicles are sold under warranty- and in the event of breach of warranty, legal remediesare available.

Motor manufacturers are careful to uphold the reputation of their products and in cases where a fault becomes known, they take action to remedy the situation. This is evidenced by the recent recalling of vehicles to replace faulty brake valves.

The present system of recall of faulty vehicles appears to be operating satisfactorily. Nevertheless, the Australian Transport Advisory Council is keeping the matter under review.

In addition Governments are now starting to require that certain prescribed safety design standards as distinct from manufacturing standards are met.

The Australian Transport Advisory Council at its meeting in July 1969 established the Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board comprising Commonwealth and State representatives which will issue Certificates of Compliance for vehicles or components complying with Australian Design Rules for motor vehicles, adopted by Council, and enacted in State and Territory legislation.

To date twenty-one design rules have been endorsed by Council and three are to become operative as from 1st January 1970.

Trade Practices Legislation (Question No. 1892)

Mr Cross:
BRISBANE. QLD

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice.

  1. ls it a fact that no State government has passed legislation complementary to the Trade Practices Act 1965-1969.
  2. What approaches have been made to the Slates.
  3. What is the position taken by each State government.
Mr Bowen:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows.

  1. Yes. However, the Tasmanian Parliament has, by (he Commonwealth Powers (Trade Practices) Act 1966, made a reference to the Commonwealth Parliament, under section 51 (xxxvii.) of the Constitution. The reference enabled the Commonwealth Parliament to give the Trade Practices Act 1965-1969 a full operation in Tasmania. A Bill for similar legislation was introduced into the South Australian Parliament in 1967, but was not proceeded wilh after it had been amended by the Legislative Council of that Parliament.
  2. and (3) An approach was made in 1966 by the then Prime Minister to the State Premiers regarding the enactment of complementary legislation, and discussions have been held with the States on the matter, particularly in the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General. Subject to what is said in answer to (1), above, the States have not enacted legislation, and have indicated that they do not propose to do so for the present.

Fisheries In the Gulf of Carpentaria (Question No. 1907) Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

What administrative and legislative changes have been made by the Commonwealth and Queensland in respect of fisheries in the Gulf ot Carpentaria since June 1968.

Mr Anthony:
CP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

A- ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES

On 1st August 1968 I announced that licences under the Fisheries Act authorising the use in proclaimed waters of boats to process fish taken by other boats would not be issued in future unless the intending licencees notified my Department by 9tb August 1968 that they had contracted to purchase, build or convert boats for this purpose. All licences issued in respect of such boats are endorsed with conditions prohibiting their use as processing boats within 100 miles and 60 miles of shore-based prawn processing plants in Queensland and Northern Territory respectively. In addition, all licences issued in respect of boats over 65 feet are endorsed with a condition prohibiting their use as processing boats in the area of the northern prawn fishery.

On 30th October 1968 I announced in an address to the Australian Fishing Industry Council that no further joint ventures involving the use of foreign boats and crews in the northern prawn fishery would be approved, at least until we have more information on the resources.

On 20th March 1969 I announced the establishment of my Department’s Northern Fisheries Unit to be based on Cairns for the purposes of keeping my Department informed of activities in the fishing industry in northern Australia, assisting fishermen in provision of statistics and log-book information and ensuring compliance with the licensing requirements under the Fisheries Act This Unit is now functioning with temporary staff from my Department and recommendations have been made concerning the officers to staff it permanently.

Licensing authorities have been instructed to endorse all boat licences under the Fisheries Act to prohibit the transfer of fish from a boat in proclaimed waters to a boat not licensed under the Act

I am not able to speak for action taken by the Queensland Government

page 2114

B- LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

No legislative changes have yet been made by the Commonwealth although a review of the Fisheries Act has been undertaken in my Department and I expect in the near future to propose to the Government that amending legislation be prepared. I understand that the appropriate Queensland authorities also are preparing amending legislation.

Australian Road Systems Publication of Document (Question No. 1937)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

  1. On what date did he receive the document Australian Road System referred to in the Commonwealth Bureau of Roads Report on Commonwealth Financial Assistance to the States for Roads.
  2. When will the document be published.
Mr Sinclair:
CP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. 30th April 1969.
  2. No decision has yet been made on whether or not this report will be published.

Tertiary Education: Enrolments (Question No. 1938)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

How many students were there in each form of tertiary education in 1951 and how many are there in this year.

Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Education: Expenditure in Australia (Question No. 1939) Mr Whitlarn asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

Has his attention been drawn to a report which appeared in ‘The Australian’ on 30th August which stated that the Chairman of the Independent Headmasters’ Conference, Mr P. Thwaites, had said that the headmasters all agreed that Australia is not spending enough of its gross national product on education and that our proportion of G.N.P. is not as high as it is in comparable countries.

If so, and in view of the similar report in The Age’ to which his attention was drawn on 10 September (Hansard, page 1036), is mis an apparent confirmation that Mr Thwaites made this statement when ho released the official communique of the conference.

Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. and (2) What Mr Thwaites says is not within my area of responsibility. I can confirm that the official communique issued at the conclusion of the Conference of Headmasters’ of Independent Schools on 29th August and conveyed to me made no reference to the proportion of G.N.P. spent on education by Australia in comparison with any other country.

Education: Student Teachers (Question No. 1955)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. How many suitable students applied to be trained as teachers for government schools in each State this year
  2. How many were accepted in each State
  3. How many students are expected to be accepted in each State next year
  4. What is the allowance paid to student teachers in each State.
Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows: (1), (2), (3) This information is not available.

  1. Student teacher allowances for 1969 are as follows:

New South Wales

Married male students receive $1,410 + $110 per annum for a dependent wife and $80 per annum for each child. in addition, students receive annual allowances ranging from $22 (2-year course) to $100 (Art course) to assist in the purchase of textbooks and materials.

Victoria

Married male students receive an allowance of $1,875 per annum.

Queensland

Married male students receive an allowance of $1,274 per annum. Students at university receive a book allowance of $30 per annum.

South Australia

Those who commence training as an adult receive an allowance of $1,400 per annum.

Married male students receive an allowance of $1,410 per annum plus $100 per annum for each dependent child.

Special tertiary teaching scholarships are awarded on the results of the University Matriculation Examination, or on the results gained at the end of the first year of study at a Teachers College or University. A student who gains one of these scholarships receives in addition to the allowances shown above a sum of $200 per year for each remaining year of his course.

Scholarships of $1,800 per annum are awarded to university graduates to undertake a one-year course of training.

Tasmania

Scholarship holders are paid as follows during training:

An allowance of $150 per annum is paid to all students who are obliged to live away from home.

Married male students receive an extra allowance of $400 per annum and $75 per annum for each child.

Scholarships of $3,412 per annum are awarded to university graduates to undertake a one-year course of training.

Universities: Enrolments and Incomes (Question No. 1604) Mr Whitiam asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

What is the number of new enrolments and the total number of enrolments at universities this year.

What is the (a) number and (b) percentage of university students holding Commonwealth university scholarships this year.

How many persons (a) applied for, (b) were offered and (c) accepted scholarships and what was the percentage of applicants who accepted scholarships.

How many persons passed matriculation level examinations in each State at the end of last year.

How many Commonwealth university scholars were enrolled in the first year of their courses at each university this year.

How many Commonwealth university scholars are in (a) full-time and (b) part-time studies this year.

How many full-time Commonwealth university scholars are receiving (a) part and (b) full living allowances this year.

How much does the Commonwealth expect to pay this year in respect of Commonwealth University Scholarships for (a) fees, (b) living allowances and (c) fares.

What was the (a) number and (b) percentage of Commonwealth university scholars who failed last year in the (i) first year and (ii) later years of their courses.

What was the student-staff ratio in each university last year.

In which universities and faculties or schools have quotas been imposed this year.

What was the (a) number and (b) percentage of eligible applicants who were excluded by these quotas.

(a) How many medical students are enrolled and (b) how many beds are available for teaching at each university.

Which universities have increased fees this year and by what (a) amount and (b) percentage.

What (a) amount and (b) percentage of its income did each university receive from (i) the Commonwealth, (ii) a State, (iii) endowments and benefactions and (iv) fees in die last year for which information is available

What (a) amount and (b) percentage of fees received by each university in that year was paid by the Commonwealth.

What was the (a) number and (b) percentage of (i) male and (ii) female students in final year of secondary education in each State and Territory last year.

What was the (a) number and (b) percentage of new (i) male and (ii) female university students in each State and Territory this year.

Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. There are 107,216 students at Australian universities in 1969, of these 31,208 are new students. These are preliminary figures.

The Commonwealth Statistician has recently altered his definition of ‘new’ students. This change affects the count of new post-graduate students, in particular, in 1968 and 1969. Therefore, to assist the Honourable Member, I have shown in the following table the number of new bachelor degree students separately for each of the past years for which I have previously given information on new students in response to his questions.

The numbers of new post-graduate students in 1968 and 1969 are given in reply to part (1) of the Honourable Member’s Question No. 1614.

  1. The number of Commonwealth University scholarship holders in training at 30 June 1969 was 27,320. This represents 25:48% of the total student enrolment at universities in 1969.
  2. (a) The number of applications received for Commonwealth University scholarships available in 1969 was 51,033.

    1. The number of Commonwealth University scholarships offered in 1969 was 12,075.
    2. The number accepted was 9,637. This represents 18.9 per cent of the total number of applicants.

Note: Id this Table, students shown as passing in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania have qualified to matriculate. For New South Wales and Western Australia, the actual numbers of students qualifying to matriculate are not available; the numbers shown above are estimates based on the number of students passing in five or more subjects.

  1. The following numbers of Commonwealth University scholarship holders are enrolled in the first year of courses in 1969. These include students who accepted awards in earlier years, deferred their entry to university and commenced their courses in 1969.
  2. At 30 June 1969 there were:

    1. 25,470 Commonwealth university scholars in full-time studies at universities; and
    2. 1,850 Commonwealth university scholars in part-time studies at universities.
  3. Under the Commonwealth University Scholarship Scheme, living allowance is payable to scholars in full-time study subject to a means test. For most scholars the rate of allowance is assessed on the basis of their parents’ incomes. At 30 June 1969, 6,655 of these scholars were eligible to receive part living allowance and 3,228 were eligible to receive full living allowance. In addition there were 1,459 scholars classed as independent’ of whom the majority were in receipt of full living allowance.
  4. The actual expenditure on benefits for Commonwealth University scholarships in 1968-69 and the estimated expenditure for 1969-70 are as follows:
  5. The numbers and percentages of Commonwealth University scholars who failed in 1968 were:
  1. The student-staff ratio in each university in 1968 was:

    1. This is the ratio between equivalent full-time students and equivalent full-time staff members calculated as set out In paragraphs 3.1 and 6.7 of the Fourth Report of (he Australian Universities Commission.
  2. The Universities and the faculties or schools in which quotas were imposed in 1969 were as follows:

The Australian National University wished to limit enrolments in the subject Political Science 1 but enrolments were less than the limit envisaged and the quota was not brought into effect. Macquarie University limited its total enrolment.

  1. Statistics of the number and percentage of eligible applicants excluded by quotas are not available.
  2. (a) The numbers of medical students enrolled al each university in 1969 are as follows:

    1. First year students who transfer to the University of Adelaide for the remainder of the course.
    2. The numbers of beds available for teaching at each university in 1967, the last year for which information is available, were as follows:
  1. The universities which have increased fees in 1969, and the amount and percentage by which the fees have been increased, are as follows:
  2. (a) and (b) The amount and percentage of each university’s income received from (i) the Commonwealth, (ii) a State, (iii) endowments and benefactions and (iv) fees in 1967 is shown in the following table:
  1. University fees paid by the Commonwealth in 1967 in respect of Commonwealth University (undergraduate) scholars.

The percentages in column (b) of part 16 show the relationship between students’ fees, as defined, paid by the Commonwealth and students’ fees paid from all sources as used in the answer to part 15. The two sets of figures used to calculate percentages in part 16(b) are not strictly comparable. The figures m part 16(a) include fees paid to student unions etc. whereas the part 15 figures exclude these; again the part 15 figures include an unknown element for post-graduate fees. The amounts involved are relatively small but would, if known, require a small variation in the percentages given in the answer to part 16.

  1. The information requested is not yet available for 1968 or 1969. It is expected that statistics relating to 1968 will be issued shortly and the information will then be made available to the Leader of the Opposition.

Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund (Question No. .1628)

Mr Webb:
STIRLING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

  1. What progress has been made in the distribution of the surplus assets of the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund.
  2. When can payment be expected to pre- 1959 contributors to the Fund.
Mr McMahon:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

In view of the widespread interest in this matter, I made a detailed statement in the House on 16 September 1969. The information which lbc honourable member is seeking is set out in that statement

Commonwealth, State and Local Government Revenues (Question No. 1655)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

What revenue from their own sources was received by (a) the Commonwealth, (b) each State,

tocal government authorities in each State, (d) semi-government authorities in each State and (e) each mainland Territory (i) including net revenue of business enterprises and (ii) excluding net revenue of business enterprises in 1968-69.

Mr McMahon:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows: “ The Commonwealth Statistician has supplied the figures in the tables below! They have been compiled on a basis similar to that currently employed in constructing the national accounts. As regards parts (a) and (e) of the question, relating to the Commonwealth and the Territories, revised figures for 1966-67 and 1967-68 are given in order to update information previously supplied to the honourable member (Hansard, 19 November 1968, page 3008). Figures for the States and semigovernment and local authorities (parts (b), (c) and (d) of the question) are not yet available for 1968-69. However, figures for 1967-68, which were not available when the answer to the honourable member’s previous question was given, are given in the second table below.

Local Government Finances: Debt Charges and Revenues (Question No. 1657)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

What was the (a) revenue, (b) debt charge and (c) percentage of debt charges to revenue in respect of local government authorities in each State in the last year for which figures are available?

Mr McMahon:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The Commonwealth Statistician has provided the figures in the table below; they continue the series provided in answer to a previous question by the honourable member (Hansard, 25 February 1969, page 141). The figures for Victoria differ from those supplied for earlier years in that they now include transactions of the Private Streets Accounts. Adjusted figures for the earlier years, for both Victoria and the six States combined, are given in footnote (d) to the table.

Conscientious Objection (Question No. 1792)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

Will he review the law on conscientious objection to see whether (a) it forces political opponents of Australia’s military activities to take part in a war against their conscience, Cb) it is consistent wilh good morale in the forces to incorporate persons who are politically opposed to their military role and (c) it is consistent with the democratic aims of the allied action in Vietnam to force men to kill those whom they do not see as a military threat to Australia.

Mr McMahon:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows: (a), (b) and (c) No. The Government believes that the existing provisions afford adequate recognition and protection to genuine conscientious objectors, giving them full recourse to the process of law in having their status determined. No country accords the status of conscientious objector simply to those who claim it. Political opposition to military service or to a particular war ought surely to be expressed through recog nised democratic processes and should claim no special right of exemption from democratic decision.

All members of the Army, whether volunteers or national servicemen, have a common liability for overseas service and there is no evidence to suggest that the political opinions of national servicemen have affected them in carrying out their military duties. The morale of the Army force in Vietnam of which almost half are national servicemen compares favourably with that of any Australian force committed to operational service. Moreover it is open to any national service registrant, whose objection to military service is based on opposition to a particular war, to exercise the option of undertaking alternative service in the citizen force which is open to him at the time when be is required to register.

Local Government and Semi-Government Debts and Interest (Question No. 165S) Mr Whitlam asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

What was the (a) total internal debt outstanding, (b) annual interest payable on it and (c) amount provided for redemption of it in respect of local government authorities and semi-government authorities in each State in the last year for which figures are available.

Mr McMahon:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The information requested by the honourable member is contained in the following table. The table is based on information provided by the Commonwealth Statistician.

Air Force Association: Pensions and Welfare Plan (Question No. 1673) Mr Whitlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Repatriation, upon notice:

What would be the estimated cost ot each proposal in the Air Force Association’s pensions and welfare plan presented to honourable members in July?

Mr Swartz:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

In this answer I am providing annual cost estimates for those items in the plan which can be costed with reasonable accuracy. Details are as follows:

Notes - Where applicable, these costs have been calculated on the basis of the rates payable as a result of this year’s Budget proposals. t

The figure of $2,988,000 in proposal 11 includes an estimated $927,000 arising from an increase in the Intermediate Rate pension which would be adjusted as a result of increases in the Special Rate and General Rate pensions.

A precise estimate of the medical and hospital treatment proposal is not possible but, on the best available information as to numbers who would bc eligible and current costs, the estimated cost would be of the order of from $3,500,000 to $4,000,000 annually. As the Minister for Repatriation has indicated in earlier answers, there could also be a requirement for additional capital expenditure in repatriation institutions.

Proposal 16, when would require the agreement of the Banks, would involve some administrative cost, the total amount of which would depend on the arrangements which could be made.

For reasons which follow, and which the Honourable Member will understand, estimates of cost for the remaining items are not included in this reply. Two proposals, numbers 12 and 15 are not precisely formulated in the Plan and thus do not lend themselves to satisfactory costing. In the case of proposals 2 to 5 and 14, there is insufficient factual information to attempt a satisfactory estimate and no adequate method of testing the assumptions which would need to be made in arriving at a particular figure.

National Parks (Question No. 1769)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice:

  1. What arrangements have been made for the development of national parks in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory?
  2. What approaches have been made by or to any State or States concerning the control and development of national parks in the territories?
Mr Nixon:
CP

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. Australian Capital Territory- Some 36% of the Australian Capital Territory has been reserved, or is proposed to be reserved, for general conservation purposes, namely:

These areas have not been declared as ‘national park’s’ but restrictions on habitation and use have ensured the conservation of their natural resources.

New Conservation legislation is currently being drafted which will provide, amongst other things, for the forma] setting aside of such areas for conservation purposes. In the meantime consideration is being given to declaring some areas as public parks under existing legislation.

Northern Territory- In 1959 the National Parks and Gardens Ordinance was enacted to constitute a Reserves Board and to provide for the development, control and management of national parks and certain other reserves in the Northern Territory.

Eight areas totalling some 370,000 acres have been reserved as national parks and vested in the care of the Reserves Board and a further 20 areas have been reserved and vested in the Board for purposes of public recreation and protection of flora and fauna.

The Government subsidises the activities of the Reserves Board in its development programmes for these national parks and reserves. A subsidy of $219,000 is proposed for the Board in 1969-70. Consideration is being given by the Government to the establishment of a major national park in the northern part of the Territory.

  1. An approach was received from the New South Wales Minister for Lands offering to take over parks and wildlife administration within the Australian Capital Territory. The Minister’s offer was declined.

Canberra: Commonwealth Leased Property (Question No. 1865)

Mr J R Fraser:
ALP

er asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice:

  1. Has the Commonwealth been called upon by a private security organisation in Canberra to pay money for opening the entrance door to the buildings which the Commonwealth is leasing.
  2. Has the Commonwealth paid any such money; if so, how much.
Mr Nixon:
CP

– The answer to the honour able member’s question is as follows:

  1. Yes, but only in respect of two buildings, and then for only short periods.
  2. Yes; $248.03.

Commonwealth Leases (Question No. 1866)

Mr J R Fraser:
ALP

er asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice:

  1. How much was paid by (a) the Commonwealth and (b) Commonwealth statutory authorities during the financial year 1968-69 for office accommodation in Canberra.
  2. In which year did the Commonwealth enter into the occupation of (a) Moresby House, (b) A.M.P. Building, (c) T. & G. Building, (d) Derwent House and (e) MLC Building.
  3. How much is the Commonwealth paying per annum for its sublease in each of these buildings.
  4. What was the estimated or actual cost of erecting each of these buildings.
  5. Have the subleases to the Commonwealth in respect of each of these buildings been registered; if not, why not.
  6. Does the Commonwealth accept subleases containing rules and regulations which are variable at the will of the sublessor.
  7. Why has the Commonwealth not insisted on the use of a short, adequate and near-uniform set of covenants in each of die Civic subleases. - (8) Will it do so for future subleases.
Mr Nixon:
CP

– The answer to the honour able member’s question is as follows:

  1. (a) $2,074,524. (b) Not readily available as rentals are the responsibility of the Authorities concerned.
  2. The Commonwealth does not occupy the whole of the space in any of the buildings mentioned. The dates on which the Commonwealth first occupied space in the respective buildings are:

    1. Moresby House, 21 November 1966.
    2. A.M.P. Building, 11 January 1965. <c) T. & G. Building, 20 November 1967.
    3. (Derwent House, 1 March 1963.
    4. MLC Building, 1 August 1963.

(3)

  1. Moresby House, $194,782.
  2. A.M.P. Building, $159,176 (including cleaning).
  3. T. & G. Building, $113,073 (including cleaning).
  4. Derwent House, $165,007.
  5. MLC Building, $76,556 (including cleaning).

    1. The buildings in question were all erected by private enterprise and the actual costs of construction are not known to the Commonwealth. The estimated costs stated in the applications for approval to building plans prior to construction were:
  6. Moresby House, $1,300,00.
  7. A.M.P. Building, $1,780,000.
  8. T. & G. Building. $1,100,000.
  9. Derwent House, $800,000.
  10. MLC Building, $1,398,000.

(5)

  1. Moresby House - Yes.
  2. A.M.P. Building- No.
  3. T. & G. Building- ‘No.
  4. Derwent House - Yes.
  5. MLC Building- No.

In- those instances where subleases have not yet been registered negotiations are still proceeding with the owner concerning specific covenants proposed to be included.

  1. No.
  2. and (8) The Commonwealth has endeavoured to obtain agreement to the use of a short near-uniform set of covenants, but this is not always acceptable to the sublessor.

Naturalisation (Question No. 1954)

Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP

asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

How many applicants for Australian citizenship have been refused naturalisation on the ground that they were (a) Communists and (b) extremists of the right.

Mr Snedden:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Exact figures cannot be given within the time available for this answer. It could be stated that the majority of refusals were on the grounds of Government policy relating to Communists. It is assessed that approximately 20 refusals were based on Government policy relating to extremists of the right.

Education (Question No. 1074)

Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– An answer to Question No. 1074, asked by the honourable member for Wills (Mr Bryant) appeared originally in Hansard, pages 1119- 1120 of 15th April 1969. It has now come to my attention that the answer to Parts 1 and 5 of this question gave incorrect information relating to the numbers of eligible applicants for Later Year awards under the Commonwealth University and Advanced Education Scholarship Schemes.

The questions asked by the honourable member and a revised answer to them are set out below:

Mr Bryant:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. How many eligible students applied for Later Year’ awards in each State in 1967 and 1968 under the Commonwealth University Scholarship Scheme.
  2. How many of these eligible students received ‘Later Year’ awards in each State in 1967 and 1968.
  3. What are the criteria for awarding ‘Later Year* scholarships.
  4. Does the Commonwealth Scholarships Board or the Minister have a discretionary power in judging individual appeals for ‘Later Year’ awards.
  5. How many eligible students applied for Later Year’ awards in each State in 1967 and 1968 under the Commonwealth Advanced Education Scholarship Scheme.
  6. How many of these eligible students received ‘Later Year’ awards in each State in 1967 and 1968.
  7. Are the conditions for receiving this award the same as for the Commonwealth University Scholarship Scheme.
Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. and (2) For the purposes of selection for Commonwealth Scholarships an applicant is regarded as ineligible if he does not meet certain requirements related to age, permanent residence in Australia, previous study and possession of other awards which involve a bond. However, as a check of eligibility is carried out only in the case of applicants whose academic results are of sufficient standard for them to be offered scholarships, no information is available on the total number of applicants who were ‘eligible’.

The following table shows the total number of applicants for Later Year Commonwealth University Scholarships in each State for 1967 and 1968, and also the number of Later Year awards offered and accepted in those years.

  1. Selection for Later Year awards is based on merit as measured by the standard of candidates’ results (credit, pass, fail, etc.) in approved courses, combined with the number of years of an approved course which the candidate has successfully completed. Thus where two students have achieved results at a similar standard, preference is given to the student who has successfully completed a greater number of years of his course.
  2. Yes.

    1. and (6) For the reasons given in (1) and (2) above, no information is available on the number ot ‘eligible’ applicants for Later Year Commonwealth Advanced Education Scholarships. The total number of students who applied for these scholarships in each State for 1967 and 1968, and also the number of Later Year awards offered and accepted in those years are set out in the following table:
  1. The conditions under which Commonwealth University and Advanced Education Scholarships are made available are essentially the same, except that the latter may be used only for approved courses of advanced education at institutions other than universities.

In addition the criteria for awarding Later Year Advanced Education Scholarships are basically the same as those set out in (3) above for University Scholarships. However, the number of Later Year “ Advanced Education Scholarships offered in a particular State may also be affected if the quota of Open Entrance awards for that State is not filled. In this case, these unused scholarships are made available as Later Year awards to wellqualified candidates.

Crimes Act (Question No. 1414)

Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP

ns asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice:

How many persons are (a) imprisoned and (b) awaiting trial or sentence under the Crimes Act.

Mr Bowen:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

I regret that I cannot provide precise or full information in answer to this Question. Over recent months the number of persons imprisoned for offences against the Crimes Act has been of the order of 50-60. The difficulty in obtaining precise information in this matter stems partly from the fact that, for most offences against the Commonwealth Crimes Act, any person may institute proceedings and partly from the fact that where persons are sentenced to imprisonment for offences against the Crimes Act their sentences are almost invariably served in State gaols.

Aboriginal Affairs Research (Question No. 1552)

Mr Hayden:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND

asked the Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice:

  1. Can he state, for each of the past 10 years, what financial aid has been provided by (a) the Federal Government and (b) each of the State Governments to (i) universities and (ii) other organisations for the purpose of conducting research into Aboriginal Affairs.
  2. What were the organisations referred to in (1) (ii) which received financial aid.
  3. Can he give details of the areas of this research into Aboriginal affairs.
Mr Wentworth:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows: (1), (2) and (3) Information about all grants by Commonwealth and State Governments, through their departments and agencies, for research into Aboriginal affairs is not readily available. Moreover, to the extent that universities and research bodies have used for research into Aboriginal affairs Commonwealth and State Government funds provided for their general support, a complete statement of the amount of governmental aid for such research could probably never be drafted.

The staff resources of the Office of Aboriginal Affairs are not adequate to undertake the very substantial task of collecting the information, to the extent it can be collected, in addition to its existing heavy commitments, lt is therefore only practicable to report financial aid provided by the Commonwealth through the Office of Aboriginal Affairs, for the following major research projects, other than those undertaken directly by the Office of Aboriginal Affairs, in the last financial year: To the University of New South Wales (Dr B. Nurcombe), for research into the effects of cultural deprivation and to test the results of environmental enrichment ($10,720 for the first year of a three year project).

To the University of Queensland (Professor J. Rendle-Short), for field and hospital studies into the health of Aboriginal children in Queensland ($19,057 for the first year of a three year project).

To the University of Adelaide (through funds provided for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs of South Australia), for research on the function and pattern in Aboriginal alcohol consumption ($4,000 for the first year of the project).

To W. D. Scott and Co. Pty Ltd ($9,000) and to Unisearch Ltd ($4,020) for two studies in selected regions of New South Wales having substantial Aboriginal populations.

To Monash University (Centre for Research into Aboriginal Affairs), for a survey of relations between Aborigines and others in selected towns ($5,000).

Social Welfare Research (Question No. 1553)

Mr Hayden:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. Can he state, for each of the past 10 years, what financial aid has been provided by: (a) the Federal Government, and (b) each of the State Governments to (i) universities, and (ii) other organisations, for the purpose of conducting research into social welfare needs and social welfare policies in Australia.
  2. What were the organisations referred to in (i) (ii) which received financial aid.
  3. Can he give details of the areas of this research concerned with social welfare.
Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows: (1), (2) and (3) Due to the large number of bodies which are involved in social welfare research and the lack of any co-ordinated documentation, the answer which I am able to give to the honourable member is not comprehensive or complete. Whilst I will outline gome Commonwealth activities in this field, details are not available of the financial atd given by each of the State Governments, or of research being conducted by universities and other organisations. Some information is obtainable in the annual reports of such organisations as the Social Science Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council, various reports of Commonwealth and State authorities and of the Australian universities. As an example, the reports of the Australian Research Grants Committee show that since the Committee began its work in 1965, assistance has been allocated to such projects as: (i) Survey of Consumer Finances in Australia, 1967-68, Professor R. C. Gates, University of Queensland.

1966- $6,500

1967- 46,480

1968- $13,405

  1. Survey of Consumer Finances in Australia 1967-68, Professor H. R. Edwards and Associate Professor N. T. Drane, Macquarie University.

1966- $6,500

1967- 510,606

1968- 825,140

1969- $2,500

  1. Melbourne Survey of the Incidence, Nature and Causes of Poverty and Inadequacy of Income 1965. Professor R. T. Downing and Dr R. F. Henderson, University of Melbourne.

1966- $30,400

1967- nil 1968- nil

1969- $4,000

I have also been provided with information on financial assistance given to social welfare research by certain Commonwealth Departments.

  1. Department of Healths Grants have been given through the National Health and Medical Research Council for medical research projects which have a social welfare component only during the past three years. The total amounts of assistance given in each of the three years to these particular research projects were:
  2. to universities:

1967 - $18,880

1968- $35,220

1969- $44,060

and

  1. to other organisations: 1967- nil

1968- $3,240

1969- nil

  1. Department of Social Services: The social welfare* research for which this Department is responsible is carried out by the Department’s Research Unit. The cost of such research is made up entirely of the cost of salaries paid to the officers of the Department and their indirect costs. In addition grants are made to the Australian Council on the Ageing, the Australian Council of Social Services, and the Australian Council for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled. Portions of these grants are used to finance studies made by these organisations on various aspects of social welfare, but it is not possible to specify amounts.

Information on research into Aboriginal welfare is not included as this is being dealt with in answer to a separate question addressed by the honourable member to my colleague, the MinisterinCharge of Aboriginal Affairs.

I recognise the importance of the issue which has been raised and I draw the Honourable Member’s attention to my answer to Question No. 1675 in which I have indicated that my Department has commenced a major survey of research and development activities in Australia.

Vietnam: Australian Casualties (Question No. 160t)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

  1. What are Australian casualties (a) so far and (b) in 1969, in Vietnam (i) due to presumed enemy action, (ii) due to Australian or allied military action and (iii) from other causes.
  2. What casualties are known to have resulted from Australian military action, alone or jointly with other forces, (a) so far and (b) in 1969, in Vietnam, among (i) presumed enemies, (ii) Australians or allied forces and (iii) others.
Mr Fairhall:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. (a) Australian casualties in Vietnam to December 1968 were:

    1. direct enemy action 1279 (incl. 217 fatal)
    2. direct Australian or allied action 76 (incl. 17 fatal)
    3. from other causes 441 (incl. 37 fatal)
    1. Australian casualties from January to the end of August 1969, were:

    2. 588 (incl. 70 fatal)
    3. 12 (incl. 3 fatal)
    4. 137 (incl. 6 fatal)
  2. It is not practicable to provide the honourable member with the statistics he seeks.

Copyright (Question No. 1613)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

Has consideration been given to amending the Copyright Act to provide for all universities to have the same depository rights as the National Library?

Mr Bowen:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

No, I do not recall receiving any representations for such an amendment.

Post Graduate Students (Question No. 1614)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. What has been the number of new students admitted to post-graduate studies and the total number of post-graduate students last year and this year?
  2. How much does the Commonwealth expect to pay this year in respect of Commonwealth Post-graduate awards for (a) the cost of courses, (b) living allowances and (c) additional amounts determined by the Minister in relation to the awards?
  3. What was the (a) number and (b) the percentage of holders of Commonwealth Postgraduate awards who failed to complete their courses?
  4. How many (a) men and (b) women hold Commonwealth Post-graduate awards at each university this year?
  5. For what Post-graduate courses have universities increased fees this year and by what (a) amount and (b) percentage?
Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. The number of new students admitted to Post-graduate studies and the total number of Post-graduate students in 1968 and 1969 at Australian universities was:

These figures show the number of students enrolled in Masters and Ph.D courses. The Commonwealth Statistician has recently altered his definition of ‘new’ students. This change affects figures for new Post-graduate students in 1968 and 1969. Consequently, the figures given above are not comparable with those given previously for earlier years.

  1. The Commonwealth Post-graduate Awards Scheme provides assistance to students to undertake a programme of Post-graduate research studies normally leading to a Master’s degree or a doctorate. The actual expenditure on benefits for the Commonwealth Post-graduate Awards Scheme in 1968-69 and the estimated expenditure for 1969-70 are as follows:
  1. Commonwealth Post-graduate Awards were first made in 1959. At that time, and since, the emphasis in providing the awards has been on these as a means of enabling outstanding graduates to undertake training in research techniques. It has never been regarded as an obligation of a student to proceed to a higher degree. Most students have enrolled for higher degrees, but with students of this calibre it is to be expected that a number will receive offers, perhaps of other awards tenable overseas, and perhaps of appointments, before they have completed all die work necessary to obtain a higher degree.

Since 1959 218 students- approximately 9% of those granted awards have given up their awards before completing their studies leading to a higher degree. Some of these gave up their awards because they found their training programmes loo difficult, but the majority have continued their study either overseas with the assistance of other scholarships, or in Australia on a part-time basis while in employment in industry or at universities.

  1. The numbers of men and women who hold Commonwealth Post-graduate Awards at each university in 1969 are as follows:
  2. The following table sets out the Postgraduate courses for which universities have increased fees in 1969 and the amounts and percentages of those increased.

Crude Oil Price (Question No. 1620)

Mr Everingham:
CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND

asked the Treasurer upon notice:

  1. Will he apply section 136 of the Income Tax Assessment Act to restrain

    1. Esso-B.H.P. from selling crude oil, produced for 20 cents, to local affiliates at some 67 cents a barrel above world market price, thus diverting profits to tax-exempt overseas investors at the expense of Australian road users and
    2. Queensland Alumina Ltd from selling alumina to its parent companies at about cost of production with similar effects.
  2. Is he able to secure and table accounts and financial statements filed under uniform companies legislation with the States and mainland Territories by companies which, singly or along with a few competitors, confer on foreign investors a controlling interest in any major Australian industry.
  3. WiM the Government consider taking steps to apply similar restraints in external territories.
Mr McMahon:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. Section 136 of the Income Tax Assessment Act does not enable the Commissioner of Taxation either to restrain a company in any of its commercial activities or to regulate the price at which it may sell its products. Where it appears that an Australian business controlled principally by nonresidents produces less taxable income than might be expected to arise from that business, the Commissioner may invoke section 136 to require the company concerned to pay tax on such amount of taxable income as he determines. The secrecy provisions of the income tax law prevent the Commissioner from disclosing whether section 136 has been applied in any particular case.
  2. The Attorney-General has provided the following information:

Particulars of the accounts and financial statements of companies may be secured from the offices of the Registrars of Companies. However, identification of a company through which foreign investors had a controlling interest in an Australian industry would not be possible from these documents alone. Much would depend on the criteria of control to be applied - both for a company and for an industry. To the extent that those criteria involved beneficial interests, such as interests held through nominee companies, investigations going beyond the registered documents would be necessary.’

  1. Provisions similar to section 136 of the Income Tax Assessment Act are contained in section 197 of the Income Tax Ordinance of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.

South African Minister for Economic Affairs (Question No. 1622) Dr Everingham asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

  1. Did the Government invite the South African Minister for Economic Affairs to visit Australia in June.
  2. Was this visit to encourage or discourage economic ties with the racialist minority Government of South Africa.
  3. Is Australia increasing or decreasing trade with and investment in South Africa, knowing that the internationally proscribed Rhodesian regime is increasingly dependent on South Africa’s disregard of such proscription in trade.
  4. Will he consider moves to require Australian nationals and residents holding shares in stock in South African or other enterprises to dispose of their shares and stock if the South African or other laws require them to give Dereference to a racial group.
  5. Is he able to say whether the South African Government insists on a specified racial composition of (a) sporting competitors entering South Africa from Australia and (b) sporting competitors against South Africans in Australia.
  6. If so, will he consider making a statement advocating the prohibition of competition by Australians so regulated.
Mr Gorton:
LP

– The answer to the honourmember’s question is as follows:

  1. and (2) The visit was the subject of a press statement by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry on 17 April 1969 in these terras:

Mr McEwen announced today that the South African Minister for Economic Affairs, Mr J. Haak, is to visit Australia from Sth to 17th June, and will be a guest of the Australian Government The visit will be a part of a tour to six countries including New Zealand, Argentina and the United States. Mr Haak’s visit to Australia is for the purpose of personally investigating the possibilities for increased trade and industrial co-operation, Mr McEwen said. The South African Government has also announced that it is sending a small Economic Mission to Australia to coincide with Mr Haak’£ visit. This Mission is to consist of leading executives from South African commerce and industry and is designed to complement Mr Haak’s visit.’ (3) The statistics of Australian trade with South Africa are published in the Commonwealth Statistician’s Bulletins on Overseas Trade, and in recent years are:

The statistics of Australian private investment in companies in South Africa in recent years, which are available from the Commonwealth Statistician on request, are:

Figures for earlier years are not readily available.

  1. No.
  2. and (6) 1 am not in a position to define the policy of the South African Government on these matters.

Judiciary: Staff (Question No. 1626)

Mr Daly:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

  1. What staff is available to the Judges of the (a) High Court of Australia, (b) Commonwealth Industrial Court, (c) Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, (d) Supreme Court of the Northern Territory and (e) Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.
  2. What was the cost of travel for each mem ber of these staffs during the past 12 months, and what was the total cost.
Mr Bowen:
LP

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are set out in the following table (each Judge and each staff member is mentioned only once in the table: it should be noted that all Commonwealth Industrial Court Judges and Mr Justice Gibbs also held during the period concerned other permanent appointments in addition to those shown in the table - the amounts shown for their personal staff members include fares and travelling allowance in relation to travel connected with those other appointments):

Commonwealth, State and Local Government Debts (Question No. 1656)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

What were the internal and overseas securities on issue, annual .interest liability and capital repayments on behalf of (a) the Commonwealth, (b) each State, (c) local government authorities in each State, (d) semi-government authorities in each State and (e) each mainland Territory as at 30 June 1969.

Mr McMahon: The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Details requested in respect of the Commonwealth and each of the States are set out in the following table:

The latest information for local government is for the year ended 30 June 1966, and is set out and semi-government authorities in each State in the following table:

Readily available information for the mainland Territories relates to indebtedness and repayments of principal for the year ended 30 June 1968. It is as follows:

Information as at 30 June 1969, including information with regard to annual interest liability, is being obtained and will be forwarded to the honourable member as soon as it is available.

Natural Disaster Fund (Question No. 1659)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

What progress has he made with his investigation into a natural disaster fund since his answer to me on 26th November 1968.

Mr McMahon:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Extensive a formation has now been collected on the natural disaster relief schemes operated in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. This information it still being examined but, subject to availability of staff, it is hoped that the results of the examination will be available during the next Session of Parliament.

Defence: Ship and Aircraft Orders (Question No. 1668) Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

  1. On what dates and in what countries have ships and aircraft been ordered for the services since his answer to me on 25th February (Hansard Page 64).
  2. On what dates are these ships and aircraft expected to be delivered.
  3. On what dates have ships and aircraft listed in his answer since been delivered or are they expected to be delivered.
Mr Fairhall:
LP

– The answer to the honourmember’s question is as follows:

  1. and (2)

Universities: Research Contracts (Question No. 1675)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. Do any Australian universities have research contracts with (a) Commonwealth departments or authorities, (b) State governments or authorities, (c) overseas governments or (d) companies.
  2. If so, what was the date of any such contract and the subject of the research.
  3. Has the result of any such research been published and in what circumstances is a university free to publish it.
Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

As I have indicated in answer to a previous question, my Department has commenced a major survey of research and development activities in Australia. This survey will include the collection of a considerable amount of information on the allocation of funds for research purposes through contracts and other means. At the present time, however, the survey is in a preliminary stage and I am thus not in a position to provide details in the form requested by the honourable member.

Railway Rolling Stock (Question No. 1706)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

  1. What was the (a) quantity, (b) value and (c) country of origin of railway rolling stock imported last year.
  2. What was the (a) rate and (b) amount of duty on it
Mr McMahon:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The Commonwealth Statistician has advised that imports of railway rolling stock are not separately recorded. He has, however, supplied the following table showing imports of railway and tramway goods vans, goods wagons and trucks cleared for home consumption by country of origin and rate of duty for the year 1968-69.

Trans-Australia Airlines: Routes and Licences (Question No. 1716)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

On what dates and for what routes has TransAustralia Airlines sought and been granted or refused a licence since his answer to me on 16th October 1968. (Hansard, Page 2,053).

Mr Swartz:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Details of licence applications made by TransAustralia Airlines since 16th October 1968, and the results of the applications are as follows:

In my previous reply I stated that two other licence applications by Trans-Australia Airlines were under consideration. The results of these applications were as follows:

War Service Home Units in Territories (Question No. 1719)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice:

Why have the Territories not passed, as all States have now passed, strata title legislation which would permit the War Service Homes Division to make advances for home units.

Mr Bowen:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

It has been necessary to devise a special legislative scheme suited to the leasehold system of land tenure.

It is expected that printed copies of a draft Ordinance for the Australian Capital Territory will be circulated to interested bodies before the end of the year.

The proposed legislation for the Australian Capital Territory should provide the basis for similar legislation for the Northern Territory.

Building Societies (Question No. 1720)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

  1. What amount was advance in housing loans by (a) terminating and (b) permanent building societies in each State in each of the last ten years.
  2. What interest rates were charged (a) to and (b) by the societies in that period.
Mr McMahon:
LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. The Commonwealth Statistician has advised that official statistics of the activities of permanent and terminating building societies by State are not available prior to 1961-62. The statistics shown below refer to loans paid over during the financial years of societies ending in the years shown. Details for years subsequent to 1966-67 are not yet available.
For earlier years, unofficial estimates, derived estimates, for the years 1959-60 and 1960-61, are mainly from State sources, have been prepared shown in the following table: within the Reserve Bank of Australia. These (2)(a)(i) Terminating societies. The two main sources of funds for terminating societies are Governments (under the Housing Agreements) and savings banks. Precise information as to the dates on which changes occurred in interest rates charged on advances made by the States from Home Builders' Account moneys to terminating building or housing societies (and also permanent building societies) is not available. However, the table below shows the interest rates that applied to such advances for the whole or a substantial part of each of the last ten years: Rates charged by savings banks on government guaranteed loans over the last ten years have been as follows: {: type="i" start="ii"} 0. Permanent Societies. Although there are significant differences between States more than twothirds of total permanent building society funds are represented by share capital and reserves, with the remainder coming from deposits, loans from banks and other financial institutions, 'and advances from governments under the Housing Agreement. Comprehensive information on the rates paid on share capital over the whole period is not available, but in New South Wales the predominant rate in recent years has been 6 per cent, and most building society advertising has been directed towards obtaining more share capital at this rate. Although they are important in some States, deposits have become a relatively minor source of funds overall. Rates paid vary between societies and according to the term of the deposit. Generally they tend to be a little lower than on share capital, although some societies pay higher rates (e.g. 7 per cent) for deposits lodged for several years. To the extent that societies borrow from trading banks, the rates of interest charged to them on such borrowings would not have exceeded the maximum overdraft rate, which has moved over the period as follows: {: type="1" start="2"} 0. (b) Predominant interest rates charged by Terminating and Permanent Building Societies. Terminating societies usually charge their mem bers the same interest rate as they pay for their funds, plus a management fee which is equivalent to an additional per annum. TERMINATING SOCIETIES(a) (Percentage per annum) Additional information on interest rates charged by terminating societies may be found in an answer provided on 27 November 1968 by the Minister representing the Minister for Housing to Question No. 806 asked by **Mr Hansen.** {: .page-start } page 2138 {:#debate-37} ### PERMANENT SOCIETIES (Percentage per annum) {:#subdebate-37-0} #### High Court: Appeals (Question No. 1724) {: #subdebate-37-0-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Attorney-General, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many appeals to the High Court from the Supreme Court in each Territory and from each Federal Court were (a) instituted and (b) heard in 1968. 1. How many (a) taxation matters and (b) industrial property matters were heard by (i) single justices and (ii) the Full Court of the High Court in 1968. 2. How many cases were (a) set down for hearing and (b) heard by single justices of the High Court in 1968. {: #subdebate-37-0-s1 .speaker-JRN} ##### Mr Bowen:
LP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The number of appeals (including applications for leave or special leave to appeal) to the High Court from Territory Supreme Courts and Federal Courts (including, for the purposes of the answer, as in the answer to a similar question last year, State courts exercising federal jurisdiction) was in 1968 as follows: {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The number of taxation matters and industrial property matters heard by single justices and by the Full Court of the High Court in 1968 was as follows: 1. The number of cases set down for hearing and heard by single justices of the High Court in 1968 was as follows: (a) Set down - 42 (b) Heard- 36. {:#subdebate-37-1} #### Legal Aid (Question No. 1725) {: #subdebate-37-1-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Attorney-General, upon notice: >What is the means test on legal aid (a) in the Australian Capital Territory, (b) in the Federal Courts and (c) under Federal laws. {: #subdebate-37-1-s1 .speaker-JRN} ##### Mr Bowen:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. In the Australian Capital Territory, the means tests applied under the present legal aid scheme, which is an interim scheme adopted administratively, are - {: .page-start } page 2139 {:#debate-38} ### IN CIVIL CASES: The means test is based on that used by the Public Solicitor in New South Wales, and set out in section 6 of the Legal Assistance Act, 1943- 1964 (N.S.W.). As applied in the Australian Capital Territory, the test may be broadly described as follows: Capital The Capital limit is S400 in property or cash, exclusive of - Any item of property may be disregarded, at the discretion of my Department. Income The permissible gross income, over the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of the application for legal aid, is $2,000 but the applicant is allowed $300 for each person totally dependent on him. Payments of invalid pension, child endowment or any military or service pension are disregarded in calculating income. In calculating the income of the applicant, the income of the spouse is added, though a wife would still be classed as a total dependant. Where a husband and wife are not living together, their incomes would not normally be added together for the purposes of the means test as applied to either. Except as mentioned above, my Department has no discretion to disregard any item of income. {: .page-start } page 2139 {:#debate-39} ### IN CRIMINAL CASES: The means test applied in criminal cases is whether the applicant is without adequate means to provide for his own defence. A person who failed to qualify for legal aid under the means tests described above, in a criminal case, could not qualify for legal aid, and, in a civil case, would be unlikely to qualify foi legal aid, under any law now in force. However, it is pointed out that the Poor Persons Defence Act 1907 of New South Wales in its application to the Australian Capital Territory and Order 19 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory both provide for a measure ot legal aid. Bankruptcy Act 1966-1969, s. 305 Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904-1969, s. 168 Conciliation and Arbitration Regulations, r. 138 Courts-Martial Appeals Regulations, r. 11 Defence Act 1903-1965, s. 96 High Court Rules, Order 16, Part III Judiciary Act 1903-1969, s. 69 Re-establishment and Employment Act 1945- 1966, Part IX. Except in the case of legal aid under the High Court Rules, no specific means test is laid down. The means test is expressed in general terms. Thus under the Judiciary Act, legal aid may be provided 'if the Court finds that [an accused committed for trial] is without adequate means to provide defence for himself.' {:#subdebate-39-0} #### Chemical and Biological Warfare Materials (Question No. 1752) {: #subdebate-39-0-s0 .speaker-5J4} ##### Mr Scholes:
CORIO, VICTORIA asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Are chemical and biological warfare materials available for purchase on the world armaments market. 1. Could Australia purchase these materials if it wished. 2. If access to these materials is open to a number of nations, what protection against the weapons is available for the use of Australian defence personnel. 3. Is any special equipment or clothing issued to service personnel. (5) ls there any contingent plan for the defence of Australia's civilian population, should an aggressor attack our cities with such weapons. 4. If a plan exists is there in stock sufficient protective clothing, etc., to supply civilians in any major area of attack. <7) Will he have prepared an authoritative booklet on civil defence procedure in the case of an attack by chemical or biological materials or nuclear bombing and make the publication available to the general public on request. {: #subdebate-39-0-s1 .speaker-KEN} ##### Mr Fairhall:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) Some materials that could be employed for chemical warfare are available on commercial markets. 1. and (4) The threat of chemical and biological warfare agents is kept under continuous review. Some research for purposes of defence against chemical agents is done in the Defence Standards Laboratories of the Department of Supply. The Government arranges for expert advice to be obtained from time to time when a problem in this field comes to light. For the Defence Services special instruction and training are provided in various defensive aspects of chemical and biological warfare. Protection available to Service personnel includes the use of special clothing and other equipments and of various decontamination and prophylactic measures. Most RAN ships are designed and equipped to protect their crews from a contaminated atmosphere. We have conceived designs for respirators, protective clothing, detectors, alarms and other defensive equipments, and investigations are continuing into prophylactics, aerosol physics and other aspects of the subject which are of concern to the Government. {: type="1" start="5"} 0. and (6) Should it be assessed that there were a threat of a chemical or biological warfare attack on our cities appropriate action would be taken. 1. I have consulted with the Minister for the Interior who is the Minister responsible for Civil Defence matters and he has advised: Firstly, that all Commonwealth and State Civil Defence organisations have available for issue on request by the public three publications on survival from nuclear attack; Secondly, that publications on chemical and biological attack have not been printed. However, information that is available on these is being kept up to date and booklets could be produced quickly should the situation require'. {:#subdebate-39-1} #### Judiciary Act (Question No. 1763) {: #subdebate-39-1-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Attorney-General upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Upon what dates have there been meetings of the committee which he appointed in September 1968 under the chairmanship of the SolicitorGeneral to consider the provisions of the Judiciary Act? 1. When is the Committee expected to report? {: #subdebate-39-1-s1 .speaker-JRN} ##### Mr Bowen:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Committee met on 30 October 1968 when it determined its mode of procedure and allocated to different members of the Committee the task of preparing working papers. Following the meeting, letters were sent to the various bodies in Australia that represent legal practitioners inviting those bodies to make submissions on matters falling within the Committee's terms of reference. By arrangement with the editors of the Australian Law Journal and the Australian Law Council's Newsletter, invitations to the legal profession generally to make submissions to the Committee were published in the Australian Law Journal and the Australian Law Council's Newsletter. The Committee has received a number of submissions and will probably receive more. Meetings of the Committee are not found practicable earlier in the year partly due to the absence from Australia of its original **Chairman (Mr A. F. Mason, Q.C., as he then was)** and partly because of the resignation of the original Chairman following his appointment as a Justice of the New South Wales Court of Appeal on 1 May 1969. The present Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth, **Mr R.** J. Ellicott, Q.C., has recently been appointed to succeed **Mr Justice** Mason as Chairman of the Committee. The Committee met on 18 September instant and it proposes to meet at regular intervals in the future. 1. The Committee hopes to furnish an interim report early in 1970 to cover amendments to the Judiciary Act necessary to implement the Superior Court proposal. A draft of proposed amendments has already been prepared. Appeals from Administrative Decisions (Question No. 1764) {: #subdebate-39-1-s2 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Attorney-General upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. On what dates have there been meetings of the committee which he appointed in September 1968 under the chairmanship of **Mr Justice** Kerr to consider the methods of appeals from administrative decisions. 1. When is the committee expected to report. {: #subdebate-39-1-s3 .speaker-JRN} ##### Mr Bowen:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Because of the absence from Australia of Professor Whitmore, a member of the Committee, between October 1968 and January 1970, it has not been possible to hold regular formal meetings of the Committee. However, meetings were held on 18th September 1968 with Professor Whitmore present, and on 22nd November 1968 and 11th August 1969 in his absence. Frequent informal discussions has taken place between other members of the Committee who now include the recently appointed Solicitor-General, **Mr R.** J. Ellicott, Q.C. There has also been correspondence between Professor Whitmore, who has been investigating relevant matters in the United States and the United Kingdom, and other members of the Committee. Arrangements have been and are being made for submissions to be made to the Committee by interested bodies. These submissions and other material being collected by the Committee are being studied by members of the Committee. 1. It has not been possible at this stage to estimate the time when the Committee will furnish its report but this will certainly not be until some time after Professor Whitmore returns from abroad. {:#subdebate-39-2} #### Department of External Affairs (Question No. 1790) {: #subdebate-39-2-s0 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham: asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What is the present linguistic status of employees of his Department? 1. What was this status as shown in previously published information? {: #subdebate-39-2-s1 .speaker-KEN} ##### Mr Fairhall:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. For departmental planning purposes, officers' proficiency in foreign languages is rated as follows: {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Information has not previously been sought in this form and so has not previously been published. {:#subdebate-39-3} #### Commonwealth Prosecutions: AttorneyGeneral's Consent (Question No. 1765) {: #subdebate-39-3-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Attorney-General, upon notice: >Under what sections of what Acts, Regulations and Ordinances is the consent of the AttorneyGeneral required before a prosecution can be instituted. {: #subdebate-39-3-s1 .speaker-JRN} ##### Mr Bowen:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >My Department has never maintained a comprehensive list identifying the sections in the Commonwealth and Territory laws that render the consent of the Attorney-General a necessary prerequisite to a prosecution for an offence. It would be a major task to compile such a list and it has not been possible to do so. I shall, however, give further thought to the question whether such a list should be compiled and maintained. Connellan Airways (Question No. 1795) {: #subdebate-39-3-s2 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has Connellan Airways been granted the status of a private company under the Northern Territory Companies Ordinance. 1. If so, when was the company granted this status, who held directorships in the two years before it was granted this status and who have held directorships since it hast been granted this status. 2. What loans have been made by the Commonwealth to the company or have been guaranteed by the Commonwealth for the company over the last ten years, and what were the purposes and conditions of these loans. 3. What subsidies have been paid to the company by the Commonwealth over the last ten years and on what calculations were its subsidies based. 4. Does the Commonwealth have or has it had a nominee on the board of the company. {: #subdebate-39-3-s3 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. The company was granted the status of private company on 15th October 1966. The following persons held directorships in the two years up to 15th October 1966: E. J. Connellan, G. H. O'D Growther, S. E. Calder, R. N. D. Miller, B. B. Webb, J. L. Goddard, B. F. Kilgariff, L. Cox, The following persons have held directorships since that date: E. J. Connellan, G. H. O'D Growther, R. N. D. Miller, B. B. Webb, J. L. Goddard. In addition the following persons have been associate directors since that date: G. A. Taylor, M. D. Hughes, W. C. Poison, J. R. Cree. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. A loan of $620,000 was made by the Commonwealth Government to Connellan Airways Pty Ltd over the period from 17th August 1966 to 31st December 1968. The purpose of this loan was to re-equip the airline with new aircraft and to liquidate existing Commonwealth Development Bank loan balances and a hire purchase debt. Security was taken over the aircraft fleet, spares and other equipment by means of a Bill of Sale dated 31st July 1969. Interest accrues at the rate of 7% per annum and the loan, together with interest thereon, is required to be repaid by one hundred and twenty equal monthly instalments commencing on 31st October 1970, the final payment being due on 30th October 1980. The Commonwealth Government guaranteed a loan of $90,000 advanced by the Commonwealth Development Bank of Australia during the period from 1st January 1960 to 22nd July 1960. This loan was required for the purchase of three aircraft and was repaid by 28th September 1966 when the Commonwealth loan of $620,000 became effective. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. The following amounts of subsidy were paid in the Commonwealth's financial years ending on ?0th June: 1959/60- $119,214 1960/61-5179,178 1961/62-5215,092 1962/63- $229,890 1963/64- $236,422 1964/65- $281,200 1965/66- $386,000 1966/67- $400,000 1967/68- $483,981 1968/69- $449,025 These subsidies are calculated on the basis of meeting the difference between budgeted revenue and expenditure of the company for its financial years ending on 30th September, including an allowance for profit. {: type="1" start="5"} 0. The Commonwealth has a nominee on the Board of the company. At present this is **Mr. G.** H. 0',D. Growther. {:#subdebate-39-4} #### Means Test for Age Pensions (Question No. 1801) {: #subdebate-39-4-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice: >What changes have occurred in the means test applied to applicants for age pensions in Britain, the United States, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and the countries of the European Economic Community since his predecessor's answer to me on 19th May 1967 (Hansard, page 2481). {: #subdebate-39-4-s1 .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr Wentworth:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >Based on the latest information available to my Department, the following changes have taken place in the means tests of the countries specified since the situation detailed in Hansard of 19th May 1967. > >Britain. Where a male under 70 years or a female under 65 years has regular earnings, the > >National Insurance Retirement Pension is reduced by 50% of earnings within the range of £6 10s to £8 10s weekly and by 100% of earnings above £8 10s weekly. > >United States of America. The Old Age Benefit of a person under 72 years is reduced by 50% of earnings in the range $US1,680-$US2,880 per annum and by 100% of earnings above $US2,880 per annum. > >Irish Republic. The Non-Contributory Old Age Pension is reduced where the pensioner has any assessable means and ceases to be paid where the value of assessable means exceed £195 15s. > >Canada. Under the Old Age Assistance Act, certain provinces pay a pension to persons over 65 years but under 66 years who are in need. In the case of an unmarried person, income, including assistance, may not exceed $0,260 per annum; in the case of a married couple it may not exceed $C2,220 per annum. > >The Guaranteed Income Supplement is paid to Old Age Security Pensioners born on or before 31st December 1910 and who have little or no other income. The maximum supplement is reduced by 50% of income over the Old Age Security pension. > >Under the Canada Pension Plan and the Quebec Pension Plan, a person under 70 years has a reduction made in his pension of 50% of earnings in the range $C900-$C1,500 per annum and by 100% of earnings in excess of $C1,500 per annum. > >South Africa. The previously separate means tests for Coloureds and Asians have been combined at the rate previously applicable to Coloureds. > >New Zealand. The Age Benefit is reduced by the amount of income in excess of $NZ572 per annum for a single person or by 50% of combined income in excess of SNZ572 per annum in the case of a married pensioner couple. > >In the countries of the European Economic Community, the only known changes have taken place in Italy and France. > >In Italy, pensioners under 65 years of age who receive more than the minimum rate of pension (U3,000 monthly) and who have earnings up to L100.000 monthly receive only half pension, while no pension is payable where earnings exceed L100.000 monthly. > >In France, assistance of 2,500 francs per annum is paid to retired workers over age 65 who do not fully qualify for an old-age pension and whose annual income, including assistance and any Government benefits does not exceed 4,000 francs for a single person or 6,000 francs for a married couple. Australian Airlines: Import of Boeing Aircraft (Question No. 1809) **Mr Whitlam** asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. On what dates have Trans-Australia Airlines and Ansett Airlines of Australia sought and received his permission to import Boeing 727 aircraft? 1. What is the cost and configuration of each of these aircraft? {: #subdebate-39-4-s2 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) The table below sets out the dates on which TAA and Ansett Airlines of Australia applied for certificates under Section 13 of the Airlines Equipment Act 1958 and for import permits and the dates on which these were issued. The table also shows separately for each aircraft the cost of the aircraft (which includes customer furnished equipment) and associated spares and equipment. In the case of TAA the costs of spare engines, spare seats and maintenance spares for the four aircraft already delivered have been apportioned equally to each aircraft. The ATI figures show the costs for each purchase. All aircraft are mixed passenger/cargo versions with seating varied to meet particular demands. {:#subdebate-39-5} #### Advertising and Marketing Industries (Question No. 1847) {: #subdebate-39-5-s0 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has his attention been drawn to a statement by **Mr B.** B. Callaghan, Managing Director of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation, reported in the metropolitan press of 15 August, in which he equated high-pressure advertising and marketing methods used by some industries to attract the affluent young with the mass efforts of **Dr Goebbels,** and said that young people are being urged to buy this, buy that, spend now, don't save, live for today, ignore tomorrow. 1. If so, did he note that **Mr Callaghan** also accused certain advertising and marketing industries of handing Australia's youth on a somewhat tarnished plate, a hedonistic philosophy, the gold calf, eat, drink and have endless fun, for tomorrow we owe the finance company far more than we can afford to pay. 2. How does the Government propose to protect our young people against the activities of the advertising and marketing industries to which **Mr Callaghan** referred in such graphic terms. {: #subdebate-39-5-s1 .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr Gorton:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) My attention has been drawn to press reports of a speech by **Mr Callaghan** on 14 August 1969. These reports suggest that in his speech **Mr Callaghan** offered his personal opinions on the responsibilities of the business community, particularly in the field of advertising, towards young people. 1. Control of advertising is primarily a matter for the States. In the case of commercial broadcasting and television services which operate under licences granted by the Postmaster-General, however, licensees are required to comply with standards in relation to advertising which have been determined by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. The Postmaster-General has advised that these standards impose quite stringent requirements on the acceptability of advertising matter. In addition, standards determined by the Board governing programmes generally, contain provisions to be observed by licensees which are directed particularly to protecting the interests of young people. {:#subdebate-39-6} #### Civil Aviation: Aircraft Accidents (Question No. 1855) {: #subdebate-39-6-s0 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has his attention been drawn to a statement allegedly made to the Royal Victorian Aero Club by **Dr J.** C. Lane, the Department's Director of Aviation Medicine, that alcohol was associated with eight out of forty-two aircraft accidents which the department had investigated and that alcohol was present in the bodies of the victims to such an extent that it would have made it illegal for them to drive a car in any Australian State. 1. If so, can he say if any passengers were killed in any of the accidents investigated. 2. At any coroners inquiry connected with these accidents was the coroner ever informed of an alcohol level in a pilot's body. If so, what was the coroner's reaction. 3. What is D.C.A. doing to prevent pilots flying aircraft under the influence of alcohol. 4. At what level of alcohol is a pilot considered to be under the influence and a menace to himself, passengers and innocent bystanders. 5. Are there any regulations to prohibit a person from flying an aircraft under the influence of alcohol. 6. Have any pilots had their licences suspended or cancelled for flying an aircraft under the influence of alcohol. If so, who and when, and if any fine was imposed, what was the amount of the fine. {: #subdebate-39-6-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes, my attention has been drawn to the reported statement of **Dr Lane. Dr Lane's** remarks referred to results of post-mortem examinations which gave evidence of positive blood alcohol concentrations in persons involved in the accidents. Corroborative evidence of consumption of alcohol was not available in some cases. Furthermore, he specifically stated that alcohol was not necessarily a cause of these accidents. 1. Seven passengers were killed in those accidents in which it was established beyond doubt that alcohol was associated with the pilot in command. 2. Post-mortems and chemical analyses are carried out under the auspices of the State coronial systems, and it is therefore assumed that the analyst's report on the blood alcohol level is always available to the coroner. A summary of the Department's investigation findings is also normally made available to the coroner. It is not my province to comment on reactions of coroners to the evidence presented to them. 3. The Air Navigation Regulations prohibit the operation of aircraft by flight crew members who are affected by the consumption of alcohol. During aviation safety symposia, held from time to time, pilots have been reminded of this legislation and warned of the dangers of the consumption of alcohol in relation to flying safety. In September, 1967, the Department published in its Aviation Safety Digest, details of two fatal accidents, in each of which the consumption of alcohol was considered to be a causal factor. The next issue of the Digest is expected to feature another fatal accident in which the influence of alcohol on the pilot was also considered to be a causal factor. These reports are specifically aimed at highlighting the dangerous effects of alcohol on a pilot's skill and judgment 4. The blood alcohol level at which flying performance becomes impaired is not known with certainty. For this reason it is recommended to pilots that zero be taken as the safe blood alcohol level. 5. Air Navigation Regulation 247 prohibits a person from acting as a flight crew member whilst affected by the consumption of alcohol, lt also provides that flight crew members of commercial passenger carrying aircraft are prohibited from consuming any alcoholic liquor within a period of twelve hours prior to the commencement of such flights. 6. There have been no pilot licences suspended or cancelled and no fines have been imposed on any licensed pilot for flying an aircraft under the influence of alcohol. {:#subdebate-39-7} #### Education: Secondary Students (Question No. 1862) {: #subdebate-39-7-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP ns asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: >What are the numbers and percentages of students who commence and complete courses in secondary schools at (a) government schools, (b) Catholic schools and (c) other non-government schools. {: #subdebate-39-7-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >Enrolments in final (matriculation) year of Australian secondary schools in 1968 compared with enrolments in year of entry to secondary course (1963 or 1964 depending on length of course): {:#subdebate-39-8} #### Income Tax (Question No. 1874) {: #subdebate-39-8-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: >What were the two dates on which Cabinet has considered submissions from him on the comparative incidence of income tax in Australia and other countries (Hansard, 13 May, page 1670), and 20 August, page 434). {: #subdebate-39-8-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: lt is not the practice to reveal the dates on which Cabinet transacts particular items of business. I can say, however, that Cabinet considered Submission:, on the incidence of income tax during the preparation of the 1967-68 and 1968-69 Budgets'. {:#subdebate-39-9} #### Age Pension (Question No. 1878) {: #subdebate-39-9-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What percentage of average male weekly earnings will the age pension for (a) single person and (b) a married couple represent at the new rates proposed by the Treasurer in his Budget Speech. 1. What were the corresponding figures for earnings and pensions in 1949. {: #subdebate-39-9-s1 .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr Wentworth:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. (a) The March quarter of 1969 is the latest period for which average male weekly earnings are available. The rate of single agc pension announced by the Treasurer in his Budget Speech represents 22.3% of this figure, (b) The announced married rate of age pension is 39.4% of average male weekly earnings in the March quarter of 1969. 1. The rate of age pension at 31 December 1949 was $4.25 which represented 21.3% of average male weekly earnings of $20.00 for the December quarter of 1949, the first quarter in which the Government held office. In the case of a married pensioner couple the pension would have represented 42.6% of average male weekly earnings. {:#subdebate-39-10} #### Schools: Numbers and Class Sizes (Question No. 1896) {: #subdebate-39-10-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many (a) government, (b) Catholic and (c) other non-government (i) primary, (ii) secondary and (iii) technical schools are there in each State and Territory. 1. What was the pupil-teacher ratio in (a) government, (b) Catholic and (c) other nongovernment (i) primary, (ii) secondary and (iii) technical schools in each State and Territory in the last year for which he has this information. 2. Can he give an estimate of the number of teachers required in (a) Catholic and (b) other nongovernment schools comparable to the estimate he gave me of the number required in government schools in his answer on 29 April (Hansard, page 1473). {: #subdebate-39-10-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The following table shows the numbers of essentially primary, essentially secondary and other schools in Australia in 1968. Essentially primary schools comprise those having primary grades only and those having pupils i n the full range of primary grades as well as pupils in the first and second secondary grades. Essentially secondary schools comprise those having secondary grades only and those having pupils in at least the first three secondary grades as well as no more than 20 per cent of their total pupils in primary grades. Other schools are those which have primary and secondary pupils and which are not included in either of the preceding categories. Technical schools have been included wilh secondary schools. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The following table shows pupil-teacher ratios for primary and secondary government schools and overall ratios for non-government schools. Statistics for technical schools are not available separately and are incorporated with government secondary and non-government overall ratios. Separate statistics for primary and secondary teachers in non-government schools are not available. Ratios shown are not directly comparable between States, or school systems within each State. Considerable variation exists in the methods of compiling numbers of teachers in each system and in particular it should be noted that numbers of teachers used in these calculations include an equivalent full-time component for all except government schools in Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania where these components are not available. The figures therefore, which appear below may differ from those quoted from other sources where different methods of compiling teacher numbers have been used. fa) Enrolments - All States and Australian Capital Territory: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, Schools' Bulletin 1968. Northern Territory: Department of Education and Science. lb) Teachers - All States and Australian Capital Territory: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, Schools' Bulletin 1968 for non-government schools; State Education Departments for State Government schools; Department of Education and Science for Australian Capital Territory Government schools. Northern Territory: Department of Education and Science {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Sufficient data is not at present available to enable these estimates to be made. War Service Homes: National Servicemen (Question No. 1884) **Mr Clyde** Cameron asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing, upon notice: >How many national service trainees who have entered training since the inception of the present national service training scheme have qualified for loans under the War Service Homes Act. {: #subdebate-39-10-s2 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden:
LP -- The Minister for Housing has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question: >From the inception of the present National Service training scheme until 31 August 1969. 11,508 National Servicemen have served in the Forces in circumstances in which their service constitutes qualifying service for the purposes of the War Service Homes Act 1918-1968. {:#subdebate-39-11} #### Vietnam: Non-Battle Casualties (Question No. 1898) {: #subdebate-39-11-s0 .speaker-JO8} ##### Mr Barnard: asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many non-battle fatal casualties were there amongst the Australian forces in Vietnam in 1968-69. 1. What were the causes of these fatalities. {: #subdebate-39-11-s1 .speaker-KEN} ##### Mr Fairhall:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >(0 12. > >The causes of these fatalities were aircraft accidents, accidental gunshot and mine wounds, other accidents and disease. Vietnam: Australian Personnel attached to United States Units (Question No. 1900) {: #subdebate-39-11-s2 .speaker-JO8} ##### Mr Barnard: asked the Minister for the Navy, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many Australian naval pilots, ground crew and supporting personnel arc attached to (a) United States units in Vietnam and (b) the United States helicopter unit at Bear Cat. 1. Are these members of the Navy paid at Australian or United States rates. 2. What are the differentials between rates of pay for Australian and United States members of this unit. 3. What contribution has the Government made to the provision of accommodation, amenities and other facilities at Bear Cat. 4. When did be last inspect Bear Cat. 5. ls it a fact that facilities at Bear Cat are sub-standard and fall far short of the accommodation and facilities provided for other Australian units in Vietnam. 6. What senior officers of the Navy and members of the Department of the Navy have visited Bear Cat in the past 2 years. 7. What recommendations have they made for improving the camp. 8. Which of these recommendations have been adopted. 9. If nothing has been done to improve accommodation and other facilities, will he give this matter urgent priority. {: #subdebate-39-11-s3 .speaker-009MM} ##### Mr Kelly:
Minister for the Navy · WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. A total of 46 naval aircrew and support personnel are serving in Vietnam. They are all stationed at Bear Cat 1. They are all paid at Australian rates. 2. There is no ready means of comparing the differentials in pay and allowances of Australian and US personnel in Vietnam. Such a comparison would need to have regard to the differing social and economic conditions in the two countries and to the overall pattern of the two pay codes including tax exemptions and repatriation and war service homes benefits. This exercise has not been attempted, and it is more important that the Navy unit at Bear Cat maintains a pay relativity with other Australian units in Vietnam than with US units. 3. The first RAN Helicopter Unit arrived in South Vietnam on 15th October 1967, and was integrated with the US 135th Assault Helicopter Company, Vung Tau. The Company moved to Blackhorse Base Camp in December 1967. The move to Bear Cat took place in November 1968. As the unit is an integral part of a US Company, all accommodation, amenities and other facilities at Bear Cat are provided by the US authorities and no contribution is made by the Australian Government. 4. I visited Vietnam prior to the move to Bear Cat and visited the unit at Blackhorse 5. Facilities at Bear Cat are in accordance with US Army in the field standards. They fall short of the standard of accommodation and facilities provided in the Base areas, as opposed to the field force, of other Australian units in Vietnam. 6. Over the past two years 25 Naval officers and 2 members of the Department of the Navy have visited South Vietnam. Of these the following senior officers have visited the RAN Helicopter Unit: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Vice-Admiral V. A. T. Smith, Chief of Naval Staff - (two visits- one to Blackhorse, one to Bear Cat). 1. Rear-Admiral R. I. Peek, Second Naval Member (one visit - Bear Cat). 2. Rear-Admiral G. J. Crabb, Flag Officer Commanding, Her Majesty's Australian Fleet (one visit - Blackhorse 3. Rear-Admiral H. D. Stevenson, Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (one visit- Bear Cat). 4. Captain K. D. Gray, Director of Plans (one visit- Bear Cat). 5. Captain A. M. Synnot, Director-General Fighting Equipment (one visit- Bear Cat). In addition to the above visits the unit has been visited on three occasions by General **Sir John** Wilton, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (two visits to Blackhorse, one to Bear Cat). While the various visitors have noted that the conditions under which the Helicopter unit operates are not always as comfortable as might be desired, they have come away with the impression that the men involved accept these as something to be expected in a forward area, that they work reasonable hours, and that morale was quite high. {: type="1" start="8"} 0. (9) and (10) The question of the camp and its amenities are the responsibility of the US Army. (There are other US Units in Vietnam living in more primitive conditions.) As the RAN unit is virtually a section of the US company and merely tenants of the accommodation occupied, the improvements which could be made by the Australian authorities are very much restricted. Nevertheless, Commander Australian Forces Vietnam pays regular visits to the RAN Helicopter Flight, and the Unit, from time to *time,* receives various benefits from Amenities Funds. For example, very recently Commander Australian Forces Vietnam provided a recreation hut from Australia resources. {:#subdebate-39-12} #### Defence Aid Programme (Question No. 1901) {: #subdebate-39-12-s0 .speaker-JO8} ##### Mr Barnard: asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What equipment was supplied in 1968-69 under the defence aid programme for Malaysia and Singapore to (a) the Malaysian armed forces, (b) the Royal Malaysian Police and (c) the Singapore armed forces. 1. How much was spent under the agreement on training courses in Australia for (a) members of the Malaysian armed forces, (b) Royal Malaysian policemen and (c) members of the Singapore armed forces. 2. What amount did Australia spend in 1968-69 on Australian servicemen seconded to the Malay sian armed forces. 3. How many Australian servicemen were seconded to the Malaysian armed forces in 1968-69. 4. What were their ranks. 5. How were they used by the Malaysian armed forces. {: #subdebate-39-12-s1 .speaker-KEN} ##### Mr Fairhall:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: (l)- {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Small arms ammunition Cartridges 105 mm Primers, Demolition Matches, Fuzee Rifles 7.62 mm Cranes Pumping Sets Trucks Utility Trailers 1 Ton Field Telephone Spray painting unit X-ray equipment Brake Press Punching, Cropping and Shearing Machine Engraving Machine Bending Machine Swage Press Pneumatic De-scaling Equipment Outboard Motors Motor Starters Electro-Mechanical Target Range Parachutes {: .page-start } page 2148 {:#debate-40} ### PVC Swivels Bunting for Flag Making Covers, Overall, Flying Boots, General Purpose Drawings for Landing Craft Large Load and Personnel Carriers Trucks, Utility, Land Rover Station Sedans, Holden Volkswagen Kombi Vans Trailers, Cargo, 4 Ton Assault Craft, Aluminium Outboard Motors, 40 h.p. Lathes brake drum Drills, Pedestal Drill Press, Heavy Duty Presses, Hydraulic Water Stills, Electric Vices, Dawn 4 inch and 6 inch Machines, Spark Plug Cleaning and Testing Compressors, Air, Stationary Garage Lubrication Equipment Machines Steam Cleaning Grinding Kits, Valve Seat Power Hacksaw Hydraulic Repair Equipment Arc Welding Sets, Mobile Motor Driven Battery Chargers Chain Block, 5 ton, 15 ft lift Hollow Ram Outfits, with Accessories Circular Saw Bench Grinder, Surface Furnace Heat Treatment Forge, Fan Blown Lathe Machines Precision Lathe Grinder 3 inch Fitters Tools BSW and Metric (sets) Carpenters Tools (sets) Welding and Cutting Equipment Oxygen/ Acetylene Gauges, Cartridge Head Space Incremental Range Standard Armourer's Tools and Gauges for LI Al Corespun Duck Cloth Polyester/ Cotton 6 oz Radio Sets, Portable HF SSB Target Range, Static, Dart Trucks, 24 ton, 4 x 4, GS Assault Boats, Aluminium Outboard Motors, 40 h.p. Motorgraders, Steelweld Model 130P and Caterpillar Model 12 Crane Hydraulic Truck Forklift, Conveyancer Model P50 Excavator, Kockum Model KL225 Bulldozers Caterpillar Models D6 and D8 Anti-G Suits (2>- {:#subdebate-40-0} #### Vietnam: Australian Casualties (Question No. 1925) {: #subdebate-40-0-s0 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham: asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What are the yearly and current cumulative totals of casualties in the Australian Forces in the Vietnam region and elsewhere. 1. Will he give regular current and cumulative casualty figures to Members and Senators. {: #subdebate-40-0-s1 .speaker-KEN} ##### Mr Fairhall:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The Honourable Member's attention is invited to my replies to his question on Notice No. 1609 in respect of Vietnam and to his previous question No. 337 of 4th June 1968. Australian forces have not been employed in an operational role elsewhere than in Vietnam since 1966. {:#subdebate-40-1} #### Royal Australian Navy (Question No. 1927) {: #subdebate-40-1-s0 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: asked the Minister for the Navy, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has his attention been drawn to an article in the Melbourne Age of 8lh September wherein it was suggested that the Australian Government should lease two United States aircraft carriers for 10 years and recruit and train 10,000 Australian naval personnel, including two hundred officers, to man them, and establish a naval base at Cockburn Sound in Western Australia from which the two aircraft carriers, with a required ten or twelve new escort vessels to give them proper protection, could counter Soviet naval power in the Indian Ocean sometime in the future. 1. If so, is he able to supply the estimated costs which would be associated with such a scheme, in particular the costs for (a) leasing the United States aircraft carriers for 10 years, (b) building the twelve escort vessels and (c) building a naval base at Cockburn Sound. {: type="A" start="P"} 0. Is he also able to give the estimated annual cost of recruiting, training, maintaining and paying 10,000 additional officers and men allowing them the usual benefits they are entitled to receive annually. {: #subdebate-40-1-s1 .speaker-009MM} ##### Mr Kelly:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes, but it should be noted that the carriers in question were completed in 1944 and 1946. In their expected remaining operational life it would be clearly impracticable to recruit and train the additional personnel of about 10,000 which the RAN would require to man and support these units. A suggestion that retrenched British and American sailors be recruited to man the two ships is not feasible as neither of these Navies has numbers of this magnitude to spare. 1. and (3) Leasing charges could only be determined by negotiation. There could also be costs for any refit or conversion work found necessary on survey of the ships. Apart from these aspects, and the other items mentioned in the questions, provision of aircraft and spares, and of associated logistic support, including barracks and married quarters for the additional personnel, would be extremely costly. It would be misleading to give estimated costs for such a large undertaking without a lengthy and detailed study of the wide range of matters involved and the various possible options. Clearly however the initial capital costs would run into hundreds of millions of dollars, and annual maintenance and operating costs would be high. {:#subdebate-40-2} #### Foreign Affairs Committee (Question No. 1941) {: #subdebate-40-2-s0 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many reports has the Foreign Affairs Committee submitted to him in the life of the Twenty-sixth Parliament 1. How many of these reports has he presented to the House of Representatives. 2. How many members of both Houses serve on this Committee 3. How many meetings of the Committee have been held in the three years lifetime of this Parliament, and have they all been held in Canberra. 4. What was the average attendance of members at meetings of the Committee during the currency of the Twenty-sixth Parliament. 5. How much do members receive for each sitting day they attend. 6. What was the total amount of fees received by members for sittings of the Committee in the lifetime of this Parliament. 7. Is it correct to describe the Committee as a study circle on foreign affairs; if so, what other functions does it perform. {: #subdebate-40-2-s1 .speaker-KEN} ##### Mr Fairhall:
LP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. One. 1. One. On 28th May 1969. 2. 13 members of the House of Representatives, 8 members of the Senate. 3. (a) 52 meetings, (b) 51 meetings held in Canberra, 1 meeting held in Melbourne. 4. Average attendance 15 members. 5. $10.50 per day sitting fee for the Chairman, prior to 1st December 1968; $8.00 per day sitting fee for the members, prior to 1st December 1968; $13.00 per day sitting fee for the Chairman, since 1st December 1968; $10.00 per day sitting fee for the members, since 1st December 1968. (This increase brought the sitting fees into line with those of the Public Works and Public Accounts Committees.) 6. $7,121 paid to 27th May 1969. 7. The Committee undertakes studies of international questions of particular interest to Australia. One of its reports was recently tabled in Parliament (see reply to question 2 above). {:#subdebate-40-3} #### Homes Savings Grants (Question No. 1943) {: #subdebate-40-3-s0 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham: asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Do regulations forbid Homes Savings Grants towards home purchase where any element of the loan finance used is from a Commonwealth source, including all homes built by the Queensland Housing Commission for public sale. 1. Have buyers on occasions committed themselves for purchase in anticipation of a Homes Savings Grant and later been informed that they do not qualify under the regulations. 2. Will the government immediately remedy this apparent injustice or clearly justify the present position. {: #subdebate-40-3-s1 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden:
LP -- The Minister for Housing has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Homes Savings Grant Act 1964-1967 does not permit a grant to be made in respect of a home built by or for a State housing authority with moneys provided under the CommonwealthState Housing Agreement, either when the home is sold by the authority or where the purchaser of the home receives a loan from the authority out of moneys provided under the Agreement. However, a person who purchases a home built by or for a State housing authority with moneys provided by the State from sources other than the Commonwealth - State Housing Agreement may qualify for a Home Savings Grant if the person is eligible in all other respects. 1. It has been made clear from the inception of the Home Savings Grant Scheme in 1964 that certain classes of homes do not qualify for a grant. Applicants who have not acquainted themselves with the conditions of the Scheme, as explained in the official pamphlet 'A Grant for Your Home' which is available free of charge from banks, building societies, post offices and offices of the Commonwealth Department of Housing, may on occasions have committed themselves to purchase a home that does not come within the Scheme. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Homes built by State housing authorities with moneys provided under the CommonwealthState Housing Agreement are already being subsidised by the Commonwealth. It is not considered appropriate that they should be subsidised by the Commonwealth a second time through the Home Savings Grant Scheme. The interest concession of 1 per cent per annum on Commonwealth housing advances on, say, a thirty year loan by a State Housing authority is worth far more than the maximum Home Savings Grant of $500. {:#subdebate-40-4} #### Taxation (Question No. 1949) {: #subdebate-40-4-s0 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: In any review of the incidence of income taxation, will he ensure that a man on the basic wage, with a dependent wife and two children, wil not have to pay any income tax and thus restore the position in this matter to that existing in the days of the Chifley Government. {: #subdebate-40-4-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The Government has been undertaking a comprehensive review of the structure of taxation and its incidence. In this, it has been concerned with the incidence of taxation over the whole range of taxpayers. Whatever proposals the Government has to make regarding the taxation laws consequent upon this review will be decided upon by it, as matters of policy, in the light of all the relevant facts and with full regard to the interests of each and every class of taxpayer. {:#subdebate-40-5} #### Aged Persons Homes (Question No. 1958) {: #subdebate-40-5-s0 .speaker-JO8} ##### Mr Barnard: asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How much loan money has been allocated to each State during each of the last five yean for the purpose of building housing units for elderly people on low incomes and with few assets. 1. How many of these units have been built in each State during each of the last five years. 2. How many aged people in each State were currently listed as requiring accommodation in units built by State Departments of Housing. 3. What is the average waiting period in each State. 4. When is it expected that current demands will be met in each State. 5. What is the level of the rent remission granted by each State expressed as a percentage of the economic rental of the dwelling units. {: #subdebate-40-5-s1 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden:
LP -- The Minister for Housing has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The level of advances made to each State under the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement is not decided by the Commonwealth. The amounts advanced to the States each financial year are usually nominated by them from within their shares of the total works and housing borrowing programme approved by the Loan Council for that year. The specific purposes to which the money is put are left largely to the States to determine. Each State may expend the funds provided in a manner best fitted to meet its own particular requirements in accordance with its own priorities. All States excepting Queensland have allocated portion of their Housing Agreement advances to the erection of special dwellings for elderly people with little means. In addition and to varying degrees, most State Housing Authorities use for this purpose funds available from other sources. The State Housing Authorities in each of the States concerned have provided the following information regarding expenditure from funds from all sources during each of the five years from 1964-65 to 1968-69 on acquiring land for, and erecting dwellings for the needy aged: {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The State Housing Authorities in each of the States concerned completed the following numbers of dwelling units under their respective pro grammes to provide accommodation for elderly persons with little means in each of the years from 1964-65 to 1968-69: {: type="1" start="3"} 0. The following numbers of applications for elderly persons' units were recorded on the waiting lists of each State Housing Authority at 30 June 1969: as a percentage of the economic rental of the dwelling units, both single and double, was as follows: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Estimated. 1. Only 275 of these applicants comply with the criteria used by the State Housing Commission, Western Australia for the allocation of single-person units to aged persons. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. The latest information supplied by the State Housing Authorities regarding the average waiting periods in each State for aged persons' units relates to the position at 30 June 1968, which was as follows: {: type="1" start="5"} 0. Some States have expressed the view that, with the assistance of the grants of $25 million which the Commonwealth is to make to the States over the five financial years from 1 July 1969, their waiting lists for aged persons' units will be reduced to manageable proportions. 1. Based on information as at 30 June 1968, the latest available, the level of rent remission granted by each State Housing Authority expressed {:#subdebate-40-6} #### Civil Aviation: Sydney Airport (Question No. 1960) {: #subdebate-40-6-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What State or local government authorities have consulted with the interdepartmental committee set up last December to examine and report to the Government on the necessity for and location of any additional airports which may be required to supplement Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport (Hansard 21st August 1969, page 630 and 16th September page 1429). 1. On what dates and subjects did the consultations take place. 2. On what dates has the committee met. {: #subdebate-40-6-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. As I have indicated previously in the House the interdepartmental committee considering major airport requirements for Sydney was set up to advise the Government on the issues relating to the need for an additional airport to supplement the Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport and if the need for such an airport is established to recommend a suitable location for it. When the Government receives the report ot the Committee and depending upon the nature of the information and advice assembled in this report the Government can be expected to consider the most appropriate form of consultation necessary with the State and local governments. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. State or local government authorities have not been consulted by the committee. 1. The committee had its first meeting on 1st April 1969 at which meeting it decided upon the scope and nature of the initial investigations to be conducted before its second meeting which has been arranged for 9th October. {:#subdebate-40-7} #### Women's Auxiliary Air Force (Question No. 1619) {: #subdebate-40-7-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP ns asked the Minister for Air, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many people are filling transfer positions away from their homes in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force and are in receipt of allowances for away from home duties. 1. How many Women's Royal Australian Air Force personnel are not receiving these allowances for periods of less than 12 months' service away from home. 2. Is it the practice of the Department of Air to withhold living away from home allowances at the expense of the young women concerned. 3. How many positions for civilian personnel are being filled by WRAAF members. 4. Do the vacancies for civilian personnel arise from a failure to provide the salary and conditions necessary to attract civilians. 5. If not, why are a large number of WRAAF personnel retained in positions away from home often without appropriate allowances. 6. If the large number of civilian vacancies are due to poor wages and conditions, is this a reason in itself why full and appropriate allowances should be paid to members of the WRAAF. {: #subdebate-40-7-s1 .speaker-KDO} ##### Mr Erwin:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Eleven WRAAF personnel are on attachment away from their home base and are therefore entitled to claim the appropriate allowances which are paid to members temporarily absent from their headquarters (home base). 1. Two of these members, as at 15th September 1969 are not being paid the appropriate allowances. This small number is not unusual as it is not normally claimed until a member returns to her headquarters (home base). The period of 12 months has no relevance to the payment of allowance. 2. No. Indeed, there is provision for the advance of 90% of the estimated amount of travelling allowance before proceeding from the parent unit. 3. Nil. As the answer to Question (4) is Nil the answers to Questions 5, 6 and 7 are not applicable. {:#subdebate-40-8} #### Australian Airlines: Servicing of Aircraft (Question No. 1796) {: #subdebate-40-8-s0 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: >Has (a) Trans-Australia Airlines > >Ansett-A.N.A. and > >Qantas had aircraft serviced overseas in the past 5 years. > >If so what was the cost of this work, how many aircraft were serviced and in which country was the work performed. {: #subdebate-40-8-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The information required in respect of T.A.A. and Ansett Airlines of Australia is shown in the following table: > >The position regarding Qantas is somewhat different. Since the inception of overseas operations, Qantas has had arrangements with other organisations to perform servicing work on its aircraft operating through a number of airports in various countries. At a number of other overseas airports Qantas employ staff to carry out engineering servicing of the company's aircraft at those stations. These Qantas employees also service aircraft of other operators who contract with Qantas for this work rather than locate their own employees and equipment at the stations concerned. For example, at Nadi, Fiji, Qantas services aircraft of every airline operator using the airport. > >In Australia Qantas also carries out contract work for many overseas airlines. > >Engineering work is normally performed by other than Qantas employees in the following countries: > >Austria, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bahama Islands, Canada, Ceylon, Egypt, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Malta, Mexico, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tahiti, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam and West Germany. The total cost over the 5-year period ended 31st March 1969 for engineering work on Qantas aircraft by outside organisations was $9,694,692. This included $1,244,178 for the modification of six of their 707-338C aircraft at the Boeing plant, Wichita, during the period April 1967 to September 1967 and also includes the sum of $1,681,720 for the incorporation of several major Boeing service bulletins in fourteen of their 707-338C aircraft at Hamburg by Lufthansa. The latter costs include $602,693 for modification kits purchased from the Boeing Company. > >Qantas income arising from contracts to perform work on overseas operators' aircraft during the 5-year period ended 31st March 1969 was $9,857,960. {:#subdebate-40-9} #### Royal Australian Air Force (Question No. 1797) {: #subdebate-40-9-s0 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Air, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many Royal Australian Air Force (a) aircraft and (b) helicopters have (i) crashed or (ii) been damaged each year over the past 10 years. 1. What was the make of the (a) aircraft and (b) helicopter involved in each case. 2. What was the cause of the crash or damage in each case. 3. Were the aircraft or helicopters repaired; if so what was the cost in each case. 4. What was the home base of the (a) aircraft and (b) helicopter. 5. Were members of the crew killed in any of the foregoing cases, if so, in what instances. {: #subdebate-40-9-s1 .speaker-KDO} ##### Mr Erwin:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The following Tables are presented in answer to the honourable member's question. These cover aircraft destroyed or damaged beyond unit maintenance capacity to repair between 19th August 1959 and 18th August 1969. > >Where the cause of accident has been stated as unknown, inaccessibility or extreme damage have prevented establishment of a positive cause. > >The cost shown is that of manhours expended in repair. In accordance with Treasury Instructions the stores records in many cases have already been destroyed and information on materials and parts used in repair would not be available in these cases. {:#subdebate-40-10} #### Royal Austraiian Air Force (Question No. 1818) {: #subdebate-40-10-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP ns asked the Minister for Air, upon notice: How many members of the Royal Australian Air Force at Laverton and Point Cook (a) are living in temporary housing, (b) have applied for and received the temporary accommodation allowance, (c) have applied for but not received the temporary accommodation allowance, (d) have expressed a preference for a posting but have not been granted it, and (e) have applied for discharge but have not been granted it. {: #subdebate-40-10-s1 .speaker-KDO} ##### Mr Erwin:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. As at 1st September 1969 there, were 1215 members of the Royal Australian Air Force based at Laverton of whom 767 are married, 322 are single males and 126 members of the WRAAF. In addition 724 personnel are undergoing training at the base. 1. At Laverton the answers to questions (a) to (e) are - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. 101 1. 59 2. Nil 3. 546 (includes 72 specific requests for posting) 4. 29 2. As at 1st September 1969 there were 541 members of the Royal Australian Air Force based at Point Cook. Of these 315 are married. 168 are single males and 58 members of the WRAAF. In addition 148 personnel are undergoing training at Point Cook. 3. At Point Cook the answers to questions (a) to (c) are - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. 27 1. 7 2. Nil 3. 211 (includes 19 specific requests for posting) 4. 6 4. It is pointed out that so far as part (d) of the question relating to posting preferences is concerned each member of the Air Force completes a posting preference form each year. The form inter alia asks whether the member prefers to remain in his or her current posting. In cases where a member answers 'No' it is assumed that the member prefers to be posted elsewhere. The number of specific requests for posting initiated by members serving on the two bases may therefore be a better guide to the expression of a positive desire to be posted to another area. Department of Shipping and Transport: Independent Consultants (Question No. 1895) **Mr Whitlam** asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. On what dates and for what projects has your Department sought advice from independent consultants. 1. Who were the consultants, and what were their terms of reference. {: #subdebate-40-10-s2 .speaker-5E4} ##### Mr Sinclair:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) Over the last ten years, my Department has sought advice from independent consultants in connection with the following projects: {: type="A" start="A"} 0. Research Associated with Motor Vehicle Design and Ro;:d Safety - {: type="a" start="i"} 0. On 18th July 1962, Roy Morgan Research Centre Pty Ltd of Melbourne, was engaged to undertake a survey concerning the impact and recall value of road, safety publicity. In conducting the survey, the Consultants were required to cover both metropolitan and country areas in all States, with a minimum of one thousand interviews selected on a representative basis as to age, sex, income and population distribution. {: type="i" start="ii"} 0. On 31st October 1966, **Mr K.** J. Rolls, of (he University of Melbourne, was required to conduct a research project in relation to the position and field of view for internal and external rear view mirrors for motor vehicles. The Consultant was required to prepare a draft standard for rear view mirrors for automatic vehicles on behalf of the Australian Motor Vehicle Design Advisory Panel. {: type="i" start="iii"} 0. The Victorian College of Optometry, on 31st October 1966, commenced a research study relating to the intensity specification for reversing signal lamps for motor vehicles. The requirement covered revision of the draft Australian standard for reversing lights for presentation to the Australian Motor Vehicle Design Advisory Panel. {: type="i" start="iv"} 0. On 19th December 1966, the Victorian College of Optometry was engaged to undertake an investigation concerning glare reduction surfaces for motor vehicles. This particular project called for the review and revision of the United States standard on 'Glare Reduction Surfaces for Automatic Vehicles' for the Australian Motor Vehicle Design Advisory Panel. {: type="A" start="B"} 0. King Island (Bass Strait) Shipping ServiceOn 25th February 1969 Messrs Macdonald, Wagner and Priddle, Consulting Engineers of Sydney and Melbourne, commenced a feasibility study on King Island Shipping under a joint appointment to the Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments. Messrs Macdonald, Wagner and Priddle were required to undertake a study and to furnish to the Governments of the Commonwealth of Australia and of Tasmania a report and recommendations as to the need (if any), in the light of existing and foreseeable trade to and from King Island, to provide improved or additional seaport facilities, or both, on the island. In the pursuit of their study the Consultants were required, to the extent that they considered necessary or desirable for the purpose of the study, to: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. undertake a market and economic forecast for at least the next twenty years as to the quantities and types of cargo that were likely to require transport to and from the island; *b) consider what type or types of transport service would be most suitable to provide for the anticipated trade of the island; *<c)* investigate the capacity of the ship 'King Islander' to meet the anticipated shipping requirements of the island; {: type="a" start="d"} 0. consider what type or types of ship would be required to provide any shipping service which the Consultants would recommend and its or their operational costs; 1. assess the adequacy of the existing seaport facilities on the island to meet the requirements of the anticipated shipping trade of the island; 2. consider the nature, design, location and estimated cost of any improved or additional seaport facilities which would bc needed to service the capacity and the type or types of shipping service that the Consultants may recommend, taking into account the relevant hydrographic and navigational aspects normally associated with a seaport development survey. In their consideration of the matters mentioned in (b) and (d) above, the Consultants were to have regard to a shipping service which would operate without financial assistance from the Governments; would contribute by way of dues or charges towards the cost of servicing any recommended new seaport facilities; and would charge freight rates which would allow the operator a reasonable return on funds employed in providing the service. In their report the Consultants were required to give attention to any alternatives to their recommendations which they considered should be brought to the notice of the Governments. (C) Railway Standardisation - No consultants have been employed by my Department on rail standardisation projects over the last ten years. However, Maunsell and Partners were retained on 15th October 1965 by the Western Australian Government (at Commonwealth expense) to prepare a master plan of the works necessary for construction of the standard gauge railway under the Railway Agreement (Western Australia) Act No. 67 of 1961. In addition, Messrs Pak-Poy and Associates of Adelaide were retained on 12th March 1969 to conduct passenger and freight traffic surveys between Port Augusta and Alice Springs during the week 20th March to 26th March 1969. However, they were employed as experts in conducting surveys and were required only to report facts and not make recommendations. In that sense they might not be regarded as consultants, although they also operate in the consulting field. Public Service Cadets: Training Fees (Question No. 1911) **Mr Whitlam** asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: >What fees are paid to: > >universities, > >colleges of advanced education, > >teachers' colleges, > >technical colleges, and > >other educational institutions for cadets sponsored by the Commonwealth. {: #subdebate-40-10-s3 .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr Gorton:
LP -- The Public Seryice Board has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question: >The Commonwealth Service offers a variety of training schemes for its officers, including cadetships, traineeships and scholarships. > >In relation to cadets, the Commonwealth reimburses them, on production of a receipt, certain approved charges in accordance with a sliding scale based on the cadets' salary. These charges normally cover those for admission to the course, tuition and for examination. However, where a cadet attends an institution which charges an allinclusive fee, the sliding scale is applied to that fee in determining the amount which he will be reimbursed. > >The sliding scale governing the refund of fees under cadetships is as follows: Classification of Buildings by National Trust (Question No. 1928) **Mr Whitlam** asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many buildings in each State and Territory have been classified by the National Trust as worthy of preservation. 1. How many have been assigned by the Trust in each case to each of its sub-classifications. 2. How many buildings classified by the Trust have been demolished in each State and Territory in each of the last 5 years. {: #subdebate-40-10-s4 .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr Gorton:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >Although the Commonwealth assists the National Trust with an annual grant and income-tax concessions, the Trust is an independent body and I am not, therefore, in a position to provide the information sought by the honourable member. {:#subdebate-40-11} #### Control of Export of Australian Works of Art (Question No. 1948) {: #subdebate-40-11-s0 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: >In view of the ease with which wealthy Americans can purchase and export good early Australian paintings to the United States, will he give consideration to our national interests and amend all relevant regulations under the Customs Act and any other Act to bring them into line with restrictions operating in Greece, Italy, Japan and other countries which prohibit exports of all works of art and ali historical objects from their respective countries. {: #subdebate-40-11-s1 .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr Gorton:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The question of the need for control over the export of Australian works of art is being considered by an interdepartmental committee. Enquiries are currently being made about existing relevant legislation in the States and overseas. Consideration of this matter involves the rights of individuals as well as the national interest and I would not expect an easy or an early solution. {:#subdebate-40-12} #### Overseas Students: Education Fees (Question No. 1950) {: #subdebate-40-12-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Acting Minister for External Affairs, upon notice: >What was the amount of fees paid for overseas students in the last year for which figures are available in each of the categories listed in the answer to me on 17th September 1969 (Hansard, page 1SS2). {: #subdebate-40-12-s1 .speaker-KEN} ##### Mr Fairhall:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The total costs of fees paid by the Commonwealth for sponsored overseas students under external aid and educational exchange arrangements were as follows in 1968-69: The total amount of fees paid is not dissected and recorded as to types of institute attended by the sponsored overseas students. To obtain a breakdown in the form requested by the honourable member would entail a great deal of research involving detailed examination of accounts which are held in the various regional offices of the Departments of External Affairs and Education and Science throughout the Commonwealth. If however there Ls any particular point on which the honourable member requires further information, every effort will be made to obtain it {:#subdebate-40-13} #### Department of Shipping and Transport: Second Division Appointments (Question No. 1967) {: #subdebate-40-13-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Did the Public Service Board agree in August 1968 to the creation of three new Second Division positions in the Department of Shipping and Transport and did a fourth such position become vacant in November 1968 with the appointment of the First Assistant Secretary of the Department as Chairman of the Public Service Commission of Papua and New Guinea. 1. Was advertisement of all four positions delayed until June 1969 and were they then advertised in the context of the Transport Policy Division newly created in Canberra. 2. Were provisional appointments announced in August 1969. 3. Have the officers appointed yet taken up duty, if not, when does he expect them to do so. 4. What were the previous positions held by the appointees and did any of them previously hold a position within the Department of Shipping and Transport. 5. Against which provisional appointments have appeals been lodged and to which Departments do the appellants belong. {: #subdebate-40-13-s1 .speaker-5E4} ##### Mr Sinclair:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. As part of a review of the top structure of the Department of Shipping and Transport, the Public Service Board in 1968 approved of the abolition of three existing Second Division positions and the creation of six new Second Division positions in the Central Office of the Department in Melbourne. In November 1968 a Second Division position in Melbourne had become vacant with the appointment of the occupant to the position in the Public Service of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. As it was known that the Permanent Head of the Department would retire in 1969 action to formally create and fill these six positions was deferred until the new Permanent Head was appointed in April 1969. This deferment was made to give the new Permanent Head the opportunity of reviewing the proposed top structure of his Department and of selecting his own staff for key positions. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. All six positions were advertised in Gazette No. 48 of 12th June 1969, two located in Melbourne and the four to which the subsequent part of this question relates located in Canberra. 1. Provisional promotions to each of these four positions were notified in Gazette No. 71 of 21st August 1969. 2. No, it is not expected that these officers will take up duty until appeals against their provisional promotions have been heard and decided and they have been released by the Departments in which they are now employed. 3. So far as is known, the appointees have not previously been employed with the Department of Shipping and Transport. The positions now held by them as shown in Gazette No. 71 of 21st August 1969 are: Cosgrove, k. j.Director (Special Projects) 59,500, Second Division, Northern Territory Administration, Department of the Interior, Darwin Freeland, C. V. M.Senior Inspector $8,068-8,375 ($8,889-9,235) Class 11, Third Division, Office of Public Service Board, Canberra Jenner, N. G. - Assistant Director $7,454-7,761 ($8,227- 8,563) Class 10, Third Division, Transport Investigation Section, Department of Trade and Industry, Canberra Taylor, R. M.Director $8,068-8,375 ($8,899-9,235) Class 11, Third Division, Department of Housing, Canberra. {: type="1" start="6"} 0. Appeals have been lodged against each of the appointees. However, I consider it would not be in the interests of any of the officers to give any further details. Public Service: Credit Unions {: #subdebate-40-13-s2 .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr Gorton:
LP -- On 26th August 1969 in response to a question put by the honourable member for Macquarie **(Mr Luchetti),** I undertook to make enquiries into the matter of deductions from the salaries of Commonwealth employees who are members of credit unions. The Treasurer has provided the following answer: The honourable member's statement in his question that credit unions provide loan finance' is somewhat misleading. Credit unions make loans, mainly for a short term and on an unsecured basis exclusively to members of the credit union. The operations of such credit unions do not result in any appreciable net additions to savings as the funds deposited by members are lent out to other members. Credit unions do not provide loan finance (as the term is often understood) to public and semigovernment authorities as, for example, the Commonwealth Bank and private savings banks are required to do, by holding at least 65% of their assets in public sector securities. Over a period of years many representations for an extension of the list of approved voluntary deductions from Commonwealth payrolls have been received. Among these has been a request that Commonwealth employees be permitted to authorise the deduction of amounts from their earnings for payment to credit unions as savings. To enable these requests to be considered it has been necessary for the Treasury to undertake a comprehensive review of the policy under which voluntary payroll deductions are approved. This review has been completed and the Government will shortly consider a series of recommendations arising from it. Public servants are already permitted to authorise deductions from earnings in repayment of small loans made to them by credit unions with a wholly public service membership. About fifty credit unions currently enjoy this facility. {:#subdebate-40-14} #### Armed Forces: Desertions (Question No. 1305) {: #subdebate-40-14-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice: >How many members of (a) the Navy, (b) the Army and (c) the Royal Australian Air Force deserted during the last 5 years. {: #subdebate-40-14-s1 .speaker-KEN} ##### Mr Fairhall:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >A precise answer cannot be provided. Desertion involves an intention not to return; absence without leave may not amount to desertion. > >Service practice currently also varies. Navy has tended to charge with desertion absentees for 7 days or more who have no good or sufficient reason for their absence. The other two Services have procedures for declaring members illegally absent, after an absence of 21 days. Actual charges of desertion are rare. > >The question of a common practice among the Services is being examined in conjunction with the introduction of the Uniform Disciplinary Code. {:#subdebate-40-15} #### Racial Discrimination (Question No. 1374) {: #subdebate-40-15-s0 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham: asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice: >What progress has been made in the study of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination referred to in his reply to Question No. 811 (Hansard, 25th February 1969, page 58). {: #subdebate-40-15-s1 .speaker-JRN} ##### Mr Bowen:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >Considerable progress has been made in the study of the many detailed questions that arise under the Convention. In this connection further information has been obtained from other countries and the Convention has been the subject of discussion between Commonwealth and State officers concerned. {:#subdebate-40-16} #### Civil Defence (Question No. 1645) {: #subdebate-40-16-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: >On what occasions, by what means and with what results has the Commonwealth consulted in the last 10 years with all or any of the States on civil defence. {: #subdebate-40-16-s1 .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr Gorton:
LP -- The answer to the honourable members question which incorporates advice from the responsible Ministers is as follows: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Civil Defence has been discussed at the Premiers' Conferences of June 1959 and June 1965. I am informed that the records of the proceedings of these Conferences are obtainable through the Parliamentary Library. Meetings between the State and Commonwealth Ministers concerned with Civil Defence took place on 4th August 1965, and 21st June 1966. 1. Since 1962 regular meetings have been held between Commonwealth and State Civil Defence officials and a list of the meetings that have been held during the last 10 years follows as schedule A. At these conferences, decisions have been reached by mutual agreement on aspects of Civil Defence including uniformity in the organisation and instruction of volunteers and co-ordination of operational plans. 2. The Commonwealth also consults with the States through the National Medical War Planning Committee which has a Standing Committee and State Medical Planning Committee in each State. The States nominate a representative from their Civil Defence organisations for the Commonwealth's State Medical Planning Committees which are concerned with planning the medical services which would be required in a national emergency. The Civil Defence representatives advise the Committees on the integration of the emergency medical service into the overall Civil Defence planning. Schedule B lists the dates of meetings in the last 10 years of the National Medical War Planning Committee, the Standing Committee and the State Medical Planning Committee of the respective States. {:#subdebate-40-17} #### Northern Territory: Medical and Dental Professions (Question No. 1684) {: #subdebate-40-17-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: >Why is the ratio of medical practitioners and dentists in the Northern Territory so much lower than in any Stale and barely half that in the Australian Capital Territory. {: #subdebate-40-17-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
Minister for Health · BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The latest information available on the numbers of medical practitioners and dentists in Australia is from the census undertaken at 30th June 1966. The ratios of medical practitioners and dentists per thousand population at that date were as follows: > >The relatively low ratio of medical practitioners and dentists to population in the Northern Territory, compared with the ratios that apply in the various States of the Commonwealth and the Australian Capital Territory, is attributable in part to the absence in the area of University schools of training and other educational institutions for medical practitioners and dentists. Another reason is that there are no research foundations in the area. Moreover, there is no pool of practitioners over the age of 60 such as exists in the States. > >No accurate figures exist regarding the numbers of practitioners in the States who are in the various groups not present in the Northern Territory. However, it is estimated that some 20% of the total number of medical practitioners available would be included in these groups. The corresponding estimate for dentists is a slightly smaller percentage. > >The total maintenance revenue of public hospitals approved for the payment of hospital benefits under the National Health Act in each State and Territory for the year 1967-68 was: {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The percentages of revenue obtained from various sources were: {:#subdebate-40-18} #### Public Hospitals: Maintenance Revenue (Question No. 1694) {: #subdebate-40-18-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What was the total maintenance revenue of public hospitals in each State and Territory for the last year for which figures are available. 1. What percentage of that revenue was obtained from (a) Commonwealth hospital benefits, (b) State or Commonwealth Government allocations, (c) patients' fees and (d) other sources. 2. What was the gap between revenue (other than government assistance) and total operating expenditure. {: #subdebate-40-18-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="3"} 0. The gaps between revenue other than State or Commonwealth allocations and total operating expenditure in 1967-68 were as follows: The figures in the last two columns do not correspond in all instances, due to accounting and budget fluctuations as far as individual hospitals are concerned. All figures shown above exclude the cost of treatment of and Commonwealth payments for tuberculosis patients in tuberculosis hospitals and sanatoria and in general public hospitals. {:#subdebate-40-19} #### Health Services (Question No. 1742) {: #subdebate-40-19-s0 .speaker-KUX} ##### Mr Stewart: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: >Is he able to state what percentage of the gross national product is spent on health services in (a) Australia, (b) Canada, (c) the United Kingdom, (d) the United States of America and (e) New Zealand. {: #subdebate-40-19-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honour able member's question is as follows: >The latest year for which strictly comparable figures have been published of the percentages of the gross national product spent on health services in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, was 1961-62. These figures were published in 'An International Study of Health Expenditure', by Professor B. Abel-Smith, World Health Organisation Public Health Papers No. 32, 1967, and are shown below: > >The following information has been taken from a number of sources, and relates to the year 1966-67, except for the figure for Canada which relates to 1965: The basis of these statistics varies from country to country and the figures are therefore not strictly comparable. {:#subdebate-40-20} #### Hospital Services: Expenditure (Question No. 1743) {: #subdebate-40-20-s0 .speaker-KUX} ##### Mr Stewart: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: ls he able to state the ratio of (a) medical practitioners, (b) registered nurses and (c) hospital beds to population in (i) Australia, (ii) Canada, (iii) the United Kingdom, (iv) the United States of America and (v) New Zealand. {: #subdebate-40-20-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The following information has been extracted from the World Health Statistics Annual for 1965, published in 1969 by the World Health Organisation. Hospital and Medical Benefit Funds (Question No. 1745) **Mr Stewart** asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: >What amounts of surplus funds were held by the three largest (a) hospital and (b) medical benefit funds in each of the States at 30 June 1969. > >What was the total amount of surplus funds held by all (a) hospital and (b) medical benefit funds at 30 June 1969. {: #subdebate-40-20-s2 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. As at 30 June 1968, the latest date for which figures are available, the total free reserves (that is, excluding provisions for outstanding and unpresented claims) of the three largest organisations in each State (in order of fund membership) were: 1. As at 30 June 1968, the latest date for which figures are available, the total free reserves of all registered organisations in the Commonwealth were (a) $63,783,365 for hospital funds and (b) $29,909,943 for medical funds. {:#subdebate-40-21} #### Health Insurance (Question No. 1746) {: #subdebate-40-21-s0 .speaker-KUX} ##### Mr Stewart: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What recommendations of the Commonwealth Committee of Inquiry into Health Insurance has the Government decided to be worthy of implementation. 1. When will the necessary legislation to implement these recommendations be introduced. {: #subdebate-40-21-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Government has commenced but has not completed its examination of the recommendations of the Commonwealth Committee of Enquiry into Health Insurance. Decisions in relation to the recommendations will be announced when they have been made. 1. The honourable member will be aware of the announcement made in the Budget that the Commonwealth will meet the cost of health insurance benefits for low Income families, people receiving unemployment and sickness benefits and newly arrived migrants. This new benefits arrangement reflects the principle of Recommendation 20 of the Commonwealth Committee of Enquiry that the Government should provide assistance for low income families to secure health insurance coverage. It is intended to introduce the necessary legislation during the current session of Parliament {:#subdebate-40-22} #### Metric System of Weights and Measures (Question No. 1776) {: #subdebate-40-22-s0 .speaker-KGH} ##### Mr Hansen:
WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: >When will a decision be made as to how and when the recommendations of the Senate Select Committee on the Metric System of Weights and Measures will be adopted. {: #subdebate-40-22-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >Conversion to a Metric System of Weights and Measures raises complex questions. A great deal of work has been done by Commonwealth officials and a paper was submitted recently to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Education and Science. Action to convert would be irrevocable and it is of critical importance that the implications of conversion are examined thoroughly before decisions are taken and announcements made. If the Government decides in favour of conversion, it will certainly ensure that this is carried out with the least possible cost to Australia and with the utmost co-operation of various sectors of industry. {:#subdebate-40-23} #### Health Services: Expenditure (Question No. 1811) {: #subdebate-40-23-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What was the (a) amount and (b) percentage of expenditure on health services in each State and Territory by (i) the Commonwealth, (ii) the State or Territory, (iii) local authorities, (iv) registered benefit organisations, (v) patients' fees and (vi) other private expenditure in the last year for which figures are available. 1. What was the corresponding expenditure in the Commonwealth as a whole. {: #subdebate-40-23-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) The information sought by the honourable member is not available. However, my Department has made estimates on the sources of finance of health services in Australia for the year 1966-67, for the Commonwealth as a whole. This estimated health expenditure, excluding expenditure on teaching and research, by amount and percentage from the various sources mentioned, is as follows: Hospital and Medical Benefit Funds: Reserves (Question No. 1812) **Mr Whitlam** asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: >If registered (a) hospital and (b) medical benefit organisations were required to reduce over a period of 2 years their existing reserves to a state where they held amounts equivalent to 3 months' contributions, taking into account estimated increases in costs that might take place over the period of 2 years, by what amount would it be possible to reduce (i) single rate and (ii) family rate contributions. {: #subdebate-40-23-s2 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >On the basis of the level of free reserves at 30th June 1968 (the last date for which figures are available), and the most reliable information available regarding membership structure and utilisation experience, it is estimated that free reserves could be reduced to the equivalent of 3 months' contributions by reducing contributions over a period of 2 years as under: > >Hospital - > >Single rate- 4.75c per week Family rate - 9.5c per week > >.Medical - > >Single rate - 1.5c per week > >Family rate- 3.0c per week > >These estimates are based on the overall Commonwealth figures and would not necessarily be applicable to any one benefit table, organisation or State, {:#subdebate-40-24} #### Health Insurance (Question No. 1825) {: #subdebate-40-24-s0 .speaker-JVO} ##### Mr Munro:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is it a fact that the Commonwealth Government, as from 1st January 1970, will pay, through the health insurance funds of which they are members, the health benefits of families whose total income does not exceed $39 a week, and that no contributions by the family groups will be required. 1. What will be the situation with regard to families who are not already members of a health insurance fund. 2. Will the family groups be able to arrange to become members in such a way that the Commonwealth will pay the first and subsequent subscriptions; if so, how will the people concerned go about making these arrangements. 3. Does a similar situation apply in the case of the new health provisions for migrants where, on joining a medical or hospital assurance fund, they will be covered for medical and hospital expenses incurred during the first 2 months after arrival, even if they were incurred before joining an insurance fund. 4. If so, will migrants not be covered if they do not subsequently join an insurance fund. 5. In the case of migrant families with total incomes of $39, or less, per week, will they be able to arrange for the Commonwealth to pay the first and subsequent instalments of health insurance; if so, will this arrangement prejudice their free cover for the first two months. {: #subdebate-40-24-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. The benefits to be provided will be at rates sufficient to cover treatment in the public wards of public hospitals and medical benefits equal to the amounts available in the highest current benefit tables in each State. The benefits will be provided through the health insurance funds. 1. The benefits will be available to eligible families whether or not they are already insured with health insurance funds. 2. The eligibility will be assessed on the basis of family income upon application to the Department of Social Services. On determination of eligibility the head of the family will be issued with a certificate of entitlement which on presentation to a health insurance fund will authorise the fund to pay benefits for any medical or hospital expenses incurred in respect of the members of the family during the period of eligibility. Payment of contributions will be waived during the period of eligibility. The Commonwealth will reimburse the funds the cost of benefits paid under the arrangement. 3. On joining a medical or hospital benefits fund migrants irrespective of marital status will be covered for medical or hospital expenses incurred during the first 2 months after arrival in Australia, even if the expenses were incurred before joining an insurance fund. The level of assistance will be the same as that of low income families. 4. and (6) A migrant will be eligible for medical and hospital benefits on the same basis as other members of the community, subsequent to the initial two months after arrival. Of course, at any time after arrival In Austrafia, a migrant family with a total income not exceeding $39 a week will be eligible for the assistance available generally to low income families. I might add that both for the migrants and the family groups mentioned the special health insurance benefits will apply in relation to medical services or hospital treatment on or after 1st January 1970. {:#subdebate-40-25} #### Importation of Ships (Question No. 1840) {: #subdebate-40-25-s0 .speaker-KGH} ##### Mr Hansen: asked the Minister representing the Minister for Customs and Excise, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What permits were granted to import ships into Australia from overseas during the year 1968-69. 1. What was the (a) type (b) gross tonnage (c) country of origin and (d) registered owner in each case. {: #subdebate-40-25-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -The Minister for Customs and Excise has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question: se !*» 3" Si o> co BL "9 ca M *9)* VO O so KI on {:#subdebate-40-26} #### Multiple Sclerosis (Question No. 1842) {: #subdebate-40-26-s0 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Does the National Health and Medical Research Council allocate any funds specifically for multiple sclerosis research. 1. If so, (a) what organisations and individuals receive these grants for multiple sclerosis research, (b) what amounts are allocated to individual projects for the current year, and (c) what sums were allocated for each of the years 1965 to 1969, inclusive. {: #subdebate-40-26-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) Two major research projects related to multiple sclerosis are currently supported by National Health and Medical Research Council grants both involving basic research. Multiple sclerosis is only one aspect of this research and it is not possible to differentiate this component from the money provided for the work ;is a whole. These projects are in the fields of virology and immunology, currently thought to be the areas of research most likely to provide the clue to the cause of multiple sclerosis, and are detailed hereunder. {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia (Professor Stanley)Research into reovirus infection. This work is concerned with the relationship between reovirus infection and the subsequent development of certain chronic diseases including multiple sclerosis. This project has received the following support since 1965: 1965- $2,500 1966- Nil 1967- $20,108 1968- 428,978 1969- $32,398. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research - Research into auto-immune disease. The Institute has been receiving a continuing National Health and Medical Research Council grant for many years for cancer research and experimental immunology. An important pan of this work is the study of auto-immune disease and the possible role of auto-immunity in the causation of a number of diseases, including multiple sclerosis. The Institute has received the following National Health and Medical Research Council grants since 1965: 1965- $153,632 1966- $165,916 1967- $182,960 1968- $253,300 1969- 4280,650. {:#subdebate-40-27} #### Doctors' Fees (Question No. 1851) {: #subdebate-40-27-s0 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What was the average fee charged by doctors on 31 December 1949 in (a) Sydney and (b) Melbourne for (i) surgery consultation and (ii) home visit. 1. Since 1949, when, and by huw much, have fees increased. {: #subdebate-40-27-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) No -details are available concerning average fees charged by doctors for home and surgery consultations as at 31 December 1949. However the fee. generally charged for surgery consultations in 1951 throughout Australia was $1.25. As at 1 January 1953 the fee generally charged was $1.50. Since the commencement of the Medical Benefits Scheme on 1 July 1953, my Department has carried out surveys of doctors' fees to ascertain the most common fees charged for particular medical services. The following tables set out the most common fees charged by general practitioners for surgery and home consultations in New South Wales and Victoria at the times indicated. {:#subdebate-40-28} #### University Students (Question No. 1858) {: #subdebate-40-28-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP s asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What are the numbers and percentages in main occupational groups of the fathers of boys and girls attending Australian universities. 1. What is the numerical and percentage composition of boys and girls attending Australian universities according to the occupation of their fathers. (Question No. 1859) {: #subdebate-40-28-s1 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: >How many students attending Australian universities come from families with (a) one child, (b) two children, (c) three children, (d) four children and (e) more than four children. (Question No. 1860) {: #subdebate-40-28-s2 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP irns asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: >What are the numbers and percentages of students attending Australian universities where the father of the student has an annual income of > >less than $2,500, (b) between $2,500 and $3,500, (c) between $3,500 and $5,000, (d) between $5,000 and $7,500, (e) between $7,500 and $10,000 and (f) over $10,000. (Question No. 1861) {: #subdebate-40-28-s3 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: >What are the numbers and percentages of (a) boys and (b) girls who gain entry to Australian universities who attended (i) government schools, (ii) Catholic schools and (iii) other nongovernment schools. (Question No. 1863) {: #subdebate-40-28-s4 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP irns asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: >What are the numbers and percentages of boys and girls who (a) commence and complete secondary school courses and (b) commence and complete university courses who attended schools in (i) working class or industrial areas, (ii) nonworking class or non-industrial areas and (iii) the country. {: #subdebate-40-28-s5 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- I reply to questions 1858, 1859, 1860, 1861 and 1863 together. I have replied separately to question No. 1862. A reply to each of the questions asked by the honourable member would require an extremely detailed and comprehensive survey of the social, economic and educational background of university and secondary school students. It is doubtful whether all students and their parents would wish to give some of the information necessary to reply to the honourable member's questions. {:#subdebate-40-29} #### Medical Profession (Question No. 1869) {: #subdebate-40-29-s0 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many doctors resident in Australia are registered to practise in any part of Australia. 1. How many doctors in each of the past 6 years have (a) graduated from medical schools, {: type="a" start="b"} 0. immigrated, (c) emigrated, (d) retired from medical practice and (e) died. {: #subdebate-40-29-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. No information is available as to the numbers of medical practitioners who are registered in more than one of the eight State or Territory registers. Medical practitioners who are qualified to practise in all States and Territory must register in each State or Territory to practice there. As at 31st December 1968 there were 23,196 registrations. Indicative of the extent of multiple registration is the fact that in the 1966 population census 13,697 persons gave 'medical practitioner' as their profession. 1. (a) The numbers of students who have graduated as M.B.B.S. from Australian universities in the last 6 years for which figures are available are as follows: >Year .. 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 > >Medical graduates 505 563 602 640 710 744 {: type="a" start="b"} 0. and (c) The Commonwealth Statistician has provided the following figures of settlers arriving and Australian residents departing permanently who reported occupations classified as 'medical practitioner'. {:#subdebate-40-30} #### Services Canteens Trust Fund (Question No. 1872) {: #subdebate-40-30-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has he noted from the 1967 report of the trustees of the Services Canteens Trust Fund that ex-servicemen of the Korean, Malayan and Vietnam campaigns are not eligible for assistance from this World War II fund and no similar fund has been established for them. 1. Has consideration been given to establishing a trust fund from post World War II canteen profits for the benefit of post World War II servicemen. 2. What profits have been made by the services canteens since the end of World War II. 3. For what purposes have such profits been used. {: #subdebate-40-30-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) Yes. Ex-servicemen of the Korean, Malayan and Vietnam wars, and their dependants, are eligible for financial assistance from the three Service Relief or Welfare Trust Funds, established under the Services Trust Funds Act 1947-1950. Post World War II canteen profits have been distributed to the Services as they are earned, for use in providing welfare, amenity and recreational facilities for serving members, and financial assistance to ex-members of the Defence forces and their dependants who are in necessitous circumstances through the Services Relief or Welfare Funds. 1. Profits from the post World War II Army and Air Force canteens and the Australian Services Canteens Organisation (which has superseded the separate canteens) have totalled 812,272,000 from 1950 to March 1969. There was an interim arrangement operating in the period from 1947 to 1949 and profits earned in that time are not included in this figure. Profits from the post World War II Navy Canteen Service are not available without searching records of all ships welfare funds. Canteen profits from ships and establishments are paid to the Ship's Welfare Fund which is administered by the Ship's Welfare Committee. An amount of $1,232,460 has been paid into the RAN Central Canteens Fund in the period January 1950 to June 1969. The RAN Central Canteens Fund was established for the purpose of providing for die welfare and entertainment of naval personnel and ex-naval personnel generally. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. See 1 and 2 above. Local Government Statutory Contributions (Question No. 1875) **Mr Whitlam** asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What is the latest year for which the Statistician or the Treasury can state what percentage of their revenues had to be paid by local government authorities in each State in statutory contributions to road, lighting, fire, planning and similar authorities. 1. What was the percentage for (a) that year, (b) 5 years earlier, (c) 10 years earlier and (d) 15 years earlier. {: #subdebate-40-30-s2 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >Neither the Treasury nor the Commonwealth Statistician is able to provide the information requested. The Commonwealth Statistician has advised (hat, for the purposes of local government finance statistics, expenditure is classified by economic type and function and in compiling the statistics a distinction is not made between statutory contributions and other expenditure. Statistics of statutory contributions by local government authorities are therefore not available. {:#subdebate-40-31} #### Superannuation Funds (Question No. 1876) {: #subdebate-40-31-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: >To what extern and in what respects does the Statistician or the Treasury have figures on the number and coverage of superannuation funds and the number and -occupation of contributors to them. {: #subdebate-40-31-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The Commonwealth Statistician has advised that statistics are not at present available on the total number and coverage of superannuation funds in Australia nor on the total number of occupation of contributors. > >There are approximately 100 Commonwealth, State, Local Government and Semi-Governmental superannuation funds in Australia and their cover age for each of the latest four years for which the Commonwealth Statistician has figures is shown in Table 1. In respect of the private sector the Commissioner of Taxation has advised that available statistics of numbers of taxable and non-taxable funds in respect of which income tax returns were lodged for the income years 1964-65 to 1966-67 are as shown in Table 2. The Commonwealth Statistician has advised that the last available comprehensive estimates of private superannuation funds cover those conducted by private businesses subject to payroll tax and relate to 1962-63. The estimates are in Table 3. TABLE 3 - PRIVATE SUPERANNUATION FUNDS - AUSTRALIA (At end of June 1963 or nearest substituted accounting period) Concerning the occupation of contributors to private and public sector superannuation funds, a survey of both government and private employees in Victoria in May 1968 provided the information shown in Table 4. Comparable information is not available for other States. A* far as (he private sector is concerned, information being collected in the course of the integrated economic censuses currently being conducted by the Commonwealth Statistician will help to overcome the difficulty that has been experienced in establishing satisfactory lists of private funds as a basis for comprehensive statistical collections. However, it will be some time before statistics based on these new lists are likely to be available. {:#subdebate-40-32} #### Health Insurance Funds (Question No. 1887) {: #subdebate-40-32-s0 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What expenditure has his Department incurred in promoting the patronage of registered health insurance organisations by Australians. 1. What is the estimated expenditure of the organisations on (a) benefit payments, (b) increasing fund reserves, (c) interest or rent producing investments, (d) administration and (e) promotion of membership including commissions to collectors expressed as a percentage of (i) contributions received and (ii) total income including interest and rent. {: #subdebate-40-32-s1 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Under the National Health Act, Commonwealth Medical benefits and Commonwealth hospital insurance benefits are available only to contributors to registered medical or hospital benefits organisations. Information material is prepared and issued by my Department explaining the various National Health benefits available and the conditions under which the benefits are provided. In the case of Commonwealth health insurance benefits the pamphlets explain that eligibility for the benefits is conditional upon membership of a registered organisation. In 1968-69, under Vote 290/2/ 10(A) my Department spent $40,000 on publicity associated with the new benefits introduced as from 1st January 1969 for intensive nursing home care patients, for handicapped children in approved homes and for long term and chronically ill insured patients in approved hospitals. In addition, under Vote 290/2/02 (c) my Department spent $36,265.13 on pamphlets relating to the National Health benefits. It is not practicable to determine what proportion of the amount spent on publicising National Health benefits may be regarded as having been directed to encouraging persons to join medical and hospital insurance benefit schemes, or to increase the level of their cover under such schemes. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. (a) The amounts paid as fund benefit (including ancillary benefits) by registered medical and hospital benefit organisations during the 1967- 68 financial year were: Medical- $52,575,580 representing 77.3% o( contribution income or 75.1% of total income. Hospital- $81,782,001 representing 87.3% of contribution income or 84.0% of total income. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. Surpluses achieved by registered medical and hospital benefit organisations (inclusive of non-operating income) during 1967-68, transferred to the respective reserves were: Medical- $6,921,913 representing 10.2% ot contribution income or 9.9% of total income. Hospital- $8,314,326 representing 8.9% of contribution income or 8.5% of total income. {: type="a" start="c"} 0. This information is not available but aggregate reserves, including provisions for outstanding claims, as at 30th June 1968 which would be available for investment (subject to the liquidity requirements of individual funds) were: Medical- $43,938,511 representing 64.6% of 1967-68 contribution income or 62.8% of total income for the year. Hospital- $75,507,605 representing 80.6% of 1967-68 contribution income or 77.5% of total income for the year. {: type="a" start="d"} 0. Administration (or Management) expenses incurred by registered medical and hospital benefits organisations during 1967-68 were: Medical- $10,278,277 representing 15.1% of contribution income or 14.7% of total income for 1967-68. Hospital- $10,284,166 representing 11.0% of contribution income or 10.6% of total income for 1967-68. {: type="a" start="e"} 0. This information is not available. Expenditure of this nature would be included under (d) above. Primary Producers: Duties on Imports (Question No. 1891) {: #subdebate-40-32-s2 .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr Duthie: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: (!) What amount have Australian primary producers paid in import duties on imports used by them in rural production during the past 12 months. {: #subdebate-40-32-s3 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows; {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Because imports are not cross-classified according to their end-use and to import duties paid upon them it is not possible to provide the figure requested. {:#subdebate-40-33} #### Northern Territory Housing (Question No. 1897) {: #subdebate-40-33-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many (a) houses and (b) flats were built in (0 Darwin and (ii) the remainder of the Northern Territory last financial year for (A) sale and (B) rental by (1) the Administration, (II) 'he Housing Commission and (III) private builders. 1. How many persons were listed as al 30th June as waiting to (a) purchase or (b) rent (i) houses and (ii) flats provided by (A) the Administration, (B) the Housing Commission and (C) private builders. 2. What was the average waiting period in each case. 3. Have electoral officers ascertained the number of persons living in caravans in Darwin since his answer to me on 20 May (Hansard, page 2013) and can he now state how many and what percentage of the Darwin workforce have to live in caravans. {: #subdebate-40-33-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Houses and Flats: Notes: {: type="i" start="i"} 0. The Northern Territory Administration constructs houses for rental to Commonwealth public servants and the Housing Commission erects houses for rental to the public. In both cases sales are effected only after a tenancy has been entered into. The houses shown in the 'Sales' columns are not additional to the houses shown in the 'Rental' columns. They represent houses erected for rental but sold during 1968-69. 1. There are no records available to show which houses erected privately are for sale. 2. Individual flats are not sold as there is at present no provision in Northern Territory legislation for strata titles. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Persons waiting for houses and flats: Notes: {: type="i" start="i"} 0. The number of persons awaiting private houses or flats for sale or rent is not known. 1. No separate list is kept on persons waiting for fiats. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Average waiting period in months: Notes: {: type="i" start="i"} 0. There are no records available to show the waiting periods for houses or flats constructed by private builders. 1. For reasons mentioned in Note (i) to part (1) of the question, the figures above apply to rented accommodation only. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. No. The Bureau of Census and Statistics has, however, recently conducted a survey which showed: Caravans on residential property . . SOS Caravans in caravan parks . . 890 The average occupancy of caravans on residential property is estimated to be two persons. The number of persons living in caravans in caravan parks is not known. {:#subdebate-40-34} #### Wild Life Conservation (Question No. 1940) {: #subdebate-40-34-s0 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: asked the Minister representing the Minister for Customs and Excise, upon notice: Until the Conference of Commonwealth and State Ministers on the conservation of Australia's wild life reaches decisions to safeguard adequately our natural fauna, will the Government put a complete embargo on the export of kangaroo meat and hides. {: #subdebate-40-34-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The Minister for Customs and Excise has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question: In the absence of legislation in all States to prohibit the killing of kangaroos and the domestic use of kangaroo meat, the Commonwealth does not propose to introduce a control over that proportion of meat which is available for export. The export of kangaroo hides is only permitted subject to production of evidence that the kangaroos concerned were taken in accordance with State law. Under these circumstances, it is not proposed to impose further Commonwealth controls over their export. {:#subdebate-40-35} #### Royal Military College (Question No. 1963) {: #subdebate-40-35-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP ns asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Was it made clear to the members of the class which commenced at Duntroon in 1967 that they would graduate with a degree. 1. Was it generally understood that the class which graduated in 1967 was the last class which would graduate without a degree. 2. Was the 1967 class informed only in May 1969 that they would not be able to sit for a degree. 3. Has this meant that many or the majority, of this class have now lost interest and rarely attend lectures. 4. Have professors, lecturers and other members of staff accepted this changed attitude of the 1967 class. 5. Can he say whether it is commonly believed that the experience of this class has contributed to the behaviour at Duntroon which has now become subject to an inquiry. 6. Will he do everything in his power, by suitable postings or in some other way, to arrange for the members of the 1967 class to continue their studies for a degree. {: #subdebate-40-35-s1 .speaker-KIM} ##### Mr Lynch:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. No. At the time the members referred to entered the college the affiliation with the University of New South Wales had not been established and therefore they could not be enrolled for any of the University's degree courses. 1. If some members of the class which commenced in 1967 were under the misconception that they would graduate with degrees, it is possible that the misconception was shared by some of their predecessors in the 1965 and 1966 entries (i.e., 1968 and 1969 graduating classes. No official statement was ever issued by the College that the 1967, 1968, 1969 or 1970 graduating classes would graduate from the College with degrees. 2. No. Late in 1968 it became evident, however, that a number of cadets of this class were under the impression that they would graduate with degrees. To correct this impression the RMC Journal for 1968, issued in January 1969, contained in its editorial the following paragraphs: "The first students in the Faculty of Military Studies were those admitted from the Fourth Class in 1968; these are the first who can qualify for B.A. (Mil.) and B.Sc. (Mil.) degrees. The classes that entered in the four previous years will not be eligible for those degrees, for under the affiliation agreement the University accepted responsibility only for the courses conducted under its aegis*. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. Some members have lost interest in their academic studies to the extent that they put in only as much work as will enable them to pass at the level at which they are studying. This attitude applies mainly to those at Pass level, anil particularly those in the Arts Course. These cadets attend such lectures as they are required to attend by the academic department concerned; but where attendance is optional, they attend only sufficient lectures to qualify. However, a number studying at pass level and most of those studying at the merit level have not lost interest and rarely fail to attend lectures. {: type="1" start="5"} 0. No. Where, from the results of their studies, cadets are considered to be performing below their intellectual capacity, they are normally interviewed by an officer and, in most cases, this results in an improvement in their performance. Any change in attitude to the extent suggested by the question would be readily detected and the necessary remedial action taken. 1. There is no evidence that the experience of the 1967 Class has contributed to the behaviour which was the subject of the inquiry which formed the basis of my statement in the House on 25th September, 2. Prior to the affiliation with the University of New South Wales every encouragement was given to graduates of RMC to undertake tertiary education. This included full time degree courses in some cases and part time in others. This practice will be continued for the 1967 entry. {:#subdebate-40-36} #### Royal Military College (Question No. 1964) {: #subdebate-40-36-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP ns asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Were complaints made in 1967 about the relations between classes of students at Duntroon which have become known as 'bastardisation'. 1. Were these complaints then brushed aside by the Major-General Commandant as blatant and slanderous untruths which would be made only oy a psychopath or more likely someone with a sinister and subversive .motive. 2. Did the Commandant state that he dud reported the matter to the Minister for the Army and the Director-General of Security. 3. Were such reports made, were they investigated and what was the result. {: #subdebate-40-36-s1 .speaker-KIM} ##### Mr Lynch:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes, letters alleging cruel and sadistic treatment of cadets at Duntroon were received by some mothers of cadets in 1967. One such letter was brought to the notice of the Director-General of Security by the recipient. The Director-General of Security referred it to the Commandant. There were two specific allegations in the letter, both of which were thoroughly investigated by the Commandant and found to be groundless. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. , (3) and (4) The Commandant did not brush the complaints aside but investigated the allegations. He made a full report to the Minister and informed the Director-General of Security accordingly. There is no Army record of any further investigations. {:#subdebate-40-37} #### Education: Expenditure (Question No. 1971) {: #subdebate-40-37-s0 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is he able to say whether Canada spends 8.4% of its gross national product on education. 1. Does the Australian Government regard this percentage as excessive for Australia. 2. What reasons arc there to prevent an expenditure of this percentage of the gross national product on education in Australia. 3. What additional amount would need to be found this financial year to bring Australia's expenditure on education to the same percentage level as that spent by Canada. {: #subdebate-40-37-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. (2) (3) and (4) In April this year my Department published an article called 'Education and the Gross National Product'. This report showed that because of differences which exist between what items each country includes in its 'expenditure on education' figure it is not possible to make valid international comparison of educational expenditure. For example from the few details that are available it is known that Canada includes the cost of debt service, rehabilitation and repatriation training, language and citizenship classes for immigrants and education aid for students from other countries under the Colombo Plan and similar schemes, none of which is included in the Australian figure. In order to answer the honourable member's question it would be necessary for me to have precise details of what items of expenditure are included in the Canadian figure. These details are not available to me. Drought Relief {: #subdebate-40-37-s2 .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr GORTON:
LP -- On 21st August 1969 the honourable member for Stirling **(Mr Webb)** asked me whether the Western Australian Government had sought financial assistance for drought relief. I said I had no recollection of such a request and I now confirm that to date no application has been received. {:#subdebate-40-38} #### High Court of Australia (Question No. 1819) {: #subdebate-40-38-s0 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: asked the Attorney-General, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Will he give the House a solemn, unequivocal assurance that when he is considering the nomination of a sufficiently qualified barrister to fill the vacancy on the High Court of Australia caused by the death of **Mr Justice Sir Alan** Taylor, he will cast a glance beyond those barristers admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of New South Wales. 1. What qualifications have Sydney barristers got which barristers in other States do not have which entitles Sydney to hold six of the seven seats on the High Court Bench. 2. As a consequence of this situation, has he ever heard the High Court of Australia referred to as the High Court of Sydney. 3. ls there any relationship between the preponderance of New South Wales on the High Court and the fact that over the past twenty years the four Liberal and Country Party Prime Ministers have come from Victoria. 4. In the light of existing facts, will he do his best to persuade the Australian people that the High Court of Australia is not the High Court of Sydney, and that the Prime Minister of Australia is not the Prime Minister of Melbourne. {: #subdebate-40-38-s1 .speaker-JRN} ##### Mr Bowen:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >In answer to this question I would say only that whenever a vacancy occurs on the High Court or any other Commonwealth Court, the present Government endeavours to fill the vacancy by the appointment of the person best fitted for the position among those available for appointment.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 26 September 1969, viewed 6 July 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1969/19690926_reps_26_hor65/>.