House of Representatives
5 August 1958

22nd Parliament · 3rd Session

Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. John McLeay) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

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Prime Minister · Kooyong · LP

– Since the House last met we have had the sad news of the death of Senator William Patrick Ashley, who was very well known, of course, not only in the Senate, but also to all members of this House.

Senator Ashley was born in New South Wales in 1886, and he died on 27th June of this year at the age of 72. I think it proper to put on record his parliamentary career. He was elected to the Senate, for New South Wales, in 1937, and continued thereafter as a senator until the time of his death. He was a member of the Parlia mentary Joint Committee on War Expenditure from July to November, 1941. His party coming into office, he was Minister for Information from October, 1941, until September, 1943. He was PostmasterGeneral from October, 1941, to February, 1945. He was Minister for Supply and Shipping from February, 1945, to April, 1948. He was Minister for Shipping and Fuel from April, 1948, until December, 1949. He was Vice-President of the Executive Council from 1943 to 1945. He was the Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate from 1943 to 1946, and was Leader of the Government in the Senate from 1946 to 1949. He was the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 1949 to 1951, and he was a member of the Select Committee appointed by the Senate on the Constitution Alteration (Avoidance of Double Dissolution Deadlocks) Bill in 1950.

That, Mr. Speaker, is a very remarkable career of political service and political duty.

Early in his life he served in the New South Wales Bushmen’s Contingent in the South African war in 1901 and 1902.

Senator Ashley Bill Ashley, as he was familiarly known to all of us - was, 1 think I may say, a doughty fighter for his cause. He could deliver a shrewd blow and, I must say, take one in good spirit. He had, as I personally always found in my experience of him, a most friendly approach - almost a disarming approach. He was, above all things, a human being who understood humanity, and he responded to all the problems that humanity presented to him. I think, whatever our party affiliations may be, we all had a fondness for him which we shall long remember with great pleasure and of which I wish his widow and his married daughter to know from our lips.

He made many friends, and they were not all of his own party by any means. He enjoyed a wide field of friendship in this Parliament. We will all greatly miss him. I will miss him and those in the other place, the Senate, particularly will miss him because it was in that chamber that so much of his active and responsible political work, whether in Government or Opposition, was carried out.

Honorable members will notice that I have referred to the fact that he was, for some time, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, lt is perhaps not always understood that a man’s fighting for those things he believes in politically is not merely confined to the period when he is one side of the House rather than the other. Senator Ashley had a rich experience both ways, and for each period and in both circumstances he fought a good fight for the things he believed in. It is, I think, proper that, although he did not sit in this House, this House should place on record its appreciation of his work and convey an expression of its profound sympathy to his family. I move therefore -

That this House expresses its deep regret at the death of Senator the Honorable William Patrick Ashley, a senator for New South Wales since 1937 and a former Minister of the Crown, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service and tenders its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement.

Leader of the Opposition · Barton

– I second the motion that has been proposed by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies). We feel the deepest loss in the death of Bill Ashley. He had an extraordinary career, as the details alone are sufficient to show. I might add that he was very well known in sporting circles and’ extremely popular among all sections of the people including those in his own city of Lithgow as well as in Sydney and the other capital cities. It is an extraordinary fact that Senator Ashley served in the Boer War in the New South Wales Bushmen’s Contingent and that two other members who are still active in the Australian Labour party in this Parliament served with him. One is Senator Donald Cameron and the other the honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. George Lawson).

Bill Ashley had some of the great qualities of the serving soldier. He showed that in his civilian work, in Parliament and as a member of a previous government. He was a loyal mate and a great figure in the Labour movement. He never seemed to be missing from its meetings whether they were held in the city or the country. His activities placed a heavy burden on him as he grew older, but he always carried out his job. I think that not only his assistance to the Australian Labour party but also the services he performed, especially during the very difficult war-time period, should be remembered. He rendered great service to both Mr. Curtin and Mr. Chifley when they held office as Prime Minister.

Bill Ashley had something in him of the simplicity of the best type of Australian such as one might read about in the pages of Henry Lawson. He was in the New South Wales Bushmen’s Contingent in the Boer War and had some of the qualities of the old type of Australian bushman.

Mr. Speaker, we mourn his loss. We shall not look upon his like again. I hope that Mrs. Ashley and her family will take some comfort from the words of the Prime Minister and from the proposed resolution of this House which, I think, expresses the view of all members of the Parliament and of the people, whatever their politics may be.

Minister for Trade · Murray · CP

– I desire to associate the Australian Country party with the motion which has been proposed by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and seconded by the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt). With my colleagues of the Australian Country party, I join in mourning the loss of so distinguished a member of the Parliament as Senator Ashley. He was a man who gave great service to his own party and in the high offices that he held, he had opportunities, of which he availed himself, to give service to the Parliament and to the country.

Senator Ashley was a personality in his own right. He certainly made a mark upon the minds of those of us who have served in the Parliament with him. 1 am sure that he will be long remembered in circles wider than those of his own party which he served so well and which rewarded him with such distinguished office. He was clearly a man who was respected and trusted by his colleagues, for he was elected leader of his Government in the Senate and, subsequently, Leader of the Opposition in that chamber.

In my personal contacts with him, 1 found him warmly sympathetic to the interests of private individuals as he clearly and publicly was to the interests of causes. The Australian Country party joins in extending its sympathy to his widow and family.


– I associate myself with the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) and the Leader of the Australian Country party (Mr. McEwen). William Patrick Ashley came to the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia from the electorate of Macquarie. He came from my home town, Lithgow, and in Lithgow I had the rich experience, for many years, of being associated with him. I had the distinct privilege of being his Labour party nominator when he entered the Commonwealth Parliament. Much has happened since then.

In Lithgow and throughout the Macquarie electorate Bill Ashley, as he was known, was widely appreciated and greatly admired. He was a person of high resolve, and throughout his life he never equivocated. He made up his mind on principles and, having made up his mind, he forged ahead with the utmost determination. I look back over the political years - some 30 or more - and I recall that Senator Ashley - or Bill Ashley, or Alderman W. P. Ashley in Lithgow - was a great supporter and admirer of a former Premier of New South Wales, the Honorable James Dooley, who represented the constituency of Macquarie. In the course of time, he supported, with the same vigour and determination, Mr. Hamilton Knight, a former Minister of the Crown in New South Wales; and also the then Premier of New South Wales, Mr. Lang.

Subsequently, having been elected to the Senate, Bill Ashley became a great personal friend of my predecessor in the electorate of Macquarie, the late Mr. J. B. Chifley, and in the difficult problems facing the Australian Labour party throughout the war period he was his right-hand man. Wherever there was a difficult situation, William Patrick Ashley - Senator Bill Ashley - was called upon to assist to deal with it. I. think of him as a representative of the outback of this country and of the people of this country. I think of him as an alderman in Lithgow, working for the people there, dealing with their intimate problems. I recall that during the difficult days of the depression period, when Alderman Ashley was the Mayor of Lithgow, he allocated the entire mayoral allowance for a Christmas party in order that the children of the unemployed might have a Christmas treat - that their lives might be brightened by what he was able to do for them. He always thought of the little people. He thought of the masses. He thought of them again in Lithgow when he had a sports ground constructed there, and a grandstand, which was subsequently named the Ashley Stand in his honour. Throughout his life he concerned himself with the people and their intimate problems, lt is not surprising that in the political arena he was concerned about hospital benefits, medical benefits, prices, wages, housing and all matters that had a direct link with the people.

On my own behalf, and on behalf of the people whom I represent, who knew him so well, and appreciated his work, 1 thank the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Leader of the Australian Country party for their kind remarks. T am sure that the community, which appreciated Senator Ashley’s services so much, would like to join me in those remarks, and T am sure that the sentiments I have expressed here to-day will be echoed sympathetically throughout the whole of my electorate and, indeed, throughout the country.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their places.

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Prime Minister · Kooyong · LP

Mr. Speaker, during the recess the Senate, and the Parliament, sustained a second loss. Senator the Honorable Harrie Stephen Seward, of Western Australia, died on 23rd July at the age of 74. He, also, was a veteran in parliamentary service. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia for Pingelly in 1933. and he held his seat until March, 1950. He was Minister for Railways and Transport in Western Australia from 1947 to 1950. He was elected to the Senate for Western Australia in 1951, and in that House he was a member of various committees - the Printing Committee, the Joint Committee on Public Accounts, and the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances.

Before he entered parliament he served in the first world war, having enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces in 1915. He served in France, was commissioned in 1916, and was invalided home to Australia in 1917. Apart from his parliamentary life, he was a farmer of quality and standing at Pingelly, in Western Australia.

Sir, it is, perhaps, not always understood by people outside of Parliament that no man can devote, as Senator Seward did. a quarter of a century to parliamentary service of the people without undertaking great tasks and undergoing great strains. Senator Seward had, as I always felt whenever I met him and heard him or spoke with him, a very grave sense of public affairs. He took public affairs most seriously. He had a remarkably strong sense of duty. In war and in peace he had an unsurpassed sense of responsibility. It is a great thing that a man should earn a reputation for such qualities. Western Australia knew him very well because he had a long experience in the Parliament of that State, but he was in this Parliament long enough for everybody to appreciate the quality of his mind, the quality of his character, and the grave and responsible spirit that he brought to bear on his public duties. We all were very distressed when news came of the illness which ultimately took Senator Seward away. In the Government parties, when they met, very warm remarks were made about him, and fervent wishes were extended unto him through his wife. I would like her to know, as I am sure honorable members all round the House would like her to know, how much we admired Senator Seward, how much gratitude we have for the work that he did, and how deeply we feel for her. Sir,I move -

That this House expresses its deep regret al the death of Senator the Honorable Harrie Stephen Seward, a senator for Western Australia and former Western Australian Minister of State, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service, and tenders ils profound sympathy to his widow in her bereavement.

Leader of the Opposition · Barton

– On behalf of the Opposition, I support the motion proposed by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies). Honorable members on this side of the House did not have the same opportunities as did members of the Liberal party and the Australian Country party of close association with Senator Seward, and were not so well acquainted with him. His sense of dignity and his strong sense of duty were always displayed, as was shown in his speeches. He rendered great service to the nation in World War I., and, politically, he served his State, as well as the Commonwealth, becoming a Minister of the Crown in Western Australia. On behalf of the Opposition, I join in this tribute to the late senator, and express the hope that his widow will take comfort from this evidence of the regard for his great public services held by the people who knew him in the Parliament and know how well he served his State and the nation.

Minister for Trade · Murray · CP

Mr. Speaker, I desire to record for myself and my colleagues of the Australian Country party our deep sense of loss at the passing of Senator Seward, and to join in supporting the motion proposed by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and seconded by the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt). Senator Harrie Seward was a very distinguished member of the political party to which T belong. He was also a very distinguished Western Australian and a very great citizen of Australia. It is true, as the Leader of the Opposition has said, that he was not so long in the Commonwealth Parliament that all had full opportunity to measure and assess his work, but he was a man who had served his State of Western Australia, the primary industries and, in politics, the Australian Country party for very many years with great devotion, and with great achievement for the party and the interests with which he concerned himself.

Senator Seward left a mark of distinction on everything that he touched. He served for a period in the field of banking, and then went farming with his brother. He was a good farmer, and, inevitably, he graduated into the activities designed to strengthen primary-producing interests. It is notable that the organizations that grew from those interests perhaps first appeared in Western Australia, and certainly have never been stronger anywhere in Australia than there. The late senator was one of a group of very distinguished originators of the organized movements to promote the well-being of the primary industries, and it was only a natural consequence that he should have graduated from those movements to the political field, in which he served with the same devotion as he served his country in war-time.

It is on record that Senator Seward not only was wounded in France in World War I., returned to Australia and was discharged, but also re-enlisted and went overseas on active service for a second time. That is symptomatic of the unflagging devotion that Senator Seward exhibited in anything to which he put his mind. He was a good Western Australian Minister, a very good senator, and a very good member of the Australian Country party. We mourn his loss very greatly. We will remember him as an example, and we extend our very warmest sympathy to Mrs. Seward in her very great loss.

Port Adelaide

– I desire to speak on this motion as a colleague of the late Senator Seward, since 1952, on the Public Accounts Committee. The Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), in speaking of Senator Seward’s high sense of public responsibility, spoke very truly indeed. Throughout all the inquiries that the committee made, on all occasions we found him to be a man who would concentrate on a problem, and deal with it not as a party representative, but as a responsible member of the committee. I remember, Sir, that when our chairman, the honorable member for Warringah (Mr. Bland), was ill, and I had to take over as vice-chairman of the committee, 1 appreciated very keenly the support given by Senator Seward in our endeavours to carry on with the presentation of a report that had been prepared by the chairman and had to be gone through by the committee.

Senator Seward was indeed a man who would apply himself to the proposition before him. He had a keen sense of responsibility in regard to the spending of public moneys. He was not just a politician who, to get big things done, was prepared to spend any amount of money. He wanted to see the moneys of the people looked after in a proper way. All our members had a very kindly feeling for him. We did, of course, communicate with Mrs. Seward on his death, but we felt it right and proper that some one should on this occasion refer to his special work on that committee. Unlike the Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen), I do not know of Senator Seward’s earlier activities in Western Australia. To me, he was one of the old school of politicians. When we say that a man is one of the old school of politicians, we mean that we look upon that man very highly indeed. I support the remarks that have been made, and I hope that Mrs. Seward will derive some little comfort from what is being said and done in Parliament to-day.


– As one whose association with Senator Seward extended back to the days prior to his entry into the political field - the days to which the Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) referred - I join in the expressions of sympathy to his widow, and voice the regret that the people of Western Australia feel at the passing of this man. I also express my humble thanks to this House for acknowledging his work. I was associated with the late senator in this Parliament and in the State Parliament, and, earlier, in the days when we were building a political organization for a specific purpose. He never for a moment sought gain for himself in the work which, he did. The records of our organization in Western Australia show that for years he gave his services in an entirely honorary capacity, as an organizer and as an unpaid secretary of a State-wide organization, in days when the services of such men were urgently needed.

Harrie Seward, few people realize, was one of the most devout Christians that it has been my privilege in life to meet. He was a member of the Roman Catholic faith, and he practised his religion unostentatiously, never at any time forcing his ideas into the minds of other people. When travelling together I occasionally shared a room with him. and, before climbing into bed, he would, without self-consciousness, kneel, beside it to say his prayers. That was typical of him, and it shows that he built his life completely upon a Christian belief, firm in his faith and firm in his desire to serve his God and his fellow men, and to pay appropriate rent for the place that he occupied in this world.

Different people treasure different experiences in their lives. I count among my greatest treasures the privilege of meeting, being acquainted and working with, and being inspired by, people like the late senator. These are treasures that no one can take from me.

Harrie Seward, Sir, in his political life was just as faithful, sincere and unostentatious as he was with his Christian beliefs. He was impatient with injustice. In fact, “ impatient “ is hardly an appropriate word to describe his feelings on matters involving injustice. He had a cause. He fought for that cause and he fought for justice. He hated hypocrisy, and to his mind there was no greater example of hypocrisy than the oft-repeated, shallow promise to give sympathetic consideration to matters requiring immediate action. In such cases Senator Seward threw some penetrating darts, which could, and often did, hurt those at whom they were directed.

Western Australia, in particular, has lost a very good man. The late senator was bom in Victoria, Sir, and was proud of that State. He was also proud of the State which he came to call his own, but he never lost his love for Victoria, just as he never lost his eagerness to serve this country and to serve the State which eventually gave him adoption.

This Parliament, the people of the Commonwealth and particularly the people of Western Australia suffer a loss, but no one, Sir, suffers so great a loss as those of us who were privileged to be with Senator Seward c?uring his lifetime of service. I join with the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Australian Country party in extending sympathy to his widow and to the people of Western Australia in their loss.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their places.

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Prime Minister · Kooyong · LP

Mr Speaker, before suggesting to you that the House should adjourn until 8 o’clock as a tribute of respect to the memory of those two parliamentary colleagues who died while members of this Parliament, 1 want to make a brief reference to the fact that a former member of this House - who was a member, as one realizes almost with surprise, many years ago - the Honorable Horace Key worth Nock, is dead and, indeed, is to-day being buried.

Mr. Nock sat in this House from 1931 to 1940. It seems to those of us who were here during that time, or for some part of that time, not very long ago. Therefore, as I say, it is rather surprising for one to realize that it is eighteen years since he sat here. He was the member for Riverina; he was Minister without portfolio for a period during my first term of office as Prime Minister and he was a temporary chairman of committees from November, 1935, to September, 1937.

Apart altogether from his parliamentary work, which was remarkably active and vigorous, he was a former federal secretary of the Australian Country party and he was prominent, I need hardly say, for many years in organizations associated with primary production. He died at the age of 79, an age which I had not thought he had reached. Those of us who remember him well and with great affection will be prepared to admit that he took more than a passing interest in the problems of the wheat industry and other primary industries. He was celebrated for it. He had a fertility of mind, a vigour of advocacy and a persistency in dealing with these matters which, I am sure, made him a creditor of many industries, particularly the rural industries and notably so in his own State of New South Wales.

He was a very fine man and a very vigorous man, and those of us who sat here at that time - we are now, perhaps, a slightly diminishing band - will always remember him with great regard and great fondness. I learned of his death with profound regret - 1 am sure that we all did - and I thought it would be in conformity with the wishes of the House if I were to indicate on its behalf that on this occasion we have taken note of his death, that we have expressed our regret to learn of it and that we would like to convey an expression of our very sincere sympathy to his two sons and his daughter, all of whom reside in New South Wales. I am sure they will take some comfort from the fact that they inherit a good name and a good reputation.

Leader of the Opposition · Barton

– On behalf of the Opposition I support the suggestion of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and ask him to convey a message of sympathy to the relatives of the late Mr. Nock. I did not have the honour of knowing Mr. Nock personally, but I do know of his work on behalf of Australia in the wheat industry; and I think it is most appropriate that a message of the kind suggested by the Prime Minister should be conveyed to his relatives.

Minister for Trade · Murray · CP

– I desire to thank the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) for his words and his suggestion and also the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) for joining with the Prime Minister in the idea of conveying the regrets of the House on the passing of Mr. Horace Nock.

Mr. Nock was a very distinguished member of the Australian Country party both on the organizational side and1 on its political side in this Parliament. He was also a very distinguished leader of the wheat industry. Graduating, as he did, from being a good practical farmer to concerning himself, almost naturally, with the marketing problems of the wheat industry, he was truly one of the leaders of this movement during a decade, at least, of controversy and a formative period of policies which were of great importance not only to that industry but also to this country as a whole.

Horace Nock will always be remembered for his work for the wheat industry; it was constructive, most persistent and fruitful. He was one of the originators of the idea of a home consumption’ price of wheat, even before stabilization plans became a practical reality. In that work he has left a memory and, certainly, a monument behind him.

He was a persistent and devoted worker for the Australian Country party, one who left evidence of achievement and example. We will remember him as a colleague in this Parliament who set an example of devotion to a cause and of intense loyalty to his party. This day brings sad memories to all of us who worked with Horace Nock, this great Country party man, for so long a period of years.


– Realizing, from very recent experience, the extraordinary measure of comfort to the bereaved that can come from the voluntary expressions of sympathy in bereavement, I trust that our existing practice which we are following today will never be altered in this Parliament. I hope that always some note will be taken of the work of members and former members when, unfortunately, they fall by the wayside.

It is not often, at one sitting of this Parliament - it has never before happened in my memory - that three members of the Parliament, each of whom had distinguished and long careers in politics and held ministerial office either in Federal or State Parliaments, should be commemorated on the one day. Surely it is worth while that we should desist, for a short space of time, from the ordinary hurry-scurry of our political life and commemorate them in reverence so that everyone will know how highly their work has been appreciated.

Each of these three distinguished gentlemen gave very great service for a very long period to the Parliament of this country, both inside and outside it, and I am sure that not one of them left any ill will behind him. Each of them has been very highly esteemed here, and his work has been so agreeable to the whole of the Parliament and1, I think, the people of Australia generally, that it is well worth recognition.

I felt that I should say a word, myself, about Horace Nock. I was a friend of these three men. I was intimately connected with them by reason of the fact that they , all Came to me with their medical troubles when they were in a bit of a jam. Consequently, I really knew them pretty well and they were all on very good terms with me. Nobody can afford to quarrel with his doctor. I was especially indebted to Mr. Nock at one period of my life when my son was killed and it looked as if the whole management of my affairs would be so disturbed that I would not be able to remain in the Parliament. In fact, I was away for a year. Mr. Nock, with his wealth of experience, came and stayed with me for several months in order to try to make certain that we Would be able to put everything in order. Ever since, I have found that the generosity and the readiness to help that he displayed to me were displayed to every organization in which he was interested and to every cause he adopted.

As. the Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) has said, Mr. Nock was one of the foundation members of the Australian Country party. He was at different times president and secretary of the Farmers and Settlers Association in its very early days. He was a very good farmer, and 30 years ago he was using farming methods that are still considered advanced. He was pushing the interests of farmers all the time in order to make sure that the organization of which he was part, and the people who were working with him. would be recognized in the manner they deserved, and also to ensure that farmers would enjoy the prosperity that would enable them to give employment to others.

I myself feel that we would be very wise to extend the practice we follow on such sad occasions as this, when we express our sympathy with the relatives of our late colleagues and pay tribute to the work and lives of these colleagues, then adjourn for a few hours. I think it would be a very good thing if the practice of commemorating these people were maintained in its fulness, because I am sure that the measure of comfort provided by this public expression of sympathy is worth a great deal; is worth more, in fact, than those who have not been the recipients of it can realize.


– I feel sure that the suggestion made by the Prime Minister meets with the concurrence of the House. As a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased senators the sitting is suspended, and the Chair will be resumed at 8 p.m.

Sitting suspended from 3.47 to 8 p.m.

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Messages from the Governor-General reported transmitting Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year ending 30th June, 1959; and recommending an appropriation of the Consolidated Revenue Fund in accordance with those Estimates, including an appropriation of that Fund, for the purposes of the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve established by the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve Act 1955, to the extent of the sum of One hundred and two million pounds, being the sum specified in relation to those purposes under the heading “ Special Appropriations “ in those Estimates; and transmitting Estimates of Additions, New Works and Other Services involving Capital Expenditure for the year ending 30th June, 1959; and recommending appropriations accordingly.

Ordered to be printed, and referred to the Committee of Supply forthwith.

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BUDGET 1958-59

In Committee of Supply:

Treasurer · McPhersonTreasurer · CP

– I desire to place before the House to-night estimates of receipts and expenditure for the financial year 1958- 59. This year the Government is budgeting for an overall cash deficiency of £110,000,000. That is to say, we expect that the total receipts of the Commonwealth from revenue, public borrowings and other usual sources will fall short of our total expenditure commitments by £110,000,000, and we plan to finance that gaD by borrowing from the central bank. We are doing this advisedly because we judge that, in the circumstances of our economy, expansive action of that kind is more appropriate than the conventional course of trying to match total receipts and total outgoings. We believe that what we are doing will materi ally support business investment and consumer spending and so help to offset the effects of continued low export earnings.

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During 1957-58. the financial year just closed, our economy, taken as a whole, made notable progress. Total employment rose and, although unemployment increased to some extent, it did not at any stage reach large proportions. In manufacturing, a great many industries increased output - very considerably in some cases - and, of the other industries, the great majority succeeded in keeping output high. Private investment expenditure is estimated to have increased during the year by more than 7 per cent. The rate of dwelling construction rose and other forms of building activity remained high. There was a large increase in purchases of motor vehicles. Public works nearly everywhere made good headway - this was due largely to more adequate supplies of labour, equipment and materials. Total consumption expenditure for the year is estimated to have been some 7 per cent, greater than in 1956-57.

These are very satisfactory results and they were achieved despite a heavy fall in exports and farm income. Through drought in some of the chief grazing areas, the wool clip in 1957-58 was much smaller than in the year before and the wheat crop was poor. Meanwhile, the prices of wool, meat and dairy products fell sharply as also did prices of metals. Our total exports for the year were £814,000,000 whereas in 1956-57 they were £978,000,000. Internally, of course, this struck hard at the position of primary producers, who were affected also by cost increases and other factors. In total, farm income fell by nearly £180,000,000 or about one-third of farm income in 1956-57.

It is undoubtedly significant that, notwithstanding this setback to the rural industries, the economy as a whole continued to advance as strongly as it did. To my mind this demonstrates certain facts of great importance. One is that the expansionary forces which have operated in this country during recent years have great strength and have imparted a high degree of resilience to our economy. Because of this, and because our economy is now much more diversified than formerly, it is better able to withstand external shocks than it once was. Over and above this, last year showed how much can be done by timely and well-judged action in the fields of monetary and budget policy to offset adverse trends and support the initiatives that make for local expansion. For the Government is entitled to recall how, in its Budget for 1957-58, it provided for substantial tax concessions, for increased social service payments, for larger payments to the States and larger works expenditures - all of which unquestionably helped to sustain and increase levels of community spending and provide opportunities and incentives for private enterprise. I may also recall that, even before 1957-58 had begun, restraints on bank lending were being eased and that process was carried on, stage by stage, throughout the financial year. In fact, during the twelve months to June last, advances of the major trading banks increased by some £77,000,000.

In the knowledge of those achievements last year we can, I think, face up with greater confidence to the task ahead of us. lt is, essentially, the task of maintaining a steady rate of growth in Australia, at the same time preserving stability of prices and costs. We know that there is a strong and persistent impetus to expansion within our economy; the important thing is to keep it going. This is what we want to do and our experience suggests that it should be possible. But I do not think we should underrate the difficulties of what we are attempting. Within Australia conditions are, in the main, favorable; externally they are much less so and, for the present, show little sign of improvement.

In the United States of America, where they have had a recession deeper than any since the war, a few indications of revival have lately appeared but, as yet, there seems little prospect of substantial recovery before the end of 1958. In the United Kingdom various restraints have lately been relaxed but such expansion as may take place there in the next few months is not expected to be large. In Western Europe, where activity has remained high, perhaps the most to be expected for the time being is that the present position will be held. Against this background, few authorities foresee any strong upturn during the coming months in world prices of raw materials and we would certainly not be justified in counting upon any major rise in the prices of our chief exports.

If that is to be the way of things, we have to envisage another year of comparatively low export income, lt is true that the season has been reasonably good and that large crops of wheat and sugar are expected. On the other hand, it is not thought that the wool clip this year will be as large as last year. Moreover, in the first half of 1957-58, export income was maintained by carry-over shipments of wool sold at high prices in the previous year and by drawing upon stocks of wheat. Resources of that kind are not available to the same extent this year. Meanwhile the Government has said that it intends, if possible, to maintain imports at about £800,000,000 f.o.b., which is approximately the same as in 1957-58, and we certainly hope that we will be able to do this. Neither the Government nor, I imagine, anyone else, has any wish to turn again to the expedient of tightening import restrictions. So far, our external position has been supported by a fairly strong inflow of private capital from overseas and, most fortunately, our international reserves are still reasonably high. At 30th June last they stood at £525,000,000 so that even if, as seems likely, they have to be drawn upon fairly heavily this year, we still have a considerable way to go before any action to reduce imports will become necessary. At the same time it is clear that we have to get along with a level of imports no higher than the present, and we must therefore be careful to avoid doing anything that would materially accentuate demand for imports.

Whilst it may be possible, however, with careful handling, to hold our external position for some time to come, a prolonged spell of low export earnings could not fail to have harmful effects, perhaps of increasing severity, upon our internal economy. As the Government sees the position, the chance that this may happen constitutes the chief potential difficulty of the period ahead. Heavily though the rural industries were hit by the fall in incomes during 1957-58. the blow was mitigated by the fact that, for some producers at any rate, incomes in the previous year, 1956-57, were exceptionally high. As time has gone on, however, this cushioning effect has necessarily diminished. Reserves have been drawn upon and it has also to be remembered that producers in some areas have had to contend with drought and the additional costs which drought entails.

Reduced incomes for primary producers must mean less spending on their part and that, in turn, must react against the industries and trades which serve the needs of people in rural areas. Unless this is offset in other directions it must have a dampening effect on business generally. I said earlier that our central aim must be to keep up a steady rate of expansion which means that employment, investment, production and sales must continue to rise. The essential problem is to ensure that this does happen notwithstanding the effects which lower rural incomes and spending may have.

There must, in other words, be an enlargement of activity sufficiently widespread to ensure employment opportunities for additional labour and absorption of the increased output of mills and factories. This, in turn, requires some increase both in total expenditure and in each of the main sectors of the expenditure - private and public investment expenditure and expenditure on finished goods and services. Such a rise in expenditure must be sufficient to support the necessary increase in activity but not more than that. We do not want to promote such a growth in spending as will, at a somewhat later stage, give rise to excessive demands for goods and resources and, in particular, for imported goods.

page 12


Such then, is the broad context of economic conditions and prospects within which the Government has had to frame its financial plans for 1958-59. In our approach to this task we have, as I have said, taken as our primary aim the general advancement of the economy under stable conditions.

In our present financial situation the dominant fact is that, for the first time in many years, the total revenues of the Commonwealth for the current year are estimated to be less than the actual revenues of the previous year. There are three chief reasons for this. One is that revenue last year was. without doubt, exceptionally high. I drew attention to this in my Budget Speech for 1957-58 when I pointed out that our buoyant prospects for that year owed a great deal to the good fortune of a high wool market in 1956-57. The second reason is that, in the current year, income tax, which is our largest source of revenue, will reflect the heavy fall in primary producers’ incomes during 1957-58. The third reason is that, this year, our revenues must show a fullyear effect of the substantial tax concessions which the Government made in its 1957-58 Budget. I may recall that, although these tax concessions were estimated to cost revenue some £28,000,000 in 1957-58, they were also estimated to have a full-year cost of some £57,000,000. Included in that total were reductions in company tax and pay-roll tax and the introduction of a revised basis for depreciation allowances which were estimated to confer upon trade and industry this year direct benefits amounting to £44,000,000. In other words, whilst these various tax concessions were brought down in the last Budget and had a certain expansive effect last year, they assume a much greater magnitude and will have a much greater expansive effect in the current financial year.

Full details of revenue and expenditure estimates for the current financial year are set out in Statement No. 3, attached to the Budget Speech. There will also be found in Statement No. 1 details of revenue and expenditure in 1957-58. With the concurrence of honorable members I shall have these and other statements referred to in my speech incorporated in Hansard.

Very briefly, whilst revenue from most of the other taxes is expected to increase this year, revenue from Income Tax on individuals and companies is estimated to be £40,000,000 less than in 1957-58. Revenue from business undertakings is estimated to be about £7,000,000 larger than last year and Miscellaneous Revenue to be about £2.000,000 smaller. The estimate of total revenue is about £9,000,000 less than actual revenue in 1957-58.

Revenue - and especially taxation revenue - is, of course, the principal Commonwealth source of finance. Borrowings are always very difficult to predict, but we have no reason to expect that we can raise more this year from all sources, local and overseas, than we did last year when our ordinary loan raisings yielded £115,000,000.

Apart from revenue and loan money, it is possible that there will be available, for purposes of redeeming matured debt, current receipts of the National Debt Sinking Fund up to an amount of £45,000,000. The only other funds at present in sight are some small accretions to Trust Account balances, amounting, perhaps, to a net total of £3,000,000.

On the expenditure side, there are three main elements in the position. One is an increase in the normal expenditures of the Commonwealth itself. A second is the commitment we have to assist the Loan Council borrowing programmes. The third is the problem of debt redemptions - this year a much larger element than it has been hitherto. I should like to say something on each of these three matters.

The items of Commonwealth expenditure ordinarily charged to Consolidated Revenue show a total increase of approximately £71,000,000. Of this, about £6,000,000 represents increased business undertaking expenditure and is covered by increased business undertaking revenue. Of the £65,000,000 increase which this leaves, some £45,000,000 is accounted for by the three items of payments to the States, National Welfare Fund payments and War and Repatriation.

The increase of £16,900,000 for payments, to the States includes the amount of £15.000,000 which the Commonwealth has undertaken to add this year to the Tax Reimbursement Grants and, having in mind all that has been said about the States not getting a fair share of Income Tax proceeds, I think it is fair to point out that we are making this large addition to State resources in a year when our total revenue from Income Tax is expected to be £40,000,000 less. In other words, revenue falls heavily but Tax Grants rise. Commonwealth Aid Roads Payments are estimated to b° £2,600,000 greater this year. Various other payments may, in total, be nearly £1,000,000 less.

Social Service payments are estimated to increase by £26,300,000 and it is very important to realize how this increase comes about. One reason is that the Government is proposing some additional benefits, of which T shall give details later, which are estimated to cost £3,900,000 in this financial year. Another reason is that there will this year be five twelve-weekly payments of Child Endowment. This accounts for £6,400,000. But some £9,500,000 of the total increase is due simply and solely to the fact that the number of beneficiaries under the various schemes is continually increasing and that, in other ways, the demand for medical and health services is widening. Over and above this is the fact that the Government last year made certain additions to pension rates and other benefits. Those concessions were estimated to cost £9,500,000 in the last financial year; this year they are estimated to cost £16,000,000, a rise of £6,500,000.

Much the same applies to the estimated increase of £2,000,000 in War and Repatriation expenditure. Here also we are making provision for some additional benefits, and here again the estimate shows the effect for a full year of increased benefits granted in the 1957-58 Budget. The remaining items ordinarily charged to Consolidated Revenue, other than these, show a total increase of approximately £20,000,000.

The Government is this year again providing £190,000,000 for Defence. Last year there was a short-fall in defence expenditure of nearly £5,000,000, due in large part to delays in the construction of defence works and in the acquisition of supplies and equipment, including aircraft. This year a substantial amount will be required to meet commitments incurred in previous years. Increased rates of pay and allowances for Service personnel, which follow upon the recommendation of the Allison Committee, will also involve additional expenditure.

Total expenditure on Capital Works and Services is estimated to be £5,000,000 greater this year. Items for which increased provision is sought include the Snowy Mountains Authority, £1,150,000, Post Office Technical Equipment, £1,500,000, the National Capital Development Commission, £2,200,000, and the AlburyMelbourne Railway, £1,200,000. On a number of other items expenditure this year is expected to be lower than in 1957-58.

The Departmental item shows an estimated increase of £5,260,000. This includes an increase of £1,865,000 for the Civil Aviation Department, which in turn covers £670,000 for payment to local authorities, which have developed aerodromes, £500,000 for subsidies on air services (of which £300,000 was previously provided in the Post Office vote), an increase of £183,000 for Civil Aviation facilities and an increase of £112,000 in the contribution towards ground facilities in the Pacific area. An additional £648,000 is provided for investigational work by the Commonwealth Scientific, Industrial and Research Organization and £343,000 for the Bureau of Census and Statistics, mainly to cover additional expenditure arising from the integration of State statistical services. The administrative costs of all Departments will» of course, be increased by the rise of 5s. per week in the Federal Basic Wage awarded by the Industrial Commission, which became effective in May.

The second main element on the expenditure side is, as I have said, the undertaking given by the Commonwealth at the Loan Council meeting in May to support, subject to certain conditions, a governmental borrowing programme of £210,000,000 for State works and housing in 1958-59. This is an increase of £10,000,000 on the programme of last year. We regard it as generally desirable to keep the level of constructional activity at least as high as that of last year, and, with additional labour becoming available, some increase in the borrowing programme appeared to be warranted. On the other hand, as I have said earlier, we do not think at this stage that we can count on raising any greater amount of loan money than in 1957-58 when our ordinary loan raisings yielded £115,000,000. This means that, once again, the Commonwealth will probably have to provide from its own resources a very substantial amount of assistance for the Loan Council programmes. In addition, we will need an amount, estimated at £7,000,000, for War Service Land Settlement. How much these commitments will, in total, require it is, of course, impossible to estimate precisely, but it seems advisable to make substantial provision towards meeting them. We are accordingly seeking for the purpose an appropriation of £102,000,000 from Consolidated Revenue to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve.

Redemptions of maturing debt, which constitute the third main expenditure element of which I have spoken, have emerged rapidly in recent years to become a major factor in our overall financial problem. On earlier occasions I have referred to the very large amount of debt, a great part of it arising fom 1939-45 war borrowings, which falls due in the next few years; and it was with this problem in view that the Government some years ago established the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. In successive years appropriations to the Reserve have been made from Consolidated Revenue, the money being temporarily invested - for the most part in Special Loans raised to assist Loan Council programmes. Through the operations of the Reserve it has been possible to effect a very large reduction in the amount of early-maturing debt. Up to 30th June last the Reserve had, in fact, acquired and cancelled securities totalling more than £200,000,000, nearly all of which would have matured ;n the period between 1956-57 and 1961-62. But the amount of debt outstanding remains very large and in the current financial year £337,000,000 falls due in Australia and £26,000,000 in London. Of the Australian debt.’some £291,000,000 is held outside the Commonwealth Trust Fund and, since p great part of it is war debt, the number of individual holders is large. The Government will, of course, do its utmost to convert the maturing loans into new loans and we hope that we will have the strong support of institutions and the public in our efforts to do so. In the nature of things, however, we have to expect that a considerable number of holders will want to obtain cash for their securities as they fall due, so that the total amount redeemed1 may be formidable. Last year redemptions of securities offered for conversion totalled £59,000,000. This year, because the maturing debt is much more widely held, it seems probable that the amount redeemed will be considerably larger. In addition, provision has again to be made for maturing savings certificates. It is not possible, of course, to make any exact estimate at this stage but we have thought that, for purposes of our financial reckoning, we should not put the total amount lower than £80,000,000. Towards meeting this we estimate that the National Debt Sinking Fund may have available, from current receipts, up to £45,000,000. It is proposed that the remainder will be met by drawing upon the accumulated balances of the sinking fund and of the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. For that purpose, investments of these two funds will have to be realized and that means, in effect, obtaining cash from the Central Bank, since to sell securities elsewhere could very well militate against our efforts to raise new loans or to convert existing loans.

I can now bring together the principal factors in our prospective overall financial position for 1958-59. Very briefly, we estimate that we will have available, on the one hand, revenue of £1,302,000,000, borrowings of perhaps £115,000,000, net Sinking Fund receipts of £45,000,000 and minor Trust Fund balances of £3,000,000. This makes a total of £1,465,000 for resources available in cash during the year. On the other hand, expenditure ordinarily charged to Consolidated Revenue is estimated at £1,278,000,000. The Loan Council borrowing programmes involve an amount of £210,000,000 and War Service Land Settlement an amount of £7,000,000. Besides this, we are estimating debt redemptions in the year at £80,000,000 which makes, in all, an estimated amount of £1,575,000,000 for which cash will be required. If cash resources are £1,465,000,000 and cash requirements £1,575,000,000, the estimated overall deficiency becomes £110,000,000. These estimates of our overall financial position are set out in detail in Statement No. 2 attached to the Budget Sp’eech. I should perhaps emphasize that since, in making estimates of this kind, we have to take account of many imponderable factors, they are necessarily subject to a margain of uncertainty. That applies particularly to such items as the amount of loan raisings and the amount of debt redemptions. The estimates have, however, been made with the greatest possible care in the light of all the information available to the Government. Further details of our estimated loan transactions in 1958-59 are given in Statement No. 4.

As I mentioned earlier, it is proposed to make an appropriation of £102,000,000 from Consolidated Revenue to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. Defence expenditure to an amount of £78.000,000 will be charged to Loan Fund where it will be financed from the proceeds of treasury-bills. The amount of defence expenditure charged to Consolidated Revenue therefore becomes £112,000,000. It is intended that all redemptions of maturing debt will be made from the National Debt Sinking Fund and the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. Insofar as it becomes necessary for that purpose to realize investments held by these two- funds, a further issue of treasury-bills will be required, lt is estimated that the total increase in outstanding treasury-bills during 1958-59 will be approximately the same as the estimated cash deficiency - that is to say, £110,000,000.

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I said at the beginning of my speech that the Government proposed to budget for an overall cash deficiency of £110,000,000 and I have since explained how the deficiency has arisen. I now wish to outline the considerations which have guided us in reaching this decision.

First of all, we have shaped our policy on the Budget as part of a wider economic policy. The Budget is of course a highly important element in that policy - perhaps the most important of all - but it is not the only one. For example, monetary and banking policy has a great influence on the position and there, as I have said, the restraints on bank lending imposed under earlier conditions have been relaxed and the Central Bank has been assisting the trading banks, by keeping up the level of their liquid assets, to increase their lending to trade and industry. 0

Consistently also with our general policy the Government has decided to maintain this year the same target for immigration as in recent years - that is to say a gross intake of 115,000 migrants for the twelve months. The arguments in favour of doing this are, I think, quite overwhelming. On the one hand, immigration is, without doubt, a powerful influence in sustaining demand - demand both for capital facilities and for consumption goods. It would therefore be a great mistake at this time when, in one sector of the economy, there is a shrinkage of demand, to cut the intake of migrants. On the other hand, the steady growth of population, in which immigration plays such an important part, has undoubtedly become the basis of forward planning by many people in industry and trade. They are looking to increased population to provide wider markets in the future and it is important that they should feel secure in that expectation.

In yet another field, the Government is intensifying its efforts to secure greater outlets for our exports abroad. It believes that, far from being discouraged by the current difficulties of world trade, it should take these difficulties as a stronger challenge to be up and doing. Accordingly, it is exploring market possibilities in more and more countries, encouraging trade missions, negotiating with various countries to secure better treatment for our exports and striving by every means at hand to combat policies, such as agricultural protectionism, surplus disposals and other exports on uneconomic terms, which are restricting opportunities for our trade overseas.

I have cited these matters to illustrate the breadth, diversity and consistency of the policies the Government is following. Our policy on the Budget has its place in that general pattern. Essentially, we believe, our internal position is sound - and not merely sound but highly progressive. Industry, in all its main sectors, is doing a tremendous job. If the primary industries are currently suffering a set-back, it is no fault of the primary industries themselves. For. taking them as a whole, their achievement in recent years has been remarkable in point of increased output, greater capacity for production, efficiency and conservation of resources. Equally can that be said of manufacturing where, as we all know, astonishing progress has been, and is being, made in establishing new industries, applying new processes and techniques and building foundations for still greater development. There has also been great progress in mining, a development which we should particularly welcome because of the promise it holds for increased exports. All these constitute the great processes of growth which must be kept moving.

Something over two years ago, when, for various reasons, total demand had become excessive and there was undue strain on resources, the Government shaped its budgetary policy to reduce demand and ease the pressure on resources. It brought down additional taxation to ensure that, overall, the inflow of public funds would match the outgoings and, if need be, show a surplus. That policy was unquestionably the right one for the time. To-day, conditions are somewhat different. Labour is no longer scarce as it was then; additional labour is coming forward and will have to be absorbed. Demand for goods is no longer excessive; in the important rural sector, indeed, demand has contracted and may possibly contract still further.

These then are the grounds on which the Government has decided to carry an overall deficiency in this financial year. As I have shown, the deficiency is, in part, due to a short-fall in revenue which, in itself, follows upon a drop in rural incomes. That is ground we can reasonably hope to recover before too great a time has passed. Partly also it is the result of tax concessions made by the Government last year which will, in this year, yield their full benefit to industry and commerce. The rise in expenditures of various kinds will also serve to support activity over a very wide field. That is obviously true of works expenditure, payments to the States and Social Service payments. But it is also true of debt redemptions because people who obtain cash for their maturing bonds or stock will, for the most part, either re-invest it somewhere or spend it on consumption goods. In general, the effect of the Budget will be that, whilst rather less is being taken from the public in taxation revenue, more will be added to incomes through the increase in public expenditure.

Borrowing on treasury-bills to finance the deficiency will add to the liquidity of the banking system but I do not think that, under present circumstances, it need do so in an excessive way. As I mentioned earlier, v/e expect that there will be a fairly substantial fall in our overseas reserves and the effect of that will be to draw down banking liquidity. If that drain were not made up in some way it would have a constricting effect on the banking system. Deficit financing by the Government will help to avoid such an effect. That is to say, it will largely be a matter of one movement offsetting the other.

Naturally, we gave a lot of thought to the question whether any further tax concessions ought to be made in this Budget. That, of course, is something we would have wished to do had it been practicable. But various considerations weighed against it. One was that it would have increased the overall deficiency this year; and we were not prepared to do that. In effect, tax concessions would have been made by borrowing still more from the central bank. After all, total expenditure in the economy has for some time been rising and, for anything we can see, will continue to rise. The second consideration was that, by the nature of most tax concessions, the cost to revenue would have fallen more upon the Budget for next year than upon the Budget for this year. We did not think that we ought to mortgage the future in that way. We are not therefore making any tax concessions of a general character. Those of which I shall give details presently either provide for the continuance of existing concessions or, at the most, widen their scope to some extent. At the same time I think I should emphasize again that this year the economy will have, in full measure, the benefits of the very considerable tax concessions made last year.

On the other hand, we have taken up the problem of providing for that class of social service pensioners who have little if any means of support other than their pension, and we have drawn up proposals which should give valuable help to such people.

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I may now outline briefly the tax concessions it is proposed to make.

Depreciation - Primary Producers

Since 1951, a special depreciation allowance of 20 per cent, per annum has been provided for primary producers’ plant and structural improvements. This allowance was originally granted for a period of four years but was later extended to the end of the present financial year.

It is proposed to extend the allowance for a further three years to 30th June, 1962.

The cost to revenue in the first year of the extension is estimated to be £3,500,000, but there will be no effect on the revenue of the current year.

Fishing and Pearling Industries

It is proposed to allow depreciation at a special rate of 20 per cent, on plant acquired after 30th June, 1958, and used wholly and exclusively in the fishing and pearling industries. Certain buildings used in the pearling industry, including accommodation for employees, will also be subject to the special allowance.

The income of individuals carrying on a business of fishing or pearling will be subject to averaging to determine the rate of tax payable. As in the case of primary producers, the taxpayers concerned may withdraw permanently from the averaging provisions if they so desire. The proposals will not extend to the whaling industry.

The annual cost to revenue is estimated at £110,000 for a full year, but there will be no cost in 1958-59.

Residents of Remote Areas

It is proposed to increase the zone allowances granted to residents of remote areas of Australia.

The present allowance for residents of zone A is £180. This will be increased to £270 plus an amount equal to one half of the total deductions allowable to the taxpayer for the maintenance of dependants. By way of example, a resident of zone A maintaining a wife and three children will thus be entitled to a total zone allowance of £452.

A corresponding increase will be made in the allowance of £180 granted to members of the defence forces serving at declared localities overseas.

In the case of zone B, the present allowance of £30 will be increased to £45 plus one-twelfth of the deductions allowable for dependants.

The increased allowances will commence to apply in assessments based on income of the current year 1958-59. The cost to revenue is estimated at £1,000,000 in a full year and £600,000 in 1958-59. Allowance has been made for this in the estimate of taxation revenue I gave earlier.

I may say that the Government has had under consideration many aspects of development in the remoter areas of Australia and the special problems of the people who live there and carry on the work of development. Naturally I could not traverse this subject at any length in this Budget Speech, but I think that the tax concessions I have outlined will serve to show that we have the needs of these areas very much in mind:

Capital Expenditure on Rural Lands.

Action is to be taken to ensure that, on the sale of rural land, capital previously expended on the development of the land will be offset against the sale proceeds in calculating the taxable profit on the land.

The existing deductions allowed to primary producers for the cost of developing rural lands in Australia and Papua will be extended to the Territory of New Guinea. The amendments will apply for the 1958-59 income year.

The annual loss of revenue is estimated at £50,000, but there will be no cost in 1958-59.

Oil Exploration

Encouragement is being offered to the investment of Australian capital in companies engaged in mining or prospecting foi oil in Australia, Papua or New Guinea.

At present, investors are allowed onethird of calls paid to any of these companies. In future, application and allotment moneys and calls paid by residents of Australia to the companies may be deducted in full.

A right to the full deduction may be secured by the company exercising an election to forgo the present exemption of profits to the extent of the deductions allowed’ to its shareholders for capital subscribed.

The present exemption applies in the event of oil being discovered in commercial quantities. The exemption operates until the profits from mining restore the capital invested in mining and treatment of petroleum.

The full deduction is not being made available to overseas investors - including Australian companies controlled from abroad - as adequate allowances are provided by the revenue laws of the countries in which the investors reside.

Where an election is not made, the present allowance of one-third of calls will continue as well as the exemption of the companies’ profits and dividends paid out of those profits.

The new basis will apply to shares issued after the amending provisions come into force.

The loss of revenue for a full year is estimated at £300,000, but there will be no cost to revenue in 1958-59.

Repatriation Benefits

The Government proposes to make increases of 10s. a week in the Special Rate war pension for cases of total and permanent incapacity, making the pension £11 10s. per week, and 5s. and 4s. a week in the pensions for the first child and each later child, respectively, of a deceased exserviceman, except where the child’s mother is also deceased, when the increase will be 15s. per week.

The domestic allowance payable to war widows will also be increased by 7s. 6d. a week to £2 7s. 6d. a week.

Increased pensions and allowances will be paid from the first war pension pay day after the necessary amending legislation is passed.

Other proposals include increases from 1st January, 1959, in the education allowances payable under the Soldiers’ Children’s Education Scheme to children undergoing professional training, the extension of eligibility for medical treatment under Repatriation Department regulations to nurses who served in World War I. and the provision for certain service pensioners of supplementary assistance, the basis of which I shall explain in a few moments in referring to expenditure from the National Welfare Fund.

The total additional expenditure involved in these various proposals is estimated at £1,337,000 in a full year and £1,002,000 in 1958-59.

Social Service Benefits

In reviewing its social services policy the Government has given consideration to the needs of certain groups of age, invalid and widow pensioners with little or no means apart from their pensions. It proposes to introduce a form of supplementary assistance to relieve hardship and improve the circumstances of single pensioners (and married persons, where only one is in receipt of a pension and the other is not in receipt of an allowance) who pay rent and are deemed to be entirely dependent on their pensions. The rate of supplementary assistance will be 10s. a week.

In addition it is proposed to liberalize the means test in a number of ways. The limit of property beyond which a person is debarred from receiving a pension will be raised by £500, that is, from £1,750 to £2,250, or by £1,000- from £3,500 to £4,500 - in the case of a married couple.

Gifts or allowances from a brother or sister of a pensioner will no longer be taken into account as income, and payments from hospital and medical benefit organizations registered under the National Health Act, which are at present partly excluded, will be completely exempt for both pension and unemployment and sickness benefit purposes.

At present, if a person receiving sickness benefit also receives a payment from a friendly society in respect of his incapacity, any amount over £2 a week counts as income. The Government will completely exempt such payments.

Two changes are being made in regard to eligibility for the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service. The requirement that a person must be incapacitated for at least thirteen weeks before he can be accepted for treatment or training will be abolished and persons claiming or receiving a special benefit or a widow’s pension will be included among the classes of persons eligible for rehabilitation.

The proposed supplementary assistance and other liberalizations will come into force from a date to be proclaimed.

These proposals are estimated to cost £5,887,000 for a full year and £3,925,000 this year. Details of the National Welfare Fund estimates are contained in Statement No. 5.

National Health Scheme

The Government has endorsed the principle of Commonwealth assistance to special insurance funds established by registered health insurance organizations for persons who cannot be insured at normal rates because of age, pre-existing or chronic illness. The Government has had discussions with the insurance organizations concerned with the object of arriving at a plan to give effect to this principle.

Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme

The maximum rates of living allowances payable to holders of Commonwealth Scholarships will be increased by 10s. to £4 5s. a week for a scholar living at home and by 15s. to £6 10s. a week for a scholar living away from home and the means test governing the payment of living allowances will be liberalized. It is also proposed to provide post-graduate awards.

These changes in the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme follow on the report of the Murray Committee on the Australian Universities. They will add to the living allowances of students now receiving them and will also give living allowances to students beyond the range of the present scheme. They will benefit especially country scholars.

The introduction of graduate scholarships will supplement, not replace, scholarships for graduates already available from other sources. The development of this scheme will provide new opportunities for young graduates to embark on further training and research. It is of national importance that we should increase the number of graduates with advanced research experience both in science and in the humanities.

These proposals will be given effect from 1st January, 1959, and are estimated to cost £125,000 in this financial year.

page 20


These, then, are the financial proposals of the Government and I commend them to the House on what I believe to be good and sufficient grounds. They face up to the realities of our situation. Despite much that has been said this country is not lagging and depressed; it is, on the contrary, highly prosperous and it is moving ahead. But there are some weaknesses in our position which could develop further if they were not countered. In this Budget, the Government aims to do that by giving a broad stimulus to the economy. Some no doubt will say that we ought to do more than we propose to do and, in particular, that we ought to reduce taxation further. That is something we would have been glad to do had the revenue position been stronger. But with revenue down it has appeared neither feasible nor wise. I am coming to the end of a long term as Treasurer - a record term in point of years. But there is another record of which I am far prouder. Time and again in these difficult years the Government has had a choice of doing the thing that might have been popular or of doing the thing that appeared sound and responsible. Each time it has taken the harder but more responsible course and I present this, my final budget happy in the thought that, once again, the decision falls the same way.

page 20


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Total cash receipts of the Commonwealth Government in 1957-58 exceeded total cash payments by £10,336,000. Of this amount, £10,000,000 was used to redeem Treasury Bills and £336,000 added to the cash balances of the Commonwealth.

Details of the Consolidated Revenue Fund results are given in Part B of this Statement. Total receipts in 1957-58 amounted to £1,311,363,000 and, excluding the payment to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve, total payments from Consolidated Revenue Fund were £1,206,985,000, thus leaving an amount of £104,378,000 available for payment to the Reserve.

The Commonwealth undertook to support the Loan Council borrowing programme for 1957-58 of £200,000,000. Towards meeting the programme, subscriptions to public loans floated in Australia during the year were £102,800,000 and State domestic raisings a further £3,090,000. Together with the proceeds of £10,990,000 from a loan raised in New York, the total available for the programme was £116,880,000, leaving an amount of £83,120,000 required to complete the approved borrowing programme. To discharge its obligation to support the programme, and to provide an amount of £8,261,000 to assist in financing expenditure on War Service Land Settlement, the Commonwealth subscribed to a special loan, the cash proceeds of which were £91,381,000. Subscriptions to the loan were made from net International Bank loan proceeds held by the National Debt Sinking Fund (£9,492,000) and from the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve (£81,889,000).

Securities offered for conversion in public loans in Australia during 1957-58 were £399,191,000, and of these £53,840,000 were redeemed. In addition, redemptions of securities maturing in London cost £5,000,000 and redemptions of savings certificates £4,039,000. Of these redemptions, £62,868,000 were met from the National Debt Sinking Fund, which had to realize some of ils investments by sale to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve to finance this outlay.

Further details of Loan Transactions and the Public Debt are given in Part C of this Statement.

The cash outlay by the Commonwealth in respect of the Loan Council borrowing programme and War Service Land Settlement was £93,512,000, or £2,131,000 higher than the amount subscribed to the special loan. In terms of cash actually received during the year, public loan raisings in Australia yielded £101,163,000, or £1,637,000 less than subscriptions to the three public loans floated during the year. (This difference arises mainly because advance subscriptions and outstanding instalments in respect of public loans are not all received during the financial year in which the loan is issued). War Service Land Settlement required £442,000 more than was provided in the special loan, while, because of minor adjustments, only £10,938,000 of the £10,990,000 New York loan proceeds became available during 1957-58.

The overall Budget result, in terms of cash, can be summarized as follows: -


Total revenue in 1957-58 amounted to £1,311,363,000, which was £10,337,000 less than the Budget estimate. The short-fall in taxation revenue was £19,537,000, but this was partly offset by an increase in other revenue of £9,200,000 over the Budget estimate.

Customs revenue was £2,483,000 below the Budget estimate. The short-fall reflected lower duty collections on imported petrol, clearances of which were less than expected at the time of the Budget, and the effect of the abolition of primage duty on rubber. On the other hand, Excise collections benefited from a higher level of local production of petrol than expected. Clearances of cigarettes were higher and beer clearances less than estimated. Total Excise collections were £1,558,000 greater than the Budget estimate.

Sales tax collections were £8,278,000 greater than the Budget estimate. The higher level of collections mainly reflected the large increase in sales of motor vehicles and television sets.

Income Tax collections from individuals fell short of the Budget estimate by £29,979,000. Collections from primary producers, whose incomes fell in 1957-58, were less because of the extensive use made of the self-assessment provisions of the Income Tax legislation. “ Pay-as-you-earn “ collections were also less than had been expected.

Collections of Income Tax from companies amounted to £215,348,000, which was £5,348,000 above the Budget estimate. Company income in 1956-57 was slightly greater than had been esti mated when the Budget was prepared and collections from arrears were also greater than had been expected.

Pay-roll Tax collections were £1,948,000 less than the Budget estimate. Estate Duty receipts were £426,000 less than estimated and Gift Duty receipts were £105,000 greater than estimated.

Miscellaneous Revenue exceeded the Budget estimate by £8,599,000. Repayments to Consolidated Revenue of Trust Fund balances no longer required for the purposes for which they were appropriated amounted to £3,991,000, or £1,991,000 more than the amount provided for in the Budget. Sales of surplus defence equipment and other defence receipts were £2,399,000 more than had been estimated. Receipts from investments of the Note Issue Department of the Commonwealth Bank amounted to £12,593,000, which was £2,393,000 more than had been estimated. Repayment of advances by the Joint Coal Board totalled £1,100,000 compared with £500,000 provided foi in the Budget. Miscellaneous Revenue also included a dividend of £433,000 from the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission for which provision had not been made in the estimates.

Total revenue from Business Undertakings was £108,228,000, which was £373,000 greater than the Budget estimate. Higher revenue from the Post Office and from Broadcasting and Television was partly offset by lower revenue from Railways.

Revenue from Territories was £228,000 greater than estimated, the increase being due mainly to higher revenue from services in the Northern Territory.


Total expenditure from Consolidated Revenue fund in 19S7-S8, excluding the appropriation to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve, was £1,206,985,000 or £4,648,000 more than the Budget estimate.

Defence expenditure fell short of the Budget estimate by £4,903,000.

Expenditure on War and Repatriation Services was £1,143,000 below the estimate. Expenditure on war and service pensions was £339,000 less than estimated, while payments to the States to meet the Commonwealth’s share of losses under the War Service Land Settlement scheme fell short of the estimate by £411,000 and interest and sinking fund payments on war debt by £170,000. The excess of recoveries over expenditure on supplies and services provided to other Governments was £190,000 greater than estimated.

Payments from the National Welfare Fund exceeded the Budget estimate by £3,913,000. Expenditure on Unemployment and Sickness Benefits exceeded the estimate by £2,631,000 and expenditure on Pharmaceutical Benefits exceeded the estimate by £2,321,000. On the other hand, expenditure on Child Endowment fell short of the estimate by £866,000.

Departmental expenditure was £624,000 less than the Budget estimate. The main saving was in expenditure by the Department of Civil Aviation.

Expenditure on Bounties and Subsidies was £510,000 greater than the Budget estimate, mainly because of larger payments of Sulphuric Acid and Tractor Bounties.

Miscellaneous Expenditure was greater than had been estimated, mainly because of an additional redemption (£3,500,000) of the non-negotiable, noninterestbearing securities issued in 1947 to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in ‘ part payment of Australia’s capital subscription and rebates of Automotive Diesel Fuel Tax (£1,314,000) for which no provision had been made in the Budget. On the other hand, Immigration expenditure was £405,000 below the Budget estimate.

Railways expenditure was £554,000 less than had been estimated, and Post Office expenditure £1,133,000 less.

Payments to or for the States were £3,828,000 greater than the Budget estimate. Expenditure was increased by an additional assistance grant to the States of £5,000,000, and financial assistance to universities was £775,000 greater than estimated. On the other hand, Commonwealth Aid Roads allocations were £1,386,000 less than the Budget estimate.

Expenditure on Capital Works and Services was £1,108,000 greater than the Budget estimate. Ex penditures over the estimates for the Works Department programme, the Albury-Melbourne rail standardization project and advances to the Aluminium Production Commission were offset to some extent by savings on other items.

With total revenue £10,337,000 less than the Budget estimate, and expenditure (excluding the appropriation to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve) £4,648,000 greater than the estimate, the amount available for payment to the Reserve was £104,378,000, or £14,985,000 less than had been envisaged in the Budget.

page 23


Loan Commitments, 1957-58

At its meeting in May, 1957, the Loan Council approved a governmental borrowing programme of £200,000,000 for State works and housing in 1957-58. The Commonwealth offered, subject to certain conditions, to make monthly advances to the States for the first six months of the year on the basis of the programme of £200,000,000 and indicated that it would then review the position.

At a later meeting of the Loan Council, in February, 1958, the Commonwealth stated that it would not be prepared to support any increase in the governmental borrowing programme for 1957-58 beyond the £200,000,000 originally approved by the Loan Council but that it would be prepared to continue making advances for the remainder of the financial year at the annual rate of £200,000,000. At the same meeting, the borrowing programme of £89,000,000 approved at the May, 1957, meeting for State semigovernmental and local authorities, and which had subsequently been increased by £1,000,000, was raised by a further £3,000,000 to £93,000,000.

In addition to the Loan Council borrowing programme of £200,000,000, an amount of £8,703,000 was required to meet Commonwealth advances to the States for War Service Land Settlement.

Loan Raisings, 1957-58

During 1957-58 the Commonwealth issued three public cash loans in Australia, each issue being associated with a conversion offer to holders of maturing securities. In the cash loans, a total of £95,000,000 was sought and subscriptions, including advance subscriptions received prior to 1st July, 1957, totalled £103,191,000 (face value). After allowing for discounts, the net cash proceeds available for the Loan Council programme amounted to £102,800,000. Securities maturing in Australia amounted to £399,191,000, of which £344,353,000 were converted, £53,829,000 were redeemed from the National Debt Sinking Fund and £11,000 from other sources, while £998,000 were still outstanding at 30th June, 1958.

Details of public loan raisings and conversions in Australia in 1957-58 are shown in the following table:- In addition to public loan raisings in Australia, a further £10,990,000 became available for the Loan Council programme from a $25,000,000 public loan floated in New York in April, 1958. An amount of £3,090,000 was also available from domestic loan raisings by the States. This left a balance of £83,120,000 to be provided by the Commonwealth in order to complete the Loan Council programme of £200,000,000. This assistance was provided through a special loan issued in June, 1958. The terms and conditions of the special loan were the same as those for the public loan issued in April, 1958. Subscriptions totalled £92,000,000 (face value), of which £82,400,000 was invested from the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve and £9,600,000 by the National Debt Sinking Fund from Australian currency proceeds of International Bank loans. The cash proceeds of the loan were £91,381,000, and of this amount £8,261,000 was allocated to assist in financing expenditure on War Service Land Settlement. In summary, the sources of finance for the 1957-58 Loan Council borrowing programme for State works and housing were therefore as follows: - The manner in which the State works and housing programmes have been financed since 1951-52 (when the Commonwealth first supported the Loan Council borrowing programme by subscribing to special loans) is shown in the following table: - Loan Redemptions and the Public Debt, 1957-58. *Debt in Australia.* As mentioned above, securities offered for conversion in public loans in Australia during 1957-58 amounted to £399,191,000. Of these, £53,829,000 were redeemed by the National Debt Sinking Fund. Other securities were redeemed through the normal operations of the Sinking Fund which also met redemptions of savings certificates at a cost of £4,039,000. The total reduction of Commonwealth and State debt in Australia through Sinking Fund operations in 1957-58 is shown in the following table: - In addition, the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve cancelled £136,098,950 (face value) of Commonwealth debt during 1957-58. Most of the securities cancelled were due to mature between 1957-58 and 1961-62. The following table summarizes the changes in 19S7-S8 in the public debt maturing in Australia: - > *Overseas Debt.* Mention has already been made of the $25,000,000 public loan raised in New York in April, 1958. In addition, drawings of $32,702,000 (equivalent to £14,564,000) were made against an earlier loan by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to the Commonwealth Government. Drawings of $7,389,000 (£3,311,000) were also made against a loan by the International Bank to the Commonwealth Government on behalf of Qantas Empire Airways Ltd. Redemptions and repurchases of overseas debt cost £12,776,000, the main items being the partial redemption of a maturing loan in London, which represented debt of the State of New South Wales, and repayments to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The London loan matured in April, 1958, the total amount due being £Stg. 19,988,000. Of this, £Stg.3,988,000 was redeemed by the National Debt Sinking Fund at a cost of £5,000,000, and the balance was converted to new 1974-76 securities issued at £99 10s. and bearing interest at 6 per cent, per annum. Repayments to the International Bank amounted to $10,577,000 (£4,733,000), making net proceeds of $22,125,000 (£9,831,000) from International Bank Loans in 1957-58. The following table summarizes changes in 1957-58 in Commonwealth and State debt maturing overseas: - {: .page-start } page 27 {:#debate-13} ### STATEMENT No. 2- SUMMARY OF BUDGET PROSPECTS, 1958-59 Compared with the overall Budget surplus of £10,336,000 in 1957-58, a deficit of approximately £110,000,000 is expected in 1958-59. The difference between the financial results for 1957-58 and the Budget prospects for 1958-59 is due largely to the following factors: - In 1957-58, receipts of the Consolidated Revenue Fund were £1,311,363,000. Receipts in 1958-59 are estimated to be £1,302,145,000, or £9,218,000 less than last year. Collections from Income Tax are estimated to decrease by £40,019,000 but revenue from other sources is estimated to increase by £30,801,000. Expenditure from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, excluding the payment to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve, was £1,206,985,000 in 1957-58. The comparable figure for 1958-59 is estimated at £1,278,145,000 or £71,160,000 more than in 1957-58. Commitments outside the Consolidated Revenue Fund are expected to be substantially greater in 1958-59 than in 1957-58. The main commitment in 1957-58 was in respect of the Loan Council borrowing programme for State works and housing, which the Commonwealth undertook to support. For 1958-59, the approved Loan Council borrowing programme for State works and housing is £210,000,000, or £10,000,000 greater than the 1957- 58 programme. Pending a review of the position at the end of the first half of the financial year, the Commonwealth is making advances on the basis of an annual programme of £210,000,000. For purposes of estimating the Commonwealth's financial requirements it has been assumed that the borrowing programme will in fact be £210,000,000 and that the gap between this amount and loan proceeds available towards the programme will be filled by Commonwealth assistance from its own resources. No reliable estimate of total loan proceeds in 1958-59 can be made at this stage of the financial year but, allowing for a reduction in net proceeds from previous International Bank loans, it is assumed that they will amount to £115,000,000. which is approximately the same as the amount yielded by ordinary loan raisings in 1957-58. Loan finance will again be required in 1958-59 to meet commitments of the Commonwealth in respect of War Service Land Settlement. The amount so required is estimated to be £7,000,000. compared with £8,703,000 in 1957-58. Including redemptions of savings certificates and the partial redemption of a loan which matured in London, total redemptions of maturing securities amounted to £62,879,000 in 1957-58. Because a large proportion of the securities maturing in 1958- 59 represents war debt and is widely held, the proportion of redemptions in 1958-59 is expected to be greater than in 1957-58. In the light of this, it has been estimated that total redemptions of maturing securities in 1958-59 will be £80,000,000. The cost of redemption of matured securities in 1957-58 was met almost entirely from the National Debt Sinking Fund and, as the current receipts of the Sinking Fund available for that purpose were £39,745,000, the Sinking Fund sold some of its investments to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve and drew on its balances to supplement these current receipts. For 1958-59, current receipts of the Sinking Fund available to finance redemptions of maturing securities are estimated to amount to up to £45,000,000, which, if redemptions are about £80.000,000, would fall short of that amount by some £35,000,000. It is proposed that such redemptions as cannot be financed from current receipts of the Sinking Fund will be met by drawing upon balances in that Fund and in the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. In addition to loan proceeds and the current receipts of the National Debt Sinking Fund, any net increase in Commonwealth Trust Fund balances can be used to supplement the funds available outside the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Individual balances in the Trust Fund show considerable fluctuations but it is expected that in 1958-59 the net increase, overall, will be about £3,000,000. The foregoing figures are brought together in the table below which compares the prospective overall cash result of the Commonwealth in 1958-59 with the actual cash result in 1957-58: - It is proposed to finance expenditure on Defence Services to the extent of £78,000,000 from Loan Fund. An amount of £102,000,000 will then be appropriated from Consolidated Revenue to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. As the amounts required in 1958-59 for the State works and housing programmes and War Service Land Settlement are estimated at £217,000,000, and as ordinary loan raisings are estimated at £115,000,000, it is expected that a special loan of £102,000,000 will be required for these purposes. It is envisaged that a subscription to this special loan will be made from the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. As mentioned above, the current receipts of the Sinking Fund in 1958-59 may fall short by some £35,000,000 of the amount required to finance redemptions of maturing securities and it is therefore proposed to utilize some of the balances in that Fund and in the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. It will be necessary for that purpose to realize some of the investments held by those two Funds. As other Trust Fund balances are expected to show an increase of £3,000,000 in 1958-59, it is estimated that these operations of the Sinking Fund, the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve and of other Trust Accounts will require additional finance to the extent of £32,000,000. The manner in which it is proposed to finance the various expenditures comprehended in the 1958-59 Budget may be set out as follows: - Further details of the Consolidated Revenue Fund estimates are given in Statement No. 3 and details of Loan Transactions, 1958-59 are given in Statement No. 4. {: .page-start } page 30 {:#debate-14} ### NOTES ON REVENUE ESTIMATES The estimates of revenue in the preceding table, which take account of the revenue proposals announced in the Budget Speech, indicate that total revenue in 19S8-S9 is estimated at £1,302,145,000 or £9,218,000 less than in 1957-58. Details of the revenue proposals, which relate *lo* Income Tax only, are as follows: - Extension for a period of three years from 1st July. 1959. of the existing 20 per cent, special depreciation allowance to primary producers. Treatment of fishing and pearling industries as primary production for taxation purposes. (This would have no effect on revenue in 1958-59, but is estimated to reduce revenue by £110,000 in a full year.) Increases in Zone and overseas Forces allowances. (These are estimated to reduce revenue by £600,000 in 1958-59 and by £1,000,000 in a full year.) Extension of deductions of capital expenditure on land used for primary production. (This would not affect revenue in 1958-59, but is estimated to reduce revenue by £50,000 in a full year.) Deduction of capital subscriptions to oil prospecting companies. (This would not affect revenue in 1958-59, but is estimated to reduce revenue by £300,000 in a full year. {:#subdebate-14-0} #### Item No. 1. - Customs Revenue Customs revenue in 1958-59 is estimated at £74,000,000, or £2,283,000 more than in 1957-58. This estimate has been based upon the assumption that the value of imports in 1958-59 will be about the same as in 1957-58 (that is, approximately £800,000,000 f.o.b.) but that there may be -some changes in the composition of imports. {:#subdebate-14-1} #### Item No. 2. - Excise Revenue Excise collections in 1958-59 are estimated at £244,000,000 compared with £232,648,000 in 1957- 58. The estimated increase of £11,352,000 is based upon the expectation that consumption of beer and tobacco and cigarettes will continue to increase in 1958- 59 and that there will be a further expansion in the output of local oil refineries. In the case of tobacco and cigarettes, the estimate allows for some increase in collections because of the trend from manufactured tobacco towards cigarettes. Some increase in collections from sales of other items is also expected. {:#subdebate-14-2} #### Item No. 3.- Sales Tax Sales Tax revenue in 1958-59 is estimated at £147,000,000, compared with actual collections in 1957-58 of £137,778,000. The expected rise in revenue of £9,222,000 in 1958-59 is £2,804,000 less than the £12,026,000 increase in revenue in 1957-58. The increase in 1957-58 collections resulted from increased sales of goods subject to tax, particularly motor vehicles and television sets. The estimate of collections in 1958-59 assumes that there will be a further general increase in sales of taxable goods. {:#subdebate-14-3} #### Item No. 4. - Income Tax In 1957-58, Income Tax collections totalled £650,419,000, or £30,121,000 more than in the preceding year. Collections from individuals increased by £31,344,000, while collections from companies decreased by £1,223,000. The increase in collections from individuals arose in part from the substantial increase in wool incomes in 1956-57, most of which were assessed to tax in 1957-58. The fall in collections from companies is attributable to the reduction in rates of tax on company income announced in the 1957-58 Budget. Total Income Tax collections from individuals and companies in 1958-59 are estimated at £610,400,000, or £40,019,000 less than in 1957-58. Collections in 1958-59 will be adversely affected by two important factors: first, an estimated decline of nearly £180,000,000 in farm income in 1957-58 and a decline in income from mining; and secondly, the full year effect of the taxation concessions introduced in the 1957-58 Budget, particularly the extension of depreciation allowances on plant and machinery. In addition, the proposals announced in the Budget Speech are expected to reduce 1958-59 revenue by £600,000. In the case of individuals, these factors are expected to be offset to some extent by higher pay-as-you-earn collections arising from increased earnings and employment in 1958-59, and by an overall increase in non-farm income in 1957-58, which will be assessed to tax in 1958-59. The net effect on income tax collections from individuals in 1958-59 is expected to be a reduction of £31,671,000 from 1957-58 collections. The level of company income in 1957-58 is estimated to have been higher than in 1956-57, but the additional deductions available to companies from the extension of depreciation allowances in 1957- 58 are expected to be greater than the increase in income. As as result, collections from companies in 1958-59 are expected to be £8,348,000 less than in 1957-58. Item No. 5. - Pay-roll Tax. Pay-roll Tax collections in 1957-58 were £48,552,000, or £124,000 less than in 1956-57. Collections in 1957-58 were affected by the increase in the statutory exemption introduced during the year. It is estimated that Pay-roll Tax collections in this year will increase by £1,948,000 to £50,500,000. The estimate allows for an increase in employment and a higher level of wage and salary payments in 1958- 59. {:#subdebate-14-4} #### Item No. 6. - Other Taxes Revenue from Estate Duty is expected to increase from £13,774,000 in 1957-58 to £14,700,000 in 1958-59 as a result of increases in the number and value of estates. Gift duty collections, however are expected to decline from £2,205,000 in 1957-58 to £2,100,000 in 1958-59. Coinage. - The profit from coinage varies markedly from year to year and is influenced largely by the public demand for the coins of various denominations. Defence. - Receipts in 1957-58 were increased by certain non-recurring items, primarily the disposal of surplus material at St. Mary's Filling Factory (£220,000) and adjustments made in respect of amounts paid for aircraft by the Departments of the Navy and Air (£845,000) and a transfer of stores to British Commonwealth Forces, Korea (£498,000). Civil Aviation. - An increase of £39,000 in estimated receipts from Air Navigation Charges in 1958-59 may be more than offset by lower revenue from other sources. Shipping and Transport. - The payment to revenue out of the profits of the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission is estimated to be £1,000,000 in 1958-59 compared with £433,000, from six months' operations, in 1957-58. On the other hand, it is estimated that miscellaneous Shipping and Transport revenues in 1958-59 will be £108,000 less than in 1957-58, when large amounts were received from sales of ships and property. Australian Note Issue.- The decline of £1,293,000 in the estimated profit from investments of the Note Issue Department of the Commonwealth Bank reflects an expected lower rate of return on overseas investments. War Service Homes - Interest. - The estimated increase of £796,000 in interest receipts results from the growth in the total amount of loans outstanding. General Trust Fund - Interest.- The fall of £313,000 estimated for interest receipts from this source is due to the greater proportion of holdings invested in Treasury Bills and also to the repayment of Trust Fund balances to Consolidated Revenue. Australian Whaling Commission. - The amount of £96,000 represents the final payment by the Nor'West Whaling Company Ltd. in respect of its purchase of the assets of the Australian Whaling Commission. Repayment of Trust Account Balances. - It is estimated that Trust Account balances available for transfer to Consolidated Revenue in 1958-59 will amount to £6,000,000. Other Revenue. - Included under this item are receipts from the sale of property and material, miscellaneous interest receipts, rents, repayments of sundry advances, &c. Item No. 8. - Business Undertakings Revenue. Post Office receipts are estimated to increase by £5,724,000 to a total of £102,500,000 this year. The increase is due to the expansion of postal and telephone services. Broadcasting and television revenue is estimated at £8,007,000 or £1,131,000 greater than last year. A substantial increase is expected this year in the number of television viewers' licences. The estimated increase in Railways revenue of £414,000 in 1958-59 assumes a further increase in passenger and goods traffic on the Trans-Australian Railway and Central Australia Railway. Item No. 9. - Territories Revenue. Territories revenue in 1958-59 is estimated at £2,990,000 as compared with £2,845,000 last year. The increase of £145,000 is attributable to the continued expansion of services in the Australias Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. Expenditure in 1958-59 is estimated to be £190,000,000, or £4,903,000 greater than actual expenditure in 1957-58. The estimates, which have been based on the authorized Defence Programme of £190,000,000, provide for the increases in Service pay and allowances arising from the recommendations of the Allison Committee and increased expenditure on Votes for new works, arms, armament and equipment (Army), Naval stores, and aircraft purchase and manufacture (Department of Air). These increases are partially offset by reductions under other items, and the non-inclusion in 1958-59 of items under which expenditure was incurred during 1957-58, namely, £5,500,000 on the new filling factory at St. Mary's, £3,500,000 paid to the Korean Operations Pool Trust Account to cover the outstanding liability for support provided by the United States Air Force in Japan and Korea, and £270,000 paid to Explosives Trust Accounts for working capital. The main items contributing to the variations shown in the table above are: - Defence. - The estimated additional expenditure of £157,000 for 1958-59 is mainly in respect of salaries and general expenses. Navy. - Expenditure during 1958-59 is estimated to be £722,000 less than in 1957-58. The provision for pay and allowances for the Permanent Naval Forces has been increased by £450,000. Increases are also shown under Naval construction (£359,000) and new works (£438,000). Reductions have been made in respect of expenditure on general Naval stores (£775,000), aircraft (£1,759,000) and acquisitions (£370,000). Army. - The major items contributing to the estimated net increase of £6,659,325 are - pay and allowances for the Australian Regular Army (£1,148,000), arms, armament, mechanization and equipment (£5,185,000), and new works (£970,000). Air. - Expenditure is estimated to be £3,928,000 greater than in 1957-58. The main increases occur under R.A.A.F. pay and allowances (£1,982,000), aircraft purchase and manufacture (£2,820,000) and new works (£2,081,000). There are offsetting reductions of £3,500,000 in respect of the payment to the Korean Operations Pool Trust Account, which is referred to above, and £430,000 in respect of acquisitions. Supply. - Expenditure shown in the table above for 1957-58 under this Department includes expenditure by the former Department of Defence Production. It is estimated that expenditure in 1958-59 will be £6,111,369 less than that incurred by the two Departments in 1957-58. Main factors in the overall decrease are the reductions (£5,500,000) brought about by the virtual completion of the filling factory at St. Mary's during 1957-58 and the payments (£270,000) made in that year to the Explosives Trust Accounts referred to above. Reductions have also occurred under defence research and development (£1,382,000) and acquisitions (£523,000). New works, however, are estimated to cost £1,639,000 more than in 1957-58. It is proposed that in 1958-59 the estimated expenditure of £190,000,000 on Defence Services will be met to the extent of £78,000,000 from Loan Fund. This is explained in Statement No. 2. {:#subdebate-14-5} #### Item No. 11. - War and Repatriation Services Interest and Sinking Fund. - This provision relates to Commonwealth war debt only. (Total debt charges on Commonwealth war debt and civil debt are estimated at £65,235,000 for 1958-59 compared with £66,190,000 in 1957-58.) The decline in charges on war debt reflects substantial redemptions that have been made by the Sinking Fund and the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. War and Service Pensions and Widows' Allowances. - Of the estimated increase of £1,897,000, £916,000 is attributable to the increases in pensions and the payment of supplementary assistance to certain service pensioners now proposed, and the balance of £981,000 to an expected growth in the number of pensioners and the full-year effect of the higher pension rates granted in 1957-58. Repatriation Benefits. - Practically the whole of the expenditure under this item relates to the maintenance of repatriation institutions, the provision of medical treatment for ex-servicemen with war-caused injuries, and the Soldiers' Children's Education Scheme. The expected increase in expenditure in 1958-59 of £490,000 is due to such factors as an increase in the average price and number of prescriptions for medicines, an increase in the fees payable to and services provided by local medical officers, an increase in medical staff and stores' costs in departmental institutions, increased expenditure on medical sustenance, and a fall in recoveries from Service Departments and other miscellaneous receipts. War Services Homes - Administrative. - The cumulative increase in the number of houses financed under this scheme involves a steady growth in the volume of transactions and some increase in total administrative costs is therefore expected in 1958-59. Reconstruction and Rehabilitation. - The greater part of the increase of £423,000 is in respect of War Service Land Settlement. Provision is made under this head for the Commonwealth's share of losses incurred in writing down excess costs of developing land holdings under this scheme and in meeting losses on advances to settlers. There are outstanding claims to be settled this year and expenditure is expected to increase by £400,000. Miscellaneous. - An amount of £615,000 is provided in the 1958-59 estimate to meet flotation expenses in respect of redemptions and conversions of war debt. Expenditure on this item was negligible in 1957-58 when war debt maturities were much smaller. Item No. 12. - Payment to National WELFARE Fund. The National Welfare Fund Act 1952 provides that the payment from Consolidated Revenue to the National Welfare Fund each year should be equal to the actual expenditure from the Fund in that year. Expenditure from the Fund was £247,485,000 in 1957-58 and is estimated at £273,817,000 in 1958-59. Detailed explanation of the estimated increase of £26,332,000 in expenditure from the Fund in 1958-59 is given in Statement No. 5: National Welfare Fund Estimates, 1958-59. Departmental expenditure is estimated to increase by £5,260,000 in 1958-59 over actual expenditure in 1957-58. The main factors producing this increase are - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. The expansion in research and technical services, particularly those' provided by the Department of Civil Aviation, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and the Atomic Energy Commission. 1. The rise of 5s. per week in the basic wage which operated from May, 1958. 2. The growth of normal services with increasing population. Some of the more important factors affecting the expenditure of departments are as follows: - External Affairs. - Provision has been made for staffing the newly-established post at Ghana and for the appointment of additional officers to other posts. The number of positions in the diplomatic pool has also been increased. Treasury. - The estimate for the Bureau of Census and Statistics is £343,000 greater, mainly due to the integration of the statistical services of the States with the Bureau. Part of the additional expenditure will relieve the Budgets of the States concerned. Interior. - The amount provided for the Bureau of Meteorology is £366,000 greater than last year. The amount to be recovered by the Bureau from the Department of Air in respect of meteorological services will be substantially less than last year. Works.- An estimated increase of £271,000 in expenditure on repairs and maintenance will be partly offset by lower net expenditure on salaries and allowances, a larger proportion of which will be recoverable from other administrations. Civil Aviation. - The increase includes provision of £670,000 for payment to local government bodies which have developed aerodromes in their districts. Provision of £500,000 is also included for payment of subsidies on developmental air services, for which £300,000 was previously a charge to the Postmaster-General's Department. International civil aviation commitments, including contributions towards the cost of ground facilities in Fiji and to the International Civil Aviation Organization, account for £152,000 of the increase. The balance is due to increased cost of operating and maintaining domestic aerodromes and airways facilities. Health. - The increase relates mainly to the provision of health services. Trade. - An additional provision of £54,000 has been made to meet the cost of strengthening the Trade Commissioner Service. The provision for the Tariff Board has also been increased by £48,000. The membership and staff of the Board have been increased in order to expedite the hearing of industry requests for tariff protection. Immigration. - The provision under this head is primarily for the administrative costs of the Department, both in Australia and overseas. Approximately half of the estimated increase in expenditure is attributable to overseas posts. National Development. - Expenditure by the Bureau of Mineral Resources is estimated to be £164,000 greater than last year. There is a reduction in the amount to be recovered from the Atomic Energy Commission and it is expected that a lag in reimbursing operational expenditure to contractors will be overcome in 1958-59. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. - The estimate allows for some expansion in research activities. Atomic Energy Commission. - The additional provision is required to staff and operate the research laboratories at Lucas Heights, which came into operation in February, 1958. Dairy Products Bounty. - The Dairying Industry Act 1957 provides for the payment of a bounty on butter and cheese produced during the fiveyear period ending 30th June, 1962. Expenditure on the bounty in 1957-58 was £13,500,000. The same provision is made for 1958-59. Cellulose Acetate Flake Bounty. - The Cellulose Acetate Flake Bounty Act 1956, which provided for payment of bounty of lOd. per lb. on cellulose acetate flake produced in Australia and sold for local use, expired on 30th June, 1958. The estimated expenditure of £26,000 in 1958-59 represents provision for claims in respect of production during the last quarter of 1957-58. The question of future assistance to the industry has been referred to the Tariff Board. Copper Bounty. - The Government has announced its intention of introducing a copper bounty scheme, with effect from 19th May, 1958. Under the scheme, a bounty up to a maximum rate of £45 per ton is to be paid on copper produced for domestic consumption, subject to a profit limitation test and certain other conditions. Legislation to give effect to the decision has not yet been introduced. Expenditure on the bounty in 1958-59 is estimated at £1,000,000. Cotton Bounty. - Under the Cotton Bounty Act 1951-1958 a bounty is payable on seed cotton delivered by growers to processors up to 31st December, 1963. The rate of bounty is designed to give growers an average return of 14d. per lb. The bounty payments in 1958-59 are estimated to be higher than in 1957-58 as last year's crop was above average quality. Flax Fibre Bounty.- The Flax Fibre Bounty Act 1954-1957 authorizes payment of a bounty on flax fibre produced and sold in Australia up to 31st October, 1960. The rate of bounty varies inversely with movements in the landed cost of imported flax fibre. Maximum rates of bounty payable during 1958-59 are £75 per ton up to 31st October, 1958 and £70 per ton thereafter. The Act was extended for a further three years in 1957 to cover the Flax Commission during the closing-down of its operations. The expected increase in expenditure in 1958-59 is due mainly to an expected increase in sales of flax fibre to the weaving industry. Gold-mining Subsidy. - Under the Gold-Mining Industry Assistance Act 1954-1957 a subsidy is payable under certain conditions on gold produced during the five years commencing 1st July, 1954. Small producers (those with an annual output of not more than 500 oz.) receive a flatrate subsidy of £2 per oz. Large producers are paid, subject to certain conditions, at a rate equal to three-quarters of the amount by which their cost of production exceeds £13 10s. per oz., with a subsidy limit of £2 15s. per oz. The estimated increase in expenditure during 1958-59 arises partly from a rise in costs of production and partly from the increased maximum rates of subsidy introduced during 1957, the full effects of which were not felt in 1957-58. In addition, a rise in the level of subsidized production is provided for, and advance payments of subsidy are expected to increase. Rayon Yarn Bounty. - The Rayon Yarn Bounty Act 1954-1956 authorizes payment of a bounty of 6d. per lb. (subject to an annual limit of £100,000) on continuous filament acetate rayon yarn produced and sold in Australia up to 30th June, 1959. It is expected that expenditure on the bounty during 1958-59 will be lower than expenditure last financial year. Sulphuric Acid. - The Sulphuric Acid Bounty Act 1954-1957 and Regulations thereunder provide for payment of a bounty on sulphuric acid produced in Australia from indigenous pyrites and lead sinter gas during the five years from 1st July, 1954. The rate of bounty is £2 per ton when the landed cost of imported brimstone is £20 10s. per ton and rises or falls by ls. 9d. for each 5s. by which the landed cost of brimstone is below or above that figure. Expenditure on thb bounty in 1958-59 is estimated to be greater than in 1957-58, mainly because of an increase in the rate of bounty resulting from a reduction which has occurred in the cost of imported brimstone. The question of assistance to the industry following expiry of the existing legislation has been referred to the Tariff Board. Tractor Bounty.- The Tractor Bounty Act 1939- 1956 provides for the payment of bounty on wheel-type tractors produced in Australia during the period up to 23rd October, 1958. Bounty rates vary from £80 to £240 per tractor according to the horse-power and the proportion of Australian components used. The estimate of expenditure in 1958-59 provides for payment of bounty on approximately six months' production. The question of future assistance to the industry hasbeen referred to the Tariff Board. Prime Minister's Department. - The main items of expenditure provided from this vote are the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme (£1,525,000) and the running expenses of the Australian National University (£1,079,000). Expenditure on the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme is estimated to be £214,000 greater than last year, mainly because of higher allowances and the introduction of post-graduate awards and an additional £208,000 is included for the running expenses of the Australian National University. Those increases will be offset in part by lower provision for flood and bushfire relief. Expenditure in 1957- 58 also included a non-recurring amount of £84,000 for the Royal Visit. External Affairs. - The main increases under this item are an additional £108,000 for expenditure on the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition and an additional £47,000 for United Nations contribution. International Development and Relief. - Included under this vote are amounts of £2,700,000 for Colombo Plan economic development and £1,600,000 for Colombo Plan technical assistance. Provision has also been made for Australia's contributions to United Nations Technical Assistance and the United Nations International Children's Fund (£504,000). Treasury. - The estimated reduction of £62,000 reflects mainly lower expenditure by the Bureau of Census and Statistics on the census of retail establishments. Interior. - The estimate includes an additional £323,000 to meet the cost of the forthcoming Federal election. Health. - The grant for cattle tick eradication in New South Wales of £600,000 this year is £64,000 greater than last year's grant. Provision is also made for an increase of £20,000 in expenditure on medical research and an increase of £10,000 for the Australian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service. Trade. - The provision for trade publicity is £310,000 as compared with expenditure of £433,000 in 1957-58. Primary Industry. - The estimate includes a new provision of £25,000 for dairy research, and an additional £64,000 for wheat research. Social Services. - The increase of £461,000 is almost wholly in respect of financial assistance for the building of homes for the aged. The Government is now contributing on a £2 to £1 basis with approved organizations towards the capital cost of building homes for the aged. Shipping and Transport. - The main items included in this vote are shipbuilding subsidy, subsidies on shipping services to Papua and New Guinea and to Tasmania and operating costs of the coastal radio service. Expenditure on the shipbuilding subsidy in 1958-59 is estimated at £392,000 less than in 1957-58. Immigration. - This vote is primarily to provide for expenditure on assisted migration, and on the maintenance of migrants upon their arrival in Australia. Expenditure is estimated to increase by £909,000 in 1958-59, mainly because of an expected increase in the number of assisted British, Dutch and Scandinavian migrants. National Development. - The estimated increase of £351,000 is due largely to increased provision for payments under the Petroleum Search Subsidy Act and to inclusion of an amount of £150,000 in connexion with the cost of eradicating borers in houses imported by the Queensland Government. Diesel Fuel Taxation Rebates. - It is expected that refunds of duty collections from automotive diesel fuel will be somewhat smaller in 1958-59 because of lower collections of refundable taxes. The number of exemption certificates has been substantially increased. International Bank Subscription. - At the request of the International Bank, the Common wealth in 1957-58 redeemed £3,500,000 of nonnegotiable, non-interest-bearing securities which had been issued in 1947 to the Bank in part payment of Australia's capital subscription, and a further £2,750,000 is being redeemed in 1958-59. The redemptions are met from the Consolidated Revenue Fund in accordance with the International Monetary Agreements Act 1947. Public Service Pensions and Retiring Allowances. - The increase in this item represents the normal increase in Government contributions to the Superannuation Fund and the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund. Public Debt Charges. - Included under this item are all debt charges other than those on Commonwealth war debt and on works debt in respect of Business Undertakings and Territories. Interest on International Bank loans is estimated to increase to £5,870,000 this year compared with £5,166,000 in 1957-58 due to an increase in the total amount drawn. The balance of the increase represents mainly increased interest subsidy to the States on housing advances under the CommonwealthState Housing Agreement. The Commonwealth recovers from the States interest at the rate of 3 per cent, on advances made in each year up to and including 1955-56 and 4 per cent, on advances made in 1956-57 and subsequently. However, maturing loans have been converted into securities bearing higher interest rates so that the difference between the rate of interest paid by the Commonwealth on borrowings for State housing and the rate of interest recovered from the States has tended to widen. Wool Research.- The provision of £900,000 represents the Commonwealth's contribution to the Wool Research Trust Fund in accordance with the Wool Research Act 1957. Other. - This item includes Parliamentary Allowances and other statutory payments of salaries and allowances, and contributions under the Australian National University Act and the Fishing Industry Act. Railways. - The increase of £355,860, most of which is for salaries and wages, is due to estimated increases in passenger and goods traffic on the Trans-Australian and Central Australian Railways and higher maintenance expenditure on those railways. Post Office. - **Major items** responsible for the estimated increase of £4,908,000 in 1958-59 are referred to below. Wages and salaries are expected to cost £3,800,000 more than last year because of wage increases and additional staff to handle extra taffic. Higher prices and increased quantities are expected to increase the cost of stores and materials by £545,000. Provision for genera] expenses has been increased by £543,000 mainly because of more vehicles and units of plant to be maintained, increased fares and travelling allowances and increased provision for superannuation, pensions and the printing of telephone directories. The provision for debt charges is £245,000 below last year's expenditure because same loans have been redeemed. Sound Broadcasting. - The estimated increase of £289,000 is mainly attributable to improvements in certain sections of the existing service, including an improvement in the service to remote areas; new stations have been " cut over " to the national network and there will be additional costs in operating stations which received increased power in 1957-58 and those which will be similarly improved in 1958-59. The improvements in the services are expected to entail an increase in wages and salaries, which will also be increased because of conditions of determinations under which staff are employed. Television. - The provision for current expenditure on the national television service is to be increased by some £852,000. The first permanent studios in both Sydney and Melbourne became available during the latter half of 1957-58 and it is estimated that an additional £420,000 will be required to operate the existing facilities in 1958-59. Expansion of the service in Sydney and Melbourne is estimated to cost an additional £160,000, due mainly to the second permanent studios becoming available during 1958-59 and to extended hours of transmission. Maintenance' and operation of transmitting stations is expected to cost an additional £50,000, while issuing and recording of viewers' licences and other administrative costs are expected to increase substantially mainly because of the large increase in the number of viewers. Preliminary operating expenditure on establishing the national service in other State capitals is estimated to cost approximately £130,000 in 1958-59. Northern Territory. - The estimated increase of £532,000 in expenditure in the Northern Territory includes an additional £105,000 for aboriginal welfare and a further £101,000 for salaries. Increased expenditure of £78,000 is also envisaged in 1958-59 on health services and the balance of the increase is attributable to a general expansion in the activities of the Northern Territory Administration. Australian Capital Territory. - Expenditure under this head is expected to rise in 1958-59 by £484,000 mainly because of increased expenditure on repairs and maintenance and on educational services. Papua and New Guinea. - Practically the whole of this expenditure takes the form of .a grant by the Commonwealth to the Administration of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea to meet the deficiency between local revenue and expenditure in the Territory. Expenditure in 1958-59 is expected to exceed that in 1957-58 by £762,000 mainly because of increased provision by the Administration for health, educational, postal and agricultural services, repairs and maintenance, and expenditure of a capital nature on electricity generation and reticulation, water and sewerage services and construction of schools and buildings. Tax Reimbursement Grants Determined Under Formula. - Under the States Grants (Tax Reimbursement) Acts of 1946 and 1946-47 the tax reimbursement grants were fixed respectively at totals of £40,000,000 in 1946-47 and £45,000,000 in 1947-48. The States Grants (Tax Reimbursement) Act 1946-1948 provides that the aggregate grant of £45,000,000 is to be varied in accordance with a formula which takes account of - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. variations in the States' populations since 1st July, 1947; and 1. the percentage increase in the level of average wages per person employed over the level of 1945-46. Prior to 1957-58 the grant was distributed among the States partly in proportion to the distribution in 1947-48 and partly in proportion to the States' populations as adjusted for numbers of children aged between 5 and 15 years and for relative sparsity of population. In 1957-58, and in each subsequent year, the tax reimbursement grant is to be distributed wholly in proportion to the States' adjusted populations. The amount paid to the States in 1957-58 in accordance with the formula was £165,855,000, while it is estimated that the amount payable under the formula in 1958-59 will be £174,600,000. The estimated grants payable to individual States in 1958-59 are compared below with the grants paid in the six previous years: - The tax reimbursement grant payable to each State in each year is reduced by the amount of any arrears of State income taxation which may be received in that year by the State. In 1957-58 these arrears amounted to £34,729. Special Financial Assistance Grants. - In 1949-50 and each subsequent year payments have been made by the Commonwealth to supplement the grants determined under the tax reimbursement formula. The following table shows the actual payments made for each year since 1949-50, together with the estimated payments' in 1958-59:- At a Premiers' Conference held in June, 1958, the Commonwealth offered to make available to the States a special financial assistance grant sufficient to bring the total payment for 1958-59 to £205,000,000. As the amount payable in 1958-59 under the tax reimbursement formula is estimated at £174,600,000, this will involve the payment of a special financial assistance grant of approxi mately £30,400,000. It will be distributed among the States in the same way as the formula grant for 1958-59. The total payments of tax reimbursement and supplementary grants to individual States in each of the last six years, and the estimated payments in 1958-59, are shown in the table below: - Additional Assistance Grant. - At a meeting of the Loan Council held in February, 1958, the Commonwealth offered to make available to the States in the remaining months of 1957-58 an additional assistance grant of £5,000,000 for the purpose of assisting the States' overall financial position. Of this total grant, an amount of £4,000,000 was distributed among the States in the same way as the tax reimbursement grant payable in that year, while the remaining amount of £1,000,000 was divided equally between New South Wales and Queensland. The shares of the States in the grant were as follows: - Special Grants. - Special grants have been paid annually by the Commonwealth to Western Australia since 1910, to Tasmania since 1912, and to South Australia since 1929. Since the establishment of the Commonwealth Grants Commission in 1933, the special grants paid each year to these States have been the subject of recommendations by the Commission. Pending receipt of the Commission's recommendations for 1958-59 and consideration of them by the Government, the amount paid to each State in 1957-58 has been included as the estimate for 1958-59. Under the authority of the States Grants Act 1957 advances will be made to the States on this basis until the Parliament has approved the payment of special grants for 1958-59. The special grants paid to the States in recent years are shown in the following table:- Payments under Financial Agreement. - Under the Financial Agreement, which was entered into by the Commonwealth and the States in 1927, the Commonwealth agreed to contribute towards interest and sinking fund payments in respect of the States' debts existing at 30th June, 1927, and towards sinking fund payments in respect of debt incurred after that date. The Financial Agreement provides that the Commonwealth will, in each year during the period of 58 years commencing on 1st July, 1927, contribute a fixed amount of £7,584,912 towards the interest payable on the States' debts. This amount is payable to the States as follows: - The sinking fund contributions made by the Commonwealth in respect of the States' debts vary according to the nature and extent of their borrowings, and are paid direct to the National Debt Sinking Fund. In 1957-58 these contributions amounted to £5,065,000, while the contributions in 1958-59 are estimated at £5,400,000. Commonwealth Aid Roads. - Under the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1954, which replaced the 1950 legislation, the amounts paid from Consolidated Revenue into the Commonwealth Aid Roads Trust Account for expenditure on roads were increased from the equivalent of 6d. per gallon on imported petrol and 3Jd. per gallon on locally-refined petrol to the equivalent of 7d. per gallon on both imported and locally-refined petrol (excluding aviation spirit). The legislation also provided for the minimum proportion of the payments into the Trust Account to be spent on rural roads to be increased from 35 per cent, to 40 per cent., and for the amount set aside for expenditure on strategic roads, roads of access to Commonwealth property and other roads serving Commonwealth purposes to be increased from £500,000 to £800,000 per annum. The 1954 legislation was amended in 1955 to provide for the amount set aside for road safety purposes to be increased from £100,000 to £150,000 per annum. A second amendment, made in 1956, increased the amounts paid into the Trust Account from 7d. per gallon to 8d. per gallon on both imported and locally refined petrol (excluding aviation spirit). The estimated payments into the Trust Account in 1958-59 under the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1954-1956 compare with actual payments in the previous four years as follows: - Note. - Payments are made into and out of the Trust Account on a monthly basis. Payments actually made to the States in any year may differ slightly from the amounts credited to the Trust Account during that year because the payments to the States in respect of June are not made until July whereas the credit to the Trust Account is made just before the close of the financial year. The major projects being financed from the £800,000 per annum which is reserved in the Trust Account for strategic roads, roads of access to Commonwealth property and other roads serving Commonwealth purposes are the reconstruction of the Stuart and Barkly Highways in Queensland and the Northern Territory, the Eyre Highway between South Australia and Western Australia, and the roads from Canberra to Cooma and to Bateman's Bay. Numerous smaller projects, mainly the construction or maintenance of roads of access to Commonwealth properties, are also financed from this section of the Trust Account. Commonwealth Aid Roads - Special Assistance. - In the Budget Speech for 1957-58, the Government announced its intention to review the whole question of Commonwealth assistance for roads before the expiration in June, 1959 of the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1954-1956. Pending this review the Commonwealth Aid Roads (Special Assistance) Act 1957 was passed, in November, 1957, to authorize the payment of a special assistance grant for road purposes of £3,000,000 in each of the years 1957-58 and 1958-59. This special assistance grant of £3,000,000 is distributed as follows:- The total road grants made to each of the States in recent years under the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1954-1956 and the Commonwealth Aid Roads (Special Assistance) Act 1957 are compared below with the estimated grants for 1958-59. These figures exclude the amounts set aside each year for expenditure on strategic roads and the promotion of road safety practices. The figures for both 1957-58 and 1958-59 include the amounts being paid to the States from the £3,000,000 special assistance grants for roads. Financial Assistance to States for Universities. - Payments to the States for universities were first introduced in 1951-52 under the States Grants (Universities) Act 1951 and were continued under similar legislation passed in 1953, 1955, 1956 and 1957. Following on the Government's acceptance of the main recommendations of the Committee on Australian Universities, the provisions of the 1957 Act relating to financial assistance for 1958 were superseded by the States Grants (Universities) Act 1958, which operated from 1st January, 1958. This new legislation authorized the Commonwealth to make payments to the States for universities of up to £21,400,000 over the three calender years 1958 to 1960 inclusive, where certain conditions have been satisfied. These payments include increased contributions towards the running expenses of universities, new grants for capital works and equipment and new emergency grants. As a result of the operation of this new legislation in the latter half of 1957-58, payments to the States for universities were, at £3,075,000, £775,000 above the estimate for the year. In 1958-59 these payments are expected to increase by a further £4,075,000 to £7,150,000. The estimated grants payable to individual States in 1958-59 are compared with grants paid in previous years in the following table: - Tuberculosis Hospitals - Reimbursement of Capital Expenditure. - Under the Tuberculosis Act 1948 the Commonwealth undertook to reimburse the States for capital expenditure on buildings, furnishings, equipment and plant for the diagnosis, treatment and control of tuberculosis. In 1958-59 expenditure is estimated to be £1,750,000, which is the amount the States are likely to claim during the year in reimbursement of their expenditure on approved capital items. Expenditure in 1957-58 was £2,142,000. The distribution of Commonwealth grants under the Tuberculosis Act 1948 in recent years is shown in the table below: - Mental Institutions - Contribution to Capital Expenditure. - In 1955 the Commonwealth agreed to provide financial assistance of up to £10,000,000 towards capital expenditure incurred by the States on mental institutions. The Commonwealth offered to pay £1 for every £2 spent by the States. Expenditure by the Commonwealth in 1957-58 amounted to £1,256,000 and brought total Commonwealth expenditure under the scheme to £3,277,000. The estimated expenditure in 1958-59 is £1,500,000. The following table shows the actual payments the scheme, and the estimated payments for to each State in each year since the inception of 1958-59: - Coal Mining Industry - Long Service Leave. - In the States in which coal-miners have been awarded long service leave by industrial tribunals, the State Governments concerned have agreed to reimburse employers for the costs they incur in granting this leave. The Commonwealth in its turn has agreed to reimburse the States for the amounts paid and the administrative costs incurred by the States in giving effect to these arrangements. To provide the funds required for these purposes an excise was imposed on coal under the Coal Excise Act 1949. An amount equivalent to the proceeds of the excise is appropriated to a Trust Account under the States Grants (Coal Mining Industry Long Service Leave) Act 1949-1956. The appropriation is estimated at £600,000 in 1958-59, compared with £590,000 in 1957-58. The amounts of excise collections credited to the Coal Mining Industry Long Service Leave Fund in respect of individual States in each of the last six years, and the estimated credits to the Fund for those States in 1958-59, are compared in the table below: - Western Australia Waterworks. - Under the Western Australia Grant (Water Supply) Act 1948-1957 the Commonwealth is, within specified limits, assisting the State of Western Australia to finance the cost of constructing the Comprehensive Water Supply Scheme. The scheme involves the reticulation of water to townships and homesteads in a wheat belt area of about 4,000,000 acres inland from Perth; reticulation of water to towns along the Great Southern Railway from Beverley to Katanning; and an increase in the supply of water to the Eastern Goldfields area of the State. During 1957-58 payments to Western Australia under this legislation amounted to £676,800, bringing total payments by the Commonwealth in respect of the scheme up to £3,289,000. During 1957 the Act was amended to remove the limit to the annual contribution by the Commonwealth and also to increase the aggregate limit of the Commonwealth's contributions from £4,000,000 to £5,000,000. It is estimated that payments to the State will amount to £563,000 in 1958-59. Payments in each year since the inception of the arrangements are set out below: - Western Australia Northern Development Grant. - The Western Australia Grant (Northern Development) Act 1958 provides for the payment to the State of Western Australia, over a period of five years commencing on 1st July, 1958, of up to £2,500,000 to give financial assistance in relation to approved projects contributing to the development of that part of the area of the State north of the twentieth parallel of latitude. The prime responsibility for the development of the area continues to rest with the State Government, which will nominate projects for approval under the Act. The Commonwealth has indicated that in approving projects for assistance it will be concerned to ensure that assistance provided under the scheme is directed to new and additional development which would not have been undertaken in the absence of this assistance. The State Government has estimated that £125,000 will be required in 1958-59. Encouragement of Meat Production. - The States Grants (Encouragement of Meat Production) Act 1949-1954 provides for the payment of £2,166,000 to the States of Queensland and Western Australia for the construction of new and improved facilities for the movement of cattle. It is estimated that final payments amounting to £44,000 will be made under this Act in 1958-59. The distribution o* the grants in each year since their commencement in 1950-51 is shown below: - Imported Houses. - Under the States Grants (Imported Houses) Act 1950 the Commonwealth provided for the payment to the States of a subsidy on imported prefabricated houses of up to £300 a house. A payment of £300 in 1957-58 brought the total subsidy to £4,193,700. No further expenditure is expected under this scheme. *//. - Other Payments to the States.* In addition to payments to or for the States under Part IV. of the Estimates, various other payments are made each year which might be regarded as coming within the category of payments to the States. These are noted in the following table: - Railway Standardization - Albury to Melbourne. - The Commonwealth has agreed to provide funds for the construction of a standard gauge rail link between Albury and Melbourne on the basis that the States of Victoria and New South Wales will each bear 15 per cent, of the cost by instalments over a period of 50 years. Expenditure in 1957-58 was £470,000 and a provision of £1,700,000 is made for this purpose in 1958-59. Railway Standardization - South Australia. - The Commonwealth, under the Railway Standardization (South Australia) Agreement Act 1949, is providing funds for the conversion to 5 feet 3 inches gauge of the lines in the south-eastern division of the State as an initial step towards eventual standardization on 4 feet 84 inches gauge. The State is to repay three-tenths of the cost of this work over a period of 50 years and is to bear the full cost of subsequent conversion from broad to standard gauge. At 30th June, 1958 Commonwealth expenditure totalled approximately £4,817,000, and the provision of £500,000 for this year is expected to enable the lines to be operated as broad gauge from mid-1959. Cattle Tick Control.- Since the 1920's the Commonwealth has made annual payments to the State of New South Wales towards the cost of cattle tick control and eradication measures in that State. In 1954 the State introduced an intensified and systematic eradication campaign and the Commonwealth has shared the cost on a £ for £ basis with the State. Commonwealth expenditure on the scheme since 1952-53 has been as follows: - improved farm practices in the dairy industry the Commonwealth is providing financial assistance with a maximum annual limit of £250,000. This includes small amounts which are expended directly by the Commonwealth each year on projects common to a number of States. Estimated expenditure in 1958-59 is £250,000, of which it is estimated that £240,000 will be paid to the States. Payments to each State in the last six years have been as follows: - Grant for Expansion of Agricultural Advisory Services. - These payments were introduced in 1952-53 in order to encourage expansion of agricultural advisory services by the State Departments of Agriculture and to promote increased farm efficiency. Expenditure in 1957-58 was £265,000 and the estimates for 1958-59 provide for an expenditure of £242,000 on this scheme. In addition, small amounts are expended directly by the Commonwealth each year on projects common to a number of States. Payments to each State in recent years are set out below: - Eradication of House Borers. - £150,000 is included in the estimates for 1958-59 as the amount the Commonwealth has agreed to contribute on a £ for £ basis with the Queensland State Government towards the cost of eradicating European house borers from imported houses in Queensland erected under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement. Emergency Payments. - In the event of serious floods, cyclones, droughts and bushfires, the Com monwealth has, upon request, provided to the State concerned on a £ for £ basis financial assistance for the relief of personal hardship and distress. The Commonwealth has also made special grants to States for the restoration of flood-damaged roads, bridges and the like, where the work involved placed an undue burden on the finances of the State concerned. It is in the nature of these grants that the need for them cannot be foreseen. The estimates for 1958-59 represent balances avail- Payments from Consolidated Revenue to the able from emergency grants offered by the States for flood, cyclone, drought and bushfire Commonwealth in earlier years. relief since 1952-53 are set out below: - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. In addition, the following payments have been made to Victoria and South Australia in recent years from the Commonweath Aid Roads (Supplementary) Trust Account to assist in restoring flood-damaged roads and bridges in those States:- Payments from National Welfare Fund. - Some payments from the National Welfare Fund are made to the States for Commonwealth social service benefits provided through the States. In this sense only they represent payments to the States. The benefits in question are designed primarily to assist individuals. These payments from the National Welfare Fund are listed below. (A full statement of the transactions of the National Welfare Fund is contained in Statement No. 5.): - Other examples of Commonwealth schemes administrative machinery include the Commonwhich involve payments to the States because wealth scholarship scheme and the scheme for the of the use made of State services or of State education of adult migrants. Items the estimates for which show major variations from expenditure in 1957-58 are - External Affairs. - The estimated increase of £75,000 in the estimate is mainly for the purchase of buildings for overseas diplomatic establishments, particularly in Japan and India. Attorney-General's. - Most of the reduction is due to the fact that the Arbitration Court Building, Melbourne, is nearing completion. Interior. - The reduction under this head is due mainly to the transfer of responsibility for the construction of offices in the Australian Capital Territory to the National Capital Development Commission. Works.- The reduction of £629,000 reflects a loss in 1957-58 of £466,000 on disposal of surplus war-time stores and stores purchased for the Immigration and National Service programmes. In addition, purchases of plant and equipment for use outside the Territories are estimated to be £172,000 less than in 1957-58. Civil Aviation. - £3,625,000 has been provided for buildings and works and £507,000 for the acquisition of sites and properties. The increased provision for the works programme is £1,323,000, of which £1,100,000 is attributable to projects that are essential pre-requisites to the introduction of jet aircraft. The provision of £1,800,000 for technical equipment includes increased expenditure on radio and electrical equipment, aerodrome maintenance plant, vehicles and fire-fighting equipment and the purchase of aircraft for testing airways facilities. Capital for Qantas and Trans-Australia Airlines. -The provision for 1958-59 includes £1,750,000 for Qantas Empire Airways Limited and £1,000,000 for the Australian National Airlines Commission (Trans-Australia Airlines). The amount for Qantas is required for buildings, hangars and other capital works, mainly at Sydney airport, and the purchase of shares in Malayan Airways and Fiji Airways. In the case of Trans-Australia Airlines, the provision is wholly related to the purchase of new aircraft. Health. - Increased provision for expenditure on buildings and works for the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories accounts for the increase. Repatriation. - Increased provision has been made for buildings and works at Repatriation establishments. {:#subdebate-14-6} #### Standardization of Railway Gauges. - South Australia. - Provision of £500,000 is made for work being carried out in the southeast of South Australia under the 1949 Standardization Agreement. The principal lines in this area are being converted to 5-ft. 3-in. gauge as an initial step towards standardization on 4-ft. 84-in. gauge and the work will be substantially completed by mid-1959. Albury to Melbourne. - The Commonwealth has agreed to assist financially the construction of a standard gauge rail link between Albury and Melbourne at an estimated cost of £10,700,000. Under the proposed agreement the Commonwealth will initially provide all the funds required for the work, and Victoria and New South Wales will each repay 15 per cent, over a period of 50 years. To enable a start to be made on the work the Commonwealth provided an advance of £470,000 in 1957-58, and it is estimated that expenditure in 1958-59 will be £1,700,000. Christmas Island. - Expenditure in 1957-58 included the payment made in connexion with the impending transfer to Australia of sovereignty over the Island and advances to the Christmas Island Phosphate Commission to enable the output of phosphate to be increased. The 1958-59 provision is for further advances to the Commission. Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority. - The estimated increase of £1,150,000 in expenditure by the Authority in 1958-59 as compared with 1957-58 is due mainly to the recent letting of three new contracts for the construction of additional major works on the Upper Tumut Section of the scheme. Other major works in the Upper Tumut Section are nearing completion, and it is expected that the first stage of the T.I. power station project will commence production towards the end of 1958-59. Expenditure under River Murray Waters Act. - Expenditure on the project for increasing the capacity of the Hume Reservoir from 2,000,000 to 2,500,000 acre feet has passed its peak, and it is expected that the Commonwealth's contribution to the cost of the project in 1958-59 will be £275,000, or £279,000 less than its contribution in 1957-58. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. - It is proposed to spend £103,000 more than actual expenditure last year on works, sites and buildings. The 1958-59 provision allows for commencement of a £700,000 food preservation laboratory at Ryde, New South Wales. Australian Atomic Energy Commission. - The main reason for the estimated decline in capital expenditure in 1958-59 is that the research reactor and the initial building programme at Lucas Heights have now been completed. Additional research laboratories remain to be built. Expenditure on these and on further plant and equipment for research is estimated to be £1,050,000 in 1958-59. There will also be expenditure on the construction of a head-quarters building at Lucas Heights for the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering and on equipment for the Rum Jungle project. Railways.- The decrease of £1,098,000 under this head is due to the virtual completion of the Commonwealth standard-gauge railway from Stirling North to Marree, and lower expenditure on new rolling-stock. Post Office. - Expenditure on technical equipment is planned to increase by about £1,500,000. Expenditure this year is aimed at improving trunk line facilities and the standard of service to telephone subscribers, in addition to providing additional subscribers' connexions. The telegraph service will continue to be modernized. An advance of £500,000 to the Post Office Stores and Services Trust Account, charged against this vote in 1957-58, does not recur in the 1958-59 estimates. The provision for works projects is increased by £57,000 over last year's expenditure, while the provision for sites and buildings is slightly reduced. Broadcasting and Television. - The increase in the estimate is due mainly to an increase in expenditure expected on buildings for new television stations at Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart. The total provision for expenditure on these buildings in 1958-59 is £635,000. The Brisbane station is expected to be opened in November, 1959, and the Adelaide, Perth and Hobart stations, in that order, in the early part of 1960. A further £170,000 is included in the estimate for the transfer of the Perth broadcasting studio to a new site. Northern Territory. - Main factors in the estimated increase of £661,000 for the Northern Territory are the expansion of expenditure on buildings and engineering services and developmental road construction, and on the provision of health facilities, loans to church organizations, additional plant and equipment for the Northern Territory Administration and the construction of stockyards for pleuro-pneumonia control. The provision for plant and buildings for the Department of Works is £123,000 less than expenditure last year. Australian Capital Territory. - The increased provision for the Australian Capital Territory includes an additional £2,219,000 for works under the control of the National Capital Development Commission, and is related particularly to the expanded works programme for Canberra associated with the impending transfer of the defence departments from Melbourne. It also includes £108,000 for additional health facilities, an additional £87,000 for electrical engineering works and a further £53,000 for housing loans. Papua-New Guinea. - The provision for PapuaNew Guinea includes £250,000 for the introduction of a land settlement credit scheme for exservicemen. {:#subdebate-14-7} #### Item No. 20. - Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve In 1957-58 an amount of £104,378,000 was appropriated from Consolidated Revenue to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. Apart from expenditure from the Reserve on debt repurchases and redemptions, an amount of £81,889,000 was invested from the Reserve in a special loan to assist in financing the State works and housing programme and War Service Land Settlement. It is necessary to make provision again this year to meet commitments in respect of the State works and housing programme and War Service Land Settlement, and an amount of £102,000,000 has been included in the Consolidated Revenue Fund estimates for appropriation to the Reserve. {: .page-start } page 50 {:#debate-15} ### STATEMENT No. 4.- LOAN TRANSACTIONS. 19S8-59 {: .page-start } page 50 {:#debate-16} ### LOAN COUNCIL BORROWING PROGRAMMES, 1958-59 At a meeting in June, 1958, the Loan Council approved a governmental borrowing programme for State works and housing of £210,000,000 for 1958-59. The Loan Council also approved borrowing programmes for 1958-59 of £95,000,000 for State semi-governmental and local authorities. The allocation of the approved governmental programme for State works and housing in 1958-59 is compared below with the allocation of the actual programme for 1957-58. The resolution approving the above-mentioned programme of £210,000,000 was supported by the Commonwealth on the understanding that the State Governments would fulfil certain conditions designed to promote governmental loan raisings in 1958-59. For ils part, the Commonwealth undertook - {: .page-start } page 50 {:#debate-17} ### WAR SERVICE LAND SETTLEMENT As in recent years, the Commonwealth will need to find loan finance in 1958-59 for advances to States in respect of War Service Land Settlement. These advances are estimated at £7,000,000 as compared with £8,703,000 in 1957-58. The estimated amounts which will be made available by the Commonwealth to individual States in 1958-59 for capital expenditure on War Service Land Settlement and the actual amounts made available in 1957-58 are as follows: - Expenditure in 1958-59 is estimated to be less than in 1957-58 mainly because of reductions in expenditure expected in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. Practical difficulties that have arisen in New South Wales have made necessary the deferment of some expenditure until 1959-60. In South Australia and Western Australia some of the large-scale development projects are reaching completion. {: .page-start } page 51 {:#debate-18} ### FINANCING OF STATE WORKS AND HOUSING PROGRAMMES AND WAR SERVICE LAND SETTLEMENT As indicated in Statement No. 2, it is estimated that the State works and housing programmes and War Service Land Settlement will be financed as foilows in 1958-59: - Outlay - £m. £m. The Consolidated Revenue Fund estimates provide for an appropriation of £102,000,000 to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve and it is envisaged that a subscription to this special loan will be made from that Reserve. {: .page-start } page 51 {:#debate-19} ### LOAN TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING TREASURY BILL FINANCE Defence Expenditure. It is proposed that expenditure on Defence Services to the extent of £78,000,000 will be charged to Loan Fund in 1958-59. Redemptions of Maturing Securities. Commonwealth Inscribed Stock and Bonds maturing in Australia in 1958-59 totalled £336,965,000 on 30th June, 1958. Details are as follows: - the October maturities having been issued between March and November, 1946 and the November maturities mainly between February and December, 1942. The securities maturing in May, 1959 were issued in the August, 1957 cash and conversion loans. In addition to the securities maturing in Australia, an Australian loan of £Stg.20,675,000 matures in London on 1st June, 1959. The October and November maturities in particular are widely held, and although it is not possible to make a reliable estimate of the amounts likely to be required, it is likely that the total cost of redemptions of maturing securities will be considerably greater than in 1957-58. The figure adopted for purposes of the Budget is £80,000,000 as compared with £62,879,000 in 1957-58. Financing of Defence Expenditure and Redemptions of Maturing Securities. It is estimated that an amount of up to £45,000,000 will be available from the current receipts of the National Debt Sinking Fund towards meeting these redemptions. To meet the balance of £35,000,000 it is expected that it will be necessary to realize investments held by the Sinking Fund and the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve. As other Trust Fund balances are expected to show a net increase of £3,000,000 in 1958-59, it is estimated that these operations of the Sinking Fund, the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve and of other Trust Accounts will require additional finance to the extent of £32,000,000. After taking account of the fact that out of £190,000,000 of defence expenditure in 1958-59, some £78,000,000 is to be financed from Loan Fund, the estimated Treasury Bill requirements in 1958-59 are arrived at as follows: - The securities maturing in October and November, 1958 are largely war debt (£196,533,000), Receipts. The National Welfare Fund Act 1952 requires an appropriation from Consolidated Revenue to the Fund each year of an amount equal to expenditure from the Fund in that year. The increase of £26,354,000 in estimated receipts for 1958-59 reflects an estimated increase in expenditure from the Fund in 1958-59 of £26,332,000 plus an estimated increase of £22,534 in interest received from the investment of the balance in the Fund. Expenditure. Of the expected increase in expenditure from the National Welfare Fund of £26,332,000 in 1958-59, £3,925,000 is due to the cost in 1958-59 of the proposed supplementary assistance for certain age, invalid and widow pensioners, means test liberalizations and other minor changes. Comments on particular items of expenditure where the estimate for 1958-59 varies substantially from actual expenditure in 1957-58 are set out below: - Age and Invalid Pensions. - It is estimated that net expenditure on age and invalid pensions in 1958-59 will rise by £10,423,000. The proposed supplementary assistance and means test liberalizations are estimated to cost £3,419,000 in 1958-59. Provision is also made for an increase in the number of beneficiaries (£4,705,000) and for the full year effect of the higher pension rates granted in 1957-58 (£3,375,000). Partly offsetting the estimated gross increase in expenditure of £11,499,000 is an estimated reduction of £1,076,000 on account of an advance payment in 1957-58 of £781,000 to the Post Office in respect of the pension pay day on 3rd July, 1958, and a decline in the average fortnightly rate of pension. Widows' Pensions. - Of the estimated increase in expenditure on widows' pensions of £1,418,000 in 1958-59, £503,000 represents the estimated cost of the supplementary assistance and means test liberalizations now proposed. An increase in the number of widows eligible for pension and the full-year effect of the higher rates of pension granted in 1957-58 account for the remainder of the increase. Child Endowment.- The increase of £8,516,000 in child endowment payments includes £6,400,000 for an extra twelve-weekly payment in 1958-59, and also allows for a greater number of children. Unemployment and Sickness Benefits. - Provision is made under this heading for expenditure of £5,500,000 on unemployment, sickness and special benefits in 1958-59. The figure assumes that there will be a reduction in the number at present receiving unemployment benefit. Hospital Benefits. - The estimated increase of £3,588,000 in hospital benefit payments in 1958-59 is mainly attributable to the full-year effect of the revised rates of " additional hospital benefit " which came into force on 1st January, 1958 (£2,400,000), the continued growth expected in the membership of hospital insurance organizations (£510,000), more people qualifying for the higher rate of "additional hospital benefit" (£450,000), and greater bed occupancy in public and private hospitals (£120,000), partly as a result of beds previously reserved for tuberculosis patients becoming available for general hospital treatment. Pharmaceutical Benefits. - It is estimated that outlay on pharmaceutical benefits in 1958-59 will be £14,555,000, or £1,644,000 more than expenditure in 1957-58. The inclusion of new drugs in the pharmaceutical benefits list, after allowing for savings on superseded drugs, is expected to require an extra £1,370,000, and the prescribing during a full year of drugs introduced during 1957-58 a further £274,000. Pharmaceutical Benefits for Pensioners. - Payments for pharmaceutical benefits for pensioners in 1958-59 are estimated to be £2,555,000, or £432,000 more than those in 1957-58. Of this increase, higher dispensing fees account foi £185,000 and additions to the list of approved medicines for a net £137,000. There is also provision for an additional £110,000 to cover higher drug prices and a larger number of prescriptions dispensed as a result of an increased number of pensioners. Medical Benefits.- At £8,300,000 the expected cost of medical benefits in 1958-59 is £1,214,000 above last year's figure. Growing membership of medical benefit organizations will probably be accompanied by a rise of about 13 per cent, in the number of services qualifying for Commonwealth benefit, and together these factors are estimated to result in increased expenditure of £1,110,000. Another £104,000 is likely to be needed to meet the full-year cost of certain higher rates of benefit payable from January, 1958. Medical Benefits for Pensioners. - The estimated requirement of £3,750,000 for medical benefits for pensioners in 1958-59 is £551,000 greater than expenditure for 1957-58. Higher doctors' fees which operated from 1st July, 1958, are expected to cost £296,000. An increase of 5 per cent, in the numbers of pensioners and dependants eligible under the scheme, together with an expected continuation of the upward trend in demand for services, are estimated to cost a further £255,000. Nutrition of Children. - For nutrition of children - the free milk to children scheme - an amount of £2,986,000 is estimated for 1958-59, an increase of £230,000 on expenditure in 1957-58. The increase is due to the larger number of schools and of children participating in the scheme, and to higher milk prices in some States. I move - >That the first item in the Estimates under Division No. 1 - The Senate - namely, " Salaries and allowances £27,450 ", be agreed to. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 54 {:#debate-20} ### BUDGET PAPERS The following papers were presented: - >The Budget 1958-59 - Papers presented by the Right Honorable **Sir Arthur** Fadden, M.P., for the information of honorable members on the occasion of the Budget of 1958-59. > >National Income and Expenditure 1957-58. Ordered to be printed. {: .page-start } page 55 {:#debate-21} ### GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S SPEECH Address-in-Reply: Acknowledgment by Her Majesty the Queen. {: #debate-21-s0 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- 1 desire to inform the House that 1 have received from His Excellency the Governor-General the following communication in connexion with the Address-In-Reply - > **Mr. Speaker,** > >I desire to acquaint you that the substance of the Address-In-Reply, which you presented to me on the 14th March, 1958, has been communicated to Her Majesty the Queen. > >It is the Queen's wish that I convey to you and to honorable members of the House of Representatives, Her Majesty's sincere thanks for the loyal message to which your address gives expression. > >J. SLIM, Governor-General. 12th June, 1958. {: .page-start } page 55 {:#debate-22} ### ASSENT TO BILLS Assent to the following bills reported: - Public Service Bill 1958. Commonwealth Employees' Furlough Bill 1958. Bankruptcy Bill 1958. Tariff Board Bill 1958. Customs Tariff Bill 1958. Customs Tariff (Canadian Preference) Bill 1958. Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Bill 1958. Customs Tariff (Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Preference) Bill 1958. Excise Tariff Bill 1958. Customs Tariff Bill (No. 2) 1958. Customs Tariff (Primage Duties) Bill 1958. Petroleum Search Subsidy Bill 1958. Beer Excise Bill 1958. Colton Bounty Bill 1958. Income Tax (International Agreements) Bil) 1958. Overseas Telecommunications Bill 1958. States Grants (Universities) Bill 1958. Western Australia Grant (Northern Development) Bill 1958. Wheat Acquisition (Undistributed Moneys) Bill 1958. Conciliation and Arbitration Bill 1958. Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Power Bill 1958. Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 1957-58. Appropriation (Works and Services) Bill (No. 2) 1957-58. Supply Bill 1958-59. Supply (Works and Services) Bill 1958-59. Navigation Bill 1958. {: .page-start } page 55 {:#debate-23} ### PENSIONS {:#subdebate-23-0} #### Petitions **Mr. GEORGE** LAWSON presented a petition from 3,504 members of the Pensioners' League of Queensland praying that Parliament will give immediate consideration to the question of increasing pensions to no less than 50 per cent, of the basic wage as the minimum. **Mr. COSTA** presented a petition from certain citizens of Australia praying that immediate consideration be given to the matter of increasing the rate of age, invalid and widow's pensions to at least 50 per cent, of the basic wage. Petitions received and read. **Mr. GRIFFITHS** presented a similar petition from certain citizens of Australia. Petition received. {: .page-start } page 55 {:#debate-24} ### MIGRATION BILL 1958 {:#subdebate-24-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from 8th May (vide page 1647, vol. H. of R. 19), on motion by **Mr. Downer** - >That the bill be now read a second time. {: #subdebate-24-0-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS:
Yarra .- This piece of legislation, which was introduced at the end of last session, is extremely important. Substantially, it substitutes a new act of Parliament for all measures dealing with migration passed since 1901 to the present day. The bill provides for control of migration to Australia by regulation or restriction. Migration to Australia has always had two quite distinct aspects. The first has been the aspect of assistance or encouragement, and the second the aspect of restriction. Both of these aspects have always been closely related and it is quite impossible to discuss or examine one without discussing or examining the other. As the Minister for Immigration **(Mr. Downer)** stated in his second reading speech, restriction of migration to Australia goes back to 1855 in Victoria and a little later in New South Wales. We are often led to believe that restriction of migration is a relatively new factor. We are frequently told that throughout the laisser-faire nineteenth century, the movement of people in and out of countries was much freer. However, in practically every established country, restrictions have been imposed upon the entry or departure of people. In the Australian situation there are some reasons which we should identify for the restriction of migration. First of all some persons who come may not be of a desirable type to be accepted for permanent residence in the country. I have also thought that, in the Australian case, a restriction should also be placed on those who do not enter the country in accordance with what is regarded as the proper procedure. I refer to persons who leave ships and enter the country without meeting legal requirements. There are those also who come temporarily, for particular reasons, and then desire or try to stay. Those are types against whom, broadly speaking, restriction has been practised in the Australian situation. Before I look more closely at the restrictions proposed in this bill I should like to direct attention to the second aspect - the encouragement or expansion of migration. I want to make the point clearly that there is a very close relationship between the two aspects. If it were possible in this country to maintain conditions under which migration could be very expansive, then the question of restriction would not be nearly so important. I feel like saying clearly to persons who are affected by the restriction of migration, and who want to get members of their families from overseas and cannot do so, "If we were able in this country to stand a much greater immigration programme, many or most of these restrictions would disappear ". The connexion between restrictions and the expansionary or assisted side of migration, therefore, is very close indeed. I think it would be most unfortunate if people became concerned with the aspect of restrictions without relating it to what, perhaps, is the most effective way of removing those restrictions. I shall refer to that in a few moments. Historically, the factor that most intimately concerns expansion in the Australian situation, has always been associated with the question of unemployment, right back to, I think, 1858, when 5,000 persons gathered in the Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne to protest against immigration because of unemployment. Throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century the relation between unemployment in Australian and the demand for restriction of migration had always been very close. In the 19th century, when governments were, in many respects, remarkably unrepresentative of the people and would not, perhaps, have had much to fear from the unemployed, there was invariably restriction of migration for either natural or artificial reasons. Historically, therefore, unemployment has been a very significant matter in relation to the level of migration that this country has been able to maintain. But a relatively new factor has appeared in recent years. This is the factor to which I want to give emphasis tonight. It is the factor of housing and services. As far as I am able to find, this became a significant factor in the determination of Australia's migration programme. In 1945, the then Minister for Immigration, who is now the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell)** outlined in a speech to this House the foundational structure of the Australian migration programme All those people who are interested in maintaining the programme should read that speech again. I believe that the Australian post-war migration programme was founded upon the facts and circumstances detailed in that speech. Not only was emphasis laid, correctly, upon the level of employment and the increased opportunities for employment in this country; emphasis was laid also upon the need to have an adequate housing and servicing programme if the migration programme was to be maintained. I think that in considering this bill, which is a most embracing and, I may say so, a vastly improved and a vastly liberalized measure, we should think at the same time primarily of the fundamental economic circumstances which underlie the migration programme. This is a vital matter in relation to restriction. Indeed, the post-war migration programme was accepted, I believe, by the Australian people in association with a policy of full employment, rather generally and loosely understood. The point to be made clear here is that it is not just a matter of there not being much unemployment - not full employment in that sense. Most significantly it is a matter of the increase of the work force each year, such increase to he made up of the number of Australian-born who join the work force, and the number of people who come from overseas to join it. In the post-war years this has always been 60,000 to 80,000. In other words, I am suggesting that we cannot have what I call an optimum migration programme unless we have an increase in the work force of 60,000 or 80,000 people a year, or perhaps a little more. Full employment is not enough. The fact that we do not have much unemployment is not enough. We must have an expanding work force. The expansion of our work force has not been at anything like that rate. One only has to refer to the information provided by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics for wage and salary earners which, of course, do not include all; where estimates of the aggregate are made, the position is slightly worse. Between June, 1955, and June, 1956, the work force increased by only 53,000 people. In the next twelve months, the work force increased by only 10,000 people, and in the last year, not necessarily the financial year, the increase will be even less. It is pretty clear, therefore, that with the level of employment in Australia behaving like this, the problem of the restriction of migration will become greater and greater. Personally, 1 do not want to see it become any greater. Other members of this House may know of dozens of migrants to this country who are most distressed, who are in great difficulty, and who have tragedies in their homes because all members of their families cannot, or have not so far been able to come to Australia. This question of restriction, therefore, which this bill very closely affects, cannot be separated from those factors. In addition to the growth in the labour force, we have also to be concerned with the second principle that was expounded by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in 1945, relating to housing and services. It is all very well to speak, as the Treasurer **(Sir Arthur Fadden)** has spoken earlier this evening, of prosperity when you think only about the aggregate, and the vast volume of inflated Fadden flimsies by which the national income has increased. We must also think of the composition of the national income or national output. What has happened to housing? We all know the answer. Very soon after this Government came into office the rate of construction was over 80,000 houses a year. Since then, our population has increased by over one and a half million, yet the number of houses under construction in Australia is just over 64,000 a year. So if the Deputy Leader of the Opposition was correct in 1945 - and I believe that he was - the question of the number of houses being built is of vital importance to the migration programme. Again, seeing the conditions in my own electorate, I do not want the same pressure, or anything like the same pressure to be maintained on housing that exists at the present time. Because of my knowledge of the housing conditions in my electorate, I am not prepared to accept from the Treasurer, although he has occupied his distinguished office for nine years, the assurance that this country is in a condition of prosperity. I am not prepared to accept as satisfactory the congested conditions under which migrant families live; it would not be fair to the migrants, many of whom are no better off in Australia than they were in some of the depressed parts of Europe. The number of actions for eviction that some migrant home-owners have been compelled by the circumstances to launch in the courts has created, unfortunately - it is not yet of any great significance - an antipathy to migrants. Therefore, if we are concerned - as we are in this measure - with a liberalizing of the procedure of migration restriction, we must also be concerned with these fundamental matters to determine how much that procedure must or must not be applied. Now, the position, which I would like to put summarily, is that immigration to this country cannot survive to any significant extent without serious restriction unless not only full employment but also an expansion of the work force by something like *60,000* to 80,000 people a year is maintained. It cannot be maintained unless something like 80,000 houses a year - or more - are being built. It cannot be maintained at a proper level unless hospitals, schools and other services are also provided to meet the needs of an increasing population. What has been going on in Australia in recent years is that we have been losing out in the provision of the essentials and gaining rapidly in the provision of the trivial or additional things. You can buy a television set without having to pay a deposit; but try buying a house without paying a deposit! It is much easier to buy the things that are not essential for national development than it is to buy the things that are fundamental to national development. But as long as we are encouraged - as we are by the present Government and by some of its advisers who ought to know better - to think only in terms of the aggregate, and as long as even the semblance of full employment exists, everything in the world is lovely, or so we are told. That is the doctrine of ultralaissezfaire, and it is not a doctrine that will solve Australia's .problems of national development. I want now, having discussed this fundamental matter underlying the immigration programme, to turn to the actual restrictions on immigration. In Australia we have applied immigration restrictions because some of. the people who have come here, or tried to come here, have not been desirable types. We have, as I suppose most people have, a rather high assumption of our own quality, and we tend to be choosy. I suppose that is quite justifiable. We think in terms of fitness. We think in terms of contribution to development - and the Australian immigration programme has been coupled with development. We have wanted *as* immigrants people with skills, people with muscles who can work on tramway construction and so forth, or in the building industry and, on the whole, we have got them. These people have made a substantial contribution to Australia's developments in all these respects. We have also been concerned - and let us be quite frank about it - with social and political suitability. There has been political screening used here and abroad which, I think, has allowed people with, shall we say, very narrow concepts of political conformity, to have their say. It seems to me that conformity is a greater danger in this country than radicalism is. It seems to me that in some of those respects we have rather overdone it, so to speak. {: .speaker-KIF} ##### Mr Hulme: -- What is your proof? {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- I think the fact that the honorable member for Petrie **(Mr. Hulme)** has had something to do with it is my proof. We have had countless cases in which questions that have been put to immigrants to test their political and social attitudes have shown a fairly narrow definition of what is suitable. {: .speaker-KIF} ##### Mr Hulme: -- You want the Corns, to come in, do you? {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- I think that that is the only kind of reply one could expect from such a quarter. Unfortunately, it is the only reply we ever get when we proceed to examine some of the assumptions underlying the position. {: .speaker-KIF} ##### Mr Hulme: -- Don't stall. Answer the question. {: #subdebate-24-0-s1 .speaker-KSC} ##### Mr SPEAKER (Hon John McLeay:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA -- Order! The honorable member for Petrie must not interject. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- I will be prepared to answer the question if the honorable member thinks it is necessary. The answer is, " No. I do not ". Does that satisfy the honorable member for Petrie? {: .speaker-KIF} ##### Mr Hulme: -- Partly. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- The point to which I was referring is that we have considered the social and political suitability of immigrants. We also have decided that people who are to come to Australia should come according to the accepted methods. They may not come temporarily and then try to stay permanently. Now let us look at the aspect of fitness and contribution to development first. That is, broadly speaking, a necessary requirement at a time when we have the ability to be selective, when more people want tocome to Australia than we can accept in the circumstances of a particular time. In those conditions that is a wise kind of policy to follow. But I think that it is not a position that we can maintain completely. Because of humanitarian reasons we cannot maintain it completely. Many people pass the fitness and contribution to development test and come to Australia. Then we find that they have relatives overseas who cannot pass that test. I feel that when we are getting sufficient numbers of immigrants who show themselves to be capable of contributing to our development and of increasing our productive capacity, then, on humanitarian grounds, we are bound to accept also as immigrants some members of their families who, for reasons of age or health, lack fitness and cannot contribute to our development. I would be prepared to take this much further than the present Government is. Time and time again we hear of prospective migrants being refused admittance to Australia for no other reason than a health condition which is consistent with their age. There are other kinds of cases, too. I can call to mind one case of a small boy who had a deformed left hand and whose left leg was slightly shorter than his right leg. His mother and father were here. I think that a refusal to admit in such a case is an example of a principle being applied far too narrowly. We have had an important contribution to our productive capacity and we can stand, 1 think, and must stand for humanitarian reasons, a relaxation of the principle. The position is that such people are not going to be particularly dependent upon Australia. At naturalization ceremonies we are told that naturalized Australian citizens are entitled to all the social services that an Australian-born citizen is entitled to. Of course, that is not true. They are not entitled to all these social services. Members of immigrant families who come here later and who are for such reasons as health not normally acceptable immigrants, come under conditions where their sponsors undertake to maintain them. I know that that undertaking is not always capable of being carried out. But I believe that a country in Australia's present circumstances can afford to go quite a long way in common decency in this respect. Let me refer to one other point - the restriction on those who come here temporarily and not as permanent residents. Broadly, they come as visitors, either to engage in some particular business or employment, or they come for education. Probably there is a third category consisting of those who do not fit into the first two. When such persons have been here for a time, perhaps having had their vises extended on two or three occasions, and have proved themselves to be quite suitable people for this country, why not allow them to stay? What is the reason that they are not allowed to stay? Probably it is that allowing them to stay would be against the rules and would encourage more people to come ostensibly for temporary reasons in the belief that, having come temporarily, they would be allowed to stay permanently. If that happened, would it be likely to create any very serious situation? A case at present under consideration concerns a young Dutchman, I think, who came here and had his vise extended a couple of times, and is not to be allowed to stay. Why not? He is a very suitable type of person. I do not think it would be such a bad thing to even have a system under which people would be allowed to come on trial, look us over and decide whether they want to stay. I do not think the operation of such a system would be likely to create such a serious situation. 1 have in mind the case of a family who came here twelve years ago and eventually were refused permission to stay. They where told that they would have to leave Australia. That was twelve years ago, and these " wicked " people went into smoke. For twelve years they lived the normal lives of Australian citizens. Wherever they were employed they were found to be completely satisfactory. They were favorably known to justices of the peace and members of the Police Force. They produced, I understand, references of excellent character from all these people. What is wrong with them? Why should we be so particular and fussy? Why should we apply restrictions when people come here for a certain period? We have seen them, they have lived under Australian conditions, and they have shown themselves to be- acceptable. Why can they not be allowed to stay? I am not, of course, concerned with those who have not proved acceptable. One point in this matter does, I think, call for re-examination. Quite a number of people are allowed to come here for employment in fields demanding special qualifications. They are placed very much in the hands of their employers - the Chinese restaurant industry, the North Australian pearling industry and so on. Their employers are answerable to the State Department of Labour, and to other authorities in the north, in respect of working conditions, but they are given a very great power over their employees, whose conditions, we know, have in many cases been far from satisfactory, and certainly below those of Australians generally. This sort of thing continues to exist because the employee fears that if he objects he will lose his employment - the reason for his being allowed to remain in Australia. T want to say here that my experience has been that both the State departments of labour and the Department of Immigration have dealt with this matter in a very reasonable and sensible way, but I think that it should be looked at a little more closely because there is in it an element of exploitation and unfairness. Such persons come within the category that I have been discussing and I believe that after they have been here for some years - in the pearling industry some have remained for thirty - and their employment has finished, they should be given the opportunity to become naturalized. They may be too old to work and, failing naturalization, must return to their own country. Such people surely have very strong claims for naturalization. In conclusion, I believe that a couple of guiding principles underlie this legislation. One is that restriction must be closely related to the conditions of expansion or assistance. The Government has an optimum immigration plan to bring in 112,000 people this year, because it is budgeting for a deficit of £1 12,000,000. That is not the proper approach. The optimum number should surely be the number that we can employ, house and service without significantly harming Australian living conditions. Any other approach is bad for both the migrant and the Australian. We must be more liberal in relation to families. We must allow more of those who are not so fit, or so young, to come into Australia. We must do so for humanitarian reasons and because of the important contribution that is made to Australian productive capacity by those to whom these migrants are related. We must be a little more tolerant on both the social and political side. I know that some migrants, being apprehensive, have expressed opinions, political or social, concerning this country, but it is necessary for us - confident as we are in our own institutions - not ourselves to be so apprehensive as to refuse naturalization to persons who are not strongly suspected of endangering security. For my own part, I cannot see how a man can be a greater threat to security if he is naturalized than if he is not. Certainly, naturalization is not something that should be easily handed out, but in respect of a number of the restrictions that I know are applied in some cases, I would call for a more liberal interpretation of the principles involved. Finally, I think that the time has come to allow some temporary visitors to remain in this country if they so desire. This business of deporting them, or threatening them with deportation - more than anything else - gives Australia a bad name in this field. There has been, over the years, a liberalization of these things, and this measure is an expression of that liberalization, which should be extended as rapidly as possible. That seems to be the trend underlying the administration of immigration in this country. {: #subdebate-24-0-s2 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-24-0-s3 .speaker-KDY} ##### Mr JOSKE:
Balaclava .- This bill to consolidate and amend the Immigration Act, which is to be known as the Migration Act, has been prepared by the new Minister for Immigration **(Mr. Downer)** after consultation with his department and with the Commonwealth Immigration Advisory Council. That body, which consists of economists, trade union, business, and1 other leaders in the community, is very expert and is presided over by the honorable member for Forrest **(Mr. Freeth).** The council, and the department, presented the Minister with a vast mass of material. His study of that material, coupled with his own views, has produced this new bill, which repeals no fewer than 19 acts, consolidates the law on the subject, and amends the law in many vital respects. The Minister deserves generous congratulations on the bill, and upon his very favorable presentation of its contents. He is known for his humanitarian outlook. I emphasize that at the outset because the honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns)** expressed certain criticisms of the department's administration of the immigration law. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: -- It was a criticism of the principles applied. {: .speaker-KDY} ##### Mr JOSKE: -- The honorable member's criticisms were of a general character. He did not condescend to provide us with details. To take just one example, he referred to the existence of political screening, but produced not the slightest evidence of it. The words he used were, " I believe there is political screening ". The honorable member for Parramatta **(Sir Garfield Barwick)** will recall, from his reading from the early year books, the saying that the devil himself knoweth not the mind of man. What the honorable member for Yarra may believe about these matters is not of very much value to the Minister for Immigration. The honorable member, in making a charge of that nature, should produce a few real facts and cases and not, if I may use a term known to every honorable member - and usually employed by members of the Opposition - provide us with a smear. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: -- I produced four cases the other day! {: .speaker-KDY} ##### Mr JOSKE: -- Every case produced to the Minister is dealt with on its merits. I have no fear whatever for the administration of the department while it is in his hands, and believe that is the view of at least 95 per cent, of honorable members. The object of the immigration policy of the Government, of course, is summed up in the slogan, " Populate or perish ". We are seeking, by getting increased population, not merely to defend this country, but also to develop it, realizing that unless we develop it, somebody else will do so for us. Accordingly, great steps have been taken to bring many thousands of immigrants into Australia. The immigration policy has been a tremendous success. One has only to look at the achievements that have resulted from it to appreciate the truth of that statement. We have only to consider the increase in the population and the tremendous number of new works that have been commenced, whether they relate to transport, public works or manufactures. We must not overlook, either, the tremendous number, of new houses that have been built in Australia. The honorable member for Yarra suggested that the housing position, so far as immigrants were concerned, was bad. The truth of the matter is that when the Australian Labour party, which the honorable member supports, occupied the treasury bench, Australia had a shortage of 250,000 houses. The latest figures produced by the Department of National Development show that the shortage is now 80,000. {: .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin: -- What rot. {: .speaker-KDY} ##### Mr JOSKE: -- Those are the latest figures produced by the responsible department, and it is quite idle for any honorable member to make that sort of interjection. It merely shows ignorance. The honorable member does not know what he is talking about. That is the sort of remark that is made by the ignorant and nobody but the ignorant would take any notice of it. {: .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr Bryant: -- The honorable member is in a bad temper. {: .speaker-KDY} ##### Mr JOSKE: -- No, I can be quite goodtempered with the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith **(Mr. Curtin),** because I know his exact value. Therefore, one should be patient with him. In addition to the tremendous improvement in the housing situation, there has been a great increase in commercial building and, as a result, a vast amount of employment has been provided for the community. Immigrants have taken part in all this tremendous development. We must realize that only through an immigration policy such as that sponsored by thi9 Government can we develop and prosper as we have been prospering during the term of office of the MenziesFadden Government. As to the criticism of the honorable member for Yarra of the general principles of the Government's policy, as he put it, the truth of the matter is that the immigration policy of this Government is most carefully balanced. All matters that are relevant to it have been considered. They include the question of nationalities. We do not want too many of one nationality or too few of another. We are endeavouring to assimilate the immigrants into the community. That is one of the vital features of this Government's immigration policy, and so it is most desirable that we consider a balance of nationalities. We must consider also a balance of skills. We must have imimgrants who are skilled in one particular form of employment and others who are skilled in other jobs. There must be a certain proportion of unskilled labour. We must consider how many males and females should be introduced into the community each year. We must consider physical fitness and age. All these and many other factors have been taken into account in the balanced immigration policy of the Government. Its objective is to achieve a proper balance in immigration. Above everything else* trends of employment are considered so that there shall not be too many persons able to do one type of job and too few able to do another. We must be sure that we have the correct proportions to do particular types of jobs or trained in particular skills. The employment potential is one of the matters which is always before those who are in charge of the immigration programme or who are advising the Government on it. It has been said - and I believe rightly - that, from the point of view of community interest, in relation to the employment potential and in planning and effect, our immigration policy is second to none, either past or present. I believe that that is the reason why our policy has been such a great success. In considering the subject of nationalities, I believe I should mention briefly the question of British immigrants because there are more people of British stock in Australia than there are in any other country in the world outside the United Kingdom. The Government wants Australia to remain a British country, lt wants British characteristics to continue to predominate. Consequently, the first objective of the Government's immigration programme is to accept every eligible British immigrant who is available. Any person in Australia who can offer accommodation or a job to a British immigrant can secure a free passage to Australia for the British immigrant and his family. The Government has done absolutely nothing that is detrimental in any way to British immigration to Australia. On the contrary, the advantages afforded to British immigrants by the Government far exceed those that have been given to immigrants of other nationalities. Reference has been made to southern European immigrants. In that connexion, the Government has said that we must have regard for the balance of nationalities. We must be sure that there are not too many of one nationality and too few of another. We have to think of the assimilation problem. We must consider the total number of immigrants that we shall admit to Australia each year. We must pay attention also to the backlog of southern Europeans who wish to come to Australia. For the time being, the Government decided - and I believe rightly - that we should close down on immigration from southern Europe, but then the Minister, realizing that immigrants were suffering hardship because some members of the family were in Australia and some were in their homeland, made provision for certain types of family immigration to continue. Although that was a most humanitarian decision, criticism was levelled at the Minister. I believe that his answers to that criticism have silenced it completely; and the Minister should be commended not only for his decision but also for the manner in which he has stood up to criticism. He has shown clearly that he will do what he believes to be right in carrying out the policy of the Government in relation to the department under his administration. Another matter that has been raised during the term of office of the present minister is Asiatic migration. It should be realized that we have moved forward in this matter. We are now prepared to receive Asians who wish to study or to carry on business here. We are prepared to receive Asian travellers. In certain instances, we are prepared even to naturalize Asians and allow them to remain in our country permanently. The position now is different from that which existed in the early years of this century, when our immigration policy came to be known as the white Australia policy. We have departed from the ideas that we held during the early years of the century, and that should be fully realized. We are admitting into this country now far more Asians than would be admitted under the small quota system for which some emotionalists are crying out. The bill proposes a very important alteration in the method of obtaining entry to the country. In the future, the mode of entry will be by entry permits. Some of these permits will be of a temporary character. This system is to take the place of the old dictation test, which gave rise to a considerable degree of derision and which was by no means highly regarded in the community. It was thought that the dictation test often created hardship and was often improperly applied. I do no say that that was so; I am merely stating that that was the reputation it came to have. The courts, on the other hand, interpreted the dictation test provision very strictly, and cases arose in which persons were able to escape the effect of the dictation test through some technicality, such as failure to read exactly 50 words, the number stated in the act. It is good that we are to be rid of that test. {: .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr Duthie: -- How many people ever passed it? {: .speaker-KDY} ##### Mr JOSKE: -- I do not suppose the honorable member for Wilmot would have been able to pass it. The test was provided for in the original Immigration Act. It is interesting to note that **Senator the** Honorable **Sir John** Downer said that he thought it was a good provision, for the reason that it ensured that only well-educated persons would be able to come into Australia. Although the present minister may not agree with the means by which **Sir John** sought to obtain that result, I am certain he does agree with what **Sir John** attempted to achieve. I am certain that he thoroughly approves of well-educated persons coming into this country. In view of certain criticism by a section of the press, perhaps I should say of **Sir John** Downer that the honorable and learned senator, although he voted for the original bill, made it quite clear that there were a number of things in it of which he personally did not approve, but which he considered were desired by the electors. The bill also deals with deportation, and it is in this connexion that the imagination, vision and humanity of the Minister are most clearly seen. I wish to stress this point, because the bill - which is somewhat lengthy - being a consolidating measure dealing with a very important subject, has had to be drafted in places in precise and technical legal language. Unfortunately, in this House one hears so often the parrot cry that we have legalism without humanity in our legislation. {: .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin: -- Too much of it. {: .speaker-KDY} ##### Mr JOSKE: -- The vacant mind naturally cannot appreciate the meaning of the legislation, and it is the vacant mind which makes use of the parrot cry. The position, **Sir, is** that you cannot have humanity without law. Legal rights and obligations need to be phrased in clear language. Indeed, it has been said that law is the sister of freedom. The noble task of the law is to endeavour to do justice, and justice can hardly be done unless humanity accompanies it. Let us hear no more of this cry that because a bill is couched in legal language we have legalism without humanity. The bill provides that before there can be a deportation there must be an inquiry before an independent commissioner - a person of high standing, a judge or a lawyer of standing. A similar provision relates to arrests. A person arrested for a breach of the provisions of the bill also must be brought before such a commissioner. Provision is made for facilities for obtaining legal advice. The Minister has decided that a person about to be deported, who in fact has not committed a criminal act but has merely done something prohibited by the Immigration Act, shall not be incarcerated pending his deportation. The Minister is to provide for detention centres. In all these ways he has shown his humanity. Another interesting feature of the bill is the provision for doing away with the registration of immigration agents. It has been found that the registration system has been abused. It is now provided that if a person acting as an agent is found guilty of misconduct, he shall be prohibited from so acting in the future. It is hoped that this abuse of the system will be prevented. Finally, let me say that there is in the bill an exceedingly important, wise and humanitarian provision dealing with infant children. We have witnessed in this country the unfortunate spectacle of one parent seizing a child from the other parent and rushing it overseas, thereby taking the child out of the jurisdiction of the Australian courts and making it improbable that the parent in Australia will ever obtain custody of the child again. When cases have come before the courts in which a parent has said that he or she fears that a child in his or her custody will be taken out of the country, the judges have looked quizzically at the parent, shrugged their shoulders and said, " Fear is no ground for granting you an injunction or other order to prevent the child from being taken overseas. You must have positive evidence that that is, in fact, about to be done." Of course, the positive evidence is available only when the child has gone. The Minister, therefore, very wisely - I believe that this provision has been approved by the Immigration Advisory Council - has provided that a child shall not be removed from the country without the consent of the person in charge of it where an order for custody has been granted to that person or where custody proceedings are pending. Penalities are provided for a breach of that provision. This is a magnificent step forward. Speaking as one who has practised in this jurisdiction of the courts, I say that the Minister is to be commended for a novel and exceedingly wise provision. In fact, the whole of the bill should receive the commendation of the House. {: #subdebate-24-0-s4 .speaker-KLL} ##### Mr MAKIN:
Bonython .- I am afraid that the honorable member for Balaclava **(Mr. Joske)** did not follow the excellent example of the Minister for Immigration **(Mr. Downer),** who, when introducing this legislation, tried to keep it free from partisan feeling. I appreciate the Minister's attitude very much because I feel that, by observing that principle, we shall get the very best results from this class of legislation. It is fortunate that we have a Minister for Immigration who appreciates that fact. The Minister introduced this bill on 1st May. In the speech that he delivered at that time he indicated that this legislation was to consolidate the various statutes on immigration and was more technical than policy-making. I can see the wisdom of the honorable gentleman in providing in the 67 clauses of this bill that which is contained in many pieces of legislation passed since the beginning of federation. This consolidating bill will make more readily available to us the information that -we require in dealing ' with immigration matters. I should also like to express my appreciation of the Minister's reference to the contribution made by a former Minister for Immigration, the honorable member for Melbourne **(Mr. Calwell)** to the immigration policy that has been accepted and generally appreciated by the Australian community. I feel that, in the main, our immigration policy has worked out very successfully although it has not been without certain of the difficulties which I suppose are inseparable from the implementation of a policy to bring to this country great numbers of people. These people have to be assimilated into our population. They have to be found opportunities to become properly established in their way of life here. I have had reason to bring to the Minister's notice one or two cases in which hardship would have been endured by people who have come to this country believing that other members of their family would be allowed to follow at some later period. The Minister has been most considerate in these cases, and for his consideration I tender him my appreciation. I agree with the honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Clarey)** and the honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns)** who emphasized the great need for relating the intake of immigrants to the number that the country can reasonably absorb without diminishing employment prospects amongst the people generally. Surely the Minister will realize that newcomers to this country, be they British or of foreign extraction, require to be able to earn their livelihood within a reasonable period after they come to this country. By a "reasonable period " I do not mean a period of months; I mean almost immediately upon arrival. If the newcomer finds himself for a lengthy period without employment his mind is subject to a devastating impact. Not only does this destroy his confidence in the country, but knowledge of this circumstance is made available to people in other parts of the world. This prejudices the standing of Australia in the eyes of those who otherwise would have had a favorable view of Australian conditions. That being so, we must ensure that employment is made available to all who come to Australia. It is wise, also, to ensure that the bringing of people to this country will not be of definite disadvantage to any Australian who is seeking to make a satisfactory livelihood. I feel that the Australian people generally have been most helpful and considerate in the way in which they have accepted immigrants into our way of life, and have shown them that they are indeed welcome and that we desire that they shall share the fortunes of this country. The attitude of the Australian people to those who have come from the other side of the world has shown a generous spirit. There is a wide appreciation that much can be contributed to the common good by the energy, effort and initiative of the newcomers. Undoubtedly the immigration programme has given an impetus to the development of Australia. But I feel that it is essential for us to do certain things in order that full satisfaction may be given to the people who come here. They must be provided with houses because it is most important that they should be given an opportuntiy for family life. The home has always been the principal basis of the life of a nation. People should not be left in hostels for inordinately long periods, as has happened in South Australia. Whilst such accommodation may meet the emergency of the moment, it should not be regarded as being more than temporary. Unfortunately, men and women have been housed in this unsatisfactory class of accommodation for periods in excess of two years. People who have enjoyed the comfort of their own homes are not satisfied with hostel accommodation. indeed, some migrants have become resentful, have said that they were misled, and have returned to the countries from which they came. Such conditions of life are not satisfactory in a young and growing country like Australia. Instead of spending our resources in ways that will not contribute to a solution of the problems that I have brought to the notice of the Minister, we should ensure that provision is made to overcome the housing lag. I refer to the remarks of the honorable member for Balaclava with a feeling of grave concern, because honorable gentlemen who occupy responsible positions in a parliament should not be prepared to justify present shortcomings in the light of something that happened 10 or 15 years ago. The circumstances that obtained in 1948 or 1949 were entirely different from those of the present time. Ten years ago we were just overcoming the difficulties that a war had imposed upon us. We had been reestablishing in civilian life those who had served in the forces, and we had transformed the economy by changing its basis from a wartime one to a peacetime one. How was it possible for us at that time, with such major problems on our hands, to apply ourselves to the provision of suitable housing? The honorable member for Balaclava did not do justice to the subject under discussion when he was prepared to address himself to it in that way. Although the number of unemployed in the community may be regarded as being relatively small, it is greater than it ought to be. We must try to ensure that every man and woman who is capable of rendering a useful service to the community is employed upon activities that are essential to our life and advancement. To do anything less than that is to fail to play our part in establishing those conditions of life that are essential to the successful assimilation of migrants. We must find a solution to not only the problem of providing adequate housing but also the problem of providing suitable school buildings. As the Minister knows, even in South Australia there is a great number of temporary school buildings, and I have no doubt that similar conditions obtain in other parts of Australia. Children are accommodated in school corridors. That is not satisfactory. We are capable of providing something better, but we must apply ourselves to it. If our economy is to be based on the kind of outlook that was outlined to us to-night, I am afraid there is no immediate prospect of our being able to provide the facilities that I have mentioned. If the policy that has been announced by the Government to-night is to be followed, we will soon be facing conditions of hardship. Therefore, the intention of the Government to bring to this country the same number of migrants that were brought out during the last financial year should be reviewed. I am very appreciative of the part that has been played by the overwhelming majority of migrants in the development of our community life. That remark applies particularly to the new satellite town of Elizabeth, which is situated in my electorate. Many British migrants have been settled in that area, and they are making a magnificent contribution to the establishment of that community. Among those who have come to our country I know of no better citizens than those I have just mentioned. They bring with them the abilities of the technician. They have the skill of the tradesman. They are willing to give of their professional and technical knowledge in a way that will develop this country and improve our way of life. Many industries are now being established at Elizabeth and I hope that many more will be able to get under way. However, I feel that in other parts of the Commonwealth the immigration programme has not proved so helpful. Our intake of new settlers must be related to our economy. If the Minister recognizes that fact, we shall be able to provide better opportunities for those who come here. We shall be able to keep the promises that we make, and, by so doing, we shall encourage other immigrants to seek a share of the advantages that this country has to offer. I am sure that the Minister, who approaches these problems with sympathy and understanding, will recognize that immigrants are entitled to every consideration and an opportunity to direct their efforts towards improving conditions in this country. I am pleased that the Minister deals with these problems with humanity and tolerance. We are dealing with human beings. We are dealing with people who require the help, the care, and the protection of a government. Without that assistance, circumstances could imperil their prospects in this country. These people are likely to be very bitter if they are faced with unsatisfactory conditions on their arrival here. I endorse the views expressed by my colleague, the honorable member for Bendigo, on migration. I have read the report of his speech with great interest and profit. I have also been helped by the speech of the honorable member for Yarra. The views expressed by those honorable gentlemen, and those expressed by the Minister, should be put into effect so that the newcomers to this country will quickly seek the honour of becoming true citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Anderson)** adjourned. House adjourned at 10.26 p.m. {: .page-start } page 66 {:#debate-25} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS The following answers to questions were circulated: - {:#subdebate-25-0} #### Viet Nam {: #subdebate-25-0-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward:
EAST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES d asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice: - >Is he able to say why the terms of the agreement among the Great Powers to resolve the future of Viet Nam by conducting a poll of the people resident in both North and South Viet Nam have not been complied with? {: #subdebate-25-0-s1 .speaker-JWE} ##### Mr Casey:
Minister for External Affairs · LP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - >The Final Declaration of the 1954 Geneva Conference, which negotiated the cessation of hostilities in Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia, provided that general elections should be held in Viet Nam in July, 1956, under the supervision of an international commission composed of representatives of the member states of the Internationa] Commission established by the Conference to supervise the cease-fire (Canada, India and Poland). It also provided for consultations on this subject to be held from July, 1955, onwards between the authorities of the two zones created by the Armistice Agreement. These elections have not yet been held. The Government of the Republic of Viet Nam (South Viet Nam) refused to enter into preparatory consultations with the Vietminh administration in the North on the grounds that conditions for free elections do not at present exist in North Viet Nam. The Government of South Viet Nam argues, with justification, that the regime in the North is Communist controlled and non-democratic, that no free elections have yet been allowed in the territory under its control (in contrast to the situation in the South), and that under its authoritarian rule all democratic freedoms are denied the people. Until this situation is remedied it is impossible for free elections to be held. It should be added that the Republic of Viet Nam was not a party to the Geneva Agreement and does not recognize any obligation springing from the agreement. {:#subdebate-25-1} #### Australian Women's Services {: #subdebate-25-1-s0 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP n asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice - {: type="A" start="A"} 0. 1. How many women served in combatant units at home and abroad in World War II., in the Women's Royal Australian Navy Service, the Australian Women's Army Service, and the Women's Australian Air Force Service? {: type="1" start="2"} 0. What were the various types of work performed by enlistees in each of these services? 1. How many casualties were suffered by each of these services, showing separately those classified as (a) deaths, (b) wounds, (c) accidents and (d) illnesses? 2. What were the rates of pay in each service, when were they fixed, and to what extent were they varied? 1. 1. What are the rates of pay now current for each of the women's services in the Armed Forces? {: type="1" start="2"} 0. How many members are enlisted in each service? 1. Have any members been enlisted (a) for home defence and (b) for service abroad if required? 2. What are the conditions obtaining in each service in relation to compensation and other matters? 3. Do the women in each service receive pay, status, and opportunity equal to that received by men in the armed services? {: #subdebate-25-1-s1 .speaker-KOL} ##### Sir Philip McBride:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="A" start="A"} 0. I.- Navy. - Three thousand one hundred and twenty-two Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (W.R.A.N.S.) and 82 Royal Australian Naval Nursing Service (R.A.N.N.S.) served during World War II. These women all served in naval establishments in Australia - none were attached to combatant units. Army. - There are no records available in the Department of the Army which show the number of women who served in combatant units at home. However, it is known that a small number served in Anti-aircraft and Searchlight Units on the Australian mainland. Women did not serve in combatant units abroad. Note. - Medical units in which members of the Australian Army Nursing Service (A.A.N.S.) served abroad and in which there were casualties are not classified as combatant units. Total enlistments of women were as follows: - Australian Army Nursing Service Air Force. - Members of the Women's Australian Auxiliary Air Force (W.A.A.A.F.) were enlisted for service in Australia and Australian Territories. Only two members proceeded outside Australia on duty - they went to New Guinea on a special lecture tour. A total of 26,704 served with the W.A.A.A.F. during 1939-45 War. No figures are available of the number who served with combatant units. Members of the R.A.A.F. Nursing Service (R.A.A.F.N.S.) enlisted for service where required. Enlistments in the R.A.A.F.N.S. totalled 616. No record is available of the number who served outside Australia. {: type="A" start="A"} 0. 2. - Shown hereunder in Appendix " A " is a list of the categories of employment in which members of the respective women's services were employed during the 1939-45 War. 1. 3. - It would not be possible to furnish all the details requested without considerable research of the wartime records of the services. The services have provided the following available information. - Navy. - Deaths - 6 (five illness, one accident, not due to service). No other details available. Army. - Details of the casualties suffered by Women's Services under the headings shown are not available except that the deaths which occurred in the A.A.N.S. totalled 71. Air Force.- Total deaths in the W.A.A.A.F. and R.A.A.F.N.S. combined were 51. Figures concerning injuries and cases of illness are not available. {: type="A" start="A"} 0. 4. - Details of war-time rates of pay of the Women's Services from August, 1942, are included in Appendix " B ". Prior to August, 1942, there were some minor variations in the structure of the pay scales, and in nomenclature of ce tain ranks. There were also two general increases - one of 8d. per day in 1941 and one of 4d. per day in August, 1942. These increases are included in the rates shown in Appendix " B ". 1. I. - Details of the rates of pay operative from the first pay period in July, 1958, are included in Appendix " C ". 2. 2.- In addition there are 707 members of the C.M.F. Women's Services (435 R.A.A.N.C. and 272 W.R.A.A.C.). Women's Royal Australian Army Corps, (c) Air Force - {: type="A" start="B"} 0. 3. Present arrangements in each of the services are - Navy and Air Force. - Members of the women's services are appointed or enlisted for home defence or service abroad. Army. - Officers of the nursing services (R.A.A.N.C.) are appointed for home service or service abroad. For other categories (W.R.A.A.C. and other ranks of the nursing services) enlistment is for home defence The service of members of the women's services abroad would be subject to policy decisions of the Government. {: type="A" start="B"} 0. 4. (a) The provisions of the Commonwealth Employees' Compensation Act apply to members of the women's services. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. A gratuity of lOd. a day is payable to officers and other ranks of the W.R.A.N.S., W.R.A.A.C. and W.R.A.A.F., and to other ranks of the R.A.A.N.C. No gratuity is payable to officers of the R.A.A.N.C. and the R.A.A.F.N.S., but they contribute for benefits under the Defence Forces Retirements Benefits Act. 1. Members of the women's services are eligible for four and a half months' furlough after completion of fifteen years' service and a further three-tenths of a month for each additional completed year of service. For less than fifteen years' service, after a minimum qualifying period pro rata rates of furlough apply if the member is retired because of age or invalidity. 1. 5. (a) The rates of pay for members of the women's services are based on the female Public Service basic wage, which is 75 per cent, of the male basic wage. The full margin for skill is paid where the work of female " other ranks " is identical with that of males and where they are interchangeable with males and their productivity is the same. In other cases margins for skill are related to margins for women in industry and the Public Service engaged on comparable work. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. The ranks of the women's services are equivalent to those of males in the respective services, up to the ranks of major and lieutenantcolonel or equivalent, which is the highest substantive rank to which women may be appointed. The rules and customs of the three services are adhered to as closely as possible in respect of women. 1. Opportunities for promotion within the women's services are approximately equal to those of men. Appendix " A *"-continued.* APPENDIX " B " {: .page-start } page 71 {:#debate-26} ### APPENDIX "C Rates of Pay of the Women's Services from July, 1958. Attached are statements showing the rates of pay of - In addition to these rates, members of the women's services receive - They are also entitled to the following allowaces, where applicable, at the same rates as those which apply to male members: - Living-out allowance, travelling allowance, retention and lodging allowance, and district allowance. {:#subdebate-26-0} #### Wirraway Aircraft Accident {: #subdebate-26-0-s0 .speaker-JSS} ##### Mr Bruce:
LEICHHARDT, QUEENSLAND e asked the Minister for Air, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Will the report of the inquiry into the recent crash of a Wirraway training aircraft be made available to the House or to honorable members? 1. Is there strong evidence that the crash was due to structural weakness in the aircraft? {: #subdebate-26-0-s1 .speaker-KMD} ##### Mr Osborne:
Minister for Air · EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. It has never been the practice to make available to the House reports of Air Force inquiries about aircraft accidents, unless these accidents were of particular national interest. However, I am, and have always been, willing to answer any questions which honorable members may put concerning aircraft accidents. 1. No. The wreckage was carefully examined by highly qualified aeronautical engineers and snowed no evidence of fatigue or structural weakness in the mainplane. The records of this particular Wirraway showed that it had only flown for a total of 484 hours since manufacture. The court of inquiry decided that the primary cause of the failure was that stresses beyond the design limitations of the aeroplane had been imposed during the recovery from a dive during dive-bombing exercises. A structural failure of the port mainplane resulted from these excessive stresses. {:#subdebate-26-1} #### Tinderry Mountains Bush Fires {: #subdebate-26-1-s0 .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr ALLAN FRASER:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP r asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Will he re-examine the claim by residents of the area that the Commonwealth Government was directly responsible for the serious bush fires which occurred in the Tinderry Mountains area towards the end of last November? 1. Did he previously reject this claim on the ground that the fires were in New South Wales and outside the jurisdiction of the .Department of the Interior and of the Australian Capital Territory Bush Fire Council? 2. Does this decision overlook the fact, as claimed by district residents affected by the fire, that the distillers of eucalyptus oil operated under the authority of the Commonwealth, and not of the State, and that it was the responsibility of the Commonwealth authority to ensure that fire breaks were made around distillery establishments and camps for certain specified distances? 3. Is it a fact that in this case no inspection was ever made by the Commonwealth authorities? 4. ls it also a fact that the Tinderry Mountains fire originated from the fires in use by eucalyptus distillers? 5. If so, will the Commonwealth now accept the responsibility arising from its fault in this matter and, accordingly, its responsibility to pay compensation for the heavy losses suffered? {: #subdebate-26-1-s1 .speaker-KEN} ##### Mr Fairhall:
Minister for the Interior · PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. Among other things, the claim was rejected on the grounds that the fire was in New South Wales and outside the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior and the Australian Capital Territory Bush Fire Council. 2. This aspect was not overlooked when I sent my letter to you on the 10th April, 1958, in reply to your earlier inquiry. However, in view of the persistent assertion that the Commonwealth has some responsibility in the area, I have had the matter further examined and I am satisfied that the Commonwealth does, not exercise any control over the eucalyptus distillers concerned. 3. As the Commonwealth has no control over the operations there was no point in an inspection being made. 4. Again, because the Commonwealth has no control, no inquiry has been made by it to determine the origin of the fires. 5. In view of the foregoing, the Commonwealth does not accept responsibility. {:#subdebate-26-2} #### Search for Oil {: #subdebate-26-2-s0 .speaker-KXI} ##### Mr Webb:
STIRLING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA b asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has it been indicated that there will be a reduction of about 90 per cent, in oil search in Australia this year? 1. If so, and bearing in mind that Australia could be cut off from supplies from the Persian Gulf and other sources, will he advise what steps are being taken to maintain, or even increase, the rate of oil exploration? {: #subdebate-26-2-s1 .speaker-KWH} ##### Mr Townley:
Minister for Supply · DENISON, TASMANIA · LP -- The Minister for National Development has replied as follows: - 1 and 2. The Government is very well aware of the strategic and economic importance of oil being found in Australia in commercial quantities. There has been no indication that there will be a reduction in oil search activities in Australia this year. It is true however that two of the companies who are the major shareholders in the larger companies engaged in the search for oil in Papua have indicated their intention to withdraw from the search there if encouraging results are not obtained during the next twelve months. The Commonwealth Government is watching closely to see how that situation develops. On the Australian mainland there is no sign of any decrease in the intensity of the current oil search programme. Twelve applications have been received by my department for subsidy under the Petroleum Search Subsidy Act 1957 in respect of drilling to take place in the last half of 1958. Under that act the Government may subsidize up to half the cost of holes drilled for stratigraphic information at approved sites. Drilling operations on locations which have been approved by the Minister for National Development under the act in respect of the current six months ending 30th June are in progress at Puri (Australian Petroleum Company Proprietary Limited) and Pimba (Clarence River Basin Oil Exploration Non-liability). Two others have been completed, at Karumba (Associated Australian Oilfields Non-liability) and at Samphire Marsh (West Australian Petroleum Proprietary Limited). One other has been abandoned at Kaufana (Papuan Apinaipi Petroleum Company Limited). In addition unsubsidized drilling is being carried out by private enterprise as follows: - >Dural No. 2, Camden, Morrisset - New South Wales, by Australian Oil and Gas Corporation Limited. Longreach, Queensland, by Longreach Oil Company Limited. Haddon Downs, South Australia, by Santos Limited. Barikewa, Papua, by Island Exploration Company Proprietary Limited. The contractor employed by the Bureau of Mineral Resources has just completed drilling for stratigraphic information at Wallal, Western Australia, and is now moving the drilling plant to Giralia on Exmouth Gulf where a second stratigraphic hole is to be drilled. Three more holes are programmed, at Muderong near Carnavon {:#subdebate-26-3} #### War Service Homes {: #subdebate-26-3-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES m asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Do building societies and other institutions approved by the Minister make repayments of principal and interest in respect of loans under the Housing Agreement Act 1956 to the Home Builders' Account and receive further loans from this account? 1. Will the Minister consider setting up a similar revolving fund to which repayments may be made and from which second assistance may be received by persons who have sold homes before the end of the term for which the War Service Homes Division had granted them assistance? {: #subdebate-26-3-s1 .speaker-KWH} ##### Mr Townley:
LP -- The Minister for National Development has furnished the following replies: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Repayment of principal and interest by building societies and other institutions in respect of loans made to them under the Housing Agreement 1956 to any State are credited to the Home Builders' Account in the Public Accounts of that State. Only part of the moneys so credited is available for re-lending to building societies and other institutions because repayments of principal and interest payable by the State to the Commonwealth must be debited against the account. The surplus moneys that will be available from year to year for re-lending accrue because there are different repayment periods in respect of (a) the loans made by the State to building societies and other institutions, and (b) advances by the Commonwealth to the States; the former do not normally exceed 31 years while the latter period is 53 years. Therefore, repayments each year from the building societies and other institutions to the State should exceed repayments by the State to the Commonwealth. 1. The arrangements made in relation to the Home Builders' Account are not adaptable to war service homes. Repayments received by the War Service Homes Division are by law credited to the National Debt Sinking Fund. If, instead, the moneys were used for re-lending to provide second assistance to persons previously assisted under the War Service Homes Act there would be no reimbursement of Commonwealth finances in respect of advances made under the act. The Government would have to take this factor into account in determining the future level of funds it could supply for war service homes. The Government has provided funds for war service homes each year to the maximum extent possible from the total available for distribution. The sympathetic approach to war service homes is evidenced by the allocation of the record sum of £35,000,000 during 1957-58. If it were possible to increase the war service homes funds in any way Government policy would, in present circumstances, be directed towards assisting those applicants who have not previously been assisted and who have to wait lengthy periods for war service homes funds.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 5 August 1958, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.