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Parliamentary Reporter. WELLINGTON, this day. "We make it a rule never to settle a returned man on the land unless there is an assurance that he will be able to meet his commitments and make a decent living," said the Minister of Rehabilitation, Mr. Skinner, speaking on the Finance Bill in the House of Representatives yesterday. He added that few of the farms were yet in full production. Most of them would ultimately produce up to 50 per cent more. )

Answering criticism that land valuations seemed to differ according to whether they were for the purposes of purchase or for probate the Minister said there was no slide rule method of valuation. It was a matter of experience, the guiding principle being the productive value of the farm. The only instruction to valuers had been that prices of produce were to be taken according to the basis of the stabilisation schemes.

The Department's experience was that 25 per cent of returning men wanted houses and the only limiting factor in that respect was manpower, which caused, shortages of material as well as builders. In the next twelve months it •was hoped that the labour power of the countrv would be improved by the return of about 20,000 men. They, of course, would produce their own problem of housing, concluded the Minister. As those men would be going into the bush and into the mines, and helping in the production of other building materials they would help to reduce the present difficulties.

Mr. Bodkin (Nat, Central Otago), assured the Minister that he would never experience any difficulty in getting all the resources he needed for the acquisition of land on which to settle returned servicemen. If in any year the Rehabilitation Department spent more than the authorised sum Parliament would readily validate any expenditure incurred for that purpose.

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Bibliographic details

FARM SETTLEMENT, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945

Word Count

FARM SETTLEMENT Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945

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