Some events around Peace Day 19 July 1919, as reported in the Melbourne press over one week
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GETTING BACK TO NORMAL?
The Age Friday 25 July 1919
Progress of Housing Schemes
The announcement was made by the Assistant Minister of Defence in the House of Representatives on Wednesday that final arrangements had recently been made with the Commonwealth Bank, under which applications either for the purchase or erection of war service homes, under the soldiers’ housing schemes, were being proceeded with... Purchase of existing houses was being expedited to relieve the urgent demand for houses by soldiers and dependants.
Soldiers and Furniture
The Repatriation Department has had brought under its notice cases wherein soldiers to whom advances have been made for the purchase of articles of furniture have not received adequate value for the money expended. In view of this fact a circular has been issued to all local committees suggesting that they might offer to advise soldiers as to the best place and method of buying furniture; and if they have reason to believe that any person or firm has not treated a soldier fairly they might decline to sanction further orders being placed in that direction.
Refusal of Applications
The Minister for Repatriation has issued instructions that when applicants for assistance are proved to be ineligible... a reasonable explanation for the grounds of refusal shall be furnished.
SOLDIERS’ HOMES - First Foundation Stone Laid
Mr J. Scott, manager of the Melbourne branch of the Commonwealth Bank, who was the first speaker, stated that any soldier who had seen service outside Australia, and was not already a property owner, could apply to the Commissioner, or his deputy, and if he were eligible the Government would advance up to £700 with which to build a house...
Mr Boyd, MP, in introducing the Lord Mayor, said that applicants under the scheme had a guarantee of an honest business transaction. There would be no jerry-building. The bank itself would see that they obtained fair value for the money.
The Age Monday 28 July 1919
Several soldiers who have applied for homes under the War Services Homes Act are expressing disappointment that the first house to be started in Victoria is for Lieutenant Ward, who returned only a few weeks ago, whereas there are hundreds of men who lodged their applications long before he did.
The explanation has been made... that Lieutenant Ward’s application was received with others and put through first because he accepted a plan straight away and owned the title. As his papers were in this way completed first his house was gone on with. The authorities declare that no favoritism will be, or is being,
The Age Tuesday 29 July 1919
HOMES FOR SOLDIERS
Credit Foncier Concessions
The Premier announced last night that the Ministry proposes to introduce legislation during the present session authorising the State Savings Bank Commissioners to make certain concessions to soldiers desiring to build homes in the matter of percentage advances and interest charges. Mr Lawson said he was unable to make details available at this juncture.
Delays in Adjustment
Senator Millen has been investigating cases wherein applicants to the Repatriation department have complained of undue delay in the adjustment of their claims. The inquiries have proved, he states, that in the actual consideration of the application and notification of the decision there had been an absolute minimum of delay.
It had frequently happened, however, that applicants had lodged appeals against the original decision either to the State board or to the Repatriation Commission, or has occurred in one or two cases, to the Minister himself. Invariably the delay was involved in the appeal, and he contended that delays occasioned by decisions given through ordinary channels did not constitute a fair charge against the department.
The man who was aggrieved only became so when his application had not been approved. The vast majority of men being re-established were not heard of and were satisfied.
The Argus Wednesday 30 July 1919
Gratuities to Dependents
RETURNED SOLDIERS AND UNIVERSITY FEES
To the Editor of the Age, Sir, Your paragraph in today’s issue referring to a discussion at Monday’s meeting of the University Council concerning the fees of returned soldiers, is calculated to give the public a wrong impression of the council’s position. The facts are as follows:
After many men who had enlisted early had returned, and the Repatriation department found itself called upon to deal with applications from men who wished help to do a university course, that department approached the University Council, and asked what concession it was willing to make.
The council went into the matter carefully, and calculated what proportion of its own enlisted students would be likely to return to the University, and what a concession of half fees would mean in their cases.
Having in this way got some estimate to go upon, it arranged with the Repatriation department that in the case of returned soldier students the University would accept half fees if the Repatriation department was prepared to pay those fees, thus making the students free. The council also considered the question of making a similar allowance to any returned soldier who may wish to enter the University, but in this case it had no data upon which to form any estimate of what numbers or amount might be involved.
It accordingly informed the Repatriation department that it thought such men equally entitled to concessions, but that the University
Yours, etc. J. P. BAINBRIDGE, Registrar,
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