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Thursday, 6 May 1920

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - I am afraid I am not able to answer the question, because there is no definite information in the excerpt referred to, but only a general statement made by certain people in the community as to the dire effects of the present condition of things. I am afraid that there have been complaints of the kind from the beginning of time; it is, indeed, the problem of the ages, and a continuous one, as to how to so arrange and adjust our human affairs that no one shall be in want. Any man who can make a contribution to the solution of that problem is under obligation to do so. May I add that I have seen many strange statements made before the tribunal of which Mr. Piddington is president. The other day, for instance, I saw that a workman had. declared that he could not live properly without silk socks.

Mr Lazzarini - That is a burlesque.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - I agree with the honorable member.

Mr Lazzarini - It is a burlesque put up by the employers.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - It is a burlesque, and the less we have of such nonsense the better for all concerned. No doubt there are cases of deprivation, and it is the obligation of the Commonwealth, and of every body of men in the community, to alleviate them if it be possible.

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