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Thursday, 29 July 1920

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) . - I regret that I do not at the moment see my way clear to accept this proposition without further debate.

Dr MALONEY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - Will the Minister accept it with the elimination of the paragraph instructing the Government to bring in the necessary legislation?

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - No; the matter requires threshing out thoroughly. It isa very big subject. Before we can deal properly and fully with the question of old-age pensions, we will need to adopt some system on the lines outlined by the motion and the amendment. It is a subject which, by its very nature and complexity, as well as magnitude, challenges the best thought in the community, and more particularly the best thought in this House. We would do well to occupy ourselves in the consideration of it, not in the hurried way that aprivate members' afternoon permits, but by inquiring into it determinedly, thoroughly, and in an orderly way in an attempt to evolve a scheme which will help to meet the terrible problem afflicting the world to-day.

Mr Ryan - To which problem is the right honorable gentleman referring?

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) -To the distressed poor of the community.

Mr Mahony - Does the right honorable gentleman think that we ought to have the poor among us?

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - I wish we could do without them. I wish we could avoid poverty.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order ! The time for the discussion of private members' business has expired.

Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 8 p.m.

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