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Friday, 24 August 1923


Mr CHARLTON - The increase of the pension by 5s-. instead of 2s. 6d. will' not' increase the burden on the Treasury, by £1,500,000, as the right honorable gentleman has said, but only by £958i444v If members of the Committee think that1the pension should ' be increased to £1, I ask them to vote according to their convictions, and' not be influenced by any other consideration, especially as' I have given the assurance that honorable members on this side have no other object in moving the amendment than to get- a. little" more- money for' the old people. Having-regard tb the large surplus which the Treasurer' has in hand, the' time seemsvery opportune for increasing the pension to £1. If, at the expiration of this year,, the Government found that the finances, were in an unsatisfactory condition, no doubt it would1 have to take- action a& cordingly, but' at the present time every thing seems favorable to the granting of a substantial increase. Of the surplus; £2','500,000 has- been carried to a Defence Reserve Fund: That money is' not likely to be required this year; two months of* which have expired. Defence expenditure will depend to- a great extent upon what- happens at the Imperial Conference. Any decision of the Conference, must be referred to this House, and as. Parliament will'! probably not: resume before March, no- portion of. that reservefund will be expended during the current) financial1 year: Therefore^ the financial arrangements' of the- Government would not be interfered with if the extra, ex*penditure of £900,000, which the carrying of the amendment would entail were taken out of- the Defence Reserve Fund.







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