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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr F FRANCIS (HENTY, VICTORIA) .- I desire that the old-age pensioners should receive £1 a week, but if that is not' possible, we must get the best we can in the circumstances. I have supported £1 a week before to-day, and would be very- glad if the Government could see its

Way to> make the pension up to- that amount. If this Bill is not passed the pensioners will continue to get only 15s. a week. The Government has promised to appoint a Royal Commission to inquire into the whole question of pensions and other like matters of national importance. In the circumstances, I shall vote for the clause in the Bill and against the amendment. I am glad that the Government intends to pay a pension to those who were inmates in asylums and institutions- prior to the passing of the original pensions Act. I understand, also, that the value of property which a pensioner may hold without interfering with his pensions' rights is to be increased to £400. That will be of some assistance to a few people. In voting for this clause and against the amendment I believe that I am studying the interests of the pensioners, because if the amendment should be carried, the Bill, will be shelved and the pensioners will have no hope of any increase in their pensions, for a good. many, months.

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