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Friday, 24 August 1923

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - It was because I recognised that the honorable member for Cook is a new member, and, therefore, did not desire to name him, that I called on him to resume his seat.

Mr Charlton - I think the honorable member should be given another chance to withdraw.

Tho TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN . - The- honorable member for Cook will please stand. If it is his desire to withdraw the term to which I took exception, I will grant him permission to continue his remarks.

Mr C RILEY (COOK, NEW SOUTH WALES) - You, sir, asked me to resume my seat, - and I obeyed the command of the Chair. I-

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.The honorable member will not be in order in carrying on the discussion on those lines.

Mr C RILEY (COOK, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Will you be good enough to inform me whether any honorable member on the opposite side objected to my using the word " hypocrites."


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - It is not necessary that any honorable member should direct the attention of the Chairman to the use of an unparliamentary term. It is within the right of the Chairman to decide for himself whether a term used is unparliamentary.

Mr C RILEY (COOK, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I did not think it was unparliamentary. I was not prepared to withdraw, in view of the action of honorable members on the other side; but, as the House is to deal with other measures . before it rises, to which I in- . tend to offer my strongest opposition, I withdraw the term.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.The honorable member is not in order in withdrawing in that way. He must withdraw the term used unreservedly, and without comment.

Mr C RILEY (COOK, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I withdraw it. I am sorry that I had cause to make the remark. When it suits their purpose 'the Government do not hesitate to raise huge sums of money, yet they refuse to expend an extra £750,000 to provide a little comfort for the closing days of Australia's pioneers. If this country were threatened with war there would be no difficulty in raising funds for defence. The first consideration would be the national safely. I remind honorable members opposite that many of the poor old souls dependent upon the pension are the parents of sons who died on the field of battle. It is too much to expect sympathy at the hands of men who consider pounds, shillings, and pence of more importance than the contentment of the aged and infirm. Instead of dating the increase from the 1st July the Government are commencing the payment from 13th September. In strong contrast was their proposal to benefit the wealthy leaseholders by the remission of their taxation from 1917. Remission of taxation could be made retrospective; but the increase in the oldage pensions cannot! They are anxious to protect the interests of the wealthy land-holders, but they deliberately shirk their duty to the old-age pensioners. 1 hope the increase will be 5s. per week, and that the future Administration will extend more sympathy to these people than has been given in the past.

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