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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr WATSON (Fremantle) .- I have had under my notice a peculiarly hard case arising under this provision. It is that of two old folk who were living about 10 miles from Fremantle. They had one son who went to the war, and came back gassed. He is now, I think, rambling about Australia trying to get a living. The old folk had a nome for many years, and a little garden that they were trying to develop. One was about sixty-nine and the other sixty-seven years of age. They developed rheumatism, and were too old to carry on, and were ultimately granted old-age pensions. They had to leave their place. They receive a rent of 12s. per week for it, whilst they have to pay 12s. per week for a room in Fremantle. Their position is exactly the same as before, but their pension was immediately affected to the extent of 12s. per week, and now those two old people are compelled to live in Fremantle on 17s. 6d. per week. T have tried every method to obtain assistance from the Deputy Commissioner of Pensions. He is sympathetic, but the Act prevents him from giving them assistance. These poor folk had a home valued at £500, and mortgaged for £150. They were trying to retain the equity for their son, who. they believed would, sooner or later, become utterly incapacitated. It is a very deserving case, and surely something can be done. I know of hundreds of cases on all-fours with this one.

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