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Friday, 24 August 1923

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - I realize that the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Scullin) is not debating my ruling, but I wish to assure the Committee that when the Chair has received an assurance from the Minister in charge of a Bill such as this is that the amount of appropriation would need to be increased if the amendment were accepted, and that he is not prepared to accept it, the Chair must reject it. I point out to the members of the Committee that the only way in which the amendment can be accepted is for them to prevail upon the Treasurer to review the position.

Mr Coleman - I trust that the Treasurer will agree to accept the amendment. The details of payment could be so arranged that no increase in the appropriation would be needed. The Leader of the Opposition has pointed out that the Government could reduce the amount it now pays to the hospitals, and so pay more to the pensioners. It is not paying the full cost of maintaining inmates. I understand that it costs 18s. 6d. a week to maintain the inmates in hospitals in my electorate. If the Treasurer would agree to pay 9s. 6d. instead of 10s. Bd. to the hospitals, he could pay 4s. to the inmates without increasing the appropriation.. I think that, in this matter, he has not stated the facts exactly.

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