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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr FENTON (Maribyrnong) .- I know a Minister does not like to back down upon any definite statement mad'e . in Committee, but I think the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) has fairly summed up the position. There is a consensus of opinion in the Committee that the term should be twenty years instead of twenty-five years. On a previous clause the Treasurer resisted an appeal to increase the payments to pensioners in public institutions beyond 3s. because, so he declared, they had not asked .for more than 3s. In this case, the honorable* member for Fawkner, who perhaps is more conversant with the nature of the requests from blind people than any other member, declares that they wish the term to be not more than twenty years. In the circumstances the Treasurer might comply with the request. In this he will have the support not only of members of the Committee, but of the people of Australia. If there is any difficulty in connexion with the appropriation it may be remedied by securing a supplementary appropriation.-

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