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Wednesday, 9 November 1938

Mr BAKER (Griffith) .- As the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Forde) has said, there are rumours that the Government, does not propose to proceed with the national insurance scheme. According to information that I have received, the Melbourne Herald, which is recognized as the Government's mouthpiece, published to-day a statement to the effect that the Government intends indefinitely to postpone putting this legislation into operation. As similar information has been broadcast by a number of radio stations to-day, the House is entitled to a definite pronouncement on the subject. It. is stated that the main reason for the postponement is dissension among members of the Cabinet. There are reports that once again the ( ,A......... party is exercising its influence : i 11(1 embarrassing the Government. It would appear that the newly-formed grand Fascist council of seven members- the inner group of the Cabinet - has not been the success which the Prime Minister had hoped that, it would be. It is stated that even the Big Three who control the inner group - I refer to the Prime Minister ( Mr. Lyons), the Minister for Commerce (Sir Earle Page) and the AttorneyGeneral (Mr. Menzies) - have been unable to reach unanimity. If rumour bo correct, the Acting Leader of the Houseis the chief cause of the trouble. I trust that the rumour is correct, and that the Government does nor intend to give effect to the national insurance legislation which recently passed through this chamber. Despite the fact that, within the last hour, members supporting the Government resolved themselves into a mutual admiration society, and carried a cheap resolution-

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