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Wednesday, 7 December 1938

Mr Curtin n asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   What steps are to be taken by the Government to fix a maximum price for bread in the territories controlled by the Commonwealth?

2.   Will he ensure that the contemplated rise in price to 7d. a loaf over the counter and 71/2d. delivered and booked, does not occur in the Australian Capital Territory?

Mr Lyons - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   The necessary machinery will be sot up in the Australian Capital Territory. The excise tax on flour does not operate in other Commonwealth territories.

2.   TheGovernment will consider this upon receipt of a report by the constituted authority. australian Aborigines.

Mr Barnard (BASS, TASMANIA) d asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1   . Is it a fact that a full-blooded aboriginal woman does not receive the maternity allowance?

2.   If so, will he consider altering this position?

3.   is it a fact that a full-blooded aboriginal man or woman cannot get the old-age pension?

4.   If so, will be consider altering this position ?

Mr Casey - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Yes.

2.   The Government has recently considered this question but regrets it cannot see its way clear to extend the benefit of the maternity allowance to full-blooded aboriginal mothers.

3.   Yes.

4.   The welfare of aborigines in Australia has always been regarded as a responsibility of the States. In each State special officials have been appointed to deal with the affairs of these people. In order to provide for the well-being of aborigines, special aboriginal stations and reserves havereservesestablishedin all States, medical officers have been appointed to care for their health and special hospitals have been established for them. Suitable employment is found for those capable of working and sustenance is provided where employment cannot be secured. The Government does not believe that it would be in the interests of the aborigines themselves to extend to them the benefits of old-age pensions and regrets that it cannot entertain any variation of the present law on this subject.

Militia Forces : Definition of Duties.

Mr.sheehanasked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice -

When will a reply be furnished tothe question upon notice asked by the honorable member for Cook (Mr. Sheehan) on the 2nd December,1938, with regard to the duties of militiamen in their relation to the police forces of the States?

Mr Menzies s. - My colleague, the Minister for Defence (Mr. Street), furnished a reply to the honorable member's question yesterday.

Northern Territory: Application of Justices Ordinance.

Mr Blain n asked the Minister for the Interior, upon, notice -

1   . Is it a fact that section 52 of the Justices Ordinance of the Northern Territory (No.26 of1928) applies only to charges for simple offences andhas not application to information for indictable offences?

2.   Is the offence of passing a valueless cheque in payment for goods an indictable offence ?

Mr McEwen - It is not the practice to express opinions on matters of law in reply to questions.

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