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Wednesday, 17 May 1939

Mr JAMES (Hunter) .- Does the deletion of the words " until the youngest child attains the age of twenty-one years " mean that the children, irrespective of age, will participate in the pension?

Mr Spender - The amendments mean that for ten years only £500 will be payable annually to the trustee for the benefit of all the children. At the end of ten years, the youngest child will bo approximately sixteen years of age. The trustee will apply the money as she thinks fit.

Mr JAMES - That is practically the same.

Mr Spender - It is entirely different.

Mr JAMES - If Dame Enid Lyons, as the trustee, deems it fit, all of the children, irrespective of age or earnings, will participate until the youngest is 16. I think that their participation should be subject to this 16-years age limit. The Assistant Minister (Mr. Spender) used tlie words, " until the youngest child is sixteen years of age ". If it were specified that no child beyond that age would benefit it would not be so bad.

Mr Spender - That would be the same as we are proposing.

Mr JAMES - I cannot see that. The annuity of £500 for eleven children for ten years works out at 17s. 5£d. a week for each child.

Mr Spender - "What does?

Mr JAMES - The annuity which .:3 to bo distributed among eleven children.

Mr Spender - It is not to be distributed. It is for the maintenance, education, benefit and advancement of all of the children.

Mr JAMES - That is the same thing.

Mr Spender - No, one child may require more than another.

Mr JAMES - Whatever it be, Dame Enid Lyons is to get £1,000 a year for herself and children for ten years, and not £500, because it is left to her discretion to decide on the distribution of the £500 for the children. It would be fair and reasonable if the children were allowed to participate only until they reached the age of sixteen years. Apart from all of that, this grant is not fair and reasonable when one thinks of the needs of the widows of other persons who rendered to this country service equal to that rendered by the late Prime Minister. I specify the widows and children of some of the 60,000 Australian men who laid down their lives in the war. Whether they have secured employment or not, the children of deceased soldiers have to forgo their pension of 10s. a week when they reach the age of sixteen years. There is no such provision in this legislation, and I therefore can support neither the amendment nor the clause.

Amendments agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 5 and 6 agreed to.

Preamble and title agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments; report - by leave - adopted.

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