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Wednesday, 24 May 1939

Mr Forde e asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice -

1.   What is the total amount that has been spent on the royal commission appointed to advise regarding the payment to be mode for the treatment of persons insured under the National Health and Pensions Insurance Act, up to the time it ceased to function?

2.   What is the total amount spent up to the present on the National Insurance Commission, and how many persons are employed by the commission?

3.   What is the estimated cost of compensating approved societies for expenses incurred in employing staff, an'd erecting or leasing office accommodation?

Sir Frederick Stewart - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows. -

1.   £0,435 to date........ 2. (a) Government administration costs, £70,527; payments to approved societies, £02.499 ; total to the 30th April, 1939, £139,020. (6) The number of officers employed at present is 70, the majority, of whom are now engaged in examining the accounts of the 155 approved societies. That work will' be completed within about three weeks, and most of the. officers will then be transferred to other departments. '

3.   Approved societies have been asked to furnish their claims not later than the 31st May, 1939. Until these _ claims are received it will not be possible to estimate the cost of payments to societies.

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