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Wednesday, 13 May 1942

Mr HOLLOWAY (Melbourne PortsMinister for Health and Social Services) . - The treatment of aborigines has already been dealt with in the measure relating to child endowment. In all measures relating to social services, certain aborigines are to be treated on exactly the same basis as other members of the community. In South Australia, there is a number of natives who are living under civilized conditions and arc exempt from the laws of the State relating to aborigines. All such aborigines will be eligible for pensions, subject to the same means test as other persons. This clause seeks to empower the Commissioner of Pensions to use bis discretion as to whether the rate of pension payable to an aboriginal native of Australia shall be less than the maximum rate. "Where in the opinion of the Commissioner it is desirable to do so, he may direct that payment of the pension granted to an aborigine shall be made to an authority of the State or territory of the Commonwealth controlling the affairs of aborigines or to some other authority or person for the benefit of the pensioner. There is nothing in the clause to prevent the payment of the full pension direct to aborigines who, in the opinion of the department, are able to use the money in a proper manner.

Mr Badman - What about those who are receiving rations?

Mr HOLLOWAY - They are included in this group.

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