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Tuesday, 19 May 1942
Page: 1367

Mr PATERSON (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) - I have heard the honorable member for Reid (Mr. Morgan) say that something should be done to amend the Constitution to make Commonwealth authority all powerful. I believe that widows in all States should be entitled to the same benefits, just as are the aged and invalid, and the recipients of child endowment. I see no reason for differentiation in the case of widows. We must not forget that it is proposed very shortly to make the Commonwealth the sole taxing authority as regards income tax - the Commonwealth to make a grant to the States by way of compensation. Are we to understand that the Commonwealth is to pay such an amount to the States as may enable some of them to supplement the social benefits provided by the Commonwealth? If so, the Commonwealth, and. not the States, would be providing the additional benefits. There is only one common sense basis for social legislation of this kind, and that is to provide that widows shall be treated alike, irrespective of the State in which they live. For that reason I strongly support the amendment of the honorable member for Lilley.

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