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Tuesday, 14 May 1957

Mr ROBERTON (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - I know the deep personal interest of the honorable member for Moore in the rehabilitation of the physically handicapped, and I agree with him that the value of the rehabilitation centres established by the Commonwealth Government is not to be measured in cold statistics, iia spite of the fact that from month to month and from year to year hundreds, and indeed, thousands of men, women and children have been rehabilitated. It is my privilege, Mr. Speaker, to remind honorable members that it is only a few months since our rehabilitation centres were visited by that eminent authority on physical medicine and rehabilitation, Professor Howard Rusk. Strangely enough, the honorable member for Moore could have no possible knowledge that within the last few hours the report made by Professor Howard Rusk was handed to me. It has not been possible for me to refer the report to the Prime Minister, but I crave the indulgence of the House to read from a covering letter written to me by Professor Rusk. He says, in part -

As you will see from this report, I was deeply impressed with the quality and scope of rehabilitation services now being provided in the Commonwealth of Australia. Outstanding to me, however, was the sincerity and spirit of dedication of those who are responsible for the development and administration of these services.

That, if I may say so, could be a reply to the general question addressed to me by the honorable member for Moore.

Within the last few hours I have received a communication from the Western Australian Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners Industrial Union of Workers, which was addressed to me by Mr. R. W. Clohessy. It says, among other things -

The writer has been acting for Mr. Denisenko following an injury which he sustained at work in March, 1955. As a result of overtures to the Rehabilitation Department in Perth, Mr. Denisenko has been accommodated for nearly two years at the Melville Rehabilitation Centre. I am now advised that the doctors have completed their treatment, and Mr. Denisenko will leave the Centre this coming Friday.

On Mr. Denisenko's behalf and on behalf ot the Union, I would be grateful if you would place on record our sincere appreciation for the treatment afforded to him during his period at the Centre. In particular your Mr. Kaiser, Mr. Jenkinson and Mr. Jensen have been most helpful-

Mr Peters - I rise to order, Mr. Speaker. Is this an answer to a question without notice?

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