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Wednesday, 15 May 1957


Mr ROBERTON - I am indebted to the honorable member for his question, because it affords me the opportunity to say that, to the best of my recollection, child endowment was introduced by the first Menzies Government, in 1941.


Sir Arthur Fadden - The Child Endowment Bill of 1941 was introduced by the present Minister for Labour and National Service.


Mr Pollard - Child endowment was introduced first by the Lang Government, in New South Wales.


Mr ROBERTON - It was introduced in the federal sphere in 1941 by the first Menzies Government. The legislation itself was introduced on 27th March of that year by the present Minister for Labour and National Service, who, at that time, also held the same portfolio. Child endowment payments were increased by the Curtin Government, in 1945, and by the Chifley Government, in 1948. The benefit was extended by the Menzies Government, in 1950, to include, for the first time, the first child of every family. Again to the best of my recollection, the federal basic wage was £6 15s. a week in 1950. If I am informed correctly, it is £12 16s. a week at the present time. However, the federal basic wage has nothing whatever to do with social services. There was a time when it had something to do with them, but the socialist government destroyed the association.

I am fully aware of all the difficulties associated with the raising of families in these days of infinite leisure and spurious affluence. I would remind the honorable member for Lang that I am aware of these difficulties for two reasons, having brought up a family myself, and having myself been brought up. For his information, I shall point out that 1 am one of a family of nine children. It has never been easy to bring up a family, and I do not imagine that anything that we are likely to do would make it easier. In the preparation of the budget, the question of child endowment will receive the consideration that all aspects of social services merit.







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