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Friday, 27 November 1959

Mr ROBERTON (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - I remind the honorable member that from time to time I have made statements with regard to annuities in relation to qualification for social service benefits.

Mr Ward - Nobody could understand them.

Mr ROBERTON - While that may be so, Mr. Speaker, nevertheless I have made those explanations, and they have been entirely satisfactory, so far as I am in a position to judge.

Mr Whitlam - You should write them out.

Mr ROBERTON - In reply to the interjection of the honorable member for Werriwa, who suggests that I should write them out - I have written them out. I have written them out for, among other people, the honorable member for Werriwa and, so far as I am in a position to judge, they were entirely satisfactory to him. The question of the number of people and the aggregate sums involved in the payment of social services is not one that exercises the mind of the Government at any time. As soon as a person qualifies for social services, and as soon as the rates are announced, the Government stands up to its full responsibilities without equivocation.

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