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Thursday, 26 November 1936

Senator ARKINS (New South Wales) .- The sum of £18,100 is provided this year for medical research, while last year only £4,1S4 of the £10,100 appropriated was expended. Will the Minister explain why the full amount was not used? Will he also state how the £32,000 to be appropriated for infant and maternal welfare is to be utilized?

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE (Western Australia - Minister for External Affairs) [11.19]. - This amount covers grants to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne for the carrying out of research work in virus diseases, as a new field of bacteriology which has recently been developed by progress in research. Diseases have hitherto been classified as parasitic or bacteriological; but quite recently it has been shown that as well as bacteria certain ultra-microscopic viruses are an important cause of virus diseases. All this is new work, and in order that the serum laboratories might be able to keep abreast of the work by the preparation of the necessary vaccines and sera, a joint arrangement has been made by which the serum laboratories and the Walter and Eliza Hal] Institute work in co-operation on different phases of this problem. Funds for this purpose amount to £3,100. The sum of £3,000 i= allocated for the extension of research in tropical diseases, especially in northern Australia and New Guinea. Provisions of £2,000 for research work in connexion with maternal mortality, £5,000 to cover the expenses of the nutrition inquiry, and £5,000 for the work of the proposed national health and medical research council, have been made. The amount of £32j000 provided for maternal and infant welfare is for subsidies for extended work for the benefit of crippled children and for the campaign against maternal mortality.

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