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Thursday, 3 April 1941

Senator ABBOTT (New South Wales) . - Like honorable senators generally, I am pleased that this measure has been introduced and I am sure that it will be given as easy a passage through this chamber as it had through the House of Representatives. I also look forward to the day when it will be possible to provide child endowment in respect of the first child in a family, and also when this problem will be tackled as a national responsibility by making it solely a charge upon Consolidated Revenue. I take this opportunity to remove a misapprehension on the part of some honorable senators opposite. From the moment this scheme was suggested not the slightest danger has existed that any section of the parties forming this Government would obstruct this measure. Consequently, any suggestion to the contrary is most unfair. If a difference of opinion has arisen among government supporters in connexion with this bill it arose solely in respect of the method by which child endowment should be financed. I, myself, would prefer that the scheme be financed solely from Consolidated Revenue, without any aid in the form of a pay-roll tax. In the present changed circumstances of the world, all of us, regardless of party, must realize the necessity for doing everything we can in order to preserve democracy and our freedom. We want to retain those things because they are so necessary to our well-being and happiness. The welfare of our children, and the future and prosperity of our country are as vital as is any other factor to the greatness of this young nation. There fore, after the present great menace has disappeared from the world's horizon, all parties must take their faith in their hands, and, regardless of cost, do what is right in order to establish better conditions in this country.

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