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Wednesday, 6 May 1942

Senator LAMP (Tasmania) . - I make an appeal to the Minister on behalf of State schools. I urge that free wireless licences granted to schools that have an enrolment of fewer than 50 pupils should be extended to schools with fewer than 100 pupils. I believe that free wireless licences should be granted to all schools, because of the exceptional value of the educational items broadcast from time to time. Parents and citizens associations, and progress and improvement societies are called upon to pay for the wireless receivers used in schools. These excellent bodies do a vast amount of work in the upkeep of school grounds, and it is unjust that they should have to pay for wireless licences used for purely educational purposes. The Minister should consider the granting of free licences to all schools, or of altering the figure 50 to 100.

I also appeal for free licences for invalid and old-age pensioners. Blind persons are already granted free licences. The argument generally used with respect to blind persons is that they must have some one in the home to assist them, and therefore are entitled to free licences. It is said in regard to invalid and old-age pensioners that a free licence would be used by other persons in the house. It is a fact, however, that many invalid and old-age pensioners must have assistance in their homes, and when they live alone no other persons participate in the use of their licence. They, as well as the blind people, are entitled to free licences. Blind people are allowed to earn up to the basic wage, but invalid and old-age pensioners are allowed only a meagre earning capacity. I ask the Minister to give favorable consideration to my request.

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