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Tuesday, 27 October 1964

Senator WILLESEE (Western Australia) and the Minister for Social Services (Mr. Roberton) suggesting that this reduction be made. I was informed on 21st October, only six days ago, that it could not be done but that the matter would be reviewed on the next occasion on which pension rates were being examined. 1 was informed that the proposal had been carefully considered when the Budget was being prepared and that it was impossible to grant a reduction at this stage. The Postmaster-General's reply was delivered into my box only within the last three hours, but it was dated 22nd October.

I am wondering what change has come over the Government within the last six days to lead it to make this very welcome contribution to the welfare of the people I have mentioned. Can the Minister for Customs and Excise tell me what the new rate will be? As I indicated earlier, I am most interested to know why in a reply given to a member of the Opposition six days ago this reduction was said to be impossible but now on the eve of a Senate election it has become possible.

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