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Thursday, 12 November 1964

Senator PALTRIDGE - The Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund is administered by the Treasurer, not by me. Therefore, I would not venture to answer questions relating to detail, although I am not without some knowledge of the details. I am sure the honorable senator will agree that it is preferable that the Treasurer should answer those questions. However, I deny that there is general dissatisfaction with the Fund. As with all funds of this kind, some members find, or think they find, cause for criticism. Let me say at once that it does not mean that some of the criticism, particularly in special cases, is unjustified. There is justification for criticism in all big funds of this type. However, I reject very emphatically the proposition that there is general dissatisfaction. Indeed, I think it can fairly be said that the action which the Government took some months ago in respect of the improvement of terms and conditions of service in the Army, together with generous variations in respect of many allowances including education allowances and the like and the provision of a housing programme, did a great deal to mitigate criticism of conditions within the Services.

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