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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr NELSON - [2.35]. - I do not view the payment of the invalid and old-age pensions as a dole or act of charity on the part of the Government, but as something to which the recipients are entitled for their services to this country. Many of the old people who aro now in indigent circumstances have made it possible for those who followed them to make good, and, therefore, there should not be the slightest hesitation in treating them as liberally as possible. I have tho greatest admiration for our old-age pensioners - far more, indeed, than I have for many people who have amassed wealth by dubious methods. During the last few days, we have been voting away hundreds of thousands of pounds in remissions of taxation and for the payment of bounties. Therefore, we should hot turn down this request for the payment of £1 per week to our invalid and old-age pensioners. We have been told that .the Treasurer cannot find the money. There appeared to be no difficulty on this score when it was a question of surrendering huge; sums of money in favour of the wealthier section of the community. This question should rise above all party considerations. In my opinion, any honorable member who declines to vote for >the maximum consideration being shown to our invalid and old-age pensioners is lacking in his duty. In many instances the old people are the true patriots of the Commonwealth. They pioneered the outback areas.

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