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Wednesday, 2 December 1936

Senator DEIN (New South Wales) . - I disagree entirely with the views expressed by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) in regard to this matter. The honorable senator stated by way of interjection, that if all service pensioners entered institutions, the Government's liability for such pensions would cease ; that is absurd. At the present time mental cases receive nothing; other cases receive a maximum of 19s. a week if not in hospital, and 6s. a week if in hospital. I may add that the institution receives nothing. Therefore, whether all service pensioners are in institutions or not, the charge on the public purse is not varied. At the present time a service pensioner gets 19s. a week to provide himself with food, clothing, housing and incidentals; when he goes into an institution, food, clothing, housing, &c, are provided for him by the institution.

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - And his wife and children, if any, still continueto get pensions.

Senator DEIN - Under the present proposal it is desired to provide him with 6s. a week for incidentals. It seems to me that he will be comparatively better off while an inmate of an institution than when outside of it. I am glad that the Government has seen fit -to allow the pensioners a few shillings a week for incidentals. I shall support the clause in its present form.

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