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Wednesday, 17 May 1939

Dr MALONEY - Levy a percentage of honorable members' salaries.

Mr WILSON - That would be a percentage. I should be prepared to do that myself, and I am one of the least affluent of all honorable members. If that were done an annuity-could be purchased from any insurance company. If the members of the public cared to come into the scheme, the door could be left open to enable them to do so. That is the suggestion that I make in all sincerity, but if we do pass this legislation we must in the future take into consideration those other sections of the community which are suffering disabilities similar to those of the widow and children of the late Prime Minister, and I hope that honorable gentlemen, if they should be called upon to deal with legislation of this character in the future, will be prepared to be just as generous as they are asked to be in this bill.

Mr Gander - But the honorable gentleman's £100? There are about 100 members of Parliament. The honorable gentleman is getting too high for me.

Mr WILSON - I suggest £100 from private members, and, say, £200 from Ministers. That would give, approximately, £12,000, with which an annuity could be purchased from any insurance company, obviating a heavy impost on the taxpayers who, I believe, are largely opposed to this proposal.

Mr Scholfield - Does the honorable gentleman., suggest £100 from every honorable member for every widow?

Mr WILSON - No. I refuse a private debate with members of the committee. I do not oppose this legislation. As I hope to obtain mercy, so do I desire to be merciful to others.

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