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Wednesday, 31 July 1946

Mr DALY (Martin) .- In introducing this bill, the. Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Holloway) said -

It is with considerable pleasure that I move thesecond reading of this bill, which provides a substantial measure of relaxation of the means test in relation toinvalid and old-age pensions payments. I am sure that the Prime Minister. (Mr. Chifley) and my other Cabinet colleagues would permit me to say that this bill is the first step in a long-range plan designed to eliminate completely the means test from our social service legislation.

I rise to say a few words particularly about the abolition of the means test and the part that this bill will play in the achievement of that most desirable objective. The abolition of the means test has received wide publicity recently, particularly since the introduction of a form of contributory social services by the Labour Government. Social reform has always been in the forefront of Labour's policy, and to Labour alone goes the credit for the improvements that have been made in our social order. In common with other honorable members on. this side, I support the abolition of the means test, particularly as it applies to social- services. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Menzies) and members of the Liberal party have held out the abolition of the means test as an electioneering bait, and I propose to deal with their approach tothe problem and with the criticism levelled against the Labour party in that regard before dealing with the provisions of this bill. It is only a few weeks since the Leader of the Opposition took exception to an advertisement that appeared in the press over the names of the leaders of the Australian Labour party. He stated that the advertisement misrepresented the facts and was altogether undesirable. I produce another' advertisement which was inserted in a Sydney journal by the Liberal party to explain its social services programme. I claim that this advertisement is dishonest, and that it was inserted for the deliberate purpose of misleading the people. Compared with it, any political advertisement which may have been published previously fades into insignificance,. It reads -

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