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Wednesday, 4 August 1954

Mr FITZGERALD (PHILLIP, NEW SOUTH WALES) - In view of the promises that were made during the recent election campaign and in the interests of common decency, will the Minister for Health immediately restore to age and invalid pensioners the pharmaceutical benefits that were taken away two days after the general election of the 29th May?

Sir EARLE PAGE - The honorable member is singularly ill informed.

Mr Menzies - Not singly.

Sir EARLE PAGE - No, plurally ill informed. No regulation has been gazetted since the election. The only regulation that has been gazetted within the last three months was gazetted on the 12th May, which was nearly three weeks before the election. Although several Labour speakers have stated and have deluded various pensioner organizations into believing, that the regulation reduced the number of the benefits that are available, it increased it. Although I have received complaints from various organizations and from various honorable members opposite, I have not received one complaint from a pensioner that a drug was not available.

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