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Thursday, 4 June 1914

I am not alleging that the Old-age Pensions Commissioner, or any of his immediate officers, are guilty of neglect; but I wish to call the Minister's attention to Mr. Collins' statement that the Registrar at Albany had a claim for so many months, and that it was not forwarded to the Deputy Commissioner. Mr. Collins says the Deputy has no control over the Registrar, because the latter is not in the employ of the Commonwealth Government. In this case, the woman has had to wait twelve months, and is now being given eleven months' payments in a lump. She might have been in destitute circumstances in the meantime, and in great need of the 10s. a week. Will the Minister inquire if some kind of control can be obtained over Registrars who keep claims for pensions in their offices for so long a period ? Such delays do harm to the old-age pension system, and provision should be made that Registrars shall for ward all claims as soon as possible to the Deputy Commissioner in the State.

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