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Wednesday, 4 December 1935

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - I ask Senator Hardy to consider this fact: If the alcoholism to which he has referred were engendered by war experiences, treatment and a pension would be given to the sufferer. But if the alcoholism were merely a bad habit which had been contracted by the man through his own faults, he would not be entitled to receive a pension. The definition of " permanently unemployable " is, I think, self-explanatory. I direct the honorable senator's attention to the language used - "permanently unemployable" means permanently incapable, by reason of physical or mental disablement of being employed in a remunerative occupation.

That definition, is very plain. An application is first made to the State board, and is then forwarded to the commission. The personnel of that body and its grasp of the principles underlying this measure must be the determining factors. This definition is employed in similar legislation in New Zealand, and also, I understand, in Canada and Great Britain. There is no lack of authority for the guidance of the commission, and I can assure honorable senators that the act will be administered with sympathy and common sense.

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