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Wednesday, 2 December 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - At present section 45AO reads -

If a service pensioner becomes an inmate of an asylum for the insane, his pension shall, without further or other authority than this Act, be deemed to be suspended, but when the pensioner is discharged from any such asylum, payment of his pension shall be resumed. . .

When a pensioner is discharged from &n institution his pension is immediately restored to him. In the clause now before the committee, the Government is endeavouring to ameliorate the harshness of the existing legislation; although it is proposed to repeal section 45AO it is also proposed to empower the commissioner to grant to unfortunate pensioners who become inmates of institutions 6s. a week for their' own personal expenses. The clause does not apply, however, to tubercular pensioners who are .already provided for in clauses 4, 6 and 1 of this bill. We must have some regard to the fact that institutions such as those mentioned in the bill are supported by Stategovernments and are a charge upon the public, and that, whilst a pensioner is an inmate of such an institution, he is totally maintained by it. It is only just, however, that the unfortunate sufferer should receive some part of the pension to meet his domestic expenditure. It is therefore proposed under this clause to give him 6s. a week. I do not think that this matter need be debated at any length.

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