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Thursday, 1 May 1902

Mr KINGSTON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - I know of no written agreements such as the honorable member evidently refers to. The words in the constitution are - " Grantor agreement."

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - What is a " grant or agreement"?

Mr KINGSTON - We are advised that in this case there is a grant which entitles persons to the continuance of the bonus.

Mr Glynn - Does "grant" mean a policy existing at the time of federation, or does it mean a contract ?

Mr KINGSTON - I take it that a grant was constituted by the Act and action of the Victorian Government in this connexion.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Will the right honorable gentleman lay the papers upon the table, so that we may have an opportunity of perusing them, and seeing what should be done ?

Mr KINGSTON - At this moment there is no application pending, and, of course, the approval of the Government is required for the payment of any bonus. I do not mind assuring the honorable member, under the special circumstances in which he finds himself, that we shall not give that approval until he has had an opportunity to bring the matter up.

Mr A McLEAN (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) - Some of the payments have been in abeyance for many months. I know of two brothers who are entitled to the sum of £200, but the payment of the money has been delayed in consequence of the act of the Federal Government.

Mr KINGSTON - A few days since I received a letter from the State authority saying that there is no application pending which has not been attended to. I think I promised, when we were discussing the matter before, that, if the Government decided to pay bonuses which were not earned before the 8th October, we should first give the House an opportunity of considering the question, and I do not mind saying now that we shall not do anything in the way of approving of a bonus until the end of the week when we next meet.

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