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Friday, 26 September 1902

Mr HUME COOK (BOURKE, VICTORIA) - I desire to ask the Prime Minister a question with regard to the money now being raised for the relief of the sufferers by the Mount Kembla disaster. Quite a number of branches of the Australian Natives' Association, with which I am connected, have raised subscriptions for the fund. Various other societies, as well as members of the public, have done the same ; but an impression is gaining ground that the money so raised is not under proper control, and that it will probably be handed over to the New South Wales Miners' Accident Relief Fund, which is managed by the Government. A number of members of the Australian Natives' Association who have spoken to me about the matter are anxious that the money which has been raised should be paid direct to the widows and orphans for whom it was intended. In these circumstances, I am impelled to ask the Acting Prime Minister whether he can give me any assurance that these moneys will not be paid into the particular fund to which I have referred, but that they will be paid direct to those for whom they are intended.

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