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Wednesday, 2 June 1915

Mr McGRATH (BALLAARAT, VICTORIA) - Immediately word is received by the authorities that a soldier has been killed at the front, all payments to his relatives cease. I know of individual cases in which great hardship has been thus caused. Will the Minister of Defence take steps to make the pensions available as soon as possible after the cessation of other payments?

Mr JENSEN -I believe that the Executive Council to-day approved of certain regulations permitting the payment of pensions. All reported deaths of soldiers will be considered by the Pensions Board as quickly as possible, with a view to granting assistance to the relatives.

Mr GROOM - Some three weeks ago I brought under the notice of the Assistant Minister of Defence the fact that the Imperial Reservists in the ranks who have been called to the front from Australia are paid the difference between the Imperial and Australian rates of pay, but that Imperial officers similarly situated are not treated in the same manner. The Minister promised to let me have a reply. Will he say whether the matter has yet been considered by Cabinet? If not, will he expedite consideration of it, so that the officers may be on the same footing as the men in the ranks?

Mr JENSEN - If the honorable member will put his question on the noticepaper I will endeavour to give him an answer to-morrow.

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