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Friday, 8 February 1929

Mr BRUCE (Flinders) (Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs) . - Every honorable member must deeply deplore that conditions such as those referred to by the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Makin) should exist. I do not say that the Commonwealth Government ia not concerned with such happenings; but that the primary responsibility for providing relief cannot be assumed by it. If we were to assume such responsibility in this case we should have to do so in every other similar case. I shall cause an examination to bp made into the circumstances, and, if it is thought proper that the Commonwealth should take some action to assist in relieving the distress, that will be done, but not because this is an obligation which the Government should assume.

I was glad to hear the honorable member say that returned soldiers were being treated with consideration and sympathy by the department. On this aspect of the subject I shall confer with the Minister for Repatriation, to see that the fullest possible consideration is extended to them.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 4.4 p.m.

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