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Wednesday, 10 September 1958

Mr ROBERTON (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - The honorable member took a keen interest in the setting up of an inter-departmental committee by my illustrious and celibate predecessor, who is now the Minister for Primary Industry, to inquire into the social and economic consequences of the retiring age. I have tried, Mr. Speaker, so far as I am able, to keep the honorable member for Higinbotham informed. The inter-departmental committee met at frequent intervals over a period of time, and subsequently a report was prepared and presented to me. With the devotion to duty that is characteristic of the Ministers of this Government, I handed the report to the Prime Minister in the hope that that would' be the end of it so far as I was concerned, but unfortunately, Sir, the right honorable gentleman returned the report to me. I had to make a precis of its contents. It is a prodigious and most informative document. I made certain submissions to Cabinet, and Cabinet, having extracted the information contained in the report, passed it on to the Public Service Board. The same procedure was adopted, it is to be presumed, by the board. The information was extracted and the report was returned to Cabinet. My impression is that it is the intention of the Prime Minister to place a copy of the report in the Library, where it will be available to any interested honorable member. If it is likely to serve any useful purpose, I could issue a statement on the matter.

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