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Tuesday, 2 October 1906

Senator MACFARLANE (Tasmania) . - I am surprised not to have heard, in the course of the discussion on this Bill, what appears to me a most serious objection. The proposal is one which will cause friction between the Commonwealth and the States at the very time when we ought to endeavour to bring about the opposite result. Not one of the States has asked us to pass an old-age pension measure. The larger States of Victoria and New South Wales themselves provide oldage pensions with more or less satisfactory results. Why should we now, by a side wind, endeavour to do what we have not been asked to do? Apart from the objection to altering the Constitution, if we have a purpose in the Bill, why should we not set forth that purpose? If .my constituents ask me what is the object of this Bill, I can simply reply that it is to enable the Government to raise money, but for what purposes I cannot say. That is not a proper position to be placed in in relation to one's constituents. I shall advise my constituents to vote against the proposed alteration of the Constitution.

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