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Wednesday, 6 October 1971
Page: 1922

Mr CALWELL (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - As one who intends to live to 100, provided I do not die in the meantime, I ask the Prime Minister a question about life assurance legislation. Firstly, will he initiate an inquiry into the provisions of the Life Assurance Act of 1949, which is now 22 years old, with a view to introducing amendments, if this is thought desirable, to its provisions so that policy holders will receive greater benefits than are prescribed in that legislation? Secondly, will he have an investigation made into the desirability of extinguishing the rights of private companies to engage in life assurance because under the Act as I understand it a private company can take 20 per cent of the profits - although they do not take anything like that amount - and so that people insured with such companies shall have greater benefits than they can now obtain?

Mr McMAHON - As to the first part of the question, I will make inquiries immediately with the Treasury and ask that it submit a report to me. As to the second part of the right honourable gentleman's question, I think the private life assurance companies in Australia have done a really worthwhile job and, from the information that was submitted to me in my last year as Treasurer, I think it will be found that in most cases those companies are at least the equal of overseas corporations.

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