§ 21. Mr. SMEDLEY CROOKE
asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been drawn to the effect of the discontinuance of the State grant in aid of medical benefit to aged friendly society members; and whether, in view of the comparatively small amount involved, he will give the matter further consideration?
The total amount of the grant in question was less than £1,000 in 1926 and was rapidly diminishing. The money had to be dis- 324 tributed amongst any of the 7,000 approved societies and branches which had any members who were permanently disabled on the 15th July, 1912, and the average amount payable to any society or branch was less than 10s. The distribution of these trifling sums involved considerable work on the part of the societies concerned and of my Department, the cost of which far exceeded the total sum to be distributed. In these circumstances I have come to the conclusion that the continuance of the grant is not justified. This decision has been communicated to the Consultative Council, on which approved societies of all types are represented, and has received their concurrence.