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The Maternity Allowance Act

Med J Aust 2003; 178 (12): 615.
Published online: 16 June 2003

The Federal Committee of the British Medical Association in Australia considered at its meeting held on July 19 and 20, 1922, a proposal ... to the effect that the money now being doled out to the mothers in the Commonwealth should be utilized to greater advantage. Arguments have been adduced in these columns and elsewhere to show that the measure providing the five pound baby bonus has little real significance as a national movement and that much of the money has found its way into the drinking saloon and the pockets of the bookmaker. It has further been shown that the attitude of the originators of the movement was not genuine and that more attention was paid to the interests of the politicians than to those of the necessitous mothers. The Federal Treasurer is being pressed to economize, so that the drain on the taxpayers' pockets may be reduced. The maternity bonus has served its purpose and the Treasurer is prepared to reduce the amount spent each year as much as the people will stand without resentment. There has been much frank talk about this vote-catching expedient. The time has arrived for the medical profession to tender sound advice to the Government in regard to the most advantageous manner of improving the public health with the money at present wasted ...



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