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Tuesday, 19 May 1942

Mr HOLLOWAY (Melbourne PortsMinister for Social Services and Minister for Health) .- I remind the honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Rosevear) that, in my second-reading speech, I said that the term " deserted wife " included a woman who had taken legal action against her husband for desertion. This definition is included in the Invalid and Old-age Pensions Act, but by some oversight it was omitted from this bill. I assure the honorable member that the omission will be rectified.

I cannot promise at this stage to give effect to the proposal put forward by the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell)'. I think that there is State legislation which enables assistance to be given to. women whose husbands are in gaol.

Mr Calwell - Not in Victoria.

Mr HOLLOWAY - No one can refute the logic of the honorable member's argument, but I fail to see how the Government could classify as a widow a woman whose husband may be in gaol for six months, then out of it for a time, and then back in gaol again.

Mr Calwell - It could be provided that a wife- would become eligible for a pension if her husband were sent to gaol for a period of two years or more.

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