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Wednesday, 4 December 1935

Senator HARDY (New South Wales) . - Section 4 of the principal act defines an army sister as an Australian soldier within the meaning of the act. That definition is perfectly clear, but I point out that it is likely to upset minis terial calculations in respect of other portions of this measure. Suppose that an army sister, as so defined, applies, let us say, for a "burnt-out" pension; if she is unmarried, she will be entitled as an unmarried member of the forces to a pension of 36s. a fortnight; if she is married, apparently, she will be entitled to a pension of 30s. a fortnight as prescribed for a married member of the forces. As wives of members of the forces are also defined will an army sister, defined as a soldier within the meaning of the act, who marries another soldier, receive a pension for herself as a married member of the force, and an additional pension as the wife of a member of the forces?

Senator A.J. McLACHLAN (South Australia - Postmaster-General) [8.48 ~| . - The point raised by the honorable senator has received the consideration of the commission and also of the War Service Homes Commissioner. A returned nurse is a member of the forces, and as such has rights of her own which are not affected by marriage. Even though married it is possible for her to obtain a service pension, and her children may also be eligible. Naturally, the income and property provisions will apply, and, of course, a service pension will not be payable on account of the nurse's husband. If the husband is a member of the forces he has rights as such.

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