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Friday, 29 October 1920

Mr BRENNAN (BATMAN, VICTORIA) - From 1903 onwards, precisely the same objection has been raised every time we have moved in this direction. I addressed myself to this matter in 1917, and also prior to that.

Mr Poynton - This is the first time the Commonwealth Parliament has had before it a Nationalization Bill so comprehensive in its scope and in conformity with an Imperial Act. It gives Empire naturalization.

Mr BRENNAN - That is so, and to that extent it is an improvement on what we have had before. But I point out to the Minister that naturalization is a matter upon which we have necessarily more or less been bound up with Empire laws and reciprocal laws of other nations, and it is in that aspect rather than from the point of view that this is an Empire measure that we have been asked not to interfere with the status of women.I propose later on to move for the insertion of a new clause, and to register my view in this matter, which will provide that no woman born in Australia shall become an alien or forfeit her nationality by reason of her marriage with whomsoever it may take place. It may be that if we carry it - which, of course, we shall not - this part of the definition which refers to married women will be meaningless.

Mr Poynton - If an amendment of that character were carried, we would have to re-draft the whole Bill, and make the necessary amendments to give effect to it.

Mr Tudor - It would be much better to strike out the words "the status of married women or".

Mr Poynton - I cannot agree to that.

Mr BRENNAN - Then I shall be satisfied at a later stage to move in the direction I have indicated.

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