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Friday, 15 May 1942

Mr CLARK (Darling) .- I support the bill and congratulate the Government upon its introduction. When all men's minds are turned to war and destruction, it is gratifying to find that the Government has brought down social legislation to help those members of the community who are in need. I also appreciate the general acceptance of the bill by the House. I wish, however, to appeal to the Minister for Social Services (Mr. Holloway) to agree to an amendment being made in committee. In clause 4 of .the bill a widow is defined as a de facto widow, a deserted wife, a woman who has been granted divorce from her husband and has not remarried, and a woman whose husband is an inmate of a hospital for the insane. That definition should be extended to cover the. wife of a man who has been totally and permanently incapacitated, and is in receipt of an invalid pension. A wife whose husband is a total invalid and is unable to earn any income whatever i9 in practically the same position as a woman whose husband is in a mental institution or has deserted her. It should not require much argument to impress upon honorable members the state of a woman under such conditions, and I make a strong appeal to the Minister to consider amending the bill to remove this anomaly.

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