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Tuesday, 19 May 1942


Mr ROSEVEAR (Dalley) . - I understand that certain provisos as tothe eligibility of deserted wives to receive the widows' pension are to be embodied' in regulations; but the act is the place to which people will look,, and, with the agreement of the Minister, I propose to move an addendum to the definition of " deserted wife " to provide that the applicant must show that legal proceedings for maintenance had been taken against the husband.


Mr Holloway - I agree to that.


Mr ROSEVEAR - The present definition permits a woman who is living away from her husband by mutual consent to apply for and be granted a widow's pension, although she may be satisfied with her mode of life. I have not the least doubt that, in such cases, a husband, knowing that no penalty was attachable to him, if asked by the Commissioner, or even by a magistrate, whether he had deserted his wife, would say that he had.


Mr Jolly - What if a husband said " No "?


Mr ROSEVEAR - That would be the end of it. A woman who successfully made application for maintenance could not claim the pension. I do not think that it is the intention of the Government that women who are living apart from their husbands by mutual consent shall be entitled to draw the pension.


Mr HOLLOWAY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - It is not.







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