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Tuesday, 19 May 1942

Sir FREDERICK STEWART (Parramatta) . - I agree with the proposed amendment of the honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Rosevear) which I understand the Minister in charge of the bill (Mr. Holloway) is prepared to accept, but, in my opinion, it needs strengthening in order to meet the possibility suggested by the honorable member for Lilley (Mr. Jolly). That could be done by providing that any proceedings for maintenance shall be bona fide to the satisfaction of the Commissioner. Obviously, it would be just as easy to make a pretence of the law proceedings as of the desertion.

Mr Falstein - Why not let the Commissioner decide everything, and not force the parties to make application to the court?

Sir FREDERICK STEWART - I do not agree with the contention of the honorable member for Watson that the bill as drafted will give sufficient protection. As the bill now stands the fact of desertion has only to be established for the claimant to be entitled to a pension, notwithstanding that the desertion may be more pretended than real. The suggestion of the honorable member for Dalley could be met by an amendment of clause 14 which deals with disqualifications for pension.

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