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Wednesday, 18 November 1959

Mr SNEDDEN (Bruce) .- There have been some remarkable alliances demonstrated here to-night. The honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly) said that for the first time he is supporting the honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen). To his great misfortune he is no closer to being correct on this occasion than he has been in the past. The honorable member for Chisholm (Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes) seemed to imply to this chamber that this is a matter which lawyers are considering exclusively as lawyers and that nobody else is considering it. That is far from the truth, because the reality of the situation is that most lawyers have experience of human problems and are therefore able to form judgments on them, and as members of this Parliament they are perfectly entitled to use that experience and judgment. So they are doing in this case.

I think, as the honorable member for Banks (Mr. Costa) pointed out, that this is a matter to be considered from the point of view of the person who is seeking the relief. This is not something that will be considered from the point of view of the deserter. This matter concerns the person who will be going to the court to seek relief. It is in that person's hands whether relief issought after two years or after ten years. If such a person elects to seek relief after two years - if this bill becomes law - that person will be able to obtain relief.

The honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) said that over a period of 30 years he had witnessed the misfortunes and sufferings of women who found themselves in unfortunate situations because of the actions of wicked husbands. In cases like those, taking a line on the remarks passed by the honorable member for Banks, those women should be able to obtain relief at the earliest possible time in accordance with the conscience and morality of the country. I believe that the conscience of this country will be well satisfied with the passing of this provision as it now stands in the bill. I will vote against the amendment andI will support the bill.

Question put -

That the paragraph proposed to be omitted (Mr. Killen's amendment) stand part of the clause.

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