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Wednesday, 22 March 1961

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- The Attorney-General will recall that in his second-reading speech, when referring to clause 12, he said that mere expectancy of a child would not be sufficient to justify the parties making use of the provisions of the clause. The language used in this clause is intriguing. Sub-clause (2.) (b) provides that the judge or magistrate shall hold an inquiry, and that he may make the order sought if he is satisfied that - the circumstances of the case are so exceptional and unusual as to justify the making of an order

I hope the Minister will make an adequate explanation of the force of this provision. I would like to mention to the honorable gentleman a possible circumstance, in which a girl of fifteen years finds herself pregnant. Both parties, with the full approval of their respective families, after a consideration of all the aspects, decide that marriage is in their interests. There is no social or religious inhibition. The two parties genuinely believe they are in love with each other and they do want to get married. The only justifying circumstance to which they can point is the mere expectancy of a child, to which the Attorney-General referred in his speech. If they went to a judge, with the permission of their parents, and asked for an order, he would say, " Under the provisions of the act you do not qualify. The circumstances are not exceptional or unusual ". I would like to hear what the Minister has to say on this1 point.

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