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Wednesday, 22 March 1961

Mr DUTHIE (Wilmot) .- I take this opportunity to thank 'the AttorneyGeneral (Sir Garfield Barwick) for tackling theproblem of marriage, and I trust that the bill will have a speedy passage in another place. The bill was dealt with on a non-party basis in this House and both sides of this House deserve commendation for treating the bill seriously and for passing it without division or amendment. The billis monumental, just as was the Matrimonial Causes Bill.

I agree with the remarks of the honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen) about deserted wives and maintenance. If the Attorney-General could find a way through the labyrinth of the Constitution to do something about this matter he would render a great service to the Commonwealth. Deserted wives represent a tragic social problem of our time. Honorable members on both sides of the House have been presented on many occasions with pathetic cases of deserted wives. We all know the higgledy-piggledy nature of the maintenance laws of the various States. I support the plea of the honorable member for Moreton. I hope that something practical will be done in this matter soon.

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