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Wednesday, 4 December 1935

Senator HARDY (New South Wales) . - This clause proposes the insertion of a new section 29aa, sub-section 1 of which enacts that where, in the opinion of the Minister, the payment by a widow or widowed mother of an Australian soldier or by the wife of an Australian soldier who is temporarily or permanently insane of the full amount of any instalments would cause hardship, the Minister may, from time to time, reduce the amount of such instalments. What is the position in respect of payments made by the wife of a man who has become insane and is a ward of the Master in Lunacy, who is thereby vested with control of the estate of the insane person? I have in mind the position of the wife of a returned soldier who became insane. She had been in receipt of an aggregate pension of £2 8s. a week, but when the husband was declared insane, he became a ward of the Master in Lunacy in New South Wales, and the wife, instead of receiving £2 8s., gets only £1 a week. We should have a clear legal definition of the position of a wife in such circumstances. Would it be held that payments made by the wife would be in reduction of the amount due on the home, and increase the equity of the purchaser in the property?

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