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Wednesday, 27 May 1942

Senator AYLETT (Tasmania) .- The bill makes provision for a woman who has been deserted by her husband. The definition of" deserted wife" is as follows : - " Deserted wife" means a wife who has been deserted by her husband for a period of not less than six months.

Does that definition cover the wife ofa man who has committed an offence for which he has been sentenced to imprisonment for twelve months or longer? She would be in fact a deserted woman, and should therefore be entitled to at least the same consideration as the bill proposes shall be given to a wife who has been deserted by her husband.

Provision should also be made to meet the needs of the wife of a man who is an inmate of a sanatorium. This class of person has been referred to by Senator Lamp. A wife so situated may be left entirely without support for herself and her children because of the illness of her husband, and should be treated as generously as the bill proposes to treat a de facto wife or a deserted wife. If the matter cannot be dealt with at this stage, the Minister may consider making provision at a later stage.

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