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Thursday, 24 September 1942

Your letter dated 16th July in reply to a protest lodged against the legalizing and subsidizing of immorality was received and brought before my committee for consideration.

The context of your letter convinced this committee that our protest against the inclusion of de facto widows in the Widows' Pension Bill was woefully misunderstood.

Points raised -

(   1 ) That the " Act " was agreed to without opposition - met with the unanimous opinion that such an agreement could be accounted for in two ways -

(a)   as the reflection of a purely masculine viewpoint, or

(b)   because the appalling significance of the Act had not been fully realized.

Point (2) The Rights of the Child.- It is because we women, as the divinely appointed guardians of the child, are so cognizant of the importance of our sacred trust that we are determined to bring this measure to its logical conclusion. The right of the child is the right to legal parenthood. It takes two people to bring a child into the world, and it takes two people to fulfil that obligation.

What authority has Government to break the " law of God " upon which the British law is founded?

Where there is no law there is no transgression, but where there is a law and " courts of law " to enforce it's enactment (bigamy, &c.), then there must be obedience to that law to justify " the seat of administration ".

You say we - the members of the Women's Union of Service - object to unmarried women being brought within the law. We made no such objection - the unmarried woman disqualifies herself when she chooses to set at defiance the laws of her country, though fully aware that her act will react on her hapless children and impose upon them the ban of her transgression.

The lawful wife of a man who has lost his job is placed on the dole - she has not lost her job, indeed, she may even be an expectant mother, but she is humiliated, undernourished, and reduced to the level of the dole.

Is the law-breaker more deserving of a security pension than the law-abiding wife and mother upon whom the nation depends for it's very life?

We also drew the attention of Government to the iniquity of compelling honorable spinsters to contribute - through taxation of honest labour - to the maintenance of immorality, in the form of a pension to dishonorable spinsters (childless) of 60 years and over, they themselves as law-abiding citizens paying tribute to the Administration being denied the privilege of sharing in its benefit.

The effect which this measure is having on the unstable section in our community is deplorable and we are prepared to give proof in this direction.

We trust Government will have this anomaly repealed before greater harm ensues.

Yours faithfully,

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