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Tuesday, 19 May 1942
Page: 1346

Mr ROSEVEAR (Dalley) . - I understand that certain provisos as tothe eligibility of deserted wives to receive the widows' pension are to be embodied' in regulations; but the act is the place to which people will look,, and, with the agreement of the Minister, I propose to move an addendum to the definition of " deserted wife " to provide that the applicant must show that legal proceedings for maintenance had been taken against the husband.

Mr Holloway - I agree to that.

Mr ROSEVEAR - The present definition permits a woman who is living away from her husband by mutual consent to apply for and be granted a widow's pension, although she may be satisfied with her mode of life. I have not the least doubt that, in such cases, a husband, knowing that no penalty was attachable to him, if asked by the Commissioner, or even by a magistrate, whether he had deserted his wife, would say that he had.

Mr Jolly - What if a husband said " No "?

Mr ROSEVEAR - That would be the end of it. A woman who successfully made application for maintenance could not claim the pension. I do not think that it is the intention of the Government that women who are living apart from their husbands by mutual consent shall be entitled to draw the pension.


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