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Thursday, 10 October 1912

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . -In moving -

That the Senate do now adjourn,

I wish to make a statement for the information of honorable senators. The Maternity Allowance Bill was assented to by the Governor-General to-day, and a proclamation was issued. Consequently all those now entitled to the maternity allowance may send in claims from to-day. But, payments cannot be made before the1st November. It is impossible to bring the necessary machinery into action before that date. I may add that until the1st November it will be necessary for claims to be sent to the various State capitals. They cannot be received elsewhere. As soon as the Department is properly organized, officers for receiving claims will be appointed in various parts of the Commonwealth. It will, however, be recognised that some time must elapse before the printed application forms, and other papers respecting this legislation, can be distributed, and officers authorized to receive claims and make payments. The Government are doing all they possibly can to make the maternity allowance available to the women of Australia as speedily as possible.

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