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Thursday, 22 May 1930

Senator RAE (New South Wales) . - I am not quite clear whether proof of age other than an actual birth certificate is provided for in this or subsequent clauses. Many cases have been brought under my notice, particularly in connexion with invalid and old-age pensions, where it was practically impossible to obtain certificates of birth of persons born many years ago. Before the present law for compulsory registration in Great Britain was in force, the parish register was the only form of birth registration, and in many cases it was quite impossible to obtain reliable proof of age. Applicants for pensions can be brought before a stipendiary magistrate who, if satisfied, from the appearance of the applicant, and other corroborative evidence, will accept the age given by the applicant. It is infinitely easier to obtain proof of age before death. Is any documentary proof necessary prior to death?

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