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Thursday, 22 May 1930

Senator MCLACHLAN (South Australia) . - At the moment I am not quite clear as to the actual .effect of such a provision. Contractual relations between husband -and wife involve principles of general law. I doubt if it is within the competence of this committee to make the amendment suggested by Senator Rae in this bill. Insurances under this clause are effected generally on the payments made by women out of their housekeeping money, and usually by wives who wish to protect themselves against a rainy day. The Parliamentary Draftsman could consider, the suggested amendment and if considered practicable, it could be moved in another place.

Senator Rae - Why not accept it here?

Senator MCLACHLAN - By doing so, we might be giving a wrong lead. I do not think that the providence of a wife should be affected by the consent of the husband. I suggest that honorable senators should allow the clause to stand in its original form on the understanding that I will see if a suitable amendment can be framed, and if necessary, again recommit the bill. I am sure the Minister (Senator Daly), must have some doubt concerning the effect of the suggested amendment upon the rights now existing as between husband and wife. There is also the point raised by Senator Herbert Hays as to its effect upon the insurance of children. If the words " without his consent " are allowed to remain, the position of the wife will become somewhat insecure.

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