We fnust face conditions as they were disclosed by this war. This war had not been going on for a year before the military departments were confronted, not by scores, but probably by hundreds of women who demanded separation allowance and who were unable to produce their marriage certificates because they had never been married to the men with whom they respectively were living. Years before a domestic relationship had been in existence; the man and the woman had simply gone and lived together, each to the other, although there had been no formal marriage, and children to the number of one, two, three, four and even five had been born. They had a respectable position in the community in which they lived, and nothing would have been known about the irregularity of their former life had not proof been requested whether or not they were married. When the casualties began to pour in, the same condition confronted us who are interested in this pension legislation. What was the status of these women to be? It is all very well to raise one's hands in holy horror and to say that these women should not be recognized and that they and their children should be permitted to starve; but it seems to me you have to go further than that, because if you are prepared to take the position that these women are not entitled to pensions, you simply drive on to. the streets, a woman, who has constantly and regularly been living with a man as his wife, to get a living in the only way she can get it, namely, by selling herself to the man who is willing to buy her. I am not prepared to take that position.
Topic: PENSION ACT AMENDMENT.