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MATERNITY ALLOWANCE DETAILS OF THE SCHEME. FIVE POUNDS THE MAXIMUM. ASIATICS, ABORIGINES, PAPUANS, AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS EXCLUDED. £100 PENALTY FOR MISRE- PRESENTATION. The proposal of the Federal Govern- ment to grant a maternity allowance assumed definite shape on Friday, when the Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives. Members of the caucus have, of course, been aware of the details of the measure for some weeks, and when the Prime Minister rose to move that it be read a first time they cheered heartily. This formality hav- ing been disposed of, Mr. Fisher moved that the second reading he made an order of the day for Tuesday next. He intimated that members would be asked to proceed with the consideration of the Bill without delay, at which Mr. Cook (N.S.W.) exclaimed: "That's unrseason- able.' The motion was agreed-to, however, without comment. The details of the Bill proved prac- tically no surprises, but they remove a popular impression than an allowance has to be made in respect of each child born. They show that the allowance is to be payable in respect of each oc- casion on which a birth occurs, but only one allowance is to be paid in cases where more than one child is born at one birth. The allowance is to be pay- able to women who are inhabitants of the Commonwealth, or who intend to settle therein, and not to Asiatics or aboriginal natives of Australia, Papua, or the islands of the Pacific. The full text of the measure is as follows:— 1. This act may be cited at the Ma- ternity Allowance Act 1912. 2. This act shall commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation. 3. (1) There shall be a Commissioner of Maternity Allowances who shall, sub- ject to the control of the Minister, is charged with the execution of this act. (2) An assistant commissioner and depu- ty commissioners may be appointed who shall have such powers and functions as are assigned to them by the com- missioner or are prescribed by the re- gulations. (3) Every assignment of any power or function by the commissioner under this section shall be revocable at will, and no such assignment shall pre- vent the exercise by the commissioner of any power or function. 4. Subject to this act there shall be payables out of the consolidated revenue fund, which is hereby appropriated ac- cordingly, a maternity allowance of £5 to every woman who, after the com- mencement of the act, gives birth to a child, either in Australia or on board a ship proceeding from one port in the Commonwealth or a territory of the Commonwealth to another port in the Commonwealth or a territory of the Commonwealth. 5. (1) A maternity allowance shall be payable in respect of each occasion on which a birth occurs, or the child is born alive, or if a viable child, but only one allowance shall be payable in cases where more than one child is born at one birth. (2) Where the child is not born alive, or lives within twelve hours after birth, a medical certificate must be furnished certifying that the child was a viable child. (3) Where the com- missioner is satisfied that no medical practitioner was available to attend the case, and if he is satisfied by evidence that the child born was born alive, or was a viable child, he may dispense with any medical certificate required by this section. 6. (1) The maternity allowance shall be payable only to women who are in habitants of the Commonwealth or who intend to settle therein. (2) Women who are Asiatics, or are aboriginal na- tives of Australia, Papua or the islands of the Pacific shall not be paid a ma- ternity allowance. 7. A maternity allowance shall not be paid in respect of any birth unless a claim for payment of the allowance has been made to the proper officer within three Months after the date of the birth. 8. (1) Notwithstanding anything con- tained in the Audit Act 1901-1909, or any other act, the payment of a ma- ternity allowance may be made by for- warding by post a money order to the person to whom the payment is to be made, or to a person appointed by her in writing to receive it, and in either case it shall not be necessary for the claimant or other person to send a re- ceipt for the payment to the commis- sioner. (2) Where pavment of a ma- ternity allowance has been made in the manner provided by sub-section 1 of this section, the Commonwealth shall not be liable to any action, claim or demand for any further payment in respect of the allowance. 9. In the case of the death of the mother the commissioner may pay any sum payable to her by way of mater- nity allowance to the person who, in his opinion, is best entitled to receive it. 10. Any person who (a) obtains any maternity allowance which is not pay- able. (b) obtains payment of any ma- ternity allowance by means of false or misleading statements, or (c) makes or presents to the commissioner or to any officer doing duty in relation to this act or the regulations, any statement or document which is false in any particu- lar, shall be guilty of an offence. Pen- alty £100, or imprisonment for one year. 11. Any person who aids, abets, coun- sels or procures the commission of any offence against this act, or who by act or omission is in any way directly or in- directly knowingly concerned in the com- mission of any offence against this act, shallbe deemed to have committed that offence, and shall be punishable accordingly. 12. The Governor-General may make regulations not inconsistent with this act prescribing all matters which by this act are required or permitted to be prescribed, or are necessary or con- venient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this act, and in particular for prescribing (a) the powers and duties of the commissioner and other officers, and (b) the procedure to be followed for the purpose of obtaining maternity allowances.