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‘Hansard ’ Pickings.

SEVEN YEAR GRASS WIDOWS, We have some honorable gentlemen in this House who have in past sessions stated that they believed that a valid marriage can be contracted if a man deserts his wife and she does not hear of him for more than seven years. It is not so. The utmost to which the law extends is this : that, if, not hearing of her husband for seven years, she dees marry, and the husband afterwards turn up, she cannot be punished for bigamy. Sir, what does that do ? It simply shields her from punishment; but is she therefore the wife of the man she had last married, or, in the opinion of society, an honest woman? No. Are her children legitimate ? No. Deserted and abandoned by her husband hrough no fault of hers, not having heard of him for seven years, she is married again; but upon his return she is still the wife of the husband who deserted her, and her children are illegitimate. That such a la# should exist seems to me nothing less than a cruelty on the part of the law-makers which is almost inconceivable. Therefore this section simply asks that we should give legality to what is already recognised as being not blamable, not culpable, not to be followed by punishment as a criminal offence. —(Hr Samuel.) AN UNEARNED FEE, Only about a week ago in Auckland a bankruptcy was annulled in consequence of the person whose estate was involved having been assisted by a friend and being able to pay 20s in the £. The solicitor who had assisted in the matter made a claim of Lb, against which the person protested, and the matter was referred to the Official Assignee; but the solicitor persisted in his claim ; and the person whose estate was in question felt more than anything this claim of L 5 of the solicitor for doing nothing at all, for his own solicitor would have done any business that had to bo transacted. That was a state of things that ought to be remedied.—(Mr Hobbs.) TARIFF MUDDLES. Vere Foster’s No. 4 Drawing Book, a little book used often by poor young workmen, engineers’ apprentices, and so on, for teaching freehand and mechanical drawing, was ruled to pay under the tariff 25 per cent. ; while Vere Foster’s No. 1 books, in which the girls of wealthy parents might instruct themselves in fancy drawings of flowers, etc., were free. That was a little matter, but it showed the inconsistency; and he could only suggest that there was a fierce necessity which induced the Premier to make such rulings. Then, artists’ palettes were charged 20 per cent, by its being ruled that they are china, while palette knives and other artists’ tools were admitted free. Tailors’ scissors were admitted free, while the scissors used by paperhangers were charged 20 per cent. Such rulings had created great friction and discontent throughout the country. He could only suppose that the Premier justified himself by the extreme necessity of getting revenue.— (Mr Monk.)

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Bibliographic details

‘Hansard’ Pickings., Evening Star, Issue 7975, 2 August 1889

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‘Hansard’ Pickings. Evening Star, Issue 7975, 2 August 1889