asked the Minister for Justice if he is aware of the growing annoyance at the long delay in introducing legislation to increase substantially the maximum maintenance allowance which a district justice may order a husband to pay in respect of his deserted wife and children; and if he will now introduce such legislation and provide that the allowance shall be not less than £8 weekly or two thirds of the husband's income, whichever is the greater; and if not, why.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Maintenance Allowances.
My proposals on this matter are included in the scheme of a Bill dealing with the jurisdiction of the courts, which is at present being considered by the Government.
I shall introduce the legislation as soon as possible.
Having regard to the possibility of a disruption in the Government legislative programme and having regard to the complexity of other points which will be in that Bill, would the Minister consider that a short Bill should be introduced, all sections of which could be passed in a matter of an hour to give to these unfortunate people the degree of justice to which they are entitled and which they have long awaited?
This is a question of jurisdiction, and the Courts of Justice Bill which is at present being considered by the Government deals with the jurisdiction of all courts. It is, therefore, appropriate to deal with that point in this Bill.
It would be terrible to delay it even another week.