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MAINTENANCE   39

and that the husband or father possesses sufficient means to meet the order.

The extension of The Deserted Wives' Maintenance Act to the case of a deserted child was brought about at the instance of social service organizations and persons in charge of municipal institutions and charities, owing to the number of children found to be wholly or partially neglected by their natural protector. The effect of the change would appear to be that an order might be made against the husband for the support of his wife and another order made against him for the sup-port of his child.

Legislation of this kind is much older than is generally supposed. By an old statute passed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it was provided that a "father and a grandfather and the mother and grandmother and the children of every poor, old, blind, lame and impotent person, or other person not able to work, being of sufficient ability, shall at their own charges relieve and maintain every such poor person." The old statute was no doubt intended for the protection of the poor rates and was invoked where a "poor person" became, or


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