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for single pensioners, and a lower rate for those living with a spouse. Because it had been arbitrarily  judged that Miss Smith was indulging in sexual intercourse with her friend, her pension had been substantially reduced. Her morals had been impugned and her financial arrangements jeopardised.

She leant forward:

"Mr Stewart, I know that you are a man of the world. You will understand when I say that I have conclusive evidence of the truth. Tomorrow I shall obtain proof of that evidence from my gynaecologist."

I told her that I was appalled by the gross invasion of privacy she had suffered. Whatever were the facts of the domestic relationship, they should not have been the subject of prying by some official Peeping Tom. Anyhow, I accepted her word.

I rang the Redfern Legal Aid Centre, and arranged for her to receive free legal assistance in appealing to the Administrative Claims  Tribunal.

Unfortunately, the medical examination was inconclusive--the passing years apparently taken their toll on the evidence.

Undaunted, she maintained her claim of virginity. Now represented by an enthusiastic young lawyer, she pressed on with the appeal.

A few months later a triumphant Miss Smith phoned

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