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Thursday, 2 November 1911

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) (Honorary Minister) . - As I stated on the second reading of the Bill, in a measure compulsory enrolment has been initiated already. At the present time, policemen armed with the existing rolls go round to the various houses and leave cards to be filled in by the occupants of the houses, and those cards have to be sent to the Electoral Office. The policemen not only leave the cards, but they do something in connexion with the matter of compulsory enrolment which is not done in any other matter in which compulsion is exercised. There is compulsion in regard to vaccination, military training, and the furnishing of income tax and land tax returns. In connexion with those matters, and others where compulsion is enforced, the only intimation which the persons affected receive regarding the penalties which will be imposed on them if they do not comply with the law is usually a paragraph in the press, which is sometimes placed in an obscure position. They learn in that way that such and such a thing must be done by a certain date. In connexion with compulsory enrolment, every policeman who goes round with rolls and cards - I may say that cards will be available at almost every place which the public frequent - leaves at every house a copy of the statutory rules. The men and women who get the cards are told by the policemen what is to be done with the cards, and they also get a copy of the statutory rules. One of these statutory rules is as follows : -

Duty of Householders to Answer Questions.

(1)   Every occupier of a habitation shall to the best of his knowledge and belief answer all questions asked him by an officer or by a collector, engaged in a canvass made for the purposes of the preparation of new Rolls, as to the number of adult persons residing in the habitation, and their names, occupations, and electoral qualifications, so as to enable the officer or collector to perform his duties under theseRegulations.

(11)   Any person who commits any contravention of this Regulation or who wilfully or by carelessness gives incorrect information to or misleads any officer or collector shall be guilty of an offence, and liable to a penalty not exceeding Two pounds.

A copy of the following statutory rule is also left -

Duty of Persons to Send in Claims for Enrolment.

(1)   Where any Proclamation directing the preparation of new Rolls for any State has been issued, every person living in the State (whether enrolled on any Roll or not) who is entitled to be enrolled as an elector shall, if a form of claim for enrolment has been left for him at his habitation, or delivered to him, or sent to him by post -

(a)   fill in the form and sign it in accordance with the Act and the Regulations, forthwith after the form has been received by him, and

(b)   forthwith deliver the form so filled up to a Collector engaged in the canvass made for the purposes of the new Rolls or forthwith send it by post to the Registrar for the Subdivision for which he claims to be enrolled.

(2)   Any person who commits any contravention of this Regulation shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a penalty not exceeding Twopounds.

I hope that every man and woman over 21 years of age has been made aware of the fact that the lolls in future are to be made up from cards, which it will be compulsory for those with whom they are left to fill in.

Senator Vardon - Is the regulation you have read a regulation that has been framed in anticipation of this Bill passing?

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