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Monday, 11 December 1905

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I agree with the proposal in the Bill, and think it a move in the right direction. The matter was brought before the Hobart Conference, and after discussion, the members, of the Conference agreed to support us in endeavouring to save expense to both the States and the Commonwealth by the adoption of some such methods as these. The suggestion for a joint roll was made to the Conference in a paper prepared by Mr. Garran.

Mr Groom - The Electoral Committee had previously reported in favour of the arrangement.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That Committee pointed out the desirability of having a joint State and Commonwealth roll, but the method in which that could be done was suggested only by Mr. Garran. I had intended to move some amendments, but I am willing to accept the Minister's amendment instead. I am not clear, however, that it does not necessitate the placing of a distinguishing mark against the names of those who are electors for both Commonwealth and State.

Mr Groom - Only when they are not enrolled as State electors.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The fewer the marks on the rolls the better. There should be no distinguishing mark against the names of electors enrolled for both the Commonwealth and the State, while the letter " S " might be placed opposite the names of electors enrolled for a State only, and the letter "C" against the names of electors enrolled for the Commonwealth only. But I am not in favour of placing a mark against every name on the rolls. The concluding words of the amendment are -

For the purposes of this Act those names, descriptions, marks, and particulars shall not be deemed part of the Roll.

If the marks and names of Commonwealth electors are not to be deemed part of a roll, there will be nothing on the roll at all.

Mr Groom - The names and descriptions of persons not entitled to be enrolled as, Commonwealth electors are meant; but, as the honorable member has expressed a doubt on the subject, I will see if the wording cannot be made clearer.

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