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Friday, 15 December 1905

Mr LONSDALE (New England) - If a candidate has a reasonable chance of being elected for any constituency, it is no hardship for him to be called upon to deposit £2$ with the returning officer. I am not ashamed to confess that when I first stood {fo!r' Parliament the £40 deposit which the law demanded had to be found for me.

Mr Webster - Why should a candidate be compelled to find a ?

Mr LONSDALE - Simply to prevent candidates who have no possible chance of success from contesting elections. If a man cannot provide the deposit himself, surely he can find twenty-five supporters who are willing to deposit £1 each on his, behalf.

Mr. MALONEY(Melbourne).- -It may interest honorable members to know that the deposit required under the principal Act is a mere bagatelle compared with the expenditure- which candidates have to incur in Great Britain. There, if a man has ai walk -over, a Government .official has to bepaid £25 to declare him elected. If thereare two or three candidates for a particular division, they must be prepared topay from ^500 to ^700 to provide conveniences which the Commonwealth provides free of cost. In my opinion, no> candidate who, from conscientious motives, refuses to borrow from his friends, should be prevented from contesting an electorate. At the same time, it is necessary, to guard against frivolous opposition. Perhaps that object could be attained by declaring that 500 or 600 electors - whose names should not be disclosed to the public - shall be required, to indorse the nomination paper of any candidate.

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