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Friday, 15 December 1905

Mr WEBSTER (Gwydir) - I differ from those who think that the requirement that a deposit of £25 shall accompany a nomination is not a barrier in the way of many aspirants to political honours. It was very inconvenient for me to find the money to make this deposit, although I had every chance of winning the seat, and I was prevented from using the money while fighting the election. Before resigning from the State Parliament to contest the Federal seat, I did not see how I could obtain the money necessary' to make a deposit of ^25, and to pay my expenses, but, fortunately, some of my constituents had some time previously opened a subscription list, with a view to making me a testimonial in appreciation of my services, and I went to the electorate to see if I could be allowed to use part of the money collected, to pay my deposit. If I "had been told that it was not their intention to collect money to enable me to leave the State Parliament, I could not have contested the Federal seat. We have no right to put any obstacle in the path of the aspirant to political honours.

Mr Wilks - A man is not required to pay for the privilege of recording his vote.

Mr WEBSTER - No, and similarly, a man should not be required to pay to become a candidate for Parliament. No distinctions should be made in this matter between rich and poor. It is objected that, without a deposit, men of straw are frequently nominated, but it is not often that men allow themselves to be nominated unless they think that they have an opportunity to win a seat

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