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Friday, 15 December 1905

Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) (Minister of Home Affairs) . - I hope that the Committee will not accept the proposed new clause. The sum of ^25 is so small that it should not prevent any candidate likely to be chosen by a constituency from being nominated. VI do not think that any one possessing the political attainments likely to enable him to secure a seat in Parliament will find it impossible to obtain the money to make this deposit. It has to be remembered, however, that the expense of conducting a Commonwealth election is very much greater than the expense of conducting a State or municipal election, and nobody, except bond fide candidates, should be encouraged to go to the poll. Where no deposit is required, I have known men to allow themselves to be nominated merely for advertising purposes, having no hope of winning the seat.

Mr Wilks - A candidate might wish to advance some political opinion.

Mr GROOM - Then, he should fight the election fairly and squarely. I have every sympathy for those who are poor, but I do not think that the Commonwealth should be put -to an expense which,, in the case of a Senate election, might amount to thousands of pounds, by candidates who are not bond fide. However, as the pros and cons of this question arewell known to honorable members, I shall not occupy more time in dealing with it.

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