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Friday, 15 December 1905


Mr WATSON (Bland) - I am strongly in favour of some provision restraining candidates and Members of Parliament iti the matter of donations of the kind alluded to. I have for a very long time past refused to contribute to other than hospitals, on the ground that I cannot afford to respond to the numerous calls made by various associations on the purse of a Member of Parliament.


Mr Johnson - I have had over 800 -written applications of the kind, apart from verbal applications, in one year. .


Mr WATSON - That is the experience of the majority of honorable members. It is a polite form of black-mail levied upon a man who happens to hold the position of a Member of Parliament. I do not see that the clause, as amended, referring only to candidates, would be very much better than the existing state of affairs. I think that such a provision is more necessary in the case of a Member of Parliament than in the case of a candidate. I do not object to an opponent of mine spending money in this way, because I do not believe that it influences many votes, but it is unfortunate, in the public interests, that a poor man getting into Parliament should be at the mercy of a large number of people, or run the risk of being dubbed mean and unwilling to contribute to any good cause. In my view, the provision should apply particularly to Members of Parliament. As you, sir, have ruled that the sub-clause embodying that proposition would be out of order, the balance of the clause, in my view, is not worth bothering about.

Mr. GROOM(Darling Downs- Minister of Home/ Affairs). - The definition of a candidate in the principal Act, I find does not apply to this part of the Act, and it is therefore necessary to include in this clause the words contained in the definition of a candidate. I therefore ask the honorable member for Darwin to insert, after the word "who," the words "within three months before the day of election."

Mr. KINGO'MALLEY (Darwin).- I accept the Minister's suggestion. The honorable member for Lang said that his name had been brought into the matter, and I desire to explain to the honorable member that the honorable member for New England made a most vicious assault on me for having moved the amendment, and I pointed out that I had merely adapted it from that which had been suggested by the honorable member for Lang.


Mr Thomas - I ask leave to temporarily withdraw my amendment.

Amendment of the amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Mr. Groom) agreed to-

That the amendment be amended by inserting after the word " himself," .line 3, the words " within three months before the day of election."

Amendments (by Mr. Thomas) agreed to-

That the amendment be amended by leaving out the words " other than a charitable institution," and sub-clauses 2 and 3.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.







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