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Tuesday, 19 December 1905


Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) (Minister of Home Affairs) . - The first amendment with which the Senate has disagreed may be shortly stated. If was provided by us that there should be power to appoint polling places for a division outside the division itself, but not more than ten miles from its boundary, as might be thought necessary. The Senate have struck out that amendment, and I do not think that the point is a very material one. They have also re-inserted the provision allowing persons in charge of contract post-offices, as well as justices of the peace and legally qualified medical practitioners, to witness postal votes. I can see no objection to that.


Mr Crouch - If persons in charge of contract post-offices are to be allowed to witness postal votes that will be in contravention ofthe principle laid down by the Minister, that only those under the control of the Government should have such power.


Mr GROOM - They have also reinserted the words which we struck out, providing that counsel may appear before the High Court, sitting as a Court of Disputed Returns, by leave of the Court itself.


Mr Chanter - That is wrong.


Mr GROOM - I do not think so. This power will be exercised only in certain cases. The Senate has also struck out the amendment inserted, on the motion of the honorable member for Kooyong, to enable election addresses to be sent through the post at newspaper rates. I move -

That the amendments be not insisted on.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Resolution reported; report adopted.







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