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Wednesday, 13 June 1906

Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) (Minister for Home Affairs) . - I would suggest to honorable members not to move an amendment for the purpose of altering the name of an electorate. These motions are complete in .themselves, and we have either to accept or to reject the report which really covers the boundaries of the electorates. If both Houses 'pass a resolution approving of any proposed distribution the naming of the constituencies is a matter which is left for a Proclamation by the Governor-General in Council -

If both Houses of Parliament pass a resolution approving of any proposed distribution, the Governor-General may by proclamation declare the names and boundaries of the Divisions, and such Divisions shall, until altered, be the Electoral Divisions for the State in which they are situated.

I do not object to the House expressing an opinion.

Mr Watson - Is there not some way of getting an expression of opinion from honorable members?

Mr GROOM - That is what I should like to get. I shall give every consideration to the names which have been suggested. It is not desirable to have State and Commonwealth electorates bearing the same name, as it leads to great confusion. It is just as well, I think, to let the House know any change of name which is going to be proposed. If there is any desire to alter the names perhaps we can give honorable members an opportunity of dealing with .the matter of names on another occasion.

Mr Bamford - How would it do to suggest names to the Commissioner ?t

Mr GROOM - It will be open to honorable members to suggest new names to the Governor-General in Council after the proposed resolutions have been adopted by both Houses. This is purely a legal question. We want to get the motions adopted as soon as possible, and not to make any additions which might impede or delay their passage. I think that we can give honorable members an opportunity, if it is desired, to submit fresh names to the Governor-General in Council.

Mr Page - Why not do that now ?

Mr GROOM - I do not want the two questions to be mixed up. Before the Proclamation is issued by the GovernorGeneral in Council we will see if we cannot give honorable members a chance to submit fresh names. At this stage I think it is quite proper for honorable members to express their opinions as. to any names. So far as I can see Artesia is a very appropriate name to adopt for the Maranoa electorate. Other honorable members may think it is desirable that instead of picking out the names of individuals we should try to preserve suitable native names. Take, for instance, the suggestion which the honorable member for Kennedy made in regard to the perpetuation of the name of Mr. Browne, who was a most esteemed politician in Queensland. Other honorable members might think it desirable, if we are to perpetuate any names, that we should rather perpetuate the names of men like Dalley, Parkes, and others who were Federalists.

Mr Watson - We have got them already.

Mr GROOM - I only mentioned those names bv way of illustration. I do not think it is advisable to impede the passage of the motion by adding something which might cause delay in getting to work.

Mr Bamford - Let the Minister submit a separate motion when these motions have been passed.

Mr GROOM - At a later stage we can give an opportunity to honorable members to deal with the question of names. In the meantime, if they make any suggestions, most of them may commend themselves, and if they do, we can promise that the Government will take action accordingly.

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