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Friday, 15 June 1906


Mr SALMON (Laanecoorie) . - I desire to say one or two words in reference to this matter. Honorable members will probably recollect that I brought this question before the House when the Representation Bill was under consideration. I felt then, as I do now, that it is sincerely to be regretted that we should employ a different system of calculation in regard to two matters' which should really be in accord with each other. Upon the occasion to which I refer, I drew attention to the disparity that will exist if we proceed upon the lines which are contemplated. Under the present system each representative in Victoria represents 3,000 electors more than each representative of New South Wales. That is a disparity which in my opinion, ought not to exist. Certainly, it should not be created if it is not already the law. I regret that it has been thought necessary to do that which has already been done, but under existing conditions I fail to see how we could have prevented it. The Act has been passed, and we have to abide by the decision of the last Parliament. I feel soStrongly upon the matter that I would urge the Government to take into consideration the question of remedying an admitted evil by securing an amendment of the Constitution. This could be done very simply, because the matter is not a contentious one, but one which would appeal to the fair-mindedness of the whole of the electors of Australia. The position of Victoria to-day may be that of any other State to-morrow, and therefore I hope the Government will take some steps to bring about an amendment of the Constitution in this connexion.







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