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Thursday, 8 August 1946

Second Beading.

Debate resumed from the 23rd July (vide page 2871), on motion by Mr. Johnson -

That the bill be now read a second time.

Mr. MENZIES(Kooyong- Leader of the Opposition . [1.7 a.m.]. - The bill contains, in substance, two proposals. The first is to render lawful the expenditure in the case of a candidate at a Senate election the sum of £500, instead of £250 as at present, and in the case of candidates for the House of Representatives £250, instead of £100 as at present. There is no doubt in the minds of honorable members that this brings the position nearer to reality. I say no more and no less than that. The second proposal has to do with posters. The Government proposes as a matter of law on the statutebook, as opposed to regulations, that no candidate shall post up a poster with- a greater area than 60 square inches. So, in future, the virtues of candidates will be disclosed to the electors in an area of 6 inches by 10 inches instead of 6 feet by 10 feet. This undoubtedly is due to the unexpected modesty of the Government, and as modesty on the part of the Government is rare, I am not at all sure that I should not welcome it. I dare say that in the long run our names will become sufficiently known to the electors, whether the posters be 6 inches by 10 inches or 6 feet by 10 feet, and, in any event, I have the surety that the bill has been approved by the willing supporters of the Government, that there will be a majority for it, and after 1 a.m. I am not going to argue about it.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted.

Bill - by leave - read a third .time.

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