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Wednesday, 5 October 1910
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Senator ST LEDGER - Oh, no!

Senator McGregor - If you are going to discuss it to-day, I shall not bring it on to-morrow night.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Will the Minister bring it on to-morrow night?

Senator McGregor - If honorable senators desire it, I will.

Senator ST LEDGER - That being so, I shall, content myself to-day with" saying that lunacy, in some direction, must be creeping into the Department.

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [5.43].- I understand that the census questions alluded to by Senator St. Ledger will have to be approved in the form of regulations before they can be placed in the censuspaper ?

Senator Findley - The Act gives power to the Minister.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - Under the Act, the Minister has power to prescribe the most insane questions he may think fit to be placed in the census-paper. But the regulations will, I understand, be tabled in Parliament, and then it will be for each House, if it pleases, to disapprove of any particular regulation. Senator McGregor has stated that if it is the desire of the Senate, he proposes to have the whole matter debated to-morrow night. I wish to know whether he proposes to have a debate on any regulations which will be laid on the table for the purpose of being considered ?

Senator McGregor - No; 1 intend to lay the papers on the table.

Senator Findley - That has been done.

Senator Chataway - Cannot the Ministers agree amongst themselves?

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - A few days ago, we had sent round to us a form of questions in connexion with the census to be taken' on the 3rd April next. In addition to the questions provided for in the Act, there are some questions marked " confidential," such as " salary and wages," " average number of hours' work," " notes and coin in circulation," and whether a man is a total abstainer or not. I assume that the additional questions cannot be placed on the census-paper until they have been submitted to the Senate, and approved of? We are anxious to know when the Government propose to give us an opportunity to debate the matter.

Senator McGregor - I promised to give an opportunity to discuss the matter to-morrow night; but the honorable senator is continuing the discussion now.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - I want to ascertain the way in which the matter is to be debated tomorrow night. Will we be able to decide tomorrow night whether a man should be asked to say how many shillings or coppers he has in his pocket on a particular date?

Senator McGregor - Honorable senators will be at liberty to debate that as well as any other question.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - So long as we have a clear understanding that no attempt will be made to smuggle the thing through until we have a fair opportunity to deal with the question, I am satisfied. I should like to ask the Minister representing the Minister of Home Affairs to explain the item, " Towards cost of Commonwealth elections, £1,000." Is this vote in addition to money which has been previously voted, or in anticipation of a Commonwealth election for any electorate or State during the next two months?

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