Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Friday, 27 October 1911

Debate resumed from 26th October (vide page 1865), on motion by Senator Pearce -

That this Bill be now read a second time.

Senator ST.LEDGER (Queensland) last night I was dealing with what I think is a defect in the presentment of this Bill, inasmuch as it provides for so much to be done by regulations without the Senate being furnished with them in draft or skeleton form. I ask the Minister to consider whether they cannot be produced, if not here, in another place. It must be patent to everybody that the collective wisdom of the two Houses may be of assistance to the Minister and the Department in the framing of the regulations. A large number of the members of this Parliament have had considerable experience with regard to the conduct of elections. They are familiar with the regularities and- the irregularities which accompany elections, and that common fund of experience would, if properly appealed to, be of great assistance to the Minister, the Department, and the country in endeavouring to insure purity and simplicity of action in connexion with elections. It may be said in answer to my criticism that the Senate will have a full opportunity to consider the regulations when they are tabled. But I would remind honorable senators of what happened in the case of the census regulations and the difficulties which then beset us. There was some trouble in getting the regulations before the Senate; then there was difficulty in finding an opportunity to debate them, but the result of the discussion was that almost all the regulations were thrown out. That shows the danger on one side and the advantage on the other - specially in the case of an important measure - of the Senate having before it these proposed regulations. Few honorable senators give to regulations tabled in pursuance of an Act that minute attention which they often require. It is not until some grave error of administration has been discovered, or injustice has been done to somebody, that the attention of both Houses is called to a defect in regulations: That' kind of thing is almost as bad as locking the stable door after the steed has been stolen.

Senator Findley - That is a very bad simile.

Suggest corrections