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Wednesday, 8 November 1911


Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) (Honorary Minister) . - Senator McColl has informed us that he desires a full explanation of this proposed new sub-clause before the Committee are asked to agree to it. He drew attention to the practice which obtained in Victoria for a considerable time.


Senator McColl - It obtains now.


Senator FINDLEY - I do not think so. That practice was one of which I never approved, and which served little or no useful purpose. Under it, large sums of money were paid to newspapers for inserting long advertisements which set out the names and addresses of persons to whom objection had been raised, on the ground that they had left the district, or for some other reason. These advertisements were set out in the smallest type, and appeared in obscure portions of the newspapers ; sometimes they were posted at police stations. That practice frequently resulted in thousands of names being removed from the rolls which ought not to have been so removed, and in thousands of others, which should not have been on the rolls, appearing there.


Senator McColl - That is merely a statement.


Senator FINDLEY - It is a statement which I am prepared to prove. Under the Victorian system thousands of names were left off the rolls which should have figured there, although I do not say they were omitted intentionally. My own name was objected to. on the ground that I had removed from the district, not with tanding that I had lived in the same place for thirty years.


Senator Chataway - The honorable senator had a chance to defend himself.


Senator FINDLEY - I had notice to appear at a Revision Court at 10 o'clock in the morning. I was obliged to sacrifice a portion of my working time to attend the Court in order to prove that I had not left my place of residence. All that this clause means is that when a name appears twice upon the roll, the Electoral Officer shall have power to remove one of ' the names.


Senator McColl - There is no reference in the clause to names appearing twice upon the roll.


Senator FINDLEY - That is all the provision means.


Senator Vardon - What is the proof that he requires?


Senator FINDLEY - He will have a cardindex, and he will know the names of the different persons in the various States. If the same name appears twice upon a roll, he will have power to remove one of the names.


Senator Vardon - If the card index system be complete, such a thing cannot happen.


Senator FINDLEY - To remove any shadow of doubt, we think that this provision ought to be included in the Bill.







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