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Thursday, 16 November 1911

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) (Honorary Minister) . - I hope that the Committee will not for a moment think of accepting Senator's Rae's amendment. Honorable senators opposite say that they cannot understand the clause. If that be so, they cannot understand plain English. The language of the clause is not involved. It provides simply that the Electoral Officer must have double-barrelled proof before removing an elector's name from a roll. He must have proof that an elector has ceased to be qualified to be enrolled in one electorate, and that he has become enrolled in another. Senator Rae's amendment would vitiate the whole provision. He seeks to provide that if a person has secured enrolment on one roll, and his name already appears on another, he shall "be removed from the first. An elector, however, ought to cease to be qualified to vote in an electorate where he is enrolled before his name can be removed. A man does not cease to be qualified simply because his name appears on a second roll.

Senator Millen - Then the second enrolment must be a fraudulent one.

Senator FINDLEY - That is another matter. Under this provision the officer must be satisfied that an elector has ceased to be qualified to vote in an electorate before removing that elector's name from the roll.

Senator Millen - How does an elector get his name on to a second roll if he retains his original qualifications?

Senator FINDLEY - There are possibilities; and it is to remove any possibility of fraud that we want the provisions of the law to be tightened up. I say in all seriousness that this Bill has not been hastily drawn, but every provision in it has been carefully considered. I ask the Committee to agree to the clause as it stands.

Senator HENDERSON(Western Aus correct in his contention. I do not think that the intention is to make use of this clause in a case where an elector has removed from one division in a State to another. It is intended to operate where an elector has removed from one State to another. By the card system, it is intended to keep a check upon electors, who may be followed from one end of Australia to the other. That is the intention of the whole Bill.

Senator Millen - Yes, but not of this clause.

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