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Friday, 17 November 1911

Senator CHATAWAY (Queensland) . - Senator O'Keefe in his amendment - probably inadvertently - has used the word " general." I suggest that he should substitute the word " any."

Senator O'Keefe - I am willing to accept that alteration.

Senator Long - How can the honorable senator do that? He cannot tell when a vacancy will occur.

Senator CHATAWAY - I am glad that Senator O'Keefe agrees with me that there is no reason why we should apply one rule to by-elections and another rule to general elections. I trust that the Government will accept the amendment of the amendment which I have indicated. Australia is a country of magnificent distances, and there are many portions of it which cannot be reached in a moment's notice.

Senator Millen - There are places in it where the residents do not even read Hansard. ' ,

Senator McGregor - We are a very benighted people.

Senator CHATAWAY - If the VicePresident of the Executive Council wishes me to delay the progress of business I will do so. It is provided, by section 10 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1904, that regulations shall be published in the Government Gazette. That is the only way in which the law of the Commonwealth provides that they must be made known to the public. ' What do people living, say, in North Queensland, know about regulations? Occasionally a man who does business with the Department of Trade and Customs will be told by a friendly officer that certain regulations have been altered. Otherwise he would not know. A man like the Hon. James Clarke, who is at the head of the pearling business, makes himself acquainted with any regulations affecting his trade. But people generally do not know what the regulations made under any Act contain. I certainly think that the amendment should apply to by-elections as well as to an ordinary general election.

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