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Wednesday, 30 October 1912

Senator READY (Tasmania) . - In view of the statement that frauds have actually taken place in New Zealand in connexion with the use of these stamping machines, I say that even at the eleventh hour the Government would do well to consider the arguments against their use advanced by honorable senators on this side. It would appear that, although the use of these machines has continued for some time in New Zealand, the authorities have recently become aware that it has led to the perpetration of fraud. It has been discovered that the die and mark impressed by these machines can be closely imitated, and there are grave reasons for believing that many frauds are being perpetrated in New Zealand in this way which have not yet been brought home to the offenders.

Senator Millen - Where did the honorable senator get this information?

Senator READY - I have received the information from a very reliable source. An honorable senator on this side can substantiate what I say, and is in a position to give more definite information on the subject. In all the circumstances, I feel that it is the duty of honorable senators to direct the attention of the Government to the dangers involved in the" adoption of these recording machines, even at this the eleventh hour, in the passage of the measure.

Senator LYNCH(Western Australia) [3.20). - In speaking on the second reading of the Bill, I said that I was not enamoured of the measure because of the opportunities for the perpetration of fraud which I believed it would afford, not necessarily to those who hire the recording machines referred to in the measure, but to persons who might take advantage of their use to commit a fraud by the imitation of the marks which they are intended to make upon postal matter. Since then I have had occasion to consult authorities as to the possibility of the perpetration of such frauds. I find that in New Zealand, while it has not been positively admitted by the Postal Department of the Dominion, there is sufficient evidence to show that the authorities are not quite satisfied with the operations of the recording machines at present in use there.

Senator Millen - Has the honorable senator any information as to the nature of the evidence -referred to?

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