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Wednesday, 24 June 1914

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I desire toask the Vice-President of the Executive Council a question in connexion with the Electoral Branch of the Home Affairs Department, and, in order that it may be understood, I quote the following paragraph from a publication issued by the Liberal Union in Adelaide, South Australia -

Cleanse the Bolls. - Do not delay in sending me the names of Labour Supporters who are on the latest roll sent you and have lost their qualifications, that I may have them struck off. You have little time. The next roll published, which will appear after the writ is issued, will be the one on which the elections will be fought. There will be no supplemental rolls; so have your full strength recorded now, and do not let your opponents have any advantage over you, or any reserve strength for double voting.

Does the Minister approve of the secretary of the Liberal Union in Adelaide inviting members of his union to so act that the names of Labour supporters only may be struck off the roll ? Will the honorable senator say also whether it is a fact that there will be no supplemental roll issued previous to the coming election ?

Senator McCOLL - As the secretary of the Liberal Union in Adelaide is not in any way under my control, I have no opinion to offer upon his action. It is not, I suppose, competent for me to express approval or disapproval of what he is alleged to have done. With regard to the honorable senator's other question, I imagine that there is sure to be a supplemental roll.

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Arising out of the Minister's answer, I wish to ask a further question, which will be explained from the document before me -

I shall be pleased if you will report to me early any case where the local electoral officers who have charge of the conduct of polling, &c, are not men of sober habits and good character, impartial in judgment, and capable of carrying out the duties imposed upon them in a trustworthy and intelligent manner, satisfactory to the general public.

Does the Minister approve of the secretary of the Liberal Union in Adelaide calling upon electors to report to him, and not to the Minister or the Electoral Office, any shortcoming of any of the officials of the Department?

Senator McCOLL - As I advised the honorable senator before, I am not competent at present to express approval or disapproval of the action of any person over whom I have no control.

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