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Wednesday, 28 October 1914

Senator SENIOR (South Australia) . - A boy breaking an insulator is liable, under clause 30, to imprisonment for two years. The offence under this clause is much more serious, and as we have taken away the power to double the penalty for a second offence the penalty under this clause should be made at least equal to the penalty for interfering with the exercise or performance of a political duty. In the circumstances, I move -

That "one year" be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof " three years."

Surely this offence is equal to the offence of interfering with a political right? If a magistrate who refuses to sign a voting paper, and thus prevents a person exercising his political right, is to be liable to three years' imprisonment, surely a person who seizes goods in Commonwealth custody should have at least equal punishment? The New South Wales wirenetting case is an illustration.

Senator Lt.-ColonelO'LOGHLIN (South Australia) [10.0].- There is a difference in the two clauses, and the offence of breaking or damaging Government property is more heinous than simply removing it. If any one removed Senator Senior, or put him to one side, the offence would not be very great ; but if he broke his head it would be a serious matter.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 32 to 72 agreed to.

Clause 73 -

Any person who, being a Commonwealth officer, fraudulently and in breach of his duty -

(a)   makes any false entry in any bookor record; or

(b)   omits to make any entry in any book or record; or

(c)   by act or omission falsifies any book or record; or

(d)   destroys or damages any book or record; or

(e)   furnishes any false return of any property; or (/) omits to furnish any return of any property, shall be guilty of an indictable offence. Penalty : Imprisonment for seven years.

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