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Wednesday, 21 July 1915

Senator MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - You will not, nor do you want to know the approximatephysical condition of the community generally. What you want to know is the physical condition of each individual. The answer will be useless, because you, will not act on it. If a man states that his age is twenty-five, he will be called on with other men of his age, and if he does not come, he will be hunted up ; but his statement as to his state of healthwill not be accepted. In the other schedule the Government, in asking for some of the details, are putting the people to a great deal of unnecessary trouble, as the information is already available. The simpler the schedules are made the better; I can buy for1s. in my own State a bookgiving the name and address of the owner of every motor ear registered in New South Wales, and its description and power. Those in stock are returned by the firm as part of their stock in trade. The Government can get that information without payment by applying to the police authorities in New South Wales, and the same thing can be done in Victoria and other States where registration is insisted on. The list is kept up to date and fairly clean. Every State also secures from its stock-owners a yearly return of the stock they possess. We should not put people to the trouble of making up fresh returns covering the same ground. I do not mention either of these questions as presenting serious objections, but point them out as an attempt to get information which is already available. The fewer the questions asked, and the more simple their form, the less the inconvenience to which the people will be subjected, and the more reliable will be the answers given to them. I shall not take the responsibility of moving any amendments upon the schedules unless the Government are agreed that there is something in the remarks I have made. I think the most serious objection is taken to the question relating to the health of the individual. The Government, I understand, modified that as the result of criticism in another place, but I suggest that, since they would serve no useful purpose, and are objected to by a large number of people, the Government should consider whether' it would not be well to delete the two questions to which I have referred.

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