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Wednesday, 21 July 1915

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - In addition to what the Minister has said, there is another feature in the wording of this provision which appeals to me. The clause reads -

A census or censuses shall bc taken in such States, territories, or parts of the Commonwealth, and on such day or days, or within such period or periods as the Governor-General appoints by proclamation.

I understand from what occurred in another place that it is intended to utilize the Post Office in securing these returns. It was thought that the returns might be available within a couple of weeks from the first issue of the cards. But it has been pointed out that that would not be practicable in Western Australia, and, consequently, that the census in that State might not be taken simultaneously with the census in the other States. The question would then arise as to whether a census had been taken, or more than one census. I would also point out that a census could not be taken in the Commonwealth Territories on the same day as it is taken in the States. I think that the use of the word " censuses " in the clause will have the effect of removing any doubt that might otherwise exist, if the Government take the necessary action either in the circumstances outlined by the Minister, or in those which I have indicated.

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