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Friday, 7 October 1927

Senator REID - The hour of closing in Queensland is 6 o'clock and it has always been 6 o'clock, although Labourgovernments have been in power for years.

Senator FINDLEY - The Labour representatives in Victoria were emphatic in their opposition to any alteration. Mr. McNamara, the general secretary of the Labour party in Victoria, was against any limitation, and so far as I can follow the evidence, the representatives of Labour throughout Australia, were emphatic in their support of the present hours of polling. '

Senator Sir William Glasgow - The closing hour inWestern Australia is 7 o'clock.

Senator FINDLEY - I am not concerned, about that. The present hour of closing the booths during Commonwealth elections should be retained.

I - have always been opposed to postal voting, because it is open to corrupt practices. An election in the electorate of Melbourne was once won by thelate Sir Malcolm McEachern, and the present member, Dr. Maloney, was defeated. On that occasion an exhaustive investigation was conducted, and as it was proved that very. many postal votes ' recorded should not have been allowed a new election was held, with the result that Dr. Maloney was returned with a substantial majority.

Senator Thompson - The regulations governing postal voting in those days were not in" any way comparable with those at present in force.

Senator FINDLEY - I know they are more restrictive to-day, I -shall not support a . provision to make postal voting easier by reducing the minimum distance from ten to five 'miles. If the proposed reduction is made the distance will probably be reduced laterto two miles, and then it may subsequently be possible for every elector to vote by post. There is nothing in the bill which commends it. to me; on the contrary it contains certain clauses which I shall oppose in committee. For the reasons given, I intend to oppose the second reading if a division is . taken.

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