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Friday, 20 November 1936

Senator McLEAY (South Australia) . - As the Senate is a States House in which honorable senators endeavour to safeguard the rights of the States, the pamphlets to be issued should give prominence to the fact that the pro.posals to be submitted to the people by means of a referendum are supported by a large majority of honorable senators, including the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) and the other members of the Labour party in this chamber. I shall give my strongest-support to the proposals, and endeavour to convince the electors that the proposed alterations of the Constitution are in the interests of the Commonwealth.

Senator GRANT(Tasmania) [11.23 1. - I am not so confident as is the Minister that the pamphlet to which he has referred will be read by a majority of the electors. When previous referenda were held similar pamphlets were issued, thousands of which were not even opened by those to whom they were addressed. The law now provides that a period of nine weeks shall be allowed in which to prepare arguments for or against a proposal; but under this measure that period is to be reduced to four weeks which appears to be a drastic reduction. A period of six weeks would, I think, be reasonable. I do not propose to move an amendment when the measure is in committee, but the time provided may be found to be inadequate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Collings) adjourned.

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