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Wednesday, 3 May 1961

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Monaro) , - Mr. Chairman, I rise to deal with only one point. I refer to the contention by the honorable member for Mallee (Mr. Turnbull) that the present margin of one-fifth should be used deliberately to create numerically smaller electorates in the country areas and numerically larger electorates in the cities. In justice to the honorable member, I suggest that his reactionary mind honestly fails to appreciate the wickedness and political immorality of his proposal. In that respect, he is typical of the members of the Australian Country Party, who would really prefer to see in this Parliament representation of broad acres and sheep and cattle rather than representation of human beings. He and those like him are the direct descendants of the property-owners of the United Kingdom, who fought so hard to prevent the introduction of adult suffrage in the first place.

I take my stand on the principle of " One vote, one value ". To my mind, that appears to be absolutely essential to the concept of democratic parliamentary government. Although I represent a very large rural electorate in which there are approximately 150 polling places-

Mr Turnbull - That is why the honorable member speaks now. He believes that this proposal will affect him.

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I at least pay the honorable member the compliment of believing that he put his view forward honestly. I imagined that he would do me equal justice.

I am convinced that the people of my electorate see the force of that principle just as clearly as I do. If they differ from me on that point, I would rather go out of public life than put forward a claim for differential electorates in this Commonwealth.

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