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Thursday, 5 October 1911

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - I am very glad that this Bill has been received with so little opposition. I think that, by interjection, I have already given the explanations demanded by Senators Millen and Vardon. The provision for the appointment of a Commissioner for Declarations is proposed really for the convenience of the public. Honorable senators will understand that declarations can be made before justices of the peace, magistrates, and special magistrates, and commissioners for the taking of affidavits; but these officials are all appointed by the

State authorities. It may be necessary,: where none of these officials are available, that declarations should be taken, and for the convenience of the public in such cases a commissioner appointed by the Commonwealth Government should be available to perform this duty in the public interest. It has been stated that a person going before a commissioner for taking affidavits or statutory declarations has to pay a fee of half-a-guinea. But I may inform Senator Vardon that nothing of that kind is contemplated in this Bill. It is even doubtful if we have the power to make a charge for attesting a declaration, so that honorable senators need have no fear that there will be any fees charged for such service.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee :

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 (Definitions).

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