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Thursday, 2 November 1911

Senator RAE (New South Wales) - - I fully appreciate the point raised by Senator Millen; but I assume that the proclamation will provide that those already enrolled, and who have not since changed their residence, will be considered as enrolled under the new system.

Senator Millen - That would be against the provisions of the proposed new section.

Senator RAE - I consider that, if any person is on the roll now, the proclamation need not necessarily require that person to put in an application for enrolment. He will have already done so, and his application will have been accepted; and 1 take it that the compulsion will apply only to those who are not enrolled after the issue of the proclamation, or who, having been enrolled, have in the interim changed their residence. On the other point raised by Senator Keating, I should like, with all deference to the honorable senator's legal knowledge, to submit that it is about time we said what we meant in an Act of Parliament. In ordinary daily conversation the words *' may " and " shall " mean something very different. In this case, we are not proposing to leave anything to the option of the Governor- General, and it is right that we should use the word " shall." If the word "may" were used, the inference might be that he could do what is proposed now or in ten or twenty years' time.

Senator Keating - Then we should alter the wording of other clauses. The words should not be used promiscuously.

Senator RAE - I shall come to that later. If in this case we use the word shall," that word will operate in the elector's mind, and he will understand that the provision involves compulsion throughout. If the use of the word " shall " in this case is found to be inconsistent with the wording of subsequent clauses, the inconsistency can be referred to as they come up for consideration. Senator Keating has referred to cases in which it is provided that the Minister "may" do this orthat. But we know that, in the ordinary performance of his duty, the Minister will do what is provided for, and it is unnecessary to bring compulsion to bear upon him to secure the performance of what he will regard as his departmental work. If we are to have compulsion - and I am rather sorry to see it adopted myself, because I do not like compulsion in anything - we should let that be understood from the first by the use of the word " shall," and so leave no doubt about the matter in the minds of the electors.

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