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Friday, 12 December 1913

Senator BARKER (Victoria) . - I think there is something in the contention with reference to the fine of £5. It has sometimes been enforced in the past in hard cases, and will probably be again. I am aware that there is a provision that the penalty shall be governed by the condition of the parents of the offender, because ultimately the burden falls on them. But I point out that our defence system bears an appearance of harshness by reason of having these severe fines. If the maximum amount were £10 it might not be enforced, but the fact that there was a £10 fine imposable would conduce to arguments being used against the severity of our defence system. The lowering of the fine would not interfere with discipline, but it would remove a bugbear that exists in the minds of many people.

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