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Tuesday, 3 June 1902

Mr MACDONALD-PATERSON (Brisbane) - I do not concur in the report of the committee. If I did so I should be swallowing all the common sense that I have gathered since attaining the age of manhood. I do not think the consideration that a large number of votes were cast in favour of Mr. Hartnoll should have constituted a factor in the decision of the committee. Of course, I congratulate the honorable member for Tasmania, Mr. Hartnoll, that he has not to submit himself for re-election, but I wish to give honorable members a parallel case in which I was concerned, and which happened when I was just out of my teens. Two candidates were nominated for aldermanic honours in the largest provincial town of Queensland. I chanced to be mayor at the time, and consequently acted in the capacity of returning officer. Before noon upon the nomination day I examined the nomination papers of the two candidates. I found that the paper of one entirely complied with the law. The consent of the candidate had been obtained, and the requisite number of ratepayers had signed the nomination paper, setting forth their names in full, and their occupations and places of residence within the municipality. The second nomination paper was duly signed by the candidate, and several nominators had attached their names, addresses, and occupations to it, but others had not. I think that seven names were requisite to each nomination paper. When the crowd assembled to hear the speeches of the candidates, I intimated that as one nomination paper was in perfect order, whilst the other was irregular, I had no option but to declare the person whose nomination paper was in order duly elected. Needless to add there were some cheers and a few groans. Prompt action was taken by the ratepayers, and the matter was referred to counsel for opinion. Further representations were made to the Attorney-General of the day, with the result that my action was upheld. My experience, therefore, teaches me that it is necessary to protest against the present case being regarded as a precedent in connexion with future elections of the Commonwealth .

Question resolved in the affimative.

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