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Tuesday, 22 July 1902

Sir JOHN QUICK (Bendigo) - The point raised by the honorable and learned member for South Australia, Mr. Glynn, is worthy of careful consideration. It would be very unfortunate if we inserted in this Bill a provision out of harmony with the design of the Constitution. The Constitution contemplates that the writs for the election of senators shall be issued by the States Governors, who must necessarily issue them to States officers. The question then arises, has the Commonwealth Parliament authority to appoint returning officers for the Senate ? It would appear to me to be open to very strong argument that the returning officers for the Senate must be States officers.

Mr Watson - How could States officers use our rolls and other machinery?

Sir JOHN QUICK - That would have to be arranged for as a matter of administration. The times and places for the election of senators must also be fixed by the States. It would therefore seem that from the time of the issue to the time of the return of the writs, the procedure in regard to the election of senators is a matter for the States, because the senators represent the States as political entities.

Mr Deakin - The method of election mav be determined by this Parliament.

Sir JOHN QUICK - That is merely the method of recording the votes polled. I should like the Attorney-General to consider the matter carefully.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 104. - (Formal defects). Mr. GLYNN (South Australia).- It seems to me that too great power is given to the returning officer under this clause, and under clause 100, in the matter of determining what nominations shall be received. Clause 100 allows him to receive a nomination the validity" of which may not be made complete until after the date of the nomination. Such a thing may be most inconvenient.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 105 to 107 agreed to.

Clause 108. - (Proceedings on nomination day).

Mr. GLYNN(South Australia). - This clause provides that if more candidates are nominated than are required to be elected, the proceedings shall stand adjourned to the polling day, and that if no greater number are nominated the returning officer shall declare those nominated to be duly elected. But no provision is made to meet the case where a smaller number are nominated than are required to be elected. Such an occurrence is extremely unlikely, but a similar case occurred in Victoria many years ago, for which no provision had been made by the electoral law, and the matter had to be referred to Parliament. Another case of the kind also occurred in reference to the nominations to the University Senate recently.

Mr. BAMFORD(Herbert). - In the event of one of the candidates dying between the date of nomination and that of election, must there be an election, or would the surviving candidates be elected ?

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