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Tuesday, 29 July 1902

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I moveThat the words "except as mentioned in the last preceding section," be omitted with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words, " and with his knowledge or authority."

The adoption of this amendment will render every person who commits an illegal practice liable to prosecution. The provision is much more drastic than was the original proposal in the Bill.

Mr Watson - I do not think so.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I hold that it is, because it renders every person responsible for expenditure incurred by him.

Mr Watson - It means, by inference, that any person who has not the authority of the candidate can commit as many illegal acts as he chooses.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Nothing of the kind. . If the honorable member had spent as much time in considering this Bill as I have he would not arrive at that conclusion. Let us. suppose that the honorable member wished to spend £1,000 on behalf of a certain candidate, and accordingly induced some one else to incur the expenditurefor him. In such a case this provision would render him responsible equally with the person who actually committed the illegal practice.

Mr V L SOLOMON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The amendment constitutes a limitation.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - No ; it is an extension of the liability to punishment for which the clause previously provided. Should any person ask another to spend more than the sum allowed by the Bill on behalf of a particular candidate, he will be as liable to prosecution as will the individual who actually spends the money. When we Gome to consider the clause having reference to the Court of Disputed Returns, it will be seen that that tribunal, under certain circumstances, is vested with power to declare an election void. If any act has been performed which the court considers should invalidate an election - whether it has relation to the expenditure of money for the purpose Of influencing voters, or anything else - it has power either to proclaim such election void, or to declare another candidate elected. That provision has an indirect bearing upon this clause, and I refer to it to show the further liability of the candidate.

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