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Wednesday, 30 July 1902

Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - If the committee is determined logically to carry out what is evidently the aim of several of the clauses in the Bill, and bo put down illegal practices, and the undue expenditure of money in elections, the proposed new clause must be accepted. It seems to me that the clauses relating to election expenses will not go far enough without this addition, because whilst a candidate is restricted to the expenditure of money in certain ways, and is limited to a total expenditure of £100, we know that friends of candidates will be found ready to spend money in all directions. There is nothing that I can see in the Bill to prevent them from doing so ; but this clause, short and simple as it is, will effectually carry out all that certain honorable members have advocated in reference to undue expenditure. There is no doubt that in advancing the interests of a candidate, many people incur expenditure of which the candidate knows but little until the election is over. Then a conscientious man is met with bills relating to expenditure for purposes with which he would have had nothing to do, and although he objects to this expenditure, there are not wanting firm friends who say, " Oh, don't have any bother about it; you are in now; square up, and look pleasant." If we intend seriously to grapple with this difficulty, we ought to pass some such stringent clause as this, which, simple as it is, will be very effectual, because if it is made illegal, as it ought to be, to spend money in an election, without the knowledge of the candidate himself, and the amount to be expended is limited, we shall secure all that is aimed at. I see no reason why a man placed in the possession of means or wealth should be able to use those means or that wealth in promoting the return of a certain candidate, whilst others have no such friends to spend money in their interests.

Sir William Lyne - I will accept the proposal.

New clause agreed to.

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