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Tuesday, 30 June 1903

Mr HARTNOLL (Tasmania) - It is a very salutary rule in life that if we desire to accomplish anything we should do it properly and effectively, lt appears to me that all the honorable member for Kalgoorlie desires to see given effect to is, that an accused person who might otherwise be ignorant of a provision such as this, shall have the- information concerning it placed at his command by some authorized officer of the court, and shall not be left at any disadvantage on account of his want of knowledge of the law as it exists. If, as the honorable member has stated, an intelligent person and one conversant with the various enactments knows of this particular provision, and he is in such poor circumstances that he can immediately take it into account, he is at an advantage as against the poorer or more illiterate individual who is ignorant of its existence. All that the honorable member for Kalgoorlie desires to see accomplished is that all accused persons shall be placed upon an equal footing, and that the illiterate man shall be given the knowledge required to enable him to take advantage of this salutary provision.

Mr. GLYNN(South Australia).- Perhaps an amendment might be introduced to carry out the suggestion of the honorable member for Kalgoorlie, though not exactly in the words of the English Bill which the honorable member has mentioned. I understood from what he said a few minutes ago that the honorable member proposed to modify the provision- contained in that Bill so as to meet the conditions of the amendment. I was going to suggest a few words in lieu of the provision which the honorable member quoted, to the effect merely that notice that he might avail himself of the Act should be given to the prisoner on his arrest, in a form to be prescribed by rules. The English Bill goes beyond that and raises questions about the depositions, but what I suggest would be adequate for the purpose.

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