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Wednesday, 23 March 1904

Mr POYNTON (GREY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I wish to ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether, in view of the fact that there has been apparent bungling on the part of the officers charged with the administration of the Electoral Act, it is the intention of the Government to defray the expenses incurred by candidates in cases where the irregularities which have been the subject of inquiry were not due to any fault of the electors or to the candidates ?

Sir John Forrest - To what elections does the honorable member refer?

Mr POYNTON - To such elections as those in the Wimmera and Melbourne divisions.

Mr McCay - The petitioner abandoned his petition iri the Wimmera case.

Mr POYNTON - Nevertheless the inquiry showed that the irregularities were caused by mismanagement on the part of the Electoral Department officers.

Mr Tudor - That might apply to the Melbourne electorate, but not to the case of the Wimmera.

Mr POYNTON - The instructions given to the returning officer to use his own discretion were quite sufficient to justify the claim that the expenses incurred by candidates in connexion with the inquiry should be borne by the Government.

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