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Friday, 16 July 1915

Sir JOHN FORREST (Swan) . - I think that the penalties provided for in this clause are excessive, and I am fortified in that opinion by what the Attorney-General has said. He says that in 100,000 households throughout the Commonwealth there are people who are intimately concerned about this matter. That statement is surely inconsistent with a proposal to impose a penalty of £50, or of £500, and in default, three to twelve months' in prisonment, for failure to comply with the provisions of this measure. I remind the Attorney-General that failure to register for electoral purposes is met by a maximum penalty of only £2. I believe this clause will be a dead letter, as the penalties proposed are monstrous. By proposing such heavy fines and imprisonment for offences under this Bill, one would think that the Attorney-General desired to make criminals of the people. I do not believe in manufacturing crimes or criminals, and I am altogether opposed to these heavy penalties.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 15 (Regulations).

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