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Wednesday, 30 May 1928

Mr MANN (Perth) .- I have endeavoured to follow this discussion, but so far neither the Minister nor any honorable member has been given an uninterrupted opportunity to explain the clause. I wish to know what would happen' in the event of an elector in, say, the Barton division, which is his permanent place of abode, removing to the Hume division, and after one month securing enrolment there ? I take it that he would be struck off the roll for Barton.

Mr Marr - That is so.

Mr MANN - But in the event of an election occurring in the Hume division at that stage, I take it that he would not have the right to vote because his real place of living had not been there within the preceding three months.

Mr Marr - He would be, able to vote there. The proviso uses the words " within three months."

Mr Scullin - Where his real place of living is?

Mr MANN - A man may go into Hume from Barton, and be enrolled there after one month, whether it is his permanent place of abode or not.

Mr Brennan - He must be living there to be entitled to enrolment.

Mr MANN - But he may not have been living there for three months.

Mr Scullin - Surely his real place of living is where he lives !

Mr MANN - My point is that he cannot vote in the Hume division if his real place of living is elsewhere. If that is so, it is stupid to allow him to be enrolled there. The wording of the clause is absurd. If the man is enrolled for Hume, although he has not been living there for three months, who is to question his right to vote?

Mr Marks - The returning officer.

Mr MANN - He will be allowed to vote unless some one questions him. It appears to me that honorable members do not understand the meaning of the provision. The explanation which- the Minister gave has been disagreed with by six other authorities. To use a collo quialism, the proviso is " as clear as mud." I also suggest that the clause should be postponed in order that further consideration may be given to the verbiage of it.

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