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Tuesday, 16 September 1958
Page: 1236

Mr MENZIES (KOOYONG, VICTORIA) - I agree that the proposal contains a good deal of substance, and it has been considered, together with other matters, by the Government. The Government came to the conclusion, however, that at this stage, with an election imminent, itwouldbe a mistake to endeavour to introduce a change of the type suggested by the honorable member. One very good reason for the Government's attitude is that precautions would need to be taken to prevent candidates falsely representing themselves to the electors. For example, a man might say that he was supporting Labour; when, in fact, he was not. He might sayhewas a supporter of the Liberal partywhen, in fact,he was not.In order to avoid such fraudulent use of the. names of . political parties it would be necessary toestablish some kind, of register of names, and to providefor examinationby some competent authority of the bona fides or otherwise of candidates claims to represent certain political parties. To carry out such investigations, it wouldbe necessary to evolve a scheme which would be regarded as fair by both sides.Any change in the electoral lawshould befair toboth sides and to all parties. In those circumstances, the Government thought that it was not desirable at this stage to introduce any experimental legislation of the typeref erred to by the honorable member.

Dr Evatt -Is that something that has beenrecently considered?

Mr MENZIES -Yes, in the last two months.

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