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Wednesday, 25 October 1905

Senator HENDERSON (Western Australia) - If we are asked to make any addition to this provision, the wishes of Senator Stewart and those who support him would be best met by inserting the words "and the public generally."

Senator Stewart - I should have no objection.

Senator HENDERSON - The amendment very nearly meets the suggestion which I have thrown out. Senator Stewart lays stress on the argument that those who oppose the amendment are placing impediments in the way of country people recording their votes by post. It is on record that very few of the country electors have ever attempted to utilize the provisions for postal voting, and country people may be fairly assumed to be alive to their own interests. We desire to prevent people over whom we have no control from exercising the duty of authorized witnesses. I have travelled over many of the bush districts of Western Australia, and have been in a number of the mining districts, and I do not know of one place in which the convenience of the electors could not be met under paragraph b of this clause. For the reasons I have given, I shall oppose the amendment.

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