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Tuesday, 31 October 1905

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - I must oppose the amendment. I think that the interjection of Senator Guthrie suggests a solution of the whole difficulty. I know that at the last election many candidates took the precaution of getting receipts in duplicate. It is very much easier for candidates to adopt that method than for the electoral officers to be required to copy the accounts, which are furnished by hundreds of candidates. If a candidate has reason to fear that he may be sued by any person, a duplicate receipt would be just as good evidence as the original receipt if the Court could be satisfied that the latter had been properly stamped.

Senator Styles - The Court would not know that the receipt had been stamped.

Senator KEATING - The Court could infer that the original would not befi led in the Electoral Office without a stamp, and that would be the reason assigned for the duplicate being put in.

SenatorDOBSON (Tasmania).-I think that the words " copies of " ought to be inserted at the beginning of the provision. Suppose Senator Styles had had to go to Hamilton in order to prove that he had paid the printer's account, it would have been very hard that he should have had to pay the expenses of the electoral officer .

Senator Keating - The object of the Evidence Act of this session is to obviate the necessity of Commonwealth officers being taken away to Courts of law to produce such documents.

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