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Thursday, 2 November 1905

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (South Australia) - I do not wish to delay or to endanger in any way the passage of this Bill, but I desire to take the opportunity of repeating what I said in discussing the Ministerial statement of the Government when the matter was alluded ti-that I still think this to be a quite needless measure. It purports to adopt exactly the same statistics of the States which, when adopted and made the basis of action by the late Government, were denounced as being "haphazard," "guesswork," and all the rest of it. The only difference between what is now proposed and what was proposed by the late Government is that the assent of Parliament is obtained beforehand, instead of being obtained in the way we proposed when the distribution scheme was brought up. It delays the dis tribution scheme for twelve months, but sofar as the basis of the redistribution is concerned, when it i'Des t take place it is to be exactly upon the same footing as it would have been if our method had been adopted. Parliament will have the same opportunity - unless Senator Millen's amendment in the Electoral Bill is accepted - of rejecting the scheme, as it would have had under our proposal. Therefore, I adhere entirely to the method which the late Government intended to pursue. Whilst doing that, I am perfectly satisfied to see it done by means of this Bill, as the result will be exactly the same, and my honorable friends who have criticised it so much from the Victorian point of view have just as much reason to be critical of the statistics now, as they had' when they were in the form in, which we chose to put them.

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