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Thursday, 2 November 1905

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) -I regard this matter as being of some importance, in spite of the interjection of the Minister that the 'census might be taken in April.

Senator Keating - It is invariably.

Senator MILLEN - If the honorable and learned senator will refer to the Im- perial Act he will find that in the United Kingdom the census is invariably taken in March, and if he refers to the New South Wales Act, and, I believe, the Victorian Act, he will find that the British practice has been adopted. Unless clause 4 be altered, we shall have one period containing the figures for five years and three months, and the next period containing the figures for four years and nine months. That, I admit, could be got over if the census were taken in the first week of April, but the fact remains that our legislation provides that it shall be taken on the last day of March. It is open to us either to amend this Bill, or to alter the Census and Statistics Bill, but I submit that it is desirable to adopt the former, course.

Senator Keating - Under the Census and Statistics Bill census day will be a day fixed by proclamation.

Senator MILLEN - At the proper time I shall urge a very grave objection to that provision. There is a strong reason why we should, as nearly as possible, adopt the date which is taken by Great Britain, inorder that our figures for the next census can be compared with the figures for previous periods in the States, as well as in the United Kingdom. If we make the necessary amendment in this Bill, it will not restrain the Government in. fixing census day, if it should still be left in the other Bill, as a day to be fixed by proclamation.

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