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Friday, 3 November 1905

Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) - I do not propose to ask for the recommittal of the Bill, but I direct attention to the fact that, according to the definition clause, a dwelling means, amongst other things, "any ship or other vessel in any port in the Commonwealth." I think that it is possible that under this definition we shall he unable to secure full statistics as to the large number of people who will be travelling on the coast of the Commonwealth on the day when the census is taken. In South Australia, on the occasion of the last census, electoral application forms were distributed along with the schedules. In the case of shipping, however, that was not done. That is a matter that calls for consideration. I am aware that there is a provision of the Bill under which the first question may be dealt with to some extent. It provides for securing returns from persons who are not abiding in any dwelling on the night of the census day. My experience of the taking of censuses in South Australia leads me to believe that there will be some difficulty in connexion with the matter to which I refer. I am aware that under the clause providing for regulations, the Governor- General may cause regulations to be framed prescribing all that is necessary to give effect to the Bill, and if provision is made that statistics shall be taken of the crews and passengers travelling between Commonwealth ports on the night of the census day in ships registered in Australia, that will cover all that is necessary. I do not think that it would be right to count in the population of the Commonwealth passengers travelling in foreign vessels between various Australian ports. I hope that when the regulations are being framed the matter to which I have referred will receive very careful consideration.

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