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Wednesday, 13 December 1905

Senator O'KEEFE (Tasmania) - We should not lose sight of the intention of Parliament in passing the original Bill, and there can be no doubt that our intention in providing for a test comprising fifty words was that undesirable immigrants should be asked to write a fairly long passage. It will be admitted that an undesirable immigrant would have more difficulty in writing a passage of fifty words than in writing one of twenty-five words. I think that the Minister should accept Senator Stewart's amendment. I take it that he has no desire to weaken the education test, and it would be far better to provide that the passage dictated should comprise "not less than fifty words."

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - He desires to make it elastic to avoid the extraordinary decisions which have been given.

Senator O'KEEFE - Senator Stewart's amendment will make the clause sufficiently elastic for that purpose.

Senator PLAYFORD(South AustraliaMinister of Defence). - The matter is not worth the time we are giving to its discussion. I believe that my proposal to fix a minimum and maximum is preferable to the amendment submitted by Senator Stewart, but if the honorable senator is disposed to press his amendment I have no objection to allow it to pass.

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