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Tuesday, 19 December 1905


Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) -I am obliged to the Minister for outlining this very lengthy list of amendments, which, under ordinary circumstances,, would, I think, have provided material for at least a week's work. The fact that, in order to consider the amendments, one has to be provided with the Act. the Bill as introduced here, the Bill as it left here, and a schedule of the amendments made by the other House, will give an idea as tothe intricate problems which is presented to those who desire to ascertain what changes have been made. That is another argument in favour of the contention that the Government ought to have brought in an amendingBill, instead of proceeding as they have done. There are two amendments to which, at the proper time,I shall invite attention. It will be remembered that I took an active part with regard to an amendment to place in the hands of a Commission the duty of subdividing each State into electorates, rather than to leave the plans of the Commissioners to be submitted for the approval of each House of the Parliament. I propose to ask the Committee to adhere to its decision, for reasons which I shall submit by-and-by. The other matter on which, I think, it might reasonably be asked to express its opinion, is the insertion of a new clause which proposes to make considerable financial concessions to candidates for election. I am entirely opposed to that proposition. Of course, the Minister, in merely indicating the scope of the amendments was not required to address any argument in its favour. The Senate is largely ignored, and that arises entirely from the fact that we have been content to take a subordinate position. I cannot conceive of any argument justifying them which will at all outweigh the strong feeling which is found to be entertained throughout the constituencies if it is seen that the Legislature has conferred any special concessions or privileges upon those who constitute the Parliament.

SenatorMulcahy. - All candidates should be treated alike.


Senator MILLEN - I am dealing with that new clause, which provides that postal and telegraphic facilities should be granted to candidates, as compared with the rates charged to other people transacting any other business. I would very much' sooner see a proposal for increasing the emoluments of members of Parliament than see increases obtained in these petty ways.

Motion agreed to.

Amendment, inserting new clause 4A, agreed to.

Clause 8 -

(1)   TheGovernor-Generalmay appoint three persons in each State to be Commissioners for the purpose ofdistributing the State into Divisions in accordance with this Act.

(2)   The persons so appointed shall be respec tively a Judge of a Court ofthe State, the SurveyorGeneral or head of the Survey Department of the State, and the Commonwealth Electoral Officer for State, unless the GovernorGeneral, by reason of any of such persons not being available, or for other reason appearing to him to be sufficient, thinks fit to appoint other persons instead of any of such persons.

(3)   Each Commissioner shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor-General.

House of Representatives' Amendment.- Omit this clause.

Motion (by Senator Keating) proposed -

That the amendment be agreed to.







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