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Tuesday, 16 December 1930

Senator RAE (New South Wales) . - During the earlier part of the debate this evening Senator Lynch queried the value of adult suffrage, and appeared to be apprehensive that it3 operation in the Northern Territory would result in only one class being represented. . How can the honorable senator submit such a contention when this Senate is an object lesson to the contrary? No matter whether one party, or another possesses a majority in another place, all schools of thought are represented in the Senate. There is no reason why there should be apprehension as to exclusive representation of any one section in the Northern Territory. It appears to me that honorable senators opposite are raising a bogy. If it were feasible I would suggest some scheme of proportional representation in the territory, but the system works out better in theory than in practice. I contend that the fact that the Senate passed the second reading of this measure is a justification for the Government asking that this vital portion of it should be assented to, and that the people of the territory should be given sufficient representation to enable them to express their wishes. As this council is but an advisory body without legislative power, there is no danger of its doing anything detrimental to the interests of the territory. The Administrator can reject its advice, which affords a sufficient safeguard against unbalanced action on the part of the council. I fail to see that honorable senators opposite have submitted any logical reasons for the course they recommend.

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