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Tuesday, 12 December 1905

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I think it is highly desirable that the returning officer should have a certain amount of discretion, and also that a deposit should be provided to cover the expense of the recount. I quite admit that there are cases in which it might be desirable to have a recount; but in other instances an angry candidate might, without sufficient cause, cause the result of an election to remain in uncertainty, and put the Commonwealth to considerable expense.

Mr. GROOM(Darling Downs - Minister of Home Affairs). - I am willing to consider an amendment providing that at any time before the declaration of the poll, the Commonwealth Electoral Officer shall, for good and substantial reasons, at the request of any candidate who lodges a deposit of£5, to be returned to him unless his application is frivolous, or may of his own motion, direct a recount.

Mr Chanter - I shall be prepared to accept an amendment in that form.

Mr GROOM - I do not care to make a definite proposal at present, because the matter is one which affects the whole of the Senate elections, and requires very careful consideration. I think that it would be preferable to postpone the clause, in order that I may look fully into the matter.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion (by Mr. Groom) agreed to -

That clauses 43 and 44 be postponed.

Clause 45 -

Section 172 of the Principal Act is amended by adding the following sub-section : - "(111). The return and the receipted bills of particulars shall be retained by the Commonwealth Electoral Officer for the State, and shall be open to public inspection during ordinary office hours, on payment ofthe prescribed fee."

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