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Tuesday, 12 December 1905

Mr MALONEY (Melbourne) - I do not know why the Committee should be averse to following the good old rules which business men adopt. No one objects to the publishing of bills of sale, although that bears hardly on persons in poor circumstances who are forced to borrow money.

Mr Frazer - What is the need for the amendment if the information is already available to whoever cares to searchfor it ?

Mr MALONEY - What is the reason for not making these accounts public ? Our actions in this Chamber are published widely by the press, notwithstanding that we maintain a Hansard staff to report our proceedings. In my opinion, the Gazette in which these accounts are published will sell well. More than 100 copies would have been sold in my division after the last election had the amendment been in force then; and more than 100 persons would have tried to find out who paid for the motor cars which were used. I do not blame my opponent for what was done, but when agents of the calibre of Carey are employed - a man who does not dare to return to this State - their actions must be closely scrutinized. The publishing of the accounts of candidates would help to carry out the intention of Parliament that any man of moderate means shall not be prevented from securing his return by the expenditure of wealthy opponents. I see no reason why the public should not be given this information. They are our creators, and have a right to know whatis spent during elections. I have paired, so that I cannot vote for the amendment, but I trust that it will be carried. The Commonwealth Gazette will be more valuedby the people if information like this can be obtained from its columns.

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