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Tuesday, 12 December 1905

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I think that the honorable and learned gentleman might well consent at this stage to progress being reported.

Mr Groom - Let us pass this clause.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -It is because I understand that the honorable member for Riverina is very much interested in this clause that I suggest that progress be reported.

Mr Groom - I am prepared to agree to its recommittal if the honorable member for Riverina desires that course to be adopted.

Clause agreed to.

Postponed clause 44 agreed to.

Amendment (by Mr. Groom) agreed to -

That the following new clause be inserted : - " 12a. Section twenty-two of the Principal Act is amended by adding the following sub-section : - " (2) The Commissioner shall thereupon propose a fresh distribution in the manner hereinbefore provided."

Amendment (by Mr. Dugald Thomson) agreed to -

That the following new clause be inserted : - 9a. Section sixteen of the Principal Act is amended by inserting after " existing boundaries of divisions " " (e) Boundaries of State Electorates."

Amendment (by Mr. Groom, for Mr. Lonsdale) agreed to -

That the following new clause be inserted : - 9b. Section seventeen of the Principal Act is amended by inserting after the word " map " in the second line, the words "with a description of the boundaries."

Amendment (by Mr. King O'Malley) proposed -

That the following new clause be inserted : - 25a. After section sixty-six of the Principal Act the following section is inserted : - 66a. Any Member of the Parliament or any candidate or any authorized representative of a political league consisting of not less than fifty financial members who are electors may at any time, when any employes employed thereon are not at work, such as dinner time, crib time, " smoke oh," or changing of shifts, enter any mine mine working mine building factory workshop or any place where any work or undertaking is carried on, and may interview any employes for the purpose of obtaining the enrolment or assisting in obtaining the enrolment of such employés or any of them as electors, or for the purpose of assisting such employes or any of them.

Mr. GROOM(Darling Downs- Minister of Home Affairs). - I do not see how I could accept the clause, even if it were in order. The honorable member proposes to give the right to any Member of Parliament,, or candidate, or any authorized representative of a political league of fifty members to go into any mine, building, factory, or workshop at dinner time, crib time, " smoke-oh," or the changing of shifts, with a view to obtaining the enrolment of the employés. I think that the law already provides every facility for enrolment. The intention is to take away this duty as much as possible from political parties, and intrust it to authorized officials, and we employ the police to go round and make a thorough collection of names. I ask the honorable member not to press the amendment.

Mr. KINGO'MALLEY (Darwin).- At the last elections we counted 600 names of persons living at Gormanstown, Queenstown, and Linda Valley which were not on the roll after the police had made their collection, though many of them had been living in those places for seven, eight, or ten years, while other names on the roll were all mixed up. I intended, after the election, to move a vote of want of confidence in the Government, but my respect for the Prime Minister prevented me from doing so. Everything was arranged to defeat me. No honest man and good boss will refuse to allow any one to enter his works when his men are doing nothing, for the purpose of securing their enrolment. All that would be done would be to get their names, to be forwarded later on to the returningofficer, if they were not already on the roll. An employer who in this democratic country would not allow that to be done would be a dishonest man.

Mr Storrer - No. Why should an employer allow any one to go on his premises ?

Mr KING O'MALLEY - The honorable member seems to think that employers would be justified in shutting their men up altogether. The country rests upon the votes of an intelligent people, and no one should be prevented from inducing men to place their names upon the roll.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member could visit the men in their homes.

Mr KING O'MALLEY - The honorable member speaks as if miners had ordinary homes. Many of them live in little tents scattered about the hills, and it is very hard to get at them, because immediately after they leave their work they hurry away home. I shall press my amendment, even though I stand alone.

Mr. MALONEY(Melbourne).- Many good employers permit candidates to interview their employés during working hours ; but othersare not so accommodating. Personally, I have rot experienced very much trouble, butI think it is desirable that every facility should be offered for inducing men to enrol themselves. I shall support the amendment.

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