Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Friday, 15 June 1906

Mr BROWN (Canobolas) .- The question which has been raised by the honorable . member for Grampians involves an amendment of the Constitution. It has been brought forward rather hurriedly, and honorable members generally have not been afforded an opportunity to look up the reasons which actuated the f ramers of the Constitution in adopting this particular provision. I presume, however, that the whole question was regarded by members of the Federal Convention from various standpoints, and that there were good substantial reasons for the adoption of the present basis of representation. At the same time. I think that the Government might very well look carefully into the matter. The Minister might look into the matter, but I think that the solution of the diffi- culty rests with the States themselves. Victoria is suffering in the way complained of because the Victorian people have not devoted themselves to finding suitable outlets for the employment of the young people growing up in the State. The question of the birth-rate has some bearing also on the matter, but for several years past Victoria has been losing a number of her young men and women, who have drifted away to the other States and to other parts of the world, because sufficiently attractive opportunities for their employment in the State have not been provided. The same difficulty is being experienced now to some extent in New South Wales, where, because of the restriction of reasonable opportunities for settlement the young men and women of the State are going elsewhere. The experience of Victoria at the present time will be that of New South Wales in time to come. The solution of the difficulty is not, inmy opinion to be found in an alteration of the Constitution. If the States wish to increase their population in order to secure increased representation in the Federal Parliament they must adopt legislation which will encourage their people to remain with them.

Question resolved in the negative.

Suggest corrections