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Wednesday, 1 November 1911

Senator READY (Tasmania) . - I did not intend to speak again, but the irascible and excitable speech of an honorable senator opposite has brought me to my feet. He demands proof that improper practices have occurred in connexion with postal voting. I have already quoted a case that occurred in my own State.

Senator Millen - The honorable senator has made statements, but he has given no proof.

Senator READY - I quoted the report of a Police Court case in which a man was fined for a breach of the law in connexion with postal voting. But that does not satisfy honorable senators opposite. They say they want evidence from the backblocks. I will quote a case in point. If this does not satisfy them, I shall have to be content with applying the old proverb, " There are none so blind as those who will not see." This case is reported in the North-western Advocate and Emu Bay Times - the leading Liberal newspaper of the north-west coast of Tasmania. It was published on 24th April, 1910, and is headed " Referendum Notes."

Patriotic Workers.

If Liberalism does not gain success on Wednesday it will earn it. Everywhere throughout Tasmania Liberals are organizing to secure the defeat of the referenda as never was the case before. Not only will thousands of vehicles be employed in the Liberal interests on Wednesday, but Liberal workers have been for days past devoting their attention to securing postal votes.

Not the least energetic of workers in the Emu Bay district is Cr. J. Bramich. Mr. Bramich has undertaken to organize the postal votes in Oonah and Hampshire, and probably some thirty votes against the referenda will be in this way recorded that would not have been cast at all. Mr. Bramich, as a justice of the peace, is an authorized witness, and therefore his undertaking the work of canvassing and collecting ballotpapers is peculiarly effective. Four hard days' work are being put in by this enthusiastic Liberal, two days in securing applications for the postal votes and two more days in getting the papers marked and collecting them. Oonah and Hampshire districts are more than five miles from a polling place, therefore residents are entitled to vole by post. It is found that the average settler is in strong opposition to the Labour party and their pet referenda schemes. So are many farm labourers and those who are not so easily converted. Mr. Bramich has made a number of such converts. The 8s. per day arguments is the most effective for the settler and farmer. "Did you want to pay 8s. per day, wet and dry"? is the query. The answer of the settler and the farmer is not hard to guess. Of course, they cannot afford it.

But how does the argument affect the farm labourer? It is explained in his case that what affects his employer affects him. That the payment of a higher wage will mean a higher price- for necessaries, with a lessened chance of employment. If farmers cannot afford to employ men to-day, what will happen when the wage is 8s. per day, " wet or fine," for any and every sort of farm labour - and without any variation? That is 8s. for the best man 8s. for the worst. The argument tells. Throughout the district named there will be practically a unanimous no to the referenda proposals.

Senator Millen - What is there startling about that statement ? It is simply a newspaper comment.

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