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Thursday, 2 November 1911

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - I cannot understand why there should be such strong expressions of opinion on the substitution of the word "shall" for the word "may "in this proposed new section. This is a provision for compulsory enrolment, and it does not deal with the matter of discretion. The whole compulsory principle might be defeated if the Governor-General is given discretion in the issue of the required proclamation.

Senator Millen - The honorable senator must not confuse compulsion upon the elector with compulsion upon the Governor-. General.

Senator DE LARGIE - But if the GovernorGeneral may or may not issue the proclamation, and, in the exercise of the discretion, does not issue it, the compulsory enrolment desired will not be given effect to.

Senator Millen - The honorable senator means to say that if the word "may" were used, it would be optional for him.

Senator DE LARGIE - Certainly.

Senator Keating - Then what about the other cases in which, the word " may " is used ?

Senator DE LARGIE - I hold that Senator Keating's reasoning is not applicable to this provision. The honorable senator referred to the clause dealing with the redistribution of seats, but the redistribution of seats is not compulsory. The GovernorGeneral has the power to submit the matter to Commissioners, but when their report is received from the Commissioners, Parliament may or may not act upon it.

Senator Keating - Does the honorable senator contend that the word " may " is not used compulsorily in section 13 of the Act?

Senator DE LARGIE - I have not noticed all the instances quoted, but in the section providing for a redistribution of seats it is not compulsory.

Senator Millen - Not in connexion with redistribution.

Senator DE LARGIE - Yes.

Senator Millen - That is absolutely compulsory.

Senator DE LARGIE - In this Bill we insist upon compulsory enrolment. But compulsory redistribution is not provided for in the Act.

Senator Millen - It is the compulsory issue of a proclamation, not enrolment.

Senator DE LARGIE - If the GovernorGeneral may or may not issue or refrain from issuing a proclamation, the whole principle of compulsory enrolment may be defeated. Therefore it is necessary to use the word " shall."

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