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Friday, 3 November 1911

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - It is the duty of a man to be enrolled. Neither the Government nor their officers will act unfairly, and take advantage of any persons when they know that they have been absent from their State or electorate. Our Conservative friends on the other side have nothing to fear from this provision because most of the officers-

Senator Millen - We do not believe in holding a man guilty of an offence until his innocence is proved.

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The honorable senator has nothing to fear from the provision, because, in my opinion, most of the officers are on his side of politics. This is a simple clause, and it is necessary for the efficient working of the law. I was astonished to hear a lawyer like Senator Keating talk as he did. I thought that, perhaps, another member of the party, if he failed, would move that a Royal Commission be appointed to inquire into some of these trifling cases. To mention such cases in the same breath as Customs defrauders was, I think, unworthy of the honorable senator, and certainly beside the mark. If a man is not on a roll he ought to beable to say why he is not, and if he can give a reasonable excuse for his name not being enrolled the powers that be will treat him justly, if not with mercy. I support the Government in this matter.

Senator HENDERSON(Western Aus lengthy argument adduced in connexion with this provision. I think that Senator Lynch got quite outside the position for which he has been contending from the beginning. He put forward an argument against compulsory enrolment entirely. Either his argument meant that or it meant nothing. It is too late in the day to propound an argument of that kind, inasmuch as we have affirmed the principle of compulsory enrolment.

Senator Vardon - I do not see how that affects this principle.

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