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Wednesday, 8 November 1911

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - I have already indicated the amendment which I now propose to submit. Its object is to insure that persons charged with a breach of the law shall be served personally by summons, instead of being notified through the post. It is altogether unreasonable to expect the nomadic element in our community to keep itself constantly in touch with the alterations which are being made in the law. The least we can do is to provide that persons, who, for reasons over which they have no control, go far afield, shall be possessed of a knowledge of the law. I hold that these summonses should be served on the defendants personally, and that the Department should not depend upon them reaching their destinations merely by transmitting them through the post. I recognise that, not only this Ministry, but every other Ministry, has a particular leaning towards its own offspring. But Ministers should recognise that when the Bill emerges from Committee, it will represent, not their work, but that of the Senate. Consequently, ample consideration should be given to every reasonableproposition that is submitted, with a view to the improvement of the measure. Certainly we ought to pay some regard to the most valuable of our citizens, who go far afield to develop our resources, and who, for a time, at any rate, remain unacquainted with any alterations which may be made in the existing law. I ask the Honorary Minister to throw aside the foolish notion that this measure should be accepted in its entirety. We should insist upon the Department following up any man charged with a breach of the provisions of the Bill, even if it be necessary to go as far as Central Mount Stewart, In South Australia, in order to personally serve him with the notice of its intention to prosecute him. I hope that the Honorary Minister will not adhere too rigidly to the proposed amendment which will vitally affect the interests of those whom it should be our foremost care to safeguard. I move -

That after the word " defendant," line 26, the word " personally " be inserted.

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