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Thursday, 9 March 1972
Page: 678


Senator MURPHY (New South WalesLeader of the Opposition) - I have thought about this matter as probably everybody has thought about it. We have, all travelled on aircraft and thought of this same problem in relation to ourselves as well as in relation to others. Mass murder or attempted mass murder is a terrible crime. As 1 indicated before, it can be done in other ways. If we really start to try to draw distinctions between degrees of viciousness in looking at crimes, different results will be achieved depending on how those crimes are approached. The Gower Commission reached this conclusion. Those who look al these matters come to this decision. While an individual murder or an attempted murder ' is bad, one can imagine some ways in which a murder can be worse. Senator Hannan puts the attempted killing of persons in' an aircraft as the most terrible example of murder. I bring to mind as being a worse offender the person who organises the distribution of drugs such as heroin through a country such as the United Slates of America.

Those drugs will not bring instantaneous death to a couple of hundred people but cause a lingering type of punishment and death to hundreds of thousands. I regard that as a worse crime still. I may be wrong on that. But it shows that we might almost start a competition to determine which is the worst of all crimes. The test is not really to put some crimes aside in this manner. In some way we must find and evolve methods by which we can persuade people against and deter them from such action. But, here, a principle is being adopted. I think that the State ought to set the example. For that reason, much as 1 deplore the extent and the enormity of the crime of hijacking, it should not provide an exception to what is an attempt to bring some sanity into this world.







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