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Wednesday, 21 July 1920


Mr GROOM - Not altogether. Notice of appeal had been lodged, and still holds good. The case is still sub judice.


Mr Ryan - But not this particular matter.


Mr GROOM - We cannot separate one isolated fact. The deportation proceedings must be taken as a whole, and Mr. Speaker gave his ruling on them as he had them before him in this House. Honorable members endeavoured, as far a3 possible, to get around that ruling and discuss the facts of the case.


Mr Fowler - What was the nature of the inquiry before Sir Robert Garran ?


Mr GROOM - All the facts in regard to the case; of Father Jerger were placed before Sir Robert Garran in his capacity of Solicitor-General.


Mr Fenton - Sir Robert Garran's inquiry was not a Court case.


Mr GROOM - The matter that is sub judice is the case before the High Court, and honorable members sought to bring before the House the facts relating to it.


Mr Riley - Is it claimed that Father Jerger 's case is still sub judice?


Mr GROOM - The questions raised concerning his deportation are still sub judice.


Mr Riley - Then why are you attempting to get him away; why do you not wait until the Court has given its decision ?


Mr GROOM - That is not the point at issue now. The issue is whether the question of his deportation is sub judice at the present time.


Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Government are endeavouring to get Father Jerger away by the use of black labour.


Mr GROOM - That again is a different -question.


Mr Brennan - Is it not a political question, and a matter which we should be permitted to discuss here? Are there not a dozen political aspects of the matter which ought to be discussed here"?


Mr GROOM - Even if the case has its political aspects, we should not discuss them in such a way that they might influence the trial of an action. That is the whole principle at stake. Honorable members are endeavouring to evade the rule generally laid down.


Mr Mahony - Would a discussion of the inquiry carried out by Sir Robert Garran influence the High Court?


Mr GROOM - Every case is based on facts, and it was the facts in connexion with the whole case, including those submitted by Father Jerger, which were inquired into by Sir Robert Garran. It was the third time the facts had been examined.


Mr Brennan - That was the third travesty, and there have been halfadozen travesties since then.


Mr GROOM - It was a step towards ascertaining the facts, and while the matter was being dealt with it was- an improper thing to attempt to review them and discuss them in the House, seeing that a writ of habeas corpus had been applied for, and an application for an injunction made, giving ample opportunity to the Court to deal with the case. The case is still going on. In Adelaide, an application has been made to a State Judge for a writ of habeas corpus. In every way the matter is being attacked. It is certainly true that a man is entitled to take every legal remedy at his command, but that is not the point at issue to-day. The question is whether it is right or proper to bring political influence to bear in this House in such a way that it might interfere with the administration of justice.







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