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Wednesday, 27 April 1932

Mr R GREEN (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

J.   How many natives during the past five years have been convicted of assaulting whites in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea?

2.   What was the nature of such assaults?

3.   What sentences were imposed?

4.   After being convicted and having served sentences of twelve months or more, are the natives returned to their own villages?

Mr LYONS - The information is being obtained, and will be supplied to the honorable member as early as practicable.

Mr R GREEN (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Is there a court of criminal appeal in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea?

2.   If not, is there any appeal allowed against conviction and/or severity of sentence; if so, to what court?

3.   In all cases of murder, manslaughter, or other serious criminal offences charged against a white, is a jury empanelled; if not, why not?

4.   How many whites have been convicted of assault during the pastfive years?

5.   What is the nature of these assaults?

6.   What sentences were imposed?

7.   How many appeals have been lodged, and with what result?

Mr LYONS - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow : -

1.   Appeals from a District Court may bo made to the Central Court.

2.   See answer to No. 1. The Full Court of the High Court of Australia, consisting of at least two judges, may grant leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia from any conviction, sentence, judgment, decree or order of the Central Court.

3.   No. There is no provision in the law of the Territory for trial lay jury. It is not considered that the time has arrived when the jury system could appropriately be introduced into the territory. Provision exists in the Central Court Assessors Ordinance 1925 for the appointment by the Central Court or by a judge of that Court, or in any cause in which natives are interested by the Administrator, of not more than two assessors, who when required by the court, shall give their opinion on any matters of fact, custom or usage, or any other matters arising out of the evidence given at the trial. Assessors shall not, however, adjudicate in any case before the court. 4 to 7. The information is being obtained, and will be- supplied to thehonorable member as early as practicable.

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