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Wednesday, 7 December 1938

Mr HARRISON (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister without portfolio, administering External Territories) - That case has been raised in this House before. The man has been punished for his offence; he has been released, and has left the country to begin a new life. It is not British justice to pursue him now that he has served his sentence.

Mr James - I mentioned his case in order to point out that preferential treatment was accorded to him in comparison with that accorded to the natives. He was released after serving only five years of a ten-year sentence.

Mr HARRISON - The honorable member quoted from the Rabaul Times at great length concerning certain alleged anomalies associated with the proceedings of the courts in New Guinea. I have no doubt that similar anomalies could be found in the proceedings of courts in Australia. The moral code in New Guinea is different from that in Australia and certain offences arc looked upon more seriously than they are here. It is not fair simply to cite a string of sentences as indicating that the natives suffer hardship. It is necessary to understand the circumstances, and the code that prevails, in order to make an effective comparison. If the honorable member made any representations to which I have not replied I shall endeavour to obtain the information for him.

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