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Thursday, 17 November 1960

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK - I listen to the little baying hounds. It was only a short while ago that if I had written such a line and charged somebody for it, I would have been honoured for it; but because I stand here gratuitously no one gives me credit. I say that the first thing that moved me when I came home was that this idea was being spread about. I understand why it is. The Communists began it, and honorable gentlemen opposite carried it on. There is no question about that.

Secondly, I take it ill that decent members of the public who have no means of finding these things out for themselves, and decent trade unionists who have no means of finding these things out for themselves, should be filled up with this stuff until they feel genuine alarm.

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Just see yourself as others see you.

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK - Well, I do not want to see you as I see you. I decided and stated openly that I would not alter the law, but that I would write a line in to make sure that there was no ground for the alarm - to reinforce the people's confidence and show that the Government's intention was perfectly right. I shall come to that very shortly.

The other part of the common law provision that is brought in by the clause is that it is treason to instigate a foreigner to make an armed invasion. That is an existing provision. I have lifted it from the existing section. I have no doubt that some people who do not understand the mechanics of a bill like this saw the whole of this in the draft and thought I was originating the whole of it; but in truth I was merely replacing here, something that was already elsewhere. I made two changes in regard to " assist by any means whatever ". They are very significant. First, I took out the word " public " from the term " public enemy ". I did that because in 1914 the term " public enemy " included enemies of the Empire. We now have enemies of our own. I took the word " public " out so that I would limit his provision to the enemies of this country. That was fair enough. By and by, when I come to deal with the treachery clause, I will remind the committee of the effect which the taking out of the word " public " had on that clause.

The, other thing I did was to interpolate the words " whether or not the existence of a state of war has been declared ". Those words were a part of the common law. For centuries the, common law has not allowed the fact that there has not been an international declaration of war to prevent a man from being charged with treason. That is as old as the hills. Those, words were put in, and somebody has endeavoured to make something of them.

So my opening remarks with respect to this particular provision are addressed to the committee along these lines: Making treason an offence is designed to protect our way of life, to see that we can have a debate in this chamber without having armed people outside, to see that our Sovereign has our duty performed to her, to see that our laws will protect her, and that we will not have to go cap in hand to any State if anything happened to her or her heir. If Prince Charles comes here, as we. hope he will in due course, are we to be powerless in point of federal law to protect him? Is it sufficient that this is law in the States and that we would have the States to assist us? I am sure that nobody who has any feeling for this country will think that we should be powerless in this respect, and I put it that way to the committee in explanation.

Some people say: "Why do it now? Why did you not do it ten years ago? " That is a poor argument.

Mr Haylen - What about the gumshoe boys?

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK - I know that this does not please the honorable member for Parkes. It is no good my appealing to him on behalf of this country--

Mr Haylen - What did you do for the country?

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