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Thursday, 17 November 1960


Sir GARFIELD BARWICK (Parramatta) (Attorney-General) (1:33 AM) . - Let me answer the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) and the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron). The honorable member for East Sydney claimed that I had said that any attempt to overawe the Parliament fulfilled the definition of levying war. I did no such thing. I said that any attempt to overawe the Parliament by force and violence amounted to levying war.

In reply in similar terms to the question which was raised by the honorable member for Hindmarsh. He does not suppose that force and violence will be used to carry out the intent to which he has referred. If force and violence were used, of course the action would come within the definition because that is the whole point of levying war.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Suppose that the police took action which resulted in violence.


Sir GARFIELD BARWICK - But it is violence on the part of the people who have the initiative, not violence resulting from fighting with the police. The definition applies to people who set out to overawe the Parliament by force and violence for the purpose of taking government of the country out of the hands of the Government. That is what the proposed new section is aimed at preventing. I should not have thought that honorable members opposite would favour seeing government of the country taken out of the hands of the Government by force and violence.


Mr Whitlam - Is that not what proposed new section 24aa states?


Sir GARFIELD BARWICK - No. That deals only with particular forms of force and violence. Let me analyse now what the Deputy Leader of the Opposition has said.

He has stated that if there are no other reasonable means of endeavouring to prevent the commission of the offence, it is all right to give information to a constable. The Opposition has no objection to that. But when he makes that statement he gives away his whole case because in the proposed new section the party concerned has a choice. If there are more means than one, he can give information. If he does not like doing that - some people do not although others, I am sure, would not mind in a matter of this kind - he can use the other means. The position is very clear. I repeat: If there are more than one means he does not have to give information; he can use the other means. If there is only one means, he has to give information. And the Opposition does not mind that. So if you follow the matter to its logical conclusion, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition talked himself out of the point the minute he conceded that if there are no other means it is all right to give information. I move -

That the question be now put







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