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Wednesday, 15 March 1961

Mr OPPERMAN (CORIO, VICTORIA) (Minister for Shipping and Transport) -I could see by the look in the honorable member's eye yesterday that he intended to ask me a question about this matter, and I thought he would appreciate a definite reply, which I can now give him. On 14th February the Deputy Crown Solicitor in Adelaide accepted service of a writ issued out of the High Court at the instance of the State of South Australia against the Commonwealth, claiming declarations in respect of the Railways Standardization Agreement (South Australia) Act 1949. Briefly, the plaintiff's claim is for, first, a declaration that the act is a valid instrument binding on the Commonwealth and creating a legal contractual relationship enforceable between the parties to the agreement, and secondly, a declaration that the performance of the agreement is not subject to delay or postponement at the will of the Commonwealth. The honorable member for Hindmarsh will appreciate that this matter is now sub judice, and I am sure he will not ask me to comment further on his question or on other matters concerning the agreement.

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