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Thursday, 13 April 1961

Mr HASLUCK (CURTIN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Territories) - As the honorable member for Wide Bay has recently visited the Territory, it is very encouraging to hear that he himself formed a favorable impression and apparently gathered favorable reports from those with whom he spoke. Regarding the second part of his question, the view that we have always taken as a government, and which we have announced, is that when the Charter of the United Nations refers to the inhabitants of a territory, it means all the inhabitants of the territory. In our administration we have attempted, and will continue to attempt, to see that justice and fair dealing apply to all the inhabitants.

On the question of respect for rights, I think the honorable member and the House will admit the proposition that if we look for respect for our own rights we must at the same time respect the rights of others. That is a principle which we are attempting to apply there in our administration. By dealing justly with the indigenous people and respecting their rights, we hope fo establish in their minds - and we have some confidence that we can establish in their minds - respect for the rights of all those who live in the Territory and serve its interests. We maintain the rule of law in the Territory so that any individual of any race in any situation can rely upon the courts and the rule of law to protect his individual interests, and we want that sort of tradition to be continued after the date of self-determination.

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