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Thursday, 15 October 1964

Mr CALWELL - I address a question to the Attorney-General. Was not the case to which the Attorney-General has referred the one in which Mr. Sachs received £300 damages and in which those who maligned him had to pay £11,000 in costs?

Mr SNEDDEN - The honorable gentleman is correct in saying that £300 was awarded by way of damages. I have no way of knowing the amount of the costs. One would have to read the whole of the judgment, as indeed I have, to understand the basis on which the damages were awarded. Just before awarding the damages, the learned trial judge said, with relation to the plaintiff -

He was untruthful when he stated that South Africa was not in his opinion ripe for sowing the seeds of Communism. He was not candid in explaining his change of front in regard to the war when Soviet Russia became one of the Allies. He made improper use of the " Garment Worker " for the purpose of spreading Communism.

He went on to say -

These matters, in my opinion, to some extent reduce the quantum of compensatory damages which should be awarded.

Indeed, the essence of the case seems to be the way in which Mr. Sachs used his powers as secretary of the union. As for a direct answer to the honorable member, it would take more time than is available during question time to explain the way in which the £300 was arrived at by the trial judge. But, as I said, a copy of the judgment is available to the honorable member.

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