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Friday, 3 December 1965

Mr McMAHON - Facilities do exist for young people who have been called up for national service training, and who wish to have their call-up deferred because of exceptional hardship, to present evidence before a magistrate. If the information on which they base their applications for deferment is of a sensitive or delicate kind such as that mentioned by the honorable gentleman, then it is within the power of the magistrate himself to hold the proceedings in camera. Magistrates may act without regard to legal forms and solemnities and inform themselves in such matters as they think fit. If the information is of a very sensitive kind, I hope that magistrates themselves would adopt this course. It is within their entire and exclusive discretion to decide whether proceedings will be held in camera. Nonetheless, if it is brought to the attention of the Commonwealth officials who are presenting the facts to the magistrate that the applicant himself wants the information considered in camera and we are able to help, all the applicant has to do is let us know the facts and we will help to the limit of our capacity to have the request put to the magistrate.

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