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Wednesday, 9 March 1966

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Prime Minister) - The Government examined the legal position very closely before coming to the decision that was recommended by me to the House last night and to which public reference was made some time ago. I can assure the honorable gentleman that the advice of our own legal authorities was to the effect that it was within the competence of the Government to refrain from the issue of the writ. The Government is not required in a mandatory sense to do so but, at the same time, it was, as I stressed in my statement last night, deeply conscious of the obligation it has to the Parliament in this matter. This was one reason why I included in what I knew to be a very lengthy statement a quite detailed account of the reasons for our action.

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