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Thursday, 11 June 1970

Mr HUGHES - If 1 may say so, with respect to the honourable member, it is not correct to talk in terms of the Territorial Sea and Continental Shelf Bill taking anything from the States. If the Bill is a valid legislative act it will not take anything away: It will merely declare and enact what the Commonwealth conceives to be, and will argue to be, the legal position, namely that the sovereignty in respect of these areas is in the Crown in right of the Commonwealth.

As I recall it, the second part of the honourable member's question relates to internal waters. The Bill provides, 1 think clearly enough for anyone who reads it carefully to understand, that it will have no application to internal waters as they existed at federation. The Commonwealth does not have it in mind to assert, and the Bill does not so provide, any sovereignty over internal waters such as Sydney Harbour or Port Phillip. In answer to a question without notice I cannot deal specifically with the honourable member's point concerning areas marked on existing maps. As I do not have the maps in my mind's eye, I think it would be rather perilous for me to attempt to answer that part of the question. If the honourable member wishes me to do so, I shall certainly look into it and give him an answer either informally outside the House or on notice. I forbear answering the comment which with due respect to the honourable member was perhaps rather in the nature of a rhetorical comment and which was contained in the last part of his question.

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