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Tuesday, 27 March 1973
Page: 679


Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct my question to the Prime Minister. I refer him to a report in today's 'Canberra Times' headed Terrorists to be named in House* and a report in today's Australian' headed 'Murphy to name 30 Terrorists'. I ask the Prime Minister whether these headlines, whether correct or not, represent a very serious and frightening departure from the concept of the need for guilt to be proved by the courts before a person is branded as a criminal?


Mr Hayden - What about Prime Minister Menzies?


Mr ANTHONY - This is a very important matter of principle. Mr Speaker, I would be pleased if you called honourable members to order.


Mr SPEAKER


Mr ANTHONY - Will the Prime Minister assure the House that the Government, despite the doubts which have been created by recent events, adheres to the view that it is for the courts, not the Press or even the AttorneyGeneral, to determine the guilt or innocence of a person accused of a crime?


Mr WHITLAM - I hasten to give the assurance that the right honourable gentleman seeks. The Attorney-General will not name any persons who have not been convicted of crimes and I hope that the Press would not name persons as criminals unless they had been convicted of crimes. The difference between the present Attorney-General and his predecessor is that the present Attorney-General is prepared to see that law and order are maintained in this country irrespective of the persons involved. The preceding AttorneyGeneral, as many honourable and right honourable gentlemen in this House will know, did his best to cover up for people who had been convicted of crimes.







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