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Tuesday, 11 September 1973
Page: 828

Mr Lynch asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   On how many occasions did diplomats in Australia claim diplomatic privilege in respect of parking and traffic offences during (a) 1971-72 and (b) 1972-73.

(2)   What sum in fines was not collected as a result of the exercise of diplomatic privilege during each of those years.

Mr Whitlam - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Accurate statistics are not kept, as in all but the worst cases the offenders are not charged but are given at most an oral warning. Diplomatic privilege is not claimed, rather it exists as a right at all times and is respected as such. Where a serious traffic offence is involved the facts are reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs which then takes the matter up with the Embassy or High Commission concerned.

(2)   As no accurate statistics of offences are available, the value of fines not collected cannot be supplied.

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