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Thursday, 15 October 1964

Senator HENDRICKSON (VICTORIA) - I direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Now that the Russians have successfully launched a space ship, which venture has been acclaimed by the world, has the Australian Government sent a message of congratulation to the Russians, or will it be left to the Minister for External Affairs to convey personally Australia's congratulations when he visits Moscow shortly? On the subject of space ships, has the Australian Government or have its legal advisers considered the important question of where air ends and space begins, or are Australian legal advisers very much in the clouds on laws relating to space? Has the Government or have its legal advisers examined the views of Professor John Cooper of the United States who considers that countries should have jurisdiction from ground level up to 300 miles, with non-military craft having transit rights? Finally, if a space ship makes a forced landing and flattens a building, can the Minister or his advisers tell the Australian people who or what do the owners sue and where do they sue him, them or it?

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