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Tuesday, 15 October 1974
Page: 1699

Senator EVERETT (TASMANIA) - I direct a question to the Minister for Customs and Excise. I draw the Minister's attention to recent Press reports that a ban has been placed on the export of historical documents relating to arrangements made between Aborigines and explorers or early settlers. My question is whether the Minister's action was directed at any particular document and, if so, what is proposed to be done about the possible loss of other articles which are of great historical significance to Australia?

Senator MURPHY - Yes, it was directed to a particular document, namely, one of the 3 copies- or, as they were described, 'original copies'- of the deed of grant to Sir John Batman in respect of the land on which the city of Melbourne stands. The information was that this document was to be sent overseas for auction. The regulation which was introduced under the Customs Act prevents that. It is intended to make a wider regulation which will preserve other articles of national historical significance.

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