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Mr M J Young

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9S Leader of the Opposition PRESS RELEASE 102/83

I refer to the Prime Minister's statement of 30 August 1983 to which was attached an opinion by the Attorney-General concerning the possible prosecution of the Hon M J Young under┬Ěthe Crimes Act. . -

It is only proper that I give further consideration to the points addressed by the Attorney-General in reaching his conclusion that Mr Young not be prosecuted under Section 79 of the Crimes Act.

What can be said at this stage, however, is that the Attorney-General1s opinion contains compelling reasons why Mr Young cannot return to the Ministry.

Indeed in deciding not to prosecute* one of the factors the Attorney-General took into account was "the traditional political sanctions" which should be applied to breaches of this type.

In this case, vacating the portfolio for a matter of weeks, or indeed months, would hardly fit that consideration.

Mr Hawke must therefore ensure Caucus fills Mr Young's vacancy at its next meeting and if he fails to do this he must explain the reasons for such a drastic departure from normal procedure.

Should the Prime Minister not do this it can be concluded that double standards are being applied by both himself and his Government. In addition, Mr Hawke will be sweeping aside sanctions considered appropriate by his Attorney-General.

30 AUGUST 1983

Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600 P hone 72 6994