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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) (AttorneyGeneral) (11:43 AM) . - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Although from its bulk this Bill may look formidable, as a matter of fact it is merely a reprint, with modifications to suit Australian conditions, of a law passed by the Imperial Parliament for British Possessions. The object of the Bill is to enable prisoners who are sentenced to imprisonment in a Territory to' be committed to the prisons of the States in order that they may serve their sentences there rather than in the Territory in which they were convicted.

Mr Pratten - White prisoners?

Mr GROOM - Yes; only white prisoners, and not aboriginal natives of a Territory. The measure is based on humanitarian grounds and drawn up in a form making it applicable to all the Territories. It is based also on the advisability, where there is only one prison, of preventing the imprisonment of members of the white and coloured races in the one place. The measure provides that the administrative arrangements shall be made by the Commonwealth with the States. When a man is committed to prison in a Mandated Territory, he will be transferred to a prison in one of the States. In pursuance of this object arrangements are being made, if they have not already, been made, with the Queensland Government for the smooth working of the measure. Beyond this the Bill merely provides the machinery to give effect to' its objects. The measure is highly recommended, and I ask the House to agree to it.

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