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Tuesday, 9 May 1961

Mr Cairns s asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice -

1.   Was Stahl Salum, the secretary of the Madang Co-operative Association, a witness against Brian Cooper at his trial for sedition?

2.   Has Salum's father, during his service as an Administration appointed headman, built up a large plantation on Karkar Island?

3.   Have other natives a claim to the land on which the plantation exists?

4.   Will Stahl Salum's inheritance of this plantation and land follow as a matter of course?

5.   Would Administration support be of any assistance to him in his inheritance of the land and plantation?

Mr Hasluck - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Yes. There is no connexion of any kind between this fact and the matters raised in the following questions.

2.   Until 1958, Stahl Salum's father, Solum, was a Paramount Luluai appointed by the Administration. He asserts ownership rights under native custom over relatively large areas of land on Karkar Island, some of which is planted with coconuts.

3.   Alum of Karkar claims ownership of some of the land, including the planted area. Investigations by the Native Lands Commissioner are pending.

4.   Under the local system of inheritance Solum's eldest son Gilaleng would at Solum's death take over any land interests held by Solum under native custom. It is understood that Stahl Salum claims that he will become entitled to his father's land interests on his father's death on the ground of appointment by his father. Any dispute that may arise would be heard by the Native Lands Commission.

5.   No.

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