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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4516


Mr UREN (Reid) - Mr Speaker,I will make my comments brief. I wished to speak through you to the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon). Since he is not here I do so through the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Anthony) and I hope that he will give my remarks some consideration. In this gentle season when men remember they are brothers I want to make a request that we give special consideration to that young man, Geoffrey Mullen who is at present in Emu Plains. Geoff Mullen is a young man who has defied the National Service Act. He is due to be released from prison in February. I am asking the Government to give special consideration to releasing him by Christmans. I do this because he is a man of great moral courage. He has made his stand and I think he is prepared to take his medicine. He would not want me to make any special request on his behalf alone, but I think that he is an only son and that we should give some consideration to bis mother.

Geoffrey Mullen is a young man who defied the National Service Act. He has been in many gaols in the State of New South Wales. He has been in Long Bay Gaol. He was transferred from Long Bay Gaol to Berrima. I visited him in Berrima last Easter Saturday. He was transferred from there to Newnes at a later stage. From there he went to Silverwater. He was then transferred from Silverwater to Cooma. Recently, upon representations being made by myself and other honourable members he was transferred to Emu

Plains. I might say in fairness to the New South Wales authorities that it is a far better prison for him to be in than Cooma. This is a special problem.

The Government is bringing home from Vietnam its combat troops by Christmas. I wish it was bringing all its troops home. I will not make any criticism of past policy. This is not the time to critisice the Government. I am putting a special case to the Government and I hope that it will give it special consideration. Election policies are being talked about. The Government should treat this case sympathetically. It has been said that the Government may introduce its election policy by next March. If special consideration is given to Mullen, J will be grateful. At least I will see evidence of some human blood running through the veins of politicians.

Anyone, who knows Mullen recognises that he is a boy with great moral courage. I admire him personally. We all know that mothers fee] for their sons and I want to see the boy home. I hope that not only will the Government give special consideration to Mullen but also that it will give special consideration to the others - there are not a great many because it is not the Government's policy to arrest many of these young people - who are in gaol. I hope that the Government will give special consideration to them too. But I ask particularly in respect of Mullen. I have kept a close eye on him. I have kept in touch with him and with his mother. I will not detain the House. I thank the Prime Minister for coming into the House.







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