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Wednesday, 28 March 1973
Page: 771

Dr GUN (KINGSTON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General whether his attention has been drawn to a summary of documents attached to a statement made by the AttorneyGeneral in the Senate yesterday referring to a statement in 1964 by the then AttorneyGeneral, the present Leader of the Opposition, concerning prosecutions for offences against the Passports Act and the Aliens Act in which the then Attorney-General said:

There is a period of public quiescence at present. I would not want to see the whole issue revived by prosecutions which are not in themselves of great proportions. . . .

Is it the legal prerogative of the AttorneyGeneral to prosecute or not to prosecute according to political and ideological motives?

Mr ENDERBY - My attention has been drawn to the papers. In fact, I adverted to them in this House yesterday, and as soon as copies are collated and made available I will be presenting them to this House. The question of the discretionary role of an AttorneyGeneral, the chief law officer of the Crown, in deciding whether to prosecute or not to prosecute is sometimes a difficult one. That must be said. But I do not think there can be any doubt that if the discretion is exercised on the basis of the proposition put forward by the honourable member it would bi exercised wrongly.

Mr Snedden - Which honourable member?

Mr ENDERBY - The questioner.

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