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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 1053

The PRESIDENT - There is no point of order. Senator Cant is quoting from a newspaper. You can ask for the newspaper to be fabled. Have you any papers there, Senator Cant?

Senator CANT - J am reading from the edition of 7th April of the 'West Australian'. I have no objection to tabling it.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Incorporate it.

Senator CANT - I do not want to incorporate it at this stage because I have another subject to discuss with Senator Greenwood at a later stage and there is some information in this article that I want to use on that occasion. I will table the article without any resistance at all but I would like first to make a photostat copy of it.

The PRESIDENT - Senator Jessop, are you satisfied now?

Senator Jessop - Yes, Mr President. It is rather unusual.

The PRESIDENT - It is quite all right. There is no point of order.

Senator CANT - It is not unusual for questions to be written out by someone and for Dorothy Dixers to be asked.

The PRESIDENT - Order! 1 will be the judge of whether the Standing Orders are followed and whether questions are Dorothy Dixers. Senator Cant, you will proceed.

Senator CANT - The article went on:

This allegation was denied yesterday by the Director of the Corrections Department, Mr Colin Campbell. He said that Cook had applied for leave in the same way as any other prisoner who wanted to attend an education course. There were about 25 WA prisoners attending courses at the moment. Cook went to the University once a week. Mr Campbell said that he had recommended to the Chief Secretary, Mr Stubbs, that Cook be granted leave, and Mr Stubbs had agreed.

He was the only person who could agree to Cook's being granted leave of absence from the gaol to attend the University. No-one else, not even Senator Greenwood, could grant leave on that occasion. Gary Cook is in a State prison and is under the control of the State authorities. The Director of the Corrections Department had recommended that the leave be granted and the Chief Secretary had agreed. The article went on:

Mr Stubbshad made the final decision because he was required to. In all other States such a decision was left to the head of the prison services. Mr Campbell said that Cook's application for study leave had been referred to the Classifications Committee that examines such cases.

I am not aware whether the Classifications Committee had made any decision about Cook. Senator Greenwood said in his statement that the Classifications Committee had not considered Cook's case. Mr Campbell said that Cook's case did go before the Classifications Committee. Honourable senators will appreciate the position in which the Attorney-General, the highest legal officer in the land, puts himself when he goes into a State half informed, not prepared to inform himself fully and makes political capital out of an unfortunate draft resister. He is the gentleman who is placed in charge of the Jaw processes of the Commonwealth Parliament. The Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) is not here, but I suggest that he should reconsider this appointment in the light of the performance of Senator Greenwood in Western Australia last week. I suggest that he may do it. He may be in the position of having to do it when he receives a communication of protest from the Premier of Western Australia about the performances of Senator Greenwood while he was in that State.

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