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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2717

Senator MURPHY -Mr President,on 12 and 13 November I answered 2 questions relating to the seas and submerged lands litigation which were directed to me by Senator Durack. As I indicated in my answer to the first question, I was relying on my recollection and, as I indicated when answering the second question, I was not to be seen as in any way whatever expressing criticism of the High Court. It has since been drawn to my attention that the answers read together may suggest that the High Court was asked to fix a date for the hearing of the litigation this year. Such a suggestion would not accord with what 1 am informed are the facts. Counsel for the Australian Government and the States by agreement asked the Court to fix a date for hearing early next year, and suggested the month of February. I have thought it desirable to remove any misapprehension which may have arisen as a result of my previous answers.

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