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Tuesday, 10 November 1953

Mr CASEY - I have been asked by tlie Minister foi" the Army to answer thisquestion'. The question of criminal jurisdiction over' Australian troops" in Japan has' b'een< under' discussion for at least twelve months. It has been the subject' of much- correspondence' and many negotiations in which my- colleagues, the Minister foi- the- A'rmy and the Attorney1 General, and myself have all been concerned'. I regard the' present arrangement :is 'a good one.- In Japanese^ courts sitting' in. criminal' jurisdiction Australian troops ha ve the same rights as' American- troops, who. occupy ai rather' special position in

Japan The- agreement, as the- honorable gentlemans sard; was signed' recently by the Governments' of Australia, the- United' Kingdom, Canada- and' New Zealand: The specific answer to- the- honora'b'le gentleman's- question is that, not only h'as Australia been- constantly consulted, but' also Australian representatives have constantly participated in negotiations over the past twelve months-. This- Government., believes that the arrangement is the best arrangement that could, be. made in. the interests of Australian troops- in Japan.

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