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Wednesday, 1 November 1967

Mr BOWEN (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) - This person has been punished for contempt. He cannot be punished again for the same contempt. As to the severity of the penalty, the maximum fine would have been $1,000. The penalty was entirely a matter for the magistrate before whom the journalist appeared. As to what the extent of the penalty should have been I think I should not express any view, although I may suggest that in imposing a fine of $100 no doubt the magistrate took into account the fact that an apology was presented and also that a plea of guilty had been entered. Of course it is entirely a matter for the Commission and for counsel assisting the Commission as to whether this person should be again called before the Commission and pressed to answer the question. If he were so called and continued with a refusal he would be guilty of another contempt. If in those circumstances he were prosecuted again the question of penalty would perhaps be viewed in a different light, but again I think I should not express any personal view on that matter.

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