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Tuesday, 27 October 1970

Mr HUGHES (BEROWRA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) - I answer the first part of the question by saying that my attention has been directed to an article and to a letter by a correspondent in today's Financial Review'. I have given the issues raised in the letter and in the article some cursory examination. I hope the honourable member will not take it amiss if I say that I do not propose, on the basis of a very cursory examination - which is all I have been able to give it so far - to offer any view on what could only be described as complicated legal questions. In answer to the second part of the question which concerns the arrangement between the Victorian Government and Esso-BHP: No, I have not examined that particular agreement. 1 should venture to think that there may be some difficulty in bringing that agreement within the scope of the Trade Practices Act because, as the honourable member probably will be aware, the Act, as 1 recall it, excepts from its operation agreements to which the Crown, in right of the Commonwealth or of a State, may be a party. The other part of the honourable gentleman's question concerned, I think, the operation of section 92 of the t Constitution in relation to arrangements between the Hamersley company and the Western Australian Government. Again, I have taken note of what has been written in the article but I do not propose to offer any opinion. 1 shall take the matter further into my consideration.

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