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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 2067

Mr HUGHES (BEROWRA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for Defence and it is supplementary to that which was asked recently by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Does the Minister agree that, unless a decision is made to abolish the death penalty for military offences in respect of which it is presently prescribed under Commonwealth law, the Government, if and when it introduces the proposed uniform military code for the Services, will be under the uncomfortable necessity of having to re-enact the death penalty for those offences in substantive form as a Bill of this Parliament? I ask the honourable gentleman whether he will bear in mind, when making the recommendations to the Government on this question, that possibly a majority of people in this House would not view such legislation with unfeigned joy.

Mr FAIRBAIRN - I will certainly bear in mind what the honourable member for Berowra has said on this matter. It is, of course, a matter of policy and, as I have said, it is a matter on which the Government and Cabinet will desire to take a view before the legislation is introduced.

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