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Tuesday, 19 September 1972
Page: 1524

Mr JAMES (HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the Prime Minister agree that a sentence of 18 months hard labour with release after 10 or 12 months for offenders convicted of political bombings of foreign buildings in Australia when people are resident in those buildings is appropriate or that it lacks the deterrent effect on others that court penalties for serious crimes are mainly intended to have? If he disagrees with light penalties, will be confer with his colleague, the Attorney-General, with a view to amending the law so that a more appropriate penalty will be fixed by the courts in an effort to eradicate this un-Australian and heinous type of crime? I suggest the fixing of a minimum lagging of 5 years.

Mr McMAHON - I agree that this type of outrage is heinous and that the police in Australia, assisted by government agencies, should do all in their power to see that those who perpetrate the crimes are brought into the criminal courts. But as to making a general statement about every single case without knowing the individual facts, I think that is a somewhat foolish approach to take. As to the last part of the honourable gentleman's question, I will discuss the matter with the Attorney-General and if I think it is necessary, I will let the honourable gentleman have a reply.

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