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Tuesday, 28 September 1971
Page: 1527

Mr JESS (LA TROBE, VICTORIA) - Has the Minister for Labour and National Service observed on his television set recently that certain young gentlemen for whom warrants were issued, I understand, some time ago, are shacked up at the Melbourne University? Can the Minister inform me what action he or his Department intends to take to prevent these gentlemen from coming into the homes of the people of Australia and from holding the law of this country in contempt? Is there a separate law for those who do not belong to universities and for those who do?

Mr Grassby - Will the Minister explain the expression 'shacked up'?

Mr LYNCH (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) (Minister for Labour and National Service) - I would hardly have thought that 1 would need to explain that term to the honourable gentleman. The honourable gentleman who asked this question referred to the fact that these men have held the law in contempt, and of course they have. I make it clear to the House that it is the firm intention of the Government that those who default from the law should, in fact, be punished by the law. Regarding the several gentlemen who have appeared on television recently, I believe that at present 12 warrants have been issued for some of them and for some other persons and it is the intention of the Attorney-General, who is primarily responsible in this matter, to make certain that the law is obeyed and that the warrants are executed at the earliest opportunity. I should say, on behalf of my colleague, that this matter is not as easy as sometimes it may appear. Of course the gentlemen concerned seek opportunities to propagate their views and to act in a propagandist manner. They deliberately call for imprisonment but the fact is that when a search is initiated they never intend to allow apprehension at the particular places at which they advertise their availability. The Government views this matter most seriously and I can say on behalf of myself and the AttorneyGeneral that every effort will be taken to ensure that those who default from the law are dealt with by the law, firstly, on the basis of the principle which is involved and, secondly, in fairness and in equity to the vast majority of young Australians who are prepared to honour their obligations.

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