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Wednesday, 28 April 1971


Senator HANNAN (Victoria) - I must say that I am bound to defer to Senator Wheeldon?s mastery of some of the shadier aspects of the American, South African and Irish scenes, but I think it is a pity that he did not refer to the Bill before the Senate. He delivered himself of a farrago of nonsense, the speech of a would-be demagogue, but he did not touch the meat of the - matter contained in the legislation before us. I do not have the time to pursue his twisted logic down the labrynthine corridors of his fantasy, but if he claims to be serious when he says that Australia is a police state I can" only think that he must be joking. However, I do point out in rebuttal of a couple of the statements that he made that no-one ever promised to put demonstrators out of Business, no-one ever suggested that the ' members of the Australian Labor Party would be herded together into the gutter, although I have seen them sitting there quite voluntarily-


Senator Kennelly - I rise to a point of order. Is the senator in order in reading his speech?


Senator HANNAN - 1 am not reading my speech; I am speaking from copious notes.

The ACTING. DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Davidson) - There is no substance in the point of order.


Senator HANNAN - Perhaps at this stage I should point out that in rebuttal I am quoting directly the words of Senator Wheeldon. No-one ever suggested that the members of the Australian Labor Party would be herded together into the gutter, although I have seen them sitting there quite voluntarily, and that was on an occasion that was quaintly called a moratorium. I think it is confirmation of the strength of the Government's position when one observes the complete absence of factual criticism of the legislation from the Opposition.

I do not want to spend all my time replying to Senator Wheeldon 's comments, but he did make a reference to Magna Carta and suggested that it was a victory for the freedom of the people. Perhaps Senator Wheeldon does not know that this proposed . Act will repeal legislation which was passed in the century .which followed Magna Carta. That indicates how necessary it is to clean up this legislation. The Riots and Tumults Suppression Act was passed at the end of the 14th century, and that is one of the pieces of legislation which applies in certain ' Australian States and will be repealed. Its applicability will be removed by this legislation. Although this is perhaps a slight digression, I might say that Magna Carta -was not a victory for the people, as Senator Wheeldon claimed; it was a victory for the barons. (Quorum formed) As I was saying when Senator Keeffe found himself bound to call a quorum, Magna Carta was not a victory for the people, as Senator Wheeldon suggested; it was a victory for the overpowerful barons and earls over the pusillanimous King John. But I come back to the Bill in 1971. It is a Bill which I am pleased to support. Unlike Senator. Wheeldon I do not believe in wild exaggeration. I do not suggest that the Australian society is dissolving into cataclysmic chaos. It is not true that brigands lurk in the hills, that bandits infest the city streets, lt would certainly be unjust to suggest that anarchy stalks the land. But there are areas of lawlessness and disorder which demand correction, and that is what this very moderate Bill sets out to do.

Senator Wrightin his second reading speech pointed out that the purpose of the Bill was to simplify and in some cases to moderate the existing force of the law. I do not resile from the proposition that the Government stands for a free but a well ordered society. This legislation is necessary if we are going to fill in the gaps in the existing laws. This is a federation, a nation in which we have 6 States, some territories


Senator Poyser - Was he in gaol in Ireland?


Senator HANNAN - This gentleman was the Attorney-General in- New Zealand. He said:

Both freedom and order are essential. Freedom without order - which is. virtually what the anarchists proclaim - is an impossible state except for hermits. There can be no meaningful freedom in society unless we have order. On the other hand, order without freedom is tyranny and we will have none of it. Balancing the .two is a perennial human problem, to which there is no perfect solution.

Senator Wrightwent on further to quote a distinguished member of the Labor Party, the right honourable Lord Shawcross, Q.C., a man who was Attorney-General of the United Kingdom under Mr Attlee and the British prosecutor at the Nuremburg trials. I think he should be an authority whom the Labor Party would accept on most points, although perhaps his views on Vietnam would not be acceptable to them. Lord Shawcross said:

.   . the existence of rights depends upon the establishment of related obligations and neither can exist without the co-existence of the other.

I know that if honourable senators opposite were allowed to have a free, secret, non-Party vote on this legislation very many of them would go along with the Government in supporting it. The Government has an international obligation.

We have in Australia at present between 50 and 60 - I am not quite sure of the figure; I am relying on my memory - foreign legations, embassies and the like. The countries which subscribe to the Vienna Convention of 1961 are bound .to

Persons and Property) Bill

Commonwealth premises . have been to some extent an area of no-man's land. There .are very few members, numerically speaking, of the Commonwealth Police Force. The High Court of Australia gave a decision fairly recently, although I do not recall the year, in relation to a claim for workers compensation ' for an injury suffered on Commonwealth property near either the: Richmond or Williamtown aerodrome. The decision of that great constitutional authority was that the State law in respect to compensation did not run on Commonwealth territory. I am not saying that the position is exactly analagous, but recently we had in Melbourne people who I would in fact describe as hoodlums but who describe themselves as protesters, who attempted to set fire to wastepaper baskets in the General Post Office. In earlier days in Victoria, as there were people in the Post Office, this would have constituted the crime of arson. The penalty in Victoria for this crime was until a few years ago - I cannot give the exact date - death. The penalty was death for setting fire to a building in which a person was present. Because there was initially no Commonwealth police officer present there were some doubts as to the validity of arrests being made by the State police of these' hoodlums on this Commonwealth property. To improve the position slightly, the Commonwealth did pass the Commonwealth







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