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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 2315

Senator McLAREN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Can the AttorneyGeneral tell me whether the South Australian Chief Secretary or the Premier has breached the law in any way by allowing Robert Martin to attend a Press conference or to address a meeting on Sunday next outside the walls of Yatala Gaol?

Senator GREENWOOD - Although I am asked for a legal opinion I trust that the Senate will bear with me if I say that the prison regulations in South Australia, permit the Comptroller of Prisons to allow a prisoner to leave a gaol in certain circumstances, and there is a broad circumstance as the Comptroller thinks fit'. I assume that in permitting Mr Martin to leave the prison for the purpose of addressing a political meeting the Comptroller is acting with the approval of either the South Australian

Attorney-General or the Premier, because it would be unthinkable that a Comptroller would take such action without getting authority from his political head. If that is the basis upon which approval is being given, there is no breach, as 1 see it, of the prison regulations. That is my reply in respect of contravention of the law. I leave it to the people of South Australia and to the people of Australia to judge whether the processes of law are being upheld when this sort of conduct is allowed by the person who is the head of the Government of South Australia.

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