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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 1451

Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) - I address my question to the Attorney-General and refer to his astounding revelation of yesterday to the effect that certain persons who were convicted and fined during an indefinite period prior to 2 December last year have had those fines waived and the moneys returned to them pursuant to some Government policy. I ask the Minister: When was this policy decision made? When was it actually announced, if it ever was announced? Will he answer the question already put to him on 3 occasions and not answered: What is the reason for it?

Senator MURPHY -I do not quite get the drift of the honourable senator's question because my understanding is that it was publicly announced that we would take steps to deal with national service convictions. Certain legislation has been introduced. I think there is some still to come. Certainly it was public knowledge that all persons who were undergoing sentences of imprisonment were released almost within hours of the Government's coming into office. I think some may actually have been released before the Government came into office. I think that some steps were probably taken to give effect to the Government's policy and the dealing with fines was in conformity with exactly that. I am looking for the statement that was made on this matter at the time of the last election. I think that everyone was well aware of the policy of the Government. I do not think that there has been any complaint about it. I will refer to this matter again when I can turn up what was said in the election policy speech.

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