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Tuesday, 13 November 1973
Page: 1712

Senator GREENWOOD -Why does the Attorney-General decline to enforce the provisions of the law available to him and cause the Aboriginal occupied tents opposite Parliament House to be taken down and removed?

Senator MURPHY - Some question was raised on an earlier occasion as to the law on this matter. I have not seen any cause to take any action myself on this matter. If a cause were to arise, then the Senate would be informed.

Senator GREENWOOD -Mr President,I wish to ask a supplementary question.

The PRESIDENT -Very well.

Senator GREENWOOD -Does the AttorneyGeneral consider it a proper function of the chief law officer of the Commonwealth to decline to enforce the law and not give any reason for so doing?

Senator MURPHY -The question of what should be done about enforcement of the law has been dealt with in debate in the Senate. I think that even the Deputy Leader of the Opposition would adhere to the proposition that in all of these matters there is a question of discretion on the part of the law officer. No one of whom I know who has been in this responsible position has ever maintained other than that there is a discretion as to what should be done in these matters. I have not seen cause, in any event, to request that any action be taken.

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