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Thursday, 26 September 1974
Page: 1440

Senator DURACK (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Attorney-General and refers to an answer which he gave Senator Greenwood earlier today in respect of apparently successful intimidation by the Australian Builders Labourers Federation of some building contractors who had taken proceedings in the High Court of Australia. These contractors have apparently withdrawn from the court proceedings as a result of action that was taken by the Builders Labourers Federation. The Attorney-General said that he had had some correspondence in the matter and had acted in accordance with the advice that he was given. That was the only information he gave the Senate. I ask: From whom did he obtain the correspondence? What action did he take? Did he authorise any investigation? In respect of his general attitude when answering the earlier question that it is up to the building contractors to complain of contempt, is there not an overriding and paramount responsibility on the Attorney-General to protect the rights of people whose position before the Court may be jeopardised by intimidation and threats.

Senator MURPHY -I would ask that the question go to notice so that an answer with some precision can be given in relation to the matters of fact that are raised. Although some of the matters of general principle might easily be answered now I would prefer to deal with the question on notice:

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