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04 February 2008

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In response to Colin Huggins: Thanks!

Actually, today you would probably get NOTHING!The NSW Government changed the personal injury laws a few years ago - I was part of the campaign against that decision - today you would probably only get your immediate medical bills paid.

I doubt your case was reported in the law reports -but presumably it was in the press. I will see what I can find out and will let you know what I discover.

I have read all the Joey's magazines, reports etc. I can now even tell
you what the Racing Eight Miller QC presented cost! He gave a fortune
to Joey's - probably because they waived all his fees when his unemployed
father died while he was at school. Dad had been sacked for taking part in the 1917 Railway Strike.

The transcript of Captain Murphy's surreal and unjust court-martial is online in the National Archives at this address:
http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/imagine.asp?B=1343821&I=1&SE=1
Enter 121 in the 'page' box to get to the delightful defence summary. Rumpole of the Bailey move over!

Miller's win for Murphy was not the end of the matter. Much correspondence ensued - up to Prime Minister Chifley level - in attempts to recover costs and reverse the defamation from the ridiculous Army pre-trial press release. [See National Archives at
http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/imagine.asp?B=94429&I=1&SE=1]

I have recently written a review of the book 'Horio. Next You Die' which depicts Murphy's heroism and strength of character in no uncertain terms. You can find this at http://www.amazon.com/Horio-you-next-die-Nason/dp/0930926110

Murphy may also have been somehow involved in the catchism translation. He was author of 'The book of Pidgin English' (1937).

Thanks for the comments above. I have trawled the St Joseph's College archives - Eric gave many prizes - and a racing eight! - to the school. I have been in touch with several members of the family. Colin - I should be grateful if you would contact me so I can learn more about your case. Eric did a lot of personal injury cases - he was a great jury advocate.

I should declare a personal interest in PNG. As a student I helped install a water pipeline at Koinambe. I also studied Pacific history at the ANU with Dorothy Shineberg and Harry Maude.


I went to college with Eric Miller's son, Roger. Roger completed his Leaving Certificate at St. Joseph's College in 1959. I believe that Roger went into Law.

Eric Miller was my QC in the 1950's when I (through my family) sued the Moree City Baths when I fell off the diving tower onto cement rather than water. Thus the reason I have false teeth. Moree now has a new diving tower with safety features. I should have had the tower named after me! Eric won the case for me.

I would suggest that as there is an annual award presented to a senior student at St. Josephs that if Philip Selth contacted SJC he may get some information or at least a follow up - possibly Roger if he is still alive.


Eric Miller was a prominent old boy of St. Joseph's College, Hunters Hill. His youngest son, Roger, was in the class ahead of me. Roger to the best of my knowledge also followed his father at the bar.

I believe that Eric Miller has an annual award presented in his honour. English or debating? Contacting St Josephs College should be worthwhile for any information.

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