28th Parliament · 1st Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Magnus Cormack) took the chair at 11 a.m., and read prayers.
– I inform the Senate that the Minister for Primary Industry (Senator Wriedt) left Australia yesterday to attend a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Committee for Agriculture in Paris and to have discussion on matters relating to primary industry in London and Washington. He is expected to return to Australia on 20th April. During his absence the Minister for Works (Senator Cavanagh) will act as Minister for Primary Industry. The Minister for the Media (Senator Douglas McClelland) will represent in this chamber those Ministers whom Senator Wriedt normally represents.
– In view of the matter which was discussed in the Senate yesterday I move:
That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent Government business, order of the day No. 9, relating to Croatian terrorism being called on and proceeded with forthwith.
– The Opposition supports such a motion.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Debate resumed from 4 April (vide page 856), on motion by Senator Murphy:
That the Senate take note of the statement.
Upon which Senator Withers had moved by way of amendment:
Leave out all words after ‘That’, insert ‘having carefully studied the Statement, the Senate resolves that the Attorney-General, Senator Murphy, does not deserve the confidence of the Senate because -
by tabling only selected documents, he attempted to mislead the Senate;
he directed his Statement to political criticism of his predecessor instead of to the national interest of good order and security;
for political purposes, he prematurely published confidential reports and information on current investigations and prosecutions whereby persons involved are very likely to be prejudiced;
he wantonly raided and damaged the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation without any justifiable explanation; and
by his actions and statements he has created a highly charged political atmosphere whereby many people in the community, particularly migrants, innocent of any offence, are fearful of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and other similar police state methods’.
– The Senate is debating a statement entitled ‘Ministerial Statement on Croatian Terrorism’ which was delivered to this chamber by the AttorneyGeneral (Senator Murphy). I think it is significant to look for a moment at the heading of the statement - ‘Ministerial Statement on Croatian Terrorism’. Even the title is misleading. It misrepresents the true nature of the situation existing in Australia. I suggest that the Croatian situation perhaps can best be described as it was by Mr Barbour, the Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, in the final section of a report which he made to the then Attorney-General last year. I shall refer to that in a moment.
Firstly I refer to an example of the way in which an impression which is misleading has been given to the Australian people in relation to the Croatian community here. I shall refer to the whole of a paragraph in the statement which was given by Senator Murphy. I will not do what the honourable senator did and take parts out of context to support an argument. He stated:
The second factor which highlighted the question of Croat terrorism in Australia–
I emphasise those words ‘Croat terrorism in Australia’ - and which attracted special attention from the Commonwealth and State police was the occurrence of 2 bombing incidents in Sydney on 16th September 1972 involving premises and persons connected with the Yugoslav community. These incidents left unaltered the then Attorney-General’s statement that there was no organised terrorism among the Croatian community in Australia.
What proof did Senator Murphy have then, and what proof does he have now, that Croatians were involved in those bomb incidents in Sydney in 1972? If Senator Murphy is able to say that the bomb incidents highlighted Croat terrorism in Australia, if he is able to criticise Senator Greenwood for not admitting that there was organised terrorism among the Croation community in Australia, why has he not prosecuted any person in relation to those bomb incidents? Either he has the evidence and should prosecute, or he does not have the evidence and should not make wild statements which cannot be substantiated. I wish to make it clear that I would not for one moment suggest that the question of terrorism is not a matter of concern in Australia. But it is one thing to be concerned about the existence of activities which can be classified as terrorist and it is another to make statements - statements which have not been supported by actions and which have not been supported by credible evidence - about who are responsible for them.
I would suggest that the paragraph I quoted from Senator Murphy’s speech is just one example of the way in which Senator Murphy has behaved in that, for political purposes, he has prematurely published confidential reports and information on current investigations and prosecutions whereby the persons involved are very likely to be prejudiced, and in that he has directed his statement to political criticism of his predecessor instead of to the national interest of good order and security. Senator Murphy has, in a selective tabling of documents, attempted to mislead the Senate. I think one should have regard to the final statement which appeared in a report by Mr Barbour in September of last year in which he said:
It must be expected that repressive action against Croats in Yugoslavia may result in increased activity overseas and lead to acts of violence. Indeed, as long as the present organisation of Yugoslavia exists, the Croation scene will always have an element of violence in it, albeit caused by a small number of people.
That is the highest statement which could be made. It is very different from saying that there is organised Croatian terrorism in Australia.
I do not think that it is necessary to spend a great deal of further time on that aspect of the matter. I would rather turn now to the selectivity displayed by Senator Murphy and others. I thought what Senator Brown said yesterday “ was of some significance. He referred to the fact that Senator Greenwood had produced a number of documents which Senator Murphy had not tabled and gave a reason why Senator Murphy had not tabled them. Senator Brown said:
The simple answer to that is that we have heard all this before.
In other words, it does not matter whether something is true, it does not matter whether an omission gives a misleading impression, it does not matter what the requirement is as to accuracy, if one has heard it all before one does not bother tabling the documents. That was Senator Brown’s only contribution to the debate, but it was a significant one in that it gave an example of the attitude adopted by the Government in relation to this matter.
Another simple matter that is evidence of the misleading character of Senator Murphy’s statement was his accusation that Senator Greenwood had removed an officer of the Attorney-General’s Department from work on the investigation of Croatian or Yugoslav activities in Australia. Senator Greenwood has said that that is not true. Senator Greenwood has gone further than that and has said that long after the date on which Senator Murphy alleges that this man was taken off that work by him, he, that is Senator Greenwood, was still receiving reports signed by that man. Was it through malice that Senator Murphy made that statement? Was it through negligence that Senator Murphy made that statement? Did the Attorney-General not have his statement checked by the officers of his Department? They would have known. Or perhaps they too conspired to mislead the poor Attorney-General. Perhaps they too were a part of this massive Public Service conspiracy - I should make it clear that I would add the word ‘alleged* before ‘conspiracy’ - about which we have been hearing.
I think it is a fair example of the double’ standards used by the Government in its approach to this question because, if we consider it for a moment, as I said earlier, the statement was entitled ‘Croatian Terrorism in Australia’. If Senator Murphy is concerned for the good order and the good government of this country, if Senator Murphy is concerned with terrorism or violance in this country, why did he not make a statement which related to terrorism or possible terrorism in this country? If he did that he would have to go further than just making slanted references to Senator Greenwood. He would have to go so far as to refer to the sort of violence and terrorism which exists in this country within some sections of the trade union movement, about which there is no doubt. There is certainly much stronger proof of terrorism and violence taking place in some sections of the trade union movement of Australia than there is of terrorism and violence on an organised basis taking place within the Croatian community.
Only a short time ago when the Australian Democratic Labor Party suggested that Mr Burchett should be investigated or given an opportunity to explain himself, what attitude was adopted by the Labor Government? It opposed such a proposal, and opposed it vigorously, lt debated at great length the need to protect the interest of a man such as Mr Burchett against whom allegations have been made over a period of some 20 years. But did the Labor Government apply the same standard to some of the persons mentioned in Senator Murphy’s statement? No. I wonder why it granted naturalisation to a gentleman who has been a resident in Australia for some 20 years. Was it because his political affiliations were extreme left wing? According to the Labor Party, that is all right in relation to persons whose activities are such as those of Mr Burchett who was given a passport by the new Government and the man who was granted naturalisation by the new Government after he had made many applications. All of the people whose alleged activities have been on the extreme Left of politics are immediately hailed by the new Government as being people against whom nothing wrong can be said. But if there are some extreme right wing fascists, Croatians or Yugoslavs in Australia, apparently they are to be singled out. They are to be made the subject matter of a statement by Senator Murphy in which he names them and uses statements which are hearsay and which apparently do not support any court action being taken against them.
It is just an aspect of the double standards which are applied by the Labor Government. Anyone on the extreme Left in this country today is all right, but anyone on the extreme Right is all wrong. I suggest that the proper approach is one of objectivity. If there are people in Australia whose actions are not in the interests of good government and the security of this country, they ought to be impartially dealt with, irrespective of the side of the spectrum upon which their extremism lies. Let us hope that there will be a little more objectivity in the Government’s approach in future. While we are thinking about this question of objectivity, I wonder why it was that Senator Murphy did not include any reference to some of the things that have been said and done by those on the extreme left of politics in Australia, members of the Communist Party, and what has appeared in some documents published by that Party. Let me give 2 quotations of things which have been said in the last couple of years by people writing for the Communist Party publications in Australia to see how they compare with the sort of statements which have been made or are alleged to have been made by some of the alleged Croatian nationalist organisations. For instance, it is said in a copy of the ‘Australian Communist’:
The aim of revolutionaries must be to draw conclusions as to how to carry through the workers’ and students’ struggle to political revolution to the seizure of State power. For that there are 3 things necessary: a revolutionary party with a revolutionary theory, arms for the people, a people’s army, and a united front.
I re-emphasise the words ‘arms for the people’. If that is not advocating violence, advocating an action which is not in the interests of good government and which is not in the interests of the security of this country, I do not know what it is. There is a great deal of difference between advocating arms for the people of Australia, so that they may conduct a revolution for the seizure of State power of this country, and for people whose activities, at worst, according to Senator Murphy, are to use this country for the purposes of political action related to another country. Let me give another quotation:
It is absolutely essential to meet counter-revolutionary violence with revolutionary violence . . . We must be prepared for the future . . . Experience of other countries has shown that when police violence fails against the people, the armed forces are brought out to back them up. We must be prepared to do this, too . . . The Australian people will surely develop their own armed forces to deal with counterrevolutionary violence.
That is advocating violence - and it is a quotation from another Communist Party publication of 1971.
– What did you do about it when you were in government?
– Senator O’Byrne comes in with one of his interesting interjections. He asks what we did about it when we were in government. I cannot answer that because our Attorneys-General did not make public the actions which were being taken in the security interests of Australia. They adopted a proper approach rather than the one that has been adopted by the new Attorney-General who, for political purposes, will make public information which can adversely affect the interests of the security of Australia. While we are talking about this aspect let me move to a quotation which relates to the attitude which was adopted by the Party and the Government which set up ASIO. This is a quotation from a statement made by Dr Evatt, the then Labor Party Attorney-General in 1949. Dr Evatt said:
The Security Service must be operated with secrecy in order properly to protect the community … If the results of our security investigations were published, the attempt to defeat subversive activities would always be foiled.
I reply to Senator O’Byrne’s interjection therefore by quoting his own famous Party leader, Dr Evatt. I go an to quote Dr Evatt further:
We so designed it (the Security Service) as to put it beyond the scope of political party approach . . .
What a pity that the present Labor Party does not have the same ideals as Dr Evatt had. What a pity. (Government senators interjecting).
– Let me repeat it again and then let the Labor senators in this chamber continue to make their inane interjections. Dr Evatt said:
We so designed it (the Security Service) as to put it beyond the scope of political party approach . . .
But what has Senator Murphy done? He has brought it under political party control for his own purposes against the interests of this country - against the interests of this country as stated by none other than Dr Evatt and restated by successive responsible Ministers of this country. Dr Evatt continued:
The Government has decided to separate the investigation of police functions from the security function.
That is an objective sought to be achieved, but not achieved, in the United States of America. It is an objective actually achieved in the United Kingdom and in Australia and which has been regarded as being of great importance to the preservation of democracy in our type of country - a country such as Great Britain - a country such as Australia. It is regarded’ as being of great importance to keep separated the intelligence function from the police and investigation functions. In other words, let us not have a confusion between those functions.
What is it that Senator Murphy and his supporters are apparently prepared to do to this country? They are prepared to bring under one man’s direct control the secret police function and the non-secret State and
Commonwealth police function. Senator Murphy wants to bring those functions under, one man’s control. He wants to have the police investigating drug matters, the ordinary Commonwealth police and all the other police brought under one man’s control. That may be an effective way to operate. I do not know. But he also wants to bring the intelligence organisation under his direct political control so that both it and the police forces can be worked together.
What do we find amongst the first actions of this man as Attorney-General? We find that amongst those affected are people who left Europe to escape from the type of administration where a knock on the door at midnight means that you can say farewell to your family. It means that you are not likely to be seen again and if you survive imprisonment the rest of your life is likely to be affected. These people have come to Australia to live in freedom. These are people to whom freedom is important and who value it. They have been subjected to early morning raids by police forces. They were subjected to the biggest dragnet in Australian history last weekend, apparently at the instigation of Senator Murphy. One wonders why it had to be last weekend. Was it in the ordinary course of the enforcement of law in this country or was it to try to get Senator Murphy off the hook and out of the situation in which he had got himself by his misstatements and his overstatements and his permitting people to write stories which obviously were fed out to pressmen, published and not corrected to create in Australia a situation of fear amongst our migrant communities - the sort of fear which they left Europe to escape?
That is what Senator Murphy and his Party can be proud of. They are turning this country into a country where fear will reign supreme and where the fear of a midnight knock becomes a reality. Let us continue for a moment to consider whether Senator Greenwood should not, in one sense, at least, be grateful to Senator Murphy. I know that neither Senator Greenwood nor the people of this country have anything for which to be grateful to Senator Murphy in recent times. But at least he did one thing. There is now proof of Senator Greenwood’s bona fides. Prior to this, adopting a responsible ministerial attitude, Senator Greenwood had only stated the effect of the advice which was being given to him. Never did he table secret documents to support himself. Never did he table secret documents to support his statements. But Senator Murphy has now declassified and tabled all of those documents which prove conclusively Senator Greenwood’s bona fides.
Let me refer now-
– You have lost your place.
– I have lost a copy of Senator Greenwood’s speech. Now that I have found it, let me quote from it. He referred to a document and stated:
After setting out the functions of the group the document records:
In accordance with your requirements -
I emphasise those words ‘in accordance with your requirements’ - “… the group will make frequent and regular reports on at least a daily basis to yourself.
Does that sound like the action of a man who was indifferent and who did not care to investigate the allegations which were being made? That is a quote from a document submitted by the Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department. It is quite obvious that Senator Greenwood took a proper attitude, taking into account the civil liberties and the rights of the people who were involved. He did not make allegations which could not be substantiated, but he repeatedly expressed his concern. From the documents we can see that not only did he express his concern publicly but he took direct action through the proper channels, without making all of that public. In other words, he conducted himself in a way in which one would expect a Minister to conduct himself.
Let me, by way of reference to the public statement, make quite clear what the Government’s position was in relation to this question. I shall quote from Senator Greenwood’s statement. He said that the position of the Government was quite clear. He added:
If there are groups in this country engaged in training for terrorist or subversive activities - to be carried out either in this country or overseas - they would not be tolerated.
He also said that it was the view of the Australian Government that all such activities should be stopped, that the Government would do all in its power to ensure that this was done and that all allegations that such groups existed would be investigated and where there was any basis in fact action would be taken. I remind the Senate again that if Senator Murphy had been prepared to adopt that attitude we would not have had the furore or the farce which has taken place in the past few weeks and we would not have rampant in the community now fear arising from the action of the past few weeks.
– What would we have? More bombs?
– I heard an interjection that we would have had more bombs. Let me refer to this matter. Prior to the visit of the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia to this country we had Murphy’s melodrama. The greatest security force that has ever been marshalled in the history of Australia was marshalled. Tremendous precautions were taken. It was still possible for one prankster - not a serious killer - to break through that cordon and to place a bomb underneath a bridge over which the Prime Minister was to pass. I ask the Senate to think about this for a moment. If it were possible for a- prankster to put a bomb, a hand grenade, underneath a bridge over which the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia was to pass - admittedly the bomb was emptied and was planted as a joke and as a bit of a send up of the precautions which were being taken - how much more possible was’ it and how much more likely was it, if there were any serious intent to blow up, to damage or to harm the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, that a real terrorist would have been able to take action to achieve that result? The ‘ fact that nothing happened may be equivocal, but the fact that someone was able to carry out a prank and get away with it without being discovered rather tends to make me think that it was a farce.
Let us not worry to much about that aspect of past history because I think that we should consider for a moment the future.’ Will we have any prosecutions from Senator Murphy? Will we have any prosecutions related to the evidence which was available to- Senator Greenwood? After 4 months in office, Senator Murphy has still not instituted any prosecution of any person upon any evidence which was available to Senator Greenwood: What has happened is that some prosecutions will arise out of last weekend’s raids. It is unfortunate
– By Murphy’s marauders.
– Senator Young calls them Murphy’s marauders’. Let us simply say that prosecutions will arise out of the massive dragnet of last weekend, a dragnet in which a very large number of people were visited in the early hours of the morning by some 250 policemen. What did they find? There were no large stores of arms, no large stores of bombs, no large stores of anything such as would indicate any organised terrorist force building up a supply of arms for any illicit purpose. I do not wish to comment any further on that aspect and I am sure that I should not comment any further in relation to what was in fact found, but I think that it is proper for me to comment on what was not found.
The next matter to which I wish to refer briefly is the challenge issued by Senator Greenwood to Senator Murphy to explain why he did not table documents which were relevant. I think that the most significant document which was tabled is the one dated 4th July, which is not the document which Senator Greenwood received, which is not the document which Senator Greenwood marked with his own fairly comprehensive comments, but is a document which was totally irrelevant from the point of view of implicating Senator Greenwood in any way. I think that, above all else, will require considerable explanation on the part of Senator Murphy if any honourable senator is to be convinced of his bona fides in relation to the tabling of documents. Further, why is Senator Murphy so coy about some aspects of his own actions whilst he is so free in his accusations about Senator Greenwood’s actions? For instance, why has he avoided answering a series of questions over a number of days related to the reason he went to the ASIO headquarters in Canberra late on the night on 15th-16th March. He has refused to answer those questions.
– Why did you refuse him leave?
– He has been asked repeatedly-
– Why did you refuse him leave on Tuesday?
– I did not refuse him leave.
– Well, your side did.
– I do not run the Senate, Senator Cant, so I-
– You would not give him leave to make a statement.
– May I continue Mr President? I simply ask why Senator Murphy has refused to answer the questions. Whether he intended to make some statement at some later time, we do not know. What we do know is that he has had ample opportunity to answer in this chamber questions which have been repeatedly asked of him about why he went to ASIO. He has not answered them. It was an unprecedented step. It is of no use to talk about it being a visit. One does not conduct visits in that way. Next morning he went to the offices of ASIO in Melbourne accompanied by, altogether, 30 Commonwealth police officers from Canberra. That visit cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be categorised as merely a ministerial visit.
– Not from Canberra - from Melbourne.
– Are you positive about that?
– He did not order them either.
– Let us check the VIP flight records to see whether those police officers were transported by RAAF aircraft from Canberra to Melbourne that morning. In summary, let me say that I support entirely the amendment moved by Senator Withers which states:
Having carefully studied the statement, the Senate resolves that the Attorney-General, Senator Murphy, does not deserve the confidence of the Senate because:
By tabling only selected documents, he attempted to mislead the Senate;
There is no doubt about that.
Cb) He directed his statement to political criticism of his predecessor instead of to the national interest of good order and security;
As I have already commented this morning, and as Senator Wright and others have commented, there is no doubt about that.
Can there be any doubt about that? And is there anything more monstrous an AttorneyGeneral can do than take away the right of fair trial by making statements before the trial which are likely to prejudice that person’s right to fair trial? The amendment continues:
He has not made an explanation as to why he went to the ASIO office on the night of 15th- 16th March.
– You would not let him.
– We gave him ample opportunity. We asked him question after question and he refused to answer. The last part of the amendment reads:
– -I want to say a few words in order to try to bring the debate back to the subject matter. One could be excused, I think, when following Senator Rae, if one dealt with all the questions he mentioned. The Government has justification for what it has done in regard to trade unions, naturalisation and Mr Wilfred Burchett. However to do so would be to act as irresponsibly as did the honourable senator who has just finished speaking because I would be dealing with something which is not before the Chair.
The Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) made a statement to the Senate on 27th March and the motion then moved was: ‘That the Senate take note of the statement’. Since then an amendment has been moved to that motion but the matter before the Chair is the statement of the Attorney-General. Many allegations were made in that statement. However, the Senate is not sticking to the statement; nor are honourable senators attempting to answer those allegations by going into all the alleged evils and wrongs of this Government in the action it has taken. Those acts can be justified but this is not the occasion to go into them. Immediately the statement was tabled and the motion to take note of it was moved, action was- taken to try to divert attention away from a consideration of the statement and the accusations contained in it, and to direct attention instead to some raid on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in Melbourne.
– You admit it was a raid, do you?
– The Opposition referred to some raid in Melbourne. The Opposition considers that it is important to establish that what they term a raid was carried out in Melbourne. It is trying to make that the focal point in order to avoid the responsibility of answering the allegations in this statement. We must remember that all honourable senators here have stated that they are completely opposed to terrorism. Some disagree as to the magnitude of the violence. Even Senator McManus said that he did not think that more than one per cent of Croats in Australia would be involved in acts of terrorism, but the Australian Democratic Labor Party is opposed to terrorism.
The position has arisen in Australia where, whatever other activities of terrorists we have had in the past, bombs have not been planted in public streets, as had happened over recent years. A fear has been created, and because it has been associated with the Croatian movement other Croatians in Australia have some feeling of guilt. The public reaction to Senator Murphy’s statement is that it indicates that this official is determined to clear up this real fear that the Australian public feels. For the first time in Australia, the Croatian community in Australia and the Yugoslav community in Australia know that the small section of terrorists will be eradicated and they have confidence that they can live in a state of decency and be respected by the Australian community. We now have an official who is prepared to clean up what he accuses the previous Attorney-General of tolerating and condoning. We must remember also the reason why visits were made to the various offices of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. Senator Murphy has told us why he visited the Canberra office of ASIO. There was arriving in Australia an international dignitary whose life was threatened.
– You did not show him to many people, did you?
– The precautions taken and the dangers associated with the visit resulted in the situation that he could not be shown to many people. This was not the opinion of Senator Murphy; it was not the opinion of a politician; it was the opinion of our chief security service and the Commonwealth police who were recommending cancellation of the visit. It would have been the biggest indignity to Australia if the visit had been cancelled. Here was a man who was determined to ensure that the safety of a visiting dignitary to this country was preserved. On his visit to the Canberra office of ASIO Senator Murphy was let in by the deputy controller, whatever his title is, after a telephone call had been made to make an appointment to meet the officials for the purpose of the responsible Minister seeing exactly what was in the files.
Senator Murphy said that he found in the files a document which necessitated his going to Melbourne and sealing certain files. There has been a concentration on this point as indicating some lack of faith in security. I am a member of Cabinet and I know something of the document that was found. Here is a man who today has a document which would completely exonerate him from the charges that have been made but who is not prepared to disclose it on the advice of security officers that doing so would be a danger to Australia’s security intelligence. Here is an indication of the confidence which the AttorneyGeneral retains in the security force at the present time, yet honourable senators opposite are trying to say that he shows suspicion and lack of confidence in the security service. He is taking the full blame and responsibility for something from which he could exonerate himself because he has confidence in the security officers who advised that there would be a risk to security by the release of this document. This indicates the courage of the AttorneyGeneral who has taken the responsibility and blame at this time for that reason.
Until Senator Rae mentioned it, I had never heard about a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft being used to transport anybody to Melbourne. I believe that the Victorian members of the Commonwealth Police were used in Melbourne. Senator Murphy travelled to Melbourne on a commercial flight. That was raised for the purpose of diversion. There is no answer to the statement which Senator Murphy has given to this Par liament; there has been no attempt to answer it. The Opposition then tried to divert attention to a security raid. Senator Greenwood, on the first reading of a money Bill, the Excise Tariff Bill 1973, criticised the method of the visit to the Melbourne headquarters of ASIO. When he was challenged on the grounds that the matter was on the notice paper he mentioned that there was nothing about a raid on the notice paper at all.
They were taking this as a big issue and trying to create some action in relation to Senator Murphy. They were not looking at the papers which he has presented. If honourable senators have any doubts about the justification for his visit - I say that they cannot judge because they do not know the full facts - then Senator Greenwood, by speaking on the first reading of the money Bill, has established that that had nothing to do with this statement. Under the Standing Orders he had the full right to discuss the matter because it is not in the statement at all. Now we come back to the situation where they ignore the statement in order to condemn our Attorney-General and then condemn the Government because of its action in relation to some trade union, some left wing official or someone else.
I ask honourable senators to tell me what this has to do with the statement. Who has sought to reply to the statement? Yesterday Senator Greenwood submitted a very lengthy reply - a 30-page document - or what the honourable senator promised us would be a reply. But in effect he replied to none of the statements in Senator Murphy’s document. What he did was to accuse Senator Murphy of some degree of unfairness because he did not table documents which could not associate Senator Greenwood with tolerance in relation to terrorism in Australia. Senator Greenwood tabled documents. He established the only thing which he could establish out of his documents and that was that there are a number of documents in ASIO files which do not establish that terrorism exists in Australia or that he knew that terrorism exists in Australia. There are a number of documents in the files of every department, including the Department of Works, which would establish that there is no proof of terrorism in Australia. But if among the documents and statements there is one document which suggests this - despite the number of documents which may not suggest it - surely it has to be replied to. Surely we have to have a reply to say that this document is false and that Senator Murphy has been negligent as is suggested in the allegations which have been made. Nothing was done. No attempt was made to reply to that statement. All we have had demonstrated is that there are documents which will not prove Senator Greenwood guilty. But there has been no reply to the allegations that there are documents which find him guilty.
Senator Murphy’s document sought to do 2 things. It sought to show that there is terrorism in Australia. This was denied by the previous Government. It sought to show that Senator Greenwood knew that there was terrorism in Australia and would do nothing about it. If Senator Murphy has shown this then there is something to which Senator Greenwood should reply. No-one would expect Senator Murphy to establish that he would produce all the documents in the ASIO files which did not show that there was terrorism or did not show that Senator Greenwood knew that there was terrorism in Australia. It was not relevant to the case he put up that certain documents were not tabled. We now have the tabling of further documents. We have also the information that there are documents in the ASIO files that do not prove the accusations in Senator Murphy’s speech.
– But proves to the contrary.
– No, they do not prove to the contrary. There is nothing in the speech of Senator Greenwood that disproves the allegations of Senator Murphy. Let us come back to the documents that were referred to by Senator Murphy in his statement. I wish to refer only to Senator Murphy’s statement as allegations have been made about it that require a reply. On the first page of his prepared statement Senator Murphy pointed out that, for example, on 24th August 1972, which was in the time of Senator Greenwood’s period of office as Attorney-General, Senator Greenwood said: the searches and investigations carried out by the Commonwealth Police hitherto have not been able to discover any evidence of an organisation.
That statement was made by Senator Greenwood in this House. I should have thought that Senator Greenwood would have supported his statement on 24th August that there was no evidence, especially if it was a correct statement. It is possible that there was no evidence upon which Senator Greenwood was prepared to act because he was not very concerned about this matter. At page 2 of his prepared statement Senator Murphy referred to the fact that in June 1972 a group of 19 Croatian terrorists crossed into Yugoslavia from Austria. A recital of that incident was given in the aide-memoire of the Yugoslav Government. In his prepared statement Senator Greenwood said:
All the detailed aide memoire allegations were being investigated. Searches of homes had taken place. I was constantly being informed that documents seized - and nothing other than documents had been found by the Commonwealth Police in these searches - were awaiting translation. I would be kept informed. But the final report apparently was not available until 23rd November . . .
By that time Senator Greenwood was not a Minister. Here we have an incident which occurred in June 1972 and which involved armed terrorists who were trained in Australia entering another country. A protest was lodged by the Government of that country and accusations were made of there being training camps in Australia. What was done about them? Until 23rd November the security service or Senator Greenwood’s advisers had not translated the documents seized in June 1972. There was no demand to get this information in August, which is when Senator Greenwood replied to questions about this matter in this House. That shows his indifference to the serious allegations that were being made in this country about the use of force in other countries. He showed a lack of- interest in the subject, despite the fact that in the meantime bombs had gone off in Australian1 streets. Nothing was done about the matter.
Today it has been pointed out that no prosecutions have been launched. There have not been any under the previous Government or the present Government. It is possible that nothing will be done about those people who belong to a terrorist organisation. Our system of British justice, which Senator Wright spoke about last night and which is something, of which we are proud, requires proof beyond doubt of an offence. While we may not have evidence to prosecute successfully any of these people, the suspicion and belief remain that someone may be guilty of some action and that some person or persons should not be permitted the freedom to injure people in our community. While neither this Government nor the previous Government may have had evidence on which to base prosecutions - it could well be that Senator Murphy did not have any evidence before the police visits to homes in Sydney last week-end - there was knowledge of the existence of a group in Australia.
Senator Greenwood admitted in his statement that he had the power to invoke the Immigration Act, which this Government cannot use because of its total opposition to the use of those powers. The previous Government could have used its powers because it introduced certain clauses for the purpose of deporting Walsh and Johnston because of their activities concerned with the Seamens Union of Australia. The clauses introduced by the previous Government provided that an organisation could be declared as being against the interest of the community and any member of the organisation could be deported whether or not he was an Australian citizen. The previous Government could have used this power. Although there may not have been sufficient proof to prosecute, it knew that there were terrorists who belonged to certain organisations. Instead of ridding this country of the danger that existed, the previous Government - Senator Greenwood states this in a letter to the Department of Immigration - simply tried to protect these people by keeping them here at that stage. Because of the complete indifference of the previous Government to the serious allegations made at that time, it took from June 1972 to November 1972 to obtain a translation of certain documents in order to know whether there was terrorism in Australia. Is this responsible action on the part of a government, an Attorney-General or a department in protecting the lives of Australian citizens? In his statement Senator Murphy said:
One must assume also that the Attorney-General would have known that a cache of explosives and documents had been discovered in the Warburton Ranges outside Melbourne about the middle of 1972 and that amongst these documents were several stating the aims and objectives of an Ustasha-type organisation known as HIRO. . . .
This is the very organisation to which the aide-memoire of the Yugoslav Government made reference.
– There is some suggestion that the Yugoslav Government knew more about that case than anyone else.
– That point of view has been expressed. I do not think anyone takes it seriously. Senator Greenwood mentioned it in his statement. Even if it is true what was done to detain the agent provocateur, whether he was from a government or whether he was from a terrorist’ organisation? If it is known that he has had some training, that he had explosives and documents, should no action be taken? It is assumed that when the accusation was made in the middle of 1972 the Attorney-General at that time must have known that these terrorist organisations did exist. Where in reply to the statement of the Attorney-General does he deny that he knew of their existence? If he did know of their existence, why did he not do anything about them? The Attorney-General’s statement was made for the purpose of substantiating that allegation. The Attorney-General had to do something about it; the AttorneyGeneral of that time did nothing about the whole question.
I pass on now to deal with the many organisations mentioned in Senator Murphy’s statement. During the course of making his statement Senator Murphy tabled a heap of documents. I think it has been said they comprise some 2,000 pages. When tabling the documents Senator Murphy said:
These documents established beyond doubt that Croatian terrorist organisations have existed and do exist in Australia today.
He mentioned the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood, the United Croats’ of West Germany, the Croatian Illegal Revolutionary Organisation and a few sporting bodies and so on. Right up to the time when he went out of office as Attorney-General, Senator Greenwood still denied that there was any proof.
– I cannot find any proof in these documents either.
– ‘Documents establish it beyond doubt. I have viewed the documents but Senator Murphy’s statement says that the documents establish this beyond doubt. Where in Senator Greenwood’s statement does he say that this is a falsehood? Tell me. He is the person purporting to reply to Senator Murphy’s statement. Give me the page of Senator Greenwood’s statement at which he says this is a falsehood.
– He says the whole thing is untrue.
– No, he does not say that anything is untrue. What he says is There are a lot of documents in security files which I am tabling and which will not connect me with any knowledge of terrorist organisations.’ That is admitted, that there are a lot of documents in security files.
– They actually disconnect him.
– Yes, but some documents tabled by Senator Murphy connect him with it.
– But you cannot tell us which ones, nor can Senator Murphy.
– I think Senator Murphy does so. I quote from his statement to the Senate on 27th March at which time he sought leave to have incorporated a summary of the documents. Senator Murphy said:
The summary contains, inter alia, the report of the Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Commonwealth Police force dated 6th March 1968; papers about the notorious Andric brothers; papers about Jure Marie including the structure of the Croatian troika terrorist cell, a self-contained group of 3 terrorists consisting of an intelligence officer, a scout and an explosives expert; documents concerning all of the Croatian organisations I have mentioned; and documents indicating links with overseas terrorist organisations as well as other related documents.
There we will find the answers to the interjections by members who are trying to defend the former Attorney-General who did nothing about terrorism. The details are listed in Senator Murphy’s statement and they incriminate and prove. The Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Commonwealth police force report dated 6th March 1968 mentions the people and the organisations. Where in Senator Greenwood’s statement is there any denial that the report from the Crime Intelligence Bureau of 6th March established the creation of troika terrorist cells in Australia? Where is there any such statement? The charges are clearly set out in the paper which Senator Murphy has tabled. How could Senator Greenwood say as late as August 1972 that he had no knowledge of terrorist organisations in Australia? Senator Murphy went on to say in his statement:
Investigations conducted over a period of 4 years established the existence in Australia of a terrorist organisation known as the FIRB (Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood).
Marie is named in the report of the Crime Intelligence Bureau of 6th March and was one of the leaders of this Croatian organisation. How can it be said that that establishes nothing? It names Marie as a leader. Senator Murphy states on page 8 of his document:
Marie was one of those whose premises were searched by the Commonwalth Police under a warrant on 22nd August 1972, following receipt by the Australian Government of the aide-memoire from the
Yugoslav Government in which he was named. Among the documents seized were a detailed map of the area where the Bosnian guerrillas had illegally entered the country, a letter discussing an initial ruling body of an independent Croatia including, significantly, the name Rover of whom more later, and a receipt from Wollongong Post Office for the transmission of a registered postal article to one Vegar at Offenburg, Austria. (Vegar was one of the guerrillas killed in the Bosnian operation); a bank slip issued by the ANZ Bank, Wollongong, acknowledging transmission of money to Vegar; a letter detailing future plans for the recruitment of volunteers in Australia for further incursions into Yugoslavia. One of the letters signed refers to the fact that the financial resources of the organisation which we took with us from Victoria as well as those received later, have now been used up’.
Here is clear evidence from the search of the home in the time of Senator Greenwood’s custodianship of the safety of this nation. It shows a direct implication in the guerrilla or terrorist tactics in Yugoslavia being supported completely by the aide-memoire from the Government. It showed that there was an organisation in Australia which was sending money. This man who was a danger to Australia’s safety was permitted the freedom of Australia because we did not have sufficient proof, we are told, to succeed in a prosecution. Of course, Senator Murphy asks pertinently in his statement:
Does this sound like an individual operating independently of an organisation?
This question is very pertinent when we note that the letter said: the financial resources of the organisation which we took with us from Victoria as well as those received later, have now been used up.
I repeat that the letter refers to the ‘financial resources of the organisation’. The AttorneyGeneral of that time was still not convinced that there was a terrorist organisation.
– He has only said that he had not evidence to prosecute. The honourable senator knows that is what he said but he will not be fair and honest. Why does he not say that?
– I realise that it is embarrassing to honourable senator’s opposite when we stick to a discussion of the document and do not diverge into other questions. If it is possible, they must stop an examination of the document we are discussing. The policy which honourable senators opposite are pursuing in this debate is that an examination of the document, in accordance with the motion that it be noted, cannot be tolerated. In proving that there was such an organisation - this is still referring to Marie - Senator Murphy said:
Does this sound like an individual operating independently of an organisation? The Commonwealth Police certainly did nol think so.
The Commonwealth Police were of the opinion that there was an organisation. Senator Murphy continued:
The evidence contained in this document when taken into consideration with that enumerated in the aforementioned memorandum of 7th November 1972, would seem to irrefutably implicate Jure Marie with a Croatian Nationalist Organisation which apparently exists in both Australia and Europe and which has been engaged in an attempt to overthrow the recognised Government of Yugoslavia.
That is a bold and challenging statement. Can someone direct me to a passage in Senator Greenwood’s reply which disagrees with that statement? Does Senator Greenwood disagree that in August the Commonwealth Police found evidence which implicated Jure Marie in a terrorist organisation, as the AttorneyGeneral has stated? Has Senator Greenwood denied that statement? No. He said that there was another document which showed that he was correct. There are possibly another dozen documents which could show that. Let us look at the dates. Senator Murphy said:
In the past it has generally been assumed that the HRB as such ceased to operate as an organisation in Australia circa 1967-1968. In the light of intelligence gathered by this Force over the past 9 months, the allegations of its continued existence by the Yugoslav Government must be taken seriously.
This statement deals with the incursion in June 1972. Whilst there was evidence of the resurrection of the HRB, Senator Greenwood said:
I had stressed many times in many places in 1972 the strongest denunciation of terrorism of any description. Violence of any kind is to be deplored. And I knew that, in what I said, I had the full support of my colleagues in government.
That was obvious from the letters written by Sir Garfield Barwick, Mr McMahon and Mr Lynch. Those letters have been referred to. The pertinent paragraph of Senator Greenwood’s statement is:
Senator Murphy must know, for the documents he tabled reveal it, that the earlier surveillance and other lawful activities of the Commonwealth Police and other police forces were effective - so effective that the organisation known as the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood virtually disbanded and ceased to exist by 1967.
Senator Greenwood still adheres to that statement. Surely there is overwhelming evidence in Senator Murphy’s statement that the organisation was resurrected in 1972. But Senator Greenwood still says that it does not exist. The police report from which Senator Murphy quoted is dated 23rd November 1972. Senator Murphy said:
However, a preliminary report on documents seized from Marie, Rover and others was made by the Acting Commissioner of Commonwealth Police to the Attorney-General’s Department on 12th September 1972 and the Attorney-General would undoubtedly have seen this report. Though all the seized documents had not been translated at this stage, there were references to the maps, to the receipt for the transmission of money to Vegar and to handwritten items relating to the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood and the organisational infrastructure of a troika group. In short, on or soon after 12th September 1972, the then Attorney-General was in possession of evidence that the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood had been revived, was functioning actively, and was associated with the lune incursion into Yugoslavia which had been the subject of complaint in the Yugoslav Government’s aide-memoire of 16th August 1972. Yet on 19th September 1972 he returned to his denials of the existence of any Croatian terrorist organisation in Australia and never resiled from that standpoint throughout the life of the Parliament.
He has not resiled from it to date. When the accusation about the resurrection of this group is supported by documents from the Commonwealth Police surely we can say that the Senator who stated that he believed that it was disbanded in 1968 had knowledge of this information and is to this day deceiving the Senate on the matter. No attempt has been made to reply to a number of questions which remain unanswered. In view of the limitation of time, I turn again to what was said by Senator Murphy in his speech. He provided this information:
As though the evidence I have already supplied were noi enough to convict the last Government, through its Attorney-General, of misleading the Parliament and the nation, of deceiving a friendly foreign power, of imperilling the lives of Australian citizens . . . there is yet another, perhaps more glaring example of the existence of a dangerous, violent Croatian revolutionary terrorist organisation in Australia.
That organisation, separate and distinct from the HRB - the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood - is the Australian Branch of the UHNj - the League of United Croats of West Germany. Its leader in Germany is one Ante Vukic.
A branch of this organisation was formed in Sydney around June 1971. In his statement, the Former Attorney-General has not even denied the formation of this branch. We have not a statement from him that, if it was formed, he knew nothing about it. Therefore, he does not challenge the statement by Senator Murphy. In his statement Senator Murphy describes this organisation which was formed in June 1971 as ‘this murderous organisation’. Senator Murphy informs us where this organisation was meeting and those who were associated with it.
Senator Murphy tabled a letter written in May 1972 by the Commissioner of the Commonwealth Police Force to the Department of Immigration. A copy of that letter was on the files of the Attorney-General’s Department. That letter sets out the fact of the existence of this organisation and of its meetings. Where is the denial from Senator Greenwood on that point? In the office of the Attorney-General is a report from the Commissioner of the Commonwealth Police Force setting out the facts of the existence of this organisation. Today we are still getting denials of it. What other document can honourable senators opposite produce or substitute for any other document that has been tabled which does not implicate the previous Attorney-General or which contains information contrary to what is in that letter? There has been no attempt to reply to that point. As I think Senator Brown said last night, it is a case of trying to defend the indefensible.
As there is no reply, we must advert to other questions. One of the leaders of this organisation was Jakov Suljak. He was arrested on 19th October 1972. At that time a considerable quantity of documents was seized from his dwelling. Senator Murphy stated:
These documents established the fact of transmission of funds from the Australian branch to the parent body in Germany. A number of photographs of armed men were also found, including one in which Suljak can be seen standing beside a Ustashi flag in the company of other armed men. There is no doubt that the members of the Sydney branch of UHNj consider themselves Ustashi. Both the letter of Commissioner Davis of 30th May 1972, and his detailed report of 26th October 1972 refer to incidents in which the organisation was involved which clearly demonstrate its Ustashi allegiance.
An article by Suljak in the NovemberDecember 1971 edition of the organisation’s paper ‘Croatian Call’ states: ll is our duty to support the Croatian Liberation struggle … for without a bloody shirt there will be no Independent State of Croatia.
This is the declared aim of the Ustashi movement, the existence of which is still denied by Senator Greenwood. Its existence is documented in the files that have been tabled here, including the reports by the Commissioner of the Commonwealth Police Force. No attempt has been made to deny this. All the verbiage and dramatisation of Senator Rae and Senator Wright and the evasion of Senator Carrick did not provide one reply to any of the accusations made. They evaded the lot. Let us look at the case of Marincic. The AttorneyGeneral said:
When he left Australia hurriedly on 19th May 1972 Marincic took with him a rifle . . .
He was not allowed to land in Germany. The Attorney-General continued:
He was also in possession of a booklet in the Serbo-Croatian language containing instruction on sabotage and of the names and addresses of Ambroz Andric in France, Adolf Andric in Germany and Pave Vegar in Germany. All 3 of these men were named in the Yugoslav Government aide-memoire as participants in the Bosnian incursion and it will be recalled that Jure Marie had also maintained contact with Vegar. All 3 were killed in this adventure, according to the Yugoslav Government. Surely it is a reasonable inference that Marincic went to Germany to join the Bosnian incursion or at least to help to equip it.
However he returned to Australia. The AttorneyGeneral continued:
On 18th October 1972, the Assistant-Director of the Special Reports Branch of the Department of Immigration recommended Marincic’s deportation. In weighing up all the considerations, including Marincic’s probable fate if returned to Yugoslavia, the Assistant-Director said . . .
Before I go on to indicate what the AssistantDirector said, one can see the justification and can realise that this man was engaged in terrorist activity. It is plain that he went over to assist a terrorist organisation in another country. I doubt that there are any laws in Australia under which he could be prosecuted unless it be the Crimes Act which the then Government was not prepared to use. The Attorney-General’s statement went on in this way: the Assistant-Director said:
I believe the strong doubts which exist about his past and future involvement in potentially violent Balkan polities should be exercised in favour of Australia and therefore recommend that Zdenko Marincic be deported. Such action, I suggest, will have a salutary effect upon those Croatians . . . ls it not reasonable that the decision be in favour of Australia? According to the AssistantDirector, the safety of people in Australia was of paramount importance, not the safety of a terrorist. The life of a terrorist was insignificant in comparison with the lives of Australian citizens going about their normal duty. That was a decision that had to be made. However, this man was kept in Australia by an appeal from the then AttorneyGeneral who wrote:
I appreciate your concern that Marincic is a person whom we could not safely allow to remain in Australia.
Senator Greenwood agreed that we could not safely allow him to remain here. He continued: 1 understand your apprehension is that he is a man with a propensity to violence and that, in view of recent happenings involving violence to persons and property, we have a paramount obligation to the Australian community to remove him from the country.
In that letter Senator Greenwood was agreeing that this man had a propensity to violence and that the Government had a responsibility to remove him for the safety of our citizens. But what was the decision of the man who was the guardian of the safety of Australian citizens? He went on to state: 1 have indicated the traditional and accepted rule - applicable not only in the past in this country but also in the U.S.A. and the U.K. - that deportation or extradition does not take place where a person is likely to be dealt with for his political opinions by the country to which he is sent. I believe that this outweighs all other considerations in this case.
Therefore, admitting that he was dangerous and that he was a danger to the safety of Australia, Senator Greenwood’s concern was the consideration of the terrorist, not the safety of Australian citizens.
– Not the greatest good for the greatest number.
– Not the greatest good for the greatest number and not the protection of his own kith and kin. This migrant could have been deported. Senator Greenwood knew of the danger because on 26th May 1972, in answerto a question by Senator Mulvihill concerning this individual Marincic, he said:
The gentleman . . . was recently - I am not sure whether it was yesterday or a day earlier - convicted of an offence in connection with firearms and he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
– Is that the same person who was mentioned in the document as possibly being in the pay of the Yugoslav Embassy? You have seen the reference in that document of, I think, 17th August.
– No. I think that one honourable senator raised it last evening and there is reference to an agent provocateur in Senator Greenwood’s statement. But I cannot see the significance of this or what it mat ters at this stage, even if it was proved. I do not accept it. In his answer Senator Greenwood stated:
The gentleman to whom Senator Mulvihill referred was recently -I am not sure whether it was yesterday or a day earlier - convicted of an offencein connection with firearms and he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. He previously had been travelling overseas and had sought entry to West Germany, which was denied, and he returned to Australia. He is not an Australian citizen, I understand, but is travelling on a Yugoslav passport, I am unable to say what action will henceforth be taken but the fact that he will be incarcerated for a time will enable consideration to be given to a prospective course of action.
– From what are you reading?
– I am reading from an answer to a question by Senator Mulvihill which is reported in Hansard of 26th May 1972. The answer continues: 1 understand from the Department of Immigration that some action is being contemplated as to his authority to remain in Australia.
Senator Greenwood commenced his answer saying:
I have said before that there is evidence of terrorist activities amongst groups in the Yugoslav community and, on other occasions, I have deploredthe existence of those activities.
– Did not that man get a sentence of 9 months?
– I do not know.
– Of course he did.
– I do not know. I cannot see the significance.
– You want to know your facts.
– It is not a fact relevant to the matter I am discussing. Whether this man got a sentence of 9 months or 10 years, the whole question is whether he was liable to deportation. The whole question is that the then Attorney-General, who acknowledged the existence of terrorist organisations in Australia, while saying ‘We leave it to the Department of Immigration’, was making an appeal to the Department of Immigration to protect this individual - whether he is in gaol or not - despite the danger to the safety of Australian citizens. That is the accusation which has been made but which has not been answered.
– Is it not relevant-
- Senator Wright is trying to divert me again. Let him answer this: There is an accusation about Senator Greenwood’s support in protecting a dangerous terrorist who remained in Australia at a time when Senator Greenwood acknowledged he was in danger to Australian citizens and when Senator Greenwood admitted there was a possibility of danger. There is the accusation that the former Attorney-General was defending this man’s retention in Australia because he might face imprisonment or a trial if he went to Yugoslavia. What the honourable senator has to do is not to run all over the country and raise other issues but show in Senator Greenwood’s document or in any wise words of his own a denial of the action taken by Senator Murphy. I ask where it is. I ask honourable senators to point to it in Hansard.
Senator Murphy has pointed out the incompetence, the inability or the refusal of the Attorney-General to see - because of a judgment of the High Court - that it was not necessary to deport this man to his country of origin. The report was some 9 months before Senator Greenwood’s letter was written. It was not necessary to deport this man to a country where he would have to face trial for his political opinions. On the judgment of the High Court the Department of Immigration could deport him to any country which would have him. That included a number of countries where there would be no chance of trial, or where he would not have to answer for his past actions. But despite that the AttorneyGeneral as a legal man, as the protector of the law and, I suppose, as a recorder of Supreme Court decisions, was in a position to know this because his job made it necessary for him to know. What Senator Greenwood appealed to the Department of Immigration to protect this man from need never have been a threat. Senator Greenwood desired to protect men who had served the system and the government which he represented. This man represents the extreme of the elements whom Senator Rae wants to imprison and to whom he wants to refuse passport. Those honourable senators want this man in Australia. There has been a frank submission - despite the threat to the safety of Australian citizens - that honourable senators want such a man here. They have appealed to the Department of Immigration not to deport him. I think that this Government has been realistic in the matter.
I would say that there are many such men. The Minister for Immigration (Mr Grassby) has said that 300 people are under consideration. There are many men in Australia in relation to whom there is insufficient evidence on which to obtain conviction if a prosecution were desired. The attitude of the previous Government was that the criterion for naturalisation was whether one would make a good Australian citizen. We are not importing those elements of danger to Australia from other countries. If they come here they will go back. When they reach the stage of acceptability for Australian citizenship - unless they obtain it by fraud or false statements - they will be secure. Any punishment which may be necessary will be carried out under the Crimes Act. The penal provisions which were put in the Crimes Act so that seamen union delegates could be gaoled will be repealed. Therefore there will be no declaration of an organisation under this Government. People will be punished for their action. No Australian citizen will be deported. We will take the responsibility. The previous Government had this power, but it was not prepared to use it against terrorists.
I have tried to concentrate on Senator Murphy’s statement. There is much more but I cannot go into detail. He had made accusations and supported them by tabled documents. Nowhere have we seen in Senator Greenwood’s reply or in the speech made by any honourable senator - whether opposing or supporting the amendment - a denial of the allegations which were made. Honourable senators opposite may have the numbers to carry the no confidence motion in order to discredit the Attorney-General but they hold themselves up to ridicule by the public of Australia which is happy and proud of the Attorney-General who has shown a determination to give them the protection which the previous Attorney-General would not give.
– 1 rejoice that in this Senate democracy still has a chance. Accordingly, I can express myself freely. I think the speech of the Minister for Works (Senator Cavanagh) was a disgrace to this chamber and that he should be ashamed of himself for his prevarications. The Senate has been subjected to a most extraordinary statement by the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy), which we are debating. It was supported by a mass of largely, but not entirely, irrelevant documents and was prefaced by a chorus of leaks to friendly, sycophantic pressmen and obsequious radio commentators. The nation had been led to expect a dramatic exposure of Croatian terrorism. This seems to me to have been the greatest flop since the Edsel Ford.
The way in which Senator Greenwood, the Opposition and its allies have demolished the Attorney-General’s case and the way in which Senator Greenwood has presented his case, will become a classic in this Parliament. In fact, so devastating and so unanswerable was the Opposition’s work that we had the spectacle last night of the Minister for Repatriation (Senator Bishop) standing in this chamber and pleading for mercy for the Attorney-General. The Government which sat here so arrogantly, so complacently and so self-righteously a week ago has been reduced now to a shivering mass of grovelling jelly. I do not normally rely upon newspaper editorials to support me, but I did happen to notice an editorial headed ‘Case answered’ in this morning’s ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ from which I propose to read a few lines. The editorial begins:
It was certainly Senator Greenwood’s day in the Senate yesterday. In his very capable and convincing reply to Senator Murphy’s savage attack on him and the previous government last week, he scored a clear victory on points. In fact, it is now becoming increasingly doubtful, after his circus-like antics of recent weeks-
– The honourable senator will get a free copy of the ‘Herald’ tomorrow for this.
– Mr Deputy President, this is a matter of some substance and I think the nation would like to know about it. I want the galahs corner kept quiet. The editorial said:
In fact, it is now becoming increasingly doubtful, after his circus-like antics of recent weeks, whether Senator Murphy has the balance and the dispassionate judgment required to make him a successful AttorneyGeneral. Everything he touches seems to be blowing up in his face - first the outlandish raid on ASIO headquarters, next his pet divorce rules, and now his attack on the previous government’s handling of Croatian terrorist activities in Australia. It is hardly surprising that the debate on these activities was transformed into a motion of no confidence in himself
For once I find myself in complete accord with a leader writer. The Senate, as I have said, has been subjected to a most extraordinary statement. I think Senator Greenwood and Senator Wright have traversed the documents so meticulously and so carefully that it is not necessary for succeeding speakers to go through the same ritual. I think it should be made clear that nobody on this side of the chamber denies that there are now, and have been, some Croatian terrorist activities in this country, but that we believe that the allegation we have to meet that Senator Greenwood was soft on them - that is a free translation of it - is completely unfounded and that it has been demolished by the events in this chamber of the last day or so. I think that the speech made yesterday by Senator Greenwood was probably one of the finest made since the trial of Warren Hastings. The present Attorney-General came into the Senate waving tons of documents which were largely not completely irrelevant. I would not be a bit surprised if the Attorney-General decided that he should resign, and that is probably the course which an honourable Minister would take in the circumstances.
I want to say a word or two about some of the statements made by Senator Cavanagh, particularly in regard to Marincic, in relation to whom Senator Cavanagh directed his remarks in the last 20 minutes of his speech. It is true that Marincic was a violent character. He did go abroad; he did come back. He was convicted of an offence in respect of firearms and he was sentenced to 9 months gaol by the court.
– I thought you reckoned he was a double agent.
– No, not Marincic; I did not say that about him. I will get around to double agents in a few minutes, but I want to deal with this character first. He was sentenced to 9 months gaol. As Senator Cavanagh must know, the Act provides that a migrant cannot be deported for a criminal offence unless the sentence is for 12 months. That is why Marincic went to gaol and was not deported. In this connection it is extremely interesting to note that the Government senators concede that the Yugoslav Government, whose representative it was feting here a fortnight or 3 weeks ago, deals with its political opponents by shooting them. The tender solicitude which honourable senators opposite display towards that type of junta certainly makes us wonder.
– Who invited the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia to Australia?
– I will deal with that now. We will find out who invited the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia to Australia.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - Order! Senator Hannan, will you address the Chair?
– Mr Deputy President. 1 will deal with the question of who invited the ex-head of the secret police in Bosnia and Herzegovina to visit Australia. It is true that when a member of the previous Government was visiting Yugoslavia he suggested: ‘You ought to come out and see us some time’.
– Oh, a Mae West.
– Well, that sort of thing. There was nothing specific, nothing definite. No specific invitation was extended to him, but when the present lot came to power they could not get around to dealing with communist countries quickly enough. They wanted to get old Burchett on the road again and writing for them. They whipped up to Hanoi; they rushed over to East Germany. They will be dealing with Sihanouk and North Korea next before we know where we are.
– When are you going to defend Senator Greenwood?
– The. honourable senator asked me to tell him how the invitation came about. The present lot who are in Government put through the formal, specific details of the invitation to Bijedic. That is incontrovertible. Senator Cavanagh said in a rather melodramatic fashion that Croatians can now live in Australia with decency and with peace. I presume he was referring to the Gestapo-like raids which took place around Canberra and Melbourne a week or 10 days ago. In at least 2 cases the police were accompanied by a member of the Yugoslav secret police. It is a national disgrace that a government should sink into the gutter by using the secret police of a communist country to visit Australian homes in the dead of night.
– Do you have proof of that?
– Yes, 1 have it here. Does the honourable senator want to see it?
– Yes, table it.
– Yes, I will table it at the end of my speech, Mr Deputy President.
– Is it a sworn declaration?
– It is sworn, yes.
– By whom?
– The names will be on the documents. The (first one is Franjo Till and the other is a woman, Mrs Djerke. However, I will table those documents. Only in 2 cases do I suggest that probably the Yugoslav secret police were involved.
– Now you are qualifying it.
– Oh no, I said that it was in only 2 cases. 1 said that the secret police were involved in 2 cases and they were not involved in another 2. So 1 will include those 4 cases. I would have thought that one such case would have been one too many in a country which prides itself on its democratic institutions. At least, it did so until this present lot came to power. 1 want to make a reference also to the photographs of the; armed men, these dangerous characters.
Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m.
– Before the luncheon adjournment I was dealing with some matters which were raised by Senator Murphy’s original statement and by Senator Geenwood’s reply to it. A great deal of nonsense has been spoken by honourable senators on the Government side about an alleged training camp at Wodonga. The training camp at Wodonga was turned from a holiday camp, at which a number of men joined with units of the Citizen Military Forces to have photogaphs taken, into a real cloak and dagger type of preparation for incursions into Yugoslavia, lt is, of course, drivelling nonsense, and in support of that I would quote from a reply which Senator Greenwood gave to the Senate about September last year. Talking about these camps, he said:
I can emphatically deny the suggestion that there was a training camp for terrorist purposes at Wodonga in 1963. lt is a canard, which has been raised time and time again. Tt has been denied authoritatively time and time again. If people who want to make a case can rely only upon something which has been demonstrated to be untrue on so many occasions, it illustrates the paucity of the material that they have for the accusation which they are making.
Then, omitting portion of the then AttorneyGeneral’s reply, he went on to say:
The full facts have been given, as I have said, time and time again. What happened was that a group of Croatians - about 100 of them - had a recreational camp. They went there without weapons and with no army training or anything of that character. They were visited by a Citizen Military Forces unit and they asked whether they could have their photographs taken with the CMF personnel and with certain of the tanks.
This dreadful camp was so secret that the men involved actually circulated these photographs of the so-called secret camp. The then Attorney-General went on:
The photographs were taken - that was verified by the Commander of the CMF unit who gave the facts which I am relating to the Senate- and if that is to be built up as a case against the Croatian community and if it is a case which is to be the basis of an allegation of terrorist activity in this country, then I think that the people who make those accusations must first overcome the facts which I have stated.
I do not think it is necessary to waste more time on the nonsense about training camps. One thing which honourable senators opposite fail to appreciate when they talk about right wing Croatians is that, speaking politically, most Croatians are left of centre. Most of them in their politics follow what might loosely be called a social democratic line of philosophy. Most of the Croats in this country are followers of what was originally the Peasant Party led by Stefan Radic who was assassinated by a Serb in the actual chamber of the Parliament in 1928.
One matter which has been raised by honourable senators of the Government relates to the people who were arrested in Sydney at the weekend. Honourable senators opposite have claimed that these men were very hostile to Tito’s Yugoslavia, lt seems to me to be a strange criticism of Croatian nationalists when even the Croatian Communist Party is at daggers drawn with Tito. At the present time Tito is having an enormous struggle subjugating not Croatian nationalists but the Croatian Communist Party. This is a matter which our friends on the Government side seem to overlook. I will not go into details what happened after the war, but it will be recalled that the Croatian army sided with the Axis powers, and that after their defeat it surrendered about 300,000 men to the British Army at Beiberg in the south of Austria. The Army contained normal units of the Domobran and 60,000 to 70,000 men of the Ustasha corps. Despite the despicable activities of some members of the Ustasha organisation the word ‘ustasha’ simply means ‘insurgent’. The British - poor, well-meaning souls - did not know that Tito did not play cricket and did not play by any other rules either. So when the disarmed Croatian army was handed over to the tender mercies of Tito, it was slaught ered, lock, stock and barrel, except for those fortunate enough to escape to Italian territory.
The Yugoslav Prime Minister, Mr Bijedic, who was recently honoured as a guest at Mr Whitlam’s lodge, had some part in the ultimate suppression of the Croatian nationalist movement, although he is himself, I understand, a Slovene. Most of the Croatians here, about 185,000, came to this country to get away from communist terrorism and it is not surprising that they do not regard the dictator Tito as a favourite pin-up boy. As to Senator Wheeldon’s statement that Tito is a Croat, that is true - but it is a long time since he has regarded himself as a Croat. He has set up his headquarters in Belgrade and at present the big brawl inside Yugoslavia is the struggle between Tito’s central Communist Party in Belgrade and the Croatian Communist Party and the Communist Parties of some of the smaller republics.
One of the interesting aspects of the development of communist philosophy is that after some years the Communist party - at least in Croatia - has taken on, to some extent, the garb almost of a national party rather than a communist party. This has been demonstrated to the extent that when the leaders of the Communist Party in that country, Tripalo, Dabcevic-Kucar and Pirker felt thai Croatia was being unfairly treated in 1972 they were prepared to stand up and fight against Tito - and subsequently of course they lost their jobs.
Although Senator Murphy has been given every opportunity to answer, he has skated away from the vexed questions of the activities of the Yugoslav secret police in Australia. Does anyone doubt that these people are operating here? Last week a gentleman who runs a travel agency in Melbourne called to see me. He produced 2 newspapers, both published in Belgrade, and gave me translations of articles in one of the Belgrade newspapers - which also circulates in Melbourne - which alleged that through his travel agency he was arranging for the transport and the provisioning of terrorists on their way to Yugoslavia. He said that as a result his business had dropped by half and that very many people would have nothing to do with him. He has informed me of this and he. is prepared to swear it that the allegations are entirely and utterly untrue.
Here I should like to quote from a speech made in this Parliament and to which I referred some time ago. A speech was made by President Tito on television at Sarajevo on 21st September 1972. It should be remembered that Tito, like Hitler and Stalin, means to carry out his threats.
– What about Franco?
– I guess he means to carry out his threats too. What has that to do with it? I go back to the dictator Tito. He said:
We would have no trouble with Croats in Yugoslavia if they were not stirred up and helped by the Government in Australia. But we will fix them. We have already sent agents of our secret police to hunt them down.
Mark that, Mr Attorney-General. His speech went on:
We will send more agents to Australia.
Mark that, Mr Attorney-General. He went on:
We will crush these people. We will destory them root and branch.
If the Attorney-General was serious, if he had a real interest in the suppression of terror, he would direct some of his attention towards the UDBA and to the undoubted activities of these communist thugs who are operating in our country. We have in the past few days witnessed a degrading and disquieting spectacle of men being tried by the Parliament, men who have no opportunity to reply and against whom nothing has been alleged but smear and humbug. In the old days, members of Parliament were subject to impeachment. I speak about one man. He is not well known to me. But merely that a great deal of smear and garbage has been heaped upon him by honourable senators opposite is no reason why I will not refer to his name. I do not know whether the man to whom I refer is honest or dishonest. I do not know whether he was accurately described by the present Attorney-General. But having regard to some of the things that the Attorney-General said, I am inclined to doubt him. But I know that this man has been savagely traduced in the Parliament and without comment, without necessarily believing or disbelieving it, I propose to quote from an affidavit by a man known to Senator Mulvihill as Srecko Rover made on 4th September 1970. He says:
Superintendent Milte slammed the door of my office shut and demanded that 1 should sit down.
I interpolate here to say that Mr Milte, I understand, is now one of the whiz kids of the present Attorney-General in these matters. He continues: i remained standing and Superintendent Milte, looking extremely angry seized my left arm and said words to the effect: ‘When will all this end?’ ‘When will you stop your acts of terror and bombing. We have information, that you are behind ail these activities. We have information about all Croatian activities. We have been told that you are closely associated with Reverend Kasic and other Croatian leaders. In fact you are the leader. This week a new Yugoslav consulate has been opened in Melbourne. We warn you, Mr Rover, if anything happens to Mr Rukavina -
That gentleman, Mr President, is the consulategeneral in Melbourne who was generally believed to be a member of the UDBA. I continue reading:
We warn you, Mr Rover, if anything happens to Mr Rukavina or any member of Yugoslav mission here, there is not much chance of you slaying alive’. I interrupted Superintendent Milte–
– Who said that?
– I am letting the words speak for themselves. I do not know whether the man is telling the truth. But he said this under oath which is more than Senator Murphy has done. He continues:
I interrupted Superintendent Milte saying words to the effect that to me it looked as if he had come all the way to Melbourne with 2 officers just for the purpose of threatening me on the basis of information made by and given to him by the Yugoslav Consulate. Superintendent Milte replied with words to the effect ‘Never mind from whom or how we get our information. We know many things. When I think of that UDBA officer I don’t think you have very long to live’.
Can anyone doubt that the Yugoslav secret police are operating in this country?
– Senator Poyser says nonsense’. At least here we have something sworn on oath instead of smear and allegations that have come from honourable senators opposite.
– You could have fooled me.
– I do not quote only half the document as the Attorney-General does. I quote those parts of the document which it may be said are against my argument. I quote the whole of it. I am not dishonest. On 13th April 1970 ASIO submitted an open report to Senator Greenwood containing some remarkable statements. It is almost inconceivable that a man actuated by justice, rectitude, honesty, integrity, probity and all the other qualities that should be the
Hallmark of the Attorney-General could overlook this report when putting down his dump of documents in the Senate. Actually, the document was analysed rather well by the Melbourne ‘Observer’ last weekend. I quote-
– That is a good newspaper.
– 1 hope that no one suggests that the Melbourne ‘Observer’ is in the pocket of the Liberal Party.
– This is a beauty. To quote Maxwell Newton!
– I will take issue with the Minister for the Media (Senator Douglas McClelland) on this matter on another occasion. An article on page 5 of the Melbourne ‘Observer’ of 1st April 1973 states:
In fact, it is the opinion of ASIO that most of the bomb incidents in Australia are the work of cranks or the Yugoslav secret police trying to build up Australian hysteria against Croatian nationalists.
In other words, what the ‘Observer’ is putting forward is that we have a proper Reichstag fire trial job in our midst. If we listen to the nonsense that is spoken from honourable senators opposite we would never have any opportunity to uncover it. If ever there was a Reichstag fire trial job, this is it. I return to quote from the Melbourne ‘Observer’:
The report, goes on to point out that the attacks around the world have been directed as much against Croatian nationalists as against the Yugoslav Government property. This implies that the UDBA or Yugoslav Secret Police agents may be involved, lt is considered notable that in the many bomb incidents in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra at Yugoslav consulates and embassies there have never been any deaths or injuries of Yugoslav Government personnel or their families. lt is likely, then, that these bomb incidents have been largely ‘manufactured’ incidents staged from within the Yugoslav consulates with the intention of putting strong public pressure on Croatian nationalists planning anti-Yugoslav Government action in Europe.
Later in the same report, the ‘Observer’ states:
The ASIO report refers to a a ‘Fascist conspiracy theory’ which leftwingers such as Senator Lionel Murphy have been over many years sedulously cultivating about Croatian nationalists.
– Who said this?
– This is a report in the Melbourne ‘Observer’ analysing the pantomime that was put before the Senate last week. The report continues:
The danger for the (Croats in Australia) stems largely from the fact that elements in the Yugoslav community, working through the media, and also through receptive sections of certain Australian political organisations-
Honourable senators would not have to be Mandrake to work out that one - and university student publications and other radical channels, appear determined to promote a Fascist conspiracy theory wherein the wartime Ustasha organisation in Yugoslavia is bluntly asserted to be the dominant force in the Croatian nationalist movement in Australia.
Finally, the newspaper article states - I hope that honourable senators opposite will listen to and acknowledge this:
This ASIO report, which so completely undermines the Government’s claims about Croatian violence in Australia, is likely to be tabled in the Senate next week.
– Where did the newspaper get that from, Senator Greenwood?
– It was an open report.
– The newspaper said on the front page that it was a secret report.
– That is right. The newspaper was inaccurate in that respect, at all events.
– Order! Senator Poyser, you are now not only baiting Senator Hannan, you are beginning to bait me. You will cease interjecting.
– I will refer to that report again if Senator Poyser wants to hear it at greater length. On the front page it is stated that an examination of the historical background provided ample ground for the presumption that the mutual hostility exhibited by both sides will from time lo time erupt in violence. I ask honourable senators to note the words ‘from both sides will from time to time erupt in violence’.
– Who said this?
– This is ASIO. The report continues:
However, there are grounds also for presuming that the Croatian nationalist organisations, as entities, are unlikely to be directly involved in such violence in Australia, and that a more probable explanation lies with the activities of individuals and small groups acting independently without organisational support.
ASIO also says:
The HRB as an organisation is no longer a functioning entity in Australia, nevertheless, it may be assumed that some former members, and others of violent and revolutionary persuasion, would still be prepared to condone violence in pursuit of independence.
I deal now with the 11 acts of violence referred to by ASIO. I point out that 7 of them - I repeat 7 - were directed at Yugoslav property. Those acts were committed on 1st January 1967, 9th June 1969, 29th November 1969, 21st October 1970, 23rd November 1971, 19th December 1971 and 6th April 1972. The significant factor in all these bomb outrages, as pointed out by ASIO, is that in not one instance has any Yugoslav person been injured. Most of the property which was destroyed was leased from other people. The inference is there, for all who are prepared to look at it, that these are minor Reichstag foil type incidents which were cooked up to discredit the Croatian people in Australia. For example, as recently as 6th April 1972 the ANZ Bank migrant advisory centre was bombed. That did not cost the Yugoslav Embassy, if it were the responsible party, anything. I do not know whether it was. I do not know whether a Croatian extremist did it. All I am saying is that of the 11 incidents mentioned in the ASIO report, 7 were related to Yugoslav property and no-one was injured. I am glad that no-one was injured. I do not support violence from the right, the left or the centre.
The ASIO report continues:
As stated earlier there is a tendency for all such incidents to be laid at the door of the Ustasha or Croatian Nazis’ when there is no evidence to the contrary, and the perpetrators are not apprehended.
In this set of circumstances we get a kicking of the old Ustasha can. If there is no evidence or if there is no fact to connect these people with the acts concerned, use the word Ustasha’ and that will be the substitute for thought. A tremendous number of crocodile tears have been shed by honourable senators opposite about the ghastly inroad into Yugoslavia from Bosnia in June 1972. According to the Yugoslav Government’s report, upon which we cannot place much reliance, 19 people made the incursion into Yugoslavia. As soon as they crossed the border they were apprehended. According to the handout from the Yugoslav Government, all of them were killed. One of the men who was said to have been killed is still living peacefully at Mount Gambier. That may be a fair indication of the accuracy and the reliability of that report. Knowing a little about the activity of Tito and his boys, my belief - for what it is worth - is that some of them have been killed. I would not be the least bit surprised if those men who have not been killed have been interrogated in a way which would horrify this chamber
One of the important things to remember about the June 1972 incursion is that at that time Tito was fighting for his life. The Croatian Communist Party, which was fed up to the back teeth with the way in which it earned 40 per cent of the overseas exchange and received in return to the value of 15 per cent, felt that something should be done to persuade Tito to give Croatia a better go. Fripalo, Dabcevic-Kucar and Pirker ran a section of the Communist Party and attempted to force Tito to come to the party. These people had a good deal of popular support in Croatia. They mistook popular support for strength. But Tito had the strength of the army. The army resolves all matters in communist countries. So these 3 people - national communists, I suppose you could call them - were displaced from their jobs. At the same time 3,000 other people were arrested or sacked or accused. I do not know the exact word. I cannot divide them into categories. Imagine the impact that the 19 men who went into Yugoslavia would have had upon the 3,000 who were prosecuted by Tito. When a person is prosecuted by Tito he has a fairly tough job to prove that he is not guilty. I do not think Tito is any more honest than honourable senators opposite. I do not think Tito is any more concerned with justice than honourable senators opposite are.
– Order! The honourable senator must not reflect upon the head of a State with whom we have friendly relations.
– Friendly relations?
– It is for the Government to decide whether they are friendly.
– The Government of Yugoslavia is no more concerned with justice than honourable senators opposite are. I have some knowledge of what goes on in trials in Yugoslavia. I have some transcripts. I do not propose to weary the Senate by reading them. If any honourable senator would like them tabled, I will table them at a later date. One of the things that is reported in the transcripts, for example, is that a person saying that he did not like Comrade Tito’s speech on the radio very much was a crime. That was one of the 5 crimes for which a man was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. Is that the sort of justice that the Attorney-General wants to introduce into this country? We will not accept it. There has been the disgraceful sight of Gestapo-like night raids on homes in Canberra. At the instance of the AttorneyGeneral, homes in Canberra and Melbourne have been searched. Particularly at the homes in Canberra, the knock came at 3.30 a.m. Croatians have had their places searched, and the police have not had warrants. If the Minister for the Interior in Yugoslavia, Russia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, or any other communist country had ordered the raids it would have been understandable. If Hitler had sent his thugs into homes at that time of night it would have been understandable. But to have had this done in Australia at the instance of an Attorney-General is thoroughly discreditable. I had hoped that at least one honourable senator opposite would have shown his repugnance and horror at this happening.
There has been grave disquiet in the migrant community - not only the Croatian community but the migrant community at large - because they do not fully understand the niceties of the Immigration Act. We have had all this nonsense spoken by Senator Murphy that he will deport certain people and that he has 50 on the list. They do not know whether he means 50, 500 or 5,000. They da not know what the qualifications are. ] give due credit to the right honourable Arthur Augustus Calwell for initiating a splendid immigration policy. After the war he initialed it and it was maintained by successive Liberal-Country Party governments. Patting ourselves on the back a little, I think that the Labor Party initially and the Liberal Party and the Country Party since have done a fine job in assimilating into this country about 1.6 million, from memory, first class people from abroad. This idiotic raid on ASIO and the destruction of the .files-
– The destruction of the files?
– I stand corrected - the sealing of the files, the disquiet in the migrant community because they do not know whether their houses will be searched, without warrants, at 3.30 a.m. and at least in 2 cases they strongly suspect that the Yugoslav secret police were with the Commonwealth Police-
– You cannot verify that statement.
– They are coming. You fell into that trap. Australians in general, I think it is true to say, were nauseated at the reception given to Bijedic. As he is not a head of state, Mr President, do I understand that I can be rude about him?
– Yes, indeed. He is not a head of state.
– Bijedic, as honourable sentors opposite would know, was former head of the secret police in BosniaHerzegovina, and he is now the director of Agitprop in Yugoslavia. That is the central intelligence body in Yugoslavia - the terror police net, I think we ought to call it. This is the man for whom we put on the greatest pantomime of all time. Helicopters flew overhead; we heard talk about armour plate glass; we were told that 14 cars travelled in front of his car; we were told that 700 or 800 police were involved in the operation with machine guns, and all the paraphernalia of the police state was there. Bijedic must have felt very much at home, if he thought that this was our normal practice. Possibly he felt that he ought to migrate to this country because what happened here was just what happens in his homeland. This man is regarded by Croatians as being directly responsible for the massacre after the Second World War of 20,000 Croatians. That does not endear him to them in any way.
About a week before the visit by this man I had occasion to speak to the Attorney-General. I made a prediction. I could not be sure that what I said would prove to be right but I said: ‘I think that the Croatians have far too much sense and far too much integrity to bother with this character, Bijedic. 1 do not think that they will come within miles of him’. In truth and in fact, that is exactly what happened. They did not come within mile? of him. A peaceful demonstration was held outside Parliament House 2 days before he arrived in Canberra. The Australian flag was most prominent at that gathering. There was no needling of police horses or the throwing of marbles under the hooves of police horses. No windows were smashed nor were there any of the other hallmarks of the dissenters who are so beloved of the Australian Labor Party. The Croatians had their speeches, made their point and went peacefully to their homes.
I felt that it was a disgrace to this country that the present Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) spoke to Bijedic in terms of great criticism of the preceding Australian Government.
– Hear, hear!
– That interjection shows the mentality of honourable senators opposite. In 1949, a Labor Government was succeeded by a Liberal Country Party Government. I cannot recall the previous Labor Government being traduced to foreign powers by its successors. It was nauseating nonsense for Mr Whitlam to tell Bijedic: ‘Well, now that I am here, all will be well. All the wicked Croatians will be suppressed here, just as you do at home. The wicked Liberal Government which preceded me was far too friendly with these people. I condemn the actions of the former Government of my own country’. That makes me sick andI think that it made a lot of Australians sick also. I might mention in passing that at my early conversation with the Attorney-General, the AttorneyGeneral described Bijedic as a villain. That is a description with which I wholeheartedly concurred.
– Did he call Bijedic a villain?
– That is right. I think it is true that Senator Greenwood has destroyed the Attorney-General’s comic opera scenario so completely that, as I have said, it would not surprise me if the AttorneyGeneral resigned. He fully warrants the condemnation expressed in the amendment moved by Senator Withers. I support that amendment.
– I am indebted to Senator Hannan for the best six-penn’orth of pantomime that I have seen for a considerable time. The serious aspect is that his contribution had little to recommend it except that it has delayed the Senate in dealing with the comprehensive business that the Government has to bring before the chamber. 1 am reminded of the story told by a great writer about the London cabman. He said that if a London cabman had the sense to introduce sixpenny fares he would gather unto himself in a year a fortune. But he added that if he had the sense to introduce sixpenny fares he would not be a London cabman. The same can be said about the Liberal Party Opposition, particularly Senator Hannan and his colleagues. They have engaged in a strategy and a policy of doing nothing but delaying, obstructing or opposing the Government for the sake of opposing. If the Opposition had the sense to alter its strategy and to adopt a policy of support for this Government in bringing before this chamber its comprehensive social reform legislation, it might have some chance of being returned as the Government of Australia. But if Opposition members had that sense they would not be Liberals.
In recent weeks there has been a serious erosion of Parliamentary debating time, which I do not need to remind honourable senators is precious for so many reasons. Yet the Opposition has devoured our time through lengthy question time sessions. Honourable senators on this side all agree that the lengthy question times have had nothing to recommend them except that they have created records in their length and in the number of questions that have been asked. The President was good enough the other day to furnish honourable senators with some statistical information. I think he said that since this session commenced some 600 questions have been asked in this chamber, more than at any time in the history of the Senate.
I suggest to honourable senators opposite that all that they are doing is testing the patience of honourable senators and placing the President under an ordeal to which a person holding his high office should not be subjected. I appeal to honourable senators opposite that in the very near future they should get down to dealing with the serious business that is before this House. As members of a responsible Opposition they have a duty to this Parliament. I sometimes think - I am coming to believe - that they are apt to forget their responsibility as Her Majesty’s Opposition, which is a more responsible role when we consider that they have a majority in this place. Honourable senators opposite are apt to forget that it is their duty and obligation as an official Opposition to see that good government prevails, that laws are passed and that due consideration is given to enacting legislation.
Having said that, I am prompted to take part in this debate regarding Croatian terrorism and the activities of extremists. After hearing and reading the facts and the evidence that have been placed before this chamber by Senator Murphy, I am seriously concerned and alarmed to think that irrefutable facts have been placed before this Parliament to show that for some considerable time political violence, intimidation and murders have occurred in this country. The evidence contained in the documents - I have taken the time to peruse them - supports this claim and proves the allegations beyond all doubt.
The other alarming and serious point is that the previous Government, despite the fact that there is evidence that this state of affairs has existed in this country for a considerable time, adopted a curious defeatism or a lack of initiative to do anything about it. I do not think that even the most impartial observer can come down on the side of the Opposition and say that it has any evidence or proof to show that at any time in the last Parliament it acted upon the evidence of violence or terrorism in this country. The Senate heard last night from an independent senator, Senator Negus. He has no political axe to grind. Senator Negus rose in his place and applauded Senator Murphy for having the courage to bring–
– Who is this?
– Senator Negus. He applauded Senator Murphy for having the courage to bring the facts before this Parliament and to enlighten the electorate of Australia. He said that instead of being discredited, Senator Murphy was entitled to be warmly applauded. I have observed for some time what has been going on in the lobbies of the Senate. Another independent senator is being placed under extreme pressure. He is being cultivated by people who did not know for the last 3 months that he existed. I want to say this to them before they start trying to arrange meetings with him in shady corners or in other dark places: They have no hope on God’s earth of using extreme pressures on Senator Townley. I have only got to know him since I have been a member of the Senate but I have a high respect for him. I think that in regard to this matter he will come down on the side which he thinks is correct after having made an impartial judgment. That is all we on the Government side seek. We do not want to get involved in these intimidatory tactics, or methods of persuasion, or lobbying in various corners to seek numbers. We on this side of the chamber are prepared to let our case rest on the impartiality of the independent senators whom the Opposition is trying to woo. Knowing the respect I have for Senator Townley and the independent thought that he applies to all the serious matters that come before this Parlia ment, I know that he will do the right thing and make the decision which he thinks is right.
I have endeavoured to approach this matter coolly and with consideration. I have not set out to denigrate any particular honourable senator; nor have I adopted an attitude simply because I am sitting on the Government side of the chamber. I have endeavoured to apply cool consideration to the facts placed before the Senate. The thing that has impressed me is that those facts have been supported by documented evidence. I must say to the Senate that I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind, particularly in view of the statements made by the former AttorneyGeneral in the last session of the last Parliament, when he told the Senate that the Commonwealth Police had not been able to discover any evidence of a Croatian revolutionary terrorist organisation. He made that statement - it is recorded in Hansard - in reply to heavy questioning of him by honourable senators who now sit on this side of the chamber. It is printed indelibly in my mind that the former Attorney-General assured this chamber that the Commonwealth Police had told him that there was no evidence of the existence of Croatian terrorist organisations in this country. It is needless for me to say that anyone who has taken the time to go through the documents tabled by the Attorney-General, Senator Murphy, will see how ridiculously futile and untrue that statement has been found to be.
I vividly recall the questions asked of the former Attorney-General by honourable senators now on this side of the chamber, particularly during the period after 16th September 1972 when there were 2 bombing incidents in Sydney. I remember the heavy questioning addressed by my colleague Senator Douglas McClelland who, you will recall, on that occasion had to meet his family. Had they been late they might have been victims of the tragedies that resulted from those bombings. He had first-hand information. He asked his questions because of his personal interest as well as from the national interest. Again it was alleged on that occasion, after those bombings, that property and people associated with the Yugoslav community were associated with the incidents. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that again the former Attorney-General continually assured the Senate that there was no organised terrorism among the Croatian community in Australia.
These are the things upon which I base my case. Senator Greenwood gave us repeated assurances after lengthy questioning in the last session of the previous Parliament and further intense questioning from my colleagues on this side of the chamber after the bombing incidents in Sydney on 16th September. I am not saying this for any political advantage or for any political objective. I sincerely believe that the former Attorney-General has a case to answer.
Yesterday I heard him deliver his 30-page statement and last night I read it very carefully. I am sorry to say that I am still unconvinced that he has met the occasion. Unfortunately he chose to take the stand he has taken - for what reasons, God only knows, because he had been warned by his former ministerial colleagues, Mr William McMahon, Mr Philip Lynch and Sir Garfield Barwick. Honourable senators heard my colleague Senator James McClelland put forward very tellingly in this chamber yesterday afternoon the evidence that was offered by those 3 ministerial colleagues of the former AttorneyGeneral. He asked all honourable senators opposite to refute it if they could. He challenged them to deny that evidence. Although many honourable senators opposite have since risen in their places, not one of them has yet been prepared to accept the challenge of Senator James McClelland. So I can only say that that charge has been proved; warnings of Croatian terrorism in Australia were given to the former Attorney-General.
Why did not the former Attorney-General accept the advice of his 3 colleagues? What other shortcomings he may have - I am dealing in this instance with him only on his approach to terrorism and violence in Australia and his fanaticism regarding law and order - he is an intelligent and industrious man. He is a trained lawyer and he has shown an aptitude for his position. However, in this particular sphere of Government, for some reason that he has not disclosed to this chamber, he has left me astounded and dumbfounded as to why he did not heed the warnings given to him by honourable senators on this side of the chamber, and particularly the warnings that he was given by his 3 ministerial colleagues.
Since I have been a member of this Senate I have heard honourable senators opposite say, with monotonous repetition, that there was no evidence of Croatian terrorism in
Australia. The matter now has been fully canvassed by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Murphy. I believe - I say this quite sincerely - that he has completely justified his stand. He has produced overwhelming evidence and he has tabled it in this chamber. He was supported by documents and files from the Attorney-General’s Department, from the Commonwealth Police and from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. Instead of honourable senators endeavouring to discredit Senator Murphy they should be warmly applauding him for acting in a responsible manner and placing the facts before the people of Australia. The Attorney-General has produced evidence which he thinks had been hidden from the Parliament and from the Australian people. He called upon the former Attorney-General to justify himself for not doing what was done last week. As I said, instead of moving a vote of no confidence in the AttorneyGeneral honourable senators opposite should be applauding him for acting in a responsible manner.
The most charitable view that I can take of the conduct of the former Attorney-General is that he displayed an irresponsible indifference to the information available to him which proved beyond doubt the seriousness of the. problems to which he had been continually alerted by Labor senators for many months. The position that Senator Greenwood (finds himself in today is one of his own making. He is the self-styled champion of law and order in this chamber. Every time he was asked a question about draft resisters or somebody else he made a vitriolic attack on the trade union movement, on the Labor Party or somebody associated with us; but never once did he come to grips with the question of terrorism and violence in this country. My own personal knowledge of the history of those exercises is that Senator Greenwood hounded draft resisters and made vicious attacks on trade unionists and demonstrators but displayed double standards when it came to dealing with acts of violence and of terrorism.
Honourable senators will recall that after the bombing incidents in Sydney on 16th September 1972 the Leader of our Party, in this chamber, Senator Murphy, asked the then Attorney-General whether he would consider granting a sizable reward so that the people responsible for the bombings in Sydney could be quickly apprehended. The reply which Senator Greenwood gave to Senator Murphy was that he was acting in an irresponsible manner. That is recorded in Hansard for anyone to see. But while Senator Greenwood was using that language to address the Senate, his colleague in the New South Wales Parliament, the Premier. Sir Robert Askin, was telling the Parliament that his Government would put up a $20,000 reward so that those responsible for the bombings in Sydney could bc apprehended as quickly as possible. That seems to be the theme of the approach which Senator Greenwood has adopted to law and order.
When responding during an adjournment debate to questions asked by Labor Party senators regarding violence and terrorism in Australia, Senator Greenwood, as reported on page 1098 of Hansard of 20th September 1972. stated:
What we have learned over the past 2 or 3 days of the Australian Labor Party’s approach to these matters is essentially revealing. We also have the tactic of the repetitious lie which is the weapon of all those who have totalitarian tendencies. What I have heard tonight from Senator O’Byrne is a repetition of something which has been nailed time and time again. He brought out the Press cuttings with the headlines of training camps’ in Australia, cuttings bearing a dale sometime early in July this year. Those matters were investigated and this conclusively proves the point which 1 am making. There was a Press statement - and 1 have referred to this a number of limes - issued by me in which every one of those allegations was detailed and explained, and it was shown that there was no basis in truth for what was in those newspaper headlines. That Press statement was given quite an amount of publicity in the major newspapers of this country. I was asked yesterday why 1 was reading out the Press statement again. I said that obviously people are not giving any credence to it. So what do we have tonight? Senator O’Byrne once again came out with these old headlines seeking to make some capital out of them. It was like the old story which Senator Wriedt told yesterday about what happened at Wodonga some 8 or 9 years ago and the question which somebody asked yesterday. Is there a training camp in Queensland? Of course, this has been denied. This is what I meant by the tactic of the repetitious lie. If one states something often enough it will be believed. But I do not believe that the Australian people will be taken in by this.
What utter rot and nonsense. Senator Greenwood said that in September 1972. We will give Senator Greenwood credit that he may have thought that he was making those statements at that time in good faith, but one will never know why he never knew of the existence of the evidence that has been tabled in this chamber by Senator Murphy. One would have thought that, after the evidence was made public and was available to all honourable senators, Senator Greenwood would have changed his attitude to the matters to which Senator O’Byrne and other honourable senators rightly and responsibly were inviting his attention. The subsequent documented evidence has proven them to be right.
One would have thought that any sane, thinking person, knowing what he had said previously was so wide of the mark - it had been proven to be wrong by the documented evidence that was tabled in this chamber - would have corrected his course. But no, we find the former Attorney-General still triumphantly championing the cause of law and order and masquerading and parading as one who will fight to the end for the right to stamp out violence and terrorism. Senator Greenwood has no regrets for past errors that he has made. Defiantly, he stated this to the Senate yesterday
I had stressed many times in many places in 1972 the strongest denunciation of terrorism of any description. Violence of any kind is to be deplored. And I knew that, in what 1 said, 1 had the full support of my colleagues in Government. I had constantly reiterated the Government’s position. If there are groups in this country engaged in training for terrorist or subversive activities - to be carried out either in this country or overseas they would nol be tolerated. As far as the Government was able it would put a stop to them.
That is the statement of a man who has been proved to be incorrect in his previous assumptions. Yet, as I said previously, he is still not prepared to change his attitude. At this stage 1 should like to draw a parallel between the position adopted by the former Attorney-General and that taken by his running mate in Queensland, the Queensland Premier, Mr Jo Bjelke-Petersen. who takes great pride in thinking that Queensland is referred to as the law and order State.
I crave the indulgence of the Senate to allow me to develop my case relating to Queensland because I am trying to draw a parallel between the performance of the former Attorney-General in this place and the performance of the Queensland Premier regarding law and order, violence and terrorism. They both seem to want to make the same style of statement and, as I progress, honourable senators will see what I mean. I want to try to paint the picture for the Senate this afternoon. We know from personal experience how the former Attorney-General dealt with violence and terrorism in his capacity as Attorney-General. Honourable senators who do not come from Queensland may not be aware of the seriousness of the position in that State. The following article appeared in yesterday’s ‘Courier Mail’:
The Police Minister (Mr Hodges) objected yesterday to the type of raids carried out by Commonwealth Police in Sydney and Wollongong at the week-end.
The raids were made in search of suspected Croatian terrorists.
Mr Hodges said Queensland Police would not help Commonwealth Police in raids such as these.
For months the Labor Opposition in the Queensland State Parliament has been trying to get out of the Queensland Government the admission that Croatian training camps or Croatian extremist activities exist in Queensland. In fact, the Queensland Opposition has been trying to do it for years and the Queensland Government has been denying it. But last week it was exposed that the Commonwealth Police did find evidence to support the claims that there was Croatian terrorist and extremist activity in north Queensland. It was admitted by the Queensland Government. Yet the Minister in Charge of Police in Queensland said, ‘We are not going to give any assistance whatsoever to the Commonwealth Police in tracking down these people.’ As I said previously. I should like to develop the history of the bombing of the Communist Party headquarters in Brisbane. The headquarters were established at 291 St Pauls Terrace. Brisbane. On 19th April 1972, while 9 men were inside the building having a meeting, a bomb was thrown into the building. The lives of 9 men were put in jeopardy, because the 9 could have been killed. I ask honourable senators to forget about their political persuasions; we are talking about lives. It has been established beyond doubt that the action was taken by extreme rightists who were trying to intimidate people who were going to support the moratorium march which was to take place in Brisbane on Friday, 2 1 st April 1972.
The bomb throwing by the extreme right wing elements was intended to deter people who were trying to organise this moratorium demonstration. Buttheir efforts were unfruitful because over 3,000 people marched in that demonstration and there was no violence from the demonstrators. The only violence associated with that march was shown by the 3 right wing extremists. I claim that this terrorist act took place in an atmosphere which was created by the phoney law and order campaign sponsored by the Queensland Premier. Mr Jo Bjelke-Petersen, and his Country-Liberal Party Government. Iam sorry to say that they were publicly supported in their advocacy by members of the Australian Democratic Labor Party and the National Civic Council.
Let us have a look at the history of this matter. In the ‘Courier-Mail’ of 21st Apr il 1972 the Premier of Queensland is reported as having made a statement. I hope that what I have said regarding Senator Greenwood’s statement still rings in the ears of honourable senators because they will see the similarity. The Premier stated:
The Queensland Government is opposed totally to political extremism of any kind. We are determined to maintain law and order, violence and everything else that goes with extremism is not wanted in our society.
I leave it to honourable senators to judge whether the Premier is sincere after I have developed the history of what happened to the Communist Party headquarters on 19th April 1972. As I said previously the headquarters were bombed at 7.40 p.m. in the evening when 9 people were meeting in the building. They were fortunate to escape serious injury. The cost of the damage exceeded S3,000 but was not recoverable because insurance companies do not or will not insure Communist Party headquarters against malicious damage. The result of the explosion was described by the ‘Courier-Mail’ in its edition of 20th April 1972 as follows: . . the Peoples Bookshop and a printing press room of the Communist Party took most of the force of the explosion. Two doors leading to the bookshop have disappeared. Concrete blocks in a wall were moved out of alignment. Steel filing cabinets buckled as though made of wet cardboard. Doors from the printing room were torn from their hinges. The ceiling of the Bookshop was torn out, walls were moved and the floor of the Communist Party headquarters was lifted almost 2 inches in one section.
– That is something similar to the condition of the DLP office.
– Yes, your place was blown up. You should listen and you might be able to track down the culprits who blew up your place just as they blew up the Communist Party headquarters. The Communists would not be foolish enough to blow up their own place, would they?
– They blew up ours.
– You say it was the Corns?
– I think it might have been.
– I will be interested to hear your story because I will give you a hand to see that anyone who uses bombs is apprehended, irrespective of what political persuasion he might be. I would like to know who got the money when the DLP office was robbed. But the report continues:
Just after the explosion the ‘Courier-Mail’ received an anonymous phone call to say that the person who was phoning was responsible for the bombing. He said that he did it to commemorate Hitler’s birthday. Forty minutes afterwards 3 rifle shots were fired through the windows of the East Wind bookshop in Elizabeth Street and another call was made to the ‘Courier-Mail’ by a person claiming responsibility. On the evening of 20th April - the day before the moratorium march - several leading communists received anonymous bomb threat telephone calls at their home. The bombing - this is the point I am making and the parallel I am drawing in relation to the performances of Senator Greenwood and the Queensland Premier - was preceded by inflammatory public statements by the Queensland Premier, Mr BjelkePetersen, and other tory politicians on the impending Vietnam moratorium march and the dangers of so-called violence from demonstrators. In these statements the Labor Party and others in the Labor movement were attacked as the instigators of political violence. As it turned out the only violence came from the extreme right.
The persons who were suspected for these bombings were missing from Brisbane after 19th April. I am coming to the punch line of what happened when they were apprehended. One was later picked up in New South Wales and 2 were apprehended in Tasmania. The two are serving long gaol sentences there because they were found guilty of violent offences. The third person is the man about whom I am going to speak. Senator Byrne as a lawyer should take note of this. His name is Gary John Mangan. He was arrested near Newcastle on 27th April in what police describe as a dirty and dishevelled condition. He was charged with vagrancy and held until a police officer arrived from Brisbane with a warrant for his arrest on the bombing charge. Mangan was brought back to Brisbane. He appeared before Mr Kingtson, S.M., on 2nd May. The police prosecutor Detective Senior Sergeant F. G. Donaghue told the court that Mangan admitted having been aware when he gave explosives to 2 men that they were going ‘to blow up some Commie place*. Sergeant Donaghue said that the police case would be that, on the day of the violence, Mangan bought 16 sticks of gelignite, 24 feet of fuse and 6 detonators from a Brisbane company. Mangan told Mr Kingston:
While I was in New South Wales I had time to think and I was on my way back to Queensland to sort this matter out when I was apprehended.
Not at that hearing nor at any other subsequent court appearance did Mangan make charges against the police for unfair or illegal extraction of admissions from him. Mangan appeared in a magistrates court on 11th May and was granted bail of $400 self and $400 surety on condition that he report daily to the Woolloongabba Criminal Investigation Branch. His case was listed for a committal hearing on 20th July. On that day he failed to appear. He had absconded on bail. The police later revealed that he had not reported daily to the Gabba CIB.
– Was he a Croat? I cannot quite understand the significance of this.
– Just a moment. If you were listening earlier you would have heard me say that I would draw a parallel between the attitude of Senator Greenwood - with his double standard of law and order on the one side and violence and extremism on the other side - and that of the Queensland Premier who is following exactly the same pattern in Queensland. I have been granted permission to develop my case by the Chair, and I am not going to be put off by a pip squeak like you.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Marriott) - Order! Senator McAuliffe, will you address the Chair.
– I have only one cartridge left in my shotgun and I am not going to waste it on the honourable senator opposite. I know it will be unpalatable to the honourable senator to hear me finish what I have to say but, Mr Acting Deputy President, I crave your indulgence to allow me to continue. Nothing more was heard of Mangan until the Brisbane ‘Telegraph’ reported on 2nd
August that the Commonwealth police were searching for a man charged with complicity in the Brisbane bombing following a telephone threat to the Department of Civil Aviation to blow up an airliner unless 2 of his friends were released from Hobart gaol. Another report said prison authorites had intercepted a letter to two men in Hobart gaol promising to hijack an aircraft to secure their release. Commonwealth police, according to both Press reports, circulated his photograph to security officers at all airports. Mangan was finally arrested at Wellington a few days later and extradited to Queensland.
In his next court appearance on 26th September police tendered evidence - two witnesses and a signed receipt - of Mangan’s purchase of the explosives used to bomb the Communist Party headquarters as well as the confessional statements made by Mangan to police. Mr Greenwood, S.M. - I do not think he is a relation of the former AttorneyGeneral - committed Mangan for trial at the District Court sittings commencing on 23rd October. Mangan came before Judge McCracken on Friday, 10th November. The hearing continued on 13th and 14th November. All of the court’s time was taken up in legal argument. Although a jury was sworn in it never heard any evidence. Judge McCracken upheld a defence contention that Mangan - the man who was responsible for the bombing of a building and who threatened the lives of 9 people in an act of extreme violence and terrorism - had been unlawfully detained by New South Wales police on a vagrancy charge. Judge McCracken used his judicial discretion to rule out the main evidence against Mangan, including the record of admission Mangan made to the police.
– The honourable senator is not reflecting on the judge, is he?
– I will leave it to Senator Byrne to put his own inference on what I am saying.
– I have asked the honourable senator whether he is reflecting on the judge.
– I am making a statement in this Parliament. I am not obliged to answer Senator Byrne. After the Crown withdrew the bombing charge and entered a lesser one of being in possession of explosives with intent, Judge McCracken ruled that no reference could be made in evidence to the bombing of the Communist Party headquarters, again obliging the Crown to withdraw the charge. Judge McCracken then freed Mangan.
The point I am developing - I want Senator Byrne to listen to it - is that obvious evidence of a major act of violence which extensively damaged property and jeopardised the lives of 9 people was swept aside in deference to a minor technical breach of law on arrest procedure. I have always accepted the adage of jurisprudence that justice must not only be done but must also appear to be done. Is this the sort of justice that the champions of law and order will hand out when evidence is placed before them that people throw bombs into buildings and commit acts of violence and are allowed to go scot free?
I hope that I have been fair in my submissions. As I said earlier, I have no argument with Senator Greenwood. I am trying to look at this matter in an impartial way. I said earlier that I felt Senator Greenwood had a case to answer. After hearing his statement I feel - I am sorry to have to say this - that he has not risen to the occasion. Despite the fact that honourable senators on this side of the chamber had alerted him to violence and terrorism in Australia, Senator Greenwood refused to do anything about it. He cannot claim that the evidence of it was not there because there are files headed ‘Croatian terrorism in Australia’. I will leave it to the legal luminaries to develop the legal aspects of the matter. I will endeavour to approach it with a common sense view and, in common sense language and common sense application, arrive at a conclusion.
Senator Greenwood has been challenged by Senator Murphy to justify to this Parliament why he took no action against terrorism and violence and, more serious than that, why he did not admit that it was in existence instead of sidestepping the accusations and charges made by honourable senators on this side of the chamber, and making vitriolic attacks on the Australian Labor Party and fanatical attacks on the trade union movement, demonstrators and draft resisters. I am pleased that Senator Murphy has seen fit and had the courage to make, and accepted the responsibility of making these charges in this chamber. More so I am happy that he has supported all his claims with documented evidence from the Attorney-General’s Departlent, the Commonwealth Police Force and
ASIO. I believe that Senator Greenwood has not answered the challenge that was thrown down to him by Senator Murphy.
I do not think that any honourable senator who has risen in his place to support Senator Greenwood has come to grips with the true position that is before this chamber. I think that they have circumvented the real argument for debate by switching their attack to a vote of no confidence in the Attorney-General of Australia. That is a cowardly act by people who know from a simple arithmetical exercise that if they get the support of those from whom they can normally expect to get it they will be able to outvote the Australian Labor Party and hoodwink the electorate on the false premise that the majority of honourable senators in this chamber have no faith or confidence in the Attorney-General. Honourable senators opposite have failed to live up to their responsibilities to answer Senator Murphy’s charges. They have sought to play another ball game knowing that they have got the numbers, by entering into the despicable exercise of endeavouring to carry a vote of no confidence in Senator Murphy. I warn honourable senators opposite that they are notonly–
– Mr Acting Deputy President, I rise to a point of order. I do so now because Senator McAuliffe may be coming to the end of his speech and I think the point J wish to make should be made before he concludes his speech.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Marriott) - What is the honourable senator’s point of order?
– My point of order - I have been checking it - is that during the course of his remarks Senator McAuliffe reflected very severely upon the conduct, even the probity and impartiality, of a member of the Queensland judiciary, namely, Judge McCracken. His argument was that the Queensland Government was taking a soft line towards certain acts in a particular area and that Judge McCracken, who sat in a judicial capacity to hear certain charges, dismissed them on certain technical grounds. The imputation and the inference was that there had not been a proper exercise of his judicial discretion. In my view that constituted a very grave reflection on the integrity and impartiality of a distinguished member of the Queensland judiciary, which is contrary to the Standing Orders. I felt that if I were to appeal to the honour able senator he might acknowledge that that was an incorrect, unfair and unjust imputation and that he might choose to withdraw it. I take that point of order, Mr Acting Deputy President.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENTSenator McAuliffe, would you like to address me on the subject of the point of order raised by Senator Byrne?
– Mr Acting Deputy President, the inference Senator Byrne puts on what I said is his own business. All I have done is to relate the facts associated with the case. Those facts were reported in the daily Press in Queensland. If J have acted improperly, the newspapers have also acted improperly. No action has been taken against them. I have only reported the facts.I have not in any way set out to speak disrespectfully of any member of the judiciary. I have only reported what actually happened, that is, that in a signed confession to police officers a man said that he bombed certain headquarters on 19th April and that he had explosives in his possession. I have also said that on a technical point the case was dismissed. I did not say that it was incorrectly dismissed by the judge. The inference that Senator Byrne wants to place on what 1 have said is his own business. 1 hope that it is recognised that I have a record in this chamber of telling the truth and of relating the facts as they happen and not as a figment of my imagination. I have related the facts.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Byrne, you have not named the standing order under which you took the point of order.
– I shall do so forthwith.
– is an honourable senator allowed to speak twice, Mr Acting Deputy President?
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT- I have asked the honourable senator to name the standing order under which he took a point of order.
– I refer to a passage on page 103 of ‘Australian Senate Practice’. It reads:
The Judiciary is not to be criticised, nor reflections made on Judges.
On pages 1414 and 1415 of volume 120 of Hansard one finds the ruling of President Newlands. I do not have a copy of that Hansard before me. I think the Clerk at the table intended to obtain it for me. On those pages appears the ruling of the President which is reported by Mr Odgers in his book, namely, that the judiciary is not to be criticised, nor reflections made on judges. Senator McAuliffe was making a very gross reflection, not only by the inevitable implications in his speech but also in his response to an interjection from me. I said: ‘Are you reflecting on the integrity of the judge?’ If my recollection is correct, he replied: ‘Draw your own conclusions’. I now refer to the pages 1414 and 1415 of volume 120 of Hansard, dated 19th March 1929. The Hansard record reads:
The PRESIDENT (Senator The Hon. Sir John Newlands)- Order! Senator Payne has already addressed the Senate, and 1 request him to allow Senator Barnes to make bis speech in his own way. He must desist from interjecting.
Senator BARNES ; It is necessary for some one to drug these matters into the open and have them righted, if possible. I am not an aggressive person, and 1 dislike being nasty to anybody, but the lime comes when even a worm will turn, and when this worm turns he is not very particular about whom he talks. A member of Parliament is granted immunity when speaking on the floor of the House, and the history of the British Empire shows the necessity for the practice, and the great advantages which have accrued from it. Parliament is a place where a man cannot be gagged or threatened with law proceedings . . .
– Order! The honourable senator is not in order in criticising the judiciary.
Senator Payne ; He has been doing that all through.
– I call upon Senator Payne to withdraw that observation.
Senator Payne ; I am prepared to withdraw it, but 1 cannot close my ears to what I hear.
– I ask the honourable senator to withdraw his observation unconditionally.
Senator Payne ; If you insist, sir. I must withdraw. But I would like to say a little more.
– Order! The honourable member has not withdrawn his observation to my satisfaction, and I ask him to do so.
Senator Payne ; Do yon, sir object to my statement that Senator Barnes has been criticising our Arbitration Court judges throughout his speech?
– The honourable senator has reflected on me in my capacity as president by suggesting that I have allowed Senator Barnes to say something that is contrary to the Standing Orders, and I ask him to withdraw that observation.
Senator Payne ; I withdraw anything that is considered to be a reflection on the Chair.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT -
Senator BARNES ; I had no idea that I was casting a reflection upon any judge. I very much regret it if I did.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENTOrder! I do not think 1 want to hear any more of that. I asked you to name the standing order but you then informed me that you were basing your point of order on a ruling from the Chair, and that it was not covered by the Standing Orders. Senator McAuliffe made his intention clear in introducing this aspect into the debate. I rule that it is in order to comment on a judgement but that no reflection can be made on the integrity of the judiciary. In my view, Senator McAuliffe did not reflect upon the integrity of the judiciary. Senator McAuliffe, have you completed your speech? You were seated.
– No, Mr Acting Deputy President. I sat down in deference to you. I hope that while I am a senator in this chamber I will always uphold the dignity of the Chair. I think in my maiden speech I said that one of the things my father always told me was to have respect for the Chair at meetings. 1 would like to see that example followed by some of the honourable senators opposite. As I pointed out, there is an old adage in jurisprudence which should be well known to Senator Byrne, namely: ‘Justice must not only be done it must also appear to be done’.
– Your hypocrisy is overwhelming.
-I know it is irksome to Senator Gair and the other honourable senators of the Democratic Labor Party because they were silent about the bombing of the Communist Party headquarters in Brisbane. They probably delighted in the fact, and their only disappointment may have been that the result of the incident was not more tragic. You uphold terrorism and violence when it is against the Communist Party but you do not have the stomach to stand up and try to progress your case and find out who bombed the DLP headquarters and who robbed your kitty. You took it sitting down like the squibs that you always are when the heat is put on you.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENTOrder! Senator McAuliffe, you say you respect the Chair so will you please address the Chair.
– Yes, Mr Acting Deputy President. It is very difficult to resist being provoked by Senator Gair. He sits there and interjects in this manner all the time but he will not get up on his feet and take part in the debate. I know he has retired. I do not blame him for being retired. If I am as active as he is when I am more than 70 years of age I will probably want to retire myself.
I intend to conclude with the remarks that I made earlier. I feel that the former AttorneyGeneral has a case to answer. He has not answered it. He has not met the occasion. I think that the Independent senator, Senator Negus, described the situation admirably last evening when he said: ‘I am an Independent senator and I have no political axe to grind. I come down strongly on the side of Senator Murphy for having the courage and the responsibility to table these documents and to ventilate for the benefit of the people of Australia the advice that was contained in those documents, the existence of which had been vehemently denied and repudiated by the former Attorney-General.’ Both the former Attorney-General and the Premier of Queensland apply double standards. They masquerade as the champions of law and order when they talk about draft resisters, the trade union movement, the Australian Labor Party or demonstrators. But when it comes to terrorism and violence they say they do not have enough proof to institute, prosecutions. I gave the Senate an instance this afternoon of a case which actually progressed to the stage of reaching the courts in Brisbane but which, through a technicality, was thrown out. Although the person charged signed a statement confessing that he had bombed the Communist Party headquarters in Brisbane, he was set free by the legal powers in that land.
– We are supposed to be debating a 30- page statement on Croatian terrorists which was delivered in this chamber last week. Many ministerial statements have been delivered in this chamber in the past. I can understand that any Minister might want to investigate some particular facet of his administration and to bring down a statement in this chamber at a later stage. We would debate such a statement in the normal way. But the statement currently under consideration is different. Why is it different? The Senate has taken a fortnight - last week and this week - to debate all the ramifications of this statement. The statement was not presented by the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) in the first place in the discharge of his duty as Attorney-General. The statement is not aimed at presenting a case against terrorists but it is aimed at discrediting the former AttorneyGeneral and the previous Government.
Since the statement was brought down all sorts of things have happened. At question time in this place we have interrogated the Attorney-General in an effort to obtain information, and that is the main reason why question time has lasted for so long for so many days. We have not been given the answers which we normally would expect to find in a statement such as the one presented by the Attorney-General. After the events of the last fortnight one could well ask just what all this is about. How can an experienced parliamentarian and lawyer like Senator Murphy get himself in the position in which he finds himself today? Obviously the statement was merely a smokescreen for other activities to defend his raid on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to look for certain documents which so far we have not been able to identify. There has been a great deal of questioning in this place but we have not been able to find out what is in particular files. The Press was able to get hold of some information, but the Minister said that he did not know who had leaked it or how it got out. But that is all we have at this stage. There is little doubt in my mind that people throughout the community must be wondering what were the reasons for this raid on ASIO, after which this statement was brought down. Was it to try to get files on Croatian terrorists because the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia was to visit this country and the Government members believed that his life could be endangered, and therefore they must do everything to maintain his security? 1 find it very hard to believe that a step such as the raid on ASIO would have been undertaken for that reason. More likely it would be that some of his friends in the Labor Party are endeavouring to get him to go and get certain files that may concern some of his colleagues because–
– I am not saying that about anyone in this House. I said friends and colleagues’, and colleagues can be outside, can be anywhere. There have been other acts of terrorism in Australia and no doubt our police forces have files on people who have operated in violent demonstrations - and there is little doubt in my mind that that was the main reason for this raid on ASIO. I would say that the whole exercise has not brought much credit on the Minister himself or on the Government or on this Parliament. Australian citizens have been accused publicly in this Parliament of crimes of violence without being able to defend themselves. We saw the operation in Sydney last weekend when some 80 homes were raided and people were pulled out of bed in the middle of the night to explain themselves. We heard of only a few being arrested, not for crimes of violence but for being in possession of such things as firearms and so on.
– What about gelignite?
– And gelignite. Well, what about gelignite? Thousands of primary producers in this country have firearms on their properties for one reason or another. There are gangs employed by the road-making instrumentalities in the States, such as the Main Roads Department, and there are earthmoving contractors operating in the back country, all of whom need gelignite to blow up rocks.
– They do nol keep it under the ceilings of their homes.
– It should be kept in magazines.
– Well, it may not be kept in magazines. But I am saying that one could find in many homes and in many places throughout this nation people in possession of such things as firearms and gelignite.
– Without a permit?
– It depends which Slate one is in; that is another point. These are the sorts of things which are disturbing the population today. Apparently it is all right for a lot of other people from other nations to form themselves into organisations because they do not approve of the Government of their former homeland. But whenever organisations are associated with a communist nation such as Yugoslavia - in this case Croatian organisations - they are not allowed to have views of their own, views contrary to the Government of that nation. There are many governments throughout the world that people here do not approve of. I should imagine - I notice that Senator Georges is just leaving the chamber - that many do not approve of the present Greek Government. That does not mean that anyone who does not approve of such governments should not voice his disapproval. These are the things that rather disturb me, that a certain attitude is taken in regard to communist-controlled countries overseas. This present Government believes that people who object to the governments of those countries are terrorists, or at least are people who should be discredited.
I will not go through all the details of this matter. We have heard Senator Murphy accuse Senator Greenwood of not carrying out his duties, and we have heard Senator Greenwood in reply, ft is interesting to note, however, that in all that has occurred in the meantime, Senator Murphy has had ample opportunity to bring to trial these people whom he said Senator Greenwood had not brought to trial and therefore had not done his duty. We could go on for hours talking about this. We would have to go through all the files, those that have been tabled here and those that have not been tabled, to get to the bottom of the whole question. What disturbs me about this whole operation is the effect it has had on our security service. Every nation needs a security organisation and I believe that ASIO as a result of the raid in Melbourne undertaken by the Attorney-General has been dealt a body blow. What organisation of a similar type in the world today would be prepared to give information to ASIO knowing that at any stage its secret documents and their sources could be divulged publicly by being tabled in the house? What informant or what individual who may have the security of this country at heart is now prepared to give information to ASIO knowing that it can be tabled in this House for public scrutiny? How can one expect ASIO again to operate as a viable force and as an important part of the security of this nation?
A statement has been made, and this Government seems to support it, that there should be an amalgamation of the Commonwealth Police and ASIO. Let us look at this situation. A security organisation exists to receive information. It has no power of arrest. It cannot arrest citizens - all it can do is receive and disseminate information.
– Disseminate to whom?
– Well, whoever they decide should have it. In this case the Prime
Minister of the nation. A law enforcement organisation such as the Commonwealth Police Force is not usually served with this type of information but it does have the power of arrest. If the 2 organisations are amalgamated, what have we got? We have got the very basis, of the Gestapo of Germany - or, what is probably more to the point as far as this place is concerned, the OGPU in Russia - whereby information concerning people ca,i be obtained from any source, after which those people can be arrested and subjected to a!! sorts of intimidation. From that stage, of course, one goes to the next stage at which people are intimidated and silenced. You have a situation in which the instrument is running the country and silencing the nation. I think that this, more than anything else, must disturb this nation. Last week-end we saw some of this type of thing in operation when these early morning raids were carried out on the homes of people.
I have had some disturbing information from my area up in north Queensland where 1 know a lot of the people in Dimbulah and Mareeba. I have no doubt that there are people there who should be investigated. But I have heard disturbing accounts from Australian citizens who have come from Croatia many years ago. They are respected citizens in that area who have been subjected to all sorts of inquiry and intimidation. 1 will make it my business in the next parliamentary break to meet these people and see what is going on up in that country. As has been stated, there are about 200,000 Croatians in Australia. In many cases, they are migrants who have been victimised in their homeland. They have come to Australia to be good Australian citizens. We realise that there are only a few who may be taking the law into their hands. Unfortunately, this Government appears to tell the whole of those 200,000 people thai they could be suspect. I do not think that this is the sort of situation we want to continue in this country.
– Nobody has asserted that they are all under suspicion, and the honourable senator well knows it.
– The honourable senator will have his turn to speak in time. It is interesting to note what has been said by honourable senators in the Opposition. Senator McAuliffe, who just resumed his seat spent most of his speech telling us about what happened to his colleagues and friends in Brisbane when their headquarters were bombed.
– He did not say that they were his colleagues or friends.
– They are. He spent most of his speech talking about them.
– The honourable senator is misrepresenting him.
– Senator McLaren is defending him. While this motion that has been moved by Senator Withers on behalf of the Opposition may be a severe one, certainly it is one that I will support. I think that what the Attorney-General has done in the whole of this last fortnight and what he did before, in particular his attack on Senator Greenwood, have been completely unjustified. His attack on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and what has happened to ‘that organisation as a result of his raid indicate to me that he is not a fit man to hold the position of Attorney-General or to be in charge of the security of this country. Consequently, I will support the amendment moved to the motion that the Senate take note of the statement.
– I welcome the opportunity to join in this debate because on the occasion when the previous Opposition attempted to debate the matter of terrorism and violence in Australia the majority on the other side of the Senate denied us an opportunity to move a motion that sought to refer to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence the complaints of the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia about bases and training facilities in Australia and the questions of whether there had been any terrorism, violence or any illegal activity engaged in in Australia and whether any Australian facilities had been available to terrorists. On that occasion the automatic majority that existed in the Senate and which may well still be an automatic majority on this occasion gagged the debate and denied members of the then Opposition who support the present Government an opportunity to debate the matter of terrorism.
I think that we have to make the position very clear to the Senate and to the people of Australia that the Government, the Australian Labor Party and every sector of the Labor movement stand full square behind Senator Murphy. There is no deviation of hesitancy.
There is complete and absolute support for the stand that he has taken. I refer honourable senators to another indication of the mass of support that has been evident since he first made his statement to the Senate a fortnight ago.
– A cross-section of the newspapers does not suggest that.
– If Senator Webster would listen with both ears, he might find out that correspondence has been forwarded to the Attorney-General from the Commonwealth Police Officers Association in the following terms:
As you are aware, ihe 1973 Biennial Conference of this Association was held in Canberra from 19th March to 23rd March 1973 inclusive. I wish to inform you that the following resolution was unanimously passed at that conference:
That this Federal Conference of the Commonwealth Police Officers’ Association in session wishes to express its wholehearted support to the AttorneyGeneral, Senator L. K. Murphy, in his campaign to eliminate all terrorist activities that are contrary to our Australian way of life, and also expresses its complete co-operation in his endeavours to make the Commonwealth Police the strong, active, viable force it must be for the benefit and betterment of the Australian people.’
Since the Senate granted Senator Murphy leave to present his ministerial statement, I think we have to accept that he has been subjected to a great deal of interrogation in the Senate and some criticism in the daily newspapers. It is within the knowledge of honourable senators that in excess of 80 questions have been addressed to him. He was virtually grilled in the Senate, lt is interesting that very few of those questions dealt with the matter of terrorism. They were all endeavouring to establish some motive in respect to his visit to both the Canberra and Melbourne offices of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. We have to examine the fact that honourable senators opposite who have spoken in the debate today, with the exception of the last speaker. Senator Maunsell, have endeavoured to present what I describe as a ‘Liberal lawyers lament’. They have not endeavoured in any shape or form to answer the very serious allegations and statements which were produced to the Senate in Senator Murphy’s statement.
Senator Greenwood has tabled documents in regard to which he said on television last evening that he did not know whether he broke the Crimes Act. He said that he thought the sections of the Act dealing with the tabling of these documents, which I accuse him of having illegally, were very confusing. That was said by the former AttorneyGeneral in a Government that had 23 years in office to clear up the points of confusion. The documents were confidential documents. I do not know who declassified them, if they were declassified. I think the documents on which Senator Greenwood seemed to place a great deal of credence are worth analysing. It is very interesting to note that the first document is headed ‘Attorney-General’s Department Minute Paper Confidential’. It is dated 4th October 1972. That was a few weeks prior to the Senate rising. The then AttorneyGeneral was advised by the Secretary of his Department, Mr Harders, that there was a need to establish a co-ordinating group consisting of senior officers from various departments in order to co-ordinate intelligence and investigations relating to politically motivated acts of violence.
It seems strange that when the first overt act of violence manifested itself in 1960 Dr J. F. Cairns asked certain questions and spoke during the adjournment debate in the other place. Subsequently both he and Mr Whitlam, in a series of questions, and later honourable senators drew attention to what appeared to be pattern of terrorist behaviour. What seems to be clear is that Senator Greenwood has adopted, at the very best, an inconsistent and schizophrenic attitude in respect of terrorism. He answered questions on one occasion by saying that there was no evidence of terrorism, and on another occasion he said that there was some concern in government circles. It is clear that the Opposition will follow the pristine approach to this matter, and that is that attack is the best method of defence. I suggest that honourable senators opposite have stooped to a very low level in moving an amendment which seeks to express a want of confidence in the Attorney-General. Their action is without precedent here. In the other place we can play the numbers game just as well as those who might want to play it here. For example if the Senate decided to support the amendment - if honourable senators were prevailed upon and persuaded to support it - there would be nothing to stop the House of Representatives carrying a similar motion in respect to the administration of the previous Attorney-General. I doubt whether that will be of any value to the parliamentary processes or to the important matters which we on this side have endeavoured to deal with for a number of years. I suggest that those honourable senators who have spoken in favour of the amendment should re-examine their approach to the matter.
In the debate to date a number of statements have been made. I hope to be able to show to honourable senators that the truth has been handled rather carelessly by some speakers. For example, today Senator Rae stated that for the purpose of Senator Murphy’s visit to the Melbourne headquarters of ASIO he and 27 Commonwealth Police used a VIP flight. That statement is not true. The facts are that the Commonwealth police were based in Melbourne and that Senator Murphy and his small party used a commercial flight to travel to Melbourne. I will show subsequently that on other occasions former Ministers, particular Senator Greenwood, did not handle the truth in the clear and concise way that their ministerial office required.
I find it rather sickening to hear Opposition speakers referring to statements which were made by Mr Chifley years ago. When I was campaigning for the return of the Chifley Labor Government in 1949 the propaganda of the Liberal Party was at the gutter level. It was against the nationalisation of banks and of the medical industry. The Liberal Party used every conceivable word of denigration and criticism against Mr Chifley to try to destroy his image. A similar situation arose in 1966 when Mr Calwell and the Labor Parly had the courage of their convictions and took a stand against the war in Vietnam, lt is sickening to hear members of the Opposition quoting former leaders of the Labor Party as some justification for the stand that is being taken now.
What would members of the Opposition have done if they were confronted with rec ommendations from the Chief of the Commonwealth Police advising the Australian Government that a dignitary who had been invited to visit Australia by the previous Government was in danger of assassination when he came to this country? Would they not have taken every step within their means to establish absolute security so that such a dignitary would be protected? In 1964 the security organisations in the United States failed in their responsibility to President Kennedy. On the day on which the President went to Dallas there was talk in Dallas that he would be assassinated. There were full page advertisements in the Dallas newspaper saying: ‘This man is wanted for treason’. Yet the security organisations were not able to adequately defend their President. Based on that sort of experience and knowledge surely any government would be recreant to its trust if it did not take the view that every conceivable step should be taken to protect an honoured guest. Whether we like that country or that person is immaterial to the duties of any responsible government.
Some honourable senators opposite, if not all, who have spoken have said that the debate has developed into a highly charged and emotional issue. It is a matter of judgment whether an attempt to assassinate the visiting Yugoslav Prime Minister is a highly charged and emotional issue. If he were assassinated it could have affected the safety of our Prime Minister because they appeared together in many public places. Surely that would bc sufficient reason to induce the Attorney-General and those charged with security arrangements in this country - whether it be the State police, the Commonwealth Police or security organisations - to take every possible step.
– Why was it necessary?
– The threats which have been made against people in public office in this country have been made not so much against members of Senator Wright’s Party as against members of the present Government. Dr J. F. Cairns has had numerous threats to his life. When he was in New Zealand on government business just recently I had occasion to telephone his wife. She had to have the telephone disconnected because obscene and threatening allegations were made to her. The police had to station an officer in her home to protect her from insane and unnecessary attacks. The Prime Minister,
Mr Whitlam, Senator Murphy and his wife have received threats. There is evidence to show that these threats have come from persons on the extreme right. It is very easy for members of the Opposition to try to equate a bit of violence which might take place in one trade union or at one Trades Hall meeting with all the threats that have been made against officers of trade unions.
My brother and the officials of his union have received many threats against their lives, as well as obscene suggestions over the telephone, from right wing sources within the trade union movement. Make no mistake about that. Probably I hold the honoured position, if I can place the event in such a category, of being the only member of this national Parliament at present in whose home a bomb has exploded. If any honourable senator opposite believes that that is an event which they wish to exprience, they should carry on in the way in which they and their former Government have done for the last 23 years. That incident occurred just 2 years ago and was caused by right wing terrorist sources. Make no mistake about that either.
– How do you know that?
– I know because senior police officers in New South Wales told me that they knew who it was–
– How do you know?
– I know who it was and they know who it was.
– How is that known?
– It is known because they came back on a second occasion and were caught on that second occasion. But the Liberal-Country Party Government in New South Wales decided not to file a bill in respect of that matter. Make no mistake about that. On the recommendation of the so-called Minister for Justice in New South Wales no bill was filed against a person involved because he represented the same right wing terrorist groups that the Government which Senator Webster supports has been seeking to protect for a great number of years.
A great deal has been said in this debate about the fact that 230 Commonwealth and State police officers raided 80 homes in Sydney and Canberra last weekend. I am prepared to concede that that is a ratio of 3 police officers to each home. But in the case of a small 19 year old draft resister with which Senator Greenwood was involved last year, 12 Commonwealth police were employed to arrest this person at Glebe in Sydney. It was at an hour of the morning in respect of which a highly emotive issue is now being promoted. We hear mention now of the early hours of the morning.
– Are you aware that there was a warrant out for him? Are you avoiding the facts?
- Senator Webster, you are most helpful to me. I refer now to the statement that Senator Greenwood made in the Senate yesterday and specifically to the documents which were not tabled by Senator Murphy. Let us deal with the question of terrorism which honourable senators opposite claim is not an issue. I turn to page 2 of the second document which was tabled by Senator Greenwood. Some of the more significant of the incidents involving Croatians are listed in chronological order. The document reads: 7th May, 1964: Tomislav LESIC was severely injured.
It is true that this report does not say when he was injured but newspapers and the documents tabled by Senator Murphy reveal that this incident occurred at 3.30 a.m. The former Prime Minister, Mr McMahon, the Commonwealth police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation all reached the conclusion that Lesic was carrying a bomb which he intended to plant somewhere, when it exploded prematurely. The next reference is: 1st January, 1967: At about 0330 hours a bomb explosion on the first floor patio at the rear of the Yugoslav Consulate, Sydney.
The document continues: 9lh June 1969: At about 0100 hours there was an explosion at the frontof the Yugoslav Consulat, Sydney,
The next incident is: 29th November 1969: At about 0200 hours there was an explosion at the rear of the Yugoslav Embassy, Canberra.
The explosion which occurred at my home took place at 0230 hours. The document continues: 2nd January 1970: A.C.T. Police arrested 2 Croats . . . found in possession of explosives. 21st October 1970: At about 2300 hours . . .
The document goes on to cite another six or seven instances of terrorists employing the cover of the early hours of the morning tot carry out their raids.
– Who tabled that document?
– It was tabled by Senator Greenwood. Of course, he did not make any reference to the fact to which I have just drawn attention. I refer honourable senators now to a 4-page document that I have here. I mention first what appeared in the ‘Daily Mirror’ of Tuesday, 19th September 1972. I invite Senator Webster and those other honourable senators opposite who are so vocal on these matters to listen to what this newspaper printed. The article is headed: More Bomb Scares’. It states:
Today, at the CIB, a special conference of 35 detectives is reviewing information received yesterday when 10 members of the Yugoslav community - 5 men and 5 women - were questioned for several hours. Detectives yesterday took possession of documents and other materials.
Why do certain raids on peoples homes under a Labor Government suddenly assume an air of criminality when similar raids were an acceptable every day feature when they occurred under the Government led by Mr McMahon, of which Senator Greenwood was a member? 1 turn next to the Melbourne Age’ - I assume that we can say that these documents are correct - which reported at approximately the same time as the ‘Daily Mirror’ printed the article from which I have just quoted:
The Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) said yesterday be had not been aware police intended to raid homes in Melbourne and Sydney on Tuesday searching for evidence of the Croatian Liberation Movement.
That is precisely the position in which Senator Murphy was placed. On Monday last, newspapers reported Mr Davis as saying that Senator Murphy did not know of the raids that were conducted last weekend. Further examination shows that those raids were initiated by the New South Wales police who requested action to unearth some of the problems associated with terrorism. In fact they invited the Commonwealth police to join in those raids. So much for the great play on words that we have seen in the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ and other newspapers suggesting that midnight raids are a development that is suddenly emerging and that activities of this type are something unusual. These raids are a continuation of the very practices that have been followed by governments year in and year out. It is a pity that members of the Australian Democratic Labor Party are not present They are more frequently absent from the chamber than they are here. I wish to quote some of the statements that appear in the October issue of the journal ‘Focus’. This journal states:
The public has in recent weeks been reading frightening news of terrorism in various parts of the world. First there was the gripping and tragic drama at the Olympic Games at Munich in which Arab terrorists murdered 9 Israeli sportsmen. Then within weeks, as if to remind Australians that terrorism is an international phenomenon which they cannot escape, there were the bomb explosions in Sydney streets outside a Yugoslav travel agency. lt is necessary to condemn, without reservation, actions such as these. No cause is good enough or great enough to justify the use of such violent actions such as the capture of hostages or the use of bombs in public places. lt is not good enough for liberals to say that if only the root causes of terrorist dissatisfaction were removed all would be well.
Yet, we see evidence today of the Australian Democratic Labor Party joining forces with the other sections of the Opposition in an endeavour to carry an amendment which seeks to condemn the actions of the AttorneyGeneral who had the courage to do what he did and who has the support of the overwhelming majority of the Australian people.
The problems of Croatia and Yugoslavia are great and obviously will not be eradicated within one generation. I have received certain documents which clearly show the sorts of problems that existed in that part of Europe. They were sent to me in the last couple of days by a constituent living in Newcastle, a lady 1 do not know. If we have any illusions about Pavelic, the wartime leader of the Croatian Ustasha movement, honourable senators should look at these documents. Honourable senators might say that they appeared in a foreign language journal and therefore have no credence but I do not think you can manufacture photographs. This document shows Mussolini receiving Pavelic in 1941. Another photograph shows Goering, Pavelic and Hitler arriving in Serbia. Another shows Hitler being met by Pavelic in a part of Yugoslavia in the same year, 1941. Honourable senators have to take into consideration that the Croatian Liberation Movement had this to say on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary:
We protest most categorically and repudiate the decisions made by the representatives of the three Great Powers at Yalta in February 194S . . .
Since that time they have engaged in activities all over the world aimed at retracing their steps and turning back history. This is what Senator Murphy said in his statement:
I have never accepted the proposition that we must get used to political terrorism, involving bombings, murder, intimidation, and that democratic governments are powerless to suppress such activities.
We supporters of the Labor Government join with Senator Murphy in that statement. He continued:
That such actions have occurred in Australia with increasing frequency in recent years is beyond dispute.
Do honourable senators opposite disagree with those statements? I put it to them that there is abundant evidence in the files supplied to us to show that Senator Murphy did his homework; in fact he presented substantial evidence to justify his point of view. It was his duty to ascertain whether the charges about terrorism that have been made over the years were substantive or otherwise. There is no question that by producing the documents which have been tabled he has succeeded in doing so. It is very poor journalism on the part of the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ to suggest that Senator Murphy’s argument falls to the ground because police had received information from a number of sources indicating that Mr Mudrinic was in the pay of the Yugoslav Consulate-General. That was hearsay evidence. Those facts appear in the documents which Senator Murphy tabled. They may not have been in his statement but they are in the tabled documents which relate to his statement. It is asserted by some members of the Yugoslav community that this person may be in the pay of the Yugoslav Government. All sorts of assertions may be made. I have read depositions taken by State police - depositions taken in Melbourne, Wollongong and Sydney - in which it has been asserted that there were training grounds in Queensland. Those people were cross-examined by police and those statements appear in the transcript of evidence. I have read about them being trained in Wodonga. Opposition senators reject those statements and say that they have no credence. They say that there is no proof. They seized upon this one small paragraph which said that this person Mudrinic may have been an agent provocateur. I cannot understand their reasoning. Either the reports can be substantive and can be accepted in their total context or they are not acceptable at all. Nothing has been said by honourable senators opposite to deny that fact.
I want to refer to the point of view taken by Senator Greenwood. On 26th October 1972 I asked him this question:
My question, which is directed to the AttorneyGeneral, relates lo the 2 recent Sydney court cases concerning Yugoslav terrorists and statements made by the New South Wales Police and the victim of a bomb blast in Sydney.
Senator Greenwood took me to task about that question. He said: 1 can only regret the use of the expressions ‘Croatian terrorists’ and ‘Yugoslav terrorists’ which Senator Gietzelt has used.
I point out that the documents show that those are the words used by the New South Wales Police. They were the words used by the newspapers in New South Wales to describe that case. In fact the Commonwealth Police and the security organisation made use of the same terminology when commenting on those particular court cases. Yet Senator Greenwood took me to task, as indeed did the President of the Senate who said:
I wish to make the observation that honourable senators do themselves less than justice and put themselves in offence against the Standing Orders when they quote from a newspaper.
I was not stating my point of view; I was stating the point of view of the New South Wales Police and it was that at which Senator Greenwood took umbrage. Clearly Senator Greenwood was defending the position that there was no terrorism, otherwise why would he take issue with me on that point?
Let us look at the Croatian organisation. Pavelic was an arch war criminal. According to the documents of the criminal intelligence branch he was personally involved in the assassination of King Alexander in 1934. Then he received help from the Vatican and Mussolini in 1929 to establish the Ustasha movement. When the German forces, ‘he Axis forces - the forces against which our Australian troops were committed in World War II - marched into Zagreb on 10th April 1941, Pavelic marched at the head of the German column. Who are we to say that the intelligence reports are not correct? They have not been challenged by the Opposition so I presume it accepts them as being substantive. The intelligence reports state that the Ustasha organisation deteriorated into a Nazi SS organisation. That statement appears on page 2 of the Australian Security Intelligence
Organisation report. It is interesting to note that the Cardinal in that country, Cardinal Tisserand, who constantly opposed the Croatian wartime government, told Pavelic’s legate in the Vatican:
If you only knew -
I am quoting from a statement published in a Paris newspaper - how the Italian officers stationed along the Adriatic coast speak of you - murders, fires, crimes of every kind and pillages are the order of the day in these regions. 1 know for sure that even the Franciscan Friars of Bosnia and Herzegovina took an active part in the attacks against the orthodox population and the destruction of churches. I learnt from an infallible source that the Franciscans from Bosnia behaved atrociously. How such acts can be perpetrated by civilised and cultured men, lel alone priests, is inconceivable.
When that Cardinal died last year in Rome, Spremnost’, published here in Australia, had something to say in its March 1972 issue. This surely gives some indication to honourable senators of the tremendous problem we have with these people in our community:
For his work he hardly deserves paradise -
This is what is stated in this great Christian newspaper - and holy Peter, the key holder of Heaven, will do well to keep this Cardinal in purgatory for at least J times 50 years before giving him his place in hell. Never allow him, as a Cardinal of the Church, to come before the face of God.
What hatred we see expressed by this hard core section of the Community.
– What are you quoting from?
– It would do Senator Webster well to read what Senator Murphy said. He said that we, as a Government, are interested only in the hard core extremists. We make a great distinction between the hard working, competent and decent people that have come from that part of the world to our country. We have stressed that what is involved in our endeavours is the rooting out of this hard core of extremism. Of course, it is worth noting that over the years many members of the previous Government have seen fit to associate with these people who are connected with the sentiments to which I have just referred. Who are those members of the former Government? They are a former Minister for Immigration, Mr Opperman; the former Minister for Social Services, Mr Wentworth; the infamous Douglas Darby, M.L.A., from New South Wales; the former Prime Minister, Mr McMahon, who coming home from a game of squash or tennis a year or two ago said: ‘They seemed a good bunch of boys with a good cause, having some fun’.
– Mr Acting Deputy President, I raise a point of order. I object to the word ‘infamous’ being used with respect to a member of another parliament.
– I withdraw it. The other members of the former Government were Dr Malcolm Mackay and Dr Solomon. Photographs appearing in the daily newspapers substantiate the points that I am making in this matter. If honourable senators really had examined the documents that Senator Murphy has made available I am sure that they could not have helped but notice these things. I do not believe that honourable senators would be associated with language supporting the use of chemicals in revolution. But a document which was freely made available to every honourable senator to read, if he wanted to do so, stated:
In our revolutionary struggle to achieve the Croatian People’s freedom and State independence we shall use every possible means including, of course, chemicals in spile of the fact that some of them, e.g., poisons, are banned under international law. The end justifies the means - this must be our slogan too, because it is the only way to guarantee our revolutionary struggle . . .
I am not a scientist, but I am sure that there are people who can understand the terminology and the various processes and formulas mentioned in these documents. There is reference to automatic poison injection sets, how to make toxic poisons and how to use them against people with whom you have a disagreement. Do honourable senators really and seriously equate that sort of behaviour with the sort of unruly behaviour, disturbance and, to some extent, minor violence that has taken place from time to time in and around certain meetings in the trade union movement? Some 70 instances can be directly related to violence by Croatian terrorists.
– 1 hope that you are going to tell us about the Communists in the building workers union in your State.
– Why does not Senator Webster get his perspectives right? I am referring to the report from the Crimes Intelligence Branch of the Commonwealth Police. It is not an old report. It states:
Recent acts of violence against Yugoslav Embassies and Consulates in the United States, Canada, Germany, France and Australia indicate that Croatian freedom groups remain active. The acts of violence are no doubt designed to draw world attention to the Croatian cause and to create a diplomatic rift against
Yugoslavia andthe countries concerned. An innocent person is sometimes killed or seriously hurt during these outrages.
Is there any condemnation? Not one honourable senator opposite has made any statement condemning terrorism and has not said that there might be some truth in these documents. After all, these documents were part of Senator Murphy’s report. The report, which was sent to the Australian Government from the Yugoslav Government, goes on to say that the terrorists have received instructions in the use of mining devices at the Croatian Catholic Welfare Centre in Sydney; that they have received military training at a camp operated by the Croatian Liberation Movement; that they have had training in the use of weapons and explosives; and that they have been supervised by members of the Regular Army at Wodonga. The Commonwealth Police also said that since the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood was established in Australia it had been kept under surveillance and steps had been taken to prevent possible breaches of the Crimes Act. Then it is stated that the HRB, which is one of the many organisations which have been formed, would use every possible means at its disposal, including the employment of arms, to achieve the final goal.
I turn now to the ASIO documents, in case it is suggested that this is propaganda from the Left or from some other source which is not unimpeachable. I am not suggesting that every report that has been made by ASIO or by the Commonwealth Police is necessarily accurate, but ASIO, in its report, stated:
The Ustasha soon deteriorated into the equivalent of a Nazi S.S. organisation, and within this framework had an extermination squad aimed at anyone who opposed the Military regime, in particular, Jews and Serbians. This was the unit known as the Black Legion. Reports have placed Ustasha exterminations during the war as high as 800,000.
This is the organisation which Senator Murphy has seen fit to mention in this place in order to acquaint the Parliament, as I think he is duty bound to do, and the Australian people of its existence. It is an organisation to which a series of former Government Ministers have drawn attention. I need only refer to what Sir Robert Menzies said in 1964. It is in the records. He said:
I have no doubt that the great majority of organisations and societies to which migrants belong come within the category to which I have just been referring.
He was referring to migrants being integrated into the community. He continued:
However, the Government looks with disfavour on any activities of any migrant organisation which tend to frustrate integration.
The possibility always exists that at some point, the activities of a particular immigrant organisation, or the activities of individuals within that organisation, may transgress the law . . . If, as a result of these investigations, there is evidence of illegal activities on the part of an organisation, or individuals within an organisation, which would be receivable in a court of law, then steps will be taken promptly . . .
Of course, Sir Garfield Barwick, as did Sir Robert Menzies, correctly drew attention to what was happening within our community in the same period of time when he said:
For my own part, I am disturbed at the foreign policy implications of such activity which may embarrass our relations with other governments.
Do honourable senators appreciate that, leaving aside the United Kingdom, the greatest number of migrants now coming to our country come from Yugoslavia? Therefore, the maintenance of friendly relations with that country is an important part of our immigration program. Sir Garfield Barwick continued:
We have already received a formal Note from the Yugoslav Government conveying the view, which we have of course rejected, that the Australian authorities were ‘acquainted with the organised activity of the Croatian fascist immigrants and were, to say the least, tolerant towards them’. I am anxious to prevent any recurrence of behaviour either on the part of Yugoslavs or any other national minority groups, which adversely affects our external relations, and I have asked the Minister for Immigration to consider what positive steps might be taken to restrain them.
The Attorney-General of the day received a minute written by his Secretary - I think it was a Mr Edwards, if I can read his signature - drawing attention to the fact that a Father Romac of Sydney was presenting problems to the Government. He was reported to be a Franciscan Friar residing at 45 Victoria Street, Waverley, and at the Croatian Welfare Centre, 14 Queen Street, Woollahra. The document continues:
You will recall that it was at the home of Father Romac that the persons convicted in Yugoslavia received certain instructions prior to leaving Australia.
There is no equivocation here by the Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department. In his report to the Attorney-General he accepts the statement of the Yugoslav Government. This report further states:
As an alternative to the prosecution of Father Romac, the church authorities could be advised of his activities and asked to take measures to ensure the future good behaviour of Father Romac.
The Secretary then goes on to talk about the Aliens Act. Paragraphs 7 and 8 of the report state:
What more evidence do honourable senators want? I am still referring to the information from unimpeachable sources which was tabled in this place. This is a report from ASIO. I ask honourable senators to bear in mind that in recent years Senator Greenwood has been responsible for these matters. Page 2 of the report, after dealing with the problems of migrants who had come to Australia and the fact that there is some extremism, states:
However, it would be dangerous to become complacent, or to underestimate the nuisance-value of even a small number of fanatics working in a community which afforts them a wide measure of passive, if not active, sympathy and support.
That was written in 1967. It brought up to date the official report from ASIO to the Attorney-General following the first excursion into Yugoslavia in 1963 about which we received written complaints from the Yugoslav Government. .The Prime Minister of the day and his Minister for Foreign Affairs - surely both unimpeachable sources from the Opposition’s point of view - saw fit to draw the attention of the Government to this and they suggested certain courses of action.
We have the subsequent documents. There is one dealing with some of the individual documents which have been printed in another country and which came to Australia. It was edited by Professor Marijan Mikac, a former member of the Croatian Government. This man was writing from Argentina and sending material to Croatians here. He was seeking to raise money and support for his cause. This document goes on to state that the way in which the organisation - that is the Revolutionary Croatian Brotherhood - works is as follows: They have an intelligence branch, a technical bomb-manufacturing branch, a propaganda branch and a special squad branch which specialises in bombthrowing, kidnapping and assassination. Yet honourable senators stand up and endeavour to point out that the documents which were presented to this place have no relevance.
I shall deal with the letter from Mr Barbour, who I understand is the Director-General of ASIO. On 24th April 1972 he wrote to the Attorney-General: ‘My Dear Attorney-General’ so we assume that they were on intimate terms then and still are. He referred to an article in a paper which was attributed to Srecko Rover. The paper is called ‘Pregled’. Mr Barbour states:
The article indicates that these persons were not worthy of Croatian respect because they had declared Croatia to be an integral part of Yugoslavia and also a ‘Servian State’. Rover indicates that the real heroes of the Croatian patriots should include, among others, Barasic and Brajkovic. (These - individuals are considered identical-
This is Mr Barbour’s report - with the assassins of the Yugoslav ambassador Vladimir Molovic in Sweden last year - Miro Barisic and Andjelko Brajkovic, who both received sentences of life imprisonment). 1 shall leave out the parts of the document which are not relevant to the debate. The letter continues:
Information has just been received to the effect that Rover departed Melbourne on 17th April 1972, to travel to Sydney and Brisbane, and thence to Toronto, Canada. It is understood’ that he will attend an international convention of the HNO to be held in Toronto, and may also visit the U.S.A. Arrangements have been made in an effort to obtain coverage of Rover’s activities while overseas, and it is anticipated that, following the convention in Toronto, a clearer picture may emerge of Rover’s intended future activity in the Croatian nationalist field.
It seems to me that this indicates that there has been a pattern of behaviour and a movement which has been with us for a considerable number of years.
Let us look at ‘Spremnost’ of January 1973. I know this is the, post-Greenwood era but this is part of the documents which were tabled. This journal is referring to a person who deprecated the fact that 2 Australians had been shot in 1972 when they were caught in Bosnia. Yugoslavia. The report states:
What we ask him is - where was he while the guns were roaring at Bugojno and in other parts of Croatia?
Can honourable senators really suggest that the minor episodes of misbehaviour which occasionally take place among workers and members of trade unions over a period of years - there was one case in Sydney and one in Melbourne - can be equated with this sort of language and behaviour? Again I turn to journals which are put out by these extremist organisations. Incidentally, this journal which was printed in January this year is entitled Obrana’ and it states:
We Serbian fighters must follow the example of the Croatian patriots who are killing Yugoslav agents and hijacking and bringing down aircraft!
Honourable senators opposite have the audacity to condemn Senator Murphy and the Government for releasing a film. Here we have people who are extolling those who are involved in hijacking aircraft. It continues:
What are we Serbians doing against Yugoslavia and against Tito?!
Let us look at another journal. This one is called ‘Kletva’. It has no date on it but I gather that it is a fairly recent document. It states what the Government, the former Opposition, has been saying. This is a statement that appears in the document:
Many members of the emigre community have taken a stand against the revolutionary spirit of Croatian youth and of the younger generation. Many of them refuse to face the fact that each period has its own troubles.
Is not this the very point which Senator Murphy has sought to bring out in his documents? Most Croats in this country do not want to be involved in problems which occurred in Yugoslavia and central Europe a generation ago. They want to settle down and become, part of the Australian way of life. It is precisely the inactivity and the indifference of the previous Government which has brought about this unsatisfactory state of affairs. Many Croats think that Ministers of the previous Government who attended functions had the imprimatur of the Government and that, in fact, they are part of the official movement. Of course it is easy to tell people who come from that part of the world and who do not know much about governments how important those in authority are when they attend official functions of these Croatian organisations.
I turn to the subject of sabotage. I wish to quote now from the document entitled ‘Kletva’. It states:
It is no offence to forget to stop an engine at the end of work, thus causing an electric motor to burn out or wasting the current when the plant is not working. It is no offence to wash one’s hands in aviation spirit and then leave the container open on a windy day, so that sand and dust can enter it. It is better still to leave oil containers open under similar conditions, lt should not be unusual for a tradesman to leave a small key in the cylinder of an engine. It should not be unusual for a nut to drop off a machine into an electric motor which happens to be installed right under it. It is nothing too unusual about a worker’s not meeting his 7-day norm or another worker’s exceeding his norm but failing to meet the quality standards.
They seek to sabotage the activities of a country which, until it had a change of government, was in fact living under a feudal system. I can go further about the revolutionary content of these organisations. Document Cil is a very interesting document. I ask honourable senators to analyse what it contains. Document Cil is a translation of the original document. I assume, as it was translated by either the Crime Intelligence Bureau or ASIO, that it is probably correct. Let us examine what it says: The document is headed ‘Instructions for Croatians outside their homeland’. I am sure that not even Senator Wright would disagree with me when I say that that could apply to those in Australia, seeing that it is a document that was found in this country. The document states:
Destroy all Yugo-embassies and consulates, kill Yugoslav diplomatic representatives, because they are common criminals and Fascists!
I thought they were communists but according to this document they are Fascists. The document continues:
Prevent migrants from travelling in Yugoslav aircraft, and destroy, Yugo-aircraft!
That is precisely what was done in Sweden. The document goes on:
Wreck the travel agencies collaborating with the JAT, because their collaboration supports the occupation of the ‘Socialist Republic of Croatia’!
We all remember the 2 incidents in Sydney - one in 1970 and the other in 1972 - when a number of ordinary peaceful citizens of Sydney were injured, some of whom could have been killed, when a bomb was placed in the Adriatic Travel Agency. The document continues:
Prevent the sale of Yugo-publications in the Croatian emigre community!
There is evidence in the files which have been tabled - time will not permit me to read all of it - from ASIO or the Commonwealth Police force of newsagents in Melbourne having been threatened because they dared to sell Yugoslav publications. These documents exhort a behaviour which is repugnant to Australia, repugnant to democracy and against everything that we stand for in this country. We have people in this country carrying out such behaviour. Instead of Senator Murphy receiving the plaudits of some people, the newspapers and the members of the Opposition, who should be concerned about terrorism, the reverse is the case. It has been suggested that we should not have confidence in him because he dared to bring to this Parliament documents that were freely made available to him. The remarks of Phillip Lynch have been referred to by other speakers. What did he say in 1970? Phillip Lynch said that he had reason to believe-
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - Order! The honourable senator’s time has expired.
– I join in this debate because of the statement made yesterday by Senator Greenwood and the terms of the amendment moved by the Opposition. Certain charges have been made by the Attorney-General, Senator Murphy, against the former Attorney-General, Senator Greenwood, about Croatian terrorism. Yesterday a statement was made on the subject by Senator Greenwood which I thought was an excellent piece of work and which, in my opinion, vindicated him completely insofar as the handling of his former duties as AttorneyGeneral in relation to the matter which we are now debating is concerned.
I have been associated with Senator Greenwood since he first became a member of this chamber. I have worked with him on a committee and so on. I think he is one of the most honourable, honest and trustworthy men that anyone could ever meet. I believe that Senator Greenwood carried out his duties as Attorney-General in a most conscientious way and gave of his very best to that portfolio. The portfolio of Attorney-General is one which is held in the very highest regard by the people of Australia. I think it is considered by most people to be a portfolio which is occupied by a person who is of the highest probity. Because of that, I think that we must consider very carefully what we are doing before we denigrate people who occupy such a position.
I feel that Senator Greenwood did an excellent job during the period in which he carried out the duties of that portfolio. I know that from time to time questions were asked of him in regard to Croatian and Yugoslav activities. I believe that the answers he gave to those questions were in accordance with the information he provided in his statement yesterday. It is easy to assume something but often it is difficult to prove it. Many people talk about what the Croatians and Yugoslavs are doing in this country. The difficulty to get sufficient evidence to prove that they are doing wrong. I feel that the replies Senator Greenwood gave to questions asked of him on this subject were in accordance with the information he had at his disposal. 1 think that the statement he made yesterday exonerated him completely from any blame in this direction. As I said at the outset, there is no man to whom I would attribute honesty of purpose more than I would to Senator Greenwood.
We have reached the stage today where we are considering Senator Greenwood’s reply to the accusations made against him by the Attorney-General. I think that, so far as the Senate is concerned, the amendment which was moved by the Opposition in relation to this matter should have more strongly emphasised the confidence of the Senate in the honesty, purpose and administration of Senator Greenwood when he was Attorney-General. I say that because it was necessary for him to make a statement to vindicate himself. I think that the Opposition, in its amendment, may have been wiser to have moved more directly in regard to standing right behind him in what he did in the portfolio of AttorneyGeneral. The Opposition has, however, chosen to work along different lines and has moved an amendment which states that the present Attorney-General does not deserve the confidence of the Senate.
After giving further consideration to this matter I have decided that this is a procedure which may pose some difficulties for the Senate. It is a type of motion that has not been passed in this chamber before. I know that the present Government, when in opposition, made several attempts to do so, but from what I can gather - I have some conversations with an authority on the subject and studied it - it seems that such a vote of no confidence is possibly not the right way for the Senate to record its disapproval. I would much prefer to have seen an amendment which sought to show not the Senate’s disapproval of the statement by the present Attorney-General but its strong backing of the work done by Senator Greenwood when he was Attorney-General. As I said before, the people who occupy this position of AttorneyGeneral generally are accepted to be people of very real worth, of honesty and character. The present occupant of that position is Senator Lionel Murphy. He, like the former occupant, is a Queen’s Counsel. I believe that both of these honourable senators are very well regarded in the legal world in their respective States. Of course, it is a very serious thing for us to have to vote on a motion of want of confidence in the Attorney-General, Senator Murphy. In his capacity as Attorney-General he made certain moves in relation to the trouble between the Croatians and the Yugoslavs. He made searches and did things of that nature which probably were not in the usual run of the duties of an Attorney-General. When we read about it in the newspapers I think it probably took away the breath of most of us.
My own opinion is that Senator Murphy was given the wrong lead. He probably was led by someone who said that certain terrible things were taking place and, as a consequence, pursued that lead. I believe, from the information that has been presented to the Senate, that Senator Murphy did not find what he hoped to find. It may be fair to say that he made his search, although he failed to find what we believe he may have been looking for, with an honesty of purpose. I have known Senator Murphy since he first came to this chamber. I have had quite a reasonable association with him. Like the former occupant of the position of Attorney-General, I believe that no-one has a higher regard for the standards of the Parliament than Senator Murphy has. He has always been an upholder of the rights of the Senate and has aimed at raising the Senate to a higher standard during the time that he has been here. Knowing his aims and desires, I could not believe that he would carry out such work with the idea of denigrating in any shape or form this Parliament or its various activities. In those circumstances, I do not think it is fair for us to assume that his actions were other than of an honest character. In view of what has transpired, people may think that this sort of thing is easy to say. But let us look over our own work as public men. Sometimes someone will come to us because they want something straightened out. When that person tells his story we probably get a little upset or a bit worked up because there appears to be some very real injustice being done. But when we investigate the matter we find that the person who has come to us has misjudged the situation and not told the story correctly. I am sure that each and every one of us has had that experience. I believe that possibly Senator Murphy has found in this case that the lead he was given was a wrong one.
Now we have the situation that action of a very drastic nature is being taken in this respect. I am concerned just where it will take the Senate if the amendment moved by Senator Withers is carried. What will happen if the other House decides to pass a motion expressing confidence in the Attorney-General? If that occurs it will probably put this chamber in a very difficult position. In those circumstances I feel that this matter could probably be given much deeper consideration. I understand that at one stage it was proposed to adjourn the debate on this matter until next week. If that had occurred, possibly when we retired from this place for the weekend our temperament may have cooled so that it was not as warm as it is in this chamber at the moment, and we may then have thought along different lines. However, the decision now has been made to proceed with the debate.
Both the present Attorney-General and the former Attorney-General used very strong words and made strong accusations. But if we are honest we will realise that very often we say things in the heat of the moment in our political fighting which we would not say in cooler times. I cannot help feeling that the former Attorney-General is of the highest quality in respect of honesty, purpose and administration. I feel also that the present Attorney-General is a man who has a determination to carry out his work in the best way and to uphold the rights of the Parliament by honest endeavour. It is unfortunate that this incident ever happened. I think it was a mistake. I think as time passes many people will regret that the steps which were taken were taken.
I make these remarks along these lines as a simple layman. I know that we have in the Senate quite a number of legal men of outstanding ability and quality who probably look at things in a different way from me. But with my simple way of thinking, that is the way in which I see the situation. Before things are finalised I hope that honourable senators might acquire cooler feelings in regard to this matter. No-one would want to denigrate the position of Attorney-General or this Parliament. When all is said and done not only the Attorney-General but also the Government of the country is being castigated if criticism is to be made. I hope that the Senate will take into consideration when voting on this matter the respect in which the Senate is held by the other chamber and the people generally.
– I feel that we are all indebted to Senator Wood for a balanced, quietly presented and sensible contribution to this debate which has gone on for a long time. During the last week we heard a great deal about the actions and nonactions of Senator Murphy and Senator Greenwood. This debate has developed very much along Party lines. I would suspect that a great number of Australian people will have become confused as to what actually happened and did not happen concerning the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in relation to this Croatian matter. In my view, the statement which was made by Senator Murphy a week or so ago became almost entirely a personal attack on Senator Greenwood, a gentleman for whom I have a very high regard. I feel that Senator Greenwood very effectively rebutted the allegations made against him when he spoke to us at length yesterday. I feel that Senator Murphy was hasty and unwise to say and do many of the things that he has said and done over the last weeks. Perhaps he has been badly advised. Certainly Senator Murphy has not done any good at all to the very important position of Attorney-General.
I feel that the action of Senator Murphy has done ASIO considerable damage which need not have been done. At a time when our relations with many overseas nations are at a low ebb, Senator Murphy’s hasty raid on ASIO has further damaged our international situation by reducing the volume of information that we receive from overseas via ASIO. I am not saying these things behind Senator Murphy’s back; I said them to his face a day or 2 ago. Regarding the amendments moved by Senator Withers, I do feel that the arguments that we have heard in this chamber have shown each section of that motion to be worthy of my support. With section (e) I agree wholeheartedly. Migrants particularly have become fearful of the knock on the door in the middle of the night because many have come from a police state; they remember the fear that they held in Europe or their home country and they do not want it here - nor do we native born Australians.
I believe that Senator Murphy’s action in this case is so serious that he deserves to be reprimanded - and to be reprimanded in the strongest way. I will therefore support this amendment.
– I believe it is a shame that an opportunity was lost to present to this Senate and to the Parliament a reasoned, logical and restrained statement on terrorism. This could have been a valuable statement which could have produced information for the judgment of Parliament. Instead we were presented with a highly political statement which was used for an almost vicious personal attack upon the former Attorney-General. Senator Murphy in making this statement destroyed any value that it could have had. Why he had to vent what can only be regarded as his spite upon Senator Greenwood in a statement such as this one can only guess. But the situation now is that the accuser is the accused. I will not speak at length on this statement for it has been dealt with, and dealt with adequately. But it is worth saying that one of the strongest attacks on Senator Greenwood was that he was a protector of terrorism.
– An active protector.
– An active protector. Thank you, Senator Wright. I can only say that this in itself, had it been true, would have been a most damaging allegation. But the record that Senator Murphy chose to ignore and the record that Senator Greenwood put right yesterday shows just the contrary. Why Senator Murphy was not prepared to table those documents which prove the contrary is one of the reasons why he is now the accused. I could well read some of the documents which were tabled by Senator Greenwood, but I say that they show his great concern at the allegations of terrorism. A departmental minute from the Secretary of his then Department in, I think, September last year, in three or four paragraphs expressed the then Minister’s great concern at the lack of co-operation between the various police agencies and between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and for the calling of a conference to bring about closer liaison between them. His great concern was that the Commonwealth Police and Commonwealth agencies were not doing enough, that it was being left to the State police. All this is now on record and Senator Murphy’s charge falls where it deserves to fall, to the ground in shambles because of his dishonesty in not producing all relevant documents - and no-one can argue that the documents tabled last night by Senator Greenwood were not relevant documents.
Having said that, let me make a clear statement, if it need be made. We on this side of the House are opposed to terrorism whether it comes from the right or from the left. We make no difference in our opposition to it: it is contrary to our way of life.
– That is just an empty statement when you consider the record.
-Well, let us look at the record about violence. I will not be misled tonight about this, but at some other time let us look to see where violence was encouraged. It did not come from the right, it came from the left. If honourable senators want me to give one example, I will do so. Last year a bomb was placed in the offices of the Department of Labour and National Service in Perth - a dangerous bomb. It was not placed by the right wing terrorists; it was placed there by a couple of left wing terrorists who belonged to Unit 10 of the National Liberation Movement. The Prime Minister, Mr Whitlam, made a statement recently that all the terrorism of recent times has come from the right. He forgot about this particular incident. Perhaps Senator Murphy will tell the Senate what the Commonwealth Police force is doing, what instructions he has delivered to the Commonwealth Police to trace one of these young left wing terrorists who recently did not appear in court and who had absconded from bail. The other fellow was, fortunately, sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. Do not let us talk about terrorism from the right; there has been plenty of terrorism and violence from the left. The other matter which concerns us is the statement by the Prime Minister that the previous Government had lied. It is inconceivable that the Prime Minister was not aware of one of the documents tabled by Senator Greenwood, a document from which Senator Greenwood read last night, a document, which was presented to him partly in answer to the aide memoire from the Yugoslav Government. It came from the Commissioner of Commonwealth Police and was dated 19th October last year. The Commissioner of Commonwealth Police referred to the allegations and to the investigations and finished by saying:
All such allegations have been scrupulously investigated but to date no viable evidence at all has been uncovered to support the contention that Croatian terrorists have been trained in Australia.
This was a statement by the Commonwealth Commissioner of Police, and on that basis the next day a reply was forwarded to the Yugoslav Government. Who lied? I say it is inconceivable, or one would think it was inconceivable, that the Prime Minister was not aware of this report. Maybe he was not, because the Parliament was not told about it and was not aware of it. Perhaps the Prime Minister was not aware of it. All I say now is: Who has lied? It was not the previous Australian Government. This was an inexcusable allegation by the Prime Minister.
I now turn to the question of so-called Croatian terrorism which I think is of greater importance. Allegations have been made and answered. But what is a matter of great concern is this question of Senator Murphy’s antics towards the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. We have continued to ask questions of Senator Murphy to which, if we received any replies at all, we received evasive replies. We are yet to learn why, in the dead of night, he got the RegionalDirector of ASIO out of bed and made him come to his office to search for documents. However he did it does not matter. It was in the dead of night. Senator Murphy said that he was not aware of any precise documents before going to the regional office. Why did he go there? He has not yet told us why he went there. But he has told us that when he got there he found a document that was most disturbing. Under continued and repeated questioning, we were then told that this document referred to matters of the greatest importance to our national security. It was a document which was so disturbing that he then had to take further action.
We asked where that document was and we were not told. But, funnily enough, the Financial Review’ seemed to find out what that document was. The Parliament had not been told, but the ‘Financial Review’ said that it was an inter-departmental document which, it is alleged, was to the effect that the present Government was to be given no more information than the previous Government.
– Does the honourable senator think that when he is challenging the Attorney-General and the Prime Minister at least one Labor Party Minister ought to be in the Senate chamber?
– Yes. I must admit that it is unusual for them to be absent under these circumstances but it does not worry me. I suppose that they are so dejected now that they are hiding away in their offices. So it appears that it was an inter-departmental document. From being a document of great concern to our national security, it became a document that disturbed Senator Murphy because he felt that he was not getting sufficient information. We heard then all sorts of allegations against senior departmental officers and all sorts of inquiries that were being put in train. But as I understand what the Prime Minister said in another place today, he is back pedalling so fast-
– That sounds like another conspiracy.
– Yes, we are back to conspiracies. But honourable senators opposite live with a conspiratorial syndrome. So they should know all about it. The Prime Minister is back peddling so fast that he nearly shot himself out the back of the House of Representatives chamber. What he has said today is that there are no senior departmental officers involved but that some officer of ASIO was either not objective enough or had misinterpreted remarks when he put them down on paper. This great conspiracy that so concerned Senator Murphy now turns out to be some misunderstanding or misinterpretation of what was said. It is this document we are now led to believe that led Senator Murphy to do this James Bond act accompanied by some 27 or 30 Commonwealth police who raided the Melbourne office of ASIO.
It was rather interesting when the Prime Minister was asked why did not Senator Murphy ring up the Director-General of ASIO and tell him he was disturbed. He is a man who Senator Murphy has admitted he trusts. He has no reason to distrust him. Why did not Senator Murphy ring him and say that he was disturbed about this document, that he would come down tomorrow to discuss the matter with the Director-General to find out whether there were any further documents, where the original may be and so on? The Prime Minister replied: ‘You ask him’. He was not prepared to say why. I think that the Prime Minister put his nose to the breeze and started to smell something because he said at his Press conference: ‘You ask him’. We have asked him and we still have not found out why he did not ring the Director-General of ASIO. Why did not he go about this matter in a normal, civilised manner? Why did all this hysteria and theatricals take place? Why did he have 27 Commonwealth police officers seize and seal the files if he trusted the Director-General of ASIO? He admitted in reply to a question by Senator Greenwood that ASIO was not withholding any information. But later on, when he was pressed further he made a curious statement. According to page 740 of Hansard, in answer to a question asked by Senator Byrne, he said:
I am satisfied that, although information was not being refused to me, I was not being given the information that I ought to have been given.
How would he know? What does he mean by this? He was never refused information. If he asked for it, on his own admission, he was receiving it. Then he made this curious statement that he was not getting the information he ought to have been getting. This seems to me to be the statement of a man. who is being pressed into a corner. He does not know how he will get out of it. On his own admission, he only had to ask the Director-General and he would have received any further information that he sought. This whole thing becomes a greater and greater mystery. I suppose that it was conceived in a moment of mass hysteria which was being built up in Australia over the visit of the Yugoslav Prime Minister.
Having made this raid, having seized and sealed these documents, the next question arises: From whom was he preserving them? Senator Murphy said - he has been remarkably vague about this as well . he may be - that he has been preserving them for himself. But from whom? He trusted ASIO. He had received all the information he had requested from that organisation. Yet he sent 27 or 30 Commonwealth police officers - whatever might have been the case - to the ASIO offices. It might have been a little like the story of Tom Mix. I suppose that they came galloping down the street on their horses to raid the offices. Nevertheless, he sent these officers in to seize and seal the documents. I asked the Attorney-General: Who other than ASIO personnel have access to ASIO files? I received a long reply which did not answer the question. I wanted to know whether any other officers, whether they be from the Commonwealth Police or anybody at all, had access to these files. I take it from the answer that no personnel has access to them but ASIO officials. So we come back to the point that he trusted ASIO. He has been given all the help he requested but yet he had to walk in or rush in, whatever may have been the case, accompanied by all these police officers to seize and seal the files.
– Senator Sim, do not you think that you ought to call the attention of the Deputy President to the fact that there are no Ministers in the Senate chamber?
– My attention has been drawn to that fact. 1 am rather sympathetic towards them because probably they are sitting in their offices in a very dejected manner because all the spirit has gone out of them.
– No, they have heard all this before.
– It is a matter of courtesy. That there must be a Minister in charge of the Senate is a long tradition. But now we have hillbilly government we can expect this sort of thing. So without going back and traversing all the ground that has been traversed
-r-I think that there is a Cabinet meeting going on. Be a bit fair.
– When we formed the Government, we had Ministers in the Senate chamber when Cabinet meetings were being held. I do not care whether they are here or not. I do not want to traverse the ground that has been traversed previously. These points are worth raising because they are of vital importance to the debate. They are matters about which we should be told. There can be no question that the credibility of ASIO has been destroyed. Senator Murphy either did it deliberately, which I do not allege, or without thought and in an irresponsible manner. If he did act in such a manner, he deserves the severe censure of the Senate.
This country has prided itself through the years that a person was safe in his home and that he would not be faced with the dreaded knock on the door at night. This has been the totalitarian way of life which many people have come to this country to escape. Today they are fearful because for the first time people cannot feel safe at night. There is the fear of a dreaded knock at the door.
– For the first time? It has been going on for years. There were raids on homes to find draft resisters, and you supported the raids.
– Senator McLaren has a onetrack mind. I am talking about the dreaded knock on the door at night.
– You said that this was the first time. It is not.
– I am making my speech. I do not require your help. Dozens of police have searched homes. I am not protecting the wrongdoers, but there are ways to conduct searches. These raids strike fear into the hearts of people who came to this country to avoid raids at night. I believe that the trend is a dangerous one and one at which we should look. Proposals are being bandied around by the Attorney-General for the development of a new type of police force under ministerial control. In other words, for the first time this country would have a police force under ministerial control.
– What is so bad about that?
– -I am absolutely amazed to hear Senator Georges say that, because one of the most powerful ministries in totalitarian countries is the Ministry for the Interior. Governments which take over-
– Communist governments?
– United front governments with some communist members. The communists always demand the Ministry for the Interior because it controls the police.
– ‘Did not Bijedic have that portfolio?
– He was head of the secret police, I understand. He would know all about it. 1 hope that Parliament will strongly oppose, and oppose to the end, that development that coupled with the dreaded knock on the door at night, will instil into the minds of people that this country is developing a new system - a police force which is controlled by a Minister and which does his bidding. I believe that all of us should fear and should resist that.
The extraordinary thing about the situation is that the Attorney-General did not discuss his actions with the Prime Minister. He did not discuss them with anyone. He tried to get a VIP aircraft at 6 a.m. to rush off to Melbourne. One was not available, so he boarded the first aircraft, rushed down to meet his posse of police and carried out the raid. If these matters were of such great national importance and if the security of Australia were at stake, one would have thought that any responsible Minister would have discussed the matter on the telephone, at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., with the Prime Minister. One would have thought that prior to going to a regional office of ASIO to search for something - he did not know what, so he told us - he would have discussed the matter with the Prime Minister. One would have thought that that would have been the course that any responsible Minister would have followed. No wonder the Prime Minister seems to be supporting the Attorney-General at one moment and running away from him at the next moment. I am quite sure that the Prime Minister does not know what happened. That is his responsibility. By condoning the visit he accepts equal responsibility with Senator Murphy. What I have said leads me to the view that Senator Murphy has acted in a reckless and irresponsible manner. He has misled the Senate knowingly because he knew that documents were available. Because of his actions he deserves the severe censure of the Parliament. I support the amendment moved by Senator Withers.
– Who is next?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - Senator Webster is next on the list.
– Nobody from the Government is prepared to speak.
– I am prepared to speak.
– It is very interesting to note that at this hour no member of the Government is prepared to speak to protect the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy).
– Mr Deputy President, I object to this statement. I rose to speak.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT- Order! Senator Georges, are you raising a point of order?
– Yes. I rose to speak. You called Senator Webster. He claimed that no-one on the Government side was prepared to speak.
– Your name is not on the list.
– Nevertheless, I was prepared to speak. Do not make comments such as the one that you made.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT- Order! As all honourable senators know, the practice in the Senate is for the Chair to have before it a list of speakers. The next name on the list is that of Senator Turnbull. I cannot see Senator Turnbull; he did not rise in his place. The name following his is that of Senator Webster. I called Senator Webster.
– Do not let him make remarks such as the one that he made.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Very well.
– At the time I was taken somewhat by surprise. I had a list of speakers. I am 3 ahead of where I should be. However, I am pleased to speak to the motion. I give my full support to the amendment moved by the Opposition. It is with regret that the Opposition has had to move a want of confidence in the Attorney-General. Recent events have had a very significant impact on the Senate. I believe that they will have a very important impact on Australians and on Australia as a nation. Most aspects of the statement made by Senator Murphy have been discussed in the Senate and have been mentioned in the Press. As I have travelled about Victoria in the past couple of weeks I have noted that the statement has been a matter of important public discussion. That importance is based on several factors. Firstly, the main burden of the statement was to throw a cloak of disgrace over the former Attorney-General. Secondly, Senator Murphy has attempted to show to the Senate that there was reason to believe that Croatian terrorist organisations existed in Australia.
– You do not accept that?
– I do not accept from the statement that Senator Murphy made and from the papers that he tabled that there is clear evidence that Croatian terrorist organisations existed when Senator Ivor Greenwood relinquished the post of Attorney-General.
Sitting suspended from 5.45 to 8 p.m.
– The basis of this debate is a statement on Croatian terrorism made by the Attorney-General. The main body of that statement is open to- the interpretation that it is an attack on the credibility of Senator Greenwood. One could enumerate the pages on which Senator Murphy criticised, vilified and attempted to decry the actions of the former Attorney-General. If one were to read extracts from those pages, one would note the importance of the claim by Senator Murphy that Senator Greenwood was ‘the active protector of terrorists’ and that his conduct should be examined.
There is no worse charge than that which we see in page 4 of the printed copy of Senator Murphy’s statement. The AttorneyGeneral states:
I am now in a position to state categorically that the Liberal Attorney-General’s oft repeated assertion that there ls no credible evidence of the existence in Australia of organised Croatian extremism cannot be sustained. The contrary is true and was true at the time he made such statements.
In short, the Senate is alerted by Senator Murphy through that statement that Senator Ivor Greenwood was a liar. That deserves the greatest censure by the Senate.
– He did not say that.
– He did say so. That statement has been made. The subject matter of this debate has been traversed quite a deal in the last 2 days. There is no doubt - senators on the Government side who are seeking to interject should listen to this - that that is exactly what Senator Murphy said. I repeat what he said:
The contrary is true and was true at the time he made such statements.
The point that must be made is that Senator Greenwood was advised by both the Commonwealth Police force and the head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. No matter where we look in the papers that have been tabled by Senator Murphy, nowhere do we find definite evidence that organised Croatian extremism existed. I admit that many organisations were noted. I do not doubt that organisations of the Yugoslav people exist in this country. I was associated indirectly with one of the bombings that have been mentioned. I was to attend a dinner held by the Yugoslav Settlers Association at the Richmond Town Hall with Dr Jim Cairns when we were each to be presented with a fountain pen. Luckily, I had to attend a Rotary dinner that night and some unfortunate person had his hand blown off at that dinner.
There is no doubt that extremism exists in the community. But no proof of organised terrorism in Australia is to be found anywhere in the facts that Senator Murphy has submitted. Senator Greenwood completely exonerates himself in the few words that appear on page 9 of his printed statement. Senator Greenwood said:
One of the last Commonwealth documents that I received was a submission from the Commissioner of Commonwealth Police dated 19th October 1972:
From time to time, allegations have been made by both the Yugoslav Government and various groups in Australia that clandestine training is being given to Croatian “terrorists” in this country prior to their returning to Europe to carry out guerilla activity against the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). All such allegations have been scrupulously investigated but to date no viable evidence at all has been uncovered to support the contention that Croatian terrorists have been trained in Australia’.
That statement gives final support to what the former Attorney-General said on occasion after occasion in the Senate. It is a statement with which I agree. Individual terrorism does exist in this country. But neither ASIO nor the Commonwealth Police in any statement to the former Attorney-General said that such terrorism was organised. That is the advice that was given, I believe, to Senator Murphy. Frustrated, he had to seek more evidence.
I say to the Senate that there are individuals within the community with twisted minds who will be associated with attacks on individuals and who will be associated with bombings. I join with the Government in saying that those people should be removed from our community. I sincerely hope that action will be taken when the facts can be proved rather than by naming in the Senate, as Senator Murphy did in his statement, 8 individuals. I have it reliably from the Legislative Research Service of the Parliamentary Library that at least 4 of the individuals named by Senator Murphy in his statement have never been charged with or convicted of an offence in Australia. What a blight on the Australian community it is when the chief law officer of this country names Australian citizens against whom one charge has never been laid.
I move to another matter. No supporter of the Government sought to speak when I received the call and no supporter of the Government had spoken immediately prior to my receiving the call. I realise that the Government’s view probably is that this debate should be brought to finality. The incursion into ASIO is one of the most important events that has occurred in Australia in the last 100 years. It is my view that Senator Murphy’s left wing or near communist friends led him to that action. It would be well for the honourable senator to reflect on who it was who led him into this problem. The Act of Parliament which created ASIO gives no Minister the right to investigate the documents and files of ASIO or to cross-examine the officials of that Organisation, but that is what the Attorney-General did. I believe that the Attorney-General stands to be further charged under the Crimes Act as no law gives him the right to gather unto himself the information which he has taken. Senator Murphy has ignored the Parliament. He has ignored the law of this country. Eventually Senator Murphy must pay for what he did.
What is the result of his actions? The actions that he took have laid ruin to ASIO in Australia. Put briefly, internally, people who may have given advice to that Organisation on extremist operations or on matters which concern national security will not in future give that information while there is the likelihood that a political head will table information from ASIO. He has taken unto himself the right to do that at any time - I stress the words ‘at any time’. We have been told of one instance when Senator Murphy entered ASIO, required files to be sealed, apparently photostated documents and took them unto himself. On how many other occasions will this happen if the chief law officer of Australia says: ‘I have the right to go into ASIO at any time?’
Externally, his actions have been disastrous for ASIO. What country with which we have friendly relations, or with which we may not have friendly relations but which conveys to us information as to the activities of the extreme Right or the extreme Left in the community, will ever again give such evidence or will ever put anything in writing that could be minuted by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation so that we will continue to have a credible security organisation. It has been demonstrated that this political head the Attorney-General, the chief law enforcement officer in this country, has taken unto himself a right which no other Attorney-General has ever taken. He has ruined the secrecy of this country. As I see it, Australia’s security is lost and we have lost credibility in the eyes of most other countries.
Human rights is another important matter to be considered. In the years that I have been here I have looked upon Senator Murphy as a person who stood up and attempted to protect the rights of others in the community. Indeed, he appeared to shine as one member of the Senate Opposition, as it was then, who took that course. But undoubtedly he would agree that by naming these individuals in Parliament he has done them a dastardly disservice. The Government will do Australia and the Federal Parliament no good if it persists in naming or charging people in the Australian community with acts of terrorism, or in suggesting that they belong to organisations which are involved in terrorism, when the facts are not proved. My Party, and I believe the Opposition in total, does not question that terrorism in various forms does exist. It is a problem of our society but it is not unique to Australia. It certainly is not confined to the Croatian community in Australia. As was said by one of my fellow Victorians, when it comes to violence in Victoria it would not be the Croatian community which is involved but one of the leading unions within the Australian community.
The Attorney-General left some actions unexplained. Why were such grave security precautions necessary? What alerted the Attorney-General to the problem? To me it appeared to be a fiasco. Prince Philip from the United Kingdom was in. Victoria at the time and was driving around as free as a bird. He did not have even one security agent with him. Yet in Canberra the AttorneyGeneral was surrounded with aircraft, helicopters’ and police with guns lined up. I do not know that we heard the whole truth about the security aspect. I happened to ring one of the parliamentary officers in the Senate and he said that he had not seen any of these agents. That was when the matter was first publicised. However, undoubtedly they were here. I noted that until the day that Senator Murphy made his statement he was surrounded by guards. He came out of his room flanked by 3 or 4 detectives or security organisation men. What happened the day after? By then they had disappeared. If Senator Murphy comes out of his office tonight there will not be one of those fellows attending him. That is what happened yesterday and I do not doubt that it is the situation today. The public was completely misled.
Senator Murphy has brought problems onto his own head by his actions. In’ my opinion he faces a security risk from now on and it is his own fault. This episode has been a complete fiasco. It was false publicity for the benefit of the head of a Communist country who was coming here and it gave the impression that we in Australia have the same problems that his country has. Yugoslavia does have this problem. We also had the problem of having to surround our official guests by such security arrangements.
There are many other matters to mention in this debate. A fact of great importance was disclosed only today. We have spent a day debating this matter and I charge the AttorneyGeneral with dereliction of duty. This morning when the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) entered the House of Representatives he made a statement which should have been repeated by Senator Murphy in this chamber during the day. The Prime Minister disclosed something about this document which Senator Murphy told us he could not disclose. Senator Murphy said that the text of it was so important that upon seeing it he deemed it necessary immediately to seal the files in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation headquarters in Melbourne. This demonstrated that he did not trust the Commonwealth police, that he did not trust the head of ASIO and that he did not trust his departmental heads. The Prime Minister and Senator Murphy have both said that there was distrust of those who formed the interdepartmental committee that was looking into this matter. What did the Prime Minister disclose in the other House today? I seek leave, Mr President, to incorporate in Hansard the statement which Mr Whitlam made to the House of Representatives today.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - Is leave granted?
– I object. He would not allow Senator Murphy to put documents on the table.
– I note the objection taken by Senator Douglas McClelland. It is very heartening to see the honourable senator come into the Senate to take some part in this argument- He has been lacking in his attendance whilst his colleague who is on the same Senate ticket has been vilified in this argument. It is very pleasing to see some members of the Ministry supporting Senator Murphy for once. Senator Douglas McClelland has denied me leave to have this document incorporated in Hansard. I do not wish to read all of it but the Prime Minister said, inter alia:
I lead to the House a passage from a report of an interdepartmental meeting that had been held on 2nd March. On 1st March the Attorney-General had said in answer to a question in the Senate that he would table a statement on Croatian terrorism. The report from which i read was dated Sth March, and it was made to ASIO headquarters in Melbourne by an ASIO officer in Canberra who had been present at the interdepartmental meeting.
Later on the Prime Minister said:
I shall read the passage from the ASIO report again.
I think I can read parts of this statement, and I have underlined the following passage:
The first was that the statement should not be at variance with the interim reply given to Yugoslavia in response to the aide-memoire presented to Australia following the ‘Bosnian Incident’ in 1972.
The Prime Minister then went on to offer an apology, an apology which Senator Murphy should have made also to this Senate. The Prime Minister and Senator Murphy disguised the problems associated with this interdepartmental minute which was so important. At that stage it was apparently considered to be a secret document - one which created such a flutter in Senator Murphy’s mind that he commenced action which obviously has ruined Australia’s security. Perhaps Senator Murphy will make a statement to the Senate tonight which will be an apology. He forgot to mention, or perhaps he did not know, that the important document from which he quoted - a document which he said was important to national security - was in fact purely a minute made by a member of ASIO to the Melbourne headquarters of ASIO following the meeting. There is an apology by the Prime Minister for what was done, but he disguises it very well in his statement and attempts to support Senator Murphy. I sincerely hope that Senator Murphy will come into this chamber tonight and disclose to us that the document which he said was so important to the national security was purely a minute written by an officer of ASIO.
The Senate has been disgraced by Senator Murphy, as Attorney-General, by the actions that he has taken in busting into ASIO, by demonstrating a lack of confidence in the Director-General of ASIO and in Mr Davis, the Commissioner of the Commonwealth Police, and by the statements that made the headlines of the Press yesterday about the Prime Minister’s attitude to the heads of some of the most important departments in the Commonwealth.
– Senator you did not say what Mr Whitlam said there. You said that there was an apology. You did not read that out.
– The whole document, which I attempted to table, is in fact an apology and it can be read as that. It contains 3 pages. On page 3 the Prime Minister stated:
The inquiries show that the ASIO representative gave, in what was admittedly an internal minute, a wrong report of what was said by the officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and that as a consequence he wrongly represented the remarks ot officers of the Attorney-General’s Department.
That is the statement which the Prime Minister made in another place today. He said that Senator Murphy gave to this chamber some wording of a supposedly top secret document but it was purely an internal minute and was a wrong report of what was said by an officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The Prime Minister continued: 1 do not suggest that this was deliberately done. But it is a matter for concern to the AttorneyGeneral and to me that it should have happened.
I say that that is quite an apology from the Prime Minister of this country. I conclude by fully endorsing the amendment that has been moved by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Withers) to the motion that the Senate take note of the paper. He has moved that certain words should be inserted, and I think that at the concluding stages of this debate it is most appropriate to repeat them. They are: having carefully studied the statement, the Senate resolves that the Attorney-General, Senator Murphy–
And I make the point that it refers to Senator Murphy as the Attorney-General, not in any other capacity–
. does not deserve the confidence of the Senate because:
I believe that to be proved-
Does anybody doubt that he wantonly raided and damaged the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation without justifiable explanation? The amendment continues:
I fully endorse the amendments.
– Mr Deputy President, I have listened with great interest to this debate, in which has been moved a motion of no confidence in the Attorney-General of this country, the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Murphy). For what reason has this motion of no confidence been moved by the Opposition? It has been moved because an invitation was extended by the previous Government, and further extended by the present Government to a leading dignitary of an international community who had sought - –
– A gangster.
– My friend interjects and says that the gentleman who visited this country, a leading dignitary, is a gangster. I say frankly that the interjection by the honourable senator is a disgrace to this nation because this man, irrespective of his political views, is the political leader of the people in his country. He had sought an invitation to come to this country. An invitation had been extended previously in 1970 by the then Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Sir John McEwen, and, as Senator Mulvihill stated earlier, an invitation had been extended to him by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sir William Aston. After these invitations had been extended to him and he had sought, during his visit to Asian countries, to extend his visit to include Australia, the Australian Government said: ‘Yes, as a result of the previous invitations extended to you and having regard to your desire to visit this country, we will extend the invitation to you’. And Mr Bijedic, the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, came here. But prior to his coming here, the Attorney-General of this country and the Leader of the Government in the Senate had been apprised of certain information. It was his duty and the Government’s duty to see that the Prime Minister of another country, whom the Government felt was threatened with assassination which could well have involved the assassination of the Australian leaders, was protected. He also had the duty to protect the lives and welfare of Australian citizens.
With quite obvious hypocrisy, the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Withers) has moved this motion of want of confidence in the AttorneyGeneral. Why has he done this? The simple reason is that the Attorney-General and the Leader of the Government in the Senate, who has been elected to this place by the people of Australia, had sought to set out to carry out his duty - the protection of life and limb in this country. I say quite frankly to honourable senators opposite that if Senator Murphy had not taken the action that he did take and there had been a tragedy, this nation would have been held up to international ridicule. But fortunately, because of the actions that this Government took, there was no spilling of blood and no disgrace to the Australian community.
– A pantomime.
– My friend, Senator Hannan, who interjected earlier and made a derogatory remark about the Yugoslav Prime Minister - and I am not saying that I agree with the political views of the Yugoslav Prime Minister, but he is the leader of the Yugoslav community - again interjects and says that it was a pantomime. Senator Webster, who preceded me in the debate, said that Senator Murphy, by the action which he took on behalf of the Australian Government and the Australian people, was guilty of what Senator Webster described as a dereliction of duty. The simple fact of life is that if Senator Murphy had not done what he did he would have-
– What? Raiding ASIO?
– Indeed, raiding ASIO included among the many other actions which he took. Had he not done what he did he would have been guilty of dereliction of duty because of the threat to the life of a visiting dignitary and to the lives of Australian citizens. I heard my friend Senator Webster from the Australian Country Party say that Senator Murphy walked into this chamber yesterday and today without threat of life to himself. If the honourable senator would like to go outside and see Senator Murphy’s room he would see that there is an armed guard there.
– My friends opposite laugh. But the armed guard has been there for weeks.
– My friend Senator Wright from Hobart laughs.
– What a circus!
– The honourable senator says: “What a circus’. Senator Murphy’s home at Darling Point in Sydney is being watched. Does Senator Wright say that the armed guard watching Senator Murphy’s wife in King George Hospital in Sydney is a circus? Does the honourable senator think that that is being done for nothing by the Australian Government? Does the honourable senator still say that that is a circus? We of the Labor movement abhor armed guards. We abhor the threat of guns and - what do they call them - helicopters or gunships above? The simple fact of life is that on the evidence presented to this Government we had to take action to protect the life of a visiting Prime Minister and,indeed, the lives of Australian citizens.
– Do not tell us that with all the evidence the Government has not been able to arrest at least the dangerous ones by now? It gets all the information from ASIO.
– Tt is quite obvious from Senator Little-
– Mr Deputy President, I raise a point of order. Is it right to have interjections from an honourable senator, who is not in his own seat?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - Order! All interjections are disorderly whether they come from honourable senators who are in their own seat or otherwise.
– It is quite obvious from the interjections that come forth from members of the Opposition - I include in the Opposition the Australian Democratic Labor Party - that they have not read the documents which were tabled in this chamber by Senator Murphy a week or 10 days ago.
– I read A13 here in the Senate the other day and the honourable senator did not like it.
– I ask the honourable senator whether he has read document A5. If he accepts that document A5 is not a situation which must cause concern to the Australian community then, frankly, I fear for the future of the Australian community. Let me read from appendix D of document A5 which is dated 1st
May 1967. It is marked ‘secret’ and it comes from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
– That was 5 years ago.
– Yes, 5 years ago and the situation is probably worse now than it was then. The former Attorney-General, as I understand his case, said one of two things. He said either that terrorism did not exist in Australia or, if it existed, terrorism as an organisation did not exist. In other words, to use the Australian vernacular, he had two bob each way. He said on the one hand that if terrorism existed in this country the credible evidence did not prove that it was organised terrorism but that perhaps terrorism might have existed. Under those circumstances, taking Senator Greenwood’s case as it was presented to us, what did it matter to the Australian Government whether terrorism existed on an individual basis or on an organised basis? If a sharpshooter is going to be outside do we worry whether he is there as an individual or on an organised basis? That was the responsibility which Senator Murphy had to face up to and decide that there could well be a terrorist, be he an individual sharpshooter or part of an organised group, who would shoot down a person who was coming to this country as a guest. But let me get back to this security document which is dated 1st May 1967. It is marked ‘secret’ and it was tabled by Senator Murphy as coming from ASIO.
– It is out of date, is it not?
– The honourable senator can bring it up to date by noting the arrival in Australia in 1970 or 1971 of a man who had a koala bear inside which were 4 silencers. If honourable senators are not prepared to realise that there are people in this country who are prepared to shoot down other people then, frankly, I have no time for them. But I return to this security document which is dated 1st May 1967. It is a letter from the supreme headquarters to revolutionaries in the committee area, which is the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood Committee Area No. 4. If honourable senators read the interrogation of a fellow called Senic by the Commonwealth Police they will see that area No. 4 is the international headquarters of the Croatian Liberation Movement existing in Australia. There was an organisation in France, one in Germany, one in Argentine and one in Australia. It is quite wrong for the former Attorney-General to say that there is no credible evidence of the existence of organised terrorism in Australia. If he reads an interrogation in these documents he will see that the raid at Bosnia in 1969 is referred to as Operation Kangaroo. If honourable senators believe that there is no organised terrorism in Australia then I know why they are in opposition.
– Why no prosecution?
– Honourable senators opposite were in government in 1969. Why did they not prosecute? When this fellow Marincic came back to Australia with 4 silencers in a koala bear he was arrested and put in gaol for 9 months. After those 9 months the then Government had the opportunity to deport him. Why did it not deport him? Why did it not take action on the report by the then Minister for Immigration and present Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Mr Lynch, to the then AttorneyGeneral?
Ten minutes ago I was going to recite passages from Appendix D of Document AS. Until Senator Murphy tabled certain documents it was a secret document in the possession of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. This document is a translation of a letter from the Supreme Headquarters to the revolutionaries in committee area No. 4, which is the committee area in this country. It is headed: ‘To members of Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood in Australia’, and reads:
Dear Revolutionary brothers and sisters -
Is that the language of an Australian citizen? Is that the language of law abiding people who have come here to develop this country?
The document continues:
Realising the utter uselessness of the futile politicking among emigres and of their inane and purposeless pursuit of party games abroad while our country -
The ‘our country’ in this document is not Australia but Croatia - is suffering and groaning in the fetters of SerboCommunist thraldom, a handful of uncompromising and fanatical Croatian patriots have formed the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood; they were guided in their effort by the pure and decent idea of giving allout support to the liberation of the Croatian people and to the establishment of a sovereign state of Croatia, based on the principles of social justice, as so splendidly expounded in the Fundamental Principles.
Our organisation was formed from below, from the people themselves, and that is why we were justified in assuming in the beginning that its foundations were sound and indestructible.
– I think the Minister is reading from the wrong document.
– Senator Hannan thinks that I am reading from the wrong document. Obviously Senator Hannan has not read this document.
– I do not know whose side the Minister is on.
– We will see whose side I am on. The document continues:
Croatian youth, whose souls are bleeding from the wounds of our national tragedy, surely cannot and will not fail in the struggle for Croatia, as have failed so many Croatian former politicians and military officers whose mental and bodily strength was primarily used in the past and who now - after the defeat and lost battle, after the inglorious downfall of the so hard-won and so tenaciously, self-denyingly, and heroically defended independent state of Croatiano longer possess the strength, the will or the determination to continue marching along the thorny paths of revolutionary struggle. . . .
The document goes on to appeal to Croatians who have emigrated from Croatia to other lands to take part in this so called revolutionary struggle for the freedom of Croatia from Yugoslavia.
– You reckon that the revolutionaries are all right in China. What is wrong with the Croatians?
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Poyser) - Order! There will be less talk across the chamber.
– Page 2 of the same document that was produced by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation - a document which came from the Supreme Headquarters of the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood - not in this country - and which was translated by security officers in Australia - reads:
The response in Australia, the citadel of Croatian national consciousness abroad, has been beyond expectation. The call of blood and the flaming love for the native land had found their echo in the hearts of young Croatians, and the membership of our organisation grew rapidly.
Page 4 of that document reads:
Guerilla warfare is another matter; we shall engage in it after we have completed other tasks in the field of terrorism, sabotage and propaganda . . . this climate we must create mostly by use of terrorism.
That is an edict that has come from an international organisation known as the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood to its division No. 4. The gentleman who was returned to Australia admitted, following interrogation by the Commonwealth Police, that that division existed in this country. When I was a young boy I was taught a nursery rhyme which ran:
The other day upon the stair
I met a man who was not there.
He was not there again today
Oh how I wish he would go away.
That typifies the statement made by the former Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) on the subject of Croatian terrorism. It should be borne in mind that only yesterday the former Attorney-General rose in this House and said ‘If there is any terrorism it is not organised; therefore, ipso facto, there cannot be any terrorism. I have never heard such hypocrisy from a former AttorneyGeneral in all my life. On 26th May last year - 7 or 8 months ago - when Senator Greenwood was the Attorney-General and was charged with the responsibility of protecting the national security of this country, my colleague Senator Mulvihill asked, him a question about Marincic, who is the gentleman who went to Frankfurt, was returned to Australia by the West German authorities and, upon arrival back in Australia, was found to be carrying a rifle and, inside a. koala bear, 4 silencers.
– Was he not driving a tank?
– Senator Hannan is obviously very attached to the Croatian movement in this country. In reply to the question asked of him on 26th May last year by Senator Mulvihill, Senator Greenwood said:
I have said before that there is evidence of terrorist activities amongst groups in the Yugoslav community and, on other occasions, I have deplored the existence of those activities.
In May of last year the former AttorneyGeneral was admitting that there was evidence of terrorism amongst groups within the community. But when Senator Murphy took action to protect the life of a dignitary visiting this country and when he took action to protect the lives of Australia’s leaders the former Attorney-General said-
– I rise to a point of order, Mr Acting Deputy President. I find it rather difficult to listen to my esteemed friend and colleague while a debate is taking place behind me.
The. ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Poyser) -I ask all honourable senators to remain silent while the Minister is addressing the Chair.
– In spite of the fact that all of these things are happening, the former Attorney-General says that because there is no evidence or no credible evidence that there is terrorism in this country Senator Murphy, acting on behalf of the Australian Government, had no right to take action to protect the life of a visiting Prime Minister to this country or, indeed, the lives of Australian leaders. The report from ASIO to which I have referred already is one of 5 particularly significant documents that bear on the expressed views of Senator Greenwood as to the existence or nonexistence of terrorist organisations in Australia. Senator Greenwood as recently as 19th September 1972, the day when bombs were exploded in the heart of Sydney - Senator McManus seems to smile about it-
– I am not smiling at bombs; I am smiling at somebody else.
– I personally will never forget that day because I was to meet my young son and tragedy could well have struck in my home as a result of that bombing had the timetable in which I was involved called for us to meet a half an hour later.
– But who let off the bomb?
– My friend Senator Hannan asks: ‘Who let off the bomb?’ The Commissioner of Police in Queensland, who formerly had been connected with the Commonwealth Police, suggested that the bombings that took place in Sydney could well have been the work of the Croatian Liberation Movement. On 19th September of last year I asked Senator Greenwood a question in this chamber when he was the Attorney-General and when we were in Opposition, and he had this to say:
As to whether or not I still maintain that there is no Ustasha terrorist Croatian liberation movement in Australia, I think the honourable senator is aware that I stated in late July, after intensive investigations had been made into allegations that there was
Croatian terrorist organisation in Australia, that the police investigations, State and Commonwealth, had revealed no credible evidence-
I emphasise those words, ‘no credible evidence’ - that such a terrorist organisation existed.
What tense did the former Attorney-General use at that stage? He said that the police investigations, State and Commonwealth, had revealed no credible evidence that such a terrorist organisation existed. And on those words this debate rests fairly and squarely. Senator Greenwood did not say that police investigations had revealed that no such terrorist organisations exist. He used the past tense; he used the word ‘existed’. He said that there was no credible evidence, as though they never existed at all. All of the documents that Senator Murphy has tabled dating from 1963 - they include letters from a gentleman in Argentina to the then Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies; from the then AttorneyGeneral, Sir Garfield Barwick, to the then Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies; from the then Minister for Immigration, Mr Lynch, to the then Attorney-General, Mr Hughes - say that these people were concerned at the extent of the growth of terrorist organisations and terrorist activities - I include both those things - in Australia.
Senator Greenwood says that because there was no evidence of terrorist organisations in Australia the Attorney-General had no right to do what he did. I say quite frankly that if Senator Murphy had not taken the action that he did in order to put beyond doubt - not beyond reasonable doubt but on the balance of probabilities having regard to the evidence that is in these documents - the safety of a visiting dignitary to this country, a threat could well have been made to his life. It is all very well for these honourable gentlemen opposite to come here and say now after the event, after the precautions have been taken, after the Australian Government has set out to protect the life of an international leader, that because nothing happened it was not necessary to take any action.
– It is the parable of the little girl and the elephant. That is what it is.
– In response to my friend Senator Hannan, I can well remember being with the Honourable Arthur Calwell in 1969 at the Mosman Town Hall.
– That was Croatians.
– My old timber-cutter friend from Victoria would not know much about these things. I saw, 5 feet from my eyes, an attempt made that night in Mosman in 1969 to shoot down a leader of this nation.
– The Croatians again.
– He was not a Croatian and I am not suggesting that he was a Croatian, but it is about time that the honourable senator grew up. It is about time he realised that these things are happening and have been happening in this country. Having seen the events that occurred that night I am convinced beyond question and beyond doubt that if there is any scintilla of evidence, no matter how small it be, that there is a threat to the life of any Australian citizen or, indeed, any visitor who is the guest of this country, it is a responsibility of this nation and this Government to take all steps necessary to put beyond doubt the safety of the life and limb of those persons or that person. Therefore I say that the motion that was moved by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate after Senator Greenwood had replied to the statement made by Senator Murphy is not so much a motion against the confidence of Senator Murphy as a motion against the Australian community. Every Australian citizen who believes in fair play, who believes in democracy, who does not believe in rule by the gun or thuggery-
– Protest against the raid on ASIO.
– My friend Senator Wright talks about protests against the raid on ASIO. I would like him to come to Sydney, the city in which I live, and find out what the ordinary people of Sydney think about the raid that took place on homes in Sydney last Sunday night, during which ordinary homes were searched and sticks of gelignite, detonators and fuses were found. Does the honourable senator think that the ordinary citizens of Sydney were worried about the raid on ASIO when these things were found? Does he think that after bombs had been dropped in the heart of Sydney in September 1972 they were not worried that these things would happen again? If the honourable senator thinks that all that the Australian people are worried about is the raid on ASIO, then thank goodness, so far as we are concerned, the honourable senators opposite will remain in opposition for another 23 years.
I believe that instead of the Senate having to consider this motion of want of confidence in the Attorney-General, this Australian Parliament, having regard to the interests and welfare of the Australian people, should be lauding the activities of the Attorney-General, and I believe that no matter what our friends in the Opposition do, the Australian people will applaud him for the -action he took to protect the lives and welfare of Australian citizens and visiting dignitary to this country.
– I am going to speak very little on the question of Croatian terrorism because everyone in this chamber has spoken ad nauseam for 2 days about that subject and whether an honourable senator says one thing or the other simply depends on which side of the House he is sitting. What disturbs me is the smell of death in this chamber, of people waiting to kill. One can sort of smell this atmosphere of hate which is pervading this chamber and emanating from certain members on the Opposition benches. Of course they have the numbers. It is like the vultures-
– You are going to cry now, are you?
– Why am I going, to cry?
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Poyser) - Order! Senator Turnbull will address the Chair.
– I object to Senator Hannan interjecting when he is not in his seat. The Democratic Labor Party-
– This is my seat.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order!
– The Democratic Labor Party senators sit over here.
– How screamingly funny.
– All right. Everyone regards you as a spy in the Liberal Party for the DLP - and you know it.
– How screamingly funny.
– Let me go on with my speech. I did not interrupt your nonsensical talk.
– I did not know you were back from your rounds.
– That is all right; I was not on rounds this afternoon.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Turnbull will address the Chair.
– This hatred which is evident in this chamber has been apparent for 2 days. You can notice it; you can see the venom drooling out of their mouths as they wait for the kill. They are waiting and thinking: ‘We have got him, we have got the numbers’. It is a numbers game, is it not? We all know that that is so in politics. Now Opposition senators have got something they can triumph on, so they are going to kill someone. He hurt your side, so you are going to hurt his side. So you have the numbers and you are going to get him irrespective of whether thereis any right or wrong. You will do it irrespective of the status of the Senate - and you are doing it irrespective of the harm that you are causing to a member of our Government who is to go abroad shortly under the stigma that he does not have the confidence of this Senate.
– What about yourself? What about the trip to New York that you have got?
– What trip have I got?
– We will see.
– All right.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENTOrder! Senator Turnbull, I would like you not to be distracted by the interjections and to address the Chair.
– I will try to do so, Mr Acting Deputy President. I come to the question that the Senate has no confidence in the Attorney-General. Let me say that I have every confidence in the Attorney-General. And let me say that I do not agree with everything he did and that I deplore the results of what he did. I believe that in this chamber we have 2 men who are equally good and sincere, one who has held and the other who holds one of the highest offices - the Attorney-Generalship - and yet here certain honourable senators are denigrating both. I say to Opposition senators: You want to perpetuate this, you want this to continue. You have the numbers here, but you forget that you do not have the numbers In the other House and that a similar debate will go on over there with the position reversed - and they will kill you in that House because they have the numbers. This is the hatred that you like. This is what you want to stir up. Your avowed policy in regard to anyone who has anything to do with communism is that you will as parties support each other against him - because each of your 3 groups on that side would sink if you did not have-
– You are talking about venom. What is coming out of you?
– Have I said anything nasty about anyone in the chamber apart from your own people?
– You have not exactly been kind.
– If I have not been kind, you deserved it.
– That is what we. think of the Attorney-General.
– OK. Everyone is entitled to his opinion and I am expressing mine. I am entitled to express my opinion here and I intend to do so. I am pointing out that what you will do by passing this motion is to continue the debate. You will not stop it and it will become a game and we shall see denigration; and this time, of course, it will be denigration of the former AttorneyGeneral, and he will not receive any support from Government members in the House of Representatives because they have the numbers in that chamber. I do not want to see it because I have great admiration for the former AttorneyGeneral as well. Again, I do not agree with all that he has done. I think he has been incredibly weak. I would like to apologise to him for having said to him that his credibility had totally gone. It had not totally gone, it was just that his indecisiveness was incredible. Nevertheless I have much time for him and I do not want to see him sacrificed in the other chamber. Yet I tell Opposition senators that that is what they are doing, and they could not care less because they have the power in their hands to do it here and because they love hatred. You think to yourselves: ‘Here we have a man we can crucify, so let us crucify him’. That is what you are doing. I do not care what you say about the results of what Senator Murphy did. Say it. But I think you ought to drop the statement that he does not deserve the confidence of the Senate. You may not approve of what he did. you may not approve under any of the 5 paragraphs listed in the amendment, but you ought not say that you have no confidence in him because he is still going to be the AttorneyGeneral whether you like it or not - and all you are trying to do is to stick the boots into him and to smear him with mud.
Do you call yourselves really intelligent people when you are prepared to do this just for the sake of a party victory? That is what you are seeking - political victory. You know it and you are ashamed of yourselves, and you should be ashamed of yourselves - not Senator Wright, however, he would never be ashamed of himself because he has a sadistic attitude. One can see it. When he got up to speak he had a sadistic attitude. I once called him paranoic, which is improper, so I will not say it here. But he has a sadistic attitude, and he was gunning for the Attorney-General and he loved every moment of it. He stood there in his fantasy and loved it. This is the sort of attitude we are seeing in this House. Had I seen a paper such as the Attorney-General saw I too probably would have been in high dudgeon and wanted to do something about it. Anyone who had seen such a paper would have felt that way - but apparently we find now that it was wrong.
– Come off it.
– I do not know but I was informed that the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) has said that the ASIO report of the meeting was not correct. This brings me to the question: Was it a plant? And it could well be. We on this side of the chamber hear that every Croatian activity is due not to the Croatians, not to the terrorist Croatians, but to the plants. But now when I suggest it, of course, it is ridiculous that anyone should be planting something like this. Yet honourable senators opposite have been talking about it all the time. The other thing I do not like is this: I do not support Burchett, I do not believe in communism at all but the Opposition members have denied him the justice that they are demanding for the Croats and they fail even to realise it. I tell Opposition senators: You are so blind with your political prejudice that you cannot see this at all. One wonders what one should do with ASIO after all this because if it has had any harm done to it I do not think it would be a bad idea to disband it. As far as I can see, although it is called the Australian Security Intelligence
Organisation in my opinion it has done nothing about security, if one considers the records that have been extracted from the files - and certainly it is not intelligent. So it is time that it had a change of name if it were not abolished altogether. I am not talking about terrorists. Do not let us become involved with the little bits and pieces as to whether an individual or an organisation committed the acts. Cannot an individual be directed by an organisation? AH these individuals probably are directed by someone. Yet honourable senators of the Opposition are prepared to accept this amendment because they think that there may be a double dissolution of the Parliament and that they must again kick the Communist can.
– It is not the Communist can. It is called the Ustasha can now.
– It is the same thing.
– Oh, is it?
– It is part of it. The honourable senator is supporting them only because the others are Communists. The Opposition would not support them for one second if the others were not Communists. That is what I mean. Opposition senators are kicking the Communist can hoping that this may result in a revival for them and that they will not be roundly defeated at the next Senate election. But the public will defeat them. I have been a member of the Senate for 11 years. I can see clearly what will happen. I will not be in the Senate after the next election. But I can assure Senator Little who is trying to interject that there will be 3 less members of his Party in the Senate. It does not matter-
– The honourable senator might strike terror into the heart of somebody, but not us.
– I am not trying to strike terror into the honourable senator’s heart. I am just saying his Party will not have any power after the next Senate election. He is hoping to stir up the fear of communism. After all, that is the only thing that kept the former Government in power for 23 years. Honourable senators opposite are hoping that this will be the answer again. They say amongst themselves: ‘Let us stir up communism. We are the defenders of the Croats, or whatever they are, against the Communists’.
– The Attorney-General started this. We did not have anything to do with it.
– All right. The Attorney-General started it. 1 said at the beginning of my speech that I do not support everything that Senator Murphy did and that I do not support everything that Senator Greenwood did. Although I do not agree with what has been done on both sides of the Senate, I think that the Opposition is killing the 2 men concerned. They want to kill one honourable senator in this chamber and attend the funeral of the other in the other chamber. I think that they are pretty mean, petty, little men to allow this to go on. I suggest to them that they take out the words contained in the amendment to the motion that state that the Senate has no confidence in the Attorney-General. The public are not worried about the little talks of honourable senators about who left out a statement, who quoted out of context and whether an act was committed by an organisation or by an individual. All they know is that there is terrorism in this country. It does not matter how it was carried out. There is terrorism and it cannot be denied. The public is interested in that, not in petty, party political squabbles. They are not interested in whether the Liberal Party has got it over the Labor Party or the Labor Party has got it over the Liberal Party. All honourable senators think of is whether they are one-up on the members of the other Party. They do not think of the public at all. This is what they should be doing. They should be thinking of Senator Greenwood and Senator Murphy before they vote on this stupid amendment that is presently before the Senate.
– Let us return to a rational calm and collected assessment of this highly important matter. It is ridiculous for Senator Turnbull to suggest, as he did, that we are playing politics. We have before us for discussion an intensely important matter which I trust will be viewed constructively, fairly and justly. Firstly, I want to say that Senator Greenwood’s statement has all the hallmarks of proper and logical documentation that we have come to expect from this honest, able and sincere man. The statement of the AttorneyGeneral (Senator Murphy) was essentially one of attack on our former AttorneyGeneral. This vendetta has gone on a long time against our colleague, Senator Greenwood. It has not been founded on fact but rather on animosity arising from, I think, a jealous appreciation of this man’s great and wide ability. In my opinion, the statement of the Attorney-General seemed to be out to denigrate Senator Greenwood. It does not identify what Senator Murphy relies on as evidence.
As a layman this thought is in my mind and it must be in the minds of thousands of people throughout the nation: If Senator Murphy’s statement can be given credence, if his allegations are well-founded that he has discovered the evidence in the raiding of our security organisation which he has said that he found, which was indictable, why has not he-
– Who used the word indictable’? When was the word ‘indictable’ used by anyone?
– If allegations and criticisms are to be made of the former AttorneyGeneral because he has not taken court action against anybody-
– No-one has criticised him for that.
– How can Senator Wheeldon, as a lawyer, suggest that without firm foundation a court action can be entered into? The whole point is that there must be evidence of such a nature that it would stand up in a court. That’ has not been present in the time of the former Attorney-General, in his assessment, to give a basis upon which court action could be taken. Yet we hear continuously this attack on Senator Greenwood for having taken a soft stand, as it were, against alleged Croatian terrorists. Senator Greenwood most succinctly pointed out this very core of the whole matter. In my assessment as an ordinary person using common sense, not as a legal man, Senator Greenwood has pointed out in his statement the very core of the whole matter. He said:
Senator Murphy claims that there is overwhelming evidence, incontestable evidence, of his allegation of terrorist organisations in this country. There are laws - in the Commonwealth Crimes Act - under which he-
That is Senator Murphy - can prosecute persons and apply to the courts to declare such organisations to be unlawful. Parsons who cause death, injury and terror by exploding bombs are terrorists and liable to the full rigours of our criminal law. It is not only persons who commit the crimes but persons who conspire to commit crimes or who attempt to commit crimes who can be prosecuted.
The laws exist, the offences exist, the determination lo stamp out political terrorism is asserted - and yet there have been no applications to the courts.
We are speaking of a time before last weekend.
– The honourable senator spoke too soon.
– I did not. The claims made by the Attorney-General refer to the past; not to last week-end, not in near proximity of time. The whole condemnation of Senator Greenwood’s attitude has been based on why he did not take firm action. As a responsibile former Attorney-General, as the former head of the law of Australia, Senator Greenwood was not one who through innundoes. rumours or aspersions would enter into a court action. He is absolutely correct in his attitude to approaches in insisting that there be a base or real ground before any action could be taken. This is the mark of a responsible and decent person. In my opinion, Senator Greenwood has answered completely the Murphy case that he, Senator Greenwood, in the former Government had shown irresponsible indifference to allegations of the existence of Croatian terrorist activity. Throughout Senator Greenwood’s statement it is clear and irrefutable that he did not take lightly at any time allegations concerning terrorist activity, whether it was on the part of an individual or collectively by organisations. It is utterly wrong to suggest that he was negligent in respect of his duties and responsibilities in this regard.
– Why did he not investigate the Mangan case when 1 asked him to investigate it? Mangan threatened to hijack an airliner.
– My reply is that a responsible lawyer will act when he knows that he has correct grounds on which to act. Senator Greenwood has proved that the case against him has been based on very selective evidence, part of which was true but which was not the full truth. I deplore the fact that the Attorney-General should have selected, for his own purpose, in the process of denigrating Senator Greenwood, those things which suited his own convenience and his own case. Honourable senators opposite cannot indicate to me any part of Senator Greenwood’s statement which was not completely logical, in sequence, in truth and based on fact. He would not tell half truths.
– What did he say about Mr McMahon’s letter? Was not Senator Greenwood being selective in not answering that letter?
– Senator Greenwood has misled nobody. He has not denied that some extremists, acting as individuals, might be active in Australia. Speaking again as a layman, before action can be taken there has to be irrefutable ground for such action. I think that is quite an elementary principle. It must be. lt rather surprises me to hear lawyers in this place speaking and acting in certain ways which deny the basic principles of law as I, a humble citizen and a layman in the matter, can see them. There has been no denial of the possibility of organised terrorism here. Senator Greenwood has said that. He has not glossed over or denied that. He has been completely truthful and factual in his statement. What he has denied, and rightly so, is that any credible evidence on which to base court action could be found. The present Attorney-General, in spite of intense investigations, could not bring this to light.
– There have been 9 prosecutions in Sydney as a result of what the Attorney-General has done since we have been in office. No prosecutions by your Government, 9 by us.
– Senator . Murphy’s statement did not refer to current events. Bear in mind that it was basically a denigration of a most honourable gentleman in this place who at all times has sought to fulfil his duties to his utmost ability, and to do so fearlessly and correctly. That is why I will not take into consideration at this stage what transpired last weekend.
– Suljak, who was named in Senator Murphy’s statement, has been charged.
– Leading up, though, to last weekend’s raids was an attack on the Australian security system - ASIO - which attack was horrifying to any person who thinks that intrusions by politicians into an area-
– Wait a while. The organisation was set up by a previous government to be an independent source of information, which information was to be given as required to the government in office.
I directed a question to the Attorney-General a few days ago. I asked whether at any time any information was denied him by ASIO. He said no, that he had full access.
– That is not what he said. He said that none was denied him. He did not say that none was concealed; he said none was denied him. That is quite different to what you said.
– There was no denial of information to him, according to his reply to me.
– What about Jure Marie? What about telling us something about him?
– I am looking at the broad issue, not at individual cases. It is a basic principle. If there be political intrusion, as unfortunately there has been, into ASIO we are heading to a situation, which was correctly referred to this afternoon by Senator Maunsell, in which the Government will have control over the police and over the secret service and the whole set-up for a Gestapo or OGPU-type of thing. I believe that that is absolutely undeniable. I would like to know how many agents who have been supplying very useful and necessary information to security have left their work because of fear of reprisals to themselves if these raids continue and if names are divulged. This would possibly endanger the lives of those who are assisting national security by their actions. Any intrusion into a situation such as this certainly will dry up in Australia facilitities which ensure the highest levels of security and will lead to a drying up of confidence from security systems of friendly overseas nations that provide information to us. We will find ourselves increasingly in isolation from world knowledge and from areas in which we should have access to advice which is necessary for our national security. I regard the attack on ASIO as quite foreign to the actions of previous governments. I remind honourable senators that ASIO was not set up by a Liberal-Country Party coalition government. It was set up by a Labor government.
– But not under these terms.
– The terms under which it was set up were set down at the time. It was to be independent of political influences. If that freedom is removed we are heading towards a police state. Australians do not want to be subjected to a knock on the door, the nocturnal visit of the police and the sort of rubbish which has happened in recent times. I am surprised that my friends opposite have not recoiled in horror at these large scale nocturnal visits which, in the main, have been on migrant families who have left their countries to come here to be free of that sort of intrusion. It is a frightening thought to them, as it is to older Australians who like to feel that their home is their castle. If a person has offended against the law there are methods of accosting him in the normal course of the law. The idea of raids and knocks at the door in the middle of the night in my opinion is completely out of accord with the Australian way of life and the Australian character and expectations.
I refer now to the amendment moved by Senator Withers. It commences with the words ‘having carefully studied the statement’. I can assure honourable senators that the statement made by the Attorney-General was studied most closely by all of us. It is a mightily important document. It impinges so heavily on those principles about which we are concerned. It is a document of deep import and concern to all of us. The amendment seeks to leave out all words after ‘that’ and to insert in lieu: having carefully studied the statement, the Senate resolves that the Attorney-General, Senator Murphy, does not deserve the confidence of the Senate because:
A full and open submission containing not parts of but the whole truth is the only way in which confidence and acceptance can be gained. The amendment continues:
The overriding consideration here is national security and the good order of society. The amendment states further:
That is self-explanatory. The import and meaning of those words is clear to all of us on this side of the Senate. The amendment continues:
Senator Murphy has not justified his reasons for raiding the offices of ASIO in Canberra and Melbourne. The amendment concludes:
– You know that that is not true.
– It is true. Here is the introduction of an insidious new approach to law enforcement, and the finding of-
– Tell us one case in which that happened; just one case.
– I am referring-
– State one case.
– One of the most worrying features is the large complement of policemen who assisted in raiding approximately 60 houses.
– What time was that?
– It was before dawn.
– It was 5 a.m. Your amendment says ‘the middle of the night’. That shows how inconsistent you are.
– We are not inconsistent at all.
– That is not the middle of the night.
– Order! Senator Poyser, the Senate has been demonstrating a capacity to maintain its own discipline in the course of the whole debate. I do not wish that discipline to be eroded in these last moments of the debate. So, you will not offend against the Standing Orders.
– No one can say that ample opportunity has not been available for most honourable senators to participate in this debate. When the Senate met at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, a most unusual course was taken in that this debate was called on forthwith. Honourable senators knew that they were surrendering their right to ask questions without notice. The debate continued until 5.45 p.m. and resumed last night for a further 3 hours. When honourable senators assembled at 11 o’clock this morning, the Senate again took the unusual course of calling on this debate forthwith thereby again surrendering their right to ask questions with out notice. This issue was debated for 2 hours before the suspension of the sitting for lunch, for 3½ hours this afternoon and resumed at 8 o’clock this evening. The time is now 9.35. In that period, 9 Liberal senators, 2 Country Party senators, 1 Australian Democratic Labor Party senator, 3 Independent senators and 10 Government senators - in total 25 senators - have participated in this debate.
It appears that this afternoon and this evening a filibuster has been developing on the part of Government senators to prevent this debate coming to a vote this evening. It was felt that a reasonable and proper time ought to be made available to debate this matter. Tonight, honourable senators have given up their right to discuss matters listed under General Business. It might be said that it is most unfair to bring this debate to a close without giving the Leader of the Government and Attorney-General, Senator Murphy, the opportunity to speak on this amendment which has been under discussion since approximately 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon. It is not for me to be critical of or in any way to question why Senator Murphy has not yet spoken. That is his business, and his business alone. I am informed by the Leader of the Opposition that the desire of the Opposition that this debate should be concluded at 6 p.m. this day was communicated to Senator Murphy at 3 p.m. today. Again, in pursuit of our wish to be fair, the Leader of the Opposition at approximately 8.30 this evening said to the Leader of the Government that this debate ought to be concluded at 9.30 p.m. or thereabouts this evening.
– Mr President, I rise to take a point of order. Senator Laucke is clearly reading a statement to the Senate. The reading of speeches is contrary to the Standing Orders.
– Order! I know that the reading of speeches is contrary to the Standing Orders. The point is that Senator Laucke has been so constantly interrupted by disorderly interjections that I think that he is entitled to read something so as to make himself understood. I call Senator Laucke.
– This desire of the Opposition, that the debate should conclude at approximately 9.30 p.m., was communicated to Senator Murphy on the understanding that if Senator Murphy desired to follow me he must close the debate. If Senator
Murphy had accepted that proposal I would not be taking the action which I now take. I move:
– Order! As Senator Laucke has moved that motion, I have no option but to put the question. The question is: That the question be now put’. Those of that opinion say Aye, to the contrary No, I think the Noes have it.
Opposition senators - The ayes have it.
– The Senate will divide. Ring the bells. (The bells being rung)
– Mr President, I move:
I do so in order that Senator Murphy may speak and close the debate.
(9.40) - Mr President, I would like to speak to this motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Withers). May I say how this matter arose. Firstly, I think probably for the first time in the history of this Senate or of this Parliament, a motion, which was not quite a motion of no confidence but was close enough to it, was moved without any notice whatever being given by the Leader of the Opposition. Not one second’s notice was given before the amendment was moved by him to the motion that ‘the Senate take note of the statement’. This evening he came round to speak to me and suggested that the debate be brought to an end tonight. I told him that I had important business with you, Mr President, with Mr Speaker and with the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam). That business was not initiated by me and it was on a matter of public importance which had to be discussed. I told him that thereafter I would need some time to prepare myself. I was sitting in my office when I was told that a motion had been moved for the closure of this debate. Not one second’s notice was given of a motion to close the debate on a matter of this nature dealing with the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
That is how this debate has been conducted. From the start it has been simply a question of numbers. The Opposition has the numbers in this place and it was immaterial what arguments were presented. Now, the Opposition having moved the closure of the debate, the Leader of the Opposition said that he wants to call it off in order to let the Senate hear what the Leader of the Government has to say. The Leader of the Opposition is not interested in the slightest degree neither are any of his supporters, in what I might say. There is no argument that I could put forward which would have the slightest impression on members of the Opposition, nothing whatever that might be said, because they have made up their minds beforehand. This is simply a question of numbers. Everyone . here knows that in this place the numbers are on the side of the Opposition and its cohorts. In the other place the numbers are on the side of my Government. Whatever is done here will be undone by the Government in the other. House.
The Opposition set out to degrade this Senate by the use of numbers. Members of the Opposition have not listened to the arguments put forward. They are determined upon the course which they are pursuing. The amendment moved, and the way in which it was moved, is a perfect example of what the Opposition intends. It has no interest whatever in the persuasiveness of argument or whatever is said. This is simply an exercise in numbers and it shows that this is an irresponsible opposition conducting itself irresponsibly.
– Order! Senator Withers has moved:
That the division be called off.
Those in favour say ‘aye’.
– Have I a right to reply to the debate . on the motion I moved? Have I the right to speak or must I seek leave?
– ls leave granted to Senator Withers to reply to his motion to call off the division?
– Is leave granted to rescind the motion:
That the question be now put.
Those in favour say ‘aye’, to the contrary no’. I think the ayes have it. The division is cancelled. Senator Murphy, do you want to wind up the debate?
– in reply - Mr President, the debate commenced on the issue of Croatian terrorism and despite all the obscurity, despite all the attempts to divert it into questions marginally connected with Croatian terrorism, there still remains the central question of the existence of Croatian terrorist organisations in Australia. What is the history of this matter? Leaving aside what might have been thought, what might have been said and what might have been done about it by previous Attorneys-General, there is no doubt - it is undisputed, as I understand it - that there were Croatian terrorist organisations operating in Australia. That was certainly so in 1967 when raids were conducted by the police in Wollongong which revealed overwhelming evidence of the existence of a Croatian terrorist revolutionary organisation, the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood. I do not think that even Senator Greenwood would dispute that at that time there was such an organisation existing in Australia. Both the Commonwealth Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation were in full agreement, in their reports of 1967 and 1968, that this terrorist organisation existed in Australia in 1967.
Honourable senators may refer to document A5, page 17, which is the ASIO report of 1st May 1967. That report clearly demonstrates that fact. If honourable senators also refer to document A7, the report of the Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Commonwealth Police, they will see overwhelming evidence of the existence of that organisation. The report shows that it had a constitution and that it had rules directed towards terror and violence. Its membership was set out. It contains the names of the members as well as their code names which are based on birth dates. The revolutionary oath of the organisation is set out. It is stated that the breaking of the oath meant death for the members of the organisation. They were sworn to silence. The report sets out the working of that organisation by means of troikas consisting of 3 or so persons who were dedicated to violence. It shows that there were organisations of stozers. The report states that the organisation operated in accordance with military methods and that members were sworn to secrecy in various respects. They were sworn to carry out their work on behalf of the organisation. All this was set out by the Commonwealth Police and the report was accepted by ASIO. There is no doubt whatsoever that this organisation was existing in Australia with a central organisation kept by officials and disco vered by the law enforcement authorities of this nation. Let there be no doubt about that. I do not understand how in any way the Attorney-General at that time or any of those before him can dispute what was in the documents of ASIO or of the Commonwealth Police, that that organisation was existing then in Australia. One does not need to go back and argue about Wodonga. There was an organisation which, on every hand, was known to exist in Australia and which had revolutionary terrorist aims, and after the raids in 1967 the central organisation of that organisation was believed to have ceased, and the organisation carried on by means of the troikas.
In June 1972 there were the incursions into Yugoslavia, and again there is no doubt - this is an undisputed fact - that persons from Australia took part in those raids. The documents are rife with the proof of their complicity in those raids. There is evidence in the documents of how the persons who took part in those raids were preparing to use dynamite. The documents show those people were told how to use cyanide and the best ways to use all these other things. There is a whole revolutionary manual on violence. It deals with the use of guns, explosives and the whole lot, right in this country by those people who were part of the Revolutionary Brotherhood and who went into Yugoslavia and were discovered there. I see an honourable senator opposite shaking his head. He has not read the evidence in the documents that are full of it.
After the incursions in June 1972 and the complaints that were made, there were further investigations by the Commonwealth Police and again evidence was obtained of the resurgence of the Revolutionary Brotherhood. Even in the last few days evidence has been discovered - membership tickets and records of the HRB - which shows that this revolutionary terrorist organisation is operating and was operating in Australia last year. Further than that, there is the evidence stated by the New South Wales police, put in the records of the courts of New South Wales and testified to by the Commonwealth police. There is abundant evidence available to those who were in authority to indicate that the United Croats of West Germany was operating in New South Wales. Certain persons were charged last year with being in possession of arms and explosives and certain persons were charged last week with being in possession of gelignite, detonators, electrical equipment and arms.
Is the Commonwealth to shut its eyes to the existence of this? Are we to tolerate, because of the political aims of the parties here, persons in this country who are willing to enter into an organisation unconnected with affairs here, concerned with quarrels outside this country and prepared to use bombs, arms and explosives in order to carry out what they conceive to be their political aims? I think that we all ought to take the attitude that, irrespective of the political aims of such persons and irrespective of whether they are right wing, left wing, the centre or anything else, the carrying on of their political projects by such means ought not to be tolerated in this country, and it is the duty of those in charge of law enforcement and those in charge of investigation to do whatever they can to state the truth to the people of Australia. It is the duty of those in positions of responsibility for law enforcement and investigation to state the truth to the people of Australia and to the other countries concerned, and to do whatever they can to eradicate such influences in Australia from whatever quarter and for whatever political motive those persons might be operating.
I make no apology for anything that I have done in the carrying out of that aim because I do not believe that it is in the interests of Australia that we should tolerate the establishment of terrorism in this country. The Attorney-General who was operating last year, Senator Greenwood, consistently denied that terrorist organisations existed in Australia. There has been a clever attempt to say that, when Senator Greenwood referred to credible evidence, it meant evidence which could be used to obtain a conviction in a court of law. The reality is - it was known before and it is known now - that because of the deficiencies in Commonwealth law, it is not possible, except by the use of the political sections of the Crimes Act, to bring prosecutions. Being in possession of explosives and the killing of persons - whether in the streets of Sydney or elsewhere - are offences against the State law. Long ago changes ought to have been made to the Federal law as 1 have proposed, which will as far as possible make offences of this character involving persons preparing for violence in other countries offences against the law of the Commonwealth. This Government is determined that we will not be left in the position of powerlessness which was indicated by the former Gove’rnment and about which it did nothing, where there were no appropriate Federal laws to deal with offences which were national in character, in that they were committed in relation to other countries and for affairs overseas.
– What about violence at soccer matches?
– I heard the interjection about violence at soccer matches. It is very easy to overlook the fact that bombs have been used in the streets of Sydney, that persons have been found in possession of explosives, that explosives have been found in caches around this country, that there have been complaints by a friendly country about what is happening here and that Australia is regarded overseas as a haven for the Croatian terrorist organisations. I think that the lesson has become clear, and nothing that has happened in this chamber today can obscure it. No longer will a small minority be allowed to besmirch the name of a decent group of migrants. Croatians and other migrants will be allowed to assimilate peacefully and they will not be terrorised, intimidated, besmirched and stained by the. existence of a small minority which was tolerated by the previous Government.
If honourable senators want any evidence of the concern about that toleration, they do not even have to turn to the present Government. We have on record 2 members of the previous Government, the Right Honourable William McMahon and Mr Lynch, objecting to the toleration of these persons and demanding that some kind of action should be taken, not believing that there could not be more action taken about these terrorists in the community. Senator . Greenwood came into this chamber yesterday and said that somehow the documents had been selected. He put in a couple of background papers from ASIO which had been superseded by the events of 1972. These events related to what happened in the June incursion, and the raids completely superseded these. It was even after that that the man Rover’s passport was cancelled. Senator Greenwood also put in some report from the Commonwealth Police about a question which was never answered because under his administration the information sought by Dr J. F. Cairns could not be given. One of the reasons why it was not answered was that the police pointed out that they did not have the resources to answer it. Senator Greenwood nods his head to indicate that it is true. The police were incapable because of the critical shortage of expert staff. The reply was:
To answer the question in detail would be virtually Impossible given tie critical shortage of expert staff in this area and would require hundreds of man hours of painstaking research.
I was too gentle when I spoke about the failure to make a proper police force and to give it proper facilities and resources. What did the Government find when it took office? It found exactly what one would expect it to find. Honourable senators will remember that last year we asked what was being done about the bombings in Sydney and about other matters. We were given the answer that the police were investigating. It was not until we had pushed that we found that it was not the Commonwealth Police who were investigating but the State police because there were no Commonwealth Police to investigate. There were no resources and no facilities.
– There were no translators.
– There were no translators. Honourable senators have spoken about the night when I went across to the Canberra office of ASIO to ask what was happening. I found there was a critical shortage. They did not have even translators. They put one on. We found that the situation here and elsewhere was that critical information pertaining to the visit of Mr Bijedic which had been obtained in the Yugoslav language could not have been translated until after he had gone because of the critical shortage of staff which Senator Greenwood had left. This is admitted on all hands. Not even Senator Greenwood will dispute this. There is some indication of this in the documents. We found a complete lack of co-operation between ASIO and the Commonwealth Police Force.
If one reads through the documents it is almost pitiful to see ASIO complaining about its inability to obtain information and to see the Commonwealth Police complaining about its inability because of the lack of coordination and the failure to institute proper systems after 23 years. So they were faced with this threat and not only here in Australia. If the previous Government had applied itself in the slightest degree it would have seen that there was an emerging problem of violence all over the world. It left the Commonwealth Police Force denuded and in an impossible, hopeless position to deal with any kind of threat such as we have had from Croatian terrorists, from the Palestine liberation people, the Black September people or any other group at all. Nothing was left because the Government was not interested in real law and order but simply in making pretences about it and chasing a few draft resisters.
– I was right.
– Yes, the honourable senator was right. One reads through what Senator Greenwood said and one finds that again and again the real questions which were put were ducked by him. I will not deal in more detail with what he said because it is obvious that he did not face up to the real challenge which was put. A suggestion has been made that perhaps I said too much originally about Senator Greenwood. If that were a grievous error I shall not recommit it. I simply say this: The real question which we have to face is whether Croatian terrorist organisations are in existence. There is no doubt about that. The opinion of ASIO, the opinion of the Commonwealth Police Force, the opinion of the other law enforcement authorities is that unquestionably these organisations exist in Australia. Are we going to face up to this situation and deal with it? Are we going to say that we will not tolerate these organisations? Are we going to bring into existence the proper laws to deal with them and see that terror and violence is stamped out before it becomes established in Australia? I think that this is the obligation of the Senate. All honourable senators ought to be bending their efforts towards assisting in this instead of trying to make small points by questioning what is unquestionable. I would hope that the Senate would agree with this.
Let me talk about one matter, not that it is the main part of the statement which was put before the Senate. I tried to divide these matters and present a statement dealing with Croatian terrorism, but instead I subjected myself to many hours of questioning in the Senate. I put very few questions on notice about the other matters in which honourable senators were interested. I answered all questions until honourable senators ran out of questions about my visits to ASIO. I did what I thought was necessary in a situation in which I considered I ought to have information and in which I considered that I was not getting the information which I should have received. I do not say that the information was deliberately refused to me. I went to the Canberra office of ASIO. I have never heard so much nonsense talked about anything. I went there by appointment with the regional director of ASIO. J sat there and he showed me the documents for which I asked. I went through those documents and discussed them with the regional director. Frankly, some of the things not only in the particular document to which I have referred but also other matters disturbed me very greatly in relation to the visit of the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia. In particular - as has been told to the Senate and to the House of Representatives - there was a passage in one document which was disturbing. It would be disturbing to any member of any government that there should be in the records of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation - it has been set out in some detail by the Prime Minister and I shall repeat it - a document which related to a meeting which started with a matter of security intelligence concerned with Croatian terrorism but which was turned in some measure to deal with the statement which was to be made by me. The report states:
The Department of Foreign Affairs made two points on the proposed statement. The first was that the statement should not be at variance with the interim reply given to Yugoslavia in response to the aide-memoire presented to Australia following the Bosnian Incident’ in 1972. The second was that unless there were reasons to the contrary, they prefer the statement to be deferred until after the visit to Australia of the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia from the 20th-22nd March 1973. The Attorney-General’s Department accepted the first point but argued on the second point that the Attorney-General might find it necessary to table the statement at an earlier date.
If that kind of proposition were a true version of what occurred at an interdepartmental meeting of public servants then responsible government would be at an end because it would mean that public servants could determine to pursue policies of their own. They could persist with their notions about the desirability of consistency with previous government statements. They could produce a situation where what is stated by a Minister to the Parliament is untrue.
– None of that happened. You have misjudged it.
– The honourable senator who interrupts has no knowledge whatever of the circumstances of the matter. In the context of an impending visit by the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, I determined that information which I wished to see, including information relevant to that particular statement in the report, should be preserved and should be seen by me. I took steps, and I was entitled to take those steps, to see that that information was preserved. I went to the headquarters of ASIO in Melbourne. Despite all the nonsense that has been spoken, I was not accompanied by 27 police officers. Honourable senators ought to be more accurate. The police officers who were there were police officers of the Commonwealth, who comported themselves with dignity and efficiency. I was greeted by the Director-General of the Organisation and the police officers and taken by the DirectorGeneral over the premises. I addressed the staff and discussed matters with the DirectorGeneral. The documents that I wanted were produced to me after a certain amount of what I think might be described as administrative inefficiency. I had some discussions with him relevant to those documents and the visit of the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia. I gained a great deal of information which I had not hitherto gained.
May I say that as I left those premises - this may seem amusing to honourable senators opposite - I was reminded by the DirectorGeneral of my social engagement with him in the next few days, which I attended. I have seen him on a number of occasions since. May I say that there is with the Organisation, with the Director-General, with the Commonwealth Police a much healthier relationship than there was before. There is much better co-operation than there was before. There is co-operation with other countries. Indeed, in only the last few days I have had several other countries indicating to me their desire to co-operate with Australia and their pleasure at the different attitude that has been taken by this country in police matters.
Let me turn to another matter that has been the subject of some criticism and nonsense. I was asked in this Senate about searches which had been made approximately a week ago in New South Wales by a combined body of Commonwealth and State police. I was asked one question, as I recall it. I answered that question. I was asked what knowledge I had of the material on which the warrants were based and I said that I had no knowledge at all. In fact, I did not know which premises were to be searched and on what basis. This was a police matter, initiated in the first place by the New South Wales Police which had been working on it for some time, and eventually there was a cooperative effort by the 2 police forces. Despite all the nonsense that has been spoken, apparently the 2 police forces are pleased with the high degree of co-operation which has been shown between them, the successful operation which was conducted by them and the seizure of a considerable quantity of explosives, detonators and electrical equipment.
Are honourable senators opposite going to cavil at the fact that the police forces of the Commonwealth and a State co-operated to discover and seize explosives? Let us say nothing about charges. Persons are still to be charged. But that is what was conducted by the police forces, using their own discretion and advised in the case of the Commonwealth Police by the Deputy Crown Solicitor in New South Wales. Yet honourable senators opposite had the indecency to start to blame me for the way in which the operation was conducted. Without even asking me more than one question, which I apparently answered to the satisfaction of the Senate, honourable senators opposite have come in here and had the indecency to start to charge me with being responsible for something that was conducted, as far as I am concerned, in good faith and successfully by a joint operation of the Commonwealth and State police forces. That is the depth to which honourable senators opposite have descended in the Senate and they have degraded the Senate by doing so.
Has it ever happened before in the history of the Senate that honourable senators have come in here and, before anything has been said, started to charge a Minister, as they charged me, and speak about night raids, knocks on the door and so forth? What has it got to do with me when an operation has been conducted at the discretion of the police forces, as one would expect? Is it going to be said by honourable senators opposite that the Police Force of New South Wales and the Police Force of the Commonwealth have conducted themselves improperly? Is that what is going to be said? As far as I am concerned no law abiding citizen in this country has anything to fear about the proper processes of the law not being observed. They will be observed. If any police officer exceeds his authority he will be dealt with. He will be dealt with not only in the courts but also administratively. Honourable senators on both sides of the chamber ought to accept the responsibility of standing by those who, in their own community, are vested with the duty and responsibility of taking action to ensure that there is not a state of disorder and that terrorism and violence are not allowed. Yet honourable senators opposite have chosen to knock the police forces of a State and the Commonwealth which are doing their best to see to it that terrorism and violence are not established in our community.
A question of numbers is involved tonight. Everyone realises what happens in a place like this when the numbers are there. Everyone knows that persuasion does not matter. It does not matter whether the clauses in a document are just or unjust. Opposition senators have determined upon a course of action. This seems to be a political tactic that appeals to them. It is immaterial to them what damage they may do. I leave aside any damage which may concern-
– Do not overlook the McKellar case.
– I overlook any endeavour to damage me personally. (Opposition senators interjecting)-
- Senator Murphy, I ask you to disregard interjections and not to speak while they are being made.
– I overlook the endeavour to damage me personally because what can be done here on the basis of numbers does not matter. There are other avenues in which I can be vindicated. I think what honourable senators opposite are intent upon doing is a foolish action. If one looks at it in the light of history, one sees that in the institutional sense the action which has been taken is unwise.
– But you attempted it yourself.
– This action is one which I think honourable senators opposite will regret having taken. I am not endeavouring to persuade honourable senators opposite to alter the way in which they will vote, so they might listen to me in silence. I am well aware that nothing I might say will influence their voting. They made up their minds long before I spoke and what I might say is immaterial. It is just a question of numbers. I say to honourable senators opposite that what will be done here will be undone elsewhere. Honourable senators opposite have refused to face the evidence which has been placed before them. They know that the evidence has been accepted by the rest of the world. They know that Australia has become the haven for these organisations of terrorism and violence.
However, it is immaterial what honourable senators opposite do or what motion they might carry. There actions will demonstrate their incapacity to prevent the action which will be taken to eradicate this terrorism and violence. We have a Government in Australia which is determined to see that not only the migrants but also the rest of the Australian people will be able to live free of this terror and violence. Whatever might be the result of the use of numbers in this chamber, I reject the amendment to my motion that has been moved by Senator Withers. It ought to be rejected because it is a worthless amendment which was moved simply out of guilt. The guilty men opposite know that they have allowed terrorism and violence to persist, and this attempt to assuage their guilt will not prevail because they have been convicted in the eyes of the Australian people.
That the words proposed to be left out (Senator Withers’ amendment) be left out.
The Senate divided. (The President - Senator Sir Magnus Cormack)
Majority . . . . 4
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
That the words proposed to be added (Senator Withers’ amendment) be added.
The Senate divided. (The President- Senator Sir Magnus Cormack)
Majority . . . . 4
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
That the motion (Senator Murphy’s) as amended be agreed to.
The Senate divided. (The President - Senator Sir Magnus Cormack)
Majority . . 4
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Senator Murphy) agreed to:
That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn till Tuesday next at 3 p.m.
Motion (by Senator Murphy) proposed:
That the Senate do now adjourn.
– Mr President, during the time that I moved- (Senator Devitt interjecting)
– I could hear that, Senator Devitt, and I advise you not to repeat it.
– Not to repeat what? I will repeat it all right.
- Mr President, am I permitted to speak on the motion that the House do now adjourn?
– Yes, you may speak to the adjournment motion but your remarks may not be related to business that has transpired during the course of the day.
– I was just going to say that I was refused leave to make a statement when I asked for leave to do so in relation to what Senator Murphy said. I would just say for the information of Senator Murphy and honourable senators opposite that we anticipated that Senator Murphy would use that tactic. It was for that reason that Senator Laucke read out some carefully prepared words which I trust that all those who listened to Senator Murphy’s statement or speech at that time would take note of. Those words were deliberately prepared because we anticipated that Senator Murphy would take the action that he took.
– You could have given me even a few minutes notice.
– It is not my place to run the Government’s business. It is as simple as that. If the Government has not the competence to run its side of the Senate, it is not my duty to run it for it. It is for that reason that I have no desire to go right through what Senator Laucke said.
– Did you prepare his address?
– The words were prepared carefully. I would hope that all honourable senators opposite would read them.
– Why does not the honourable senator turn around and address the Senate?
– I am accustomed to addressing the Chair. Is it to be the custom now that I turn around and address those at the rear of the Senate Chamber? I generally thought that it was manners to address you,. Mr President.
– That is correct.
– Therefore, I take this opportunity to state these facts. I do not think there is anything more that need be said. It is not much use attempting to bluster one’s way out of something which one has mishandled.
– I wish to raise a matter which I believe should be stated to the Senate. Mr President, it may well be that you will have to give consideration to the subject matter after I have stated the reference. It is in respect to last evening and the course of my address whenI sought leave or at least intimated as recorded at page 850 of yesterday’s Senate Hansard that I was prepared to table certain documents if the Senate so wished. It is also recorded at page 851 of Hansard when I was quoting from the document that I would seek leave to have it incorporated in Hansard. It may be recalled that I overlooked the question of time and that my time had expired before I asked for leave to have that document incorporated. Mr President, after you had called on Senator Rae, he made a statement which I will quote from page 852 of the Senate Hansard:
Before I commence my speech, perhaps I should seek to clarify whether Senator Brown did or did not incorporate in Hansard any document. He referred to his wish to do so.
You, MrPresident, replied in these terms:
I am aware of this fact I left the option open to Senator Brown. He began to read a document and the option was open to him subsequently to table the document and to ask for leave to have the balance of it incorporated in Hansard.I do not know what your wish is on this point, Senator Brown?
I offer my apologies to the Senate. I did not realise that my time had passed so quickly. I do wish to have incorporated in Hansard the document to which I have referred.
You, Mr President, said:
Which document is that?
I referred to the document. Senator Rae then said- and this is the pertinent point:
May 1 suggest to Senator Brown that he renew his application, which is an application made after the conclusion of his speech, tomorrow-
At that stage, Mr President, you said:
No, I will put the question now. Is leave granted to incorporate the document-
Senator Rae interrupted to say:
May 1 simply suggest to Senator Brown that he renew his application tomorrow after we have had an opportunity to see the document.
I repeat the words ‘to see the document. He continued:
That is the request that I would have made if he had sought leave in the course of his speech.
You, Mr President, then said:
Leave is not granted.
The point I want to bring out is this: As I understand the Standing Orders when leave is sought to incorporate a document in Hansard, at that point leave is either granted or not granted. I do not question the motive behind the suggestions made by Senator Rae. I have discussed this with him outside the Senate Chamber. But it seems to me that there is a need for this matter to be looked at. Honourable senators should understand that, if a suggestion is made that leave may be given for a document to be incorporated in Hansard after the request has been reviewed, some time later, that effectively disallows the request to have the document incorporated. It seems to me that this document cannot now be incorporated for the simple reason that at a previous stage leave was not granted and I accept that ruling.
I think it would be impossible now to incor porate this document in the appropriate portion of yesterday’s Senate Hansard, even if leave were given to do so at this late hour. Therefore, I am suggesting to the Senate that I think this is an appropriate matter to be brought to its notice. I believe that Senator
Rae has some comments to make on it. Mr President, I trust that you will give your attention to it because it may require some consideration by the Standing Orders Committee.
– I well recognise the problem raised by Senator Brown. As Senator Brown has recognised, it was not my intention in any way to prevent him from having an opportunity to incorpor-
– You did so.
– I did not.
– The honourable senator refused leave.
– I will quote the appropriate section. Let us not have a row over something about which there is not a difference of opinion. After Senator Brown had resumed his seat and had no opportunity to incorporate the document, I raised the matter. This was before I went on to make my speech. I said:
Before I commence my speech, perhaps I should seek to clarify whether Senator Brown did or did not incorporate in Hansard any document. He referred to his wish to do so.
– The honourable senator objected to the incorporation.
– I did not refuse leave. I simply said that I would like to see the document.
– That is an objection.
– Had leave been sought to incorporate it and had I not been able to see it, I would have objected. Let us proceed on that basis. Mr President, I simply wish to say that I recognise that a problem exists that has to be viewed from 2 sides. One side is that the person who wishes to incorporate a document in Hansard knows what is contained in it. But that does not necessarily mean that anybody else knows what is in it. I do not think that it is in the interests of the Senate that an honourable senator should be able, at any time, simply to seek leave to incorporate any document, irrespective of its length or contents. This practice opens up an opportunity for abuse, intentional or unintentional. I think that it is desirable that some system should be available to honourable senators whereby they can incorporate documents in Hansard in proper instances. I support completely the suggestion made by Senator Brown, that this would be a proper matter for consideration by the Standing Orders
Committee bearing in mind all the considerations and the desirability of having an acceptable procedure. I accept that last night Senator Brown should have been allowed to incorporate in Hansard the document once the person or persons who were interested in it had some opportunity to see. its contents. 1 support the suggestion made to you, Mr President, that you use your presidential office to refer to the Standing Orders Committee the question raised by Senator Brown.
– It was before the previous Standing Orders Committee, and I have addressed the Senate on this subject previously. Senator Brown did me the honour of showing me the document this morning. I think it is germane to the speech that he made last night. I do not see any objection to his seeking leave now to have it incorporated. I will arrange, if it is possible - I think it is - with the Principal Parliamentary Reporter for page 852 of the Hansard to show ‘For further reference see page so and so’.
– I ask for leave to have the document incorporated in Hansard.
– Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows):
WHO IS IVICA KOKIC?
Mr Ivica Kokic is a senior employment officer in the Commonwealth Employment Service, which comes under the Federal Department of Labor and National Service. He has held important posts at suburban employment offices such as Sunshine and Glenroy, but promotions recently took him to the head office in the city.
In other circles he is known as Satnik Ivica Kokic, and given great respect as a top leader of an organisation know as HOP - Hrvatski Oslobodilacki Pokret (Croatian Liberation Movement). The word satnik’ means captain, but a special kind of captain. It was a word especially coined in the years 1941-44 when Croatia - a republic of Yugoslavia - was under Nazi rule.
Satnik Kokic and HOP owe allegiance to the Poglavnik - another special word from the period meaning Fuhrer. This was Dr Ante Pavelic, who headed the quisling regime set up by Hitler and Mussolini to rule Croatia. Under this regime, the most shocking war crimes were perpetrated, so much that the German and Italian Nazis told them to go a bit easy.
This was the Ustasha movement. Kokic and HOP in their publications and at their meetings still use all the symbols, slogans and other trappings of the Nazi period. For example, the symbol ‘U’ is the equivalent of the swastika, the slogan ‘za dom spremni’ is the equivalent of ‘Sieg Heil’.
Mr Kokic is a prominent speaker at the annual celebrations of April 10- the main Ustasha anniversary. This celebrates the Nazi victory after the Fas cist powers of Germany and Italy invaded Yugoslavia in 1941 and set up a quisling government. The part Kokic plays in this anniversary is alone proof of his Nazi activities.
In the Ustasha paper ‘Spremnost’, Kokic has long been referred to, first as secretary, then as the president of HOP. They report his speeches glorifying the Ustasha.
In 1967 he went to an international Ustasha meeting in the United States, where he met the chief from other countries including a number of war criminals. On his return ‘Spremnost’ reported that he had been appointed as vice-president of the Croatian Government-in-exile.
This must be a unique situation in the Australian Public Service and in international relations. A public servant is a member of a shadow Nazi government of a country with which Australia has diplomatic relations (Yugoslavia). And the government of which he is a member is still technically at war with Australia and her World War 2 allies!
What should concern unions is the fact that he continues to hold a position in the CES. He has surrounded himself with ‘interpreters’ who share his Nazi views. At a time of increased unemployment he holds a whip-hand over Yugoslav migrants seeking jobs.
As a writer in “The Review’ commented (April 8-14 issue) ‘The importance of Kokic’s position in the Department of Labor and National Service needs no underlining. He has the power to appoint interpreters, arrange jobs for new immigrants and generally supervise the “settlement” of Yugoslav migrants who constitute the third largest non-English speaking group in Australia.’
- Mr President, I appreciate your action in relation to the request for incorporation of this document, but I remind Senator Rae and Opposition senators that the traditional practice in the Senate for many years has been for a person to ask, during the course of his speech, for leave to have certain documents or figures incorporated. I can recall Senator Cotton, as a Government backbencher, having incorporated pages and pages of figures when he gave a sermon on economics. Without any member of the then Opposition observing the documents we at no stage refused to allow them to be incorporated. On a number of occasions I have requested leave to incorporate documents, Press reports or some other matter with which I desired not to bore the Senate. I have never been refused leave. The refusing of leave started when Senator Wright became a front bencher and refused leave to everybody unless he was able to scrutinise the document. If we take the matter to its logical conclusion, each document which is sought to be incorporated - it could be figures, tables or whatever you like - would have to be roneoed or photostated so that each honourable senator had a copy and bad the right to say ‘No’ if he believed that it was pornographic or if he believed that for some, other reason it should not appear in Hansard.
– If the Hansard contained pornographic matter Senator Little would sell it.
– He would sell Hansard - of course he would - if it was pornographic. He could make a profit out of it. The position is this: We had one person who said ‘No’ every time a member of the Opposition requested leave to incorporate a document.
– This happened at 2 a.m. once.
– I recall Senator McAuliffe wanting to incorporate in Hansard a document which was relevant to the argument that he was putting to the Senate. We were almost going to have a relay of honourable senators reading the document to get it in Hansard. We well could have done that. Every time a request was made there was this No’ because the person concerned had not read what was sought to be incorporated. If that is to be the criterion - if Senator Rae, Senator Wright or Senator Hannan wants to read each document which is sought to be incorporated in Hansard - 60 copies will have to be made so that each honourable senator can read it in advance. The proposition is so silly that it is stupid.
I think Senator Brown made a very important point tonight. Senator Rae said: ‘I did not refuse leave, but if I had not been allowed to read it first I would have refused leave’. That is the whole point of the argument. If it is incorporated in Hansard we can read it the next day and we have an opportunity later in the session - for example, during an adjournment debate - to debate the matter if we believe that there has been some skulduggery in relation to the incorporation. I recall very well the first ‘no’ in relation to the incorporation of a document. The argument that was put up then was that the document might have been too lengthy. What is the relevancy of the length of the document? Do senators suddenly have to curtail what they want to incorporate in Hansard because the cost of printing would be too high? If that is the position, why do not honourable senators opposite say so? Tonight Senator Rae showed clearly the attitude of these people. They are not concerned about the democratic system in which a senator, because of the time factor, can ask for leave to have something incorporated. They say: ‘I will not permit its incorporation unless I read it first’. They are their own censors. They want to censor everything which we seek leave to incorporate.
Senator Wright initiated this program. On many occasions I have incorporated in Hansard matter which I have not shown to Senator Rae, Senator Wright or Senator Hannan previously for their approval. This is not necessary, and it should not be necessary.
– Are you sure that he did not make an error? It is too laughable.
– He could have made an error because he makes many errors. If those honourable senators refuse leave, what all other honourable senators will have to do, if they have a 30-page document which they believe should be incorporated in Hansard, will be to speak during the adjournment debate and read the document into Hansard. Tonight Senator Rae said: ‘I would have refused leave if I had not been allowed to read it’. He will be the censor. He will approve it before Senator Brown can incorporate it. I will not be put in the position of having to take a document to Senator Rae, Senator Greenwood or any other honourable senator to get his approval to have it incorporated in Hansard. Even if it is 100 pages long, I will read it into Hansard during an adjournment debate, if the pettiness indulged in by Senator Rae tonight is persisted with by these people.
The refusing of leave was not started by the previous Opposition. It was started by Senator Wright who said: ‘I have not seen the document yet. No’. I will not ask Senator Rae or any Opposition senator to censor what I wish to have incorporated in Hansard. If leave is refused, I will read it into Hansard at a subsequent time - either during an adjournment debate or on the first reading of a money Bill. Do not be so foolish as to set yourself up as censors of what Government senators want to incorporate in Hansard because .we have a time limit on our speeches. If honourable senators opposite want to play it this way we can play it this way, and we can play it much tougher than they can. Nobody will censor a document which I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard. If honourable senators opposite do not trust me. or my judgment on what I want to incorporate in Hansard, thus making it a public document which can be read tomorrow and which can be answered by using the processes of the Senate, I will take the time of the Senate at another stage to ensure that every word goes into Hansard. I certainly will not be beholden to Senator Rae or any other Opposition senator for approval to have a document incorporated in Hansard.
– Have you ever refused leave to incorporate a document?
– No, never.
– Your Party has.
– Mr President, 1 understood you to tell the Senate that this matter had been referred already to the Standing Orders Committee. Am I right?
– Yes. I have referred it to that Committee.
– Therefore, I do not propose to delay the Senate for many moments on this matter. The Standing Orders Committee is the rightful place for the problem of the incorporation in Hansard of material in the course of a speech to be considered, in a calm and dispassionate way. Basically, the purpose of incorporating material in Hansard is to save the time of the Senate. Implied in the right to incorporate material in Hansard is the condition that the material is relevant to the speech that is being delivered and does not contravene the Standing Orders in any way. Therefore, I think that this practice which, admittedly, has existed for some time is open to abuse. It is a subject that should be examined by the Standing Orders Committee so that the Senate may have a sensible and uniform practice. I trust that the Senate will agree that the Standing Orders Committee is the correct body to consider this matter. Whatever findings it reaches will be presented to the Senate for discussion. That discussion of the practice of incorporating material in Hansard will, I believe, be a worthwhile one.
– The question being discussed in the adjournment debate tonight concerns me a little. I do not know what the Standing Orders Committee will report but the incorporation of material in Hansard has long been a privilege that we have enjoyed. Material is incorporated, as Senator Prowse said, because time is saved and an honourable senator is able to get more into his speech than he would in the limited time available to him to present his address. The Senate has relied on the decency of honourable senators in this respect, and I think that the right to incorporate material should be refused only when it has been shown that someone has abused this privilege. But I hope our Standing Orders never reach the stage where the privilege to incorporate material in Hansard is taken from honourable senators.
I cannot remember an occasion when that privilege has been abused. If an honourable senator seeks to incorporate frivolous material or asks for leave to incorporate a lengthy statement, I think that we should consider whether leave should be granted. The Senate has adopted a free and easy approach to granting leave for this purpose. I recall that the honourable senator who has incorporated material more than has any other honourable senator is Senator Cotton. He has incorporated interesting tables, for instance. I am not criticising him for that. But the suggestion that leave will be granted for an incorporation only after an honourable senator has seen the material to be incorporated suggests to me a lack of trust in the honourable senator seeking to incorporate the material. The attitude adopted would be: ‘That material will favour your argument; it will oppose my argument; I do not want the public to read it’. If it is not that, there is a lack of trust in the individual.
I do not know that any honourable senator has abused the right to have material incorporated. I could well ask for Karl Marx’s Das Kapital’ to be incorporated in Hansard, but I think that would be an abuse of this privilege not because of the contents of the document but because of its length. I have never done anything like that. I think that I have used this privilege with discretion. But the point has been reached where, as Senator Poyser has said, Senator Wright has set himself up as a dictator. I would never refuse to any honourable senator who has behaved properly in this respect the right to incorporate material in Hansard, but in future when I am in the Senate chamber and Senator Wright, under the present Standing Orders, asks for leave to incorporate anything in Hansard, I will wish to see it before I agree to leave being given.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 11.5 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 5 April 1973, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1973/19730405_senate_28_s55/>.