27th Parliament · 2nd Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Magnus Cormack)) took the chair at 11 a.m., and read prayers.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Acting Minister for Health. Will the Government give
Urgent consideration to withdrawing its sponsorship of those ridiculous television advertisements on smoking, re-writing the advertisements and presenting them properly, thereby ending the charade and the waste of public funds?
– The advertisements appearing on television at present are, of course, the first expression of a Government sponsored programme designed to acquaint persons with the dangers of smoking. That is the Government’s policy announced some time ago and this is the working out of it in practice. Undoubtedly there always will be controversy about the efficacy of certain types of advertising. Some advertisements v/ill appeal and make an impact on some people. But on others they will not make an impact. Senator Devitt has expressed a view which 1 think indicates that he is not impressed with the advertisements. I think the essential course which the Government must follow, having determined a policy, is to give the advertisements time to operate and to observe reaction to them. After a suitable period I think it is appropriate and responsible to assess how the programme is working. That, 1 believe, is the appropriate way for the Government to act. 1 will convey to the Acting Minister for Health the question which was asked and, if he desires to add to my answer, I am sure that he will supply further information.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral: First, how does he reconcile his answer of 23rd August, contending that he had ample translators to vet Croatian organisation material, with today’s statement that a lack of skilled interpreters and translators is hampering the current investigations? Secondly, why have certain eth- nic group journals not been monitored regularly to detect any advocacy of violence in their columns?
– 1 do not have before me the text of the answer I gave on 23rd August but I know that the answer related to whether translating facilities were available for the purpose of translating documents which had been seized by the Commonwealth Police when they executed certain search warrants. Translating facilities are available but there is a mass of documentation and it takes time to go through it. Unquestionably one would like to have far more translators available so that a good deal more of this work could be done expeditiously. That is with regard to the question earlier asked. As far as the particular point which has been referred to is concerned - I take it that it relates to a comment which appeared in the Press this morning - it is difficult for the Commonwealth Police or for any police force to carry out investigations in a migrant community where the ability to understand and speak English is not the same as it is amongst native born Australians to whom English is the mother tongue. That is a problem that all police forces have. It is difficult to know how it can be overcome. I trust that in time it will be overcome. I said that it represented a deficiency. 1 think that that is acknowledging the position.
– I wish to ask a question of the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration, ls the Minister aware of the concern that has been expressed and is being expressed by Australian citizens that individuals with criminal records have been admitted to Australia? Can he say what screening process is adopted by immigration authorities in countries such as Yugoslavia with regard to ensuring that prospective migrants do not have criminal records? In view of the recent terrorist atrocities in Sydney, what additional measures does the Government propose to take with respect to future Yugoslav migrants?
– The latter part of the honourable senator’s question as to what additional or other measures are to be taken is something which I must leave to the Minister for Immigration to answer because it is unquestionably an area to which he is giving his consideration. As to the methods of screening at the present time, Yugoslav migrants in essence come to Australia from 2 places. They come from Yugoslavia proper or they are Yugoslavs from outside of Yugoslavia possibly from other European countries, who apply for admission to Australia. They would go through the screening processes that are applicable in the places in which they make their applications. As far as the country of Yugoslavia is concerned we rely, as we must, upon the information supplied to us by the Yugoslav Government. With regard to persons who come from outside Yugoslavia, the best checks are made on the information which is available. The details of the screening procedures are not within my knowledge. I am not sure whether it is in the public interest to provide the details of precisely what is done by way of screening, but I know that the Minister for Immigration has said previously that the screening procedures are regularly checked to ensure that we do not have persons with known criminal records coming into this country. That is the policy which the Government does follow. I feel I should forward the honourable senator’s question to the Minister for Immigration so that, if he can add to what I have had to say, he will be able to do so.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral: In view of the trouble that the German Government has had with Croatian terrorists, what contact has the Attorney-General had with the German Government to obtain information about the operations of these terrorists?
– 1 know that agencies for which I am responsible have been in contact with the German Government. I recall at an earlier stage answering a question - I think it was asked by Senator Mulvihill - as to whether the procedures which have been used in West Germany for dealing with terrorism in its various forms could be applied in Australia. I supplied that answer, indicating in the course of it, as I recall, that the efforts which have been made in West Germany were not, one would say, suc cessful in preventing terrorism and acts of violence occurring in that country, lt may be that they have been successful in the sense that there could have been more violence but for the methods which have been adopted. All I can say is that we do examine the methods which other countries use and, consistent with what we regard as proper safeguards for individual rights and consonant with the maintenance of order in the public interest, we do our best in this country to ensure that activities of a terrorist nature are properly investigated.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. I ask: Is it a fact that there have been incidents in recent months in the Painters and Dockers Union in Victoria involving murder, attempted murder, violence and unexplained disappearances of union members? Are these very serious matters the subject of investigation by Commonwealth authorities as well as the State police? Is the Attorney-General in a position to make a statement on this matter? If .not, will he do so in the near future?
– I think we are all aware that there have been a number of alarming incidents involving members of the Painters and Dockers Union and that there is a lot of speculation as to the reasons for these incidents; Unfortunately there, as in other areas, without community co-operation and people willing to provide information it is difficult to apprehend the persons who may be charged with the commission of these offences. It is a problem of police investigation. As far as I am aware the Victoria Police have been investigating these matters assiduously. I am not able to say positively that the Commonwealth Police are not assisting in these matters but this is essentially a matter for State Police investigation because the incidents have occurred in Victoria and they would appear to constitute breaches of State law. I know that there is an effective working liaison between the State police forces and the Commonwealth Police. I am sure that in this’ area as in other areas any information which the Commonwealth Police can supply is supplied in the hope that it would be of assistance. Likewise, responses from State police forces are received.
– Is the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport aware that the closing of a factory in Hobart at the end of November will result in the termination of jobs for another 105 people and that one of the reasons given is the continually increasing cost of freight from Tasmania? When will the Minister be in a position to advise of any possibility of a freight subsidy between Tasmania and the other States in the light of present circumstances.
– It will be recalled that the Senate Standing Committee on Industry and Trade decided that subsidies were nol the answer to the problem of Tasmanian shipping costs and the difficulties of transport from the mainland to that State. I have some knowledge of the closing down of the factory mentioned. One of the matters covered was this problem of shipping costs but equally, I think, it was agreed that there was a problem in the declining demand for the product of that factory because of changed technical methods in the welding world. I understand that discussions are going on in Hobart at the present time between Commonwealth Industrial Gases Ltd management and the people down there. One hopes that out of the discussions some useful result will accrue which perhaps will make it easier to replace these people or in some fashion enable them to obtain useful employment.
– Will the Minister representing the Acting Minister for Health investigate the announcement by the head of the Chemistry Department at the University of Tasmania that he has developed a lead-free petrol which gives improved vehicle performance? In view of the poisonous contribution by leaded petrol to air pollution will the Minister ensure that if Professor Bloom’s announcement is correct steps will be taken to ban lead from petrol in Australia?
– I am not aware of the reports to which the honourable senator has referred. I shall convey the question to the Acting Minister for
Health. I am sure that he will consult his colleagues with a view to examining the propositions which have been put forward and taking such action as an examination of those reports appears to make desirable.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. In the event of persons being convicted of sabotage and terror or conspiring to commit acts of sabotage and terror such as the recent bombings in Sydney, will the Government deport such people if they are not naturalised citizens of Australia? What steps can the Government take regarding deportation if such persons are recently naturalised citizens of Australia? Will the Government make provision for any persons so convicted and remaining in Australia to be gaoled for the term of their natural lives with no provisions for parole?
– Both under the Immigration Act and the Crimes Act there is power for persons to be deported from Australia. But deportation is a step which the Government would be very loath to take except in those cases where an examination of the circumstances clearly warranted it. Of course many persons who have committed offences against Australian laws have been deported but the deportations which have occurred are of persons who are not Australian citizens. There is a power in respect of certain offences under the Crimes Act whereby persons who may be Australian citizens although they were not born in Australia may be deported. To deport those people would raise enormous problems and this would be an area in which the Government would be loath to act. I think the appropriate answer to the honourable senator’s question is to say that whether a person is deported must depend upon the merits of the case. Until persons are apprehended and convicted of the offence to which the honourable senator referred it is imprudent and, I think, improper to speculate upon what the Government might do. The Government has the power to deport. It has exercised that power on other occasions. It has not exercised it on occasions. It is a matter of judgment in each case.
– Is the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service aware of the growing public concern about the invasion of foreign controlled companies into various Australian industries? Is it a fact that the Australian Labor Party and the Government use 100 per cent foreign controlled advertising agencies for their election campaigns, so giving them business worth millions of dollars? Will the Minister take notice that the Democratic Labor Party’s advertising activities are conducted through an Australian agency?
– I think I should content myself by saying that the information provided in the question is factual.
– Is the AttorneyGeneral aware that the Croation Liberation Movement magazine ‘Spremnost’ makes reference in its columns to the Ustasha and has frequently written commendatory articles about its activities both in and out of Yugoslavia? Is he aware that the editor of this journal is a leader of the Croatian Liberation Movement in Australia and also a prominent member of the Liberal Party Migrant Advisory Council in New South Wales? Is the Minister also aware that another senior member of the Croatian Liberation Movement, a senior public servant, Mr Kokic, is employed by the Department of Labour and National Service Employment Counselling Service in Mebourne? If so, what does the Minister propose to do about these people who are openly and actively associated with the Croatian Liberation Movement?
– Generally speaking, I am unaware of the matters which the honourable senator has mentioned, although I am aware of the exisence of journals such as the one to which he referred and at least one of the names which he mentioned. I am very cautious in responding to a question of this character because I do not know whether there are facts which sustain the honourable senator’s question. I feel that we must always be cautious not to impute guilt or blame in circumstances where there is no evidence to warrant it. I think the appropriate course is for me to ask him to put the question on notice. I will examine the facts and I will give him the answer that those facts require.
– I ask a question of the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. Will consideration be given to extending to wheat growing in marginal areas the provisions determining eligibility of certain primary producers to purchase drought bonds?
– I am not too sure whether consideration has already been given to this matter. I will make inquiries and let the honourable senator have as much information as I can obtain.
Can the Attorney-General say whether any Commonwealth police are involved in the investigations that are taking place in connection with the terrorist bomb attacks in Sydney during the last few days? If so, have any further details been supplied to the Attorney-General as a result of those investigations about which he might be able to inform the Senate? Does the Minister still maintain that there is no organised Ustasha terrorist organisation or Croatian Liberation Movement in Australia?
– The investigations into the incidents in Sydney are being carried out by the State police of New South Wales. The Commonwealth police, as far as I am aware, are not directly involved in those investigations although they are in close co-operation with the Sydney police and they have their own avenues of investigation which they have been exploring. I do not propose to give any more details than that on that aspect of the question. As to whether or not 1 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 a Croatian terrorist organisation in Australia, that the police investigations, State and Commonwealth, had revealed no credible evidence that such a terrorist organisation existed. As far as the incidents on Saturday are concerned, one must surely await the outcome of police investigations before expressing any judgment on whether or not that will alter a view which was formed after evidence has been sifted and allegations investigated in July. I think that is the prudent course to take. We do not know who planted this bomb.
– We do not know who planted those bombs. We do not know what the motivation was. and until we have that report, I believe one should not pass judgment, one way or the other, on what happened in Sydney. Let us hope that the police investigations will be completed as soon as possible. 1 understand that the police in New South Wales are following certain leads and are hopeful that they will have some resolution of this ) matter in the not too distant future.
! TERRORIST OUTRAGES
– My question without notice is directed to the Attorney-General. Firstly, in view of the greatly increased number of bombings, bomb threats and bomb hoaxes in recent weeks in Australia, will the Government give consideration to amending the Crimes Act or other Acts to provide for much greater penalities for persons caught using the telephone to make bomb threats? Secondly, will the Government make every effort to halt this outbreak of lawlessness and threatened lawlessness now taking place in our usually peaceful and law-abiding country, apparently by those who seek to change our way of life?
Sen-tor GREENWOOD- lt is a fact that after the tragic happenings on Saturday there was a number of what must be described as bomb hoaxes, because the time of the police was taken up in investigating calls which were made to the police claiming that bombs were planted in various places. That certainly was a public mischief which the police had to investigate; it took up their time and prevented their activities being directed to the main matters with which we are all concerned. It is more than a public mischief, even though that is the language which the law would ascribe to it, and I believe there is a case for examining not only the provisions of the law which deal with that sort of offence but also the provisions of the Post and Telegraph Act which deals with the use of the telephone for that purpose.
I will certainly discuss that matter with the Postmaster-General. I feel it is one of the overall problems which our society has to cope with when there is an incident which features some degree of violence and lawlessness. This leads on and on. This is a part of the problem which the Government has been concerned to point out emphatically at times, and I think it is something which we all ought to recognise. Added to that is the inconvenience which is caused by people who, for some curious reasons, seem to take advantage of tragedy and outrage to create a feeling of dismay and fear by giving false reports of bombs being planted in various places. I feel that the appropriate line here, quite apart from police investigations, is to make clear to the community just what is happening, in the hope that we will have a community acceptance of what is proper conduct and a community abhorrence of all these various tactics which are being engaged in - an abhorrence which leads to rejection and repudiation of the persons who engage in them.
– The report of the Postmaster-General’s Department indicates a revenue of some $ 1,000m. As the expenditure of this very large amount is not included in the Estimates, will the Attorney-General, representing the PostmasterGeneral, inform the Senate in what way it can be examined to ascertain the necessity for charges currently being imposed by the Department?
– I am not sure whether my response will be of the character which the honourable senator is seeking. But 1 understand that the procedure which was adopted some 2 or 3 years ago is for the amount which appears in the Budget Estimates with regard to the Post Office to be the net amount which the Government is to provide to enable the Post Office to operate. That means that expenditure and revenue of the Post Office does not appear in the Budget Estimates but only that net amount for capital works or expenditure which is required. That is the position as I understand it. I would imagine that there are avenues open to the honourable senator whereby he can probe into those items of expenditure and revenue when the Senate examines the Estimates. But if that is not so, I would be grateful if he could explain his difficulty to me later and I will endeavour to do what I can by talking about it with the PostmasterGeneral.
– My question, which is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport, arises from an inference I gained from the Minister’s answer to a question from Senator Townley that because a Senate Committee was opposed to a freight rate subsidy to Tasmania, that would be the finish of the matter and there would be no freight rate subsidy. Can he assure the Senate that although an important Committee of the Senate expressed lack of agreement to a shipping freight subsidy to assist Tasmanian industry this will not be the final consideration by the Government of what, on the surface appears to be the most reasonable means of assisting Tasmania to combat the ever increasing and crippling shipping costs?
– I think that the honourable senator will recall that one of the things that is happening in regard to Tasmanian shipping costs is an examination of the cost of transport between the mainland and Tasmania by the Bureau of Transport Economics. The Government is anxiously awaiting that report. Following upon its presentation, the methods by which this problem can be resolved may become more clear.
– I direct a question to the Attorney-General concerning the question asked previously by Senator O’Byrne in which he named persons who were in the employ of the Commonwealth, said that they were unworthy to be in that employ and asked for action to be taken against them. Because an important issue of civil rights is now involved, is not the appropriate action for the honourable senator to take in such a case to place the evidence before the Public Service Board for investigation first rather than to blacken the character of these persons in the Senate where the senator concerned has the protection of privilege and the people concerned have no power to defend themselves?
– I think that Senator McManus’s question is indeed timely. It is very easy when feelings are aroused and there is a sense of apprehension in the community for people to fling about accusations on the basis that they are helping the situation in some way. I cannot believe that Senator O’Byrne is helping the situation if he is prepared to make accusations without evidence to back them. His interjection during the course of Senator McManus’s question: ‘They are throwing bombs around the place’, highlights the problem to which Senator McManus directed attention. Everybody in this community has the right to have his reputation preserved. If allegations are made against someone, if he is accused of crime, then I believe that the persons who make those allegations and accusations should be prepared to substantiate them. No person ought to be deprived of his reputation or his liberty except in accordance with the processes of law by which charges are levelled in the courts and the courts determine guilt or innocence. That is a fundamental ‘ principle of which 1 think we should never lose sight, notwithstanding the apprehension we have and the fear we have experienced as a result of what happened last week. I think it is deplorable that accusations of the character which have been made can be made without any evidence to back them because they, in their turn, cause frustration and resentment which add to a feeling of lack of well being which we want to avoid.
– I refer the AttorneyGeneral to recent well publicised complaints by the Yugoslav Ambassador to the Australian Government about certain damage to Embassy property. Whilst strongly condemning such damage irrespective of who caused it, I ask the Minister whether he can give the Senate any information about recent treatment of Australian citizens in Yugoslavia.
– I indicated to the Senate last week that I had received information from a number of people concerning the treatment which, in one case, a person had received when visiting Yugoslavia. In other cases people were seeking information about the whereabouts of their relatives who had recently visited Yugoslavia. I have a number of statutory declarations which testify to treatment of Australian citizens in Yugoslavia which goes beyond the bounds of any treatment we would expect to be accorded to visitors to Australia or to Australian citizens. It is a very alarming account. I think it is prudent to have these allegations checked out in Australia as far as is possible, and that is being done currently. I have given complete details to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I think that honourable senators in the past have expressed concern about deprivations which Australian citizens have experienced when they have gone to various parts of the world. No matter that Australian citizens have gone back to Yugoslavia, they are entitled to the protection of the Australian Government. The necessary inquiries having been completed, I am sure that the Minister for Foreign Affairs will take appropriate action.
– My question, addressed to the Attorney-General, follows the question asked by Senator McManus and answered by the Attorney-General which related to statements made in the course of a question asked by Senator O’Byrne concerning certain members of the Croation movements in Victoria. Does the Attorney-General not recollect that during this sessional period Senator Kane of the Australian Democratic Labor Party, a colleague of Senator McManus, asked questions about the character and political persuasions of a Mr Darc Cassidy, an employee of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and that charges were made against him on the floor of this Senate? Did the Attorney-General say on that occasion that this should not be done without due process of law, and did Senator Kane make a complaint and produce evidence to the Public Service Board? Are these ‘ principles of civil liberties to be applied only to right wing terror ists and not to citizens employed by the Commonwealth Service who advocate some left wing political ideology?
– I regret Senator Wheeldon’s question because I think he is trying to contrast or compare 2 questions when a basis of comparison just cannot be established. I recall the question being asked by Senator Kane. Questions comparable to that asked by Senator Kane are asked by all honourable senators from time to time, seeking information, and information has been obtained. I am very grateful for what Senator Kane said and for his inquiry concerning the gentleman mentioned. To use the expression which Senator Wheeldon used, ‘right wing terrorists’, and to say that they are the people about whom Senator O’Byrne asked carries with it the imputation that that is the character of the persons about whom Senator O’Byrne asked. That is the very vice to which Senator McManus referred. I have heard many times from Opposition senators in this place a great outcry when any person on the Government side has dared to mention anything about a person whom they regard themselves as favouring or being associated with. That would indicate that the protests made on those occasions are made simply for political purposes because their friends are the ones involved. I believe that the appropriate course to take - I have endeavoured to follow it - is to ensure that this place is not used for scandalous imputations under privilege.
– Is the Minister representing the Postmaster-General aware that on last night’s programme ‘This Day Tonight’ Dr James Cairns used an appearance on the programme to utter a wholly unfounded, malicious libel against the Democratic Labor Party by accusing it of sympathy with the perpetrators of the Sydney bomb outrage? Why did the Australian Broadcasting Commission not invite a DLP representative to appear on the same programme so that Dr Cairns’ lying libel might be denied and exposed? Is this not an example of the unbalanced bias of which the ABC has so often been accused?
– Before the AttorneyGeneral answers 1 point out that 1 have just consulted the Clerk to refresh my memory on the Standing Orders. A question making a reference in adjectival terms to a member of another place is not permissible, so I ask the Attorney-General to bear that in mind in answering the question.
– Two aspects are raised by the honourable senator’s question. I think it is obviously incorrect and represents a pre-judgment, before there is any police report, resolution or clarification of what happened in the Sydney bombing last Saturday, to indicate that one knows who was responsible and to say, therefore, that people must have sympathy with them. I know that Dr Cairns has publicly stated that without doubt Croatian terrorists were responsible for this bombing. How he knows this I do not know, and he is not prepared to take the Australian people into his confidence. The point I make is that police investigations are going on. Let us await the outcome of those investigations before we make any decision on who is responsible. That, I feel, is part of the problem which Dr Cairns is fomenting in this community. I sense the feeling of injustice which Senator Gair has when that sort of accusation is made, through the media when there is no opportunity to reply and when those who listen to the programme may well suppose that because a member of Parliament makes a statement there is some basis to it. As to whether or not this is an appropiate use of a current affairs programme and whether it is consistent with the new guidelines which the Australian Broadcasting Commission has laid down is, of course, a matter for the Australian Broadcasting Commission. I shall refer the honourable senator’s question to the PostmasterGeneral who will, I am sure, refer it to the Australian Broadcasting Commission for the courtesy of a reply.
– Has the attention of the Minister representing the Treasurer been drawn to the increasing number of public companies which are having their final, accounts qualified by notation of auditors due to insufficient provision for depreciation being made in their published accounts? Does the Minister recall my raising with him previously the matter of qualification of final accounts of companies which do not include provision for depreciation of freehold buildings? Does the Minister acknowledge the wisdom of this requirement by public auditors? Will the Treasurer have re-evaluated the attitude of the Commissioner of Taxation towards depreciation provisions so that approval might be given to public and private companies making such a provision and allowing depreciation of freehold properties as a deduction from assessable income for tax purposes?
– I remember the previous question which the honourable senator asked, but it was not asked of me because at that time I was not the Minister representing the Treasurer. I am familiar with the circumstances to which the honourable senator has referred and have read with some interest the qualifications on accounts which have been made by some auditors. I have read also with interest the observations of the chairmen of companies on the auditors’ qualifications. I think some of Australia’s leading companies - companies of great probity and substance - have had their accounts qualified. Therefore, one would have some reservations about whether or not the auditors were necessarily correct. I am not prepared to give an opinion on that; there is a difference of view in depreciation areas. All I can suggest to the honourable senator is that I will raise his query, which is a rather long one, with the Acting Treasurer and seek an answer for him.
– Does the Minister for Civil Aviation recall my question of some time ago relating to fare structures within Australia which might reflect the reduction in overseas fare structures, and his own reply indicating that his Department was making an examination of this matter? Has the Minister read of the reported statement by the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, when opening a tourist convention, in which he called for lower air fares within Australia? Can the Minister indicate any results of the examination to which I have already referred, particularly as it relates to some intra-state flights which service important rural centres?
– It will be remembered by the honourable senator that in the fairly detailed statement on civil aviation policy which I put down some little while ago I mentioned the fact that in negotiating new arrangements with the 2 carriers the Government was pursuing the question of encouraging the airlines to look actively at the introduction of further promotional fares in order to stimulate the domestic tourist industry. So I might say with some pride that long before anybody else showed concern for tourist activities, the Department of Civil Aviation was in the forefront of pointing out that Australia needed to have a system to encourage its own people to travel within their own country at concessional rates, wherever possible. This is also quite important to people coming from overseas. For some 12 months now we have been raising these matters with the people concerned with air transport within Australia. As honourable senators also will know, we have licensed special operators, such as East-West Airlines Ltd, for special areas and special flights where it is thought that this ought to be encouraged. I cannot say anything beyond that at the present time, except to indicate that we are in the process of talking to the 2 principal operators - TransAustralia Airlines and Ansett Airlines of Australia - about the removal of the 2-air- line policy within the context of my statement. The’ particular matter that the honourable senator mentioned is a very important one and is now being taken up with them. We have to be very careful not to destroy the economic viability of the established carriers within Australia but we do have a concern to encourage people to travel at off peak times or at times of low load factors or to encourage the full loading of aircraft on special flights.
– I refer the AttorneyGeneral to the question asked in this chamber on 23rd August 1972 by Senator Hannan in’ which the honourable senator said:
Is it a fact that the Yugoslav communist Embassy recently provided the Government with a list of names of Croatians who are alleged to have trained in terrorism in Australia . . .
The Attorney-General in his reply said:
It is a fact that the Yugoslav Ambassador recently delivered to the Minister for Foreign Affairs a document . . .
And went on to say:
That document is now being examined by the Commonwealth Police.
It is now one month since that question was asked. In view of the recent bombings, what progress can be reported in the investigations by the Commonwealth Police?
– A considerable amount of progress has been made. The only outstanding matter which the Commonwealth Police are awaiting, as they have informed me, is the translation of a number of documents which were seized as a result of the execution of search warrants. It is true that contained in the documents were the names of persons alleged by the Government of Yugoslavia to have been trained in Australia. But, unfortunately, there was nothing more than assertion - the allegation that ‘these are the people’.
In those circumstances it is a matter of seeing whether, as a result of Commonwealth Police activities, there is any material which will support the allegations. I think that is an appropriate course to take if an allegation is made by a government of another country that Australian facilities are being used for those purposes. I have stressed on many occasions that all other allegations that have been made about so-called training camps have been investigated and have not been substantiated. The investigations have been painstaking, to seek out the people who give information to Pressmen and the Pressmen themselves who receive the information and to endeavour to track down what they write to its source. That has been done. 1 gave a very detailed answer about that type of investigation in the Press statement I made in the middle of July. Therefore, there is no evidence of such training camps. As I have indicated before, there is no evidence to support the allegations which are still being made that .persons ure training in Australia for terrorism. Investigations are still being carried out into these allegations. I may say, however, that in the premises of certain persons which were searched the police found no arms or explosives, which one would suppose would have been found if any allegation of terrorism was to be sustained. Only documents were seized and they are being examined.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. In view of the continuing upsurge in unemployment figures, as announced by the Minister for Labour and National Service last evening I ask the Minister: Has the Commonwealth Government made a decision on the request from the South Australian Premier that the Commonwealth subsidise on a $1 for $1 basis the amount of $2m which the South Australian Government announced last week as an emergency grant to assist the unemployed in South Australia? I further ask whether a decision has yet been made in response to an urgent request from the Premier of South Australia for the convening of a special Premiers conference to discuss the serious unemployment situation which now exists throughout Australia.
– The honourable senator addresses the question to me, as the representative of the Prime Minister in this place, and seeks information which can only be given on a Premier to Prime Minister basis. Therefore I ask the honourable senator to put his question on notice.
– I desire to ask a question of the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. Has the Minister’s attention been drawn to a Press report that Courtauld’s Ltd intends producing synthetic meat from protein fat using the spinning process which produces its textile yarns and that hopes are high that sausage and pie makers will find it an improvement on the traditional fillers now used? Will the Minister refer this matter to the attention of the Minister for Trade and Industry and the Minister for Primary Industry and ensure that this product, if sold in Australia, is not sold as synthetic meat?
– The labelling of products such as the one to which the honourable senator has referred is a matter that comes under the control of State legislation. The honourable senator will recall that when the subject of synthetic meat was raised at an Australian Agricultural Council meeting some time ago the Minister for Primary Industry, who chaired the meeting, asked the State Ministers to go back and have a look at their legislation on this matter and that later he wrote to the Ministers concerned and asked them to bring their legislation up to date. I remind the honourable senator of the experience of the wool industry when synthetics were making vast inroads into the market of the natural fibre and the expenditure at the present time on wool promotion. I believe that the meat producers should do as Colonel McArthur, the Chairman of the Australian Meat Board, has called on them to do and produce a better quality meat so as to prevent synthetics making an inroad into their market. I do not believe that it would do any good to the meat industry to request, as the honourable senator has done, that certain synthetic meat should not be labbelled as such because of its protein fat content.
My question is directed to the AttorneyGeneral. Is he aware that, because to date there have been some 14 bomb attacks on Yugoslavs now living in Australia and no one has yet been apprehended on any one of these matters, the public has become quite cynical about whether the Commonwealth is really interested in solving these matters? Am I correct in saying that, in reply to a question asked by me earlier, the Attorney said that the Commonwealth Police are not directly involved in the investigations of the Sydney bomb outrages but that they have been merely supplying information to the New South Wales Police Force? If, as the Minister said, there is no definite evidence in his possession about any organised Croatian liberation movement in Australia and that only loose accusations have been made to date about certain individuals, I ask: What possible information can be supplied by the Commonwealth to the New South Wales Police Force in connection with its investigation of this outrageous situation in Sydney?
- Mr President, it is a fact that a number of bomb incidents have taken place in recent years. I do not think it is correct to say that there have been no arrests and convictions following those incidents. It may be that the incidents to which Senator Douglas McClelland has referred are incidents in relation to which there has been no arrest, but, without some specification as to precisely what incidents are involved, I am not able to respond in a way that gives chapter and verse. The fact that these incidents are occurring creates public concern and disquiet. It is a concern which I share and appreciate. But it must be recognised that in this community all types of offences are committed in which the perpetrators are never found. They are not found, not because the police are incompetent or not doing their job but because police investigations, carried out in accordance with procedures which do restrict them in certain ways but ways which we regard as properly restricted, are not able to obtain the information which would lead to charges being laid. Earlier today someone mentioned painters and dockers in Victoria. Of course a number of crimes have been committed in connection with members of the Painters and Dockers Union and the police have not been able to find who was responsible.
I have seen recent figures for New South Wales which suggest that more reported crimes go undetected than are solved. The basic problem is that we do not have enough community co-operation and provision of information which will help the police. But even with that the police may not be able to locate perpetrators who take great care to hide themselves. As far as Commonwealth Police activity is concerned I think it must be appreciated that where offences against State laws occur within a State then primarily it is the State police who will investigate the matter. The Commonwealth has a tremendous amount of information which has been collated over the years with regard to a number of matters, including emigre communities. It is useful for the Commonwealth Police to be able to supply information of that character to State police for them to assess how far they are going to take a matter. Likewise, the State police provide - as they have done in the past - the Commonwealth
Police with this information. The Central Crime Intelligence Bureau has a storehouse of information. I have said before that I am not going to be more specific than I have indicated because I do not think it is in the interests of police investigation to do so.
– Following the reply given just now by the Attorney-General I ask him whether it is not a fact that over the years there have been a number of attacks on property in Australia of the Yugoslav Government such as consulates and other property? Is that not within the sphere of the Commonwealth authorities? Will the Attorney-General tell us whether investigations have been carried out by the Commonwealth Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation into these attacks upon property in close connection with representatives in Australia of the Yugoslav Government?
– Investigations into bombings which have occurred at consulates have been made by State police and Commonwealth Police. Naturally this has involved consultations with Yugoslav authorities and authorities of other countries.
– Relative to the last 2 questions asked by honourable senators opposite I ask: Can the Attorney-General inform the Senate whether he has any knowledge of any information flowing from the plush headquarters of the Australian Council of Trade Unions or any other trade union to the Commonwealth or Victoria Police to help them solve the crimes allegedly committed within Painters and Dockers Union circles?
– In answer to the honourable senator’s question I must confess that I have no such information. I am not able to say whether the information has been supplied. I think the honourable senator’s question proceeded upon a certain assumption. Maybe that assumption is well founded; I am unable to say. But this is essentially a matter of State police investigation. I hope that representatives of the Australian Council of Trade Unions would assist the police in their investigations, even though those people have an inclination - well realised in certain cases such as searching for national service offenders - not to assist the police.
– My question, which is directed to the Attorney-General, is supplementary to the one asked by Senator Murphy in relation to the various functions of the Attorney-General’s Department. I ask him very clearly: Am I to understand that in all the material he has accumulated dealing with Croatian activities he does or does not monitor the journal ‘Spremnost’? If he does monitor it does he blandly say that its editorials do not render the editor liable to prosecution because of their inflammatory attitudes and that the editorials are not creating a lot of the present unrest?
– I know that a tremendous amount of information has been collected by the Commonwealth Police, I have spoken to the Commonwealth Police about it. I have seen a lot of the material which the Commonwealth Police has. It is not only with regard to Yugoslav papers but with regard to papers of a number of migrant groups that investigations are made, because it is prudent to do so. I am not able to say, without further consultation with the Commonwealth Police, about the regularity or frequency of the investigations. I will take under advisement all that the honourable senator has said and give consideration to whether I should amplify the reply.
– Can the Minister for Air recall an answer which he gave in this place on 14th September in which he said that there are no plans for the Royal Australian Air Force to buy tanker aircraft to refuel Fill aircraft? Can the Minister confirm or deny reports that the RAAF now intends to buy surplus Boeing 707 aircraft from Qantas Airways Ltd for this purpose?
– There is a requirement to replace the Hercules 130A aircraft. I have stated quite clearly in the Senate on a number of occasions that for some time the Department of Defence and the Department of Air have been looking at a replacement for this aircraft, from the aspect of having a carriercumtanker type replacement. I have nothing further to add, other than to say that on the present configuration of the FI 1 1 aircraft, with its external wing tanks, there is no requirement at this time for a tanker aircraft.
– My question, which is directed to the Attorney-General, is supplementary to that asked by Senator Douglas McClelland in which he implied that there have been no successful prosecutions resulting from bombing incidents. 1 ask the Attorney-General whether it is a fact that on 2nd January 1970 the Australian Capital Territory police arrested 2 Croats, Terzic and Dragoja, who were found in possession of explosives. Is it also a fact that both men admitted that their intention was to blow up the statue of Mihajlovich in the Serbian Orthodox Church in Canberra? ls it a further fact that both men were sentenced to 9 months gaol?
– The honourable senator has the advantage of me, but I do know sufficient of the general circumstances to know that 2 Croats were arrested in the Australian Capital Territory about 2 years ago. I do not recall the full details, but I accept what the honourable senator has said. In answer to Senator Douglas McClelland I did say that it was not true to say that there had been no arrests with regard to any bombing incident. There is another incident which 1 can bring to mind which also led to an arrest. As I said to Senator Douglas McClelland, the details must depend upon the bombing incident to which the honourable senator was referring. I am grateful to Senator Carrick for having asked the question.
– Can the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs inform the Senate of the allegations which have been made by the Yugoslav Government against Australia in respect of terrorist activity in Australia against the Yugoslav Government or its representatives? Can he give us as much detail as it is possible for him to give now?
– I must decline the invitation. I understand that the ambassador saw the Minister for Foreign Affairs this morning. Therefore it would be appropriate for the question to be answered personally by the Minister.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. In view of the fact that the Attorney-General has clearly failed in his duty and responsibility to ensure protection of the Australian community will he-
– Order! The honourable senator may not phrase his question in those terms.
– r ask the AttorneyGeneral: Will he not now resign his portfolio as an acknowledgement of the fact that he has so failed in the discharge of his high and important office?
- Mr President, I wonder at the honourable senator asking that question having regard to his knowledge of me over the years. If he really wants an answer, it is in the negative.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service. I ask the Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that a number of capital city newspapers have today asserted that unemployment, to the end of August, has increased? Is this assertion untrue? Is the Minister aware that the Australian Broadcasting Commission this morning stated that the actual unemployment figure had fallen by 2,375 to 96,800? Is it a fact that there was less unemployment at the end of August than there was a month earlier?
– The fact is that the unemployment figures at the end of August show a decline by 2,375 but on the seasonally adjusted basis the figures show an increase over the figure at the end of July of some 7,000 unemployed persons.
– Which figure does the Government rely on?
– Both are given, but the seasonally adjusted figure is the index which is taken to be the better guide.
I was about to add that lt is highly erroneous to assert, as some have asserted, that unemployment is the highest for 11 years. Since 1961 the work force has increased by no less than 38 per cent, and to take absolute figures in relation to the work force of 1961 and state them without regard to the increase of 38 per cent is completely erroneous and misleading. Of course the thing that has to be noted is that unfortunately the unemployment rate is markedly above the average in the 3 States where Labor governments rule. Western Australia has the highest rate, 2.89 per cent; South Australia has 2.4 per cent and Tasmania 2.36 per cent. All other other States have unemployment rates less than 2 per cent - about 1.6 per cent.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. In view of the statement yesterday by the Minister for Primary Industry that the Prime Minister was uninformed on the proposed .formation of a rural bank as announced by the Country Party, can the Minister inform the Senate why a series of meetings on this matter was held between the Minister for Primary Industry and the Treasurer without the knowledge of the Prime Minister?
– I have not seen the statement referred to, and I would not think that the Minister for Primary Industry said that the Prime Minister was uninformed. Because of the decision contained in the Budget to make $20m available for rural finance, the Treasurer and the Minister for Primary Industry have been carrying on a series of meetings not simply between themselves but with the managing directors of banks. The officials of both the Department of Primary Industry and the Treasury are still continuing discussions with the bank officials. When a decision is made - as I said the other day, I hope that a decision will be made very shortly - we will have the opportunity of knowing what is contained in it and perhaps discussing it at later time.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. Will the Minister take note of the fact that there is considerable dissatisfaction in the Goulburn Valley and other northern Victorian fruit growing areas over the progress of the tree pulling programme for the purpose of rationalising production in the industry? Will he particularly take note of the fact that I am informed by a number of constituents that the procedures in regard to compensation for the tree pulling are proceeding far too ;lowly and that there is a belief in the district that the allocation of quotas is on a most unsatisfactory basis? As this industry has had a most difficult time, will he arrange for officers of his Department to examine the situation and endeavour to allay the discontent?
– I recognise what the honourable senator is saying. He will recall that last year there was a series of questions from both sides of the House - I know that one came from him - in regard to the concern of people living in this area. It was for this reason that the Minister for Primary Industry put proposals before the recent meeting of the Australian Agricultural Council for the adoption of State Ministers of Agriculture. A decision was taken at that meeting and I would hope that it would go into operation as soon as possible. Nevertheless, I will convey to the Minister for Primary Industry the concern of Senator McManus. If he cares to comment further, I will give the honourable senator the information.
– I direct a further question to the Attorney-General. By way of preface, I refer to one of his predecessors, Dr Evatt, who dealt with a certain Press statement by somebody from the far left. During the honourable senator’s period as Attorney-General, has he ever instituted prosecutions at a Commonwealth level against any right-wing group, including Croatians?
– I think that it should be recognised that the AttorneyGeneral does not institute prosecutions except in a very limited number of cases in which the statute provides for this. Prosecutions are instituted as a matter of police activity when investigations reveal a case which ought to be tried before the courts. I think that the honourable senator’s ques tion arises from a prejudiced viewpoint which I feel does not do him justice. I feel also that it shows a certain degree of lack of appreciation of the fact that prosecutions, whatever Attorney-General happens to be in office, are the result of what police investigations reveal.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral whether he saw an interview on a Melbourne television station this morning in which the person interviewed produced photographs which purported to show Australian Army personnel training Ustasha terrorists at Wodonga in Victoria? Did he also hear claims by the person interviewed that the Government of the United States of America had made requests to the Australian Government to assist in the training of such terrorists? Can he confirm or deny- (Honourable senators interjecting) -
– Order! Senator Wriedt is on his feet asking a question. Honourable senators are not to engage in a barrage of interchanges while the honourable senator is on his feet.
– Can he confirm or deny these most serious allegations?
– I can deny emphatically the suggestion that there was a training camp for terrorist purposes at Wodonga in 1963. It is a canard which has been raised time and time again. It 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 accusations which they are making. I did not see the television programme but I have heard, and I assume, that these photographs relate to the incident which occurred some time about 1963. 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 which were there. 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. 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 should first overcome the facts which I have stated. I am surprised that the honourable senator should raise this matter again. I am surprised that a television station with any interest in this matter and knowing the facts of that incident should still permit it to be presented on television as though there was some basis to it. There needs to be a lot more responsibility in a lot of places.
– Honourable senators have asked 43 questions in an hour and 10 minutes and those questions have been answered. That is a faster rate of progress than we usually see and I think honourable senators might consider whether we should go on with the business of the Senate.
– Mr President, this is an important matter and I think the Senate should be fully informed about it. I think we would like to ask further questions.
– Very well. I have no power to deny honourable senators the right to ask further questions.
– Will the AttorneyGeneral tell the Senate how many people were injured and briefly, the extent of their injuries in the bombing incidents on Saturday?
– According to the information I have received, I think that 5 persons were referred to Sydney Hospital and 2 of them were seriously injured. Mr Joseph Martin had multiple injuries to both legs and he has had one leg amputated, Mr Steve Stanley was treated for multiple injuries to both legs. Three other people had slighter injuries. I think that another 11 people were admitted to St Vincents Hospital.
– My question, addressed to the Attorney-General, is supplementary to that asked by Senator
Wriedt. Is the Minister aware of allegations that a training camp similar to that outlined by Senator Wriedt is alleged to have existed in Queensland for the training of terrorists? Can he make the same denial or elaborate further on whether in fact this camp exists?
– This is another of the canards which are thrown up from time to time. If what the honourable senator refers to is the allegation of a training camp being held at Mackay, that allegation has been made and has been searched out by the Commonwealth police. On the information that the police have given to me there is absolutely no truth in the statement. That also is an answer which has been given to an honourable member in another place who asked the question.
– Has the AttorneyGeneral seen a copy of the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ of 6th July 1972 in which Mr W. D. Crowley, of the Victoria Police said that the police had seized explosives from a group of Croatian men who had tried to set up a training camp near Melbourne? A number of men had been questioned and police were still investigating. I ask also whether the Minister is aware that this report says that there was a Croatian group in Victoria opposed to the Yugoslav Government and consulate? Is that a canard?
– I think it is highly prejudicial and damaging of Senator O’Byrne to make that statement. I do not know whether the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ report is correct or incorrect, but the honourable senator knows that there is currently a court case arising out of that very incident. Yesterday that trial was adjourned for a month because justice could not be given to those on trial because there had been so much publicity. One can understand how there would be a prejudicial atmosphere. I have information from Sergeant Crowley, but I am not going to embark upon a discussion of the character which Senator O’Byrne invites me to undertake when the issues are to be canvassed in a trial where that very matter, if it be an allegation, may come up for consideration. The point is that the matter is sub judice and ought to be treated as sub judice. 1 would be very surprised if Senator O’Byrne did not know that these people were currently about to face then trial.
– My question is supplementary and refers to the Sydney scene. In view of the Attorney-General’s frequent use of the term ‘agent provocateur’, in what category does he put Tomislav Lesic, in view of the earlier pamphlets and his presence at the scene of the crime last Saturday?
– I do not know what Senator Mulvihill seeks to achieve or what point he seeks to make by that question. Is he making an imputation against Mr Lesic?
– If he is, I think he should base it on fact and not use this place as a chamber where imputations can be made. I have heard Senator Mulvihill in the past talk about Mr Lesic and he has made pretty dastardly accusations against him. They were accusations which are not consistent with his now being a victim of an attack by people to whom Senator Mulvihill only a few weeks ago said he was privy and that he was a member of some terrorist organisation.
– Order! I have called for order because a sub judice question has now been raised. I take it, following the House of Commons investigation into sub judice and other such matters, that the practice is that a statement or question must not be made or asked if it will prejudice the liberties of people who are before the courts. I would be very grateful if honourable senators would bear this in mind.
– Mr President, may I speak to what you have said in this matter? This is a very important principle.
– You should seek leave to speak.
– Then I ask for leave.
– Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
– It is extremely important that the rights of persons who are on charges before the courts be pro tected. The principle of sub judice has availed over the years to ensure that they are protected. In recent times in this Parliament and elsewhere the principle has come into consideration because at times it is clear that the interests of individual persons must be judged in the context of the interests of the community at large. Here in Australia and in other countries the important question may be not whether those persons are tried now in this atmosphere or whether their trial should be postponed, or even whether their trial be not proceeded with. There may be an overwhelming public concern that we get to the bottom of what is happening and prevent a continuance of terrorist activities in Australia. I, for one, am much more concerned about getting to the bottom of these activities and seeing that something is done about them. The Attorney-General sneers and laughs again, but I believe it is very important. Many people in this country are fearful of these matters being continued and that is where the question of public concern comes into play. As far as I am concerned, the public concern that these matters should be stopped overrides the question of what should be done about persons who may be facing trial and I say that nothing in this question before the Parliament should be prevented from being considered because of the fact that some persons who may be alleged to be mixed up in it are facing trial.
I think that we all would try to avoid referring to the particular circumstances of these persons but that is not the interest. I do not know that the persons have been named. I do not know their names, and I am not concerned about the persons. I would not be concerned, if they are not citizens of Australia but are from outside the country, or if they are citizens, whether in some way they were not proceeded against. That is not the great concern in this debate. The great concern in this Parliament is that there be an end to the activities and that there be a proper investigation and debate in this place. We can take steps to ensure that the civil rights of the persons to whom reference has been made are not affected, even if it means going to the whole length of not proceeding with their trials. This is a question of overwhelming public importance and it cannot be delayed until after the trial of persons. I would suggest that when the matter is weighed in the balance the importance of getting to the bottom of what has occurred and of seeing that these terrorist activities are not allowed to proceed should prevail over any question of stopping debate simply because some persons are on trial.
Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria- AttorneyGeneral) - I ask for leave to make a statement in reply to Senator Murphy.
– Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
– I am surprised and disappointed at what Senator Murphy has said. On many occasions in this chamber he has protested about his adherence to the rule of law and about the value to the community of rights which are protected by the rule of law. Whilst from time to time we have disagreed as to whether particular circumstances give rise to the application of the principles to which he has referred, he has been consistent in maintaining that principle. What we are faced with here is the fact that there are, 1 think, 4 persons facing trial in Melbourne in connection with the possession of explosives. It is related to matters which are of public controversy. 1 believe that your ruling, Sir, is a ruling which is consistent with the traditions of the parliaments under the Westminster system that individual rights are not prejudiced by debate which inflames an atmosphere, which imputes or assumes guilt, and which would deny to the individuals concerned the right to have their trial conducted dispassionately. That principle was given expression to yesterday in the County Court of Victoria where the judge presiding at the trial adjourned the trial for a month so that the atmosphere which had been generated by incidents in Sydney could not be used, as it had been used, by people outside the court to inflame a case against these people.
This question arose today only because Senator O’Byrne asked a particular question and I responded by saying that the matter was sub judice. But the proposition which Senator Murphy now makes is one which denies what I think is a principle which we should all cherish and seek to maintain. His proposition, stated baldly, was that where there is a matter of over whelming public interest, that is what he is concerned with and he does not care what happens to the rights of individuals.
– I did not say that. I said that the matter could be discussed, notwithstanding that it is sub judice, and I do not think that the President said anything contrary to that.
– If Senator Murphy challenges my expression of his views, I am pleased to hear him deny my expression. If he is prepared to say that these people should be given an absolute acquittal - a complete exoneration - and then an inquiry should be held, not by a judicial body, not by a royal commission, for example but by some discussion and debate or some parliamentary committee, it appears to me that we are departing from standards of justice which we depart from at our peril and at our risk. 1 do not think that it is good enough simply to say that we must have a discussion and that the rights of the individuals concerned do not matter, that the adjournment of their trial does not matter and that if they never come to trial does not matter, but that the important thing is to have some form of star chamber investigation. That is what an inquiry by a parliamentary committee becomes if it starts to investigate matters of the criminal law in respect of which persons have a right to be tried before the courts.
Whilst these matters may arise certainly in the near future if a certain motion proceeds today, I think it is incumbent upon this Senate to recognise that justice in this country is to be found in the courts of the land and in the rights which individuals have to be tried by judge and jury in an atmosphere in which they get a fair trial and thai Parliament should not seek to usurp the role of the courts and to pass judgment on the basis of supposition, assumption and suspicion. I am alarmed if Senator Murphy is seeking to assert as a principle what he said today because it is a negation of all that he has said in the past, of the rule of law and of that justice which we on this side would ever seek to uphold.
– The question whether this matter is sub judice has been raised. I think I am bound to inform honourable senators that some 6 or 7 months ago 1 went into the whole question of sub judice because I felt that perhaps the claim that a matter was sub judice might be too restrictive of debate. I have made an exhaustive study of this matter and I hold in my hands my analysis of this subject. I finally come down to the paragraph which led to the ruling which I gave earlier. It is this:
The prime question I must ask myself is, I think: Is parliamentary debate likely to give rise to any real and substantial danger of prejudice to proceedings before the court? If so, then Parliament must not pursue that path.
That is my ruling.
(Senator Keeffe proceeding to address a question to the Attorney-General) -
Questions shall not anticipate discussion upon an Order of the Day or other matter which appears on the Notice Paper.
I direct your attention to Notice of Motion No. 2 standing in the name of Senator Murphy.
– Having refreshed my mind on the standing order, I nile against the point of order. Senator Keeffe will be allowed to ask his question. The honourable senator is seeking informationHe is not anticipating a debate. I cannot forecast that he is anticipating a debate. (Senator Keeffe having addressed his question to the Attorney-General) -
– Again, I raise a point of order. I refer to paragraph (4) of the Notice of Motion No. 2 standing in the name of Senator Murphy which in substance says what Senator Keeffe has just asked.
– I will give consideration to the point of order while another question is asked. I call Senator Douglas McClelland.
– Order! Having given consideration to the point of order raised by Senator Hannan in relation to a question asked by Senator Keeffe, I call on the Attorney-General to answer the question.
– I request the honourable senator to put it on the notice paper, Mr President.
My question is directed to the AttorneyGeneral. Has the Attorney-General seen a statement attributed to the Queensland Police Commissioner that he believes that the bombings in Sydney might have been the work of the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood? Was the Queensland Police Commissioner involved in a close examination of the work of the Brotherhood when he was the Commonwealth Police Commissioner? Does the Attorney-General still say that there is no evidence of the existence in Australia of a Croatian liberation movement?
– Having regard to the way in which Senator Douglas McClelland framed his question and having regard also to a certain looseness in newspaper accounts of things I have said in the last day or two, one must be very careful how one responds. I notice that Senator Douglas McClelland did ‘ not talk about any terrorist organisation; he talked about the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood and the Croatian liberation movement. That there has been a Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood - I think its initials are HRB - in Australia in times past is undisputed, but I understand that its activities nowadays are minimal. As to whether there is a Croatian liberation movement, I do not doubt that there are are bodies of that name. I am not sure from recollection whether there is a body of that name in Australia, but the fact that there was such a body would not make it a terrorist organisation. In the circumstances, I am not able to say whether there is a movement. But I stand by what I said to Senator Douglas McClelland or whoever asked the question earlier about what the evidence had revealed prior to my Press statement in July as to whether there was any evidence of a terrorist organisation.
– I direct a further question to the Attorney-General. I ask: In view of his argument on the onus of proof, how should one interpret the tex- mination of Mr Rover’s passport? Is it not reasonable to assume that it is the tip of the iceberg as far as Croatian lawlessness is concerned?
- Mr President, I feel that that is obviously a question asking for an opinion. On that basis I decline to answer it.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. In view of the statement in another place by the Prime Minister to the effect that he will not oppose the setting up of a royal commission to investigate the activities of terrorists in this country, will the AttorneyGeneral state whether he will give his positive support to the Prime Minister’s approach to this subject? I would also like to know whether the setting up of such a royal commission would be sub judice.
– Order! Is the AttorneyGeneral aware of the statement made in another place by the Prime Minister?
– Yes, Mr President.
– I call on the AttorneyGeneral to answer that question.
– I have discussed with the Prime Minister, as one might suppose, a number of matters arising out of the bombing incidents last Saturday, but even before then consideration had been given to quite a number of aspects of political violence, terrorism and allegations of terrorism in this country and I had been considering whether it was an appropriate matter for inquiry. I think the view which the Government holds at the present time is that nothing should be done which would prevent the current police investigations from being carried through to their conclusion. It would be, I think, highly prejudicial to such police activities even to contemplate such an inquiry at this stage. Let us await the outcome of the police investigations and see what is forthcoming and then consider the matter. The other question which was raised is essentially a legal question. If the honourable senator wants an answer to it he should refer to the Royal Commissions Act. Of course a royal commission is a judicial inquiry.
– Order! I understand the feeling of honourable senators. They are aware that they have a very heavy notice paper in front of them. We have replies to a great number of questions on notice previously asked and which are on notice. With the concurrence of honourable senators I will have those questions and answers incorporated in Hansard.
– In accordance with the provision of the Commonwealth Banks Act I lay on the table the annual reports and the financial statements of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation, the Commonwealth Trading Banking of Australia, the Commonwealth Savings Bank of Australia and the Commonwealth Development Bank of Australia together with the Auditor-General’s reports thereon for the year 1971-1972.
– I present the report of the fifth conference of the Presiding Officers and Clerks of the Parliaments of Australia, Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea and Western Samoa held in Parliament House, Perth from 16th to 18th May 1972.
– Pursuant to section 28 of the Dried Fruits Export Control Act 1924-1966, I present the forty-eighth annual report of the Australian Dried Fruits Control Board for the year ended 30th June 1972.
– Pursuant to section 24 of the National Capital Development Commission Act 1957-1960, I present the fifteenth annual report of the National Capital Development Commission for the year ended 30th June 1972 together with financial statements and the Auditor-General’s report on those statements.
– For the information of honourable senators, I present the financial statements on Commonwealth Railways operations for the year ended 30th June 1972.
– For the information of honourable senators, I present the annual report of the Director-General of Health on the activities of the Commonwealth Department of Health for the year ended 30th June 1972.
I REPORTS OF PUBLIC WORKS r COMMITTEE
– In accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969-1972, I present the reports relating to the following proposed works:
– I move:
That, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969-1972, the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for investigation and report: The construction of a new outpatients clinic at the Repatriation General Hospital, Greenslopes, Queensland.
The proposed work involves the construction of a new single storey outpatients clinic and also for extensions to the existing multi-storey administration building to expand the radiology and pathology departments. At present outpatient facilities are located at Greenslopes, Windsor and Adelaide Street, Brisbane. The work now proposed will permit all 3 to be centred at Greenslopes. The estimated cost of the proposed work is $1.7m. I table the plans of the proposed work.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Sitting suspended from 12.46 to 2.15 p.m.
– by leave - I wish to inform the Senate that the Treasurer, Mr Snedden, left Australia on Sunday, 17th September, to have discussions with officials of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris and to attend the meeting of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers in London and the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington. He is expected to return to Australia on 5th October. During his absence the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) is Acting Treasurer.
– by leave - Honourable senators will recall that, during a statement to the Senate on 29th August outlining recent Government decisions on civil aviation policy, I said that, in the light of early self government and independence, I proposed to visit Papua New Guinea to discuss a programme for the transfer of civil aviation responsibility to the local authorities. Those discussions between myself and the Chief Minister for Papua New Guinea, Mr Somare, were held in Port Moresby on 3rd, 4th and 5th September and I believe it would be appropriate if I outlined the results to the Senate.
A major point to emerge was the strong desire of the Papua New Guinea Government to establish a single national airline as soon as possible. Such an airline would become a symbol of the development of national unity within Papua New Guinea. The Papua New Guinea Government expressed appreciation for the past and present services of the Department of Civil Aviation and the Australian airlines in providing a first class aviation system within and through Papua New Guinea and indicated that it wanted to utilise their accumulated expertise, experience and many skilled personnel. Mr Somare said his Government, in addition to its own substantial investment on behalf of its people, wished to offer shareholdings in the new national airline to Trans-Australis Airlines, Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea and Qantas Airways Ltd. Discussions will have to be held in the months ahead between the Australian airlines and the Papua New Guinea Government on the ways this proposal can be implemented.
Mr Somare also indicated that it was his Government’s intention to ask Qantas to provide the senior managerial staff for the new airline. Qantas has been operating services through Port Moresby to Singapore, Hong Kong and Manila for some time now. The Papua New Guinea Government also is obviously mindful of Qantas’s record in providing senior managerial staff in the past in Fiji, Singapore, Malaysia and the New Hebrides. It was agreed that the timetable for the establishment of the new airline initially was a matter for the Papua New Guinea Government and that, although Australia agreed in principle with the proposal, there was no financial commitment by the Australian Government. The new national airline also will operate services between Papua New Guinea and Australia when it is able to do so. Until these aspirations are realised, the Australian airlines will provide the services. After Papua New Guinea becomes independent, Qantas will be the Australian designated international carrier under the air services arrangements which will need to be made between Australia and Papua New Guinea. The Papua New Guinea Government indicated also that it wants Qantas to continue to provide international air services on its behalf until its own national airline is able to assume this role as well.
The second major area covered in my discussions with Mr Somare involved the transfer of the civil aviation functions in Papua New Guinea that are now performed by the Australian Department of Civil Aviation. This transfer is to be achieved as early as possible. However, as the Papua New Guinea Minister for Transport Mr B. R. Jephcott had explained earlier, the local Department of Transport has neither the staff, finance, nor expertise nec essary to consider any large scale involvement in DCA operations in the foreseeable future. Under these circumstances it was agreed that the Australian Department of Civil Aviation will continue to carry out the entire range of civil aviation functions, but that the appropriate local authorities will be fully and continuously consulted on aviation policy matters as they affect Papua New Guinea. This consultation and involvement is already taking place so that long range planning and policies can be developed. Consideration will be given in the meantime to the machinery which would allow the Department of Civil Aviation to provide, beyond the commencement of full internal self-government, functions of a specialist and operational nature on an agency basis for the Papua New Guinea Government. The Papua New Guinea Government indicated it would wish the Department to do this. It expressed satisfaction with the Department’s performance and expressed a desire to retain its expert assistance in an agency role.
To assist the consultative processes the Papua New Guinea Government has decided to appoint a civil aviation adviser, who will be directly responsible to the appropriate Papua New Guinea Minister. The person who is to be appointed is a widely known international expert in aviation policy, operational and technical matters, Dr K. N. E. Bradfield, CB.E. Dr Bradfield, who is at present the Australian representative on the Internationa] Civil Aviation Organisation Council in Montreal, has had wide experience advising developing countries in the Caribbean, Middle East and the Pacific. Dr Bradfield will be under contract to the Papua New Guinea Government, and will provide Papua New Guinea with its own specialist aviation expertise. He will report direct to the appropriate Minister and will act also as a consultant to the Administrator. He is there to be used in the consultative processes between the Papua New Guinea authorities and the Australian authorities. He will also, immediately upon taking up duty, be advising the Papua New Guinea Government on all policy aspects. One of his first tasks will be to build up the competence and expertise in the Papua New Guinea Public Service to enable it ultimately to take over full responsibility for civil aviation.
In this context, I should perhaps mention the record of the Department of Civil Aviation in developing local expertise. The Department of Civil Aviation does have, and will continue to have, programmes for training Papua New Guineans in various technical and operational functions. In fact the total staff of 1,710 in Papua New Guinea includes 1,160 local officers. Since the early 1960s more than 400 Papua New Guineans have received some formal training provided by the Department - for example, as airport firemen, airways operations officers, administrative staff, artisans and apprentices of various trades. By the end of 1973, to take one area alone, the regional fire officer will be the only expatriate on the fire service staff. In implementing its training plans it is the policy of the Department to take full advantage of training facilities offered by existing institutions. Accordingly, the Department is sponsoring trainees in professional and sub-professional courses at the Papua New Guinea Institute of Technology at Lae. Trainees have also been sponsored in the preliminary year of the University of Papua New Guinea preparatory to airways operations training. However, there are certain specialised functions and equipment which are peculiar to civil aviation and for which standards of performance in some cases are prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation - ICAO. In order to cater for these specialised training requirements and to maintain the necessary control over standards it is common practice for civil aviation authorities throughout the world to provide special training schools. ICAO has encouraged this practice and in some cases has established its own regional schools.
Therefore it was my very great pleasure while in Papua New Guinea to open a $665,000 civil aviation training college at Taldora, near the Port Moresby airport. The college, which costs some $100,000 annually to run, will provide specialised training for airways operations officers in communications, flight service and air traffic control functions, and for radio technicians in the installation and maintenance of radio navigational aids, communications and air traffic control equipment. In addition it was decided that fire service and apprenticeship training should also come under the direction of the newly established college. The Department has drawn up detailed training programmes extending well into the 1970s and covering engineers as well as the categories I have already referred to. The Department has also renewed an offer to train in Australia 2 or 3 selected Papua New Guineans in policy and management functions.
All these matters I have outlined will take some time to resolve in detail. However, I believe that the Papua New Guinea Ministers whom I met were completely satisfied about the intentions of the Australian Government in respect of transfer of responsibility for civil aviation and the positive steps which we have proposed and which I have just outlined. I was also able to tell the Papua New Guinea Ministers about plans to develop the Papua New Guinea airways and ground facilities system. In addition to the decisions I had announced during the previous week to construct a new runway for Port Moresby airport and to develop a new airport for Lae at Nadzab, night flying facilities will be established on selected Papua New Guinea air routes at a cost of $300,000’. Airport lighting and landing aids will be installed at Lae - Nadzab, Madang, Wewak, Kavieng and Momote. These aids are available already at Port Moresby. It is planned to begin installation of the facilities towards the end of the year for completion about mid-next year. The introduction of night flying facilities will allow greater flexibility in scheduling and provide additional utilisation for aircraft in Papua New Guinea.
In my view the visit I paid to Papua New Guinea was most fruitful. My meetings with the Papua New Guinea Chief Minister and other Ministers were constructive and cordial. Also, I could not let the opportunity pass here without paying the highest tribute to my colleague the Minister for External Territories, Mr Andrew Peacock, for his deep interest and assistance during these negotiations. I had too, the benefit of the advice and help of senior officers from the Department of Civil Aviation, External Territories and the Papua New Guinea Administration and for this I am truly appreciative also. I believe the talks laid a most helpful basis for the development of more detailed proposals, within the context of the overall arrangements for attainment of full internal self-government, for the smooth and efficient transfer of responsibility for civil aviation,I move:
Debate (on motion by Senator O’Byrne) adjourned.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Bill (on motion by Senator Greenwood) read a first time.
That the Bill be now read a second time.
The purpose of the Bill is to give effect to the announcement made in the Treasurer’s Budget Speech that the Government would legislate in this session to encourage and assist the provision of additional hosteltype accommodation for aged persons. Before giving details of how the legislation will do this I would like to explain to the Senate the general context into which the measure will fit.
Since 1954, when the Aged Persons Homes Act was introduced, the Commonwealth has been subsidising the building by religious and other non-profit organisations of homes for aged persons, originally on a $1 for $1 basis and since 1957 on a $2 for $1 basis.
Three types of accommodation are eligible to attract this subsidy: Firstly, selfcontained units, in which aged people may live independent lives; secondly, hostel-type accommodation, where residents have their own individual bedrooms, but have meals and other personal care provied for them; and thirdly, nursing homes, for those no longer able to look after themselves and who require regular nursing care.
Grants made under the Aged Persons Homes Act to date total over $150m, with the aid of which accommodation has been provided for over 45,000 aged persons - 23,000 in self-contained units, 17,000 in hostel-type accommodation and 5,000 in nursing accommodation. Grants made during 1971-72 reached the record level of $23. 8m, and the amount of accommodation approved in each of the three categories I have mentioned exceed all previous records, thus demonstrating the continuing success of the legislation Homes established under the Aged Persons Homes Act, of course, accommodate only a fraction of the aged population of Australia. Of our 834,000 age pensioners, for example, the records of the Department of Social Services show that over 519,000, or 62 per cent, own their own homes. State housing authorities and unsubsidised hostels provide for at least a further 25,000 and approximately 40,000 are living in nursing homes which were not subsidised under the Aged Persons Homes Act - mainly those being operated commercially. Departmental records indicate that many of the remaining aged persons would be living either with their families or relatives, under conditions which they themselves would not want to change or in good standard accommodation which they rent from private owners at a reasonable rate. A residue, however, would be living under unsatisfactory conditions - that is, either living in accommodation of an unsatisfactory standard or paying a rental that they are not able to afford. It has been estimated that as many as 50,000 pensioners may be in either of these categories.
There is still plenty of scope, therefore, for further expansion of our aged persons homes scheme. Indeed the accommodation subsidised by the Commonwealth up to date could be doubled before the housing needs of the aged could be said to have been met. At the present rate of progress it would take many years to clear the backlog and in the meantime, of course, the need continues to increase. It has been estimated that the number of aged people needing satisfactory accommodation is increasing at the rate of 1,000 per year. The problem is not simply a matter of accelerating the rate at which accommodation is being provided under the Aged Persons Homes Act. The need is not only for more accommodation but for more of the right type of accommodation and for the available accommodation to be directed more towards the people most in need of it. It has become increasingly obvious that there is an imbalance between the types of accommodation available to aged people. As a result, according to surveys carried out by the Department of Health, many aged people who had no real need for medical supervision have been admitted to nursing homes. It has been reliably estimated that this may be true in respect of at least 12,000, or 25 per cent, of the patients in nursing homes throughout Australia. There is no doubt that one of the causes of this situation is that there is insufficient alternative accommodation, of the type that really suits their needs - namely hostel-type accommodation. This view is borne out by the fact that there are long waiting lists for most of the hostel accommodation conducted by non-profit organisations under the Aged Persons Homes Act.
The purpose of the Bill I now place before the Senate therefore is to provide added encouragement for these non-profit organisations to build more hostel accommodation as quickly as possible. The legislation provides for the Commonwealth to make grants to eligible organisations for the building of hostel-type accommodation on the basis of existing homes which were built either without government subsidy or when subsidy was available only on a $1 for $1 basis. The Commonwealth is offering to meet the full cost of providing new hostel accommodation for 2 people for every one at present accommodated in the unsubsidised home - or one additional person for every 2 in an existing home subsidised on a $1 for $1 basis - up to a maximum of $7,800 for every aged person or necessary staff member accommodated. In other words it will not be necessary for the organisation to make any contribution from its own resources unless the capital cost exceeds $7,800 per head, or the bed capacity of the new home exceeds the number of free beds for which they are qualified. In adopting this principle the Government’s aim is to place organisations which operated homes prior to the introduction of the $2 for $1 subsidy scheme in the same relative position as can be achieved by new organisations under the present Aged Person Homes Act, that is, where two-thirds of their accommodation for the aged will have been provided by the Commonwealth. The Bill also provides for grants of up to $250 per person to be made towards the cost of furnishing these free homes.
I turn now to the conditions upon which these special grants will be made. The Bill provides that the existing qualifying home should be one which, unless the DirectorGeneral of Social Services otherwise determines, would have attracted a grant under the Aged Persons Homes Act if built recently. In exercising his discretion under this Section the Director-General will make allowance for advances in the standards of aged persons homes which have occurred since the qualifying home was established. In accordance with the principle established in the Aged Persons Homes Act, existing homes which were established wholly with funds provided by State governments will not be eligible for approval as qualifying homes. Where the capital cost of the home was shared between the organisation and the State, a proportion of the accommodation, calculated on the basis of the organisation’s contribution, will be acceptable as the basis for a grant under this legislation.
The Bill also includes a requirement that construction of the new hostel must be substantially commenced within a period of 12 months from the date of approval of the grant by the Director-General of Social Services. Otherwise the approval shall be deemed to have lapsed. The object of this provision is to bring about the building of the new accommodation within a reasonably short period. The legislation will operate for a 3-year period commencing from the date on which the Bill receives royal assent. In order to ensure that the free homes established under this Bill provide accommodation for those most in need of it, it will be a condition of approval that the accommodation is to be allocated strictly on the basis of need and without any donation being required either from or on behalf of an applicant.
Need’ is to be decided by the organisation having regard to the following considerations: (i) the applicant’s degree of frailty or medical condition; (ii) the agc of the applicant - priority to be given to those in the upper age groups, that is over 75 years of age; (iii) the applicant’s existing accommodation situation - preference to be given to frail elderly people living alone or those whose families can no longer accommodate or care for them for domestic, social dr other reasons; and (iv) the financial position of the applicant - other things being equal preference is to be given io pensioner medical service pensioners, particularly those who cannot afford to meet the rental of the premises in which they are residing.
I would like to reiterate that the primary intention of this legislation is to stimulate the building of additional hostel accommodation, in order to reduce admissions to nursing accommodation of people v/ho have no real medical need for nursing care. As most honourable senators will be aware, the cost of establishing nursing accommodation may be subsidised under the Age Persons Homes Act on the basis of one nursing bed for every 2 ordinary residential beds. It is not intended to permit the special hostel accommodation established under this Bill to be taken into account in this way for the purposes of the Aged Persons Homes Act. In order to preserve this intention, the Agreements into which organisations receiving grants under this Bill will be required to enter will provide that Commonwealth nursing home benefits are not to be sought for any beds in the hostels established under this special legislation, that no existing hostel accommodation which was estabished under the Aged Persons Homes Act is to be registered for the purpose of receiving Commonwealth nursing home benefits on the basis of this special hostel accommodation, and that a further grant is not to be sought under the Aged Persons Homes Act towards the cost of establishing nursing accommodation on the basis of the hostel accommodation established under this special legislation.
It will be expected, of course, that organisations which receive grants under this legislation on the basis of existing homes will continue to use the qualifying homes as accommodation for aged persons. It should be noted that the personal care subsidy, provided under Part 111 of the Aged Persons Homes Act, will be payable, subject to the usual conditions, to homes established under this legislation. As a further incentive to the provision of hostel accommodation, honourable senators will be aware that, by another Bill, the Government is also legislating to double the present rate of personal care subsidy. It should also be appreciated that this new legislation is not in any sense a substitute for the existing Aged Persons Homes legislation. That highly successful Act will continue to operate unaffected by the present Bill, which is a temporary addition to cover the 3-year crash programme, lt is in order to make this quite clear that the present Bill is a separate piece of legislation, not an amendment to the existing Act.
This special programme is thus specifically tailored to achieve its objectives, which are: (i) the quick provision of beds of the type most needed; (ii) the allocation of those beds to the people most in need of them; and (iii) the administration of the beds by the organisations best qualified to administer them.
It is not possible at this stage to give a reliable estimate of the number of hostel beds likely to be brought into being by this legislation. Available information indicates that there are nearly 10,000 beds in unsubsidised homes conducted by voluntary organisations throughout Australia, but it is believed that a significant number of these would have been established with the aid of State government grants and therefore would not qualify for the purposes of this legislation. In addition, there are some 3,400 in homes that have been established under the Aged Persons Homes Act . on a dollar for dollar basis.
It is estimated that expenditure under the legislation could exceed $5m in the first full year. However, because an initial period is necessary for planning projects and calling for tenders, expenditure is not expected to exceed $2m in 1972-73. This Bill represents only one part of the comprehensive measures being undertaken by the government in this session through both the Department of .Social Services and the Department of Health to improve the health and welfare position of aged people. But I feel sure that its importance will be recognised and applauded by all honourable senators and by the churches and other voluntary organisations which have for so long been serving the community by providing much-needed accommodation for elderly people. I commend the Bill to the Senate.
– This measure, as has been outlined by the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood), relates to the provision of nursing hostels for aged people which is, as we all know, an urgent need in our community. It illustrates that the Government has moved very slowly. I say that because the Senate Select Committee on Medical and Hospital Costs in 1968 recommended that some urgent action be taken on this very matter. However, because of its importance to the community we find no reason to delay this measure. The Opposition wishes it a speedy passage.
– in reply - I acknowledge what the Opposition has done in allowing a speedy passage for this Bill. I accept its complete endorsement of the Government’s proposals, even down to each of the matters involved in it. We of the Government appreciate this testimony of our concern and interest and welcome the Opposition’s support. It is a refreshing change.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time, and reported from Committee without amendment; report adopted.
Motion (by Senator Greenwood) proposed:
That the Bill be now read a third time.
– I would like to raise a matter for my information and for the information of a great number of people in the community who applaud this measure. I am a little puzzled by the facet of the Bill which provides for subsidies of varying amounts in the various States. For instance, if honourable senators peruse the schedule they will find that in Victoria these nursing homes merit a bigger subsidy than they are in some of the other States. I would like to know the explanation for that. It occurs to me that the people responsible for the conduct of these nursing homes who were anxious to keep costs down are now being penalised when compared with those people who increased their charges every time the pension increased. Those who increased their charges will benefit by getting a higher subsidy than those who tried to keep their charges down to a moderate amount. If that is the case, then I believe it is most unfair and that it is poor reward for those who tried to keep their charges to a moderate level.
– I do not think the honourable senator’s remarks are directly pertinent to this Bill. He is talking about nursing home benefits. This legislation relates to aged persons hostels.
– ls this not the same legislation?
– No. It is related in the sense-:-
– It is an allied Bill.
– It is not part of this legislation.
– The schedule to which the honourable senator refers is in another Bill.
– Well, that gives me greater opportunity to expand on what I want to say.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a third time.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Bill (on morion by Senator Greenwood) read a first time.
– I move:
That the Bill be now read a second time.
The purpose of this Bill is to put into effect the announcement in the Budget Speech of the Treasurer (Mr Snedden) of 15th August that the rate of personal care subsidy payable under the. Aged Persons Homes Act would be doubled. This was only one of a number of aged persons welfare measures contained in the Budget. Overall, these measures should provide a balanced and comprehensive programme of assistance for the aged, particularly those who, because of illness or advancing years, are unable to fend for themselves as well as they once could. I am sure all honourable senators will agree that these people. by their past contribution to the development of this country, have earned the special considerations provided in the Budget.
The doubling of the rate of personal care subsidy together with the implementation of a special 3 year crash programme to stimulate the provision of more hostel-type accommodation should correct a pressing shortage of suitable accommodation for the frail aged. I did amplify this when introducing the special hostels legislation.
Most honourable senators will be fully conversant with the $2 for $1 capital subsidy which is available under the Aged Persons Homes Act to religious and other non-profit organisations and local governing bodies wishing to establish homes for the aged. However, not all may be so familiar with details of the personal care subsidy paid under the same Act. For this reason I will reacquaint them with the purpose of the subsidy so that they may better appreciate the provisions of the Bill presently before them.
Personal care subsidy helps organisations conducting hostels for the aged to meet the cost of personal care services for the residents whose only infirmity is the frailty of advancing years. These persons might otherwise find their way into nursing homes, where the higher cost of maintenance would impose unnecessary financial burdens on their relatives and the Commonwealth. The major consideration is, however, the welfare of the individual. Unnecessary admission to a nursing home curtails unduly a person’s activity and scope for normal living. It can be seen, therefore, that personal care subsidy helps to provide a sociologically more acceptable and economic form of accommodation for those in need of sheltered living conditions.
To qualify for the subsidy a home must provide meals and employ sufficient staff to help any residents who need assistance with bathing and dressing, room cleaning, personal laundry and the general oversight of their medication. In addition a staff member must be on hand at all times in case of emergency. Subsidy is presently calculated at the rate of $5 for each resident aged 80 years and over residing in an approved hostel. The subsidy, therefore, provides an incentive for organisations to allocate accommodation to the upper age group. However, a condition’ of approval is that the personal care services must be provided for any aged resident in need of such services whether he has attained 80 years of age or not.
Response to the introduction of the subsidy in 1969 has been very good. It has led to many organisations introducing personal care services into their homes. In fact the subsidy is now paid to 360 homes providing hostel-type accommodation for about 16,000 aged persons. Of these residents almost 7,000 are aged 80 or over. Expenditure on the subsidy is currently running at the rate of $2m per year.
Increases in staff wages and other costs since 1969 have lessened the purchasing power of the subsidy. The Bill now before the Senate provides for the rate of payment to be increased from $5 to $10 per week and for the increase to take effect from the first payday after the legislation receives royal assent. The increase will, of course, more than compensate for rises in costs since 1969 and will increase considerably the incentive for organisations to expand the services that they provide for the aged residents of their hostels.
Most residents of these non-profit hostel type homes will soon be receiving a pension of $20 per week . plus $4 per week supplementary assistance. In addition the home will receive SIO per week for all over 80. Since about 45 per cent of such residents fall into this upper age group, the average subsidy will be about $4.50 per week per resident. This gives a total available from the Government of about $28.50 per resident per week, which should be enough to provide for running expenses and leave a reasonable spending margin for pensioners.
This increase in subsidy will cost an extra $1.3m in 1972-73 and approximately $2m in the first full year. Expenditure in 1972-73 on the subsidy will therefore total about $3. 2m and more than $4m in the following year. However, there figures are expected to be increased substantially as the provision of hostel accommodation accelerates under the Government’s proposed 3-year crash programme.
As I mentioned earlier, this Bill is but one of a number of measures being introduced by the Government to improve the health and welfare of the aged in our community. This Bill makes a significant contribution to the welfare programme. I commend the Bill to the Senate.
Debate (on motion by Senator Douglas McClelland) adjourned.
– 1 move:
That there be referred to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence the following matters for urgent inquiry and report -
Complaints by the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia that there are, in Australia bases, training ranges, storage places for weapons and diversionist material for criminal activity against Yugoslavia’, and that the Australian government ‘has tolerated migrants engaged in terrorist activity against Yugoslavia’, and that Australia has not adhered to international law in regard to terrorist activity.
Whether there have been or are in Australia extremist or terrorist elements engaged in violence or other illegal activity directed against representatives or property of the Yugoslav government in Australia.
Whether persons in Australia have engaged in training or preparations for, or been in any way party to, terrorist or attempted terrorist activity in Yugoslavia.
Whether the Australian authorities have taken sufficient steps to discourage, prevent, investigate and prosecute offences in relation to such activities.
Whether in relation to Yugoslavia, Australia has failed to observe the requirements of international law and the comity between nations in respect of terrorist activity.
Paragraph 1 of my motion refers to statements by the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, a country with friendly relations with Australia, which were highly publicised throughout this country on 4th August 1972. Some of the reports indicated that the Prime Minister had spoken of fascist terrorist gangs that had not been stopped by Australian officials and whose crimes had not been punished. This is a very serious allegation made about Australia by the executive of a country friendly to Australia. The allegations are that there are and have been in Australia bases, training ranges and storage places for weapons for criminal activity against Yugoslavia. That is an extremely serious allegation made against Australia. There is the further allegation that the Australian Government has tolerated migrants engaged in terrorist activity against Yugoslavia. That also is a very serious allegation made against the Australian Government. The third item is that Australia has not adhered to international law in regard to terrorist activity. That also is a most serious allegation against Australia.
The purpose of this motion is that the Senate should institute an inquiry into these allegations against the Australian Government. The Australian Government is responsible for maintaining friendly relations with the state of Yugoslavia, lt is responsible for seeing to it that criminal activity is not nurtured or conducted in Australia for criminal action against the Government of Yugoslavia. That is not only a matter of international law; it is also a matter covered by our own Crimes Act. The Australian Government is responsible also for seeing to it that friendly relations are maintained with Yugoslavia and that Australia is not properly to be adjudged guilty of any failure to adhere to international law or the comity and friendship which should exist between nations.
There is no doubt, as appears from the statements made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr N. H. Bowen), that these incidents have injured relations between Yugoslavia and Australia. He described them as having dented the relationship between these 2 countries. If the Government of Australia is at fault, who is to decide that it is at fault? The Parliament is here to supervise the Government. If the Government is to be accountable, under a system of responsible government it must be accountable to Parliament. When a serious allegation such as this is made by the chief executive of one country against our country it is the bounden duty of Parliament to inquire into that allegation to see whether there is justification for it.
Without more, that would be enough to justify the inquiry that I have suggested. But not only was the complaint made by the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia; it was voiced also by President Tito of Yugoslavia.
– Who is the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia?
– If the honourable senator would like to give me the benefit of his pronunciation he may be able to do a little better than I can.
– I am just asking who the Prime Minister is.
– I shall spell it. His first name is D-z-e-m-a-1 and his second name is B-i-j-e-d-i-c. Does that suffice for the honourable senator? President Tito of Yugoslavia also has made public statements which have been reported through our Foreign Office. In one of these on 10th September he accused Australia of having allowed terrorists to be trained and prepared. He said: ‘In Australia the terrorists are trained and prepared. They are sending them to our country. In these countries’ - he referred not only to Australia - ‘no energetic actions have been undertaken to ban this terrorism and to deprive such elements of one’s hospitality.’ Those are most serious allegations. It is encumbent upon Australia, as it would be upon any civilised country, to see to it that there is an inquiry into those allegations so that it may either clear its name or take appropriate action to ensure that justice is vindicated and that international law is vindicated.
It is interesting that these statements were made as a result of incidents in Yugoslavia in respect of which it was reported that persons who had been in Australia had been taking part in criminal activity in Yugoslavia. The persons who were arrested there, persons who were killed there and persons who were tried there apparently had been in Australia and apparently some admissions were made in the course of inquiries as to their activities in Yugoslavia. I do not want to enter into that because that is the proper subject matter of an inquiry into these affairs. In Australia we have had a long history of allegations about terrorism connected with the Croatian community. I want to make it quite clear that so far as the Australian Labor Party is concerned most of the people who have come here from Yugoslavia - the overwhelming majority of them - have fitted into our community and have been decent migrants. They are shocked at the terrorism that has been associated with some members of the Croatian community. I think probably they are not only shocked but also feel especially aggrieved by it because of the slur which has been cast upon them by the terrorist actions of some persons associated with Croatia.
We have had this long history of incidents of bombings, of photographs in newspapers about terrorists training with the Australian Army, of having bases here and there, of persons being blown up with bombs and of regular incidents outside the Yugoslav consulate in Double Bay. Those things seem to have been going on with impunity. The representatives and the property of the Yugoslav community in Australia, particularly at the consulate at Double Bay, seem to have had no protection, despite the great resources which the Government has by way of Commonwealth Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. It seems to me that no protection is available for that consulate, or no protection which would prevent the acts of terrorism which have been conducted against it.
I come now to 15th August. I put this motion on the notice paper on the first day that the Senate met in this sessional period. Because of illness and other events the matter has not come on until today, but there has been the warning in the interim by the President of Yugoslavia. Even before last weekend there were suggestions that there would be more violence and, sure enough, there was more violence. I think the whole Senate as well as the people of Australia was shocked at what happened on Saturday when another bombing occurred and innocent people were injured. 1 trust that they were all innocent. Certainly a considerable number of innocent people were injured. What is to be done about this situation? In our belief there should be an inquiry not only into that occurrence but also into the second matter, whether there have been or are in Australia extremist or terrorist elements engaged in violence or other illegal activity directed against representatives or property of the Yugoslav Government in Australia. I would think - and I am not prejudging the matters - the high probability is that the answer to that will be yes.
– How do you know?
– What is that, if it is not a prejudgment?
– I hear what honourable senators opposite say. They say: What sort of prejudgment is that?’ I have read what has been said by the AttorneyGeneral (Senator Greenwood). He keeps on playing about with words as to whether there is a group, or whether there are individuals who are doing it, or whether it is a system or whether it is an organisation. I do not care what they call themselves. Are there in Australia persons of terrorist or extremist elements connected with the Croatian movement who have been conducting terrorist activities here, aimed at Yugoslav property and the representatives of the Yugoslav people? I will tell honourable senators what my authority is for saying that in all probability the answer to that question will be found to be yes. My authority for the proposition, despite the fact that Senator Greenwood has been telling us constantly that they do not exist, is the report of the Department of External Affairs for the year ended 30th June 1969. At the bottom of page 31 the following appears:
There have been some demonstrations against Yugoslav offices in Australia, mostly inspired or carried out by extremist or terrorist elements formerly in Croatia or from other parts of Yugoslavia. The latest of these incidents was on 9th June J969 against the Consulate-General in Sydney. The Department of External Affairs immediately conveyed to the Embassy of Yugoslavia the apologies of the Australian Government, which is taking measures to detect and prevent any further attempts al harassment. The Australian Government strongly condemns acts of terrorism or violence, or infringement of the courtesies and respect that should be extended to representatives of a country with which Australia has diplomatic relations.
Who would not agree with the proposition that the Australian Government should apologise and say that it would endeavour to prevent any further acts? The Department of External Affairs, as it then was, thought that that was the position. But it is pretty hard to find that kind of attitude coming from Senator Greenwood. The amount of trickiness and the statements here, which are appalling, which have come from the honourable senator, I would think, would shock the people of Australia. They would be shocked that he could come out with remarks such as he has made. On 23rd August 1972, after the complaints by the Prime Minister of
Yugoslavia, when asked by Senator O’Byrne about police raids on Yugoslavs Senator Greenwood said:
The position as I have stated it for several weeks - that there is no credible evidence of any Croatian terrorist groups in Australia - still stands.
I have read to the Senate what was said by the Department of External Affairs in 1969. It referred to ‘extremist or terrorist elements formerly in Croatia or from other parts of Yugoslavia’. Is the Attorney-General engaged in some kind of a quibble? He says to us that his statement that there is no credible evidence of any Croatian terrorist groups in Australia still stands. Is he going to say to us: ‘Oh, it is not groups, it is only an organisation’, or, ‘They are only individuals’, or, “They are something’? I am not interested in the manner in which they are operating. It is quite clear, as the Department of External Affairs said, that there are in Australia extremist or terrorist elements associated with the Croatians, and it is time for an inquiry.
It seems to me, as I have said, that in all probability, in the light of what has been said by the Department of External Affairs and against the background of what we have read in the newspapers over a number of years, the answer to the question posed in paragraph (2) of my motion is yes. But we do not need to prejudge it. We do not even need to act on the assumption that the Department of External Affairs, as it then was, knew what it was talking about. Paragraph (3) of my motion reads:
Whether persons in Australia have engaged in training or preparation for, or been in any way party to, terrorist or attempted terrorist activity in Yugoslavia.
That allegation has been made, and it has to be inquired into.
– Have you any evidence that it is true?
– Senator Gair interrupts me and asks whether I have any evidence that it is true. We have this evidence: The Government of a friendly nation has alleged that this is so, that there has been a breach of international law by Australia. It has asserted that that has taken place. It is incumbent upon us to establish whether the allegation is true or false. If it is false, then we are in a position to say so to the Government of Yugoslavia. Paragraph (4) of my motion reads:
Whether the Australian authorities have taken sufficient steps to discourage
And should not they discourage - prevent
And should not they prevent - investigate
And should not they investigate - and prosecute
And should not they prosecute - offences in relation to such activities.
The Committee is asked to investigate whether the Australian authorities have taken sufficient steps. It is the belief, as expressed by the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, that the Australian Government has not taken sufficient steps, that it has tolerated this conduct. The expression by the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia is that the Australian Government hasnot done enough; that it has tolerated that conduct. It is the feeling of a lot of people in this Parliament and of a lot of the people of Australia that the Australian Government has not taken sufficient steps. The AttorneyGeneral has run dead on this question. He has not done as much as he should do. His answers this morning indicate that he is soft on this question. He is not really attempting, with the vigour which would be expected, to pursue these matters after what was said by the Department of External Affairs and after the bombings that occurred. How is it possible, with the resources at the disposal of the AttorneyGeneral, that after these warnings came and after the complaints were made to the Australian Government, so little is done that we have people able to be bombed in Sydney on Saturday? What is going to happen? Is this going to happen next week while the Attorney-General says that he gets very upset?
A look at what the Attorney-General said on 27th April 1972, in answer to a question by Senator O’Byrne, perhaps will give an indication to the Senate that it is necessary to inquire into this’ question. Senator O’Byrne asked the AttorneyGeneral the following question:
Will the Attorney-General agree that it is more urgent to prevent possible loss of life through bomb explosions and other Ustashi violence than to arrest young men who have the courage of their convictions? Will the Minister direct his investigatory apparatus to the tracking down of the source of supply of explosives, fuses and so on known to be used by Ustashi terrorists in this country?
Senator Greenwood said:
I have said that as far as I am aware the use of the word ‘Ustashi’ is politically motivated because of the provocation which it gives to people who object to being so termed, that there are terrorist activities and people with the propensity to engage in them in Australia would appear to be incontrovertible. We know that there have been bomb attacks. The circumstances in which they have occurred and the persons who have perpetrated them are matters for police concern. The State police, of course, have the primary responsibility, but may co-operate with Commonwealth police in order to ascertain who are the wrongdoers and to have them brought before the courts.
However, as with persons who seek to avoid the National Service Act, so with persons who are prepared to resort to bombing and other means of giving expression to their traditional homeland vendettas. The difficulty is that one is not able to get the necessary evidence in many cases to identify the persons who are assisting or who are responsible. That is one of the problems in detection of all crimes. I can only say that in both areas the police are pursuing their inquiries to the best of their abilities. The intention is in each case to insure that wrongdoers can be brought to justice.
That is the attitude of the Attorney-General. He equates the people who are standing against the National Service Act with these terrorists who are going around with explosives and who are ready to blow up innocent people. If he cannot even catch Barry Johnston, what can we expect him to do about the terrorists in Australia?
The last paragraph of my motion reads: (5) Whether, in relation to Yugoslavia, Australia has failed to observe the requirements of international law and the comity between nations in respect of terrorist activity.
We have heard this morning allegations made by Yugoslavia. On what was indicated by the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Senator Wright) the Yugoslav Ambassador to Australia has made further complaints against Australia. There have been indications that the Yugoslav authorities have supplied to the Australian authorities lists of names of persons who ought to be investigated as being persons suspected in connection with these terrorist activities. We believe it is time there was an investigation of these matters.
There is no need for the Senate to prejudge these matters. I think every person here has a healthy suspicion that the Attorney-General - not only from what has been said but by his behaviour and demeanour in this Senate - certainly does not want to investigate and prosecute these terrorists, as I think the rest of the people would want their activities to be investigated and the terrorists brought to justice. It is obvious that some kind of an inquiry has to be conducted into these activities. In its usual fashion the Government is not prepared to indicate firmly whether it will have an inquiry. I understand that the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) said today that he is not opposed to a royal commis sion, in order to avert the suggestions that a parliamentary inquiry would be the most suitable vehicle, although I think it would in view of the fact that the Government itself is alleged to be at fault. There ought not to be a Government inquiry.
My proposal is that the reference should be made to the Committee and that we should add to the motion a clause providing that the Committee not proceed - Mr President, would you ask Senator Withers to stop yapping constantly?
– With respect, Mr
President, I am not yapping.
– Order! The Leader of the Opposition is entitled to be heard in silence.
– My proposal in the light of what has been said by the Prime Minister is that a further clause be added at the end of this motion. This would be to the effect that the Committee not proceed with the inquiry if the Government appoints a royal commission to inquire into these matters. I ask whether that could be done by an amendment moved by one of my colleagues or, conveniently, whether the Senate would grant me leave now to amend my motion by adding those words. I ask for leave to do so.
– Order! Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
– I add to the end of the motion the following paragraph:
That the Committee not proceed with the inquiry if the Government appoints a royal commission to inquire into these matters.
The proposal is that an inquiry should be conducted by a Senate committee. The membership of that committee will be 3 Government senators, 1 Democratic Labor Party senator and 2 Australian Labor Party senators, with the chairman of the Committee being a Government senator.
That committee should proceed to an urgent inquiry. That can be done in circumstances where there is every safeguard for the Government if it wants to clear its name. The Government could hardly resist the suggestion that there be an inquiry by a parliamentary committee so constituted. If the Government does not consider a parliamentary committee to be the proper vehicle, all it has to do is appoint a royal commission which will investigate these matters. Under the terms of the motion the inquiry by the committee would not proceed. We think that is a reasonable proposal. The proposal that there be some form of inquiry is a necessary one. We believe what we have put forward is sufficient. If the Government refuses to have such an inquiry and if some honourable senators vote against such an inquiry, this will mean that the Government is not willing to respond to the complaints made by the Government of Yugoslavia. It will mean that the Government wants to prevent an inquiry into matters which have seriously dented the relationship between this country and Yugoslavia. It will mean that the Government is not willing to inquire into what has lead to a state of terrorism in Australia where innocent Australian citizens may be injured in the streets of Sydney. Mr President, I commend the motion to the Senate.
– Mr President, the Government will oppose this motion to refer certain matters to a Senate committee. The grounds of the opposition are, first, that it is not an appropriate time for the matter to be investigated by anybody, be it a parliamentary committee or another tribunal. The appropriate investigating bodies at the present time are the Commonwealth and State police. The second ground of opposition is that in any event a parliamentary committee is not a proper forum for allegations of this character to be investigated because of the fact that the parliamentarians who would comprise the committee are not equipped to carry out what essentially is a police investigating role. Thirdly, the motion will be opposed because of the inadequate basis which has been put forward to sustain it. I propose to elaborate on each of these matters in turn.
We know that certain statements have been made by the Prime Minister and the President of Yugoslavia and a lot of inflammatory inaccurate statements, it would appear, have been made by certain of the Press m Yugoslavia and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Arising from what was said in the Press of those countries and by the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia a formal protest was handed by the Yugoslav Ambassador to Australia to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr N. H. Bowen). That protest, called an aide memoire, is now in the hands of the Commonwealth Police and the contents of that document are being investigated. It is entirely appropriate that when allegations and assertions of a serious character which are made by a foreign government are contained in a formal protest document, the government receiving that document should subject it to examination. That is being done. The appropriate body to conduct such examinations is not a parliamentary committee. Such a suggestion was unheard of until it received some airing today from Senator Murphy.
The appropriate bodies to conduct such inquiries are the investigatory bodies which the Government has established. In this case it is the Commonwealth Police which is giving attention to those matters. Until such inquiries are completed, it is inappropriate in my submission to the Senate for the Senate to pass judgment upon matters which are as yet not concluded. One cannot avoid also recognising that the recent events in Sydney, where 2 bombs exploded and a number of people were injured, add a complicating factor to the matters which Senator Murphy seeks to have discussed bv the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence. It is inevitable that the 2 will be linked because members of the Opposition have already prejudged the result of the police investigations into last Saturday’s incidents in Sydney. The Government, on the other hand, prefers to await the result of the police investigations to ascertain what those investigations will reveal and whether, as a result of those investigations, blame or guilt is to be apportioned in a particular area.
Apparently, if the statements of Dr J. F. Cairns and some others are to be taken as indicative of the Opposition’s viewpoint, that is not satisfactory to the Opposition. Dr J. F. Cairns has no doubt - he has been reported as saying it and as I have heard him say it - that, this was the work of Croatian terrorists. Was it or was it not? I prefer to await the outcome of a report and, on the basis of that report, take action. But, as I have said, the investigations which are currently being pursued are investigations which would inevitably impinge upon the work which this Committee was undertaking, with prejudice to those police investigations. I believe, therefore, that the appropriate course is to await the completion of those investigations and nol to have a parliamentary committee investigation which could foul the work which the police are doing. It is obvious that this could happen if parliamentarians, as amateur sleuths asking questions to find out the facts, were to move into areas where the police have already moved. The police might be contemplating further action but as a result of the committee’s intrusion their hopes could be dashed. I think that it is a matter of very real concern that we should not interfere with the police investigations.
The second ground upon which I would suggest that this action should not be pursued is that a parliamentary committee is not an appropriate body to undertake this sort of investigation. In the first place a committee inquiry would be extremely prejudicial to the rights of accused persons who are currently before the courts and in respect of whom members of the Opposition already have been making public statements presupposing their guilt. Furthermore, it would not help the intensive investigations which are being carried out by the Commonwealth police into matters to which I have already referred. It is not appropriate - I think there has been already some discussion publicly and in the Senate on this question - for a Senate committee to undertake a police role or to put itself in the position where it passes judgment on individuals or provides a forum in which people can make allegations against individuals and not be required to sustain what they say.
Consider what would be involved if a Senate committee were to undertake the type of examination which Senator Murphy’s motion involves. Undoubtedly it would receive the allegations which a number of people have been making publicly and which they would seek to make before the Senate committee. They would name individuals. They would assert, as we heard Senator O’Byrne do this morning, that certain persons were unworthy and that certain persons were throwing bombs around the streets. The prejudice of statements like that is incalculable. 1 assume the committee sessions would be open to the public and that the Press would be present. There could be a series of daily headlines of the allegations made by this person or that person. What redress would an accused person have? 1 think we should all be on guard to ensure that Senate committees are not used as the forum in which some individuals can vent their spleen and, under a privilege which attaches to committee hearings, impute all types of crimes to individuals who cannot defend themselves. If the persons who are so accused desired to defend themselves the best they could do would be to come forward at a subsequent meeting of the committee and hope that in some way they would be able to eradicate the first impression which a headline has given. Is that the type of committee inquiry which the Senate wants? Is that the type of committee inquiry which the gentlemen who write in the newspapers would take pleasure and pride in reporting? Or would the Senate sense that it was not only letting down the parliamentary institution but also denigrating the role which it believes properly should be attributed to the courts?
– Get your tongue out of your cheek and tell us the real position.
– I heard Senator Devitt’s rather cheap interjection. I think that the principles which I am espousing are principles which would commend themselves to most honourable senators. Perhaps Senator Devitt would prefer to use the star chamber method which the Australian Labor Party has used to deal with some of its people in the past. I hope that the members of the public will recognise that that is the Labor Party’s way of doing things. Senator Devitt’s interjection lends some strength to that. If such a committee were to investigate these matters it would be dealing with allegations, charges against individuals and the integrity of the police force, all in an atmosphere of prejudicial publicity and all in a highly charged political atmosphere. Senator Gair referred today to statements that had been made by Dr J. F. Cairns on television in which he linked a whole political party with his assumption that there is a national group engaging in terrorist activities. In those circumstances, how could one expect to have the dispassionate inquiry that is properly needed for the sifting of allegations of the character which have been made in Yugoslavia? In addition there would be the risk of political judgments, some of which are already evident, affecting what should be an objective examination of evidence. I am inclined to think that judgments would be made less upon the evidence and more upon the way in which the political judgment of an individual making it is formed.
Our experience in the short time that Senate committees have been operating is that a great deal of unsubstantiated allegation and improper accusation can be made. Members of committees are not equipped properly to test these allegations: to distinguish between what has substance and what does not have substance. It is merely chance whether there are upon a committee people who are seized of the importance of these matters and trained, by virtue of a legal background, to appreciate the matters which in a court of law a judge would appreciate. It is not a denigration or a criticism of the august senators who comprise the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence to suggest that they, whilst they would undoubtedly do their best to be fair, could find themselves the unwitting vehicles by which a certain political vendetta is carried on. As well as the allegations and accusations which may be made wc could have what I think we should all be at pains to avoid, namely, a general condemnation of persons and communities. That type of thing is inherent in the nature of the evidence and submissions which such a committee would be receiving.
The committee, of course, would be undertaking a police role for which it is unfitted. Questions would have to arise as to the extent to which police investigations should be revealed and how far the Senate should seek to probe into police investigations. We all know that sources of information are available to the police in a very delicate way and that the ability of the police to maintain their links with persons who are sources of information depends upon the willingness of the police to keep the sources quiet. But what would happen if a policeman were called before a Senate committee? Unquestionably, if a Senate committee were to do the work which Senator Murphy suggests it should do, policemen would be called before it and be asked questions as to what is the basis for what they have said - where they got information and what was their opinion of the source of the information. In those circumstances there would be a probing of police work which could destroy the effectiveness of a policeman in a host of other activities. I cannot understand how Senator Murphy can put up this proposal on the basis that it is appropriate work for a Senate committee. It is not to be justified in the terms in which Senator Murphy sought to justify it by saying that there should be a Senate committee because, after all, the Government is responsible to the Parliament. 1 believe that neither this Senate nor a committee should be used as a forum to publicise and prejudice people whose names are being blackened in the political atmosphere as they are at the moment. We must hold firm. As I said this morning, when feelings are running high and when people want to grope around and find someone upon whom blame can be cast we should see that we do not allow injustice to occur. Surely the measure of a legislative exercise is that we recognise that, notwithstanding our concern, no such action should be taken.
But there are a number of ways in which action should be taken. In Australia we are now faced in a way which we never believed we would be with the possibility of terrorist exercises such as have bedevilled parts of Europe. Although Senator Murphy and other honourable senators would not agree with me I believe that one way in which we can deal with these people if we can apprehend the culprits - I would certainly favour this action - is to see that the death penalty is carried out. People who will wantonly and recklessly throw bombs into public places, indiscriminately killing, injuring and maiming for life without fear of the consequences, would fear the consequences if there were an adequate deterrent. I believe that that is one of the ways in which we can quite affirmatively indicate that in this country we will not have the types of things which have happened in other countries and, if need be, we will exact that full penalty which the law fortunately still provides because, while the death penalty is an area of controversy, surely there are certain offences for which the law must show its absolute repugnance and abhorrence. Possibly as well as those who push drugs on innocent people I think that those who throw bombs in public places for some political or personal purpose are guilty people from whom the law should exact full vengeance because that is the purpose of a strong law.
But I look beyond that aspect to the next point which Senator Murphy raised in relation to why there should be a committee. J am appalled at the way in which Senator Murphy prefers the opinions of the Prime Minister, the President and the Government of Yugoslavia to the opinions of the Government of his own country. Does he take more pride in and place greater credence on what comes out of Yugoslavia than on what comes out of this Government? Is his abhorrence and detestation of the Government - this Party - so great that he prefers the Yugoslav allegations to the statements which I have made? That is implicit in the approach which he is adopting. What we have seen and heard from the Prime Minister and President of Yugoslavia and from statements which their Ambassador has given us is a series of allegations and assertions. Australia is not the only country which has received a series of assertions and allegations of this character from certain dignitaries in Yugoslavia. Of course, as I said, when we receive these allegations with no evidence to support them we will investigate them. 1 have arranged for investigations to be held. It is far from being true that I am in some way soft and that I tolerate these statements which have absolutely no foundation to support them. Senator Murphy, if he has read the record - I believe that he has read the record - will know that there is no foundation to support those statements. But he throws them in for some cheap political advantage. The honourable senator will appreciate that I have constantly, explicitly and clearly condemned all terrorist activity in this country. Yet 1 have to face Senator Murphy in this chamber, Dr Cairns outside the chamber and a host of Labor people saying that I am a person who is soft on terrorism. But they ignore the record when they make that sort of accusation. These alleged incidents which occurred in Yugoslavia were reported in the Australian Press early in July this year. 1 well remember this because I spent almost a sleepless night in Darwin attending to various Press queries and getting a statement ready. I said then that these allegations would be tested; they would be thoroughly investigated. I said that we would not stand for this country being used as a base from which terrorist activities could be conducted. I said that we would not tolerate our country being used in that way. That was the first of a series of public statements which I made.
– What man in public life in Australia would believe that there were any grounds for the statement?
– 1 am indebted to Senator Wright. I indicated that all the allegations would be investigated. They were investigated. After they had been investigated, on 20th July this year 1 issued a 5-page statement in which I clearly indicated the Government’s position and the results of those investigations. 1 shall quote in part from that statement because 1 believe that it should be restated. I said:
Let me re-state 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 will not be tolerated. As far as we are able we shall put a stop to it. All allegations that there are such groups will be investigated and, if there is an factual basis, action will be taken. However, some of the action in relation to acts of violence can only be taken by State governments. In this respect prosecutions have been brought from time to time for unlawful possession of explosives and firearms.
I then went on to say something which I trust we will all acknowledge:
But it is important to recognise (hat the general approach we have of these matters is that it is conduct with which we arc concerned, and not somebody’s belief or assumed propensity to engage in criminal or unlawful conduct.
That there have been bomb attacks and ether incidents of violence is fact. Investigations of incidents of violence are a State matter. The persons responsible for these attacks and incidents have, generally, not been able to be identified; this difficulty is not unique to Australia. In the absence of such identification there has been a tendency to attribute responsibility to extremist Croatian Nationalists. This tendency ignores the fact that Croatians and at least one Croatian building have been the subject of attacks.
The pattern of events, worldwide, discloses that there are extreme Croatian Nationalists who will resort to terror, violence and murder.
Does Dr Cairns not read what Ministers state? Does he proceed to criticise them on the basis that they ought to be sympathetic to the Croatian terrorists and therefore he will say that they are sympathetic? Surely that is as emphatic a statement as one can find in the record that, one has a view which is condemnatory of . terrorism and particularly Croatian terrorism. But one does not have to go only to the public record. One can look at the Senate Hansard of 12th April. But is this the way the Labor Party is proposing to conduct public affairs? fs it going to allow its spokesmen to make allegations - no matter how defamatory of a person they might be - irrespective of what is to be seen on the record? If not, I think it is about time someone in the Labor Party indicated that they still have some standards left and that they will observe them.
– Has he not repeatedly stated that if the law did not agree with you or your ideas you are entitled to break it?
– That used to be the approach. The statement continues:
There is also evidence that Croatian Nationalists have also been murdered by those opposed to them. Any objective assessment will reveal an historical background of a long struggle for Croatian independence including a mutual hostility between Serbs and Croats. Having regard to the present position in Yugoslavia this will, on the Croat side, be expressed in a resentment against the presently constituted State of Yugoslavia.
These vendettas are not wanted as part of the Australian scene. We expect migrants who come from Yugoslavia to Australia will leave these hostilities behind them. We do not want the violence of the past to be fought again in Australia - nor shall we allow Australia to be the training ground for the fighting of these battles in other places.
I also said:
There is no question but that the vast majority of immigrants from Yugoslavia, including most Croatians, accept the Australian way of life. They have their national organisations, and they seek to preserve aspects of their national culture - as the Australian Government encourages them. There is no reason to assume that these national organisations are extremist, violent or terrorist. 1 do not. suppose anyone on the Opposition side would disagree with that statement. T went on to detail the results of police investigations. I stated:
There has Deen careful investigation by Commonwealth police and by the State Police of allegation? that there is an ‘Ustasha’ or a Croatian revolutionary terrorist organisation or a training camp in Australia. All bomb attacks and other incidents of violence have also been investigated.
The term ‘Ustasha’ ls used by different people in different senses. Historically, it was the name given to the political revolutionary group which established the independent state of Croatia in 1941. In that sense the organisation, ‘Ustasha’, ceased to exist in 1943. By some, the term is used to indicate any manifestation of Croatian nationalism. Obviously, the use of the term in this way to suggest that any display of support for Croatian nationalism is terrorist, nazi or fascist is highly misleading.
Investigations by the Commonwealth Police so far have nol revealed any credible evidence that any Croatian revolutionary terrorist organisation exists in Australia. 1 emphasise those words ‘investigations so far have not revealed any credible evidence’. They are the facts. If they are the facts, I think it is incumbent on me to state them, not to presume further that what the evidence really is and not to minimise or understate what is the fair conclusion to be drawn from the evidence. I also said:
The Government cannot positively reject assertions that individuals or groups of individuals may be engaging in terrorist activities directed in some way to achieving Croatian independence.
Allegations of such activities and other matters are frequently brought to the notice of the police and these are subject to continuous investigation. If investigations disclose such activities, the persons so engaged will be prosecuted if their activities are in breach of the law.
Just prior to that time page after page in the newspapers contained allegations by a number of people that there were training camps in various places - that there was a training camp in the You Yangs, that there were people in Geelong in Victoria who were sleeping behind certain premises and that all kinds of activities of a terrorist training character were being carried out. T said:
There has been a thorough investigation of Press comments and a reported interview with various people that there is a training camp for Croatian Nationalists in the You Yangs area near Geelong. As Mr Crowley, the Assistant Commissioner (Crime) of the Victoria Police, said ‘There is no evidence that there is a camp’. Commonwealth Police investigations in the You Yangs area have led to the same conclusion. Persons named in Press reports have been interviewed by police officers. These inteviews reveal no evidence to substantiate the media reports.
Commonwealth Police have investigated allegations reported by the Australian Broadcasting Commission concerning the use of premises at the rear of a shop in Shannon Avenue, Geelong and that Croatian men and youths met in Geelong and proceeded to different parts of the You Yang mountains for training. There is no evidence to support the claim that groups of more than 30 men met in the shop or slept in the shed in the backyard of a house behind the shop. Both the Victorian Police and the Commonwealth Police are satisfied these allegations are not true.
– When was this Press statement released?
– I am surprised that Senator Murphy should ask. It was dated 20th July. It was publicised, I think without exception, in all the major newspapers.
– The Senate should realise that you are speaking of a Press statement made on 20th July.
– Yes, because apparently no-one is prepared to accept it or to give credence to it. I said:
Other allegations reported have been investigated and no evidence to support them has been found.
Press reports that a woman said that Yugoslavs often spent weekends at a You Yangs farmhouse have not been borne out in investigation.
Reports of shooting noises and gunfire in the area are explainable by the fact that there is a rifle range in the area used by the reputable Australian Sporting Shooters Association.
The local President of the Shooters Association has stated that the presence of 40 or more men on the You Yang rifle range was common and had no connection with political matters. The Association has conducted both day and night firing exercises for the last 14 years.
Local Police in the area have reported that no complaints relating to ‘groups of armed migrants’ have ever been received by them.
Local inquiries have elicited that no military training of the type alleged in a newspaper report could have possibly, been carried out in the You Yangs area without it becoming a matter of public knowledge. The You Yangs are a highly popular recreation area used by sporting bodies and the general public. It is also used for motor sports including car trials and rallies, some of which are conducted after dark.
It is apparent that inquiries conducted by the Commonwealth Police and the Victoria Police have produced the same result. There is no evidence to substantiate reports and allegations of Croatian military training activities in the You Yang area.
One apparent source of these reports and allegations is one Marijan Jurjevic. This gentleman who is understood to be a Croat and yet is an outspoken opponent of Croatian nationalism has been reported constantly as claiming to have knowledge and evidence of Croatian para-military activities in this country. He has been interviewed on a number of occasions and most recently by a senior officer of the Commonwealth Police Force and has been given every opportunity, to produce this evidence. He has consistently failed to do so.
I accept that I have been reading a Press statement which was released 6 or 7 weeks ago, but it seems to be a Press statement to which no-one is prepared to give credence.
– Senator Mulvihill said: ‘But the bombings have been accelerated. That is why’. As I understand it, 2 bombs have exploded since that Press statement was released. They were the regrettable incidents in Sydney on Saturday. Surely if Senator Mulvihill were being objective, he would not disagree with what I said. I have said: ‘Let us get the facts. Let the police conclude their investigations in this matter before one comes to a conclusion that there is a political motivation behind these bombings’. There may well be. I am not denying that. Who knows? When we get the result of that investigation there will be further material upon which judgments can be made. My concern, because I think it is the way I should approach my task, is to ascertain what that evidence is, to reveal the results of this searching for evidence and to make it clear. But we must recognise that if we start with a preconceived view that any bombing which takes place must be Croatian in origin and must be designed in some curious way to promote the aims of Croatian nationalism–
– We finish up with concentration camps when we agree with that philosophy; we have no alternative.
– That may be so. I cannot say. If honourable senators opposite start with a preconceived view, which I believe so many members of the Opposition do, they will get the result they want. They will find it very difficult to accept any contrary evidence.
The only other point I wish to make relates to the allegation that in some way Australia has been guilty of failing to meet its obligations under international law. That matter is referred to in Senator Murphy’s motion. It states that the Committee should inquire whether, in relation to Yugoslavia, Australia has failed to observe the requirements of international law and the comity between nations in respect of terrorist activity. The only basis upon which that matter could be referred to the Committee because of the need for the matter to be inquired into is if we do not accept the general statement which has been made that the Government has no knowledge of these training camps and terrorist bases of which the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia speaks. If we had knowledge of those things I think we would be acting contrary to international law in not taking action. It is not possible to state categorically what the international law on this subject is. Recent activities in the Middle East, where reprisals have taken place, do not make the international law position any clearer.
If one turns to the text writers on international law, which really is where one has to turn, certain tentative conclusions can be made. In the first place it is the duty of any state to recognise and not to impair the rights of other states. This basic obligation was well established by the International Court of Justice in 1949 in the Corfu Channel case. It is a concept based upon the elementary considerations of humanity. The majority of the Court in that case stated that every State was under an obligation - and these are the words used - not to allow knowingly its territory to be used for acts contrary to the rights of other States.
Secondly, the Court said, the principle of non-intervention by one State in the affairs of another State forms the basis for the nile that a State must not coerce another State by organising hostile expeditions or allow acts calculated to impair the authority of another sovereign State to take place on its territory. A State must also be regarded as offending international law by allowing seditious elements from other States, or its own residents, to organise rebellion in friendly States. If one refers to Professor Lauterpacht, he takes the view that the only duty is one to suppress such subversive activity against foreign governments as assumes the form of armed hostile expeditions or attempts to commit common crimes against life. That possibly is too narrow a view, because I think other writers have suggested, particularly in the light of developments in recent years, that there should be a more onerous duty upon a State than that suggested by Professor Lauterpacht. It may not require the suppression of revolutionary propaganda or even revolutionary activity by private individuals, not amounting to a direct and immediate threat to the security of another State. However, once a government has notice of activities designed to train terrorists and of plans to subvert a recognised government if may be considered that a duty arises to suppress such activities.
Unquestionably the Government of this country accepts this proposition and would hope that other countries throughout tha world would similarly accept the same proposition. But where does this come to? It comes to the question whether we should accept allegations made by the President and the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia as having a basis in fact notwithstanding that our investigation of those allegations in Australia has proved that the allegations are without such a basis. Simply, it comes down to this: Does this Senate accept what is alleged by the President and the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia in preference to what our own Commonwealth Police have found and what I have stated? That is the simple issue. I do not believe that this Senate should be asked to sit in judgment on that issue.
I have provided sufficient, I think, to indicate to the Senate not only that a committee of the Senate is a highly inappropriate body to conduct this inquiry and not only is the time inappropriate and likely to cause problems for other investigations which are being carried out, but also that on a factual basis there is no reason for supposing that what is alleged by Yugoslavia has any foundation in the light of the investigations which have been so painstakingly carried out by the police and which have not been given support to these allegations of training ranges, storage places for weapons and subversive material for criminal activity against Yugoslavia. I hope the Senate will emphatically reject the resolution.
– The Democratic Labor Party is firmly opposed to terrorism and violence wherever they occur, whether among migrants or in the trade unions. We have the utmost sympathy for those people who may suffer as a result of terrorism and violence, and we will give full support to any measures which the Government may think necessary to stamp out terrorism and violence. That has always been the attitude of the Democratic Labor Party. I have rarely had to raise this matter among migrant groups, because migrant groups have a proud record of adherence to the law. Some years ago an investigation carried out by a committee which included representatives of the Australian Council of Trade Unions reported that among migrants there was, if anything, a little less crime than among Australian born citizens. On the very few occasions when it may have been necessary for me to speak to migrants about the possibility of violence, I have always urged them to keep the law, not to resort to violence but to observe the law whatever may have been their feelings towards other groups in the community.
I regret that Dr Cairns has in another place suggested that the Democratic Labor Party may have been in sympathy with violence. I would merely say to the doctor that it is on record that he has said that if you do not believe that a law is right, you have the right to disobey it, you have the right to break the law. He led demonstrations of thousands of people who had been instructed to break the law by obstructing the public streets. Then after several of these demonstrations had been held he learned that they were leading to violence, that police were being spat on and described as pigs. When he learned what was happening in these demonstrations he professed regret and attempted to dissociate himself from them. But once you embark upon that course it is very difficult indeed to dissociate yourself from the consequences of urging other people to break the law. The advice the DLP might offer to migrant groups or to other groups in the community is this: The law should be obeyed, terrorism and violence should be completely foreign to our country.
Only on Thursday last I led a deputation of Croats from sporting organisations to meet the Attorney-General. They desired to place before him their detestation of disorder. They assured him that the persons concerned were not associated with their organisations and that they were prepared to co-operate in every possible way with Commonwealth and State authorities to prevent this disorder. I believe that that is the attitude of 98 per cent of the Croatian people in this country. They are good people, law-abiding people opposed to violence.
– We agree with that.
– I am pleased to hear from Senator James McClelland that he too feels that 98 per cent of Croatians in this country are worthy people. Regarding the motion that has been moved by Senator Murphy, I appreciate that his Party takes a serious view of some of the recent happenings and that it felt action should be taken. However, my Party does not believe that a Senate committee is an appropriate body to deal with allegations of this character. From what we saw at question time today I have little doubt that reference of this matter to a Senate committee would result in a senatorial donnybrook which would do little credit to either side. I accept the attitude of the Attorney-General, that police investigations are now taking place both at the Commonwealth and State levels and that we should at least await a report from those police forces, and possibly action. We have all read reports in the Press of raids upon premises and of the possibility of arrests. Therefore, in all of these circumstances, I think we ought to wait to see the picture fully and properly before we determine the action we should take here. Even Senator Murphy envisages that action to refer the matter to a Senate committee could possi bly be premature. He has suggested that should it be found that a more appropriate way would be an inquiry or a royal commission by a judge, then he would be prepared to make way for such an inquiry.
The attitude of my Party is that we feel that the result of the investigation should be awaited and when we receive the report, if it is unsatisfactory, if it does not indicate that there is full knowledge of what is happening, or if it suggests that the matter is not being dealt with properly, we will be prepared to support a royal commission under a judge. I think that in a matter such as this it is necessary sometimes to refer to history. I think that it is necessary to go back possibly to 1916 when President Wilson issued that statement which electrified many of the peoples of Europe. He said that in bringing about peace, peoples and provinces were not to be bartered away from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were chattels and pawns in a game - even the great game of the balance of power. But before he entered the scene a secret treaty had been made in London between Tzarist Russia, France, Britain and Italy.
Under the secret treaty of London, Croatia and Slovenia were to be divided between Italy and Serbia. Therefore, the job was done before the representatives of those who believed that government should be by consent of the governed even had been allowed to arrive at the peace table. That was done in defiance of the wishes of the Croatian people who desired to be independent but who, if they had been forced to unite with another country, would have preferred Austria. They were forcibly incorporated in a state which was was given the new name of Yugoslavia. Of course, there is no such thing as a Yugoslavian any more than a man born in Great Britain is a United Kingdomer. There are English, Welsh, Scots and Irish. In the same way, the people who were forcibly incorporated in the new state without regard to the wishes of most of them were Serbs, Croats, Slavs, Albanians, Dalmatians, Italians and several other races. Therefore, they were not incorporated in this new state by their own consent. They were incorporated by force for 2 reasons. Firstly, because it was desired to break up the Austro-Hungarian empire. Secondly - and this is a reason which weighed very strongly - it was desired to reward the Serbian people for their herioic sacrifices during the war.
Of course, what resulted from such an illmatched union was continual trouble and problems. The Serbs distrusted the Croats. For that reason the Serbs maintained complete control of the Government and they rejected the demands of the Croats for autonomy within a federal republic. There were continual problems. As an indication of the kind of thing that was happening, let me read from a history of the time, an account of an eye witness of a happening in the parliament of Yugoslavia. A man called Racic who was opposed to the Croats ran towards the tribune. The author says:
The Minister of Justice, Vujcic, who sat close to the tribune, jumped up and seized Racic’s right hand, but Racic hurled him back and simultaneously fired at Pernar-
He was a Croat member - a few feet away. Without a sound Pernar fell to the floor . . . After the first shot, Gjuro Basaricek, whose place had been at the stenographer’s table near the tribune, dashed at Punisa Racic trying to grab his hand, but Racic faster, aimed sideways at this right shoulder, not half a foot from the gun, and killed him instantly. Then, wilh a swift turn Racic pointed the deadly weapon at Radic.
He was the leader of the Croatian Party. The account continues:
The latter’s left hand neighbour, Grandja, intervened and was trying to push our President under the bench, when he received the third shot into his left arm. Instinctively he withdrew it, and a fourth shot, closely following the third, hit Radic in the abdomen. The leader’s nephew, Pavle Radic, had been standing outside the hall when he heard the first shot. Alarmed, he came running to his uncle’s side and, screening him from Punisa Rack: received the fifth ball, shot into his back . . .
He died instantly. A few years later, King Alexander of Yugoslavia was murdered whilst on a visit to France. One must realise that there are grave problems associated always with any attempt to force people into a government which they do not want to join and which they believe refuses to give them ordinary and elementary rights. That is the background of the present situation. When the Second World War broke out the Croats divided into several groups. Some of them were associated with Pavelic who became the leader of the Ustasha. Others, such as the writer of this book, Dr Macek, the head of the Croatian
Peasant Party, refused to associate with the Germans, the Italians or the Ustasha. He spent the last part of the war - several years - in a Ustasha prison. He was the leader of a very considerable element among the Croatians. It has been said that there were atrocities and there were. It has been suggested, because of the superior propaganda organs available to one side, that the atrocities were entirely on the sides of the Croats. But if we read the book of Dr Macek who was a moderate and who was prepared to campaign to bring peace inside Yugoslavia - he spent the last years of the war inside a Ustasha prison camp - we find that he says that there was equal fanatacism upon both sides. He concludes this paragraph, which I will not read because it is a long one, by saying, referring to both sides:
Their hordes were not satisfied with attacking each other, but loosed their fury over entire Croatian and Serbian villages. Aged people and terrified women and children paid with their lives. . . .
There existed a most unpleasant situation and atrocities were committed not on one side but on both sides. Large numbers of people escaped from Yugoslavia during the war and after the war. They came to this country. I have spent a lot of time trying to find out from people whom I regard as impartial Croats what is at the back of all this business. Although there has always been some trouble, they say that they find great significance in the fact that there was not a great deal of trouble until the last few years when Australia, following an agreement with Yugoslavia, decided to admit to this country citizens with Yugoslav passports. The Government accepted the word of the Yugoslav Government that they were acceptable people whereas those who came prior to the passport period had had to be screened. I understand from the Attorney-General that that was the case. Am I correct in that?
– I cannot go back into the past.
– At any rate, that is what those people say.
– Surely there must be some screening now.
– There may be, but I am repeating what I was told, even as late as yesterday, by a person who came from Yugoslavia and who is neither a Croat nor a Serb. He told me that it is his impression that a great deal of the trouble has been stirred up by recent arrivals whom he called ‘passport migrants’ - people who had come here with passports since the conclusion of this agreement and who were accepted on the word of the Yugoslav Government. He told me also that there is profound uneasiness among the Croatian people because they believe that in Australia there are a number of agents of the present Government of Yugoslavia who are agents provocateurs and whose purpose it is to stir up trouble. Some young Croats have said to me that they would have no association with some people who profess to be extreme Croatian patriots because they noticed on a number of occasions that when some of these young fellows enlisted to go to Yugoslavia - for the purpose, they said, of starting a revolution or changing the Government - the Yugoslav police were waiting to receive them when they crossed the border. They were picked up immediately. There is a feeling of profound uneasiness among the Croatian people that there are people here in Australia who are agents of the Yugoslav Government and are stirring up trouble. They are persuading some of these young fellows to go there and they in fact are being led off to prison because the whole thing is being organised by a group of agents provocateurs.
– Do you say that they are the ones who are throwing the bombs?
– That may or may not be true but all the incidents of violence have not been against the Serbs. II the honourable senator is fair he will recognise that that is so. I believe that the Serbian people are people of great determination. They are the last people to stand back and allow themselves to be ill treated without retaliating. There has been a certain amount of violence on both sides but I will not say who is responsible because up to date no convincing evidence has been produced to determine this. There is every necessity for our police, Commonwealth and State, to inquire fully and strongly Into this matter. We in the Australian Democratic Labour Party urge the Government to take the strongest action against this violence - these bombings - from whomever it emanates. I assure the
Government that we will give it full support for any firm action that it may be called upon to take.
I am assured by a number of Croats that a factor in the present situation is that President Tito is more than 80 years of age and that a number of factions in Yugoslavia are preparing for the day when he passes on. I am assured, on very strong authority, that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is particularly interested in what may happen in Yugoslavia because it always has resented the independent action taken by President Tito. I am assured that overtures have been made by agents of the Soviet Union to the Croatian people in certain places.
– That was to the Rankovich faction which is pretty small.
– I am pleased that Senator Mulvihill agrees with me, although he said that only a small group was concerned, that overtures have been made by Soviet agents for the purpose of getting these people on the Soviet side in the event of the departure of Marshall Tito and the position in Yugoslavia being thrown into the melting pot. I am informed that the anti communist Croats will have nothing to do with these overtures but there is, as honourable senators know, a small Croatian Communist Party which had to be dealt with by Marshall Tito within the last 12 months. That Party has been assured of Soviet help and the Soviet Union at the present time is endeavouring to involve itself in the possibilities which will arise after the death of Marshall Tito.
Police believe James Bazley, 47, the painter and docker who has survived 2 ambushes in 4i months is in danger of further attacks. Police said today that Bazley - recovering in Royal Melbourne Hospital from Saturday’s ambush - has ‘some bad enemies’ . . . Police said that the weapon used in the first ambush … on 2nd May was a .38 pistol. They believe that a .38 pistol was also used in Saturday’s shooting. A bullet passed through Bazley’s left thigh and a second lodged in his left shoulder in the 2nd May ambush.
When one speaks of terrorism and violence, what could be worse than that? The (Ship Painters and Dockers Union used to be affiliated with the Australian Labor Party. When I was an official of the Australian Labor Party and a union got into grave trouble, we sacked it from the Party. We cancelled its affiliation. When Joe Chandler of the Building Workers Industrial Union sent a donation to the Party’s election funds, we sent it back. I would be interested to know what action the Victorian ALP has taken in regard to this union where a reign of terror exists. Members of the union have been murdered and others have been shot, and the police say that they believe that further attempts will be made upon the lives of these people.
– You do not blame all the Croatians. Why do you blame all the painters and dockers?
– I did not blame all the painters and dockers. All I am saying is that there is this system of terrorism which is just as bad as what went on in Sydney the other day. I wonder what the trade union movement has done about it? In the United States of America and in Great Britain the trade union movement on occasion has taken the firmest action possible to clean up this kind of thing in a trade union. I am still waiting to hear what action will be taken in the Australian trade union movement where a reign of terror has been going on for the past 3 years in the union I have mentioned.
I conclude by saying that I hope that this unhappy, unpleasant and unsavoury business will not be allowed to become entirely a political football. As we know, all political parties have associations with different migrant groups, including groups concerned in this trouble. I say in all honesty that surely this is an occasion when the leaders of all political parties should issue an appeal to these people to do all they can to prevent what is going on. Why should not everybody - Senator Gair, Senator Murphy and all leaders in the Senate - emphatically condemn this kind of thing? To be fair to them, some have already expressed their condemnation, but why should they not jointly condemn this kind of thing and tell whoever these people are that the whole political force of every party in this country is against what they are doing and that every party will support firm action against them if they attempt to carry on with it. The attitude of my Party is that we will await the report from the Commonwealth and State police. If the report is unsatisfactory, if it indicates that the Government has not full power or if it indicates that further action should be taken we will be prepared to support a royal commission under a judge to advise us as to what should be done.
– I do not intend to speak for long on this motion because I do not think it is necessary to do so. Much of what has been said already today has been irrelevant. Senator Greenwood dealt for some time with the form of inquiry that is suggested in the motion and Senator McManus also adverted to this. They suggested that a standing committee of the Senate was an inappropriate body to which to refer this matter. I point out to the honourable senators that this motion was put on the notice paper long before the bombings took place last weekend. It was put on the notice paper because for 10 years terrorism has been going on among a section of migrant people in Australia. I was interested in the history read to us by Senator McManus. Undoubtedly this gave some of the base of the problems with which we have to grapple, but we do not achieve much by looking at history.
I agree with Senator McManus’ opening and closing remarks, but I do not see how they can identify the problem. In my view the Government has, wittingly or unwittingly, been soft on this issue. I repeat Senator McManus’ statement that terrorism has to be stamped out in whatever section of the Australian community it exists. However, I do not want to digress and speak of all sorts of other situations because we have a specific situation before us. It is one in which we have been told by an ambassador in Australia that the present situation is threatening diplomatic relations between his country and ours and that there is a possibility that diplomatic relations could be severed. I am glad that at long last the laughter which was coming from the Liberal and Country Party benches in the early stages of this debate has now subsided. The interjections did not worry me so much but I was concerned about the giggling and laughter because, frankly, I cannot see anything humorous in the situation.
– But the honourable senator is making a serious speech.
– I cannot understand the point of the honourable senator’s implication, I hope that this matter will be taken seriously by honourable senators opposite. Whatever disagreements we have in this place, we are faced with a situation now which should be taken right out of the pre-election jitters which some people have and right out of the issue whether one side or other of the Yugoslav community is right. I do not want to deal wilh the implications of this situation, but if honourable members consider what is happening in Europe they will surely realise, without my going into the subject, the implications of action of this kind. It would be a tragedy if that part of Europe started to distrust the Western world, including Australia, having in mind what is happening with Russia and other countries in that part of the world. Senator Murphy put this motion on the notice paper before these bombings took place. We have now said that we agree with the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) who I believe said that he was not averse to having a royal commission or was in favour of having one. We agree with that suggestion. Senator Greenwood does not say whether he agrees with it. However, in some respects I rind it difficult to go along with the Government. I. wish that I could agree with it because we do not want to see divisions on matters of this kind. The Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) is now asking for further material after these things have been going on for 10 years. One Yugoslav has suffered 4 separate attempts on his life.
– Who was that?
– The honourable senator seems to be very interested in names.
– He knows whom you mean. .
– But we like to be definite.
– 1 shall tell the honourable senator, if he thinks that for some reason I am holding something back. I do not have the hospital report of this man, or anything of that kind, but I am quoting from a newspaper reports referring to a Mr Marjan Jurjevic.
– You surprise me.
– That docs not worry me very much because 1 have not a great deal of respect for your behaviour on this issue. We now have a situation in which there has been a history of bomb outrages and in which the Yugoslav Government has accused both Senator Greenwood and the Government of not being serious about this. 1 ask Senator Greenwood in all seriousness to consider some of the replies that he has given on this subject. I appreciate that on an election eve he might want to score in this regard for purposes of the election and I forgive him for that, but I repeat that this issue will endure past the election and is far more important to Australia than his getting votes from it. I have been in this place long enough to know that many honourable senators act in this way, but 1 do not think that an approach of this kind convinces anyone. A few days ago Senator O’Byrne referred to a question asked a day earlier and to Senator Greenwood’s remark that he had not been aware of the intention of the police under his authority to carry out raids. Senator O’Byrne asked the Attorney-General:
Will he make a full explanation so that the impression will not be gained that he is not aware of the activities or plans of the Commonwealth Police under his charge.
In a long reply Senator Greenwood said:
The point I made yesterday was in simple response to the question whether I was aware of the fact that the searches were taking place. 1 was not aware that the searches were taking place.
He went on to explain that this was not unusual and that not everything is reported to him. This answer could have been regarded by sensitive people as a brush off. A little later Senator Hannan asked a most provocative question which obviously was a Dorothy Dixer. He might remember that I was sitting at the table and that 1 objected to his remarks about ambassadors, as a result of which I was heckled by honourable senators opposite. There is a very clear instruction on this, that we do not speak in a derogatory way about representatives of other countries with whom we have diplomatic relations. Surely no one would argue that over a long period this is a very wise course to follow. There are other restrictions in relation to remarks about the Governor-General, the Queen and others. But even after this and after a couple of other remarks from Senator Hannan I did not object because 1 thought it would upset him. I ask honourable senators to note the tone of Senator Hannan’s question when dealing with a very delicate situation. He asked:
Is the Attorney-General aware of the developing feelings of frustration and resentment in vast sections of the Croatian community at the unjust allegations being made against that community by representatives of the Yugoslav Embassy and other persons of dubious antecedents. . . .
This was clearly out of order and clearly offensive when imported into a subject such as this. What marks does the honourable senator hope to score when he opens up a question on that sort of level? Senator Greenwood then paid much more attention in answering this question which I suggest was a Dorothy Dixer. I quote one small part of it in which he said:
I have an accumulating body of evidence which is giving me the gravest concern. . . .
To be fair to him, he went on to say that there were agents provocateurs. Honourable senators will recall the answer, which I do not propose to quote. I refer now to a newspaper report of an incident involving Mr McMahon on his way home from a game of squash in 1968. The newspaper report stated.
On his way home from a game of squash yesterday, . . . Mr McMahon found the quiet of his suburb, Double Bay, a little disrupted.
He had walked into a crowd of Croats demonstrating outside the Yugoslav consulate in Knox Street.
More than 300 demonstrators battled with police during the demonstration.
The Yugoslav flag was torn from the building and burned.
Windows were smashed.
The demonstrators were protesting against Communist domination of Croatia.
I think they seem a good bunch, Mr McMahon said.
They have a good cause. We have to keep the spirit of independence alive, you know.
As we are getting some violent reactions from the Yugoslav Embassy today, all I am asking the Government to do is to look very carefully at the situation which has been created. 1 understand that 100 names have been handed to the Prime Minister or to the Attorney-General - I do not know which - with a request that they be investigated. The other day the AttorneyGeneral explained that you cannot just take names and say: ‘Those people are guilty’. Nevertheless, surely this is some sort of base for an investigation. This comes from people with whom we have diplomatic exchanges; people whom we must lake, on face value, as being responsible people. What the Government is trying to do, and what the Attorney-General has been saying continually, is that there is no credible evidence regarding this matter in the hands of the police. Surely the normal method of police investigation is to take an hypothesis, examine it, chase up the evidence in relation to it in order either to prove or disprove the hypothesis. The whole of police work could never come to anything if one had to wait to have documented evidence put on one’s desk. Surely the police start off with something. The police should examine the hypothesis to see whether it can be proved or disproved. If it can be proved, then action should be taken. If it can be disproved, that information should be made available to the public.
What the Attorney-General is trying to say, in effect, is that the suspicion that Croatian extremists are responsible for the Sydney bombing outrage is an unreasonable suspicion. I do not think one can say that it is an unreasonable suspicion. It is a suspicion, going back over 10 years, culminating in this outrage in Sydney, ls that unreasonable? A proper investigation might prove that a prima facie approach to this question is wrong. The Attorney-General is saying: ‘I have no evidence. There is no evidence of these accusations. We have no proof. What are you worrying about? People are being unreasonable. There is violence in some sections of the trade union movement’. Despite the attitude of the Government - or some supporters of the Government; let me be fair about it - to this matter, these people ought not to be looked on as patriots. They are terrorists; they are potential murderers; they are cowards. If they were patriots and if they went back to their own country or stood on other ground one might have some admiration for them. But they are not in their own country; they are in another country. They have brought their feuds into this country and they cannot be regarded as being anything else but potential murderers. They are not patriots at all. They are terrorists and people for whom nobody should have any respect.
– Would you hang them if you caught them?
– No. I would not hang anybody; I am against capital punishment. These incidents will continue because there is an air of toleration towards the activities of these people. That is quite clear. It is also quite clear - Senator McManus dwelt on this and I am grateful to him for doing so because some of the things he revealed shocked me - that the immigration screening, as I have been saying and suspecting for a long time, has been faulty. Thank heavens, even though it has taken 23 years and we are on the eve of an election, the Minister for Immigration (Dr Forbes) has brought down some new methods regarding both education and screening of migrants, and I agree with those methods. My regret is that they were not introduced years ago. There are suspicions about other nationals. I do not agree with some newspaper reports which have said that there is suspicion of all other nationals. 1 do not believe that, because the Yugoslav community has established itself very well in Australia. I do not think there is any person here who does not have friends in the Yugoslav community. I know some members of the Yugoslav community very well. These incidents do not reflect on all members of the Yugoslav community; they reflect on some of them. It has an effect on people who get scared by bombings and this sort of thing.
But the danger in this matter is that the credibility of the Australian Government is under challenge. This feeling will be felt not only internally in Australia; other countries will doubt our sincerity. They will doubt how fair dinkum we are about this matter.
Senator Greenwood referred to inaccuracies in some newspaper reports. I want to point out to him some of his own inaccuracies because he should be very accurate in dealing with this very tender situation. During the course of his remarks I think he said that the ‘Four Corners’ programme commented on an incident concerning a holiday camp and the Citizen Military Forces. What was stated on the programme was:
Official explanations of these photos is that a group of Croats on a picnic wandered into the camp and asked to be photographed holding machine guns in front of armoured cars.
That is not greatly different from what the Attorney-General said this morning. I do not think that the Attorney-General was misquoted very badly in that regard. But I find that the Attorney-General’s explanation concerning this matter is very different from the explanation given by a previous Minister. I understood the Attorney-General this morning to say that the CMF were carrying out operations and that nearby there was a holiday camp of Croats, and the Croats suggested that their photographs should be taken. Naturally enough, the CMF boys said: ‘What is wrong with this?’ That is as far as it went. I do not think that I. have misquoted the Attorney-General in relation to that matter.
Back in 1963, at about the time when this incident happened, Senator Henty was asked a question concerning it. I will just read his answer which indicates what the question was. There was no divergence in relation to the first 2 parts of the question. In relation to the third part of the question Senator Henty said:
Investigation shows that the Officer Commanding one troop of a CMF armoured squadron was approached to hold a minor exercise early in January which would possibly present an opportunity for obtaining recruits from a “ picnic group”. The officer was not aware of the composition of the “ picnic group “. The exercise took place and the officer subsequently gave those assembled an impromptu talk on the necessity for recruitment and maintenance of strength of the CMF and appealed to those present who were eligible to join the CMF. At no stage was the exercise designed to engage what later proved to be members of a Croatian group in a military manoeuvre. It was planned as a military display for the purpose of enhancing the prospects of recruitment to the CMF.
I suggest to Senator Greenwood that this is a vastly different situation from the one which he explained to us this morning. My point about all this is that there is an air of disbelief, I would suggest, in the Croatian community and in the Australian community which will seep or burst out into the outside world. I have before me a statement which has been issued by the Yugoslav Ambassador, and I shall read it in order to indicate the seriousness of this whole matter. It states:
The Yugoslave Ambassador Mr Uros Vidovic today strongly criticised the Federal Government over its handling of the terrorist bombings in Sydney.
Mr Vidovic attacked the Attorney General, Senator Greenwood for statements he had made saying there was no evidence of the Ustashi organisation in Australia.
Mr Vidovic said he was astonished at Senator Greenwood’s statement and had presented documentary evidence to the Government this morning which he said proved the existence of terrorist groups.
The Yugoslave Ambassador was speaking at a Press conference after delivering a formal protest note to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Bowen.
Mr Vidovic said he was dissatisfied with the action taken so far by the Government.
Asked why the police had been unable to catch any Ustasha terrorists he said there were some forces in Australia influencing the police who didn’t want them caught.
He hinted that diplomatic relations between Australia and Yugoslav might be severed if the terrorism was not stopped.
I said that I would not speak for very long. I said that I would not be diverted onto the byways of this subject which is a very easy thing to do. We are confronted with a very important situation. This activity should be condemned. I am not too sure that the Government itself ought not to look very closely at this situation. I am not too sure that Senator Greenwood himself should not voluntarily step aside while further investigation is undertaken because of the attitudes which probably his Party has pushed him into taking. I think that he finds himself in a very unenviable situation today. The situation is Australia-wide and international.
It goes beyond any individual or group of individuals or the Australian Government or Opposition or anyone else.
Why could dramatic action such as we propose not be taken? After all, although we are asking for an inquiry, an inquiry should not be necessary. An inquiry is necessary because of the belief that the Government, to accept the expression used earlier today, has been running dead. These activities have been going on for 10 years and are becoming worse, not better. These activities are related to violence in other parts of the world. While I agree that an inquiry should not be necessary, to restore the faith of the Australian people and to clean up this bunch of terrorists and would-be murderers, the popular belief is that an inquiry, perhaps a royal commission, should be held. I agree now following the events in Sydney that a royal commission is probably the best way to deal with the matter.
Some dramatic action from Government circles is required. If the Government even at this late state would admit that it has been bungling and would say that it will do something about this problem, notice will be served on these criminals that something will be done and that their activities would no longer be encouraged. Notice would be served on the Australian people that the present state of affairs would not be tolerated. Above all the world would be given notice that the government of Australia, irrespective of its political colour, did not intend its country any longer to be caught up in the violence and damage to property which are part of the feuds of the Old World, from whichever country those feuds emanate. Nothing short of a most dramatic move by the Australian Government will instil confidence in Australia and in the rest of the world in respect of these activities.
– Perhaps the most significant aspect to emerge from Senator Willesee’s speech was that he virtually failed to refer to the motion moved by Senator Murphy. I will refer to two or three matters which Senator Willesee raised. He mentioned 2 different answers which he said came from 2 different Ministers. If we examine the 2 answers we find that there is nothing in either of them which is really mutually exclusive. As one might expect, Senator Willesee spoke with great subservience of the communist Government of Yugoslavia. Having adopted that method of speech, he then had the gall in addressing this chamber to quote with approval an attack by a socalled diplomat on the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood), a Minister of the Australian Government. That attack was an outrageous political one made on this Government by a person who is supposed to observe the niceties of diplomatic propriety. I cannot understand how on the one hand an oblique reference to this Government pains Senator Willesee no end while, on the other hand, a gross transgression from the normal activities of polite diplomatic society, to put it very mildly, not only leaves the honourable senator unmoved but also seems to bring approval from him. 1 believe that the Attorney-General has completely discredited the allegations and smears which have come from the Opposition since Senator Murphy moved his motion. I make it clear that I have nothing but contempt and disgust for terrorists of the type who will throw bombs to maim and murder people. I do not care whether these people are from the right, the left or the centre. I go along with the AttorneyGeneral in believing that the crime of bomb throwing is so horrible that nothing but the death penalty would be an adequate punishment for an outrage of that type. With regard to this motion, I suppose that a cynic could dismiss the whole motion by saying: ‘This is an election year. The Australian Labor Party is simply kicking around the good old Ustasha can’. Perhaps I should digress to say that the word Ustasha’ simply means ‘arise, throw off your chains’. That philosophy would be hostile to a socialist administration. Despite the political overtones, this matter has a serious context. I believe it is right and proper that the Senate should discuss it seriously.
We must look at how Yugoslavia emerged. I think we find there the seeds of a great deal of the troubles of the Old World. For 1300 years, 1400 years or 1500 years, distinct nations have been emerging in the Balkans in the area which is now Yugoslavia. As Senator McManus pointed out, they have been merged against their will into an artificial federation called Yugoslavia, which attracts the loyalty of nobody. After the Roman Empire in the west was attacked so successfully by the Barbarians in 474, the people who lived in what is now Croatia had been looking towards the west as their source of culture, religion and way of life. When contact with Rome was cut off in the 6th century, these people began to evolve their own distinct culture. Today, their descendants are the people who live in the area known as Croatia.
On the other hand, the people who lived to the east of Croatia in Serbia had their spiritual, social and cultural nexus with the Byzantine empire in the east. The people of Serbia looked also to the east for their religious persuasions. The result was that the Serbian people - a rugged people; people of determination as Senator McManus described them - grew up with a strong and devout attraction to the Greek Orthodox religion. The Croats took their inspiration from the west and were predominantly Roman Catholic although, as the result of later invasions by Mohammedans, there is a Moslem content in the country. [ feel that we must go back a long way in history to look at the barbarities and atrocities which have been committed by both sides throughout history. I recall reading of one Croatian peasant leader who displeased what I suppose we would call the king, although he was not titled king, of the adjoining Serbian country. This peasant led a revolt against the king. As a punishment, the peasant was stripped naked, placed on a red hot throne and a red hot crown was put on his head. That is the sort of punishment that was handed out by these rugged people in days gone by. I recall reading of a Serbian attack on a Croation village, the local priest of which was horse-shoed with nails. The priest was made to hobble around the market place, after which he was shot. I merely quote these ghastly examples as some indication of the type of feeling which, in the past, has existed between Croatia and Serbia.
It is not my purpose to traverse the ground which has been traversed already by other speakers in regard to events following the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. I simply say that 6 provinces or, as we might almost call them, 6 countries were welded more or less against their will into the country of Yugoslavia. Additionally. 2 independent or quasi independent provinces were attached to this strange outfit. We have heard from Senator McManus of the ghastly events which led to the dissolution of the Croatian Peasant Party at the end of the 1920s and the start of the 1930s and ultimately the assassination of King Alexander in Marseilles by people believed to be Croatian agents. Then came the Second World War. At this time the Croatians were under the governmental domination of the Serbs, the monarchy being run there as a virtual dictatorship. Whilst Croatia provided most of the wealth of the kingdom, nearly all positions and quasi parliamentary authority resided in Serbia.
On 8f.h April 1941 the barbarian Hitler invaded the Balkans. It is true that a man called Ante Pavelie became the leader of an organisation known as the Ustasha or, as it is sometimes called, the Ustashi. Noone would make any bones about the fact that this man was a dictator. He took over the control of Croatia. He had a vestige of independence. At least he had more independence than the country had when it was ruled by Serbia. It does not seem any more remarkable to me that a man like Pavelic should attempt to do a deal with Hitler than that Mr Churchill and President Roosevelt should sit down at a later date with Joseph Stalin, one of the most evil men ever - certainly the most evil since Cromwell.
– What is this ‘since Cromwell’ jazz?
– Does anyone seriously challenge that?
– A statue of Cromwell was put in front of Parliament House.
– I can see the base of your argument.
– I beg your pardon.
– It seems to me to be perfectly reasonable that, when faced with a choice of evils, and there is no question but that Hitler was an evil, Pavelic should attempt to maintain a vestige of his country’s independence. At this time - towards the end of the War - Tito had just disposed of his colleague. He had murdered Mihailovic, whose Chetniks had been fighting the Germans. It is interesting to note that throughout most of the War - until 1945 - Tito’s army seemed to be on particularly good terms with the Germans whom it was supposed to be fighting. The British Prime Minister said that 30 German divisions were being held down in Yugoslavia by Tito’s partisans. That is arrant nonsense. At no time during the War were there more than 5 divisions in the whole of the Balkans. Tito really did not become our gallant fighting ally until the large Russian armies entered the north eastern corner of the country, after which he became quite active. After the surrender of the German powers the small Croatian army - I suppose it would be big by our standards - of about 400,000 men surrendered to the British. Unfortunately the British did not realise that Tito did not play cricket. The whole Croatian army was handed over as prisoners of war to Tito. It is history what happened outside the Austrian town of Bleiberg, where 350,000 or 400,000 Croats were massacred by Tito’s so-called partisans. It is, of course, entirely true that prior to the surrender many of Tito’s supporters - the partisans; the Serbians - had in fact been massacred by the Ustasha, From the references I have consulted, I would say about 400,000 Serbians and Tito supporters were massacred, executed, killed.
– Almost one million all told.
– In fact throughout the whole country nearly one million Croatians were disposed of. When figures like that are used in this country all the noughts at the end of the statistics make the mind boggle. We cannot imagine such a vast cavern of death as must have existed in the Balkans from the town of Bleiberg right down the Adriatic coast and inland to Serbia. It is quite obvious why after the War many people would want to leave what again became the Republic of Yugoslavia. Tito’s dictatorship took over. He showed a fair amount of independence from Russian control. For that reason he gained considerable American and, to a lesser degree, British support and he was successful in establishing his tyranny in this section of the Balkans. The situation with regard to Croatia has remained the same as it was under a king - worse, if anything. Social, cultural, economic and political power resides outside the country in Tito’s own province. That has been the root cause why so many Croatians throughout the world - around about one million of them outside of the country - have felt it desirable or necessary to set up a form of government in exile to work for the freedom of their own country. I think that is an end which most of us would applaud. It is the means which some extremists take to achieve it that we must condemn.
I have in front of me a copy of the Declaration of Principles of the government in exile set up by the Croatians firstly in New York and now in Canada. I am not going to read them all in detail. I will just refer to the main sentence of each of the 6 principles. Firstly, they recite that Croatian people are a distinct ethnic and national group; they are not Serbs. Secondly, all human fundamental rights will be guaranteed by the Croatian state. Thirdly, Western democracy is the cornerstone upon which the state will be erected. The rule of law will prevail. Multiple political parties will be permitted. I dwell on that significant statement. Tito’s Yugoslavia does not have multiple political parties, any more than any other communist dictatorship has multiple political parties. The separation of powers will be established and the rights of the individual will be protected.
– As they have been protected in some Commonwealth countries.
– No more than in Greece, if that pleases the honourable senator.
– Why does the honourable senator not include some of the Commonwealth countries?
– Does the honourable senator mean some of the African Commonwealth countries? Without a doubt. Fourthly, in both the private and the public sectors of the economy the democratic spirit must prevail and ensure that all segments of society are granted a fair share of the nation’s wealth, commensurate with their contribution to the community and sufficient for a decent livelihood.
Fifthly, the Croatian state, spiritually and economically, will be oriented towards Western Europe, will enter the community of free European nations and will seek membership in the European Economic Community. A freely elected Croatian parliament, the repository of the nation’s sovereignty, will decide this and all other fundamental issues. The sixth and final principle destroys once and for all this suggestion that all of those people who believe in a free and independent Croatia are gangsters and terrorists. It reads:
In conclusion let us emphasise that we reject the spirit of revenge. We say to all those who are at present actively or passively serving the communist party and regime through weakness or necessity: We shall show tolerant understanding towards those who have collaborated with communism on condition that from this time on they fight to the best of their ability for the vital interests of the Croat nation which are summarised in this declaration.
I do not think that there is very much in those 6 points to which any democrat could take reasonable exception.
There has been, as I have said, more than some political overtones to this motion. For example, only yesterday most outrageous statements about the Government’s attitude, and even my own, to terrorism were made by Dr J. F. Cairns, a member of another place, who told the Melbourne ‘Herald’ that I was the lawyer for Croatian terrorists and was sympathetic towards their aims. Fortunately for the Herald’ it had enough prudence to check with me on the statement. I asked: ‘Are you going to print that?’ The reply was a very prudent omission of the whole statement from last evening’s newspaper.
To return to the serious matter of Croatia - while there is some merit in the suggestion, and ultimately it may be necessary that we have this inquiry, of course at present it would prejudice legal rights. I was horrified to hear Senator Murphy’s statement this morning about Star Chamber procedures. A committee investigation would hinder the current police inquiries which are of fundamental importance and, finally, I think the Senate is not the proper place to try people for criminal offences. That must be the inevitable result of the inquiry to which Senator Murphy has referred. I think the Attorney-General has adequately disposed of the furphy about the photographs of Ustasha members being trained at an army training camp, a ad nonsense of that nature. 1 repeat that these bombings are an outrage. They are an affront to the Government and people of this country. They are an incitement to general lawlessness in other areas. Regrettably it is true that there are elements - I use the word ‘elements’ advisedly - in the Opposition who have helped to break down the community’s moral fibre in regard to respect for the Jaw. They support the breaking of the law. They take the line: ‘If you do not like a law, break it.’ The phoney moratoriums or moratoria, if one uses the Latin plural-
– He said Thank God the time for authority has passed.’
– That is right. I am indebted to Senator Gair for his reminder that one of the leaders of the left wing arrangement in the Australian Labor Party said that the time for authority has passed. What respect does he expect a government of his own to have if that is his political philosophy? We had the moratoriums and the great political upheaval of the Springbok football tour. Football and cricket were turned into a political football, if I am not punning too much. We had the draft resister business. An endorsed Labor Party candidate is standing for Parliament via the tape recorder; that is Barry Johnston. I was present at a Labor Party meeting in the Dallas Brooks Hall recently and over the public address system–
– Did the honourable senator sneak in with ASIO?
– I told the organisers who I was when I entered. There was nothing secretive about it. Over the public address system came an incitement from the organisers to break the national service law for which, when it was before this Parliament, the entire Labor Party voted. 1 point out that the incitement to break the law was delivered before the arrival of the Attorney-General at the hall for a debate which so adequately destroyed the credibility of Mr Hawke as a political leader.
– Order! I do not want to allow the honourable senator to digress too far. I suggest that he come back to the notice of motion which is before the Senate.
– I was dealing with the way in which disrespect for the law has been encouraged in the community. I accept the soft rebuke. As I said earlier, Senator Murphy in his quieter moments must regret the suggestions which he made this morning. I find it appalling that a lawyer should arrive at a verdict first and then try to organise the evidence afterwards. As Senator Greenwood said, many of the complaints about the Croatians - I do not say that they are comprised exclusively of saints, scholars or archangels - emanate from one source and that is a man called Marjan Jurjevic who has been stigmatised by the Attorney-General as a most unreliable witness. This man has referred innumerable matters to the authorities and up to date all have proved groundless. Jurjevic is a strange man. He is a Croat. He was born in Croatia and turned traitor to his country. It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the man is an agent provacateur in league with the Yugoslav Embassy. For example, in relation to many of the matters which he alleges against the Croatian people as a base for his responsibility and his reputation, he says that he served in the Royal Navy during the war. Inquiries from the Royal Navy show that this is simply untrue; Jurjevic never served in the Royal Navy. He claims to have served in HMS ‘Durmitor’, a ship of the Royal Navy. Inquiries from the Royal Navy show that there never has been a ship in the Royal Navy by the name of ‘Durmitor’.
I know of a man whom this fellow asked to spy on his fellow Croats so that he could refer the information to the Yugoslav Embassy. I am not allowed to repeat in the Parliament the refusal which his fellow countryman gave him. Senator Willesee referred to attempts to kill this man. Let us have a look at them. As I recall, there are 3 bomb outrages in relation to Jurjevic. The first one was when a bomb exploded in the post office. The parcel was addressed to him but the bomb exploded before delivery. Jurjevic was not hurt. That is very good; I am glad he was not hurt. On the second occasion he was being given a fountain pen or some writing material and the bomb exploded. Again Jurjevic was not hurt; I am glad he was not hurt.
Now we come to the most violent of all the explosions in relation to Jurjevic and that is the explosion which took place at his
Carlton flat 3 or 4 months ago. It is interesting to note that on his own admission the suspected parcel was there for several minutes - several minutes, mark you - before he took action. Mr Acting Deputy President, what do you think his action was? Did he hop out and heave it away? Did he telephone the police? He did not. He telephoned Dr Cairns. That is the first time I have ever known of Dr Cairns as a bomb disposal expert. At all events this is the source to which Jurjevic went for succour. It is true that a few days after this bomb was placed Jurjevic and Dr Cairns were to address the Unitarian Church on the iniquities of the Croatians. Of course the bomb gave tremendous publicity to that meeting. It is also true that on the same night a bomb blew in the window of the Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd which displayed the figure of a girl in Yugoslav costume. Of course that added tremendously to the publicity for the meeting on the Sunday. I understand that a great crowd of gullible people was at the meeting.
In passing 1 find it strange that our friends opposite support so vigorously the National Liberation Front in Vietnam which has been fighting Australian soldiers but they seem so violently opposed to the National Liberation Front - as they keep calling it - of the Croatians. Of course that is not the proper name but they use that description. Recently Yugoslav diplomats have been stepping right outside their diplomatic functions. The quotation which Senator Willesee gave us is a sufficient indication that there are more than somewhat political overtones in the whole matter. A fair sample of the reliability of the allegations which have been made might perhaps be drawn from one of the alleged Croatian terrorists who was supposed to be killed in a battle in Yugoslavia. A few days after the announcement it emerged that he was alive and well in Mt Gambier. I suppose one could be well at Mt Gambier. At all events, that was where he was living. The strange thing was that none of the alleged 28 terrorists - or is it 1 5, because the reports vary; there are 2 different reports - seems to have been taken alive. I cannot imagine that happening. With the local equivalent of the KGB to do the job, it does not strike me as being even remotely possible that none of the gentlemen was taken alive. I notice that there has not been a report of a trial - even a Yugoslav trial. Presumably it was one of the Star Chamber jobs referred to by Senator Murphy earlier today.
I feel that, despite all the sins of omission and commission on both sides by Croatia and Serbia over the centuries, the vast bulk of Croatians and Serbs who come to this country make splendid settlers. I have had a fair bit to do with both groups. 1 think that this country, despite the unpleasantness and the activities of some extremists-
– They are not all on one side.
– They most certainly are not. I have not supported Streeko Rover in this place, but there were 2 attempts to kill him in 1966. 1 do not suppose one could blame the Ustasha for that. The statue at the Catholic Church at Clifton Hill was defiled with acid. I do not suppose one could blame the Ustasha for that. There is a whole string of other actions between what I might loosely describe - I use the word ‘loosely’ advisedly - the right and the left. At this stage I am not satisfied that the bombing outrages which caused such horror can, with certainty, be laid at the door at which the Yugoslav Embassy, Jurjevic and others might wish to lay it.
It is not often that I find myself in such agreement on historical points with Senator McManus as 1 find myself today, but I think he was quite correct when he pointed out that the trouble with Yugoslav communities throughout the world is based on the fact that Tito is soon to be called to his eternal reward. I will not speculate on the nature of that reward. Tito has been moving closer and closer towards the Soviet Union. Much of his former independence has abated. One of his problems, oddly enough, is that the Communist Party in Croatia - this is something to which 1 recommend honourable senators opposite should pay more than passing attention - has been protesting so much about the economic and political rape of the country that Tito’s main problem has not been with Croatian insurgents and terrorists and this sort of people; his main problem has been with the Communist Party in Croatia.
– Shades of Sir Henry Bolte and the Prime Minister. It is like Sir Henry Bolte wanting more money for his State.
– I hesitate to equate Sir Henry Bolte with the Croatian Communist Party, but I take the honourable senator’s point. I do not necessarily agree with it. I think senators on both sides of the chamber are horrified at the brutality and barbarity exemplified by the 2 bombings in Sydney and by other bombings, for that matter, and hope, trust and pray that it will never become part of the Australian political scene.
– What about the painters and dockers?
– I am a member of a different union, as the honourable senator will recall. We have not had that trouble in my union. I sincerely hope and trust that as a result of firm Government action this type of horrible political activity in this country will be suppressed.
– I rise to speak only because, listening to question time, I was appalled by the attitude of the Senate to what can be regarded only as one of the most serious acts of terrorism in Australia for many years. The debate has continued along the same lines. Any of us could have been in Sydney. Any of us could have been one of the 15 or 16 who were injured. Any of us could have had our legs amputated. All parties in the Senate today have been trying to score a point off the opposite side by saying that somebody is or is not a member of the Ustasha or is a Hannanite, a Hitlerite or something else. That is all that has been happening so far today.
– That is not so.
– The only sincere words I heard from Senator Hannan were his concluding remarks that he hoped the Government would take firm action. That is what we want. We want firm action. It does not matter on which side of the Senate we are sitting. We should not be trying to attack each other in an attempt to score political points in regard to the bomb outrage. I think it is disgusting. The time spent here today so far, both at question time and during the debate, has been wasted.
We had to listen to 2 different aspects of the history of Yugoslavia. Senator McManus gave us one which I thought was exceedingly good and a somewhat different type of history from that given by Senator Hannan. I was not sure whether the 2 senators were referring to the same country. Whichever history we accept, both of them unconsciously created the atmosphere behind what has happened here. Whether we accept Senator McManus’s history of Croatia, its origins and its mergence into Yugoslavia or Senator Hannan’s history of Croatia, both historical aspects of the country show that the people who live there are prepared to commit any outrage to get an independent Croatia. As they are unable to do it in Croatia, they are trying to use some of their methods here. The Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) kept repeating: ‘Is it or is it not due to Croatian terrorists?’ Who else would do it?
– Does the honourable senator know?
– No, I do not know. Let us have a reasonable guess.
– Has the honourable senator any evidence?
– I have not any evidence, but who would be doing it?
– The honourable senator does not know.
– Members of the Government would be the only people in Australia who would ask such a question. They say that the media is completely wrong; that each paper is against the Government and the Attorney-General. Everyone agrees on that. The Government says that the media is biased. That is its answer. That is all it can say. The media reflects the opinion of the country, and that is that there is is a terrorist organisation here. I do not care what we call it; there are individuals here who are terrorists.
– There are individuals in the painters and dockers union who are.
– Forget the dockers. I am not interested in them.
– There have been 4 killings there.
– There may have been 4 killings there. That shows pretty poor police work when they cannot find the culprits. Those shootings have nothing to do with the bomb outrage. They are a separate entity and a separate problem - a problem that should be solved on its own.
The whole country, except the Democratic Labor Party and the Liberal Party, believes that the bombings are the work of a terrorist organisation. It may be just a few people, but it is a terrorist organisation. I do not care what we call it. It has to be stamped out before it goes any further. It is no good the Attorney-General saying-
– If the honourable senator were Prime Minister, what action would he take?
– I would deport every Croatian who was on the suspect list. I could not care less.
– That is a good attitude to adopt.
– The honourable senator wants me to be a dictator. I am prepared to be one.
– The honourable senator reckons that they are fascists.
– I did not say that they were fascists. I am trying to point out that here we have-
– The honourable senator is all talk.
– All right, I am all talk. The whole country is talk. I am saying exactly what the majority is saying.
– The honourable senator is saying it because he thinks the majority is saying it.
– I do not think, 1 know. Go out and talk to them. Do not sit in your little office being a big Minister all the time and having your servants coming around saying: ‘You are right Mr Minister’. So the Minister thinks he is right. Go out and talk to the people. If he does he will see that everyone agrees. Go out to the Press, which represents the people. When there is a unanimous-
– They represent their shareholders.
– Their shareholders? Are they on the side of the people? The honourable senator is bringing the Press into the dispute. The shareholders are supporting the Government, yet every newspaper in this country says this. When One gets a unanimous opinion on this, I am happy to think it is right. The opinion of the Attorney-General expressed by the Melbourne ‘Herald’ was: The other day upon the stair I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today, oh how I wish he’d go away.’
Opposition Senators - The AttorneyGeneral has just re-entered the chamber.
– It is about time. He should have stayed in the chamber all the time for this debate. Do not accuse me of attacking him when he is not here. I cannot help if he is not here. I have been here long enough today to listen to the debate. Finally, we come to the Opposition’s motion.
– What about a little bit of police evidence?
– We would like police evidence. The whole of the population is waiting for some police evidence. There is no police evidence at all. Apparently the police are as incompetent in this regard as they are in trying to find this man, whatever his name is. Anybody else can find him, apparently; he can produce tapes and he can go to television shows, but the police cannot find him because they do not want to find him.
– Which man?
– I do not know his name; I am not even interested in him. I have cited him as an example. I support the motion, though I would prefer that the Government appoint a royal commission to investigate this matter. That is what is needed. But since we cannot order a royal commission from here I believe that if we support the motion it will force the Government to act because the moment the Senate sets up a committee to consider any subject at all, the Government promptly sets up a committee of its own to inquire into it. Senator Marriott interjected. I would like him to repeat his interjection because I may not have heard it correctly.
– You said that every time this Senate sets up a committee, the Government sets up a committee of its own. That is not the truth.
– All right, it is not the truth-
– Thank you.
– But it is partially the truth. Take the Repatriation Commission and the repatriation reference of the Senate Standing Committee on Health and Welfare. When the Government knows that it is in the wrong, it knows it is to be attacked, it sets up a committee of its own. The same thing will happen in this case. If we pass this motion the Government will set up a royal commission as sure as fate. That is why 1 am supporting the motion. When the Government says that such a committee being formed by members of Parliament would not know what it was investigating, I recall that the Senate Select Committee on Securities and Exchange did a good job, from the evidence I have heard. I have not seen that Committee’s final report, hut it did a lot of investigating and asked many questions and it did a magnificent job. Therefore, why would not this proposed committee, on which the Government would have a loaded majority, also not do a good job? It is no good the Government saying that the committee would be an unsuitable vehicle for this inquiry. What is wrong with it? 1 would go further and urge the setting up of a royal commission. But if we cannot have a royal commission, then let us have this committee. Therefore I support the motion, and I hope to heaven that for a change we can get on with the job of this Parliament instead of trying to score political points as we so often do.
– And you have lived with it.
– I am not interested in the coming election. I am not standing for re-election and I could not care less.
– We could well remind ourselves that we are debating a motion moved by Senator Murphy which seeks to refer to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence a matter primarily relating to complaints by the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia that there are in Australia bases, training ranges, storage places for weapons and diversionist material for criminal activity against Yugoslavia, and that the Australian Government has tolerated migrants engaged in terrorist activities against Yugoslavia, and so on. That is the primary part of the motion. I think it is important to relate the Opposition’s debating subject matter to that because in fact that has not been dealt with by the Opposition at all. In common with all on the Government side I would say that violence and terrorism, whether from the left or the right of the spectrum, are to be condemned and the perpetrators sought out and fully punished. I find the mote in the eye of the Opposition is that it has discovered violence only of late and that it has discovered it only in the right of the spectrum and never in the left. This is the mote in the Opposition’s eye, the thing that in fact taints the sincerity of its argument. I stand for the fullest possible investigation of all acts of violence wherever they may be committed, whether in trade union affairs or in the ranks of the painters and dockers, a matter I raised this morning, because it is equally, if not more, reprehensible, when closely looked at.
– Why did you not raise it some weeks ago?
– I have raised it, and the Opposition is tender because I have raised it in parallel with this - and this is a matter on which the Opposition is sensitive. The Opposition is blind to the whole of the spectrum from centre to far left because it seeks to defend it. The Government stands for the fullest possible police investigation of this matter. Even the Opposition, I take it, does not doubt that the police in both New South Wales and Victoria are fully investigating it. Does the Opposition doubt the sincerity or the ability of the police or the magnitude of the police investigations? If Opposition members hold this doubt, then let them say so.
– We would like a result.
– Of course, we would all like a result. But the silence of the Opposition signifies that it believes - and I ask Opposition senators to deny it - that the police investigation is being made on a full and effective scale. This is important. Since we have had many lectures in law from the Opposition in recent days - and changes in law when it suits the Oppo- sition - it is abundantly clear that while the police are investigating they should not be hampered in any way by any other inquiry. Let me make my position clear. I believe that when we have seen the results of the police inquiry we should make a firm decision - and I hope it will be in favour of a royal commission type of investigation - to look at all the implications of violence. I will go one step further and say that if it is humanly possible to do so, an interim inquiry should be brought down prior to the election so that there will be no kind of shelving. Let me make it quite clear that once the policy investigations are over then the wider picture of the spectrum should be looked at, when the police are not hampered.
– If the police bring forward evidence that a crime is being committed, then it is a matter for the courts, not a royal commission.
– Surely. I agree that the police will carry out their action and that the people who are in fact prosecuted should have to accept the full effects of the law. But when I related this to the suggestion for a royal commission in the future, I did it in the broadest spectrum of violence in Australia. Having sat in this Senate for the last year I have heard from the Opposition a continual attack on Croatians in general, not in particular. The Opposition has become choosy only today and has narrowed its attack. The Opposition has made a general attack on the assumption that there is a Ustasha. The only silence about the Ustasha today came in the speech by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate; I do not think he even mentioned the name. Today he discovered other people - .Croatian terrorists or Croatian independence people - because there is a fair chance that the Ustasha will not be proven to be in existence or to have taken part in this. Certainly, there was a retreat by the Australian Labor Party today from this situation.
Equally, let me make this clear: I will have no part in a general blanket attack on migrants in this country, whether Croats, Serbs or others. The ALP is pledged to reduce vastly the migrant intake into this country. Therefore, it comes readily to its members to commend to the people of Australia a fear that the continuation of the migration programme will bring with it some elements of violence. I want to repeat what I think Senator McManus said: The great bulk of the migrant community has added notably to the character and integrity of this country and. in terms of lawful behaviour, has had a better record than that of the ordinary Australian. No person should make a blanket condemnation of people or of causes on this matter.
I listened with great interest to both the Leader of the Opposition and his deputy, Senator Willesee, debating this motion. I thought that they would bring forward some source of evidence that there were bases, training ranges, storage places for weapons and diversionist material for criminal activity against Yugoslavia. Not a word was said by way of evidence in this regard. Yet the whole basis of this motion is pinned to this. On the contrary, they retreated from this proposition. They hide behind the statement ‘everybody knows’. Let me lay the position on the line because Dr J. F. Cairns, in particular, has said recently that he knows of events before they happen. Let me say that every member of the ALP, if they have any specific evidence, in common with every member of this Parliament, have a duty to go to the police or other law enforcement officers and give that evidence immediately. If they do not do so in the day or two immediately ahead, let them stand by the fact that they have no such evidence. Let me make this challenge to the Labor Party and, indeed, the people of Australia: If any person in this country has specific evidence, he has a bounded duty to come forward now.
It is not good enough merely to come forward with some kind of blanket argument. I think that Dr J. F. Cairns says that he knew there was to be a bombing before it happened. All honourable senators would be very interested in the sources of Dr Cairns’s knowledge. Let him stand up and tell us how he knows, why he knows and what evidence he has for this. As I have said, I deplore violence of all kind. I listened to Senator Willesee, who derided the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) in regard to a reported incident when he was returning home to Double Bay. Apparently, he passed by the Yugoslav Consulate and saw a group of people who,
I gather, were demonstrating peaceably. I ask honourable members of the Opposition who are interjecting to wait because better things are to come in regard to this matter. A principle, once espoused by Labor can turn and bite them. They have said that a demonstration for independence is a healthy thing. How many Labor Party supporters, in common with others of more extreme views, have demonstrated outside the Embassy of the United States of America and other embassies and consulatesgeneral throughout the length and breadth of Australia? How many of them have taken part in far more violent demonstrations outside embassies? Is it wrong for other groups of people to demonstrate outside an embassy or consulate? Is it wrong for a group of people to leave Australia and go to Yugoslavia, in their view, for freedom? But is it right for members of the ALP to go to North Vietnam and to seek to overthrow South Vietnam and to advocate from Australia the killing and murder of 17 million or 18 million South Vietnamese?
This is nonsense. Opposition senators are asking the Senate to debate a situation involving people going to a country and allegedly attempting to get a change of government. Yet. they are the very people who urge on North Vietnam and who have applauded it in its attemped overthrow of the South. Their leaders have, in recent weeks, gone to North Vietnam and have sought to achieve the overthrow of the South. 1 say to them: ‘Physician cure thyself. Here are the people who when governments of the Right such as South Africa or Rhodesia - I do not in any way support or defend them - do something they condemn, they seek to punish. But when governments of the Left such as Communist Russia and China do far worse, there is a great silence and protection the whole time. There is a tremendous silence.
Let me make this perfectly clear: During 20 years in administering a political party in this country I faced from time to time threats of violence and actual violence. I heard the leaders of the Liberal Party on platforms throughout the country say to the people of Australia that inside the trade union movement of Australia there is Communist subversion, Communist intimi dation and Communist violence and that unless we do something about it we will suffer damage and violence in this country. We asked the Labor Party to accept this as a premise and join us. What has in fact happened? For 20 years we were told that this was a lie, that it was not true and that we were kicking the communist can. How has the position been exposed? It has been exposed in recent weeks simply because - I deplore the situation - an ALP official was threatened with violence. The cat is now out of the bag. The fact is that for 20 years in Australia the amount of violence, intimidation and terror inside the trade union movement caused by communism and caused by the Left is of a magnitude
– You would not know the first thing about the trade union movement.
– I am interested in this because the honourable senator’s own leaders are not saying now that it is rubbish. Senator Milliner is now saying that Mr John Ducker is wrong because he has said that there is Communist intimidation and violence and that it is threatening to destroy the trade union movement. Let us have a look-
– What about communist bomb throwing?
– -1 will talk about bomb throwing in a moment. On 4 or 5 occasions in my political life, there have been bomb threats at major Liberal Party public meetings, no member of the Labor Party has said that that was horrible. We faced this situation in which violence occurred at the meetings. We are debating a motion involving the training of terrorists in Australia. There is no evidence of this. When, in fact, 2 royal commissions found that there were training camps of the Communist Party in Australia training for subversion and that there was a training camp at Minto involving the Communist Party and Communist subversion, the ALP sought to deny these things. It seems to be all right if, inside Australia, we can train people in international Communist subversion and can send Communists overseas to subvert and pervert. That is all right.
– I rise to order. The matters on which the honourable senator has been speaking for the last 10 minutes have no bearing on the motion before the Senate.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Withers) - Order! There is no sub.stance in the point of order.
– I rise to take a further point of order. May I take it, Mr Acting Deputy President, that your ruling is that any honourable senator can debate any matter he wishes during the course of the debate on the motion which is now before the Chair?
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - The motion that we are debating this afternoon is both particularised and generalised as to terrorism and subversion and the general security of Australia. I rule that Senator Carrick is in order.
Sitting suspended from 5.45 p.m to 8 p.m.
– Mr Deputy President, earlier I made the point that I oppose referring this matter to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence because I believe it to be highly inappropriate for that Committee. I believe that the Senate Standing Committee should not take on such a reference because, firstly, the Committee and the Senate do not and never should, take upon themselves judicial roles. It ill becomes Parliament or any committee of Parliament to seek to be judicial, inquisitorial, or to put itself in a position where it virtually examines people in terms of their character and behaviour and, in essence, puts them on trial. No matter how well these committees function they, in fact, are political and not impartial. Such a reference should be to a completely impartial judicial body. The Senate committees have made their rules but in fact they are not bound by the rules of evidence at this time, and I believe that any inquiry involving the behaviour of particular persons and the prospective criminal behaviour of particular persons, must be carried out by a judicial body bound by the rules of evidence so that the rights of every individual are protected.
This question, as Senator Murphy implied this morning, involves some implied criticism of the Government in that the Government, by its alleged inaction, has brought about this situation. It would be utterly inappropriate-
– One would not have thought it.
– We will leave Senator Georges to his eternal surprise. It is a happy thought indeed. The fact is that if the Government is under any potential criticism, or suggestion of criticism, the last body in the world to sit in judgment should be a committee of the Parliament which in fact consists of a majority of Government members. Therefore I reject that suggestion. I come out clearly for the strongest possible police investigations and prosecutions, and I reserve my judgment on the need for further judicial inquiry, including a royal commission. I stress that in this country we ought to look to the violence and implied violence not only in one direction but in all directions. I believe it would be a good thing for this country if there were investigations into violence from the Left as well as from the Right.
Just before I concluded my earlier remarks I drew attention to double standards because there can be no certainty that the violence involved is necessarily from the Right. I had mentioned Dr Jim Cairns and his attitudes. I remind the Senate that in the ‘AM’ broadcast on 11th September Dr Jim Cairns was asked during a interview why no-one was talking about extremism on the Left. He replied by using almost the A. A. Milne expression that Senator Georges exhibited a moment ago, and his words require, I think, 2 minutes silent contemplation. He said:
Well because there’s very little evidence of extremism on the Left . . .
Those words really do merit 2 minutes silence. His questioner was a little persistent and said:
Many people would argue that there is extremism on the Left in terms of violence within the union movement in Australia.
Dr Cairns replied in these A. A. Milne words:
Well I think there are a few fights occasionally but that’s quite a different thing. This is something that is part of th: Australian tradition - I’m not talking about that kind of thing.
With full knowledge of the activities of the builders labourers, with full knowledge of the activities of the painters and dockers and with full knowledge of the activities of the plumbers, he said that this is an Aus- tralian tradition and that he was not talking about that kind of thing. I leave the Australian Labor Party to its whimsies in that regard and to its double standards.
At least 2 speakers today have referred rightly, I believe, to this problem in terms of its historical context. I believe that you cannot look at the problem of the Croat and the Croat violence, or alleged violence, unless you look at the history of Croatia and put it in the current context of what seems to be happening.
– That is not going to justify it, though.
– I have made it abundantly clear that I would not seek while on my feet in this place or anywhere else to attempt to justify violence of any kind. I want to put a few things into context. I do not want to be repetitious but I would like to say that to understand the situation one must look at the history of Croatia in recent years. Mr Deputy President, I seek leave to continue my remarks at a later hour.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
– by leave - The Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) is making in the other place this statement which I am about to make on his behalf. It will be understood that when I use the first person personal pronoun it refers to the Prime Minister.
This statement relates to urban and regional development in Australia with particular reference to the Commonwealth Government’s role in this matter of great national importance. In recent years, the concentration of our population and our industries in and around our principal cities has created problems of congestion and contributed to polution. Unless these problems are tackled with vigour and imagination, our efforts to secure a better quality of life for Australians will be compromised, and the consequences will be such that our growth and progress as a nation will be impeded.
Our population has now reached 13 million. In J 971, about 60 per cent of the Australian population lived in the 6 State capitals. Approximately 40 per cent lived in Sydney and Melbourne alone. Overall, in the 5 years to 1971, the population of the metropolitan areas increased by an amount equal to 75 per cent of the increase in Australia’s population in the same period. As things stand, there is no evidence to suggest that this trend will change unless new initiatives are taken. It is against this background that the Commonwealth Government has decided that it will take immediate steps, financially and in other ways, in a co-ordinated programme with State governments directed towards fostering a better balance of population distribution and regional development in Australia. I have written to the State Premiers informing them of this and seeking their co-operation.
Funds will be made available for the remainder of this financial year to provide for the initial operations of a new Commonwealth authority concerned with urban and regional development to which I will refer in detail later. The planning and development of our major population centres in the States is, of course, the direct responsibility of the State governments, but the totality of the associated urban and regional problems and challenges is clearly national in character.
Commonwealth initiatives in this field must be carried out in full consultation and in partnership with the States. Our early discussions with the States will have as their first object the fullest understanding of the nature of the problems to be overcome, and establishing how best the combined resources of the Commonwealth and State governments can be marshalled to tackle them in the interests of the nation as a whole. We believe that the most effective means of achieving our objectives will be found in concentrating our efforts in a limited number of centres rather than by spreading them thinly over many projects each having only a limited impact.
We propose, therefore, to give Commonwealth backing to 2 separate concepts, the development of regional growth centres and the promotion of sub-metropolitan centres around the existing cities. There is undoubted scope for the expansion of most Australian cities provided this is done by means of balanced development, rather than by the spread of residential or dormitory suburbs that add to traffic congestion and strain on the existing facilities in the city and inner urban areas where commerce and industry offering employment are largely concentrated. It will be our aim to Identify and foster the balanced growth of sub-metropolitan centres that offer potential for development.
Decentralisation offers further opportunities of relieving concentration in existing cities. The report by a committee of Commonwealth and state officials has concluded that the only type of decentralisation which offers significant prospects of success is selective decentralisation. The Commonwealth endorses this view and favours the concentrated development of a small number of carefully selected centres, having regard to factors likely to be favourable to their growth. We expect that, as we grow in experience and as more resources become available to us, then more centres will be selected for accelerated growth.
The programme for selective decentralisation under which the Commonwealth will, as an initial step, assist the States with the accelerated development of growth centres, will be separate from, and additional to, present State programmes fostering decentralisation. These State programmes embrace a number of measures designed to bring about a more balanced distribution of people and industry throughout Australia. The Commonwealth in this new initiative has similar objectives. The Commonwealth therefore looks to the States to maintain their expenditures for these purposes, and we hope that their programmes will continue to be developed in the future.
Selective decentralisation is by no means a simple process. Ways and means will need to be devised to attract to the selected locations the employment and industries which will be basic to their establishment and their faster growth. In addition, the Commonwealth and state governments could directly assist in the growth and development of new centres since they are both large employers. The Government is anxious that the develop ment of the selected centres will bring maximum benefit to the nation as a whole. For example, it will be necessary to guard against the cost of development of the selected centres being inflated by increases in land values directly attributable to the policy initiatives of the States and the Commonwealth.
Land acquisition policies in the selected centres will need to be consistent with that objective. The selection of particular projects or sites for putting into effect the 2 approaches I have outlined is one of the first tasks to which the Commonwealth and the States will need to address themselves in the co-operative approach we envisage. For these purposes, we have considered, in broad outline, the scope and nature of the machinery that will be required. We propose the establishment of a ministerial council consisting of the Prime Minister and Premiers as the principal body for consultation and co-ordination in the fields of urban and regional development.
The Commonwealth’s own machinery will provide for the establishment of a statutory organisation to be known as the National Urban and Regional Development Authority. Interim legislation will be introduced into Parliament this session. This Authority will be responsible to me, as Prime Minister. It will be headed by a commissioner and my Government proposes to invite Sir John Overall, Commissioner of the National Capital Development Commission, to accept the first appointment to this office.
The Government also has in mind the establishment of an advisory committee, or committees, as necessary, which would include members of various organisations and groups, chosen for their expertise in relevant fields. In deciding upon the steps outlined, the Commonwealth has recognised that practical, effective action to cope with the problems of the cities, and to promote regional development, is a matter for the Commonwealth and the States working together in a truly federal spirit. To achieve the best results for the Australian people as a whole, we must together define the relationships, roles and contributions which will characterise our future co-operation in what we in the Commonwealth believe will be a major step towards further enriching the quality of life in our Australian community. 1 commend these proposals to the House.
– I move:
I ask for leave to continue my remarks.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
– During the total 54 years of the existence of the nation of Yugoslavia, the land of the southern Slavs, that country has had an unfortunate, bitter, tragic and violent history. By the very nature of its creation and the sustaining of its integral parts, so that tragedy and that violence have been perpetuated. Ft was born in 1918-19 out of the bitterness and defeat of war in the very cockpit of the Balkans where the war had started and where the war had festered. It was then a nation carved up out of a series of nations. It was hacked out of part of AustriaHungary as part of the price of defeat. It was bound together with Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia, and it brought together groups which had been subjected to the old Ottoman Empire.
It was from the very first utterly heterogeneous and never likely to succeed because there were together in it at least 6 main divisions of people and groups of people who were not only different in race and in ethnic characteristics but also different in language, religion, history and, in terms of the provinces, in geography. They were different even in styles of writing, so that communication in itself was very difficult. It brought together, of course, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina. Serbia and Macedonia. It brought together in that group Croatia which had had a long history of 1,200 years of seeking independence. It had a tremendous spirit of independence. Today Yugoslavia has a population of less than 19 million. Not only is it heterogeneous and predisposed to the violence of struggle but also it is surrounded by 7 other nations with all sorts of osmotic pressures upon it. Therefore, we must understand it. We must understand that it is also one of the most impoverished countries of Europe, one of the low-living-standard countries in which there are extremes in terms of geography, climate and rural ability. It was created as a monarchy and the monarch, King Alexander, quickly moved into a situation of absolute monarchy.
Right from the beginning Croatia felt aggrieved, not only because it had lost its independence but also because it believed that, from its own capital of Zagreb, it was being robbed of its financial resources and its treasure and that the money and treasure were being brought to Belgrade, the centre which was regarded as the Serbian centre. Over the 54 years there has always been this tremendous conflict between the 2 capitals - Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and Belgrade, which is regarded by the Croats as being the Serbian centre and which was regarded as robbing them of their treasure and bringing about a situation of inequality. This could be regarded as an almost federalstate relationship, if it were not so tragic. In addition to this, in 1928, as was described today, there was the tragic murder inside the Parliament in Belgrade of Stjepan Radic who was the leader of the Croatian rural peasant party. He was murdered by a Serbian deputy. This triggered off bitterness and hatreds which gave rise to the development of the Ustasha and to the development of a number of groups of Croatian freedom fighters. Then, of course, in 1934 King Alexander was assassinated in Marseilles. It was alleged that a Croat was the assassin, although that was never proved. There developed under Colonel Pavelic the Ustasha. I think that the word has been described as meaning rise up, uprising, get going, get up - signifying, really a call to the freedom of Croatia. That call to freedom was complicated and perverted by the fact that in 1941 Italy and Germany overran this tragic country again and then carved it up again into a group of countries, handing them out to the people around - giving a part to Bulgaria and so on, and giving to Croatia a form of independence during those World War IT years. In that period developed a series of pressures the results of which still go on. Of course, there was the Ustasha-
– Mihailovic and Pavelic were old fascists.
– I shall come to this because this is the key. There is no doubt in the wide world that Pavelic was a fascist leader, a neo-nazi if you like. He was an extreme rightist and a collaborator with the nazis. That is beyond any doubt in the world.
– Those in Australia should be sent back home.
– I do not seek to justify him: I seek to explain. At the same time there were 2 other groups of independence fighters. One was led by a Serb, Mihailovic, who led the Chetniks. Mihailovic was anti-communist and, I think, antifascist. In fact I think that he was both of those things. He fought the insurgents. At the same time Tito, who had been a prisoner of war of the Russians and who married a Russian - and who was a Croat - came into the hills and led the Tito partisans. There were 2 main groups of people fighting for freedom. In the end, when the axis powers had been defeated, Tito and his forces turned on the Chetniks and on Mihailovic. I believe that history will regret the decision of the allies to turn their backs on Mihailovic. I think that history will regret the decision of the allies to turn their back on the non-communists and in fact virtually by that handed over Mihailovic and also the Croat independent army to Tito, and of course, to the bloody murders about which Senator Hannan has talked.
– You are whistling against the wind.
– If people who are standing for their principles and fighting against collectivists are handed over to bloody murder, if the tide of the Labor Party is in favour of the mass execution of hundreds of thousands of people whose only crime is that they believed in the independenceof their country, I will go on whistling against the wind. I will want no part of the socialist hurricane which the Labor Party seeks to describe. Let us have no doubt about that at all because it is interesting that the same phenomenon occurs. When I mention communists that, by silence, is applauded. When I mention a non-communist, Mihailovic, he is to be denigrated. Let us make this quite clear: We stand for the right of people to fight for freedom. Incidentally, in the same speech as I have quoted, Dr Cairns said that everybody was entitled to fight for the right of independence, but not the Croatians because if they succeeded in gaining their independence they would set up a fascist state. Apparently it is perfectly all right to have a communist state but not a fascist state. Here indeed is the dilemma of the Labor Party.
– We will send you to Ulster.
– Just in case honourable senators opposite are tender on this matter, it is worth bearing in mind what Dr Cairns said in his interview on the programme ‘AM’ on 11th September last. It is very relevant to this debate. He was asked about the aims of some extremists and whether they were legitimate. He said:
I did say that: I think that the aims of some extremists are quite legitimate aims–
It is worth finding out what he means by some extremists’ - that there is something legitimate about wanting to set up an independent government, self determination for a people, there’s something legitimate about saying that the Palestinian Arabs have got to get a fair go and can’t be left in poverty the way they are - neglected by everybody. There’s something legitimate about that, but there’s nothing legitimate about terrorism–
And I agree with that -
Identified to those aims;
Then he said: there’s nothing legitimate about the Croatians who want independence, in fact identifying themselves with a fascist government - to put into that space where independence would come would be no justification for a fascist government in Croatia.
If we are going to say: ‘You can only be independent if your goal is the same as mine’, that is not independence, that is dragooning by the left, and that is what we are entirely opposed to. That is double standards, and it is the thing that I have been opposed to.
– Are you accepting the fascist right to exist?
– I accept the right of people to self determination. I accept the right of socialists and the right of communists to self determination if people within a country, by their vote, want those people to survive. If people want a fascist-type government and can prove it by the ballot box, then that is their right, I have sketched to the Senate the tragic history up to 1948 when Tito moved his country a little away from the total Iron Curtain to become a communist country which is more a satellite, more independent.
I now must move to the situation that I think Senator Hannan described. The present age of Tito, the likelihood that he will not go on in his government for long and the fact that there is in Yugoslavia today a number of people seeking to succeed him are all things which have triggered off a series of drives throughout the world from various directions to achieve a different kind of government in Yugoslavia. The primary drive is the drive by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, through its agents and through its influence, to achieve as the next leader of Yugoslavia a leader who will make Yugoslavia a total captive of Russia - a captive of the Iron Curtain. That is going on at the moment with all sorts of pressures. Apparently to the Australian Labor Party there is nothing wrong with that because it is being done by the Soviet Union. As I say, this drive to achieve change is going on.
Outside the area generally, from Albania are coming other communist-type pressures - the Peking type communist pressure. From outside are coming people who followed Mihailovic in the past and who want to see a non-communist government in Yugoslavia. They are entitled to their views, but they are not entitled to use violence in our country. Outside are other Croats who want to see Croatian independence. This is happening just as there are struggles in the Middle East, Greece and Ireland. All these people are seeking their forms of self-government. It is against that background of a struggle for the future of Yugoslavia that there are groups of people, not only in Australia but throughout the world today, rising and seeking to go to Yugoslavia to express their views in order to achieve a particular goal. Rightly or wrongly, many Yugoslavs living in Australia today believe that the Yugoslav Embassy and the Yugoslav ConsulatesGeneral are not only diplomatic organisations but also agents for their country in a way that goes beyond the diplomatic role. They believe, rightly or wrongly, that the consulates and the embassies act in a form of surveillance of the non-communists and that there is presure and duress from the Yugoslav embassies and consulates. That is part of the reason, rightly or wrongly, why reactions occur in this regard.
I make it quite clear that I reject the idea that anybody has the right to commit violence against embassies or consulates, or against anybody. I deplore the planting of the bombs.
– They can stand with placards and make other forms of protest though.
– They have the full right of lawful protest in this country. They have the full right in Double Bay to protest lawfully against the Yugoslav consulate and to express their views in this way. They have no right at all to physical violence, wounding or murder. That is absolutely clear.
– Does the honourable senator mean that they still have the right to protest if they stand in the middle of the road and impede traffic.
– Really, I will not, however unwillingly, justify Senator Georges in his habit of preferring a supine position, whether in Brisbane or in the Senate. Nor do 1 justify Dr Cairns. No, the rule of law, which is a tender thing when discussed in relation to Canberra ordinances - the devil can cite scripture for his purpose - is no principle at all when it suits the Labor Party.
– You are too rigid.
– A law is flexible for the Labor Party when that law bends to suit its purpose. Let us make it quite clear: The rule of law in the kind of democracy that we follow is one that, being made in this Parliament, is a charge upon every member of this Parliament to obey. The right of every member of this Parliament is to try from the benches here, or from the Yarra bank in Melbourne or from the Domain in Sydney, if honourable senators like, to persuade sufficient people to his or her view. If they fail to do that, they should observe the rule of law or get out of Parliament. They cannot have it both ways. They cannot bring the techniques of anarchy and revolution inside the Parliament.
We are dealing with the vital principle for which this Senate exists. This Senate exists to uphold 2 things. They are the rule of law as laid down by the Parliament and the rule of law as upheld by an independent judiciary.
– And also to pass a just law.
– The test of a just law is that it has been passed by the Parliament and upheld by the judiciary. Honourable senators opposite who are trying to interject cannot have it both ways. Let us make it quite clear: The concept of anarchy which is inherent in everything that the Labor Party does is this: I will break a law if it does not suit me. But if people did their own thing and broke the laws that did not suit them, there would be no law at all. The real test of the lawlessness of the Labor Party is that it is born of its frustration that it has been struggling for years to persuade people to its point of view and has failed. The Labor Party has failed because the majority at the ballot box and the majority in this Parliament make the law. If there is any message out of the bombings and the violence, I make this plea to both sides of the Senate–
– It is about time you got back to the bombing last Saturday where people were injured.
– That is not relevant.
– It has been a lot of hogwash so far.
– Who would know more about hogwash than the honourable senator who interjects, and who would have a closer personal relationship with it. I personally inspected the bombing on Saturday and I have first hand knowledge about that bombing. If the Labor Party which is seeking this reference is sincere, inherent in this motion is that the Labor Party is calling upon people in Australia, including Croats, Serbs, Macedonians and other Australians and members of the Labor Party, to obey the rule of law. That is inherent in this motion. The reason why the Labor Party has put this motion before the Senate is, it says, to find out whether people are disobeying the rule of law and, if they are, to punish them. If we apply the Labor Party’s test and suppose that these miscreants do not agree with the law and are doing their things, are they right according to that test? Should they be let off?
– No! You are missing the whole point.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Lawrie) - Order!
– How can he pervert it? How can he twist it and turn it?
– I am delighted that Senator Georges should have risen from his position in the streets of Brisbane and said this. The Opposition cannot have it both ways. The rule of law is there. If Opposition members are sincere in this matter, they will go from here tonight and set an example to the people of Australia by saying that, whatever the law is for the time being, they will obey it. If they break a law and if they do not call on others to obey the law, they are setting the same example of lawlessness which, by their silence for 20 years, they have set inside the trade unions. If we are to have true leadership against violence in this country, I challenge the Labor Party to give leadership in nonviolence in the trade unions, in the streets and in this Parliament. There is only one way in which the Opposition will do that. That is to accept the principle that if a law is validly made and is upheld by the courts as validly made, it must be the leader in setting the example of following that law. If not, a motion of this kind coming before the Parliament is arrant humbug.
-I rise to support the motion moved and amended by my leader, Senator Murphy.
– You will want to do better than you did on television tonight.
- Mr Acting Deputy President, I could give this gentleman a blast but, in deference to you, I will not.
– You tell lies.
– This fellow wants the rules applied one way but not the other. I will not tolerate these interjections. Many members have motives for entering into a specific debate. Quite apart from the basic features of the motion moved by
Senator Murphy, I took the opportunity last night between the hours of 7 and 9 to ring 9 members of the Yugoslav community whose friendship I have enjoyed since 1953 or 1954. For the information of Senator Gair, these people have established sound careers and have demonstrated good citizenship in this community. Their cry to me was: ‘How long will these investigations be dragged out? Why should the inquiries drag on? Why should these smears be applied in the broadest sense?’ By and large, most members of the Australian community do not differentiate between the different sections of the Yugoslav community and consequently the unwarranted stigma is applied to them all.
When I entered the Senate some 6 years ago, one of the first matters about which I complained was the rising number of incidents of the type which occurred last Saturday. Some Government senators said that I was pre-judging the issues. They said that [ should await the results of specific investigations. I can do no more than refer to a statement that was made on 27th August 1964. That statement reads:
If as a result of these investigations there is evidence of illegal activities on the part of the organisation or individuals the law of the State or relevant Commonwealth legislation will be implemented.
That statement which was made on 27th August 1964 came from the then Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies. I think that every speaker has admitted that the situation that we are considering has deteriorated since 1964. This is the point from which 1 launch my speech by asking whether various Ministers could have done a good deal more to nip these activities in the bud? I say they could have and I will produce one or two incidents in a moment to demonstrate my argument.
For example, there was the game of what I will call musical flags which was played in the Snowy Mountains area in 1964 with the flag of Yugoslavia. The Mayor of Cooma was threatened by Croats. It is true, as some honourable senators opposite have said, that there were some court convictions at that time, but they were all at a lower level. For example, they were for charges of offensive behaviour, which carried only about a $20 fine.
This is where I claim the Commonwealth has been very lackadaisical. The Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) has at his command the Crown Solicitor, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Commonwealth Police. He has already admitted that over the last few years he has accumulated an amount of material from certain inflammatory journals. It is beyond my comprehension why there has not been sufficient evidence in some of those journals on which to launch a prosecution under the federal laws. I say that quite sincerely, mindful of what was said earlier by some Government supporters. To anyone who has a concept of liberty, prosecution is often quite repugnant, but there does come a time when one has to decide between licence or liberty. It was good enough for a former Labor AttorneyGeneral, Dr Evatt, to take action in a very ticklish situation. I refer to the Sharkey prosecution. In a cold war atmosphere - it was only words - the law prevailed. It was good enough for a Labor government to go against people to the left of it and I have waited in vain since 1964 for similar Commonwealth action against the extreme right.
I refuse to believe, in view of the numerous translations I have read of articles in Croatian journals, that there has not been enough evidence on which to launch a prosecution. I admit that if such a prosecution were launched in a federal court it could result in only a small fine being imposed. The point is in any form of revolutionary activity there is a propaganda tussle as distinct from a physical tussle. I refuse to believe that at some point in time there has not been sufficient evidence to warrant the launching of a prosecution by the Attorney-General or his predecessors in this respect which would have exposed these people. As Senator Gair would have noted, tonight in another place I said, and repeat, that the Special Division of the New South Wales Police Force has experienced numerous difficulties with terrorist activities. Its job would have been a lot easier if the myth had not been created that certain individuals in Canberra love some of the people who engage in these activities.
After I deal with the internal situation, I will comment on Senator Carrick’s remarks concerning the external pressures which are being brought to bear. But 1 wish to deal with the internal situation first. For years now the mere declaration by Yugoslavs that they have Australian citizenship but their country of origin was Yugoslavia have been enough to draw abuse backed up by physical attacks. But they are no different to many other Australians in respect to the taking of court action. They say: ‘What is the use of being involved in a court case?’ I am not speaking from an academic point of view. I have been involved in 1 or 2 incidents myself. To illustrate how mad some people are I will repeat the story I have told before of a chap named Halpin who was attacked by a Croatian and jabbed in the testicles with an umbrella in a Yugal versus Croatia soccer match. It could be said that attacks can happen at football matches, but this was during the chanting afterwards. In fact it is astonishing how this incident was politicalised. I was accused of being a lackey of this and a lackey of that. It is marvellous how all of these things are raised when an incident like this occurs. The point I am making is that there should have been a constant monitoring at a federal level of the numerous incidents that have occurred. Even the utterances of Fabian Lovokovic and certain other people should have merited some action. It was good enough for the Australian Labor Party to deal with somebody on the far left who had broken the law, but we have not seen any comparable action taken by the Commonwealth against anybody from the Right.
Reference has been made to certain events in history. In the wartime years the British Government had Harry Pollitt of the Communist Party in one cell and former British admirals of the Link organisation in another cell. Can the Government tell me of any occasion in the last decade when it has taken action against someone from the extreme right? The Government has adopted the attitude of sweeping certain things under the carpet. An example of that is the episode which took place in George Street, Sydney, at the week-end. Senator Murphy has asked the Government whether Australian authorities have taken sufficient steps to discourage, prevent, investigate and prosecute offences of this nature. I believe that the AttorneyGeneral’s officers should submit reports to him on these incidents and prosecutions should follow.
I revert to the field of immigration. 1 have visited most of the migrant hostels in Australia. I visited Bonegilla on one occasion. What happened there destroyed the myth of this being something of a religious dispute. That is an oversimplification. There was a Croat chaplain at Bonegilla. Apparently he was appointed to deal with all people of his belief. Alter he was there for a month he decided to put on a sacramental black ban. The Slovenes and the Polish people were denied any spiritual advice. I was told that by the camp manager, who, to his credit, had him removed. The point I am making is that the Minister for Immigration knew that this sort of thing was going on but never sought to discourage it. The people who gravitated out of this camp said to me: ‘It is obvious that there is ohe law for the extreme group of Croatians and another law for everyone else’. The incidents T have referred to go back to’ 1964-65. There have been articles about them in the ‘Bulletin’ of 1964. In fact, I have, in front of me an article which appeared in the Sydney ‘Daily Mirror’ in’ 1963, which quotes Fabian Lovokovic as saying: ‘We march and sing and drill, but’ we have no weapons to drill with - yet’.
This brings me to the dilemma of the Government. With the effluxion of time in the last 5 years there has been’ an ideological thaw in Europe. I would be the last to deny anybody the right to have some nostalgic longings for the past,’ whether they be political or anything else’. But the fact of the matter is that we live in a pragmatic world and, whenever it -has been good enough for the Western powers and the United States of America to make certain agreements with Yugoslavia and Romania as a buffer to some of the other Cominform nations, Australia has been very happy to fall in with the idea. I remember that on one occasion when Senator Gorton, as he then was, was the representative in this chamber of the Minister for Foreign Affairs he drew a very good distinction between the territorial expansions of the super communist powers, China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and those of Romania and Yugoslavia, which he put in a different category.
Jumping a little ahead to some of Senator Carrick’s remarks, I wonder what our foreign advisers would be telling our Minister for Foreign Affairs if, through some peculiar alliance - nothing is impossible in politics - some of the ultra right in this country were assisting in some way to cause a disturbance in Yugoslavia which could result in the Red fleet utilising the port facilities of Rijeka. I know what the Americans would think about it and I know what the British and the rest of the NATO powers would think about it because they went into a flap over the situation in Malta. I can imagine what they would do as far as the Adriatic area is concerned. 1 know that at times our Minister for Foreign Affairs is pretty amenable to British and American requests. I sometimes wonder whether it is realised that by placating some of these extremists and doing nothing about them there is a spread across to the other side of the world of the balance of power.
People could go back, as Senator Carrick did, to the origin of Yugoslavia and deal with the post war period. But I think it is of particular importance to deal with the job opportunities for Yugoslav migrants who come to this country. Nobody has argued better than I for job opportunities for these people. It is remarkable that all of the Yugoslavs of Croat origin who say: T am a Yugoslav and I am acceptable here’ and who do not have the same zest to change the boundaries of Europe as others are subject to attack. I could not speak for the situation in Melbourne, but I can speak for the situation in Sdyney. I go back to what happened in the early 1960s. On every occasion in those years when there was a function at the Macabbean Hall on 29th November there were smoke bombs, physical violence and everything like that. That went on for years. It was only about 1964 or 1965 that the Lesic episode occurred. I want to say to Senator Greenwood that I am never backward in expressing my view, but I have always kept within certain guidelines. I had correspondence at that time with the then Premier of New South
Wales, Mr Renshaw. I also had consultations with the Special Division of the New South Wales Police Force following a 6- man delegation of Yugoslavs which saw Mr Renshaw and his predecessor, Mr Heffron. I assure Senator Greenwood that not one of the members of the Special Division believes the romances of Mr Lesic. It was unfortunate that he lost his feet but I assure Senator Greenwood that Mr Lesic was a complete humbug. He was a humbug to the extent that the suitcase he carried contained a bomb. There is no argument about it. The Attorney-General is probably reluctant to make public comments in this Parliament because he has to deal with his officers and these comments could affect some of their investigations. I have here a pamphlet which Tomislav Lesic produced when he sat outside Parliament House. He is a man full of fantasy. He makes just as many allegations against the Government and the Special Division in New South Wales as he makes against anyone else. No-one can put any credence in him. What he says is just rubbish.
I asked questions in this place about his habit of going around to the Commonwealth banks and saying to a teller with a Yugoslav countenance who could be a post-war migrant: ‘Are you a Yugoslav?’ If the fellow replied yes, he would ask: Where are you from?’ The teller might say Croatia’. If this were the reply Lesic would try to jab at him through the grille. This sort of thing has gone on. But what has happened? We have never seen any prosecutions. The Attorney-General can talk and talk but I go back to 1964 to what the then Prime Minister, Mr Menzies, said about investigations. I ask honourable senators to refer to my original assertions. There is no reason why there could not have been prosecutions. But I suggest that we bring the matter up to date. The Government, for all its talk, can always find out why somebody should not be naturalised. It is because he is radical. I have talked about these double standards. Some years ago Mr Lynch as Minister for Immigration belatedly conceded that some of the people who were refused naturalisation were connected with a certain organisation. Whether one calls it the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood or the Ustasha, the fact is that it was engaged in terrorist activities. The Government belatedly conceded that there were some people to whom it would not give citizenship.
I do not like raking over the ashes of the past but 1 suggest we make a comparison. This is the way I approached the matter with the predecessors of the Attorney-General and with Ministers for Immigration. Questions have been asked about the activities of Wilfred Burchett in Asia. That matter provided a field day for honourable senators. Senator Hannan and other honourable senators including the Attorney-General shouted out about Wilfred Burchett. But the Government could go into detail when he asked for a passport, and say why he was hot given one and all this sort of thing. But when we ask about Srecko Rover and why the Government took away his passport the Minister says: ‘National security’. I would like the Attorney-General and other honourable senators opposite to tell the Triglav Slovene group, post-war Yugoslavs and members of the Yugal soccer club why no explanation can be given. Do honourable senators on the Government side realise that every time such a reply is given such people begin to think that there is a sort of teacher’s pet complex. But these people are patted on the back. If honourable senators read the dialogue by Mr Rover on the television programme ‘This Day Tonight’ they will see that he is a very skilful man with words. I do not always agree with Senator McManus but the honourable senator argued about a citizen and his rights.
– The honourable senator never mentioned his name.
– The caravan goes on but the dogs bark; Senator Gair will know what I mean by that. But the point I am making in relation to Srecko Rover is that if it were good enough to tell all in relation to Wilfred Burchett - whether it is completely correct I do not know - why should anything in relation to Srecko Rover be covered up? Obviously the man was in Canada. If he were doing no wrong the Government would not have taken the action it took. But he was brought back and the other day the AttorneyGeneral said: ‘It is in the national interest. I cannot say any more’. I would have gone along with the Attorney-General if he had felt that he was on the verge of a big breakthrough. But on Saturday all we got was an intensification of the very thing which we are trying to combat. I cannot repeat enough and enough that there are many little incidents. I know of a case 3 weeks ago where a chap and his nephew were attending a soccer match. Because they were clapping the Yugal soccer club against the Croatian Soccer Sports Club the man was held while another fellow kicked him in the stomach. Such people have no confidence in going to the police because they say that the State police have limitations. But when there is a problem one does not go to the vine; one gets at the root of it. I repeat that if the Government brought into the Commonwealth courts-
– How can people expect prosecutions if they do not tell the police?
-! shall read the honourable senator’s interjection tomorrow. I am dealing with reality. If the Government brought Srecko Rover into, a Federal court and accused him df some action - the Government took his passport off him, we did not - then we would know that it is really dinkum about the matter. I repeat that on the numerous occasions when 1 go to these people they state that they want to see some prosecutions. They want to see something positive rather than a smotherup job. This is the thing I keep hammering but we never see any action.
I want to deal with another aspect. During one of my earlier speeches in this chamber in relation to foreign affairs I hinted that we would probably have trade and cultural agreements with Eastern European countries. Some of the wild men on the Government back benches scoffed at the idea. But this came about. When the Government made that decision it should have been fully conscious of what it entailed. Reservations were raised by Senator Carrick. He said that there are people here who are hoping that one day the boundaries of Europe will be changed. Whether we like it or not we are in the period of the super powers, the A-bomb, the H-bomb and many other ways of warfare. We cannot have the little blokes rocking the boat. This does not mean that we scorn their ideas of freedom. Honourable senators talk about the position of Yugoslavia. It may well be that when Tito passes on there will be power struggles there just as in any other country. We talk about a viable country but the fact of the matter is that Yugoslavia is there to stay. As a matter of fact in shipbuilding and other things Yugoslavia has a far better record than we have despite its wartime devastation. Our Ministers for Foreign Affairs have negotiated diplomatic exchanges with Yugoslavia and Romania. We have one coming up with Hungary. These are facts of life. I applaud them. I just wonder whether the Government realises how far some of the minorities here can step out as far as demonstrations are concerned.
Senator Carrick has asked how far we go with demonstrators. The Yugoslav consulate in Knox Street, Sydney, has been a favourite target. At times demonstrators have stood on the side of the road with banners as do other demonstrators. But noone will deny that escalation has taken place. Reference was made to the action of the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) although 1 think he was the Treasurer then. Whatever else we might say about the Prime Minister, the former Treasurer, he is politically conscious but he put on a pretty poor show on that occasion. It was not a peaceful demonstration - far from it. The police were involved in fisticuffs. They had to stop the demonstrators from trying to barge into the front door of the consulate. The Prime Minister made a bad mistake in trying to give the impression that he was supporting some form of upheaval, which is what it was. This is the picture I am trying to paint. The Attorney-General talks about evidence. I know of cases in railway workshops where AttorneysGeneral, members of the Crown Solicitor’s Office and even the Arbitration Court have charged people with contempt because some shop steward has fancied himself in the literary fields and has written some workshop pamphlet. Those prosecutions have taken place or, if they have not, at least there has been a ‘please explain’ from Commonwealth authorities. Maybe there have been a few minor prosecutions at a lower level. But these people have been handled with kid gloves. I have made numerous representations to the Commonwealth Bank about the Yugoslav-Australian journal. 1 think it is now known as ‘Nova Dobra’. I have asked about the journal obtaining reasonable banking advertisements. Each time the Treasurer has said to me that the bank has autonomous rights. But it is remarkable that some other papers which have a very short lifetime seem to obtain advertisements. A very difficult question has been manifest tonight. I do not say that everyone who is conservative is on the verge of fascism but I wonder how many honourable senators on the Government side draw the line between genuine radicals and the communists or Marxists. Some people can be accused of this sort of thing. How often do we hear a hymn of hate because we do not make this distinction. How often are people regarded as guilty because of association. Honourable senators opposite start with Bob Hawke and go right down through the top echelon of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
Senator Carrick referred to the experiences of the Liberal Party with regard to bomb threats. We know that a lot of hoaxers today are crackpots. When I was an assistant secretary of the Labor Party Jack Renshaw was to lead a rally at the Sydney Town Hall. We were plagued with telephone calls about bombs under the big pipe organ. We lived with threats of that sort. I do not know what you are trying to prove here. We did not say that it was a Liberal Party plot. We asked the police to check. There was nothing there. I resent the people who at times do a little bit of grandstanding about what they are involved in. I know that it would be very unpalatable to have to study the speeches made in the United Nations about captive nations. The speeches have to be tailored. There was a time when our Government said that it would not have any dealings of a diplomatic nature with such countries. We certainly do not underwrite the internal structure of any country, whether it is Portugal and Spain on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the other. Numerous Government speakers have gone to gatherings and have created the idea that the third world war may be round the corner and that boundaries will be changed. If honourable senators opposite say that is a fallacy, they should look at the other side of the question. Is it not time the Government said: ‘Look, friends, in this country you are entitled to agitate for better internal conditions, but you cannot use this place as a launching pad for a particular expedition overseas’? If the Government does not accept my view why did it secure diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia? Subsequently it will have agreements with other eastern European countries. This is where the Government is in a jam. It realises that its foreign policy has to be flexible. At the same time some groups have latched on to the non-Labor Party, thinking that it would do a lot for them. The Government has not been able to do it for them.
The Government has to decide on these things. The Government is under attack now about its policy on portability of pensions. Some of the Baltic groups, like some of the Poles, may wish to visit their homeland. Mr Wentworth has told me, as Senator Greenwood knows, that the USSR is not happy about reaching an agreement with us. Should the Government tell these people to go stew in their own juice or should it make representations to the Soviet Union?
– There has to be reciprocity.
– For the information of Senator Gair, I will tell him something else. Plenty of right wing people in the community, including White Russians and other groups, are not above coming to Labor parliamentarians if they think we can be a bridge across ideologies to reunite a family. I have not played politics that way. That is more than I can say for the honourable senator. He is the most ill informed man as far as foreign ideologies are concerned. I give Senator McManus some concessions, but not Senator Gair. For years I have clamoured for some action from the top. The greatest tragedy is that each day this thing is prolonged there is a general smear on all migrant groups. It was never intended that way, and it should not have been. We never hear of the vast bulk of the Yugoslav communities - whether they are on the opal fields at Wilcannia or White Cliffs or whether they are at Port Hedland and similar places. They do not write letters. The political spivs who are involved in phoney demonstrations write the letters. The people to whom I refer are the people who get caught up in these silly demonstrations. The Government should say to them: Look, we have diplomatic relations with these countries. We cannot afford the luxury of your indulging in some of these speculative schemes.’ These problems are the problems that the Government has not been prepared to face.
I will give another illustration. Although there have been bombing episodes here there have been no counter attacks on our embassy in Belgrade.
– They would not be allowed to. They would be shot.
– When I was there with the delegation which was led by Sir William Aston the people showed much more politeness than Senator Sim does. He should have opposed our diplomatic links with these countries if he would be consistent.
– Why should I?
Senator M ULVIHILLTha t . means he is offside with his Government
– The honourable senator is wrong. He does not understand the situation.
– I am not wrong. When we went there on a particular mission 2 years ago the honourable senator’s political colleagues were asked: ‘What are you doing about these extremists over there?’ To the credit of Mr Speaker, he indicated that the activities did not have the Government’s concurrence. I know they did not. That was 2 years ago. There is something wrong with our security service if it cannot launch prosecutions. There is no question about that. Honourable senators opposite talk about the incident involving an official of the Builders Labourers Union. I have no particular ties with Jack Mundey. It is remarkable that the law can apprehend the BLU marauders but it cannot get convictions in the cases to which I have referred. That is the situation. That is one of the reasons why we want the matter inquired into by the committee. I would like to know what successive Ministers for Immigration have done about the files on these cases. How long did it take the Government suddenly to lower the boom on naturalisation applications from some of these people? Is Senator Greenwood prepared to come clean and say to me: ‘Some inflamatory statements were made to Ministers for Immigration by one or two chaplains who mixed their religious beliefs with their political views’? I say to the Attorney-General that the ASIO people and others have made some blunders at times in relation to naturalisation cases. I have had two or three which, on further representations, the Government has had to rectify. I respectfully say to the Minister that those people are not the experts that they should be. They make too many mistakes. Usually the people concerned are radicals. When the people who made the decision are challenged they say that a mistake was made. The mistakes are always in relation to people to the centre and the radicals.
Apart from a few recent exceptions I have not known the Government to take action in relation to people who have indulged in terrorism of the right. This matter has been continuing for a long while. There is no question about that. The point make to the Minister is that irrespective of the wall of silence that he will say he struck in relation to the present bombing episodes I think he should look beyond them and that he should take the Australian community into his confidence and say very clearly that the cancellation of passports does indicate that a minute section of the Croat community has been engaged in activities that are damaging to Australia here and abroad. I think that in addition he could indicate why there is no permanent monitoring of some ethnic newspapers which are adopting attitudes that are repugnant to Australia. Where Croatian boys have intended to marry Australian girls one or two of the Croatian leaders have talked in the Hitler vein about weakening the strain of the race and all these things. Those statements have appeared in some of their journals. Surely some of them could be given exposure.
I have not had any real hankering for the debate because previously I have told the Government what could and should be done. I have no inhibitions about anything that 1 have been saying for the last 13 or 14 years. What I have said has been proved. The onus is on the Government to give me parallel cases of prosecutions of wrong doers to the right. I refer to the passport breach by Rover, the situation in respect of Burchett and the prosecution, in the days of Dr Evatt, of Sharkey. That is my theme. I feel that the Government has not had the same zest for it. As far as the future is concerned, I think representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs who attend functions should give an idea of and warn these people what citizenship responsibilities mean. One of the worst features of the situation is that it is something like a football match. For 20 minutes one player can provoke all his opponents. Then the game is stopped and general cautions are issued. I do not doubt that people who were visited in Sydney had no connection with the extreme right of the Croatian movement. The whole thing is right out of perspective. We have to ask: Am I my brother’s keeper? Where do the functions of the Commonwealth Police end or start in relation to their State counterparts? This is something that has never been brought out clearly.
Senator Carrick related the early history of Yugoslavia. Whether we like it or not, its particular federal system may well mean that greater autonomous power is given to the various republics of Yugoslavia. I have visited there 3 times. A young person who has gone through a different society to what we have is far more flexible than the early generations. If the Senate accepts Senator Carrick’s concern about the creation of the state of Yugoslavia after World War I, then I would take exception to one or two points he made. He spoke about the forcible amalgamation of 6 republics. History shows that the Slovenes, in particular, were not very happy under the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. In that situation their culture was menaced. So that was no solution. My second point is that whatever occurs after the post-Tito era we shall see that the people will not want to return to what might be called the concept of the Pavelic regime - far from it. It could well be that for Croatians here - and honourable senators will recall my aside about the cut-up of money for the various Australian States - the ideal form of government for some people will not be a socialist government to any degree at all. No-one can turn the clock back to 1939.
I repeat that much of what I have said tonight has been said by many Yugoslavs in this country, both pre-war and post-war migrants, who have looked in vain for the law to be applied equally. When I say equally, I put this final point to the AttorneyGeneral: When Mr Lang was Premier of New South Wales a number of razor gangs were operating in Sydney, and the Government used the Consorting Act very effectively against them. I cannot see why some of these terrorists cannot be badgered. It is all very well to run about denouncing draft resisters and to speak of the magnitude of the law, but if time can be spent doing that, then I would like the Attorney-General later to convince me that he is monitoring these inflammatory newspapers, among other things. And I would ask whether the Minister for Immigration is permitting the leaders of some of these groups to come into this country - and I include Fabian Lovokovic and Mr Rover. I will give the Senate an illustration of their sense of fair play. I once attended a Dyason Lecture given by Leo Mates, a leading foreign affairs expert on Yugoslavia. A fair number of other people, including members of the Special Division of the New South Wales Police Force, were present, and before I was able to say anything. Fabian Lovokovic started to heckle the speaker. Then he emulated Senator Gair when I asked questions: he started to heckle me. This is the kind of behaviour one gets from these people. The concepts of democracy must be right across the board. I leave it at that.
– I have listened with considerable interest to all that has been said in this debate. When Senator Murphy introduced his motion, I honestly believed that he had in mind the possibility of Australia as a nation being hurt very deeply by these outrages. No doubt this debate has been brought on and conducted more seriously as a result of the bomb outrages in Sydney on Saturday and the outrages in Munich. It must be obvious to all clear thinking Australians that these outrages will affect Australia unless we take action to stop them. Actions speak louder than words. We are talking our heads off tonight but where are we getting? I have listened to many senators talking about all kinds of things which will not produce action. Can any honourable senator tell me that the reference of a subject such as this to a committee or to a royal commission will result in it being dealt with urgently while Australian lives are in danger?
– What would you do?
– We should ask the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) to appeal to the police forces throughout Australia to direct every available man to search for any person who could hurt the public and for any material that could be used to injure the public. We should stop the sales of explosives without a permit and without the purchaser even giving his name and address, as is the practice in Australia today. We should make every person declare whatever stock he has and we should require everyone to produce identification before being permitted to buy more explosives, lt is ridiculous to say that the Yugoslavs are the only people who might be implicated in outrages of this nature. The daily Press today reports that 2 Australians are to be extradited to Western Australia from Victoria on charges of allegedly attempting to blow up a building in Western Australia. Australians are not lillywhites they cannot be whitewashed, because they are as responsible for acts of violence as are people of any other country in the world.
Various types of people have come to Australia and the majority of them are good people; very few are responsible for these acts of violence. The best thing we can do is to give full support to the AttorneyGeneral and to the Commonwealth Police and to the State Police forces and to all others who can stop these acts. We could ask all members of Parliament to report directly to the Attorney-General anything they hear about such acts so that he can take action. I do not think we will get anywhere by talking our heads off tonight. We must have direct action. I appeal to the Attorney-General to appeal in turn to the people of Australia to report any person who appears likely to take some action which could lead to violence. It is wrong that an innocent person can be killed or injured while we are talking our heads off and getting nowhere. Let us have action.
I do not wish to say more because talking is a waste of time. I appeal to the AttorneyGeneral to give us action,
– I have listened to Senator Negus with a great deal of sympathy because I agree that talking will not solve this problem. Having said that, I wish to make 2 or 3 points. Firstly, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee to which this reference will be passed, if that be the will of the Senate, I feel it would be improper for me to engage in discussion of the subject matter of this debate. I feel that I must retain some independence in making decisions on a matter such as this. My friend Senator Georges tells me, by way of interjection to sit down. I will nol oblige him. I do not intend tonight to engage in arguing whether Croatians or some other group are involved in terrorist activities. This would be improper, I suggest. However, I wish to make several points. Firstly, terrorism as practised by various groups in Australia is a problem of great importance and great concern. It is of great importance and great concern not only throughout Australia but throughout the world. Some people have expressed surprise that these events have occurred in Australia. I do not know why they have expressed surprise, because I believe it was inevitable that they would occur here. But they occur not only among migrant groups, be they Croatians or other nationals, they occur among Australians. Senator Negus referred to the fact that 2 young men have been arrested in Melbourne for allegedly having planted a bomb in the office of the Department of Labour and National Service in Perth. They are not members of a national group with some real or imagined grievance, they are Australians. They wished to give expression to what they believed to be a grievance by violence and acts of terrorism.
Therefore, I think that if we are to examine acts of terrorism in Australia the motion should not be concerned only, as is the case with this motion, with one particular group. We should be concerned with all acts of terrorism and all acts of subversion in Australia which include a great number of groups including Australian. I recall that reference has been made today to the feud and the acts of violence and intimidation that are taking place amongst the painters and dockers in Melbourne. Also, I am reminded of the acts of violence, intimidation and terrorism practised by the Builders Workers’ Industrial Union in New South Wales and the attacks upon trade union officials, acts of violence and terrorism and the attemps to intimidate them.
These are the facts of what is occurring in this country today. If we are to investigate this then surely the motion which is before the Senate should be expanded to investigate all acts of violence, all acts of terrorism and all acts of intimidation which I suggest always have been foreign to our way of life. It is a matter of great concern to us that these things should be happening. But I do not know how we can be separated from what is happening throughout the world. I am indebted to an article which appeared in the ‘London Economist’ dated 9th September 1972 which dealt with this matter in a manner which I think should be read by us all. It lays down clearly the issues involved. I shall quote some of the statements made. Unfortunately, it is an unsigned article; so we do not know who wrote it. The report is headed ‘They are among us’. Who can deny that they are among us? They are among us in various groups, not only national groups with real or imagined grievances but also, as I have said, they are among groups of Australians. I do not wish to belabour the point, but a prominent member of the Australian Labor Party, the honourable member for Lalor (Dr J. F Cairns) is reported to have said in the daily Press of August 1970: ‘I sincerely hope that authority has had its day’. What does this mean? Honourable senators opposite who attempt to interject should remember that I am only quoting from the reports in the Press. If that is not correct, then let it be corrected. This is an invitation to anarchy, terrorism and violence. This is the situation in which we find ourselves. It is world wide. Let me quote from the ‘London Economist’. I think that it is a lesson we should all take to heart and words of which we should all take note. This article states:
We are going to have to live with the man in the hood for a long time; certainly until the present generation of terrorists, the Slack September men-
We all know who they are. They are the Arab terrorists who committed the atrocities in Munich which we all deplore. The article continues: . . and the Provos-
I am informed that that is the IRA: . . and the rest, has expended itself in death or defeat; and very likely longer than that, until the force that drives such men, the calculation that such methods can bring them what they want, has been disproved by repeated failure, and they have no more imitators.
Surely this should be a lesson to us. Surely the lesson at Munich is that if you win, others will copy you. May I say that I have great admiration for the Government of Israel in the case of hijacks. We recall what happened at an airport when the aircraft with the hijackers on board was shot at. Any of us could have been among the unfortunate passengers who were on the aircraft. But what the Israelis taught us is that we cannot permit hijackers to be the winners. If this is to continue, somebody must be the loser. The loser must be those who engaged in this sort of intimidation and terrorism. If the innocent suffer, that, unfortunately, is too bad. If we always give in to these people - if, for instance, in Munich they had been surrendered to - the price would be higher. If the Israeli Government had surrendered to the hijackers in Israel the next price would have been higher. As this article says: ‘It is the winners who are copied; not the losers’. Surely this must be a lesson to us all. I think we should take note of this article because it is a brilliant one which has lessons for us all. It goes on to state:
This is the new international community of the possessed. It could take years, perhaps even the rest of the lifetime of people who are now barely middle-aged, before this phenomenon is destroyed, or destroys itself. Until then we shall have to live with the possibility of men with concealed faces, and concealed minds, breaking with machine-guns and bombs into the normal life of many people in many different countries.
The article continues - this should be noted:
The world itself is no worse than usual; but the obsessed are prepared to do worse things to have their way about it. Modern weapons help them; the day will come when suicidal urban terrorists of a kind the world has not yet seen will have a nuclear device at their disposal. The very sophistication of the modern society that has mounted this year’s Olympics helps them. The immediacy, of world communications, especially the television coverage on which all terrorists have come to rely, helps them immeasurably. That is what ls new. And so long as they have reason to believe that the methods they use will bring the results they want, the terrorists will go on with their campaigns.
I am reminded that in the 19th century there was a group of wandering terrorists which believed that it could destroy European society by the use of bombs and threats. The members of that group failed. There is nothing new about this. What is new is the methods used - the communications. This is what is new and this is what is so frightening. I echo the words of the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) who said today - these may not have been his exact words - that these people are not patriots; they are criminals and the whole force of the law should be brought against them, even to the extent of the death penalty. I do not believe that we should retreat from this ultimate penalty. If these people are as bad as we believe they are and as bad as I believe they are, this is the ultimate penalty that they should suffer. If they can succeed and if they believe that the penalties imposed upon them are such that their crimes will be worthwhile, they will continue to commit these crimes. The challenge to society today is such that the penalty must destroy them. They must be led to believe that they cannot succeed. It has always been my view that it is the naive hope of many Australians that we can be immune from the events which are occurring in the world today and that they cannot happen here. It was inevitable that it would happen here.
I said at the outset that I would not involve myself in an argument as to the rights or wrongs of this case. I believe, rightly or wrongly, that it would be improper for me to do so. Should it be the will of the Senate that this matter be referred to the committee of which I am the chairman, 1 give the assurance that the inquiry would be carried with vigour and with vigilance. That is the least I can do. My opposition to this proposed reference is that I believe it is inappropriate for a Senate or parliamentary committee. The Attorney-General set out certain views on this matter and, having heard him, I find myself in agreement with him. I believe at this stage that this is a matter for the police and the judiciary of this country. It should be pursued with vigour by the police until these people are brought to trial.
It is very easy to say that the police have not brought anybody to trial. Of course, they have brought some people to trial. Some people have been arrested, tried and found guilty. Whether the penalties imposed on them are sufficient is a matter of opinion, and if I may venture an opinion I suggest that the penalties have been inadequate. Nevertheless some people have been brought to trial. A parliamentary committee could not pursue this matter in an atmosphere such as that which exists today so as to produce the results that all of us desire. If the police, both State and Commonwealth, cannot produce results within a reasonable time I would support a royal commission. The Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) today, I understand, expressed himself as not being opposed eventually to a royal commission which I believe would be the proper way to pursue this matter if these people are not found and tried.
– What is a reasonable time?
– I will not argue about what is a reasonable time. As Senator Georges knows full well - I do not refer to this in any partisan way - men, painters and dockers, have been murdered in Melbourne and others have been shot. Others are missing and are believed to have been murdered. As one of my colleagues said, on one occasion a man was murdered in the presence of 30 or 40 people and none of them knew anything about it. The police have been unable to find the criminal. Very serious problems are involved. It is of no use pointing to the police and saying that they have not discovered the culprits involved in the bombings in Sydney. That was a dastardly act for which I can find no sympathy. I say again that the ultimate penalty should be provided for those responsible. It is horrifying that these things should happen in this country or in any country. However, if the police have problems, because of a lack of cooperation among other members of the union, in finding those responsible for shooting and murdering trade unionists it is logical to assume that they will have great problems in the matter before us because of a lack of co-operation. Maybe the lack of co-operation is due to fear; maybe it is because of other reasons. Therefore I cannot define what is a reasonable time. So long as the police are pursuing this matter with vigour and to the best of their ability - I believe they are and I would not suggest otherwise - I have so much confidence in them that I believe that those responsible ultimately will be brought to trial. If they are found guilty, I hope that the penalty will be such that it will deter others from attempting the same thing.
There is nothing new about these sorts of activities. They occurred in Montreal with the French secessionists when a Canadian Minister was kidnapped and murdered. Bombs were planted which killed and maimed citizens of France. We have seen the Black September movement amongst the Arabs, and we know of the horrifying situation in Ulster today. These are matters of great concern not only to the people of Canada and of Israel; they are of concern to people throughout the world. Therefore, I believe that the matter referred to in this motion properly belongs to the police for investigation. It is not the role of Parliament to take over investigations of this type. I do not believe that that can be done. I said that should this matter be referred to the Committee I, as Chairman, would carry it out to the very best of my ability. I give that assurance to the Senate. I would do it. However, I do not underestimate the problems involved. I do not underestimate the problem of protecting witnesses or of protecting members of the Committee. However if. it is the will of the Senate we must face up to that. I do not believe that anybody doubts my sincerity about these matters, and I say with great sincerity that at this stage this would be an impossible task for a Senate Committee to undertake.
– Why is that?
– For many reasons. We would be involved in a highly emotional matter. People would be defamed. People would make allegations, perhaps founded and perhaps unfounded, and people’s names would be blackened and they would have little redress. May I put. an administrative problem to the Senate: We would have great problems in finding people.
Honourable senators who have sat on Senate committees would realise - it is obvious - that the strength and ability of a committee to carry out an investigation depends firstly on the quality of the people it has to do the necessary research and to act as consultants. We would have to find somebody who was fluent in the languages of the countries concerned and that person would have to be independent of all the disputes and conflicts in that part of the world.
We need only look at history. We need only look back to the spark - the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand - which started the First World War. We remember also the assassination of King Alexander in Marseilles in 1934. What has happened since? There have been tremendous conflicts in the Balkans and, so far as this issue is concerned, particularly between the Serbs and the Croats and the people who live in Yugoslavia. It is not for us to pass judgment on these conflicts. They are real - more than real - in the minds of those who live there. They believe that they have the right of self-determination and of independence. A parliamentary committee investigating these matters would have to find someone who was independent of ail these conflicts to advise it; someone who could speak the languages and could interpret the evidence because we would find that the English of many of the witnesses was imperfect. We would need to have someone to translate documents. I understand from the AttorneyGenera] that at present the Commonwealth police are having tremendous difficulty in finding people capable of translating documents seized in raids carried out already by Commonwealth and State police in an effort to pin down the culprits responsible for these actions.
I cannot understand the proposed terms of reference. They refer to one element only, the so-called Ustasha. I know nothing about these people. Maybe they exist. If they do, I am sure that no honourable senator would support them. But what about those people who engage in acts of violence and terrorism against the Croats? There are some such people. We have had instances of bombing and intimidation of those people. Why are they not included in this motion? Why should we not investigate them as well? Why should this be a one-sided investigation? If this matter is to be investigated in a manner which would satisfy the Parliament and the people of Australia, surely the investigation should be widened to include all acts of terrorism, violence and intimidation. This is not a matter to be investigated by a parliamentary committee in a highly-charged political atmosphere. I venture to suggest that eventually the correct procedure will be for the matter to be examined by a royal commission rather than a parliamentary inquiry. If it becomes necessary to investigate the matter I will support the setting up of a royal commission for this purpose.
At this stage I wonder whether we should have a Senate committee probing into police investigations. I have far more faith in Commonwealth and State police than perhaps some honourable senators opposite have. It would be a matter for the committee to decide whether evidence should be given in public. Are the police to be required, perhaps in public, to provide information as to the progress of their investigations? If they are required to do so that could well prejudice their investigations^ - indeed, it would do so.
I believe that matters of great and vital importance are involved in this. I give no support to terrorists of any kind. I believe that if they are found - I sincerely hope that they will be found - the full rigour of the law should be brought upon them and, if the penalties provided by law are insufficient, that the parliaments of this country, State or Federal, should provide for penalties which are sufficient to act as a deterrent against actions of this kind. We do not want the people who committed these acts to be regarded as patriots. They are not patriots. They are criminals and they should be regarded as criminals. I cannot accept the argument that because they are fighting for something in which they believe they should be regarded as patriots. We do not want the ancient enmities of Europe, from the Balkans or elsewhere, brought to light in Australia. If these people bring their enmities to Australia and offend against the laws of this country or against the principles of our society, society should provide penalties that will deter them from continuing with acts of this kind.
I repeat my belief that it is inappropriate, for a number of reasons, many of which have been stated by the AttorneyGeneral, for this matter to be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry at this stage. I believe that an inquiry of this nature may well prejudice the situation, quite apart from the physical difficulties of carrying out an urgent inquiry. 1 believe that my Committee would approach an inquiry into this matter with the greatest goodwill in the world and would treat it as a matter of great importance. But if it were charged with the responsibility of conducting an inquiry, regardless of what it found, by the time it reported to the Parliament it would be too late. This is so for many reasons, one of which is the situation in which we find ourselves today with elections coming on. If one were to make a haphazard guess - it can be no more than that - with the greatest goodwill in the world the Committee would not be able to report before the middle of next year. That could be too late. This matter is of greater urgency than that. There is an urgency about finding the criminals and bringing them to justice.
It should be the endeavour of each and every one of us to assist the Commonwealth and State police to bring these people to justice and to expose them to the full rigour of the law. This is the attitude that I take and it is for this reason that I oppose the motion. If the police fail - 1 repeat that I do not believe they will fail - a royal commission would then be the appropriate means to investigate this matter and to bring to light all the evidence and facts available. A parliamentary committee would not be appropriate for this purpose. As a great supporter and advocate of parliamentary committees - I do not think anybody would deny that 1 am that - it is my judgment that this is not an appropriate matter for a parliamentary committee. However, should the police investigations fail I would support the setting up of a royal commission for this purpose.
– I readily accept Senator Sim’s assurance that if this matter were referred to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, of which he is chairman, he would do all in his power to ensure that the matter was con sidered impartially and dispassionately. For that reason, among others that I shall advance, I do not share the inhibitions and fears which the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) has expressed about the appropriateness of referring a matter like this to a Senate committee. May 1 say at the outset that when bombs explode in the main street of the city where I live I do not regard it as a matter from which I or the Party to which I belong should seek to derive any cheap political advantage. I do not believe that the citizens of Sydney care very much whether these bombs were set off by members of the Ustasha or by members of a Ustasha-like organisation, to use a phrase which has become dear to the Attorney-General, or whether in fact they were set off by unattached . individual murderers or fanatics. I do not think this matters much in the context of a society where we have become conditioned to think that that is not the sort of thing that happens in our political life.. I believe that what concerns the people of Sydney and the people of Australia-
– And the people of Perth, too.
– And the people of Perth, certainly. I include every corner of Australia in these considerations. I think what concerns Australians, and I speak only of the people of Sydney because they have been on the receiving end of the most recent example of these outrages, is to ask whether there is an organisation of terrorists in our midst. Secondly, are the Commonwealth police and our security organisations, on which a great deal of public money is spent, really doing what we expect of them to secure us against this sort of thing? Finally, is the Australian Government as . wholeheartedly concerned with suppressing right wing terrorism as it is with the mildest form of left wing dissent? Let us examine these questions in sequence. First let us consider the Government’s attitude towards this whole problem.
Senator Murphy read a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs which, having given this point its expert attention a few years ago - I think in 1969 - came up with the considered opinion that there was no doubt that these continuing outrages were the work of Croatian extremists. Senator Greenwood today, in attempting to rebut the suggestion from this side of the chamber, said that he was not convinced that these bombing outrages were the work of Croatian extremists, referred to his record and quoted at length from an official handout that he gave a couple of months ago. We must realise, of course, that he is reported, even in this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald’ - I take this in the light of what he said to us about his record, of which he was somewhat proud- as stating that he does not deny that Saturday’s bombings were undoubtedly the work of Croatian extremists. He does not deny that report in this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald’.
– Are you saying this is what I said?
– This is what you are reported to have said.
– It is inaccurate. All the newspapers have got it, and you cannot do anything about it.
– I am glad to have the Attorney-General’s assurance on this. It is in conflict with his record of which he boasted to the Senate today.
– All I say it that the Press reports attributing that to me are incorrect.
– All right. We will forget about that. Let me rely on the Attorney-General’s assurance to the Senate this afternoon. In the hand-out of, I think, 21st July this year he acknowledged that the bombing outrages about which we on this side of the chamber are concerned were the work of Croatian extremists, or am I still wrong? Am I wrong in assuming that the Attorney-General has acknowledged that these bombings are the work of Croatian extremists?
– I have not any doubt that some of the bombing incidents are the work of Croatian extremists, but I am not saying that the ones last Saturday were.
– Let us be clear about this. I do not want to score any cheap debating points tonight, and in order that there may be no red herrings drawn across the trail, let me say here and now that I abhor what is happening in the Painters and Dockers Union, and I acknowledge that even the trade union movement should do something about it.
– It is very hard to track down the culprits.
– Of course it is. I disapprove of the violence that is practised by the builders labourers union on some occasions and I also disapprove of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia. I have been a long term critic of Stalin’s purges. So let us not have any red herrings about this. I do not have any double standards about violence and I would like to state that right at the outset. Let us have a look at what the AttorneyGeneral said, leaving aside what happened on Saturday which he is not convinced to have been the work of Croatian terrorists. He is satisfied, he says today, that a lot of the outrages in the past have been the work of Croatian terrorists - I think ‘Croatian extremists’ is the phrase which he prefers. Why is he so coy in his use of phrases? We do not ask that he call them Ustasha, and I would remind honourable senators that in the motion that is before the Senate tonight there is no mention of the word ‘Ustasha’ or ‘Ustashi’. The motion is couched in general terms and refers to terrorists. We do not insist that the Attorney-General should call them Ustasha. But why does he not admit that on all the evidence, on all the probabilities and on all the likelihoods that would have appealed to any man of any political sophistication at all, these outrages are clearly the work of extreme right wing Croatians dedicated to the partition of the Yugoslav state and are clearly motivated by anti- Yugoslav Government tendencies? The Attorney-General is not prepared to admit this, and we can see why.
As a matter of fact, we have to look only at a more recent statement of his than the hand-out to which he referred us today which, incidentally, is dated last July. We have to look only at something that he said last Thursday in answer to a Dorothy Dixer that he was asked by Senator Hannan. I ask honourable senators to ponder closely the words he spoke on that occasion because 1 am not suggesting - and I make this perfectly clear - that Senator Greenwood has anything but horror of bombing and the outrages that occurred the other day. I am not suggesting that he or others applaud that sort of thing. But let us have a look at the political attitude which blinds them to realities and which prevents them from ever getting off the ground in solving this problem. I quote what Senator Greenwood said in answer to a question last Thursday:
I have an accumulating body of evidence which is giving ms the gravest concern that much is happening behind the scenes and is not being revealed; that there are agents provocateurs; that there are persons who are trouble makers; and that there are other people who are identifying themselves with the Croatian community with a view to causing trouble within that community.
Let us have a look at that statement against the background of other statements made after the bombing outrages of last Saturday. I refer to the statements that were made by Mr Wentworth and Dr Mackay which are reported in this morning’s ‘Australian*. The burden of these statements, without quoting them at length, is that there is more than a suspicion that these outrages are really to be attributed to the communists.
– Hear, hear!
– Did I hear an interjection from Senator Withers? I trust that in the course of this debate we will be favoured with the considered views of Senator Withers on this subject instead of the usual asinine sniping that we get from him when anything serious is being discussed. Will we get something thoughtful from him or will he just go on like this, as he always does?
– The trouble is that you blokes talk for too long.
- Mr Acting Deputy President, could I be protected against this puerile type of interjection that we get all the time from the other side of the chamber? In any event, I am suggesting that if we look at the comments of Mr Wentworth and Dr Mackay and at this comment by Senator Greenwood last Thursday, what we are getting is the absurd proposition that President Tito employs agents to blow up the premises of his own
Government here in Australia in order to discredit an organisation, the Ustasha, which these people say does not exist.
– That has been done before.
– 1 suggest that we hear some fantastic propositions in this place, and I have no doubt that we will continue to do so. But that is surely as absurd a proposition as we would get even from Senator Little. I have no doubt that if he contributes to this debate we will get similar egregious suggestions from him. In order to test this proposition that the Yugoslav Government employs agents to blow up its own buildings, for example, for a purpose which escapes me but which is clear to the genius behind me and no doubt to Senator. Withers, let us have a brief look at the list of outrages of which Saturday’s incidents were the most recent example. This is a point that was made by Senator McManus, and may I say in passing that I considered that Senator McManus made one of the. more sensible contributions to this debate. Although I do not agree with his conclusions, I thought he gave a temperate and thoughtful speech on this matter.
But I should like to take issue with Senator McManus on this one point. I think - I may be wrong - he made the point that some of these outrages had been against Croats themselves, and the conclusion that was sought to be drawn from that was that this does cast suspicion on the idea that the source of the outrages was the Croatian extremists because they. could not be expected to make attacks on their own people. But this is not a logical proposition at all. After all, President Tito is himself a Croat and I have conceded, as do all of us on this side of the chamber, that not all Croats are Ustasha or are extremists. In fact, we very well acknowledge that only a small proportion of Croats are extremists, terrorists and murderers. So the fact that some of these outrages were committed against Croats in no way disposes of the general proposition that we are advancing that these acts are to be laid at the door of Croatian extremists.
Let us have a look at the list. It is as follows: On 1st January 1967 the office of the Yugoslav Consul-General in the
Sydney harbourside suburb of Double Bay was bombed. On 24th April 1967 a petrol bomb was thrown into the home of the then Australian Labor Party candidate for St Kilda.. Mr Brian Zouch. On 9th June 1969 there was a bomb explosion at the Yugoslav Consulate in Double Bay, Sydney. On 30th November 1969 a gelignite bomb blew out all the windows of the Yugoslav Embassy in Canberra. On 23rd November 1971 a bomb caused slight damage to the Adriatic Trade and Tourist Centre - the same one as was bombed on Saturday.
– On Saturday it was the next door premises.
– In any event. I think it is common ground that both of the premises are the property and agencies of the Yugoslav Government. On I Hh January 1972 the base of a statue of a Serbian war time resistance leader was badly damaged by gelignite in Canberra. We have had some Balkan history lessons tonight. Some of them have been accurate and others have been less than accurate. I make the point that it is surely common knowledge from the contributions that we have listened to that General Mihailovic, whose statue was involved, was a leader of the Serbian Chetniks who would naturally draw the ire of Croatian extremists. On 6th April 1972 a bomb destroyed the flat of Mr Marion Jurjevic.
I submit that the mere recital of this list of outrages makes it clear beyond reasonable doubt - I am not suggesting that it establishes a case which could be brought in the courts - on the part of those who are concerned with reasonable political probability that in these bombings is a pattern of anti- Yugoslav Government and anti-Serbian-Croatian separatism, lt is a reasonable assumption for any sophisticated political man - I hope that honourable senators on the other side are included in that definition - to conclude that these are the actions of people who are prepared to take terroristic means to enforce their notion of the idea of a separate Croatia, that is, a Croatia separated from the Yugoslavia of which they disapprove.
We submit that there is in this list abundant proof of the existence of a con.tinuing murderous right wing conspiracy. It is living in political cloud cuckoo land to suggest otherwise. So the answer to the first question that I suggest is agitating the citizens of Australia is that there is in existence, no matter what the reluctant Attorney-General may believe, a right wing Croatian terrorist organisation - call it what you will, because we do not insist on calling it the Ustasha - and that it is responsible for this continuing spate of bombings. ;
As a diversion, but because it has become relevant in the light of the little historical disquisitions that we have had tonight, I did a bit of research, with the assistance of the Research Section of the Parliamentary Library, into the history of the Ustasha and particularly into the history of this man, Ante Pavelic. I will freely concede that nobody on the other side went to bat for Mr Pavelic. He was referred to as a dictator. He was referred to in tones of disapproval. But the appropriate tone in which to refer to Mr Pavelic is one of horror and absolute contempt. Senator Hannan referred to a couple of his pet hates - Stalin and Cromwell. Well. I agree on Stalin who, frankly, is not a man for whom I would make any excuse for the crimes that he committed against his own people.
– He helped to beat Hitler.
– He did, but I believe that the also committed great’ crimes against his own people. Cromwell, I also agree, was a monster. He confined his crimes mostly against the Irish. But Pavelic is right up there in the league of monsters with Genghis Khan, Hitler and all the worst that our species has produced.
To set the record straight I wish to remind honourable senators of a little history of the Ustasha. Even though I agree that we have no hard evidence that the people who are committing these crimes in Sydney could be proved in a court of law to belong to the Ustasha, I think this is a verbal quibble. They are the spiritual heirs of Ante Pavelic and they behave like Nazis and like the Ustasha. If honourable senators will bear with me, I will give them a little history of the Ustasha and of Ante Pavelic. The Ustasha was organised soon after the proclamation of. the Royal Yugoslav dictatorship in .1929 and it operated from bases in Italy and Hungary and committed a number of atrocities in the name of Croatian independence. The Ustasha was led almost from the outset by Ante Pavelic and its members were passionately anti-Serb and anti-semitic. Its aim was to dismember Yugoslavia and fo transform Croatia into a centralised corporate state based on the principles of fascism. The activities of the Ustasha were brought to the attention of a meeting of the League of Nations of 7th December 1934. It is curious to reflect that Australia was represented at that gathering by no less a revolutionary figure than the late Stanley Melbourne Bruce. The main issue at this meeting was the recent assassination of King Alexander, which the Yugoslav Government alleged was committed by Ustasha terrorists. Most people ever since have accepted the idea that the Ustasha was responsible for that death. Yugoslavia alleged that the terrorists were receiving protection from the Hungarian authorities. In its statement to the League Council the Yugoslav Government said:
The camp in Hungary, a school for terrorists, a real criminal depot and the starting point of their action against Yugoslavia, could not exist in any organised country, and especially in a country whose police bear’ so high a reputation, without the consent and assistance of the authorities.
In other documents submitted to the League of Nations the Yugoslav Government referred to Dr Pavelic as ‘the supreme head of the Ustasha’. It was stated that a pact of mutual assistance was concluded in 1929 between Pavelic and other chieftains in Yugoslavia. When Yugoslavia was occupied by the Axis Forces in April 1941, two quisling governments were established, one in Croatia and one in Serbia. By far the most important was the Ustasha state of Croatia. It was proclaimed on 10th April, with German guidance and assistance, by Slavko Kvaternik, a former Colonel of the AustroHungarian Army and an important Ustasha leader. According to the Ustasha ideology, the independent state of Croatia was to be a one nation state and Serbian people in its territory, which numbered about 2 million and comprised of about one third of the population, were to be eliminated partly by conversion to Roman Catholicism, partly by explusion, and partly by what turned out to be the preferred method, extermination. The Ustasha regime went about the realisation of this aim with systematic and ruthless determination. The Jews of Croatia were also a target of the regime’s brutality. The estimated number of persons exterminated by the regime varies between half a million and more than 1 million. One of the most authoritive accounts by J. Tomasevich in Yugoslavia during the Second World War’, published by the University of California in 1969, claims that about 350,000 Serbs alone were indiscriminately slaughtered by the Ustasha. This account states that it also slaughtered many thousands of anti-Ustasha Croats, Jews, and Gypsies. This is relevant on the point I mentioned earler that the fact that Croats had been the victims of some of these outrages does not absolve the Ustasha or some similar organisation. During 1941 and 1942 it pursued a policy of forced conversion, through which between 200,000 and 300,000 members of Serbian Orthodox Church were converted tq Roman Catholicism.
Now, these were npt just ordinary monsters. These people did not belong in the minor league because no less a person than the German diplomat Von Hassell - a German diplomat of World War II - recorded in his diary that the Nazi military commander in Croatia ‘called Marshal Kvaternik to account in the sharpest manner for the incredible cruelties practised by the Croats against the 1,800,000 Serbs’, and even submitted a report oh the subject. He told Kvaternik that in late years he had lived through a great many, thing of this kind but nothing could compare with the misdeeds of the Croats. At the . end of the war the Allies, acknowledging that this had been a monstrous regime, returned to Yugoslavia most of the members of the Ustasha Government of Croatia and some of them, like Kvaternik were tried in Yugoslavia and sentenced to death. The infamous Pavelich, the man who has been referred to with disapproval but, I suggest, not with sufficient horror by the members of the Government, escaped to Argentina, reportedly with the assistance of the Nazi escape organisation ODESSA.
– Not even the Opposition has expressed sufficient horror at the actions of that man.
– I think not. 1 think it is well that it should be on record because, as I say, these are the spiritual forbears of the worst of the Croatian extremists.
– After the honourable senator referred to the colonel being executed 1 think he should have referred to the massacre at Bleiberg
Nothing that I am saying about the horrors perpetrated by Pavelich is to be taken as condonation or approval of or a soft attitude to any of the other monstrosities that were committed during the War. I said quite clearly at the start of my statement tonight that I do not approve of what has happened in the Painters and Dockers Union, that I did not approve of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and that I did not approve of the Stalin purges. I do not want anything I am saying to be interpreted as selective indignation. I am opposed to horrors, pogroms, slaughters and bomb outrages no matter where they occur.
– Violence of all sorts.
– Violence of all sorts. In any event, to complete the monstrous story of Pavelich, he returned finally to Europe and died in Spain in 1959. I apologise for that lengthy digression, but. in the light of, the fact-
– That certainly proves he could not have done the bombing in Sydney the other day because he is not here.
– I am not suggesting that the ghost of Dr Pavelich planted bombs in George Street, Sydney. I had hoped the honourable senator would stick with me for long enough to know that that was not the burden of my remarks. The next point I wish to come to-
– Before you leave that point. I would like to know who was the author of that? Who is your authority?
– I said earlier that this information was extracted for me by the research service of the Parliamentary Library.
– There is no single author for it?
– No, there is not. I do not know whether Senator Little is questioning my veracity by his constant interjections.
Senator Little - No. 1 am just saying that it is just as logical to suggest that every Russian is responsible for Stalin’s crimes and every German for Hitler’s crimes as it is to suggest that every Croat is responsible for Pavelich ‘s crimes. (Honourable senators interjecting)
Acting Deputy President, in the interests of enabling me to continue my remarks, I suggest that something should be done to keep order.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Wood) - Order! Honourable senators should stop arguing among themselves and allow Senator James McClelland to continue his speech.
– The second question that I suggest would be bothering- the citizenry of Sydney and Australia generally is: Are the Commonwealth Police and ASIO - the security organisations of this country - doing their job properly? I suggest that we are entitled to have some doubts on this point when we are reminded as recently as today by the AttorneyGeneral that the documents seized by the police, including the Commonwealth Police, in raids on Croatian residences several weeks ago as yet remain untranslated. Does that indicate any sense Qf urgency about the existence of these terrorists in our midst? We are accustomed to hearing from the Attorney-General as an alibi for the lack of urgent legislation in this Parliament the claim that we do not have enough Parliamentary counsel. But are we to be given the same alibi in this matter? Are there not enough people in this country who understand the Yugoslav language to be pressed into service to translate these documents? Is that seriously put or is the real explanation of the failure to follow up police investigations the fact that the Attorney-General and the Government are not greatly concerned about this problem? I am not suggesting that they are not concerned now. After *all, when bombs go off in George Street, Sydney, this matter is dragged right into the centre of the political arena. I am sure the AttorneyGeneral is concerned now. I am sure Mr McMahon is concerned. But until the matter had been dragged right into the centre of the political arena these people could not find enough translators to translate documents that were seized in police searches.
I have been told, and I have no occasion to doubt it, that ASIO has penetrated deeply into the Communist Party of this country - in fact, that it has agents in the highest organs of the Communist Party. I do not find that at all extraordinary. I do not ask the Attorney-General to confirm or deny this, but does any member of the Senate regard it as an unbelievable proposition? Why do we not have similar enterprise in relation to right wing organisations. Is it beyond the wit of our security organisations to find people among tho Yugoslav community whom they could plant in the various Croatian liberation movements? Is that impermissable conduct in relation to right wing organisations but permissable conduct in relation to left wing organisations? I suggest that this is another illustration of the bias and the selectivity of the Government that prevents it from being an efficient investigator of the situation.
It has been suggested that a Senate committee is not an appropriate body to conduct this task. We freely agree that it is not the most appropriate body.
– Then why put the proposal up?
Because we believe that we cannot trust this Government and, on their record, we cannot trust the Commonwealth Police or ASIO to do the job. Sixteen bombings have occurred and all we have witnessed is a constant throwing up of hands and a disclaimer of any possibility of their solution. Do we not, as people who are concerned with the safety of the streets of our city and of our fellow countrymen, have to look around for an alternative means of solving this problem? The Government says that we should leave it to those people who have not been able to come up with anything for 8 or 10 years and that a Senate committee is not an appropriate body to conduct an investigation. We acknowledge that it is not the most appropriate body to do it. But we have to do something. We have also said that if the Government agrees to a more appropriate body conducting it we will forget about this proposition. If the
Government were to do as the Prime Minister has suggested, but with which the Attorney-General does not agree-
– How does the honourable senator know?
Attorney-General has not agreed, has he?
– You have not asked him.
– We have asked him. I put it right on the line to Senator Jessop. Does the honourable senator agree with the holding of a royal commission?
– I believe that that would be a better way of doing it.
– But does the honourable senator agree with that proposition. If he does we will wipe this one.
– We will see what the evidence is.
– I suggest that if Senator Jessop is as vague about his intentions as that he should cease interjecting. We say that the security organisations and the police forces of this country are the most appropriate bodies to investigate this matter. But we say that if they are not being sufficiently driven by the Government to do their job properly - they have had 8 years and they have come up with nothing - we have to look to the alternatives. We say that the second best alternative is a Senate committee. The best alternative is a royal commission. But if we cannot receive an assurance from the Government that it will have a royal commission we will have to settle for a Senate standing committee.
Other shortcomings have been suggested about a Senate committee hearing. The Attorney-General said that at a Senate committee nearing people can be defamed and people’s names can be ruined with no chance of reply. I suggest that the AttorneyGeneral and, of course, Senator Jessop who is much more experienced in these matters, know that a Senate standing committee has the right and the power to take evidence in camera. If names were being bandied about, presumably such evidence could be taken in camera. I suggest that this committee might also have a precious advantage which would overcome a matter which the Government claims has been bedevilling its efforts to solve these problems up to now. What have we heard from speaker after speaker? We have heard that crimes in the community generally remain unsolved because people will not come forward and volunteer information. When a terrorist organisation is operating in this community people who have information would be understandably reluctant to come forward with that information, especially newcomers who might not sufficiently appreciate the degree of protection to which they are entitled from the law enforcement agencies of this country. It is just possible that if they had assurances of protection from the sovereign body of this country, the Parliament of Australia, we could cut the Gordian knot. People who would not be prepared to volunteer information to the police force would come forward to one of our committees.
– That happened in relation to the Senate Select Committee on Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse.
Senator Devitt says, information has been volunteered to committees. This is one of the great merits of the committee system. Our committees, such as the Senate Select Committee on Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse and the Senate Select Committee on Securities and Exchange have unearthed information which, I suggest with respect, would not have been forthcoming to any other agency in this country. Is it not just possible that if we cannot have a Royal Commission - which I agree would be preferable - the next best thing is to have a standing committee of this Senate investigate this matter? As I say, people might come forward who have not been prepared to come forward up to now.
This brings me to the last point which I wish to raise. I suggest that this point is agitating the minds of citizens of this country. It is: What is the attitude of this Government to uncovering this plot, to solving this problem? I suggest that we on this side of the chamber have amply demonstrated that beyond peradventure, beyond all reasonable doubt, these bombings are the work of an extremist, right wing Croatian terrorist organisation - call it what you like. But this Government and its law enforcement agencies which had no difficulty in throwing a few Aborigines off the lawns - a problem which is well out of its reach - finds itself completely balked by the problem of solving this much more important matter which involves threats to the lives and property of Australians and of people who have taken refuge in this country, people who have come to this country believing that it will be safe, and the representatives in this country of a sovereign state. Are not the people of Australia entitled to ask how sincere and determined is this Government in its efforts to crush these terrorists? 1 have quoted the Minister for Social Services (Mr Wentworth), the Minister for the Navy (Dr Mackay) and the Attorney-General. I think I have demonstrated beyond contradiction that this. Government is not convinced of what its. Department of Foreign Affairs and every newspaper in the country is abundantly convinced of, that is, that these outrages are the work of a right wing organised Croatian movement.
– What: would the newspapers know about it?
– The honourable senator asks ‘ what the newspapers would know about it. This is an example of selectivity. “How does the honourable senator know anything about what is happening in the Painters and Dockers Union except what he has read in the newspapers? Why does he believe those stories but refuse to believe these stories?
– I know some of the members.
– I am not denying what happens there. I am asking the honourable, senator why he chooses to believe one report but not the other. But out of habit, out of a reflex action, this Government either directly or by implication blames the communists for everything. That is why we do not trust the Attorney-General or this Government to take action on any report, if they get one from their foot dragging police Or the security ‘ organisation.
– The honourable senator is denigrating the police now.
– No, I am hot. I suggest that the police are only as determined-
– ‘Foot dragging’ is a nice term. It is like ‘shyster solicitor’.
– All right. Let me give the senator an example of the way in which the police can be influenced by a government. The year before last there were some demonstrations in connection with the moratorium. I know that honourable senators opposite regard them as the work of the devil but, nonetheless, there were separate moratorium demonstrations in several cities. One was held in Melbourne where there was no sooling on by the Government. It was entirely peaceful. One was held in Sydney on the eve of a State election in which Mr Askin, the Premier of New South Wales, sooled on the police. This was evidenced by the fact that the police put the boot into the demonstrators without any provocation whatsoever. This is a matter of record. I have witnessed this myself. I suggest that the attitude of the police force can be, and as a matter of practice is, influenced by the riding instructions it gets and by the attitude of the government which is ultimately responsible for police action. I have been accused of being over denigratory of the Attorney-General in the past. I say to him quite sincerely that not for one moment am I suggesting that he approves of the bombings. He is probably very disturbed about them.
– Of course he is.
– I agree with that. I do not put it as high as suggesting that he applauds this sort of thing, nor do I suggest that the Government does. But what I suggest in all seriousness is that the political blinkers which this Government wears blind it to the political realities and disqualify it from the job of solving this urgent and horrible problem. For that reason I commend this motion to the Senate.
Motion (by Senator Greenwood) proposed:
That the question be now put.
– The Senate has not even heard the reply.
– Order! There can be no debate.
– I move that so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the debate proceeding–
– I rise to order. Standing order 431 states that the closure is a motion which shall be put without discussion. The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate has no right to speak to the motion.
– Is the Minister afraid for the debate to proceed?
– Order! I must uphold the Standing Orders. The Standing Orders state that the question must be put without debate. Therefore I put the question–
– I move - Mr President, you can rule me out order if you wish.
– I am not ruling the Leader of the Oposition out of order.
– I move:
That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the debate from proceeding.
– Standing Order 431 lists the motions which are not open to debate. One of them is That the question be now put’. It also states that it shall be moved without argument or opinion offered. The Leader of the Opposition has no right to move a motion after the motion has been put.
– I repeat that I must uphold the Standing Orders. 1 have no discretion. The Standing Orders require me to put the question without debate. Therefore I now put the question.
That the question be now put.
The Senate divided. (The President - Senator Sir Magnus Cormack)
Majority . . . . 5
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Question put -
That the motion (Senator Murphy’s) be agreed to.
The Senate divided. (The President - Senator Sir Magnus Cormack)
Majority . . . . 5
Question so resolved in the negative.
– Order! It being after 10.30 p.m., in conformity with the sessional order relating to the adjournment of the Senate, I formally put the question:
That the Senate do now adjourn.
– I apologise for delaying the Senate but I feel it is necessary to do so in view of representations that have been made to me on the plight of fruit growers in the Goulburn Valley in the northern areas of Victoria. I have received a statement from a representative fruit grower on this question in which he refers to the present tree-pull scheme, that is, the scheme for which the Commonwealth Government is providing some assistance with the help of the States in order to lower production by reducing the number of orchards. I am informed by this representative fruit grower that the present grass roots opinion of the tree-pull scheme is that it is being implemented in such a way that it will make no. difference to the overproduction problem because few growers will be able to take advantage of it. The bankrupt grower will have to leave his farm in any case, but now there will be some money for him to pay part of his debts to the chemical companies; but the grower who has enough liquidity to carry on and who is in a position to take some acres of trees out of production and to diversify will not get the financial help he needs to make such action possible.
It costs a lot of money to take out trees and to redevelop the land and the present State and Commonwealth delay will mean that the fruit is on the trees before the enabling legislation to pull them is passed. The second point is that there is considerable dissatisfaction at the allocation of quotas, that is for the acceptance of fruit from the different growers. I am not in the position to question the present system which I understand is operated by the canneries; it may be quite fair and just, but there is a lot of doubt and dissension among growers on this question. The suggestion has been made to me that it ought to be possible to do what is done in the assignment system in the sugar cane industry whereby each sugar refinery has on display a map of the growing area showing each grower’s assignment, and there is a central council to which appeals can be made. There is also written into the scheme a statement that overriding consideration will be given to the principle of the living area. The northern fruit growers have for years conducted a cost of production survey which could give a factual basis for such an arrangement. I think that is a constructive suggestion. I will not delay the Senate except to say that 2 propositions have been put forward. I believe that the fruit industry in the north is in a very difficult and dangerous situation, and I hope that urgent action will be taken to consider the matters I have raised.
– During the debate today Senator Hannan referred to one, Marjan Jurjevic, as a spy and a traitor and said he had fought in the Nazi Army. As Senator Hannan has left the chamber I give notice that I will take this matter up on the adjournment debate tomorrow night since I was deprived of the opportunity of doing so during the debate tonight by the application of the gag.
– Senator Georges, you may not raise on the motion for the adjournment any matter that was under debate earlier in the day.
– I would like your guidance on this, Mr President. A man was today defamed and I think it is necessary-
– You may use the forms of the Senate to raise this matter on a subsequent occasion.
– I will seek the advice of the Clerk. Thank you.
– In reply to the matter which Senator McManus has raised on the adjournment debate, I point out that the honourable senator today asked me a question relating to the same subject matter. He has tonight given much more detailed information and since it will be reported in Hansard, I will draw it to the attention of the Minister for Primary Industry and will let him take from there.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 10.47 p.m.
The following answers to questions upon notice were circulated:
asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:
Senator GREENWOOD- The Acting Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
The following are the names of the organisations which do not provide home nursing rebates:
New South Wales
Australian Chilling & Freezing Co. Ltd Medical Benefits Scheme.
Australasian Conference Association Limited.
Australian Holy Catholic Guild of St Mary and St Joseph Registered Friendly Benefit Society
Broken Hill and District Hospital Contribution Fund.
Bulli District Hospital Contribution Fund.
Cessnock District Hospital Contribution Fund.
Coledale District Hospital Patient’s Contribution Fund.
Hibernian Australasian Catholic Benefit Society of New South Wales.
Hunter Medical Benefit Fund Limited.
Independent Order of Oddfellows of the State of New South Wales.
Kurri Kurri Maitland Hospital Contribution Fund.
Mechanics’ Medical Assurance Scheme.
N.S.W. Railway and Transport Employees’ Hospital Fund.
Northern District Miners’ Medical Fund.
Sydney Morning Herald Hospital Fund.
Wollongong Hospital Contribution Fund.
Tramways Benefit Society.
United Ancient Order of Druids.
Wonthaggi and District Hospital Benefit Fund.
Advertiser Provident Society.
Norseman District Hospital and Medical Fund. Pemberton Medical Accident and Hospital Fund. Yarloop District Medical and Ancillary Fund.
No. However, it should be noted that, under the Home Nursing Subsidy Act, the Commonwealth provides direct financial assistance to approved home nursing organisations. For the financial year 1971-72, a total of $1,835,215 was paid to 115 such organisations. The rate of subsidy is reviewed from time to time and. as announced in the 1972-73 Budget, the rates have been increased with effect from 1 September 1972. For eligible organisations established before the commencement of the Scheme, the annual subsidy is increased from $3,200 to $4,300 for each registered nurse employed in excess of the number employed at 30 September 1956. For eligible organisations established after this date, the annual subsidy is increased from $1,600 to $2,150 for each registered nurse employed.
New South Wales
Single visits (i.e. no further visits that day or afterwards)-
Monday to Friday - $4.90.
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday - $6.10.
Daily visits -
Monday to Friday - $3.70 first hour or part thereof; $1.85 each subsequent hour or part thereof.
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays - $4.60 first hour or part thereof; $2.40 each subsequent hour or part thereof.
Monday to Friday - $2.10 per hour first 10 hours; $2.25 per hour each hour in excess of 10 hours.
Weekends) - $2.50 per hour.
Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. - $2.50 per hour or part thereof. 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. - $3.00 per hour or part thereof.
Weekends and Public Holidays 8 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Monday - $3.50 per hour or part thereof.
Public Holidays - $3.50 per hour or part thereof:
Monday to Friday
Before 8 p.m. - $2.00 per hour or part thereof; $1.70 each subsequent hour or part thereof!
After 8 p.m. - Same as per weekends.
Weekends and Public Holidays
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays - $2.50 per hour or part thereof; $1.70 each subsequent hour or part thereof.
Injections or Dressings Only $1.00 per visit.
Basic Home Nursing Rates 40 hour week - $2.07 per hour- after 40 hours normal overtime rates.
Morning - $2.07 per hour plus 15 per cent.
Afternoon and Evening - Same as morning rate plus a further 71/2 per cent.
Weekends- $3.81 per hour.
Visit for Injections 1st visit - $1.70.
Day visit 1st visit- $3.40 per hour.
Night visit 1st visit - $4.00 per hour.
In all the above cases the second or subsequent visit on the same day is $2.70 per hour.
Injections - Hypodermic 1st visit- $1.70. 2nd visit, same day - $2.70.
Australian Capital Territory
Single visits for injection - $2.20.
Visit for sponging patients, dressing and getting patient out of bed, etc. - 1 hour visit- $2.60. 2 consecutive hours - $5.00. 3 consecutive hours - $7.00. 4 consecutive hours - $8.00.
Charge per hour over 4 hours - $2.00 per hour.
asked the Minis ter representing the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:
Senator GREENWOOD- The Minister for Immigration has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
These migrants are then subject to the normal provisions concerning housing, social services, etc., in common with all other assisted migrants.
asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:
Senator GREENWOOD- The Acting Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
asked the Minister representing the Post master-General, upon notice:
Senator GREENWOOD- The PostmasterGeneral has provided the. following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
The outcome of these discussions was that the Council for the Arts provided financial assistance to 4 television pilot programmes and 4 scriptwriters. The Board is prepared to undertake further activity of this nature.
The question of further variations in the requirements is being kept under constant review by the Board. The Board has always provided stations with approximately 12 months notice before requiring them to meet new or changed conditions so that the necessary programme production arrangements might be made. The Board will assess the effect of the latest increase before making further changes.
asked the Minister representing the Minis ter for Housing, upon notice:
What has been the average price of land purchased by the War Service Homes Commission in each of the capital cities in Australia in each of the last 5 years.
Senator WRIGHT-The Minister for Housing has supplied the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
The average price per acre of unsubdivided land purchased for the purposes of the War Service Homes Act in each of the capital cities in Australia in each of the last 5 years was as follows:
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:
Will the Minister submit to the Senate the facts laid before the Australian Agricultural Council which led the Council to believe that there was a shortage of table margarine in Australia.
Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN- The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’ question:
Margarine production quotas are fixed by State legislation. The Commonwealth has no constitutional authority to impose production quotas. To ensure co-ordination amongst the States in the operation of the production quotas a longstanding agreement exists amongst Stale Ministers of Agriculture that they will not increase their quotas without first discussing the position with other States through the Australian Agricultural Council.
At the last meeting of the Australian Agricultural Council the Tasmanian Minister gave notice that Tasmania wished to increase its guota from 312 tons to515 tons. In support of this proposal it was pointed out that it had been necessary to import table margarine into the State to meet demand and the Tasmanian Government felt it was unrealistic to expect that quotas fixed in 1956 should remain unchanged particularly as there has been an increase in population of 22 per cent. Some other States pointed to the factthat their quotas had also remained unchanged for many, years during which they had also experienced population increases.
The Council agreed in principle that the quotas of the States should be reviewed but that any increase should be postponed pending consideration by the State Directors of Agriculture as to the basis for adjustment and new levels to be adopted. The findings of the State Directors are to be considered by the Council as soon as practicable.
It was also decided that the State Directors should also report on whether new definition and labelling requirements are needed for consumer protection and whether action should be taken to prevent misleading promotion of some types of margarine.
asked the Minis ter representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:
Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN- The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
The only ban which has been placed on the export of meat by the Company in the past 4 years has been the withdrawal of authorisation for the premises at Riverstone to export to the United States of America. The ban took effect from 13th May 1970 and is still in force. Exports of meat from the Riverstone premises to other overseas destinations were not affected. The withdrawal of authorisation to export meat to the
United States of America was made by the Department of Primary Industry at the request of the United Slates authorities. The principal grounds were multiple and extensive structural and facility deficiencies related to obsolescence.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:
Senator GREENWOOD- The Minister for Social Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
Under the provisions of the Public Service Act, the promotion of officers to departmental positions under the Permanent Head is the responsibility of the Permanent Head and the Public Service Board, rather than the Minister. It would, therefore, not be appropriate for me to intervene in departmental staffing matters or attempt to influence particular promotion decisions.
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:
– The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
asked the Minis ter representing the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:
Does an agreement exist between Australia and New Zealand for reciprocity of Social Service rights; if not, is New Zealand one of the countries with which Australia is seeking to achieve portability of pension rights.
Senator GREENWOOD- The Minister for Social Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
Australia has a comprehensive reciprocal social security agreement with New Zealand. The New Zealand authorities have been informed of the proposals for portability of Australian pensions and it may be that the existing reciprocal agreement could be changed in the future.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:
Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The
Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
– On 17th August Senator Cavanagh asked me the following question without notice:
I desire to ask a question of .the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service. I ask: When ls it’ proposed, as was promised by the Attorney-General in the debate on the last amendment to the Conciliation and Arbitration Act, to introduce amendments to that Act to overcome the difficulties now being encountered as a result of a court decision in the case known as Moore versus Doyle?
In the course of my reply I said that an early opportunity would be taken by either the Attorney-General or myself to give the honourable senator any further information that is available. The Minister for Labour and National Service has provided me with the following information:
The Working Party established to give detailed consideration to the problems discussed by the Commonwealth Industrial Court’s judgment in Moore v. Doyle has completed its discussions and its report is in the course of preparation. As soon as this becomes available the Government will consider the Working Party’s recommendations on amendments to the Conciliation and Arbitration Act. However, it would not be possible during the current sittings of Parliament to introduce such amendments. It is expected that any amendments the Government decides on would be introduced as soon as possible in the next Parliament.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 19 September 1972, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1972/19720919_senate_27_s53/>.