28th Parliament · 1st Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Honourable Sir Magnus Cormack) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
– I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move:
That leave be given to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946-60.
– I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move:
Whether there is justification for not immediately employing the MV ‘Straitsman’ to operate shipping services between King Island, Stanley, and Melbourne, having regard to:
for operation by the Australian National Line;
Any other consideration considered relevant by the committee.
– I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move:
That a Message be sent to the House of Representatives requesting theHouse to resume consideration of Senate’s Message No. 153 of 6th May 1971 which conveyed for the consideration of the House the following resolution which had been agreed to by the Senate: “That the Senate-
Believing that the decision as to the site of the new and permanent Parliament House is and remains the responsibility of those members of the Senate and the House of Representatives who constitute the Parliament of the Commonwealth;
Recommends that a joint sitting of the two Houses or other form of general conference be convened to express, by resolution, the point of view of the assembled members of the Parliament as between Capital Hill and the Camp Hill area;
Recommends further for the consideration of the House of Representatives -
Invites Members of the House of Representatives to join with Senators in the Senate Chamber or such other place as may be determined by Mr President and Mr Speaker for the purpose of the joint meeting;
And further invites the House of Representatives to suggest any alternative to or modification of the Senate’s proposal, with a view to the convening of a joint meeting of members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to determine finally the question where the new and permanent Parliament House be situated’.
– I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move:
That leave be given to bring in a Bill for an Act to terminate estate duty.
Croatian Terrorism and Related Matters Senator WITHERS (Western AustraliaLeader of the Opposition) (3.4) - I move:
I will be quite brief in what I have to say about this motion, Mr President. Since last Friday week the Senate and the public at large have been awaiting the making of such a statement. Certain statements have been made in the media in which it has been canvassed that certain persons in this place could have their political or personal reputations put at stake. This is a statement which ought to be made as early as possible. Therefore I commend the motion to the Senate.
– Mr President, I would be quite happy if the ordinary course of con ducting business were to be proceeded with, that is, if honourable senators were to ask questions of Ministers about any matters that concern them. I also would be quite happy to proceed to the making of the statement which I had intended to ask the Senate to allow me leave to make. The only difficulty I see is the difficulty occasioned by the passage of a few moments while certain documents are brought into the chamber to me. I did not anticipate that it would be necessary to have them available right away. Perhaps I can table those documents at the end of my statement. [ accede to the proposition that has been put by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Withers).
Question resolved in the affirmative.
– Mr President, I seek leave to make a statement on Croatian terrorism, to table documents in relation to that subject and to have incorporated in Hansard a summary of the documents.
– Is leave granted?
– Mr President-
– Are you refusing leave?
– No, I am not refusing leave. Although I am prepared to allow such a statement to be put down without the normal 2 hours notice being given, I do not know whether I should permit documents which I have not seen to be incorporated in Hansard. Senator Murphy has asked for leave to do several things. The Opposition will grant leave to his making a statement. But, as to the other matters, I think he ought to wait until he has made his statement before asking for leave. I do not think he needs leave to table documents. He has the right to table documents. Therefore I do not see why he has sought leave in that respect. But I think we ought to deal with any request to incorporate documents at the moment he seeks leave to incorporate them. We certainly give leave to Senator Murphy to make a statement.
– Mr President, I want to put evidence before the Senate in a convenient form. There is a table of that evidence. I do not see why, even at this stage, the Leader of the Opposition (Senator
Withers) should be placing difficulties in the way of my doing so. However, I will do the best I can. 1 will proceed now, if there is no objection.
– ls leave granted for Senator Murphy to make a statement on Croatian terrorism? There being no objection, leave is granted.
– I have never accepted the proposition that we must get used to political terrorism, involving bombings, murder, intimidation and that democratic governments are powerless to suppress such activities. That such actions have occurred in Australia with increasing frequency in recent years is beyond dispute. There was a curious defeatism and lack of initiative in successive Liberal governments’ reaction to these outrages. Honourable senators will recall that, throughout the last session of the last Parliament, the former Attorney-General was asked a great number of questions by Labor senators about the activities of Croatian extremists in Australia. A constant theme in his answers was that, although there were undoubtedly individual Croatian extremists in Australia who were prepared to resort to the most violent methods in alleged furtherance of their cause, there was no credible evidence that any Croatian revolutionary terrorist organisation existed in Australia. For example in the Senate on 24th August 1972, he said: the searches and investigations carried out by the Commonwealth Police hitherto have not been able to discover any evidence of an organisation.
He again repeated this assertion on 19th September 1972 in answer to a question from Senator Douglas McClelland (Hansard, page 894). lt is important to remember that the time when these questions were being asked and answered was a time of great public concern about terrorism.
The reasons for this were twofold. Firstly, in June 1972, a group of 19 Croatian terrorists crossed into Yugoslavia from Austria and engaged in terrorist activities in Bosnia. Six were Australian citizens and 3 others had previously lived in Australia. As a result the Yugoslav Government presented a strongly worded aide-memoire to the Australian Government alleging, inter alia, that the headquarters of the HRB (Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood) were located in Australia, that the Australian Government had provided shelter for the ringleaders (who were named) and that the HRB, which had been thought by the Australian authorities to have been defunct for some years, had been reorganised early in 1972 as the HIRO (Croatian Illegal Revolutionary Organisation).
Following receipt of this aide-memoire, the Commonwealth and State police conducted a series of raids in Melbourne and Sydney during the month of August and a great deal of material was seized. It is to be assumed that the first law officer of Australia, the AttorneyGeneral, would be kept informed by the police of the Tes u Its of their investigations, especially as he continued to be closely questioned in the Senate about Croatian extremist activities. And, indeed, he admitted on 19th September 1972 (Hansard, page 902) that he had seen a lot of material in the possession of the Commonwealth Police.
– I rise on a point of order. It is the usual practice when a ministerial statement of even moderate significance is made copies are circulated to honourable senators. Are copies not available?
– I wish to speak to the point of order. How can anyone expect the Attorney-General to produce copies of his statement when the Opposition has asked him to make his speech some hours before he intended to do so?
– Order! I have made inquiries about this matter. Because it has been brought on much earlier than was anticipated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, only 25 copies have been run off. So honourable senators will have to share the copies that we have. I am quite sure that honourable senators on the Government side of the chamber will be happy to hand their copies to senators on the Opposition side.
– 1 join in the protest which has been offered by Senator Wright. I do so because it is obvious from statements which have appeared in the Press over the past 2 days that members of the Press have received from Senator Murphy’s office copies of the statement which he proposed to make. The Press was able to state categorically what Senator Murphy intended to say. I make a strong protest that members of the Press have been supplied with copies of the proposed statement but honourable senators have not.
– Order! When a Minister makes a statement it is customary to circulate copies of the statement. There are not enough copies. 1 have asked members on the
Government side, if they have copies, to surrender them to honourable senators on the Opposition side. I understand that a sufficient number of copies is now available and they will be distributed to all honourable senators immediately.
– The second factor which highlighted the question of Croat terrorism in Australia and which attracted special attention from the Commonwealth and State police was the occurrence of 2 bombing incidents in Sydney on 16th September 1972 involving premises and persons connected with the Yugoslav community. These incidents left unaltered the then AttorneyGeneral’s statement that there was no organised terrorism among the Croatian community in Australia. One must assume also that the Attorney-General would have known that a cache of explosives and documents had been discovered in the Warburton Ranges outside Melbourne about the middle of 1972 and that amongst these documents were several stating the aims and objects of an Ustasha-type organisation known as HIRO (Croatian Illegal Revolutionary Organisation). This is the very organisation to which the Yugoslav Government’s aide-memoire made reference. However, when the Senate rose on 27th October 1972, neither the Attorney-General nor any Other member of the Liberal Government had produced any evidence of the existence in Australia of organised Croatian terrorism and it held firmly to the position that no such evidence existed.
On taking over the office of AttorneyGeneral, I considered it my duty to find out for myself whether this was true and to inform the Senate and the people of Australia of the facts. The impending visit to this country of the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia gave special urgency to this investigation since, if the true picture was different from that painted by the previous Government, the present Government was entitled to entertain grave fears for the safety of our distinguished guest and would be in duty bound to take adequate precautions for his safety. I am now in a position to state categorically that the Liberal Attorney-General’s oft-repeated assertion that there is no credible evidence of the existence in Australia of organised Croatian extremism cannot be sustained. The contrary is true and was true at the time he made such statements.
The evidence - overwhelming evidence - is to be found in documents which I am about to table.
These documents come from the files of the Attorney-General’s Department, the Commonwealth Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. I point out that although some of the documents tabled contain a classification stamp such as ‘secret’ or ‘confidential’ they are no longer so. They have all been declassified and no breach of security is involved in tabling them. In contrast to the last Government’s policy of trying to sweep this problem under the rug, we propose to bring it into the full light of day. I now table the documents. These documents establish beyond doubt that Croatian terrorist organisations have existed and do exist in Australia today. There is incontestable evidence that 3 extreme Croatian terrorist organisations exist in Australia today. They are the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood (HRB); the United Croats of West Germany (UHNj); and the Croatian Illegal Revolutionary Organisation (HI RO). There are 2 youth organisations that have very revolutionary aims and have been used as recruiting grounds for the 3 extreme terrorist organisations. These youth organisations are the Croatian Youth (HM) and the World League of Croatian Youths (SHUMS) There are 2 umbrella type general organisations which by their publications, training camps, discussion groups, funds and close links with their national organisations provide the climate for the forming of the inspiration to the youth groups and the extreme terrorist organisations. These umbrella organisations are the Croation Liberation Movement (HOP) with its official Ustasha movement within it (UHRO) and the Croatian National Resistance (HNO) and its Croatian Armed Forces (HOS). Also tabled is a summary of the documents which 1 seek leave to have incorporated.
– Is leave granted?
Opposition Senators - No
– Leave is not granted. This question has been raised before and 1 have ruled that matter should not be incorporated in Hansard before honourable senators have had a chance to see it.
– The summary contains, inter alia, the report of the Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Commonwealth Police force dated 6th March 1968; papers about the notorious Andric brothers; papers about Jure Marie including the structure of the Croatian troika terrorist cell, a selfcontained group of 3 terrorists consisting of an intelligence officer, a scout and an explosives expert; documents concerning all of the Croatian organisations I have mentioned; and documents indicating links with overseas terrorist organisations as well as other related documents. lt is impossible to draw any other conclusion from the evidence than that Senator Greenwood, on the most charitable view of his conduct, displayed an irresponsible indifference to information which was available to him and which proved up to the hilt the seriousness of the problem to which Labor senators repeatedly attempted to alert him. Let me give a striking example. The Yugoslav aide-memoire was received by the Australian Government on 16th August 1972. Among those named in the aide-memoire as being one of the ringleaders of Croatian terrorism i3 one Jure Marie. He was already well known to the Commonwealth Police. He first came under notice in 1963 after a group of 6 Croatian terrorists, allegedly from Australia, entered Yugoslavia illegally for the stated purpose of waging a guerrilla campaign against the regime. Marie was linked with the organisation of this incursion.
Investigations conducted over a period of 4 years established the existence in Australia of a terrorist organisation known as the HRB (Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood). Marie was one of its leaders. After a number of police raids in 1967, including on Marie’s premises, the HRB appeared to become moribund in a formal organisational sense, although as we now know it continued to operate through troikas or cells. However, Marie continued to be the subject of scrutiny by the Commonwealth Police and a possible prosecution of him under the Commonwealth Crimes Act was considered in October 1970. He was also the subject of memoranda from the Commonwealth Police to the AttorneyGeneral’s Department on 9th August 1971 and 12th September 1972. In view of the questioning in the Senate to which he was being submitted at the time one assumes that the former Attorney-General would have seen these memoranda.
Marie was one of those whose premises were searched by the Commonwealth Police under warrant on 22nd August 1972, following receipt by the Australian Government of the aide-memoire from the Yugoslav Government in which he was named. Among the documents seized were a detailed map of the area where the Bosnian guerrillas had illegally entered the country, a letter discussing an initial ruling body of an independent Croatia including, significantly, the name Rover of whom more later, and a receipt from Wollongong Post Office for the transmission of a registered postal article to one Vegar at Offenburg, Austria; (Vegar was one of the guerrillas killed in the Bosnian operation); a bank slip issued by the ANZ Bank. Wollongong, acknowledging transmission of money to Vegar; a letter detailing future plans for the recruitment of volunteers to Australia for further incursions into Yugoslavia. One of the letters signed refers to the fact that the ‘financial resources of the organisation which we took with us from Victoria as well as those received later, have now been used up’. Does this sound like an individual operating independently of an organisation? The Commonwealth Police certainly did noi think so. Their conclusion is as follows:
The evidence contained in this document when taken into consideration with that enumerated in the aforementioned memorandum of 7 November 1972, would seem to irrefutably implicate Jure Marie with a Croatian Nationalist Organisation which apparently exists in both Australia and Europe and which has been engaged in an attempt to overthrow the recognised Government of Yugoslavia. It is also considered that, regardless of what this organisation is called, it is in fact a resurgence of the former Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood (HRB) and appears to involve a number of persons who were previously identified as members of the HRB. As you will recall in our initial assessment of the allegations made in the Yugoslav aide-memoire presented on 16 August 1972, we expressed ‘serious concern about the possible existence of a clandestine terrorist organisation in Australia’. We also stated, inter alia: With regard to the allegations about the HRB, I would draw your attention to our earlier reports (reference 224/283 headed Croatian Nationalist Activities in Australia, dated 5 July 1972, and reference X.61, headed Srecko Blaz Rover, born 3 February 1920, Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, dated 20 April 1972) indicating the possible resurgence of a HRB type organisation. In the past it has generally been assumed that the HRB as such ceased to operate as an organisation in Australia circa 1967-1968. In the light of intelligence gathered by this Force over the past nine months, the allegations of its continued existence by the Yugoslav Government must be taken seriously.
The police report from which J have quoted is dated 23rd November 1972. However, a preliminary report on documents seized from Marie, Rover and others was made by the Acting Commissioner of Commonwealth Police to the Attorney-General’s Department on 12th September 1972 and the AttorneyGeneral would undoubtedly have seen this report. Though all the seized documents had not been translated at this stage, there were references to maps, to the receipt for the transmission of money to Vegar and to handwritten items relating to the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood and the organisational infrastructure of a troika group. In short, on or soon after 12th September 1972, the then Attorney-General was in possession of evidence that the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood had been revived, was functioning actively, and was associated with the June incursion into Yugoslavia which had been the subject of complaint in the Yugoslav Government’s aide-memoire of 16th August 1972. Yet on 19th September 1972 he returned to his denials of the existence of any Croatian terrorist organisation in Australia and never resiled from that standpoint throughout the life of the Parliament.
A responsible Attorney-General, aware of Marie’s past role as a leader of HRB, aware of the fact that Marie had been named as a terrorist in the Yugoslav document, aware of the anxieties about the resurgence of Croatian terrorism expressed almost daily by Labor senators, would surely not have reacted to the raid on Marie’s premises and the seizure of documents 1 have referred to in the way in which Senator Greenwood reacted. Let us examine his conduct in this matter in some detail, since it is symptomatic of the previous Government’s attitude to the problem. The first point to note is that the raid on Marie, and other suspected terrorists, was not made at the Attorney-General’s instigation. On 23rd August, the day after the raids, in reply to a question from Senator O’Byrne, he stated in part:
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. The searches which were made yesterday by Commonwealth Police officers, together with State Police officers, were not directed towards obtaining any such evidence . . . I should state that the searches yesterday were made as part of a police investigation and were made without my knowledge.
I think that honourable senators may remember the anger with which that was expressed. Parliament rose on 27th October without any information being given to the Senate about the contents of the seized documents. Marie had been named as a terrorist in the Yugoslav Government protest presented to the Australian Government on 16th August 1972. A bland interim reply was given to the Yugoslav Government on 20th October 1972, mentioning that the matter was being investigated but making no admissions about the presence of Croatian terrorist organisations in our midst, even though evidence of the existence of such organisations was in the possession of the Attorney-General when the interim reply was given. No further reply to these allegations was ever made by the Liberal Government to the Yugoslav Government. Yet the conclusion reached by the Commonwealth Police and conveyed to the Attorney-General’s Department as early as 17th August 1972. was in these words:
That is the aide-memoire - does contain a core of almost irrebuttable fact.
In addition, the Director-General of ASIO on 7th September 1972 stated in reference to the aide-memoire in a letter to the AttorneyGeneral’s Department:
Also in general terms, some of the information is almost certainly inaccurate; other portions contain elements of truth but appear exaggerated; and yet other statements are well-based. Overall the Aide Memoire and enclosures contain sufficient accurate material to suggest that it would be ill-advised to dismiss the allegations as either exaggeration or fabrication until such time as the results of current inquiries are known.
ASIO never retreated from that stand and subsequently agreed with me that the aide-memoire contained a core of irrebuttable truth. And yet, on 19th September, the Attorney-General said in this place:
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?
It had taken the then Attorney-General only a month to forget the Commonwealth Police’s core of almost irrebuttable fact’, and less than a fortnight to forget the cautionary advice of ASIO.
In one of the many debates on this subject last year Senator Greenwood indignantly asked me - Hansard, page 925 - whether I gave greater credence to the allegations of the Yugoslav Government than to the statements which he had made. The answer is: Yes, and so do the Commonwealth Police and ASIO. As though the evidence I have already supplied were not enough to convict the last Government, through its Attorney-General, of misleading the Parliament and the nation, of deceiving a friendly foreign power, of imperilling the lives of Australian citizens by shutting its eyes to the evidence of organised terrorism, there is yet another, perhaps more glaring example of the existence of a dangerous, violent Croatian revolutionary terrorist organisation in Australia.
This organisation, separate and distinct from the HRB - the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood - is the Australian Branch of the UHN- the League of United Croats of West Germany. Its leader in Germany is one Ante Vukic whom our Commonwealth Police considered such a dangerous man that they advised the Department of Immigration against granting him a permit to visit Australia in May 1972. The organisation in Germany was associated over the last decade with attempted murders of Yugoslav officials and attacks on Yugoslav embassies and employed strong-arm squads to threaten other Croats living in Germany for the purpose of either conscripting them into the organisation or extracting financial contributions.
A branch of this murderous organisation was formed in Sydney around June 1971 and its membership and activities were well known to the Commonwealth Police. Its meetings, ironically enough, are or were held in the Ulster Room of the Irish National Association Hall in Devonshire Street, Sydney. Its leader is a man with a particularly violent record named Jakov Suljak. His name will certainly not come as a surprise to the former AttorneyGeneral since he wrote to the senator on 25th October 1972, after being arrested on a charge of assault and mentioned in the course of his letter that he had also been accused of the ‘city bombings’, an obvious reference to the bombings in Sydney on 16th September 1972.
In June 1969 Suljak was jailed in South Australia for a period of 9 months for 2 particularly brutal assaults. He had already been charged with similar offences on 5 separate occasions and is at present on bail pending trial for assault and being found in possession of an unlicensed pistol. On 11th November 1969, the Commissioner of Commonwealth Police, Mr J. Davis, recommended that he be deported, but his recommendation was not acted upon.
Among the voluminous documents on Suljak and the Australian branch of the terrorist organisation UHNj which I have tabled today is a letter dated 30th May 1972 from Mr Davis, Commissioner of Commonwealth Police, to the Department of Immigration. The letter, a copy of which was in the files of the Attorney-General’s Department, sets out the fact of the existence of this organisation, its meetings, its office-holders and its involvement in breaches of the peace in Sydney over the preceding months.
A brochure produced by the Special Reports Branch of the Department of Immigration in August 1972 on Croatian extremist activities makes special reference to the UHNj, its organisation in Australia, its activities and its members. A copy of this brochure was forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Department on 25th August .1972 and it was specifically directed by the Permanent Head of the Attorney-General’s Department to Senator Greenwood himself. His most vehement denials of the existence of extremist Croatian organisations followed shortly after his receipt of this document, which is among the documents tabled today.
Moreover, if the former Attorney-General was unwilling to accept the evidence which abounded in government files, he had only to read the daily newspapers to discover that the New South Wales police stated in court proceedings which were fully reported, that Suljak was a member of what was described in the press as a Croatian terrorist movement, the United Croats of West Germany.
When Suljak was arrested on 19th October 1972 a considerable quantity of documents was seized from his dwelling. These documents established the fact of transmission of funds from the Australian branch to the parent body in Germany. A number of photographs of armed men were also found, including one in which Suljak can be seen standing beside a Ustashi flag in the company of other armed men. There is no doubt that the members of the Sydney branch of UHNj consider themselves Ustashi. Both the letter of Commissioner Davis of 30th May 1972, and his detailed report of 26th October 1972 refer to incidents in which the organisation was involved which clearly demonstrate its Ustashi allegiance. For example, they publicly displayed an Ustashi flag at Sydney airport and also at a Croatia versus Yugal soccer match in Sydney on 15th August 1971. Several of their members have admitted to the police that they consider themselves Ustashi.
In an article by Suljak in the NovemberDecember 1971 edition of the organisation’s paper ‘Croatian Call’, he urged Croats in Australia to support UHNj and stated:
It is our duty to support the Croatian Liberation struggle … for without a bloody shirt there will be no Independent State of Croatia.
He does not confine his appeals to the journalistic level but regularly ‘stands over’ other Croats for donations to the cause.
At this point honourable senators might well ponder a few questions. Why was this man, Suljak, not deported in 1969 as recommended by the Commissioner of Commonwealth Police? Why has his organisation, which flaunts its Ustashi allegiance, and which is acknowledged by ASIO in another document which is tabled today, to be a terrorist organisation, been allowed to continue in existence? And, above all, why was this existence denied by Senator Greenwood?
A rather surprising beneficiary of the former Attorney-General’s benevolence is one Zdenko Marincic. Marincic arrived in Australia on 16th January 1970. He became Secretary of SHUMS (Union of Croatian United Youth of the World), which, despite its innocent sounding name, is under the effective control of Srecko Rover and is suspected by the Commonwealth Police of being an extremist front organisation (see letter from J. Davis to the Attorney-General’s Department, dated 8th June 1972). He first attracted police attention on 29th November 1970 when he removed a Yugoslav flag from the balcony of the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne during Yugoslav National Day celebrations and burned it. For this offence he was convicted on 9th February 1972 and fined.
On 19th May 1972 Marincic hastily left Australia. This was shortly before the ‘Bosnian incident’ which has already been referred to. Marincic turned up in Frankfurt, Germany, but the German authorities refused him entry. He had not obtained a re-entry permit before leaving Australia, so he has no right at all to be here. Nonetheless he returned to Australia on 24th May 1972 and was immediately arrested and charged the next day with having a firearm in his possession. He was convicted and sentenced to 9 months imprisonment. This was not a simple firearms offence. When he left Australia hurriedly on 19th May 1972 Marincic took with him a rifle and 4 silencers which he concealed in a toy koala.
– How could he conceal a rifle and 4 silencers in a toy koala?
– The 4 silencers were concealed in a toy koala. When the rifle was discovered the German authorities refused him entry and he returned to Australia with gun and silencers. He also was in possession of a booklet in the Serbo-Croatian language containing instruction on sabotage and of the names and addresses of Ambroz Andric in France, Adolf Andric in Germany and Pave Vegar in Germany. AH 3 of these men were named in the Yugoslav Government aidememoire as participants in the Bosnian incursion and it will be recalled that Jure Marie had also maintained contact with Vegar. Al! 3 were killed in this adventure, according to the Yugoslav Government. Surely it is a reasonable inference that Marincic went to Germany to join the Bosnian incursion or at least to help equip it.
On 18th October 1972, the AssistantDirector of the Special Reports Branch of the Department of Immigration recommended Marincic’s deportation. In weighing up all the considerations, including Marincic’s probable fate if returned to Yugoslavia, the AssistantDirector said:
I believe the strong doubts which exist about his past and future involvement in potentially violent Balkan politics should be exercised in favour of Australia and therefore recommend that Zdenko Marincic be deported. Such action, I suggest will have a salutary effect upon those Croatians u/ho le Australia as a base for pursuit of their ideals and will also provide the Yugoslav authorities with a positive indication that Australia neither supports nor ron,dones extremism.
I venture to suggest that they are sentiments with which the overwhelming major:tv of Australians would agree. These sentiments, however, did not find favour with the then Attorney-General.
In a long and carefully argued submission to the Minister for Immigration dated 1 2th November 1972, Senator Greenwood reversed the priorities as between the interests of Australia and those of an obvious Croatian terrorist in favour of the latter. His letter, which is among the documents tabled, should be closely studied by everyone who is interested to discover the basis of his curiously tender regard for men whose preferred methods of asserting their political beliefs are the bomb and the gun. Let me quote just one passage from this extraordinary letter: 1 appreciate your concern that Marincic is a person whom we could not safely allow to remain in Australia. I understand your apprehension is that he is a man with a propensity to violence and that, >n view of recent happenings involving violence to persons and property, we have a paramount obligation to the Australian community to remove him from the country.
Naturally I share your apprehension that we should knowingly allow a person of violent proclivities to remain in this country if he is an immigrant whom we can deport. But this is a matter of balancing the likely harm to Australia against (he consequences of deportation. It is relevant in each case to note the country to which a person will be deported.
I have indicated the traditional and accepted rule - applicable not only in the past in this country but also in the USA and the UK - that deportation or extradition does not take place where a person is likely to be dealt with for his political opinions by the country to which he is sent. I believe that this outweighs all other considerations in this case.
In the event, Marincic is still among us. However misguided one might consider an AttorneyGeneral who placed the interests of an obvious terrorist ahead of the interests of the Australian people, there might be some who would be impressed by the countervailing libertarian considerations on which his submission is apparently based. There is, however, a fatal flaw in this argument, which assumes that the deportation of Marincic would inevitably place him at the mercy of the Yugoslav police. The chief law officer of Australia must have been familiar with the decision of the High Court in the case of Znaty v. The Minister of State for Immigration and Another (1972 Argus Law Reports page 545). Judgment in this case was delivered on 25th February 1972, that is, some 9 months prior to the letter to the Minister for Immigration urging him not to deport Marincic.
The judgment of the Court in that case clearly established the right of the Government to deport a person to anywhere. Counsel briefed by the Attorney-General submitted that the law was and had been since 1903 that the Government is not bound to send the deportee back to the place from which he came and the Court approved that submission. If we assume that he was familiar with this decision and surely he would not undertake to advise the Minister for Immigration without familiarising himself with the uptodate state of the law regarding immigration matters, we can only reach one conclusion about his conduct in this matter: In order to protect a terrorist from deportation, he misinformed the Minister responsible for the issuance of a deportation order about the legal consequences for the terrorist of such an order.
This is a serious charge but is supported by an earlier example of Senator Greenwood’s benign view of the rights of terrorists. This case involved none other than Jure Marie, about whom I have already said a great deal. On 4th July 1972 the Attorney-General’s Department put a submission to him that he should recommend that Marie’s application for a passport be refused. The officer of the Department who made this recommendation pointed out that ASIO’s latest report and the most recent Commonwealth Police report on Marie indicated that he was deeply involved in Croatian nationalist activities and was prepared to support acts of violence against Yugoslavia, that there was a real possibility that he would, if granted a passport, be a participant in acts of violence directed against Yugoslavia and that, if this occurred, it would be an embarrassment to Australia’s relations with Yugoslavia. Senator Greenwood rejected this advice from his Department and was not in favour of refusing the passport to Marie. Fortunately, the Minister for Immigration did not grant Marie’s application.
In a previous debate on this subject Senator Greenwood indignantly repudiated the charge that he was ‘soft’ on Croatian terrorists. Surely that was a mild charge to lay at the door of a man whom the documents prove to have been the active protector of terrorists! On 21st September 1972, 2 high-ranking officers of the Attorney-General’s Department, alarmed by recent events, especially the bombings in the streets of Sydney, called on him and drew to his attention certain Croatian publications and discussed the various Croatian organisations. Their submissions to the Attorney-General are among the documents produced today to the Senate. One of these officers, who had been specially assigned 6 years earlier to Croatian affairs and was considered in the Department to be the expert on this subject, expressed the view that 2 of these organisations, HOP and HNO, ‘were not primarily cultural but political and militarist’. A few weeks later this officer was relieved of all duties concerning Croatian matters.
The tone of the last Government’s attitude towards Croatian terrorism was set as long ago as 27th August 1964 by Sir Robert Menzies. His statement was precipitated by a complaint by the Yugoslav Government following 2 incidents:
Mr Menzies gave a little lecture on Balkan history and stated that police ‘had found no evidence whatever to support allegations of Ustashi violence towards individuals of Yugoslav nationality’. Mr Menzies went on to say: lt is understandable that some Yugoslav migrants of Croatian origin should continue to hope for the establishment of an independent Croatia and within a democracy like Australia they have a Tight to advocate their views so long as they do so by legitimate means.
That is a reasonable proposition but I leave it to honourable senators to judge whether the means’ T have disclosed today are ‘legitimate’. The long list of unsolved crimes of violence tells an eloquent story of the indifference of governments of 23 years duration to the means’ used by Croatian extremists to attain the goals Mr Menzies smiled on so benignly. The police have done their best with inadequate resources and no encouragement. They could hardly fail to draw the conclusion that successive Liberal governments could not have cared less whether they succeeded or not in crushing Croatian terrorism. To be sure, there were sporadic cries of alarm from individual Ministers. For example on 3rd December 1969, the Honourable Philip Lynch, then Minister for Immigration, wrote to the then Attorney-General Hughes expressing: . . concern al the likely serious consequences if Croat nationals in Australia are permitted to continue unchecked their terrorist activities and outrages against representatives of the Yugoslav Government and authority generally in this country. 1 have reason to believe that the terrorists are endeavouring to create the impression amongst Yugoslav migrants in Australia that the Croatian extremists have the support of significant sections of Australian society and even the government. I am moreover concerned with the likely, effect upon our relations with Yugoslavia, especially iri terms of our migration arrangements with that country, of continued incidents of this kind and the apparent inability of the law authorities to apprehend offenders.
The Minister recommended that the Government should make a strong statement that outrages ‘of this kind will not be tolerated’. That was Mr Lynch in government. Mr Lynch out of government speaks in a different tone. Last week he condemned the precautions taken to protect the visiting Yugoslav Prime Minister as ‘hysterical’.
Sir Garfield Barwick, then Minister for External Affairs, also expressed his concern shortly after the 1963 incursion into Yugoslavia. In a letter addressed to the AttorneyGeneral and the Minister for Immigration dated 6th January 1964, he wrote, in part:
In essence, the problem is one of ‘keeping an eye’ on immigrant extremists, while operating within the framework of existing law and practice. We should not abandon our democratic principles of tree speech, belief and association but I would hope that migrants are left with no misunderstanding of the disfavour with which the Government would view any activities which might reasonably give rise to objections by the present governments of their countries of origin. With this end in mind. I should like to suggest that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation should maintain some supervision over migrant groups (making no attempt to disguise its surveillance) and bring to your attention any activities which might be considered to have contravened sections 30 (A) or 30 (C) of the Crimes Act. In appropriate circumstances, it may, be necessary to consider the desirability of prosecutions under the Act as a further deterrent to uncontrolled extremism, although this measure need not be adopted except in the last resort.
The story which I have unfolded today and the documents which I have tabled show how little heed was paid to the warnings of Mr Lynch and Sir Garfield Barwick. Indeed one can only agree with the comments made by one prominent politician in a letter which he wrote to the then Attorney-General on 16th December 1969. His comments included the following:
The extremists themselves may by now have come to believe that they can act with impunity and that they can therefore, without risk to themselves, step up the level and frequency of violence.
He went on to express some concern that:
On the only occasion when an offender (who was arrested at the time of committing the offence in the course of a public demonstration) was brought before a court, he was fined an amount which might have left an impression with the Yugoslav missions here . . . that the Australian authorities did not take the matter seriously.
For the benefit of honourable senators who are interested, those comments came from the Rt Hon. William McMahon, when he was Minister for External Affairs. Even after these ministerial complaints the attitude of AttorneyGeneral Hughes and his successors was one which ASIO described to me as that of indifference’ to the problem of Croatian terrorism. In the view of ASIO the organisation was not given proper ministerial directives in regard to Croatian terrorism.
Passing reference has been made to Srecko Rover. He is a leader of the Croatian Liberation Movement in this country and, indeed, he is a world figure of considerable importance among emigrant Croats. He is the leader of HNO (Croatian National Resistance), based in Melbourne and linked with the Spanish headquarters of the organisation. Among the documents tabled today is a copy of an interview between a Commonwealth Police officer and Rover. The latter admits that he will use any means possible to achieve an independent Croatia; claims to know that one of the Andric brothers (since killed in the Bosnia incursion) made the pen bomb which exploded in Richmond Town Hall on 2nd September 1967, gravely injuring a young man; advocates the violent overthrow of the Yugoslav Government. Documents seized in the raid on Rover’s home in August 1972, copies of which are tabled today including a map of the route to be followed by the incur.sionists, prove conclusively his personal involvement with the Bosnia incursion of June 1972. Also seized was a seal bearing the insignia of the Supreme Headquarters of the Croatian National Resistance and the Croatian Armed Forces, ammunition and documents relating to the instigation of guerrilla activity in Yugoslavia.
– Not in Australia but in Yugoslavia.
– Is the honourable senator implying that because the guerrilla activity took place in Yugoslavia and not in Australia this should be of no account to the Government of Australia? A most significant document seized was a report from the Supreme Advisory Council of the troika dated 15th July 1972, indicating that an organisation has been set up in Australia on the basis of small cells or troikas. The manner in which these troikas operate is set out in detail in a report from the Commonwealth Police prepared on 6th March 1968 which was always available to the former AttorneyGeneral and which is among the documents tabled today. In a move to establish himself as the leader of Croatian nationalism in Australia, Rover was mainly instrumental in the setting up in May 1972 of KOHDA (Co-or dinating Committee of Croatian Associations in Australia). Affiliated with the Committee are such important organisations as HOP (Croatian Liberation Movement), HNO (Croation National Resistance) and UHNj (United Croats of West Germany).
Now that it is clear that the new Government intends to cope vigorously with the problem of Croatian terrorism we hope and believe that it will be possible to gain the cooperation of that vast majority of peaceful Croatian citizens who are the first victims of the fanatical minority of their countrymen who engage in terrorism. The documents tabled show that Croatians have been intimidated to contribute money to the terrorists. The measures which we propose will put an end to this. What I have said about Croatian terrorism applies to all terrorism. I point to the case of the Bulgarian terrorists, Daskaloff and Petroff, who were convicted of throwing a bomb into the grounds of the Russian Embassy in Canberra and were sentenced to terms of imprisonment. Despite that these men were clearly liable for deportation, the previous Goernment did not deport them and they are still in our midst.
The present Government’s policy will be to deport aliens associated with terrorist organisations who have been convicted of crimes of violence, and become liable to deportation. Recommendations have been made that certain persons be deported, not necessarily to the country from which they came. AH proper procedures and safeguards of civil liberties will be observed. The Minister for Immigration makes the necessary orders. The new policy is to cut out the cancer of terrorism from our body politic. This should apply to all who are liable to deportation and from whom violence can be apprehended. The law will be used to deal with terrorism and violence.
Important changes will also be made in our police and security arrangements. Pending the full report on the operations of ASIO and its relations with the executive government which 1 intend to present to Parliament during this session, the Director-General of ASIO will operate mainly from Canberra. This will ensure closer liaison with the Australian Government and the Commonwealth Police in combating terrorism. In the past there has been inadequate co-operation between ASIO and the Commonwealth Police in areas where their operations overlapped. This is a problem to which 1 have given much attention in the past few weeks.
Another problem is that matters of national security often involve breaches of State criminal law. This has often meant that ASIO has not been supplied with information which bears on matters of national security. The conclusion I have drawn from this is that we need federal laws to cover crimes which may affect national security.
– One political police force? ls that what you intend?
– With Senator Murphy as head of the police.
– Before honourable senators opposite continue with interjections I think they would be better advised to wait and see what recommendations have been made in the past and from what distinguished quarters, which 1 am not in a position to put now before the Senate but which I assure honourable senators I will put later.
I intend to recommend to Cabinet that legislation be introduced for new or strengthened Federal criminal laws to deal with offences such as the use of telephones or postal services to convey threats to persons or property; committing an act of violence against a foreign guest of the Australian Government; against diplomatic or consular personnel or premises or against persons or premises engaged in or used for overseas or interstate trade and commerce; acts of violence or threats of violence against Australian Ministers or officials of the Australian Government and others; acts or threats of violence or extortion by aliens; inciting in Australia acts of violence against a person or property in a foreign state with which Australia has friendly relations or to collect money or to train persons in the use of weapons, explosives or poisons in Australia for this purpose. I will also propose legislation to supplement the powers already possessed by the Australian Government to prevent the entry into Australia of terrorists or persons associated with organised crime. The Commonwealth Police will be strengthened, especially in its criminal investigation unit. The Commissioner had requested the previous Government to be supplied with extra staff and additional translators but this request fell on deaf ears. These requests have now been examined by my Department, found to be reasonable and appropriate, and I have approved them. 1 should like to add a word about events of last week. 1 am advised that terrorists came to Canberra last week with the intention of killing the Yugoslav Prime Minister. The Commissioner of Commonwealth Police, Mr J. Davis, advised me that, frustrated in that ambition by security precautions, the terrorists might make an alternative attempt on the life of the Australian Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) or other Ministers of the Government. The unanimous opinion of the Federal law enforcement authorities was that it was unsafe for the Austraiian Prime Minister to walk through the Port Kembla Steelworks of Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd on Wednesday last. In this situation, I make no apology for any steps which I took last week to ensure that the intentions of violent terrorists were thwarted. Those who take the view that those precautions were unnecessary because nothing happened are indulging in a twisted form of logic. Toleration of terrorism in this country is over. Whatever we import from the rest of the world we do not need that. This Government is determined that terrorism in Australia will be resolutely stamped out. A list of the documents has already been tabled along with the other documents. 1 ask for leave to have it and a summary of the documents incorporated in Hansard.
– is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The list and summary read as follows) -
LIST OF DOCUMENTS RELATING TO CROATIAN TERRORIST ACTIVITIES IN AUSTRALIA
Document A.1 - The Menzies Statement of 27th August 1964.
Document A. 2 - Letter from Dr Hefer to Mr Menzies received 2nd September 1964.
Document A.3 - Letter by Sir Garfield Barwick as Minister for External Affairs to the Attorney-General of 6th January 1964.
Document A.4 - Notation by Mr Snedden when Attorney-General, on a departmental submission dated 25th September 1964 relating to presecution of certain Croatians.
Document A.5 - ASIO Position Paper of 1st May 1967.
Document A.6 - ASIO Position Paper of 1st October 1967.
Document A. 7 - Report of the Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Commonwealth Police dated 6th March 1968 on the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood (HRB).
Document A.8 - Letter by Mr Lynch, when Minister for Immigration to the then Attorney-General dated 3rd December 1969.
Document A.9 - Letter by Mr McMahon as Minister for External Affairs dated 16th December 1969.
Document A. 10 - Commonwealth Police comments upon the two preceding Ministerial letters.
Document A.ll- ASIO comments on the two preceding Ministerial letters.
Document A.12 - Report of conference between Commonwealth Police and ASIO held on 17th February 1970 in respect of the Rolovic Note delivered to the Australian Government.
Document A. 13 - Background brief by ASIO dated 2nd April 1971 on Croatian National Resistance (HNO).
Document A. 14 - Memorandum from the AttorneyGeneral’s Department dated 10th June 1972 to the Attorney-General advising of the Croatian Illegal Revolutionary Organisation(HIRO).
Document A. 15 - Record of interview prepared by Senator Greenwood when Attorney-General, of his interview with the Yugoslav Ambassador on 19th July 1972.
Document A. 16 - Press Statement by Senator Greenwood, when Attorney-General, dated 20th July 1972.
Document A. 17 - Press Statement by Senator Greenwood, when Attorney-General, dated 11th August 1972 relating to the armed incursion into Yugoslavia.
Document A. 18 - Copy of a submission by the Attorney-General’s Department to the AttorneyGeneral relating to a passport application by Jure Marie.
Document A. 19 - Letter by Senator Greenwood, when Attorney-General, to the Foreign Minister, Mr Bowen, dated 27th November 1972.
Document A.20 - Letters by Senator Greenwood, when Attorney-General, to the Minister for Immigration, Dr Forbes, dated 29th June 1972 (passport application by Josip Bogut) and 12th November 1972 (deportation of Marincic).
Document B.l - Constitution of the Croatian Liberation Movement (HOP).
Document B.2 - Constitution of the official ‘Croatian Ustashi Movement’ and the seventeen principles of the Ustashi.
Document B.3 - Correspondence between Josip Kovac of Canberra and Srecko Rover of Melbourne dated 14th and 21st July 1972.
Document B.4 - Copy of a letter to Prime Minister McMahon by the Croatian Co-ordinative Committee of Victoria dated 25th May 1972 complaining about the cancellation of Srecko Rover’s passport.
Document B.5 - Letter to the Attorney-General from Ljubomir Vuina dated 23rd September, 1972.
Document B.6 (a) - Copy of a record of A.B.C. television interview with Tomislav Lesic on 19th September, 1972.
Document B.6 (b) - Copy of a record of interview on A.B.C. television with Fabian Lovokovic on 20th September, 1972.
Document B.7 - A series of photographs taken at the Wodonga Training Camp in 1963.
Document B.8 - Constitution of the Australian Croatian National Resistance - Oceania (H.N.O.).
Document B.9 - Record of interview between Superintendent Milte and Srecko Rover.
Document B.10 - Intelligence report by a troika terrorist group and a copy of a map of Yugoslavia which marks the route into Yugoslavia taken by the terrorist raiding party of June, 1972. Rover’s papers (1972).
Document B.ll - Letter by Srecko Rover to the Governor-General dated 20th October, 1972 complaining about Her Majesty the Queen’s visit to Yugoslavia.
Document B.12 - Aims and objects of the Croatian Youth (H.M.).
Document B.l 3 - The principles and the oath of the World League of Croatian Youth (S.H.U.M.S.).
Document B.14 - Constitution of the Croatian Illegal Revolutionary Organisation (H.I.R.O.) and the transcript of committal proceedings in Victoria against its leaders.
Document B.l 5 - Letter by Joint Committee of Croatian Organisations in New South Wales to Prime Minister McMahon dated 3 1st August, 1972.
Document B.15A - Copy of police reports on the United Croats of West Germany (U.H.Nj.).
Document B.l 6 - Oath of the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood (H.R.B.).
Document B. 17 - The papers of Adolf Andric.
Document B.17A - Photographs of the pen bomb, Richmond Town Hall. 2nd September, 1967.
Document B.18 - The Jure Marie papers of May, 1967.
Document B.19 - Record of interview by Sgt. George of the Commonwealth Police with Jure Marie of 5th June, 1968.
Document B.20 - The Jure Marie papers of August, 1972.
Document B.21 - Record of interview by Sgt. Brown of the Commonwealth Police with Blaz Kraljevic on 8th August. 1972.
Document B.22 - Map of part of Germany obtained at the premises of Pericic in August, 1972.
Document B.23 - A news sheet entitled ‘Report from Revolutionary Front’.
Document B.24 - Letter from H.R.B. Europe to A.S.I.O. and letter relating thereto by A.S.I.O. to Department of Immigration.
Document B.25 - Copy of a Commonwealth Police report upon $300 being forwarded to Sweden from Mount Gambier. South Australia.
Document B.26 - Copy of a memorandum from the Australian Embassy, Washington, to the Department of Foreign Affairs about the American government’s attitude on Yugoslavia.
Document B.27 - Photograph of bomb incident in Sydney on 16th September, 1972.
Document C.l - Publication entitled ‘Ustasa’, 1941- 1971.
Document C.2 - Publication entitled ‘Pregled’, March, 1972.
Document C.2A- Letter by A.S.I.O. dated 24th April. 1972 to the then Attorney-General.
Document C.3 - Publication entitled ‘Spremnosf, August, 1972.
Document C.4 - Publication entitled ‘Uzdanica’.
Document C.5 - Publication entitled ‘Vjesnik’.
Document C.6 - Publication entitled ‘Hrvatska Drzava’, February, 1973.
Document C.7 - Publication entitled ‘Obrana’, January, 1973.
Document C.8 - Publication entitled ‘Hrvatska Borba’.
Document C.9 - Publication entitled ‘Osvit’, February, 1973.
Document C. 10- Publication entitled ‘Kletva’.
Document C.ll - Publication entitled ‘Instructions for Croatians outside their Homeland’.
SUMMARY OF THE DOCUMENTS
The documents constitute evidence that Croatian terrorist organisations exist in Australia and have so existed for many years.
Background to the Documents
These documents come out of a background that effectively commences in Australia in 1956, although Croatian organisations commenced in Australia as far back as 1950 with the arrival of the early Croatian migrants from the refugee camps of Europe.
In 1956 General Luburic, who had his headquarters in Spain, split away from the general organisation that was continued after 1945 by the Ustashi leader, Dr Ante Pavelic. General Luburic was interested in a more militant revolutionary organisation. Dr Pavelic was advancing in age and died in 1959. Dr Pavelic, in 1956, created the’Croatian Liberation Movement’ (H.O.P.) with its headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a general world organisation to incorporate and co-ordinate the various other organisations and movements within it.
One of these organisations, controlled by the military office of the H.O.P., is the official ‘Croatian Ustashi Movement’. General Luburic on the other hand, created the Croatian National Resistance (H.N.O.) with its headquarters in Madrid, Spain. This organisation has proved to be a marked inciter of militant revolution against the State of Yugoslavia throughout the world.
Here in Australia, the split between the two Ustashi world leaders was reflected by the establishment of the Croatian Liberation Movement (H.O.P.) Australian Branch. It has been led since its foundation in 1956 by Fabian Lovokovic.
In Victoria, Srecko Rover followed General Luburic and formed an Australian Branch of the Croatian National Resistance (H.N.O.). The H.O.P. in Sydney is linked directly to the Buenos Aires headquarters of the world organisation of H.O.P. The Melbourne Croatian National Resistance (H.N.O.) is linked to the Spanish headquarters of that organisation which produces ‘Obrana’.
Upon the death of Dr Pavelic the World Presidency of the H.O.P. was taken by Dr Stjepan Hefer who remains the current World President. Although the official ‘Croatian Ustashi Movement’ is incorporated within the Croatian Liberation Movement (H.O.P.) which, as we have seen, was the creation of the war-time Ustashi leader, Dr Pavelic, there are a number of other groups which claim to be the true descendants, in revolutionary spirit, of the terrorist military Ustashi of Ante Pavelic. These groups include the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood (H.R.B.); the Croatian Illegal Revolutionary Organisation (H.I.R.O.) and the United Croats of West Germany. (U.H.Nj.) All of these organisations exist in Australia and evidence of this fact is contained in the annexed documents.
The secret terrorist organisation, the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood (H.R.B.) has been involved with the two armed terrorist raids into Yugoslavia in 1963 and 1972. The documents contain evidence that members of the H.R.B. were associated with the Croatian National Resistance (H.N.O.) and its Victorian leader, Srecko Rover,
There are two militant youth groups to which the documents annexed relate. The first is the Croa tian Youth (H.M.), which has had Jure Maric, at one time the Australian leader of the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood, associated with it. The second of the youth groups is the World League of Croatian Youth (S.H.U.M.S.), which is one of the organisations contained within the general body of the Croatian Liberation Movement (H.O.P.). These two youth organisations have been used as recruiting grounds for the smaller terrorist organisations.
Documents, Ministerial Statement, Correspondence and Special Reports by Commonwealth Police and ASIO
Document Al is a copy of a statement made by Mr Menzies the then Prime Minister in the House of Representatives on 27 August 1964 which had been precipitated by a complaint by the Yugoslav Government to the Australian Government following the 1963 armed terrorist raid into Yugoslavia and the holding of a military style training camp near Wodonga, Victoria in 1963. Mr Menzies stated that the Commonwealth investigations: so far have not produced any evidence which would warrant legal proceedings’.
The emphasis of this statement seems to have been that investigations would be made of various organisations and where evidence: which would be receivable in a court of law’ . . ., was obtained an appeal to the law’ would be made. In addition details of security investigations would not be made public.
Document A2 consists of a letter to Prime Minister Menzies from Dr Hefer, the World President of the Croatian Liberation Movement (H.O.P.) dated 24 August 1964 in Madrid and apparently received on 2 September 1964. Dr Hefer is the current World President of H.O.P. and in Document C1 of the publication ‘Ustasa’ there is a picture of him on page 15 speaking from a podium with the Ustashi symbol of the ‘U’ with the bomb inside it.
Document A3 is a letter by Sir Garfield Barwick as Minister for External Affairs to the Attorney General. In this letter Sir Garfield Barwick expressed his concern at the foreign policy implications of terrorist activities which: may embarrass our relations with other Governments’.
He also stated in the letter:
I should like to suggest that ASIO should maintain some supervision over migrant groups (making no attempt to disguise its surveillance) and bring to your attention any activities which might be considered by them to contravene Sections 30A or 30C of the Crimes Act.’
Document A4 is a copy of a memorandum by the Attorney-General’s Department dated 25th September 1964. The submission dealt with the question of prosecutions of a number of Croatians including the late Father Romac of Sydney for offences against the Passports Act and the Aliens Act. Mr Snedden who was Attorney-General at that time made the following notation on the submission: “There is a period of public quiescence al present. I would not want to see the whole issue revived by prosecutions which are not in themselves of great proportion . . . signed BMS’.
Documents AS and A6 are Position Papers produced by ASIO in relation to Croatian organisations on 1st May 1967 and 1st October 1967. These Position Papers were available and indeed were forwarded to all appropriate ministers of the Government including the Attorney-General.
Document A7 is a report on the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood (H.R.B.) by the Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Commonwealth Police force dated 6th March 1968. This document sets out in clear terms the full structure of this Croatian terrorist organisation including the Oath and the manner in which it is taken as well as the troika and stozher militarist structure.
Document A8 is a letter dated 3rd December 1969 from Mr Lynch, when Minister for Immigration, addressed to the Attorney-General. In this letter Mr Lynch expressed his concern: at the likely serious consequences if Croat nationals in Australia are permitted to continue their terrorist activities and outrages against representatives of the Yugoslav Government and authority, generally in this country’.
Mr Lynch further stated that:
I have reason to believe that the terrorists are endeavouring to create the impression amongst Yugoslav migrants in Australia that the Croatian extremists have the support of significant sections of Australian society and even the government’.
Document A9 is a letter addressed to the Attorney-General by Mr McMahon when Minister for Foreign Affairs, pointing out that over the last few years there have been a number of incidents or attacks by extremist groups, especially against Yugoslav official missions in Australia. Mr McMahon stated that: the extremists themselves may by now have come to believe that they can act with impunity and that they can therefore, without risk to themselves, step up the level and frequency of violence’.
Document A 10 is a report by the Commonwealth Police commenting upon the two above mentioned ministerial letters. The conclusions to this report contain the following statement: ft is quite clear that Australian Croats are involved in an international conspiracy directed against the Tito Government of Yugoslavia and it seems that members of the Croatian Revolutionary, Brotherhood will persist in their attempts to attack people and premises of the Yugoslav Government in Australia’.
Document All is a memorandum by ASIO to the Attorney-General’s Department dated 12th February 1970. This memorandum contains ASIO’s comments upon the two above mentioned ministerial letters.
Document A12 is a report dated 20th February 1970 by the Commonwealth Police at a conference held on I7th February 1970 between Commonwealth Police and ASIO in respect of the Note delivered by Ambassador Rolovic of Yugoslavia to the Australian Government.
Document A13 consists of a background brief circulated by ASIO and dated 2nd April 1971. The brief is entitled “The Croatian National Resistance (H.N.O.)- Recent Developments’.
Document A14 is a copy of a memorandum from the Attorney-General’s Department dated 10th
June 1972 to the Attorney-General then Senator Greenwood. The memorandum informs the AttorneyGeneral that a new terrorist organisation calling itself the Croatian Illegal Revolutionary Organisation (H.I.R.O.) has been discovered in Victoria. The memorandum had a report of the Commonwealth Police attached to it as well as translations of the documents of the organisation. These documents include the constitution of this terrorist organisation fully set out in Document B.14.
Document A 15 is a record of interview prepared by the then Attorney-General of his interview with the Yugoslav Ambassador on 19th July 1972. In the last paragraph of that record of interview Senator Greenwood records the following;
I said that it was very difficult to have this knowledge of a person’s intent before he left Australia.
Where there was some reason for believing that a person because of his statements, activities and associates could be presumed to be fostering terrorist activities the Government could act and I instanced the refusal of a passport to Srecko Rover’.
Document A 16 is a copy of the press statement issued by the then Attorney,-General dated 20th July 1972.
Document A17 is a copy of a press statement issued by the then Attorney-General dated 11th August 1972.
Document A 18 is a copy of a memorandum by the Attorney-General’s Department dated 4th July 1972 to the then Attorney-General. That memorandum dealt with the application for a passport by Jure Marie. Jure Maric is covered at length In Documents B18, B19 and B20. The memorandum of 4th July 1972 recommended to the then Attorney-General that:
On balance our view is that this is a case in which the issue of a passport might properly be again refused.’
Both ASIO and the Commonwealth Police had recommended to the Department of Immigration against the issue of a passport to Marie. Despite these recommendations the Attorney-General was not in favour of refusing a passport to Marie. Nonetheless the Minister for Immigration did not grant the application.
Document A19 is a copy of a letter by the then Attorney-General dated 27th November 1972 to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Bowen expressing disagreement with a proposed course of action by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in relation to Croatians who had gone from Australia to visit Yugoslavia and had been detained by the Yugoslav authorities.
Document A20 consists of 2 letters by Senator Greenwood, when Attorney-General to the Minister for Immigration dated 29th June 1972 relating to a passport application by Josip Bogut and 12th November 1972 relating to the deportation of Marincic.
Croatian Liberation Movement (HOP) and the Croatian Ustashi Movement (UHRO)
The Constitution of the Croatian Liberation Movement, as revised and issued by Dr Hefer in Argentina in 1967, was printed for the Sydney HOP at the Mintis Press, 117 Burwood Road, Belmore, New South Wales. It is contained, together with a translation, in document Bl. This document refers in Article 1 to the ‘Croatian Ustashi Movement’ and in Article 14 provides in Item 5, for a ‘Military Office’.
The Constitution of the official ‘Croatian Ustashi Movement’ within the HOP is set out in document B2. It is taken from the book entitled, ‘Croatian Liberation Movement 1929-59’issued by the HOP on the occasion of 30 years existence of USTASA Croatian Revolution Organisation (UHRO) 1959’. The document is a translation that was done by Constable First Class M. Russell of the Commonwealth Police Force in 1964. Attached with that document is a statement of the 17 articles of the Ustashi embodied in a document issued in Germany in 1970 by a ‘Ustashi Satnik’ (i.e. ‘Ustashi Captain”) - Ante Vukic, who is the current President of the European Branch of the United Croats of West Germany.
Documents Bl and B2 need to be related to document B3, containing correspondence between Josip Kovac of Canberra and Srecko Rover of Melbourne dated 14th and 2 1st July 1972, in which Kovac writes that Mr Les Shaw stated to a group of 12 people that Lovokovic ‘admits that Ustashi exist in Australia and that he is their leader’. Copies of these letters were obtained by the Commonwealth Police from originals found in Rover’s premises in the searches made under search warrant in August 1972. The letter of 21st July 1972 further reads, ‘He (Lovokovic) admits that people are being trained and says that be is not responsible for it’. Mr Shaw said that everyone, including Mr Rover, had stated on television that ‘there are no Ustashi in Australia. Lovokovic claims that there are’. The first letter of 14th July 1972 refers to certain persons reestablishing an organisation with ‘only those who will join as Ustashi’. That letter also reads,
He (Ante Kovac) says that our politicians have degraded the letter “U” and that he will have it rectified’.
The reference in these letters to ‘politicians degrading the letter “U”, relates to document B4. This document contains a copy of a Setter to Prime Minister McMahon by the Croatian Coordinative Committee of Victoria, dated 25th May 1972, complaining about the cancellation of Srecko Rover’s passport and that the Australian Government is hampering Australian-Croatian politiciansin exile’.
Document B5 contains a copy of a letter addressed to the Attorney-General (then Senator Greenwood), dated 23rd September 1972, from Ljubomir Vuina. Vuina in referring to the Ustashi said:
In fact it is or was a body of people who resisted the Communist Government in Yugoslavia during the War and of course became an unpopular body with its Government. Violence is far removed from its concepts in this country’. The writer of that letter is a former Colonel in what was the elite Black Legion of the Ustashi in the Hitler puppet regime of Croatia during the Second World War. (The Black Legion was an elite part of the Ustashi Army similar to the German SS and had the concentration camps under its control.)
Document B6(b) contains a copy of a record of interview on ABC television on 20 September 1972 with Fabian Lovokovic, the leader of HOP in Sydney and the man referred to in the correspondence in document B3. In that interview Lovokovic did not deny or refute that the Constitution of the Croatian Liberation Movement (HOP) contained a orovision providing for a ‘Military Office’.
Document B7 is a series of photographs taken at Wodonga, Victoria, during a training camp organised by the Croatian Liberation Movement (HOP) in 1963. A Unit of the Citizen Military Forces associated itself for reasons of public relations, with the training by these men of the Croatian Ustashi Movement within the HOP. The photographs show the heavy black ‘U’ of the Ustashi under the chess-board shield of Croatia with the letters ‘HOP’ overthe top. These photographs corroborate the statements attributed to Lovokovic in the Kovac/Rover correspondence in document B3 for he was at the Wodonga training camp.
Croatian National Resistance (HNO)
The Constitution of the Australian Croatian National Resistance - Oceania, is set out in document B8. That document states that:
We regard Yugoslavia and Yugoslavianism as the greatest and the only evil that has caused the existing calamity . . . Therefore we consider any direct or indirect help to Yugoslavia. Croatian national treason.’
Also included in this document is a report upon the General Assembly of the Croatian National Resistance in Aastralia of 18th October 1969. This Report refers to a world tour of Croatian Associations by Mr Srecko Rover including a visit to Spain ‘on a matter of importance’. Reference is also made to fraternal greetings and ‘thoughts’ of officials and members of Croatian National Resistance in Europe, stressing the special importance and significance of our Associations in Sweden and Germany’, as well as of members in Argentina and South America. This greeting also extends to the United States members.
A significant record of interview is contained in document B9. This is a record of an interview held on 16th February 1970 between Superintendent Milte, when a Commonwealth Police Officer, with Srecko Blaz Rover. In this interview, Rover at the outset attempted to forestall the interview by seeking Superintendent Milte to inquire of ASIO about Rover. Rover’s words were, ‘Why don’t you ‘phone ASIO first before you talk to me.’ The record of interview shows where Rover stands on the question of terrorism and the overthrow of Yugoslavia by force and violence. When asked by Superintendent Milte how he and his people proposed to achieve their alms of a recognised state for Croatia, Rover replied:
We will do it by any means possible.’
When Superintendent Milte asked him which organisation he belonged to in Australia, Rover stated, None, Sir. I was a member of the HOP but they expelled me because of my radical views.’ When asked did he know Jure Marie, the Andricbrothers, Ivica Kokic and Josip Senic, Rover replied:
I know all these people. Andric was the person who made the pen bomb.’
The pen bomb referred to is the one that exploded at the Richmond Town Hall on 2nd September 1967 when a youth suffered grievous bodily harm. It was at a Yugoslav National Day.
When Superintendent Milte put to Rover that Father Kasic advocates violence to free Croatia from Yugoslav tyranny, Rover made the following statement:
But this is alright because it is just, like Victoria wanting to govern in its own right from New South Wales.’
The most significant statement by Rover in this interview, which is a clear admission by him that he supports violence and terrorism is shown by the following:
Milte said: How do you propose to overcome the present Yugoslav Government
He said: By similar means to that being used in Vietnam today.
Milte said: What do you mean?
He said: Your Government is trying to overthrow the North Vietnam Government by means of force and we intend to do the same in Yugoslavia. I will do anything in my power to assist them in achieving this aim.’
Document B10 contains irrefutable evidence of Srecko Rover’s close personal involvement with terrorism including the armed terrorist raid made into Yugoslavia in June 1972. The evidence contained in these documents fully corroborates the statements made by Rover in the record of interview with Superintendent Milte on 16th February 1970. as set out in document B9. The papers in document B10 are translations and copies made from documents that were obtained by the Commonwealth Police under search warrant in August 1972. Other documents and articles were obtained from Rover at the same time. These included the following:
A Seal bearing the insignia of the Supreme Headquarters of the Croatian National Resistance and the Croatian Armed Forces (HOS);
Ammunition for a fire-arm of a calibre the possession of which is illegal in Victoria:
A list of names and addresses, overseas as well as local, of persons involved in Croatian organisations;
Documents relating to the Conference of Croatian National Resistance held in Toronto early 1972, which indicate that Rover was elected at that Conference to the position of Deputy World Leader of HNO. [It was while Rover was attending that Conference that his passport was cancelled.]
Documents relating to the instigation of guerrilla activity in Yugoslavia.
All original documents and articles that had been obtained under search warrants in August 1972 from Rover and other persons were returned to Rover and those persons in November 1972 as required by the then Attorney-General. Paper (a) of document B10 is an Intelligence Report (translation attached) from a Troika’ terrorist group operating secretly in Australia. Paper (b) of document B10 is a copy of a map of Yugoslavia which marks a route into Yugoslavia to an area where the armed terrorist raiders of June 1972 were crushed in an armed skirmish with the military and security forces of Yugoslavia. [The Croatian Armed Forces (HOS), the seal of which is in the possession of Srecko Rover and referred to above, was formed, according to ASIO, after 1945 and was the successor to the Ustasha Army. General Max Luburic was its world leader and his successor was considered by ASIO to be Josip Bicsic. The organisation publishes a paper in Argentina entitled ‘Hrvatska Gruda’.)
Srecko Rover has, in a past police interview, supplied the following information about himself:
He was born, Sarajevo, on 3rd February 1920 where he was educated to Matriculation standard and later attended the University of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. He studied Electronic Engineering. However, he left University in 1943, having been called up to serve in the Second Bojna Ustaske Vojnice (i.e. Second Battalion, Ustashi Armed Forces). He joined as a Private and in June 1944 was promoted to commission rank of Lieutenant. He served in Armoured Units in Sarajevo in the First Ustaski Zdrug (i.e. Brigade), ready to repel any Allied landing that might take place on the Adriatic Coast by the Western Allies. In 1945, on the downfall of the Axis powers, Rover went to refugee camps in Italy and Austria and in the next few years was involved in several guerrilla terrorist raids into Yugoslavia. In 1950 he migrated to Australia and has ceaselessly pursued the aims of organising the overthrow by force and violence the State of Yugoslavia.
Document B11 is a letter signed by Srecko Rover to the Governor-General dated 20th October 1972, with a covering letter to Senator Greenwood, the then Attorney-General, complaining about the visit of Her Majesty the Queen to Yugoslavia. This document needs to be seen in the light of document B4 which refers to Srecko Rover as being an ‘AustralianCroatian politician-in-exile’.
Document B12 contains an extract from the Croatian Youth Journal, ‘UZDANICA’ of the May 1965 edition. A translation is attached. It sets out the aims and objects of Croatian Youth (H.M.) as embodied in a Resolution carried at the Foundation Meeting of the organisation on 28th March 1965. In Article 1 it states:
We do not recognise any Yugoslavia, Monarchist or Communist, and we will fight against her by the use of all means of total destruction. . . . ‘
Article 3 states:
We remain loyal to the ideas and principles underlying the Croatian Right of State Parly . . as well as to the principles of the Croatian Ustashi Movement of Dr Ante Pavelic, the Poglavnik.’.
World League of Croatian Youth (S.H.U.M.S.)
Document B13 contains the text setting out the principles upon which the World League of Croatian Youth (S.H.U.M.S.) is based. Translations are attached. The document also contains application forms and the form of Oath required to be taken by its members. The originals of these documents were obtained by the Victoria Police Force, together with the documents relating to the Croatian Illegal Revolutionary Organisation (H.I.R.O.) that were found with the cache of arms and ammunition in the Warburton Mountains in Victoria in May-June 1972. This organisation is referred to in document B1 as it is a youth organisation within the Croatian Liberation Movement (H.O.P.) and there is an express provision relating to it in the Constitution of H.O.P.
Croatian Illegal Revolutionary Organisation (H.I.R.O.) and Croatian Revolutionary Army (H.R.V.)
A militia is to be formed in any case; they are to be given military training and preparations for their arming are to be made:
The Supreme Stozer will open special training schools for terrorism and for all ‘activist’ activities on assassinations, raids, sabotage, arson, etc’
Joint Committee of Croatian Organisation in New South Wales
Document B15 is a copy of a letter by the Joint Committee of Croatian Organisations in New South Wales to Prime Minister McMahon dated 31st August 1972, complaining about searches made on the premises of certain Croatians. The letter contained a printed sidenote with the names of the following organisations:
The document is clear evidence of the unification which had been achieved in 1972 of all the militant and extremist Croatian organisations. The United Croats (UHNJ) has its associations overseas, as with HOP and HNO, and is a terrorist organisation. The United Croats is an organisation based directly on Ustashi principles and methods of operation. This is shown in document B2. Press reports on State Police proceedings in New South Wales and Commonwealth Police reports on this terrorist organisation are contained in document B15A. That document contains the criminal record of the Australian leader of the United Croats of West Germany as well as a full statement of the structure of this terrorist organisa tion.
Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood (HRB)
I swear by Almighty God and things that are most sacred to me (or ‘by all the Saints’) to fight, until the end of my life, for the liberty and sovereignty of the Croatian People. By voluntarily joining the ranks of the Croatian Revolutionary Brother hood, I pledge myself to obey and carry out without demur any orders and instructions, given me and to serve loyally the Brotherhood’s Revolutionary Principles.
I pledge myself to keep any secrets entrusted to me and not to disclose anything that might damage the interest of the Brotherhood and of the Croatian People.
If I offend against this Oath and the Brotherhoods Revolutionary Principles, my penalty under the organisation’s laws, shall be death.
So help me God.’
Croatian National Resistance ‘SUD’ Armed Forces Headquarters 25th March 1964
Top Secret Operation area 8
To gentlemen Croatian Officers, NCOs and Soldiers.
Document B8 to Bll already set out the evidence in respect of Croatian National Resistance and that it is led in Australia by, Srecko Rover, who, as already stated, possesses the seal of the Croatian Armed Forces (HOS). Another document in the series in document B18 contains a copy of the print from the seal containing the insignia of the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood. Bound in a red folder contained in document B18 is the Croatian text, together with a translation, of a Handbook or Manual of Croatian Revolution.
Funds to Sweden
Attitude of the United States Government
USTASA’, (JUBILEE), 10 April, 1941-1971 edition. Page 38 carries a poem by Venco, AUSTRALIA, titled ‘TO CROATIA’.
Oh my beloved Homeland, turned into a dungeon, Thy children’s innocent blood continues to flow Because of their Croatian name.
Today thou enjoyest neither freedom nor justice, With the symbols of thine old fame defaced, With the soulless foe trampling thee underfoot. But not so forever, for the Croatian fighters,
The creators of another Tenth of April will rise,
And a dawn of freedom shall yet be born for Croatia.
Au revoir, oh my ancestors’ cradle,
My brothers and sisters, my sea, my clefts dales and my hills,
Au revoir, for the hour is nigh.
A new generation has arisen from the graves of thy martyrs,
Woven from the fibres of sacrifice and permeated with love
For thee, oh my Homeland of knights.
Ustasi Private Soldier. C.1
PREGLED’ (REVIEW), March, 1972, Page 17 carries a picture titled ‘ON THE EVE OF CROATIAN REVOLUTION’ and showing perched in a tree a sniper with his rifle at the ready. The caption says, ‘HAVE A LOOK AT THE ABOVE PICTURE’. ‘SPRINGTIDE IS APPROACHING IN PRENJ AND PAPUK MOUNTAINS (Translator’s note - two mountain ranges suitable for guerrilla operations). LONG LIVE THE YOUTHFUL SPIRIT OF CROATIAN REVOLUTION’.
The Director-General of A.S.I.O. wrote on 24 April 1972 to the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) enclosing copies of translated articles and commented that the Attorney may ‘wish to examine’ (the articles) ‘in the light of the Crimes Act’.
SPREMNOST (READINESS), August, 1972, front page. Under the title of “THEY HAVE DIED FOR CROATIA’, the paper lists the nineteen participants in the incursion into Yugoslavia saying that ‘WE MUST ALL AGREE’ THAT THEY HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES FOR CROATIA.
UZDANICA’ (MAINSTAY), No. 1, 1972 Page 1. It carries an article signed by ‘T. S.’ and titled OUR ANGLE ON BUGOJNO’, which identifies its readers with the terrorists taking part in the June, 1972 raid in BOSNIA, YUGOSLAVIA. Page 13 carries an article by ‘STEF’ and titled ‘A CROATIAN DEATH MORE HONOURABLE THAN LIFE’ dealing with Dr Jelic’s death copied from the ‘CROATIAN STRUGGLE’. It contains another article headed “THE REVOLUTIONARIES’ BREAD IS COVERED IN BLOOD’, signed by ‘BUCO’, which praises the June, 1972 raiders.
VJESNIK’ (CHRONICLE) OF THE CROATIAN LIBERATION MOVEMENT H.O.P., in
Canberra, July, 1972. Page 7 carries an anonymous article headed ‘WE HAVE FOUND THE ANTIVENOM TO SERBO-COMMUNIST VENOM’. The article praises the Ustashi movement and its aims. Its conclusion calls on Croatians to answer the call of duty, their motto being ‘A PAINFUL WOUND CAN BE TREATED ONLY WITH AN EVEN MORE PAINFUL MEDICINE’..
February, 1973. Page 8 carries an article by Ivan JELIC headed ‘SPEAKING FRANKLY’, which calls for the establishment of a Croatian government in exile, to include the best, most able and most resolute exiled Croatians who will ‘COORDINATE OUR STRUGGLE’ AND LEAD IT ALONG THE MOST EFFECTIVE LINE SO THAT THE WORD “STRUGGLE” WILL ASSUME ITS TRUE MEANING’.
OBRANA’ (DEFENCE), January, 1973. The paper front-pages a picture of GENERAL LUBURIC in a dress uniform, complete with the Nazi decoration of a Knight’s Cross. Pages 4 and 5 carry Swedish press comment on the September 1972 airliner hijacking. The Swedish papers quoted from are picked in a manner presenting the hijackers in a most favourable light, behaving like perfect gentlemen throughout the episode. The article’s purpose of praising the hijackers is transparent. Page 9 carries extracts from the text of a leaflet received by the paper from Cleveland, U.S.A., titled ‘A PROCLAMATION TO THE SERBIAN PEOPLE’ and signed by the ‘UNION OF SERBIANS AT HOME AND ABROAD’. The extracts call ON THE SERBIAN FIGHTERS TO FOLLOW THE CROATIAN PATRIOTS’ EXAMPLE OF MURDERING YUGOSLAV AGENTS AND HIJACKING AND BRINGING DOWN AIRCRAFT. WITH CHRISTMAS APPROACHING, ‘LET US BARE OUR TEETH AT THE YUGOSLAVS! WRECK TITO’S EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES!’ The text purports to use the Serbian variant of the Serbo-Croat language. But its grammar, style and terminology are such as could never have been used even by a simple Serbian. The ‘PROCLAMATION’ is a transparent plant, most probably composed by a Croatian born or at least educated in ZAGREB.
GLE). It has a routine Croatian extremist inflammatory approach.
OSV1T’ (DAWN) CROATIAN WEEKLY, No. 69, 14.2.1973, front pages under the title of ‘THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ANDRIC BROTHERS’, its reporter’s interview of ‘a person who does not wish to disclose his name for personal reasons’. The paper goes on to say that it does not ‘belong to any political party and, as such’, does not ‘engage in polities’. Its only desire is to ‘write for and inform the Croatian people of developments both inside the country and outside’. Stating that it will follow its regular practice of not commenting on any political articles, the paper adds that what it wishes to serve is ‘the interest of the Croatian people and their freedom’.
The interview itself is most strongly proAndricbrothers.
The end of the interview makes it clear that the paper has the interviewed person’s full name and address.
KLETVA’ (CURSE), a roneoed booklet circulating in the Croatian community. It is a manual for revolutionary armed forces and irregulars. It includes chapters on the general REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION. SABOTAGE, INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, SECURITY SERVICE, PROPAGANDA SERVICE, REVOLUTIONARY COURTS, GUERRILLA WARFARE and on REGULAR ARMED FORCES, complete with diagrams on basic army units. ‘INSTRUCTIONS FOR CROATIANS OUTSIDE THEIR HOMELAND’ an openly H.R.B. leaflet signed by the CROATIA’S NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT and circulating of late in the Croatian community. It opens by calling on the Croatians abroad to wreck Yugoslav embassies and consulates, and to kill Yugoslav diplomatic representatives. The leaflet is highly inflammatory.
– I move:
– At this stage I shall speak briefly to the motion that the Senate take note of the statement. The Senate will appreciate that a paper which has taken about an hour to put down and which has been supported by a large number of documents cannot be considered immediately by the Opposition. Therefore we will seek to adjourn the debate on the motion which has been moved by Senator Murphy. Before we do so I think that a few comments may be in order. Today we have listened to Senator Murphy’s statement, which, as I have said, occupied almost an hour, lt has been delivered in an almost theatrical atmosphere. I suppose the honourable senator ought to be pleased that he had a full house. I am only pleased that people have not paid to come otherwise they would be asking for their money back because they must have been disappointed at what the statement contained. I thought that after the raid on Friday, 16th March-
– I used the word ‘raid”. One would have thought that that would have been adverted to somewhere in the statement. But the most that can be said is that it was dismissed in 2 minor paragraphs on page 28 of a 30-page document. All we have listened to this afternoon has been a reiteration of statements about a reign of terror - most of which we have heard time and time again. One would have thought that Senator Murphy would have at least attempted to justify his actions of the last 12 days and not make the statement which he made this afternoon. One is left with the impression that all that Senator Murphy has attempted to achieve is a state of tension, and it is a state of tension which is often brought about by the continual presence of police. We have heard of threats of death, threats of bombings, threats of bombs in the Senate and of bullet proof glass What happened here today? We heard nothing at all about those things. All I can say, Mr President, is that Senator Murphy has deliberately not attempted to answer the question before the Senate: Why did he destroy the Australian
Security Intelligence Organisation? Why did he run away from speaking about the subject today? That is why we thought it would be far better to wait and see what this great statement was all about before proceeding to question time. Question time will be called on shortly and we will then be in a position to ask questions in order to try to fill in the gaps, because gaps do exist and they ought not to exist. Rather than spend some 60 minutes in this place trying to destroy his predecessor in office as Attorney-General it would have been far better for Senator Murphy to justify his own actions over the last 12 days, which have put the total security of this nation at risk. As 1 said earlier, I think the Senate ought to come back to the paper at a later stage and therefore 1 ask for leave to continue my remarks.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
- Mr President, I claim to have been personally misrepresented and I seek leave to make a statement.
– ls leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
– I have listened for the greater part of an hour to what I regard as not an exposure, not an identification of terrorist individuals or organisations in this country but what I have interpreted as a challenge to my integrity, a challenge to my honesty and a challenge to the bona fides with which I discharged the office of Attorney-General last year. It accords with what was forecast in Press statements. I propose to reply not today but in due course and in detail, chapter and verse, in the course of the debate, because I have been subjected to a monstrous vilification in which truth has played virtually no part. 1 have sat here-
Government senators interjecting.
– Order! 1 will not have this Senate governed by a claque on the back bench either on my right or on my left.
– J have sat here and 1 have listened to and I have read excerpts of things I have said taken completely out of context and not put in the balance which an objective examination of what has been occurring would require. It will take time, and I propose to take the time, to bring the whole context before this Senate. Senator Murphy said:
I am now in a position to state categorically that the Liberal Attorney-General’s oft repeated assertion that there is no credible evidence of the existence in Australia of organised Croatian extremism cannot be sustained. The contrary is true and was true at the time he made such statements.
The allegation that I made untrue statements - and that is what it is - I completely and emphatically repudiate because there is no evidence whatsoever to support it. I propose to establish that from the record which is available to me. It is said that there is evidence - overwhelming evidence. It is said that there is incontestable evidence. Where is it? It is said by Senator Murphy that it is in the documents, but it has not been produced.
– Mr President, I very respectfully draw your attention to standing order 422.
– I cannot recollect it.
– It states:
No senator shall interrupt another senator while-
Honourable senators opposite are laughing. Shall I finish reading the standing order, Mr President?
– I know the standing order. There is no substance to the point of order. I call Senator Greenwood.
– I say that when it is said that there is evidence which is overwhelming and incontestable and it is all to be found in the documents, the fact that it is not identified and pointed out is in itself curious. I will search through the documents. Evidence is required to bring people before courts and to sustain charges. Evidence is required to declare that organisations are terrorist organisations and unlawful. I know that if I had had the evidence there would have been prosecutions. If I had had the evidence consideration would have been given to taking matters before the High Court. If Senator Murphy has the evidence he ought to explain Why he has not taken people before the courts, why he is not applying to the High Court. What the statement ignores and where I say that I have been grievously misrepresented is that Senator Murphy has ignored what the record will show to him; that is that many steps were taken. Great consideration was given by me, by many officers of the
Department, by officers of the Commonwealth Police and by officers of ASIO as to what could be done.
Senator Murphy has not referred once to the conclusions of the police reports which I received. If he looks at those conclusions he will see that further information was needed or that further inquiries would be undertaken. The statement ignores the fact that Senator Murphy has chosen only some of the very many statements I made. He has chosen only those which will lend some semblance to a preconceived impression. Reference has been made to the Marincic case.
– I rise to a point of order. The point of order is that the honourable senator is conducting a debate on the subject under the guise of a personal explanation. I ask whether the debate is to continue or whether you will rule, Mr President, that the honourable senator is now debating the subject matter and whether he should be allowed to continue.
- Senator Greenwood is making a personal explanation and rejecting the allegations which he claims have been made falsely against him.
– I refer to the allegation that I showed a curious tenderness in defence of certain basic human liberties in regard to the Marincic case. Senator Murphy chose to extract 3 paragraphs from a letter 5 pages in length. I ask for leave to incorporate in Hansard the whole of that letter and I challenge the Government to deny that right to me.
– Is leave granted?
– For the honourable senator’s assistance, I think the letter is in the documents.
– Order! Senator Greenwood has asked leave to incorporate a letter in Hansard. Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows) -
12th November 1972
My dear Minister,
I spoke to you on Friday last about the proposed deportation of Zdenko Marincic. I said that I would write to you and set out the basis for my concern whether this is a proper case for deportation.
I know that Marincic is liable to be deported under sections 13 and 18 of the Migration Act. He has been convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer and that, without more, creates a liability to deportation.
But it appears that the true reason for his deportation is that he is regarded as a Croatian extremist, so that it is not desirable he should be allowed to remain in Australia. That, however, is a ground to which section 14 of the Act relates.
If you were to order the deportation of Marincic under section 14 he would have an opportunity to have the matter heard by a Commissioner appointed for the purpose. Whether he would avail himself of that opportunity is another matter. So, too, is the question whether sufficient evidence is available to satisfy a Commissioner that Marincic’s conduct is such that he should not be allowed to remain in Australia. The Parliament has expressed a policy that a person who is to be deported on the ground of his general conduct should have an opportunity to have his case reviewed by an independent tribunal.
I think it comes down to this. If Marincic were not a Croatian extremist and you would nevertheless order his deportation under either section .13 or section 18, then the policy expressed in section 14 is irrelevant. But if you would not have ordered his deportation under either of these sections if it were not alleged that he is Croatian extremist, then I suggest that the proper course would be to act directly and openly under section 14. Otherwise Marincic would be denied the opportunity to have his case examined in accordance with the policy set down by Parliament.
It is, I think, clear that, if Marincic is to be deported, he must be told on what grounds he is being deported.
But irrespective of whether the deportation is to he based on section 13, 14, or 18, I consider that there are fundamental policy issues which must be considered.
Marincic is. obviously, a Yugoslav citizen who identifies himself with the cause which advocates an independent Croatia. As such, he is a person who is opposed to the existing Yugoslav Government. Indeed, the only conclusion to be drawn from his possession of the rifle and silencers is that he was prepared either himself to use them or knowingly to have others use them to foment some violent action in Yugoslavia or, possibly, against Yugoslav nationals overseas. His antipathy to Yugoslavia is revealed by the incident in which he was convicted for larcency of a Yugoslav flag. He has been involved in demonstrations against the Yugoslav Government. He is reputed to have been an office-bearer of a Croatian nationalist organisation. These facts reveal his proclivities. He is politically opposed to the Yugoslav Government. lt is public knowledge that the Yugoslav Government is faced with an internal political problem of some magnitude with respect to its Croatian minority. In quite recent times there have been political trials and I understand they are continuing. lt appears indisputable that persons engaged in or believed or alleged to be engaged in political activities against the Yugoslav Government face physical persecution. I use the expression ‘physical persecution’ in the sense in which it has been interpreted in section 243 (h) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act of 19S2 under which the AttorneyGeneral of the United States of America is autho rised to withhold deportation of an alien to any country in which, in his opinion, he would be subject to physical persecution. Physical persecution is taken to mean confinement, torture, or death on account of race, religion or political viewpoint.
Yugoslavia does subject persons to confinement (and, possibly, unlawful killing) for their political viewpoints. There is incontestable evidence of Australian nationals and Australian residents (in each case of Yugoslav birth) being gaoled in Yugoslavia for alleged membership of Croatian organisations in Australia. I do not consider it can be disputed that persons arc liable to incarceration, at least, for their political viewpoint and it would appear to be immaterial whether the expression of their political viewpoint has occurred inside or outside Yugoslavia. 1 stress the fact that both our colleague the Minister for Foreign Affairs and I have been supplied with information as to the deprivations imposed on Croatians who have recently visited Yugoslavia. This information has wide currency in the Croatian community and is becoming more generally known. The persons concerned are not known by the Commonwealth Police to have been convicted of crimes in Australia but, apparently, membership of a Croatian organisation in Australia is a ground for punishment in Yugoslavia. I feel that stress must be laid on these matters because it cannot be said that we are unaware of the likely penal consequences of deportation of a Croatian Nationalist to Yugoslavia, particularly, where, in the case of Marincic, his record is publicly known.
The fundamental question is whether, by the act of deportation of Marincic, we create a precedent almost, if not, without parallel in the English speaking world. What we would be doing is returning without request, an individual who is known to be antipathetic to a totalitarian regime, to be dealt with by that regime for his political opposition to it. If request were made, the decision would fall to be made on extradition principles and, on the application of those principles, he would nol be extradited.
I am strongly of the view that this precedent should not occur.
I invite your attention to a number of facts and circumstances which I consider are highly relevant.
The Australian Government in 1962 refused (o deport a number of deserting Portugese sailors, in respect of whom fears were held as to what might happen to them if they were returned to Portugal. More recently, the Government declined to deport the Bulgarians Daskaloff and Petrov who had completed a term of imprisonment for offences in connection with the bombing of the Embassy of the Union of Socialist Soviet Russia.
I refer also to the general principles of extradition law. These principles have been given express legislative effect in Australia in the Extradition (Commonwealth Countries) Act and the Extradition (Foreign States) Act. These Acts provide first, that a person is not liable to be surrendered for an offence if the offence to which his surrender relates is an offence of a political character. Secondly, the Acts provide that the Attorney-General should not issue a warrant for the return of a fugitive if he has substantial grounds for believing that, if the fugitive is surrendered to the requesting country, ‘he may be prejudiced at his trial, or punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty by reason of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions’.
Furthermore, it has been judicially held that the discretion vested in the Attorney-General under the Extradition (Foreign Slates) Act to return a fugitive committed to prison to await extradition ought to be exercised in favour of refusing to surrender him whenever it would be wrong, unjust or oppressive to surrender the fugitive. I think that a similar test ought to be applied when deportation is being considered.
I appreciate your concern that Marincic is a per- son whom we could not safely allow to remain in Australia. I understand your apprehension is that he is a man with a propensity to violence and that, in view of recent happenings involving violence to persons and property, we have a paramount obligation to the Australian community to remove him from the country.
Naturally, I share your apprehension that we should knowingly allow a person of violent proclivities to remain in this country if he is an immigrant whom we can deport. But this is a matter of balancing the likely harm to Australia against the consequences of deportation. It is relevant in each case to note the country to which a person will be deported. 1 have indicated the traditional and accepted rule - applicable not only in the past in this country but also in the United States of America and the United Kingdom - that deportation or extradition does not take place where a person is likely to be dealt with for his political opinions by the country to which he is sent. I believe that this outweighs all other considerations in this case.
I invite attention to the fact that Marincic has not been convicted of any act of violence in this country. Nor is it suggested that he has been implicated in any way in any act of violence. That he must be taken to have been prepared to engage in violence or to support the violent acts of others overseas is, I believe, undeniable. But this does not establish a propensity to commit violent acts endangering life in this country.
I think his case clearly raises the need for amendment of the Crimes Act to cover the overt acts of preparation to commit violence overseas and for this offence to be punishable with a heavy gaol sentence but, on the facts as known, Marincic has committed no offences other than the 2 non-violent offences of which he has been convicted.
I also note with concern the Commonwealth Police report of 21st September 1972 that Marincic is aware of rumours that he might be deported and is in a considerable state of agitation. Apparently both the Commonwealth Police and your Department are concerned with the likelihood of Marincic attempting to escape or commit suicide if he believes he will be deported. I consider that if the latter eventuality occurred, the decision to deport would be regarded as having precipitated it and in the light of all the circumstances I believe it would be extremely difficult publicly to justify the decision.
I invite you to consider also that, if Marincic is deported there will doubtless be pressures from some quarters for other Croats to be deported. This will highlight the difficulties to which I have adverted.
I reiterate my very deep concern that the deportation would be a departure from established practice and a denial of certain human values which, albeit as a lawyer, I regard our Government as having always maintained and which I shall always strive to have maintained.
If, notwithstanding my basic concern about the deportation of Marincic back to Yugoslavia, you still consider that an order for his deportation should be made, then in my view the proper course would be to proceed under section 14 of the Act so that Marincic has an opportunity to place all the considerations which he would wish to urge before an independent commissioner. 1 am sending copies of this letter to our colleagues, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Yours sincerely, (Ivor J. Greenwood)
The Honourable A. J. Forbes, M.C., M.P..
Minister for Immigration,
A.M.P. Building, 1 King William Street,
Adelaide, South Australia 5000.
-I said when I rose to make this personal explanation that I proposed in due course to traverse each of the many allegations which have been made. I repudiate entirely that there is any basis to the attack which Senator Murphy has made, an attack which I regard, asI have read the statement, as apparently the prime purpose of what was said today. But I have a reputation. I can speak and I can use my voice to defend what I believe is right and just. I think that what the Senate and the people of Australia have been treated to today is a malicious use of parliamentary privilege to build up a case without foundation for the sole purpose of pouring scorn and calumny upon a person whom the Government chooses not to like. In due course I shall make a statement.
– Will the AttorneyGeneral advise the Senate what changes were made in the security arrangements for the Yugoslav Prime Minister following the Attorney-General’s raid on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s offices? If no changes were made, why was the raid necessary? If changes were made following the raid, was this on the basis of information obtained during the visit to ASIO?
– I made a visit to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
Before and after that visit, arrangements were set in train by me for the protection of the Yugoslav Prime Minister. Certainly, as a result of the visit which I had to the ASIO headquarters, the arrangements for the Yugoslav Prime Minister were tightened. I think that there was a recognition by everyone concerned that the precautions taken ultimately were the most stringent of such precautions taken in Australia. They were greatly to the credit of all who were concerned, not only the Commonwealth Police Force, but also the police forces of the States which co-operated to a very high degree. I make special mention of Mr Mahony of the Attorney-General’s Department who, in the first place, co-ordinated the arrangements which were made and laid down the procedures to a point where the ultimate operational responsibility was transferred to the Commissioner of the Commonwealth Police. 1 am glad to say that all that I did assisted in the efficacy of these arrangements.
– As a result of the raid by the Attorney-General on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation headquarters in Melbourne, can he say whether the only documents seized were concerned with the Croatian terrorist organisations? If other documents were seized, with what were they concerned?
– Firstly, I should say that in my visit to the headquarters of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation I did not, as suggested in Press statements which I think were made by some New South Wales Liberal Party politicians, inspect any files on politicians. I am assured by ASIO that no politicians’ files, as such, exist although no doubt reference is made to politicians. State and Federal, through the voluminous documents-
– That was not the question.
– I will answer the honourable senator by saying that the documents which I inspected whilst I was there related to the Croatian terrorist organisations and to ASIO itself. I say that the word ‘seized’ is not an appropriate one in the circumstances, nor is the word ‘raid’.
– 1 am calling the leaders first. I call Senator Greenwood.
– You have taken 3 from that side.
– That does not matter. The Opposition has the right to seek information. I give party leaders the first opportunity to ask questions, and then I spread the questions.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. Prior to midnight on the night of 15th- 1 6th March, had the Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation or the Regional Director of ASIO in Canberra refused to provide to the Attorney-General information which he had requested either of those people to provide?
– I direct a question to the Attorney-General. I refer to paragraph 2 on page 25 of the Attorney-General’s statement in which he says:
Even after these ministerial complaints the attitude of Attorney-General Hughes and his successors was one which ASIO described to me as that of indifference’ to the problem. . .
– Order! Senator, ask your question. I am not going to have question time develop into a time of giving information.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral: Which members of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation provided the information referred to in that paragraph?
– Would you repeat the question?
– The statement reads:
Even after these ministerial complaints the attitude of Attorney-General Hughes and his successors was one which ASIO described to me as that of indifference’ to the problem of Croatian terrorism. In the view of ASIO the Organisation was not given proper ministerial directives in regard to Croatian terrorism. 1 ask the Attorney-General: Which officer or officers of ASIO described to him the attitude of the Government as that of ‘indifference* and, secondly, in view of the fact that ASIO obviously was concerned at the ministerial indifference)-
– Senator Byrne, you are a lawyer and you know how to ask questions without giving information.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral: On the assumption of office by himself as Attorney-General, did ASIO convey its concern to him? If so, what was the necessity for the Attorney-General to use the Commonwealth Police to go into ASIO to seize its files if it already had expressed concern to him?
– The concern was expressed to me by the Director-General of the Organisation in the presence of other officers, and also by a high officer of the Organisation. In regard to the second part of the honourable senator’s question - whether that concern was conveyed to me upon my assumption of office - the answer is no. Therefore, it is not necessary to answer the rest of the honourable senator’s question.
– 1 ask the Minister for the Media: ls it a fact that the Anderson survey on television ratings shows a general decline in the numbers of people watching television? Does this survey in any way agree with other surveys that have recently been taken? Will the Minister ascertain the reason for the sharp decline in television audiences? Will he, in conjunction with the Australian Broadcasting Control Board, endeavour to improve the quality of television programs in Australia?
– It is a fact that the Anderson survey of television audiences which was taken last month - February - showed a general decline in the numbers of people whom it records as watching television. From recollection, I understand that there was a general decline in numbers to a situation where some 44 per cent or 45 per cent of possible viewers were not watching during the prime viewing time. However, I am told that this survey does not agree with the other survey - the McNair survey - which, of course, also is relevant to the total television scene. From time to time survey results which have been produced have later proved to be less than fully reliable. Therefore, at this stage one could not be quite confident of any conclusion in this area. It is quite possible that the audience available for television during this period declined because of tha influence of daylight saving. I am given to understand that the survey has been the subject of some concern to the television industry and that some queries about it have been raised by the industry. The Government, in conjunction with the Australian Broadcasting Control Board, is considering ways in which the quantity and quality of Australian programs can be improved.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Overseas Trade and Minister for Secondary Industry. Is it a fact that the United States of America is exporting to Australia very large consignments of carpets made of synthetic fibre at prices far below the cost of production in Australia? Is it also a fact that a high percentage of this carpet is banned by United States law for use in that country because it is highly inflammable? If so, what action is being taken to protect the Australian carpet industry and the Australian people against unfair competition and inferior and dangerous products?
– I have seen some references to the matter which has been raised by the honourable senator. I have no specific knowledge of the subject. I ask him to put the question on notice and I will get a reply from the Minister.
– I direct a question to the Attorney-General. Did the Commonwealth Police possess any warrant, direction or other written authority for any action which they took on the visit to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s headquarters? Will the Attorney-General provide the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate with a copy of any such document?
– The Commonwealth Police acted in accordance with the directions which I had given. The authority for doing what they did was the authority of the Attorney-General. A message was sent to them, if that is what the honourable senator was referring to. I inform the Senate that whatever was done was done lawfully. The responsibility for whatever action was taken is mine.
That is as it must be. Talk of warrants in respect of Commonwealth property and Commonwealth Police and Attorneys-General is without meaning.
– What about visits to private property?
– Maxwell Newton did not think that.
– In answer to Senator Guilfoyle I said that what was done was done lawfully. The Commonwealth Police do not need any authority to be on Commonwealth property. In fact, as I understand it, Commonwealth police are on the property of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in the normal course of affairs - not as many as on the day in Question, but they are there.
– My question, which is directed to the Attorney-Genera.’, refers »o repeated statements made in the Press several weeks ago which 1 brought to his notice and which stated that on evidence which was declared to have come from persons close to him or from his office 200 dangerous Yugoslav guerrillas were on their way from Australia to Yugoslavia to indulge in revolutionary activities. As his statement contains do reference to this declaration that 200 dangerous Yugoslavs were on their way to Yugoslavia, I ask: Where have the 200 dangerous guerrillas got to? Can we take it that the pressmen who accepted that story were fed what, in America, is described as a bum steer?
– I have not stated thai 200 guerrillas were on the way to Yugoslavia. I know of no person near me or near my office who has stated that. Under the new arrangements I think that the nearest parliamentarian to me is the Leader of the Opposition. I also doubt that he would have made such a statement. I do not know about that. I do say this, Mr President: There have been incursions into Yugoslavia. I would not be as disposed as is the honourable senator to scoff at any talk of incursion. I know nothing of 200 guerrillas. I have not authorised any statement about 200 guerrillas and, so far as I know, no-one in authority has given any credence to any statement about 200 guerrillas.
– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether the Australian Government contem plates discussions with those European countries which seek to impose national service obligations on certain categories of Australian citizens who visit the countries in question.
– At the moment the Department of Foreign Affairs is asking our embassies to look at this question in relation to what might be termed residual obligations, and that of national service comes into this subject. We have asked them to report on the situation in the various countries and to see whether there is a possibility that people can renounce their former citizenship - this could be a way of doing it, or, if not. we will have a report on how it could be done. At present there is a warning placed on passports regarding this matter. So far this subject has not been finalised. All the answers have not been received. When they are a statement will bs made on it.
– I direct my question to the Attorney-General. In the occasion of his visit to or raid on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation on 16th March, by how many police officers was he accompanied? What duties were they directed by him to perform and what duties did they perform?
– I think that some 3 police officers accompanied me. They were people who had some special acquaintance with matters of Croatian terrorism. In order that the Senate may not be misled by that statement, let me say that there were a number of police at the headquarters of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. I think there were 27 but I am not quite sure. May I further say in answer to the honourable senator’s question that no police officer opened any file and no police officer inspected any file.
– Do not dodge the question.
– Let me answer. No unauthorised person opened or inspected any file. I feel I should tell the honourable senator that the police officers - not the ones who accompanied me about whom the honourable senator asked - sealed safes and containers in ASIO headquarters.
– I direct a question to the Attorney-General. Since his raid on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has the Commonwealth Police Force made any arrests of Croatian people for acts of terrorism? ls it intended to make any arrests as a result of the Attorney-General’s recent raid on ASIO?
– 1 reject the expression used by the honourable senator. As a result of the recent visits to ASIO - I have had 2 in the last few days - and as a result of other action whch has been instituted by me in relation not only to ASIO but also the Commonwealth Police, I propose to take the course of combating terrorism in this country. Action will be taken for deportation in cases where that is appropriate, having regard to the observance of the rights of persons and their civil liberties and to what crimes of violence they may have committed, and to initiate prosecutions in cases where that is appropriate.
– My question is addressed to the Minister for the Media. I appreciate the Government’s policy of noninterference in the affairs of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, but am I given to understand that negotiations are proceeding between the New South Wales Rugby League and the Australian Broadcasting Commission to televise rugby league replays on Saturday evenings? Has the New South Wales Rugby League suggested that portions of some matches should be telecast on Sunday afternoons? Will the Minister use his persuasive powers to request the Australian Broadcasting Commission to come to a reasonable arrangement with the Rugby League to ensure that the greatest game of all is telecast for the benefit of Australian audiences?
– As one who used to participate in the gentlemanly, noble and skilful sport to which the honourable senator referred but who now, as a result of the passing years, is a mere but nonetheless keen spectator, I was interested to hear that question asked by the honourable senator. I have been given to understand by the Australian Broadcasting Commission that it has not recently been involved in negotiations with the New South Wales Rugby League. I believe that the Commission has an agreement with the New South Wales Rugby League to telecast the Sydney match of the day on a delayed basis - that is, the replay to which the honourable senator alluded. I understand that this usually means that the match of the day is telecast at 6 p.m. on the evening of the actual match. That agreement still has a period of some 2 years to run. Presumably any negotiations currently being held with the Rugby League would involve the commercial stations. However, it was only yesterday, I think, that Mr Buckley, Chairman of the New South Wales Rugby League, rang me to say that negotiations which had been proceeding with the commercial stations had fallen through and that he intended to make fresh negotiations with the Australian Broadcasting Commission. I will ascertain the result of those negotiations and let the honourable senator know.
– I ask the
Attorney-General; Why did he give instructions to the Commonwealth Police to seal safes at the headquarters of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation? Why did they seal the safes?
– I gave the instructions because I considered it necessary to preserve certain information.
– My question arises from some comments which have been made in the Senate during question time. I ask the Attorney-General: Did the Commonwealth Police at any stage during the past week make searches of any private homes or any premises other than Commonwealth property without being in possession of search warrants?
– Not that I am aware of. I have not had brought to my notice any breach by any Commonwealth Police of their duties. If there had been any breach by any Commonwealth Police of their duties and if it were such a serious breach as has been suggested, I would expect that it would have been brought to my notice.
– My question, which is directed to the Attorney-General, arises out of the answe.r given by the Attorney-General to a question asked by Senator Greenwood. From whom or against whom was he attempting to preserve the contents of the safes when he sealed them?
– I was attempting to preserve certain information.
– From whom?
– I had reason to believe that action should be taken to preserve and ascertain certain information. I took the action of having information preserved. The Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation is aware of the circumstances-
– ‘Did you say ‘is’ or ‘was’?
– He is aware of the circumstances. I tell the Senate that the Director-General has discussed the matter with me and has discussed the matter with the Prime Minister of Australia. The DirectorGeneral has made no complaint about what was done by me.
– Did the Minister representing the Treasurer see the television program This Day Tonight’ of 26th instant which suggested that to the detriment of individual home owners major development companies have been large-scale borrowers of funds from the permanent building societies operating in New South Wales? Is the Minister able to say whether the funds of the national Superannuation Board have been used by large-scale developers or insurance companies? Does the Minister recall the statement made by the Auditor-General on page 35 of his report for the year 1971-72 - 1 referred this statement to the previous Minister last year - which reads:
Reference is made in my previous reports to the position whereby, annual financial statements of the Superannuation Board since 1967-68 have disclosed unsatisfactory features which have resulted in the inability of the Superannuation Board to present statements in an acceptable form for audit examination.
As this unsatisfactory position has existed now for 6 years, will the Minister take steps to have made available to the Senate the names of all persons, companies and/ or group which have borrowed the $347m shown in the Auditor-General’s report for 1971-72 over the period 1962 to 1972, so that an examination can be made to see who has benefited from the use of loan and mortgage funds by decision of the Superannuation Board?
– Unless Senator Willesee carries all that information in his head, technically I should order the honourable senator to put the question on the notice paper.
– I just want to say that I did not see the television program referred to. I have duties these days other than to watch television programs. However, 1 did hear about it and I remember something of the Auditor-General’s report. J will refer the matter to the Treasurer in order to obtain the details.
– Will the AttorneyGeneral tell the Senate whether, in his raid on the Canberra office of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and on its Melbourne office the following day, he or any people with him removed and took away any files of the Organisation? If they did, where are those files now?
– I shall deal first with the question relating to the Canberra office. No, I did not take away any files. 1 took away a copy of a document which was photostated there. Later I was supplied with a photostat copy of a file. At the headquarters of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation I did not take away any files. I was supplied later at various times with a great deal of information which came from files. Some of this information was supplied on the same day. It was photostated. A good deal of it was supplied subsequently. Of course, 1 saw a great deal more than is involved in what has been received. Does that answer the honourable senator’s question?
– Yes, I think it does.
– My question is addressed to the Minister for Primary Industry. Is this the last year in which the recently announced rural reconstruction scheme will operate? Can the Minister assure the Senate that the Government will continue to recognise the legitimate claims of primary producers for financial assistance in cases of extreme hardship?
– As a result of a Commonwealth and State Ministers meeting on 16th March it was agreed to continue the rural reconstruction scheme which was initiated by the previous Administration. The amount of $3 6m may be supplemented by the Commonwealth at the request of each of the States on a 10 per cent basis, matched by the States on a dollar for dollar basis. The commitment is for 12 months. I can assure the honourable senator that future reconstruction schemes will be looked at in the light of the need which exists in the countryside for that finance. I assure the honourable senator also that if the need continues to exist the scheme will continue.
– ‘My question is addressed to the Attorney-General. In view of the Attorney’s statement that terrorist activities will be stamped out in future will he assure the Senate that the Commonwealth will assist State police and protect international sporting identities, such as rugby players and young women tennis players, from terrorist activities such as occurred after demonstrations which were inspired and led in the last 2 years by some Labor members of Parliament?
– The honourable senator asks an interesting question. I remember that these matters arose at the time of the Springbok tour. Of course the real position was that the senior law body of the world, the United Nations Organisation, through resolutions of the General Assembly and also by certain other resolutions of its constituent bodies called upon persons - that is, governments and people everywhere - to do what they could to object to the crime of apartheid. The United Nations drew particular attention to the necessity to break off all cultural and sporting contacts with those countries which practised apartheid. I think that the action of those who protested in a peaceful manner against the endeavours of the previous Government to break the decisions of the United Nations was to be highly commended. I hope that this Government will continue to observe United Nations decisions, noi only in the letter but also in the spirit, and will not want to have any cultural, economic or social ties with those countries which are practising a form of conduct towards their fellow men which is detestable.
– My question is directed to the Minister for Repatriation. Will the Minister investigate the complaint of numerous members of the defence forces of Australia that in the September-November 1972 period they were summoned to appear before a tribunal convened to review pension entitlements? ls the Minister aware that the vast majority of reviews which occurred when the Liberal-Country Party was the government resulted in a reduction of pension entitlements? Will the Minister invite from returned personnel who were required to report for the interviews details of the conduct of the aforesaid reviews?
– Yes, I will make inquiries along the lines suggested by Senator Milliner. The complaints that he has received apparently refer to a period when the Labor Party was not in power. I know of no general campaign by anybody to investigate the claims and the pensions of ex-servicemen at the time. If the honourable senator will give me more specific information I will certainly make inquiries.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral. Does the Postmaster-General’s Department intend to downgrade 300 official post offices to non-official status? fs this to be done with the agreement of the Postal Workers Union? Has the Postmasters Association been consulted on the matter? What is to be done to preserve the career opportunities of the large number of postal officials who will become redundant as a result of this action?
– I am unaware of all the details involved in the honourable senator’s question. I do know, however, that under the last Government in the 12 months to February last some 200 post offices were closed. It is therefore a matter that would require a lot of consideration. The simple answer to the honourable senator’s question is that since assuming office this Government has appointed a commission of inquiry into the affairs of the Post Office and 1 understand that the commission will soon commence the taking of evidence. So far as career opportunities are concerned, the development of regional centres will be an important matter. It is felt by the postal administration that there should be greater scope for career opportunities in those areas.
– My question is directed to the Minister for Primary Industry. Can the Minister say when the Australian Wool Industry Conference will bring down its report on its inquiry into the feasibility of acquisition and/or marketing of the Australian wool clip?
– Actually it is the Australian Wool Corporation which is investigating the feasibility of an acquisition scheme for the Australian wool clip. My latest information is that it will be some time yet before the report is ready. I have indicated that I do not want it to be a hurried report but that I want it to be a well documented report because the implications of what may arise from that recommendation will have very far reaching effects in the Australian rural community. I shall wait until the Corporation’s report is available, which I think will be some months yet.
My question is directed to the AttorneyGeneral. If he intends to take action leading to the deportation of anyone will the AttorneyGeneral assure the Senate that he will follow the due processes of law and give people the right to protect themselves, if necessary in a court?
– Of course the honourable senator will be assured of that. Ever when orders have been made against persons the procedure of habeas corpus is available to them to test whether the orders have been properly made. I think we must go further than that. We ought to have a proper mode of appeals, especially where there is an element of discretion in an order. I do not wish at this time to go into all the technicalities. Where persons become liable to deportation not so much automatically - if I may use a term of art - because of convictions or imprisonment but because of their conduct, there is already provision in the Act for a mode of appeal to a commissioner who is constituted by a judge or other official. I think that mode of procedure would appeal to honourable senators.
We have a policy, which has been announced, of having an administrative court of appeals not only in regard to administrative decisions but also in regard to a whole host of other decisions. These procedures ought to be instituted to enable persons to appeal against the administrative decisions of agencies or other bodies, especially when they are so personally affected as by deportation. We intend to introduce that procedure and I can assure the honourable senator that work is proceeding on the matter.
– I preface my question to the Attorney-General by saying that it is or should be one of the Parliament’s first duties to protect Australia and Australians against terrorism. I ask the Attorney-General: Will he endeavour to arrange the immediate and urgent deportation of any known terrorists? Will he continue to protect visiting dignitaries in the same manner as was recently adopted, if he considers it necessary? Will he accept the heartfelt thanks of thousands and indeed millions of Australians for his recent direct and forthright action in endeavouring to protect the community from terrorism?
– It is with very great pleasure that I feel able to answer yes to the honourable senator’s questions. I am pleased to see the attitude adopted by the honourable senator. When he refers to terrorists, I take it that he means, and 1 think everyone would understand him to mean, and that he is speaking in the context that there must be grounds for action. Proper procedures must be followed. I thank the honourable senator and I assure him that in the last several weeks, with the approach of the visit of the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, it was not as easy to act as may be thought by some persons who would scoff at the gravity of the situation in Australia. If some of them were aware of the assessments of the gravity of the position, even right up to the very end, they would not so lightly dismiss the precautions which were taken.
I assure the honourable senator that so far as I can I will see to it that people are not bombed in the streets of Sydney or subjected to terrorism or violence. Let us put it bluntly: I am not at all satisfied with the steps that were previously taken. I am quite sure that those people who are concerned federally with law enforcement authorities also are not satisfied with the steps that were taken. I propose, while observing all the due procedures, to do everything I can to stamp out terrorism and violence in Australia.
– In addressing my question to the Attorney-General I advise him that it is based on a statutory declaration I have in my hand. Can the Attorney-General explain why the home of Franjo Till, a Croatian invalid pensioner of 17 Nineteenth Street, Narrabundah, Australian Capital Territory, was entered and searched in the dead of night - at 3.25 a.m., to be precise - on 18th March last by a Commonwealth policeman, one Alfred Meir? Does the Minister know that Alfred Meir was accompanied by one other man in plain clothes who spoke fluent Croatian and who refused to identify himself? Is he aware that no member of his police force speaks fluent Croatian? Is he aware that the Commonwealth police officer could not or would not produce a search warrant, even when Till asked for it? Is he aware that this raid took place in the presence of 6 adults and a number of children, all of whom were wakened and terrified by a raid so typical of Nazi Germany? Does he know that nothing was found in the pensioner’s house? Can he explain why the man accompanying Constable Meir was, according to Till, a member of the Yugoslav secret police? If so, why was a member of the communist secret police allowed to take part in a raid upon the home of an Australian citizen? Can he inform the Senate how many Yugoslav secret police came to Australia with the man who he called a distinguished visitor, one Bijedic, once c’hief of the secret police in Yugoslavia? Can he inform the Senate how many Yugoslav secret police accompanied raids upon Australian homes in Canberra during the past 10 to 12 days? Can he attempt to justify the series of raids which he knows were made upon Australian homes - private property - during this period, without search warrants? Is this intended to be the standard procedure by the Minister’s new FBI or should I say Murphy’s Mafia’?
– -Order! I do not know how any Minister can answer a lengthy question like that. In defiance of the Standing
Orders, it is giving information. However, Senator Murphy is on his feet and apparently he is willing to answer the question so I call Senator Murphy.
– I will look into what has been alleged by the honourable senator. I take it that, apart from the observations he has made, there is a suggestion of some impropriety or illegality.
– There is a sworn statement that there is.
– The suggestion made by the honourable senator is that there is some illegality or impropriety. I will have the matter inquired into and inform the Senate.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Health, fs the Minister aware that since 1964 more than 200 sufferers from arteriosclerosis, at great cost to themselves in some cases necessitating the mortgage of their homes, have travelled to Germany from Australia to Dr Moller’s clinic in Kassel, Germany, for oxygen therapy treatment as practised by Dr Moller? Is he also aware that these sufferers had been told by their medicos that the only treatment left to them was amputation of the affected limbs? Is he also aware that these sufferers have returned to Australia with their limbs intact and able to lead normal lives? In view of this, will he obtain the medical reports of some of the people concerned prior to going to Germany and after their return? Would he have the oxygen therapy treatment of Dr Moller thoroughly examined for the purpose of having the treatment made available in Australia so that these people will not have to go to such expense to have their treatment in Germany?
– I am aware that my colleague Senator Drury, and also my colleague Senator Cavanagh, when we were in Opposition raised from time to time the question of arteriosclerosis sufferers and the fact that a great number of them had travelled to Germany from Australia to seek treatment from Dr Moller. I understand that some Australian States have conducted experiments on the method of treatment carried out by Dr Moller, but that none of the States has yet given its imprimatur to the type of treatment that has been carried out. However, I shall refer the content of the question to the Minister for Health and ask him to give it the detailed reply that it merits.
– In directing my question to the Attorney-General, I refer to the statement which he has laid before the Senate this day. As the Senate now has before it conflicting information given to it by 2 AttorneysGeneral, will the Attorney-General agree, in the interests of open government, to an early opportunity being given to Mr Barbour, the Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, to appear before the Senate and convey his view as to the true facts of this matter, that is, as to irrefutable evidence of extremist Croatian activity in Australia?
– I will discuss that with Mr Barbour. It is an interesting suggestion.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General who will recall that in answering an earlier question by Senator Greenwood he said that all information was available to the honourable senator. I ask the Attorney-General: Why then the raid on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s headquarters in Melbourne and the elaborate precaution of sealing the files?
– I do not think the 2 things are connected. I did not say that Senator Greenwood had all the information which I have. I pointed out to the Senate that Senator Greenwood had ample information at the time that he made the statements which he did.
– Is that irrefutable evidence?
– He had ample information, to the contrary of what was stated by him in the Senate, to show that there were terrorist organisations in Australia. That is what I said. I think it is a mistake for the honourable senator to assume that there has been no further information at all since that time.
– I ask a question of the Minister representing the Minister for Health. Has it yet been possible to make an evaluation of the effectiveness of current warnings that smoking is a health hazard? Are any changes contemplated? If so. what will be the nature of any such changes?
– I understand that the Commonwealth Department of Health has been conducting surveys on the effectiveness of the types of campaigns that have previously been conducted. As a result, I am told that it is intended to embark on an intensive advertising and educational campaign in some 19 foreign language journals that are circulating in Australia and, additionally, that the campaign that has been waged on radio and television will be stepped up. Tn this regard discussions are to take place tomorrow between officers of my Department and officers of the Commonwealth Department of Health, and tomorrow evening the Minister for Health and I will be in discussion about establishing a much more effective campaign over the media.
– Referring to the statement made by the Attorney-General this afternoon, I ask him: Will he apply to the violence and terrorism instigated by certain trade unions, such as the Building Workers Industrial Union, principles similar to those which he proposes to apply in relation to the alleged but as yet not proven violence by certain Croatians within Australia?
– If violence and terrorism are practised by any section of the community they should be dealt with. I think that attitude has to be taken. I do not accept what has been said by the honourable senator. His principle that in the community the approach to violence and terrorism should be broadly the same, of course, must be right. Let it be understood that violence and terrorism, if one may say so, are by no means restricted to a minority of the Croatian community. There is violence in other spheres. In regard to the area of organised crime, unfortunately most of what occurs is not in the Federal sphere and it cannot be dealt with by the Commonwealth Government. It is a matter for the State authorities to take steps in their spheres to deal with violence.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. It refers to the visit to Australia of the Yugoslav Prime Minister, reference to which was made in the statement of the Attorney-General earlier today. Was the Attorney-General given an assessment of the risks involved in the visit of the Yugoslav Prime Minister? If so, when was this assessment made and when was it given to him? Is it referred to in the documents which he tabled today and to which reference was made in his speech? If not, will he make it available, preferably to the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate?
– I was given at various times and by various persons a number of assessments of the danger involved in the visit. I sought those assessments, and I insisted upon having them. They varied in degree only in the sense that I think that the least risk referred to was an extreme degree of risk. A particular assessment which I can bring to mind was one that the danger was so great that the visit should not be held. That assessment was made by a very high Commonwealth officer. Other assessments made were that the risk was extremely great.
I think the Senate will be interested to learn, broadly and without going into all the details, that I took the view that there should be complete co-ordination in this matter and that there should be discussion with the Yugoslav authorities. I wanted to be certain that the best possible procedures could be instituted and that the Yugoslav authorities accepted and were satisfied with the procedures. I insisted that the procedures be worked out to arrangements which could be undertaken by one person with the operational responsibility and with th’e full authority for the carrying out of those procedures, and that was done.
– My question is directed to ‘the Attorney-General. I refer to a statement made by the then AttorneyGeneral, the late Dr Evatt, in Parliament on 20th September 1949:
To all intents and purposes the Director-General of Security is free from ministerial direction. That arrangement is essential in order to maintain maximum internal security which, I have no doubt, all honourable members wish to have preserved.
In view of the oft-repeated claim by Labor members that the late Dr Evatt was an outstanding Attorney-General, and in view of the full acceptance of that principle as enunciated by Dr Evatt, does the present AttorneyGeneral now uphold that principle?
Senaor MURPHY- The position of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and its Director-General is not one which should be misunderstood. I know that Senator Greenwood has made a lot of remarks on television which have astonished me, and probably have well astonished the Organisation, about the relationship between the Organisation and the executive Government. The previous Government, apparently unbeknown to Senator Greenwood, took steps to ensure that there was a proper relationship between the Director-General and the executive Government. The Director-General acknowledges, and apparently did acknowledge, although the former Attorney-General seemingly was not aware of it, that the Director-General is subject to the directions of the Attorney-General of the day, as are the other officers.
– Where do you get that?
– If the honourable senator who interrupts would care to look at the law on the matter-
– What about section 5 (1) (b) of the Act?
– This is question time but it would appear that we are carrying on a debate. I look at section 5 of the Act, as the honourable senator has suggested, and I say that if one wants to understand the relationship between the Organisation and the executive Government one has to look at the terms of the Act, including section 6, where one will see the answer which apparently the honourable senator seeks. I would have thought that any Attorney-General would have sought to ascertain the proper relationship. That appears in consequence of that section which provides that the Director-General shall hold office on such terms and conditions as the Governor-General determines. That is subject to the next succeeding sub-section.
– Fixed before his appointment and with a security in the appointment.
– I am pleased to hear what was said by Senator Wright because it is correct. The terms and conditions of service are fixed before the appointment of the Director-General. It seems that the previous
Attorney-General neglected, as I observed from hearing him on television the other night, to look at the terms and conditions of service otherwise some of the wrongful statements which were made would not have been made. I propose to bring to the attention of the Senate all these matters when presenting a report to it on the operation of the Organisation, or it may be convenient at some stage before then to table the terms and conditions of service of the Director-General.
– My question is addressed to the Attorney-General. Is it a fact that a few days ago Senator Hannan asked Senator Murphy whether he, Senator Murphy, was a close friend of the Yugoslav Prime Minister who at that time was about to visit Australia? Did this question subsequently prompt the Minister to fear for the life of the Yugoslav Prime Minister and for the safety of his own family?
– Knowing that the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia was very greatly opposed by persons in Australia-
– And in Yugoslavia.
– I heard the honourable senator say ‘And in Yugoslavia’. Knowing Senator Hannan’s connection with the Croatian movement -
– You know nothing whatever about that.
– 1 thought there was a reasonable apprehension that the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia would be the target of violence in Australia. I . think it was particularly unfortunate that Senator Hannan should, without any request of me and without any basis whatever, suggest that I was - I forget the word he used - personally acquainted with the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia. The only acquaintance I have had with the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia - the distinguished visitor to this country - was that which I had with him on the occasion of his visit a few days ago. I regret that the honourable senator saw fit to make the remark that he made.
– Mr President, I claim to have been misreported and seek permission to make a statement at the end of question time.
– All right.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. Is the Minister aware that it was reported by a Brisbane television station that the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia was given a 19-gun salute on his arrival in Australia? Can the Minister explain to the Senate the justification for that action, as I understand that only visiting royalty and heads of state are entitled to such treatment?
- Mr President, I regret that I am not expert in such matters of protocol. I will endeavour to ascertain the answer to the honourable senator’s question.
– I wish to direct a question to the Attorney-General. During the Attorney-General’s nocturnal raid on the headquarters of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation were certain members of the ASIO staff, including the DirectorGeneral, held incommunicado for several hours? If so, was the Prime Minister made aware of the Attorney-General’s intention to employ such tactics during his nocturnal visit?
– I find it difficult to answer a question which is so full of misstatement. Firstly, when I met the Director-General it was in the light of day. I forget what time of the morning it was. Secondly, I was greeted by the Director-General, taken on a tour of the building and asked to address the staff of ASIO. I did so. I spoke to the DirectorGeneral and some members of his staff for some considerable time. I cannot understand the suggestion by the honourable senator. Certainly the Director-General was not held incommunicado.
– My question, which is directed to the Attorney-General, follows a question I asked of him earlier and in reply to which the Attorney-General indicated to me that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation was concerned because the Ministry had not been advised of ASIO’s concern about the Yugoslav-Croatian position and that he was informed to that effect by Mr Barbour.
– I am sorry-
– Is that not right?
– Would you repeat what you have said?
– In response to an earlier question the Attorney-General said that ASIO was concerned at the ministerial indifference to its concern about the Croatian situation and that he was advised to that effect by Mr Barbour. The inference to be drawn from that is that ASIO was particularly concerned. In view of that, why was it necessary to raid ASIO when it was so concerned at the ministerial indifference? Why would it not volunteer its concern and save the necessity for a raid or any other intrusion?
– I have explained the circumstances of the visit. The honourable senator is putting to me something which was not as such the reason for my visit.
– I am asking what was the reason in view of that.
– I find it difficult because the honourable senator is suggesting that some concern over the indifference was the explanation. The reason for my action in seeing to it that certain safes and containers were sealed was that I wanted certain information preserved. The reason for my visit was to ascertain certain information.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. I am concerned at the first step which occurred on the night of 15th- 16th March last. Is it a fact that the Attorney-General called at the home of the Regional Director of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in Canberra in the middle of the night of 15th- 16th March in company with Commonwealth police, got the Regional Director out of bed and took him at that hour of the night to the headquarters of ASIO in Canberra? If this is the case, why did the Attorney-General act like a petty Gestapo leader?
– The answer to the first part of the honourable senator’s question is no. Therefore it is unnecessary to answer the second part of his question.
– I direct a question to the Attorney-General. Reference was made in the Attorney-General’s statement to the fact that some of the documents which were tabled this afternoon bear the classification stamp ‘Secret* or ‘Confidential’. The AttorneyGeneral said that they are no longer so, that they all had been declassified and that no breach of security was involved in tabling them now. I now ask the Attorney-General: By whose direction and authority were these documents declassified?
– I suppose the ultimate authority for doing that would be the AttorneyGeneral, but in taking such action, of course, the advice of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation was sought. In fact, as would be expected, assistance was sought to ensure that such documents as were declassified were properly declassified. What one would expect to happen has happened.
– I direct a question to the Attorney-General. Would I be correct in feeling that his recent action to isolate a minority element was preferable to the unfortunate decision of the Queensland Government to deny all Croats employment in its State migrant hostels?
– I am not aware of what was stated by Senator Mulivihill as being the action of the Queensland Government. The policy of the new Government is to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. I think it has been announced already that legislation will be introduced into this Parliament to implement the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. As I conceive it, it will be possible, pursuant to that legislation, for this Parliament to insist that any form of racial discrimination be eliminated in Australia, whether such discrimination be by the Federal Government and its agencies or by State governments and their agencies. Bear with me a little if I am not able to speak with certainty on the matter. My understanding is that we will be able to legislate generally to forbid the pactice of any form of racial discrimination throughout Australia. That applies to employment and other activities of life.
– My question which is directed to the Attorney-General follows the question asked by Senator Durack.
Will the Attorney-General state to the Senate precisely what happened on the night of 15th- 16th March at the Canberra regional office of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation? Was the Regional Director required to attend at his office? If he was, at what time was he required to attend? Who asked him to attend? Did the Attorney-General go to the regional office? Who was present? For how long was the Attorney-General there?
– As I recall- I take it the Senate is not requiring that I exercise absolute precision - it was somewhere shortly before midnight and shortly after the Senate had risen. As to who asked the regional director to attend, I think my private secretary telephoned the regional director and asked him to come. The persons who were present were the regional director, a Mr Hunt, another officer, myself, my private secretary and a Mr Milte. There was one or maybe more Commonwealth police officers present who were normally on the premises. They were not part of any proceedings or conversations. I think they were all the people in the building.
– For how long were you there?
– I am not sure of the time. If that is of importance, it might have been about three-quarters of an hour. It may have been a little longer. I am not sure.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral whether he will agree that the operations in Australia of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation have been severely restricted in securing information from overseas countries, particularly non-Communist countries, as a result of the raid on its headquarters in Melbourne.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral whether it was with his knowledge or by his direction that the 20 to 30 Commonwealth police - I think he said 27 - attended the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation headquarters in Melbourne. Did the duties which they performed there include supervision of the movements of ASIO officers? Were they present when the officers of ASIO were addressed by the AttorneyGeneral?
– The duties of the police officers were to seal safes, cabinets and so on. I think that the officers were present when I came.
– Was that either at your direction or within your knowledge?
– As to the precise number, not with my knowledge. That was an administrative matter of which I was unaware.
– For what purpose did the Attorney-General say that a number was required?
– That is an administrative matter. It is for the officer in charge to attend to these matters. A simple direction was given as to the sealing of safes, cabinets and containers. Thai is the position. I am unaware of the presence or otherwise of the officers. When I addressed members of the staff I suppose they may have heard the speech. I was pleased at the response to the speech. I think that is enough to answer the honourable senator’s question.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General.
– Mr Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. You have called 3 or 4 members on the Opposition benches and I have been on my feet on each occasion, yet you have failed to call me.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - Senator Rae, in view of my failure to recognise Senator Milliner, will you yield?
– Yes, although I could perhaps say that I have been on my feet more often than has Senator Milliner.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT - I suggest that you are younger.
– My question is directed to the Minister for the Media. Does the Minister recall the scurrilous and damaging disclosures made in this place last year when it was learned that the Liberal-Country Party Government had contemptuously approved the action of planting an informer in the embassy of a friendly nation and had used the information supplied by that informer to sabotage the effective role of that embassy?
– I think my colleague is referring to the Hoffmann case and the Japanese Embassy, when it was alleged that the wife of an officer of the Customs Department was planted in the Japanese Embassy by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. If my recollection is correct it was not 1972 but 1970.
– My question is addressed to the Attorney-General and follows his answers to earlier questions which related to the presence of Commonwealth police officers numbering, as I total them, 27 plus 3 who accompanied him - 30 in all - in the headquarters of ASIO-
– I am not dead sure of that number.
– Give or take some. This was in the premises of the .Melbourne headquarters of ASIO. How did those Commonwealth police officers who were sent to seal safes, cabinets and containers gain entry into the premises of ASIO in Melbourne and at whose direction did they enter the premises of ASIO?
– I suppose they were let in by the Commonwealth police officer who was there. Frankly, I do not know, but I assume that this would be the appropriate procedure. I am not sure how many Commonwealth police officers are on duty in the building. The person who would give the direction would be the officer in charge of the Victorian division of the Commonwealth Police. Ultimately, police officers act on the instructions which are given to them.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. What reason did he have to believe that action should be taken to preserve certain information so that he gave a direction that the safes in ASIO should be sealed until he got there?
– I had what I considered in my judgment to be good reason. I had reason to believe that the action which I took was appropriate. After leaving the Canberra office of ASIO I was convinced that the belief that I had was confirmed, and that is the reason.
– Has the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Education been drawn to statements that some schools in Victoria are utilising Commonwealth scholarship money as payment towards composite fees? Should not these moneys be paid direct to a child or his parents?
– My attention has not been drawn to the statements alluded to by the honourable senator. Now that he has done so, I shall refer the matter to our colleague the Minister for Education in another place and I shall ask him to provide the information that the honourable senator seeks.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral: Does he state that the good reason which he had, and which he will keep to himself and tell no-one else, was confirmed? Do I understand him aright? By whom and how was it subsequently confirmed? j
– My answer is that what I found in the Canberra office of ASIO caused me to believe that action should be taken to preserve information and I took that action.
– Don’t you think that you should tell us about it?
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral whether any Yugoslav secret police were present during the Attorney-General’s raid on ASIO. Has any information obtained on that occasion been passed on to any Yugoslav body or any other outside body or individual?
– I have never met any Yugoslav secret police, unless they were present on the occasion of the visit of the Yugoslav Prime Minister and I did not recognise them. No Yugoslav secret police accompanied me.
– I did not say ‘accompanied’. Were they present?
– No Yugoslav secret police were present. I have already said that no unauthorised person opened any file or inspected any document and no unlawful conduct took place. Does that sufficiently answer the question about the Yugoslav secret police? No such person was present in the premises of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation headquarters or other office.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. During his visit to the headquarters of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in Melbourne did he not have to guard against leaks of information similar to leaks which are the subject matter of some of the questions asked today by Opposition senators?
– I have indicated to the Senate that I took action to ascertain and preserve certain information. I believe that 1 acted rightly and J have informed the Senate, 1 think in some considerable detail, about what happened.
– You have condemned ASIO.
– I have not. The honourable senator has no right to make any such assumptions about any body or person. I informed the Senate of the action that I took. I told the Senate, as to a- number of the other matters, that I intended to make a full report to it about the structure and operations of ASIO. I have answered a great number of questions on this subject. I trust that honourable senators are not attempting to divert the Senate and others from the statement on the Croats and terrorism and the performance of the previous Government in this matter.
Sitting suspended from 5.47 to 8 p.m.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral whether or not, since his assumption of that office, any prosecutions have been initiated in courts of law in relation to any of the people whom he mentioned in his statement this afternoon as persons implicated in criminal offences.
– It is 8 o’clock and question time has gone for 2 hours. Apart from that, I think that the honourable senator is entitled to a precise answer on the matter, and I ask that the question be placed on notice.
– Mr President, in regard to the matter raised by Senator Murphy, we started question time after the statement was put down and, as I understand it, as long as honourable senators desire to ask questions they should be entitled to ask them.
– Order! Honourable senators may ask questions but it is not incumbent upon Ministers to answer them; they can ask that the questions be put on notice if they want to do so. Senator Murphy has asked that Senator Wright’s question be put on notice.
– I ask a question of the Minister for Primary Industry. A couple of weeks ago I asked him a question about the position regarding the imports of potatoes from New Zealand which were causing considerable concern to Australian potato growers, naturally, because of competition and also because of the fear of the introduction of certain potato diseases into Australia. I have not heard from the Minister. Can he give me any information at this stage?
– If, as Senator McManus has indicated, he asked me that question, I am sorry if I have overlooked the answer. I shall look into it immediately question time is finished and supply him with the answer.
– Will the Minister representing the Treasurer say what new orders have been given to officers of the Taxation Office with a view to collecting any outstanding tax at an earlier time than has been the practice in the past? Is the Government in such an urgent need of money due to its recent spending that it must go to the extent of demanding such rapid tax payments as may send some people bankrupt? Finally, are repayments from the Taxation Office being held up because the Government does not have the money to repay what is owed to many taxpayers throughout Australia?
– The first part was a legitimate question and I will find out the answer from the Treasurer. I ignore the rest of the question.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral why, on the night of 15th-16th March, he chose to require the Regional Director of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in Canberra to leave his home and go to the office at about midnight instead of himself telephoning the Regional Director and seeking the information without the peremptory command to go to the office.
– I ask that the question be put on notice. If the honourable senator wants to ask questions, he can do so tomorrow. In any event, I ask that the question be put on notice.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. I refer to the summary of documents which has been tabled by him in the Senate today. The first paragraph states:
The documents constitute evidence that Croatian terrorist organisations exist in Australia and have so existed for many years.
Does the Attorney-General assure the Senate that there is definite and irrefutable proof that terrorist organisations have existed in Australia for many years? Does he verify that both the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Commonwealth Police have produced to him definite and irrefutable proof that prior to 30th June last these organisations existed?
– I think that rather than ask that the question be put on notice I should answer it by asking the honourable senator to read the statement.
– My question is directed to the Attorney-General. What person or persons in the. Australian Security Intelligence Organisation does he mistrust so as to cause him to seal the files?
– I do not propose to answer that question.
– I direct a question to the Attorney-General. Does he recall that on many occasions during his spell in Opposition he stated that Senator Greenwood had ample evidence to prosecute Croatian terrorists? As all this evidence has been available to him now for 4 months, why has he not prosecuted anybody? Does this mean that he was in error in stating previously that Senator Greenwood had ample evidence? If not, by what stretch of imagination does he justify his raid on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation?
– I have already indicated that question time went for approximately 2 hours this afternoon. As a result of the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, question time was postponed until after I made a statement on Croatian terrorists. I made that statement. I have answered a lot of questions on this matter.
– Order! The AttorneyGeneral is entitled to make a statement in response to questions that have been addressed to him. It is not in order for honourable senators on my left to interrupt constantly with a barrage of interjections.
– There is a-
– I rise to a point of order, Mr President. Is the Minister in order in making a statement, when a question is directed to him, which is not in answer to the question?
– There is no substance to the point of order.
– I indicated that question time has lasted for 2 hours today and that tomorrow there will be another question time. I ask honourable senators to accept the proposition that question time having extended over a considerable period - my estimate is something like 2 hours - any further questions that they want to ask might be asked tomorrow. I ask that further questions be placed on notice.
– I call Senator Greenwood.
– I preface my question, addressed to the Attorney-General, by saying that I have been waiting for 12 days to ask questions. Did he not request the President of the Senate today to have the Senate proceedings broadcast today and not on Wednesday? Does this mean that if he puts questions on notice tomorrow they will not be broadcast whereas today they will be?
– Order! I shall answer the question. I received a letter this morning from the Leader of the Government in the Senate asking that the normal broadcasting day for the Senate be changed from Wednesday to Tuesday. I then convened, with the agreement of Mr Speaker in another place, a meeting of the Joint Statutory Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings. At that meeting we proceeded to elect a Chairman, and I take advantage of this occasion to make the announcement that Mr Speaker was elected Chairman of the Committee. The matter was discussed and a decision was made to transfer the day for broadcasting. Having said that, I wish to state that this morning I examined this whole matter of questions. Until 26th September 1967 it had been the practice of the Senate that when the Minister in charge wanted questions without notice to be concluded he asked, without proposing any motion, that further questions be placed on the notice paper. Upon his making such a request the President then proceeded to deal with questions upon notice or the next business as the case may be. This practice was based upon the well established rule of procedure that there is no obligation upon a Minister to answer questions. In other words, it is entirely discretionary with Ministers as to whether or not they answer questions.
On 26th September 1967 a Minister, inadvertently I think - my recollection of this is quite clear - took the unusual course of moving that further questions be placed on the notice paper. The President intervened and stated that it was the practice of the Senate that a Minister had the right to ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper without proposing a motion. Objection was taken and the matter was resolved when the motion was moved by an Opposition senator, and agreed to, that questions without notice be proceeded with. Since that time no Minister has attempted to terminate question time as long as honourable senators wished to ask questions. I might add that the duration of question time has increased markedly from about 45 minutes prior to 1967 to 80 minutes at the end of last year, and 110 minutes - that is, an average of nearly 2 hours - during the first weeks of the present session. Notwithstanding the September 1967 proceedings, there is still no obligation upon a Minister to answer questions, and if the Minister in charge asks after a certain time that further questions without notice be placed on the notice paper I believe that I have no alternative but to call the next business.
- Mr President what you have said goes to the root of the right and privileges of honourable senators. With great respect, Mr Presidest, what you have said should not just disappear as a statement laid down by you. Without in any way attempting to prejudge the situation or to get into an argument about what you have said, I believe that the whole matter ought to be raised again on another occasion and be the subject of a debate. The Senate then ought to determine the issue for the time being. I am terribly conscious of the fact that what happens with respect to one Senate cannot bind the next and that the Senate is always mast of his own place. I can say only that I am one of those who prefer to work by the Standing Orders and to use Senate practice only as a guide and not as something which is occasionally used to override or almost divert one’s attention from the Standing Orders. Therefore, Mr President, without in any way speaking in derogation of what you have said, I move:
That the Senate take note of the statement by the President.
I do so to enable the matter to come up at a later date for a full, free and frank discussion and determination in this place.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
– I think the carrying of Senator Withers’ motion terminates the debate on that subject. 1 call on questions on notice.
– Mr President-
– Are you moving to disagree?
– No, Mr President. I think there has been some misunderstanding, possibly by all honourable senators, as to the purport of what Senator Withers was intending.
– Are you taking a point of order or seeking leave to make a statement?
– I take a point of order. Sir, you have risen and made a statement, which it is your right to do at any time, in which you have indicated that if a certain eventuality arises you will take action. As soon as you made that statement Senator Withers addressed himself to the implications of that statement for the conduct of the Senate. I think he very properly raised the question that this matter should be debated and considered by the Senate. I think that is a view which would commend itself to all honourable senators. Senator Withers moved a motion to the effect that the Senate take note of your statement, Mr President. The motion was then put by you without further debate. No honourable senator spoke-
– Senator Wright was standing.
– I know that Senator Wright was standing, but he did not catch your eye, Sir. No opportunity was given for debate on that statement. I understand that you are now about to proceed to the calling of questions on notice. I have a number of questions which I have been painstakingly waiting for 12 days to ask. I feel that the Senate should be a forum in which the representatives of the people can ask questions. Even if Ministers are not prepared to answer those questions, at least we should be given the opportunity of asking them. I raise the point, Sir, that we should still be dealing with questions without notice until you direct that no further questions without notice may be, asked. If that situation arose the Senate could then determine what its course of action would be. I have risen on a point of order to ask a further question without notice.
– I wish to speak to the point of order. It seems, Mr President, that you made a statement in which you gave a ruling. The Leader of the Opposition moved that the Senate take note of your statement. That motion was adopted by the Senate when it was put to the vote. It seemed reasonable to us on this side of the chamber that it be carried. We did not object to that and your statement has been dealt with by the Senate. With respect, it seems that not only have you stated what the position is but also honourable senators have endorsed the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition, and therefore we should proceed to questions on notice.
– I so rule.
– I rise on a point of order. I agree with Senator Murphy that I no doubt fumbled that last procedural motion. I suppose confession is good for the soul but evidently the Attorney-General does not wish to indulge in it in relation to his own activities. I did expect that what I had said regarding your statement would be debated further. I now realise that I should have asked for leave to continue my remarks if some other honourable senator had not taken the adjournment.
– We cannot hear what you are saying.
– I am terribly sorry because it is well worth hearing. I take it, Mr President, that you have now ruled that you will take no further questions without notice.
– Mr President, you put me in a difficult position. I have no desire to move a motion of dissent from your ruling but I am almost placed in that position. Because of the respect that honourable senators who sit behind me have for you and for the office which you hold - for that reason and for that reason alone - I do not intend to move that the Senate dissent from your ruling.
– You are showing good judgment.
– I said ‘for that reason and for that reason alone’. At the earliest opportunity, which I take it will be when notices of motion are called on tomorrow morning. I will reactivate this question by giving notice of motion so that this matter will not pass unnoticed by the Senate and so that the rights and privileges of honourable senators will not be taken from them. It will be more than interesting at that stage to see what attitude is taken to that motion by the great parliamentarians who now sit opposite. If you rule that there is no substance in the point of order taken by Senator Greenwood,
Mr President, we on this side will accept that ruling, but again I say that we will accept it out of deference both to you personally and to the office you hold, and for no other reason.
– I just wish to add a further remark. The President of the Senate is appointed to hold that position in order to uphold the orders and laws of the Senate, which are the Standing Orders, and the practices which have been accepted. It is on that basis that I made the ruling which I made. Therefore I do not face with any terror any motion of dissent that may be forecast.
– I direct a question to you, Mr President. As broadcasting of the Senate’s proceedings has been changed from Wednesday when they are normally broadcast to today, at what time tonight will the Senate now rise?
– There is no sessional order in that regard and it is within the competence of the Senate to decide when it will rise tonight.
– There is no sessional honourable senators to the fact that sitting in the gallery on my left is a delegation from the People’s Assembly of the Arab Republic of Egypt which is visiting Australia. I take this opportunity of expressing to the members of that delegation a warm appreciation of their presence in Australia and the pleasure we have because they grace our proceedings this evening.
– I rise to ask you a question, Mr President. In view of the ruling which you have made, what does the practice of the Senate permit to enable the representatives of the people elected to this place to ask questions, as is their right, when the Ministers have, refused when the Senate is not sitting to answer any questions until the Senate actually resumes? Where in the practice to which you have adverted is there any right for that particular right of honourable senators to be acknowledged?
– Order! AU I am saying is that this morning I anticipated that during this day matters would arise which would concern honourable senators. Several matters crossed my mind. Naturally, as President, one of the matters which crossed my mind was question time. This morning I spent some time with the Clerks of the Senate investigating all aspects of questions and the control that could be exerted over them. I, personally, am not in any way depriving honourable senators of the right to ask questions. I am merely saying that it is my opinion that the ruling which I have given and which is based on a practice which has existed for a great number of years is correct. I am not prepared to throw a practice overboard unless I am directed to do so by the Senate. Senator Withers has mentioned that he will give notice on a subsequent occasion to move to see that this matter is put in another light. It is the right of the honourable senator to do so and I do not shrink from that.
- Mr President, in your answer relating to the broadcasting of the proceedings of the Senate I do not think you conveyed to honourable senators the reason the Senate is being broadcast this day. Would you give the Senate that information?
– At the present moment there is no sessional order and that has not been considered. I have already stated that the time for the rising of the Senate is determined by the Senate.
– ‘With respect, Mr President, that was not the question I asked you. I regret that you were speaking at the time. I asked why the Senate, and not the House of Representatives is being broadcast this day. The reason I raise the matter is that if it is because a statement was to be made by the Attorney-General this day, I point out that the statement was to be made in the House of Representatives at the same. time. The Senate now having apparently finished with the matter of the Attorney-General’s statement, I ask why the Senate is being broadcast this day.
– Honourable senators will recall that I mentioned earlier that a request was made to me quite properly by the Leader of the Government in the Senate whether it was possible to change the day for broadcasting to Tuesday. Senate proceedings are normally broadcast on Wednesday. I replied that this matter lies within the total province of the Joint Statutory Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings. The Committee met this morning under the chairmanship, ultimately, of Mr Speaker. Senator O’Bryne and Senator Hannan were there as representatives of the Senate. After considered debate it was decided by the Committee that it should accede to the wish of the Leader of the Government in the Senate and change the day for the broadcasting of the Senate from Wednesday to Tuesday. This decision was based on a precedent. On the occasion of the resignation of the then Prime Minister, the right honourable J. G. Gorton, the Senate, holding the right to broadcast on Wednesday, was asked whether it would allow the broadcast of proceedings to be transferred from the Senate to the House of Representatives. It was the wish of the Committee that permission should be granted for this broadcasting change to take place. Senator Webster, I add for your personal information that neither Mr Speaker nor myself voted on the question.
- Mr President, you will recall that during question time I indicated that I would seek leave to make a personal explanation.
– Order! Earlier in the day Senator Hannan claimed to have been misrepresented and I told him that at the conclusion of question time I would provide him with an opportunity to make a personal explanation. I do so now.
– You will recall, Mr President, that this afternoon Senator Murphy had Senator Cant ask him a question which suggested that a question which I had asked 10 days ago had imperilled Senator Murphy’s life and the lives of other people. I was extremely shocked by that suggestion and I rebut it. It is true that during question time I had asked Senator Murphy whether he had any personal acquaintanceship with the Yugoslav Prime Minister, Bijedic. I state that I was given this information from a reliable source and I asked Senator Murphy to inquire of Bijedic about certain matters related to human justice. Senator Murphy denied acquaintanceship with Bijedic. I accepted the denial and passed it on to my informant. I refute as contemptible, melodramatic offal the suggestion that my question imperilled physically Senator Murphy or anyone else. The Croatian people with whom I have contact would not dream of employing violence against Senator Murphy, Bijedic or anyone else.
On 15th March Senator Murphy, among other things - ordinarily I would not refer to this matter but he has asked me to do so - described Yugoslav Prime Minister Bijedic to me in the Senate as a distinguished visitor. Later he told me that he had now found out that Bijedic was a villain.
– Senator Murphy told me that Bijedic was a villain. At the same time I told Senator Murphy that the vast bulk of the Croatian people would not go within miles of Bijedic and that the dramatic buildup was a pantomime. That is exactly what happened.
– I ask for leave to make a personal explanation.
– Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
Senator MURPHY (New South Wales - Attorney-General) The honourable senator has just made a statement which aggravates what had been said before by him. When certain information came to me I reproved Senator Hannan for having suggested at one and the same time that I was a personal acquaintance of the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia and that that man was a villain. In the context in which he put it, violence would be anticipated against the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia. I think it is most unfortunate that Senator Hannan in any way sought to put together what he did in a question in the Senate. The best I can say about what the honourable senator has just now put is that he has gravely misunderstood what he ought to have had clear. At no stage whatever have I accepted remarks which have been made by him or anyone else which are in any way disparaging of the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia.
Assent to the following Bills reported:
Social Services Bill 1973. Repatriation Bill 1973.
Repatriation (Special Overseas Service) Bill 1973.
Repatriation (Far East Strategic Reserve) Bill 1973.
Interim Forces Benefits Bill 1973.
Seamen’s War Pensions and Allowances Bill 1973.
Commonwealth Electoral Bill 1973.
Australian Capital Territory Representation Bill 1973.
Northern Territory (Administration) Bill 1973.
Senator MURPHY (New South Wales-
Minister for Customs and Excise) - Pursuant to section 12b of the Tariff Board Act 1921-1972 I present a Tariff Board report on fibreboard by-law.
– Order! It is my understanding that the delegation from the People’s Assembly of the Arab Republic of Egypt is about to leave the Senate chamber. I take this opportunity on behalf of honourable senators to wish its members farewell.
– Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
– I wish to inform the Senate that the Treasurer, Mr Crean, left Australia on Tuesday, 20th March, to attend the meeting in Washington of the International Monetary Fund Committee of the Board of Governors on Reform of the International Monetary System. He is expected to return to Australia on Monday, 2nd April. During his absence, the Minister for Social Security, Mr Hayden, is acting as Treasurer.
Motion (by Senator Murphy) agreed to:
That unless otherwise ordered the days and times of meeting of the Senate for this week be as follows:
Tuesday- until 11.00 p.m.
Wednesday- 3.00 p.m. to 5.45 p.m. 8.00 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.
Thursday- 1 1.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. 2.00 p.m. to 5.45 p.m. 8.00 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.
And that the question ‘that the Senate do now adjourn be put at 11.00 o’clock tonight and at 10.30 p.m. on the other nights.
– I am informed that the Regulations and Ordinances Committee which was reappointed by the Senate has elected Senator Devitt as its Chairman. I ask leave to move a motion of appreciation of the work of the previous Chairman of the Committee.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
– I move:
That the Senate place upon record its appreciation of the long and meritorious service rendered by Senator Wood as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances from 23rd September 1953 to 26th February 1973 and the valuable work done by the Committee under Senator Wood’s chairmanship.
It gives me great pleasure to move this motion. The service that Senator Wood has rendered to good government through his membership and chairmanship of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee is a service that demands acknowledgment by the Parliament. His unflagging dedication to what must often have been an onerous task has been and will remain an example to all of us who serve in this place. The new Chairman of the Committee faces an unenviable task in having to follow in the footsteps of such a hard working and determined predecessor.
All of us here are well aware of Senator Wood’s devotion to the responsibilities he has as an elected representative of the Australian people. On occasions, largely as a result of the admirable independence he has shown, Senator Wood has been described as a maverick and even a rebel. It is not for me here today to judge whether or not these descriptions apply or whether, if they do, they are inappropriate. What we do know without any shadow of a doubt is that Senator Wood is a man who has, throughout his lengthy parliamentary career and his service on the Regulations and Ordinances Committee, been thoroughly committed to the traditional principles of parliamentary representation.
His primary concern has always been that the rights of individual Australians be upheld through their elected represenatives, such as himself, working through the institutions of the Parliament of Australia. In this regard his unswerving commitment to this fine principle has probably been unsurpassed. His role and reputation as Chairman of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee has spread far beyond this country. His particular expertise is recognised by parliamentary institutions in a number of countries. The British Parliament, for example, asked Senator Wood’s advice on how it could best make a committee like our own Regulations and Ordinances Committee work. This is an appropriate commendation of a man who has made it his personal responsibility to ensure the proper workings of the Committee. The Parliament owes much to Senator Wood for his contribution since 1950 and especially since he became the Committee’s Chairman in 1953.
An excellent example of the principles which Senator Wood applied to his role was his Committee’s disallowance of a regulation giving retrospective agreement to payments of $8,000 and more to flight crew officers. In explanation, Senator Wood made his priorities clear. He said that the regulations concerned had violated the principles of parliamentary control of expenditure. He added:
Not only, has the Parliament been denied the right to approve or disapprove all expenditures; public moneys have been expended by the Minister with no authority either explicit or implicit.
This is the kind of action and attitude for which the work of Senator Wood as Chairman of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee will be remembered. At times his high principles may have brought him rebukes from his former governmental colleagues and his party, but he held fast to what he saw as his duty. For this he deserves nothing but the highest praise.
When I came to this Parliament I did so with a knowledge already of what had been achieved by the Regulations and Ordinances Committee under the chairmanship of Senator Wood. That body and his work have become known throughout the English speaking world for the way in which a parliamentary committee has carried out the supervision of delegated legislation. Some years ago there was a fear that regulation making might get out of hand and it was important that there be proper management of this by the Parliament. I noted, even before I came here, that in the journals on public law the work of this Committee under Senator Wood had been described as the most effective work of any body in the parliamentary system. Recognition of that work is to be found in learned journals and also in the fact that visits have been made to Australia by distinguished visitors to see how the Committee worked and what made it work. What made it work obviously has been the dedication of the members of the Committee and particularly of its Chairman.
I think that each time the work of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee has been raised in the Senate it has drawn special praise not only from the Government but from all honourable senators. During the period when Senator Wood was the Chairman it was one of the most successful examples of the operation of the Parliament. It is through the committees that the Parliament is able to work effectively. Debates in this chamber are important. So are the committees. Committees cannot work unless their members are devoted persons. This is especially so of the chairman. The Senate is indebted to Senator Wood for what he has done over the years. He has brought credit not only to the Committee and to himself but to the Senate and to the Parliament for his achievements. On behalf of the Government and, I think, of the Senate, I thank him. I ask the Senate to join with me in placing upon record this appreciation of what is, I think, an absolutely unprecedented length of .service on a committee. His service has been not merely a lengthy service but an outstanding and unprecedented service in the interests of the nation.
– The Opposition wishes to be associated with tha remarks made and the motion moved by Senator Murphy. Senator Wood is, of course, well known to us on this side. Both my deputy Senator Greenwood and myself were blooded on the Regulations and Ordinances Committee. I think many other senators on this side were also blooded - I use that term in its correct sense - under Senator Wood’s chairmanship. Perhaps it was there that we learnt that occasionally one should stay with principle and not with one’s Party. Most of us who sat under Senator Wood’s jurisdiction took a leaf out of his book at one time or another. As the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Murphy) has said, 20 years is a long time. I believe that length of service is not as important as quality of service. lt is the quality of service which Senator
Wood brought to the position of chairman to which we pay tribute tonight. The quality of service was just not in the fact that he was a good and active chairman and that he enjoyed his work; the quality of service resided more in the fact that he had the courage to face his colleagues in government, to disagree with them and to come into this place and vote according to his conscience. No higher tribute could be paid to any senator.
Now that Senator Devitt occupies the chair which was occupied so distinguishedly by his predecessor, this is one of the challenges which he must pick up. We on this side have never been caucused, but Senator Wood would not have been caucused even if we had been caucused. I think that is terribly important. If this Committee has had the standing which we claim that it has had it has had that standing because Senator Wood has always said: ‘This Committee is above Party politics. Its decisions must be arrived at on the correct principles’. That is what made the quality of his work so important. It was principle above party politics. I think it is for the incoming Committee to stay with the challenge which has been carried so ably for 20 years by Senator Wood. It is for that that the Opposition thanks him and wishes him well.
– I support the motion moved by Senator Murphy and endorsed by Senator Withers on behalf of the Opposition. I endorse fully the sentiments which both honourable senators have expressed. I would like briefly in my own way to pay my own tribute to Senator Wood. I have had the privilege and pleasure of serving on 2 committees of this Parliament with Senator Wood since I came here approximately 8 years ago, and on every instance on which I had the privilege of sitting with him on those committees I had occasion to appreciate sincerely the guidance and good judgment which he brought to bear upon their deliberations.
This is a most significant time in the history of this very important Senate committee, the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances. Perhaps I should put the record straight. The association of Senator Wood with this Committee is of a duration of 23 years or thereabouts. In fact it slightly exceeds 23 years because he first became a member in February 1950. He acceded to the office of Chairman in 1953. I think it was a very great tribute to him that his colleagues saw fit to return him as Chairman of that Committee for an unbroken period of 20 years. I think it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the occasion might arise in the next 2 years when we can once again pay tribute to Senator Wood for having achieved the very rare distinction, which it would then be surely, of having had a continuous active association with this Committee for something in the vicinity of a quarter of a century.
I realise only too well the weighty task which I assume on acceding to the important office of Chairman of this Committee. I do not hope to emulate the time of service of Senator Wood on this Committee; I think that would be expecting too much. What I will try to do throughout the course of my chairmanship of it, with the help of my colleagues on the Committee from time to time, is to emulate the standard of work and performance of Senator Wood, the dignity which he brought to the office of Chairman of the Committee, and the manner in which he was able to extract from every member of it their very best on all occasions. I had the privilege - I appreciated it very much indeed - on the occasion of the initial meeting of the Committee a few days ago to pay tribute to Senator Wood on behalf of those who were assembled there as current members of it and to indicate to him that I felt certain that the sentiments I was then expressing would be the sentiments of all those who have been distinguished members of the Committee in past years. I am very grateful to Senator Wood for his kind consideration of all the issues raised since I have been on the Committee. I think that as Chairman Senator Wood brought great credit to a very creditable and most outstanding Committee of this Parliament. I sincerely hope that it will be within my capacity to attempt at least to emulate the level of performance and wonderful service which he has given to the Committee and to the Senate.
– I speak on behalf of the Democratic Labor Party and, in particular, on my own behalf. The Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances congratulates Senator Wood on the work he has done and the contribution he has made to the functioning of Parliament as a member and Chairman of the Committee. I pay this tribute to him, I being, in this chamber, perhaps apart from Senator Wright, the one who at the earliest time was associated with him on that Committee. I have been a member of it, except for some years, since I think 1951. The Committee, by its nature, really is a professional committee. It is one on which a number of legally qualified gentlemen sit, and it is one before which legal problems come up for constant attention. Senator Wood is not a lawyer, but in spite of that he always enjoyed the respect of all members of the Committee. Those who had professional qualifications brought their particular professional skill to it and operated under a lay chairman. They respected his judgment and they respected his acceptance of their professional advice.
Senator Wood is one member of this chamber who has a particularly high regard for the parliamentary institution. I do not know whether this is as a result of his work on the Committee or whether his dedication to the Committee is as a result of his interest in Parliament and in its proper functioning, but certainly Senator Wood is essentially a parliamentary man. That, I think, is reflected in the work he did on this Committee which essentially is in the interests of Parliament and in the interests of the parliamentary proceedings. On behalf of the Democratic Labor Party I thank Senator Wood for the work he did on this Committee for this Parliament. It was a long term, it was a fruitful term, and it was a term that will be remembered always in the records of the Parliament and in the recollections of those who had the privilege of serving with him and of knowing of his work on this Committee.
– I wish to associate the members of the Australian Country Party with the tributes that have been paid by previous speakers to Senator Wood for his 20 years service on the Regulations and Ordinances Committee. I cannot go back as far as Senator Byrne - to 1952 - but I can go back to 1958 when, as a new member of this Parliament, I together with the Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Willesee), was a member of the Committee. I well recall the assistance, encouragement and advice I received at that time from the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Wood. Senator Webster, who served on the Committee for 3 years, and Senator Lawrie, who served on it for 6 years, join me in paying this tribute to Senator Wood and in wishing ‘ him well in the years to come. Mr Deputy President, I think you also served on the Committee. I couple your name with the remarks I have expressed in appreciation of the service performed by Senator Wood.
– I think most of what could be said about Senator Wood has already been said. I do not want to reiterate what has been said; I just want to lend my name to the remarks that have been made about Senator Wood’s chairmanship of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee. I spent many years on that Committee, lt is not without some regret that fate and the electors of Australia have decided that I should not serve for an extended period on the Committee. I did appreciate the guidance and the chairmanship of Senator Wood during the time 1 was a member of the Committee. My impression of him as an individual was that he had such an obsession for the purity of the decisions of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee that nothing deterred him from performing his duty. He took away from the Committee the whole question of party politics and repeatedly expressed the view that issues should not be decided on party political lines. During the long term of my membership of the Committee I found it rare for its votes not to be either unanimous or almost unanimous. Whenever the Committee made a decision that was contrary to the policy of the Government at the time, Ian Wood never faltered in supporting the decision of the Committee as against supporting any other consideration of this House.
Because of its control and supervision of regulations and ordinances the Committee was feared by the Government. That was because it was known that a recommendation of the Committee would be carried in the Senate. That fear resulted in very few motions for the disallowance of ordinances and regulations being brought down in the Senate. Because it was well known that the Committee desired regulations and ordinances to comply with certain criteria, departments and Ministers would, at the request of the Committee, amend many regulations and ordinances or make satisfactory arrangements to meet the criteria laid down. I think the stage has been reached where this Committee is now working satisfactorily in conjunction with the’ Government and the Parliament. I think that is due to nothing else but the chairmanship of Ian Wood, who has taken the bitterness out of party politics. He has now retired from the position of Chairman of the Committee. I would like to express to him my appreciation for the years I served on the Committee under him.
– I do not wish to prolong the discussion of this matter unduly, but I would like to say, as one who has been a member of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee for over 3 years now, that I believe Senator Wood has made a memorable contribution to parliamentary government in this country. The Committee of which he was Chairman for so long is probably the most important committee of this Parliament. The role which it performs is a role which is essential to parliamentary democratic government. The role of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee is to see that no arbitrary action is taken by the Executive, whichever government may be in office, and that matters of substantive law may be imposed upon the people of Australia only by proper forms which provide for legislation by decision of the whole of the Parliament, except in very rare instances where authority is given to the Executive so to act. Senator Wood has approached this question as a parliamentarian and as one who believes in the authority of Parliament, which ultimately is the authority of the people. For that reason, I believe he has made a major contribution to democracy in this country. He has approached every question with complete objectivity. Every issue which has come before the Committee he has looked at as someone who has been appointed to uphold the authority of Parliament, to uphold the authority of the democratic system and to oppose the arbitrary exercise of Executive power. For doing this, I think his name is one which should be long remembered in the history of this country.
– It is very rarely that I get up to make a congratulatory speech. In fact, this is only the second occasion on which I have done so. I do so only when I think the person concerned deserves it. I cannot give Senator Wood any higher praise than that. The only other person about whom I have spoken in this way was the late Senator Hannaford. Not only does Australia owe a lot to Senator Wood; I also owe him a lot. I can remember the reason why I became a mem ber of this chamber. It was because of Senator Wood’s attitude towards the government of the day. He was right in opposing its views on the economy. I can remember many honourable senators who sat on his side of the chamber ostracising him, sending him to Coventry, because he was prepared to stick up for what he believed to be right and voted accordingly. There were other honourable senators in this chamber who sat near him who said they were going to vote against the government of the day but who never did so when the crunch came. I admired Senator Wood for doing that. I have always admired him for his independence. He should be sitting in this corner of the chamber with the 3 Independents and not where he is sitting at present. 1 have never been a member of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee. Until recently Independent senators were not appointed to committees. But I soon realised from sitting in this chamber that whenever Senator Wood said a regulation should be disallowed he was advocating the correct procedure. 1 have never known him to be wrong, I must pay him a tribute for that. I think that not only the political parties - the Australian Country Party, the Australian Democratic Labor Party, the Liberal Party of Australia and so on - but also the whole of Australia owes a great debt of gratitude to Senator Wood for the independent attitude he adopted as Chairman of the Committee, for what he has done and for the troubles he has had to suffer at the hands of, especially, his so-called friends because he has been independent. I wish to thank him for what he had done.
– I wish to express a few words of tribute to Senator Wood for what he has done over many years for the Parliament of Australia. I believe that I have known Senator Wood for longer than anyone in this chamber. I do not know whether we have ever had a cross word to say between us. If we have, we have been able to make up our differences afterwards. I would like to pay a personal tribute to Senator Wood for the work he has done on behalf of the people of Australia. I know of the difficulties he has experienced at times. I can readily recall that on at least 2 occasions there were moves afoot that he not be endorsed by his party for the Senate team. On each occasion the people of Queensland, particularly the people of northern Queensland, rallied to his support. Consequently he won endorsement. I pay Senator Wood the compliment of saying that I would regard him as the most difficult political opponent in Queensland to defeat in the history of the Senate. I wish to thank him very much for the work he has done on behalf of the people of Australia.
– As a long serving member of the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, I rise not because there is any need for me to express my appreciation of Senator Wood’s chairmanship; he would understand that from a long association in working together on the Committee. I simply content myself with the brief statement on an occasion such as this and I find nothing to disagree with in any of the speeches that have been uttered and I fully endorse those speeches, with the one exception of Senator Turnbull’s. The only testimony that I would like to bring to mind is the expressions in the report of the Committee, and they are the record by which the value of Senator Wood’s work as Chairman of the Committee should be evaluated.
– As one who has served for 6 years as a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, I join in what has been said of the former Chairman. We have enjoyed not only his friendship but also his leadership. I endorse what has been said already this evening in relation to his contribution to the role, sphere and prestige of Parliament.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
– by leave- -I desire to express my very deep appreciation of the sentiments expressed by the AttorneyGeneral (Senator Murphy), the Leader of my own party, Senator Withers, the Leader of the Democratic Labor Party (Senator Gair), the Leader of the Country Party in the Senate (Senator Drake-Brockman) and all the other honourable senators who have spoken so kindly of me and my work. I take it as a very great honour that the Senate should pass this motion of appreciation, because in my long term in the Senate such a motion has not often been moved. I am deeply conscious of the tributes that have been paid. Many of the honourable senators who paid those tributes served with me on the Senate Standing
Committee on Regulations and Ordinances. It is wonderful to know that they still retain for me the feeling that apparently they had when they were serving on that Committee.
The great work that has been achieved by the Committee - I believe that it has achieved great work - has been due not to me alone. In a very great measure it has been due to the members who comprised the Committee during each Parliament. As I look around this chamber I see many honourable senators - many of them have spoken tonight - who served on the Committee. Many of them have taken up higher positions in this Parliament. In fact, as I look across the chamber to the Government side I think of 4 Ministers in the present Government who served on the Committee. I just cannot recall all the other Ministers who have served on the Committee. Several honourable senators who were Ministers in the previous Government served on the Committee. This goes to show that the quality of members who comprised that Committee was very high.
One can recall many incidents that occurred over the years in which various senators played their part. I hold very dear in my heart and mind the great work which many of them contributed and the wonderful association that I have had with them. The honourable senators to whom I refer will know that I am thinking of them. Over the years various incidents took place which were high-water marks in the work of the Committee. When I first came to Canberra from north Queensland, which is so far removed from the Parliament, I found that I had been appointed as a member of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee. In my ignorance 1 said to the then Attorney-General, Senator Spicer - now Chief Justice Spicer - ‘What on earth have they put me on this committee for? I though that I would be placed on a committee which dealt with the Library or other things in which I have been interested.’ I well recall his saying to me: 1 am surprised to bear you speaking like that, Ian, because we thought we were paying you a compliment by putting you on that Committee.’ With those words I began to think about it and then I became interested in the work of the Committee as one of its members.
After I was elected as Chairman the late Senator Rex Pearson asked one of the gentlemen who helped to write the Constitution what were the actual aims of the Committee. He said that the Committee was a most important committee of the Parliament.
Because of the remarks of Senator Spicer and others, I realised the importance of the Committee and I concentrated as much as possible on its work. Over the years I became intensely interested in it. Those honourable senators who had to fight with me earlier on that Committee will remember that the Government of the day, of which I was a supporter, almost always put up a resistance to our recommendations. Fortunately the Senate held firmly to the majority of our recommendations and so we were able to carry the day. Eventually it appeared to the Government that it was necessary to recognise that the Committee was doing parliamentary work and the Government gave way. With the loyalty of the Committee members we managed to establish in the minds of the Government and this Senate that the Committee was not a party political committee but a parliamentary one.
I was delighted to hear so many honourable senators speaking about keeping the work of the Committee, above party politics. 1 was very glad to hear Government senators speaking along those lines. Having spoken to the Attorney-General, the Chairman of the Committee and some of the other members, I am quite satisfied that the Committee as at present comprised has great ability and that its members will continue on the very high plane on which the Committee has operated in the past on a non-party basis.
Senator Murphy recalled as a matter of great pride in the Committee’s work that only a year or so ago the British House of Commons Committee wrote to us and asked us to set up a complete charter of the type of work which it should carry out. For the mother of all Parliaments to make such a request was a real compliment because most other parliaments write to the British Parliament for advice. I got my Committee together and we framed what we thought was a very comprehensive policy for that Committee to pursue. It was pleasing to note that the Secretary of the British House of Commons Committee reported that that Committee had decided to accept our recommendations. That was a very fine tribute to our Committee which, I understand, is considered in parliamentary circles outside this country to be one of very great value.
I accept and appreciate very greatly the wonderful sentiments which have been expressed here tonight and which have touched me deeply. I accept those sentiments and the vote of appreciation of the Senate as a great honour, but in doing so it is very clear in my heart and mind that a great number of honourable senators assisted me by the wonderful work they have done. Some of them, particularly those with legal knowledge, have been very valuable members indeed. I sincerely hope that these tributes paid tonight will establish in the minds of honourable senators more than ever the necessity for this Committee to carry on as it has done, at least in recent years, on a non-party basis as a truly parliamentary committee. I thank you, Mr Deputy President, Senator Murphy, the Leader of my own Party, the Leaders of the other parties and honourable senators generally. I am very deeply conscious of this great honour and I most sincerely appreciate it.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Motion (by Senator Murphy) proposed:
That the Bill be now read a first time.
– I rise in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Senate which allow me to speak to the motion for the first reading of a Bill which the Senate may not amend. I do so because the Standing Orders permit me to deal with matters relevant and non-relevant to the issues which are raised by the Bill itself. I desire to speak about the conduct of the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy), the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) and the Government of the day because, over a period of some 12 days, the people of Australia have been denied information about unprecedented events which occurred in this country. I refer, of course, to the situation in which the Attorney-General, accompanied by Commonwealth police officers, went in the middle of the night to the Canberra regional office of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and on the following day, accompanied by some 30 police, attended the headquarters of the ASIO and, according to Press reports, herded the staff into a holding area and held them there until the Attorney-General said that they could go free. As he has admitted today, the safes were sealed to preserve information from some unknown, unidentified person. The public of Australia have seen the ridiculous farce of an Attorney-General unable to obtain information in any way except by the strong arm tactic of taking his police force into the offices of one of the statutory bodies for which he is responsible.
At the time this occurred it aroused concern throughout Australia. From the objective chairs in which the editorial writers of the newspapers sit, concern was expressed and questions were asked as to why this had occurred. On the Friday of the week in which this occurred the Attorney-General was reported at lunch time as saying that he was not prepared to make any statement. But I suspect that it was the pressure which developed throughout the afternoon which led him to make a short and uninformative statement on the night of 16th March. How informative was it? It was a statement which simply said that the Attorney-General had visited - a nice euphemism - the offices of ASIO; that he had had discussions - again a nice euphemism - with the Director-General of ASIO, and that he had inspected files. Then the AttorneyGeneral proceeded to smear the past Government with totally unfounded and unwarranted accusations, and he sought to obscure the issue by saying that it was necessary to take stringent precautions for the protection of the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia.
Day after day the Leader of the Opposition Mr Snedden, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition Mr Lynch, I myself from my position in this chamber, the Leader of the Australian Country Party Mr Anthony, and other members of the Parliament asked for an explanation as to why this was done. But there was not a word from the Prime Minister; not a word from the Attorney-General. Day after day editorials in newspapers indicated concern and expressed the desire that the AttorneyGeneral should at least explain why he did this. But still there was nothing forthcoming. Why should there be a refusal to give any information whatsoever as to why these events had occurred, particularly from a Government which was elected on its pledge that it would provide open government? Of course, in the absence of any information there was a great deal of speculation, speculation which was fed to the newspapers so that day after day we read: ‘It is believed’, ‘Government sources say’ and ‘It is reliably reported’.
The character of the Director-General of ASIO was taken away because no statement was made by the Attorney-General who is responsible for him in this Parliament. One word from the Attorney-General could have retrieved the reputation of Mr Barbour. It could have been retrieved because today at question time the Attorney-General was asked whether at any time the regional director of ASIO in Canberra or the Director-General of Security had ever refused to make information available to the Attorney-General for which he had asked. The answer came from the Attorney-General: No. Yet day after day we have assumed from newspaper reports that in some way the Director-General of ASIO was at fault. I believe it is absolutely unpardonable conduct for an Attorney-General to allow a senior representative of this country who holds a national position to have his character smeared in that way when, by one statement, it could have been retrieved.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - Order! My attention has been drawn to the standing order under which, although an honourable senator is permitted on the motion for the first reading of a money Bill to discuss a wide range of matters, he is not permitted to discuss matters which are before the Senate in the form of a notice of motion. Therefore I suggest, Senator Greenwood, that you do not continue to debate the subject which you are now debating.
– Mr Deputy President, may I ask to which standing order you arc referring?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT- It is standing order No. 419.
– I am not aware of any notice of motion the debate upon which is being transgressed by what I am saying. Today a statement was put down in this place. If I were debating that statement which, of course, is an order of the day for the next day of sitting then, Mr Deputy President, I might be subject to your strictures. But I am not debating that motion, nor am I debating that order of the day because there was absolutely nothing in the statement which the Attorney-General put down today which gave any reasons why this unprecedented raid on ASIO took place. Mr Deputy President, I invite your attention and that of the Clerks who advise you to the statement which was put down. I ask you to point to any area of that statement which refers to the raids which took place and why they took place. It is that point which has caused me to rise tonight. I think it is an abuse of parliamentary office for the Attorney-General to refuse to say anything for 12 days, giving the impression that when Parliament sat he would say something, yet when the Parliament sits and when questions are asked evasive answers are given and the opportunity is taken to refuse to answer any more questions.
– I raise a point of order Mr Deputy President. As I understand the matter, we are on the first reading of the Excise Tariff Bill 1973, a Bill about wine grapes. Mr Deputy President, you have made a certain ruling. That ruling should be adhered to unless the honourable senator wishes to move a motion of dissent from your ruling. You have ruled and he is not adhering to your ruling. I submit that if he does not want to adhere to it-
– I raise a point of order, Mr Deputy President. Is the Attorney-General taking a point of order or speaking to one? If he is speaking to one, whose is it?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT - The
Attorney-General is taking a point of order.
– I am taking a point of order that Senator Greenwood either must adhere to your ruling, Mr Deputy President, or move a motion of dissent from it, but he must not persist.
– I wish to speak to the point of order. I point out what has already been pointed out by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Senator Greenwood), namely, that there is a vast difference between the matter which is raised by the so sensitive Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) who is prepared to come into this chamber and smear, and smear again, but who is not prepared to have any sort of questioning directed to him.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT- Order! Senator Rae, you are not now speaking to the point of order.
– I wish to draw a distinction between the point of order taken and the fact of what is happening. The Attorney-General is prepared to act in the manner which I have mentioned but is not prepared to have any debate on what he referred to this afternoon or, alternatively, what he refused to answer in questions to him this evening. What Senator Greenwood has been speaking about is clearly the matter about which questions were asked but which was avoided notwithstanding the melodramatic buildup which resulted from the efforts of the Attorney-General over the past 10 days. The melodramatic build up -
– Are you speaking to the point of order?
– Yes, I am speaking to the point of order, but Senator O’Byrne would no,t understand that because it was be who drew attention this afternoon to the fact that we were getting warm. He asked whether it did not prove Senator Murphy’s point that he should take special precautions in regard to ASIO, otherwise leaks might occur such as those which were obviously the basis of the questions which were being asked by the Opposition. No doubt Senator O’Byrne is still smarting under the rebuke he would have received for that indiscretion.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - I have heard enough debate on the point of order. I maintain my ruling that, under standing order 419, the matters contained in the statement presented to the Senate may not be debated at this time.
– I respect and adhere to your ruling which I think was the proper ruling and I am glad it has been stated, as you have done it, so succinctly. I certainly shall not debate the statement which has been made today; indeed I have been at pains to stress that the statement which was made today contained no reference to the events about which I am speaking and which concern me.
– Which is the abuse of ASIO.
– I am indebted to Senator Wright for the way in which he indicates that the abuse of ASIO - the way in which certain raids took place on ASIO premises - is not adverted to in the statement. I will carefully avoid transgressing the ruling and so avoid-
– I rise on a point of order.
– I notice that every effort is made to stop us from speaking today. I wonder why the Government is so sensitive.
– Mr Deputy President, Senator Greenwood is obviously intending to get around the ruling you have given. He is taking the rather narrow attitude that because he says this was not adverted to in the statement this afternoon he is free to proceed to defy your ruling by talking about it.
– I said precisely the opposite.
– Would you be quiet for a few minutes? If you cannot add anything to the dignity of this place, please let someone else try to do so. Very obviously Senator Greenwood is dealing and has dealt exclusively with the things that surround the whole question of the statement presented this afternoon, which was the subject of questions ad nauseum all afternoon. You would be placed in an impossible position, as would any other chairman, if you were asked to say that the exact words or sentences used by an honourable senator were not in the statement. It is very clear that Senator Greenwood is canvassing and making an attack on the whole question of things associated with that statement. There will be plenty of opportunity to debate the statement in time to come and therefore this is just a way of getting around your ruling. Your ruling, as he said, is absolutely correct - there is no doubt about it. If you are not going to have order in this place, you will downgrade the parliamentary system. I suggest that you make our ruling quite clear that not only the statement but all those other things adverting to it cannot be referred to.
– Mr Deputy President, I totally and absolutely agree with what you said a moment ago and 1 would invite you to make the same ruling again. I put to you that Senator Greenwood has not transgressed that ruling.
– I wish to speak to the point of order. Your ruling is one with which we all agree. It is obvious that everyone agrees that if a matter is before the chamber there is no right to debate it. The question is one of interpretation of what is the subject matter before the chamber. The matter before the chamber is a statement which was read to the Senate today, and there is a motion on the business paper for the Senate to take note of the document Senator Greenwood has said that there is nothing in the document relating to the method of visiting the headquarters of ASIO. However, if we look at the whole document we see that it cites papers which were obtained at ASIO. The whole document refers to the fact that evidence was found as a result of a visit to ASIO. This is the whole thing that can be discussed when we discuss the motion that the Senate take note of the document. Honourable senators may not have 2 vehicles for the purpose of discussing the one motion. Everything that Senator Greenwood says tonight - and he thinks he is justified in vindicating himself because the proceedings are being broadcast - can be said when the leaders of the parties are prepared to bring on this notice of motion. For instance, it is stated that the most significant seizure was a report from someone. One can go through the statement that was made today to see that it relates to documents which were taken from ASIO. The discussion tonight is on the method of approaching ASIO.
– That refers to a document seized at Rover’s home in August 1972, not to the raid on ASIO.
– It refers to what was found by the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) as a result of his visit to ASIO. I repeat that nothing which Senator Greenwood has said means that the opportunity will not present itself for him to say it when we are discussing the other motion. It is obvious that he cannot have 2 goes on 2 vehicles on the one question.
– I rise on the point or order. I submit it is transparently plain that the subject matter of the order of the day of the Senate is the ministerial statement on Croatian terrorism. Senator Greenwood is using his right to speak according to the standing orders on an entirely different subject - the abuse made by the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) of his ministerial position in relation to ASIO. It is only a coincidence that that abuse might have been the means, as Senator Cavanagh seems now to confess, of giving rise to all these Murphy-furphies in the Croatian statement. That does not deny the difference between the subject matter of Senator Greenwood’s speech - the abuse of ASIO - and the subject matter of the ministerial speech on Croatian terrorism.
– There is one thing obvious in the document presented by Senator Murphy. It was obviously designed in its whole context, form, presentation and title to avoid any reference to the ASIO raid. If one set out to prepare a document to cover this subject and to exclude any reference to the ASIO raid it could not have been done more effectively. In other words, this document bespeaks the fact that it deals with a totally different situation.
– Look at the last page.
– I am referring to what you said about the raid in 1972. It was on that that you based your argument; it dealt with a completely different raid.
– What page was that?
– It is at the bottom of page 25 and the top of page 26 of Senator Murphy’s text. I say, Mr Deputy President, that this document itself bespeaks the fact that it is a totally different topic and that being the case, I imagine that Senator Greenwood would be totally in order in speaking to the ASIO raid which has been deliberately not canvassed in the document which is the subject of the resolution.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - 1 have ruled that under standing orders matters contained in the statement cannot be debated. I propose to hear Senator Greenwood further but I insist that matters contained in the statement may not be debated.
– I respect your ruling, Mr Deputy President, and I can assure you and the Senate that I will not be referring to the statement. I can find quite sufficient to talk about without referring to the statement. What I am concerned about is the fact that no statement has been made about the circumstances of the raid on ASIO offices or the reasons for it. I am even more concerned that in the intervening period a pernicious campaign of smearing and attributing of blame and fault to people has been developed through, in some way, handouts to the Press which have led to headlines for a week to 10 days. I am also concerned that the public were told that when the Parliament resumed on 27th March - that is today - a statement would be made which everybody assumed would give the reasons for Senator Murphy’s unprecedented actions.
On coming here today we have found that there is no statement on those matters and that when questions have been asked about them they have been met by evasion and an unwillingness to respond by Senator Murphy. Although on every sitting day this year question time in the Senate has gone for 2 hours, on this particular day Senator Murphy has said after about H hours of question time that he will not have any more questions today. Honourable senators opposite are interjecting. It hurts them to be accused and that the record should justify the accusation that they are shutting out inquiries about why one of the Government’s Ministers behaved in the way that he did. That is what is happening and we are still waiting to hear why Senator Murphy decided that he would get the information which he wanted only by the type of action which he took. I can only stress and raise for consideration the headlines which appeared in last week’s newspapers.
– I rise to a point of order. In accordance with your previous ruling, Mr Deputy President, Senator Greenwood agreed that he cannot properly discuss matters in Senator Murphy’s statement. He is discussing the action of Senator Murphy in obtaining certain information. I draw your attention to a paragraph on page 30 of the statement which states:
In this situation I make no apology for any steps which I took last week to ensure that the intentions of violent terrorists were thwarted.
The steps that the Attorney-General took are the subject of the debate tonight. The steps that he took during the last week are being debated now.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - You may proceed, Senator Greenwood. The distinction is very fine.
– I was indicating the type of situation which has occurred over the past week. I will give some examples of headlines which appeared in the newspapers in order to indicate the way in which the situation was portrayed by working journalists who lacked any information from any authoritative or attributable sources. On the Saturday after the raid occurred the Melbourne ‘Age’ had this headline: ‘Murphy disciplines ASIO - Murphy tames ASIO’. The Canberra Times’ said: ‘ASIO’s powers to be stripped’. The ‘Daily Telegraph’ said: ‘ASIO head certain to be sacked’. The ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ said: ‘ASIO forced to give facts’. The Australian’ said: ‘Murphy wants Cabinet to curb ASIO powers’. The Brisbane ‘CourierMail’ said: ‘Move for top spy to quit’. On 19th March the ‘Daily Telegraph’ said: ‘Government to curb ASIO’. On 20th March the Melbourne ‘Age’ said: ‘Backing from PM - support for Murphy on ASIO likely’. Those headlines illustrate the material being fed to the Australian people over the course of the week. Who has fed out this material? It was not done by Senator Murphy. No, he has kept a discreet silence because if he said anything openly he might have been subject to questions, although goodness knows how one would get an answer from him. The Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) appreciated that if he said anything he might be expected to provide answers. Therefore he cancelled his Press conference last week; there was no Press conference.
Why has there been all this great build-up to denigrate and smear part of the migrant community? The result is that there is scarcely a Croatian in this country who can go around as he wishes, although he believed this to be a free country in which he would be treated as the equal of his colleagues. How many examples have we all heard of Croatian children who have been smeared and regarded as terrorists and have had nasty questions asked of them at school? Yet this is the result of the actions of a Government which said it came into office to unite and not to divide.
– I rise to a point of order. It would be hard to imagine a clearer breach of standing orders than the last few sentences spoken by Senator Greenwood. They highlight the other points of order that have been taken by honourable senators on this side of the chamber. It is clear that it is impossible to discuss the subject which Senator Greenwood purports to be discussing without discussing a matter which is on the notice paper and which involves infringement of standing order 419. Senator Greenwood does not find it possible. With every second sentence he gets back on to the question of Croatian extremism. I submit that the question which he purports to be discussing - that is Senator Murphy’s visit to the ASIO offices - and the question which was the subject of a debate here today are so inextricably interwoven that it is impossible to speak of one without speaking of the other. The best possible illustration of that is in the last 2 sentences we have heard from Senator Greenwood. It is impossible for him to discuss the action of Senator Murphy in visiting the ASIO offices without discussing a subject which is on the notice paper, which brings him in breach of standing order 419. For that reason, Mr Deputy President, I submit that your earlier ruling was correct and that Senator Greenwood is hopelessly out of order in this discussion.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT- I agree with the point of order that in referring to Croatian extremists Senator Greenwood is transgressing the ruling.
– I acknowledge and apologise for the fact that in developing my case I trangressed your ruling Mr Deputy President. I had not intended to do so. I do not want to take it very much further because the real point I am concerned about is the failure to answer questions of public moment, the refusal to allow Opposition senators to ask questions, and the use of the forms of the Senate to change the broadcast of the Senate proceedings from one day to another in order to prevent the clearest possible airing of the points Opposition senators are making, not just for themselves but for the people of Australia. In the last week there has hardly been an editorial which has not raised questions that remain unanswered. For example, the Melbourne ‘Age’ wants to know why these disturbing events took place. It wants to know why it was necessary for Senator Murphy to take such spectacular and public action to obtain the files of Mr Barbour. The ‘Age’ wants to know what legal basis there was for Senator Murphy’s action which bore a very strong resemblance to a raid. The onus is now on Senator Murphy to explain what he did and why he did it, according to the ‘Age’. It goes on to say that he must take the first opportunity to do so and show that ASIO was withholding facts which were of potential value in ensuring the safety of the community. The point is that Senator Murphy today said categorically, and I repeat it, that ASIO was not withholding facts. If he concedes that ASIO was not withholding facts then I think that all the quest tions which the newspapers have been asking become all the more pertinent. If ASIO was not withholding facts, why did he have to go in the middle of the night and raid the Canberra office? Why did he have to send all those police to the ASIO headquarters in Melbourne? Let it be known that these are questions which the Attorney-General has declined to answer and by his deliberate act in this place he has refused to answer.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order, The honourable member’s time has expired.
– The matters raised by the former AttorneyGeneral, Senator Greenwood, in relation to what has transpired in the past 12 days and particularly today are matters, I believe, of great importance not only to the Senate but also to the people of Australia as to whether they do not give rise to real concern for the actions of one man whose assumption of power has been extreme. It has been an extreme assumption of power which he has not been prepared to explain either to honourable senators in answer to their questions or to the people of Australia. As Senator Greenwood was making his point - I take up from where he left off - why is it that an Attorney-General of Australia should require the Regional Director of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to be called to his office in the middle of the night? I remind honourable senators that it happened to be on the night that the Parliament rose for a period of 12 days before it met again. I remind honourable senators that therefore there was no occasion on which honourable senators or members of the House of Representatives would be able to ask questions in relation to what had happened for a period of 12 days. Was that just a coincidence? Is this a matter which requires explanation by the AttorneyGeneral? I suggest that it is. Why should it be a coincidence that it happened on that night? Why call the Regional Director of ASIO out of his bed in the middle of the night to answer questions, produce documents or whatever may have been the case? These are inexplicable matters concerning which the Attorney-General refused to answer or evaded answering numerous questions this afternoon.
We have an extraordinary situation in which for some reason arising out of those discussions or arising out of what happened on that night, there were allegations in the Press that the Regional Director of ASIO had been kept prisoner for 4 or 5 hours or more. We do not know whether that, in fact, happened because we did not get an opportunity to ask adequate questions in relation to it. The giving of answers to those questions that were asked was evaded. But we find, as Sena tor Greenwood has said, that Senator Murphy did admit and state quite categorically and positively that he had not experienced any failure to co-operate on the part of ASIO. There are some inexplicable matters which, so far as my reading of the Press has gone, are not-
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Rae, you are out of order. You are not speaking in accordance with my earlier ruling. Your remarks are now traversing the matter that will be debated at a later stage in accordance with the notice of motion that has been given.
– Thank you, Mr Deputy President. Certainly, it was not my intention in any way to offend against your ruling. I thought that I was carefully keeping away from the matters which were contained in the statement. I was dealing with the evenf.3 which occurred more than a week ago - during the week before last - in relation to the actions of the Attorney-General in what has been described by the Press as a ‘raid’ upon ASIO, followed by a further raid upon ASIO. I would like to comment that in relation to that the Attorney-General has told us in answers to questions that he received cooperation, but notwithstanding that, he went to ASIO headquarters in Melbourne having sent before him some 27 officers from the Commonwealth Police Force apparently to take possession of the building and certain of the contents of the building and to seal files to preserve them.
Why should the files require preserving? From whom they were being preserved is something we do not know and the AttorneyGeneral will not tell us. What is so secret about all this? Has secrecy gone to the head of the Attorney-General? Is there some aspect of his cops and robbers role of the past 10 days which has brought to him a desire to abdicate completely any idea of assuming the role of the leader of open government and which has caused him rather to assume the role of the leader of closed government? Why should it be necessary to bypass the Australian director of ASIO, Mr Barbour? Why should it be necessary for the Commonwealth Police Force to take possession of the ASIO building in Melbourne rather than simply directing or requesting the director, Mr Barbour, to seal the files? Obviously, he had some reason for not wishing to contact that man. Why is this? No explanation has come from the Attorney-General. There are many questions which require urgent answers. This country was refused a request made properly by the Australian Democratic Labor Party for the Parliament to be called together urgently to be informed as to why these extraordinary actions were being taken. They are actions unprecedented in the history of Australia since the Eureka Stockade. I am glad that that remark has brought forward from Government supporters who are. interjecting a reawakening of their conscience in relation to this matter. No doubt, they will be able to see the significance of the sorts of points that I make - ‘that when power is used in a manner which is irresponsible and arrogant then it brings forth a resistance which is right and proper in circumstances in which people question and argue as to whether that power should be used in that way. Presumably, we will find the Attorney-General now turning on his former compatriots who organised violent demonstrations.
– Do you know what the word ‘compatriot’ means?
– Yes, I do. We will find him turning on his former compatriots who organised violent demonstrations during the period of the Moratorium campaign, during the period of the violence which was associated with the visit of President Johnson to Australia, during the violence which was associated with various union activities in Australia and during the various other instances of violence which Australia has known in the past 3, 4 or 5 years. Perhaps we will find the Attorney-General sharply rebuking these people and taking action in respect of the declarations by persons such as the very well known leading members of the Australian Labor Party who advocated and organised violence in those circumstances. These are the things which obviously not only are we not permitted to ask questions about but concerning which it is the intention of the supporters of the Government to drown out free speech and prevent me and other members of the Opposition from being heard. Why should not we be entitled to say what we wish to say in the interests of the people of Australia and in the interests of the good government of this country? There are many aspects of the alarm which has spread in this country as a result of the actions of the Attorney-General. Let us have a look for a moment at some of the things that have been said by various authors. One of them headlined his article: ‘Frightening game of cops and spies’. He said:
Senator Lionel Murphy’s personally led police raids on ASIO in Canberra and Melbourne seems so outrageous that it is tempting to turn to parody for light relief.
– What about the report of your committee?
– Perhaps it would be of interest to divert for just a moment and simply comment that if someone would reestablish that committee perhaps there would be a report to talk about. But it has been out of existence for a month, not through any fault of mine.
– Whose fault is that?
– It is not through any fault of mine. Let me continue to quote this author: 1 have visions of Mr Lance Barnard leading a squad of military police in an assault on the Defence Department to assert his authority over Sir Arthur Tange.
Or of Dr Jim Cairns at the head of the column of umbrella-brandishing bureaucrats physically taking over control of an independent-minded Tariff Board.
The possibilities for flamboyant, score-settling ministerial sallies are abundant and much more intriguing that the pallid fare concocted by our TV script writers.
But seriously, the implications of Senator Murphy’s unprecedented actions must arouse the greatest concern in those who value the nation’s security.
As has already been said, Australia’s position in relation to the remainder of the world has been seriously jeopardised. But what is more important than Australians’ faith in their own security organisation which has been permitted
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - Senator, you cannot refer to security organisation.
– I am sorry, Mr Deputy President. I certainly do not intend to refer in any way at all to anything which is to do with Croatian terrorism in Australia. But the activities of Senator Murphy in his raids upon the headquarters of ASIO have drawn forth from a number of people statements of alarm, statements of concern, statements requiring explanation. If this chamber has to do nothing else until eventually Senator Murphy deigns to explain to us and to the Australian people, then I for one will want to see it continue to press the question: Why did Senator Murphy do it? What caused him to take the unprecedented action which he has taken? What justification has he for it? Was it in Australia’s interest or was it contrary to Australia’s interest? Can the Australian people look forward to having a separated security intelligence organisation and a separated police force, or will we find that we have a welding and a melding into one organisation of some sort of political police under the direction of one man? These are the sorts of questions that concern people in Australia. These are the sorts of questions which required answers.
– I want to speak now because I think that one should speak early in the debate before we get swamped in this chamber with all the crocodile tears that are flowing from our friends in the Opposition at the moment in regard to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and what the AttorneyGeneral (Senator Murphy) is supposed to have done. Senator Rae made a plea to find out why this was done, why that was done and so on. There should be no need to ask those questions because every one in Australia knows exactly why this was done. It was done because of the attitude of the former AttorneyGeneral whose credibility in this chamber is practically nil at the present time. It was because of his actions that the present AttorneyGeneral had to take action to get the information. All this nonsense we hear-
– I will go and work on a report.
– I am so pleased that Senator Rae is going to work on his report because we have been waiting for that report for so long, I had to listen to his trash. If he thinks that I am talking trash, at least he should sit there and take it. Trash for trash, if that is his opinion. We are wondering why the Attorney-General had to do things at midnight. I do not know what is so particularly sinister about midnight. It happened to be a time that suited the people. The whole of Australia knows that the reason why the Attorney-General had to go and interfere with the affairs of ASIO was that ASIO was not doing its job by the Australian people.
– But the Attorney-General said that ASIO was not refusing him anything.
– If the AttorneyGeneral thought ASIO was doing a good job, he is entitled to his opinion; it is not my opinion. I do not think ASIO was doing a good job. When ASIO has an AttorneyGeneral who allows it to get away with what appears in the statement to which I am not allowed to refer, then obviously ASIO is not doing a good job.
– Those things were not in the hands of ASIO; they were in the hands of the Commonwealth police.
– It is unfortunate for me that I should be speaking at night when Senator Little is awake. Usually he is asleep. This reminds me that I must speak in the afternoon. As far as the pubic is concerned ASIO may have done a good job, but it was subservient to the Liberal Government of the day and it did not take into account the interests of Australia; it took into account the interests of the Government. That is obvious from all the facts which have appeared in the newspapers. This is what has happened. If anyone had any right to interfere it was the present Attorney-General because the previous one was so cowardly that he did not interfere, or if he was not too cowardly to interfere in the affairs of ASIO, he should be dismissed from this House as a traitor to this country for allowing this to go on. He knew the facts but he preferred to allow people-
– Mr President, I strongly object to the word ‘traitor’ in respect of my very honourable colleague, Senator Greenwood. I demand its withdrawal immediately.
- Senator Turnbull. I think you will agree that it was an injudicious word and is totally unparliamentary. I would be grateful if you would withdraw it.
– I will withdraw the word ‘traitor’ and substitute ‘one who is indifferent to the needs of his country; one who is prepared to allow terrorism’. It is no joke but we are treating it as a joke.
– Mr President, I raise a point of order. The Deputy President ruled earlier that the debate was proceeding upon the basis that no reference should be made to the statement.
– Yes, I am aware of his ruling under standing order 419.
– I am sorry, I was not sure whether you were aware of it. I draw your attention to that and to the infringement-
– Yes, I am quite aware of this. A simple thing has happened. Everyone agrees that standing order 419 should be applied. Everyone agrees that it is a proper standing order. Everyone agrees that no reference should be made to matters that are already on the notice paper. But in fact every honourable senator has sought to speak on the statement in defiance of standing order 419. I suggest that you come back to standing order 419.
– I am trying desperately to do that because-
– Mr President, I do not like rising to these points of order, but when Senator Turnbull so cavalierly accuses me of allowing terrorism, I find that offensive: I think anybody would find it offensive. He has no truth or basis or evidence for it. I would have thought I was entitled to protection if not from the Chair then from the Standing Orders.
– Senator Laucke anticipated me. I assure honourable senators that standing order 419 will be applied as from now. Senator Turnbull, and any subsequent speaker, will do me the honour, I hope, of keeping within it.
– Mr President, I quite agree with you and I will not refer to that document to which I am not allowed to refer. Everybody knows what is in that document, and so did the ex-Attorney-General. Because he knew what was in it I say that his credibility is nil and he is a party to the Croatian terrorist actions.
– I rise to a point of order and I desire to state it.
– Order! Senator Turnbull, I know that you have heard standing order 419 but I shall read it again. It states:
No senator shall digress from the subject-matter of any Question under discussion; nor anticipate the discussion of any subject which appears on the Notice Paper.
The subterfuge has been taken on the first reading of a taxation Bill and the Senate is reverting to matters discussed earlier. I do not believe this is proper. I think it is in defiance of the Standing Orders. The Senate itself is committee a defiance of the standing orders. Senator Turnbull, do not refer to matters on the notice paper at the present time.
– I suggest with great respect, that the Deputy President has given a ruling which we can expect to be applied consistently during this debate, that is, that the subject matter of the statement which has been called a ministerial statement on Croatian terrorism and which has become an order of the day is not the subject of this debate. The subject of this debate relates to the administration by Senator Murphy of ASIO. In that respect, I submit that debate has been permitted by a ruling of the Chair with which you, Mr President, and the Senate should comply.
– Order! I merely suggest that honourable senators should be obedient to standing order 419.
– This debate would not have started tonight except that the exAttorneyGeneral raised the matter. He started it on a ploy which, when he was on the Government side, honourable senators opposite resented anyone else using.
– You used it quite often.
– I use it quite often because it is the only way in which I get a chance to speak. I would not have spoken in the debate except that I was in my room and I heard on the broadcast system the exAttorneyGeneral refer to the ridiculous farce of the Attorney-General. I thought to myself: This is carrying it a bit too far. Red herrings are being strewn across the path.’ This debate would not have taken place tonight except for the ridiculous statement of the exAttorneyGeneral that he did not know what ASIO knew. Mr President, I did not refer to the document; I just referred to ASIO. What ASIO knew, the ex-Attorney-General knew. That is the point I was making when I was made to sit down. The ex-Attorney-General knew that there were acts of terrorism, and he said that there were not any. He tried to lull the public into believing that there was no such thing as terrorist actions in Australia, and all the time there were. What is more important - a few Croatians or the Australians who get injured in these bomb accidents, as Senator Greenwood called them? Of course everyone, except members of the Liberal Party, know which is the most important. Now we have the tears dropping from the eyes of the Democratic Labor Party and the
Liberal Party because we might deport a few of these Croatians. It serves them right if they are deported. If that is what they want to do in Australia, the lesson that should be taught to them is that they cannot do it here. They should be deported if they do it.
– Have they done it?
– I said if they have done it. If there is proof they should be deported.
– What have they done in Australia?
– I am saying that when there is proof they should be deported.
– I take a point of order.
– That is the only thing that the people of Australia will accept.
– Sit down.
– Oh, my God, Chief Justice Hannan!
– Senator Hannan, why are you standing?
– I am standing, as I announced, to take a point of order.
– What is the point of order?
– I refer to Standing Order 419. Senator Turnbull is unquestionably canvassing the matter of Croatian terrorism and has been doing so, as absurdly as he has, for the past 5 minutes.
- -Mr President, it is very difficult. I am trying to obey your ruling, but it is extremely difficult to discuss ASIO without transgressing your ruling because it is the act of ASIO in overlooking certain things which are unmentionable-
– That is not in line with the facts.
– ASIO overlooked it. I cannot mention it. This makes it awkward. Let us return to the crux of the matter that was raised by Senator Rae, and that is the raid on ASIO. Everyone in Australia, except the Liberal Party, believes that this raid should have taken place because ASIO did not conform to what it should do. The security services of other countries owe some allegiance to a Minister. ASIO does not owe any allegiance.
– You would not owe any allegiance to Senator Murphy if you heard what he said this afternoon.
– Then I disagree with Senator Murphy. I do not care what he said. This is my opinion, and I am prepared to say it. If the head of a secret service is not prepared to answer to a Minister, let us abolish that service.
– Why not debate the matter until 12 o’clock?
– I do not caro whether it is 12 o’clock or not. That is when you should be sleeping, instead of now. All these little red herrings being drawn across the path are irrelevant. The guilt lies in the corner with the ex-Attorney-General. All this talk and all the questions are wasting nur time.
– I rise on a point of order. When I and other Opposition senators were speaking constant points of order were taken to ensure that standing order 419 was observed. The Deputy President referred to that standing order. Senator Turnbull has made allegations which can come only from the statement and from what he believes from the statement - I leave aside the fact that they are totally untrue insofar as they relate to me - yet he is not reprimanded. I submit that the Standing Orders should be applied consistently and that what applies to Opposition senators should apply to other senators.
– Order! 1 take the severest objection to the implication in the point of order that I am being partisan and partial. I am not.
– I make it quite clear that I was not referring to the statement. I was referring to the facts as they appeared in the ‘Age’ and in the ‘Australian’. I know that those examples of the media are dear to the heart of Senator Greenwood. If that is what appeared in those 2 journals, obviously it must be correct. That is what I am referring to. It has been published. Everyone is aware that these things have been published. So I support the AttorneyGeneral’s action. I think he was quite correct in descending on ASIO. At question time we had to listen to a lot of nonsense about locking the safe. Would honourable senators opposite trust an organisation which did not tell its Minister what was going on in Australia? Of course they would not.
– Shame on you.
– Shame on me? Why? What have I done?
– You have misrepresented the facts.
– Come off it.
- Senator Murphy said that ASIO informed him. It is in his statement. “Senator TURNBULL - I am not allowed to refer to his statement. I do not know what is in his statement. I am referring to what the Press said. The Press said what I said. We had all these little sidetracks this afternoon - I suppose we will get them tomorrow and the next day - about why the safe was locked. What do they matter?
– You will not be here tomorrow.
– If I am not here you should be pleased. What is the importance of whether a safe was locked? If one intends to raid a place obviously one does not have any trust in that place. I presume that that is so in this instance.
– That is a good point. Senator Murphy has trust in ASIO.
– I have no trust in ASIO. I would have raided it.
– You should have raided it, not Senator Murphy.
– He raided it instead of me. If 1 was prepared to raid an organisation 1 certainly would lock up all the information to make sure that it was still there when I needed it.
– It is a ‘Midnight Cowboy’ sort of thing.
– It may be a ‘Midnight Cowboy’. I do not care what time of night it was. It is still applicable to the case, and I think it is important. The dreadful thing is that the ex-government was caught in the wrong. It now is trying to attack the present Government not on what was actually found, because the ex-Government knows that it has no leg to stand on, but on how the Government did it. It does not matter how the Government did it. In the interests of Australia, thank God it was done. Thank heavens we found out the position today. I hope that the Attorney-General and his Gov ernment are strong enough to carry on and finish the job. Any people who are found guilty of acts of terrorism should be deported.
– We have just listened to a speech which confirmed the correctness of Senator Turnbull’s conclusion in one respect and that is, that 3 or 4 weeks ago he gave himself a public certificate of senility warranting the fact that he should not stand again for the Senate. Senility oozes from him in every word he drips. Through the throughtfulness of Senator Greenwood, at the first opportunity that afforded itself, we are debating a subject that is of high national importance, that is, the position of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in the constitution of this country. The Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) descended upon the organisation, after arrangements were made for a police force, some 20 or 30 in number, literally to take possession of the organisation’s equipment and to preserve the files. Senator Turnbull has revealed what Senator Murphy hoped to conceal, namely, that the real reason for that raid was his distrust of the Australian Security Intelligence organisation. Senator Turnbull, in his irresponsibility, came to light with the gorgeous statement that the Organisation would not even tell the Minister what was going on in Australia.
During questioning this afternoon one explicit answer, one at least, was given by the Attorney-General. The question was: Did the Director-General or his deputy ever refuse information requested by the AttorneyGeneral? The answer was no. But, Mr President, the constitutional position of ASIO goes further than that. For good or for ill, in a Parliament in which Senator Turnbull is a thoughtless member, the Act of Parliament still stands in a form that obliges not only the Attorney-General, Senator Murphy, but also Senator Turnbull to conform. While there is an Act of Parliament on the statute book it is a cardinal rule that Ministers comply with it. This statute says that the organisation - meaning the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation - shall be under the control not of the Minister but of the DirectorGeneral, and in no place in the statute is the Director-General made subject to the direction, the control or the authority of the Minister. The Director-General receives his appointment from the executive government but on terms offered to him and to which he agrees. It is stated specifically in the statute that the appointment of the Director-General shall not be terminated except in accordance with the term of his employment. That security, free of ministerial interference - interference or raid - is deliberately accorded the Organisation. When the statute comes to define the functions of the Organisation it states:
The functions of the Organisation are - * * *
to advise Ministers, where the Director-General is satisfied that it is necessary or desirable to do so, in respect of matters relevant to security . . .
Parliament has gone out of its way to make emphatic the situation that the discretion as to whether it is necessary or desirable to advise Ministers is the discretion, not of the Attorney-General but of the Director-General of the Organisation. Here we have a unique inversion of the constitutional position, which Parliament has laid down in those unique terms, invaded by the Attorney-General, not on any basis of default, maladministration or distrust by ASIO, but in a case where the Organisation has never refused the Minister any information requested. But we have an unscheduled visit - a raid - by the AttorneyGeneral with police already in possession of the files and equipment of ASIO.
If that is not sufficient to stun the conscience of the nation and to make Parliament consider the fitness of the Attorney-General to be in charge of such a delicate body as the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, it is time that we all gave a little attention to the gravity of the matter. It would be an enhancement of the Senate’s level of debating if the clownish contributor to whom we just listened, Senator Turnbull, would be good enough to spend more than a 30-minute interrupted appearance in the chamber. I say that the abuse of ASIO was revealed by the facts partially answered during question time today and, we hope, to be more fully extracted as the week goes on. These facts show a dismal abuse of the unique constitutional position of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in Australia, and we al] ought to be obliged to Senator Greenwood for raising this subject on the first opportunity tonight that enabled us to raise it since it could not be fully explored at question time.
– I do not wish to engage in the vulgar abuse which Senator Wright directed against Senator Turnbull but there are some things which the Senate should deal with in considering the matter raised this evening by Senator Greenwood. The matter raised by him this evening undoubtedly was raised in order to deflect attention from other much more serious matters which have come before the chamber, but I think it is very interesting to try to discover precisely what the Opposition is trying to do. What is alleged by members of the Opposition? They allege that late at night - apparently that upsets them; apparently they subscribe to some sort of curfew - the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy), the principal law officer of the Commonwealth, attended the premises of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, an organisation constituted by Act of this Parliament. It was given a charter by this Parliament; that charter being established by an Act of this Parliament. Section 5 of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act sets out the functions of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and its Director-General. Section 5 (1.) (c) states specifically that the functions of the Organisation are: . . to co-operate with such Departments of State and authorities of the Commonwealth and, so far as is practicable, with such Departments and authorities of the States and of other countries as are capable of assisting the Organisation in the performance of its functions.
Its functions are to preserve the security of this country, and the Attorney-General is the Minister of this Government who is empowered to preserve the law and order about which the previous Attorney-General so often spoke and for which so often he showed his contempt. It has been alleged that the Attorney-General visited the offices of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation late at night in company with members of the Commonwealth Police Force - not, it will be noted, in company with members of the Australian Labor Party, in company with members of the Waterside Workers Federation, in company with members of the Communist Party or in company with staff of the Yugoslav Embassy, but in company with members of the Commonwealth Police Force.
– Twenty-seven of them.
– Yes, 27 members of the Commonwealth Police Force, as Senator Little has awakened from his slumbers to advise me. It is rather curious that members of the Opposition, who were recently driven from the government because of their attitude towards questions like this and who purport this evening to be defending the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, should show their hatred and contempt for the Commonwealth Police Force by suggesting that there is something improper in the presence of Commonwealth policemen in the offices of ASIO. I would be very interested to learn from Senator Wright, Senator Greenwood and other honourable senators opposite precisely what are the nature of the allegations which they wish to make against those 27 officers of the Commonwealth Police Force. Do they believe that they are people who should not have this information? Are they saying that the people of Australia should not have reliance on the Commonwealth Police Force? That is the only interpretation one can draw from their continual mention of the number of members of the Commonwealth Police Force who were present on this occasion.
One would have thought, as members of the party of law and order, that the presence of these Commonwealth policemen, on whom they used to rely in order to send to gaol people who would not fight their wars for them in Vietnam, would have delighted them. One would have thought that they would have been delighted that members of the Commonwealth Police Force were present. One would have thought that Senator Greenwood and the party of law and order would have said: ‘We might have had some doubts about this, but there were 27 members of the Commonwealth Police Force there, so it must have been all right’. But what have they said? How have they established that there was something wrong with what happened? They have said: ‘It must have been terrible. It must have been crook. There were 27 members of the Commonwealth Police Force there’. That is what we have heard from the party of law and order.
What are honourable senators opposite alleging? They are alleging that the AttorneyGeneral extracted some information from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. The people whom they appointed to high office in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation - I do not criticise them for this; I do not think it should be unlawful to subscribe to the policies of the Liberal Party of Australia - were people whom they knew to be close to the policies of the Liberal Party because they knew that they were the sort of people who would be more interested in prosecuting an 18-year-old who would not go to fight in Vietnam than in prosecuting those people who were attempting by violence to overthrow the government of a country with which this country has diplomatic relations. They are suggesting to us that the Attorney-General of a democratically elected government - a government democratically elected only last December - should not have available to him information in the possession of an office which was allegedly created for the protection of security in this country. That is what they are saying.
Mention has been made by some of a police state. The mind boggles at the audacity of people who say that there is a police state in existence when a democratically elected Minister knows what the police are doing. Apparently their concept of democracy is having a political police force whose activities are secret to the Attorney-General. Their concept of a democratic, properly run society is one in which those police officers appointed by an outgoing government should not be responsible, should not report and should not be visited by the Attorney-General of the incoming government. That, of course, is the complete reverse of a police state. A police state is a state in which the police or quasi police organisations have authority over the democratically elected government. The reverse of a police state is that society in which democratically elected officials have authority over the police. That is what those people are complaining about. They are complaining about the fact that the AttorneyGeneral of a democratically elected Labor Government should know what the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation is doing.
Apparently honourable senators opposite are now complaining that the Attorney-General has said nothing critical of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. They are saying: ‘It is shocking that he went along there and yet he has defended ASIO tonight. He has not said anything against ASIO’. Apparently that surprises them. Apparently their view was that anybody who went into ASIO would have plenty to complain about They are rather astonished that the AttorneyGeneral did not have anything to say about
ASIO. That has hurt them. What are honourable senators opposite trying to say? Why do they suggest that the Attorney-General should have gone there? This has been implicit in the questions which they have asked this afternoon. What they have been implying but what nobody on this side of the chamber has been implying - with perhaps the exception of Senator Turnbull, insofar as he can be regarded as being on this side of the chamber, which he is geographically but not in many other respects - is that the AttorneyGeneral would have gone to ASIO only if he had been tipped off that somebody at ASIO was concealing something.
They are saying that as if it is an indictment of the Attorney-General. By way of complaint they are saying: ‘You would not have gone there unless you thought you would find something.’ What an extraordinary complaint. They are saying: ‘How badly the Attorney-General has behaved.’ They are saying that someone has told the AttorneyGeneral that his law enforcement officers are concealing information from him and that he went to ASIO and got it. What an awful thing to do. What a horrible thing to do. These unfortunate people were safely concealing information and this wretched AttorneyGeneral, relying merely on the vote of over one-half of the people of Australia - that was all he was relying on - goes around there and takes their information from them. Supporters of the Government have not said that. That is what members of the Opposition said. If it is not what they have said, what have they said? What are they complaining about? What are they saying is improper about the AttorneyGeneral’s visit to the offices of ASIO?
We know very well the reliance which members of right wing panties have placed on ASIO. I do not want to involve the AttorneyGeneral in any of these matters. We have not heard members of the Opposition referring to the article which appeared in the ‘National Times’ a week ago which alleged that a journalist was approached by a Liberal Party member of Parliament and a Country Party member of Parliament, who had been offered ASIO information in order to blackguard members of the Labor Party. Honourable senators opposite have not had anything to say about the case which was reported in this morning’s Press of Mr Sgro, a member of the Australian Labor Party in Victoria and a member of the Painters Union, who was
denied naturalisation for years by the previous Federal Government when obviously the only things held against him were his opinions and the manner in which he expressed his opinions. He is a man without any convictions for any offence against the law. He is a man who has never been accused of any act of violence. We have heard a syrupy, obnoxious performance by the Attorney-General, posing as some sort of champion of civil liberties and as some sort of champion of-
– Ex- AttorneyGeneral. That was a most unfortunate error. I apologise to the Attorney-General. I do not apologise to the ex-Attorney-General.
– You have lost your place.
– I can assure Senator Greenwood not only that he has lost his place but also that he will never get it back. The Attorney-General set himself up tonight as the champion of civil liberties.
– Former Attorney-General.
– Yes, the former Attorney-General set himself up as the champion of civil liberties, the man who presided over the administration of a department which repeatedly refused naturalisation to citizens of this country who had never been convicted of any offence. The former Attorney-General refused entry visas to many persons who wanted to come to this country - without any charges being made, without any follow through ever being made and without anyone ever being told why they were not being allowed to come to this country. These were the actions of the previous Government for more than 20 years. Yet tonight its supporters pose here as the champions of civil liberty.
– But they let in the South Africans.
– They let South Africans in, admittedly; I am glad Senator Cant reminded me of that. They let in some people. They let in ex-Nazis; they let in exmembers of the SS; they let in ex-members of the Ustasha. Certainly they let in some people, and no explanation was given. They kept out other people and no explanation was given for that either. What has the AttorneyGeneral tried to do?
– The former AttorneyGeneral.
– I am talking about the present Attorney-General at the moment. What has the Attorney-General tried to do? Apparently he has tried to extract some information from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. He went to its office late at night. Apparently it was too late for some senators opposite, although apparently time does not always worry them, because one remembers that when they were in government they were quite happy to have somebody’s house searched on Christmas Day when they thought a draft-dodger was there. I do not think they ought to be too sensitive about the time at which visits are made to people’s premises. In order to justify the complaint about the Attorney-General’s trying to find out what is going on inside the security organisation of this country we have been treated to a plethora of balderdash.
We have heard people talking about raids taking place without search warrants. Why does the Attorney-General need a search warrant to go into the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation? If he did need a search warrant to go in there, it shows a remarkable lack of competency on the part of the DirectorGeneral that he was not aware of this and did not refuse to hand over the documents. If a search warrant were required one would have thought that the Director-General himself would have known about this and would have said: ‘You cannot have the documents. Where is your search warrant?’ But he did not say this because no search warrant was required. Is it to be suggested that if the Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns) visits the Tariff Board at midnight, or Christmas Day or at any other time he has to take a search warrant with him when he goes there? Is that what honourable senators opposite will say? Will they say that if an honourable senator goes along late to have the tea and scones which are served in such a mediocre fashion in the dining room he has to have a search warrant with him to get into the place? Thu apparently is what honourable senators opposite are suggesting. They have said that private homes were raided without search warrants. Which private houses were raided without search warrants?
– I will tell you.
- Senator Hannan is going to tell us about a private house that was raided without a search warrant.
– No, he will tell you about a number of private houses.
– At first he was going to tell us about it but now he has changed his mind. He intends to keep it to himself, apparently while he considers his verdict. Senator Hannan did interject to some effect that apparently somebody’s house was raided without a search warrant but on second thoughts he decided that it was not after all. These are the sorts of interjections that we heard this afternoon. Whose houses were raided without search warrants?
– Well, sit down and let Senator Hannan tell you.
- Senator Rae spoke for more than an hour and he did not tell us whose house was raided without a search warrant. If there were some malpractice let us hear about it, because I can assure the Senate that I am no more keen on the Commonwealth Police raiding anybody’s house without a search warrant , than the Liberal Party pretends to be now. Honourable senators opposite were quite happy about the absence of search warrants when they were able to make raids under the Crimes Act in relation to breaches of the National Service Act. I did not hear any objection then about the absence of search warrants. This sudden discovery of search warrants by the Opposition is edifying but somehow unconvincing.
But all of these matters have been completely spurious. What has happened is that the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth has visited the offices of ASIO and there obtained certain information. That is all that has happened. That is the only information that is available. There have .been certain Press reports which have said one thing and then said another, but the only cold hard facts that are known are that the Attorney-General visited the office of ASIO and that the Director-General - the Attorney-General has said this himself - did not conceal from him any information. Nor have we heard any complaint from the Director-General. If the Director-General is a man of principle; if it is true, as is either alleged or implied by everybody who has spoken from the opposite side, that there has been some breach of the Act, that the
Attorney-General has behaved improperly; if the Director-General knows his law and if he is a man of integrity, why has he not offered his resignation?
Surely a man with any integrity who believes that he was placed in such an impossible situation - that his Attorney-General was behaving improperly, coming in without search warrants or whatever it is that he ought to have, taking away documents and dealing with him in some scandalous manner - would not tolerate such a position. I know that I certainly would not tolerate such a position if the facts as alleged by the Opposition were proved to be true. But clearly they are not the facts and the Opposition senators do not have one shred of evidence to justify the things they have been saying. What they have been doing tonight is attempting to divert attention from another document which has been pesented and which thoroughly discredits the former Government - -
– Order! Senator Wheeldon, you are straying away from the subject matter under discussion.
– I have finished. Thank you, Mr President.
– I do not intend to say very much. I have written out what I intend to say in order to be careful that I do not encroach upon a subject upon which I should not encroach. 1 feel that is is very obvious to all clear thinking Australians that the reason for the visit to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation by the Commonwealth Police and the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) has been clearly shown. It was the duty of the AttorneyGeneral to examine every possible source of information in his endeavour to ensure not only the safety of visiting dignitaries but also the safety of Australian citizens. If he had any doubts that he was receiving full information it was his duty as Attorney-General to obtain that information as quickly as possible in order to avoid possible bloodshed. Surely we should not allow anyone to condemn a Minister who by his very action produced conclusive proof that his visit was absolutely and completely justified. If he had not taken that action and someone had been hurt or killed, we would now be asking him to explain why he had not taken every possible precaution to protect human life. Those honourable senators who are criticising the raid on
ASIO are placing ASIO before human life. I personally commend the Attorney-General for his action.
– I do not think it is necessary for me to advert to the nonsense just put before the chamber by Senator Negus. There is not a shred of proof, an atom of proof, to confirm what he said. Therefore I do not propose to waste any time in chasing him up blind alleys. Senator Wheeldon apparently has been so brainwashed by his recent visit to his friends in Hanoi to give them such aid and comfort as his presence would undoubtedly do that he is quite incapable of understanding the processes in a democratic community. In his cavalier fashion - perhaps I should almost say clownish fashion - he is a little like the gentleman who slaps up windmills which nobody is defending and then knocks them over himself with tremendous gusto. I refer to his statement, that people on this side of the chamber alleged that searches were made of private houses without warrants but had changed their minds about producing the evidence. I seek leave to have incorporated in Hansard a statutory declaration by Franjo Till, an invalid pensioner of 17, 19th Street, Narrabundah, which abundantly will rebut the suggestion made by Senator Wheeldon.
– Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows) -
I, Franjo Till, invalid pensioner, of 17. 19th Street, Narrabundah, Australian Capital Territory, a naturalized Australian citizen, do solemnly and sincerely declare that at approximately 3.25 a.m. on Sunday morning, 18th March, 1973, a number of plain clothed policemen woke my family and myself by knocking and kicking at the door of my house at the above address.
They called me by my full name, Franjo Till’, in such perfect accent that I thought they were some of my own Croatian friends. For this reason I opened the door.
Two men in plain clothes immediately pushed me back into the room, and walked in. There were 4 children, children of a visiting friend, sleeping in that room.
I asked these men who they were, I asked them to identify themselves. One produced papers showing him to be a Commonwealth Police Officer, by name of ‘Alfred Meir’. I am positive that the second man, who refused to identify himself, was a Yugoslav police officer, because though he spoke very little to me he pronounced Croatian names and spelt them rapidly in a way which is not possible for one not from my own country. They asked for the names of everyone in the house, and wrote them all down. Including the names of the children.
The Police tried to make everybody, including the 6 children under the age of 10, to get up. The children were very frightened, and began to cry.
I asked the Police repeatedly did they have a warrant to come into my house like that, but they said they did not need one, and they did not produce one.
As there were more than 6 adults in the house, visitors from Melbourne, the Police could not do much in the way of search without putting people out of the house. They did not do this, but they looked through the house thoroughly without touching anything. They left after about15 minutes. They did not at any time tell me why they had forced their way into my house or what they wanted, or by what authority. At no time did they produce a warrant to search my house. Their attitude to myself, my wife, and my guests was very rough and insulting. When they left, I followed them outside, and found that there were more Police waiting outside, in a proper marked Police car.
The next day the Police returned, when my wife was alone in the house. They forced their way into my house again, against my wife’s will to let them in.
AND I make this solemn declaration by virtue of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, and subject to the penalties provided by that act for the making of false statements in statutory declarations, conscientiously believing the statements contained in this declaration to be true in every particular.
Declared at Canberra, the Twenty-third day of March 1973, before me,
T. Aldcroft, JP
Justice of the Peace (N.S.W.)
– I have 4 other documents here, all of which rebut the clownish suggestion made by Senator Wheeldon that there is no evidence of a search and entry of private property without warrants. All of this relates to the whipped up pantomime which has been foisted on this country for the past 12 days. This evening we have heard the Tasmanian Devil howling from his corner in the chamber a great deal of drivelling nonsense suggesting that Senator Greenwood was indifferent to the welfare ofhis country.
– I take a point of order, Mr President. I find Senator Hannan’s reference to Senator Wright insulting and I ask him to withdraw it.
– Mr President,I raise a point of order. It is insulting to me to be defended by such falsification by Senator Wheeldon.
– Order! I do not think a point of order arises. The animal referred to is extinct.
– He is certainly no longer in the chamber. Of course, solicitude for the country as distinct from solicitude for Sena tor Turnbull is a radical new departure on his part.I do not want to chase him up any blind alleys, either. There are 2 or 3 other matters. The most significant point in the course of this debate has been the sane, cold, calm, judicial expression of Senator Wright when he posed the question and pointed out that at question time today Senator Murphy admitted that ASIO had never withheld information from him.
– I did not say that.
– All I say is that the matter was referred to at question time and my recollection is that the Attorney -General admitted that ASIO had not withheld information from him. The most obvious thing about Senator Murphy’s raid on ASIO and the matters related thereto is the complete and absolute absence of any evidence anywhere as to the necessity for it. We had what Senator Murphy calls a visit, taking along 27 police officers - quite a lot of people to carry a visiting card. After Senator Murphy’s performance at question time this afternoon I think that his credibility must be at the lowest ebb at which it has ever been.
– The honourable senator is beginning to sound like Senator Wright now.
– One does not need allegations if one is speaking about ASIO and one belongs to the Australian Labor Party. All we have to do is remember that half of them want to disband ASIO. The vote was 24 to 24. No amount of casuistry, humbug and nonsense from honourable senators opposite will-
– When was this?
– That was at the meeting at Launceston in 1971. The vote was 24 all.
– It was 23 all.
– Well, 23 all.I speak subject to correction by an expert on that. They want to get rid of ASIO. This pantomime to which the nation has been subjected for the past 12 days is merely an exercise in this process. The sooner we get rid of all the humbug, cut the cackle and come to the real reason for the raid, the better the nation will be served. Apparently all one has to do under the present Administration is to make wild allegations, leak stuff to the Press, radio and television, make melodramatic assertions about one’s own department in Canberra or Melbourne, and one comes up with a legal case which a first year student would be ashamed to put forward and which a simple suburban lawyer would view with absolute horror. I know this is a revolutionary theory but I believe that even members of ASIO have rights. It is the sort of thing which they would not receive from honourable senators opposite. I know it sounds silly but they are devoted servants of this nation. They do not deserve the odium which has been heaped upon them by the AttorneyGeneral to carry his baby for his own ideological shibboleths.
During the recent raid in Melbourne the Commonwealth police, according to the newspapers - presumably these were inspired leaks - herded approximately 400 people into the auditorium of the ASIO building. Information comes to me from another source that among these people were a large number of terrified young female typists who were weeping and wailing and upset, not knowing what the local version of the Mafia was doing. It is a fact that a number of members of ASIO were denied their personal freedom as a result of the arrival of Senator Murphy’s friends on this visit. Admittedly this was for only a short time but the visit was almost probably illegal. I would hesitate to give a constitutional opinion but it is probable that all members of ASIO who suffered this tort, instigated by the Attorney-General, would have a right of action against the Commonwealth for this interference with their rights.
In dealing with socialist activities it always pays to read the works of socialist writers. It would be conceded generally, even by people like Senator Wheeldon, that George Orwell was a very famous and distinguished socialist writer. I suppose that in general terms George Orwell is famous for 2 things. One is his Animal Farm’ and the other, of course, is 1984’. In the masterly novel ‘Animal Farm’, you will recall, Mr President, the little parable about pigs securing ascendency over the entire farm. The pigs were running it as a socialist enterprise. They gathered the produce and sold it. But, as in all socialist societies there happened to be certain internal, economic, cultural and social difficulties. In order to distract attention from these difficulties it was necessary that the pigs in ‘Animal Farm’ have a diversion. It was necessary that they have someone upon whom they could lay the blame for all their own shortcomings and their own difficulties. Mr President, as you will recall from your own erudite studies, this diversion was called ‘Snowball’. Snowball was a rebel pig. It is not my intention to go right through ‘Animal Farm’ showing the similarities between the activities of the AttorneyGeneral and the head of Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. But it is almost impossible to escape the view that Senator Murphy’s activities in ASIO are a pure Snowball. Senator Murphy is using a diversion. He is exercising his rights to conduct a diversion, if he wants to, and that is the -
– The honourable senator has left out half the story. What about the third chapter?
– Well, the honourable senator is not capable of taking it in. I do not know why honourable senators opposite should feel that a socialist parable should be so objectionable. I would have thought that they would like to have learned a bit of real socialism. But it appears that they are socialists only when Mr Hawke or someone else who can whip them into shape is about. We return now to the almost impossible position in which the Attorney-General has placed his own Department. Even before this obnoxious raid on his own Department there were Press allegations that Great Britain and the United States of America were already withholding security information.
– Order! It being 11 o’clock p.m. in accordance with the order of the Senate this day I put the question:
That the Senate do now adjourn.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 11 p.m.
The following answers to questions were circulated:
asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice:
Senator WILLESEE- The Acting Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice:
Senator WILLESEE- The Acting Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
asked the Minister for
Primary Industry, upon notice:
Did the Minister announce on 24th January that he had given approval for the immediate purchaseof 30 stud merino Australian rams by the Compagnie d’Importation de Laines (C.I.L.); if so, are the rams destined for export to Communist China.
Senator WRIEDT- The answer to Senator Kane’s question is as follows:
On 24th January 1973 I announced that approval had been granted for the export of 30 stud merino rams by, the Compagnie d’Importation de Laines to meet an existing order from the People’s Republic of China. Subsequently, the Government decided that a referendum of persons affected would be held on the question of the embargo on the export of merino rams and merino semen, and the approval for the export of 30 rams to China was withdrawn accordingly.
(Question No. 40)
asked the Minister for. Primary Industry, upon notice:
Did the Minister for Immigration state that the Labor Government would provide $500m for primary producers at an interest rate of 3 per cent per annum; if so, when will the funds become available.
Senator WRIEDT- The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
Labor’s policy, as stated in the Prime Minister’s election policy speech, is that rural financing will be carried out effectively through the present banking system and by an expansion of the functions of the Development Bank. My Department and the Treasury have already begun devoting attention to the credit needs of the rural sector, and I expect the subject will be dealt with by the Government in the near future.
asked the Attorney-
General, upon notice:
Senator MURPHY- The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
I refer the honourable senator to part (a) of my answer to Question No. 103.
asked the Attorney-
General, upon notice:
Senator MURPHY - The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows: (a)I refer the honourable senator to part (a) of my answer to Question No. 103.
(Question No. 105)
(Question No. 106)
asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice:
Senator MURPHY - The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
I refer the honourable senator to part(a) of my answer to question number 103.
asked the Attorney-
General, upon notice:
Will the Attorney-General inform the Senate how the absolute bar of condonation specified in the Matrimonial Causes Act can be adhered to when Statutory Rules 1973, No. 8, removes the obligations of the petitioner to give particulars of the cohabitation of the parties to the marriage and denial of any connivance or condonation.
Senator MURPHY- The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
I refer the honourable senator to part (a) of my answer to question number 103.
(Question No. 108)
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:
Senator MURPHY- The Prime Minister has supplied the following information for answer to the honourable senator’s question:
Ministers are still making appointments to their personal staff. When these appointments have been completed, I shall make available to the honourable senator and to the Senate details of the staff employed by each Minister and by office-holders of the non-Government parties.
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:
Does the Australian Government regard the Monarchy as ‘outmoded’ and ‘irrelevant’ as stated by Mr Whitlam in an interview on the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s program ‘Monday Conference’.
Senator MURPHY - The Prime Minister has supplied the following information in answer to the honourable senator’s question:
The Government has not taken any attitude on this matter.
asked the Attorney-
General, upon notice:
Senator MURPHY- The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
(Question No. 104)
asked the Minister repre senting the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:
Did Mr Whitlam on 24th July 1972 call for an immediate cash payment of $100 for every pensioner and unemployed person.
Senator DOUGLAS McCLELLANDThe Minister for Social Security has supplied the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
On 24th July 1972 during a radio broadcast Mr Whitlam said:
The immediate economic problem is to put the unemployed back to work. The best and quickest way to do this would be for every pensioner and every unemployed to receive an immediate cash payment of, say, $100. These are the people who have to spend all they receive simply to keep going.
A payment of the kind I now suggest - indeed I urged it last February - would not be an in-built inflationary force. It would provide an immediate but once-for all boost’.
Mr Whitlam made it clear that the proposal was related to the economic conditions at the time and designed to provide an immediate stimulus for the economy, clearly required at the time. No such proposal was included in the Government’s election program.
asked the Attorney-
General, upon notice:
Would it not have been more appropriate to increase the extent of legal aid available for divorce cases rather than (a) abolish court fees; (b) remove the liability of the respondent to meet costs in undefended cases; and (c) create arbitrary distinctions between defended and undefended divorces in relation to costs.
Senator MURPHY- The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
(Question No. 103)
asked the Minister repre senting thepostmaster-General, upon notice:
Senator DOUGLAS McCLELLAND - The Postmaster General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice:
Will the Minister state if any tangible plans emerged from the meeting on Friday, 9th March 1973, of the State Ministers responsible for wildlife conservation, apart from a proposed census of kangaroos in Australia, which would hasten the acquisition of wildlife habitats and achieve the goal of 10 per cent of the continent being set aside for this type of usage.
Senator CAVANAGH - The Minister for the Environment and Conservation has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
The meeting gave support to a work program submitted by the Australian Fauna Authorities’ Conference for examination of the House of Representatives Select Committee Report on Wildlife Conservation. One aspect of this work program relates to the adequacy of the national park and reserve system and the need to ensure that all habitat types are satisfactorily represented.
– On 7th March 1973, Senators Jessop, Young and Davidson asked me, representing the Minister for Labour, questions relating to employment in South Australia, labour shortage at Riverland Cannery and unemployment relief, respectively. I undertook to secure additional information from my colleague, the Minister for Labour. The Minister for Labour has provided the following information:
Commonwealth Employment Service recruitment activities on behalf of growers and the Riverland Cannery began before the fruit picking season commenced with intensive canvassing of employers for projected vacancies. Vacancies were released through the C.E.S. network of offices supplemented by special measures such as recruitment of Aborigines from north western areas, extensive advertising and recruitment of weekend pickers amongst school cadets.
These efforts resulted in the placement by the C.E.S. of more than 4,000 pickers and 200 cannery workers.
It is difficult to reconcile with the facts the number of persons referred to in the questions as being on unemployment benefit. At the end of February 1973, only 4 males and 1 female were in receipt of unemployment benefit for the whole of the Renmark C.E.S. area. Indeed, there was a very considerable decline (nearly 30 per cent) in the numbers on unemployment benefit in South Australia as between end-January, 1973, and end-February, 1973.
At the end of February, 31 males (including 13 school leavers) and 27 females (including 11 school leavers) were registered with the Renmark District Employment Office and there were unfilled vacancies for 130 males and 138 females.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice:
Senator BISHOP- The Minister for Defence has supplied the following information as an answer to the honourable senator’s question:
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Labour, upon notice:
Senator BISHOP- The Minister for Labour has supplied the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
– On 7th March 1973
asked me. a question about travel by Mr M. Young, Federal Secretary of the ALP, during the 1972 election campaign. I said that I would obtain details. After question time on 7th March 1973 I pointed out that this arrangement had been approved by the then Prime Minister, Mr McMahon. I have now obtained further information about the matter.
Approval was given by Mr McMahon for election advisers to travel with party leaders during the course of the election campaign. Such advisers were to travel on the same basis as members of the Press were permitted to accompany party leaders, ie, on the basis that the organisations to which they belong be charged the equivalent of normal commercial economy air fares for the journeys undertaken.
Mr Young accompanied Mr Whitlam on a number of journeys during the election campaign while Mr McMahon was accompanied on various journeys by his election advisers, Senator Carrick and Messrs Morelli, Howard, Holt and Hall. The ALP and the Liberal Party have been charged for these journeys on the basis I mentioned. Details of the journeys in question appear from the details of VIP flights which I tabled in the Senate on 7th March 1973.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Capital Territory, upon notice:
Senator WILLESEE- The Minister for the Capital Territory has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice:
Senator WILLESEE- The Acting Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question: (1), (2) and (3) The Government’s decisions with respect to the export incentives schemes were announced on 13th March 1973.
– On 6th March Senator Sim asked me a question without notice relating to formulae for the recognition of the People’s Republic of China. I have obtained the information Senator Sim requested, which I now table.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 27 March 1973, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1973/19730327_senate_28_s55/>.