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Wednesday, 3 October 1984
Page: 1114


Senator GARETH EVANS —Earlier in Question Time Senator Archer raised with me a matter that was the subject of a question to me on 30 November last year. I have now had an opportunity to refresh my memory on that matter which was no doubt raised by Senator Archer following certain evidence that was given to the Senate Standing Committee on Privileges by the editor of the National Times a few days ago. The situation is this: I have no reason whatsoever to amend anything I said in my answer in the Senate on 30 November of last year. Neither my Department nor I was briefed on or was aware of Chief Inspector Moller's file note referred to in Mr Temby's report, which note raised the question as to whether the alleged intercepts, the subject of the Age tapes affair, were in fact authorised ; nor was, I understand, the Special Minister of State briefed on the existence of contents of that file note. My speculative reference in my answer to Senator Archer to the possibility that the source of the transcripts of the material may have been a listening device was based on a briefing that was provided to me at the time by the Australian Federal Police and the Department of the Special Minister of State. I add to that that I understand now that an investigation is being made as to why the information obtained by Moller was not acted upon. The existence of that note was fully disclosed in the Temby report on the Age tapes affair.