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Monday, 8 October 1984
Page: 1442

(Question Nos. 432 and 969)

Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 13 October 1983:

(1) Is the Minister for Communications aware that the Attorney-General's report dated June 1977 on the 6th Report of the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security, headed, 'Need for Legislation to Regulate the functions of the Defence Signals Division', includes a clear statement of fact on page seven that the Defence Signals Division in the past has obtained transmission materials from the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC).

(2) Will the Minister review his answer to my question No. 242 (See Hansard, 13 September 1983 page 617).

(3) Will the Minister ascertain why the OTC has provided misleading information on this matter.

Senator Button —The Minister for Communications has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) I understand that the sixth report of the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security was a secret report and was not made publicly available. I would assume that any document commenting on that report would also not be available. If any document of the kind described by the honourable senator existed, I am not aware of it. However, if the honourable senator wishes to pursue this issue I suggest he direct his question to the Attorney-General who has ongoing responsibility for such matters.

(2) and (3) I am advised by the Overseas Telecommunications Commission ( Australia) that it is not aware of the report referred to be Senator Bolkus. The Commission has reviewed its advice to me which I used in answer to parliamentary Question No. 242 (Hansard, 13 September 1983, page 617) and has confirmed that it has not provided misleading information on this matter.