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Tuesday, 16 October 1984
Page: 1736


Senator MASON —Has the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs read the report in today's Age concerning a Central Intelligence Agency produced manual entitled 'Psychological Operations in Guerilla War' which is being distributed in Nicaragua? Is the Government aware that this manual, the authenticity of which apparently has been confirmed, recommends that professional criminals be hired for selective jobs, that government officials can be neutralised by the use of violence, that martyrs be created by killing rebel leaders in violent demonstrations and that Nicaraguans can be coerced into acting contrary to their will? Is is a fact that the CIA controls or at least is heavily involved in the control of the United States base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs? Does the Australian Government have full knowledge of and control over CIA activities in Australia? Can the Government give an unequivocal assurance to the Senate that the sorts of activities of the standard of morality indicated in the Nicaraguan manual are not operating in this country?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I was aware that that question would be asked and I did in fact hear it being asked. However, I am afraid I can give no better answer to Senator Mason than I gave to Senator Primmer because I have no detailed briefing available on either the subject of the Nicaraguan manual to which he refers or the larger questions. I will endeavour to get an answer from the Minister for Foreign Affairs and contribute accordingly to the honourable senator's state of knowledge on those matters.


Senator MASON —I cannot believe that the Attorney-General of this country, a senior Minister of the Cabinet, cannot answer the question: Does the Australian Government have full knowledge of and control over CIA activities in Australia?


The PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Mason will ask a supplementary question or resume his seat.


Senator MASON —Mr President, I am asking the Minister to respond to my question: Does the Australian Government have full knowledge of and control over CIA activities in Australia?


The PRESIDENT —Order! That is not a supplementary question. The honourable senator has already put the question.