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Tuesday, 23 October 1984
Page: 2273


Senator TOWNLEY —by leave- It is quite serious that the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Button) will not give some undertaking about this matter. The Minister could quite easily say that he will have investigations undertaken and, if suitable, make a statement to the Senate tomorrow. I think the fact he will not do that is even more serious than the allegations made against the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. In my estimation it gives the situation a lot of credence. In any case, I knew it was right. However, I do not think it is good enough to let the Senate rise tomorrow without something being said about this matter of national security. I ask: Is the Government not interested in national security any more? That is the Government's first responsibility; the first responsibility of any government is the security of the country.

Senator Button is sitting silently and making no statement in regard to this matter. I have always regarded Senator Button as a person of integrity and also as a fairly knowledgeable politician. He knows very well that unless something is said about this matter and some offer made to look into it, it will have to be brought up again and again until something is said. As I see it, it is a very serious matter made more serious by the fact that the Leader of the Government in the Senate will not make one word of comment.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 11.22 p.m.