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Tuesday, 9 October 1956

Mr BEALE - A statement was made by an English journalist, representing an English newspaper, who came out here for the atomic tests, wherein he criticized the activities at Woomera. I think his statement is to be read more as a criticism of the United Kingdom Government than of the Australian Government, so for the most part I shall leave it to the former government to reply, if it wishes to do so. But one or two things were said which I think bear upon our activities and responsibilities. He gave it as his considered opinion, after a recent visit to the range and after having talked with some scientific officers, that although an amount of £10,000,000 was being expended only about £1,000,000 of useful work was going on. It is right, as the honorable gentleman has said, that the journalist was there for, I think, only two and a half hours. He was not, of course, shown any secret matters at all, and I doubt very much much indeed whether any of the scientists there would speak to him on those or, indeed, on any other matters, so I imagine his opportunities for forming a judgment such as that which he purported to pass were extremely limited. His statement contains a great many inaccuracies. As I said before, it is not my purpose to deal with those in detail, but one matter ought to be mentioned. By way of illustrating the argument which he put forward that it was difficult to keep high level scientific officers at Woomera, he mentioned by name a Dr. Green, whom he reported as saying that he was packing up and leaving for England, taking the whole of his team with him. In fairness to Dr. Green, that allegation should be controverted straight away. I have here a statement from Dr. Green, who is extremely annoyed at this report by the journalist. The statement reads -

I am leaving the establishment only because 1 wish to take a position in England and not because of any dissatisfaction with the work I have been doing. I am not taking any of my team with me. There is no question of my doing so.

I think that the accuracy of the rest of the article may be measured by the accuracy of that part of it.

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