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Wednesday, 31 October 1956

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - I oppose the bill for the reasons already stated by my colleagues, who have indicated that the Opposition has no objection to members of the security service being given security of tenure in their employment. However, we say that it is important to> make certain, at the same time, that the community has some protection against the security service, and we take particular exception to this measure because it does not afford the community any such protection. The members of the security service should have rights similar to those of members of the police forces of the various States, who have security of tenure in their employment until they attain the age of 60 or 65, as the case may be. But, like the police forces of the States, the security service should be responsible to the community to some degree. Members of the service should not be allowed to break the law ad libitum, but should be answerable to the ordinary courts of justice as is any ordinary member of the community who commits a breach of the law. Members of the security service have no right to behave as pimps and spies towards innocent people. They should not be permitted to perjure themselves in order to damage the interests of people and their families for the rest of their days, and, at the same time, commit even worse crimes themselves without fear of punishment, as has happened in the past.

I repeat that the gravamen of the Opposition's objection to the bill is that it does not afford the community the protection from the security service to which it is entitled. We have no objection to security of tenure in employment for the members of the security service, but this is a free and democratic community and we demand that the cherished British traditions of freedom and fair play shall not be gradually filched from us by the intrusion into our daily lives of an organization akin to the Ogpu and the Gestapo, which ruined the lives of the people of Russia and Germany respectively, just as other organizations ruined the lives of the free people of Spain, those of the people of Italy in the days of Mussolini's dictatorship, and, more recently, the lives of the people of Hungary. Just as the people of Hungary rose in revolt and were prepared to lay down their lives defending themselves against the intrusion of the dreaded secret police, we in Australia may one day be compelled to defend our liberties too, unless the Parliament heeds the warning given by the Leader of the Opposition and other Opposition members and writes into the statutes provision for the protection of the ordinary man as well as of the members of the security service. If it does not take care to afford the community this protection, the Parliament may to-day be setting the seal on the destruction of freedom, liberty, and democracy as we have known them since federation.

It will not pay the Government to sit back placidly thinking that while the security service is there to pimp on its opponents, it has nothing to fear. I warn the Government that the instrument it is creating to-day for its own political advancement and protection may one day be used to destroy it utterly. This sort of thing has happened on innumerable occasions throughout the history of mankind. Many times, a Frankenstein monster has risen up and destroyed its creator. The Government may yet fall a victim to a monster of its own creation. There is no guarantee that, if it is so destroyed, its successor will be a democratic, freedom-loving Labour government. It could easily be a government without any belief in democracy, formed by a fascist party, a Communist party, or any other party leaning either to the extreme right or to the extreme left. Such parties, as was stated so admirably in " Fallen Bastions ", play the game of democracy only so long as they are not winning. When they have won the last game, they throw away the board on which it was played and play democracy no more. And they will be assisted considerably in their designs in this respect because the instrument that the Government is now creating would be the very instrument which such a party, if it ever came to office, could use to stifle all opposition, from the Liberal party, from the Labour party, or from any other party that believes in those great freedoms.

Mr Morgan - They are being placed above the law of the land.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - These people, as the honorable member for Reid has said by interjection, are now being placed above the law itself, above the very Parliament itself, because the Parliament, under this legislation, could not even dismiss an officer of the security service. The service is being given powers that a justice of the High Court does not possess and security of tenure that a justice of the High Court does not enjoy, because even a High Court justice can be dismissed from office by this Parliament if he be proved guilty of misconduct. But this Parliament, the people's supreme governing body, is to have no power, under this legislation, to dismiss a security agent or a security officer who is stifling and trampling on the things we all now hold dear.

Do not let us imagine that these security service officers are all men who are imbued with the desire to serve one political party only, or even to serve only the country of which they are now the employees. Some of them - and there only needs to be some of them for this to be a danger - are men who may be purely professional in their attitude, just as happy to carry out their nefarious work on behalf of a fascist government as they would be to carry it out on behalf of a Labour government against the Liberal party, or on behalf of a Liberal government against the Labour party. Because one thing is certain - that if ever this country is at war against a fascist dictatorship - and such an eventuality could easily emerge, because there are fascist dictatorships already in existence, and these men could create a nucleus in such an event - three-quarters of the present members of the security service would have to be sacked if we wanted to protect ourselves because, whatever may be said for or against them, three-quarters of the members of the service at least can be said to be pro-fascist at the moment.

Mr Wilson - Nonsense!

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Not at all. It is certain that most of these people see absolutely nothing wrong with fascist tendencies in the community. They see everything wrong with Communist tendencies, but nothing wrong with fascist tendencies, and I believe that anybody who believes that all he has to do to be a good Australian is to be violently, madly, fanatically antiCommunist, without rhyme or reason, is taking at least the first step towards fascism. In the event of war against Australia, half of the members of the security service, if not three-quarters as I originally said, would not be fit and proper persons to hold their positions any longer. But, once this legislation becomes law, we will not be able to dismiss them. Remember, this Government does not know to whom it is giving security of tenure when it furnishes the security service with this blank and open cheque. We do not know who are the employees of the security service. We, who are making the decision on this legislation to-day, do not know the names of those whom we are putting in security service employment for life. How, therefore, can we say we are justified in employing them for life? We do not know the names of the numerous agents employed by the security service, or the nature of the agreements and contracts entered into between the security service and those unnamed agents; but many of the agents to whom we are now asked to give security of tenure may be men who, if we knew their identities, we would rather throw in gaol than employ in the Commonwealth Public Service for the rest of their lives.

Indeed, there is a very real danger here. I say that the Parliament, the Prime Minister, or somebody in authority - and better the Prime Minister than the Parliament, because the Parliament cannot spend its time on such matters - should be in a position to have somebody in the security service answerable to it or him, completely. The Parliament should also have the right to remove a member of the security service from the employ of the Commonwealth in exactly the same way as we now have the right to remove a Communist from employment in the Public Service. We should have the right to have a person who is guilty of misconduct dismissed or suspended from the security service. Certainly, give him the right of appeal because, surely, even a man who is a member of the security service staff with fascist tendencies has the right of appeal. Whether he be fascist or Communist, do not take his right of appeal away. Give him a fair hearing but, for goodness sake, let the Parliament - the people, in other words - retain the right to dismiss one who is guilty of misconduct or proved to be unsuitable for his job in the security service. I believe that there is a very great need for such a precaution.

Men in the security service have, in fact, been guilty of misconduct - serious misconduct. Who will uphold the action of the security agent, Bialoguski, who was receiving £25 a week as an agent of the security service and, during the time that he was so employed, was committing a breach of the laws of this country, in that he was blackmarketing liquor to the extent of over £700 worth sold to one man in a period of three months, to say nothing of the other sales made by him during that period? No action was taken against him. No action taken, mind you, even to prosecute him for his breach of the law! No action was taken even to remove him from the employment of the Commonwealth.

Mr Curtin - Why?

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Why? No action was taken against him for the very simple reason that is disclosed by the author of an article which is to be issued in pamphlet form, titled, " Shut your mouth or else ", written by George Marue, who tried to have it published in the press of this country but failed to do so because the newspapers were interviewed by security officers who asked them not to publish it because its contents were too true. But George Marue, I am pleased to say, is nowtaking steps to have the article published' in pamphlet form, so that the people of Australia will be able to see the names of the persons who are involved in the Petrov conspiracy. He is naming the persons, so that if they care to take action against him for libel they may do so. He said in this article, which the newspapers were asked by security not to publish -

A leading member of the Liberal party, the secretary of the Liberal party in Sydney, who was visited by a friend of mine, Mr. G. £. Kleinadel, warned me, that I can have afterwards a very hard life here and he suggested that I should not do it. However, he promised to get in touch with security and to ask them what is their point of view on this matter.

Then he goes on to say that on the next day he was interviewed by security officers. But the point I want to mention in relation to this article is in answer to the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith (Mr. Curtin), who asked, by interjection, why the Government did not prosecute Bialoguski. The reason is clearly shown in George Marue's article titled " Shut your mouth or else ". He had a conversation with Bialoguski at a cafe in King's Cross, which was the rendezvous. This is what Bialoguski said to him, and I quote, because Marue had a tape recorder attached to his wrist of which Bialoguski knew nothing and the conversation was taped -

You have to understand George, that in the Petrov affair and in the job I was doing I knew only top men in the head-quarters of the Security and they also had to do what I wanted, because it was in my hands to make Petrov to stay here and only I could do it. Apart from this, I had to make him stay here before the federal elections and I am to-day the man who helped Menzies to win the elections so easily. When Security sacked me because of your reports-

About black-marketing of liquor -

I went to see Menzies and he ordered to take me back, because Menzies knew that T was doing a good job for him.

There is the answer to the honorable member's interjection. That is a statement that has been issued by George Marue and is shortly to be published in pamphlet form to give the Prime Minister of this country, if he cares to contravert iit, an opportunity of taking the matter into the courts of the land and proving that it is libelous. He will give the secretary of the Liberal party, who is mentioned here, the opportunity of taking action against the man if be wants to prove the publication is libelous; and if the Government takes this matter into the courts of the land where the plaintiff will have the right to call upon members of the security service to go into the witness box and swear on oath in respect of the charges that are levelled against him, there will be an exposition in mis country which will stagger every human being in Australia.

We will see that, although we have not realized it, right under our very noses, there has been built up the kind of organization, slowly but surely and secretly, which has made the people of Hungary revolt and the people all over the world loathe the name " secret police ". Now the Parliament is asked to establish the security service not only on a permanent basis but also to take from the Parliament the right even to dismiss an officer of the security service if he is found guilty of the kind of misconduct about which I am talking. Why does not the Government come clean on the question which was asked concerning the security agent who got drunk and broke up his car on the Yass-road? What happened to him? Because he was drinking so heavily, the security service considered him no longer a suitable person to be employed by it, as he would talk too much. The security service was right in that regard, but it then transferred him to the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority and gave him a house, a car and an extra £100 a year to keep him quiet. But this man was never prosecuted for smashing the Commonwealth car or for drunkenness. He was merely given a better job somewhere else to keep him quiet, and the community has had to pay for it.

Any person who is accused by the secret police of Australia of being guilty of subversive activities ought to be given the same right as a murderer is given. Surely a person who, prima facie, is a law-abiding citizen is entitled to that right. A lawabiding citizen who is falsely accused of being a security risk ought to have the same right as the man accused of murder; because the man accused of murder has the right to demand that he be given the chance to face his accusers in open court, to hear the accusation and to learn by whom the accusation is made and then to plead his defence. But the citizens of this community have not the right that a murderer has in the ordinary civil courts in respect of charges levelled against them bv the secret police, yet we are doing nothing in this bill - and this is one of the reasons why I oppose it - to rectify the shortcomings that I have mentioned. Every one will remember the episode when the Prime Minister named in this House a number of union officials who, he said, were Communists during the debate on the Communist Party Dissolution Bill 1951. Histatement was based on the information supplied to him no doubt by his security service. It was only possible on thai occasion to prove how unreliable the information was because the Prime Minister named the persons and because he named them, he had to come into the House the very next evening and apologize for the fact that among those whom he named were three persons who were not Communists at all. Those three could never have proved their innocence but for the fact that the Prime Minister mentioned their names.

But the security service does not mention the names of the people whom it accuses. It merely supplies the department - if a government department is concerned with their employment - with a secret dossier marked " Top Secret " saying that they are Communists. The departmental head dare not disregard a security accusation that the man is a Communist because he fears that if his judgment happened to prove wrong, and the security report proved to be right, and if it was later discovered that he employed the person against the advice of the security service, his own position could be in jeopardy. But the poor wretch who has his name put in as a security risk, is never told the real reason why he is not given the employment or promotion. No information is given to him. He is merely " cancelled out ". He is told that his application has been considered and that the department regrets that it cannot employ him. The real reason is never given. 1 had a case concerning the naturalization of a man who has been in this country for seventeen years. His mother and father have been naturalized. His brothers and sisters have been naturalized. He came to me because his naturalization application had been rejected. I went to the Department of Immigration. I have always said of the Department of Immigration that it is a department which nobody in Australia has any need to fear. If all government departments had the courage of this department to carry out the administration of our laws, we would have nothing to worry about in relation to the security services because, to the eternal credit of the Department of Immigration, it has enough guts to stand on its own 'feet and work things out for itself. The Department of Immigration told me that this man had been rejected because he was a security risk in the eyes of the security service. The reason given by the security service was that he was a member of the Eureka Youth League in 1949, and that he was a member of the Labour University League in Adelaide some years before that.

All these things were admitted by the man concerned. He had never denied that ' - had been a member of the Communist party or the Eureka Youth League, but he does deny that he has been a member of the Communist party since 1951. But these people were prepared to hound him right to the grave because in the impetuosity of youth, searching for the truth, he had, for a few brief years, embraced the Communist doctrine and had been courageous enough to come into the open and tell people that he was a Communist. They were told that this man was a Communist because the further proof was that in 1954 he handed out how-to-vote cards for the Communist party at Norwood, which is in the Sturt electorate. As the honorable member for Sturt (Mr. Wilson) knows, in 1954 there was no Communist candidate in Sturt. The only candidates in Sturt were the honorable gentleman himself and the honorable member for Bonython (Mr. Makin). How could he possibly have been handing out cards for the Communist party unless, in the view of the security service, the honorable member for Sturt or the honorable member for Bonython are Communists?

Mr Wentworth - Was there a Senate election at the time?

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - There was no Senate election in 1954. The Senate election was held in 1953. The security service thus proved by its own report that its report was absolutely false. But if this man had not known me or had not been in a position to come to me and if 1 had not been in a position to go to the Department of Immigration his name could never have been cleared.

That is but one case. How many hundreds of cases are there in which the person concerned has no member of Parliament to go to and is never told the real reason for the rejection of his application? 1 know of a man who wanted to bring his wife here from Hungary. She was 62 years of age. He was told that he was a security risk and that, therefore, he could not bring his wife, although she was not a security risk. I discovered afterwards that he was regarded as a security risk because he had handed out " No " how-to-vote cards in connexion with the Communist Party Dissolution Bill which had been given to him by his breadcarter, Mr. Jack Souter, who was the brother of Mr. Harold Souter, the Australian Council of Trades Unions' secretary. When Mr. Jack Souter had called to deliver bread to this man he had said, "You had better give these to your Hungarian friends. This is how to vote Labour ". Because the man knew that Mr. Souter was president of the Labour party he took the breadcarter's cards and handed them around to his Hungarian friends. That was sufficient to have him branded, in the eyes of the security service, as a security risk.

I had another case of a man in Adelaide who wanted to bring to this country a young nephew of fifteen years of age. His brother was already here. The reason that he was not allowed to bring his nephew was that the security service had said that he was a security risk. I said to this man, "Surely not! At fifteen years of age a man cannot be a security risk ". He said, "Ah, ha! His mother and father are Communists in Italy, they live in Milan. This man is guilty by association with his parents". I suppose that the security service thought that this fifteen-years-old boy, when he discovered that his mother and father were Communists, should have walked out of the home, disowned his mother and father because of their political views and thus become eligible for admission to Australia.

As I later discovered, the situation is so fluid in Italy that a municipal employee has to change his politics whenever the municipality changes its politics. This boy's father has been in turn a social democrat, a socialist and a fascist. The father and mother were both members of the Fascist party. In order to keep his job on the council, the father joined the Communist party when the Milan city council went over to the Communist party.

These downy-faced sleuths in the security service - these bright boys - sneak around like private eyes, prepared to pin false charges on to people by perjury and by unsubstantiated accusations. This Parliament should be very careful, therefore, before it introduces into this country permanently the kind of thing that I am talking about. It is true that already we have it, but I ask honorable members not to make it permanent. During' the war we did not have a security service in the form in which we find it now. Instead, the various branches of the defence services had their own intelligence organizations. The Army, the Navy and the Air Force were working independently but, on occasion, jointly More people per thousand of the enemy born population were interned in Australia during the war than was the case in any other part of the world. Sixteen per cent, of the total Italian and German born population of Australia was interned as a result of this mad, secret police attitude of the intelligence organizations of the three services. In the United States of America, the figure was under 1 per cent, and in the United Kingdom, which was only 20 miles from the scene of the conflict, it was only 1.4 per cent. How mad can it all become? lt is well known that during the war one of the intelligence services, some of whose officers have since transferred to the present security service, recommended to the Government that a high church dignitary in Brisbane should be placed under house arrest because they had a photograph of him giving the fascist salute in 1934 or 1935 to a visiting Italian ship. That is the kind of thing that is developing here. It ought not to be allowed to go on.

It is no longer safe to speak freely in an hotel anywhere near a trades hall in any capital city because at least one of the barmen is likely to be an agent of the security service, lt is not safe for a pressman to go into the press gallery here for fear that some one among the pressmen is a security " plant " to watch the other pressmen. It is not safe to leave anything in one's drawer for fear that among the cleaners who walk around in khaki uniform are agents of the security service. This sort of thing is going on in a country which claims to be free, and the bill will make the position even worse. We have reached a situation that is nothing short of dangerous.

I refer now to the charges that I have made before in this Parliament concerning the tapping of private members' telephones by the security service. I believe that even the telephones of Ministers of the Crown are being tapped. This was done in order to find out who was leaking out Cabinet information. It is well known that the press telephones are tapped by the security service so that it may discover, as between one pressman and another, or a pressman and his head office, who is the informant. In one case which is on record the chief of staff of a newspaper sent a teleprinter message to his representative in Canberra seeking verification of a certain story. He was not prepared to print it until he was satisfied of its authenticity. The telephone conversation was put on a tape recorder by the security service. That is a serious situation. I challenge the Government to take those charges into open court, and let the members of the security service go into the box and be cross-examined. Every charge that I have made will be found to be correct.

Mr. ACTING DEPUTYSPEAKEROrder! The honorable member's time has expired.

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