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Wednesday, 31 October 1956

The CHAIRMAN (Mr Adermann -

Order! That has nothing to do with the clause.

Mr WARD - Are these the type of people we are to have in our security service? I strongly object to their employment. 1 have no objection to the Commonwealth's taking whatever measures it thinks necessary to protect any person in the community whom it might deem to be threatened with violence from any quarter, but the Government is doing much more than that, because the Prime Minister told us that the Petrovs were still employees of the Government. If they are still employees of the Government we are entitled to ask the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Holt), who is now in charge of the committee, what work they are engaged on. Are they doing anything beyond writing books and enjoying themselves at the expense of the Australian community? Surely no reasonable member of this House accepts the suggestion that it has taken the Petrovs two years to divulge all that they knew when they left the

Soviet Legation! I understood that before the appointment of the royal commission all the documents and other material thai they possessed had been handed over to the security service and examined and sifted. What is this information that has taken them two years to hand over and how much longer is the present arrangement to continue?

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