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Thursday, 2 May 1957

Mr WARD (East Sydney) .- I return once again to a subject which I had endeavoured to elucidate in this Parliament on a number of previous occasions. It concerns an injustice to a new Australian. This chap happens to be a very important person in the community at the moment, at least from the Government's viewpoint. I am perfectly satisfied that as George Marue, who was employed by the security service of this country to keep an eye on Dr. Bialoguski, who, in turn, was watching Petrov, recognized that he was likely to encounter great difficulty unless he continued to do the work of security, he sought my assistance. This gentleman, recognizing that, being a new Australian, unless he secured Australian nationality he was liable to deportation at any time the Government felt disposed to send him out of the country, decided to complete naturalization formalities. There is no doubt in the world that Mr. Marue has a very interesting story to tell, which he appears determined to tell and which I shall help him, in every way f can, to tell. Mr. Marue worked for the security service. He knows all about the Petrov incident and the negotiations that preceded it, and the work he was called upon to perform. Because he has a story to tell, it is obviously in the interests of the Government to get him out of the country before he tells it. He applied for naturalization and he was held up for some time.

I made some inquiries on his behalf and, subsequently, after a great deal of delay and after a great deal of persistence on my part, I received from the then Minister for Immigration, who is now the Leader of the House (Mr. Harold Holt) an intimation to the effect that he had approved of the issuance of a naturalization certificate to Mr. Marue. But although Mr. Marue waited patiently to get advice as to when he was to attend to take the oath of allegiance and secure his naturalization certificate, he was unable to find out anything definite about when the certificate was to be issued. Again I took the matter up with the Minister, who advised me, in a letter dated 2nd October, 1956, in the following terms: -

Mr. Maruehas come under adverse notice since 29th June last when I advised you that I had approved of the grant of naturalization in his favour. Mr. Marue appeared before the court on 11th July on two charges of obtaining money with cheques which were dishonoured but was acquitted on both counts. He again appeared at the Central Police Court, Sydney, on 31st July on charges of passing valueless cheques and he was then committed for trial. It is expected that these charges will be dealt with by the Court during October.

Until such time as the charges against Mr. Marue have been disposed of it is not proposed to proceed further with his naturalization.

That attitude, at that stage, can be understood. But the trial has taken place, and so flimsy was the evidence given against Mr. Marue in regard to this particular charge that his counsel, Mr. Cross, Q.C., did not even address the jury. He said he would not insult their intelligence by doing so. It took the jury only five minutes to acquit Marue

After Mr. Marue's acquittal he went to the offices of the Department of Immigration in Sydney to find out about his naturalization certificate, and was there informed by the officer who interviewed him that it might be some considerable time before he got his certificate, if he got it at all. When he asked the reason for that,, the officer said, " Because we are still hoping to be able to get something on you ". That is a strange attitude for government officials to be adopting towards a man in this position.

Let us look at the part played by some people, evidently working behind the scenes, in regard to this matter. The charge preferred against Marue was not preferred against him by the man to whom he was supposed to have given the valueless cheque. This alleged offence occurred more than two years before. The charge was preferred against him by the police, and now the police say they acted under instructions from certain quarters. The principal witness in the case, the man who was supposed tohave received the valueless cheque, a publican by the name of Willis, was declared: by Judge Prior to have been a perjurer. That is on record in the transcript, which [ have examined. Under cross-examination by Mr. Marue's counsel, Willis made a most interesting admission about his evidence in the magistrate's court. The transcript reads as follows: -

Cross, Q.C.: That answer, you knew at the time, was false.

Answer: Yes.

Question: And you knew you were on oath?

Answer: Yes.

On page 38 of the transcript, Judge Prior is recorded as saying to this gentleman, when he was trying to justify the false answers that he had given in the lower court -

But that does not give you authority to commit perjury in the lower court.

The charge against Marue was based on perjured evidence and the jury quickly dismissed it and acquitted him. Willis said in his evidence that he had never complained to the police at any time that the cheque given to him had been dishonoured. He said he had consulted his solicitor and that the advice of his solicitor was not to proceed. He said the police first consulted him two years after the transaction. He also said that he never took out a summons against Marue and, strangely enough, had continued to do business with Marue nine months after the allegedly valueless cheque had been passed. So, honorable members can see how somebody is desperately groping around for some evidence against this man. It would be very interesting to know who it was who actuated the police to prefer the charge against Marue. because it was laid two years after the alleged offence had occurred.

It is also undenied that Marue has already given a great deal of important and valuable information in regard to his activities when working for the security service. When he attempted to get his story published in the Sydney newspapers, some of them were very interested at the outset because, no doubt, they examined it and assessed it as newspapermen, and thought it not a bad story for publication, as the newspapers had already had the story from Bialoguski and the Petrovs and, no doubt, thought it would be interesting to get the story of the man who was the watchdog on Bialoguski. But suddenly, after encouraging Marue and asking him to leave the manuscript of his proposed story for consideration, the newspapers lost interest in it. Between the time that Marue first approached the newspapers with his story and the time he received their final rejection of it, he was visited by security officers who warned him to be very careful about what he was doing. Because of that, in my opinion, it is right to say that there is a deliberate attempt to get something on this man to justify sending him out of the country.

At the time Marue was in the Government's employ he must have been regarded by the Government as being quite a reputable fellow, because he was given authority to publish a foreign language newspaper in this country. He also offered his assistance to the Government in the organization of new Australians, and the Government accepted his offer. It was only after he realized, as a result of his experiences, that he was doing a work injurious to this country and its people and decided to expose it and to tell the truth about it, that the Government began to set after him and that he began to experience difficulties. Now that the three charges against Marue have been disposed of completely - two of them dismissed in the lower court and the other thrown out by the jury when he appeared on trial, after only five minutes consideration of the evidence - and as there are no other charges to be preferred against him that we' know of, unless the Government is still seeking an opportunity to have some charge laid against him, and as he has now satisfied all the requirements of the Government and has been completely exonerated, I want to know why he is still being denied his certificate of naturalization.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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