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Thursday, 23 March 1961


Mr Ward d asked the Attorney-General, upon notice -

To what persons or authorities is information in the hands of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization made available, and to whom is it available upon request?


Sir Garfield Barwick - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: -

The functions of the Security Service are set out in section 5 of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization Act 1956. The discretions given to the Director-General by section 5 (1.) of that act are exercised by the Director-General in the particular circumstances of any given case according to the requirements of security, and not otherwise.


Mr Ward d asked the Attorney-General, upon notice -

1.   Has his attention been drawn to a declaration signed by Mr. R. M. Hartwell, a member of the teaching staff of the Oxford University and formerly attached to the Technological University of New South Wales, to the effect that in 19S6 he was told by the then Chancellor of the Technological University of New South Wales, the late Mr. Wallace Wurth, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor J. P. Baxter, and the Bursar, Mr. J. O. A. Bourke, that a Mr. Russel Ward, who has been recommended for appointment' as a Lecturer in History by the University's Academic Selection Committee, was not appointed because of an unfavorable Commonwealth security report?

2.   Will he state whether the Australian Security Intelligence Organization did in fact, officially or otherwise, furnish information regarding the past or present activities of Mr. Russel Ward to anybody connected in any way whatsoever with the university?

3.   Did the Australian Security Intelligence Organization furnish any report to any person or organization at any time regarding Mr. Russel Ward?

4.   If so, to what person or organization, and at whose request, was the report submitted?

5.   Are the contents of Mr. Hartwell's declaration a statement of fact?

6.   If the declaration was false, has the attention of the Oxford University authorities been directed to this falsified statement by a member of its teaching staff?

7.   Were any statements secured from Professor Baxter and Mr. Bourke as to whether the nonappointment of Mr. Russel Ward was the result of a Commonwealth Security report?

8.   If so, will he make the contents of those statements available for the information of honorable members?


Sir Garfield Barwick - The answer to the honorable member's questions is -

I have nothing either to add to or to subtract from the statements made to the House on the matter by the Prime Minister on 6th and 7th December last. So far as the honorable member's questions relate to matters of concern to the Commonwealth at all, the answer is in the negative.


Mr Ward d asked the Attorney-General, upon notice -

1.   Has the direct office telephone of the Shire Clerk, Gosford - 21 209 - been tapped with the authority of the Commonwealth security service?

2.   If so, was authority for the tapping delegated by the Director-General of Security to the officerincharge of civil defence in that area?

3.   If authority was not delegated to this officer, to whom was it delegated?

4.   Was the tapping of the telephone unrelated to any matter even remotely connected with national security?


Sir Garfield Barwick - The answer to the honorable member's questions is -

I thought I had already made clear to the House, but I make clear now, that I will not, either by confirmation or by denial, disclose what action I have, or have not, authorized in individual cases under the Telephonic Communications (Interception) Act. Let me make clear also that authority for an interception is given by warrant for purposes of security and not otherwise, and by the AttorneyGeneral; not by the Security service, except for a very brief period and under restrictive conditions in an emergency. See sections 6 and 7 of the act







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