Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 8 December 1965

Dr FORBES (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister Assisting the Treasurer) - As I said at the time that the article appeared, I am in the course of investigating this matter. The delay in the inquiry has been due to the fact that the article does not identify the time and place and does not name the individual concerned. Secondly, delay has been caused because the author of the article, whose name is Tuohy, has been absent from Saigon. However, on 4th December he attended a meeting with the commander of the Australian Army forces in Vietnam at the commander's request. At that meeting the commander asked the correspondent some questions about the article. He asked first whether it gave a first-hand account and whether the correspondent had seen the incident. To this question he replied: " No ". He was asked whether he believed the report to be true. He said: " Yes ". He admitted, however, that the story might have become somewhat blurred as a consequence of passing through quite a number of hands and admitted that it probably went through quite a number of hands. He was told by the commander that this was a matter of great moment to us in Australia, that it represented a slur on the good name of Australian soldiers, that such behaviour as that alleged was contrary to everything that they had been taught in their training and everything that they had been brought up to believe in as soldiers and that the correspondent therefore had an obligation to name the soldier concerned. The correspondent was told that this was a matter much bigger than just the possible conseqeunces for one individual. So far he has refused to name the soldier, but is considering his position. Until this is done I can take the matter no further.

Suggest corrections