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Wednesday, 4 March 1970


Mr GORTON - The answer to the question, I understand, is yes. Mr Burchett has asked for a court of inquiry to establish some charges against him. What those specific charges are I do not know. There is no need whatever for a court of inquiry to examine whether Mr Burchett was living behind enemy lines in the course of two wars. There is no need of a court of inquiry for that whatever. There is no need for a court of inquiry to establish the published documents which he has put out - the published reports which he has sent to the Communist 'Guardian' here, which were propaganda designed to assist the enemy, and there is no need for a court of inquiry to establish whether or not he went through prisoner-of-war camps in which Australian troops were incarcerated. That being so - there being no need for a court of inquiry into these matters - these matters are sufficient in the Government's view to refuse him a passport asking Australian officials to assist him. If there are other charges against him - and no doubt there are - they might be appropriate for a court of inquiry but they do not affect the Government's decision which is made on the basis I have put before the House and which requires no court of inquiry to substantiate it.







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