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Tuesday, 3 April 1973
Page: 962

Mr BOURCHIER (BENDIGO, VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Prime Minister. What information is in the possession of the Government regarding the operations of the Yugoslav secret political police known as the UDBA?' Will he place before the House material which will enable it to evaluate the generally held belief that the UDBA is an organising agent of terrorism both in Yugoslavia and in other countries?

What agents of the UDBA are known to be active in Australia? Was the Yugoslav Prime Minister, Mr Bijedic, who recently visited Australia a high ranking member of the UDBA. having been in command of its operations in Bosnia and having been intimately associated with its headquarters?

Mr WHITLAM - I am not ministerially responsible for any of the matters which the honourable member mentions in his question. I gather from his question that he regards membership of the organisation he mentions as being to a person's discredit. The Standing Orders, of course, prevent people from making discreditable allegations about heads of other governments.

I have made it plain previously that the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia came to Australia in the course of a tour through many countries of South East Asia on the way to New Zealand. There was a standing invitation for him or the person holding his position to visit Australia. The invitation was conveyed by our predecessors. When my Government was informed that the present Prime Minister of Yugoslavia was available to make a visit to Australia it was happy to confirm the invitation. As I mentioned the other day also, it would be a matter of utmost shame to this country if the President of Yugoslavia can go with complete safety to countries on each side of the North Atlantic, and the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia can visit every country he chooses in southern Asia or in Australasia except Australia.

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