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Thursday, 31 May 1973
Page: 2947


Mr HUNT (Gwydir) - Later in the day I understand we will receive from the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) an outline of the Government's record since assuming office. I would like to give a brief summary of the Government's sorry record in one area in particular. The sequence of events that led to the raid by the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the near hysteria caused by the heaviest security measures ever taken to protect the communist Yugoslav Prime Minister whilst in Australia and the subsequent events are worth recalling in this Parliament on this the last day of this extraordinary session.

Let me say from the outset that one could be forgiven for believing that this Government has been more interested in appeasing the communist world than in preserving the respect of the peoples of the free world for the name of Australia. The Prime Minister's lack of interest in and opposition to the aggressive actions taken by the communists in IndoChina must surely support the view that his Government is dominated largely by pressures from communist sources inside and outside this country. Firstly, on assuming office in the first week the duumvirate Whitlam-Barnard dictatorship moved to recognise communist China and to dump Taiwan. Then it abandoned national service training and released draft dodgers. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr Kirk, of course did not take this sort of action on assuming office. Then we saw tha recognition ot East Germany before Willi Brandt had signed the East-West agreements, before many other European nations thought it prudent to do so. All this was done without reference to this Parliament. We saw the recogtion of Hanoi and the invitation by the Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns) and a few of his friends to representatives of the Vietcong to come to Australia as their guests, arriving here about Anzac Day. We saw photographs of the Minister for Overseas Trade presiding over a conference with these people in the Sydney Town Hall. We have heard the insults that were poured on President Nixon by senior Ministers of the Whitlam socialist Government, using such terms as 'murderer'. Al) these actions were designed to please and appease the left wing and the new socialist left of the Australian Labor Party - actions that will please the communist world and cause despair amongst our traditional friends.

Let us follow this catalogue further. There was the action to remove our troops from Singapore and Malaysia by the end of 1973, thus threatening the stability of our friendly neighbours in South-East Asia, threatening our Five Power Agreement. The clumsy exposure of the military telecommunications base in Singapore - its presence known to President Lee Kuan Yew - caused the President embarrassment. All these actions are in accord with the left wing socialist policy and are in accord with the strategy of the communist world. Closer to home we have witnessed the efforts by the left wing of the Labor Party to destroy the United States-Australia alliance and to have the joint United States-Australian defence bases in Australia removed.

Now we come to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, which has always been the target for attack by the Australian Labor Party's left wing socialists. Only 2 years ago the left wing failed by one vote to have the security organisation dismantled in terms of the Australian Labor Party's policy. We know which camp the Attorney-General supports; on which side of the fence he dangles his legs. Why did the Attorney-General raid ASIO? This question has never been answered. The Prime Minister has never attempted to answer it. On 4 April this year the honourable member for Indi (Mr Holten) asked the Prime Minister why Senator Murphy raided ASIO. He did not give an answer and he has refused consistently to give an answer to that question Since. Did the Attorney-General raid the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to satisfy the left wing policy objective? Did he raid the Security Intelligence Organisation to discredit it? Did he attempt to discredit ASIO so that he would have an excuse to dismantle the organisation? Why does the left wing of the Australian Labor Party distrust this organisation? Has ASIO too much information about certain members of the Australian Labor Party with left wing tendencies? Why have certain Ministers not agreed to have certain members of their staffs cleared by ASIO. This question has never been answered in this Parliament.


Mr Daly - Mine came from Billy Wentworth.


Mr HUNT - I would not have any suspicions about the Minister because he is a right wing Labor man, but how many Ministers in the Government have refused to have their staffs security cleared? Why have they refused? These are the questions not only in my mind but in the minds of a lot of people in this country. What were the files the AttorneyGeneral sealed when he raided the ASIO headquarters in Melbourne? Was he worried about certain information in those files? Whatever the answers, there is a shadow of doubt over the head of the Attorney-General. The whole exercise has been bizarre and frightening. Allegation after allegation has been made by the Attorney-General and excuse after excuse has been offered by the Prime Minister.

An attempt was made by Senator Murphy to smear the former Attorney-General, Senator Greenwood, who was accused of being a protector of violent extremists. Then there was a suggestion of conspiracy, then at last the allegation that a document that led to Senator Murphy's extraordinary action was inaccurate. Who was responsible? We were told that it was an ASIO official. So the whole blame was left to reside with the Security Intelligence Organisation, the suggestion being that it is incompetent. The objective of the actions is in doubt in the minds of many people in this country. This gives the socialist left in the Government the excuse to get on with its job of dismantling what it regards as an evil institution with too much information and knowledge about communist underground activities in this country. The whole nation was led on an emotional goose chase after a few extreme right wing Ustasha Croatians. We were told by Senator Murphy that they were planning to invade Yugoslavia from

Australia. We witnessed the raids on 90 homes in Sydney between midnight and dawn, with 12 arrests and a range of charges including assaulting police. The whole exercise has been a right wing witch hunt to conceal the motive of satisfying the left wing socialists of the ALP. This is all good music to the ears of the communist world - our newly won friends. It is a sad song to our friends and allies in the Western democratic world.

One of the worst features of this whole episode was that the Attorney-General had knowledge of 3 Australian citizens having been shot in Yugoslavia but refused to convey it to the Prime Minister and so embarrassed the Prime Minister of Australia by refusing to act in a responsible way. I wholeheartedly support and approve the action by the Senate majority to set up a select committee of inquiry. It is understandable that the AttorneyGeneral should have attempted to break an understanding and should have attempted to break the arrangement for having pairs in the Senate. He wanted to save himself from the scrutiny that he jolly well deserves. I believe that the majority of the Senate has taken a responsible and sensible attitude to bring into the open the activities and the facts relating to one of the most bizarre incidents in the political history of this country.

Question resolved in the affirmative.







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