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Wednesday, 24 March 1965

Senator ANDERSON - This matter was brought to my attention yesterday and I instituted an immediate inquiry within the Department. The inquiry is continuing, but

L urn able to say that both books mentioned in the article were released at the State level and so are still freely available.

In December, following normal procedure in such matters, an officer of the Department informed the importing company by telephone that the publication " Black Voices " had been reviewed and released. The officer concerned states that at no time during his conversation with the representative of the company was any mention made of any possible future action by the Department. The other publication mentioned in the Press report, " Narrow Action ", was not examined at the time of importation. Subsequently a copy was obtained from a book stall and was recommended by the officer for submission to Central Office in Canberra for further examination. The importing company advised an officer of my department that only seven copies of the book had been imported and that it was not selling well. In the light of this, the officer advised the company that no further action would be taken on that particular shipment.

I emphasise that no officer at the State level has the responsibility for demanding, or the authority to demand, withdrawal from circulation of an imported publication. The officer concerned emphatically denies having made any such demand.

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