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Thursday, 6 May 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE - It will be recalled that in the statement referred to by the honorable senator the Prime Minister made it perfectly clear that despite the fact that the Press was running these stories on the Thursday afternoon they had not come-

Senator Wright - Wednesday afternoon.

Senator Hendrickson - Be careful.

Senator PALTRIDGE - I shall be. As a matter of fact, the Prime Minister's reference was to Thursday. He said that despite this they had not come from himself or any member of the Government. I do not know what steps have been taken to ascertain the sources of the information as used by the Press. Indeed, as the honorable senator himself is aware, the Press has sources available to it that would be beyond the reach of an Australian national government. It was necessary, as must be appreciated by all honorable senators and as was referred to by the Prime Minister when making the statement, that negotiations in connection with the commitment of this battalion took place in a number of capitals in other parts of the world. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the first news break of this matter occurred in one of those capitals and at least one newspaper when reporting, this rumour, or as it was then, this unofficial release, ascribed the source of its information to London.

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