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Thursday, 18 May 1972
Page: 1862


Senator O'BYRNE (Tasmania) - I, like Senator Turnbull, saw this television show tonight. I was most concerned that this young man, who was trying to tell the police his name - he claimed that he had identification papers to prove his name - was being bundled off virtually under arrest. Whether it is called apprehension or whatever the term is, he was being manhandled. The name that has been given to Senator Greenwood lately - Ivor the Terrible - is, I think, one that he is earning. Not only is he earning this name but he is-

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT- Order! Senator O'Byrne, you are transgressing the rules of the Senate. You will not refer to-


Senator O'BYRNE - I did not refer to him. 1 said that this was a name that has been given to the Attorney-General.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT- That is not permissible.


Senator O'BYRNE - The whole thing comes back to this: It was not the Commonwealth Police who made the bungle; it was Senator Greenwood, the AttorneyGeneral, who made the bungle. Let me point out what, according to Senator Greenwood, actually happened. The statement released by Senator Greenwood commences:

Commonwealth Police early this afternoon arrested William Robert Wood on a charge of having failed to attend a medical examination under the National Service Act.

That is a fact. It is quite true. It did happen. It happened in the precincts of Parliament House. Senator Greenwood was advised that William Robert Wood would present himself. He wanted to speak to Senator Greenwood. Senator Greenwood evidently, instead of advising this man to speak to him, advised the Commonwealth Police. The Minister's statement continues:

Wood was later charged in the Canberra Court of Petty Sessions with an offence against section 49 of the National Service Act. Bail was refused and he was remanded to the Court of Petty Sessions, Phillip Street, Sydney, to appear tomorrow morning.

What actually happened, according to the Attorney-General is that:

At approximately 1 p.m. a young man who gave his name as Wood introduced himself to an attendant at Parliament House and asked to see the Attorney-General.

Now, the man himself, Chris Shanley, came to the attendant with a document which he wanted to present to Senator Greenwood. He said: This document is from W. R. Wood'. On this taking place, the Commonwealth Police intercepted him and he said that his name was Christopher Shanley. He gave his address as 16 Belmore Street, Enmore. He said that he had a university authority of identification in his pocket. He was not allowed to produce this identification and the Commonwealth Police paid no attention to numerous people who informed them that they had arrested the wrong person. They were under instruction from Senator Greenwood to arrest the person who came there at 1 o'clock. He came there to deliver a document on behalf of Wood. But Senator Greenwood was in haste to carry out what is behind his whole policy of selective persecution. This action followed the traditional lines followed by Senator Greenwood since he has held the position of Attorney-General and has administered the National Service Act.

The situation amounts to this: Here is a young man whose civil rights have been taken away by a bungle. The bungle itself was conceived by Senator Greenwood because in the first place he did not accept the document or check up on the facts of the case. The allegations by the AttorneyGeneral in his statement are denied by Chris Shanley. He denies that he acted, with the assistance of other draft dodgers in an attempt to prevent the arrest of Bob Wood. In fact, as the Minister has already stated, Mr Wood waited in front of Parliament House, as he said he would, to be arrested. This intention was stated to the Press. He obviously made no attempt to escape. Chris Shanley says that the AttorneyGeneral's statement in relation to his actions and intentions has such unbelievable content that he challenges the AttorneyGeneral to prosecute him for obstruction. This threat has been made to Chris Shanley by senior members of the Commonwealth Police force, but they are acting under the instructions of the AttorneyGeneral. I believe that it is the obligation of the Attorney-General to rectify this situation. If he feels that he has been justified in putting the Commonwealth Police into this position by his haste, not only should he apologise to them but also he should apologise to Chris Shanley 1 say in conclusion that I quite understand the concern of Senator Turnbull that we should see before our own eyes in the precincts of Parliament House, the centre of democracy in this country, this fascistlike conduct. This is the outcome of legislation that was conceived for the purpose of prosecuting a policy that the Government has learnt to its great cost has been a false policy. It has been a wrong policy. The whole idea of the Vietnam war and of conscription for national service will be proved by history to have been a wrong one. The matter of the defence of this country is of great importance. But the defence of this country should be performed by men who are properly paid volunteers, thoroughly trained. National service is an unpopular and devious way of attaining the numbers to carry out this unpopular policy which not only is resented throughout this community but also is a policy that this Government will live to regret. I express my great concern at the action which took place this afternoon in Canberra. I expressed my great concern that the Attorney-General should place the Commonwealth Police in the position in which they have been placed at his direction and also that the individual freedom and civil rights of Chris Shanley were offended in this way.







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