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Wednesday, 20 September 1972
Page: 1092


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (12:18 PM) - I regret that when Senator Mulvihill was speaking 1 was called out of the chamber. I am concerned about some of the remarks that have been made in this debate tonight by Senator Carrick who spoke, I assume, on behalf of the expeditious actions of the New South Wales Police, as a number of other honourable senators do. An outrageous bomb attack took place in Sydney last Saturday. But for the expeditious actions of the New South Wales police very serious casualties could have resulted. Saturday was a bright and busy day in Sydney. The city was packed with people because the grand final of the rugby league competition was being staged between the Manly and Eastern Suburbs teams.


Senator Hannan - They would not get a crowd there.


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -

This is a very serious matter. I inform Senator Hannan that at 11 a.m. on that morning I had to meet my young son on that very corner to take him to the football. As someone is praying about something else, I, too, am praying to God that I did not make the time 11.30 on Saturday morning. I mention that to show just how serious and how close it could have been to members of the Senate. It sickens me to hear Senator Carrick get up in this chamber and ask by rhetoric: 'Are the Czechs entitled to have their liberation movement here? Are the Croats entitled to have their liberation movement here? Are the Hungarians entitled to have their liberation movement here?' The answer to that, I say emphatically, is no. If they want to live in a democratic community and take part in the affairs of a democratic community, they can offer themselves to Parliament, to be judged by their fellow citizens either as independents or as members of a political party.

As Senator Carrick was speaking, my colleague Senator Devitt interjected and said: Let them take their troubles home'. What went on in Sydney at 11.30 on Saturday morning transformed the city into a city of gloom. Suddenly the people of Sydney were saying: 'What has been going on in Belfast and what has been going on in Saigon, and something akin to that which unfortunately went on in Munich is going on in this verycity of ours'. But this Government sits here and says that it is a matter for the New South Wales police. I have never heard such pussyfooting, humbug and poppycock in all my life because, with great respect to the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood), that is what he said yesterday. I asked him this question:

Can the Attorney-General say whether any Commonwealth police are involved in the investigations that are taking place in connection with the terrorist bomb attacks in Sydney during the last few days?

At page 894 of yesterday's Hansard the Attorney-General is reported to have replied:

The investigations into the incidents in Sydney arc being carried out by the State police of New South Wales. The Commonwealth police, as far as I am aware- and he is the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth- are not directly involved in those investigations although they are in close co-operation with the Sydney police and they have their own avenues of investigation which they have been exploring. 1 say to the Attorney-General that that is not good enough. He should have offered the services of the Commonwealth police to the New South Wales police to apprehend the people involved in order to ensure that they were caught at an early stage.


Senator Greenwood - It was only about a week or two ago you were saying that they were incompetent because they could not catch Mr Johnston.

Senator DOUGLASMCCLELLANDThey might not be able to catch Mr Johnston. At least the Attorney-General might let them try to catch these terrorist people. But no, the Commonwealth police are there only in an advisory capacity. What was it that a former Commonwealth Police Commissioner said - the present Commissioner of Police in Queensland? He was quoted in the 'Australian' of last Monday as having said that he believes that the bombings in Sydney might have been the work of the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood. The Queensland Police Commissioner was not only expressing an opinion; according to the report, he was expressing a belief.

Senator Greenwood,in reply to another question I asked, said:

I notice that Senator Douglas McClelland did not talk about any tourist organisation; he talked about the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood and the Croatian Liberation Movement. That there has been a Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood - I think its initials are HRB - in Australia in times past is undisputed, but I understand that its activities nowadays are minimal.

If that is not a revolutionary organisation and if that is not an admission that the organisation is not still in existence then I do not know what is. Perhaps the Commonwealth Police or the Attorney-General will contact the Queensland Commissioner of Police to find out what gave him reason to believe that the bombings in Sydney might have been the result of the work of the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood or the Croatian Brotherhood Revolution, or whatever it is called.

Someone said that there is international communism in this country. Perhaps there is but at least the Communist Party is a lawful entity, according to a referendum that was conducted in this country. The decision of the Australian people was to allow the Communist Party to engage itself in the political and democratic processes of this country. But I daresay that if the Australian people were asked whether these foreign liberation movements that are operating in Australia were to be tolerated in this country they would have an overwhelming answer to that question.

Now let me come to what Senator McManus had to say earlier, and I deeply regret that no member of the Democratic Labor Party is in the chamber at this stage to hear what I have to say. Senator McManus complained that Dr Cairns had said that the Government had not taken action because members of the DLP and those who were connected or might be connected with this bombing are interconnected in one way or another and that because the Government was frightened of losing DLP preferences the Government was pussyfooting about the idea. Senator McManus rejected that contention of Dr Cairns and said that despite his rejection of that contention the Press had not given publicity to what he said. In the last 8 years there have been 15 bomb attacks in Australia involving Yugoslavs or Croats, and before that there was burning of flags. There was a continual burning of flags in the township of Cooma, in New South Wales.


Senator Cavanagh - There have been stabbings of Yugoslavs in Whyalla, South Australia.


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Senator Cavanagh says that there have been stabbings of Yugoslavs in South Australia. This sort of activity has been going on in this country for a decade but not enough attention has been paid to it by the Commonwealth Government. I mentioned the burning of flags in Cooma. I will quote something which was written in the Cooma 'Monaro Express' on 30th September 1964. The article, headed 'Flag brings criticism', reads:

The Australian Democratic Labor Party has condemned the Cooma Council for flying the Yugoslav flag in Centennial Park.

The flag was recently destroyed by 3 Croats who were fined $2 in Cooma Court, lt had been damaged or destroyed on 5 previous occasions.

Council was told on Monday that the Democratic Labor Party's New Australian Council thought it was objectionable that public money was used for such an ill-advised gesture.

The Council-

That is the New Australian Council of the DLP- said it represented many former political refugees who fled their countries to escape the scourge of communism.

The letter added, 'We consider it highly offensive that achievements of migrants in Australia should be commemorated by the display of a flag of the oppressors of their homeland.'

The unsatisfactory situation was highlighted by the recent incident in which the flag was removed and destroyed by angry migrants.

Council agreed that the Party-

That is the Democratic Labor Party - be informed that:

AH flags flown in Centennial Park representing other nations are officially recognised by the Commonwealth Government;

That the New Australian Council of the Party be made aware of the oath of allegiance sworn by new Australian citizens when being naturalised that I will faithfully observe the laws of Australia and fulfil my duties as an Australian citizen';

That as Australian citizens they must accept what is recognised by the Commonwealth Government.

Alderman r. c. Englebrecht said: 'What is good enough for the Commonwealth Government should be good enough for the other organisation'.

All I say to this Government is that it should admit that if it had known before these people came to Australia that they would go on in this country as in fact some of them have been going on, and as it would appear that some of them are still going on, it would not have agreed to them coming here in the first place. But now that they are here and now that they are conducting themselves in this un-Australian way, it is the responsibility of this Government to grasp the nettle and take firm action not only to apprehend the culprits but also to make sure that the same sort of thing does not occur again anywhere in Australia. As I said yesterday, the great tragedy about the way in which the Government is reacting, or the way in which it has failed to react, is that the Australian public has become quite cynical about whether in fact this Government is interested in tracking down these people. By its inertia, by its inaction, it appears to me that the Government is only giving encouragement to others who might be contemplating similar action to go ahead and adopt the attitude that the Government will not take very much interest in the matter. Apparently the anti-Labor Government of New South Wales has offered a reward for the apprehension of these people. I urge this Government to do the same. I do not know whether it intends to increase the amount that has been offered as a reward by the New South Wales Government or whether it intends to get on with the task by making available the Commonwealth Police to assist the New South Wales police in an endeavour to catch these culprits. The sooner this sort of thing is cleared up the better it will be for Australia and all who live within its shores.







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