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Tuesday, 13 November 1973

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Attorney-General. In view of his Federal responsibilities in the field of law and order, I ask the following question: Is it a fact that pistol licences have been issued to the following people associated with major illegal gambling clubs in Sydney: Mr Eric Farrell, Mr Perc. Galea and Mr Don. Lee, operators of the Forbes Club; a Mr John Williams, an employee of the 33 Club; and a Mr George Walker an employee of the Goulburn Club? Is it a fact that the issue of pistol licences is regarded by law enforcement authorities as a matter of great importance and that often even the most reputable businessmen, who have strong reasons for carrying a pistol, have been refused licences? If so, can the AttorneyGeneral make inquiries, through his New South Wales counterpart as to why operators and employees of illegal gambling clubs are issued pistol licences? Can the Attorney-General find out whether these pistol licences were issued before Sir Robert Askin relinquished his position as Minister in charge of the New South Wales police force? If so, is there any basis for suggestions that special representations have been made to assist these men to obtain pistol licences?

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