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Tuesday, 24 September 1974
Page: 1289


Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the AttorneyGeneral whether he has seen reports suggesting that Australia's security organisations have been training agents from some Asian countries, particularly countries where democracy is very limited and where the armed forces exercise undue influence. Can the Minister indicate when the training began and whether the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation is responsible for the unusual course being undertaken? Does this mean that Australia's security is now ensured and that our security bodies have little to do other than interfere in the affairs of our Asian neighbours?


Senator MURPHY - I am aware that there has been training of persons from other countries who would then work in their countries' security services. That program was commenced in 1956. There have been courses, each of some 3 weeks duration, in which some emphasis has been given to counter-espionage. The courses, which were initiated by the Department of Foreign Affairs, are subject to that Department's approval of their content and are financed by that department. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation is merely the service body which carries out the training which has been requested by the Department of Foreign Affairs under this procedure which has been going on for some time.







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