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Keating must demand full explanation from Senator Evans as well



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John Hewson Leader of the O pposition M e d i a R e l e a s e %

162/92 14 May 1992

KEATING MUST DEMAND FULL EXPLANATION FROM SENATOR IS AS WELL

In addition to explanations from Senator Richardson and Senator Sibraa, the Prime Minister must also demand a full report from Senator Evans on Greg Symons and the Marshall Islands affair.

Senator Evans was asked in the Senate on 7 May about the nature of any dealings between Mr Symons and the Australian Embassy or consulates in the United States. Senator Evans responded:

"I am not aware of any such dealings at all."

He later indicated in the Senate that he would not investigate the matter unless he was given "some rational ground" or a "public affairs reason" for doing so.

The Prime Minister revealed last night that Senator Sibraa sent a letter to the Australian Embassy in Washington last November "through normal channels" requesting assistance in arranging meetings for Mr Symons with "appropriate US Government officials

and elected representatives".

The Prime Minister's statement gives Senator Evans both his "rational ground" and his "public affairs reason" for a full investigation.

The Prime Minister must demand from Senator Evans, and he must make public:

. all details of the contact between any Government Minister or Member and the Australian Embassy or consulates in the United States in relation to Mr Greg Symons

. similar details with regard to contact between any

Government Minister or Member and the US Embassy or consulates in Australia

. all details about any direct contact between Australian Government Ministers or Members and US Government officials or elected representatives on matters relating to Mr Symons

The Prime Minister must show some leadership and immediately demand this report from Senator Evans who must respond as soon as possible. '

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