Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Murphy statement



Download PDFDownload PDF

,, STATEMENT BY THE RT. HON. B.M. SNEDDEN, Q.C., M.P., ^ LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION - CANBERRA - 27/3/1973·

The Murphy Statement

The statement made by Senator Murphy in the Senate

today dealt with only onegissue - alleged violence by Croatian

terrorists. It totally avoided the issue of the unprecedented

intrusion by Commonwealth police at the direction of the

Attorney-General on the headquarters of the Australian Security

Intelligence Organisation in Canberra and Melbourne in the early

hours of Friday, 16th March. Nor does the statement deal with

the consequences that flow from that action.

Violence has no place in Australia, whether it be the

product of individuals acting separately or acting as an

organisation. That is the commitment of the Opposition and was

our attitude when in government. .

The Opposition believes that Australia can be no asylum

for terrorists. Any act of terrorism, perpetrated or planned,

should be prosecuted with all the resources of law. We must not,

nor would the people of Australia accept a departure from the

due process of law.

i

Senator Murphy's statement covered a lot of pages, but

the blunt fact still remains - if he has the overwhelming evidence

that he says he has, he should institute proceedings in the courts

against the persons and organisations responsible for terrorism.

Nothing less will do. It is to be noted that he did not identify

the evidence in the course of his statements; he simply said the

evidence was in the documents. ·

But Senator Murphy has failed to explain to the

Australian people why he took Commonwealth police on afraid to

A.S.I.O. offices. This unprecedented action has substantially

damaged A.S.I.O.'s effectiveness.

2

I

■*

After lengthy questioning in the Senate, all that he has

conceded is that at no time did the Director-General of A.S.I.O.

or his Director in Canberra withhold any information which he had

asked for. Why then did he have to make a raid with the

Commonwealth police?

Senator Murphy's statement has been used as a vehicle

to launch a totally unjustified attack on a former A.ttorney-

General. He has quoted a lot of opinions in his statement, but

he has failed to reveal facts which would justify an Attorney-

General taking legal prosecutions. He charged the former

Attorney-General with no action - he himself has taken no action.

If he has evidence, why not?

The people of Australia, and we in the Opposition,

demand to know why he took the action he did which was so

extreme, unprecedented and damaging to the Security Service.

The people, through the press, have been repeatedly

assured since the event that it would be justified by Senator

Murphy's statement when it eventually was made.

Pressmen^and others who have been led to expect^ through

them, some ggaftfc-off justification for the raid must now seek some

sort of explanation in order to understand this arbitrary and < · excessively authoritarian behaviour„