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Governments and postal unions betray responsibility



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THE LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

FEDERAL PRESIDENT: MR. R.J. SOUTHEY, C.M.G. DIRECTOR: - MR. B.G. HARTCHER, O.B.E.

FEDERAL SECRETARIAT BLACKALL & MACQUARIE STS., BARTON, A.C.T. G.P.O. BOX 13, CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2600 TELEPHONE 73 2564 TELEGRAMS "FEDLIB" CANBERRA

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Statement by_ Senator The_Hon._ R obert C otton_L iberal_PartySjroke sm anon_PL M,_G.

GOVERNMENT AND POSTAL UNIONS BETRAY RESPONSIBILITIES.

Senator Robert Cotton, the Opposition Spokesman on PMG m atters today attacked the Government and postal unions for 'betrayal of th e ir resp o n sib ilities'.

"Freedom of communication among citizens m ust be maintained, and kept com pletely free from any external interference, especially if that interference is politically m otivated, " Senator Cotton said.

"No A ustralian would tolerate a rb itra ry censorship of his private mail or telephone calls by the Government. Why should he then be subjected to censorship by the unions? "

"We now have four c le a r cases where the postal unions have, for purely political ends sought to abrogate the freedom of communication by m ail.

"F irstly , bans were put on the Rhodesian Information C entre; secondly, m em bers of the Senate who did not choose to support bad pieces of Government legislation were threatened with interruptions to th eir m ail; thirdly, all communications with F ran ce have been suspended; and now the doctors are threatened if they act in a fashion not

approved by the uinon b o sses.

"T here is little disagreem ent between the P a rtie s when it com es to th e ir opposition to nuclear te sts (although no ban appears to have been put on communications with China) or th eir condemnation of the Smith Regime - that is not the point.

"The issue is sim ply this; that a group of unions for purely political purposes have decided to deny certain fundam ental rights to sections of the A ustralian community.

"What is w orse, these attacks on civil lib e rties have the tacit support of the Government.

"The P ost M aster G eneral (M r. L. Bowen) instead of attending to these m atters or to the situation recently revealed about shocking m ail delays and damage to postal artic les, has been overseas.

"The gravity of the th re a t posed to the community due to the ban on doctors' m ail is not yet appreciated. If any case occurs where hardship o r d istre ss re su lts from the interference in the communications between doctors and th e ir patients, then postal unions and the P ost M aster G eneral will b ear the responsibility.

"M r. Bowen m ust act now ."

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 10, 1973.