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Thursday, 5 March 1970

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for External Affairs) - The information requested by the honourable gentleman was made known to the House by the Prime Minister yesterday. I can confirm-

Mr Whitlam - The Attorney-General said that he would do nothing about it.

Mr McMAHON - For reasons that ought to be well known to the Leader of the Opposition, based on law which he claims to have some knowledge of but obviously not a great deal. It is a well known fact that during the Korean campaign the gentleman referred to by the honourable member for Lilley acted as a propagandist in the enemy lines on behalf of Communist forces. It is also well known and was made plain yesterday by the Prime Minister that the gentleman concerned did interview Australian prisoners of war and interrogate them in a way that was designed to lower their morale and which could have affected their attitude to the war. It is also known that during the Panmunjon discussions he operated as an agent or as a propagandist for the North Korean and the Communist forces, and that he made false allegations about bacteriological warfare during the course of the Korean campaign. Now, these are, I believe, sufficient reasons to refuse a passport to the gentleman concerned. I also point out to the honourable member that of course this gentleman is now trying to vindicate his conduct during the Korean campaign and also his conduct during the South Vietnamese campaign. But this conduct cannot be vindicated; it can only be abhorred by every person who holds the good name and reputation of this country in esteem.

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