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Wednesday, 28 February 1973
Page: 33

Mr WENTWORTH (MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Prime Minister. Did he indicate shortly after the appointment of his Ministry that normal security checks would not be applied to all ministerial staffs? Did he subsequently reverse his attitude on this question? Was this done on the suggestion of certain members of these ministerial staffs? Finally, was his initial reluctance to take this obviously sensible course of requiring normal security checks for ministerial staffs based upon a reasonable apprehension of the consequences if normal security procedures were applied to certain of his Ministers?

Mr WHITLAM - I saw the report upon which the honourable member for Mackellar has based his question. The basis of the report was that I was asked whether my staff had had security clearances, as members of my staff. I said that, at that stage, they had not. In fact some members of my staff were senior members of the Public Service and had had such clearances before I had appointed them to my staff. Subsequently, completely voluntarily, all members of my staff sought clearances. They were all given clearances.

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