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Tuesday, 10 April 1973
Page: 1241

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - What is your point of order?

Mr Anthony - I have been misrepresented by the Minister. I said that what has highest priority, higher even than terrorism in this country, is the authority of Parliament.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - That is not a point of order.

Mr ENDERBY - The Leader of the Country Party said that this Parliament was supreme, and in attempting to support that proposition - no-one would argue against it - he sought to make ASIO - supreme over the principal law officer of the Australian Government. He cannot have it both ways. He said in one breath that this Parliament is supreme. With that I agree. Then he criticised the principal law officer of this Commonwealth, the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy), the Leader of the Government in the Senate, for seeking to administer the laws so as to unearth these terrorist activities that the right honourable member rates so lowly. He put it that there is no authority for the Attorney-General to do what he did - to give directions. May I direct his attention to section 6 of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act, a terribly short Act and one which in my opinion is greatly in need of reform. It does on the face of it appear to make ASIO a state within a state, a law unto itself. Previous AttorneysGeneral have apparently never looked at it. In section 6 it states that the DirectorGeneral of Security shall be appointed by the Governor-General always on the advice of the Government. It then goes on to state:

Subject to the next succeeding sub-section, the Director-General shall hold office on such terms and conditions as the Governor-General determines.

Certain papers were offered a week or so ago to the Opposition. The Opposition declined the offer. The papers were tabled here today. It is worthy to read them out. Under the definition of misconduct where it occurs on the part of the Director-General we find these words in paragraph 7:

Without limiting its generality the word 'misconduct' includes any failure on the part of the DirectorGeneral to comply with the provisions of the Act or any of the terms and conditions set out in this determination or any lawful direction given by the Attorney-General regarding the Organisation.

Now, cop that. It is worthy that the people of Australia know what the Opposition is trying to say. May I also come back to the matter that has been sidestepped so clumsily. It is all the Opposition has to go on. I refer to the question of terrorism. Let us have a look at the acts of terrorism that have occurred. The Opposition seems to ignore the paper that was tabled by the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) today. It is not prepared to read it. I will. It gives a record of incidents involving terrorism. In July 1963 Croatian extremists from

Australia entered the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for the stated purpose of waging a guerrilla campaign against the regime. I will not go through all of the incidents because some of them are concerned with back yard assaults and things of that sort. On 7lh May 1964 a bomb explosion occurred in John Street, Petersham in New South Wales. In January 1965 threats were made to the Mayor of Cooma. In November 1965 4 Serbs were stabbed in the Dalmatian Cafe. In October 1966 there was a case of attempted murder. A parcel bomb incident occurred in November 1966. In January 1967 a bomb exploded on the first floor patio of the Yugoslav Consulate-General at Double Bay. In December 1967 a boy had his hand damaged by a pen bomb. I am sure honourable members will remember that incident. The pen exploded in his hand at a function. In December 1967 there was an incident involving gelignite. In November 1968 there was a demonstration with great violence, and in March 1969 murder. In June 1969 an explosive device was detonated at the residence of the Yugoslav Consulate-General - bombs again! November 1969, bombs again! An explosive device was detonated in the compound at the rear of the Yugoslav Embassy. January 1970, bombs again! On 22nd February 1970 death threats were made to persons associated with the production of a radio program for playing Yugoslav music. They succeeded, because the music was discontinued. One has to bear in mind that when the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) spoke he tried to mock the Attorney-General's efforts to stop this course of conduct.

Mr Lynch - That is not so.

Mr ENDERBY - I was in the House. Were you not here? Was it not mockery? On 21st October 1970, bombs again! Later that year murder was committed at Geelong following a political argument. In December 1970 an incident occurred involving guns and wounding. Firearms were used and 2 Serbs were wounded at Talbingo. On 21st January 1971 the Adria Travel Agency received threats to bomb its premises unless the proprietor removed from his window some advertising material. In January 1971 letters threatening to bomb were written. On 11th February 1971 threatening phone calls were made to the Consul-General of Yugoslavia stating that he would be bombed. In May 1971 there were more threats to bomb; in June 1971, more threats to bomb. In July 1971 St

George's Free Serbian Orthodox Church, Si Albans, was extensively damaged by a bomb. On 12th September 1971 St Sava's Free Serbian Orthodox Church in Carlton, Victoria, was burnt - arson. On 23rd November 1971 in the early hours of the morning a bomb exploded outside the Adriatic Trade and Travel Centre in George Street, Sydney, one of Australia's leading capital cities, if honourable members opposite do not know it. In November 1971 an anti Yugoslav demonstration resulted in a minor matter - stealing a flag. In November 1971 bomb threats were made again. In December 1971 the Hub Theatre at Newtown in New South Wales, which was screening a Yugoslav film praising the partisans of World War II, was bombed. On 11th January 1972 the statue of General Mihailovic in Canberra was bombed. A second and larger bomb failed to go off. On 27th January 1972, a bomb again. Another bomb threat was made to the Yugoslav ConsulateGeneral in Melbourne. On 14th February 1972 shots were fired and a number of bullet marks were found on the building of the Yugoslav Consulate in Perth. On 6th April 1972, bombs again! This time it was outside the house of a Yugoslav, Marijan Jurjevic. 24th May 1972 saw the beginnings of the incursion - call it a small invasion if you like - of people from this country into Yugoslavia again, the second time around, and we have been told since then about the other ones. In July 1972 there was the actual incursion by 9 Croats who had previously lived in Australia, 6 of whom were naturalised.

Mr Ian Robinson (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - You have not mentioned the attacks-

Mr ENDERBY - I am trying to make you aware of what this Government is trying to stop - the sort of thing that your Government encouraged and allowed to happen. On 7th September 1972 there was an acid attack. Even members of the Country Party might be interested in an acid attack. On 16th September 1972 there were bombs again at the General Trade and Tourist Agency. On the same date, 16th September 1972, there were bombs again in the vicinity of the Adria Travel Agency, George Street, Sydney. In September 1972 there were bombing attempts and also threats to bomb.

These things are known. They were disclosed in the 2,000-odd pages of documents which were tabled in the Senate and which I tabled in this House on behalf of the Attorney-

General, together with the summary of those documents. As I read the debates in the Senate there was not one word of criticism of the summary. I do not have time to go right through all the documents now; they appear from page 708 onwards in the Hansard record. As I read the Senate debate, they were not in dispute. No honourable senator criticised them. Accusations of selectivity have been directed elsewhere, but I invite honourable members to read the summary of the documents. It contains a tale of violence, terror, threats, intimidation and extortion by this extreme minority among the Croatian community in Australia. The Croatian community cries out as much as anyone else to have it stopped. Even the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Lynch), as we know from the correspondence, expressed his concern about it in the past, as did the right honourable member for Lowe (Mr McMahon); but the government of the day did nothing.

In the few minutes remaining to me I turn to this red herring - this side issue - which members of the Opposition parties have raised to try to distract people from what the Government is attempting to do to stamp out terrorism. They spoke about parliamentary control over ASIO. I have referred to the Act. It is a small Act. On the face of it, it is not the sort of legislation that I should like to see introduced. It creates, on the face of it, an organisation which is a law unto itself. Even with the full credit that one can give to the officers of ASIO, I say that any organisation which is above the law in the way ASIO appears to be above the law until one looks at the terms and conditions of employment of its Director-General, must make mistakes. As a member of this House I know from personal experience of occasions when gross mistakes have been made. Every honourable member on the Government side has had this experience when in Opposition. I cannot believe that honourable members who are now in Opposition and who were once in government have not had similar experience of complaints about ASIO reports which there was no way of challenging.

I know of a case - 1 will not name the gentleman concerned, but his wife would be known to many honourable members opposite as well as to many Government supporters - in which over a long period a man was refused naturalisation by the previous Government. I went to see the honourable member for Flinders when he was Minister for

Immigration and sought the reasons why this man had been refused naturalisation. By a process of elimination only one ground remained, namely, an adverse security report on the man. I followed it through and could not get anywhere. It was a blank wall to me, yet it was a terrible tragedy for the family concerned. The man did not have much understanding of English. He was a Ukrainian. I got a Ukrainian-speaking man from the Australian National University, who is above reproach, to sit in with me while I discussed the position with the man. We spent hours with him. In the opinion of the Ukranianspeaking Australian, it was a joke that this man could be regarded as a security risk. The whole matter was a mistake - the sort of mistake which the Prime Minister discovered in the minute that has been referred to in this debate. To the credit of the present Minister for Immigration (Mr Grassby), this mistake has been corrected and the man will be naturalised. When he is naturalised, I will be proud to go to the naturalisation ceremony in Canberra and shake his hand, because he was done a terrible wrong.

In the time remaining to me I refer to the mistake - the error, if honourable members prefer that word - that was discovered in the minute prepared by the ASIO officer concerning the report from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Edwards - The minutes of the meeting of 2nd March?

Mr ENDERBY - Yes. Errors such as this can happen out of the blue, but is it not more likely that they can occur in a way which reflects a pattern?

Mr Staley - What was the mistake?

Mr ENDERBY - The honourable member does not know that it was a mistake. Of course he does not. When an organisation is required to operate in secrecy, mistakes of this sort will occur. That is why it is the Government's policy to make ASIO accountable to the public interest. It will do this by way of reforms. An administrative court of appeals will review administrative decisions and will review, at the instance of any adversely affected citizen or migrant, any decision alleged to have been made on security grounds. The Government will lay down regulations, which do not exist at the moment, governing the conduct of members of ASIO and other security organisations. The court will hear, determine and report to Parliament on any breach of those regulations.

In conclusion I say that, if the man in the street outside is listening to this debate, I have no doubt that if he is asked who should run this country, ASIO or the Australian Government, he will side with the Australian Government.

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