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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1844

Dr Klugman (PROSPECT, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

(1)   What is the history of D-Notices.

(2)   Is there any legal basis for D-Notices; if so, what is the basis.

(3)   Do publications such as On Target, published by the League of Rights, and The Vanguard, published by the Communist Party of Australia (MarxistLeninist), receive D-Notices.

(4)   Will the Government abolish D-Notices.

Mr Barnard (BASS, TASMANIA) (Minister for Defence) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The issue of D-Notices dates from 1952 when the Government of the day invited representatives of the Metropolitan Press and media to participate in a scheme of voluntary restraint regarding the publication of material bearing on the country's war potential and national security. The Defence Press and Broadcasting Committee was formed comprising representatives of the national Press and broadcasting stations, with a minority of Government nominees. TV stations were included later. D-Notices, which have been few in number, are issued by direction of the Committee.

(2)   There is no legal basis for D-Notices. The system is entirely a voluntary one and non-compliance carries no penalties.

(3)   No.

(4)   The Government contemplates that the DNotice system will be retained, though it will be used sparingly as in the past. The machinery of the system is being reviewed in consultation with the media.

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