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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 1366

Senator CANT (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Is the Attorney-General aware that the Commissioner of Police of Western Australia, Mr A. VVedd, has written a letter to the Acting Commissioner of Commonwealth Police in Canberra? Does the letter include all the instructions issued to Western Australian police regarding Commonwealth warrants? As the letter has been tabled in the Parliament of Western Australia, will the Minister table in the Senate that letter received by his Acting Commissioner? If the Minister has not seen the letter, will he obtain it with the object of tabling it in the Senate?

Senator GREENWOOD - I am aware that a letter has been sent and I have been informed of its contents. I am unable to say whether it includes all the instructions which were given. Certainly the letter is tremendously helpful to the Commonwealth Police and myself. It is helpful because it indicates that a statement was made by a lower ranking police officer in Western Australia which he was not authorised to make. As the Commissioner said, the statement represented a misinterpretation of the instructions which had been given. I was interested to hear this because it assures me that for the future there is the most unequivocal indication from the Western Australian police that there will be assistance. I will obtain the letter in order to consider whether it should be tabled. If, as the honourable senator assures me, it has been tabled in Western Australia I can see no reason why it should not be tabled here.

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