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Tuesday, 29 August 1972
Page: 467

Senator CAVANAGH (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the AttorneyGeneral: Has the number of resignations from the Commonwealth Police Force shown an alarming and sharp increase since he became Attorney-General due to his consistent employment of Commonwealth police officers to locate and arrest draft resisters? If this is so. does it not give expression to a reluctance to follow an occupation which necessitates punishment of victims of conscience?

Senator GREENWOOD - I take some comfort from the fact that the long time efforts which Senator Cavanagh has been making apparently now have come to the stage when he must draw upon assumptions in order to build up some case. I do not think it is a fact that the increase in the rate of resignations from the Commonwealth Police Force has changed in the period that 1 have been Attorney-General. I do know that the rate of increase in res ignations for the year 1971-72, which covers the relevant period, is lower than it was before. But I do not draw the conclusion from that fact that members of the Commonwealth Police Force find more encouragement and job satisfaction in being able to investigate the cases of people who, as I have said before, are welshing on their fellows by not undertaking the obligations which the National Service Act imposes. I am quite sure that the Commonwealth Police Force is a police force of dedicated men who do their job to the best of their ability. There is a tedium in the work of some of the uniformed men because it involves guard duties. I said to one of the Press people who questioned me that I thought that was one of the contributing factors to the resignation rate which has been evident not over just the last year but over the last few years.

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