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Thursday, 14 September 1972
Page: 821

Senator MULVIHILL - How does the Attorney-General reconcile the views that he has expressed in his answer to Senator Hannan on Yugoslav affairs with the action of his Government in refusing to return to Mr Strecko Rover his passport to proceed abroad? Secondly, does he say that in the welter of material that his officers have, nothing has been put forward bv moderate Slovene and other sections of the Yugoslav community involving anything about terrorism from the rightists of the Croatian clement?

Senator GREENWOOD - The Minister for Immigration has said on numerous occasions that the reason why Mr Rover's passport was withdrawn while he was in Canada was that it was not in the national interest for him to be able to travel under an Australian passport. The Minister declined to elaborate on that, as is his right. On the other aspect of the honourable senator's question. I am concerned where allegations are made to have those allegations investigated and to establish whether they are true or false. As I have said, there have been many allegations and those allegations have been investigated. Also, as 1 have said broadly, they have been groundless. The honourable senator will recall that during the parliamentary recess 1 issued a very long Press statement in which I detailed a number of allegations which had been made, the investigations which had been undertaken and the fact that the investigations had not revealed any substance in what was said. In the case of a certain person who had made many allegations and who claimed that he had material and documents to substantiate them, he was unable to give any substantiation when asked by the police to do so. That is part ot the record.

It is true that there have been incidents in the past in which individual persons of Yugoslav background have been in possession of explosives. It is true also that Croatians have been injured in this country or that there has been an attempt to hurt them, and it is also a fact that persons who traditionally are opposed to the Croatians also have been hurt in this country. The Yugoslav Consulate offices have been the subject of bomb attacks. All of that is fact. What I have said in reply to Senator Hannan I confirm without repeating it. These matters will be investigated. I have an accumulating mass of material which suggests that all that has been stated openly does not appear to represent the whole story. Much is going on behind the scenes which I am endeavouring as best I can to have investigated.

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