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Tuesday, 19 September 1972
Page: 891

Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the AttorneyGeneral: First, how does he reconcile his answer of 23rd August, contending that he had ample translators to vet Croatian organisation material, with today's statement that a lack of skilled interpreters and translators is hampering the current investigations? Secondly, why have certain eth- nic group journals not been monitored regularly to detect any advocacy of violence in their columns?

Senator GREENWOOD - 1 do not have before me the text of the answer I gave on 23rd August but I know that the answer related to whether translating facilities were available for the purpose of translating documents which had been seized by the Commonwealth Police when they executed certain search warrants. Translating facilities are available but there is a mass of documentation and it takes time to go through it. Unquestionably one would like to have far more translators available so that a good deal more of this work could be done expeditiously. That is with regard to the question earlier asked. As far as the particular point which has been referred to is concerned - I take it that it relates to a comment which appeared in the Press this morning - it is difficult for the Commonwealth Police or for any police force to carry out investigations in a migrant community where the ability to understand and speak English is not the same as it is amongst native born Australians to whom English is the mother tongue. That is a problem that all police forces have. It is difficult to know how it can be overcome. I trust that in time it will be overcome. I said that it represented a deficiency. 1 think that that is acknowledging the position.

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