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Tuesday, 19 September 1972
Page: 899

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I refer the AttorneyGeneral to the question asked in this chamber on 23rd August 1972 by Senator Hannan in' which the honourable senator said:

Is it a fact that the Yugoslav communist Embassy recently provided the Government with a list of names of Croatians who are alleged to have trained in terrorism in Australia . . .

The Attorney-General in his reply said:

It is a fact that the Yugoslav Ambassador recently delivered to the Minister for Foreign Affairs a document . . .

And went on to say:

That document is now being examined by the Commonwealth Police.

It is now one month since that question was asked. In view of the recent bombings, what progress can be reported in the investigations by the Commonwealth Police?

Senator GREENWOOD - A considerable amount of progress has been made. The only outstanding matter which the Commonwealth Police are awaiting, as they have informed me, is the translation of a number of documents which were seized as a result of the execution of search warrants. It is true that contained in the documents were the names of persons alleged by the Government of Yugoslavia to have been trained in Australia. But, unfortunately, there was nothing more than assertion - the allegation that 'these are the people'.

In those circumstances it is a matter of seeing whether, as a result of Commonwealth Police activities, there is any material which will support the allegations. I think that is an appropriate course to take if an allegation is made by a government of another country that Australian facilities are being used for those purposes. I have stressed on many occasions that all other allegations that have been made about so-called training camps have been investigated and have not been substantiated. The investigations have been painstaking, to seek out the people who give information to Pressmen and the Pressmen themselves who receive the information and to endeavour to track down what they write to its source. That has been done. 1 gave a very detailed answer about that type of investigation in the Press statement I made in the middle of July. Therefore, there is no evidence of such training camps. As I have indicated before, there is no evidence to support the allegations which are still being made that .persons ure training in Australia for terrorism. Investigations are still being carried out into these allegations. I may say, however, that in the premises of certain persons which were searched the police found no arms or explosives, which one would suppose would have been found if any allegation of terrorism was to be sustained. Only documents were seized and they are being examined.

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