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Tuesday, 26 September 1972
Page: 1140

Senator HANNAN (VICTORIA) - Has the AttorneyGeneral's attention been drawn to front page reports in the Melbourne 'Sunday Observer' that the KGB - the Russian secret police - is operating in Australia, possibly in terrorist activities against Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav secret police? As this report follows on last week's 'Daily Telegraph' report on the activities of the Yugoslav secret police in Australia I ask the Minister whether he, without breaching security, can amplify this report.

Senator GREENWOOD - I have seen the report in the 'Sunday Observer' to which the honourable senator referred. I also saw an earlier report in another newspaper with regard to the alleged activities of Yugoslav secret police. I formed the conclusion, possibly rather generalised, that with regard to the recent activities there is almost a different theory with every journalist who puts pen to paper to write an article for publication.

These allegations have a most serious overtone. They are essentially assertions, as I read the material which is contained in the newspapers. Certain statements, insofar as the allegations are concerned, are alleged to have been made to me by senior officials. Those statements, I must say, do not have a basis in fact. Nevertheless, these allegations and assertions are persistent in a number of quarters. I do not believe that I should say anything more than that the allegations have been made, and that they are under examination as all allegations of this character are under examination. In those circumstances, the matter will be pursued without further elaboration by me.

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