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Wednesday, 27 September 1972
Page: 1198

Senator JESSOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Customs and Excise. My question highlights a question asked yesterday by Senator Negus which indicated the need to exercise some national control over the supply of explosives. I ask the Minister whether he has noticed an article in today's issue of the 'Australian' which is headed 'How to Make a Letter Bomb' and which draws attention to a recipe complete with ingredients that was set out in 4 para graphs of a weekly magazine. Can the Minister say whether the Government has any power to prevent the publication of such information which could result in dangerous experimentation by irresponsible people?

Senator COTTON - I did read the article in the 'Australian' and the reference to the particular article in the 'Economist' and I must say that I thought that, if it were as reported, it was a particularly lunatic act on the part of the 'Economist'. It becomes very clear when one traces these things through - I live in a world where a lot of these things happen from time to time - that the more publicity which is given to the possibilities of these types of things, the more likely they are to happen. One does not want to encourage them at all but to lean away from them. The Department of Customs and Excise has looked at this matter quite seriously and is examining it at the present time in the hope that it will be able to do something. One certainly hopes that it can.

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