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Thursday, 19 September 1974
Page: 1236

Senator GEORGES (QUEENSLAND) - I direct my question to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. There has been a report that Rhodesia is recruiting mercenaries in Australia for the Rhodesian Army. As we are committed to the United Nations resolution to give neither comfort nor support to the illegal Smith regime, will he investigate the truth of these reports?

Senator WILLESEE -There was a Press report on this matter towards the end of last month and because of it we are taking action. We are investigating the allegations of the recruitment of mercenaries in Australia by members of the Southern Rhodesian army. The AttorneyGeneral 's Department, the Commonwealth Police and the Department of Defence are involved in the investigations. If the allegations are substantiated they will constitute a serious violation of United Nations sanctions. If such activities were carried out in Australia this was done, of course, without the knowledge or consent of the Australian Government. The United Nations Sanctions Committee has been informed that the Australian Government is closely investigating the allegations. In the event of the allegations being proved the Australian Government will consider the possibility of prosecutions.

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