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Tuesday, 2 June 1942

Mr FORDE - In March last, I said that some members of this organization had been responsible for certain actions. The names of the members were not given. It was further stated that the Commonwealth Solicitor-General would consider the evidence, and advise the Government whether any action beyond internment should be taken. As a result of his report, certain members of the organization were proceeded against in the court.

Sir Frederick Stewart - In Western Australia.

Mr FORDE - Yes, they were residents of Western Australia. Certain other persons had been interned, and no action has been taken in the courts against them.

Mr Prowse - Why?

Mr FORDE - On the report of the Commonwealth Solicitor-General, it was decided not to take any further action.

Mr McEwen - The original statement must Lave been extravagant.

Mr FORDE - I said at the time, and I think the Prime Minister said also, that the Government would be guided by the advice of the Commonwealth Solicitor-General as to whether members of the organization would be prosecuted as well as interned. Those who have been interned on the recommendation of the military intelligence officers have the right of appeal against their internment to a tribunal set up by the previous Government. Many of them have lodged appeal, and I' have given instructions that the hearings are to be expedited. I made inquiries to-day, and was informed that about 3,000 sheets of foolscap had been typed, and that sixteen typists had been put on in order to hurry the work forward. Everything is now in readiness for the hearing of the appeals.

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