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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 992

Senator MURPHY (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the AttorneyGeneral whether he is aware of the increasing concern in Australia at the continuance of terrorist activities associated with the Ustashi? Will he tell us whether one of the practices of the Ustashi is to commemorate the anniversary of the establishment, under the auspices of Mussolini and Hitler, of the fascist state of Croatia which was an enemy of the Allied forces in the last war? Will he tell us if he can, even in broad terms, just what is being done by police forces under his control to see that crimes which have occurred apparently in association with the activities of members of this organisation are cleared up? What disposition of the forces under his control are assigned to this matter? What does the Attorney-General propose to do about it if, as has been reported, he does not intend to take any kind of special approach to the matter?

Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) (Attorney-General) - I am afraid that the range of the question asked by Senator Murphy is so great that I cannot possibly give him the type of answer he wants, but 1 hope that an opportunity can be provided in the not too distant future for something quite comprehensive to be said. I am aware of recent events which have taken place in this country. I am also aware of the events which have taken place outside Australia and which reflect the divisions between peoples who come from Yugoslavia. I certain deprecate and deplore the activities which are occurring among members of that community in Australia. The tactics which have been adopted and the bombings which have occurred are totally alien to Australian traditions and I think that they have to be condemned on all occasions by all Australians. I am not aware that these activities are associated with the Ustashi, and I think it is regrettable that the suggestion should be made that they are connected with the Ustashi, because it adds a political clement to what should be a situation of real concern to all Australians.

From the inquiries I have been able to make I have found that the Ustashi is an organisation which disappeared after the war. 1 think the attempt to regard all Croatians as members of the Ustashi or Croatian movements as Ustashi, is very wrong. There are individuals who are prepared to disobey the laws of this country and to engage in practices which we find abhorrent. I think that in those areas the police are doing as much as they can in order to ascertain who are the offenders. The police have had success in times past. lt has been suggested that some police are not interested in pursuing these inquiries and bringing the offenders before the courts. As far as I am concerned the Commonwealth police liaise effectively with State police and act in this matter to the best of their abilities. In some areas on some occasions people have been apprehended, brought to court, convicted, and sentenced to imprisonment. The police will continue their efforts.

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