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Thursday, 11 October 1984
Page: 2157


Mr HAYDEN (Minister for Foreign Affairs) —Madam Deputy Speaker, there are two quite separate matters on which I claim to have been misrepresented and I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Leave granted.


Mr HAYDEN —There has been some comment in newspapers in the last couple of days, particularly this morning in a very thoughtful editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald, the sentiments of which I largely agree with, about the matter of the Casey diaries. I have some contact with this as Minister for Foreign Affairs. I want to make it clear that the 30-year rule in respect of the Casey diaries has not been applied at the request or direction of the Government but solely at the request of the Casey family. I think the details of the Casey diaries have been adequately attended to in the Press release from the National Library of Australia of yesterday's date. But even that contains one error of fact. I quote :

A few minor references of continuing diplomatic sensitivity will also be embargoed in later volumes, at the request of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

I have made it clear in discussions with my Department that the matters which are relevant to that expression of view should not be embargoed but that those matters would not be published under the 30-year rule, as requested by the Casey family, until 1988. That is, minimum embargo is my preference.

The other matter concerns a broadcast on Radio Australia and also on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation news this morning. Radio Australia stated:

A review of Mr Mayer's application to stay in Australia as a political refugee has been delayed while Mr Hayden tries to influence Papua New Guinea.

The ABC stated:

The office says the review of Mr Mayer's application for refugee status in Australia has been postponed while the Foreign Minister, Mr Hayden, tries to influence the situation.

It has not occurred to me to take such action; I have not been asked to take any such action; and I have not taken any such action. More than that, the journalist responsible for the story approached my office, spoke to Mr Costello, my Principal Private Secretary, and was advised that such statements were not just inaccurate but completely wrong in fact. I have spoken with the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr West). He shares my concern and acknowledges, from his experience in this area in which he has a substantial responsibility, that those attributions to me on both Radio Australia and the ABC are totally unjustified.