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Friday, 22 March 1985
Page: 776


Mr ROBERT BROWN —My question is directed to the Attorney-General. I ask him whether the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ian Temby, in his report on the Age tapes referred to what amounts to the commission of an act of corruption by an officer of the New South Wales Police Force, namely, a Mr Jock Hawthorn, in illegally taping and selling to the Australian Federal Police, in return for funds from the Australian Federal Police, tapes which had been illegally obtained from the Radio Branch of the New South Wales Police Force, to which Mr Jock Hawthorn belonged. Is it true that the Minister responsible for the Australian Federal Police at the time was the former member for Bass, the Hon. Kevin Newman? Is it also true that Minister Newman, acting in his capacity as the Minister responsible for the Australian Federal Police, acted under the directions of the then Prime Minister, Mr Fraser, in directing Superintendent Lamb of the Australian Federal Police to apply Federal Police funds for the purpose of commissioning the act of corruption on the part of Jock Hawthorn to which I have just referred?


Mr Sinclair —Mr Speaker, I ask the honourable gentleman to substantiate the allegations that have been made.


Mr SPEAKER —Can the honourable member for Charlton substantiate the statements, as required by the Standing Orders?


Mr Robert Brown —I can substantiate the fact that Ian Temby reported. The right honourable member can refer to Ian Temby's report himself if he is embarrassed by it. I can understand the Opposition's embarrassment.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member for Charlton has responded by substantiating them through the Temby report.


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —The Temby report, which was furnished in July 1984 and tabled in this Parliament in August 1984, has all the matters in it to which the honourable gentleman referred.


Mr Sinclair —Kevin Newman is not referred to in that report.


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —No, but who was the Minister responsible for police at the time?


Mr Howard —Are you claiming that there is a reference in the Temby report to the former Prime Minister?


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —I am responding to the question and the honourable member is sitting over there. I make the point that the evidence tabled-tabled; a matter of record-is that Detective Superintendent Lamb gave evidence to Mr Temby, and it was published, acknowledging the receipt of sound tapes from Jock Hawthorn, a serving member of the New South Wales Police, and said that certain cash payments were made to Hawthorn; that Hawthorn, who was registered as an Australian Federal Police informant under the code name 'Irish', denied knowledge that the Hawthorn tapes were of telephone interceptions; and that he assisted Lewington and Jones by facilitating their access to the Hawthorn tapes. That was Superintendent Lamb's report. Apparently Jock Hawthorn, a former Sergeant Second Class and a member of the Radio Branch attached to the Crime Intelligence Unit, was unprepared to co-operate with the inquiries, admitted assisting Superintendent Lamb in setting up radio gear and denied being involved in anything illegal.

What the honourable gentleman said is right-tapes were in existence. They were given to the Federal Police. They obviously came through Hawthorn. They were the result of illegal intercepts. The Federal Police paid money for those tapes at that time and probably used the information. To that extent the honourable gentleman is entitled to ask: What knowledge did the Ministers who were responsible for the Federal Police have of that matter? It is a matter of record in the Temby document which has been tabled that the matter was discussed with Sir Colin Woods, who agreed that the tapes could be received. There we have at the highest level of this nation's officers of the law understanding that there had been intercepts of telephone conversations, taking the tapes, transcribing them and using the information. Obviously the question is not one of giving that information to anybody in the New South Wales Government. I would be surprised if that information was given to any Minister in the Government at that time. I would be surprised if that happened. Honourable members might ask: What was the authority for the payment of the money? It must show a very extraordinary lack of accountability to parliament to think that all those matters could have happened-I am accepting the nuances coming from the other side-and nobody knew anything about them. There is ministerial responsibility and accountability for everything that happens in a Minister's department. There is an implied accountability. I think the point at issue is a matter of record. It is not for me to--


Mr Peacock —Mick wants you to wind up.


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —Mick does not have to worry about that. He is only making the point that we gave the Opposition plenty of time yesterday. This is a matter of record. If one looks at that record one must seriously wonder what happened during the period 1980-81.


Mr N. A. Brown —You are the Attorney-General. Why don't you get on with what has to be done?


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —If the honourable member gives me permission, I will look at what happened. Will he give me permission to look back?


Mr N. A. Brown —You can look at any papers you like that I had in the time that I was there.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member for Menzies will cease interjecting.


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —Including the honourable member's decision not to prosecute Mr Morgan Ryan on forgery?


Mr N. A. Brown —Yes, indeed, do that.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! I warn the honourable member for Menzies.


Mr N. A. Brown —No such decision was made.


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —And the reason for that decision?


Mr N. A. Brown —There is no such decision.


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —You, the upholder of the pillars of law.


Mr N. A. Brown —I repeat that there is no such decision.


Mr SPEAKER —I have warned the honourable member for Menzies.


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —There was a decision on 1 November 1982. The honourable member made the decision, unilaterally. Let us make that very clear.


Mr N. A. Brown —You are wrong.


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —Do not deny your way out of it. It is a matter of record. There were two charges and you dropped one, by your own indications.


Mr N. A. Brown —I take a point of order. Mr Speaker, may I have the opportunity of correcting the record on that matter?


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member for Menzies has been a member of this Parliament long enough to know that if he wishes to correct a personal misrepresentation he does it at the appropriate time by way of indulgence of the Chair.


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —The matters raised by the honourable member for Charlton are very valid and very serious. They happened in the period 1980-81. There are plenty of answers. The reason we are in government is that the former Government failed to administer the law. It failed to prosecute crooks. It failed to uphold its own law and, worse still, it paid money to people who broke our law.