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Thursday, 19 September 1985
Page: 754


Senator SANDERS —My question, which is addressed to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, refers to the Prime Minister's statement last night that the Australian intelligence community had no prior knowledge of, or involvement in, the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. Did the Australian intelligence community know that some form of activity was being organised against the Greenpeace organisation in New Zealand? Did the Australian Government refuse to pass this information on to the New Zealand Government because of an agreement with the American Government not to pass certain information on to New Zealand as a result of the ANZUS dispute between the United States and New Zealand?


Senator BUTTON —I am unaware of what the Prime Minister said about this matter last night. I will convey the substance of Senator Sanders's question to the Prime Minister-even those parts of the question which seem to me to be hypothetical, if I can put it that way.


Senator Sanders —Reprehensible if in fact they took place.


Senator BUTTON —I will endeavour to get answers to the facts. I will endeavour to get facts.


Senator Chaney —Get the facts and get answers to the questions.


Senator BUTTON —That is right. Senator Chaney has helped me a lot this morning. I will endeavour to get facts in answer to the question insofar as that is possible. As I said, there is a fair bit of hypothesis in the honourable senator's question and I will endeavour to get an answer to that too.