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Thursday, 14 November 1985
Page: 2145


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(12.10) —Despite the fact that I am in a more tolerant mood today, I do not believe I should answer any such question. I do not accept the honourable senator's proposition that because a country refuses to co-operate adequately as far as the protection of terrorists is concerned there is a greater risk that migrants from that country will be terrorists. Obviously, in those circumstances we would have other careful means of checking on who is, and who is not, a terrorist.

If I start answering questions by saying that country X and country Y are the least co-operative, people will say: `Why don't you tell us which country is the most co-operative?'. They would then draw their own distinctions about which countries are in between. If I had the information and disclosed it I may be putting the actions of our security people at risk. I do not see how I would be performing a useful service to this country or the Parliament by answering such a question. The matter was referred to the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr Hurford) after the Estimates Committee meeting and he is of the same view as I am. If I am asked by the Parliament to answer that question I will; otherwise I am not willing to do so.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

GROUP C

Department of Finance

Proposed expenditure, $72,276,000.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Advance to the Minister for Finance

Proposed expenditure, $160,000,000.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Department of Employment and Industrial Relations

Proposed expenditure, $718,056,000.