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Tuesday, 20 September 1949

Dr EVATT (BARTON, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) - Last week, or earlier, I indicated the general authority and nature of the security service, of which Mr. Justice Reed is Director-General. Following his appointment to that position a reorganization was effected with the closest co-operation .between the British security authorities and the Australian Government. In order to protect our internal security, one result of the new arrangement is to give to the DirectorGeneral of Security a charter as ample as that possessed by the corresponding authority in Great Britain. Therefore, it is not possible that documents of the kind mentioned by the honorable member would be shown to heads of departments. Such documents are not shown even to Ministers. To all intents and purposes the Director-General of Security is free from ministerial direction. That arrangement is essential in order to maintain maximum internal security which, I have no doubt, all honorable members wish to have preserved. In principle, everything is left to the discretion, good sense and sense of justice of Mr. Justice Reed, who for many years has been a distinguished justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia. The honorable member may rest assured, that if particulars of any alleged injustice are brought to the notice of Mr. Justice Reed - which. I undertake to do if they are supplied to me - he will deal with them on the basis of justice, always remembering that the supreme consideration is the security of the country.

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