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Wednesday, 1 June 1960

Mr OSBORNE (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Air) - The events at Richmond, to which the honorable member for Grayndler referred, took place on the night of Commonwealth Day or, as I believe it is known below a certain age level, on cracker night. It might be said, in military terms, that a reconnaissance in force was carried out. The attacking forces withdrew; there were no casualties. Intelligence has since identified the intruders as one or more students from Hawkesbury College. Any reprisals, I think, may safely be left to the principal of that institution. I point out to the honorable member that the perimeter of the Richmond base is some 5 to 7 miles in length, and the man-power required to guard it around the whole distance would be disproportionately great in the present circumstances. The aircraft are guarded by a roving guard. An investigation is now taking place into the reasons why the student or students were not discovered, and that matter might be said to be sub judice. But I am sure that the fact that a student was able to penetrate will be duly considered by the authorities at Richmond, and I feel confident that the guard will be carried out effectively in the future.

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