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Tuesday, 30 April 1968

Mr Uren asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice:

1.   Has his attention been directed to Mr John Laws' programme 'Party Line* broadcast over Station 2GB on Sunday, 17th March 1968, at 2.15 p.m. wherein an Australian soldier stated (a) that he had served 18 years in the Army, had served two terms in Vietnam and was one of very few who had done so, (b) that he defended the action of an Australian soldier of using water torture on a Vietnamese girl because they had to be treated the same as if they were men, (c) that he had witnessed Vietcong prisoners being interrogated and that water torture was the most common procedure used, and (d) that, in regard to other procedures used, one was to tie up Vietcong soldiers for up to 6 hours without food or water until they talked?

2.   If so, will he investigate all aspects of these allegations and the other examples of torture cited to ascertain their truth.

Mr LYNCH (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) - - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

1.   No.

2.   No. I do not consider it feasible to investigate every allegation made which is based merely on generalities. If specific allegations are forthcoming, I will consider whether, on that basis, an investigation appears justified.

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