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Wednesday, 8 May 1968

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

1.   Did he say on 14 March that his advisers had not correctly informed him on the interrogation of a prisoner of war at Nui Dat in 1966?

2.   If so, what steps has he taken to investigate this seemingly incompetent act on the part of his advisers, and will he report fully to Parliament on the matter to allay fears that the supply of wrong information to Ministers by advisers may be widespread?

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

1.   No. The relevant extract from my statement of 14 March is as follows:

The specific incident of the Nui Dat interrogation, to which the book made a hearsay reference, was not known to me at the time. Why this was so when some information was in the hands of my advisers is an internal matter which I shall resolve with the officers concerned. However, I accept of course, that responsibility is mine and I do not for one moment attempt to avoid that responsibility in any way.'

2.   As indicated, I made it clear that this was a matter which I regarded as internal and on which I have taken and will continue to take such action as is necessary.

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