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Tuesday, 11 April 1972
Page: 1396

Mr JARMAN (DEAKIN, VICTORIA) - I direct to the Prime Minister a question relating to the answer just given by the Minister for Customs and Excise. In view of the answer of the Minister will the Prime Minister investigate, with a view to repealing, that section of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations of December 1968 which places what many Australians consider to be a form of political censorship on Australians in that it prevents the Australian people from freely learning about both sides of the Rhodesian question?

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Prime Minister) - Already the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Customs and Excise have given what I regard as more or less a perfect explanation of Government policy on this matter. We have also been looking at the regulations to which the honourable gentleman referred, and after discussion with my colleague the Minister for Customs and Excise, who has pointed out various inconsistencies within the regulations and the difficulties of interpretation. I gave an instruction that the relevant Ministers and the relevant departments examine the regulations with a view to making them more consistent with common sense and so as not to prohibit information of a legitimate character and of a character which a mature community like Australia should be permitted to see and to make up its own mind about.

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