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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 2061

Mr JESS (LA TROBE, VICTORIA) - I desire to ask the Minister for Education and Science a question. Would the Minister advise the House whether the University of Sydney is co-operating in respect of inquiries concerning an attack on Commonwealth Police and the forceful release of draft resister Matteson?

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) - It is my understanding that the university authorities have consulted their solicitors who have in turn communicated with the police and that no decision has in fact been made concerning co-operation. I think it needs to be emphasised that the sort of co-operation that is sought in this area is the sort of cooperation that one would expect from any citizen in assisting police to carry out their normal duties and responsibilities. This should apply to citizens no matter what the job or activity is in which they might be involved.

But I think there is in this matter another question which has in large measure been overlooked, and that is the not insignificant involvement of the Australian Labor Party in this kind of incident. The Leader of the Opposition has said that draft dodging is not a crime. The Australian Labor Party has given support to a draft dodger in selecting him as a candidate in a Federal electorate. This puts the ALP clearly in a position where it has sought to influence people and probably has contributed to the breaking of the law in a way that it cannot be touched by the law itself. That is not the sort of position in which any political party which aspires to responsibility in this country should put itself.

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