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Tuesday, 6 December 1983
Page: 3300

Mr FIFE —by leave-I do not propose to detain the House for very long. I am one of the members of this House against whom these allegations have been made. So far as they relate to me, the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Activities of the Nugan Hand Group are as I expected. The allegations concerning me are false and have previously been denied by me in this House. The Leader of the National Party of Australia (Mr Anthony) has also strongly denied the allegations made against him. The Royal Commissioner, His Honour Mr Justice Stewart, has found that the allegations concerning both of us came from the one person concerning whose credibility 'the Commission entertains serious doubts'. In his findings, on page 116, reference 5.36, His Honour said:

In the result, the Commission is satisfied that there is no credible evidence to support these allegations as summarised at 3.2 (f) and is of the opinion that such allegations are quite unjustified and false. This finding, of course, exonerates each of the persons named in these allegations from the alleged wrongdoing.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased that the Royal Commission has had an opportunity to examine these unfounded allegations and that I had an opportunity to appear before His Honour. I of course welcome the findings. I am disappointed, however, that two members of this House who are now Ministers, one the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Lionel Bowen) and the other the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Hayden), were prepared to use the forms of this House to highlight such unfounded and scurrilous allegations.