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Tuesday, 3 April 1973
Page: 956

Mr LYNCH (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) - The Prime Minister will recall that the Attorney-General, in the context of that Minister's raid on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, has said that it was necessary to seal ASIO safes and filing cabinets in order to preserve documents. I ask: Who did the Attorney-General fear might remove or destroy these documents? Was there any person or persons in ASIO whom the Attorney-General mistrusted, or did the Attorney-General mistrust the Security Service itself? Why was it not possible for the Attorney-General to obtain the information that he required by normal administrative arrangements?

Mr WHITLAM - The honourable gentleman should adopt the usual procedure of asking the Attorney-General these questions himself. I have not asked the Attorney-General those questions. Suffice it to say that the document from which I have quoted was obtained by the Attorney-General by going to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation headquarters in Canberra. The AttorneyGeneral had not been told of this meeting of 2nd March and neither had I nor any of the Ministers from whose departments officials attended that meeting.

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