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Thursday, 31 August 1972
Page: 660

Senator GREENWOOD - On Tuesday of this week, I was asked a question by Senator O'Byrne about a supposed request by the Commonwealth Police to a senior officer of the New South Wales Police Force to crack down on Aborigines. Senator O'Byrne then went on to ask me a number of other questions about actions which police are supposed to have taken with regard to Aborigines in New South Wales. The question and the answer were given some publicity including a report in yesterday's 'Australian' headed 'Police told to harass Aboriginals - senator.' When I answered Senator O'Byrne on Tuesday, 1 said I very much doubted that the Commonwealth Police had any part in the matters to which he referred.

I have since had inquiries made andI have been informed by the Commissioner of Commonwealth Police, Mr Davis, that no such request has been made by him or by any other member of his force. The officer of the New South Wales Police Force named by Senator O'Byrne, Assistant Commissioner Baldwin, contacted Commonwealth Police yesterday and denied the statement attributed to him. Others who attended the meeting of the New South Wales Aboriginal Advisory Council on 14th August when this request was supposed to have been made support his statement that there was never any mention of a request by the Commonwealth Police nor was there any statement from which' such a request could be inferred.

As far as the. Commonwealth Police Force is concerned, there have been no arrests of Aborigines in the past few weeks in New South Wales nor has the Commonwealth Police Force been 'exercising surveillance' over the homes of certain Aborigines in the inner suburbs of Sydney. The information supplied to Senator O'Byrne insofar as it affects the Commonwealth Police is without foundation. 1 am not in a position to answer for the New South Wales Police Force.

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