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Tuesday, 12 September 1972
Page: 677

Senator HANNAN (VICTORIA) - I direct my question to the Attorney-General. Has the Minister's attention been drawn to the fact that a gentleman named Mr Barry Johnston, Who is sought by the Commonwealth police, has been endorsed as the Australian Labor Party candidate for the seat of Hotham in Victoria?

Senator Keeffe - You have asked it 7 times previously.

Senator McManus - The Minister is aware of it.

The PRESIDENT - Order! That question has been asked before. Is there a second question?

Senator HANNAN - Yes.

The PRESIDENT - Then ask the second question.

Senator HANNAN - I cannot hear because of the noise from the Opposition.

The PRESIDENT - I can hear you.

Senator HANNAN - This question lies particularly within the purview of the Minister's responsibility. Is the Minister aware that the electoral campaign was opened recently at a meeting at which the chief supporters were a Mr R. J. Hawke, Senior Vice-President of the Australian Labor Party, and the Chairman of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Labor Party, Mr George Crawford, who currently is visiting friends in Hanoi? Is the Minister aware that the wanted candidate's speech was delivered by a tape recorder? Can the Minister say whether this is the first occasion on which a tape recorder has stood for Parliament?

Senator GREENWOOD - I arn aware that a Mr Barry Johnston is reported to have been endorsed by the Australian Labor Party as one of its candidates at the forthcoming federal election. I understand that the same Mr Johnston is a person who is wanted by the police and that he is not prepared to give himself up to the police in order to ensure that the lawful processes are observed; nor apparently is the Australian Labor Party prepared to encourage him to do so. I am not aware of any other occasion upon which a candidate has addressed himself to his electorate by a tape recorder because he is frightened that if he shows bis face the Commonwealth Police may arrest him. I hope it is the last time that any such farce will be perpetrated upon the people of Australia. It is very interesting to note that the Leader of the Australian Labor Party, Mr Whitlam, did not speak at the meeting which was addressed by Mr Hawke and Mr Crawford. It is also interesting to note that recently Mr Whitlam expressed himself as being of the opinion that Mr Johnston should give himself up. The fact that Mr Johnston is not prepared to do so and the fact that the. Victorian Branch of the Australian Labor Party is not prepared to support Mr Whitlam is striking evidence of the division and disunity in the Australian Labor Party.

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