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Wednesday, 20 September 1972
Page: 1077


Senator O'BYRNE (Tasmania) - Yesterday in the Senate I raised a question with the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) on the following lines:

Is the Attorney-General aware that the Croatian Liberation Movement magazine 'Spremnost' makes reference in its columns to the Ustasha and has frequently written commendatory articles about its activities both in and out of Yugoslavia? Is he aware that the editor of this journal is a leader of the Croatian Liberation Movement in Australia and also a prominent member of the Liberal Party Migrant Advisory Council in New South Wales? ls the Minister also aware that another senior member of the Croatian Liberation Movement, a senior public servant, Mr' Kokic, is employed by the Department of Labour and National Service Employment Counselling Service in Melbourne? If so, what does the. Minister propose to do about these people who are openly and actively associated with the Croatian Liberation Movement?

In replying to my question the Minister said that he was unaware of the matters to which I had referred. Later Senator McManus took exception to what I had said and asked the following question:

I direct a question to the Attorney-General concerning the question asked previously by Senator O'Byrne in which he named persons who were in the employ of the Commonwealth, said that they were unworthy to be in that employ and asked for action to be taken against them. Because an important issue of civil rights is now involved, is not the appropriate action for the honourable senator to take in such a case to place the evidence before the Public Service Board for investigation first rather than to blacken the character of these persons in the Senate where the senator concerned has the protection of privilege and the people concerned have no power to defend themselves?

In replying to Senator McManus the Minister said:

I think that Senator McManus's question is indeed timely. It is very easy when feelings are aroused and there is a sense of apprehension in the community for people to fling about accusations on the basis that they are helping the situation in some way. I cannot believe that Senator O'Byrne is helping the situation if he is prepared to make accusations without evidence to back them. His interjection during the course of Senator McManus's question: 'They are throwing bombs around the place', highlights the problem to which Senator McManus directed attention. Everybody in this community has the right to have his reputation preserved.

Finally I draw attention to Senator Greenwood's reply to Senator Wheeldon when he said:

I believe that the appropriate course to take - 1 have endeavoured to follow it - is to ensure that this place ls not used for scandalous imputations under privilege.

Tonight on television Mr Lovokivic, who according to tonight's programme on 'This Day To-night' is the editor of 'Spremnost', told his interviewer that he was a member for 10 to .14 years of the Liberal Party Migrant Advisory Committee. He was asked about the Croatian Liberation Movement. For the information of honourable senators I should like to read some extracts from the. handbook 'Hrvatskov Oslobodilackog Pokreta' which is the Slav language for Regulation Book of the Croatian Liberation Movement'. During yesterday's debate the name of Mr Kokic was mentioned and he also was confirmed by Mr Lovokivic as being a member of the senate or committee of the Croatian Liberation Movement. It was suggested that I was slandering these people, but the accusations that were made have now been proved to be correct. These people were members of this organisation and Mr Kokic is a member of the Public Service in Melbourne. He is also a member of the committee of the Croatian Liberation Movement to which I shall refer in a moment. I shall now proceed to read some extracts from the Ustasha handbook, the Regulation Book of the Croatian Liberation Movement


Senator Carrick - Did you say the Ustasha handbook?


Senator O'BYRNE - This is the Regulation Book of the Croatian Liberation Movement and it is known as 'Hvratskog Oslobodilackog Pokreta'


Senator Carrick - But not as the Ustasha handbook.


Senator O'BYRNE - These are the words for Croatian Liberation Movement.


Senator Hannan - They are not the same thing.


Senator O'BYRNE - They are.


Senator Hannan - They are not. You know nothing about it.


Senator O'BYRNE - Let me read it to you. This was issued in Buenos Aires on 14th December 1967 by the President of the Croatian Liberation Movement, Dr S. Hefer, deputy fuhrer to Pavelic. Page 1 mentions the duties, aims and centres of the Croatian Liberation Movement and states that this movement is based on the testament of Fuhrer Dr Ante Pavelic and aims to centralise and reinforce the work of all belonging to the Croatian Ustasha movement. At page 2 it states that the centre of the Croatian Liberation Movement is always the place where the President resides unless the President appoints another place. It then mentions the principles of the Croatian Liberation Movement and states that they are based on the principles of the Croatian League of Rights, established by Dr Ante Starcevic, and also it puts into effect the principles of the Croatian Ustasha movement laid down by Fuhrer Dr Ante Pavelic. At page 3 it states that the Croatian Liberation Movement will collaborate with any movement which has not sinned against the Croatian Liberation Movement and is not working against it. At page 4 it states:

(c)   Central bodies in different countries The totality of the Croatian Liberation Movement (HOP) is made up of.

(a)   Associations, branches, groupings and representatives

(b)   Alliance of Croatian United Youth of the World

(c)   Central bodies in different countries

(d)   Senators of Croatian Liberation Movement in different countries

(e)   Presidium of HOP

(f)   President of HOP.

Every Croat and Croatian working with HOP must help HOP morally and materially.

Page 5 states:

Alliance of Croatian United Youth of the World is part of the main body of HOP and their directions come from the first congress which was held in Montevideo in 1961.

Different Central Bodies.

The organisational work ofHOP at present has 5 centres:

(a)   States of South America

(b)   USA

(c)   Canada

(d)   Australia

(e)   Europe.

At page 6 the following appears:

As you see in the Croatian liberation fight and within HOP there exist the following central bodies:

(a)   Central Committee of Croatian Associations, South America (SOHDJA)

(b)   Main headquarters of Croatian Army in North America

(c)   Central Committee of United Croats

(d)   Central Committee of Croatian Associations Australia (SOHDA)

(e)   Central Committee of Croatian Associations Europe (SOHDE).

All these bodies inform the President of HOP about their work and they send him and the Central Committee regular reports. A special duty is to organise the membership and to collect the material means to achieve the aims of HOP.

Page 7 states:

Senate of HOP.

Mr Lovokivicand Mr Kokic are both members of this body and when this gentleman was interviewed tonight he said: We do not call it the senate; we call it the committee. There are 18 members in Australia.'


Senator Cavanagh - Any Cabinet Ministers?


Senator O'BYRNE - I shall give you the line-up in a moment. All these bodies inform the President of the Croatian Liberation Movement about their work and, as I said, they send him and the central committee regular reports. This document states that the Senate is the main organ of the Croatian Liberation Movement. It has 100 senators. The number may be increased with the permission of the President of the Croatian Liberation Movement. Senators are elected for 3 years. The Senate as a whole, in consultation with the President of the National Liberation Movement, draws up the general political and ideological policies of the Movement.

On page 8 we are informed that every centre has 20 senators. On page 10 it is stated that the President of the Movement has his own deputies and that they are appointed from the senators. They perform the duties assigned to them by the President. The number of deputies in Cabinet at present is 7 and this may be increased on the recommendation of the Central Committee., All the deputies do their duty on the basis of the testament and views of Fuhrer Dr Ante Pavelic.

Page 12 is headed 'Offices of the Croatian Liberation Movement.' It states:

1.   Organisational work and connections with members helping Croatian Liberation Movement.

2.   Correspondence office.

3.   Supervising office - supervising all organisations and all Croatian migrants in the foreign world.

4.   Financial office - dealing with the financial affairs of Croatian Liberation Movement.

5.   Military office - all the duties and directions from Croatian Liberation Headquarters are executed.

6.   Croatian Intelligence Service - collection of all intelligence material necessary for the Croatian fight, including spreading news through the Press and wireless stations.

Under the heading 'Discipline and Honorary Court' at. page 14, we read:

All members of the Croatian Liberation Movement must be under strict discipline, do their duty and honour this regulation book. Everyone of the centres has an honorary court of 3 members which deals with anybody who betrays the work and aims of the Movement. Beside these courts on each continent there is a central court which has 7 members, one of whom must be a professional lawyer.

Page 16 records that the regulation booklet was approved by the President, of the Croatian Liberation Movement, Dr S. Hefer, Buenos Aires, on 14th December 1967.

I turn again to the interview tonight on This Day Tonight' with Mr Lovokivic. He said that he did not know of the existence of a military office in Australia. He admitted that Mr Kosic was a member of the Croatian Liberation Movement Committee. He said that the organisation upholds all ideas not only of that organisation but even the Croatian Peasants Party, the Croatian Party of Rights and all Croatian political parties. It includes the members and the former members of the Ustasha organisation.


Senator Carrick - Did he say 'members' or did he say 'former members'?


Senator O'BYRNE - He said: 'It includes the members and the former members of the Ustasha organisation'. But Senator Greenwood denied that there was any such connection. Mr Lovokivic was asked about violence in this interview and he said:

It all depends from which point you look at it. First of all violence quite naturally gives you in response another violence. If the Ustasha movement was following these means, it means another violence must have preceded that particular one.


Senator Webster - From what is that quotation taken?


Senator O'BYRNE - These are the words transcribed from a tape taken of the interview tonight. Mr Lovokivic was asked whether violence was justified. He said-


Senator McManus - It is an odd coincidence that the tape just happened to be ready there. Just an odd coincidence!


Senator O'BYRNE - The interview was on television for everyone to see. In response to that question he stated:

Not justifies it - that was the only probable means and way of expression at that particular time.

He also proudly stated that he had been a member of the Liberal Party Migrant Advisory Committee since its inception some 10 years or 14 years ago. Any national representative could become a member of the Liberal Party without being forced or asked to join that Party. Then he was asked about funds. He was asked:

Would some of the money collected here be used to help the guerrilla fighters inside Croatia?


Senator Carrick - Collected where?


Senator O'BYRNE - Collected in Australia. That was the question he was asked. He replied:

I would not go so far as to say there are guerrillas in Croatia because that expression could be interpreted wrongly but I would say that money helps the Croats at home to raise their voice for liberation of the country,.


Senator Webster - That is nearly as bad as the Corns collecting and giving it to-


Senator O'BYRNE - -Look, let us deal with that another night. This is a most important issue. Yesterday, the AttorneyGeneral agreed with Senator McManus that 1 had used the Senate to defame these people.. I had asked a straightforward question. I did not mention that both these persons were public servants. I repeat what I asked the Minister yesterday as reported at page 894 of Hansard. I asked: ls the Attorney-General aware that the Croatain Liberation Movement magazine 'Spremnost' makes reference in its columns to the Utasha and has frequently written commendatory articles about its activities both in and out of Yugoslavia?

That oan be checked at any time.


Senator Greenwood - I asked you to put the question on notice. You have that same question on the notice paper at the moment.


Senator O'BYRNE - No, I have not. You answered this question. My question continued:

Is he aware that the editor of this journal is the leader of the Croatian Liberation movement in Australia -

This was confessed tonight.


Senator Greenwood - It is question No. 2442.


Senator O'BYRNE - It is not the same question. You did not ask that it be placed on the notice paper and I did not place it on the notice paper.


Senator Webster - It is on the notice paper.

Senior O'BYRNE - I did not place it on the notice paper and the Minister did not ask me to do so. He gave me an answer to the question. My question continued:

Is he aware that the editor of this journal is the leader of the Croatian Liberation Movement in Australia and also a prominent member of the Liberal Party Migrant Advisory Council in New South Wales? Is the Minister also aware that another senior member of the Croatian Liberation Movement, a senior public servant, Mr Kokic, is employed by the Department of Labour and National Service Employment Counselling Service in Melbourne?

Senator McManusaccused me then of defaming these people. I asked a question but I did not expect the Attorney-General to answer it because he has been evading and avoiding all these pertinent questions which have been asked of him. For some reason or other, he does not seem to wish to involve himself properly in the serious nature of this terrorism-


Senator Hannan - Just kicking the old Ustasha can again; that is all.


Senator O'BYRNE - Most people are concerned that in Sydney on a Saturday morning-


Senator Hannan - Not a shred of evidence!


Senator O'BYRNE - There were not shreds of evidence but there were shreds of people's bodies lying on the streets of Sydney.


Senator Hannan - Let us know who did it?


Senator O'BYRNE - That is what we want to know. We want the AttorneyGeneral to use all his energies and his facilities to find out who these terrorists are. Today, for instance, the Attorney-General was asked a reasonable question by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Murphy). The Leader of the Opposition asked whether the Attorney-General would make available some reward to seek to bring about the apprehension of the people responsible for the bombing outrage in Sydney. The Attorney-General said that this was a most irresponsible thing for the Leader of the Opposition to suggest. But the Attorney's own colleague in the New South Wales Parliament this afternoon said: 'We must apprehend these terrorists. We, the State of New South Wales, offer a reward of $20,000'. Is he irresponsible or is the Attorney-General irresponsible when he acts and replies in the way in which he does to these questions for which we have every justification to ask? We want to find out why this secret organisation is working here and why these people who have been given Australian hospitality are forming these cells here from which arise these hatreds and bitternesses which had their birth in the backwoods of Croatia and parts of Serbia and Yugoslavia. We know that this area of Europe has been the hotbed of European discontent.


Senator Little - Now you are becoming racist. You are getting on to racist lines. I would stop that if I were you.


Senator O'BYRNE - We know that because history tells us. Look at Austria and Serbia. Where did the First World War commence? It started in Serbia. Franz Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in the area of which I am speaking. That is where the First World War started. The point I am making is that our efforts are directed towards trying to get the Attorney-General to be more positive about investigating not only the outrages which are going on in this country such as the bombings, burnings, threatenings and all these things-


Senator Little - Yes, and the school burnings for instance. What about students in dissent? Since they started 41 schools have been burned down. None was burned down before they started.


Senator O'BYRNE - It would be people with a mentality like the honourable senator who would burn them down. It would be childish people, subnormal people. However, in my view the AttorneyGeneral, whatever his purpose, seems to be covering up. I believe that the tie-up is with the Australian Democratic Labor Party which, according to my information, complained about the Yugoslav flag being flown in a public place in Cooma. The DLP conference condemned the flying of this flag and said that the Government should not tolerate it because it was an alien flag. This indicates that the DLP is hostile to the present Yugoslav Government. This gives encouragement to the fanatical people who have come here and taken an oath of allegiance to Australia but who are paying allegiance to an international secret organisation. If the huge organisation which is employed by the Attorney-General does not have the ability to sort out the people who are in this secret body then the people in the list of 100 names which the Ambassador gave to the Prime, Minister (Mr McMahon) yesterday should he asked to make a declaration that they are in no way associated with the secret organisation. They should be given the option of becoming decent Australian citizens or they should be sent home. This is the penalty which people who come to Australia as our guests should face, even though they become naturalised, if they commit so many of these acts which are completely foreign to the Australian way of life.


Senator Hannan - You have no proof of anything.


Senator O'BYRNE - This is your defence.


Senator Hannan - Let us have an example. Let us have some evidence.


Senator O'BYRNE - The honourable senator would not support a reward but he would in relation to property. When some nut said to the managing director of Qantas Airways Ltd: T want $50,000' the managing director was so excited that he wrote down an extra nought and gave $500,000. People do not realise this. The

Government was prepared to give a reward to apprehend this person. This is something which is not generally .known but the tape recording which was taken and presented at the court revealed the. demand made by Brown was for only $50,000 but the managing director was so excited when he wrote the figure down that he put an extra nought on the end. The Government gave a reward to recover that money and it did recover it. But here are people who will not be compensated. I have not heard any honourable senator on the Government side asking a colleague in the Senate about compensation for those people who have been maimed and cut about by these explosions. What are they going to do for the rest of their lives? There has been no thought for them at all. The Government is always, defending the saying: 'Prove who did it,' This is always the attitude of Government supporters. But I would also like to know why the Attorney-General is in his funk-hole in relation to going on to television. Why is it that the media has been trying to have Senator Greenwood go on to television? Usually if it suits him he is the first one to go on.


Senator Little - He went on one night and did Hawke over like a dinner.


Senator O'BYRNE - Did Hawke! The honourable senator has a queer idea. I do not know what his view is of being done over, if one of the participants was a Hawke, Greenwood was a sparrow. I ask the Attorney-General why it is that he is absolutely scared to go on television? All the people are asking him. The Press is asking him simple questions on matters of public importance but he goes for his life. He will not have a look at them. That shows that he is covering up.


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - He is too busy chasing Croats.


Senator O'BYRNE - Yes. he is chasing Croats. 1 think the television people wanted to ask him a few questions as Minister in charge of our police and as a Minister who is always talking about law and order. This is what is exercising the minds of people throughout Australia: who is safe in this country when there are elements like this in the community who can plant bombs and carry out guerilla and commando tactics for which they are being trained in Australia? Why does not the

Attorney-General go back to the newspaper record a little bit? He should look at some of the headlines such as: 'Police Foil Croatians training camp plan.' I am not going to develop that. Here I have another one which states: 'Farmers claim convoys move at night.'


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - What is the date?


Senator O'BYRNE - It is 6th July 1972. Another headline appeared in the Hobart Mercury' and it stated: 'Claims terrorists train in Australia'. One in the 'Australian' of 7th July states: 'His aim - to get war leaders and train recruits.' Another one in the 'Canberra Times' of 5th July states: Raiders "trained in Australia" '. What is the Minister doing about all this? Are all these people conspiring against him? Have they all plucked some idea out of their minds just to embarrass the AttorneyGeneral or are they concerned about the well-being of Australia? I ask. the AttorneyGeneral why he will not appear in front of television. Will he answer that simple question?


Senator Greenwood - When did 1 refuse to go on television?


Senator O'BYRNE - All this week they have been trying to get the AttorneyGeneral on. television.


Senator Hannan - How does the honourable senator know?


Senator O'BYRNE - I do know. I started off to point out to Senator McManus that his friend, if he is his friend, Mr Kokic in Melbourne who is employed in the Commonwealth Employment Service is a member of the senate or committee of the Croatian Liberation Movement. I have outlined the tentacles of this movement which spreads through three or four continents. It is an organisation of bitterness, hatred, anger and aggressiveness which exists throughout the world and which is being imported into this country. The biggest penalty which could be imposed on these people would be to send them back home. I want the Attorney-General to start on that process. We have deported others who have been criminals in this country. We have deported individuals. There is plenty of precedent for deportation. I believe that we have to root out these people lock, stock and barrel and send them back home to their hill-billy land in the woodlands of Croatia. I hope that they enjoy the rest of their life there.







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