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Tuesday, 10 October 1972
Page: 1387

Senator GREENWOOD (VictoriaAttorneyGeneral) - If strange conduct were the criteria for the taking of drastic and unprecedented action, I am quite sure that many statements made by Senator Keeffe in this place would have precipitated a similar result. I do not know whether Senator Keeffe's allegations are correct, but I suggest to him that he has used this forum in a way that, if his allegations are not sustained, may cause great hardship and suffering to people who are entitled to follow a religion if they wish to do so. On the other hand, if his allegations are able to be sustained, he has performed a notable public service. I am surprised that the matter has been raised in this way. 1 had not heard of Dr Neilsen and I certainly do not know him. I do not know whether Senator Keeffe's statements are true.

Having read the letter which he sent to me, and having listened to what he has said tonight, I imagine that what he has passed on are allegations made by other people. That is a way in which people can be injured grievously. I say that advisedly. To my knowledge, on previous occasions in this chamber Senator Keeffe has made allegations which, when investigated, have not been substantiated. That is why I am cautious. I cannot see how the Commonwealth Attorney-General has any role to play in regard to conduct of the character alleged to be occurring in Queensland. In the first place, there is no Commonwealth companies legislation in respect of which an Attorney-General has. any functions to exercise. There is no other apparent basis upon which the Commonwealth AttorneyGeneral can act. There is no other apparent basis upon which any Commonwealth official could act. I do not know whether the allegations made by Senator Keeffe have any substance, but if he is saying - how he would have proof of it I do not know - that this man has not paid any income tax he ought to give some basis for his allegations so that investigations may be made by the taxation authorities. I do not know how it can be said that this person has not paid income tax.

Any allegation that this man has taken a lot of money and in fact misappropriated it is a matter which should be brought to the attention of the police authorities, with some substantiation, for them to investigate. That is the appropriate course to adopt where there is a belief or a fear that a person is acting contrary to the law. The police forces of this land, in particular the police force in Queensland, are the appropriate bodies to which these allegations should be taken so that the necessary investigations may be made. If, after those investigations, there is some cause for complaint, let the matter be aired on the basis of something solid, factual and substantial and not on the merest allegation, without a tittle of evidence provided to support it. I do not know whether what has been alleged has any basis in fact or truth. It may be that it has; it maybe that it has not. But I deplore the fact that it may not and that this chamber has been used in the way in which it has been used.

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