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Wednesday, 11 October 1972
Page: 1491

Senator GREENWOOD (VictoriaAttorneyGeneral) - I have listened with interest to what Senator Douglas McClelland has said and can assure him that I will examine the Hansard record and have the matter investigated and referred not to the Trade Practices Tribunal but to the Trade Practices Commissioner for his examination. I do not think I should say anything more at this stage. The pattern which Senator Douglas McClelland has indicated is one which to my mind clearly warrants the attention of the Trade Practices Commissioner. It may be that the legislation as it stands does not cover what investigations will reveal as the reason for these - 1 think - more than coincidental letters being sent out. If not, I am sure that when he reads the Trade Practices Bill which I propose to introduce into the Senate tomorrow he will see that there are certain strengthening features which will give more teeth to the legislation than we believe it has had in the .past and which experience has shown is desirable. Certainly in the area about which Senator Douglas McClelland spoke it will strengthen the hand of the Commissioner. But I say that without knowing the full facts. The honourable senator has stated that there is a prima facie case warranting investigation and it is on that basis that I respond to him. 1 am sure that what has been said by Senator McManus will arouse the interest and concern of all Australians and that the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr N. H. Bowen) will be concerned to press this matter as strongly as they are able. All persons, whatever the country of. their birth, who have Australian citizenship are entitled to the protection of the Australian authorities and the assurance that their government will make the strongest representations and view with the greatest concern any deprivation of their rights as Australians when they are in European countries. What Senator McManus has said is timely and 1 am quite sure that he will find that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and his Department will be concerned to press the case of Mr Jurman and of other people who may have experienced similar predicaments and misfortunes when visiting Yugoslavia.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Senate adjourned at 11.18 p.m.

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