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Tuesday, 13 November 1973
Page: 1714

Senator HANNAN - My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I refer him to his answer to me last week when he undertook to consider the question of Leonid Brezhnev's full page advertisement in the 'Australian' being inserted without any authorisation or acknowledgment. Is he aware that the text of the advertisement is, word for word, though with some rearrangement, what appeared in the Soviet News Bulletin' published by the Press office of the Soviet Embassy in Canberra? Does the Minister not agree that it is highly undesirable that communist propaganda or any totalitarian propaganda be published in Australia without the public knowing who was responsible for authorising it? Does he not agree that this proposal is the very antithesis of political censorship? Does he not agree that this Government would take precipitate action if it were suspected that political propaganda was inserted in Australian newspapers without acknowledgment by Rhodesian or South African authorities?

Senator MURPHY -There may well be reason for requiring that the source of any kind of propaganda, as it is called, by or on behalf of any foreign power in Australia be identified, irrespective of the questions which the honourable senator raises about the Soviet Union. Advertisements or material emanating from Rhodesia are of another character. The Australian Government's opposition to that is founded upon the resolutions of the United Nations which, in substance, called upon member nations to take the action which the Australian Government is endeavouring to take; that is, to prevent the illegal and rebellious Government of Rhodesia from having influence in or propagandising in, Australia.

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