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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 2443

Senator CARRICK (NEW SOUTH WALES) -I refer to the AttorneyGeneral to 5 questions, Nos 196,197, 199, 201 and 204, which have been standing in my name on the Senate notice paper since 10 April this year. I ask the Minister: For what reasons have the answers been delayed for 8 months? Since the questions all relate to the Croatian issue and to the raid on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, since all facts necessary for detailed answers are fully available to the Minister, and since all such information is important both for public knowledge and for the Senate Select Committee on Civil Rights of Migrant Australians, will the Minister make available full and factual answers?

Senator MURPHY - It is strange that the honourable senator should raise this matter now. Firstly, he made up his mind, without getting the facts which he apparently now wants, and voted for a proposal in the Senate. Then he voted, along with others, to set up an inquiry to find out the facts. Now he asks -

Senator Greenwood - I rise on a point of order. The Minister was asked a question. He is not replying, he is seeking to debate the matter. It is disparaging to impute motives to the honourable senator who asks a question and to avoid answering a question. These matters fall within the prohibitions which you, Mr President, earlier laid down this year.

Senator Murphy - I wish to speak to the point of order. Senator Carrick, I understand, asked me why. I am answering why, and I am answering in my own way. May I proceed?


Senator MURPHY -After all that, there is an inquiry proceeding. I informed the Senate earlier that I would give some consideration as to whether I should answer questions which are on the notice paper, in the light of those events and in the light of the fact that an inquiry is proceeding. I have answered some, I have not answered others. I have taken into consideration that various events, and that is why those answers have not been given. I will have another look at the matters to see whether some further answer might be given to these questions at this stage.

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