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Tuesday, 13 August 1974
Page: 788

The PRESIDENT - Leave is sought by Senator Greenwood to make a personal explanation. Is leave granted? There being no dissent, leave is granted.

Senator GREENWOOD - I thank the Senate, Mr President. In the Melbourne publication of Truth 'dated 10 August 1974 a front page article appeared which publicised 2 purported requests allegedly made by me, when I was AttorneyGeneral in 1972, to the Director-General of Security. The article contained reproduced photocopies of the purported requests. There was also a reproduction of a photocopy reply purporting to come to me from the DirectorGeneral of Security. The purported requests to the Director-General of Security are made on a document which bears what appears to be my signature. These documents, which I categorise as forgeries, are particularly clumsy fabrications. I say specifically that I did not sign the documents to which my signature appears to be appended at the foot. I made no such request nor did I receive information of the character alleged.

The publication of the documents and the stories accompanying them by a very small section of the Australian Press is contemptible. I was not asked prior to publication as to the authenticity or otherwise of the documents. It is a serious matter when the copy of a signature of a Minister of the Crown, present or past, is appended to documents so that the result is a fake document. There is incalculable opportunity for mischief and immense injury to individuals and to the nation. I regret that action could not have been taken forthwith by the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) to declare, as he has today, that the material was not authentic. I welcome the fact that he has now done so. Having regard to the circumstances in which the documents were purportedly received, I imagine that the investigations which can be made are not likely to be productive. I hope, nevertheless, that investigations will be made.

Senator Wright - On that subject matter may I be permitted to ask -

The PRESIDENT - Leave is sought for Senator Wright to make a personal explanation.

Senator Wright - No. I wish to ask a question on that subject.

The PRESIDENT -Is leave granted? There being no dissent, leave is granted.

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