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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 875

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask a question of the Attorney-General. Is it a fact that prior to the report to the Senate on Croatian Terrorism 18 months ago there was a considerable amount of violence, bombings, bashings and other undesirable behaviour by a small minority of persons influenced by or members of the Ustasha and tolerated by the previous Government? Is the Minister able to inform the Senate whether there has been a cessation of such activities during the period of the Labor Government? Can he say whether he has any reports from the Commonwealth Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation as to the reasons for the fall-off in violence in the Croatian community and whether it is the Government's firm handling of these problems that has produced a more healthy attitude in this community?

Senator MURPHY - There is no doubt that there was a good deal of violence under the previous administration. I think everyone regrets the fact that there were bombings in the capital cities of Australia and that some people were injured and will suffer for the rest of their lives from these outrages. Although the previous administration professed to be concerned with law and order and spoke a great deal about it, there was a breakdown in actual law and order during its term of office. Since that time I think that it is obvious to everyone that there has been a very great improvement in the position. We are not being subjected to this kind of outrage arising from the quarter mentioned by the honourable senator. Indeed, I noticed that some twisted person suggested that the Australian Labor Party must have been behind it all because it was able so successfully to quell the disturbances and outrages which were occurring. I think that one of the reasons for the reduction in this kind of disorder and violence was the firm indication given by the Labor Government that it would not tolerate this kind of behaviour in our country and the fact that the police forces have been diligent in carrying out their duties. I hope that we will continue as we are at the present time and that we will not be subjected to any repetition of what went on under the previous Government.

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