Title STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENCE
Database Senate Hansard
Date 19-09-1972
Source Senate
Parl No. 27
Electorate NEW SOUTH WALES
Interjector SIM, John
GREENWOOD, Ivor
LITTLE, John
WITHERS, Reg
O'BYRNE, Justin
MURPHY, Lionel
HANNAN, George
JESSOP, Donald
DEVITT, Donald
GAIR, Vincent
Page 967
Party ALP
Presenter
Status Final
Speaker MCCLELLAND, Jim
System Id hansard80/hansards80/1972-09-19/0084


STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENCE


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I readily accept Senator Sim's assurance that if this matter were referred to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, of which he is chairman, he would do all in his power to ensure that the matter was con sidered impartially and dispassionately. For that reason, among others that I shall advance, I do not share the inhibitions and fears which the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) has expressed about the appropriateness of referring a matter like this to a Senate committee. May 1 say at the outset that when bombs explode in the main street of the city where I live I do not regard it as a matter from which I or the Party to which I belong should seek to derive any cheap political advantage. I do not believe that the citizens of Sydney care very much whether these bombs were set off by members of the Ustasha or by members of a Ustasha-like organisation, to use a phrase which has become dear to the Attorney-General, or whether in fact they were set off by unattached . individual murderers or fanatics. I do not think this matters much in the context of a society where we have become conditioned to think that that is not the sort of thing that happens in our political life.. I believe that what concerns the people of Sydney and the people of Australia-


Senator Sim - And the people of Perth, too.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - And the people of Perth, certainly. I include every corner of Australia in these considerations. I think what concerns Australians, and I speak only of the people of Sydney because they have been on the receiving end of the most recent example of these outrages, is to ask whether there is an organisation of terrorists in our midst. Secondly, are the Commonwealth police and our security organisations, on which a great deal of public money is spent, really doing what we expect of them to secure us against this sort of thing? Finally, is the Australian Government as . wholeheartedly concerned with suppressing right wing terrorism as it is with the mildest form of left wing dissent? Let us examine these questions in sequence. First let us consider the Government's attitude towards this whole problem.

Senator Murphyread a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs which, having given this point its expert attention a few years ago - I think in 1969 - came up with the considered opinion that there was no doubt that these continuing outrages were the work of Croatian extremists. Senator Greenwood today, in attempting to rebut the suggestion from this side of the chamber, said that he was not convinced that these bombing outrages were the work of Croatian extremists, referred to his record and quoted at length from an official handout that he gave a couple of months ago. We must realise, of course, that he is reported, even in this morning's Sydney Morning Herald' - I take this in the light of what he said to us about his record, of which he was somewhat proud- as stating that he does not deny that Saturday's bombings were undoubtedly the work of Croatian extremists. He does not deny that report in this morning's Sydney Morning Herald'.


Senator Greenwood - Are you saying this is what I said?


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - This is what you are reported to have said.


Senator Greenwood - It is inaccurate. All the newspapers have got it, and you cannot do anything about it.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am glad to have the Attorney-General's assurance on this. It is in conflict with his record of which he boasted to the Senate today.


Senator Greenwood - All I say it that the Press reports attributing that to me are incorrect.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - All right. We will forget about that. Let me rely on the Attorney-General's assurance to the Senate this afternoon. In the hand-out of, I think, 21st July this year he acknowledged that the bombing outrages about which we on this side of the chamber are concerned were the work of Croatian extremists, or am I still wrong? Am I wrong in assuming that the Attorney-General has acknowledged that these bombings are the work of Croatian extremists?


Senator Greenwood - I have not any doubt that some of the bombing incidents are the work of Croatian extremists, but I am not saying that the ones last Saturday were.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Let us be clear about this. I do not want to score any cheap debating points tonight, and in order that there may be no red herrings drawn across the trail, let me say here and now that I abhor what is happening in the Painters and Dockers Union, and I acknowledge that even the trade union movement should do something about it.


Senator LITTLE (VICTORIA) - It is very hard to track down the culprits.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Of course it is. I disapprove of the violence that is practised by the builders labourers union on some occasions and I also disapprove of the Soviet Union's invasion of Czechoslovakia. I have been a long term critic of Stalin's purges. So let us not have any red herrings about this. I do not have any double standards about violence and I would like to state that right at the outset. Let us have a look at what the AttorneyGeneral said, leaving aside what happened on Saturday which he is not convinced to have been the work of Croatian terrorists. He is satisfied, he says today, that a lot of the outrages in the past have been the work of Croatian terrorists - I think 'Croatian extremists' is the phrase which he prefers. Why is he so coy in his use of phrases? We do not ask that he call them Ustasha, and I would remind honourable senators that in the motion that is before the Senate tonight there is no mention of the word 'Ustasha' or 'Ustashi'. The motion is couched in general terms and refers to terrorists. We do not insist that the Attorney-General should call them Ustasha. But why does he not admit that on all the evidence, on all the probabilities and on all the likelihoods that would have appealed to any man of any political sophistication at all, these outrages are clearly the work of extreme right wing Croatians dedicated to the partition of the Yugoslav state and are clearly motivated by anti- Yugoslav Government tendencies? The Attorney-General is not prepared to admit this, and we can see why.

As a matter of fact, we have to look only at a more recent statement of his than the hand-out to which he referred us today which, incidentally, is dated last July. We have to look only at something that he said last Thursday in answer to a Dorothy Dixer that he was asked by Senator Hannan. I ask honourable senators to ponder closely the words he spoke on that occasion because 1 am not suggesting - and I make this perfectly clear - that Senator Greenwood has anything but horror of bombing and the outrages that occurred the other day. I am not suggesting that he or others applaud that sort of thing. But let us have a look at the political attitude which blinds them to realities and which prevents them from ever getting off the ground in solving this problem. I quote what Senator Greenwood said in answer to a question last Thursday:

I have an accumulating body of evidence which is giving ms the gravest concern that much is happening behind the scenes and is not being revealed; that there are agents provocateurs; that there are persons who are trouble makers; and that there are other people who are identifying themselves with the Croatian community with a view to causing trouble within that community.

Let us have a look at that statement against the background of other statements made after the bombing outrages of last Saturday. I refer to the statements that were made by Mr Wentworth and Dr Mackay which are reported in this morning's 'Australian*. The burden of these statements, without quoting them at length, is that there is more than a suspicion that these outrages are really to be attributed to the communists.


Senator Withers - Hear, hear!


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Did I hear an interjection from Senator Withers? I trust that in the course of this debate we will be favoured with the considered views of Senator Withers on this subject instead of the usual asinine sniping that we get from him when anything serious is being discussed. Will we get something thoughtful from him or will he just go on like this, as he always does?


Senator Withers - The trouble is that you blokes talk for too long.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Mr Acting Deputy President,could I be protected against this puerile type of interjection that we get all the time from the other side of the chamber? In any event, I am suggesting that if we look at the comments of Mr Wentworth and Dr Mackay and at this comment by Senator Greenwood last Thursday, what we are getting is the absurd proposition that President Tito employs agents to blow up the premises of his own

Government here in Australia in order to discredit an organisation, the Ustasha, which these people say does not exist.


Senator Little - That has been done before.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - 1 suggest that we hear some fantastic propositions in this place, and I have no doubt that we will continue to do so. But that is surely as absurd a proposition as we would get even from Senator Little. I have no doubt that if he contributes to this debate we will get similar egregious suggestions from him. In order to test this proposition that the Yugoslav Government employs agents to blow up its own buildings, for example, for a purpose which escapes me but which is clear to the genius behind me and no doubt to Senator. Withers, let us have a brief look at the list of outrages of which Saturday's incidents were the most recent example. This is a point that was made by Senator McManus, and may I say in passing that I considered that Senator McManus made one of the. more sensible contributions to this debate. Although I do not agree with his conclusions, I thought he gave a temperate and thoughtful speech on this matter.

But I should like to take issue with Senator McManus on this one point. I think - I may be wrong - he made the point that some of these outrages had been against Croats themselves, and the conclusion that was sought to be drawn from that was that this does cast suspicion on the idea that the source of the outrages was the Croatian extremists because they. could not be expected to make attacks on their own people. But this is not a logical proposition at all. After all, President Tito is himself a Croat and I have conceded, as do all of us on this side of the chamber, that not all Croats are Ustasha or are extremists. In fact, we very well acknowledge that only a small proportion of Croats are extremists, terrorists and murderers. So the fact that some of these outrages were committed against Croats in no way disposes of the general proposition that we are advancing that these acts are to be laid at the door of Croatian extremists.

Let us have a look at the list. It is as follows: On 1st January 1967 the office of the Yugoslav Consul-General in the

Sydney harbourside suburb of Double Bay was bombed. On 24th April 1967 a petrol bomb was thrown into the home of the then Australian Labor Party candidate for St Kilda.. Mr Brian Zouch. On 9th June 1969 there was a bomb explosion at the Yugoslav Consulate in Double Bay, Sydney. On 30th November 1969 a gelignite bomb blew out all the windows of the Yugoslav Embassy in Canberra. On 23rd November 1971 a bomb caused slight damage to the Adriatic Trade and Tourist Centre - the same one as was bombed on Saturday.


Senator Greenwood - On Saturday it was the next door premises.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - In any event. I think it is common ground that both of the premises are the property and agencies of the Yugoslav Government. On I Hh January 1972 the base of a statue of a Serbian war time resistance leader was badly damaged by gelignite in Canberra. We have had some Balkan history lessons tonight. Some of them have been accurate and others have been less than accurate. I make the point that it is surely common knowledge from the contributions that we have listened to that General Mihailovic, whose statue was involved, was a leader of the Serbian Chetniks who would naturally draw the ire of Croatian extremists. On 6th April 1972 a bomb destroyed the flat of Mr Marion Jurjevic.

I submit that the mere recital of this list of outrages makes it clear beyond reasonable doubt - I am not suggesting that it establishes a case which could be brought in the courts - on the part of those who are concerned with reasonable political probability that in these bombings is a pattern of anti- Yugoslav Government and anti-Serbian-Croatian separatism, lt is a reasonable assumption for any sophisticated political man - I hope that honourable senators on the other side are included in that definition - to conclude that these are the actions of people who are prepared to take terroristic means to enforce their notion of the idea of a separate Croatia, that is, a Croatia separated from the Yugoslavia of which they disapprove.

We submit that there is in this list abundant proof of the existence of a con.tinuing murderous right wing conspiracy. It is living in political cloud cuckoo land to suggest otherwise. So the answer to the first question that I suggest is agitating the citizens of Australia is that there is in existence, no matter what the reluctant Attorney-General may believe, a right wing Croatian terrorist organisation - call it what you will, because we do not insist on calling it the Ustasha - and that it is responsible for this continuing spate of bombings. ;

As a diversion, but because it has become relevant in the light of the little historical disquisitions that we have had tonight, I did a bit of research, with the assistance of the Research Section of the Parliamentary Library, into the history of the Ustasha and particularly into the history of this man, Ante Pavelic. I will freely concede that nobody on the other side went to bat for Mr Pavelic. He was referred to as a dictator. He was referred to in tones of disapproval. But the appropriate tone in which to refer to Mr Pavelic is one of horror and absolute contempt. Senator Hannan referred to a couple of his pet hates - Stalin and Cromwell. Well. I agree on Stalin who, frankly, is not a man for whom I would make any excuse for the crimes that he committed against his own people.


Senator O'Byrne - He helped to beat Hitler.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - He did, but I believe that the also committed great' crimes against his own people. Cromwell, I also agree, was a monster. He confined his crimes mostly against the Irish. But Pavelic is right up there in the league of monsters with Genghis Khan, Hitler and all the worst that our species has produced.

To set the record straight I wish to remind honourable senators of a little history of the Ustasha. Even though I agree that we have no hard evidence that the people who are committing these crimes in Sydney could be proved in a court of law to belong to the Ustasha, I think this is a verbal quibble. They are the spiritual heirs of Ante Pavelic and they behave like Nazis and like the Ustasha. If honourable senators will bear with me, I will give them a little history of the Ustasha and of Ante Pavelic. The Ustasha was organised soon after the proclamation of. the Royal Yugoslav dictatorship in .1929 and it operated from bases in Italy and Hungary and committed a number of atrocities in the name of Croatian independence. The Ustasha was led almost from the outset by Ante Pavelic and its members were passionately anti-Serb and anti-semitic. Its aim was to dismember Yugoslavia and fo transform Croatia into a centralised corporate state based on the principles of fascism. The activities of the Ustasha were brought to the attention of a meeting of the League of Nations of 7th December 1934. It is curious to reflect that Australia was represented at that gathering by no less a revolutionary figure than the late Stanley Melbourne Bruce. The main issue at this meeting was the recent assassination of King Alexander, which the Yugoslav Government alleged was committed by Ustasha terrorists. Most people ever since have accepted the idea that the Ustasha was responsible for that death. Yugoslavia alleged that the terrorists were receiving protection from the Hungarian authorities. In its statement to the League Council the Yugoslav Government said:

The camp in Hungary, a school for terrorists, a real criminal depot and the starting point of their action against Yugoslavia, could not exist in any organised country, and especially in a country whose police bear' so high a reputation, without the consent and assistance of the authorities.

In other documents submitted to the League of Nations the Yugoslav Government referred to Dr Pavelic as 'the supreme head of the Ustasha'. It was stated that a pact of mutual assistance was concluded in 1929 between Pavelic and other chieftains in Yugoslavia. When Yugoslavia was occupied by the Axis Forces in April 1941, two quisling governments were established, one in Croatia and one in Serbia. By far the most important was the Ustasha state of Croatia. It was proclaimed on 10th April, with German guidance and assistance, by Slavko Kvaternik, a former Colonel of the AustroHungarian Army and an important Ustasha leader. According to the Ustasha ideology, the independent state of Croatia was to be a one nation state and Serbian people in its territory, which numbered about 2 million and comprised of about one third of the population, were to be eliminated partly by conversion to Roman Catholicism, partly by explusion, and partly by what turned out to be the preferred method, extermination. The Ustasha regime went about the realisation of this aim with systematic and ruthless determination. The Jews of Croatia were also a target of the regime's brutality. The estimated number of persons exterminated by the regime varies between half a million and more than 1 million. One of the most authoritive accounts by J. Tomasevich in Yugoslavia during the Second World War', published by the University of California in 1969, claims that about 350,000 Serbs alone were indiscriminately slaughtered by the Ustasha. This account states that it also slaughtered many thousands of anti-Ustasha Croats, Jews, and Gypsies. This is relevant on the point I mentioned earler that the fact that Croats had been the victims of some of these outrages does not absolve the Ustasha or some similar organisation. During 1941 and 1942 it pursued a policy of forced conversion, through which between 200,000 and 300,000 members of Serbian Orthodox Church were converted tq Roman Catholicism.

Now, these were npt just ordinary monsters. These people did not belong in the minor league because no less a person than the German diplomat Von Hassell - a German diplomat of World War II - recorded in his diary that the Nazi military commander in Croatia 'called Marshal Kvaternik to account in the sharpest manner for the incredible cruelties practised by the Croats against the 1,800,000 Serbs', and even submitted a report oh the subject. He told Kvaternik that in late years he had lived through a great many, thing of this kind but nothing could compare with the misdeeds of the Croats. At the . end of the war the Allies, acknowledging that this had been a monstrous regime, returned to Yugoslavia most of the members of the Ustasha Government of Croatia and some of them, like Kvaternik were tried in Yugoslavia and sentenced to death. The infamous Pavelich, the man who has been referred to with disapproval but, I suggest, not with sufficient horror by the members of the Government, escaped to Argentina, reportedly with the assistance of the Nazi escape organisation ODESSA.


Senator Murphy - Not even the Opposition has expressed sufficient horror at the actions of that man.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I think not. 1 think it is well that it should be on record because, as I say, these are the spiritual forbears of the worst of the Croatian extremists.


Senator Hannan - After the honourable senator referred to the colonel being executed 1 think he should have referred to the massacre at Bleiberg


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES)

Nothing that I am saying about the horrors perpetrated by Pavelich is to be taken as condonation or approval of or a soft attitude to any of the other monstrosities that were committed during the War. I said quite clearly at the start of my statement tonight that I do not approve of what has happened in the Painters and Dockers Union, that I did not approve of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and that I did not approve of the Stalin purges. I do not want anything I am saying to be interpreted as selective indignation. I am opposed to horrors, pogroms, slaughters and bomb outrages no matter where they occur.


Senator Murphy - Violence of all sorts.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Violence of all sorts. In any event, to complete the monstrous story of Pavelich, he returned finally to Europe and died in Spain in 1959. I apologise for that lengthy digression, but. in the light of, the fact-


Senator Little - That certainly proves he could not have done the bombing in Sydney the other day because he is not here.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not suggesting that the ghost of Dr Pavelich planted bombs in George Street, Sydney. I had hoped the honourable senator would stick with me for long enough to know that that was not the burden of my remarks. The next point I wish to come to-


Senator Hannan - Before you leave that point. I would like to know who was the author of that? Who is your authority?


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I said earlier that this information was extracted for me by the research service of the Parliamentary Library.


Senator Hannan - There is no single author for it?


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - No, there is not. I do not know whether Senator Little is questioning my veracity by his constant interjections.

Senator Little- No. 1 am just saying that it is just as logical to suggest that every Russian is responsible for Stalin's crimes and every German for Hitler's crimes as it is to suggest that every Croat is responsible for Pavelich 's crimes. (Honourable senators interjecting)


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Mr

Acting Deputy President, in the interests of enabling me to continue my remarks, I suggest that something should be done to keep order.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Wood) - Order! Honourable senators should stop arguing among themselves and allow Senator James McClelland to continue his speech.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The second question that I suggest would be bothering- the citizenry of Sydney and Australia generally is: Are the Commonwealth Police and ASIO - the security organisations of this country - doing their job properly? I suggest that we are entitled to have some doubts on this point when we are reminded as recently as today by the AttorneyGeneral that the documents seized by the police, including the Commonwealth Police, in raids on Croatian residences several weeks ago as yet remain untranslated. Does that indicate any sense Qf urgency about the existence of these terrorists in our midst? We are accustomed to hearing from the Attorney-General as an alibi for the lack of urgent legislation in this Parliament the claim that we do not have enough Parliamentary counsel. But are we to be given the same alibi in this matter? Are there not enough people in this country who understand the Yugoslav language to be pressed into service to translate these documents? Is that seriously put or is the real explanation of the failure to follow up police investigations the fact that the Attorney-General and the Government are not greatly concerned about this problem? I am not suggesting that they are not concerned now. After *all, when bombs go off in George Street, Sydney, this matter is dragged right into the centre of the political arena. I am sure the AttorneyGeneral is concerned now. I am sure Mr McMahon is concerned. But until the matter had been dragged right into the centre of the political arena these people could not find enough translators to translate documents that were seized in police searches.

I have been told, and I have no occasion to doubt it, that ASIO has penetrated deeply into the Communist Party of this country - in fact, that it has agents in the highest organs of the Communist Party. I do not find that at all extraordinary. I do not ask the Attorney-General to confirm or deny this, but does any member of the Senate regard it as an unbelievable proposition? Why do we not have similar enterprise in relation to right wing organisations. Is it beyond the wit of our security organisations to find people among tho Yugoslav community whom they could plant in the various Croatian liberation movements? Is that impermissable conduct in relation to right wing organisations but permissable conduct in relation to left wing organisations? I suggest that this is another illustration of the bias and the selectivity of the Government that prevents it from being an efficient investigator of the situation.

It has been suggested that a Senate committee is not an appropriate body to conduct this task. We freely agree that it is not the most appropriate body.


Senator Jessop - Then why put the proposal up?


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -

Because we believe that we cannot trust this Government and, on their record, we cannot trust the Commonwealth Police or ASIO to do the job. Sixteen bombings have occurred and all we have witnessed is a constant throwing up of hands and a disclaimer of any possibility of their solution. Do we not, as people who are concerned with the safety of the streets of our city and of our fellow countrymen, have to look around for an alternative means of solving this problem? The Government says that we should leave it to those people who have not been able to come up with anything for 8 or 10 years and that a Senate committee is not an appropriate body to conduct an investigation. We acknowledge that it is not the most appropriate body to do it. But we have to do something. We have also said that if the Government agrees to a more appropriate body conducting it we will forget about this proposition. If the

Government were to do as the Prime Minister has suggested, but with which the Attorney-General does not agree-


Senator Jessop - How does the honourable senator know?


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The

Attorney-General has not agreed, has he?


Senator Jessop - You have not asked him.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - We have asked him. I put it right on the line to Senator Jessop. Does the honourable senator agree with the holding of a royal commission?


Senator Jessop - I believe that that would be a better way of doing it.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - But does the honourable senator agree with that proposition. If he does we will wipe this one.


Senator Jessop - We will see what the evidence is.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I suggest that if Senator Jessop is as vague about his intentions as that he should cease interjecting. We say that the security organisations and the police forces of this country are the most appropriate bodies to investigate this matter. But we say that if they are not being sufficiently driven by the Government to do their job properly - they have had 8 years and they have come up with nothing - we have to look to the alternatives. We say that the second best alternative is a Senate committee. The best alternative is a royal commission. But if we cannot receive an assurance from the Government that it will have a royal commission we will have to settle for a Senate standing committee.

Other shortcomings have been suggested about a Senate committee hearing. The Attorney-General said that at a Senate committee nearing people can be defamed and people's names can be ruined with no chance of reply. I suggest that the AttorneyGeneral and, of course, Senator Jessop who is much more experienced in these matters, know that a Senate standing committee has the right and the power to take evidence in camera. If names were being bandied about, presumably such evidence could be taken in camera. I suggest that this committee might also have a precious advantage which would overcome a matter which the Government claims has been bedevilling its efforts to solve these problems up to now. What have we heard from speaker after speaker? We have heard that crimes in the community generally remain unsolved because people will not come forward and volunteer information. When a terrorist organisation is operating in this community people who have information would be understandably reluctant to come forward with that information, especially newcomers who might not sufficiently appreciate the degree of protection to which they are entitled from the law enforcement agencies of this country. It is just possible that if they had assurances of protection from the sovereign body of this country, the Parliament of Australia, we could cut the Gordian knot. People who would not be prepared to volunteer information to the police force would come forward to one of our committees.


Senator Devitt - That happened in relation to the Senate Select Committee on Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - As

Senator Devittsays, information has been volunteered to committees. This is one of the great merits of the committee system. Our committees, such as the Senate Select Committee on Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse and the Senate Select Committee on Securities and Exchange have unearthed information which, I suggest with respect, would not have been forthcoming to any other agency in this country. Is it not just possible that if we cannot have a Royal Commission - which I agree would be preferable - the next best thing is to have a standing committee of this Senate investigate this matter? As I say, people might come forward who have not been prepared to come forward up to now.

This brings me to the last point which I wish to raise. I suggest that this point is agitating the minds of citizens of this country. It is: What is the attitude of this Government to uncovering this plot, to solving this problem? I suggest that we on this side of the chamber have amply demonstrated that beyond peradventure, beyond all reasonable doubt, these bombings are the work of an extremist, right wing Croatian terrorist organisation - call it what you like. But this Government and its law enforcement agencies which had no difficulty in throwing a few Aborigines off the lawns - a problem which is well out of its reach - finds itself completely balked by the problem of solving this much more important matter which involves threats to the lives and property of Australians and of people who have taken refuge in this country, people who have come to this country believing that it will be safe, and the representatives in this country of a sovereign state. Are not the people of Australia entitled to ask how sincere and determined is this Government in its efforts to crush these terrorists? 1 have quoted the Minister for Social Services (Mr Wentworth), the Minister for the Navy (Dr Mackay) and the Attorney-General. I think I have demonstrated beyond contradiction that this. Government is not convinced of what its. Department of Foreign Affairs and every newspaper in the country is abundantly convinced of, that is, that these outrages are the work of a right wing organised Croatian movement.


Senator Gair - What: would the newspapers know about it?


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honourable senator asks ' what the newspapers would know about it. This is an example of selectivity. "How does the honourable senator know anything about what is happening in the Painters and Dockers Union except what he has read in the newspapers? Why does he believe those stories but refuse to believe these stories?


Senator Gair - I know some of the members.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not denying what happens there. I am asking the honourable, senator why he chooses to believe one report but not the other. But out of habit, out of a reflex action, this Government either directly or by implication blames the communists for everything. That is why we do not trust the Attorney-General or this Government to take action on any report, if they get one from their foot dragging police Or the security ' organisation.


Senator Gair - The honourable senator is denigrating the police now.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - No, I am hot. I suggest that the police are only as determined-


Senator Gair - 'Foot dragging' is a nice term. It is like 'shyster solicitor'.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - All right. Let me give the senator an example of the way in which the police can be influenced by a government. The year before last there were some demonstrations in connection with the moratorium. I know that honourable senators opposite regard them as the work of the devil but, nonetheless, there were separate moratorium demonstrations in several cities. One was held in Melbourne where there was no sooling on by the Government. It was entirely peaceful. One was held in Sydney on the eve of a State election in which Mr Askin, the Premier of New South Wales, sooled on the police. This was evidenced by the fact that the police put the boot into the demonstrators without any provocation whatsoever. This is a matter of record. I have witnessed this myself. I suggest that the attitude of the police force can be, and as a matter of practice is, influenced by the riding instructions it gets and by the attitude of the government which is ultimately responsible for police action. I have been accused of being over denigratory of the Attorney-General in the past. I say to him quite sincerely that not for one moment am I suggesting that he approves of the bombings. He is probably very disturbed about them.


Senator Jessop - Of course he is.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I agree with that. I do not put it as high as suggesting that he applauds this sort of thing, nor do I suggest that the Government does. But what I suggest in all seriousness is that the political blinkers which this Government wears blind it to the political realities and disqualify it from the job of solving this urgent and horrible problem. For that reason I commend this motion to the Senate.

Motion (by Senator Greenwood) proposed:

That the question be now put.


Senator Murphy - The Senate has not even heard the reply.







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