Release of Hope Royal Commission records

Media release: Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The National Archives of Australia will release the reports and selected records of the Hope Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security:

Date: Tuesday 27 May
Time: 10.30am
Place: Menzies Room, National Archives, Queen Victoria Terrace, Canberra

From 1974 to 1977 the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security, headed by Justice Robert Marsden Hope, investigated the Australian intelligence agencies. While some reports were published at the time, others have been securely stored for 30 years.

Now, 30 years after the conclusion of the Royal Commission, the National Archives of Australia is releasing much of the material from the reports and more than 1000 records created or received by the Commission. Further material will be released over the next year.

At the time of the Royal Commission, most Australians were only aware of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), set up in 1949. But Justice Hope also investigated the Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO), the Defence Signals Division (DSD) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) whose existence was not officially confirmed until 1977. Today the Australian security and intelligence community very much reflects Hope's vision.

At the briefing Dr Jim Stokes from the National Archives will provide background to the Royal Commission while special guest George Brownbill, who worked closely with Justice Hope as Secretary to the Royal Commission, will give an insider's view. The current Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Paul O'Sullivan, will also be speaking.

Contact information

Journalists MUST REGISTER for the event as seating is limited. Please reserve your place at the briefing by phoning Elizabeth Masters on (02) 6212 3957 or by email elizabeth.masters@naa.gov.au by 20 May 2008.

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