House of Representatives
16 December 1941

16th Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. Speaker (Hon. W. M. Nairn) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

page 1068



WarWith Japan, Finland, Hungary andrumania.

Prime Minister · Fremantle · ALP

– I lay upon the table of the House -

Documents relating to United States of America-Japanese Conversations, NovemberDecember, 1941.

Declaration of existence of state of war with Finland. Hungary, Rumania and Japan, 8th December, 1941 - Documents relating to procedure of His Majesty’s Government in the Commonwealth of Australia, and move -

That this House approves of the action of His Majesty’s Government in the Commonwealth in having advised the issue of proclamations declaring the existence of a state of war with Japan, Finland, Hungary and Rumania. Further, this House hereby pledges itself to take every step deemed necessary to defend this Commonwealth and its territories, to carryon hostilities in association with our allies, and to achieve final victory over our enemies.

When I last met honorable members of this House I indicated that, should the position in the Pacific deteriorate, the Parliament would again be called together. The White Papers that I have just tabled show the great efforts which were made by the United States of America, through its distinguished President, to maintain peace in the Pacific.

Honorable members will recall the statement made at the termination of the last sessional period by the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt), in which that honorable gentleman dealt with Australia’s contribution towards meeting such problems as might bo likely to cause war in the Pacific. After the Parliament had adjourned, the Minister for External Affairs, other members of the Government, and I continued to do all that could be done in this country to arrest what appeared to bo a catastrophic drift. Later to-day, the Minister for External Affairs will deal i:n ure fully with that aspect of the matter. Suffice it to say now that, before the completion of the negotiations that were being conducted with the Japanese Empire by Hie United States of America, Japan struck - as I said elsewhere on another occasion - like an assassin in the night, against the United States of America and Great Britain. In so doing, the Japanese Empire struck at civilization. In that generic, if not quite properly understood, term, we include the Commonwealth of Australia. Therefore, the attacks made against Singapore and .Pearl Harbour, against Great Britain and the United States of America, are attacks which the Commonwealth of Australia accepts as constituting a direct attack upon itself.

Because of the view that we held of the state of affairs then existing, 1. had directed Ministers to adopt every precaution. They were to be continuously in attendance, and they were; and at the meeting of the full Cabinet held yesterday week the formal decisions in respect of a declaration of war against Finland, Hungary and Rumania were made. We did not, at that stage, make a formal declaration of war against Japan.. The delay in doing so was not due to lack of decision, but was the result of our appraisement of the chronological appropriateness of such action. By arrangement with the British Government, we acted immediately that Government considered the time appropriate to do so. In this matter, and for quite a long while, the Commonwealth of Australia has acted in conjunction with other governments; because it has been clear to us, and we shall make it clear to our enemies, that the conjunction of Allied forces, and the maximum of collaboration of which they are capable, not only are to be invoked, but indeed are to be made a rule of conduct, in the common prosecution of what inevitably is a common cause. Therefore, on the Tuesday, the Cabinet advised in the proper place what should be done, and the proclamation was issued, dating from the previous day, that this country was in a. state of war with the Japanese Empire. 2?ot only is this a development of over-riding significance in the history of our country, but it also creates a condition the consequence of which will affect the future life of this Commonwealth for hundreds of years to come. Against our will, without any seeking on our part, and despite all of our efforts to remain on terms of amity and peace with Japan, that Empire has made wanton war on us. As a result, the whole of the resources of this country, no matter what they may be or to whom they may belong, are threatened; therefore, as a matter of sheer necessity, they must be made available by the people of the Commonwealth for the waging of the war.

I shall not detail the steps which the Government has taken in the interim. A proclamation was issued calling up men for military service in accordance with the provisions of the Defence Act. It is a part of the law of this land that when such a proclamation is issued, should Parliament not then be sitting, it shall be summoned to meet within, ten days thereafter. That procedure the Government has followed, with the result that the Parliament is now asked to endorse the advice which led to the issue of the proclamation by the Governor-General of Australia on behalf of His Majesty the King. “We have to face the problem, gigantic as it may be, for a population of our numbers. We must be prepared to put into the war effort, everything that we have, and to act with a determination to leave nothing undone which, if done, would contribute to the earlier overthrow of the enemy. I shall attempt a short, general statement of the position as I see. i*:, leaving it to Ministers to deal with such consequential details as affect their departments. The general objective is made up of a great number of lesser objectives, each of which constitutes a problem in itself, and calls for direct executive competence and speedy action.

The organization, of a non-military people for the purposes of complete war must necessarily effect a revolution in the lives of the people. A transformation so great as that which,the Government regards as imperative is inevitably beset with many difficulties, and must create many problems. It may even be marked by some degree of confusion. There may be dislocation and disturbance which normally would be the occasion of considerable criticism and much fretfulness. People do not like their routine to be upset, but the enemy has already upset the routine of the nation. Whatever be the inconveniences or losses which the citizens of Australia may have to experience as the result of the complete conversion of the nation from, the pursuits of peace to those of war they will be as nothing compared with what is at stake. I know that in calling upon the people of Australia to act concertedly, in inviting them to give whatever they can to the service of the central administration,we may rely upon an effective response, because the people will acknowledge that such order and promptness as are necessary to deal with the emergency can be best achieved by obeying the directions of the authorities, rather than by wasting time in fault-finding, criticizing and opposing. The Advisory War Council will be constantly engaged in ensuring for the administration that co-operation of political parties which will demonstrate to the enemy the essential unity of the nation.

Broadly, the Australian defence position, as this Government found it on coming to office, and with Japan not a belligerent, was as follows - I state the situation objectively, and in a way with which I am sure honorable members opposite will agree:-

With adequate seapower Australia could be defended against invasion, but with the large commitments imposed on the Royal Navy through the defection of France and the possibility that the French Navy might be used against us, some form of insurance against raids and invasion on a large scale had to be provided. Although the Air Force is a particularly valuable weapon in the defence of Australia against sea-borne invasion, a long time would have to elapse before we could build up an air force of the requisite strength, having regard to -

  1. our commitments under the Empire Air Training Scheme;
  2. the difficulty of obtaining supplies of aircraft from overseas and the fact that, should the Royal Navy experience some disaster, seaborne supplies would become most precarious ;
  3. the lengthy period that will be necessary for the expansion of the aircraft industry in Australia to the requisite degree.

Accordingly, in view of the development of our essential basic industries, the most effective step which could be taken in the shortest time was to increase the strength of the Army, and to provide as far as possible for self-sufficiency in the supply of munitions.

The extent of mobilization for home defence would depend upon any improvement in the Far Eastern position by the transfer of capital ships of the Royal Navy east of Suez, by any re-arrangement of naval dispositions with the United States of America, and, finally, by our political relations with Japan.

Japan, having decided on aggression, the Government has faced the facts in theonly realistic way in which it can discharge its obligations to the people of Australia and retain their confidence in these perilous times. For reasons of public security I cannot state more fully our dispositions, but in broad outline they are as follows : -

I shall deal first with naval defence. With the reverses which the American and British Navies have suffered, the deterrent to an attempt at invasion of our shores is not so great as it was. Nevertheless, the sea-power of Britain and the United States of America, visavis the Axis, is still superior, but we have to keep the trade routes of the world open, and this makes greater demands on our naval resources. However, a seaborne operation against Australia and the maintenance of lines of communication could be made extremely hazardous, notwithstanding that ships may not at present be disposed in the best strategical positions to prevent it. British and American sea-power is growing, and the position will constantly improve. Insofar as Australia is concerned, we cannot, except for lesser craft, make any contributionto an improvement of our naval defence.

In regard to land defence, we have authorized a large-scale mobilization of the army. It is telling nothing to the enemy to say that our peace organization consists of five infantry and two cavalry divisions. With the number of Australian Imperial Force troops in Australia, the increase of ancillary units and the Volunteer Defence Corps, our potential field army organization has been greatly expanded beyond the peace organization.

We have commitments to the Australian Imperial Force overseas, and the present position in regard to reinforcements in the Middle East and Malaya is quite satisfactory.

The Government recognizes no limit to the expansion of the Air Force except our capacity to train men and provide machines for them to fly. We have certain squadrons on service overseas, and are at present in consultation with the Government of the United Kingdom on the strategical disposition of the Empire’s Air Forces. We are in touch with the Governments of the Netherlands East Indies and the United States of America on the same subject. Australia has commitments under the Empire Air Scheme which we hope to be able to continue, but the position will be kept constantly under review. I shall refer later to the subject of aircraft.

In regard to equipment and munitions, a vast programme aiming at the highest possible degree of self-sufficiencyhas been in hand for some time. Last week, the War Cabinet directed the services to confer with the Munitions Department with a view to achieving an all-round speeding up. There are, of course, as in all programmes, some objectives which would take longer to achieve than others, and if these are not likely to be realized within a reasonable period, and make a contribution to the immediate needs of Australian defence, it is better not to disperse our resources on them for the time being.

A revision of programmes is. being prepared by all departments with a view to indicating the items to be accelerated, varied, added to, or deferred. Many decisions regarding acceleration and addition have already been taken. The Government has laid down the following general conditions to govern the programmes for material supplies : -

  1. They must be in agreement with the Government’s policy;
  2. They must make the greatest immediate contribution to Australian defence; (iii)Co-ordination must exist between the proposals of the Services, and they must be of a corresponding degree of priority;
  3. The expansion and improvement in organization should be actually realized as early as possible, by delivery from overseas or by local manufacture.

The Government believes that the situation relating to aircraft production requires bold and ruthless action to strengthen our air defence to the greatest degree possible. We have seen the paramount importance of air power in the Norwegian and Greek campaigns, in the Mediterranean, and recently by Japanese action against American and British capital ships. Our own bitter experiences have been offset by such actions as those against the Italian fleet at Taranto, and the Bismarck. The air force is an instrument of vital importance to the defence of Australia in the prevention of aggression by sea or air attack.

The Government has decided to rank the production of aircraft as a matter of the first degree of priority. If there be production resources which are being used for lesser needs, or which can be better employed, and they are required for aircraft production, any additional powers necessary to divert them will be taken. We intend to expand aircraft production to the maximum that the nation can attain. The administrative machinery for the direction of the aircraft industry to meet this vital situation is being reviewed by the Government.

In order to achieve defence requirements, the Government will act ruthlessly. Regarding man-power, there are, first, certain absolute requirements for the home defence forces including the defence of adjacent islands, the maximum number of men varying according to the degree of the threat of invasion, which is mainly dependent on. the deterrent effect of American and British naval strength in the’ Pacific Ocean and our own capacity to resist. Secondly, there are certain requirements for the maintenance of the Australian Imperial Force overseas, for the continuation of Australia’s part in the Empire Air Training Scheme, and for the provision of ground personnel for infiltrated Royal Australian Air Force squadrons under the latter scheme.

The governing considerations are - The demands of the Army and Air Force for home defence, and the capacity to convoy forces safely overseas. In addition to the absolute numbers required for the foregoing, there are also the classes in which these numbers are needed, insofar as they have a relation to the list of reserved occupations, and the requirements of munitions production, and other essential industries and services. The manpower position can be supplemented to the extent to which it is possible to employ women in the services for the relief of men, and to make good the shortage of men in industry,as well as meeting the need in industry for those classes of labour which can best be performed by women.

The requirements of the defence forces both in respect of numbers and categories are known quantities from their establishments. The requirements of industry for war production and essential civil requirements are not so readily assessable.

The logical essential to an exact understanding of the man-power position is the determination by the Department of War Organization of Industry of the man-power requirements for war production and essential civil requirements, having regard to the classified manpower demands of the services and the steps necessary for the diversion of manpower from non-essential to essential purposes.

The latter will be achieved by restriction of production and consumption, and by administrative measures through the agency of the Man-power Priorities Board in regard to the maintenance of a register of protected establishments, the classification of non-protected establishments into essential and non-essential industries, and the review of the list of reserved occupations to maintain protected and essential industries at the desired man-power level.

The increasing claims which the prosecution of the war is making on us call for a policy which will secure the greatest possible economy of our resources, in order that they may be devoted as fully as possible to the war effort and not dissipated on the fulfilment of unessential requirements. Our policy must be to limit civil consumption to the essential minimum.

Regarding the development of productive capacity, the Departments of Munitions and Aircraft Production have been directed to indicate -

  1. The objectives of productive capacity at which they are aiming in their programmes;
  2. the stage of the programme now reached ; and
  3. the measures recommended in respect of the following in order to complete the productive capacity in (1) as soon as possible : - Man-power, material, machinery and equipment.

Similar directions have been given in respect of production output to meet the target figures laid down by the services.

Except in cases where the remedial action is within the capacity of the Department of Munitions or the Department of Aircraft Production, the production executive will submit its recommendations for giving effect to the measures which it considers should bo undertaken, and will simultaneously indicate the economic aspects of any of the proposals it may recommend, together with any further proposals which should be considered by the War Cabinet in respect of them. Simultaneously with the report of the production executive, the Financial and Economic Committee is to submit a. report on the economic effects of the production executive’s recommendations, particularly in respect of the national income and the proportion that would be diverted to the war effort by the recommendations made.

The whole of the machinery of the higher direction of the war is being examinedso as to provide for that speed iness of decision, directness of action and expedition which are essential to a fully effective war effort. The Government acknowledges the loyal and devoted service that it has received from officers engaged on the war effort; but should any changes be indicated to be necessary, Cabinet will not hesitate to make them. As all honorable members will agree, the public good must override individual interests.

The steps which the Government has taken during the last ten days have greatly altered the budgetary position. As a consequence, the Treasurer (Mr. Chifley) will later introduce proposals which will so increase revenue that the enlarged expenditure already incurred and in prospect may be brought within manageable limits. The proposals relate to direct taxation, and will be explained by the Treasurer before the conclusion of this sitting. Three things, I think, transcend all others in importance. First, wo have to acknowledge that the most effective way in which to overcome the enemy is by joint action with our Allies and associated endeavour, using the resources of each in such a manner as to achieve the greatest and strongest possible effort. That, in my opinion, is indispensable not only to final victory, but most certainly to earlier victory. Therefore, our representatives abroad are being constantly informed of the views of the Australian Government. The Government intends that Staff consultations now proceeding at Singapore should, if the requisite mutual arrangements can be made, be developed to a higher plane so that there can be on the part of the countries engaged in the Pacific, a maximum degree of collaboration and of concert. In this respect, the recent visit of Mr. Duff Cooper has enabled the Commonwealth Government and, I think I may say, the leaders of the opposition parties, to know the extent to which it is practicable to have direct contact with the conduct of the war in the Pacific.

The next thing I have to say is that, whilst there are some things which Australia will need to get from our allies, because of our incapacity to provide them for ourselves, it is none the less true that the greatest measure of contribution to the strength of Australia to resist and to give the best that we can give to those who are with us in this struggle must come from our own efforts and by the maximum degree of self-reliance. Apart from the interest we have in the com mon struggle, we have also at stake the integrity of our own soil and the safety of our own people. The protection of the civil population has been under review. The State Premiers will assemble in Canberra on Friday to confer with Commonwealth Ministers, but, pending their arrival, Cabinet has directed the Minister for Home Security (Mr. Lazzarini) to delegate to each Premier, as his representative, a wide measure of responsibility and function. Last night the requisite financial provision was made so that a great part of the necessary work that has to be done can be immediately set going. In Australia, there is of course, the political difficulty of a number of Governments. I am confident that constitutional limitations, or what normally might be hindrances to the maximum use of the machinery of government in Australia as we know it, not only politically, but also administratively, which is tremendously important, will be set aside. What has to be done will be done as the result of common-sense agreement and readiness to make requisite decisions. The Governments of the States and the Government of the Commonwealth together share the task of transforming this nation from peace activity to war organization. Whatever services, including transport, equipment and the like, which have to do with the service of the people or the protection of the people, are controlled by the States, their machinery will be used to the very maximum. Preparations will be made so that it will f unction when the necessity arises. Nothing will be left undone merely because seven governments are associated with the problem. Basically, the conduct of the war, insofar as organization of men for the naval, military and air forces, and the production of equipment, which those fighting forces need, are concerned, is, at any rate, the major responsibility of the Commonwealth Government. The greatest number of men that we can spare for the actual fighting is the number that we should spare, and the greatest number of people, men and women, that can be used to provide for the equipment of the services, without which they will be handicapped, is the minimum number that we should setto. work producing. This community of Australia can produce food in abundance. This is a country where climatic conditions enable men and women to live without having to go hungry even if they do not work as hard as they do in other parts of the world. Our mode of life, our conditions, our seasons, all that go to make up the natural conditions of living contribute to make us better equipped for the purposes of war than are the peoples of many other countries. The number of men and women available for work and service in Australia may not be so great as the number in other countries, but the qualitative capacity of our population will compensate in large measure for the shortage of our numbers, if only the people are allocated the appropriate tasks. I, like each of you, have seen this country at work, engaged in pleasure, and experiencing adversity; I have seen it face good times and evil times, but I have never known a time in which the inherent quality of Australia has to be used so unstintedly as at this hour. I know not what the fortunes of Australia will be in the weeks, months and years that lie ahead, but I am confident that the political machinery and administrative services, the fighting forces and the labouring classes of this country to-day stand united in order that not one of us may, through any act of commission or omission, help those who seek to destroy the nation.

The third thing which I would impress upon honorable members is that in more than 150 years no enemy has set foot in this country. In the months ahead that tradition will remain with us. Never shall an enemy set foot upon the soil of this country without having at once arrayed against it the whole of the manhood of this nation in such strength and quality as to show our determination that this country shall remain for ever the home of the descendants of those people who came here in peace in order to establish in the South Seas an outpost of the British race. Our laws have proclaimed the principle of a White Australia. We did not intend that to be and it never was an affront to other races. Itwas devised for economic and sound humane reasons. It was not challenged for 40 years. We. intend to. maintain that principle, because we know it to be desirable.. If we were to depart from it we should do so only as the result of the free consent, not because the principle was sought to be overthrown by armed aggression.

page 1074


In the meantime, the Government of Japan declares that it is prepared to remove its troops now stationed in the southern part of French Indo-China to the northern part of the said territory, based upon the conclusion of the present arrangements which shall later be embodied in the final agreement.

The representatives of the Government of the United States and of the Government of Japan have been carrying on during the past several months informal and exploratory conversations for the purpose of arriving at a settlement, if possible, of questions relating to the entire Pacific area based upon the principles of peace, law and order, and fair dealing among nations. These principles include the principle of inviolability of territorial integrity and sovereignty of each and all nations; the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries; the principleof equality including equality of commercial opportunity and treatment; and the principle of reliance upon international co-operation and conciliation for prevention and pacific settlement of controversies and for improvement of international conditions by peaceful methods and processes.

It is believed that in our discussions some progress has been made in reference to the general principles which constitute the basisof a peaceful settlement covering the entire Pacific area. Recently the Japanese Ambassador has stated that the Japanese Government is desirous of continuing conversations directed towards a comprehensive and peaceful settlement in the Pacific area; that it would be helpful towards creating an atmosphere favorable to the successful outcome of conversations if a temporary modus vivendi could be agreed upon to be in effect while conversations essential to a peaceful settlement in the Pacific were continuing. On 20th November the Japanese Ambassador communicated to the Secretary of State proposals in regard to temporary measures to be taken respectively by the Government of Japan and by the Government of the United States, which measures are understood to have been designed to accomplish the purposes above stated.

The Government of the United States most earnestly desires to contribute to promoting and maintenance of peace and stability in the Pacific area and to afford every opportunity for continuance of discussions with the Japanese Government directed towards working out a broad gauge programme of peace throughout the Pacific area. The proposals which were presented by the Japanese Ambassador on 20th November contained some which in the opinion of this Government conflict with the fundamental principles which form a part of the settlement under consideration and to whicheach Government has declared that it is committed.T he Government of the United States believes that the adoption of such proposals would not be likely to contribute to the ultimate objectives of ensuring peace under law, order and justice in the Pacific area and it suggests that a further effort be madeto resolve our divergencies of views in regard to the practical application of the fundamental principles already mentioned.

With this object in view the Government of the United ‘States offers for the consideration of the Japanese Government a plan of a broad but simple settlement covering the entire Pacific area as one practical exemplification of a programme which this Government envisages as something to be worked out during our further conversations.

The plan therein suggested represents an effort to bridge the gap between our draft of 2 1 stJune, 1941, and the Japanese draft of 25th September, by making a new approach to the essential problems underlyinga comprehensive Pacific settlement. This plan contains provision for dealing with the practical application of the fundamental principles which we have agreed in our conversations constitute the only sound basis for worthwhile international relations. We hope that in this way progress towards reaching a meeting of minds between our two Governments may he expedited.


outline of the proposedbasisfor agreement between the United States and Japan.

Section . 1. - Draft Mutual Declaration of Policy.

The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan both being solicitous for peace in the Pacific affirm that their national policies are directed towards a lasting and extensive peace throughout the Pacific area, that they have no territorial designs in that area, that they have no intention of threatening other countries or of using military force aggressively against any neighbouring nation and that accordingly in their national policies they will actively support and give practical application to the following fundamental principles upon which their relations with each other and with all Governments are based: -

The Government of Japan and the Government of the United States have agreed that towards eliminating chronic political instability, preventing recurrent economic collapse and providinga basis for peace, they will actively support and practically apply the following principles in their economic relations with each other and with other nations and peoples : -

Section 2. -Steps tobe taken by theGovernment of the United States and by the Government of Japan.

The Government of theUnited States and the Government of Ja pan propose to take steps as follows: -

I have received reports during the past days of continuing Japanese troop movements to Southern Indo-China. These reports indicate very rapid and material increase in the forces of all kinds stationed by Japan in Indo-China.

It was my clear understanding that by the terms of the agreement, and there is no present need to discuss the nature of that agreement between Japan and the French Government at Vichy, the total number of Japanese forces permitted by the terms of that agreement to be stationed in Indo-China was very considerably less than the total amount of forces already there. The stationing of these increased Japanese forces in Indo-China would seem to imply utilization of these forces by Japan for purposes of further aggression since no such number of forces could possibly be required for the policing of that region. Such aggression could conceivably be against the

Philippine Islands, against many islands of the East Indies, against Burma, against Malaya eitlier through coercion or through actual use of force for the purpose of undertaking occu- pation of Thailand. Such new aggression would of course be additional to the actual aggression already undertaken against China, our attitude towards which is well known and has been repeatedly stated to the Japanese Government.

Please be good enough to request the Japanese Ambassador and Ambassador Kurusu to inquire at once of the Japanese Government what the actual reasons may be for the steps already taken and what I am to consider is the policy of the Japanese Government as demonstrated by this recent and rapid concentration of troops in Indo-China. This Government has seen in the last few years in Europe a policy on the part of the German Government which has involved a constant and steady encroachment upon the territory and rights of free and independent peoples through utilization of military enterprise of the same character.It is for that reason and because of the broad problem of United States defence thatI should like to know the intentions of the Japanese Government.

Reference is made to your inquiry about the intention of the Japanese Government with regard to the reported movements of Japanese troops in FrenchIndo-China. Under instructions from Tokyo I wish to inform you as follows: As Chinese troops have recently shown frequent signs of movements along the northern frontier of FrenchIndo-China bordering on China, Japanese troops with the object of mainly taking precautionary measures have been reinforced to a certain extent on the northern part of French Indo-China. As a natural sequence of this step certain movements have been made among the troops stationed in the southern part of the said territory. It seems that an exaggerated report has been made of these movements. ‘It should be added that no measure has been taken on the part of the Japanese Government that may transgress the stipulations of the protocol of joint defence between Japan and France.

Almost a century ago the President of the United States addressed to the Emperor of Japan a message extending an offer of friend- ship of the people of the United States to the people of Japan. That offer was accepted, and in the long period of unbroken peace and friendship which has. followed, our respective nations, through the virtues of their peoples and the wisdom of their rulers, have prospered and have substantially helped humanity.

Only in a situation of extraordinary importance to our two countries need I address to your Majesty messages of matters of State.

I feel that I should now so address you because of the deep and far-reaching emergency which appears imminent.

Developments are occurring in the Pacific area which threaten to deprive each of our nations and all humanity of the beneficial influence of the long peace between our two countries. Those developments contain tragic possibilities.

The people of the United States, believing in peace and in right of nations to live and let live have eagerly watched conversations between our two Governments during these past months. We have hoped for a termination of present conflict between Japan and China. We have hoped that a peace of the Pacific could be consummated in such a way, that nationalities of many diverse peoples could exist side by side without fear of invasion: that unbearable burdens of armament could be lifted for them all and that all peoples would resume commerce without discrimination against or in favour of any nation.

I am certain that it will be clear to your Majesty, as it is to me, that in seeking these great objectives both Japan and United States should agree to eliminate any form of military threat. This seems essential to attainment of high objectives.

More than a year ago your Majesty’s Government concluded an agreement with the Vichy Government by which five or six thousand Japanese troops were permitted to enter into northern FrenchIndo-China for protection of Japanese troops which were operating against Chinafurther north. And this spring and summer the Vichy Government allowed further Japanese military forces to enter into south FrenchIndo-China for common defence of FrenchIndo-China. I think that I am correct in saying that no attack has been made uponIndo-China nor that any is contemplated.

During the past ten weeks it has become clear to the world that Japanese military, naval and air forces have been sent to southern Indo-China in such large numbers as to create a reasonable doubt on the part of other nations that this continuing concentration in Indo-China is not defensive in its character. Because these continuing concentrations in Indo-China have reached such large proportions and because they extend now to the south-east and south-west corners of that peninsular, it is only reasonable that people of the Philippines, of hundreds of islands of the East Indies, of Malaya and of Thailand itself, are asking themselves whether these forces of Japan are preparing or intending to make an attack in one or more of those many directions. I am sure that your Majesty will understand that the fear of all these peoples is. a legitimate fear inasmuch as it involves their peace and national existence. I am sure that your Majesty will understand why people of the United States in such large numbers look askance at the establishment of military, naval and air bases manned and equipped so greatly as to constitute armed forces capable of measures of offence. It is clear that a continuance of such a situation is unthinkable. None of the peoples of whom I have spoken above can sit cither indefinitely or permanently on a keg of dynamite. There is absolutely no thought on the part of the United States of invading Indo-China if every Japanese soldier or sailor ultimately withdraws therefrom. I think that we can obtain some assurance from the Government of the East Indies, the Government of Malaya and the Government of Thailand. I would even undertake to ask same assurances on the part of the Government of China. Thus a withdrawal of Japanese forces from Indo-China would result in an assurance of peace throughout the whole of the Southern Pacific area. I address myself to your Majesty at this moment in the fervent hope that your Majesty may, as I am doing, give thought in this definite emergency to the ways of dispelling dark clouds.I am confident that both of us for the sake of peoples not only of our own great countries but for the sake of humanity in the neighbouring territories have a duty to restore traditional amity and prevent further death and destruction in the world. DECLARATION OF EXISTENCE OF STATIC OF WAR WITH FINLAND, HUNGARY. RUMANIA AND JAPAN. *8th December,* 1941. Documents Relating to Procedure ofhis Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia. The following Documents and Extracts from Documents set forth the steps taken and the procedure adopted by His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia in connexion with the declaration of the existence of a state of war with Finland. Hungary. Rumania and Japan: - No. 1. Extract from Telegram dated 3rd December, 1941, from Commonwealth Prime Minister to Australian High Commissioner, London. In the event of a state of war coming into existence with Finland, Rumania or Hungary, at the instance of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia will adopt the following procedure to declare and proclaim a state of war in the Commonwealth of Australia and its Territories . . . T his procedure will be in accord with the now recognized status of the Commonwealth of Australia in its international relationships as evidenced by the Balfour Declaration and other authoritative declarations. The view of the Commonwealth Attorney-General is that . . it is desirable to express with clarity the unbroken chain of prerogative authority from His Majesty to his Representative here, making it also clear at the same time that in relation to the Commonwealth and its Territories, His Majesty is acting exclusively on the advice of his Ministers in the Commonwealth of Australia . . . No. 2. On3rd December the following form of Royal Authority from His Majesty the King to His Excellency the Governor-General was proposed by the Commonwealth Government and subsequently adopted by His Majesty on the advice of His Majesty's Ministers in the Commonwealth of Australia.: George VI. by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King. Defender of the Faith. Emperor of India. &c. To all and singular to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting! Whereas it is provided by section two of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution that a Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her. Majesty's Representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth, during the Queen's pleasure, but subject to that Constitution, such power's and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him : And Whereas it is provided by section sixty-one of that Constitution that the executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen's Representative: And Whereas the provisions referring to the Queen extend to Her Majesty's heirs and successors in the Sovereignty of the United Kingdom: Now, Therefore, We, acting by and with the advice of Our Federal Executive Council of Our Commonwealth of Australia, and in the exercise of all powers Us thereunto enabling, hereby assign to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, the power to declare and proclaim that, as from a date and hour to be specified by the said GovernorGeneral, a state of war exists in the Commonwealth of Australia and its territories with the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Hungary and the Kingdom of Rumania. In Witness Whereof We have caused Our Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents, which We have signed with Our Royal Hand. Given at our Court of Saint James, the fifth day of December, in the Year of Our Lord, One thousand nine hundred and forty-one and in the fifth year of Our reign. By His Majesty's Command, No. 3. C opyof Telegram dated6th December, 1941, from Commonwealth Minister of State for External Affairs to H.M. Australian Minister, Washington. Evatt. No. 4. extracts from telegram dated6th December, 1941, from Australian High Commissioner, London, to Commonwealth Prime Minister. After discussion between the Palace authorities and the Australian High Commissioner, the latter conveyed to the Commonwealth Prime Minister the following procedure as conforming to His Majesty's wishes: - " (a) As time is short the King should treat your telegram of instructions to me as a formal advice from the Commonwealth Government advising him to issue the instrument; **Mr. Bruce** also stated that the Palace authorities hoped that this procedure "would meet your desire - with which they cordially agree - to express clearly the unbroken chain of prerogative authority and at the same time make it clear that the King was acting exclusively on the advice of His Ministers in the Commonwealth." No. 5. Extract from Telegram dated7th December, 1941, from Commonwealth Prime Minister to Australian High Commissioner, London. The procedure suggested in Telegram No. 4 was adopted by the Commonwealth Government and in the above telegram it was said: - *"* (a) It will clearly express the unbroken chain of prerogative authority from His Majesty to the Governor-General and (b) it will also make clear that His Majesty is acting exclusively on the advice of His Ministers in the Commonwealth. "You are therefore instructed, in accordance with your own suggestion, to submit the instrument as drafted to the King who will treat our telegrams to you as formal advice from the Commonwealth Government advising him to issue the instrument. The actual proclamation of war by the Governor-General, as His Majesty's Representative, will issue after approval at meeting of Cabinet to-morrow (Monday) afternoon and subsequent Executive Council meeting. We are obliged to you for your prompt co-operation. Please advise immediately after signature by King and forward instrument by airmail and duplicate by second airmail. In addition to airmailing of instrument please obtain permission of King to transmit picturegram of instrument after its signature by King. No.6. Telegram dated 8th December, 1941, from Commonwealth Prime Minister to Australian High Commissioner, London. 7737. Please submit to His Majesty a recommendation for the issue to Governor-General of an instrument in similar terms to that already issued with respect to Finland, Hungary and Rumania substituting Japanese Empire for those countries. His Majesty may take this telegram as representing the advice of His Majesty's Ministers in the Commonwealth. As time is so short, Government may act here in anticipation of issue of such instrument. Curtin. No. 7. Telegram dated 8th December, 1941, from Australian High Commissioner, London, to Commonwealth Prime Minister. Your telegrams 7727 and 37. I submitted both instruments to the King (who was out of London) and he signed them this afternoon. They will be forwarded to you by next airmail and duplicates by second airmail. The King has expressed his consent to signed instruments being picturegrammed to Australia and I am arranging for this to be done at once. Bruce. No.8. telegramdated8th december, 1941, from Commonwealth Minister of State for External Affairs to H.M. Australian Minister, Washington. 143. Please ask United States Secretary or State to request United States Ministers at Helsinki, Budapest and Bucharest to inform respective Governments that His Majesty's Government in Australia has declared existence of state of war with Finland, Hungary andRumania respectively as from 5 p.m. December8th Canberra time. {:#subdebate-1-0} #### Evatt {: .page-start } page 1080 {:#debate-2} ### No. 9 Telegram dated8th December, 1941, from H.M. Australian Minister, Washington, to Commonwealth Minister of State for External Affairs. Your telegram 143. Action has been taken as requested. {:#subdebate-2-0} #### Casey {: .page-start } page 1080 {:#debate-3} ### No. 10 Telegram dated9th December, 1941, from Commonwealth Minister of State for External Affairs to Charge D'affaires, H.M. Australian Legation, Tokyo. You are instructed to inform the Imperial Japanese Government immediately that a state of war exists and has existed between His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia and the Imperial Japanese Government as from 5 o'clock in the afternoon, 9 th December, 1941. {:#subdebate-3-0} #### Evatt {: .page-start } page 1080 {:#debate-4} ### No. 11 Communication dated9th December, 1941, from Commonwealth Minister of State for External Affairs to Japanese Minister in Australia. {:#subdebate-4-0} #### Sir, I have to inform you that the Australian Charge d'Affaireshas been instructed to inform the Imperial Japanese Government that a. state of war exists and has existed between His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia and the Imperial Japanese Government as from 5 o'clock in the afternoon,8th December, 1941. (Sgd.) H. V. Evatt, {:#subdebate-4-1} #### Minister for External Affairs {:#subdebate-4-2} #### His Excellency Mr. Kawai, {:#subdebate-4-3} #### Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, {:#subdebate-4-4} #### Japanese Legation, {:#subdebate-4-5} #### Melbourne {: .page-start } page 1080 {:#debate-5} ### No. 12 Telegram dated 10th December, 1941, from Charge D'affaires, H.M. Australian Legation, Tokyo, to Commonwealth Minister of State for External Affairs. Foreign Minister has just advised me that a state of war exists as from to-day between Japan and Australia. {:#subdebate-5-0} #### Officer {: .page-start } page 1080 {:#debate-6} ### No. 13 Proclamation by His Excellency the Governor-General, dated 8th December, 1941, Declaring State of War with Finland, Hungary and Rumania. {: .page-start } page 1080 {:#debate-7} ### PROCLAMATION I, Alexander Gore Arkwright, Baron Gowrie, the Governor-General aforesaid, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council and in the exercise of all powers me thereunto enabling, do hereby declare and proclaim that a state of war with the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Hungary and the Kingdom of Rumania exists andhas existed in the Commonwealth of Australia and its Territories as from the eighth day of December, One thousand nine hundred and forty-one at, five o'clock in the afternoon reckoned according to the standard time in the Australian Capital Territory: Of All Which His Majesty's loving subjects and all others whom these Presents may concern are hereby required to take notice and to govern themselves accordingly. Given under my Hand and the Seal of the Commonwealth of Australia this (l.s.) eighth day of December in the year of our Lord One thousand nine hundred and forty-one and in the fifth year of His Majesty's reign. By His Excellency's Command, {:#subdebate-7-0} #### John Curtin, {:#subdebate-7-1} #### Prime Minister God save the King! {: .page-start } page 1080 {:#debate-8} ### No. 14 Proclamation byhis Excellency the Governor-General, dated 9th December, 1941, Declaring State of War with the Japanese Empire. {: .page-start } page 1080 {:#debate-9} ### PROCLAMATION I, Alexander Gore Arkwright, Baron Gowrie, the Governor-General aforesaid, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council and in the exercise of all powers me thereunto enabling, do hereby declareand proclaim that a state of war with the Japanese Empire exists andhas existed in the Commonwealth of Australia and its Territories as from the eighth day of December, One thousand nine hundred and forty-one at five o'clock in the afternoon reckoned according to the standard time in the Australian Capital Territory : *Of* All Which His Majesty's loving subjects and all others whom these Presents may concern are hereby required to take notice and to govern themselves accordingly. Given under my Hand and the Seal of the Commonwealth of Australia this (l.s.) ninth day of December in the year of our Lord One thousand nine hundred and forty-one and in the fifth year of His Majesty's reign. By His Excellency's Command, John Curtin, Prime Minister. Godsavethe King! No. 15. Royal Instrument Affecting Commonwealth Declaration of State of War in Relation to Finland, Hungary and Rumania. George R.I. george the Sixth by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India : To all and singular to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting! Whereas it is provided by section two of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution that a Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty's Representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen's pleasure, but subject to that Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him : And whereas it is provided by section sixty-one of that Constitution that the executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen's Representative: And whereas the provisions referring to the Queen extend to Her Majesty's heirs and successors in the Sovereignty of the United Kingdom : Now, therefore, We, acting by and with the advice of Our Federal Executive Council of Our Commonwealth of Australia, and in the exercise of all powers Us thereunto enabling, hereby assign to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, the power to declare and proclaim that, as from a date and hour to be specified by the said GovernorGeneral, a state of war exists in the Commonwealth of Australia and its Territories with the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Hungary and the Kingdom of Rumania. In witness whereof We have caused Our Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents, which We have signed with Our Royal Hand. Given at our Court at Saint James's. the eighth day of December, in the (l.s.) year of Our Lord, One thousand nine hundred and forty-one and in the fifth year of Our Reign. By His Majesty's Command, Prime Minister. No. 16. Royal Instrument Affecting Commonwealth Declaration of State of War in Relation to Japan. George R.I. George the Sixth by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India: To all and singular to whom these Presents shall conic, Greeting! Whereas it is provided by section two of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution that a. Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty's Representatives in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen's pleasure, but subject to that Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him : And whereas it is provided by section sixty-one of that Constitution that the executive power of the Common wealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the GovernorGeneral as the Queen's Representative: And whereas the provisons referring to the Queen extend to Her Majesty's heirs and successors in the Sovereignty of the United Kingdom : Now, therefore, We, acting by and with the advice of Our Federal Executive Council of Our Commonwealth of Australia, and in the exercise of all powers Us thereunto enabling, hereby assign to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, the power to declare and proclaim that, as from a date and hour to be specified by the said GovernorGeneral, a state of war exists in the Commonwealth of Australia and its Territories with the Japanese Empire. In witness whereof We have caused Our Great Seal to be affixed to these Presents, which We have signed with Our Royal Hand. Given at our Court at Saint James's, the eighth day of December, in the (l.s.) year of Our Lord, One thousand nine hundred and forty-one and in the fifth year of Our Reign. By His Majesty's Command, Prime Minister. * To be signed by the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth. {: #debate-9-s0 .speaker-F4T} ##### Mr FADDEN:
Leader of the Opposition · Darling Downs .- The Opposition not only associates itself with the grave and important resolution before the House, but also wholeheartedly allies itself with the Government in the steps it has taken. I hasten to assure the Government that the Opposition is fully aware of the grave responsibilities that are cast upon it. For that reason 1 offered to the Government the wholehearted co-operation and practical support of the Opposition. We acknowledge that, at this time, national considerations should transcend all party political considerations. In the ranks of the Opposition are men who have had practical experience of administration in war-time, and we sincerely regret that the Government has not seen fit to take full advantage of their services. If the Government for various reasons, cannot accept our offer to assist the Ministers in their work, it should establish a supreme war council to include certain members of the Opposition, upon whom could be bestowed executive authority. It is the conscientious belief of the Opposition that a workable formula could be evolved whereby full use could be made by the Government of the ability of various honorable members on this side of the House, so as to lighten the burden of responsibility that is now borne by Ministers. The war has assumed a very grave aspect. Within the last week the people of Australia have been awakened to a full realization of the nearness of the enemy to our shores. Warnings that were given about ten months ago, and which then were regarded in some quarters as merely alarmist, are now proved to have been soundly based. Fortunately, the Government then in office and the Advisory War Council assessed the position correctly, and, as a result, the nation is much better prepared to-day than it would have been if those warnings had been ignored. It is appropriate to state now that much has been done to lay a solid foundation for the defence of Australia since the fateful day in September, 1939, when we were compelled to declare war upon Germany. The developments that have taken place in that period of two years must not be dis regarded. Australia has been converted from an almost entirely primary producing country to what to-day is; relative to its population, the most highly industrialized nation in the world. This is due to the soundness of the war plan which was evolved by the Government of the day, and to that Government's determination in implementing its policy. We must not overlook the part that has been played by our industrialists, both employers and employees, in contributing to this development. I am confident that the people of Australia will wholeheartedly support this Government in its war effort. I appeal to them to fall in behind the' Government and give to it all the help that lies in their power, because in time of war a government must have the goodwill and the co-operation of the people if it is to do its work successfully. The difficulty of its task will not diminish while dissension exists within our ranks. The people of Australia must be prepared to do many things that hitherto have been foreign to them. They must awaken to a full appreciation of the fact that they cannot enjoy peace-time conditions while a war of such gravity as the present one is being fought. The Government will be called upon to do many unpopular things and to, implement much unpopular legislation. But the Opposition will not shirk the responsibility of aiding it in this task. Of course, our co-operation must be consistent with our opinions as to how the war effort should be conducted and as to how the resources of the country can and should be marshalled in order to meet the economic, financial and other, conditions imposed upon us by war. In view of this, 1 may be pardoned at ' this juncture for bringing to the notice of the Government an urgent defence matter. The Prime Minister **(Mr. Curtin)** during his speech rightly mentioned the necessity for entire co-operation with our Allies. I consider that, to facilitate the work of defending Australia and to enable our man-power to be used to the best purpose in conjunction with that of our Allies, the Government should declare a zone of Australian defence within which our defence forces could be employed as required. The declaration of such a zone would be in keeping with the spirit and meaning of the Defence Act, which now specifies the Australian Commonwealth and its territories as spheres to be defended by the citizen army. Our frontier to-day is definitely in Malaya. Our destiny is linked with the fate of the Philippines, the Netherlands East Indies, Borneo, and the other stepping stones on which Japan is seeking to establish bases in a drive towards Australia, which it has already declared to l>e a potential victim in its so-called " coprosperity sphere ". Each of these bases is within what should bc made the defence zone of the Com in on wealth, and within this zone we should make the maximum use of our defence resources. I ask the Government to remove any artificial boundaries or other obstacles that might paralyse our best defence efforts should Japan break through to bases further south than those which it at present occupies. In view of the dangerous practice, which is quickly growing, of circulating wild rumours regarding shipping losses and war activities generally, the Government should give careful consideration to the institution of nightly broadcasts, under the control of the Department of Information, which could be linked with the broadcasts of Mie British Broadcasting Corporation. These should be the only authorized sources for the broadcasting of war information to the public, and punishment should be meted out to persons who circulate unfounded rumours. The danger of these rumours and the disservice which they do to our war effort must be apparent to every honorable member. In the 27 months of conflict through which we have passed, Australia, with the rest of the Empire, has become accustomed to the treachery of Hitler and Mussolini. Now, Japan, by striking without prior notice, lias revealed itself to be even more treacherous than the common enemy against whom 'we have been waging relentless war since September, 1939. For this country, Japan's entry into the war put an entirely new complexion- on international affairs. Hitherto, the scene of battle was far removed from our shores. Hundreds of thousands of our peace-loving citizens thought that there was not the remotest possibility of war being brought so close to us as it has been brought in the last week or so. To them, consequently, the news of Monday of last week was a rude awakening. Even before the war with Germany broke out, there was considerable evidence that the Commonwealth Government was seised of (Jio gravity of the Pacific situation and was fully appreciative of its responsibilities and duties in the Pacific and the Ear East. The then Prime Minister, **Mr. Menzies,** made it clear in. April, 1939, that Empire consultations concerning the Pacific and the Ear East must be on the basis that the primary duties and risks in the Pacific should be borne by Australia and New Zealand. This envisaged greater diplomatic contact between Australia and the United States of America, China, Japan, the Netherlands East Indies and other countries bordering on the Pacific. His pronouncement was followed by a declaration that Australia would do all in its power to cultivate close relations with the United States of America and Japan. Australia is a peace-loving country, and it has desired at all times, to maintain friendly relations with the Japanese nation. As evidence of this, a goodwill mission, headed by **Sir John** Latham, was sent to Japan some years ago. Further evidence of our desires in this direction was provided last year by the taking of the formal action to effect an exchange of Ministers between Australia and Japan. In August, 1940, the appointment of **Sir John** Latham as the first Australian Minister to Japan was announced. **Sir John** presented his letters of credence to the Emperor of Japan on the 24th December last. At this juncture, I feel that it is appropriate that I should go back to the beginning of this year to show that the then Government was fully alive to the possibility of a " boil over " in the Pacific. In fact, Pacific affairs took such a serious turn in the first week of February last that a joint statement was issued by the then Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Curtin)** and myself, in which we emphasized that there was no doubt about the seriousness of the international situation as it affected Australia. A few days later, the situation was such that the Government of which I was then Acting Prime Minister summoned a meeting of the Advisory War Council, and called the chiefs of staffs of the services to Sydney. The position was then fully discussed with the Commander in Chief of the Forces in the Far East, **Sir Robert** Brooke-Pop ham. The outcome of that meeting was that tlie present Prime Minister **(Mr. Curtin)** and tlie present Minister for Supply and Development **(Mr. Beasley)** joined me in issuing a. statement in which we pointed out that it was the considered opinion of the Advisory War Council that the war had moved to a new stage, involving the utmost gravity, and that effective preparatory measures had been taken. **Mr. Curtin** supplemented tUe joint statement with an assurance to the Australian people that what was in hand was rightly in hand. He said: "We are in entire agreement, with what the Government is doing". There could be no clearer indication that both the Government and the Opposition members of the Advisory War Council realized the gravity of the Pacific situation and the need for Australia to be on the alert, than was provided by those statements by myself and by representative Labour leaders. Australia had been given a warning that the disabling of the nation had become a major strategic objective of the enemy. It was emphasized, however, that not only did we desire peace with our neighbours bub also that we had actively sought to maintain peace with them. Consequently, there could have been no misapprehension as to the policy we wished to pursue. We are now called upon to give constitutional endorsement to the declaration. <>f war upon Japan. In supporting the motion, *I* make it clear that the Australian Government and people arc just, as united and determined to fight vigorously and earnestly for victory as they were previously united and determined to strive vigorously and earnestly for peace. I t is my responsibility and duty to second tlie motion and this T emphatically do. {: #debate-9-s1 .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT:
AttorneyGeneral and Minister for External Affairs · Barton · ALP -- I made n statement on international affairs to the House on Thursday, thu 27 th November last. At that time the Hull-Kurusu talks were still in progress. Thenceforward, every day, almost every hour, was occupied by the representatives of the democratic powers in a last endeavour to prevent war in the Pacific. Whether the Japanese Ambassadors in Washington were knowingly engaged in a pretended negotiation, or whether the matter was taken out of their hands by the Army and Navy authorities of Japan, it is not yet possible to determine. The vital fact is that, on the night of Sunday, the 7th December, while the negotiations were still pending, a vicious attack wa.s launched by Japanese armed forces against the United States of America naval base at Hawaii. This attack was followed almost immediately by Japanese attacks on British territory in Malaya. This is not the occasion to embark upon a complete account of the ebb and flow of the negotiations between the representatives of the Government of the United States of America and the Japanese Envoys at Washington. War is upon ils. It threatens us all. Our supreme job is to beat back the aggressor. At the same time, I would not be fulfilling my duty to this Parliament and to the people of Australia if I failed to refer to the outstanding features of what have been called the Hull-Kurusu talks. In French Indo-China, the Japanese had. taken the fullest advantage of the helplessness of the Vichy Government. In July last Vichy had yielded to the threat of force by Japan *just as* Vichy had yielded to actual force by Germany in the case of metropolitan France. This new aggression had overturned the military situation in South-East Asia. It became possible for Japan to threaten Siam, Burma, and the road from Burma to Chungking. In Japan's hands French Indo-China became a dagger pointing at the Philippines, Malaya and Borneo. The economic restrictions which were at once imposed by the United States of America, the British nations, and the Netherlands Government were obvious measures of self-defence. Above all, they evidenced, for the first time, the complete solidarity of the democratic powers. On previous occasions diverse policies had been pursued. The result was very unsatisfactory. Japan had demanded the cessation of the transport of supplies and munitions to the Chungking Government by way of the Bunna. 'Road. For the time being it get that. Japan had also demanded the stoppage of supplies and munitions to Chungking via Hong Kong. It got that. Japan had also demanded the withdrawal of the Shanghai garrison. It got that. It was hoped by those responsible that the result of the concessions would be a. peace that might be acceptable to China, but. the only result was that on 2-Sth September, 1940, Japan became openly allied to Germany and Italy. Even after becoming a member of the Axis, Japan still continued to receive from some democratic countries important consignments of metals. After the seizure of .French IndoChina, the democratic powers continued to carry out their economic measures with steadfastness of purpose. There can be no doubt that Japan was greatly surprised at the firmer policy displayed. It is in the light of this previous history that the Hull-Kurusu talks will have to be appraised. The leading documents are being made available in the form of a white paper. The first document is the Japanese proposal of the 20th "November. It stated that Japanese troops would he withdrawn from Indo-China " upon either restoration of pence between Japan and China, or establishment of an equitable peace in the Pacific area". The obvious comment is that either of the two events to precede such withdrawal might be postponed indefinitely by unilateral action on Japan's part. In other words, Japan's document, when carefully examined, implied that Japan reserved full freedom either to accentuate the campaign against China, or to attack Russia as and when opportunity suited. The United States would have been forced to refuse further aid to China. Such a demand was plainly impossible. For more than four years the Chinese Republic had led the world in resisting aggression, and had Avon the undying admiration of lovers of freedom throughout the world. For some time, it seemed that the United States might bc compelled to reject Japan's first proposal out of hand and that an immediate resort to arms would be precipitated. His Majesty's Government in the Common wealth kept itself as fully informed as it could during each and every stage of the negotiations. Its attitude throughout was clear and unequivocal. We never underestimated "Japan's fighting strength. We realized that war against it in the Pacific would certainly convert what was in the main a. European conflict into a world conflict. We knew that Japan's armed power must have a powerful influence in a. Pacific war. As a new government we were engaged in taking complete stock of our home defences, and we knew that there was no ground whatever for complacency, still less for over-confidence. We thought that if, by an honorable settlement, war against Japan could be averted or postponed, much would be saved and nor, a little might be gained. When it is possible to disclose the hundreds of confidential documents which have passed between governments and embassies during the last two months, it. will he shown that, to the very limit of its diplomatic powers, the Commonwealth Government acted upon two fundamental principles. The first principle was, (hat an agreement would be worse than useless if aggression were merely to be diverted from Indo-China towards some other territory. We had specially in mind a possible Japanese attack on Russia in the north-west Pacific, and a probable redoubling of the Japanese pressure against China. I have already pointed out that the Japanese proposal to **Mr. Hull** of the 20th November left these two cases unprovided against. The second principle, as I explained to the House on the 27t.h November, was. that, in these talks, the leadership and initiative should be retained by the United States on behalf of the democratic powers. The United States was obviously threatened by armed Japanese aggression in the south-east corner of the Asiatic continent. In addition, President. Roosevelt had become a spokesman for all of those throughout the world who were fighting or were about, to fight in order to preserve the rule of law as against the rule of force in international relations. In the Washington talks, United States leadership was essential, because it was with America alone that. Japan was ....dealing. Such leadership, for the purpose of preventing war, also accentuated the increasing solidarity of the democratic powers. It having been decided that a counterproposal was preferable to a straight-out rejection of Japan's terms, Mr.' Hull, on the 26th November, handed a document to the Japanese envoy. This document postulated that the particular problem of Japanese aggression in Indo-China could be solved only as a part of the broader problem of Pacific peace. **Mr. Hull** insisted upon four fundamental principles : First, the principle of the inviolability of territorial integrity and sovereignty of each nation and of all nations; second, the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries; third, the principle of equality, including equality of commercial opportunity and treatment; and fourth, the principle of reliance upon international co-operation and conciliation for the prevention and pacific settlement of controversies and for the improvement of international conditions by peaceful methods and processes. The third of these principles, that of economic equality, was elaborated as a further guide to the type of economic relations which should govern not only the United States and Japan *inter se.* but also their attitude to other nations and people. **Mr. Hull** suggested: (1) the principle of non-discrimination in international commercial relations; (2) the principle of international economic cooperation and the abolition of extreme nationalism as expressed in excessive trade restrictions; (3) the principle of nondiscriminatory access by all nations to material supplies; *(i)* the principle of the full protection of the interests of consuming countries and populations in regard to the operation of international commodity agreements; and (5) the principle of the establishment of such institutions and arrangements of international finance as might lend aid to essential enterprises and the continuous development of al] countries, and might permit payments through processes of trade consonant with the welfare of all countries. It is well to notice that, so far as these fundamentals were concerned. **Mr. Hull's** scheme seemed to provide for almost everything for which Japan had asked for many years. Acceptance of the principles would have entitled Japan to claim equality in commercial relationships with the United States of America and probably other Pacific powers. Why, then, did it not accept these offers? The answer is discernible in other parts of the document. For the United States of America, although willing, first, to consider the removal of all economic and financial restrictions upon Japan, and, secondly, to give up all extra* territorial rights in China, insisted, first, that the territorial integrity of French Indo-China: should be guaranteed, and that all military, naval and air forces should be withdrawn from that country; and, thirdly, that the National Government of the republic of China, with the capital temporarily at Chungking, should be recognized in preference to the puppet Chinese Government established, by Japan itself. These proposals were made on the 26th November, hut their text was not available in the Commonwealth when this House rose on the 27th November. From that day until the overt acts of war on the 7th December alarm, succeeded alarm. Some sort of internal crisis seems to have taken place in Japan at the week-end of the 29th-30th November. With, war imminent, we took every possible step to ensure that the' democratic nations should come to a clear understanding that, in the event of an outbreak of violence by Japan in this quarter or that, they would act unitedly. Meanwhile, as a result of reports of further Japanese troop movements, President Roosevelt returned to Washington on Monday, the 1st December. He at once determined upon the unusual course of directing a specific question to the Japanese Envoys. The question was a pointed one, as a reference to the white paper will show. He suggested that the evidence as to ' the increase of Japanese forces in French Indo-'China bases evinced an intention to commit aggression elsewhere. Such aggression, said the President, might be aimed against the Philippine Islands, against many islands of the East Indies, against Burma, against Malaya, or for the purpose of undertaking occupation of Thailand. What was the reason for the further concentration of Japanese troops? "This Government" concluded, the President, "has seen in the last few years in Europe a policy oon the part of the German Government, which has involved a constant and steady encroachment upon the territory and rights of free and independent peoples through the utilization of military enterprise of the same character. It is for that reason, and because of the broad problem of the United States of America defence, that I should like to know the intentions of the Japanese Government." The answer to the President's question was provided by the Japanese Ambassadors on Friday, the Sth December. It was curiously worded. **Mr. Kurusu** said " under instructions from Tokyo, I wish to inform you as follows." It seems as though he was trying to disclaim all personal responsibility for the truth of his answer. The answer was, in substance, that Japan was reinforcing French IndoChina because the Chinese were threatening their forces opposite Indo-China. In the light of what has happened since we know, first, that, at the time of the answer, armed forces must have been advancing to attack Pearl Harbour naval base; and secondly, that French IndoChina was being used as a base for operations against neighbouring United States of America and British possessions. In short, the answer was a lie, and Kurusu himself seems to have either suspected or known it. As a last resort, the President decided to make an appeal direct to the Emperor of Japan. This historic document contained an implied condemnation of Japan's obvious preference of force to peaceful negotiation. But the President also appealed for the preservation of Pacific peace, not only upon grounds of international justice, but also upon those of common humanity. This noble document has also been included in the white paper for the sake of record. I need quote only the last two sentences of the President's message: - >I address myself to your Majesty at this moment, in the fervent hope that your Majesty may, as I am doing, give thought in this definite emergency to the ways of dispelling the dark clouds. I am confident that both of us for the sake of the peoples, not only of our own great countries, but for the sake of humanity in neighbouring territories, have a sacred duty to restore the traditional amity and prevent further death and destruction in the world. The only answer to this sincere and moving appeal was to hurl death and destruction against the people of a territory of the United States of America. There have been occasions in history when hostilities have been commenced without warning, and certainly the old form of a preliminary declaration has long been outmoded. But it is one thing to omit a declaration; it is another thing to organize an attack while fully accredited representatives of the Bowers concerned are still engaged in what appears to be a genuine negotiation for the maintenance of peace. In this connexion, Germany's record is a bad one. But even Germany's record contains little that is comparable with what was done by Japan on the present occasion. Since 1931, the world has witnessed so many callous and brutal acts of aggression that it has become more and more insensitive. Yet, even to-day, Japan's action has been characterized as " treacherous ". Treacherous it was, in the sense that the application of force was facilitated by the continuance of active deception and guile. While ministers and diplomats representing the democratic powers were struggling and striving to .maintain peace on honorable terms, they were met by the devastating fact of force already accomplished. The Hague Convention No. 3 of 1907, which was ratified by both Japan and the United States of America, provided that hostilities between the Contracting Powers "must not commence without a previous and explicit warning, in the form of either a declaration of war, giving reasons, or an intimation with a conditional declaration of war." Even those who contend that war may legitimately be commenced without prior declaration or notice, oppose the opinion that one country may be justified in taking another unawares. According to Westlake, " an attack which nothing had foreshadowed would be infamous." In the present case, diplomatic negotiations were still in progress, therefore the action of Japan was indeed both " infamous " and " treacherous ". In view of Japan's onslaught against the territories of the United States of America and Britain, the course to be taken by His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth was never in doubt. A full Cabinet meeting was held in Melbourne on the afternoon of Monday, the8th December, and it was unanimously decided that a. declaration of war against Japan in relation to the Commonwealth and its territories should be made to operate as from 5 o'clock on that date. This Cabinet meeting had been called for another purpose, to which I shall shortly refer. In my statement to the House on the 27th November I expressed the view that it was a. strange feature of the present struggle that while we were allies of Russia in its heroic struggle against Germany, we were still at peace with Finland, Hungary and Rumania, "three eager satellites and accomplices of Germany ". This statement summed up the views which the present Government adopted shortly after it came into office. We held that a. refusal to accede to the request of Russia - that we declare war against Finland, Rumania and Hungary - might well be disastrous to Russian morale and dangerous to our own. The Government's view, which was supported by all members of the Advisory War Council, was that the question of a declaration of war on these three countries should be submitted to Stalin, always a realist, and that the decision of all of the British nations should be determined by his attitude. Our suggestion was adopted by the Government of the United Kingdom. Stalin's attitude never wavered. Neither did the attitude of this country. Finally, ultimatums were addressed by the United Kingdom Government to the three governments concerned. They were informed that unless, by the 5th December, they abandoned military operations against Russia, the existence of a state of war would be declared. The individuals for the time being constituting the governments of Hungary and Rumania ignored the ultimatum. There is evidence that, as obedient vassals, they duly applied to Germany and duly received their orders. Finland gave a reply which plainly admitted that its troops were operating far beyond the original Russian frontiers, and that the British ultimatum would not be obeyed. The extent of Germany's domination of these three countries is demonstrated by the fact that, in October, 29 Hungarian, 23 Rumanian and 19 Finnish divisions were being employed in Germany's campaign against Russia. The great Russian successes of the last fortnight give ground for hope that the opportunists in *de facto* control of these three vassal states will take no advantage from their duplicity. It was to declare a state of war in the Commonwealth in relation to these three countries that the full Cabinet was summoned for the8th December last. AsI have previously explained, authoritative declarations of Imperial Conferences show that this Commonwealth possesses full status in every aspect of its external relationships, as well as in all its internal affairs. It is a necessary consequence of that status that, in relation to Australia, the vital decision as to peace or war with any country should be determined exclusively by Commonwealth Ministers.I agree that facts are more important than forms. Still, there arc some who will dispute the fact of power and status unless the form adopted corresponds to that fact. In this case we took special care to make the forms correspond to the facts. The relevant documents are of importance, and I have collected them in a special White Paper which will be made available to-day. As to the procedure adopted, there are three comments which should be made. First, it was important to avoid any legal controversy as to the power of the Governor-General to declare a state of war without specific authorization by His Majesty. I express no opinion as to whether specific authorization was necessary as a matter of strict law. Certainly the royal powers already exercisable under the Constitution by the GovernorGeneral as the King's representative, are extremely wide. However, the matter was too important and too urgent to invite any legal controversy. We, therefore, decided to make it abundantly clear that there was an unbroken chain of prerogative authority extending from the King himself to the Governor-General. For that purpose we prepared a special instrument, tlie terms of which were graciously accepted by His Majesty. Reference to tlie documents in the White Paper will show that His Majesty assigned to His Excellency, the Governor-General, the power of declaring a state of war, first with Finland, Rumania, and Hungary, and, secondly, with Japan. The second and more important matter involved no legal question, but did involve the question of proper constitutional practice. The procedure adopted was in accordance with the practice that, in all matters affecting Australia, both the King and his representative will act exclusively upon the advice of the Prime Minister and Ministers responsible to this Parliament. Accordingly, His Majesty was pleased to execute the instrument to which 1" have referred, upon the advice of the Commonwealth Executive Council. The instrument will, in due course, be countersigned by the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth. United Kingdom Ministers took no part in the arrangements which were made directly with the palace authorities by our High Commissioner in London. Similarly, the actual proclamations of a state of war were made by His Excellency the GovernorGeneral on the advice of his Executive Council. Thirdly, the history of the transactions illustrates the fact that separate action by the King's Governments in the United Kingdom and the self-governing dominions is perfectly consistent with close co-operation in all matters affecting their common interests. On the whole, what was done on these important occasions was a complete .answer to those who had maintained that separate action means the weakening of the tie of association between the British nations. Despite the initial advantage Japan gained by delivering heavy blows while the negotiations were still pending, it succeeded in doing something for winch it did not bargain. It at once united against Japan the following solid bloc of nations: - United States of America, Great Britain, Canada, Netherlands, Australia., New Zealand, South Africa, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Salvador, Dominica, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Cuba, China, Guatemala. In addition, the fol lowing powers broke off diplomatic relations with Japan: - Egypt, Iraq, Mexico and Colombia. I take leave to doubt whether the people of this country sufficiently appreciate the resources and latent power of the United States of America. They are immeasurable. All those resources will now be devoted by a united nation to strike down for ever the might of the aggressors. It is wrong to lose confidence in the ultimate outcome because of the severe shocks which have been received at the beginning. On the other hand, it is utter madness to underestimate the might, skill and cunning of the enemy. By the extension of the war to the Pacific, the Commonwealth has been placed in a situation of special danger. Before war came into the Pacific we had entered into commitments all over the world. We are discharging these commitments to the best of our ability. Our airmen are 'fighting in England. They are training in Canada. Our sailors have fought their ships in many of the seven seas. Our soldiers have fought with indomitable courage on distant shores in Europe, in Africa, in Asia. But what of the defence of these shores '? The Government 'has been stocktaking. It has inherited a situation in which, for one reason or another, the defence of our country has been treated as a subordinate and subsidiary part of a distant war. From now onwards we shall be thrown back more and more upon our own resources - ".Cis well! from this day forward we shall know That in ourselves our safety must he sought ; That by our own right hands it must lie wrought ; That we must stand umpropped, or be laid low. We shall also need help from all of those whom we have helped. If we can utilize our resources and win through to final victory, Australia will play its part in the world of the future. What is the alternative? If force and the threat of force are to govern us in our relationships with other countries, life itself will not be worth living. Let us hope that, in tlie near future, the British nations, the United States of America and Russia will all be joined in firm and unbroken alliance against all of the Axis powers. So far as Australia is concerned, our policy in relation to Russia has been open and direct. In relation to Finland, Rumania and Hungary, the Government took the view that our alliance with Russia compelled us to consult Russia as to whether those three countries should be our enemies also. We have gone farther. On two occasions prior to the outbreak of war with Japan, this Government suggested to the proper authority that a reciprocal agreement should be made between Britain and Russia by which, in the event of Japanese aggression against either, the other would be bound to declare war against the aggressor. It was considered, I suppose, that our suggestion was premature. Events have proved otherwise. I. do not sec why we should not speak frankly about this matter. Of course, the nature of the military situation in Russia must be determined exclusively by the Soviet Government, and it is dangerous to assume that the recent German reverses - may there be many more of them ! - foreshadow a. general retirement. However, if and when the military situation becomes stabilized to Russia's advantage, we can reasonably look forward to aid against Japan. For Japan's ultimate design against Russia can hardly be concealed. A typical instance occurred in July of 1938, when Japan was guilty of flagrant aggression against Russia near the border of Manchukuo. The claim of Japan was a. dishonest one, because a reference to the map annexed to the relevant treaty showed at once that the territory in dispute belonged to Russia. Russia resisted, the Japanese were forced to retire and the " incident " closed. But it was quite in keeping with Japan's long record of broken treaties ever since 1931. In that year, in south Manchuria, Japan was guilty of very serious breaches of the Nine Power' Treaty of 1922, the Covenant of the League of Nations, and the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 192S. Wc know that this example of cynical breach of international obligations proved to be infectious. Italy and Germany soon followed the Japanese lead. Indeed, it may fairly be said that Japan, although last into the open in fighting the democracies, was really the first of the Axis aggressors. The truth is that Japan's conduct in 1931 turned out to be the first step in the attempt to destroy the entire basis of international law and international justice. Anything approaching a victory for Japan would threaten Russia's position as a Pacific power. Japan's recent conduct evidences the policy of waiting for the moment and then striking, regardless of the dictates of international law or common fair dealing. In the long run, it will be to Russia's advantage to dispose once and for all of the threat to Vladivostok and eastern Siberia. So far as we are concerned, we shall continue our efforts to assist in the procurement of a full alliance between Russia and all of the enemies of Japan to the end that those engaged against the three Axis powers shall form a solid and impregnable barrier against those whose will it is to dominate the world. This objective cannot, be achieved without the early establishment of the political and military organizations to which it will be necessary to commit the supreme control of the Pacific Avar effort. This Government is taking steps directed towards achieving this end. Our interest is not that of an intruder. The truth is that we cannot afford, and we shall not permit, things to continue as in the past. We have already requested **Mr. Duff** Cooper to arrange for the Commonwealth representative at Singapore **(Mr. Bowden)** to take a seat on the War Council, which the United Kingdom Government has recently set up. The problem of strengthening the Pacific defences must be attacked on the broadest basis and in the quickest possible time. Our survival as a nation may well depend upon the decisions we are taking and the resolution with which we shall carry tl eni into effect. **Mr. ARCHIE** CAMERON (Barker) 4.25).--The inevitable happened on Monday week, without any regard to what this Parliament thought in advance was likely to happen. For some mouths previously the Japanese mercantile marine had been withdrawn from the seas of the world. It was in its own ports, under the orders of its Government, and in a condition in which it could be refitted for any expeditions which that Govern ment might think fit to undertake. Since the battle of Tsushima in 1904, the Japanese navy has not been engaged in any operation worth naming, although it is true that it did a little fighting in the war of 1914-1S and has had some actions along the coast of China. On several occasions members on this side have referred to what would happen when the Japanese navy took charge of the direction of military events on. behalf of Japan. What happened last week is fresh in our minds. This country is faced with a set of military conditions the equal of which we have never before experienced. This afternoon we have heard speeches by the Prime Minister **(Mr. Curtin)** and the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Fadden).** I shall make only passing references to them. Some heavy obligations rest upon this Parliament. The first is in connexion with our armed forces. Whatever the policy of the Government may be, one thing stands out above all others, namely, that every unit of the Australian Military Forces must be brought up to full war establishment; it must be put into camp and trained for the .job which it will have to do, and it must bc as completely equipped as this country can afford. Moreover, to whatever degree is possible, the difference between the training of members of the Australian Imperial Force and the training of the Australian Military Force units, and also their differences of war establishment must be disposed of once and for all. There are also the general subjects of munitions and transportation. These will depend upon what is done on the industrial front in Australia. It is to be hoped that there will be a complete clearing-up of the situation, because if the conditions which " have prevailed since the outbreak of this war are allowed to continue the munitions and transportation system will be far from satisfactory. 'Wo must recognize that Our transport system is severely complicated to our disadvantage by numerous breaks of railway gauges. Another important thing which the Government must tackle is the provision of air components for the military forces of Australia. The present, situation is hopelessly unsatisfactory. The Royal Australian Air Force has been allowed to get completely out of control; it is something over and above everything else in Australia. Until the Government insists that aircraft shall be components of military formations, we shall not get the best out of our Air Force. There is also the subject referred to just now by the Minister for External Affairs **(Dr. Evatt)** and skated around by the Prime Minister. We are engaged in more than a Pacific war; we are engaged in a world war, under total war conditions. As **Mr. Churchill** said when Germany made war on Russia, we have to fight Germans on land, on sea, and in the air. That statement must now be applied also to the Japanese. This Parliament must get the Government to see the wisdom of taking the hobbles off the Australian armed forces. Those hobbles were imposed on it by another Government, unnecessarily as was known then, wrongly as has been proved since. As things stand to-day, we put ourselves in the ridiculous position of saying that we are prepared to accept all of tlie help that the United States of America can give in the Pacific, that we are prepared to allow conscripts from that country and from the Netherlands East Indies and from Great Britain to come to our help, but that Australian forces must not go beyond the bounds of the Commonwealth. New Guinea. 13 held partly by us, and partly by the Dutch. If fighting should occur there, are we to tell the members of the Australian forces who may be sent -to that country that they can chase the Japanese up to the Dutch border, but must then turn back? There can be only one solution of this difficulty; that is, the immediate repeal of National Security Regulation 13 (a), so that our forces may be sent to those parts of the world where they will be of the greatest use in fighting the war. The Prime Minister properly expressed the hope that there would be no actual fighting on Australian soil. Every member of this Parliament, and every member of the community, sincerely hopes that that will be so ; but if we are to keep the war away from Australia, the proper way to do it is to fight in the other fellow's territory. We must be prepared to send our forces to whatever part of the Pacific they may be needed, and Heaven knows the choice is wide enough. A good deal was said by the Prime Minister **(Mr. Curtin)** this afternoon about co-operation, and the Leader of the Opposition(Mr. Fadden) also referred to it. I remember that some time after the outbreak of war we heard a great deal about that blessed word "co-ordination". J do not know what was meant by those who used it, though I know quite well what it meant in practice - but I had better not go into that. Now, this idea of co-operation may be all very well to put forward as something to worship, but these times demand a more realistic approach to the war. I do not care twopence what the Leader of the Opposition has said; there can be no halfway house for the Opposition between participation in a national government and the retention of its freedom as an opposition. For that reason, I believe that one of the worst things in Australia *to-day,* so far as its effect upon the war effort is concerned, is the Advisory War Council. Every minute spent by Ministers conferring in the Advisory War Council with ex-Minis tors is a minute wasted. At this time we want, not discussion, but. decisions, and it is impossible to get quick and effective decisions from committees. From them we get only postponements and compromises. No country can fight a war successfully by compromise. Wars are conducted by commanders, not committees. Therefore, I hope - even though the signs are against me at present - that the time will come when we shall have an end of this unrealistic approach to our national problem, when the Government will either accept the responsibility it has undertaken, or do what T. believe is the right thing, admit the need for a national government, and bring into it those who, it believes, can best serve the country. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr Rosevear: -- Would not a national government be based on compromise? {: .speaker-KQK} ##### Mr McDonald: -- It would be based on common sense. {: #debate-9-s2 .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr ARCHIE CAMERON:
Minister for Aircraft Production · BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- That is a very good answer; it would be based on common sense. I admit that there are certain shortcomings in the military preparations of this country, but under the present method of consultation between the Government and the Opposition, those ex-Ministers who were most responsible for the shortcomings are in a position to offer advice to the Government. That is indefensible. I am surprised that any responsible Minister should believe that we can extricate ourselves from our difficulties by such methods. Such procedure can only multiply and intensify our difficulties. It is absurd to try to impose limits on total war. This is an all-in war, as I have said from the beginning. We have had two and a quarter years to learn what war under German direction means. We know that German methods are being copied by the Japanese - not, perhaps, that the Japanese needed much education in that way. We have had experience of Japanese methods in China. Those of us who have studied the matter know what happened at Shanghai. We know that only once in its history has Japan begun hostilities by a declaration of war. Therefore, we should not be surprised at anything the Japanese may do. The result is that we must fight this war ship for ship, plane for plane, and man for man. I have said before and I make no apology for saying again, that if there is to be any security for our skips and planes and men, and for the supplies that are sent to our forces, this everlasting gabbling in the press has got to stop. W as there ever another instance in British history of the movements of a great warship in time of war being advertised as were those of the *Prince of Wales* from the time it left Capetown? Was there ever another occasion when the people turned out to welcome such a ship, except the feting of the *Graf Spee* at Valparaiso, and we know what happened to it! All this publicity gave the enemy three or four weeks to prepare a. welcome for the *Prince of Wales* and the *Repulse,* with the result which wo know. The divulging of information in this way by the. press must be stopped. This afternoon, the Prime Minister pleaded that there should be the greatest possible degree of confidence in the Government in its direction of the war effort, but what has a section of the press clone during the last few days to engender such confidence? It has published statement after statement to the effect that the Government has no confidence in its military leaders, and has stated that changes are to be made. One Sydney paper devoted practically the whole of its front page to a discussion of this subject. That sort of publicity is criminal publicity. The onus is on the Government to-day to close up such papers - or close them down, whichever it should be. {: .speaker-KCM} ##### Mr Drakeford: -- That newspaper was not quite so criminal in the eyes of the honorable member when it attached the Prime Minister. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr ARCHIE CAMERON: -- He was not the only one attacked. He is able to look after himself, just as 1 am. As I have said, that type of publicity is criminal. That is the only way to describe it. {: .speaker-KCM} ##### Mr Drakeford: -- lt always was. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr ARCHIE CAMERON: -- The Leader of the Opposition suggested that there should be a. daily broadcast by the Department of Information over the Australian national network setting forth the true position in regard to the war. It, is an old adage that the truth never catches up to the lie. Our only remedy is to prevent untruthful and subversive statements from getting into the newspapers. I would be the last, person to say that the military position is all that I could desire, but no newspaper should be allowed, without naming any one, to call into question the military reputation and capacity of every senior officer in this country. Such behaviour is wholly bad, and should, not bo allowed to continue a. minute longer. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr Anthony: -- It would be a pretty- dangerous state of affairs if we had to be guided by the advice of the newspa pers. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr ARCHIE CAMERON: -- Yes, they are a bright, lot! We arc accepting the assistance of the Netherlands East Indies, of the United States of America and of Great Britain in this war, and we must reciprocate. The barrier which prevents the Government from using the armed forces of Australia in those places, and at those times, where they can be best employed to defeat the enemy must bc removed. I trust that the Government will really govern. If it considers that it is not able to handle the situation without help, then it should do the proper and constitutional thing, and invite into the Ministry those members of the Opposition who, in its opinion, are best qualified to assist it. I do not believe that there is one member of this Parliament who would not be prepared to give to the Government the benefit of his advice if he were called upon, but let us make an end of this make-beliere. Let us get down to tin-tacks. We are at grips with one of the most ruthless powers in the world, a power which does not give a hang for the Ten Commandments, or for the principles upon which they are based. We arc fighting a power which has done things in China which we do not want to see done here. We must train every nian who can bear arms, and we must use our forces when and where they are needed. We must keep supplies and munitions up to them. We must keep our communications open, and look after the civil population. These are tasks beyond anything that we have ever attempted before, but let us face them like men, and not deceive ourselves with a lot of mealymouthed statements which, if believed, would only get us into greater trouble. {: #debate-9-s3 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr MENZIES:
Kooyong .- livery member of tins House, I believe, supports the motion endorsing the action of the Government in relation to four foreign powers. Ordinarily it would not be necessary to say very much about it. Australia is, in relation to everything essential in this war. a completely united nation. There is not a member of this House who is not prepared to set an example to the whole of the people of Australia, in willing service at a lime like this. Beyond saying that, it might not be necessary to say very rauch but for some of the things already said in the course of this debate. In particular, I regret - and I have some right to regret it as one who was Prime Minister of this country for the first two years of this war - that: the Minister for External Affairs **(Dr. Evatt),** should have so far departed, not only from generosity, but also from accuracy of statement, as to say, as he did earlier to-day: "The Government has been stocktaking. It has inherited a situation in which, for one reason or another, the defence of *om-* country has been treated as a subordinate and subsidiary part of a distant war." I say that that is an outrageous and misleading statement. I propose to demonstrate that it is outrageous and misleading. I would not bother to do so if it were a mere matter of defending my own administration, because this is not a time for anybody to be concerned to defend his own administration, and time will tell the truth about many things that are now dark; but it would be deplorable if the people of this country^ now brought face to face with war winch may bring bloodshed in their own streets before we are many weeks older, should be taught by responsible Ministers of the Crown to believe that for the two years this war has been going on their interest, safety and security have been prejudiced because some earlier government subordinated those interests to the conduct of, not a vital war, not a war that meant everything to Australia, hut one to be described as a distant war. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr Evatt: -- I ask the right honorable gentleman not to interpret my words in that way. That certainly was not the meaning I intended. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr Anthony: -- They appear in a written speech and were not uttered *ex tempore.* {: .speaker-N76} ##### Mr MENZIES: -- I am reluctant indeed to engage in any form of controversy at a time like this.; but these are plain words which occur in a written statement. {: .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr Harrison: -- They were applauded by the honorable members supporting the Government only a few minutes ago. {: .speaker-N76} ##### Mr MENZIES: -- I have no interest or concern in or any desire for personal controversy with the Minister . for External Affairs. I welcome his statement that ho did not intend his words to be given the meaning which I have attached to them ; but as they have been recorded it is imperative, in the interests of the people of this country, that I should quietly and with restraint record what I believe to be the facts. This Government inherited not only a situation but also many other things about which I have not heard very much in the last week or two. I remind the House and the people of Australia - it may be a little optimistic on my part to say that, because it is unlikely that anything I say will be reported by the newspapers - that this Government inherited in Australia an army of numbers previously unknown in the history of this country, and forces of militia, compulsory military trainees, and permanent troops, all of which had been laboriously built up over a period of two years. {: .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr Pollard: -- With the approval of the Parliament. {: .speaker-N76} ##### Mr MENZIES: -- Of course; but that does not prevent the inheritance of these forces from being of immense significance to Australia. This Government inherited an Australian army in Malaya, for the existence of which we shall be devoutly thankful before we are many days older. It inherited a munitions organization, an effort of which I thought every present Minister and every Australian was proud. No munitions organization can satisfy any one of us as being perfect - nobody knows better than I the gaps in our provision - but for the last two years there has been a degree of work, of organization, of striving in Australia to produce munitions and equipment, -which has excited the admiration of the world. I say that with firsthand knowledge of what is thought in many countries. This Government inherited an air force vastly multiplied, compared with its strength at the outbreak of the war. It inherited an aircraft construction programme. It inherited an Empire Air Training Scheme which, viewed in its proper Empire light, is probably the greatest piece of Imperial co-operation in the history of this war. It inherited all sorts of things of that kind and in addition a naval shipbuilding programme and an organized and financially stabilized community. Are these small things? They did not seem small when we were tackling them. It did not occur to me in the two years that I was in office that they were small things. In spite of that, however, he Minister for External Affairs has unfortunately used an expression, which, unless it is strictly read by the public in the light of what he has been good enough to say since, may be understood to mean- {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr Evatt: -- My meaning corresponds to what the right honorable gentleman himself has said. {: .speaker-N76} ##### Mr MENZIES: -- I accept that assurance with pleasure hut I do not want the public of Australia to be under any misapprehension. The second part of his statement to which I have drawn attention is that the defence of our country has been treated as a subordinate and subsidiary part of a distant Avar. From the moment that the war broke out in 1939, Australia was in a position of extraordinary difficulty. It was - andI have said this not only in Australia but also to audiences of significance in Great Britain and the United States of America - one of the few countries in the world which had simultaneously, with a small population and with meagre resources, to try to do its share first to defend itself and its own shores, and secondly, to make an effective contribution to the total war effort of the British Empire. In other words, from the moment this war broke out, we were forced as honest and patriotic Australians to consider two concerns - one, our own position in Australia, and the other, our position overseas. And from the beginning to the end of the whole period of its administration the previous Government made it perfectly clear that Our first duty was to do everything we could to secure Australia's own territorial integrity. The result of that was the building up of this vast local defence army, the building up of the organization for the equipment of Australian forces, and the carrying out of all of the programme to which I have made a mere passing reference. Hearing some of the things that have been said to-day, one would think that Avar with Japan literally came like a thief in the night. The first impact of the war came like a thief in the night. I agree with everything the Attorney-General has said about the infamy of the circumstances under which hostilities were commenced ; but he would have been a very complacent fool who believed that at any time during the last two years war with Japan was not a distinct possibility. From beginning to end, Ave always had an eye on the possibility of attack by Japan. Why was it that Australian troops went to Malaya and squadrons of the Royal Aus tralian Air Forcewent to Singapore? Why did my colleague, the former Minister for Air, concern himself month after month in re-orienting the Air Force of Australia so that we might be in a position to defend ourselves from an attack from the north? Why did Ave develop Darwin as a naval base? Why were the defences of the outer islands put in order. All of these steps were taken because right through the piecewe knew that, althoughwar with Japanwould not come by our own act, it might neverthe less come because Japan willed it. Itwas my duty at the. beginning of this year to go to Great Britain and America and there to conduct discussions on behalf of the Government and the people of Australia about many matters connectedwith thiswar. It is known to more honorable members in the chamber than myself that a very great deal of my time in Great Britain this yearwas occupied on this very matter of improving our defences in the Far East. If itwere possible to disclose the details of my discussions in London on Far Eastern policy and Far Eastern armaments and equipment, the peoplewould realize that this bracing of ourselves for warwith Japan is no mere afterthought. This matter has been engaging our attention and has been inducing in us the greatest anxiety for many months past. I have sometimes wondered in the last few days whether Ave have overlooked the enormous significance of what has happened to the United States of America in this Avar. Onlya fewweeks ago, the United States of America was riven in two by isolationists and interventionists. Only a little while ago the intervention of the United States of America in diplomatic negotiations in the Far Eastwas regarded as something new and almost dramatic. I interrupt myself to remind the House that the present Government also inherited from the previous Administration a diplomatic service. The Minister for External Affairs will, I am sure, bo the first to say that our own diplomats abroad have played a magnificent part in the vital discussions of the last fewweeks. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr Evatt: -- Certainly. {: .speaker-N76} ##### Mr MENZIES: -- Through the sudden treacherous act of Japan, the United States of America finds itself a belligerent in the Pacific - a belligerent against Japan and Germany, and a belligerent against Italy, not that that matters very much. This enormous power of 130,000,000 people, the greatest industrial nation of the world, finds itself a united nation and has pledged all its resources to the winning of this war. I regret, as we all regret, the loss of brave men in engagements at sea ; but I regard the price of a few battleships as a small one to pay for the full-blooded alliance that their loss has produced between our own people and the people of the United States of America. What will happen to us in Australia, no one can prophesy. For myself, I believe that we in this country shall know attack, at least from the air. I believe that we in Australia shall know something of the red havoc of Avar as they have learnt it in Great Britain in this Avar. {: #debate-9-s4 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Two hours haying elapsed since the meeting of the House, Standing Order No. 119 requires that the debate bc interrupted. Motion (by **Mr. Curtin)** - *by leave -* agreed to - >That, po much of tlie Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent tlie debate being continued. {: .speaker-N76} ##### Mr MENZIES: -- This danger, which has come so close to us, has made every Australian realize, however obscure he may have been about it before, that this Avar is literally a Avar for our own existence. I need engage in no " highfalutin ". Tlie fact is that Ave are fighting for our lives. We may shortly be fighting for our lives in our own towns and in our own countryside. It being true that that almost mythical person, " the man in. the street", now realizes as perhaps he never realized before, the imminent danger and the urgency of this Avar, I believe that the Government can to-day do with universal approval things which only a few months ago might have produced division of opinion, dissension, and even hostility in the community. This is the great moment. Whatever the Government may do to seize it Will be supported by me. It will, I believe, be supported by every honorable member. None of us should hare any personal interest to serve. We must, be ready to serve Australia, and Ave are. The public will also be ready to serve. But as the clays pass and this danger materializes more and more clearly, the public will increasingly urge the establishment in Australia of a small, highly-authorized executive government. The public will not continue to believe that we can have effective administration by a kind of public meeting. They will increasingly say : " There is the National Parliament. It is the Parliament that counts in Australia, and it has in it men of character, ability and experience ". I have never believed that all of the character, ability and experience in this Parliament is to be found on only one side of the House. Therefore, the real problem for any government in office at this moment is to discover the most efficient way in which to harness to the service of the State the best governing elements in the community. It has been said, a little lightly and without adequate emphasis, that it would be a good thing to have in Australia a Supreme War Council. Personally, I regard the setting up of a Supreme War Council in Australia as of the first order of importance. I shall engage in no academic discussion about this subject. It has been debated on previous occasions, and my views and actions in relation to the formation of national governments and the like are well known. Let us at this moment put aside all words and phrases. When the country comes to realize the full gravity of the position, it will demand that a small executive comprising the best men in Australia, irrespective of the political parties to which they belong, shall handle the affairs of the country. What does it matter whether they support one party or another? We shall all he one party when the bombs fall in our streets. To that Executive or Supreme War Council, Parliament must be prepared to give full and unqualified executive authority. I should strike from the limbs of the Executive every existing shackle. I do not say that because I desire to induce some debate on the subject of conscription or the voluntary system of enlistment; the real thing is that in a time of emergency like the present, when everything Ave have is at stake, there should be at the head of affairs in Australia a relatively small body of patriots - I do not care to what party they belong - who possess intelligence, industry and courage. The people should be able to see that we have said to those chosen men, " Upon you we confer all power and authority. Use it to save us." **Mr.** DUNCAN-HUGHES (Wakefield) 1 5.7]. - I propose to go on from the point at which the right honorable member for Kooyong **(Mr. Menzies)** concluded his speech. To the Government, I emphasize the necessity for a fuller degree of co-operation than Cabinet has to date been prepared to allow. Speaking in Adelaide last week, I made several suggestions that I propose to repeat to-day. The first was that we should have now, as we should have had long ago, a national government. Although efforts were made to achieve this objective, they were not successful. A national government - and this falls into line with the comment of the right honorable member for Kooyong - should be formed on the basis of complete freedom from all restrictions by enactment which may at present apply to the powers of the Administration under the Constitution Act. Briefly there are two such restrictions. The first relates to industrial matters, the second to the despatch of troops to theatres of war oversea. It seems strange that the Labour party, which has always supported the granting to the Parliament of the Commonwealth of the fullest possible powers, should endeavour to restrict its powers, or to permit them to remain restricted, as they are in regard to those two matters. In my opinion, the contentions of the right honorable member for Kooyong were perfectly sound. We have heard too much about the war "having just commenced ". The plain truth is that Australia has been at war for more than two years; but the war has come much closer to us since Japan attacked British and American bases in the Pacific. It is highly undesirable that honorable members should leave Canberra without having done everything in their power to ensure that no restriction is applied to the Executive, however that Executive may be composed. A few days ago somebody remarked to me, " Why has Parliament been summoned ? There is only one thing that Parliament, as such, can do. At a time like the present the Executive controls the affairs of the country. But Parliament at least can see that the Government is vested with the fullest possible power, and that all restrictions to the Constitution are removed, so that its efforts will not be shackled ". My second suggestion, which contains a good deal of merit, is that a National Government or Supreme War Council should include men who have seen active service at the front. Whilst I do not wish to make any disparaging remarks about any member of the present or previous Government, the fact remains that since the deaths of J. V. Fairbairn and G. A. Street, no returned soldier has held any one of the four defence portfolios. In my opinion, it is in the highest degree desirable that at least some Ministers should have a background of war service and know what war means. Those particular portfolios should not be granted exclusively to men who possess no practical experience of active service, quite apart from their qualifications and their willingness to serve their country to the best of their ability. War itself involves, as all who have served know, a considerable background. A.t the present time, it is most unwise that no man who possesses an actual knowledge of war conditions should hold a defence portfolio. Such an omission must inevitably hamper the control of the departments concerned. {: .speaker-KRE} ##### Mr Sheehan: -- The present war is different from the last war. {: #debate-9-s5 .speaker-JY7} ##### Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES:
WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA -- In a sense it is different. It is a development of the last war. But I put it to the honorable member for Cook that of the 111 members of the Senate find the House of Representatives, nearly 30 have seen service in either the South African War or in the last war. Does the honorable member suggest that it is not possible to find among their number a man who is fitted to hold one of the four defence portfolios ? My third suggestion is that if a national government be formed, an election arrangement similar to that which exists in England should be reached. I make, this suggestion with some hesitation because there are some honorable members opposite who, I think, could be better replaced by United Australia party candidates. Of course I realize that honorable members opposite apply the converse, perhaps, to myself. But there is a great deal to be said for the arrangement which has worked so admirably in England. All sitting members retain their seats in Parliament for the duration of the war. If a member dies, his seat is within the gift of the party to which the deceased belonged. All parties have bound themselves for the duration of the war to support the sitting members against all-comers, including independents and "breakaways" from other parties. I recognize that the arrangement has its drawbacks, but if it were adopted here, the parties in Parliament would be able to co-operate more effectively than in the past. Lest any one should think that I put forward this suggestion for my own benefit, I mention that I have been endorsed for the next election by my political organization, so that I am taking my own risks. But if my district committee were to ask me to stand down in favour of a candidate with higher qualifications than I possess, I should be prepared without hesitation to do so. Our object at the present time should be to make all parties in this Parliament pull together for the benefit of the community. I again stress the point raised by the honorable member for Barker **(Mr. Archie Cameron)** and emphasized by the right honorable member for Kooyong **(Mr. Menzies)** that at a time like the present the Executive must be completely unshackled. "We cannot afford to have the Executive rushing to Parliament to secure necessary amendments to legislation. No government is likely to desire to take action unless it considers such action to be absolutely necessary. For that reason I have never been afraid that any government would send too many of our men out of Australia. On the basis of what Professor A. V. Dicey calls the "internal sanction", no government is ever likely .to denude this country of soldiers, sailors and airmen to such a degree as would imperil its safety. Therefore honorable members opposite need have no worry on that point. The Government which they support is not likely to take unduly hasty steps. In any case, however, it is wrong to shackle the Executive in such a way as would prevent it from taking action at the moment when such action became obviously essential. It has fallen to me for years past to speak in this Parliament of many things which have since come to pass, but which many honorable members did not consider likely to happen. I emphasize that we are now entering a more acute stage of the war. Therefore, the abler our Executive, and the greater its freedom to take urgent action, the greater will be our chance of pulling through. {: #debate-9-s6 .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN:
Bourke .- Two things prompt me to speak to this debate. First, I believe that the sooner we forget what has been happening in Australia during the last few years, and, instead, remember the immediate danger to Australia, the more united a people we shall be. I do not think that the finger of scorn can be pointed at the Government's predecessors. The two governments which preceded this Government did their very best for Australia according to their lights, and, in that respect, they did a very good best. It is only fair to say that. Any time spent in looking back merely in order to find fault with things done iri the past will be time wasted. The only reason which should induce us to look back is in order to see how we can better our defences and make our people more united. My second reason for speaking to this debate is the revival of the proposal for the formation of a national Government, under some name, with the declared object of introducing conscription for overseas service. The honorable member for Barker **(Mr. Archie Cameron)** and the honorable member for Wakefield **(Mr. Duncan-Hughes)** are candid advocates of conscription for overseas service. The right honorable member for Kooyong **(Mr. Menzies)** is not so candid. In guarded words, he says that he will strike every shackle off the Executive's power. The only shackles on the Executive are, first, that it cannot make any regulation which imposes compulsory service for overseas; and, secondly, any regulation it makes on any subject may be disallowed by the Parliament. The right honorable gentleman proposes that the Executive should be free to make any regulation it might wish to make, that it should be free of control by Parliament, and that it should be free ito introduce compulsion for overseas service. Without discussing in detail the merits of that proposal, I merely say that I do not think that it is possible to get a united people, or Parliament, on any proposal for compulsory service overseas. The Government party is led by men whose rise to influence in the Labour movement began with the conscription campaign. Their most sacred memories of conflict and struggle in this country centre in that struggle. Can any one imagine the honorable member for Melbourne Ports **(Mr. Holloway)** or the Prime Minister **(Mr. Curtin)** being a party to the introduction of compulsion for overseas service? It is impossible to expect that the present leaders of the Government can so far forget their past words and deeds as to support conscription for overseas service. It would be impossible to unite the people of this country on any programme involving conscription for overseas service. Such a policy would be traitorous to Australia. It would be deliberate sacrifice of Australia. We cannot establish unity in this country upon a policy of sending men, unwilling men, to serve overseas. {: .speaker-JY7} ##### Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES: -- Would it make any difference were our cities bombed? {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- That would be a greater reason why our soldiers should be here. {: .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr Harrison: -- What about reinforcements for our troops in Malaya? {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- -The only people who can defend Australia against blazing cities and burning houses are the people of Australia. The people of Australia are for the defence of Australia and not for the defence of countries in the Middle East or elsewhere. So far as Malaya is concerned, if we limited our activities to that country, it is certain that we could raise sufficient men for the purpose under the voluntary system. *I* believe that the people of this country look at the matter in this way: The traditional common law of England has been that although men might be required to take up arms for the defence of their own country they could not be compelled to take up arms for service abroad. That traditional attitude runs right through British history. The Long Parliament, and subsequent Parliaments, over and over again confirmed the principle that while every Englishman was bound to bear arms for his own county, he could not be required to go outside of his own county unless the realm itself were invaded ; and in no circumstances could he be required to go outside Britain. That has been a traditional distinction between a just and defensible compulsion and an unjust and indefensible compulsion. It rests 1101 merely on logic but also on the instinct of man, which calls upon him to take up arms for the defence of his own countryside, for the defence of himself, his wife and children. When the foreign soldier enters a country, he can come only as a declared enemy, with the object of attack upon that country, its homes and its men, and ultimately their wives and kindred. But when a man voluntarily goes overseas as a soldier, he knows perfectly well that he may be required to make war against people who bear him no illwill and against whom he has none. He knows that he has to obey orders; that he may have to serve against men with whom he has no quarrel, and carry death and destruction to people with whom he has no quarrel. When a man enlists, he takes that risk, and is aware of it; but it is wrong to compel anybody to accept the unnatural obligation of invading and destroying in Iraq, Persia, or some other country of which perhaps he has never heard, and with whose people he has no quarrel. That is the position. We have heard a great deal about " total war ". I suppose that total war means a war in which every one does everything in his power to win. I do not believe in total war. There are certain things that we would not do even in order to win a Avar. I cannot conceive of anyone here torturing prisoners in order to make them disclose the secrets of their own army. I cannot conceive of anyone here spreading pestilence in order to win a Avar; and I cannot conceive of anybody compelling unwilling men to take up arms and to carry war into a country with whose people they have no quarrel. That is the fundamental and moral basis of the objection which Australians have to conscription for overseas service. Edmund Burke has told us that though we may use liberty as an abstract name we cannot think of liberty without calling to mind some definite immunity which is for us and our people the core and centre of liberty. That will differ as nations differ. Which immunity a man, a class, a nation shall hold most dear is determined by the experience of that man, that class, that nation. To the masses of the people of Australia the most glowing experience in the struggle for freedom is the defeat of overseas conscription in 1916 and 1917. And it is that immunity from compulsion which, as I believe, the masses of our people hold most dear and will never willingly forgo. {: #debate-9-s7 .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY:
Richmond .- The motion before the House does not call for very much debate. All of us agree with it. However, since this may be my only opportunity to do so in the few days for which we shall be assembled, I propose to make a few observations on Australia's present grave situation. At such a time our people require, first, leadership, and, secondly, organization of our resources. We have a population of only 7,000,000, but we shall be compelled to put forward an effort which would be expected of a much greater population. It is the duty and responsibility of the Executive to organize the resources of the country in such a way as will enable us to present the most effective opposition to the enemy. Government is only another name for national organization. At this critical hour in our history, it is the paramount duty of the Government and the Opposition in this Parliament to utilize to the greatest degree the best talents available in this Parliament. We shall not serve our people if we endeavour to avoid this duty by relying on old political shibboleths. Our imperative need is to secure an Executive which will claim the undivided confidence of our people as a whole. Such an Executive will be representative of all elements in this country. If the Government would face its difficulties now. right from the outset, it would immediately commence discussions with representatives of the Opposition parties for the purpose of forming a Supreme War Council, as has been advo cated by the right honorable member for Kooyong **(Mr. Menzies).** Circumstances, which even now are closing in upon us, must ultimately force the Government to take such a step. Many people in this country will be required to make tremendous sacrifices. Some will have their livelihood swept away from them. The primary producers, especially those dependent upon export, do not know what the future holds for them. Other sections of the community are engaged in various enterprises which the Government may decide are unnecessary. Unparalleled sacrifices will be demanded from tens of thousands of the people. It is important that the people who will be required to make those sacrifices shall be confident that other sections of the community are bearing their quota of the burdens. In order that that confidence shall be widespread it is imperative that every section of the community be represented on the Executive. In a thoroughly representative Executive there would be more courage and less hesitation to do the unpopular things which will have to be done. I do not desire to labour that question, because I realize that certain honorable members opposite, particularly the honorable member for Dalley **(Mr. Rosevear),** who smirks and sneers, cannot believe that when one suggests the formation of a thoroughly representative ministry one does so sincerely. I doubt whether any situation could change the attitude of the honorable member for Dalley and some of his colleagues, but that does not apply to the majority of the Government supporters, who are fully conscious of the dangers and of the need for the most effective organization of this country. The time for recrimination has gone ; now is the time to do things in the interests of every one whom we love in this country. However unpopular such actions may be they must be taken. One of the measures which the Government must take is to impose further taxes. It is useless to talk about a full war effort or of the organization of industry if the people are allowed to retain surplus money which will tempt them to create a demand for goods which are now luxuries. The purpose of taxation in time of war is not only to obtain money but also to divert the spending power of the community from civil consumption to war production. It is essential that the Government use its taxing powers in order to curtail the demand for unnecessary goods and luxuries. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr Evatt: -- The Treasurer is to bring down new taxation measures. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY: -- I congratulate the Government upon its decision. I direct the attention of the Government to the fact that thousands of aliens in this country arc benefiting greatly from the fact that we are at war. Immune from military service, they cannot have their businesses or farms disorganized by their being called into the military ranks. They derive every possible advantage from the war situation and contribute nothing to the defence of the country. Their position must be examined by the Government if only from the point of view of public morale. Dissatisfaction exists when farmers see their sons drawn off the farms while the alien and his gang alongside continue to make hay. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr Rosevear: -- That was the position when the honorable member was a Minister. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY: -- I should have thought that the events of the last ten days would have penetrated even the honorable member's understanding. The Prime Minister is to be congratulated on not having the honorable member for Dalley in his Ministry. The taxation measures recently passed by Parliament may result in curtailment of the production of certain metals, particularly copper, which are vital to the winning of the war. I urge the Treasurer **(Mr. Chifley)** to ascertain for himself whether those measures will not result in diminished production of copper and prevent the opening of new copper mines. I have no personal interest in any copper projects, but I have some information on the subject, and I realize the necessity that nothing be done to impair our ability to produce copper. The United States of America is confronted by a shortage of thousands of tons of copper, and so it is necessary for Australia to produce all the copper that can be mined. I should have liked the opportunity to say, at a secret meeting of honorable members, something about our oil reserves. I should prefer not to mention in open Parliament certain vital mutters connected with the oil reserves, and I intend to discuss them privately with the Minister for Supply and Development **(Mr. Beasley),** butI may be compelled to make the matters public. Excellent as the Commonwealth Public Service is, I know from personal experience that there are insufficient " top flighters " to cope with all of the new work caused by the war. Accordingly, I suggest to the Government that it should make representations to theState governments for the loan of a large number of first-class State officials to the Commonwealth. I make that suggestion not only to the Commonwealth Government, but also to the State governments, which have offered their full co-operation. {: .speaker-K0K} ##### Mr Conelan: -- Why did your Government not do that? {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY: -- I could tell a very sorry story of the efforts which we made to obtain the services of State public servants. Only a few months ago, we repeated our efforts without success. The changed situation and the recognition by the people of Australia of the paramount right of the Commonwealth Government to take control of almost every facility will, I believe, lead State governments to co-operate where they were obstructivea few months ago. On the subject of conscription, the honorable member for Bourke **(Mr. Blackburn),** was contrary to his usual practice, most illogical. He seems not to have realized where the fight really is and where our destiny lies. Our destiny lies not in what happens in Australia, but in the outcome of the war as a whole. If the allied nations be victorious, Australia will be safe, but if they go down, in spite of the fact that we have defended every port and cape in Australia, we shall go down too. Our frontier is not Cape York, Darwin or Wyndham; it is where the greatest threat to our security is made, without doubt, in the East, in Malaya, where our troops are trying with valour to hold off the Japanese onslaught on, Singapore. If that bastion should fall, little would stand in the way of Japanese aggression on these shores. Honorable members opposite, who came into Parliament on a wave of opposition to conscription,, need to be reminded of changed circumstances. "Will nothing alter their minds ? Are their opinions as. immutable as carved stone? Will nothing induce them to see that what a year or two ago they regarded as matters of almost religious principle is changed by the circumstances which exist to-day? Honorable members must be guided by the situation as it exists to-day,, not by the conscription issue of 25 years ago. One of the first acts passed by the Congress of the United States of America after its declaration of war against Japan, provides that soldiers of the United States can be sent to any part of the world. A similar law operates in New Zealand. It applies also in Great Britain, where men and women are equally subject to conscription. If our ally, the United States of America, is willing to send men to Malaya to defend what are its interests no more than they are Australia's interests, should we not also be prepared to match its men, soldier for soldier, so far as our capacity allows? I. believe that the people of Australia are overwhelmingly of that opinion to-day. No doubt some honorable members opposite think differently, but I am sure that if one were to walk along a street and ask the opinion of the first hundred men whom he met, at the same time guaranteeing not to reveal their names, he would find that an overwhelming percentage of the people of Australia favour the sending of Our soldiers to wherever the Government believe they can fight best in the defence of Australia. As a last word, I hope with all possible fervour that the Government will consider the formation of an administration comprised of members from both sides of this House. Whilst I can give an assurance that the fullest possible assistance of honorable members on this side of the House will be forthcoming in any circumstances, there would be a more effective instrument of executive power if the government comprised representatives of all political parties. We should not have an unwieldy cabinet of nineteen members in war-time. Our war administration could be carried on more effectively by a cabinet of from eight to twelve Ministers. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- This Government did not increase the number of Ministers to nineteen. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY: -- I am not commenting on the past. I am indicating what I consider would be the most' effective administration in this hour of great danger not only to the country itself, but also to the individual lives of our people. We must organize and organize. The Government is only a means of organization, and it can organize the resources of the nation effectively only if it is clothed with full executive authority and is assisted by all political, parties. {: #debate-9-s8 .speaker-KYG} ##### Dr PRICE:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · UAP .- I wish to make a few observations at this grave moment,, first because I warned -the House very definitely on the 27th August when tie Menzies Government was in office, and again, on the 5th November, after the Curtin Government had assumed control of the treasury bench, that Japan was about to strike, in fact must strike for one important reason, namely, lack of oil. Secondly, I speak now because, particularly after hearing this debate, I believe that there are still some Australians who do not realize the terrible prospects which confront this country. The position to-day is this: The grouping of world powers which had been expected and foretold by political geographers for twenty year3, has occurred, and there is no other great power which can affect this conflict in any way. The last two countries to join in the conflict have immense strength, but on a very different basis. Immediately Japan brings into the fight experienced and organized forces, 70,000,000 regimented people, an experienced navy of 260 warships, and 6,500,000 conscript soldiers. Fortunately, Japan has very few material resources to carry her through the long war which inevitably, must result. America bring3 in a much larger nation of 140,000,000 people, but it is a nation which is only partly organized. Compared with the Japanese army of 6,500,000 men, America has less than 2,000,000 troops- 300,000 regulars and 1,500,000 partly trained conscripts. America's navy of 320 warships has already suffered great losses, and so far, we know little about its air force, because it has not yet been tried. Onthe other hand, the Japanese air force is very much better than we expected. However, America's resources are ever so much greater than those of our new enemy, and will be the deciding factor, provided we can hold out long enough. According to the latest figures, America is building 367 warships compared with 38 vessels under construction in Japan. Apart from the battles for Britain and the Atlantic, Australia has faced two great threats : The first came from southeastern Europe and north-eastern Africa, and was beaten by the magnificent defence of the Russians, and the splendid work of the British Commonwealth of Nations in Libya, Syria, Iran and Irak, and no less important inGreece and Crete. When the story of the Australian ImperialForce is written, and we realize the full significance of the delays occasioned to Hitler by the successive British campaigns which enabled Russia to struggle on to the winter, and gain time to organize new armies, the part played by Australian soldiers will be revealed as no mean contribution to the victory which we are confident will be attained at a future date. Now Australia faces a much graver and more immediate danger from the north and north-east. Before the entry of Japan into the war, experts believed that American dreadnoughts on their flank at Hawaii, and American defence preparations in the Philippines, would prevent Japan from striking south. We know now that these hopeswere false. Tremendous and successful attacks have been launched on the American possessions, accompanied by assaults on British territories. These attacks have revealed grave miscalculations of Japanese strength, and now Pacific countries are in intense danger. I believe that, at present, Australiawill face no more than serious raids and interruptions to communications, but I agree with the right honorable member for Kooyong **(Mr. Menzies)** that these raids will most certainly come. If the Japanese can strike over distances of 3,000 and 4,000 miles at Hawaii, and even on the Pacific coast of America in the very teeth of the American Navy, how can we expect to fare any better when our possessions and our coastline are only about 1,500 or 2,000 miles from the Japanese-occupied Marshall and Caroline Islands? We are informed that the latest Japanese submarines have a cruising range of 16,000 miles. For the moment attacks on our shores may be only raids aimed at disrupting our production, and, more important still, diverting us from the defence of an area which is absolutely vital to us, namely, Singapore. Only Singapore has the docks to accommodate and repair the battleships which, despite recent disasters, are probably essential to Australia's defence. Yesterday, I obtained an interesting book which has just arrived from the United States of America. It was written by Captain W. D. Puleston, who was head of the American Naval Intelligence. This leading American naval expert analyses the position in the Pacific and forecasts what has already taken place. He names three places which are vital to the defence of Australia and of the whole of the western Pacific. The first place is Singapore, the gateway to Australia, which has the only facilities available for repairing allied capital ships. If we lose Singapore we cannot expect the help of a major capital fleet. The second place is the Philippines where there are docks for repairing large cruisers but not capital ships. Captain Puleston points out that the Philippines form an advance post for the defence of Australia, the Dutch East Indies and other south Pacific territories, and also for an attack upon Japan. The third place which the writer regards as vital is Guam. He contends that it is essential to retain Guam as a base midway between the Philippines and Hawaii, particularly for the refuelling of the smaller American ships. But what is the position to-day? Guam is already lost, and the Philippines and Singapore are sorely beset. I do not wish to be controversial; I do not propose to discuss what this government or that government has done, but I do believe that we should have national political unity in this country to meet the present emergency. The public demands that unity. Personally, I welcome the offer of the Leader of the Opposition, and I hope that a method will be found by which unity can be achieved in this crisis. The nation demands not promises and fair words, but acts. As the Prime Minister **(Mr. Curtin)** said, it wants the Government to be ruthless and to take any action which it considers necessary for our national defence. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr Rosevear: -What does the honorable member mean by "ruthless"? {: .speaker-KYG} ##### Dr PRICE:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · UAP -- I mean what the Prime Minister means, but it is not being ruthless to say in one breath that every gallon of petrol must be conserved, and then, in another breath, to say that further petrol economies will operate from the 1st February next, when a cut of only 20 per cent, will be imposed. Unless direct action be taken, we may encounter fluctuations between the high peaks of public fear and enthusiasm in the face of real danger from raids and the valleys of complacency which can only hinder our war effort. . The time has come for Australia to regiment and, if necessary, use all available resources of wealth, industry, man-power and woman-power. I wish to be quite definite about this matter. I should be prepared to go just as far as they have gone in England and New Zealand. If it will please the public to have a small capital levy, then I do not mind. If it is necessary to place certain war industries more under the control of the Government, once again I do not mind. I believe that everything should be " all out" in this emergency. The Government should ask Parliament for the fullest possible power, whether it is to be used or not, and Parliament should grant that power without dissent. I am very sad that this trouble over conscription for overseas service is being encountered. I contend that the Government should have power to impose conscription if necessary. I quite agree that if our cities were bombed and men saw their women and children torn to pieces by explosions, there would be such a torrent of volunteers that conscription would not be required. With Japan breaking through our line in the Pacific, with Guam gone, and with Wake Island and Midway Island in danger, the question may not be whether we shall send conscripts to reinforce our forces overseas, but whether we can send reinforcements abroad. I believe that the Government should have this power in case it should be needed. [ welcome the suggestion of the Leader of the Opposition that we should proclaim an Australian zone of national defence in the Pacific and that we should be able, if necessary, to use Militia formations within that zone where, as I have said, Singapore, the Philippines and other places are absolutely essential to our defence. Russia has adopted that system. That nation sent conscripts beyond its boundaries in order to fight Finland and Rumania. Great Britain and New Zealand have adopted it. The Netherlands Government has already sent forces to aid our forces at Singapore. As has been pointed out, the United States of America Senate, by no less than80 votes to none, has decided that conscript forces shall be used, if necessary, to protect the western Pacific. The time has come for us to be forthright and tell our people of the alternatives that are involved in victory or defeat. I speak of this with great emphasis because, for sixteen months in the early stages of the war, when I gave broadcast talks on current events, my addresseswere censored so that I could not tell listeners to the fullwhat might happen to Australia andwhat the democracies were really fighting against. Victory will mean the retention of the White Australia policy the maintenance of one of the highest living standards in theworld, and the continued improvement of our social system. Defeat will mean,what I do not believe is clearly realized even yet, namely that, for the first time in centuries, a yellow people may control the remnant! of awhite race. To Japan, Australia is no mean prize. We have the iron and the coal that it needs desperately for its industrial development. Our settled areas - not the wild outback, the bush country - and our climate are highly suitable to the Japanese people. Aswas hinted tactfully by the right honorable member for Kooyong, the Japanese are a most kindly race - to theirown folk. But the record of their armies in China shows, in the words of an actual observer, " A bestial cruelty that would prove instructive to the most sadistic German ". One cannot believe that those Australians who are still mispleading " democratic rights ", in order to shelter the neglectful, realize what we really face. If the worst came to the worst and a part of this country were occupied, there would be no hope of that racial cooperation within the country that we would get from a yellow race like our gallant allies, the Chinese, who co-operate splendidly with white races. The record of the Japanese in Hawaii - we have just learned about their fifth-column activities there - shows that, of all oriental peoples, they co-operate least with white people of any stock. The position that I have outlined - and I have not exaggerated it one iota - should lift all patriotic Australians above what are now minor matters, political, social and economic, and unite us with one tie - the tie of the blood brotherhood of our white descent. Overnight, we have been thrown back into the Dark Ages, when yellow races poured into civilized Europe. But there is every hope that, if we can hang on, the immense force of the Anglo-American democracies will be organized and regimented with our own in a total war effort that will bring victory. I believe, as the right honorable member for Kooyong has hinted, that the time between now and the achievement of that victory will test to the utmost the fibre of our young Australian nation. In order to win through we must cast aside every hindrance to national defence. {: #debate-9-s9 .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN:
Bendigo .- I believe, in common with the honorable member for Boothby **(Dr. Price),** that we are to-day facing the greatest crisis in our history. I believe, also, that the population of Australia will support the King's Government to-day in anything that it is prepared to do for the defence of the nation. But I urge the Government not to stop half way, not to be afraid to do what it knows to be right. It is the responsibility of the Government to provide an armed force to defend this country, and it is the responsibility of the Government to decide where that force shall go. If by sending that force to New Guinea, Malaya, or any other place beyond our shores, we can keep the enemy out of this country, thus preserving those whom we love from the dreadful risks that the people of Great Britain and the Near East are experiencing, that will be an achievement of which this Government will have good reason to be proud. I have never been in favour of conscription for overseas service ; I say so openly and unashamedly, and I have very good reasons for doing so. But I do not consider that fighting in the defence of Singapore should be regarded as overseas service. Singapore is an outpost of Australia. One need only look at the map once, and see the chain of islands leading to the northern part of Australia, in order to realize how vulnerable we are to attack from that direction. The enemy can approach Australia from base to base, step by step, and the Japanese are apt to take very long steps, as they proved to the Americans recently at Pearl Harbour, and as they proved to us, also, in the region of Singapore. The day has come when, irrespective of what its views have been in the past, irrespective of what it may have done for political expediency, and irrespective of what may happen in the future, the Government should take upon its shoulders the responsibility of defending this country and keeping the enemy from our shores, if that be humanly possible. The Government is responsible for the armed forces. {: .speaker-K0K} ##### Mr Conelan: -- What about equipment? {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- The honorable member has done little to produce equipment. Until this Government came into power, he did not, to my knowledge, lift his voice once in order to encourage munition workers to stay at work during a strike by pointing out their duty as Australians to ensure that their colleagues fighting for Australia and the liberty which we enjoy should be supplied with equipment. {: .speaker-K0K} ##### Mr Conelan: -- That is untrue. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- The honorable gentleman to my knowledge did not once do so. {: .speaker-K0K} ##### Mr CONELAN:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · ALP -- The honorable member must have been asleep. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- I am satisfied that the honorable gentleman was asleep for many years. I have heard his statements with regard to the defence of Australia; unfortunately, too many people were suffering from the same sleeping sickness as that which affected him. The Government is responsible for our armed forces. A part of its responsibility is to ensure that the right men are in charge of those forces. It has been reported that certain men in command of our fighting services are to be removed from their posts. If the Government is satisfied that these men are inefficient it should relieve them of their commands, immediately. It is time for Australia to bring back its own men to teach us the latest lessons of war. It is time for us to get rid of men who are being paid almost twice as much as Australians of equal rank, and iu British currency, in order to direct our fighting services. I mention one of these men, the man in charge of our Air Force,, who said repeatedly that the Japanese had very few aeroplanes and in any case could not fly them properly. That is the sort of man who has been sent out to advise Australia about defence. "We have Australians of undoubted ability, men whose knowledge of aerial warfare stands second to none, who have fought in the air in two wars, and who have covered themselves- with glory in this war. Why should we bring to Australia to direct our air operations somebody who, possibly, was not wanted in Great Britain, and pay him an exorbitant salary, while he tells us things that are not true? We cannot deny the fact that the Japanese, whether we like it or not, have proved themselves to be gallant and efficient airmen. The diebards may say, " Well, after all,, they are only Japanese and we are British officers ", but that will not kill our enemies, or save battleships from destruction. The Australian Imperial Force is entitled to the first call on our supplies of equipment. It is fighting for us to-day, as it has been fighting now for nearly two years. Those men must be given priority, but,, after they have been well supplied, we must retain the equipment produced in Australia until such time as we are efficiently armed. {: .speaker-K0K} ##### Mr Conelan: -- That has not been done. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- It can be done: The honorable member is a supporter of the present Government and he should help to. ensure that it is done. We must arm our own people,, because there is a definite risk that we shall have to fight the- enemy on our own soil. Whether we shall suffer a major raid or an invasion,, it is absolutely certain that, our seaborne commerce and our coastal towns will be attacked.. Up to the present time we have had two separate military forces. There should be but one force of Australian troops. The Australian Imperial Force and the Militia Forces should be united. Their members should receive the same rates of pay and should serve under the same conditions. I am not referring to men who are called up for a three-months course of training, but to the men who are called up for full-time service within Australia, many of whom have had to sacrifice their business interests and their livelihood in doing so, and who may be fighting the enemy before many members of the Australian Imperial Force are in action. There is a definite possibility that the Militia regiments stationed at Darwin may meet the enemy before some members of the Australian Imperial Force. It is time that these men were put on an equal footing with members of the Australian Imperial Force and were placed under the same command. The Government has appointed a commander-in-chief of home defence. It would be farcical to give that man a staff of about two men. The greatest military genius in the world could not conduct the operations of an army efficiently without a proper staff selected and trained by himself. He must see his own troops, and know the standard of their training: It is time that the Government took action, irrespective of any jealousy or self-interest that may exist in the forces, so' that whoever is appointed as commander-in-chief shall have an adequate staff, full command of his troops, and full control of their training. *Sitting suspended from 6.15 to 8 p.m.* {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- The responsibility rests on the 'Government, not only to raise the necessary armed forces, but also to see that their work is properly coordinated. All honorable members will agree, I think, as to the necessity for complete co-ordination of the operations of the air, land and naval: forces. During the last war, those forces co-operated in an ideal manner, but the custom appears to have arisen for them to operate as separate forces. This practice has been carried out to such a degree that no military officer can legally give an order to a member of the Air Force. . A senior military officer -was not allowed to take the salute at a parade at Ballarat recently, when members of his own forces passed him, but he was required to step down and allow an Air Force officer, much junior in rank to himself, to take the salute. *Ti* may be an unpopular thing to say, but, in my opinion, the Air Force is being spoilt. If I had my own. way, I should burn to-morrow all the .blue uniforms in Australia, and place all members of our fighting services in khaki, telling them that they are all good members of the Australian Imperial Force or of the Militia and that none Ls entitled to any special privilege. When beds were requisitioned for the Casualty Clearing Station in my division, we could not obtain them-, hut members of the ground staff of . the Air Force, whose rank is equal to that of privates in on infantry battalion, were sleeping in beds -with sheets and pillows, and our men were sleeping on the ground. Such distinctions should not be made. They have produced a complex which has caused members of the Air Force to believe that they are the sole arbiters in deciding what they should do. The most successful army the world has produced in the last century is that of Germany. Each division in the German Army has its own air force, and -the brigade commanders have their own section of the Air Force. We shall not have complete co-operation between the various arms of the services until a system similar to that in operation in the German Army is adopted in connexion with Australia's armed forces. When the British troops were retreating to Dunkirk, the Air Force was bombing places in the Buhr, hundreds of miles away. The lives of many of our fine soldiers who took part in the retreat to Dunkirk might have been saved if the Air Force had been bombing the tanks that were attacking them. The British Air Force was in occupation in Crete for eight months, yet it made no attempt to establish aerodromes and build up a big air force there. It was said that it was impossible to give air support to the members of our forces who were struggling back to the coast down the Grecian peninsula, but, within eleven days of the time our men retreated to Crete, the German Air Force bom.bed them practically out of that island. I believe that British soldiers had similar experiences in Libya. During recent days, we have lost two great battleships because they did not have any air support. I do not know what the reason was, nor can I say who was at fault, but those vessels should have had air support, or should not have taken the risk they did. The responsibility rests upon the Government to see that the work of our armed forces is .co-ordinated. Enlistment for the Australian Imperial Force has been badly handled, not only by the present Government but also by previous governments. There was a wave of enthusiasm when Japan entered the war, and it is inconceivable to me that the suggestion should have been made that members of the Militia should not be permitted to join the Australian Imperial Force. Whoever was responsible for that decision made a grave mistake, and one which Australia will possibly have reason to regret. {: .speaker-K0K} ##### Mr Conelan: -- The honorable member does not know who .gave that order. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- If I were Minister for the Army, I should soon find out from whom it came. I believe that the Government is doing the right thing in mobilizing men. Only a partial mobilization is taking place, and I believe that the mobilization should be complete. We should call up such men as are needed not only for the armed forces, but also for the administrative staffs, which should be brought to full strength. The various workshops should have a full personnel because it is impossible for an army to function properly without fully equipped workshops to support it. The Government should also take over all of the big factories which are being used at present almost wholly for the production of munitions. At a time of crisis, such as that through which we are now passing, the interests of individuals and companies should not be considered. We should consider only the interests of this great country, and of the gallant men who are fighting for us. If the government of the day had the courage to do that, it would have 99 per cent, of the people of Australia behind it. Honorable members opposite have complained that Australia is not producing sufficient munitions, and that the manufacturers are not being supplied with the necessary metals and other requisite materials. They wailed about this when they were in opposition, but, within three weeks of taking over the reins of government, they declared that the munition factories of Australia were putting forward a remarkable effort. They even took credit for the large production of munitions in this country, although the work had been in progress for over two- years. I believe that the Government is trying to do the right thing, and, although I shall support it while it continues to do its best, it should not take credit to itself for the whole of our war production, and for the fact that Australia has armed forces, even though they may not be fully equipped, which I am sure would put up an heroic fight in the defence of this country if an enemy should come to these shores. Honorable members opposite are inclined to say that members of the forces are not doing the right jobs. I point out that the conditions under which service chiefs and senior departmental officers work are almost impossible. The position is that when one of the service chiefs wants to do something which he knows to be essential to the well-being of the armed forces, he finds that his plans are defeated by treasury officials and are held up indefinitely. The business boards are responsible to-day for the fact that we have not a sufficient supply of uniforms. {: .speaker-K0K} ##### Mr Conelan: -- "Who appointed those boards? {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- The previous Government appointed some of them, but the present Government is still appointing similar boards, and must take a large share of the blame. A ruling was given that it was unnecessary for the forces to have refrigerators south of the tropics. I objected to that decision, and surprise was expressed at my objection, because it was said that when I was serving in Palestine in the last war no refrigerators were provided. Apparently it was forgotten that in Palestine, in the last war, the troops lived largely on biscuits and tinned meat, and often did not taste fresh bread or fresh meat foi- long periods. I claim that the Government should make its own decisions, and get rid of half of the business boards. We have had experience in connexion with our own forces of the treatment to which military men are subjected, as the result of reports by political commissars who have been sent out by the British War Council as spies. One of these was named Lyttleton. I believe that General Wavell is a great soldier, but he was given a job which it was beyond the power of any man to do with an insufficient number of troops, and the British authorities got rid of him. **Sir Alan** Cunningham did a great job in Abyssinia. He also went to Libya, and from what I can hear and read about him, his tactics were brilliant; but, despite the fact that last April it was known that the German tanks were armed with 6-pounder guns and our tanks dared not go out into the open country without the risk of being destroyed, the British War Council sent **Sir Alan** Cunningham out with tanks armed with 2-pounder guns, with a range of only SOO yards, as compared with the range of 1,800 yards of the German 6-pounder guns. In my opinion, he was not defeated, but was merely held up, thanks to the magnificent courage of the New Zealanders and South Africans. The political commissar looked round for a scapegoat. I should have dealt with him in the way David dealt with Uriah the Hittite. I should have taken care that Lyttleton was placed in the forefront of the battle, in such a position that he would not have been able to make a report when the fight was over. The Government has certain jobs to do to-day, and it cannot appoint boards or commissions to relieve it of its own responsibility. Its *first* duty is to reinforce the Australian Imperial Force. We may not accept a further responsibility in the Near East for the present; but if the Government does not reinforce the Australian Imperial Force it will be one of the blackest betrayals the world has ever witnessesd. It is the job of the Government to increase the production of munitions and to keep people in training irrespective of where they may be sent or of disabilities that they may suffer. We should have men available to fight in the regular forces wherever they are required. The most important job of the Government is to keep the fight out of Australia if it is humanly possible to do so. We do not wish to see our cities burning, our streets littered with dead, and our land soaked in the blood of those who are near and dear to us. We do not desire the people of our villages to suffer like the villagers of Russia. No sacrifice would be too great to achieve these ends. I do not believe that 1 per cent, of our people, apart from those who have given their sons and daughters and their near relatives to the fighting forces, have made any real sacrifice up to date. Some people may have put money into war loans and have made gifts to the Government, but that kind of thing does not involve real sacrifice. For the great hulk of us there has been no alteration of our way of living, and no lowering of our standards. The time will come, before this war is over, when we shall have to accept lower standards of living. We shall be called upon to sacrifice our luxuries if we want to keep our country free, and to preserve its liberties. It is the job of the Government to call for and demand the sacrifices that are necessary to victory. This job can be done only by the Government, and I trust that it will have the courage to declare that our outposts are at Singapore, Borneo, in the Timor, or anywhere else beyond Australia where we have a chance to fight the foe and prevent the invasion of our own shores. If the Government faces this responsibility with courage and determination and does the job it may well be described by future historians as the greatest Government Australia has ever known. {: #debate-9-s10 .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR:
Dalley .- The motion before the House expresses endorsement of our declaration of war upon Japan and certain other countries. During the debate honor-able gentlemen opposite have suggested that this is not the time to review the past. They say that we must devote our attention solely to the present and the future. I suggest that it is not the time for us to emulate the ostrich by digging our heads in the sand, or to give support to any suggestion that, like the Bourbons of France, we can learn nothing from what has gone before. It is high time, in fact, for us to take stock. The Government and the Parliament, as well as the people, should pay serious heed to events abroad- in the last two years. However patriotic we may be, and however strongly we may desire to defeat the Nazi hordes, we must admit that, so far, there have been few bright spots in the war for us. There have been numerous apologies by our leaders for failure to do things that ought to have been done. Numerous alibis have also been set up, but these have not got us far. We cannot close our eyes to ne fact that, despite the work of fifth columnists in France, the disorganization of the French forces had begun before the final collapse due to fifth column activities. Let us for a moment, look at the happenings in Libya. We were told, in the first place, that Great Britain had complete command of the Mediterranean Sea from Suez to Gibraltar; yet, notwithstanding a glorious success by our arms in Libya, we were faced, within a very few weeks, with a. most inglorious defeat. But it was still said that we had complete command of the seas ! Our naval, military and air force advisors assured us that preparations bad been made to meet any eventuality, yet defeat came to us, and all the fruits of the great success of the Australian arms were lost. In Syria and Ira.n we find a bright, spot or two, for our forces were successful in defeating a more or less unwilling adversary. In Greece and Crete, however, catastrophe came to ns again, due to the fact that our men were poorly armed, ill equipped to fight, and not supported by even the semblance of co-operation between the military and air commands. I am pleased that this fact has been admitted by the honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Rankin).** {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr Rankin: -- I did not say that. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR: -- In spite of these facts the honorable member for Wakefield **(Mr. Duncan-Hughes)** declared this afternoon that our military misadventure in Greece and Crete would live in history because it had resulted in a successful resistance by Russia to Germany. I dispute that statement. In my view the Russian resistance was due to the great work of the Russian leaders. The Russian army purges itself, whenever necessary, of ineffective leaders, and places in command men of natural ability irrespective of whether they may have graduated in certain military colleges or may wear certain old school ties. The great factor in the success of the Russian army has been its leadership. I do not regard our failure in Greece and Crete as having contributed in any substantial way to the success of the Russian forces, though I am convinced that the Russian success has given the civilized world at least a rallying chance of defeating the Nazi forces. Let us now move to Malaya, the scene of our latest military adventure. Our naval, military and air force leaders assured us that in this area also we were ready to meet any eventuality. Consequently the people of Australia and, possibly, the people of Great Britain, were lulled into a false sense of security. It now transpires that we were not prepared to meet any attack. We have been told in Australia for years that Singapore was of value because it was a naval base, yet we now know that it was not properly equipped with naval forces. How may a naval base be defended without naval forces ? If it had not been for the efforts of this Government there would probably still be no naval forces in Singapore. {: #debate-9-s11 .speaker-JWT} ##### Mr FRANCIS:
MORETON, QUEENSLAND -- Nonsense. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR: -- The right honorable member for Kooyong **(Mr. Menzies J said this afternoon that he had made strong representations in Great Britain with the object of causing substantial naval forces to be located at Singapore, but I have a vivid recollection of having asked the right honorable gentleman a question on this subject while he was Prime Minister. I wished to know whether, in fact, Singapore had reached the stage of being capable of dealing with a potential invader of Australia. The facetious reply, given in the inimitable manner of the right honorable gentleman, was to the effect that I should join a college of strategists, or something of the kind, so that I could give advice as to how Singapore could be held. I did not ask my question as an expert, claiming military or naval knowledge; I asked it simply as a person with some common sense. That common sense indicated to me that if Singapore were to be held as a naval bade it must have adequate equipment. About two months after having given me that facetious reply the right honorable gentleman advanced as one of his main reasons for a desire to return to Great Britain the need to impress upon the British Government the urgent necessity to locate substantial naval forces at Singapore. Yet it was only after this Government assumed office that anything adequate was done in that direction.** {: .speaker-009MB} ##### Mr McEwen: -- There are some members of the honorable gentleman's own party who would not support that statement. Ma-. ROSEVEAR. - Unfortunately, when capital ships were sent to Singapore they were not adequately supported by air forces, and 'the honorable member for Indi **(Mr. McEwen),** as the former Minister for Air, must accept responsibility in that connexion. He and his colleagues must also accept responsibility for what is happening in Malaya to-day. Although our capital ships in Malaya signalled for aerial assistance, it did not arrive until two hours after the ships had gone to the bottom of the sea. It, therefore, ill becomes the honorable gentleman to interject. We have been informed in the latest reports that 100 troopships and supply ships are within 300 miles of Singapore, and that it is to be feared that there are insufficient fighter aircraft in the locality to assist our bombers in the task of dealing with these troopships in order to prevent the landing of troops in the area. In all these circumstances, it must be evident to honorable gentlemen that the time has come for a careful review of the political, diplomatic and defence leadership of the Empire. The assurances that we have received from time to time that our forces are ready in various parts of the world to meet any eventuality have proved to be entirely unreliable, and when disaster has overtaken us we have been issued with statements about our masterful retreat and the like, and have been told that our forces were either underarmed or under-equipped, or were overwhelmed . by superior numbers. It is time we took effective action in respect of persons responsible for such circumstances. The seriousness of the loss of the aerodrome within 150 miles of Singapore can scarcely be over-estimated. According to the so-called authorities, we had sufficient air defences to hold the aerodrome, but, in actual fact, we have lost it. If that loss should lead to the loss of Singapore, Australia will be faced with an additional serious menace. Some honorable gentlemen opposite have shown a lamentable disposition to underrate the seriousness of the warnings issued by the press, and also a serious incapacity properly to interpret public opinion. If they mixed with the people, as I do, they would know what is being said. They would know also that the great mass of the people are sick to death of the apologies that are being made for our defeats. One thing abundantly clear is that the views expressed by the honorable members of the Opposition in this House to-day do not correctly summarize public opinion. We are told in the press that England is packed with fighters. The following statement is reported to have been made in Melbourne last Saturday by the Minister for Air **(Mr. Drakeford)** - >Australia's first night fighter squadron, equipped with Beau-fighters, has been established at a British base. > >The squadron was fully prepared to meet the threatened renewal of heavy air attacks on the United Kingdom. > >This was the latestRoyal Australian Air Force unit to become fully operational. > >I have been advised by the Royal Australian Air Force overseas head-quarters that the squadron has already earned a reputation for sound flying and clever tactics. I am beginning to wonder, as is the press, why some of those young Australians who have been trained under the Empire Air Training Scheme are not forming squadrons in Australia for the protection of their native land. It is not newspaper talk, but the statement of a responsible Minister, that Great Britain is packed with fighters to-day, and that in that respect it has air parity with Germany. Yet we are in the gravest danger in the Pacific because thereis not a sufficient number of fighters to protect our men who are fighting in the military forces! This newspaper went on to say - >The Government must demand fighters and bombers, and demand that the muddlers and fuddlers bo dealt with. With that opinion, I heartily concur. I do not suppose that honorable members will contend that these newspapers are fifth columnists, or are acting detrimentally to Australia. The following paragraph appeared in the Sydney *Daily Telegraph* of the 15th December - >British forces in Malaya urgently need modern, fast fighting planes. So do the British forces in Libya. Yet we are told that Britain has air parity with Germany, can blacken the sky with fighters. > >The situation recalls the following story from the American Civil War: - General George B. McClellan, then Commander of the Union Forces, was conducting a waiting campaign; and so careful was he to avoid mistakes that little headway was evident. > >President Lincoln thereupon wrote him a letter: - "My dear McClellan. - If you don't want to use the Army I should like to borrow it for a while.. Yours respectfully, Abe Lincoln." I suggest that we should like to borrow some of those fighters which are waiting for trouble to arise when they ought to be looking after the trouble that is right at our doors. The question is, how much longer can we continue to send men out of this country to Malaya or to any place in the Pacific or elsewhere if we are to be abandoned in future to the degree that we have been up to date? If we are to be forced to rely on our own resources in order to defend our native land, it might be judicious on our part not to send any more of our forces to Malaya, but to keep all of them here to defend this country, and place on our enemy the obligation of transporting its troops something like 2,000 miles. We should have a much better chance of defending Australia on Australian soil, than on soil to which it could take the whole of its forces overland through Indo-China. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr Archie Cameron: -- What is to prevent it from bringing them here? It has 5,000,000 tons of shipping. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR: -- The honorable member for Boothby **(Dr. Price)** laid great stress on the fact that Japan has 6,500,000 soldiers. At the most, we could raise not more than 300,000. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr Archie Cameron: -- Rubbish! {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR: -- I do not know where more could be obtained. Mention has been made of a gigantic scheme of munitions production, in addition to the maintenance of the other services of the country. Where are the extra men to be obtained ? I do not know. The honorable member for Barker **(Mr. Archie Cameron)** may have information concerning an un revealed source from which more than 300,000 men could be drawn. I am preparedto accept his estimate. What number does he suggest could be raised ? {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr Archie Cameron: -- I am not debating the matter at present. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR: -- I know that. The honorable member is merely " chipping in", with as much intelligence as a cockatoo. When challenged to say what number he thinks could be raised, he declines to accept the challenge. I am prepared to double the number I have mentioned, if that will satisfy him, and make it 600,000. If we are to be left to our own resources, aswe have been largely up to date, it might be better for us to defend Australia in Australia, than to fight overseas; because, after all, the enemy has the facilities to take 6,500,000 men overland right into Malaya,whilst on the other hand the men whom Ave send are perhaps ill-equipped and certainly arewithout proper protection. The right honorable member for Kooyong took strong exception to the statement of the Minister for External Affairs **(Dr. Evatt)** that this Government had inherited a situation inwhich, for some reason or another, the defence of our country had been treated as a subordinate and subsidiary part of a distant Avar. I do not know whether the Ministerwishes to qualify that statement or not, but I regard it as a plain statement of fact. I do not think that anybody. reviewing the strength and disposition of our naval forces, our Air Force, and our Army,when honorable members opposite were in power, and the manner inwhich arms and ammunition were sent out of Australia as fast as it was manufactured,would say that there is need to withdraw any portion of the statement that the defence of our country had been treated by the previous Government, for one reason or another, as a subordinate or subsidiary part of a distant Avar. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr Rankin: -- How long does the honorable member think that wewould have lasted had Great Britain been taken? {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR: -- I am not discussing the taking of Britain or any other place, but merely referring to the exception taken by the right honorable member for Kooyong to the statement of the Minister for External Affairs. The right honorable gentleman reviewed some of the legacies he had left to us, one legacy being the Empire Air Training Scheme. That is avery fine legacy, no doubt, but not very effective for the defence of Australia. Although we provided the men, and gave them their initial training, I do not think that any of them have returned to Australia to give it the benefit of their thorough training in Air Force technique. Consequently, the right honorable gentleman merely denuded Australia of some of its best and most capable defenders, in order that they might defend some other part of the British Empire. That was not much of a legacy to leave to Australia. The right honorable gentleman also left the legacy of munitions production. He appointed experts, representing big businesses,who have prevented that expansion of munitions productionwhich could have taken place but for their operations. The right honorable gentleman went on to say that he gave to Australia a militia army. He did - a militia army without arms, without a gun. Some of the camps had one gun to ten men. Some of the men did not see a machine-gun during the whole of the time that they were in camp. Of course, he gave us an army - an army in khaki! So far as training men in the arts of warfare, or the use of offensive implements, the results were negligible. The right honorable gentleman further said that he gave us an air force. Where was this microscopic air force when his Government left office ? He gave us a navy ; where was it? We had mine-layers, laying mines within ten miles of the principal ports of Australia. Ships were being sunk off our coast. Where was the Navy at that particular time, when honorable members opposite were in control of the destinies of this country? The right honorable gentleman assured us that, although treachery was involved in Japan's attack, he and his Government knew for two years that eventually we should have to fight Japan. Yet he threatened to jail men because they refused to load pig-iron for shipment to Japan, for the making of munitions with which to shoot our troops, and the Chinese with whom Japan was then engaged in war! That is the sort of legacy which honorable members opposite left to this Government. They are shedding crocodile tears to-day because of what might happen in Australia. The honorable member for Richmond **(Mr. Anthony)** this afternoon took great offence because there was a smirk on my face. Little did he realize how difficult it was for me to avoid laughing aloud when I heard him describing the great record of the Government to which he had the honour to belong. He was one of the gentlemen who, day after day, rose in his place in this very corner from which I am now addressing the House, and demanded that the Government should deregister the waterside workers union and jail the men who were responsible for holding up the shipment of pig-iron to Japan - a Government which for two years knew that eventually we should have to fight Japan. It fed Japan with munitions, with wool with which to clothe its soldiers, and as late as last year with wheat in order that it might sustain its civil population as well as its army. Yet the right honorable member for Kooyong takes exception to the statement that this legacy was left to the present Government by its predecessors! The people of this country had shown that they were sick and tired of the previous Government, and desired a change, yet no sooner was the change effected than honorable members opposite had the effrontery to suggest that their services might be utilized in a national govern ment. If I interpret aright the wish of our people, their instruction is that this Labour Government shall stand or fall by its policy. They want a complete change from the policy of the previous Government, which for two years knew that Japan was going to attack us and yet left our defences in such a deplorable state as was admitted by one of the exMinisters of the Menzies Cabinet. Honorable members opposite had the effrontery to offer to this Government the hand of friendship in a coalition, in order that they might bring their muddling influence into its decisions. It is strong enough to stand on its own feet, and has in it enough men of ability to guide the destinies of this country. The people wanted a change, and were given it. Honorable members opposite have let the cat out of the bag. They merely want to interfere in the government of this country. Probably they would make it a condition of their acceptance of a coalition that Labour should set aside *its* timehonoured policy of anti-conscription. The Labour movement has not the least intention of doing so. Not a man on this side would dare to face the wrath of the organized Labour movement if he betrayed his trust by acceding to the suggestion of honorable members opposite to introduce conscription by either political deed or any other kind of deed. There has been much talk concerning a maximum war effort. As I said . in my speech on the budget the time has arrived when the Government must make a true assessment of what this country is capable of doing; just how many men it can afford to send overseas ; whether, indeed, it should send any more men overseas, in view of the position which has arisen in the Pacific ; how many men it can afford to take from its munitions and civil industries for the purpose of defending this country against invasion. The Government must decide to what degree our civil industries can be converted into establishments for the manufacture of munitions without facing the possibility of an economic collapse. There must be a proper balance; and I believe that the present Government is capable of striking that balance without the muddling interference of honorable gentlemen opposite. In view of the danger now confronting us, will those who have advocated conscription now say that we should send more men out of Australia ? {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr Archie Cameron: -- Some of us said so this afternoon. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR: -- Every man is now conscripted for service in Australia. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr Archie Cameron: -- I should prefer to fight for this country outside Australia, titan within its boundaries. {: .speaker-K6Q} ##### Mr Bernard Corser: -- So far, the honorable gentleman has not left Australia to fight. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR: -- I have no time for those " croakers " who, both inside and outside the Parliament, continually condemn Australia's war effort. No part of the British Empire has made a greater *per capita* contribution towards expeditionary forces overseas, the Empire Air Training Scheme, the naval defence of the Empire, or the manufacture and supply of munitions, than Australia has done. I regret that in this House there are men who, instead of standing up for Australia, are so unmindful of the praise due to their fellow men that they continually seek to belittle the Australian worker by attributing to him " go-slow " methods and an unwillingness to put forward his best effort. They continually cry that Australia's need is for production to be speeded up. It is all very well for honorable members, who sit here for a few hours a month, to talk about speeding up the manufacture of munitions. I have been through a number of munitions factories, where I have seen men with bloodshot eyes due to strain in the performance of work requiring the closest attention. I have seen men who, although engaged on tedious repetition work for twelve hours a day, are prepared to give up their holidays in order that the fight may be carried on in the workshop. There are various ways of losing the munitions which we produce. They may be lost by misfortune at sea, or by the actions of generals who have mastered the strategy of retreat. If we had the munitions that were lost in France, Libya, Egypt, Greece, Crete, Somaliland, and elsewhere, by retreating generals, we should have sufficient supplies on hand to enable every worker in a munitions factory to take a three months' holiday. If honorable- gentlemen opposite want- to improve Australia's, war effort they should not decry the men who are winning the wai- by fighting in the trenches, or fighting in the Navy, the Air Force, o:the workshop. Rather should they go to the so-called experts who have told us that everything is right,, but. have so often retreated when the clash came, leaving behind large supplies of munitions in various dumps. If our war effort is to be improved, we must start with the " tall poppies ". if the Government does that, as I believe it will, Australia's war effort will be improved 100 per cent. {: #debate-9-s12 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Leader of the United Australia party · North Sydney '. - I shall say very little, because the time for words has passed and the time for action has come. Indeed, I should not have risen at all to-night were it not that the adjournment of the debate might create a false impression in other countries. The motion of the Prime Minister **(Mr. Curtin)** calls upon this House to approve of the action of the Government in declaring the existence of a state of war with Japan, Finland, Hungary and Rumania, and to pledge itself to take every step deemed necessary to defend the Commonwealth and the territories, to carry on hostilities' in association with our allies, and to achieve final victory over our enemies. To that motion, I heartily subscribe. The events of the last few days have created a situation in Australia which is without precedent in our history. As the Prime Minister reminded us this afternoon, for 150 years we went our rose-strewn way in a distracted, world torn by revolution and war.. We have indeed been a fortunate people. Nothing has ever happened to us. And although for over two years this war has brought ruin,, desolation and death to many coun-tries, it has not hitherto disturbed the even tenor of our way. But the entry of Japan into the war has revolutionized our situation. Australia is now confronted with dangers with which other nations have become only too familiar. We must face not only the position as it exists to-day, but also that- which it may soon become, and we must face it- calmly. There must be no lamentations,, no re. criminations,, and no destructive criticisms. To-day, "unity" a word but yesterday in all men's mouths', is pregnant with a new meaning. The tocsin has rung " Australia is in danger " and the young men are flocking to the standard. Last week, 5,000 of them presented themselves for enlistment. Australia will not lack men to defend it. But men of themselves are not enough. The hitter experiences of Britain, of France, of Australia - in Greece, Crete and the Near East - and within the last few days the tragic happenings to the naval forces of our allies in Pearl Harbour and to the great ships of the British navy in Malayan waters brings home to us the terrible lesson that without proper equipment victory is impossible. Equipment postulates unity in the community as the basis of effective organization of our man-power and industrial resources. The Prime Minister said recently that the time had passed when the organization and distribution of man-power of the country should be left to the multitude. He said that the Government had given a lead and the people must follow that lead. I agree with the honorable member for Dalley **(Mr. Rosevear)** that the workers in our munition establishments have wonderful achievements to their credit. Australia has wrought a veritable miracle of industrial organization and development, but something more is needed. Man-power in. our war industries must be supplemented. Labour must be diverted from non-essential industries to war industries, and that must be done without delay. This diversion may well lead to an economic confusion, but it is essential to tlie safety of the nation. Every day, evidence of the fearful power which mechanized destructive forces can unloose is brought home to us. Without armament, aircraft, guns, bombs, munitions and equipment of all descriptions, we cannot hope to achieve victory. The effective equipment of our armed forces demands complete organizaton of the man-power of this country. As the Prime Minister has told us, the man-power of Australia must be directed ; men must go where they are sent. The work which is most important must be given priority. I shall not enlarge on this subject, but I say to the people of Australia that whilst on the one hand we should not minimize the gravity of our situation, we ought not to exaggerate it. There are some faint hearted men who say that 7,000,000 people cannot defend a continent. But we can and must defend it. The honorable member for Boothby told us that there are 6,500,000 trained soldiers in Japan - that may be, but they are in Japan. Australia's total population is only 7,000,000, but I say to my fellow citizens that nothing is impossible for 7,000,000 people of our race. All we need is the will to resist - the resolution to press on regardless of any sacrifices we may be called, upon to make. There must be equality of sacrifice, and no one must be placed outside the operation of this law. To the people of Australia, I say: "Be of good cheer. 'The British race has thrived on adversity. We are where we are by. the grace of God and the result of struggles through which we have passed during the ages. If we but have courage and faith in ourselves, we shall win this waa- as we did the last war. Should the keepers of the gates in Malaya and the Middle East be overcome, we in Australia must be ready to defend ourselves and our liberties ". That can only be done with an adequate supply of armaments. Therefore, it all comes down to this : It is the organization of industry that counts. We shall not lack for fighting men - we never have, and we never will. I do not agree in general with the honorable member for Dalley **(Mr. Rosevear),** but I do say this: If danger threatens Australia, we must see to it that the number of fighting men available for the defence of the country does not fall short of the minimum required. That is our first duty - that, and the organization of industry and man-power, together with the firm resolution of the people to go on no matter what sacrifices are demanded. If this spirit spur lis on, then all will be well. {: #debate-9-s13 .speaker-JSC} ##### Mr BRENNAN:
Batman .- I do not propose to speak at length, not even at such great length as did the right honorable member for North Sydney **(Mr. Hughes),** who introduced his observations, however, with the statement that he had hut little to say. I suppose, from one point of view at least, that this is a great occasion, and those of us who have been commissioned to represent and speak for the people should not be silent through diffidence, or even from a. feeling of personal frustration. We should, I think, make our little contribution to the discussion in this Parliament, which is the expression in this country of democracy - and for democracy, it is stated, we entered upon the war with great deliberation to re-order Europe, and are now threatened with the vital necessity of defending our own families and our own skins in our own country. I do not intend to say on this occasion what I have said sometimes privately, sometimes to members of my own party, and sometimes to a selected few what I think about the origin of this war, the inspiration of this war, and the relative light-heartedness with which we iu Australia, with our meagre population and our -vast territory, accepted the responsibilities of warfare. When, if ever, I say in this House the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth as I see it, you .may take it for granted that it will be my last speech in this House. Indeed, this may be my last speech. It is commonplace to remark that that might be true of any of us, not merely because of the war, but because of that and other things. What I should like leave to say on the personal side is this: I have said some unpopular things in time of war - this war, the war of 1914-18, and even, as a student in the Melbourne University, during the South African War. I said unpopular things, and I take some small personal satisfaction in the fact that the views I have expressed from time to time have been strengthened by events. Consequences have flowed from causes in a logical and natural way, and the inevitable, as might be expected, has not been avoided. There are one or two things which might well be said now, and it is a curious fact that in 1941, in the course of this war, and at a critical stage of this war. I should find myself at one period inclined openly to applaud the utterance of the right, honorable member for North Sydney. There were many seasons during the last, war when I did not think that that, time would ever come; and yet I was delighted to hear him, a man like myself in the sere and yellow, bidding stronger and more virile men, some of them in uniform, not to get their tails down, but to have brighter confidence in the future we are facing and in the destiny of our nation, and to manifest by their conduct and by their speech that they are in fact, as well as in theory, upholders of a great Christian tradition - or, if not a Christian tradition, at least of a high standard of ethics as understood by men and gentlemen. I have noted with regret that everywhere Ave are being oppressed by lugubrious forebodings of what may happen. I regret exceedingly that action has been taken in some instances still further to depress the people by dimming the lights, and creating darkness in our souls and in our cities, and by wearing, metaphorically at least, crepe trailing down our backs. A little more, and we should be keening, wailing in the manner which I have heard attributed to my ancestors in another country. I deprecate that sort of thing. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr Rankin: -- I suppose they did the same at Pearl Harbour the day before the raid. {: .speaker-JSC} ##### Mr BRENNAN: -- I have an uneasy suspicion that at Pearl Harbour the people with the greatest responsibility were enjoying themselves with the Hawaiian ladies instead of attending to their duties, which were of a kind similar to those to which the honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Rankin)** should be attending instead of sitting here interrupting me. I do not pretend that the present position in regard to the Avar is anything to laugh at, that it is anything to excite our humour, or that we should be enjoying ourselves particularly, but I do say that there arc some things which are not done, and one of them is that one does not go into a room where a man is writhing on a sick bed and tell him that what he is suffering is nothing to what is coming to him. That is not good form, and it is not good form to drop our lower lip, and to tell the people to turn out the lights and not go for their holidays, but to sit a t home, or kneel at home, and pray. Though I believe in prayer, one can pray at his work of which there is much to be done. I join with the right honorable member for North Sydney in his splendid appeal to our more virile qualities, to our greater optimism, to our belief - if it be pur belief - that not worse will befall us than we deserve. I know that that would be a pretty sad fate for some people, but they do not admit it. I listened to the honorable member for Boothby **(Dr. Price)** this afternoon. He had a bloodcurdling story to tell us about the dreadful things that the Japanese might inflict upon us. It is a great pity that so many of our patriots have exhausted their capacity for vituperation on Hitler. In the first place, they have no new epithets left for Berlin, and they have no master epithets left for Tokyo, now that they have discovered that Tokyo is so much worse than Berlin. It was certainly brilliant on the part of the honorable member for Boothby to suggest that, in the practice of sadism, Tokyo could make Berlin blush. That may be so, but mere vituperation, however satisfying for the moment, however it. may whet the appetite of some for revenge and cultivate the lust for doing worse things, does not, after all, lead us very far along the road towards a successful ending of this disastrous war. I sometimes suspect that gentlemen like the honorable member for Boothby, and others in the press and out of it, who enjoy themselves by cultivating their considerable faculty for abuse and for prophesying evil, are merely trying to impress in that easy way ordinary observers with the belief that they - the speakers or writers, as the case may be - are the only persons who realize the dreadful things confronting us in the immediate future. I have heard the honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Rankin),** who is in uniform but still here, give his views on total war. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr Rankin: -- At least I was in the fight overseas during the last war. {: .speaker-JSC} ##### Mr BRENNAN: -- I have lived through three wars and I have not got a scratch. The honorable member for Barker **(Mr. Archie Cameron),** too, is most emphatic on the subject of total war. Each honorable gentleman speaks to a section of the press; not to the press as a whole - for that is impossible - but to that particular section of the press which applauds his remarks. Each knows that he will get good publicity in certain quarters. The honorable member for Barker, sure of applause in a certain section of the press, denounces all the rest of the press with enthusiasm. The suggestion obviously is that the war was made and called a total war by the totalitarian German Chancellor, Hitler, who is conducting the war, so they tell us, without scruple, qualification or reservation. If it suits Hitler's purpose to lie, he lies ; if it suits his purpose to be unjust, he is unjust; if falsity suits his purpose, he is false. They say that Hitler uses whatever suits his purpose as a meansto an end, and, undoubtedly, our Japanese adversaries will follow his lead. That is total war. Total is whole. What is the implication ? The implication is that what has been done by Hitler and his allies to win a totalitarian war we also must do in order to counter their efforts. If necessary, we must be greater liars than they; if necessary, we must inflict a greater wrong on some neighbour who has nothing to do with the fight than the Axis powers have inflicted on unoffending neighbours. In all of these things we must be greater totalitarian then they. I am not a purist; I am a poor miserable sinner, but I decline the invitation.I said repeatedly when I was sitting on the opposite side of this chamber - God knows I gained nothing by coming here - that there were some things against the doing of which I have an inveterate prejudice. For example,to my mind, it Is an elementary principle of moral conduct that if A and B are engaged in a fight, totalitarian or otherwise, then neither A nor B is justified in doing a wrong to C in order that he may win. I still adhere to that principle. I have been told, and in a certain oldfashioned way it has been ingrained in my system, that lying is in itself immoral, and that the good we seem to gain from it is but ephemeral. In fact, it was distinctly stated at the very top of my copy-book when I was in the second class at school that honesty is the best policy. Being what I am, a weak sinner, some of these principles remain still ingrained in my system, and I simply decline to follow the methods of the totalitarians so far as they are stated to be, and if they are a deliberate refraction of the moral order. At all events, however weak one may be personally, one may decline openly to subscribe publicly to such a doctrine. The worst that could happen to us is not defeat, but defeat with dishonour. That will never happen to our soldiery but it may very well happen to some of our politicians, for I have been reading some of the statements of men in authority on the other side of the water, one of whom was quite a recent welcome visitor to this capital city, wherein they recommended the bombardment and starvation of the innocent in order that the guilty may be made to suffer. I have always ventured to decline to be a party to such things, which seem inconsistent with our avowed objects, and many have well said that death, which comes to all men, soon or late as the poet says, is, at any stage, far preferable to cultivating ignoble means for the attainment of an end. There are some things which, at all events, I am not prepared to do - though, in the final analysis, [ am prepared to go as far as most men in protecting those near and dear to me. Let me add that most men and women of my country, and, indeed, men and women generally, are dear to me. Each is a tabernacle, a world in himself or herself; each is a component being of body, soul and mind, hope and memory; each a wonderful creation. I love them all. I feel that more intimately, and perhaps more naturally and in a more animal way, I would wage a sterner fight for the protection of those of my own blood than of others; but there are some things which in no circumstances will I do merely for the sake of saving my own life or the life of any other person. Hope springs eternal in the human breast, and I do not believe that this country *is* doomed to wear the shackles of slavery. Unlike some honorable members opposite, I do not believe that the people of this country, whose forbears by almost incredible effort, hardship, suffering, and industry have colonized this country, will, for the lack of courage, organization and unselfish sacrifice, pass under the oppressor's heel. I strike a more optimistic note; I see a brighter prospect, and I ask that the lights be turned on in our cities at least until there is a better reason to dim them, so that people may not grope in the dark as though ashamed of what they are doing, but walk in the light because they are unashamed and unafraid. Another reason which has brought me to my feet is that this present crisis is giving new heart to the conscriptionists. It has even shaken the well-laid foundations of the right honorable member for Kooyong **(Mr. Menzies),** who, up to the present, has been an anti-conscriptionist, but who is now prepared to hand over that great fundamental and spiritual issue for decision by a mixed executive. The attitude of the right honorable gentleman has given new heart to those who, in the past, like the honorable member for Barker, have not been afraid to openly advocate this cause. I have made my views clear upon this subject. I have said that when you propose to lay violent hands upon a man in his own country, who lives under his own form of constitutional government, to drive him to a foreign country, of which he naturally and necessarily becomes a part, and to whose laws he necessarily becomes at least partly obedient - when you propose to impress upon him that he must yield obedience to military advisers who ha ve. been elected and created through no law to the making of which he is a party - you are making an invasion of his elementary persona] rights just as much as if you commanded him to commit sin or cease to worship God. If personal rights are invaded in that way the people affected are justified in resisting to the utmost of their power. That is the view I have always taken, and which I have expressed in similar words on many occasions. There is, of course, the irony of the fact that we are supposed to be fighting a war for democracy, but by conscription, so far from upholding the theory of democracy, we will violate democracy by expatriating the citizen and putting him under the law of a foreign country. Now it seems to be suggested that the matter of conscription is one of degree; that we may send troops to Malaya but not to Crete, to the East Indies, but not to Greece. This evening, a speaker suggested that the Government should not in future send too many troops abroad. Of course, there is the utilitarian and practical issue. Australia is a vast territory which has been colonized, not so much by our efforts, as by those of our ancestors. This vast portion of the earth's surface is sparsely inhabited. It is tragically absurd that with our limited population, we should be compelled, at the sweet will of some government, to serve in most remote countries, far from our hearth and home, womenfolk, children, blood relations and the society which we have successfully endeavoured to develop, under the authority of persons whose orders we despise, in a battle against those with whom we have no personal quarrel. But if it be logically and spiritually right in the name of democracy and justice to send our troops to Malaya, it is equally right to send them to Greece and to Libya in large, or small, numbers. The enemy is now at our door, so they say. I am not so sure whether that is correct. I take a more hopeful view. During the last 40 years declarations of policy have been made on behalf of the Japanese Empire, and it may be that the extent of Japan's ambitions is the extent to which the Japanese themselves have publicly declared in the press, on the platform and through their representatives in various countries, namely that they are determined to have a place in the Eastern sun, and space in the world of their own neighbourhood in which to accommodate their vast population. That may be so.. I do not know. Not for a moment do I excuse the. Japanese. I set no limit on their ambitions. I do not excuse' predatory militaristic enterprises of any description with which the history of the world is' so fully charged.. {: #debate-9-s14 .speaker-JVR} ##### Mr SPEAKER (Hon W M Nairn:
PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA -- Order!' The honorable member has exhausted his time. {: #debate-9-s15 .speaker-KIX} ##### Mr HUTCHINSON:
Deakin .- The speech of the honorable member for. Batman **(Mr. Brennan)** reminds me of a once-famous remark which was attributed to a British Cabinet Minister some years ago. Asked what was wrong with democracy, he replied, " Nothing but the democrats ". No doubt exists in my mind that much of the trouble which the world is. now undergoing is due to the moralists and philosophers, who have preached a creed divorced from all reality. True, certain totalitarian leaders began this war for conquest, for acquisition, and, if we accept the statement of the honorable member for Batman, for a certain form of culture, which the German mind in particular nearly always envisages. But a culture unsupported by strength is invariably doomed. That has been the history of every great nation in the past. Unless we democrats are prepared to back up our form of government with strength, we are doomed. The whole of the trouble lies in the fact that for some years too much attention has been paid to the statements of moralists and philosophers. When we were talking of a new world order to be achieved through an international assembly, the practical men of certain countries were laughing at us. They faced stern, cold facts. They knew that the human being was not yet an angel, and that no matter how great the culture of a nation might be, it would fall and vanish if it were not supported by strength. Long before the outbreak of this war, we were told what Germany was doing, and of its ultimate aim regarding a totalitarian war. Books by Ludendorff and others explained their conception of a totalitarian war, in which the whole of the resources of the country including manpower, transport,, industry and the economic system, would be subordinated to the main theme of ultimate victory. Every phase of national activity and sentiment had to be subordinate to the military plan for winning, a totalitarian war. There is no doubt in my mind that democratic countries, by foolishly failing to heed what was happening in totalitarian countries, contributed to this world catastrophe. Undoubtedly, the failure of democratic countries^ particularly the United States of. America; to face realities,, has Been a contributory factor to the entry of Japan into the warHonorable members should cast their minds back to the first four or five months of the war. In that period, the United States of America,, reduced the strength of its army. Only a few weeks ago, Congress passed legislation of great national importance by a mere thirteen votes. Isolationists - we have them in Australia, too - preached a doctrine of keep out of the struggle ". {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr Archie Cameron: -- We still have them. {: .speaker-KIX} ##### Mr HUTCHINSON: -- Yes, unfortunately. Isolationism, over-confidence and the under-estimation of the power of the enemy have given people in the United States of America a rude shock during the last few days. Surely the lessons which they have learned have been driven into the hearts and minds of the people of Australia ! There should be no resort to debate in the Parliament of the Commonwealth on any subject other than measures that mean action against the foe. The honorable member for Batman described this as a " great occasion ". It is more than that. It is a most fateful occasion. Although we have participated in two world wars, this is the first time that it can be truthfully said that Australia is right in the firing line, and that a near power is menacing the lives and security of Australians. This is the first time that men have been engaged in our capital cities in digging trenches by clay and possibly by night as they dug them in Hyde Park, London, in 1938. To expound moral ideals and philosophies which will not reduce the threat to this country is merely to waste time. Every honorable member on this side of the chamber is anxious to assist the Government in these days of peril. But I was disappointed to-day when I heard of the steps which the Government contemplates to meet that peril, because it demonstrated to me that complacency still exists in high places, that the strength of the enemy is still underestimated, and that a proper recognition is still lacking of what a democracy must do in order to defeat the foe. Australians must "snap out of it". Other great civilizations have vanished, and our civilization may also perish unless we protect our culture and our democratic system by every force at our disposal. This period of crisis is no time for recriminations such as the honorable member for Dalley **(Mr. Rosevear)** vented. If that is an example of the speechifying which will be bandied from one side of the chamber to the other, honorable members on this side could doubtless say many hard things. But in the face of a near foe who possesses a great navy, a powerful army and, unfortunately, a better air force than we anticipated, I should think that the first thing to ensure in the Parliament as in the country is the greatest degree of unity. That means, in plain words, a national government. Political parties in Great Britain united to form a national government when across 20 miles of water, Hitler menaced the security of the heart of the Empire. Is anything wrong with a national government? Is it wrong to set to the public such a splendid example by bringing in to the war effort the best brains in the Parliament, and achieving unity? That ideal has been very dear to members of the United Australia party and the United Country party. A short time ago, the previous Government invited the then Leader of the Opposition to accept the Prime Ministership if ho so desired, provided he would consent to participate in a national government. At the last federal elections, the formation of a national government was one of the foremost planks of policy of the United Australia party and the United Country party. I hope that I do not mis-state the position when I say that it was also the first plank of the platform of the honorable member for Henty **(Mr. Coles).** I should like to know what he thinks of the present situation. Naturally, I appreciate the difficulties of the Government; unfortunately there are powerful influences at work behind the Labour party. But surely a Supreme War Council is the next best thing to a national government. Such a body, if composed of the best abilities in this Parliament, could best direct our war effort, and would provide a rallying point for our people. No section of the community would fear or mistrust it. I sincerely hope that it is not yet too late to set up such a body. The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Fadden)** advocated the establishment of an Australian zone of defence in which military service should be made compulsory. Honorable members know that I believe in conscription. As the interests of all are involved in this fight, all should serve in it. In the words of Nelson, "Every man this day shall do his duty". Until we can plan and command to tlie same degree as the dictators, we shall not set ourselves on the road to victory. I realize, however, .that people who have not even yet awakened to the urgency of our present situation may oppose any suggestion of compulsory service beyond our shores. At the same time, the demarcation of a zone of defence in which military service would be made compulsory is absolutely necessary in order to enable us to defend this country effectively. The Prime Minister **(Mr. Curtin),** in his speech to-day, said, " The attack on Singapore constitutes a. direct attack on Australia". The honorable member for Dalley **(Mr. Rosevear),** in his most contradictory speech to-night, declared, "If Singapore is menaced and lost, then that loss is a menace to Australia ". Since the outbreak of the war, honorable members opposite have made much progress in their views on the defence of this country. In the early days of this conflict, they declared that no Australian soldier should be sent outside the 3-mile limit, not even to New Guinea or Thursday Island. Their policy was to confine our defence operations to the shores of this country, or at least within the 3-mile limit. They have made a great deal of progress since that time, but, unfortunately, not sufficient. If Singapore or any area in the Pacific is vital to the security of Australia, as no doubt Singapore is, is it not the duty of every Australian to defend such areas at the call of his Government? Will any honorable member deny that Singapore is our northern door, and should the enemy break through that door, the security and welfare of the Australian people are menaced? If that be so. is it not the duty of the Government of this country to command Australians at any time to safeguard that northern door? The proposal of the Leader of the Opposition will be applauded by every Austraiian. The Government should adopt it. There can be no argument about it. All of us realize that if Singapore falls, we shall be placed in a most difficult situation, and shall then need the trenches which are now being dug in the parks of Sydney. Surely we shall not allow that to happen. I believe that we have sufficient common sense to ensure that that bastion of the Empire shall not fall. That would be as far as we need go at the moment, because under present conditions I cannot visualize sending thousands of our troops outside what might be called Australia's defence zone. "We know that the balance of man-power has altered very considerably as the result of the entry of the United States of America into the war, and the declaration of that country that every man called to the colours will serve at the command of his government in any part of the world. This development will enable us, if necessary, to release increasing numbers of the Australian Imperial Force for action in any other theatre of war. It will also ensure sufficient man-power for the defence of Malaya and Singapore or any other vulnerable area within our defence zone. I again urge the Government to consider the establishment of an Australian zone of defence. I shall now deal with the role played by aircraft in the war. It seems strange that in a number of instances the value of aircraft in actual combat has been under estimated. Apparently, many people are still of the opinion that the role to be played by aircraft in this war is the same as it played in the last war. namely, for reconnaissance work and bombing raids. Although I speak as a layman I feel certain that apart from those operations which will always be assigned to aircraft, its most important role in this war will be that of modern artillery. It has been used in that way by Hitler, who, in some respects, is like Napoleon. He believes in speed in action, and the value of artillery. We know that every German mechanized division is complete with aircraft. It consists of medium, light and heavy tanks, infantry, cyclists and field pieces, but it is not complete without its quota of modern aerial artillery which does not fire from miles behind the lines but goes right over its target and strikes with deadly result. We must follow Hitler's example in this matter. A modern torpedocarrying aeroplane is rauch more useful than a submarine. When we realize fully the value of aircraft, we shall not hesitate to ensure that in all of our operations sufficient aircraft are provided. By that means we shall pave the way to victory. I now propose to estimate what this war means to Australia. It means more to this nation than any other nation. We have a young undeveloped country, with a very small population. I have had the privilege of seeing much of tha world. I travelled extensively through the United States of America, and iti doing so I was convinced that Australia is a marvellous country. As I journeyed through California and saw thriving areas which had been converted practically from desert, I envisaged the possibilities of this vast country. Australians have a wonderful heritage. Our standard of living is unsurpassed in any other part of the world; and every Australian without exception subscribes to the White Australia policy- Let us suppose that Britain, and even the United States of America falls, and that France remains as it is. I feel sure that those nations will always remain much the same as they are at present because they are very thickly populated. However, should wc lose the war we shall lose our White Australia policy, and within a short period numbers of yellow people, with whom we have nothing in common, will flow into this country. Our defeat will mean that eventually the control of Australia by the white race will vanish. That prospect cannot be too strongly stressed. We must make our people realize that we have more to lose than any other country should we be defeated. Australia would never be the same again. *We* should never be given an opportunity as was given to Germany to rise again, and turn the tables on our victors. *We* should be overwhelmed by the coloured races. If the people of Australia realize that possibility surely the time bas come to take action in every direction in which we think we can strengthen our defence. Let us remember Churchill's words, " Come, then, let us to the task, to the battle and the toil. There is not a week, a day or an hour to be lost ". {: #debate-9-s16 .speaker-KMZ} ##### Mr MARTENS:
Herbert -- I listened with interest to the remarks of the honorable member for Deakin **(Mr. Hutchinson)** concerning our White Australia policy. I remind him that those responsible for that policy do not sit beside him, but on this side of the House. I recall how bitterly we were fought on that issue by interests represented by honorable members opposite. I realize fully what our White Australia policy means. I also recall recent history in respect of another matter touched upon by the honorable member. It was pleasing to hear him speak of the possibilities of aircraft in war. In 1937 the Labour party met in conference for one and a -ha If days, and reviewed its defence policy. Subsequently, our leader, the Prime Minister **(Mr. Curtin),** explained the policy we then adopted, but honorable gentlemen opposite who then comprised the Government pooh-poohed our policy. To-night the honorable member for Deakin declares that that policy is vital to the successful prosecution of the war. I also recall that the honorable member for Barker **(Mr. Archie Cameron)** stated that whilst he agreed with our leader that the aeroplane would play a great part in future wars, its use would be confined to reconnaissance. The then Minister for Defence, **Sir Archdale** Parkhill, also ridiculed Labour's policy. We were then told that the Government did not doubt our. sincerity, but its experts did not agree with us. Defence experts have led many governments to destruction. They will lead many more to disaster if too much notice is taken of them. This war has shown more than anything else that aircraft is indispensable in war operations. Events of the last year have fully proved the soundness of Labour's defence policy. If the then Government had adopted, in the co-operative spirit about which its former members talk so much, the suggestion made by the leader of the Labour party, we should have been in the happy position to-day of having about 3,000 of the world's best aircraft. Recently the Sydney press has featured the fact that ships are tied up on the Australian waterfront as the result of the shipowners being unable to procure crews. The newspapers say that the sailors are disgruntled and will not man the ships, but that is not so. The ships would be sailing the seas if the shipowners were as anxious as the sailors are to get on with the job of fighting the war. The shipowners claim that it is impossible owing to the structural alterations necessary to comply with some of the requests made by the sailors, but I deny that statement, because I have been told by ships carpenters and shipwrights that the structural alterations necessary could be completed within seven or eight days. The conditions under which men are required to go to sea on some vessels are an absolute disgrace and should not bc tolerated in any circumstances. Yet the toiler is the man who is blamed when hold-ups occur. Some honorable members opposite have claimed that the people of Australia do not realize that we are at war. In the last few days the realization that we are at war has struck some people so forcibly that they are evacuating the cities in order to save their hides, and they are not members of the working class. They are the people who employ the workers. They are the people who are deliberately slowing operations in their factories in order to increase their profits under the cost-plus system. I was told during the week-end that a clothing factory entirely engaged on the manufacture of uniforms for our fighting forces closed down on Friday until the 15th January next. The workers in that factory do not want holidays. My informant as to the closing down of the factory was one of the workers. That is a matter which demands urgent inquiry by the Government. Such action must hamper the production of necessary equipment. I have many friends in khaki and I know that their training is not as effective a3 it should be owing to the lack of equipment. The honorable member for Deakin said that the time had arrived for democracy to adopt the methods of the dictators. England, France and the United States of America were the main culprits in the establishment of the Nazi regime in Germany. It was the late chairman of the Bank of England who financed the establishment of Nazi-ism. Yet to-day Ave are fighting against the Nazis. Not so long ago, when the waterside workers took a stand on conscientious grounds against the export of scrap iron and other materials to Japan the use of the Transport Workers Act and imprisonment if necessary were threatened against the waterside workers. Now the very material which those waterside workers were forced to load on to Japanese ships may be used against us in the form of shells. Having been associated with toilers all my life, I know their consciences. They were condemned in the last war by the very people who condemn them to-day. Whence comes the soldier? He does not come from the homes of the wealthy who are now fleeing to safety from Sydney and Melbourne; he comes from the homes of the working classes. If he did not come from those homes, we would not have any soldiers at all. Before honorable members opposite accuse any one of falling down on his job, they should make those individuals who are drawing big profits and getting richer because of this war, play their part. Let us give to Australians the justice which we are giving to foreigners, and then we shall obtain better results and a better feeling in the community. The sailors who refused to go to sea in certain ships were justified in doing so. I am sure that those who have condemned the sailors for their action would not have gone to sea in those vessels in any circumstances. Living conditions on them are abominable. In fact, they are worse than they were on the coastal steamers 30 or 40 years ago. The fact that many of these men have obtained jobs in munitions factories shows that they are anxious to do something in our war effort. We also have the spectacle of experienced soldiers who are now beyond the age of active service but who are quite capable of training young men, being turned down by aged military officers because they say that these men are too old. I have on occasions given names of men who have been rejected in that way. The cooperation of the nation generally can be obtained without a national government, merely by treating the people fairly. **Mr. ABBOTT** .(New England) [10.13). - I should like to speak briefly on what is probably the most momentous occasion in the history of this nation. Never before has Australia been faced with such great trials and difficulties. On several occasions during the 150 years' occupation of this continent by white people, our shores have been threatened or believed to have been threatened, by attacks from other powers. In the days when **Sir William** Denison was Governor of New South Wales, fortifications were built to repel an expected attack from Russia. Later, during the last war, an attack by Germany was feared, and to-day all our fears have culminated in a possible attack by Japan. However, I feel sure - [ think that every honorable member opposite will agree with me - that great though our difficulties are, the courage and determination of the people of Australia is such that we shall be able to stand together and fight as one people to preserve this continent for the white race; we shall fight to be free and shall not live under the yoke of a yellow conqueror. We could well subscribe to the sentiment expressed by the great, French revolutionary, Danton, when the armies of European nations were invading France: "To dare and dare again, and always dare". This country must adopt a brave policy in the difficulties which confront, it to-day. The time is ripe for all of us to cease delving into the past, and to be ready to assist this Government or any other Government which is willing to wage this war with determination until victory is achieved. We should all help in whatever way we can. I listened with some amazement to the speech by the honorable member for Dalley **(Mr. Rosevear),** and if one had not known the honorable member well, one might have believed him to be a traitor to his country because of some of the statements which he made. The honorable member suggested that we should confine our defence activities to this country; that we should keep all our forces here and should fight only when this country is invaded. Throughout this war that has been the most fatal doctrine which could possibly be preached. We have seen nation after nation endeavour to maintain neutrality; .to keep itself apart from the fire which is consuming the world. The result has always been the same. In turn, each nation has fallen into that fire and been consumed. Had we fought at the time of the fall of Czechoslovakia we should not now be faced with war in the Pacific. I believe that the policy of Australia should be to keep the enemy as far from our shores as possible. The defence of Australia must be carried on outside Australia. Once the enemy secures a footing on our shores and is able to establish air bases, he will bomb our cities, factories, munitions works, and spread death and disaster amongst the people.- Our strategy should be to keep the enemy outside Australia. That is not a very difficult problem from the geographical point of view. In the north the bastion of Singapore, which is dangerously threatened to-day, is a key defence for Australia; it is the key to the defence of the democracies in the southern Pacific. I believe that it is as important to Australia to defend Singapore as it is to defend Sydney or Melbourne. Coming down the arc of the circle from Singapore we reach the Philippines, the Netherlands East Indies, New Guinea, the Solomons, New Caledonia and New Zealand. I am of the opinion that it is essential that those islands should be not only patrolled from the air but also manned by substantial forces to repel invaders. For that reason I agree with honorable members who urge that the Defence Act be amended to enable our troops to be sent to those places. I cannot draw a geographical distinction between sending Australian troops to a mandated territory which may bc much further away than to New Caledonia. There is no distinction. It seems to me that in sending troops to Singapore from Darwin we are sending them a shorter distance than from, say, Perth to Sydney. The honorable member for Dalley **(Mr. Rosevear)** and the honorable member for Herbert **(Mr. Martens)** mentioned the export to Japan of certain Australian commodities during the past twelve months. I remind the honorable member for Dalley of an afternoon when he stood beside me at the Ipswich railway workshops in Queensland, and saw machine tools from Japan, including some very good lathes, being unpacked there. Those tools are now being used to manufacture shells and other munitions for the use of Australian forces.. The traffic with Japan was not one-sided. We obtained from that country a lot of material which has aided our war effort. I have in mind particularly a large consignment of magnesite which was of vital importance to our munitions programme. I now direct criticism, not at the present Government or the previous Government, but at the system which operates in Australia to-day and which is largely the result of the inability of our peace-time organization to cut itself free from the shackles of red tape when it was obliged to expand enormously and rapidly under war conditions. When I was travelling to Canberra yesterday from the north of New South Wales, I witnessed one example of the red-tape methods employed in the Army. An army billeting party travelled on the train between Tamworth and Dubbo. There were 25 members of the party, and the officer in charge was occupied for 45 minutes filling in forms in order to obtain railway tickets at the Tamworth station. When the party went to a refreshment-room during the journey, the officer was obliged to fill in 25 separate vouchers before the soldiers could obtain breakfast. This sort of thing went on throughout the trip. Many of the vouchers had to be completed in triplicate; doubtless a triplicate body of clerks will have to inspect them. That is a typical example of the Army's methods. It is the duty of the Government to short-circuit all of this red-tape and eliminate the mass of detail which is cluttering up departmental offices and causing worry and delay. I refer also to the inflexible attitude of the Army towards the modification of the designs of equipment. The case of the Owen gun has been mentioned many times in this House. As a member of the Man-power and Resources Survey Committee, I learned of numerous other instances in which modifications of designs were repeatedly rejected by the Ordnance Branch of the Army and were adopted only after a great deal of trouble and delay. One such case was that of the 2-pounder anti-tank gun. The committee was informed in Adelaide that more than 300 modifications were in the design of this weapon. Another example of delay came to my attention yesterday. It relates to a portable wireless set. I have been told that the set is unsuitable for the work required of it, and that it is affected by " black spots " where it will not operate. Generally speaking, it is an unsatisfactory instrument. I have also been informed that, when the blue prints for this set "were supplied to Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited, before their manufacture was undertaken, the firm informed the Department of the Army that the sets, as designed, would not be satisfactory. But the company was told that the standard design as laid down in the blue prints would have to be carried out. Many of these sets have been made and issued to the troops, but now the department has adopted modifications along the lines suggested by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited. There should be more flexibility in the official attitude towards these matters. We have heard much to-day about aerial cooperation with troops. I believe that all honorable members agree that such cooperation is essential. As the honorable member for Deakin **(Mr. Hutchinson)** has said, the role of the aeroplane to-day is similar to that of the field artillery in the war of 1914-18. What is being done to instruct the Militia Forces in aerial cooperation? Some time ago, I asked a question in this House regarding the appointment of a single CommanderinChief in Australia who would have authority over the Royal Australian Air Force and would be able to inform the Air Chief Marshal when aeroplanes were required for air co-operation exercises. The Minister for the Army said that the position was being studied, and that it was hoped that there would be greater co-operation in the future. No improvement has become evident. I was informed by an infantry Brigadier in Sydney recently that it takes about six weeks for Militia commanding officers to arrange for aerial co-operation. Even after all of the official channels have been traversed, and the co-operation has been arranged, the results are unsatisfactory. When a Brigadier conducting manoeuvres sends a call to the nearest aerodrome, about 50 or 60 minutes elapse before aeroplanes arrive to co-operate with the troops. The secret of 'Germany's success in this war is the complete co-ordination of the various units of its forces. If we in Australia are unable to secure such coordination because our system has not developed beyond tie peace-time stage of red tape, delays, and the multiplication of forms, then God help this country when we have to fight battles on our own soil. I hope that the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde ),_who seems to have plenty of energy, will cause an explosion among the officials who are responsible and drive out of their heads the idea that everything must be done according to the old system-** It has been demonstrated by the Germans that it is most necessary that troops should be properly trained before they are allowed to go into action. Letters received from, our troops in the Near East continually stress the importance of this training. I am informed that in some of the Australian Imperial Force camps, and also in the militia camps, the members of specialist units are receiving only six days' actual training each month in their special duties. This is due to a shortage of men in the units, and the fact that they are placed on guard duty within and without the camps. Many guards are supplied to oil companies in order to protect the oil tanks located in various parts of the Commonwealth. It might be advisable to have personnel of the Volunteer Defence Corps trained for these duties, in order that specialists might receive full training in their own work. Many of the officers who are instructing at Australian Imperial Force training camps are using text-books which are out of date. Even the text books founded on what happened at Dunkirk are now out of date. Officers might well be sent overseas for refresher courses at the front. During the last war, officers were sent to France for a special course of training in the front-line. I notice that the Government intends to bring officers and noncommissioned officers back from Libya and to use them for instructional purposes in Australia. Our present instructors are good men, and they merely require to be sent overseas for refresher courses. The attack on Hawaii has given us reason to revise the estimates placed before us concerning the weight, scale and depth of possible attack upon Australia by sea-borne aircraft. I am not giving away official secrets, because what I am about, to say has already been published in the press. It has been estimated that such aircraft could carry a weight of bombs of not more than 70 tons in 24 hours to any one point, that the attack would not take place more than once a fortnight, that the bombs would be only of medium size, and that the range of the aircraft would be limited to 550 miles. That is to say, if the planes had a run of 200 miles from the aircraftcarrier to the coast they could operate inland for a distance of about 75 miles. But we have been told that four-engined bombers were used by the Japanese in the attack on Hawaii, and that the weight of the bombs was so great that a single bomb killed many hundreds of people. It appears that the Japanese are using much larger planes from aircraft-carriers than we anticipated, and that the planes carry heavier loads of bombs. In regard to air raid precautions, anybody who has stood before the indicator dials in one of the large power generating houses during a blackout will have not-iced that when the siren sounded the indicator dials flicked over. As the switches were pulled down and the lights came on, the indicator showed the load, proving that the blackout had been made possible merely by switching off the lights and not by darkening the windows. It was a bogus blackout, and no provision had been made to obscure the light. I agree with the Commonwealth technical adviser that there will be no satisfactory blackout until proper blackout conditions are observed for at least a week. At present it is essential for the Commonwealth authorities .to overrule the State authorities in this matter, and call for blackout conditions immediately. Such conditions have been imposed in New Zealand for months. The statement has been made that munitions factories cannot obscure their lights immediately, but I maintain that the light coming from those factories Will make it necessary for them progressively to obscure their lights at a much faster rate than they are doing to-day. The Commonwealth should issue instructions in the States that every householder who has a. backyard of, say, a greater depth than one-third of the height of his house, should be compelled to dig a trench 4 ft. 6 in. to 5 feet deep and 1 ft. 6 in. wide. Major-General Mackay, on his return from Libya, and other military men have informed me that slit trenches give the best possible protection, against falling bombs. The great advantage of this method of taking precautions against air raids is that most householders would have air raid shelters on their own properties. It would be then unnecessary for people to rush into the streets in order to find deep air raid shelters and thus 'Cause congestion. The Government should also lay it down that the National Emergency Services of a State or municipality should be allowed to dig trenches in householders' gardens or on their tennis courts and that these trenches should be made freely available for the civil population within such areas. In some localities such as Maribyrnong, near Melbourne, and the Hawkesbury sandstone area, at Sydney, it is practically impossible to dig trenches. I suggest that in such localities breastworks of brick should be constructed.. These would need to be about 14£ inches in thickness, and about 4ft. 6in. in height. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- There are sandpits around Maribyrnong that could be used. {: #debate-9-s17 .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr ABBOTT:
NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES -- It is mostly basalt country in that locality. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- But all suitable areas should be used. {: .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr ABBOTT: -- That is so. "We should provide the protection as close as possible to the places where people work and live. It is, in my opinion, of vital importance to the civil population of Australia that daylight saving be introduced without delay. I believe that all the speed, imagination and energy of which this nation is capable should be exerted immediately in our war effort. This war is one and indivisible. We cannot fight the war only in Australia or only in Malaya. We all are in it, and all we have is in it, and must be in it, if we are to achieve the destruction of the German. Italian and Japanese nations and of any other aggressors throughout the world. Our desire is to make democracy safe so that ordinary, normal, human beings may live their lives in peace without having to fight every ten or twelve years against the forces of evil and darkness which seek to crush everything that we consider to be worth living for. This Government will have the support of all of the people of Australia, and also of the Opposition, in doing everything that is necessary in connexion with an all-in war effort. Only by the exercise of the complete patriotism of our people shall we be able to win the war, and preserve Australia as a white Commonwealth now and for all time. {: #debate-9-s18 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL:
Melbourne -- I compliment the Minister for External Affairs **(Dr. Evatt)** on the manner in which the documents relating to the war against Japan have been presented to the House, and also upon the procedure which he has adopted in connexion with the declaration of war upon Japan. The procedure of this Government was different from that of the Menzies Government when war was declared upon Germany. The then Prime Minister, **Mr. Menzies,** declared that a state of war existed between this country and Germany automatically because a state of war existed between Great Britain and Germany. The procedure that has been adopted on this occasion conforms to that provided in the Statute of Westminster. In this case His Majesty the King has acted on the advice of his Australian Ministers. I mention this fact because it has not been referred to previously in this debate, and because it is important to Australia as an integral part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. {: .speaker-JY7} ##### Mr Duncan-Hughes: -- We have not yet adopted the Statute of Westminster. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- That is true, but we have had an assurance from the Minister for External Affairs that the Statute will be submitted to us for ratification when Parliament reassembles in March. In passing, I express the hope that Parliament will not adjourn until March. It should meet not later than the first week in February, because these are momentous days in our history. Changes which could occur in the war situation in even a week or two could seriously affect Australia. In these circumstances, Parliament should not be kept in recess for long periods. Two courses "were open to Australia in connexion with the Japanese situation. The Government could have urged the appeasement of Japan until the conclusion of the European war, or it could have acknowledged the inevitability of war between Japan and Australia. It adopted the latter course, but, at the same time, it should have demanded from Great Britain and the United States of America adequate guarantees, and the retention of our men and materials within Australia and its territorial waters until Japan had been defeated. The Commonwealth Government has been kept fully acquainted with the negotiations which proceeded between the governments of Japan and the United States of America. Thi3 is clearly indicated by the documents submitted to us. That the Government acknowledged the inevitability of the war which has broken out is attested by the statement made to the nation on 13th February by three members of the Advisory War Council, namely the then Acting Prime Minister **(Mr. Fadden),** the then Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Curtin)** and the honorable member for West Sydney **(Mr. Beasley).** These gentlemen declared that a situation of the utmost gravity prevailed. A situation of the " utmost gravity " could not of course become more grave; but the situation of utmost gravity continued from that time until the date of the declaration of war. The various governments that have held power since that date were therefore seised of the importance of the issues, and the almost certainty that war would sooner or later break out in the Pacific. That being so, I feel, without reflecting upon any Prime Minister or Minister, that great opportunities were missed for bringing into this country vital war materials which would have enabled us to defend Australia not only as a portion of the British Commonwealth of Nations, but more particularly as an outpost of white civilization in the Pacific, with a huge territory of 3,000,000 square miles inhabited by only 7,000,000 persons. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the various governments that have held office this year, British ships have arrived in Australia within recent months loaded not with those implements or materials which are essential to the prosecution of a complete war effort, but with woollen blankets, summer and winter suitings for men's attire, footwear and headgear, and in some instances, steel skates for Christ- mas toys. It seems anomalous that any factory in England should be using steel for the making of steel skates; yet the Myer Emporium, of Melbourne, has recently received consignments of these articles. It is most unfortunate for us, because our plight is terrible indeed, that those bottoms were not used to carry to this country defence equipment, or raw materials which could be fashioned into implements of war which would be of great assistance to the defence of this country. The British War Council, to which reference was made by the honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Rankin),** is essentially European-minded. The English people generally are Europeanminded. I do not blame them for that. They regard the Pacific as a very far-off place, in which their interests are not so vitally affected as are ours. To the Australian people, the Pacific at the moment is of far greater importance than even Europe. The Australian people are essentially Pacific-minded, and the perturbation of mind which exists throughout Australia to-day is occasioned by the realization that, unfortunately, we are not so well defended as we might be ; that we have neglected opportunities for increasing the supply of defence equipment; and that many portions of Australia are practically defenceless, lt has been suggested that the duty of Australia is to defend Malaya. I do not disagree with the view that Malaya and Singapore form a very important part of the outer bastions of the defences of this country. Malaya, of course, is not solely the responsibility of Australia; that responsibility is shared by the United States of America, Great Britain and the Netherlands East Indies. I hope that the Government will be able to assure the House that what was so woefully deficient in Malaya less than a week ago, when the *Prince of Wales* and the *Repulse* were sunk, is now being supplied ; that the deficiency is being made good from American or English stocks. The Russian armies, which have so magnificently resisted the aggressor for the last six months, have now achieved a situation which has caused the Germans to retreat. It might, therefore, be possible to arrange for the diversion to Malaya, at least temporarily, of supplies that are being sent to Russia. We shall never hold Singapore or Malaya unless the air force there is much larger than it has been so far. According to press reports, when the attack on Malaya was begun, quite a number of members of the Royal Australian Air Force in England urged Australia House to arrange for their transfer to that scene of operations, because they wanted to fight the Japanese in order to defend Australia. I hope that the Ministry will arrange that when fighters and bombers are being sent from England, as undoubtedly they will be, their pilots will be members of the Royal Australian Air Force who desire to go to Malaya. I cannot see that there could be any great objection to that course being followed. I do not know what difficulties in respect of equipment or other considerations there might be in connexion with the transfer of the Australians who are in Syria; but there would be a greater feeling of security in this country if our people knew that any men sent out of Australia, wore sent to Malaya and to the islands which constitute the outer defences of this country, instead of considerable numbers still being sent to the Middle East. It might be possible for the Government to arrange for the transfer to Malaya of the four divisions in Syria. The English leaders believe that England's armies, numbering about 4,000,000 men, must be kept in England. They have the right, of course, to insist that England must not be overthrown. But ill the logic of that position holds good, then no Australian should leave Australia; because our task of holding this country is far more difficult than their task of holding a much smaller area, with so many more people. I am not disputing the essential rightness of their attitude from their point of view. If, however, we are asked to send so many Australians to the Middle East and Malaya, Ave might very logically say to the British War Council that Australia's responsibilities in certain sectors might very well be transferred in order that our forces might be concentrated in Malaya. In England the fortress complex has persisted from the day that' Avar broke out. I am hopeful that, with the further pro- gross of the war and a continuance of the defeat of German arms in Russia, it will be possible for British troops to be released from the defence of Great Britain itself. There is no essential difference in the attitudes of the members of this Parliament in respect of the war with Japan. We realize, and say with one voice, that if Australia should fall, and Japanese soldiery should take charge of this country, our fate would bc even more terrible than would be the fate of England if it were defeated by Germany, because it would be defeated by a white race and would eventually throw off the invader, whereas, the consequences of our defeat by an Asiatic race would be so terrible that we dare not contemplate them. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr Anthony: -- It is a real peril. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- It is, and therefore we must do everything possible to ensure the defence of this country. We have a right to expect that those who have material assets which Ave do not possess should make them available freely in order that Singapore may be held. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr Anthony: -- Have not Ave in Australia the same obligations to make sacrifices and accept responsibilities? {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- That obligation does rest upon us, but I think that the sacrifices which Ave have already made and are still prepared to make are substantial. Australia's Avar effort has been remarkable, although I believe that there is need to overhaul our plans in the light of the changed circumstances which have arisen. What might have been satisfactory a few weeks ago may no longer be satisfactory. Before the fall of France, there was complacency among the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations; but after that calamity there 1,vas a stiffening of resolution, and a speeding UP of production. Something further has to be done in Australia 110W. in view of the greater perils confronting us. I hope that when the Government examines the munitions programme it will be able to make a number of changes. I have visited a number of munitions establishments, and I am not satisfied that all is well. If the Government would grant the Parliament an opportunity to discuss Australia's preparedness in a secret session, there are some things that I could saywhich I do not think it desirable to say in open session. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr Anthony: -- Would the honorable member favour the holding of a secret sitting? {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- Yes ; I believe that every member of the Parliament has equal responsibility with Cabinet Ministers for the defence of this country. Everything that the Government knows on the subject should be told to members, as has been done in New Zealand where the Parliament sat in secret last week with the heads of the three services in attendance. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr Anthony: -- And anything that we know could be told to the Government at the special session. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- I agree. Nothing would be lost, and something might be gained, by such a sitting. I know that many honorable members have made personal inquiries, I have done so, but I do not think that I should have to tell the Minister that I have found out this or that. There should be an opportunity to discuss these matters in the presence of other honorable members. We were fortunate that on the 7th December there was no aircraft carrier near Australia to do damage such as was done at Pearl Harbour, in Hawaii. Had an enemy bombed any of our cities, we, too, should have had our death roll and our mangled victims. Indeed, some of our vital war production plants, which are situated on the seaboard in order that certain people may make greater profits because of cheap freights, might have been destroyed. {: .speaker-K0K} ##### Mr Conelan: -Have not the experts said that we are well-prepared? {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- Many honorable members have expressed concern about the situation of some of these vital plants. The situation should have been remedied long ago. The Chinese people shifted war production plants many hundreds of miles to Chungking and elsewhere, and the Russian people transferred some of their plants hundreds of miles further from the German border. We, in Australia, should do something to remove essential wartime plant from places on the seaboard to other situations behind the barrier of a mountain range. In view of the gravity of the situation, the Government should immediately undertake the construction of a 4-ft. 8½-in. gauge railway from Broken Hill to Port Pirie, a distance of, I think, 255 miles. In a recent broadcast, Hitler boasted that in three months, the German armies in Russia had converted 10,000 miles of railway to the German gauge. {: .speaker-JNM} ##### Mr Badman: -- They did not do so. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- Perhaps not; but even if they converted one-third of that length of railway, it was a notable achievement. We hesitate to build another stretch of railway which would enable New South Wales rolling-stock to be used on the trans-Australian railway. {: .speaker-KNC} ##### Mr Marwick: -- The job could be done in a few months. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- I have no doubt that excellent performances could be cited in this connexion. It may be that existing records would be broken if the task which I have suggested were undertaken. There is great need for more locomotives on the trans-Australian railway. The number in operation is not nearly sufficient even for peacetime requirements. One difficulty is that the railway authorities cannot get manufacturers to tender for the supply of locomotives, as they are engaged on other work. If we cannot manufacture the locomotives here, and are unable to get them from the United States of America under the Lease-Lend legislation of that country, let us construct 255 miles of 4-ft. 8½-in. gauge railway, so that standard gauge rolling-stock of New South Wales maybe used for the defence of the western portion of the continent. Various suggestions to overcome the difficulties caused by the breaks of railway gauge have been made from time to time. A third rail has been proposed, and proposals that either the whole line should be converted or that a separate line should be laid, have been made. I do not care what procedure is adopted, so long as something practical is done. We should not be deterred by the thought that we may not have enough steel for the purpose. There are in Australia sufficient unprofitable railway lines to justify the pulling up of some of them and using the rails for this work. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr Anthony: -- Troops could be employed for the purpose. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- I do not know which method ought to be employed, but I know that there are in Australia a number of anti-Nazi prisoners who have been brought here from Great Britain and Singapore, and whose dossiers are clean. They are anxious to do something, and would be prepared to work in labour gangs on such a job as this. There are anti-Fascist Italians who have resided in Australia for years but now find themselves in internment camps, and they could be similarly used. The president of the Labour party in Victoria, **Mr. F.** J. Riley, told me a few days ago that he would be prepared to organize a labour battalion to do work of this sort. There are thousands of persons in Australia waiting for a chance to do something to help the war effort. If we started on this work of constructing 255 miles of railway it would be completed in a reasonable time. We ought also to convert to standard gauge the line between Tocumwal and Seymour, in order to render unnecessary the double handling of war material and munitions at the New South Wales- Victoria border. These undertakings are so necessary that I am surprised that they have not been put in hand before now. I reiterate that I hope that the Minister for External Affairs will intimate that members will be given an opportunity to hear at a secret session as much as the members of the New Zealand Parliament were able to hear a few days ago. The people are crying out for efficiency in high places - in the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. They are demanding efficiency in high places in the administration of government departments, and in this Parliament, also. They are demanding that every member of this Parliament shall contribute of his best in order that the country may be saved. There can no longer bc any complacency, nor is there room for " passengers " in this Parliament. Every honorable member must do what he can, and the Government should afford to all of us an opportunity to speak our minds under conditions which will not endanger the safety of the nation. {: #debate-9-s19 .speaker-L0G} ##### Mr RYAN:
Flinders .- I had not intended to speak to this motion, but certain remarks of some honorable members opposite, particularly those of the honorable member for Dalley **(Mr. Rosevear)** caused me to do so. The speech of the honorable member for Dalley was excellent in two respects : it was an excellent debating speech and an excellent party speech; but, judged - against the background of current events, it was pathetic. He delved into history, and sketched the course of the war from its beginning to the present time, and the result of his survey was a series of complaints regarding the high command, the late Government, and the general conduct of operations in various parts of the world. He referred in particular to events in Crete. He told the same story that he told some months ago in this House, and his statements were not in accordance with facts. He said that our troops were not properly equipped. The fact is that they were properly equipped, but they did not have ancillary arms in sufficient quantity. For reasons which are well known, we were not able to provide aeroplanes in sufficient numbers. The honorable member referred to our reverses in Libya, and spoke of our " socalled naval command of the Mediterranean ". He said that we had been informed that the British fleet held the command of that sea, but that everybody knew that that was never the case. We did have command of the Mediterranean but it was intermittent. In these days of strong bomber forces and submarines it is impossible to prevent entirely the passage of troops and supplies from Italy and Greece to the North African coast. The honorable member referred also to Singapore. All honorable members are aware that the late Government had been for some time trying to induce the British authorities to send naval reinforcements to Singapore. We know, however, that the British fleet is straining every nerve to perform the many tasks that have fallen to it, and that to do all the things that we should like it to do is physically impossible. Finally, he spoke of what he described as the " tall poppies " - in other words, the generals, admirals, statesmen and diplomats responsible for operations, for policy and for national diplomacy. Again, I say that he was most unfair to a fine body of public servants, and military and naval officers. He mentioned a man who, he said, had been sent out by the. British Government to Cairo to spy on officers, and report on those whom he did not like so that they would be sent, home. He referred, I imagine, to **Mr. Lyttleton,** a British Cabinet Minister, who is doing very fine work. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- I think it was the honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Rankin)** who referred to that man's activities. {: .speaker-L0G} ##### Mr RYAN: -- Perhaps I am. mistaken in attributing the statement to the honorable member for Dalley. If it was the honorable member for Bendigo, my comment is still the same - I am sure that **Mr. Lyttleton's** work has resulted in a great deal of good for the common cause. Anyway, it. was the honorable member for Dalley who spoke of the tall poppies who should 1)0 cut ofl". I ask him what he would do if, after these tall poppies were cut, off, and a new crop had come up, wc suffered another series of reverses. The honorable member reminds me of the politicians of another country who, as soon as reverses wen; suffered, shouted, "We aro betrayed by our leaders, cut off their bends!" That; was true in the past of the politicians of Prance, but I should not like it to be true of Australia. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr Anthony: -- That is always the cry of cravens. {: .speaker-L0G} ##### Mr RYAN: -- That is so. We must maintain, confidence in the people who lead us, and that implies that we should not decry the capacity of our leaders until sue.h time as it has been proved that they have failed. It is true that great leaders have suffered sometimes from loss of hen 1th, and sometimes from loss of nerve, and have had to be removed. By and large, however, the time to remove leaders is not. when reverses ure being suffered, as is the case now. Such reverses arc the fortunes of war. I agree with the honorable .member for Dalley that, in the course of this war, we have so far suffered many more reverses than Ave have achieved successes, but I ask honorable members to look back to the time before the Avar if they would find the reason. It is not that Ave, as a race, produce worse soldiers or sailors than our enemies. Before the Avar, I met most of the German leaders of the past and present, and I say that they are no whit superior to our leaders. What they have that Ave have not is what Napoleon described as the " big battalions ", and until Ave get. them Ave must expect reverses. The fact that our battalions are small is due to ourselves alone and, in part, to the attitude of honorable members now supporting the Government who ten years ago abolished compulsory military training. The Labour party has never been in favour of pushing our military preparations forward as they should have been advanced. That is true also in Great Britain. Great Britain led the world in the policy of disarmament and as the result the British Empire, prior to the rise of Hitler to power and for some years afterwards, was more or less completely disarmed. That policy was very largely responsible for the first Japanese incursion into Manchukuo. The position in which this country finds itself to-day is due to the lapse of the Empire leaders in the past. It is unfair to attribute the reverses which have taken place recently to faults in leadership or lack of determination in either this country or Great Britain. I make but one suggestion to the Government. As a part of our air raid precautions, plans have been worked out for many months for the evacuation of civilians from our coastal areas in the event of can invasion or severe air raids, I remind the Government that there is another aspect of evacuation which should be taken into consideration, namely, the evacuation of sheep and cattle from coastal areas. In the event of invasion, whether in the form of a raid or a large scale air attack, the existence of flocks of sheep and herds of cattle in the coastal areas will be of enormous assistance to the invading force. An invading force would have to depend largely on local supplies of food and the presence of sheep and cattle in the coastal areas would be of inestimable value to them. Steps should be taken to arrange that in the event of invasion sheep and cattle shall be evacuated or slaughtered. The same remarks apply to petrol stocks, which I have no doubt the Government has arranged to have either removed or destroyed. I urge the Government to give consideration to these important matters. Question resolved in the affirmative. {: .page-start } page 1133 {:#debate-10} ### ASSENT TO BILLS Assent to the following bills reported : - Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Bill 1941. Land Tax Bill 1941. Estate Duty Bill 1941. Gift Duty Assessment Bill 1941. Gift Duty Bill 1941. Post and Telegraph Bates Bill 1941. Income Tax Bill 1941. War-time (Company) Tax Assessment Bill 1 94 1 . War-time (Company) Tax Bill 1941. Income Tax Assessment Bill 1941. States Grants Bill 1941. Appropriation Bill 1941-42. Appropriation (Works and Buildings) Bill 1941-42. Supplementary A impropriation Bill 1939-40. Supplementary Appropriation (Works and Buildings) Bill 1939-40. Loan Bill (No. 3) 1941. Superphosphate Bounty Bill 1841. Apple and Pear (Appropriation) Bill 1941. Petroleum Oil Search Bill 1941. {: .page-start } page 1133 {:#debate-11} ### NEW AND OPPOSED BUSINESS AFTER 11 P.M Motion (by **Mr. Chifley)** - *by leave -* agreed to - >That Standing Order No. 70 - eleven o'clock rule -be suspended for the remainder of this sitting. {: .page-start } page 1133 {:#debate-12} ### WAR TAX BILL 1941 *In Committee of Ways and Means:* {: #debate-12-s0 .speaker-A48} ##### Mr CHIFLEY:
Trea surer · Macquarie · ALP -- I move - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. That a war tax be levied and paid on the war tax income of every person (other than a company) whose war tax income as ascertained in accordance with PartIIIB. of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936-1941 exceeds One hundred and fifty-six pounds. 1. That the rates of war tax be as follows: - {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Notwithstanding anything contained in the last preceding paragraph of this Resolution, the war tax payable by any person, after deducting the rebates of tax allowable under Pa rt IIIB. of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936-1941, shall not exceed one-half of the amount by which the war tax income of that person exceeds One hundred and fifty-six pounds. 1. Notwithstanding anything contained in the preceding paragraphs of this Resolution, where the amount of war tax which a person would, apart from this paragraph, be liable to pay is less than Ten shillings, the war tax payableby that person shall be Ten shillings. 2. That war tax in accordance with" the preceding paragraphs of this Resolution be levied and paid for the financial year which commenced on the first day of July, One thousand nine hundred and forty-one and all subsequent financial years: Provided that the rates of war tax imposed for the financial year which commenced on the first day of July, One thousand nine hundred and forty-one shall be one-half of the rates declared in this Resolution. The purpose of this resolution is a special war tax on incomes additional to the taxes already imposed for the present year. In the present grave position war expenditure has already increased beyond the budget estimate and will increase still further. The budget estimate was £221,000,000. On that basis borrowings were estimated at £139,000,000, of which about £39,000,000 has already been raised, leaving £100,000,000 still to be borrowed. The previous Government stated that its estimate of war expenditure was on the conservative side. With the acceleration of expenditure in the present position, the increased commitments which have been incurred in the last few weeks, and with further commitments which are inevitable, we are faced with a very substantial increase of war expenditure over the budget estimate. On the revenue side there may be some loss of customs revenue because of import and shipping restrictions. We expect to realize other revenue items. It is not in the general interest to disclose details of additional war expenditure at this stage. The indications are that with the increase of expenditure and with allowances for possible loss of revenue, there will be between £40,000,000 and £50,000,000 more finance required than was estimated in the budget. In these circumstances, the Government has brought down two supplementary taxation measures, namely: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Special war tax on incomes, which is the subject of this resolution, and 1. Increased company tax for which a further resolution will be brought down. The effect of these two proposals will be to impose additional taxation at the annual rate of about £24,000,000. As half of the year has expired the estimated additional collections for the present year are put down at £12,000,000. I shall now explain the details of the proposed war tax. It will fall on all income and earnings over £3 a week. It will begin to be paid from the 1st January out of current wages and salaries. It will be assessed on the amount of income remaining after current federal income tax has been deducted. This income may be called war tax income. The tax will be assessed upon income of the year ended the 30th June, 1941, for which income returns are available. Deduction made from salaries and wages will be applied in satisfaction of the tax assessed, and any necessary adjustments made in the same manner as for income tax. The urgency will be met by immediate collections at the source. Equity will be preserved by the annual assessment on income of the full year. The income to be assessed may be described as actual income without the statutory exemption or deductions of a concessional nature. The most important concessional deductions, which will be disallowed arc those for dependants, medical and funeral expenses, life assurance and superannuation, and State income tax. From this income federal income tax assessed and payable will be deducted to give war-tax income. In all other respects income which is subject to ordinary income tax will be subject to the war tax. There will be no tax on war tax income under £156 - say £3 a week. Above £156, the tax will be 6d. in the £1, increasing gradually to1s. in the £1 after £300. There will be a flat1s. in the £1 on war tax incomes above £300. There will be no allowance for dependants in assessing the tax, but there will be a rebate of tax of1s. a week on account of a wife and each dependent child under sixteen years of age. The allowance is made in this way so that the relief given on account of a dependant will he the same for a man on £4 a week as for a man on £10 a week. If a deduction from income was given, this would have the effect of giving the £4 a week man only about half the relief given to the other. The rebate of tax is given for all dependent children. It is fixed so that for a married man with two dependent children on the basic wage, the rebate would approximately be equal to the tax, so that this family would not be called on for any contribution. The effect of the rebate on the net payments to be made by families of different size at different income levels is shown in Table II. which will be distributed to honorable members. It may be noted that a single basic wage-earner would pay about 3s. a week; married, 2s. a week; with one child1s. a week, and with two children nothing. With a wife and two children, a man on £6 a week would pay nearly 3s. a week in tax. The yield of the war tax in a full year would be £20,500,000. There is, however, only half of this financial year left. The basis of the war tax on weekly earnings is payment at the rate of1s. in the £1, or something less. In half a year it will be possible to collect only half of the amount which the rate of weekly payments would give for a full year. The tax then as imposed for this financial year must provide for only half of the full annual payments. The tax assessed will then be only half of the £20,500,000 which I have given as the yield for a full year. Actual collections within the financial year will be somewhat less than half, or, say, £8,000,000. The additional work thrown on the Taxation Department will be so great that it is not possible now accurately to forecast the amount that can be collected within the financial year. The war tax takes this particular form because only something simple could be immediately brought into operation to meet our urgent need. We shall have time during the next few months to consider any modifications which may be desirable to fit it more harmoniously into our general financial structure, and make provision accordingly for 1942-43. The rates bill will be brought down later. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 1135 {:#debate-13} ### INCOME TAX BILL (No. 2) 1941 *In Committee of Ways and Means:* {: #debate-13-s0 .speaker-A48} ##### Mr CHIFLEY:
Treasurer · Macquarie · ALP .- I move- {: type="1" start="1"} 0. That the rates of income tax set out in paragraph (a) of the seventh schedule to the income Tax Act 1941 he increased from thirty-six pence to forty-eight pence. 1. That income tax in accordance with the last preceding paragraph of this resolution be levied and paid for the financial year which commenced on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and forty-one. 2. That, until the commencement of the Act for the levying and payment of income tax for the financial year beginning on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and forty-two, the foregoing provisions of this resolution also apply for all financial years subsequent to that which commenced on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and forty-one. The Government has decided to increase the rate of tax upon the taxable income of companies from 3s. in the £1, as now provided by law, to 4s. in the £1. When the resolution to amend the rates of income tax was introduced in October last, it was estimated that the revenue from ordinary company tax for a full assessment year would be £13,800,000. At the additional rate now proposed the estimated yield for a full assessment year is £18,300,000. Of this total it is expected that £16,800,000 will be collected before the 30th June, 1942. It will beseen therefore, that the Government expects an additional £4,500,000 from the extra1s. in the £1 in a full assessment year, of which it is estimated that £4,000,000 will be collected during the current financial year. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 1135 {:#debate-14} ### ADJOURNMENT {:#subdebate-14-0} #### Banks : Country Branches - Australian Newspaper Representatives : Visit to England - Australian Imperial Force: Drivers' Pay Motion (by **Mr. Curtin)** proposed - >That the House do now adjourn. {: #subdebate-14-0-s0 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL:
Melbourne -- I ask the Treasurer **(Mr. Chifley)** to investigate two matters upon which I asked questions some time ago and respecting which he promised to obtain information for me. One related to the number of banking institutions in Australia that have branches in country towns. The other related to the visit to England of a number ofproprietors and representatives of Australian newspapers, their identity, and the amount of currency that they were allowed to take with them. Although I was promised the information in one instance two months ago and in another about a month ago, to date I have not received any. Another matter concerns advertisements which appeared last year in the press inviting drivers to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force and promising them1s. a day more than a private's pay. According to information which was supplied to me by Councillor Alex F. Caldwell, president of the Bentleigh subbranch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia, Leo R. Perry, of No. 2 Sub Park, 1st Australian Petrol Corps, enlisted on the 6th June, 1940, in response to that advertisement, which appeared in the Melbourne daily press. It clearly indicated that the drivers would receive1s. a day above the normal rate of pay for private, namely, 6s. That was prior to the increase which the present Government granted. L. R. Perry, who was grouped as a driver on the l7th June, 1940, received the additional1s. aday for some time. Then, without warning or explanation, the extra.1s. was deducted and has not been restored to him. Councillor Caldwell wrote - >As president ofa sub-bra nch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia, it has come under my notice that there are many drivers who have complained in letters of similar treatment by the army, and consider it a breach of faith, that the terms as set out in the advertisement have not been honoured. I ask the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde)** to inquire into this matter in order that justice may be done to men who were invited to enlist under certain conditions, which have, in part, been repudiated. Question resolved in the affirmative. {: .page-start } page 1136 {:#debate-15} ### PAPERS The following papers were pre sented : - >Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator, &c, 1941 - > >No. 34 - Commonwealth Public Service Artisans' Association. > >No. 35 - Fourth Division Postmasters. Postal Clerks and Telegraphists Union. > >No. 36 - Australian Third Division Telegraphists and Postal Clerks' Union. > >No. 37 - Arms, Explosives and Munition Workers' Federation of Australia. > >No. 38 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association. > >Commonwealth Public Service Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1941 . No. 284. > >Customs Act - Proclamation (dated 26th November, 1941) prohibiting the Exportation (except under certain conditions) of Binoculars. > >Defence Act and Naval Defence Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1941, No. 285. > >Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquired - > >For Defence purposes - > >Archerfield, Queensland. > >Darwin, Northern Territory. > >Ingleburn, New South Wales. > >Redbank, Queensland. > >Rocklea, Queensland. > >For Postal purposes - Dural, New South Wales. > >National Security Act - > >National Security (General) Regulations - > >By-laws - Controlled areas (2). Orders - > >Inventions and designs (109). > >Motor Spirit War Reserves Storage. > >Prohibited places (8). > >Prohibited place and protected area. > >Protected area. > >Taking possession of land, &c. (49). > >Use of land (20). > >Regulations - Statutory Rules 1941, Nos. 273, 274, 275, 276,277, 278, 279, 280. 281, 282, 283, 286. > >Papua Act - Ordinances - 1941 - > >No. 10 - Native Crown Servants. > >No. 11 - Superannuation. > >Seat of Government Acceptance Act and Seat of Government (Administration) Act- > >Regulations - 1941 - No. 9 (Motor Traffic Ordinance). House adjourned at 11.40 p.m. {: .page-start } page 1136 {:#debate-16} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS *Tike following answers to questions were circulated : -* {:#subdebate-16-0} #### Australian Imperial Force: Recruiting {: #subdebate-16-0-s0 .speaker-JY7} ##### Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES:
WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · UAP n-Hughes asked the Minister for the Army, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What is the present position of the various States, as regards their quota of recruits for the Australian Imperial Force? 1. What has been the cost per head of each recruit obtained during the last three months? {: #subdebate-16-0-s1 .speaker-F4U} ##### Mr Forde:
Minister for the Army · CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND · ALP -- I regret that, as the information sought by the honorable member would be useful to the enemy, I am unable to make it public. Should the honorable member so desire, the information will be furnished to him privately. {:#subdebate-16-1} #### Cockatoo Island Dockyard {: #subdebate-16-1-s0 .speaker-KLL} ##### Mr Makin:
Minister for Munitions · HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP n. - On the 26th November, the honorable member for Reid **(Mr. Morgan)** asked the following questions. *upon notice : -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has a formal agreement been executed between the Government and the lessees of the Cockatoo Island Dockyard; if so, when? 2. (a) What are the names of the lessee company and the directors thereof; (b) what is (i) the nominal and (ii) this paid-up capital of the company, respectively; and (c) who are the principal shareholders thereinand what is the extent of their holding, respectively? 3. (a) What is the rental and what are the principal terms and conditions of the lease; (b) will he table the agreement for the perusal of honorable members? The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. An agreement wag executed on the 20th November. 2. (a.) Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Company Proprietary Limited. - The directors of the company arc **Mr. Charles** C. Davis, **Sir George** F. Davis, **Mr. Maurice** Davis, Mr.Nor- man Fraser, **Sir Thomas** S. Gordon, **Mr. Edward** Hallensteinand **Sir Keith** M. Smith; {: type="a" start="b"} 0. (i) the nominal capital is shown as £500,000; (ii) issued capital £48,667 in fully paid shares of £1 each; (c) the names of the principal shareholders of the lessee company may be inspected at the office of the Registrar General of New South Wales. 1. (a)T he rental paid by the lessee company for the year ended the 28th February, 1941, was £50,000; the terms and conditions of the lease arc set forth in the schedule to the Cockatoo Island Dockyard Agreement Act 1933; (b) it is not proposed to table the agreement, but if the honorable member desires to peruse a copy I should he pleased for him to do so in my office. {:#subdebate-16-2} #### Compulsory Military Trainees {: #subdebate-16-2-s0 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: l asked the Minister for the Army, *upon notice -* >How many universal military trainees have been in camp for a period of three months or more? {: #subdebate-16-2-s1 .speaker-F4U} ##### Mr Forde:
ALP -- It is not possible to supply the information as requested without a minute consideration of individual records. Many men did not complete three months training in the Militia before being released for service in the overseas forces, and for munitions production, whilst others may have several aggregate periods exceeding three months

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 16 December 1941, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.