23rd Parliament · 2nd Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMullin) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
– Will the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry inform the Senate whether the Government has yet decided who will be appointed to the committee to be set up to inquire into wool marketing? Have the terms of reference for the committee been settled? If not, can the Minister give the Senate an assurance that the announcement will be made with the least possible delay?
– The composition of the committee which is to be set up to inquire into wool marketing and its terms of reference are matters that are still under consideration by the Government. As the Prime Minister has stated publicly, the terms of reference for a committee of inquiry of this kind need most careful consideration. The Government will require time to select the best possible men for appointment to the committee. An announcement will be made regarding both the matters referred to by the honorable senator as soon as the Government is in a position to make it.
– I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate whether he has seen a statement made by the director of Electronic Industries Limited, Melbourne, in which he claims that the Tariff Board has recommended that protection be given to Australian manufactured gramophone record-changing equipment, but that the Government has decided not to give effect to the recommendation. I understand that the factory concerned in the manufacture of this equipment has been forced to close down because of competition from overseas firms. I ask the Minister whether there is any possibility that the Government will reconsider its decision in this matter.
– All I can say in reply to the honorable senator is that I have not seen the newspaper report to which he refers. I do not recollect the Government’s making any decision of the kind referred to by the honorable senator, and I follow Tariff Board reports fairly closely. In the circumstances, I think .the best course is for the honorable senator to place his question on the notice-paper so that I may provide him with an accurate answer.
– I preface a question to the Minister representing the Prime Minister by stating that one week in October every year is celebrated in Australia as United Nations Week and that the idea of having a particular day in Australia as United Nations Day has received widespread public support. Will the Minister do all he can to ensure that a particular day each year is celebrated officially as United Nations Day in Australia, and will he do whatever he can to ensure that the practice is extended to all countries of the world?
– I think it is correct to say that a good deal is already being done along the lines suggested by Senator Courtice. United Nations Day is generally the subject of a ceremony in each of the capitals of the Commonwealth. I shall bring the proposal forward for consideration to see whether more can be done, because the proposal has a good deal of merit in it.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer. Has the special committee appointed to inquire into taxation anomalies and other matters completed its investigation? If so, when will its report be made available to the Senate?
– I answered a similar question a week or two ago. The Taxation Committee has not yet completed its inquiries. I understand that some sections of its inquiries have been completed but that the general inquiry has not been brought to finality. I cannot give any further information, but I shall make inquiries to ascertain what stage has been reached, and I shall inform the honorable senator of the position.
– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service: How many industrial stoppages have occurred in protest against the Crimes Bill? How many man-hours have been lost through those stoppages and what trade unions have been involved?
– I do not have in my mind the actual number of stoppages that have occurred, or the number of hours which have been lost as a result of those stoppages. I suggest that the honorable senator put the question on the notice-paper in its entirety so that the number of hours lost in protest against a bill which is not as has been described by those who protested against it, can be obtained, and so that the unions concerned and the character of the political beliefs of the leaders of those unions can also be made known publicly.
asked the Minister for the Navy, upon notice -
– I now answer the honorable senator in the following terms: -
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -
In view of the large earning capacity of the tourist trade, would the Government consider suggesting that Australia act as the host country for the World Travel Congress to be held in 1963?
– The following answer is now supplied: -
I am not aware of any meeting known as the World Travel Congress. I assume that the honorable senator is referring to the Conventions of the American Society of Travel Agents. This society is holding a convention in Hawaii this month. The Australian National Travel Association is well aware of the opportunities for publicizing Australia which will arise at that time. More than 2,000 American travel agents are expected to attend the Convention. A number of Australian travel representatives, including the general manager of the A.N.T.A., will also attend. The A.N.TA has arranged for an Australian Centre to be established at one of the leading hotels there to focus attention on our country. The association has also invited delegates to visit Australia either before or after the Convention. Special low-cost tours, subsidized by the association, have been arranged to induce key travel agents to come here and to see our attractions.
In addition, eighteen American travel agents visited Australia as guests of A.N.T.A. for the centenary Melbourne Cup carnival, and another group of leading agents will be here for the third Australian travel convention to be held in Melbourne from November 23rd to 25lh, 1960. The vice-president of the American Society of Travel Agents, Mr. Richard Kerr, will accompany the latter group and will be a keynote speaker at the Australian convention. Last year an invitation was conveyed to the president of the American Society of Travel Agents to hold a convention of the society in Australia as soon as possible. This invitation will be repeated at the convention in Hawaii this year.
Apart from these conventions, the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association will be held in Sydney in October, 1961, with more than 400 representatives of the world’s airlines attending. A.N.T.A. has also extended an invitation for the annual conference of the Pacific Area Travel Association - a Pacific-wide body comprising representatives of 23 governments and 350 companies and organizations directly concerned wilh the travel industry - to be held in Australia in 1963. The last P.A.T.A. conference to be held here was in Canberra in January, 1957.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice -
– The Minister for Labour and National Service has supplied the following answer: -
The statistics of persons registered for employment are of persons who claimed when registering that they were not employed and who were recorded as unplaced at the dates shown. These statistics include those who had been referred to employers, those who may have obtained employment without notifying the Commonwealth Employment Service and those receiving unemployment benefit.
– For the information of honorable senators I lay on the table the following paper: -
Dairy Industry Committee of Inquiry - Report dated August, 1960.
It has been decided to table the report now in order to give honorable senators an opportunity to study the issues involved. The Government is examining the recommendations, some of which have wide ramifications and require very careful consideration.
– by leave - I inform the Senate that the Minister for the Navy (Senator Gorton) will be leaving Australia later to-day to represent the Minister for External Affairs (Mr.
Menzies) at a meeting of Ministers of the Colombo Plan Consultative Committee in Tokyo. During the Minister’s absence the Minister for Shipping and Transport (Mr. Opperman) will act as Minister for the Navy and the following changes in the representation of other Ministers in this chamber will occur: - I shall represent the Minister for External Affairs and the Minister for Labour and National Service, Senator Paltridge will represent the Attorney-General, Senator Henty will represent the Minister for Primary Industry, and Senator Sir Walter Cooper will Represent the Acting Minister for the Navy.
– by leave - I wish first to make a statement in relation to the incident which occurred when a shell from one of Her Majesty’s Australian ships holed another ship off the coast of New South Wales. The Naval Board has studied the report of the board of inquiry which was convened by the Flag Officer commanding the Australian Fleet to investigate the holing of H.M.A.S. “Tobruk” by H.M.A.S. “ Anzac “ during a throw-off firing on Wednesday, 14th September, 1960. The Naval Board is of the opinion that the accident was caused by the malfunctioning of gunnery fire control equipment which had the effect of neutralizing the angle of throw-off which had been set correctly before the firing commenced. Normal safety precautions were ordered to ensure that the target ship would not be endangered. However, it is evident to the Naval Board that there was some failure by personnel to comply fully with these safety measures. Appropriate disciplinary action is being taken against those concerned.
The second matter about which I should like to inform the Senate concerns the tragic incident relating to Her Majesty’s Australian ship “ Woomera “, which caught fire and blew up with the loss of two lives off Sydney Heads. I merely wish to inform the Senate that it has been decided, as a result of the convening of a court of inquiry, that the captain and the first lieutenant of this ship shall stand courts-martial because of the incident. The courts-martial will, as courts-martial are, be held in public.
The third matter concerns the naval programme. Cabinet has had preliminary discussions on the shape of the new naval programme. A firm decision has been taken that the Royal Australian Navy should acquire six modern minesweepers equipped to hunt for, and dispose of, modern types of acoustic, pressure, and magnetic mines. The minesweepers selected are the Ton class at present in use with North Atlantic Treaty Organization navies. Four will be bought “ off the shelf “ in the United Kingdom but modified and altered to suit Australian climatic and other conditions. Inquiries will be made to see if the other two can be built in Australian shipyards at a comparable price and with a comparable delivery date. These ships are of specialist nature constructed of wood and aluminium, with engines designed of materials specially selected not to activate a sensitive mine and equipped with the latest devices for locating and disposing of mines. A firm decision has also been taken to build in Australia a new survey ship of approximately 2,000 tons and construction, which will take place in a civil yard, is to begin as soon as possible.
It has also been decided that, subject to a firm price being obtained for an antisubmarine helicopter which meets all the Navy’s military requirements, “ Melbourne “ will continue in commission after 1963 as an anti-submarine helicopter carrier. Other items under consideration in the naval programme are to be the subject of detailed investigation as to price, the firmness of that price, the method of payment, and availability before a final decision is made. Such investigations, though they delay the announcement of a full programme, will not delay the planned date of acquisition of these items should it be eventually firmly decided that they will be acquired.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Bill (on motion by Senator Paltridge) read a first time.
– 1 move -
That the bill be now read a second time.
The main purpose of this bill is to authorize the payment in 1960-61 of special grants totalling £8,618,000 to the States of Western Australia and Tasmania. These grants have been recommended for payment by the Commonwealth Grants Commission in its twenty-seventh report which has already been tabled. The bill also authorizes the payment of advances to Western Australia and Tasmania in the early months of 1961-62 pending the authorization by Parliament of the special grants for that year. This provision is similar to that included in last year’s legislation.
In arriving at its recommendations for 1960-61 the commission has continued to follow the principle of financial need which was originally adopted in its third report in 1936. In accordance with this principle, the special grants are designed to enable the claimant States to function at a standard not appreciably below that of other States, providing they make comparable efforts in raising revenue and controlling expenditure. The application of this principle requires a detailed comparison of the budgets of each of the claimant States with those of the non-claimant States, particular account being taken of differences in levels of expenditure and in efforts to raise revenue.
Under the procedures currently adopted by the commission, the special grants recommended each year are composed of two parts. One part is based on the commission’s estimate of a claimant State’s financial needs for the year in which the grant is to be paid. This part is regarded by the commission as an advance payment subject to final adjustment two years later when the commission has completed its examination of the audited budget results of the States for that year. The other part of the grant represents a final adjustment, positive or negative, of the special grant paid two years earlier.
The special grants which the commission has recommended for payment in 1960-61 and the special grants paid in 1959-60 are set out in a table which, with the permission of the Senate, I shall have incorporated in “ Hansard “.
In total, the special , grants recommended for 1960-61 are £292,000 greater than those paid in 1959-60. However, the grants paid in 1959-60 included £1,426,000 for South Australia, which is no longer a claimant State. The special grants recommended for the two claimant States, Western Australia and Tasmania, total £1,718,000 more than the grants received by those two States in 1959-60. Further details concerning these grants can be obtained from the commission’s report.
The effect of adopting the commission’s recommendations would be to increase the total general revenue grants payable to the two claimant States, including the estimated financial assistance grants payable under the States Grants Act 1959, by about £5,300,000 this financial year. For Western Australia the increase would be approximately £3,300,000 and for Tasmania approximately £2,000,000. The estimated amounts of total general revenue grants payable to each State in 1960-61 and the amounts paid in 1959-60 are compared in the following table: -
Ishould mention that the estimates or the financial assistance grants given in the table differ from the estimates included in the Budget. Data available since the latter estimates were made have led the Commonwealth Statistician to revise them substantially. On the revised estimates, which are themselves based on incomplete data, the total of the financial assistance grants payable to the States in1960-61 willbe £2,300,000 greater than the Budget estimate. The precise amounts of the grants will be determined by the statistician within the next few weeks.
The Government considers that the Commonwealth Grants Commission’s recommendations regarding special grants for Western Australia and Tasmania in 1960-61 should be adopted. I therefore commend the bill to honorable senators.
Debate (on motion by Senator McKenna) adjourned.
In committee: Consideration resumed from 8th November (vide page 1421).
Department of External Affairs.
Proposed Vote, £2.943,000.
Miscellaneous Services - Department of External Affairs.
Proposed Vote, £2,158,300.
International Development and Relief.
Proposed Vote, £5,552,500.
Economic Assistance to Support Defence Programmes South-East Asia Treaty Organization Member Countries.
Proposed Vote, £650,000.
.- Mr. Chairman, in the few minutes for which I spoke last night I discussed the position of Minister for External Affairs. I believe if is one of the most important positions that this nation has to offer. I say that it is impracticable for a Prime Minister, with his many duties as Prime Minister, to hold also the portfolio of Minister for External Affairs with success to the nation. If he were not the Prime Minister, although I might disagree with him on certain points of policy. I believe that he could give his undivided attention to this portfolio. I do not believe that Australia can be given the service to which it is entitled when the portfolio of Minister for External Affairs is in the hands of the Prime Minister, because he cannot give it his full-time attention. 1 suppose it would be fair to say that the last three men who held this portfolio did so with distinction to this nation, although honorable senators on the Government side might have disagreed with the policies of the Labour Minister for External Affairs. Dr. Evatt, and I might have had some cause to criticize both Mr. Spender and Mr. Casey, as they then were. However, they did bring the name of Australia to the forefront at world conferences. They spent a considerable amount of their time overseas. Nobody quarrels with that - it is part and parcel of the job. The job demands that regular visits be made to overseas countries.
While I do not for a moment place any faith in the policy of those who sit opposite, 1 concede that many of them in this chamber and in another place would, if given the opportunity, carry out this job to the best of their ability for the sake of this nation. I hope the time will soon arrive when the present occupant of the position will realize that his duties as Prime Minister do not allow him to give his undivided attention to his portfolio of Minister for External Affairs. He does nol have time to go overseas as often as perhaps he should. He does not have time to visit our near neighbours as often as he should. Australia’s future is closely linked with the future of Asia. We should do all in our power to become very friendly with the nations of Asia. Nothing does more to encourage good relations between countries than an exchange of visits by the leaders of those countries. With the greatest of respect to the Prime Minister, I say that it is impossible for him to perform his dual functions with satisfaction to Australia. No man can attend to his duties as Prime Minister of a country and at the same time explain that country’s foreign policies to her neighbours. I hope that in the near future wiser counsels will prevail, and that the portfolio of Minister for External Affairs will be given to a man who can devote his full energies to the job. I do not think that the Liberal Party, however much I may oppose its policies and beliefs - I cannot refer to its ideologies because it has none - is so bereft of talent that it cannot find somebody to do this job with distinction to himself and credit to the nation. Surely such a man could be found within its ranks, or within the ranks of its allies who sit in the corner. I am not certain whether the Australian Country Party is an ally of the Liberal Party after the Calare by-election. T congratulate the Australian Country Party on its win in Calare. Let it take heed of what I said here two or three weeks ago. If it contested more of these seats that are held by the Liberal Party it would earn for itself a great deal of respect.
During the course of this debate, my friend Senator McManus referred to visits to this country by certain people. I am in favour of such visits. Like Senator
McManus 1 deplore disturbances and demonstrations that take place on occasions when certain people arrive here or when they are leaving, no matter what may be the political beliefs and ideologies of those people. The countries of the world are drawing closer together as a result of modern travel facilities, and it is important that we should know as much as possible about our neighbours in the world. The fact that some Chinese visit Australia does not mean that anybody in this country will adopt their ideology. While they are in this country they will be able to see how we live, and what they see must impress them. It does not matter whether we have visits by fascists from Spain or members of a certain class that seems to be rising to power again in West Germany: We should welcome all of them and show them how we live in this country. Let us tell them that we would be delighted for them to return to their own countries with reports of how we live in Australia, because we believe that in Australia we live under the best system that has yet been evolved.
Let me say a few words about our recognition or non-recognition of certain countries. I cannot understand why this Government recognizes Russia but refuses to recognize China. I do not believe in the ideologies of Russia or China and our recognition of either country does not mean that we believe in their system of government.
– Do you think that is the only factor governing recognition?
– We are part of Asia and China is not far from this country. Within five or ten years China will be a powerful force in the world. Less than a month ago I read an article in an American magazine which claimed that China’s production of steel already equals that of Great Britain. Whether that claim is correct I do not know.
– You are pretty gullible.
– I do not know. I am not as blind as the honorable senator who interjects. That is the difference between us. All he wants to do is to concentrate on election contests every three years. I am thinking of my country, and I cannot understand why we do not recognize China if we recognize Russia. If the
Government had refused to recognize Russia as well as China at least it would have shown some consistency. Within a few short years the United Nations will be forced to recognize China, and then I suppose Australia will fall into line. I do not like side-stepping any issue. When I am on my feet I am prepared to state my point of view.
– What would you do about the 20,000,000 Chinese who live outside China?
– I always understood that there were 10,000,000 Chinese on Formosa at the moment.
– There are a lot of Chinese in other countries.
– I suppose there are a lot of British people in other countries too. Senator Buttfield is attempting to interject again. I like ladies, but I do not like them to be talking all the time. I happen to have the floor at the moment. You are wonderful people up to around the neck. Let me say quite candidly that I want to do all I can to protect the people in Formosa; but as many people saw on television recently, Mr. Kennedy - who on the latest figures seems to be winning the American presidential election - said that Formosa should get out of the two off-shore islands. I am not arguing about that, but f do say that I like to see logic applied to these matters. To recognize Russia and yet not recognize China does not seem to me to be logical.
In the few minutes at my disposal I wish to deal with another subject. Australia contributes £78,000 to the International Labour Organization. The cost of sending delegates to that organization last year amounted to £21,800. There have been 108 conventions carried at the I.L.O. but of those conventions only 23 have been ratified in Australia. The one, of course, in which T am most interested is that which was carried in 1951 - equal pay for equal work for the sexes. Thirty other countries have adopted that convention. We speak about the advancement of this country and boast that no other country enjoys better conditions, but we send people to these conferences and make a laughing-stock of them. I am not blaming the Commonwealth for failing to ratify the whole 108 conventions because the Commonwealth does not have exclusive power, as yet, over industrial matters.
It is interesting to note that the Constitutional Review Committee came to a unanimous decision on this question of industrial powers. I am certain that Senator Wright will agree with me when I say that.
– Mr. Downer dissented.
– That is so. Mr. Downer is a very good man and a nice fellow. The committee by eleven to one submitted a recommendation that the Commonwealth should have complete industrial powers.
The CHAIRMAN (Senator the Hon. A. D. Reid). - Order! The honorable senator’s time has expired.
.- I wish to continue the discussion on the proposed vote for International Labour Conferences which is included in Division No. 627. The sum to be provided for representation at such conferences is £21,800, and the contribution towards the International Labour Organization is £78,500. The International Labour Office was established back in the days of the League of Nations. If it were not for that fact, it would not be functioning in the locality where its head-quarters are situated now. If it had been established under the Charter of the United Nations, of which it is an agency at the present time, it certainly would be domiciled somewhere near the United Nations head-quarters.
It is known that Australia sends delegates to I.L.O. conferences, and it is also known that many countries are represented at them. The conferences are held annually, and very shortly another conference is to be held. It is also true that conventions are decided upon at those conferences and that sooner or later they are submitted by the Commonwealth Government to the various States for their examination and acceptance if the State Governments think they should be accepted. We can easily gauge how successful the I.L.O. has been by examining the industrial legislation of the States and the Commonwealth. We find on examination that very few indeed of the conventions have been implemented.
– Could you name two or three important conventions that have not been implemented?
– I shall come to that point later. I know that the Commonwealth Government refers each convention to the State governments and that the State governments examine them and report back to the Commonwealth. I know too that the Commonwealth Government has not the constitutional power to pass legislation to implement these conventions. Senator Kennelly referred to the subject of equal pay for equal work for the sexes. I would remind the Senate that that matter was provided for legislatively in Queensland back in 1916 in an act entitled “The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act “ under which the Industrial Court of Queensland has full power to give effect to that convention.
– That was 44 years ‘ ago.
– That act has been in force for 44 years in Queensland.
I should like to see some changes in the International Labour Office. As a matter of fact Australia had given effect to many matters covered by I.L.O. conventions long before those conventions were agreed to. I remember some years ago that the question whether an announcer on broadcasting stations should be entitled to have his name mentioned was discussed. Such things are very minor, and one could not expect States to report back to the Commonwealth on matters such as that. I should like to see the I.L.O. clothed with different powers and given a different charter. I am aware that many backward countries are represented there and that industrial conditions in those countries are far below the level of those in Australia. I should like to see the I.L.O. office transferred from where it is at present. I should like to see it transferred into the premises of the United Nations in New York.
I should like to refer now to some of the countries in which Australia is represented at the present time. We know what our representation in these countries is costing us, but in this Parliament we see very little evidence of the work that our diplomatic representatives perform, and we are not able to evaluate the worth of their activities precisely. However, we know that we are represented in the diplomatic sphere in those countries and that our good relationships with them are continued. We are represented in Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, India, Indonesia, Laos, the Federation of Malaya, Nepal, North Borneo, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sarawak, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, which include what are known as the Colombo Plan countries. They are the recipients of assistance from Australia and other Commonwealth countries which are able economically to assist them. In order to cultivate the friendship of those countries, our representation there must be effective.
Reference has been made to the fact that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) is administering several portfolios at the present time. Evidently he is not a good trade unionist, for if he were he would be content to fill only one position in the Ministry. I believe that the Minister who holds the External Affairs portfolio should spend more than a half of his time outside Australia. I believe that he should devote the major portion of his time to travelling to most of the countries I have enumerated. If he did so, not only would he cultivate their friendship, but, what is perhaps more important, he would gain an understanding of their governmental problems. First of all, they need food to feed the millions of their people who are hungry. This is the most grievous problem at present confronting them. If the Minister for External Affairs did not attend the conferences of the United Nations, if he did nothing else but devote his time to visiting the countries I have mentioned, I consider that, as far as Australia is concerned, his time would be well spent.
You may recall, Mr. Chairman, that a few years ago a Dr. Mcpherson was recruited by the Commonwealth Government to make a survey of the Northern Territory and New Guinea, particularly the former. The object of the survey, of course, was to ascertain the condition of health of the residents of those territories and to see what could be done to promote better health. When he furnished his report to the Government - his findings were very interesting, I may say - he proposed that a health research organization should be established in the interests of the health of the residents of the Northern Territory and the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.
– Order! We are not at present discussing the Territories.
– I am dealing with a particular matter, Mr. Chairman, and I think that very soon you will see that my remarks are well within the ambit of the Standing Orders. In his report, this gentleman stated that he thought such a research organization could be established at a cost to the Commonwealth Government of about £38,000. If such an organization were established in co-operation with the Colombo Plan countries that I have mentioned, a great deal of good could be done for those countries. 1 know, Mr. Chairman, that we are not discussing the Colombo Plan at present, but when we are considering that matter in due course we will be able to discuss the Asian students who are receiving educational training in Australia under that plan.
.- First, I ask* the Minister whether he will inform me of the item which relates to the United Nations. Secondly, let me remind honorable senators that I developed the theme last night that Australia could well consider recognizing honorary consuls abroad and that the ministerial reply was to the effect that that is a matter of policy. 1 wonder whether it would ‘be asking the Minister too much if 1 asked him to tell me why it has become the policy of the Government not to recognize honorary consuls abroad, notwithstanding the qualifications of the persons available and the fact that Australia has no representation over wide areas, ls it simply n matter of policy that honorary consuls are not recognized by the Australian Government? If the Minister is unable to furnish me with the information now, will he. arrange for me to be informed why a policy of not appointing honorary consuls abroad has been applied?
.- I should like to be informed of the basis on which the Government decides to establish Australian representation in overseas countries. We are represented in a number of very small countries, but in larger countries, where I imagine there is a greater potential for reciprocal trade, we are not represented. I had the privilege last year of going to Czechoslovakia and to Poland as a member of the Australian delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference in Warsaw. Australia is not represented in those two countries. I imagine that there is a vast potential for Australian trade with them, particularly with Czechoslovakia, which is more industrialized than Poland. We are spending vast sums of money on maintaining representation in countries whose potential for trade is not nearly so great as is that of Czechoslovakia or Poland. 1 am very much in favour of establishing Australian representation wherever we can overseas, and of our recognizing various countries. I am wholeheartedly in favour of the recognition, for instance, of mainland China. Great Britain recognized mainland China many years ago. Yesterday, I received an answer to a question I had asked upon notice, which reveals the farcical position that whilst Australia is not yet prepared to recognize mainland China, we exported to that country last year, in round figures, £16,000,000 worth of goods, and imported from it goods to the value of more than £4,000,000. It is a facical position that whilst we are prepared to trade with mainland China, we are not prepared to recognize the government of that country. What would be wrong with our supporting the admission of mainland China to the United Nations? Recently, when this matter came before the United Nations in New York, I understand that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), who is also at present administering the External Affairs portfolio, voted against mainland China’s admission to the United Nations. Nowadays, with world tensions and the annihilation of distance by air travel, we can visit countries many miles away within a few hours. In those circumstances, the position of Minister for External Affairs is of the greatest importance.
When Lord Casey was Minister for External Affairs he spent a considerable time outside Australia. I do not suggest that he should not have done so. I am in favour of the Minister for External Affairs travelling outside Australia in connexion with his official duties as much as he possibly can. I wish to emphasize the comments of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. How, in the name of goodness, can the Prime Minister of this country effectively and adequately perform the additional duties of Minister for External Affairs? The very nature of that portfolio requires the Minister to be absent from this country a good deal more frequently than is possible for the present Minister for External Affairs. Such visits overseas are absolutely essential. 1 should like the Minister to tell us the method that is adopted by the Government in establishing representation in other countries. Is the method dictated by political motives, as in the case of mainland China, with whose political philosophy and ideology we disagree? As I have said, the fact that we disagree in that way should not be a bar to the establishment of official representation in mainland China because, after all, it was the Western countries that drove the Chinese into the arms of communism. You have only to look back a few years, Mr. Chairman, to remember that Shanghai was ringed ‘by international settlements, such as the British, French and American settlements. They were not there for the good of the Chinese people. While those settlements existed they were used to exploit the Chinese people. Millions of Chinese were dying outside the boundaries of the international settlements. Tt was because of our continued exploitation of China and other countries over the years that they were driven into the arms of communism. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain by grasping at any “ ism “ that promised them something more than they had. For the most part, all that they had were conditions of degradation and starvation. Millions of Chinese died from starvation.
Is it to be contended for one moment that because we do not recognize the government of mainland China, the people of China should change their method of government, depose the government at present in office and substitute a form of government ‘that we care to foist upon them? Such a suggestion is too ridiculous for words. I think we should be realistic in our approach to the recognition of the governments of countries such as China. After all, the form of government that they have has been chosen by the people. The charter of the United Nations provides that all peoples should have the right of self-determination. Perhaps the
Minister will be good enough to tell us the system by which it is. decided to establish representatives in other countries.
– I feel stimulated to rise and say a few words on this subject because I have heard so much that suggests muddled thinking by honorable senators opposite. We have heard of the need to recognize red China and to admit it to the United Nations. To my mind, the point is that we already have at the United Nations Chinese representatives. We cannot have two Chinas. Which China are we to recognize? If we recognize Communist China, then we completely ignore the 20,000,000 Chinese who are living outside mainland China and who look to the Nationalist Chinese Government in Formosa for leadership.
– That is what Great Britain has done.
– We are not discussing Great Britain at the moment. We are discussing the recognition of red China and its admission to the United Nations, matters that were raised on the Opposition side of the chamber. I am saying that we cannot have two Chinas represented at the United Nations. Senator Kennelly apparently disagrees with me that there are 20,000,000 Chinese outside China. There are 10,000,000 Chinese in Formosa, and there are also Chinese in Singapore, Malaya, Viet Nam and other South-East Asian countries. There are about 10,000,000 Chinese living in South-East Asian countries who do not wish to be under Communist domination, and who wish to have a country to which they can return.
– How does the honorable senator know that?
– Because I have been to those countries and I know the feeling of the people. They say they do not wish to recognize a country which is Communist-dominated.
Senator Sandford has also confused the question of trade representations in Communist countries with the question of diplomatic representation. To my mind, there is absolutely no necessity to have diplomatic representation in any Communist satellite country, because the imperialistic power, which is Russia, speaks for those countries diplomatically. They have no right to speak for themselves, as we saw by the demonstration they gave at the United Nations recently, when Khrushchev thumped the table with his shoe. The representatives of the satellite countries did the same thing - not necessarily with their shoes, but they all thumped the table, too. Khrushchev has only to raise his hand and they all follow suit. It is unnecessary for us to have diplomatic representation in every satellite country at this stage while they are allowed no independent voice.
I am not in favour of having trade commissioner services in Communist countries. I feel that it is a very dangerous thing for the Government to encourage the build-up of trade with Communist countries. We have seen what has happened to some countries, such as Japan, which have built up a vigorous trade with a Communist country. At the psychological moment, and at a time that suits the convenience of the Communist country, it has simply cut off all trade with the country concerned, with drastic effects on its economy.
– And on employment.
– On employment particularly. We do not want to see that kind of thing happen to our trade. If individuals wish to trade with Communist countries - and undoubtedly there are individuals in this country who wish to do so - they must take the risk of what will happen if the Communist countries decide to cut off trade with us. I should not like to see the Government encourage trade in such a dangerous situation.
.- I shall not detain the Senate for very long at the fag end of the debate, but I want to refer to one or two points that have been made. Senator Kennelly put the liberal view - I say “ liberal “ with a small “ 1 “ - on the desirability of interchanges between various countries. Nobody objects to people from red China coming here as visitors. The objection in the first place, is to trade unionists in Australia being compelled to pay a levy to bring those people here.
– They decide by their own vote. It was a majority decision of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
– No, the trade unionists did not get a vote. The A.C.T.U. conference took a vote, and there is considerable dispute amongst those who were present as to what the effect of the vote was intended to be. Many who voted in favour of the resolution have explained that they did not understand that it meant that this kind of thing was to go on.
The second objection is that the A.C.T.U. is affiliated with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. That body has declared emphatically against interchanges with unions of red China and Russia because the I.C.F.T.U. says that the so-called unions in those countries are bogus bodies, and that interchanges of alleged trade union officials are designed to assist the foreign policies of Russia and red China. There is all the difference in the world between saying, “ Let people from those countries come here and see us; it will do them good “, and saying that the average unionist must pay a levy to bring them here, and that when they come here they are to be regarded as union leaders. The free trade union movements of the world say that they are not union leaders at all, but government officials whose jobs in their own countries are to speed up production and to deal with social services.
Let us consider the position in which a unionist who is a new Australian finds himself. I have met a lot of them in the last few weeks. They have pointed to places on the map of Russia and have said, “ My brother is in that slave camp “, or “ My father died in this slave camp “. They have added, “ Why should I have to pay my union fee and have part of it used to entertain in this country officials of the government which did that? “ We may agree or disagree with their attitude; they will still express it. It is an attitude which, from the Australian viewpoint, is quite understandable.
Recognition of red China is not held up. fcs I understand the situation, merely on the ground of prejudice or dislike of China’s political system. In international law certain principles are laid down upon which recognition of a country shall depend. I defy anybody to show how the system in red China fits in with the principles of international law upon which recognition of a country is supposed to depend. If you want to disregard those principles in the same way as the principles of amateur sport are disregarded to allow the Russians to compete in the Olympic Games - as every one knows, they compete as professionals and the rest of the world shuts its eyes to the fact - merely to associate with these people, say so. But do not let us accuse people who say that the principles of international law ought to be observed of being actuated only by prejudice, because they are not. I have been pleased to hear some honorable senators say that they would not be prepared to sacrifice the people of Taiwan - I prefer to speak of them as belonging to free China - in the recognition of mainland China. When the red Chinese speak of recognizing mainland China, they speak of recognition of what they regard as being China, including Taiwan or Formosa.
Britain recognized red China in 1949. Ever since her ambassador went to mainland China, he has been treated with a considerable degree of contempt. Ambassadors to red China are treated in two different ways. Those who represent countries that recognize red China as owning Taiwan are treated very well, but others, like the British ambassador, who cannot go that far are treated with a considerable degree of contempt and every possible obstruction is put in the way of their carrying out their duties. Let us remember that when Britain recognized red China in 1949 it was not as a matter of high principle. Mr. Chifley pointed out at the time, when explaining why Australia would not follow Britain’s example, that the reason why Britain had recognized red China so quickly was that there were millions of pounds’ worth of British investments in China and pressure had been put on the British Government by firms to recognize the Communist Government in the hope of saving something from the wreck. Of course, they did not save anything. Britain recognized red China, but her representatives were treated with contempt and the properties of the big British firms which induced Britain to recognize that country were confiscated in the same way as they would have been if nothing at all had been done.
I conclude by saying that the argument against the recognition of red China is not based merely upon prejudice or dislike of the system under which those people live. It is based upon clearly defined principles of international law and upon a belief that the people of free China in Taiwan must not be sacrificed merely for the purpose of establishing relations with the mainland body.
Senator TANGNEY (Western Australia) 14.20]. - 1 refer to Division No. 627- Department of External Affairs, item 08, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - Contribution and representation. We are asked to appropriate £1 15,000 for this purpose. Last night I asked who were Australia’s representatives at this year’s session of Unesco. This is one of the most important of all the agencies of the United Nations, yet I cannot recall any occasion upon which the Senate has had a direct report from a delegation that has gone to a meeting of Unesco. I should like to know how Australia’s representatives to these conferences are selected. Are the education authorities in the various States given an opportunity to nominate delegates? Why is this Parliament not directly represented at Unesco?
We all know that in the enlightenment of the world lies the hope of the world. One of the biggest factors in the attainment of world peace is enlightenment. 1 believe, therefore, that conferences of Unesco are of extreme importance. If this Parliament does not receive any reports from delegates to conferences of Unesco, the Parliament itself should be directly represented instead of having Australia represented by officials of the Department of External Affairs who may happen to be there at the time and who may not have a direct interest in the problems that are being discussed. This aspect of the work of United Nations is as important as the work of the International Labour Organization. We know how delegates to the I.L.O. are selected. We hear quite a lot about their activities and the decisions that are reached, even though they may not be implemented by this Parliament. I repeat that I should like to know how Unesco works and how Australia’s representatives are chosen.
.- It has been said in this chamber very frequently that we are living in a rapidly changing world. I agree. There is one word in the English language which describes the whole of life’s process; it is the word “ adjustment “. Where you fail to adjust yourself to changes there is friction, which sometimes leads to bloodshed. People who have been indoctrinated from infancy, who believe what they have been taught, and who have never cultivated the very useful faculty of inductive reasoning as well as that of deductive reasoning, are inclined to be very provocative and to resist changes. Changes are coming, just as they have come in the past. In the early history of Australia, the so-called processes of change were not recognized. After Eureka, in 1854, a change of thought took place and there was an adjustment.
Reference has been made to China. The Chinese economy has been changed just as the economies of almost all other countries have been changed. In my opinion, if we are to have peace in this world economies within all national boundaries and international trading must be re-organized. The Minister for External Affairs and others, judging from the reports that we receive from them, have no idea at all of changing. We shall find ultimately, if we live long enough, that they will make a virtue of a necessity and accept those ideas which they previously rejected.
A very provocative book has been written on this question by Professor C. Wright Mills, Professor of Sociology of Columbia University. The book, entitled “The Causes of World War Three “, was published in 1959 and is to be obtained in .the library. The reviewer directs attention to the matters to which I have been directing attention and states in very emphatic language in his opinion what is taking place. Writing in America, he says -
There are few in this country who do not assume that, whatever their mistakes, the rulers of the United States stand for the democratic way of life against the brutal totalitarianism of Russia. In this dynamic, frightening book Mr. Wright Mills, one of America’s foremost sociologists, boldly challenges this assumption. The United States, he claims, is in effect ruled to-day just like Russia, not by the elected representatives of the people, but by a power 61ite.
Who comprises this élite? The few hundred “ top brass “ of the armed forces, the few hundred business men who control the workings of monopoly capitalism, the few hundred politicians who run the nation’s political machines. Unchecked by democratic processes, these men, together with their Russian counterparts, control the destinies of the world.
Where has this American power elite been leading the West? Devastatingly Mr. Wright
Mills gives examples of how in the Cold War we have been losing out, politically and economically in the Middle and Far East, industrially even in the sphere of mass production where the United States used to reign supreme.
But the gravamen of the author’s charges against the rulers of the United States is that they have led the West into a situation where peace is sought only by warlike means, where in fact a single misinterpretation of a shadow on a radar screen can loose Armageddon in a matter of minutes. If the present arms race, for which the Americans are as much to blame as the Russians, does not lead ultimately to World War III. then all history is a lie.
What then can be done? Underlying the present attitudes of both Russian and American power elites is fear, driving them towards a war which means destruction for both. It is not, the author thinks, too late to banish fear, and thereby break the stranglehold of the elite, but it is only through the intellectuals of America - the scientists, writers, publicists, men of religion - that this can be achieved. Let them insist that their rulers turn scientific research into peaceful channels, break the vicious circle whereby as chances of peace increase so does the likelihood of an economic slump, invite the widest sharing of information of all kinds with the Russians. Only then will the. drift, which has become a thrust, towards war be ‘halted. “ The Causes of World War III.”, which has its applications to Britain, will arouse violent controversy both in America and in this country. We believe it to be a book of major importance.
As I see the position, the dominating idea of those who speak about disarmament and peace is what we are to do with the hundreds of thousands or millions of men who are engaged in the preparations for war which are now and have been in the past an integral part of the economy of every nation. Obviously we should not shut our minds against the people who want to discuss these matters. Our representatives at the United Nations should, when they approach the question, have some idea of the economic causes of war. They should study the position. A peaceful reorganization of national economies and international trading would be to the benefit of all mankind. We would not then have, as we now have in this country, thousands of men and women whom I class as destitute wards of the State - age pensioners, and people living on the dole, including thousands of miners in New South Wales who have been dismissed because they produced more coal than we needed. That is where a reorganization of the internal economy is needed and that is exactly what Professor C. Wright Mills has pointed out throughout his book.
Finally, we should not be guided by old prejudices and fears. An approach should be made to understand the international position as, in my judgment it can be understood, and as it has been understood by men holding very responsible positions in the academic world. When we compare red China with Formosa and other countries, we ought to remember that the people of red China, as well as those of other countries, want to live in peace. They do not want to be starving in the midst of plenty, as thousands are in Australia, and as millions are in Asia, America and Europe. There is a need to re-organize the economy intelligently on the same basis as the ideal household is organized, with priority being given to the young, the ailing and the aged. There would then not be, as there is now in all countries, increasing poverty side by side with increasing wealth.
– Before we go any further in this debate, I had better answer one or two queries that have been raised. I thought Senator Kennelly was very generous indeed in his comments on the recent by-election in Calare, because the great Government victory in that electorate does not augur very well for Senator Kennelly’s party, the Australian Labour Party. To receive such generous comments from him in those circumstances is something of a rarity, upon which I think I should comment. I pass over his comments on the position of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) who is also Minister for External Affairs at the moment, because in his own party a Prime Minister carried out the duties of another position. I understand that Mr. Chifley was both Prime Minister and Treasurer for many years. I do not think that he ever carried out the duties of those two positions as well as the present Prime Minister has carried out the duties of the two positions of Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs. The same comments apply to the remarks of Senator Benn. It was rather interesting to hear him say that he did not think the Prime Minister could be a good unionist because if he were he would not occupy two positions. But he overlooked the fact that a Prime Minister from his own party, Mr. Chifley, did so for years and years. I always thought that Mr. Chifley was a pretty reasonable trade unionist, but apparently Senator Benn does not agree with that view.
Senator McManus has answered the questions raised by Senator Kennelly about the recent visit to Australia by trade unionists from Communist China. I wish to comment on only one point. With very great interest, I read in the press their comments as they left Australia. They said very grudgingly that they felt the standard of living in Australia was “ comparatively reasonable “. I do not know with what they could compare it, but that is what they said. They also said that Australain trade unionists were ground down in trying to pay their way under the system of hire purchase, that all Australian trade unionists have to work long hours in order to meet their hire-purchase bills. They said that this position was very retrograde and very much to the detriment of the Australian system. They should have talked to the wives of Australian trade unionists who enjoy the use of articles which are bought under hire purchase - refrigerators, washing machines and many other things for the home - for years before they are paid off. What would the wives of Australian trade unionists say to their husbands or anybody who suggested such nonsense as that they should return all those things and do without them or that they were not entitled to have the use of those great facilities?
– That is not the point.
– Isn’t it? If you talk to the wives of trade unionists you will see whether it is the point; it is the point.
– No, it is not.
– I can only advise you to talk to the wives. I have spoken to many of them and I say without doubt that they would not be prepared to forgo the use of washing machines and refrigerators.
– Why should they?
– Of course, they should not.
– Who suggests that they should?
– Your cobbers whom you helped to bring here from China, and for whom,, if you are a trade unionist, you put in twopence a week to bring to this country. Senator McManus described them as representatives of bogus unions. They are the fellows who suggested that. But unfortunately, they did not talk to the wives of Australian trade unionists. Had they done so, they would not have gone away with that opinion. That is the point I am making.
– Is it not a fact that they also said that automation had caused unemployment in Australia?
– I did not read that. The other part of their statement stuck in my mind because I thought, “ How silly can they be? “ They came here with their eyes shut. Had they spoken to the women of Australia, they would have been told that the standard of living which we enjoy in Australia is such that to talk of it being “ comparatively reasonable “ in comparison with the conditions under which the people live in red China is just nonsense. If they also made the statement referred to by Senator McKellar, all I can say is that the employment position in Australia has never been better than it is; it compares very favorably with the employment position in any other part of the world.
Let me turn to a statement made by some honorable senators, with which I agree. 1 listened with great interest to Senator Benn’s comment that wherever possible more Australians, particularly the Minister for External Affairs, should move among the Asian nations to our north and in other parts of the world. Wherever I have been overseas, I have always found that Australians are looked upon as good mixers and people who can talk man to man. I believe there is no better way of ironing out problems than talking them over.
– Order! The Minister’s time has expired.
.- I regret that Senator Gorton had to leave. At least he kept the debate on a high plane. I said previously - and I still maintain - that the Prime Minister cannot successfully carry out the duties of Minister for External Affairs and maintain the standard set by his predecessors in that office. I think all honorable senators know the time that Dr. Evatt, Mr. Spender and Mr. Casey, as they then were, had to spend overseas. I believe it is the duty of a Minister for
External Affairs to make many visits to various countries in a year. I have never suggested that Prime Ministers of all political complexions have not also held other portfolios, but the work involved did not necessitate frequent visits to other countries.
I do not know how far the Minister’s political education goes back, but from his speech I can understand that he is only a novice in this field. Therefore, I can readily understand that he would not know the history of Australia. Over a long period of years, with very rare exceptions, every Prime Minister of this country has also been the Treasurer or has taken another portfolio.
– Including that of Minister for External Affairs.
– Can the honorable senator tell me a Prime Minister other than Mr. Menzies who was Minister for External Affairs?
– Mr. Hughes.
– That is so, but my friend is talking of a time when the portfolio of External Affairs was very minor compared with what it is to-day. It is true that Mr. Hughes attended various conferences when he was Prime Minister during the First World War. He played an important part at Versailles, at the signing of the peace treaty after the First World War. I do not expect the Minister to have a remote idea about that, but our friend, Senator McCallum, is an historian of note, or at least he claims to be. If he is trying to compare the duties of Minister for External Affairs prior to 1920 with that Minister’s duties to-day, I can understand why, despite his years in political life, he has remained a back-bencher. The office of Minister for External Affairs is one of the most important in this country to-day. 1 am sorry that the Minister for the Navy, who is assistant to the Minister for External Affairs, had to leave the chamber to-day. If he had remained here we would have been able to dispose of this section of the Estimates much more quickly than will be possible now that they are in the charge of my friend, the Minister for Customs and Excise (Senator Henty). I can assure him that he does not rule us by force of numbers alone. He must put some logic into his arguments. It is hard to gel any logic from the Minister, but we do get a little on occasions from some of his colleagues. lt is futile for honorable senators opposite to argue that the present situation under which the Prime Minister also holds the portfolio of Minister for External Affairs is similar to the situation from 1945 to 1949, when Mr. Chifley was not only Prime Minister but also Treasurer. I remind honorable senators that Mr. Chifley holds something of a record because when he left Australia on Government business he was away for eighteen days only, and when he returned the job had been done. Things are different now. 1 have never queried the length of time that a Minister of the Crown spends overseas. What does it matter if a responsible Minister spends a couple of months overseas? I have sufficient faith in Ministers to think that they are doing a job on behalf of this nation. The Prime Minister cannot carry out his dual role efficiently because his duties as Minister for External Affairs would necessitate his being out of this country more than he was in it. Weight is given to that claim by the fact that his assistant, Senator Gorton, has had to go to Tokyo to-day. Senator Gorton is a friend of mine, so ] will not refer to him in any unkindly fashion. I will simply refer to him as the assistant Minister. He has left to represent the Minister for External Affairs in Tokyo. It is debatable whether Asia is more important to Australia to-day than the rest of the world. Certainly Asia is vitally important to us. I would have expected Senator Henty to say that the Prime Minister is so able that he can fulfil both positions with credit to this country.
– You must have been out of the chamber when I said that.
– I heard the Minister’s speech. I missed only a word or two while I was coming from my room to the chamber. Apparently the Minister has a bad memory. I cannot understand him. A debate such as this is the only vehicle by which honorable senators may raise certain queries. I urge the Government to provide honorable senators with an opportunity - perhaps one day in each month - similar to the opportunity provided on Grievance Day to our friends in another place. If we hnd such an opportunity we would not be forced to make second-reading speeches during the discussions on the Estimates. We would be able to deal with important matters on one day a month, and at least fulfil some of the functions for which we were sent here by the people. I am delighted to think that the Minister is happy to have my ex-colleague, Senator McManus, answer some of my arguments for him. That is a rather amusing situation. I would have expected a Minister to stand on his own feet and accept responsibility.
– You are often wrong, are you not?
– As long as Senator McKellar sits in the corner he will support the Government. If he does not he knows that he will not be No. 2 on the Senate ticket, and he will find himself on the outer. I am a little better than he is. I come here in my own right. He comes here by the grace of those who ‘have no more time for his politics than I have. The only reason they want him here is that they know that he is servile and will support everything that they do. Have courage, man!
I was amazed to hear the Minister refer to articles that appeared in the newspapers about recent visits to Australia by people from China. My philosophies have nothing in common with those of people who come from China. My record in politics, extending over many years, shows where I stand. I do not care if those people are everything that honorable senators opposite accuse them of being, and T would expect the press to print just what it thought should be printed about them.
Let me say a few words about hire purchase. T do not know whether the Government is pleased with the high rates of interest being charged by hire-purchase companies. I do not know whether it is pleased that the people of this country owe more than £400,000.000 to hire-purchase companies and are paying between 17 per cent, and 20 per cent, interest on that money. If it is pleased with those things let it say so, but its representatives in this place should not insult the Senate, which is part of the National Parliament of Australia. If members of the Government cannot answer our arguments, they should not make asses of themselves. The answers that we have received to some of our questions have been faT from satisfactory. I am sure that my colleagues agree with that statement. When we seek information, do not reply to us in terms that would be insulting to a child of ten years. The old, old story of numbers being better than logic is repeating itself, but I warn the Government that it will not always get away with things as easily as in the past.
– We do not always have logic on our side.
– There is another person mumbling.
– I said that we do not always have logic on our side.
– I know that. At least the case that was submitted from this side was a logical one. A courteous question was asked of a responsible Minister. An honorable senator who asks such a question is entitled to obtain an answer. The Minister is not entitled to hide behind another honorable senator and refrain from giving an answer. Even if he wants to repeat what another senator says, that is no way to answer a question. We are entitled to receive an answer from the Minister.
On behalf of the Opposition I say that this country cannot be represented as it ought to be by a man holding the dual positions of Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs, even though the person is a mastermind. I know the Prime Minister has a good tongue, and I have a great respect for it, but the fact is that as Minister for External Affairs he represents the nation. I could easily suggest a person from the other side who could perform the job quite well.
– What about on our side?
– Possibly in the future.
– The distant future.
– Do not be so sure. Experience should tell you not to say that, because one never knows.
O lider! The honorable senator’s time has expired.
– We have listened with great interest to the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, the junior leader, as we may call him, of the Opposition in the Senate who has spoken of his long experience. His experience was gained in the little Legislative Council of Victoria, an upper house with a limited franchise. He had long experience there and we are prepared to bow to that great experience. But can that tremendously wide and long experience in an upper house in a State be compared to experience in the National Parliament? I am now prepared to answer Senator Tangney because she raised a very interesting point and, what is more, she stuck to the estimates before the Senate in the logical way she usually does. I notice that an honorable senator is receiving his riding instructions from the junior. However, let me deal with the question raised by Senator Tangney.
She asked about the representation at the Unesco Conference which comes under item 08 of Division No. 627. She mentioned that the proposed vote is £115,000, and she asked about Australia’s representation on that organization. Dr. Walker, the Australian Ambassador to France, is the leader of Australia’s delegation; Dr. Davis is Australia’s permanent representative, and Professor Trendall, of the Australian National University, is a representative. The State education authorities also appoint a member to the delegation. I think it is the latter person in whom the honorable senator is interested. He is a representative of one of the State education authorities, and I understand he is chosen by the various States in rotation.
– What about the reports of Unesco? Do they come before the Parliament?
– I do not recall having seen one myself. I think the honorable senator realizes the difficulties under which I am working when I answer these questions.
Senator Sandford raised the question of trade representation to Czechoslovakia and Poland. That is a matter for the Department of Trade. It does not come within the estimates of the Department of External Affairs with which we are dealing at the moment. Those are the only questions which remained unanswered. The reason, of course, that I did not answer the question that Senator Kennelly raised was that I did not like repeating what had already been said by senator McManus. He answered Senator Kennelly’s inquiry and J thought there was nothing further I could add because the answer given by Senator McManus was clear .and explicit.
– 1 feel 1 must say a few words in this debate, but like others I do not intend to detain the Senate for very long. The validity of Senator Kennelly’s remarks have been demonstrated by the latest effort of the Minister for Customs and Excise (Senator Henty). Without provocation from me, but just because Senator Kennelly was exchanging a few words with me, he saw fit to say that I was getting my riding instructions from the junior. Whatever the Minister might think, I do not think that even he believes I need any assistance in whatever remarks I want to make in this chamber, particularly as they apply to the Minister himself. I agree with Senator Kennelly that the replies given by the Minister have shown quite clearly that he is not particularly interested in this debate or that he has not followed the debate very closely. The old adage that abuse is no substitute for argument is just as true to-day as it was centuries ago when it first became an adage. Questions vital to this country have been raised and the arguments that have been put forward should be replied to with arguments and not abuse.
In regard to the remarks of Senator McManus about red China, I feel there has been a considerable shifting of ground on the part of those people who down the years have opposed the recognition of red China on the level of the United Nations, and have also opposed any suggestion that Australia should trade with that country. It is not so very long ago that anybody in this chamber who suggested that Australia should trade with red China was branded by a certain section as a Communist. Of course, that phase has passed because trade with China has now become an established fact on the part of Australia, and many people in high positions in this country are benefiting as a result cif trade between the two countries, lt is therefore not fashionable to describe people as Communists because they suggest that we trade with whatever country is prepared to reciprocate in matters of trade.
I understand quite clearly that China’s attitude to trade with Australia would be exactly the same as our attitude to trade with that country. We arc not thinking in terms of how we can benefit China when we think of the commodities we can sell :to :that country. We are thinking purely in selfish terms of how such trade will benefit Australia. I agree with Senator McManus that China looks upon trade with Australia in exactly the same way. After all, that ‘is the whole basis of world trade. No country trades with another with the idea of granting a concession. It hopes only to obtain a concession. China cannot be criticized if it looks upon Australia as a pigeon for the plucking because undoubtedly we look upon China in exactly the same way.
Senator McManus said that recognition of red China on the level of the United Nations cannot be supported because red China has outraged the principles of what he described as international law. That objection could be valid if it were applied on the United Nations level to the whole field of diplomatic relations. For instance, can we say that this charge of the abrogation of international law can be levelled against China and cannot be levelled against, say, the Soviet Union or Spain? Where is the logic in these things?
– Or against South Africa?
– Or against South Africa. 1 say with all due respect to the opinions of anybody who speaks on these matters that it is no good singling out one country for exclusion from the United ^Nations, merely because of our dislike of the system that operates in that country, and supporting, or at any rate not opposing, the present status of other nations in that body, at the same time ignoring their defects. There is no consistency or logic in such an .approach. If you are going to apply broad principles, those principles must be applied to all.
I come now to the question of what was allegedly said by members of the trade union delegation from China that visited Australia .recently. Before I deal with that question, let me say that, whether or not we believe that a levy should have been imposed on trade unionists in this Con.nexion and whether or not we agree with the principles that these people believe in, I hope we all agree that some of the incidents associated with the delegation’s visit were deplorable. However much people in other parts of the world disagree with our views and however fiercely they may hate our system, I hope that they would not treat an Australian delegation as this delegation was treated. However strongly we feel about these matters, we should extend common courtesy to others if we wish them to extend it to us. lt is said that when leaving Australia one of the members of the delegation criticized certain aspects of the Australian way of life. One of the matters he criticized was hire purchase. He said that the Australian population was weighed down by hirepurchase commitments. Senator McManus asked whether we thought that the housewives should go without washing machines and refrigerators. That is not the question. Nobody on this side of the chamber has ever suggested that the housewives of Australia should go without any commodity that is associated with a decent way of life. What we do suggest, and what we now affirm, is that by the processes of hire purchase in this country to-day the Australian people are definitely being taken for a ride. I include the housewives. Anybody who has studied this subject knows that the burden that has been imposed upon the people by the high rates of interest charged by hire-purchase firms has created the situation that times out of number a wife has to go out to work, not to get something that could be regarded as a luxury, but to get the ordinary everyday commodities. This is due to the crushing burden imposed by the rates of interest charged by hire-purchase people in this country. If the Minister thinks that there is no validity in this argument, I would refer him to the Liberal Premier of South Australia, Sir Thomas Playford, who said only a week or two ago that he was displeased with the structure of hire purchase in South Australia, and in Australia generally, because the rates of interest were too high and were imposing an undue burden on the people concerned. Tn fact, he agreed with the attitude of the Labour Party to hire purchase. He said recently the things that we have been saying for years, which everybody knows are true. So I say to the Minister that the statement by this visitor that the Australian people are being taken for a ride by the hire-purchase companies is supported by Sir Thomas Playford.
I believe that in the field of international affairs there rs too much intolerance and too little understanding of other people’s aspirations. I do not agree with the system of government in China. I do not want ever to see in Australia the type of government that exists in that country. I hope 1 never live to see such a day. But we cannot be blind to the basic fact that there are some 600,000,000 people in China who are completely sold on the present system there. We would be only fooling ourselves if we talked in terms of seeking to liberate people who are the unwilling victims of a regime that they would overthrow at the drop of a hat, if given a chance.
– Are you serious? Do you say that the people are happy under the present regime in China?
– Senator McManus asks me whether 1 think the Chinese people are happy under the present regime. What have the Chinese people had in the last 500 years? Have they ever known a fullness of life? Have they ever known freedom? Have they ever known freedom from want? I say that the system they are existing under to-day - I am not upholding it, but I am trying to be logical-
– Does not the honorable senator think that they deserve something better than communism?
– I think that every country deserves something better than communism, but I say that we are burying our heads in the sand if we try to convince ourselves that the 600,000,000 people in China are unwilling prisoners of the system. I believe that, whatever their thoughts might be in the future or have been in the past, at this stage of the development of communism in China, the people are in agreement with the situation.
– What opposition is there in China? There is none, because opposition is not allowed.
– Admittedly no opposition is allowed, but that does not affect my argument that the people in China are receiving something better than they have ever received before. I am referring only to material things.
– There are better things than that.
– What did they receive under the Mandarins or the war lords? They were slaves then and they are slaves to-day.
– Hear, hear! 1 agree with that.
– My contention is - I think that this is the practical way to look at these things - that the present regime in China is an accomplished fact and therefore should be recognized. However much we fool ourselves or indulge in pipe dreams, there are 600,000,000 people in China who do not now look to Australia for any lead. We have isolated ourselves from them in thought.
I know that Senator McManus feels strongly on this matter. He disagrees with my contention, and I disagree with his. What is the reason for this great area of disagreement? Tt is because we lack knowledge. We have not the courage to try to find out what is going on in other countries. We come up against the brick wall of intolerance. If you visit China, you are called a traitor. What happens with regard to the Soviet Union? The tragedy is that almost the only people who go to Russia are those who are violently in favour of the system that exists there and those who are violently opposed to it. In each case, when they come to Australia they give a distorted view. Any one who comes back and tries to give an objective view h attacked by both those intolerant groups. Any person who has an opportunity to go to China to study the position there should not hesitate to go. If more people went there, we might be able to speak on the subject in this chamber with more accuracy and understanding.
– We have just heard some remarks from Senator Toohey that I regard as being rather dangerous. I want to repeat his arguments to make certain that I have them correct. We heard, in the latter part of Senator Toohey’s speech, an argument that ran somewhat on these lines: I will stand correction if my interpretation is wrong. First, the Chinese had been browbeaten and starved, had died from famine and had been ill-governed, for 500 years; they had been slaves of their heirarchy for 500 years. They are now better off under communism than they were under their former war lords. No one will deny the truth of that proposition. Then, Senator Toohey drew a dangerous conclusion, dangerous because people in this country may be guided by this foolish conclusion. He said, in effect, “ Therefore, let them have communism. It is a good thing for the Chinese because they are better off than they were before.”
If that is a wrong interpretation of Senator Toohey’s remarks, I should like him to rise after I finish speaking and deny that that was the conclusion he drew. If he thinks that that interpretation is not correct, I want him to say: “ I do not want to help the Communists. I will do everything I can to stop the Communist regime from strengthening its hold on China. I do not regard that conclusion as the proper one to draw from my remarks.” The honorable senator said that the Chinese were a despised, oppressed and poverty-stricken people under the governments that ruled the country for hundreds of years. No one denies that that is so. Every schoolboy knows it. I am prepared to admit that the Chinese are better off under the present regime than they were in the days of the internecine wars. But I refuse to go any further than that, as Senator Toohey should also. Instead, he draws the inference that the Chinese are better off now because, as he says, they want communism. He has no authority for saying that the Chinese want communism. Nobody in China has the opportunity to accept or reject communism.
– Did any one intervene to abolish the previous regime in China?
– That has nothing to do with the matter. The honorable senator’s interjection shows conclusively that he has not even followed the discission.
Let me return to the argument for the recognition of red China that was advanced first by Senator Kennelly and than by Senator Toohey. We on this side of the Parliament have been accused of being illogical because we do not recognize China diplomatically, although we recognize such nations as Communist Russia and Fascist Spain. I think that Senator Toohey used the words “ it is illogical “ in referring to the recognition of Communist Russia and the refusal to recognize red China. I support Senator1 McManus - not that I think he really needs support; but because it seems, to me that somebody on this side of” th& chamber should say something on this- subject. I point out that diplomatic recognition has nothing, to do with logic. We on this side of the chamber agree that there is a difference between our reasons for recognizing red Russia and our reasons for refusing to recognize red China. There are two1 good reasons why diplomatic recognition of red China is not being supported from this side of the Parliament. The first reason, ably stated by Senator McManus, is that such recognition would result in extreme hardship for a free nation in Formosa. That difficulty, of course, could be surmounted by the stroke of a pen to-morrow if the government of red China chose to do so, but until it so chooses we on this side of the chamber do not think that diplomatic recognition should be accorded.
I- suggest again that ‘the Opposition is confusing diplomatic recognition with recognition by the United Nations Organization. Those two international activities have nothing to do with each other. The United Nations could recognize red China to-morrow and admit it as a member. It would not follow that that was a just or a wise decision, or even one that was internationally proper. It would mean only that a greater number of votes had been recorded on the other side of the ledger in the United Nations Organization for the admission of red China as a member. We would not automatically accord diplomatic recognition to red China - and we are speaking at the moment of diplomatic recognition.
The second reason and, I suggest, the more important reason, that red China, has not been recognized diplomatically by the United States of America and many other democracies is that red China continues to pursue a policy of ruffianism internationally. Until she can learn to behave properly as a nation we, the Americans and many other nations will refuse to accept her as a modern, integral part of society internationally. 1 think that that is a stronger reason why red China should not be recognized than the first reason I have given. Until China ceases to be a gangster nation recognition should not be accorded.
We recall, over a period of a few years, the acts of gangsterism that that nation has perpetrated, such as those in Korea, Tibet, Viet Nam and other South-East Asian, countries. Until she behaves herself, internationally, she does not deserve or warrant recognition by the democracies. That reason also happens to be the reason why the late lamented leader of the Australian Labour Party, Mr. Chifley, refused to recognize red China. Both Senator Kennelly and Senator Cameron were rather outspoken on the subject of the changing world. I think that the only views that have been changing, about red China are those of the Australian Labour Party. Mr. Chifley saw fit to give, as the reason for the refusal to recognize red China, the reason that I have just stated. None of the factors that were present at the time he spoke have altered in the slightest degree since then. They are still present with us.
Until red China ceases to be a gangster nation she will not be diplomatically recognized by us. Do not let us have any more woolly thinking about this matter of international recognition and recognition by the United Nations. Diplomatic recognition is something that is apart from recognition by the United Nations. If the United Nations decided to admit red China tomorrow, that would merely mean that red China would in future be represented at the meetings of that body. It would not follow that we as a nation would be obliged to accord red China diplomatic recognition.
Yesterday, I listened to Senator McManus refer to Mr. Chamberlain and his visits overseas. At the time, an honorable senator opposite appeared to be most anxious to get up and either support or defend his political leader against, the charge that he had. been a non-unionist when he went overseas. That honorable senator has not yet risen. I am still most eager to listen to him. I have been waiting patiently for him to rise and defend his leader.
– Mr. Temporary Chairman, this debate seems to have resolved around the recognition, of red China.
– What has that to do with’ the Estimates?
– I do not know.
Order! -Honorable senators on both sides of the chamber have freely spoken as though this were a foreign affairs debate. The indulgence of the Chair may have started earlier in the afternoon, but I suggest that at this stage we should return to a debate of the proposed vote “that is now before the Chair.
– I wish to reply to a few remarks that were made. The attitude of the Australian Democratic Labour Party to the recognition of red China was very ably explained by Senator McManus a few moments ago.
– You need not mention it.
– All I want to mention is this: This matter is so vital to the wellbeing of Australia that I say people who advocate Australian recognition of red China arc traitors to this country.
– Here it is again - intolerance.
– That is all right. I am simply saying they are traitors to this country. Our future is -tied .up very closely with what happens in red China and with the attitude of the leaders of that country.
– Under the Crimes Bill, those people would be put in gaol.
– As far as I am concerned, it would be all fight if you were put in gaol.
– 1 rise to order. Is lit in order, Mr. Temporary Chairman, for an honorable senator to refer to another honorable senator as being a traitor to Australia? The words used by Senator <Cole .are very offensive to me, and I suggest with respect -that they .should be withdrawn.
Order! Standing Order No. 418 expressly forbids an honorable senator to reflect upon another honorable senator. If Senator Cole used those words, I ask him to withdraw them.
– I have not reflected on any ‘honorable senator. 1 said that those people who believed in the recognition of red -China are traitors to this country. I nm not sure whether certain honorable senators believe in that .or not.
Order! If the honorable senator is reflecting upon another honorable senator, he must withdraw his remark. I did not hear any such reflection.
– 1 again rise .to order. After honorable senators on this side of the chamber submitted their case in regard to this matter, and after supporters of the Government had offered their views, Senator Cole used words which implied that any one who supported the recognition of or diplomatic relations with red China was a traitor to Australia. I say with the greatest of respect, Mr. Temporary -Chairman, that in view .of the course of .the debate ,in the last half -hour or so it cannot be said that Senator Cole was .doing .other than reflecting upon Opposition senators -who had advocated a certain course of action. I believe I am speaking for all honorable senators on this side of the -chamber when I say that Senator Cole’s statement is a .reflection upon honorable senators who had put a case for diplomatic relations with or for recognition of red China. :His statement was offensive and I ask that it be withdrawn.
Order! Do you say, Senator Kennelly, that Senator ‘Cole’s remark was a reflection upon you and other honorable senators’?
Senator -Kennelly. - I do.
– I ask Senator Cole to withdraw the remark.
– When the cap fits, Mr. Temporary ‘Chairman, they should wear it.
Order! -I ask Senator Cole to withdraw the remark.
– I withdraw the remark. But if the cap fits, they should wear it. We have been dealing with the recognition of red China. As I indicated earlier, Senator McManus has .already dealt with this subject. I have added a few pertinent comments. What I wish to deal with more than anything else is Senator Toohey’s remark about the changing opinions of certain people in relation to .trade with red China. Just as he thought I was referring to him when I said that people who advocated recognition of red China were traitors, I take it that he was referring to me.
– I was not.
– Well, I should like to state the Democratic Labour Party’s attitude to trade with red China. We do not believe in trade of any kind with red China, Russia or any other Communist country. By trading with such countries, we build up their economies and make a rod for our own backs in the not distant future. The results of our building up trading relations with China will constitute one of the greatest dangers that we shall have to face in the not distant future. Let us consider what the position would be if our trade with China were similar to the trade we at present have with Japan. We know that China trades with the governments of other countries. In other words, it is government trading. One of the greatest weapons the Communists have for bringing a country into line is the trading weapon. So, if we were to build up our trade with red China until it was worth while or was similar to our trade with Japan, at a moment’s notice Australia’s economy could be destroyed for political purposes. China’s trade with other countries is mostly on a political basis. If China wants certain commodities, she does not look to the non-Communist countries for them; she looks to her Communist allies. For Australia to build up trade with Communist countries is the worst thing she can do, because overnight those countries could destroy our economy. What would happen to our economy if Japan were to cut off imports from Australia to the value of £100,000,000 or £115,000,000 annually?
– Britain would buy our wool then.
– Do not be silly.
– What about exports of steel?
– That is another facet of the matter. The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited was sending steel to red China. The result could be that indirectly China could destroy part of our trade with Japan. The articles made from that steel flood the market of South-East Asia. They under-cut the prices charged by the Japanese and interfere with their normal trading practices.
– Did they pay for the steel?
– I do not know whether they have paid for it. Any one who trades with Communist countries is lucky to be paid.
Order! There are too many interruptions.
– This practice can lead to the destruction of part of the Japanese economy.
– You are very much pro-Japanese now.
– If the Japanese people do not trade with Australia, the honorable senator will be more than pro-Japanese.
– We now have £16,000,000 worth of trade with red China.
– For Australia’s sake, we should not build up that trade. If we do, we shall rue the day.
– The Country Party is to blame.
Order! Senator Cole must be heard in silence.
– Mr. Temporary Chairman, will you tell us what item of the Estimates is being discussed?
– We are dealing with the proposed vote for the Department of External Affairs, at about the same level at which we have been dealing with it for the last two or three hours.
– I should like to make one other comment on Senator Toohey’s speech, in relation to the visit of the socalled trade unionists from red China. He said that a matter of common decency was involved and that he hoped that when we visited other countries we would be received much better than these representatives were received. Does not Senator Toohey believe in peaceful picketing? He did not say anything on behalf of the Hurseys, when they were the subject of peaceful picketing on the Hobart wharfs. The only picketing that was done in relation to these Chinese was courteous picketing with placards and slogans.
– Did not some of these people bash one another?
– No, the only bashing was done by carloads of people brought along by the Communists.
– It is not nice, though, is it?
– No, it is not nice. We are quite willing to have peaceful picketing in circumstances like that. That is quite a legitimate function. When we speak of common courtesy, let us remember that certain elements wish to cause the destruction of our Australian way of life. Honorable senators who are members of the Australian Labour Party and who support visits such as these, as I believe they all do-
– What has that to do with us? What has it to do with me?
– Nothing has anything to do with the honorable senator.
– Why accuse senators?
– Because they are supporting these visits.
– Do you believe in reciprocity?
– Not with the Communists. We should never treat them as equals.
– Are all the Chinese people Communists?
– Those people who came out here were Communist political representatives. They were not trade union representatives. The honorable senator knows that as well as I do. They came out here as political representatives of the regime in China.
– They came out to play Mah-jong.
– They could do that.
– Order! The honorable senator’s time has expired.
– We are discussing expenditure on diplomatic representation in other parts of the world. I realize that it is very difficult to control this debate, which has been allowed to range over a wide field. I put it to the committee that if ever there was a sign that money could foe well spent on sending representatives to Asian countries near Australia, it is to be found in the remarks of the last couple of speakers. We have only to listen to them to realize how ignorant they are, what extraordinary ideas they have, and what fallacious arguments they are prepared to put to reasonable people. There are between 600,000,000 and 700,000,000 Chinese people within five or six hours’ air travel of Australia. Geographically, we are within the same area. Senator Vincent described them as gangsters and their behaviour as intolerant. Nobody who examined the history of the last few years could claim that we of British descent are clean in this respect, so to speak. Not very many years ago the British people undertook a venture to the Suez Canal that was a greater piece of gangsterism than anything the Chinese have done in recent years.
– You are not serious about that.
– I think it is time that honorable senators opposite removed some of the prejudice from their thinking.
– I am giving you a chance to correct that silly statement.
– I do not need any chance. What I said was perfectly true.
– No, it is rubbish.
– It is perfectly true that the British went into the Suez Canal area in an adventure in which our great American ally refused to take part. Yet honorable senators opposite say that we are clean and are entitled to throw bricks at the Chinese who undertook a venture in Korea.
– The United States came crawling to Great Britain for help in Lebanon after having let us down in Suez.
– Two wrongs do not make a right. It is useless to say that the Chinese are gangsters, and that their behaviour is such that they should not be admitted to the United Nations, when we ourselves are not clean.
– Why do you not stop throwing bricks at Great Britain and say something against her enemies?
– I do not want to throw bricks at anybody, but I want to be factual. There are about 700,000,000 people living very close to us who have just as much right to representation in the United Nations as have the people of any other nation. The reasoning that is put to us about their gangster behaviour is so stupid that I am surprised to hear it. It has been said that we ought not to abandon the people of Formosa.. It is not true that’ Chiang’ Kai-shek, and his gang, numbering somemillions of the Nationalist Chinese- Army, went to Formosa and took control of the Formosan people. The Formosans are not Chinese, but have lived’ on the island all their lives, having been born there. They are of a different breed from the Chinese. Chiang Kai-shek and his gangsters have imposed their- rule upon them, having been chased from’ the Chinese mainland and protected, since by the great American navy. The people of Formosa, if given the choice, might want to go with the people of mainland China. They certainly have not been given, a choice as to what government they shall have.
– Oh yes, they have.
– No, they have not. Chiang Kai-shek went to Formosa and took control of it. Ever since, he has maintained complete control. It is of no use to shed crocodile tears for the- Formosan people. It is a. bit late, for that now. Honorable senators opposite should have thought of that when Chiang Kai-shek was allowed to go there.
Sitting suspended from 5.45 to 8 p.m.
Senator McKELLAR (New South Wales) [8.0)! - Mr. Chairman, prior to the suspension of the sitting, some remarkable statements were made by our friends of the Opposition about external’ affairs. Among” them were some remarkable statements made by Senator Kennelly. We heard attacks- made on the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies); but before those attacks were made we heard attacks’ made on Great Britain.
– You were attacking the Government in the Calare by-election campaign’.
– We did nothing of the sort. We heard attacks made on Great Britain for the attitude it adopted in the Suez incident a few years ago. I’ am very’ glad indeed that the Prime Minister played quite- an important part in the Suez incident, and’ might I’ say at this stage that the action- taken by Great Britain on that occasion was undoubtedly the right action. T feel that” was one of the few occasions on which we have been let’ down by our great American allies.
– You favour” aggression, do you?
– I favoured- the action- taken- by Great Britain at that time; as would anybody with, any common-sense’ and with any regard for- the: welfare of the English-speaking nations of the world’. The’ Prime Minister played an important part in that incident.
Only a couple- of weeks ago he again had to decide’ what action he would fake’ on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia in the United Nations General Assembly. He went, to’ New York and once again he said and did the right thing. There is no question about that. Yet we have these petty critics of our Prime Minister trying to decry his actions’ and’ the statements he made on that occasion. There is no doubt that posterity will prove- that he said- and did the right thing at the- right time. We have become accustomed to members of the Opposition adopting this attitude because they were schooled’ in it” by their former leader; Df. Evatt. He’ never failed to try to embarrass Great Britain and her allies. He also seemed to have the unhappy knack, or the happy knack, of putting the best possible case for the’ enemies of- Great Britain and those of her allies. Now that practice is being, carried on by members of the Opposition. I- wonder when they will wake up.
That is one. of. the main reasons which keep them in opposition. From one point of view, it. will bc a sorry day for us when they do wake up. I would have thought that by this time the intelligent men in the Opposition would’ have realized that it is against their own interests for them to throw brickbats- at Great Britain and her allies and to put the best possible case for our enemies at every possible opportunity. Once again we have had another instance of that.
– That is not right.
– You cannot deny it; it is right, and you know it. Only a few days ago during the Calare byelection campaign I had occasion to remind the electors of Calare of a statement made in this chamber by Senator Cant on 4th May, I think it was-, in which he stated that he would prefer the enemies of Australia to members of the Australian Democratic Labour Party. He did not’ use those words, but we know that the enemies of Australia are the Communists. He said that he would prefer the Communists to members of the Democratic Labour Party. That statement is recorded in “ Hansard “. I know very well that the great majority of members of the Australian Labour Party are definitely non-Communist. But, unfortunately, a small group of them are foolish enough to be the mouthpiece and the tools of those people who are seeking to undermine the way of life that we respect and for which so many of our people have died in the years that lie behind us. Surely to goodness that small group of people can see the light and realize what they are doing.
A few weeks ago in this chamber we had another instance of the practice to which I have referred. In the debate on the Papua and New Guinea Bill two honorable senators opposite absolutely ranted about what had to be done in New Guinea. Since then I have been there and I have seen what Australia has done for Papua and New Guinea. It is something of which the Australian people can be very proud. I wish honorable senators opposite would realize that our enemies overseas are lapping up with absolute delight every word they say, and that they are giving our enemies ammunition to use to try to drive us out of New Guinea and leave the native people in conditions that would be far worse than any they have ever known. At the moment they are a happy, prosperous and contented people.
– They cannot read “Hansard”.
– They are very happy, prosperous and contented. That inane interjection made by Senator Ormonde is not worthy of him. He is too good a Senator to make such a silly remark. It is definitely unworthy of him. One has to go to New Guinea to see how contented the people are with the rule which they have been enjoying for so long. I am quite sure that if the decision is left to them and the Australian Government which is befriending them at the moment, they will’ be quite happy to continue as they are for the next 150 years.
The only danger is that countries such as Russia1 and other Communist countries may force public opinion to the point that
Australia is told it has to get out. I ask honorable senators opposite to keep that in mind when they make silly, unimaginative and inane remarks about New Guinea and criticize Australia for what has been done there. Senator Dittmer made statements to the effect that we should be ashamed of what we had done in New Guinea in the field of hospitalization. Admittedly, we have not done enough, but such things cannot be done in 24 hours. When one goes there and sees what has been done in a comparatively short space of time, I repeat that it is something of which every Australian can very well be proud. The people of New Guinea appreciate what has been done. They do not want Australia to get out. I spoke to native- representatives in the Legislative Council and they told me the same thing. An educated native, a nian who has been through a university, and another man who, I was told on’ good authority, probably spoke for more of the natives than any other individual, both said that they did not want Australia to get out of New Guinea for at least 40 or 50 years.
Yet some foolish members of the Opposition are trying to drive nails into the coffin not only of Australia but also of the people of New Guinea whom they profess to’ defend. I should like to say. Mr. Chairman, that while there I found that the name of Mr. Calwell was treated with the greatest respect and admiration, but mention of the name of Mr. Clyde Cameron was like a red rag to a bull. The reasons for that’ are obvious and there is no need for’ me to speak on that subject further.
I am probably wandering a little, but statements Have been made about the position of the Australian Country Party in the Calare by-election campaign. If there is any party which has reason to keep quiet about’ the Calarc by-election, it is the Australian Labour Party.
The CHAIRMAN (Senator the Hon. A. D. Reid). - Order! Calare does not come under the Department of External Affairs.
– We of the Australian Country Party are very happy to support this Government. Our party has no intention of not taking its full responsibility for its share’ in the Government, arid much to the chagrin of the Opposition, there is’ no dissension between the Australian
Country Party and the Liberal Party, lt is quite obvious that the Australian Labour Party is trying very hard to drive a wedge between us; but its attempt is doomed to failure. I should like to appeal to honorable senators opposite on a higher plane. They should remember that we are all Australians. I know that if the chips went down most members of the Opposition would be just as anxious to defend Australia as we are. So, why in the name of goodness do they seek on an occasion such as this to go out of their way to make derogatory statements not only about Great Britain and her allies but also about Australia? Surely that is not the role of an Opposition. Rather I think that an Opposition should see that the Government acts in the best interests of Australia and does not help Australia’s enemies. Some statements that have been made from the other side of the chamber during the course of this debate suggested that the Government has been helping Australia’s enemies.
.– We are discussing the appropriation of £2,943,000 for the Department of External Affairs. Tn particular, the debate has covered a number of aspects of Australia’s representation overseas. Some of the gems of thought that we have heard expressed by honorable senators opposite during the course of this debate indicate just how archaic is their thinking on international affairs. They are so blind that they will not see the events that are happening all around them. They are as well acquainted with world affairs as Mr. Nixon was with the wishes of the American people. Australia geographically is part of Asia, and unless we keep pace with changing conditions from year to year - even from month to month - we shall find ourselves in great difficulties.
During the debate some reference was made to Great Britain’s position over the Suez Canal. In my view the officers of our Department of External Affairs briefed the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) wrongly over Suez. In the first place, Colonel Nasser of Egypt sought assistance in developing his country. Clinging to old-fashioned ideas of diplomacy, the British Government informed the British people that to give Nasser assistance to build the Aswan Dam would increase his prestige among the Egyptians. Accordingly, the British Go vernment decided that no assistance should be given. Then Nasser decided to play rough, and Britain paid a high price in the loss of the Suez Canal. The British and the French sought to protect a private investment, but world opinion was not with them. British and Australian foreign policies were not supported on that occasion.
A similar thing is happening to-day in the Congo. Originally a private Belgian company went into the Congo and established a slave traffic there. Native villages were burnt and men and women were sold into slavery. The natural resources of the Congo were exploited by that company. To-day the Belgians are trying to retain their hold on the Congo - a hold that has been challenged by the Congolese people themselves. We must take note of these changes in world opinion. Let us see what has happened in Cuba. The ideas of Government supporters in relation to Cuba are as archaic as are the ideas they hold about South Africa. The South African Government’s apartheid policy is repugnant to all decent Christians. Yet we find that Government supporters, led by the Prime Minister, tolerate the policy of apartheid and even give comfort to the South African Government in the matter. I believe that if the people of Australia could read the truth about these matters in their newspapers they would show the Government that it was out of touch with the views of the people.
What is Australia’s policy towards Japan? We support the Japanese people rehabilitating themselves after the great mistake that they made in embarking on a war of aggression. They have had an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves, which I think is quite a good thing. Now the Japanese Government has been brought down. Mr. Kishi has been forced to resign from his office of Prime Minister. Large scale demonstrations took place in Japan, preventing Mr. Eisenhower from making an official visit to the country. Recently the leader of the Socialist Party in Japan was assassinated. In three weeks time general elections will be held. The Socialist Party will have to find a new leader. The world scene is changing week by week, but this Government’s ideas are fixed. It thinks that the world will remain stationary just where it wants it. Its views are archaic.
What is the position with relation to Communist China? After the Second World War five major nations emerged - the United States of America, Great Britain, France, Soviet Russia and China. Out of the big five the United Nations formed the Security Council. The operation of the Security Council, with only a segment or a remnant of the Chinese people holding a seat on the council, has been a living hypocrisy. History will show that Chiang Kai-shek’s presence on the Security Council has been the greatest double-cross of all time. The overwhelming bulk of the Chinese people, who helped to fight the war, and who assisted the allies to win, has been deprived of its rightful representation on the United Nations Security Council.
Senator Vincent this afternoon described the Chinese people as being despised. The Chinese people have a history going back farther than that of the British people. The Chinese are not a despised race. They are a gentle people. The Chinese are a great race of people. Throughout history they have shown an ability to absorb invaders of their country. Any other race that invades China is usually absorbed over a period of time by the Chinese race. The Chinese have this wonderful ability to maintain themselves as an intelligent and gentle race of people.
I believe that all the isms, including the one under which we are now living, will become nothing more than a passing phase in history. Only to-night some of us saw screened within this building a film dealing with space, the stars and the changing galaxies. When we realize how small a unit the earth is in the universe, and how small individual groups of people are compared to the universe, how can we think that time will stand still? Time is everchanging. Nothing in the world is stationary. The question is not whether we should recognize Communist China, but whether we should recognize the overwhelming bulk of the Chinese people - the 700,000,000 souls who live in China and who must find their place in the sun. They should be admitted to the United Nations, and they should have access to the trade of the world; but Government supporters in their hypocrisy say that they will not recognize these people. Notwithstanding that fact, during the last twelve months
Australia has exported £16,000,000 worth of goods to China, thus assisting them to lift their standard of living, and in return has purchased £4,000,000 worth of goods from that country. A large amount of trade has taken place with Hong Kong. It is quite all right to trade with Hong Kong because that is the little bridgehead that has been kept open for the purpose of trading with China. Great Britain, which can leave most other countries for dead when it comes to knowing the tricks of trade, has used the channel of Hong Kong to trade with China.
We may think that we are making a big impression on people throughout the world by putting up this show of not recognizing this country or that, but we comprise only an infinitesimal proportion of the world’s population. Whatever the political ideologies of the thousands of millions of Asian people who live so close to us may be, they are going either to respect us or to despise us. If we continue to generate in the minds of the youth of those countries hatred as the result of the hostility that is being shown to them by people of the mentality of Senator McKellar, who is interjecting, we will find ourselves in grave trouble. There are bitter and hostile people on the other side who cannot think of the form of punishment they would like to inflict on these people.
– Do not be so silly.
– What I am saying is quite true. There are people like Senator Cole who would like to declare war on China.
– That is wrong. I would like to declare war on you, but not on China.
– Any one with the slightest amount of imagination must realize that we could not win a war against these people.
– We do not want war with them.
– Your policy is that of a warmonger.
– Who wants war with them?
– You people on the other side. Of course you do. That is the object of the armaments race; that is the object of the sabre-rattling that is going on, and that is the reason for the opposition to a Summit meeting where -these matters could be thrashed out.
– It was your cobber who did not want the Summit meeting.
– He is not my cobber, but I would like to see people on the top level discussing these matters like human beings rather than like tousled dogs snarling at one another. It is only by discussing these matters and applying reason to them than we can avoid trouble. It is no use following the line of thinking of Senator Cole and Senator McKellar on defence. It is no use thinking we can act as we did during the Suez crisis and offend people like Nasser. It is no use going to the United Nations and abstaining from voting on a motion of censure against a country such as South Africa and at the same time refuse to recognize 700,000,000 people in China. It is no use acting like that and thinking we can still protect ourselves. We are acting in a way that could destroy the whole world.
– Order! The honorable senator’s time has expired.
– I refer to Division No. 627, Department of External Affairs. First of all, I should like to correct some of the statements that have been made by Senator O’Byrne. He accused “this Government of wanting a war with China. This ‘Government has gone out of its way to (preserve peace among the nations of »the world. .Senator O’Byrne suggests that as a nation we should recognize red China when there are 12,000,000 people on Formosa whose government we recognize as the official government of China. He said that Great Britain had already recognized red China. Yet the fact is that Great Britain deals with China through Hong Kong. Why? Great Britain has found that it has gained no advantage by recognizing red China; and at this stage it regrets that it ever did so.
– Who said that?
– The British Prime Minister, Mr. Macmillan, stated publicly that Britain had gained no advantage by recognizing red China. I am not saying that red China has not brought some advantages to the Chinese people. T believe that its government has done a terrific amount of good. The system may be all right for those people, but we do not have to adopt it. From the way Senator O’Byrne spoke to-night, 1 believe he thinks that we in Australia would be a better-governed country if we adopted the system of government that exists in red China. At the same time the Labour Party talks about what we should do in New Guinea and Papua.
– I did not mention New Guinea.
– Other honorable senators opposite did. At every opportunity they endeavour to decry the policy of this Government in the development of its territories. Let me inform honorable senators opposite that we are spending in the vicinity of £14,500,000 of the tax-payers’ money each year in the development of these territories. This year the expenditure is expected to increase to £18,000,000. The population of New Guinea is about 2,000,000. The Leader of the Labour Party goes up there knowing full well that Australia is spending £18,000,000 a year on the development of the Territory.
– I rise to a point of order. Does the Territory of Papua and New Guinea come under the estimates of the Department of External Affairs.
– Order! The Territory of Papua and New Guinea definitely does not come under the estimates of the Department of External Affairs; it comes under the Department of Territories.
– I apologize to Senator Tangney. I probably was a little off the track. I now wish to refer to another item which is of particular interest to rae. I refer to item 09 “ South Pacific Commission - Contribution and representation, £76.800 “. Last year the appropriation was £75,750. I say to Senator Tangney through you, Mr. Chairman, that New Guinea and Papua are included in this area. I now revert to the statement I made a couple of minutes ago. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition recently visited New Guinea. Well knowing that the Australian Government had spent £14,500,000 last year and intended to spend £18,000,000 this year on the development of New Guinea, he stated that we were not spending enough and claimed that we should be spending on the development of the Territory at the rate of £50 per head of its population.
– To which territory is the honorable senator referring?
– New Guinea.
– Order! We are now not considering the proposed vote for Papua and New Guinea.
– 1 claim your indulgence, Sir. Does not the area of the South Pacific embrace New Guinea and Papua?
– Expenditure on Papua and New Guinea is administered “by the Department of Territories.
– I am referring to item 09 - “ South Pacific Commission - Contribution and representation “ - under the Department of External Affairs. The commission has an influence on Papua and New Guinea. It has an influence on the 3,000,000 people who are living in the South Pacific area, 2,000,000 of whom live in Papua and New Guinea.
– Order! 1 have already said that we are not at present considering the proposed vote for Papua and New Guinea.
– I bow to your ruling, Sir. 1 shall not say any more about this matter at present other than that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition wished to commit the taxpayers of this country to a very great expenditure in the Territory.
I should like now to refer to some of the criticism that has .been made of the Government and of the Department of External Affairs by honorable senators opposite. I think it was Senator O’Byrne who criticized the action that was taken by the British Government in the Suez Canal crisis.
– And by our Government, too.
– Yes, and the Australian Government. If America had not stepped in and if the policy that was announced ‘by Sir Anthony Eden had been carried out, we would now have control of the Suez Canal. From statements that were made, I understand that the Australian Government was behind the action that Sir Anthony Eden took. It was only because of an unfortunate circumstance that the Australian Prime Minister, who was then negotiating with Colonel Nasser, did not bring about a major achievement in the form of a compromise between Nasser and the British Government. Unfortunately, a certain message leaked out from the United States which had the effect of preventing the negotiations from coming to a successful conclusion. So we lost the Suez Canal. That, of course, pleases the Opposition, but it does not please me.
Sir, I should now like to ask some questions about the South Pacific Commission. I should like the Minister to inform me of the amounts being contributed by Australia and the other powers. What is the number of members of the commission and what are its functions? It would appear that, excluding the population of Papua and New Guinea, there are some 1,000,000 people in this area. I understand that West Samoa, which is under the trusteeship of the United States, will shortly be granted the right of self-determination, if it has not already got it. This area will come under fire from the United Nations, particularly from the people who are fostering selfdetermination for peoples before those peoples are ready for it. This criticism will no doubt be supported by many members of the Opposition. I believe that it is vital to increase considerably the proposed vote of £76,800, so that the people who live in these areas can receive adequate education prior to their being granted selfdetermination. I believe that in the very near future - possibly within a year or so - this area will come under severe criticism from the United Nations, and unless more money is made available for education and development we will be criticized more than we have been in the past. It would appear “that at present Australia is contributing more than any other nation. I believe that America, ‘France and England are also interested in the area. The contributions, not only by Australia, but also by the other free nations of the world that I have just mentioned should be (increased, so that the people may be adequately educated and so that the development of the area may proceed more quickly. By that means, we might avoid criticism by members of the United Nations who are anxious to give self-determination ‘to various nations before they are ready for it. I trust that the Minister will honour me by answering the questions I have asked in relation to the South Pacific Commission, so that we will all be acquainted ‘with conditions in that area.
.- This very interesting debate on external affairs has shown clearly that prejudice and intolerance still affect our deliberations in this chamber when we are dealing with communism or anything pertaining to communism. I think that ordinary men and women are filled with prejudice when they are brought up in a certain way and are taught to regard matters from a certain angle. Instead of thinking and arguing a subject out, they allow their emotions to overcome them. I think we are all creatures of emotion.
I remember very vividly, Mr. Chairman, that I was once most interested in external affairs. I was interested in Russia. A Professor Goode came here and spoke of the Russian revolution. Of course, I was many years younger then than I am now. I was taken up with the idealism of the early Communists who sought to build in Russia a system of society that would abolish all poverty and give the people the results of their toil. One day, as I was passing through King’s Hall, Claude Barnard, a member of the Australian Labour Party, asked me whether I had read a certain book on Russia that was in the Library. I said, “ No “, and he said, “ You want to get it “. He gave me an outline of the book, which showed what had happened in Russia over the years and how the Russians had drifted from their early idealism to a system of imperialism. I read the book and my feelings were stirred. I almost hated Claude for putting me on that track.
I can quite understand the bitterness of our opponents who, like myself, have a certain amount of ignorance in relation to foreign affairs. When something is said on this side of the chamber which arouses the ire of honorable senators opposite and causes them to become emotional, they say things that they would not ordinarily say in private conversation. After all, an assembly of this nature is a crowd. Le Bon, the great French writer on philosophy and psychology, has pointed out in his book, “ The Crowd “, that even a meeting of parliament is a crowd and that men and women who are members of parliament will act differently while they are in the crowd from the way they act when they are round the tea table or having a glass of whisky in the bar.
During the period of almost 30 years that I have been in this chamber I have seen time and again honorable senators on both sides forget logic and truth and attack one another when their emotions have been aroused. Afterwards, they have thought, as I have thought after having said certain things in this chamber, “ How stupid I have been “. I do not wish to arouse the ire of any one. I want to make a plea that in this Senate men of intelligence should try, without being personal, to understand in a broad way the questions that confront us, whether those questions are concerned with China, South Africa, or some other country. We, as legislators, should try to the best of our ability to seek the truth. I think it was the Master Himself who said, “ Seek ye the truth and the truth shall make you free “. I do not think this world will ever be free until we understand one another and know the truth.
The Department of External Affairs publishes a brochure called “ Current Affairs Bulletin “. I have read it on many occasions, and on many other occasions I have allowed it to remain unread. As honorable senators know, we receive daily all kinds of pamphlets, brochures, papers and reports, and it is impossible for any member of the Senate, no matter how quickly he may read, to read all the publications that are given to us. I do not think I have seen in the “ Current Affairs Bulletin “ anything about Formosa, although I admit that articles on that subject might well have been included in the publication. I wish to ask the Minister now in charge of the votes before the committee whether I am right or wrong in what I am about to say. I remember reading not so long ago that if the people of Formosa had the opportunity, at a plebiscite, to say whether they preferred to rule themselves or to be dominated or governed by Chiang Kai-shek or by Communists they would undoubtedly vote solidly in favour of ruling themselves.
– Where did the honorable senator read that?
– Frankly, I cannot say for the moment. We read many things, and we do not remember the source of all of them. However, I am not attacking the honorable senator or any one else. I am merely asking a question. I want to know whether or not it is true that that statement has been made and whether the people of Formosa, who have been dominated and controlled by outside forces for so many hundreds of years, would prefer to rule themselves.
I also read in the same article that the son of Chiang Kai-shek was the chief of the secret police in Formosa. It was stated that when Chiang Kai-shek passed on to his fathers, his son undoubtedly would attempt to lead the Formosans and his army into the ranks of those who dominate mainland China. I should like to know from the Minister whether statements such as those have appeared in the “ Current Affairs Bulletin “, and whether the Department of External Affairs has any knowledge of them.
I am of the opinion that when the department publishes information on foreign affairs it should publish both sides of the questions being discussed. Too often, we are presented with only one point of view. The Formosans have a point of view. There is also the point of view of Chiang Kaishek and of his son. There is, too. the point of view of many good and true Labour men who think that the Formosans should control their island. I ask honorable senators to consider the position that would arise if a foreign power controlled Tasmania and was seeking to maintain a division between Tasmania and the mainland of Australia. Naturally, it would be understandable for the people on the mainland to want to link up with that delectable island. If we put ourselves in the piace of the Formosans and the mainland Chinese by using the analogy of the mainland of Australia and Tasmania, we can readily understand why there have developed in the minds of those people certain conceptions and ideas that make them say certain things and do the things that they are now doing.
I point out to our friends who get very excited at the mention of communism, that communism takes on different forms. I have heard people say that the Australian Labour Party supports communism because we who belong to that party believe in a system whereby things that are socially produced should be socially owned. We are attacked by our opponents and referred to as fellow travellers or reds, and even as Communists, because we hold that idea. Our opponents also say that we want to control everything, just as Sir George Reid said many years ago that we were out to destroy the marriage tie. Such propaganda is the result of deep-seated prejudice in the minds of the people who use it. We as a party believe in social ownership. We believe that in due course there will be developed a system of society in which, with all working together for social production, there wili be social ownership; but that does not mean that the private individual’s commodities or services shall be owned by the State. Nothing of the kind. We want to develop the highest form of productive power to get the best results, at the same time maintaining, as far as is humanly possible, the freedom of the individual and giving him the greatest amount of wealth that it is possible to give him by organized labour operating in the economic field. That is our policy m broad outline. In regard to the recognition of China, we have been called traitors. Of course, the comment was withdrawn.
– I still think it.
– The honorable senator still thinks that way. It reminds me of what Frank Anstey said in the House of Representatives on one occasion. He said, “ Mr. Speaker, the honorable member who has just resumed his seat is a liar. I withdraw that.” A few moments afterwards he said, “ I will go further and say that he is a damn liar. I withdraw that also.” I have withdrawn remarks, too. I shall not tell honorable senators what I have then said to myself. But let me tell them that I thought a lot. Senator Cole thinks we are traitors because we believe as Great Britain does. He believes we are traitors because we try to point out the viewpoint of workers in other countries. Was Macmillan a traitor when he went over to Moscow? Was Robert Gordon Menzies a traitor when he had an hour’s conversation with Khrushchev?
– Do not be silly.
– That is a childish utterance.
– It was made in reply to a childish statement.
– If you think it is childish, I shall address it to you. I do not think I am being childish. When discussing the proposed vote for the Department of External Affairs we must not be childish but must try to understand the viewpoint of the Formosans, of the Russians, and of people in other countries. We have a lot to learn from these people without for one moment supporting or endorsing their political or economic policy. Have I or any other honorable senators on this side of the chamber to remain silent simply because some stupid person says that if we discuss this’ matter we are traitors? How absurd it would be to suggest that. If we are men, we must face the situation and listen to both sides of the argument.
One of the greatest causes of war is fear. If we can eliminate the fear of one another, we will be on the road to peace. Let us consider why America is behind Chiang Kai-shek, behind Formosa and behind the holding of Quemoy and Matsu. America wants to keep her line of defence as far away from her own shores as is possible. I quite understand why she wants to do that; there is ah argument in favour of it. In the same way, Russia is seeking to keep her defence line as far as possible from her own borders. That is why she controls Latvia; Lithuania, Hungary and all the other satellite states. Behind the present world situation is fear. I say to Senator Hannan and- Senator Cole that we will not solve the problem by exacerbation of all the evil things and hates’ we read about and which we have heard about to-day. Only by trying thoroughly to understand other nations will we be able to abolish war.
Let’ me quote a statement that was written by one of the finest Writers we have on the Asiatic situation. It will be of deep interest to Senator Hannan, Senator Cole and Senator McManus. The article, which was published in the “ Courier-Mail “, is headed “ Chiang’s blow at freedom “ and was written by the South-East Asia commentator, Denis Warner. We must all admit that Denis Warner is a fine correspondent. He has a deep knowledge of the Asiatic situation, because he has lived amongst Asians for a long time.
– He is a Tasmanian. That is why.
– Like Professor Henty - I’ mean Senator Henty. Tasmania has bred some- very fine- citizens: Senator Justin O’Byrne comes’ from Tasmania, too.
– Senator Cole also is a Tasmanian.
– I have no hatred of Senator Cole. I know his background. I know how he has been mentally conditioned, just as I know how I have been mentally conditioned. We all have been mentally conditioned. I do not become excited over Senator Cole, or even over Senator Hannan.
– You have been brain washed.
– I may have been brain washed. But let me say that all my life - I have reached the age of 75 years - I have tried to the best of my ability to use the brains that God gave me to understand for myself and not to be dominated by any one. The sooner the people of Australia arid other countries think for themselves and cease to be dominated by any outside force, the better it will be for those communities. That is my position.
– That is not a very strong one.
– I am giving it straight from the shoulder. If you think for yourself, good luck to you.
– What about Santamaria?
– I do not want to bring Santamaria into this discussion. He is actively engaged in the work that He thinks God has placed him here to do. We have to be active and put forward our viewpoint. I am not concerned about brother Cole or anybody else; I want to advance the ideas I hold and the party to which I belong. The article to which I have referred reads -
Chiang Kai-shek set the clock back in Formosa when his military court sentenced Lei Chen to 10 years’ jail.
Lei is Chiang’s former adviser and also is publisher of the Free China Fortnightly.
By this signal admission that neither political nor press freedom exists on Formosa, Chuan.? hopes to cut off at the roots the new political opposition, the China Democratic Party.
They are the words of our friend, Denis Warner. I shall not read the whole article. It concludes with this passage -
To those who hope that fortune will favour all inhabitants of Formosa arid keep them out of Communists hands, this is a sorry day.
The Formosans are not much interested in politics, but nothing could be more calculated to inflame the deep and genuine feelings against the Kuomintang than Lei Chen’s sentence.
– Order! The honorable, senator’s time has expired.
.- 1 refer to Division No. 141 - Department of External^ Affairs. I would not have taken part in this debate had it not been for the scurrilous- attack that was made-‘ on one of Australia’s great statesmen this afternoon. 1 am one of those Australians who believe that- our Prime Minister and Minister for External- Affairs (Mr. Menzies) did- an outstanding job for this country and for freedom generally when he put an unanswerable case to- the United Nations in a way that only he can: 1 cannot understand the mentality of honorable senators opposite who are prepared to accept the views of any country at all- if it means that they can use’ them- as a- stick with which to beat their own- Prime Minister and to criticize their own country. If the Prime Minister, instead of getting strongly on the side of the nations that have been our friends - Great Britain, the United States, France and Canada- had insulted them, had divided them, and : had taken his stand on the side of Outer Mongolia, Yugoslavia, Turkestan and the rest of those places, 1 presume honorable senators opposite would have credited him with being a great statesman. lt always- strikes’ me as being a form’ of knocking when people have to seek in those quarters for’ some criticism of our own Prime Minister.
Ii am sorry that my friend. Senator O’Byrne, has left the chamber. 1 cannot help but- refer to the well-defined track that he always follows when foreign affairs are debated- in this chamber. What is that track? It is abuse of Britain, abuse of the United States, abuse of the Western world, abuse of the democracies, denigration of all their achievements in science and their work for world peace, and even criticism of our own country. Irrespective of the issue involved, he will take his stand with the Nassers, with the Nehrus and with the knockers of this country. In my- time in this Parliament I have never heard him defend the Western democracies in any argument or in any conflict with the Communist nations- I know as I look across the chamber and see their kindly faces that honorable senators- opposite are not Communists.
– We cannot reciprocate.
– That may be so, but charity has never been the honorable senator’s outstanding characteristic. Any one who says that honorable senators opposite are Communists is peddling an absurd line, as I have often said. They always take the “ com “ line; they always oppose the Western approach to any international problem; they always- white-wash Communist aggression, whether it is in Hungary, Tibet’ or the Congo; and they act as mouth-pieces for Communists when, in this chamber, they stooge the Communist foreign policy, which otherwise would never enter these portals. However, these things do not prove that Honorable senators opposite are Communists. What they prove is that honorable senators opposite, when it comes to foreign affairs, are more dangerous than the Communists themselves. The Communists are such a discredited junta that the mere fact that a Communist puts- a proposition forward is in very many quarters a reason for examining the proposition with grave suspicion. But that should not apply to what is sometimes euphemistically referred to as the great Australian Labour- Party. I have heard that expression used here, I suppose, at least twice a week in the last four years. When we look at what Labour spokesmen say in relation to external affairs, we see that this party is neither great, nor Australian, nor Labour. It is not even a party, really. A short time ago we listened to speeches by Senator Sandford and Senator O’Byrne in which the cause of Communist China was strongly pleaded. If my recollection serves me faithfully, both those gentlemen were prepared to abandon Formosa to the Communist maw. They were both prepared to sell 10,000,000 people into slavery.
– I did not say that.
– I am glad to hear that. I withdraw the suggestion against the honorable senator.
– Why did you make the suggestion?
– I dc not claim to be infallible. I am relying on my recollection. I thought Senator Sandford had said it. Senator O’Byrne did put the’ proposition’ and- it was strongly implicit in every word that Senator Brown said. 1 should like to direct attention to the fact that that great moulder of Labour’s views on foreign affairs, my good friend Senator Toohey, came round last year to the proposition that he would not support the recognition of red China if it meant the abandonment of Formosa. For that I congratulate him, and I express the hope that his views on foreign affairs will make further progress in the years to come. 1 say, more in sorrow than in anger, that when speaking on foreign affairs in this place one is compelled continually to point to the unbreakable nexus between honorable senators opposite and those who propound the Communist view on foreign affairs. Senator Arnold, speaking before the suspension of the sitting for dinner, said, “ Who are we to throw stones at Communist China? Great Britain herself at the time of Suez did something that was as bad as anything that the Chinese have done “
– Surely not!
– He said it. I interjected and gave him the opportunity of correcting such an appalling statement. I felt that when he read it to-morrow in “ Hansard “ he would be ashamed. However, far from correcting it, he persisted in his error and he went on to dilate further on that point. Let us look at the Suez episode clearly. I shall not at this stage analyse the merits of the campaign, but if we look at the figures we find that in the landing there were 400 casualties amongst the Egyptians.
– That was enough.
– That is bad enough. I am not belittling the importance of 400 casualties, but I want to go on and point out to honorable senators opposite that Communist China, on the word of Chou En-lai himself, has liquidated 30,000,000 people. How any man in his right senses can equate 30,000,000 with 400 absolutely baffles me.
Tt is true that we have sold a few million pounds worth of wool to red China. The Government’s policy is that if China wants to buy non-strategic materials and - this is important in view of China’s history as a trading country over the last eight years - if she is able to pay for them, she can pay cash on the nail and take away the nonstrategic materials. Contrast this attitude with that of the Opposition, which wants us to tie our economic chariot to trade with red countries. Will honorable senators opposite never learn? Do they not know what happened to Burma, Malaya, Japan and Thailand? Do they know what happened to these countries, which were prepared to put their faith in Communist trade promises?
Do they know that Burma sold rice to red China, payment for which was to be made partly in cash and partly in kind? The Burmese, as honest people, delivered the rice, but the Chinese did not pay the cash, and half of the cement which was a part of the barter deal had gone hard and was completely unusable when delivered. To add insult to injury, red China, with the rice it had got almost for nothing, undersold Burma in the markets of Asia. Not only did Burma have no rice, no money and no usable cement, but also it lost its markets. That is what happens to any country which puts its economic faith in trade with Communist countries. That should not surprise honorable senators opposite, because the Russian economist Levua said only a few years ago that trade is a political weapon. Trade is used by Communist countries purely for political purposes. Yet we hear honorable senators opposite saying that they believe we can get out of the slough of some imaginary despond by building up big trade credits with a country that cannot or will not pay, and which tried to bring down a Japanese government four years ago by repudiating a trade agreement. The Chinese even had the hide to tell the Japanese that unless they sacked a liberal administration the Chinese would not go on with their trade deal.
– That is what we are saying to China now.
– I am distressed beyond measure to hear the honorable senator coming in on that band wagon.
What do we stand to gain by following the Australian Labour Party’s cardinal point of policy? In the report of the Brisbane conference, this is stated to be a cardinal point of policy, not something of which they are very fond and not something which they could bring forward and either go on with or discard. It is a fundamental point. What would we get out of the recognition of red China? What benefit would accrue to this nation? We would insult our allies, the United1 States of America and the other countries which with us have guaranteed the security of South-East Asia. In the second place, we would cause all the Chinese outside mainland China to lose hope and faith. We would give the seal of our approval to an arrogant and brutal dictatorship. We would do everything within our power to saddle that dictatorship on the kindly Chinese people. What would we get out of acting in that Judas fashion? Let us look at it on the very lowest possible level. What is there in it for us? Absolutely nothing but frustration, disappointment, and betrayal of our friends, and no good whatever.
– What do we get out of Formosa?
– 1 will come to that in a few moments. Senator Hendrickson may have read that there are delegates from Formosa, a free country, in this country to negotiate a trade agreement. A country of 10,000,000 people is not likely to keep Australia in blue ink. I do not suggest that for one moment. But they are people with whom we can negotiate on a basis of honesty and honour.
I wonder how many honorable senators opposite know the type of legislature that exists in Formosa. I do not think it is generally known. I do not think any honorable senator opposite knows; I will tell them.
– Good. Thank you.
– For the benefit of Senator Sandford, that country is governed by an Executive Yuan, a Judicial Yuan and a Legislative Yuan. The Legislative Yuan is democratically elected. If Senator Brown wants a plebiscite to be held in Formosa to determine whether the 10,000,000 there will go over to red China, T would be prepared-
– I did not say that. I was referring to their ruling themselves, not the Chinese Communists or anybody else.
– I would be prepared to agree with that if Senator Brown would support free, independent and properly conducted elections on the mainland of China.
– I do support that.
– Well, why did you not say so? 1 have never heard you say that before. That is a good concession and in future I will remember it. Of course, all these utterances by honorable senators opposite on foreign affairs are part of a festering sore that the body of the Australian Labour Party contracted at the time of the Petrov commission. Since that time when the activities of certain people in this country were disclosed by that commission, unfortunately - I say this more in sorrow than in anger - in the ranks of the Australian Labour Party there seems to be an insensate urge to see how militant they can be, how left-wing they can be and how well they can struggle on with every form of Communist propaganda and left-wing nonsense.
Having made those few remarks in relation to the foreign policy of the Australian Labour Party, 1 have very great pleasure in coming to the question of Australian representation in the Republic of Ireland. I hope that the Minister will take this opportunity to re-examine our diplomatic relations with Eire. I do not suppose that it is very sensible to keep remembering Oliver Cromwell. He is dead and buried. I hope that the legacy which he left behind can be erased and forgotten and that Australia, like the British Dominion of Canada and other countries, will be able to enter into proper diplomatic relations with the Republic of Ireland.
– Order! The honorable senator’s time has expired.
– I re-enter this debate mainly to accept the challenge that was thrown at me by Senator Vincent this afternoon. I made the statement that the people of China did not see themselves as enslaved people who were waiting for a liberator to come along and save them from the terrors of communism. Senator Vincent sought to read into that statement that T said communism was a good thing for the Chinese people. That is the kind of reasoning, misstatement and intolerance to which I referred when I spoke this afternoon. I had hoped that we might be able to debate foreign affairs with some degree of objectivity. Then this evening Senator Hannan found it necessary, in a voice dripping with venom, to ascribe all sorts of Communist sympathies and so on to members of the Opposition. How easy it is to call the other fellow a Communist; and what a hopeless argument it finally becomes.
– I did not say you were a Communist.
– No, you did not, but you implied it. Had Senator Hannan said that we on this side of the chamber were Communists, I would have had more admiration for him; but in a roundabout despicable way he preferred to use the weapon of implication rather than the more direct weapon of accusation. There is nothing clever, decent or logical about that.
As I said, I rose .mainly to correct that misstatement that was made by Senator Vincent. He said that 1 said that communism was good for the Chinese people. What T said was that they do not regard themselves as enslaved people waiting to be liberated. I have in my hand a book which I suggest honorable senators on the Government side should read. it is called “ Impatient Giant “. It was written by Gerald Clark, a well-known and wellrespected British newspaperman, who has spent a considerable time in China in recent years.
– They would say that he was a Communist, too.
– In one part of the book he makes the melancholy reflection that because he said he saw some good things which had emerged from the resurgence of nationalism and communism in China he was regarded as a Communist. With equal melancholy he said that when he found some aspects of the regime which he could criticize - in his book there is plenty of such criticism - he was then regarded by the Communists as a fascist. He finds himself in the same position as does every reasonable person in this world to-day, which seems determined to divide itself into two extreme camps - those with fanatical philosophies and those who promote hatred and intolerance in order to destroy everything that has in it a sense of reason. One could readily imagine that if that great philosopher who was ‘forced to drink poison could return and have a look even at the record Of the debates in this chamber, he would say, “ lt is on again; pass .me the hemlock “. That is the stupid situation .in which we find ourselves.
Let us see what Gerald Clark has to say about the question of whether the Chinese people are in favour of the system that exists in China at the moment. This is a matter that we need to study objectively. First he deals with Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and then he writes -
In both these -European countries it was difficult to find men and women who spoke with any enthusiasm about their system or regime; depressed, defeated, the Czechs and Hungarians must accept a melancholy way of life thrust upon them by a foreign power.
It is not so in China. People may look hapless and wan from overwork, and some do indeed leave, but it would be utterly ridiculous to assume that the great majority of Chinese have disassociated themselves from the system and are secretly or fervently awaiting “liberation”. It would be nearer the facts, I believe, to say that by and large communism has been embraced, especially, it must again be stressed, by the young people. Any discontent is more than outweighed by the revival of nationalism and the sense of achievement, and for those who are not yet fully convinced there is the constant process of indoctrination or -persuasion.
What Mr. Clark .means is that the young people of China have been indoctrinated with the germ of Communism. It is illogical for us to assume that great numbers of these people are opposed to the existing regime, seeing that they have been taught from infancy of the benefits that will accrue to their country as a result of communism - whether those benefits be real or fancied - and now that they see their country for the first time built up to some degree of power. ‘If a person has been indoctrinated since childhood -with the -belief that communism -is good and that -it will make his or her country great, it is logical to expect that person to become a firstclass Marxist. That was the point ‘that I was making this afternoon - not that I agreed with the system. I do not agree with the system, but we should not bury our heads in the sand. The countries of Asia are being re-born, and we must face facts squarely without hatred, recrimination or hostility. Let us put our arguments on a reasonable level. When we are talking about :the attitude Of ;the -United States towards -China let us remember that as a result of something that happened in the United States to-day there will be a new government there next year; and- it isreasonable to expect that there may- be a re-shaping of America’s- foreign policy. If we can believe what Senator Kennedy said during, his television debates- with Mr. Nixon, films of which we’ were privileged to see screened’ in this building, it is safe to assume that there will be some re-shaping of America’s foreign policy. America may adopt a- different attitude towards the Far East, and- if we in this country remain inflexible in our attitudes, hatreds and intolerances, and if we- refuse to deal with these problems on the basis of reason, we may find that we are adopting a completely different point of view from that of our ally, the United States of America.
I think I have shown that Senator Vincent was completely erroneous in his interpretation of my remarks this afternoon. I do not suggest that he erred deliberately. I recommend that Government supporters read Mr. Clark’s book. Mr. Clark is a man. with a sense of objectivity. He understands his subject because he actually lived in China. Lack of knowledge of their subject is something from which many honorable senators suffer. We like to parade our knowledge of geography and of what is happening in other countries. We try to give the impression that our views cannot be contradicted. We suffer from intolerance and hatred. We do not know enough about the countries of the world. I would be glad to see a parliamentary delegation sent to Formosa, China, Russia or any other part of the world. I would not say that members of delegations to those countries were tainted with communism because they had a desire to learn something so that when they spoke in this chamber they would- speak with the voice of authority. But intolerance is preventing visits to those countries. A man may become an object of hatred and suspicion simply because he wishes to enter a country which has a way of life foreign to ours. Let me give this warning: We are living on borrowed time so far as adopting a proper attitude towards international affairs is concerned. The sands- of time are running out. We do not have time for hatred and intolerance. Let us get down to reason and logic.
– I rise once more in this debate in order to reply to Senator Toohey. I have never- put forward the argument that we should not visit iron curtain countries. I was a visitor behind the iron curtain last year. I have always advocated that we should visit those countries in the pious hope that, those who do so will return to Australia, and speak the truth about what they, have seen. In my opinion, on far too many occasions, people have visited overseas countries and returned here speaking a lot of nonsense about what they saw. Having been behind the iron curtain I can speak with a little knowledge of what is going on there. At times I have been appalled at some of the remarks that have been made by people who have visited those places, and who have returned to Australia extolling the virtues of the Communist regimes. I do not think anybody on this side of the chamber has suggested that we should not visit Communist countries. We have supported such visits on all occasions.
– All I said was that you had misquoted me..
– I am coming to that. Senator Toohey has a bad memory of what he said this afternoon. We were discussing diplomatic recognition of red China, and Senator Toohey argued twopropositions in support of recognizing, red China. First he said that the Chinese accept communism. Secondly, he said that the Chinese are better off under the Communist regime than they were under their previous government. Therefore, he said, China should be recognized diplomatically. I take exception to that argument because that is the Communist line. We on this side of the chamber do not dispute that the Chinese may be much better off under their present Communist administration than they were in their previous intolerable situation. But that has nothing to do with diplomatic recognition, nor has the fact that the Chinese allegedly accept communism. I would require a good, deal of persuasion before I accepted that proposition, but it has nothing to do with recognition of this Communist and tyrannical government. When you recognize a nation diplomatically you are not recognizing the country for any purpose. You are according political recognition to its government. To be precise, you are recognizing the government and the administration. You are not recognizing the country. The country exists already, lt is a fact of life internationally. What in fact you are doing is entering into an international form of agreement with its government.
Senator O’Byrne this evening was extolling the virtues of the Chinese people. Their virtues have nothing to do with recognition of Communist China. I know that the Chinese are gentle folk. I know that they would not cut anybody’s throat. According to Senator O’Byrne the Chinese are very gentle people, but that has nothing to do with recognition of red China, because we would not be recognizing the Chinese people. We would be recognizing the government of the country. That is why I cross swords with Senator Toohey. It is immaterial whether the Chinese do or do not accept communism. Personally, 1 do not believe they do accept communism, but that is by the way. It is immaterial whether the Chinese are better off under their present tyrannical form of government than they were before. They would be undoubtedly much better off under a form of democracy; but again, that is also immaterial.
The reason why the red China Government is not being recognized by Australia is, as 1 said this afternoon, due to two reasons. First, red China does not recognize the Taiwan Administration; and secondly, it has carried out systematic international brigandry over the last ten years. If and when the red Chinese proceed to live as reasonable, peaceful individuals, undoubtedly consideration will be given by this Government and by the American Government to diplomatic recognition. However, while red China is trying to grab pieces of India and pieces of South-East Asia - to go back earlier, it cut the throats of thousands of Tibetans and moved unlawfully into Korea - such acts of political brigandry do not justify its government being received internationally. That is the main reason why the Australian Government has not recognized the red China Government.
I suggest that Senator Toohey is not facing up to the issue when he talks about these things. He is adopting the Communist line and is not arguing the case on its merits. Red China is not being recognized for the reasons I have given.
Those reasons have been stated not only by the leader of ‘the present Government but also by a leader of a previous Labour government. Mr. Chifley gave those reasons when the decision was first made not to recognize the government of red China. As I said this afternoon, the factors which guided Mr. Chifley in his decision have not altered in the slightest. Red China is still carrying out brigandry internationally, and while she does so she is not worthy of recognition. That is the issue. It has been suggested that because the Chinese want communism we should recognize their government. That is the stuff you hear in the Sydney Domain by every Communist talker. I regret very much that the Australian Labour Party cannot get off that band wagon for a change and argue this case on its merits.
There are two other small points to which I wish to refer. Honorable senators opposite mentioned this afternoon that Formosans have not had the opportunity to decide their form of government or whether they accept Chiang Kai-shek as their leader. Of course, that is a misstatement of fact. The constitution of Taiwan provides for electoral processes which are as easy and effective in actual fact as are such processes in Australia. If the Formosans do not want Chiang Kai-shek they could vote him out at the next election as simply as Australians could vote out their Prime Minister. It is as easy as that. Senator Brown complained bitterly about the fact that these unfortunate Formosans do not have the right of self-determination. That is all nonsense. The Formosans have just as much right of self-determination as we have in this country.
I wish to make one other reference. Senator O’Byrne in a typical speech which followed his usual theme, referred with great tenderness to the 700,000,000 Chinese. He lauded their good qualities, which I do not doubt for a moment, and gave those qualities as a reason why we should kiss and make friends with the Communist Chinese Government. I cannot understand such an argument. I do not deny that there are 700,000,000 gentle Chinese living in China. They are probably the most gentle people in the world. But that is not the argument, and it must not be introduced as a red herring. Senator
O’Byrne gave that fact as a reason why we should recognize China’s tyrannical Government, but that is a non-sequitur. Nonrecognition has nothing to do with the gentility of the Chinese people. We are talking about the Chinese Communist Government, a de facto body which has been forced upon the Chinese people contrary to the processes of law. That is the body which we are asked to recognize. We are not asked to recognize the 700,000,000 gentle Chinese people; we are asked to recognize two oi three international cutthroats. That is the government which Senator Toohey and other honorable senators opposite are asking us to recognize this evening. I believe it is about time they got off the J. S. Garden bandwagon.
– The only way 1 can link up what 1 am going to say with the estimates under discussion is by referring to item 15 in Division No. 627 which refers to exchange of visits with South-East Asia. Irrespective of our political opinions and whether we agree or disagree with the form of government in China, I think there is not one honorable senator who does not regret the violence and demonstrations against three visiting Chinese last week or the week before. If we want to help the Communist cause, I think those responsible for those demonstrations went about it the right way. They must have given those visitors a very poor impression of the Australian way of life about which we boast so much.
I think that benefit could have come from such a visit if we had shown these people how democracy can work without having to resort to violence such as was resorted to when they were visitors to our shores. Along with a number of these Australians I regret that violence was offered to them.
– It was not offered to them.
– I do not care who started it or who finished it. What I am saying is that T regret the fact that violence was offered to these visitors in Australia. Whether we agree or disagree with the philosophy of people, I feel that it is by an interchange of visits between people of all nations that we will achieve international understanding.
Senator Hannan said that we on this side of the chamber had criticized the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) in his capacity a> Minister for External Affairs. That is noi so. 1 think we all appreciate the ability of our Prime Minister; but we do suggest that the function of Minister for External Affairs is sufficiently important - particularly in these days when the world is in such a condition that we do not know from one day to the next what is going to happen - to warrant the full-time attention of a senior Minister, lt has always warranted the attention of a full-time Minister in the past, just as the welfare of the people as a whole has warranted the attention of a fulltime Prime Minister. That is the other aspect of this matter that cannot be gainsaid, and both aspects arc of tremendous importance.
The situation inside and outside of Australia must be given the full-time attention of a senior Minister. There is no position senior to that of Prime Minister, and the man who occupies it should occupy it solely.
– He has remained as Prime Minister.
– He cannot remain as full-time Prime Minister if he has to perform another job in the international field.
– Mr. Chifley held more than one portfolio.
– Yes, Mr. Chifley was Prime Minister and Treasurer, but surely Senator Wedgwood would not say that the task of the Treasurer is as important internationally and involves such long absences from Australia as does the task of the Minister for External Affairs. The task of the Treasurer is linked with that of the Prime Minister, who is the administrative head of the Commonwealth Government.
– You said that the office of Prime Minister is a full-time office.
– I adhere to what 1 said before. I do not think that these two portfolios should be administered by one Minister at any time, particularly as one of them involves absences from Australia for long periods.
I regret very much the attacks that were made by Senator Hannan and others on Senator O’Byrne. It was said that he was touting the Communist line, and his courage and integrity were questioned. I am sure that no member of this chamber has shown more devotion to his country than has Senator O’Byrne. During the years that he was a prisoner of war he was able to think about the problems that have since beset Australia. He would be the last person to do anything to defile the good name of the country which he suffered so much during the war to preserve. I think that the remarks to which I refer ill became those who uttered them. 1 come now to the very vexed question of the recognition of Communist China. I do not think that anybody in this country could accuse me of having Communist sympathies. 1 have always been antagonistic to communism. As Bishop Fulton Sheen has stated, while we hate communism we should love the Communists. I do not mean that we should love them in a physical way. We should love them in the sense of trying to convert them by our example and offering them something better than the false philosophy they have adopted. I should like every honorable senator to read, not a book written by a philosopher or author outside Australia, but the report of one of the best speeches I have heard delivered in this chamber. It was delivered six years ago by an honorable senator who, I am sorry to say, has not yet spoken during this debate. I refer to Senator Kendall, to whom I listen with great interest, because whenever he makes a speech in this chamber it is on a subject that he knows very well and of which he has practical experience. On 9th September, 1954, Senator Kendall made an excellent speech, which I would recommend honorable senators on both sides to read. It is one which I think should be inwardly digested by every member of this Parliament, particularly my friend from Western Australia, Senator Vincent, because of its common sense approach to this problem.
– I have read it.
– Senator Kendall spent many years in China, and knows what he is talking about. At page 267 of “ Hansard “, volume S.4, the honorable senator is reported as having said -
As I have said many times in this chamber and outside it whenever I have had an opportunity to speak of these matters, I believe that we should leave China to work out its own salvation. . . That being the case, I suggest that if we intend to allow China to work out its own salvation, we must realize first that China now has a government of its own, charged with the administration of the population that may total 500,000,000 or more. A government has been formed under Mao Tse-tung. The fact that we call it a Communist government is neither here nor there, lt is China’s Government, and the Chinese have the responsibility of throwing it out if they are not satisfied with it. I cannot understand the attitude of the United States of America or Australia in refusing at this stage to recognize the Government of China. That administration has the task of governing China, and if it chooses to govern along Communist lines, that is entirely its own affair. We have listened to speeches in which a very great man has shown that he is convinced that the friendship of China can be won.
– From whose speech is the honorable senator quoting?
– I am quoting from Senator Kendall’s speech, and I honour him for it. He continued -
Surely it is not for us to continue to declare that we shall not recognize China or allow it into world conferences and the United Nations organization until it sets up the kind of government that we think China should have. I have never heard before of such a grave insult to national dignity. If we recognized China and allowed it into the United Nations organization, surely that would be a step towards understanding the Chinese and giving them a seat in the councils of the world.
Sometimes the argument is advanced that such a move would merely give Russia another vote in world councils. I do not care about that. China does not have to follow slavishly behind Russia. It has been a civilized nation for 3,000 years or more. During that period, there have been many invasions of China, but the invaders have always been absorbed. They have never conquered China and China will never be conquered. It will never submit to Russia. The Government of China is a Communist government and it may continue to govern for many years, but I venture to prophesy, knowing something of the Chinese race and its characteristics, that the Government of China will modify itself gradually. When that stage is reached, the people who have helped the Chinese, rather than those who have hurt them, will be the people to whom the Chinese will turn eventually.
At a later stage of his speech, Senator Kendall said -
To a student of international affairs, and there is quite a number in this chamber, the present world outlook is grim. In both the west and the east, the world is divided into two camps. Germany, which has committed some of the world’s most atrocious crimes, is being rearmed. Japan, whose bestiality will always be remembered by Australians, is being re-armed. We hope this is being done for the better. But, as I have said, to the student of international affairs the picture is grim. France, which should be one of Europe’s great countries, cannot make up its mind for more than two or three months at a time. All these things tend to confuse people.
I should like honorable senators to listen particularly to the next part of the speech -
The one or two things which I think we can hold on to are those to which I have referred to-day. Let us make a start by admitting China to our community. Then let us see what happens. Surely, to recognize China would not be any worse than recognizing Germany or Japan. I would far sooner have China as a friend than either Germany or Japan; yet we have accepted both those nations. Let us go a step further and recognize China. Let us admit China’s de facto government to the conference room of the nations. That is where we can start. 1 shall leave it there. I think that every sentiment that was expressed in Senator Kendall’s speech is one that should be reechoed in this chamber. None of us support in any way the atrocities that we have heard have been committed in Communist China. We deplore them, as we deplore what happened in Tibet and elsewhere. But we cannot call the Chinese, as a nation, to account for them while we exclude China from the United Nations. If China felt that she would be called before the bar of the United Nations to explain her actions - having been accepted as one of the brotherhood of nations by being represented at the United Nations - there might be some solution to these problems. We have outlawed China and, as it were, denied her existence, in relation to the United Nations, but we do not deny her existence for the purposes of trade. We have an income of £16,000,000 from wool exported to China. I have not heard any of the wool-growers amongst the Government senators say that they do not want that money from the sale of their wool because it is red money. They might not recognize China, but they recognize the money that it pays for their products. They are quite entitled to be paid for their products.
I was interested to hear Senator Vincent, I think it was, refer to the trade practices adopted by the Chinese in trading with (Burma and certain other countries. I suppose ‘that if you do not recognize a country, Mr. Temporary Chairman, that country is non-existent so far as you are concerned, and perhaps it is in order for it to pay you with non-existent money if it trades with you. We cannot have it both ways. I remind honorable senators opposite that that is typical of the nefarious trade practices that have grown up in this century.
I remember a few months ago asking questions in this place about our trade with Japan. I pointed out that our wheat was being bought by Japan, milled in that country and put into bags with a label on the outside saying. “ Milled from the finest Australian wheat “, but not saying that it was being milled in Japan. That flour was being sold on our markets in Singapore, Malaya and elsewhere, at great cost to the Australian flour-millers. So, we should not pick out only one country when we speak of nefarious trade practices, although, of course, I do not condone those practices in any way.
I am not a Communist sympathizer, Mr. Temporary Chairman. I have fought the Communists all my adult life, and shall continue to do so. At the same time, I do not deny to the people of any country the right which I, as an Australian, have to choose the government they prefer. I recognize that the people of every country have the right to decide the form of government they wish to have.
– When did the Chinese people decide their form of government?
– The form of government that the Chinese have at present is the result of many hundreds of years of oppression. However, I am not going to be led away from my line of thought. I refer honorable senators again to the volume of “ Hansard “ that I have mentioned, and I suggest to honorable senators opposite that it would do them a great deal of good if they read the excellent speech to which I have referred. I have not had time to read all of it to-night. In it, they will find not only a precis of the events leading up to the present situation in China, but also a very good evaluation of the results that have flowed from those events. Many people in Australia are willing to trade with China, and I think we should recognize it as a nation.
– ‘Order! The honorable senator’s time (has expired.
– My views on the matter have not changed. I hold precisely the same views as those expressed in the speech to which Senator Tangney has referred. When I spoke at that time, the Government had made no pronouncement of its views on China, and neither had Dr. Evatt, who was then the Leader of the Opposition in another place. Therefore, I felt myself free to say exactly what I thought about the matter, and 1 did so at some length. Since that time, both the Government and the Opposition have made clear what they think on this subject, and as I am part of a team [ have not said a great deal about it in the Parliament. I also point out that in the intervening period I have been both selected by the party and elected by the people, so that my views cannot have been very detrimental to my coming back to the Senate.
.- I might not have risen but for the implication in Senator Tangney’s remarks that the very unpleasant scenes that occurred at the receptions to the three Chinese visitors were caused by the people who demonstrated against them. Let me say once and for all that the Communist Party in this country has enjoyed for 40 years the right of peaceful picketing and protest. I have seen Communist gatherings proceed through the streets of Melbourne with police outriders escorting them to help them along; but on this occasion, when other people presumed to exercise the right of peaceful picketing and protest, they were attacked by Communist bashers and hired thugs.
– In this country?
– In this country.
– And what did the police do?
– According to reports that I read in the newspapers, the police administered kerbside justice. What that means, I do not know. I read in a Melbourne newspaper that a 19-year-old boy who was carrying a placard was knocked unconscious by a former heavyweight champion of Australia who, apparently, was on the side of the Chinese visitors.
– Does not the honorable senator regret the whole business?
– I regret it. I say that there is in this country the right of peaceful picketing and peaceful protest. The Communist Party has enjoyed that democratic right for 40 years, and it is unreasonable of the party to try to take the right away from other people. 1 have here a letter from a new Australian which I propose to read. It is as follows: -
My wife and I went to welcome the visiting red Chinese unionists at Essendon airport on the 24th October. There we had a “ peaceful “ conversation with a lady whose picture later appeared in a newspaper taking an active part in the attacks of anti-Communist demonstrators. She told us that to welcome the visiting friends from China is the affair of Australians only. We pointed out that we are Australians since we are naturalized. Then, pointing to our one and a half year old child, she said, “ Only the child is Australian “. When we saw the basher gang breaking the placards of the anti-Communist demonstrators and man-handling one of the new Australians, a white Russian, we asked her, “ What are they fighting for “? She answered, “ For freedom and truth “. In the meantime, one of her mates, looking like a union official, pointed to us and said in terms of reproach, “ Do you want to exclude 700,000,000 of Chinese people from associating with Australians “?
On the day that the Chinese trade unionists were welcomed at Morwell, a number of demonstrators with placards appeared. Cars drew up and bashers jumped out and immediately charged and attacked them. Apparently, the local supporters of the Chinese were themselves ashamed of what had happened because their leader went to the trouble of informing the press that they did not know the bashers and were not responsible for their actions, and that the bashers had joined the procession of cars from Melbourne in the neighbourhood of Dandenong. I want to make it clear that those demonstrations were caused by the actions of the Communist Party of Australia in enlisting a red guard of thugs for the purpose of taking away from other people the privilege of peaceful protest that the Communists have always claimed for themselves.
We hear a lot about the Chinese. I am not opposed to the Chinese people, nor are the people on my side. What we do oppose are the oppressors of the Chinese people. To those who say that conditions in China are so marvellous, let me put the question: If things are so good, why is it that thousands of Chinese every month risk their lives in escaping from mainland China to Hong Kong?
– They walk past. They are not stopped. I have been there.
– Do not give me that.
– I have seen it.
– If conditions are so good, why have we in Indonesia at the present time one of the greatest human tragedies of this age? As we know, 3,000,000 Chinese have been told to get out of that country. They do not want to go back to red China because their family associations have kept them in touch with events there. Those people are trying to get to Brazil, and they would come to Australia if we would have them, because they do not want to go back to mainland China. lt has been said that material conditions in China are better now than they were previously, but are material conditions the ultimate? Is not freedom important? Is it important only to be well fed and well clothed, and to work for the socialist state? Are not freedom of religion, freedom of association and freedom of speech also worth having? We read that Mao Tse-tung has told the so-called liberal elements of his country that they may now come to the surface. “ Let a thousand flowers contend “, he said. But when the flowers reared their heads he cut them off. We are being told here that it would be a good thing for people to live in a colossal zoo, well fed and behind bars.
– Who said that?
– You people said it. Your attitude is that material comfort and progress is everything. We have been told that by people who have gone to China and who have written books after their return. When I read such things, I recall the words of a dinkum Labour man in Great Britain. I refer to Herbert Morrison, who was a former deputy leader of the party. He read a description of life in China by one of the Communist delegations that went from Britain. He said that whenever he read such descriptions he thought they should be entitled, “ How I Learnt Everything about 700,000,000 People in Ten Days “. China is a huge country with a population of 700,000,000 people. People go there for ten days. They are convoyed to the things they are intended to see, they cannot speak the language and they are not allowed to talk to any Chinese who is in opposition to the government. Then ‘they come back and tell us that the Chinese people love communism. How can any one know what is happening in red China after being there for only ten days?
I read a pathetic story which was written by one union leader who came back and said that reports to the effect that there was no religious freedom were untrue. He said there was complete religious freedom. When he was over there he took ill and was accommodated in a certain hospital. He came home full of praise of the treatment he had received. There was so much religious freedom in China that that hospital, which had been built by a missionary organization, was seized by the Communists without any compensation being paid. The European missionaries were put over the border and their associates in China were imprisoned. Yet, as I said, that union leader said there was complete religious freedom in that country.
One honorable senator said that the way the Chinese are governed is their own affair. Would we have been right to say that the way Hitler governed Germany was the affair of the Germans? Was not the free conscience of the world aroused by the atrocities that were perpetrated upon the Jewish population and other people? What was the right attitude for us to adopt? Would it have been right to say, “What Hitler does in Germany is the Germans’ own affair “? Or was the right attitude to adopt to say, “ The world has a conscience and it has to express that conscience “? What about Tibet? Are the people of Tibet included in the 700,000,000 happy Chinese? We know what was done in Tibet. The most incredible atrocities have been perpetrated upon those people by the government led by Mao Tse-tung. Are we to say that these things are the affair of the Tibetans or of the Chinese? Is there no lon.aer to be a world conscience? Are we, in the name of co-existence. to abandon the oppressed people behind the iron curtain and say to Khrushchev, “ If you do not trouble us, you can do what you like t<? them “?
Undoubtedly ours is a strange new world. It is a world of change. I knew the Labour movement in the days when it attacked oppression of people in any country. But to-day the Labour Party will attack oppression in countries outside the iron curtain but will welcome the representatives of the oppressors behind the iron curtain. In this country are thousands of people who have lived behind the iron curtain and who know what communism is. Why did they come here? Ask any new Australian who has lived behind the iron curtain why he came here. If life was so happy and if these people were not in search of all these freedoms, why did they come here? I know of no stronger opponents of communism than the Ukrainians who have lived under it. I know people from every section of the Soviet Union who have lived under communism. They have said just how hateful it is.
I have the utmost regard for the Chinese. I have taught a number of them in this country. You could not meet better children than the Chinese children. One reason for that is the wonderful family life, the wonderful family spirit, that exists amongst the Chinese. What is the present Communist government of China doing to the families? Its chief aim is to destroy the instinct for family life. It has established communes and is doing everything to blot out what is one of the finest instincts in the Chinese heart.
There has been some condemnation of Chiang Kai-shek Whatever is said about him, he is at war. I do not know of any country where you get the ultimate in democratic rule if it is at war. There was a lot of criticism of Chiang Kai-shek’s regime in China prior to the reds taking over. But for a period of twenty years he was menaced by a revolutionary Communist group at home and was under the threat of a foreign attack. If any one of you was a leader of a country that had a strong revolutionary group with its own army and which was prepared to attack you from within, and if you. were threatened with invasion from abroad, I should like to know how you would conduct your country as a pure democracy. It has been said that there was corruption in China. Was there not corruption in this country during the war years? Was it not said that it was not’ ai case of what you knew but whom you knew? Were there not people in this country who took advantage of the preoccupation of the government of the day with the conduct of the war to make money for themselves? It is all very well to condemn people if they do not adopt pure democratic principles. It would be a different thing if any of you were in the same position and had to try to do it.
I should like to see democracy reign throughout the East, but I am realistic enough to ask: How can a man conduct his rule on pure democratic lines when internally he has revolution, conspiracy and subversion, and when he has the continual threat of foreign invasion? It is of no use saying the times have changed and we must look at things differently. No doubt times have changed, but there are certain principles which never change. One of those principles is that under the best form of government men and women arc entitled to be free. You may say that the people of China now have more to eat, that they are better clothed - I doubt it - that there are no flies, and all sorts of other things.
Order! The honorable senator’s time has expired.
Senator Sir NEIL O’SULLIVAN (Queensland) [10.8]. - I should like to congratulate the Government upon the way it is spreading goodwill and understanding among the countries that are our near neighbours. They are populous and are important to our future. The Government is extending diplomatic and trade relations with these countries. I know that some attention has been and still is being given to the need to ensure that not only our ambassadors, trade commissioners, and charges d’affaires, but also members of their staffs, thoroughly understand the language of the country to which they go, and that they can read it and speak it. Those people should also be steeped in the history, the background, and the philosophies of the countries to which they are accredited. If our representation in these countries is to be efficacious, our representatives must be versed in these matters. They must not regard their assignment as meaning that they must spend a certain amount of time at these places before they get a better job. They must be really dedicated to improving our relations with these countries, and to interpreting us to those peoples and them to us.
For good or ill, we have recently reestablished diplomatic relations with the Soviet Republic. Time will tell whether or not that arrangement will work out. I hope that it will work out well. The Russians are powerful people in the world, and I hope and pray that good will result from the arrangement and that we may reach a better understanding, although my initial thought is that co-existence with communism is like the co-existence of a mullet with a shark - not very comfortable or permanent. We may be able to get along - I hope we shall - but I still have my doubts.
We have extended and raised our representation abroad, but there are two countries which, for lack of a better word, I would describe as mother countries, in which we are not represented. They are mother countries in the sense that what were once their colonies are now independent nations, proud republics, spread pretty well throughout the world. I refer, first, to Spain. I think that most of us are familiar with a little of the history of Spain. Some of us might even remember these words of Henry Lawson -
And here’s a cheer for the flag unfurled in a hopeless cause again,
For the sake of the days when the Christian world was saved by the Dons of Spain.
Culturally and historically, the world owes a lot to Spain. It is true that most of the Latin republics had to have recourse to arms to get political and civil liberty from the Spanish empire, but in spite of this they still regard Spain as their spiritual home. The spiritual home of the people of Brazil, of course, is Portugal. The other South American republics still regard Spain as their spiritual home-. Up to now these countries, apart from Cuba, have been consistently on the side of the free world against those countries in the slave world of the Soviet bloc behind the iron curtain. It is very important, not only for the sake of these people, but for our sake and for the survival of the United Nations as a real instrument of just and permanent peace, that these people get to know us and that we get to know them. One of the means towards this end would be a fuller recognition by us of their mother country, Spain.
For those of us who happen to have some slight interest in reading, a book was published just after the Spanish civil war by a very distinguished Englishman, Arnold Lunn. It was called “ Rehearsal in Spain “, and I was most impressed by it. Others who are much better informed than I were also impressed by it. I would not recommend Franco’s form of government to any Australian. I do not think that the average Australian could possibly tolerate it for a moment, but after all we are not. Spaniards; we are Australians. We have a longer, richer and freer heritage than the Spaniards. But had the Communists not been defeated in Spain, would we have won the North African campaign? Would not Western Europe be under the heel of communism? Of course, Gibraltar would have been. I do not ask honorable senators to take my word for it. I suggest that they read this work of a man who spent considerable time and energy there.
There is another country in which honorable senators may not be surprised to know I have some interest, and which may also be regarded as a mother country. I refer to Ireland, a country small in population and small in area, not rich in armaments or in things material to this world, but infinitely rich in her spiritual empire. There is hardly a country in the old world or the new where Irish missioners have not planted, nurtured, maintained and served the cross of Christianity. It is unfortunate that, through some misunderstanding or other, there are not complete ambassadorial exchanges between Ireland and Australia. I am very sorry that Senator Gorton is not here. I sent him a message sayingthatI proposed criticizing a few of his remarks. Through no fault of his own, he is not here. He has already left the country on a very important mission, I have read in “ Hansard “ that Senator Armstrong said that he supposed nearly 25 per cent. of the Australian population were of Irish descent. Senator Gorton replied -
As somebody with some element of Irish extraction, I disagree with what I understood to be Senator Armstrong’s statement that 25 per cent. of the people in Australia were Irish and, what was more, were proud of it.. I disagree with that entirely.
Those were Senator Gorton’s remarks.
– He was joking. He did not mean that seriously. He meant that he was proud of it, too.
– I merely read it from “ Hansard “. I thank Senator Armstrong very much indeed for that statement. It is very generous indeed of him. I happen to be one of the 25 per cent, referred to by Senator Armstrong. Having, so far as I am aware, no aboriginal blood in my veins, and my four grandparents having been born in Ireland, my blood is Irish. My grandchildren, who are fourth generation Australians, are probably richer in the sense that they have Irish, English and Scottish blood in their veins, and I am sure that they have reasons to be proud of every drop of it.
– What do they do on St. Patrick’s Day?
– I wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. My son, by virtue of his Scottish blood, has the right of being president of the Caledonian Society. It is very unfortunate that Ireland, which has such a strong spiritual and moral influence throughout the world, is not fully recognized here. Senator Gorton said that the appointment of an ambassador to Ireland was a question for the Queen. That is perfectly true, but not as the Queen of England - as the Queen of Australia. As such, she would be guided - properly so - by the advice of her Australian Ministers. Senator Armstrong asked Senator Gorton what happened in respect of other countries. From memory, the Minister said that he did not know whether or not the United Kingdom had an ambassador in Ireland. Actually, when I was in Ireland, there was an ambassador of the United Kingdom there, and the Irish ambassador in London was Mr. Boland, who is now the very distinguished president of the General Assembly.
Senator Gorton said that Eire claimed the whole of Ireland and that it would be embarrassing if that claim were recognized by Australia. I happen to have read the Irish constitution, which defines the territory of Ireland as the whole of Ireland, but expressly makes no claim at all for its laws to have any effect at all in the six counties until such time as these are incorporated in the republic by mutual consent. The possibility of interference in outside affairs is completely eliminated. Until such time as the country is completely integrated, the republic makes no claim at all that its laws shall prevail in the six counties.
Canada, our senior sister dominion and a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations, not only gave the recognition for which Ireland asked, but gave it in Ireland’s own language, Gaelic. Why Australia is not doing the same thing is a matter on which I think we should have more information. Unless the situation changes, at some time in the future I shall ask the appropriate Minister to make a complete statement on the matter and explain the difficulty in establishing full diplomatic relations between Australia and Ireland, which is the cradle of at least 25 per cent, of Australians who are not unworthy people, but which has not been granted complete diplomatic representation. Normally this action is taken by the Executive, which is an instrument of the Parliament, which might take a different view from that taken by the Executive. The Parliament should be put in possession of all the facts, and if the Parliament agrees with the Executive, that is all right. If the Parliament takes a different view, perhaps it is an unfortunate situation, lt is a matter of deep regret that when we have full diplomatic relations with so many other countries, we have not the same relations with a country which is the cradle of such a large proportion of the Australian people. In two world wars those people have worn the uniforms of our sovereign, perhaps not with great distinction, but certainly with just as much devotion as anybody else.
– I enter this debate mainly because a certain matter was raised this afternoon and I believe it would be wrong to allow the opportunity to pass without clarifying the position. I refer to the matter raised by Senator McManus this afternoon of the so-called levy on trade unionists in Australia to pay for reciprocal visits by trade unionists from countries outside Australia. I would say that Senator McManus introduced the matter in the form of a halftruth, and in replying the Minister merely displayed his ignorance of the matter when, in response to an interjection by me, he claimed that if I was a good unionist I would be paying the twopence a week that is levied on all trade unionists in Australia.
In the first place, there is not a levy of twopence a week on Australian trade unionists, and there is not a levy of twopence a year on individual Australian trade unionists. It might be appropriate for me to explain the system by which the Australian Council of Trade Unions obtains finance to enable it to carry on its operations. That might dispel some of the fallacies that are bandied about in this chamber in discussions on the so-called levying of trade unionists.
The plain and simple facts are that the sustentation or affiliation fees of the unions affiliated with the A.C.T.U. are based on so many pence per member per year. The number of pence is set by the biennial conference which assesses the amount of revenue from sustentation fees that will enable the A.C.T.U. to pay its normal administrative expenses. The conference having decided that matter, the affiliated unions are levied for the amount of money required to put into effect the decisions of the biennial conference, on the same basis as the original affiliation fees are levied, that is, so many pence per member.
In this instance a decision was made by the last A.C.T.U. conference to the effect that there should be reciprocal visits by trade unionists from other countries in view of the fact that for some years now the A.C.T.U. has accepted invitations for its members to be guests of trade union organizations outside Australia. About four or five years ago an invitation was extended by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions direct to the A.C.T.U. A decision was made for a delegation from the A.C.T.U. to combat what was mentioned by Senator McManus earlier in this debate - the fact that people were coming back from China after going there at the invitation of individual unions in China to individual unions in Australia. Generally, although not always, the unions that accepted such invitations were unions with Communist officials. There was general agreement that the reports that those delegates presented when they returned to Australia were, to say the least, biased in favour of conditions in China, or, if they were not biased, Australian trade unionists generally did not have sufficient confidence in those delegates to accept their reports as true, even if they were true. So the original decision of the A.C.T.U. to accept an invitation from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions was an endeavour to send a delegation whose report would be accepted by a large section of the trade union movement when it returned to Australia and presented its report, giving what the members believed was the truth. lt so happened that I was a member of the original delegation. On that delegation I was accompanied by Mr. Albert Monk, the President of the A.C.T.U. I do not think that anybody but an absolute fanatic would claim that he is a Communist or has Communist leanings. Another member of the delegation was Mr. Gil. Hayes, of Victoria, who is in the same category as Mr. Albert Monk. Nobody but a fanatic would claim that he is a Communist or a Communist sympathizer. I believe that anybody who knows me and knows my association with the trade union movement could not believe that I am a Communist or a Communist sympathizer. Also accompanying us was Mr. Alex Macdonald, the secretary of the Queensland Trades and Labour Council, who is a member of the Communist Party. So, in that delegation of four there were three who, I can rightly claim, were not under any suspicion of having any leanings towards communism. I believe that the report that we tendered to the subsequent A.C.T.U. conference was accepted by the large majority of members of the Australian trade union movement as being the truth as we saw it.
I am sorry that Senator McManus has left the chamber. He said that people go to China for ten days, are convoyed through China and just see the things that the Chinese want them to see. Then they come back and write a book about it. I do not think that any member of our party wrote a book about our visit to China. However, I can say with absolute certainty that no person who goes into China - whether he be a member of a trade union delegation, Malcolm Muggeridge or Lord Montgomery - needs to be convoyed through China. All the Chinese people have to do is to display the old and the new. They show you what existed prior to liberation and what has taken place since liberation. That is their argument. They do not need to keep you away from the backward parts of the country because they use them to show what great improvements have been made in other areas. I do not ask people to believe everything that I say, but I do ask them to approach this matter with an open mind and endeavour to arrive at the truth.
I do not care whether people who have visited China subsequently write books or newspaper articles about their visit, but nobody to my knowledge who has visited China is under any illusion about the acceptance by the Chinese people of their government. One explanation for this may be that only about 3 per cent, of the Chinese people are Christians, so to them communism is only a form of socialism. It is another form of government. The only form of government with which they can compare communism is the government that China had for 2,000 or 3,000 years. Nobody would wish to apologize for the government of China during the twenty years that Senator McManus referred to. That was a time when China was preparing to meet an advancing red army, and at the same time was fighting a war against Japan. I think it is true to say that the peasants of China have been in revolt for the last 2,000 years, and it only required the red army to form them into some kind of disciplined force and turn their sorties into a popular revolution. I do not think any one will deny that a popular revolution took place in China.
I want to say something about the quoting of Senator Kendall’s speech by Senator Tangney earlier to-night. I do not want honorable senators to think that Senator Tangney dug that speech out of the archives for the purpose of to-night’s debate, because when I spoke to Senator Tangney at the commencement of the sitting to-day she advised me to read that particular speech. I did so, and I agree with 90 per cent, of what I read. I agree with 99.9 per cent, of what Lord Montgomery said and I agree with 99.9 per cent, of what Malcolm Muggeridge has written about China. I can hear interjections from some honorable senators. All I can say is that some people do not want to believe the truth about China. I do not need to apologize for the form of government in China, but we are debating whether Australia should recognize red China. Red China exists, and one-quarter of the earth’s people accept a government that Australia is not prepared to recognize. As Senator Tangney said, is there any sense in refusing to admit red China to the United Nations, because by so doing we leave her free to carry out the atrocities which Senator McManus claims have been carried out in Tibet?
– Do you not think they were carried out?
– I can tell the honorable senator that there was revolution in Tibet for a good many years. There have been two rival factions battling for power in Tibet for thousands of years. Both the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama have accepted representation in the government of China. The revolution that broke out in Tibet was undoubtedly supported on one side by China. The Panchen Lama still remains in Tibet and I think the Dalai Lama has asylum in India. It is wrong for anybody to delude themselves by thinking that Tibet has ever been a free country. People use the expression “ free country “ if a country happens to be at odds with the Communist countries. But that fact alone does not make a country a free country. Tibet is not a free country to-day, and never has been a free country. I do not think that the people of Tibet have ever had a say in their government. They have been ruled by nobles for thousands of years.
– Do they have a free vote now?
– Of course not, but somebody tried to argue that they had a free vote at some time in the past. In my view the people of Tibet never had a free vote.
Senator Vincent referred to Mr. Chamberlain as being a non-unionist. During the period in which Senator McManus claims that Mr. Chamberlain was not a trade unionist, Mr. Chamberlain was sitting continuously on the executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions as the representative of the trade union movement of Western Australia. I would say that he held that position for ten years at least, and possibly for longer. So, irrespective of whether Senator Vincent or Senator McManus believes Joe Chamberlain is a unionist, certainly the executive of the A.C.T.U. accepted him as a unionist. In addition, the conference of trade unionists, held .every two years, accepts .him as a trade unionist. I think Mr. Chamberlain would hold those bodies to be better authorities on this matter than either Senator Vincent or Senator McManus.
.- Mr. Chairman, I hope that you will not object if I refer to anything that is related directly to the appropriation with which we are now dealing. I listened for quite a while to one honorable senator who informed us of the great importance of Spain, and I thought it would be interesting to see whether we have any representation in that very important country. For my exercise I found that the Commonwealth has six forms of representation. We have embassies, legations, high commissioners, commissioners, consular representatives, and other representatives. But somehow, notwithstanding the great importance of Spain in the world, we have overlooked sending a representative there. The Minister in charge of this section of the Estimates so far has a clean book. He has been sitting in the chamber to-night waiting to answer questions asked of him about this appropriation, but honorable senators have answered each other. I propose to ask the Minister some questions. To begin with, if Australia does not have a representative in Spain, why not?
Now I turn to some other matters that concern the Commonwealth. Under Division No. 627, Item 4 relates to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, for which an appropriation of £59,500 is sought in respect of representation and contribution. I ask the Minister how that money is to be spent. Will he break up that sum of £59,000? I notice that the proposed vote this year is much more than the expenditure of £33,708 last year. I should like to know how many representatives we have. There must be some board associated with this matter and there must be some representation on it. I should like the Minister to tell me the total representation, what the function of the board is, and where it is domiciled. Is it connected with the United Nations or is it domiciled at some other place such as The Hague? I should also like to know exactly how this item affects our external trade. While the Minister is dealing with that matter I should also like him to inform me whether the recent increase in Australia’s export of sugar has been due in any way to the upheaval in Cuba. Has the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade anything to do with the increase?
I pass to Item 05, “ United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization - Contribution, representation and other expenditure, £103,000”. I should like to know who controls the expenditure of that sum of money. Is the money handled by the Treasury in Australia or is it spent abroad? I should like to know who are the officers associated with this matter and something about their function and activities. The Minister has had a very easy time to-night and has been able to sit back and enjoy the debate. I should like him to answer the questions I have put to him. I pass to item 14, “ South-East Asia Treaty Organization - Contribution and representation, £62,900 “. Last year the expenditure was £52,116. Why has the amount been increased by £10,000? Is it anticipated that more conferences will be held dealing with the functions of the South-East Asia Treaty Organization?
The next matter to which I refer is item 15, which .covers exchanges of visits with South and South-East Asia. I have very little knowledge of those visits. I heard this afternoon of exchanges of visits between Soviet Russia and the Commonwealth. I should like to know the persons who have made those visits. I admit that £62,000 is not a huge sum to be spent on sending parliamentary and trade representatives abroad. I pass to item 17, “ International Atomic Energy Agency - Contribution and representation, £63,400 “. Again I should like to know who represents the Commonwealth on this agency and where the head office is situated. Is it connected with United Nations? How many conferences were held last year? I should like the Minister to inform me and other honorable senators briefly what actually takes place at those conferences and what decisions have been made relative to atomic energy.
Will the Minister also give me information on item 20, which relates to Eastern Regional Organization of Public Administration - Contribution and representation. The proposed vote is only £1,050, hut nevertheless the taxpayers have to provide that amount and they are entitled to know why it is being provided. I want to know how the money is being spent. I pass finally to item 21, “Bureau of Permanent Court of Arbitration, £500”. This is a new item. The amount is only small but the Minister may be pleased to inform me what kind of a court this is. What are its functions, and has anybody been appointed to it?
– I should like to deal with several matters. Senator Brown quoted an extract from a statement by Denis Warner telling of the gaoling of the editor of a newspaper in Formosa. I think the honorable senator should have told the full story. The editor was really gaoled for engaging in subversive activities, and Denis Warner did not know the facts underlining the whole case. The editor of the newspaper concerned was a known and avowed Communist. For that reason he was arrested, and so was the proprietor of the newspaper. That is the reason why Ling was imprisoned by the Chiang Kai-shek Government. It was not because of the opposition of his newspaper to the political views of the Kuomintang. The imprisonment of this man is not evidence of a denial of democracy in Formosa as was suggested by Senator Brown.
The other point to which I should like to refer relates to visits to Communist countries. I do not object to such visits as long as those who go to these countries pay their own way. I object to the use of what I regard as blood money to finance such visits. Millions of innocent people within these Communist countries are still suffering, and to accept money from these regimes to pay for such visits is to accept blood money. I do not object so much if those who go pay their own way or have their expenses paid by their own government, but I object to such visits when the money is provided by these Communist regimes. It has been said that there must be tolerance. The worst idea that could be accepted is the idea of co-existence. The Communists are trying to implant in all the free nations of the world the idea that there must be this co-existence. If you are out in the bush and jump into your sleeping bag and find a tiger snake in it, you are not very keen then on co-existence with the tiger snake. Yet some honorable senators want co-existence with something that is a thousand times worse than a tiger snake - the Communist regime. There are some people in Australia who support these visits and support Communist regimes. They say “ Oh, well, everything is all right with them; let them exist in their own way “. lt is time that such people learned that communism is out to over-run the world. There cannot be co-existence with the Communists, and it is about time that the people understood that.
Senator Ridley seems to be the most gullible person who has been to red China. According to him, everything is 99.8 per cent., or 99.9 per cent. - and in some instances 100 per cent. - right in red China. The honorable senator then referred to Tibet and said that there had been revolutions there for thousands of years. Does he not realize that in Tibet there was one of the worst cases of genocide in history? Does he not realize that the complete destruction of a race is the ultimate objective of the Communist regime of Mao Tse-tung? That is happening in Tibet. The honorable senator said that there had been revolutions in Tibet for thousands of years. Of course there have been. He said also that a quarrel between two people - the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama - had caused the genocide. One of those officials was the religious leader and the other was the civil leader. There was no quarrel between them. When Tibet was invaded by the Communists, one stayed and cooperated with the Communist regime and the other escaped. These two men were prominent in religious and governmental circles respectively in Tibet.
After hearing Senator Ridley’s speech to-night, honorable senators can see why it is very, very dangerous to allow such people to visit Communist countries. We should permit visits only by people who will express on their return an unbiased opinion. If the expenses of people who visit Communist China are defrayed by that country, then the visitors are accepting the blood money of millions of innocent victims of the Communist regime. As we know, many Chinese have died in the cause of freedom. Are we helping those who remain by saying that there is no hope for the oppressed people in the future, that they will be placed in the straightjacket of communism, that they must go into communes and where their children will be taken from them and brought up by the State? Family life will be destroyed in China. The Communists know that they must destroy family life if they are to succeed.
– But the honorable senator says he does not believe what is said by people who have been there.
– We have more information than you have. Mr. Chairman, I say that such utterances kill any hope of freedom that these people have. The only way that communism can be destroyed is from within. The only hope is for uprisings in the Communist countries. If we recognize these countries, that glimmer of hope will be extinguished and in the long run we will come under the Communist heel.
.-I should like the Minister for Customs and Excise (Senator Henty) to inform me of the reason for the high cost of maintaining our Consulate-General in Geneva. It is estimated that the cost of the relevant salaries and allowances in this financial year will be £27,200. This compares with £17,400 in relation to the External Affairs office in London, and £23,300 for our ConsulateGeneral in New York.
– I have not yet got the answers to some of the questions that have been raised by honorable senators, but I shall be pleased to supply them to-morrow. I should like to reply to the point that was raised by Senator Scott concerning the South Pacific Commission. I am advised that the commission meets each year at the head-quairters in New Caledonia, where the secretariat is located under the direction of the Secretary-General, the present holder of the office being a New Zealander. Every year two commissioners representing each of the six member governments - the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia - give directions for the working of the commission to advance the economic and social welfare of the people of the Pacific within the territories in the Pacific area of the member governments.
The CHAIRMAN (Senator the Hon. A. D. Reid). - Order! In conformity with the sessional order relating to the adjournment of the Senate, I formally put the question -
That the Chairman do now leave the chair and report to the Senate.
Question resolved in the affirmative. (The Chairman having reported accordingly)
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMuIlin). - Order! In conformity with the sessional order relating tothe adjournment of the Senate, I formally put the question -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
– I rise to make a brief reference to the debate in the Senate on 20th October last, when I made certain remarks on the Appropriation Bill, in relation to the programmes of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. In the course ofmy remarks I stated that I considered that, so far as the gold-fields of Western Australia were concerned, far too high a proportion of those programmes was devoted to racing information. In fact, I went so far as to say that all other programmes ceased when racing information was to be given, and that the programmes were subordinated to the giving of racing information and racing results. Later in the debate, Senator Tangney joined issue with me, and I now wish to refer to her comments. I do not very often take honorable senators, particularly lady senators, to task for what they have said, and I do so now with a good deal of trepidation. Nevertheless, I feel that I should make some reference to Senator Tangney’s remarks.
Unfortunately, the honorable senator did not listen to what I said on that occasion. She misconstrued what I said. In answer to my remarks, the honorable senator stated -
The A.B.C., in addition to broadcasting the results of racing events, covers other sports such as football, including Australian Rules, which is the chief form of football played in Western Australia, cricket, tennis and swimming. Senator Vincent would be the very first person to object if next Saturday the A.B.C. did not give a full coverage of the inter-school sports.
She continued -
I cannot understand the attitude of Senator Vincent, as one who comes from the gold-fields area, in criticizing the A.B.C. for its sports coverage on Saturdays. It provides a wellbalanced programme, with an alternative programme on the second national station.
It is on those remarks that I join issue with the honorable senator, because they do not happen to be true. I did not say those things.
Let us take the statement that the A.B.C. provides an alternative programme on the second national station. The A.B.C. does not provide on the gold-fields an alternative programme. There is only one programme. Senator Tangney went on to refer to a very fine list of items that had been broadcast on the alternative programme, including several which she called cultural items. She said that that was high-class fare. I do not deny that, but I point out that that programme is not available on the goldfields. I repeat that there is only one programme available on the gold-fields, and that is the racing programme. There is no alternative programme.
The other matter on which I join issue with the honorable senator is her statement that the A.B.C. provides a well-balanced programme. I suggest that the programme is completely unbalanced, and I shall give just one example of its lack of balance. On the Saturday of the inter-school sports to which Senator Tangney referred, the A.B.C. covered the sports when there was no racing information to be broadcast. I think the whole of Western Australia is interested in inter-school athletics, the finest and cleanest of all sports. At the conclusion of the sports, when His Excellency the Governor was about to take the dais and announce the winner of the sports and pre sent the shield to the captain of the winning school, at that very moment the A.B.C. had the impertinence to cut His Excellency off the air and broadcast an announcement about a race meeting. That act was typical of the attitude of the A.B.C. when it comes to broadcasting sports on Saturdays in Western Australia, particularly on the goldfields.
It seems that everything must be subordinated to the interests of the starting-price bookmaker, because it is he who wants to hear racing information immediately. He is the man most interested in point of time in the broadcasting of racing results. He is the man who insists on even our State Governor being shut off the air when he is presenting prizes at a sports meeting. The starting-price bookmaker is the man who is considered, together with the hangers-on and the people who resort to the starting-price betting shops. They are the people who are being catered for by the A.B.C. when it cuts short a speech by the Governor to give racing information. If that is a well-balanced programme, I am: astounded.
I do not think that Senator Tangney really comprehended the tenor of my argument. I was not discussing sports meetings generally, or the relaying of information about sports programmes generally. My objection to the attitude of the A.B.C. in this connexion is that it subordinates everything to the broadcasting of racing information, and I suggest that that is not what the majority of listeners to A.B.C. broadcasts desire. I think it is the wish of the minority, consisting of punters who do not visit racecourses and the starting-price bookmakers, who are obviously very important persons in the eyes of the A.B.C.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 11.8 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 9 November 1960, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1960/19601109_senate_23_s18/>.