House of Representatives
13 August 1959

23rd Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. John McLeay) took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.

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Mr. L. R. JOHNSON presented a petition from certain citizens of Australia praying that the House will give immediate consideration to the matter of increasing pensions to at least 50 per cent, of the basic wage.

Petition received and read.

Mr. OPPERMAN presented a petition in similar terms from certain citizens of Australia.

Petition received.

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Mr. L. R. JOHNSON presented a petition from certain citizens of Australia, praying that the House will -

  1. Give immediate consideration to the matter of increasing the rate of age, invalid and widows’ pensions to at least 50 per cent, of the basic wage;
  2. Amend the National Health Act to make the pensioner medical service available to all pensioners irrespective of means; and
  3. Provide increased pharmaceutical benefits for pensioners.

Petition received and read.

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– I direct a question to the Prime Minister. Is it a fact that, while on his recent tour of the world, the Prime Minister discussed with Her Majesty the Queen the appointment of a successor to His Excellency, Sir William Slim? Is it a fact also, as reported, that the present United Kingdom High Commissioner to Australia, Lord Carrington, is favoured for the appointment? Is the delay in making the announcement of this appointment due solely to the fact that certain ambitious members of the Cabinet, at the instigation of the “ Sydney Morning Herald “, are pressing the Prime Minister to submit himself for appointment as Governor-General?

Prime Minister · KOOYONG, VICTORIA · LP

Mr. Speaker, as to the first part of the question, the answer is: Yes; I had discussions on the matter. As to the second part of the question, no appointment has yet been either made or agreed upon, so all these interesting speculations go down the wind. Sir, the honorable member may accept my personal assurance that I will not, either now or hereafter, be the Governor-General of Australia.

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Courts Martial


– My question is directed to the Minister for Air. I ask the Minister whether all persons found guilty by Royal Australian Air Force court martial are advised that they have the right of appeal to an independent tribunal. Recently, a flying officer successfully appealed against a court martial verdict, the appeal tribunal ruling that many points of English law had been overlooked in the deliberations of the court. Therefore, I ask the Minister whether he will explain the constitution of a court martial in the R.A.A.F. and the legal qualifications required of its members.

Minister for Air · EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– The honorable member’s first question was whether members of the R.A.A.F. who are tried by court martial are made aware of their rights of appeal. They are. When the CourtsMartial Appeals Act was proclaimed and the Appeals Tribunal set up some two years ago, general orders on its operations and the rights of persons tried before a court martial were promulgated. It is the practice, when the decision of a court martial is confirmed, for the confirming authority to inform the person charged of the decision, and at the same time inform him of his right of appeal.

The honorable member next asked me what was the constitution of an Air Force court martial. It is composed of three officers when an airman is being tried, and five or seven officers when an officer is being tried. The officers of the court must have at least four years seniority in commissioned rank. The court is assisted by a judge advocate who is a trained lawyer.

The judge advocate is there to advise on law and procedure, and not to take a part in the decisions of the court on the innocence or guilt of the person charged.

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– Will the Minister for Immigration ensure that there will be in future no unnecessary delay in advising successful applicants in the United Kingdom when approval has been granted for them to proceed to Australia under the assisted passage scheme? Will the Minister consider adopting a more sympathetic approach to the problems that will arise when one member of a family is rejected on what frequently appear to be frivolous medical grounds?

Minister for Immigration · ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP

– As to the first part of the honorable member’s question, I can assure him that we attempt to inform successful applicants as soon as possible that they can proceed here. The Department of Immigration is constantly trying to minimize delays because we realize how irritating they can be, and how injurious they can be also in the long run to the immigration scheme. I would like to assure the honorable gentleman that this is a consideration which is constantly uppermost in the minds of my officers.

So far as the second part of his question is concerned, I do not think I can agree that applicants, in individual instances, as the honorable gentleman put it, are rejected by Australian doctors overseas on grounds that could be termed frivolous. When I was abroad recently I investigated these matters very carefully, and I found that intending settlers are most thoroughly checked and examined by Australian doctors. Although in one or two cases, when the explanations were not given fully, the impression may be gained by some people that the reasons for rejection are not very substantial, I think the honorable gentleman will find, when he examines these cases fully, as I have found in many hundreds - and indeed by now, thousands - of cases that have come to my notice, that applicants have not been rejected on grounds that could be dismissed lightly and out of hand. I shall keep in mind what the honorable gentleman has said, but I do not think he has any real grounds for anxiety on the last mentioned point.

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– I ask the PostmasterGeneral: Has the Australian Broadcasting Control Board completed its further inquiries into the suggested banning of foreign language broadcasts? What action is it proposed to take as a result of these investigations?

Postmaster-General · DAWSON, QUEENSLAND · CP

– The present position regarding the inquiry by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board into the use of foreign languages in broadcasts is this: It became evident over a period, as I think I have said in the House before and in discussions with the honorable member for Perth, that the use of foreign languages in commercial broadcasting was being extended beyond the point laid down by the board. I should point out that the Australian Broadcasting Control Board had conferences as far back as 1952 with officers of the Department of Immigration and the Commonwealth Office of Education, to see how far it was desirable to go, for the purpose of assisting in the assimilation of New Australians, in the use of foreign languages in broadcasts. It was decided that it was desirable to allow this practice to a limited extent, but not for commercial purposes. It was decided, for instance, that advertising material should not be broadcast in a foreign language. It became evident that the practice was being extended beyond the point which the board considered advisable. As a consequence, the board has had discussions with the executive of the Australian Federation of Commercial Broadcasting Stations within the last few months. This is a part of the investigation to which the honorable member has referred. My latest advice is that the executive of the federation has asked the board to hold its hand and take no further action in the matter until the federation has had a chance to submit further proposals to the board, designed for the better working of the board’s provisions. The board has agreed to do this, and at the moment it is still awaiting the final recommendations of the federation, which it will consider. I inform the House, however, that the board itself will make no alteration to the procedure agreed upon, following its investigation and the federation’s report, without conferring with the Department of Immigration and the Commonwealth Office of Education.

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– Has the Minister for Labour and National Service received an invitation from the Deputy Premier of Queensland, or the organization of which he is a member, to take part in the discussions of this body concerning unemployment in north Queensland, with particular reference to unemployment caused by automation and lack of seasonal work? If he has not, will he give favorable consideration to accepting an invitation from this organization in the belief that he can greatly assist to remedy this very grave problem in northern Queensland?

Minister for Labour and National Service · LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– So far as I am aware I have not received any invitation during the course of the last three weeks. An invitation may have been received prior to that date, and if so I will have answered it. Naturally, as soon as the invitation is received I will give it most careful attention and if I decide one way or the other I will let the honorable gentleman know first.

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– I direct a question to the Minister for Trade. The Export Development Council, drawing attention to the need for expansion of Australia’s export drive, recommended as a first step the enlargement of the Australian Government Trade Commissioner Service. I ask the Minister what action the Government has taken on that recommendation.

Minister for Trade · MURRAY, VICTORIA · CP

– It is true that the Export Development Council, which includes a number of very distinguished Australian commercial gentlemen and which sits under the chairmanship of Sir John Allison, has made most valuable recommendations regarding what can be done to stimulate Australian exports. Its primary suggestion is that the Trade Commissioner Service should be strengthened. The Government has considered this advice and, consistent with past policy, it intends during the next year to increase the number of trade commissioner posts overseas. During the next twelve months posts will be opened in Chicago, Ottawa, Nairobi and Accra. Certain other posts - New Delhi, Trinidad, and Kuala Lumpur - will be strengthened. An additional vote to enable this to be done has been provided in the Estimates that have been presented to the Parliament. As an example of the interest of Australians in the Trade Commissioner Service, an advertisement recently inserted in the newspapers inviting applications for appointment has already drawn about 500 applications, all from persons of very high calibre. I am sure that the Trade Commissioner Service is making a real contribution to Australia’s development through exports.

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– My question concerns war service homes, but I direct it to the Prime Minister rather than to the Minister concerned. I should like to know whether the Prime Minister has considered the statement of Mr. Yeo, president of the New South Wales branch of the Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia, made at the congress of the branch yesterday, that war service homes are one of the greatest investments for the Australian Government and that already in 40 years they have yielded a profit of £50,000,000. Should not the buyer, who is the customer under free enterprise, have a say in what advances should be given and how promptly advances should be made? In short, will the Prime Minister reply to the president’s request that £5,000,000 more be made available for war service homes and that the advance for a home should be raised from £2,750 to £3,500? Will he also see that delays in approving loans for war service homes - delays that are quite unnecessary because money can be found for other things - are entirely eliminated?


-Sir, this question is obviously one for the Minister in charge of war service homes, but so far as it is directed to me, I must say that I have not seen the statement made by Mr. Yeo, nor would I, at a quick hearing of the honorable member’s summary of the statement, think that it was quite on the mark. Still, I shall have it looked at.

Mr Haylen:

– You do not deny that war service homes have made a profit of £40,000,000?


– I deny practically everything in your statement.

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– I address a question to the Minister for Health relating to the recent statement by Sir Macfarlane Burnet that undoubtedly there is a place for live oral vaccine in the prevention of poliomyelitis. What is the latest Australian development in respect of the new Cox live oral polio vaccine? Is it expected that Australian medical authorities will soon have supplies of this vaccine?


– The Department of Health is watching closely the developments with oral live poliomyelitis vaccine. At present, we have in Australia an extremely effective injectable vaccine which is being widely used. It is not the intention of the department to change from that vaccine until all the facts concerning the use of oral vaccine are well established and we are satisfied that such a change would be to the advantage of every one concerned.

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– My question is addressed to the Minister for Labour and National Service. Has the Minister’s attention been directed to the fact that 41 Indian seamen and one Chinese seaman have left their ship, SS. “ Cedarbank “, which is moored at Port Kembla, because of alleged assaults by their British officers? Will the Minister have the matter investigated urgently, and will he confer with his colleague, the Minister for Immigration, in order to see what action can be taken to solve the problem of the seamen so affected?


– I have seen the report to which the honorable gentleman refers. I think that the walk-off occurred only yesterday, and, as yet, I have not been able to obtain a full report about it. I should be in a position to examine the facts to-day. I do not think that the matter concerns my colleague, the Minister for Immigration, but I hope that I shall be able to discuss it with my colleague, the Minister for Shipping and Transport, some time to-day.

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– I desire to ask the Postmaster-General a question. Is the Minister satisfied that the recent expenditure on station 4QN, at Brandon, north Queensland, in order to increase the power output and the range of the station has been fully justified?


– The preliminary reports that I have had about the extended coverage of broadcasts from station 4QN, Brandon, indicate that the expenditure involved in providing this new service for radio listeners in north Queensland has been completely justified. I may point out, as a matter of interest to the honorable member and, I believe, to all other honorable members, that the station is now operating on a power of 55 kilowatts compared with the 2 kilowatts previously available. The installation for the increased power output cost about £250,000, and the work was undertaken because it was realized that the radio reception in northern and western Queensland from the old station, particularly in the day-time, was not good. The reports that I have just received indicate that daylight reception up the Queensland coast beyond Cairns, down the coast to Mackay, and westward beyond Charters Towers to Pentland and down to Clermont, has been materially improved and that the service is now very good. I find, too, that even in some parts of southern Queensland a very good signal is now obtained in the day-time. At night, of course, reception is ever so much better. I believe, therefore, that the expenditure of approximately £250,000 has been well justified, because it has resulted in the improvement of reception in areas of Queensland where the service was not good previously.

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– My question is addressed to the Postmaster-General. Has the Australian delegation left for Geneva to attend the world conference of the International Telecommunications Union?Is there on the agenda of that conference a proposal that amateur radio frequency bands be considerably reduced? Was the Australian delegation briefed by the Government to oppose any reduction in the amateur frequency channels as being detrimental to the great work that radio amateurs are doing?


– This subject was canvassed in discussions and debate in this House during the last sessional period, and I have had representations on it from a number of members of this House, in particular the honorable member for Paterson, and also from members of another place. The position is as was outlined in the previous lengthy debate, and I suggest that I cannot be expected now to go through the whole matter again in answering a question. The committee handling this matter on behalf of the Government has made one report to the Government. A further report will be presented to the Government when the delegation returns and before any action is taken.

A representative of the Wireless Institute of Australia has taken part in such of the discussions as in any way affected amateurs and, as I pointed out previously, the position is that the Australian delegation proposes that the use of certain bands which had been shared by fixed services, mobile services and amateurs should be rationalized as between those three services. The committee has received from all the nations that will attend the conference the recommendations that will be made, and the delegation is going across to Geneva to do the best that it can for all the Australian interests that use the spectrum. I point out to the honorable member, as I pointed out previously, that the Government must attend to the needs of all the services which have been developed in recent years and which require the use of a frequency. Any final determination by the conference will be reported to the Government and will be discussed further before implementation.

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– I direct my question to the Minister for Immigration. I ask this question because it has been stated that the percentage of migrants who become naturalized is relatively low. This may be due to a lack of knowledge or thought on their part, and I ask the Minister whether he has considered initiating a further active campaign to encourage more of our new settlers to become Australian citizens.


– The subject raised by the honorable member for Indi is one which the Government considers to be of great importance. I do not think that the honorable gentleman is right in forming the impression that we are not very much alive to its importance or that we have been lax in what we have been trying to do to induce new Australian settlers to take on Australian citizenship. The widest publicity is given to the advantages of naturalization, both in the departmental monthly publication “ The Good Neighbour”, which is distributed in all States, and also, thanks to the co-operation of the editors, in all the major metropolitan and principal country newspapers throughout Australia by featuring naturalization ceremonies and the like. Moreover, we have abolished fees for naturalization and the necessity for a person intending to seek Australian citizenship to advertise the fact in the press.

In addition, a letter over my signature is sent to every settler in this country at the time that he becomes qualified, pointing out the rights and advantages of naturalization. We constantly use the device of language cards in as many languages as we have amongst our new settlers. Quite recently, my department has instituted what we call a field force of experienced departmental officers, who make tours through country centres in all States contacting employers, local government authorities and representative organizations such as Apex and Rotary, and pointing out to them the necessity for telling their employees and those with whom they are in touch of the great advantages to be derived from naturalization. The honorable gentleman must also realize the enormously valuable work that the Good Neighbour Council is doing in every part of Australia in this respect.

I assure my honorable friend that we are very much alive on this matter, and that at the moment the Department of Immigration is devising new posters and pamphlets on this very point. They will have a very wide distribution.

Later in this session 1 intend to introduce a bill which, among other things, will simplify naturalization requirements in one or two respects. The Commonwealth Immigration Advisory Council will be asked, at its next meeting, to consider possible ways in which the procedure for naturalization can be simplified. Sir, I believe that, as a result of these measures, a stimulus will be provided for our new Australians to become naturalized and consequently the present disparity between the number of those who are naturalized and those who are eligible for naturalization will, within the next year or so, be still further reduced.

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– In view of the statement made by the Attorney-General to a conference of Queensland Liberals a month or two ago that he did not expect any major alterations to be made to the Constitution in the next ten years, I ask the Prime Minister, as one who holds some responsibility in this Parliament, to state whether the Attorney-General’s opinion is a personal one only, or whether it reflects in any way the attitude of the Government on constitutional reform.


– I did not hear the Attorney-General’s statement, but we all make a few reflective remarks which are not of a highly official kind, based on our experience about these matters. Perhaps my colleague had looked back over the results of previous referendum votes to amend the Constitution and had drawn his own conclusions from that perusal.

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– I ask the Minister for External Affairs: In view of the success of the Colombo Plan in bringing students to Australia and the very real benefits which have accrued not only to Colombo Plan countries in Asia, but also to Australia, would it be possible to extend that scheme to other Asian countries not embraced in the Colombo Plan? If it is not possible to extend the scholarship scheme to these Asian countries, or if there has been any extension of it, would it be possible for Australia to accommodate even more students from neighbouring Asian countries than she does at the moment?


– I quite appreciate what is at the back of the honorable member’s mind in making this proposal. Over the last nine years we have directed Colombo Plan aid in its various forms to the countries of South and South-East Asia. But Australia has not, by any means, unlimited resources for these matters. One might say that we are on both sides of the fence. We are a capitalhungry country ourselves because of development, but at the same time we are doing our best, so far as our resources allow, to help the countries in Asia in our immediate vicinity. Speaking offhand, I would not believe that we could find ourselves able to expend the amount of money allocated to the Colombo Plan in countries other than those of South and South-East Asia without diminishing the amount or proportion of aid that we now give to what might be called traditional Colombo Plan recipient countries. As to scholarships and the like, that is possibly another matter. In fact, we give at this moment, and for the last several years have given, a certain number of scholarships to Asian countries that are not Colombo Plan countries. As to our ability in Australia to accept more Asian or non-Australian students in our universities and technical colleges, this is governed to a very large extent by the number of places available. We work in very closely with the Commonwealth Office of Education, which advises us of the number of places that can reasonably be expected to be available for other than Australians, and we keep quite closely within those limits. However, I accept and appreciate the thought that is behind the honorable gentleman’s question, and I will see what can be done in a direction that will not cause us embarrassment.

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– Is the Treasurer aware of the move by the Department of the Interior to transfer the Newcastle office of the Taxation Branch from the C.M.L. Building in Hunter-street to the Customs House in Watt-street, where the amenities are very poor and where the thousands of people who visit this office for information and assistance will have to climb 40-odd steps, as there is no lift in the Customs House, and the offices concerned are on the first floor? Whilst agreeing with the policy that rented offices should not be occupied -while Commonwealth offices are available, in this particular instance would it not be preferable to transfer one of the other Commonwealth departments that has less contact with the general public than thi9 one has?


– I am not personally aware of the proposed change of premises to which the honorable member refers, but I shall make some inquiries and give him as much information as I can on the matter.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for Territories. Is the Minister aware that the Director of Welfare in the Northern Territory recently refused permission for a white man to marry an aboriginal girl? Is this decision in keeping with the policy of assimilation? Does it mean that there is a ban on mixed marriages?

Minister for Territories · CURTIN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · LP

– The question is apparently based on a case which recently was heard in the police court at Katherine, and I think the published reports of it, being based on the ex parte statements of the defendant, have perhaps not truly represented the position. To be precise on the matter, what the Director of Welfare did was not to refuse permission to the man, who is a citizen and entitled to make his own decisions, but to withhold his consent to the marriage to an aboriginal woman for whom he has a legal guardianship, and in doing so I assume, he acted in the same way that any other legal guardian would do in considering the advantage and the interest of his ward. The information given to me is that the aboriginal woman concerned, whose European name, much more pronounceable than her aboriginal name, is Gladys, started with her tribal husband from Western Australia with a droving party. During the course of the journey with the droving party her tribal husband was obliged to leave the droving party, leaving his wife behind him. Arthur, the aboriginal husband by tribal custom-

Mr Haylen:

– What name?


– Arthur. Arthur made a complaint to the Director of Welfare. The Director of Welfare’s officers made an investigation and, as a result of their investigation, they laid a charge against the European concerned of cohabiting with a native woman, and he was brought into the police court on that charge. In answer to the charge he raised the defence that he wanted to marry the woman. The information that we have is that the woman has returned to her tribal husband, Arthur, and wants to stay with Arthur in the union. She wants to stay with her tribal husband and certainly does not want to marry this man with whom she had a temporary association. So I think honorable members will see that the way in which the case has been represented is a way which is favorable to the defendant but does not do justice to the knowledge which the Director of Welfare had when he refused his consent to the marriage of this woman to the defendant in the case.

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– I preface a question to the Postmaster-General by reminding him of recent correspondence that I have had with him over lots 9 and 10 at Wellingtonstreet, Sefton, on which the PostmasterGeneral’s Department had intended to construct a post office. Is it a fact that this site has been sold to private interests for the purpose of constructing an hotel?


– This is a matter on which I will have to apprise my mind. I shall do so immediately and let the honorable member have a further reply.


– I direct a question to the Postmaster-General in relation to the extension of the distance of local telephone calls. As the proposed extension of the distance of local calls will bring into that category most calls made by subscribers on rural automatic exchanges who are already having difficulty in securing lines to the parent exchange, does the department intend to increase the number of trunk lines to cover the extra demand?


– The problem referred to by the honorable member for Wimmera is one which the department realizes will develop as a result of the forward planning that I have just announced and which has been dealt with in the white paper. The department knows that when, as a result of the zoning system, many calls which are now trunkline calls become untimed local calls at the local call fee, there will be an increase in the use of telephones. The department realizes that, in order to deal with that situation, it will be required to supply extra trunk channels. This is a problem which will apply, not just to rural automatic exchanges but throughout the whole telephone system because there will be no differentiation in this new zoning plan between rural automatic exchanges and manually-operated exchanges. It is recognized that this problem will have universal application and attention will be given to it.


– Did the PostmasterGeneral receive representations on behalf of 6,500 blind people asking for the abolition of the £10 installation fee which is payable for a new telephone? The honorable gentleman is aware, of course, that the disability of blindness not only restricts capacity to enjoy life, but also reduces ability to earn money to pay for amenities such as telephones. Did the PostmasterGeneral consider the representations? Will he consider making some concession which will assist blind folk to obtain the help and enjoyment of a telephone service in their homes?


– From time to time, I have received from some organizations, and also from a number of members of this House and another place, representations on behalf of blind people, either for reduced rates for telephone charges, or for the abolition of the fee of £10. The latest representations which I remember came, first, some months ago from the honorable member for Mackellar and, recently, from a member on the other side of the House on behalf of an organization that desired to see me.

I pointed out that the matter had been thoroughly dealt with in previous correspondence and representations and that I knew of no new feature that would influence the decision already reached. The secretary of the organization concerned contacted me by telegram a couple of weeks ago stating that he had what was considered to be some new matter to place before me. I had told him that I would be prepared to see him again if he had any new matter. I have contacted the organization, asking for some indication of the nature of the new evidence on which I would base my decision as to when I would see its representatives.

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– I ask the Minister for External Affairs whether it is a fact that last year Australia was one of the few nations which failed to make any contribution to the newly set up United Nations special fund for under-developed countries. In view of the improvement in Australia’s financial position, will the Government be making at least a token contribution to this fund this year?


– It is not true that Australia was one of the few countries which failed to make any contribution to this fund. It was one of a considerable number of countries that did not make a contribution. Bearing in mind our population and resources, Australia now makes quite considerable contributions to a large number of activities and agencies sponsored by the United Nations. There is a limit to what Australia can provide in total aid to agencies and projects outside the shores of Australia, however worthy they may be. I believe that, taking the full list of our contributions to all worthy bodies, United Nations and otherwise, outside Australia, Australia’s record will stand up to a comparison with that of any other country. It is true, as the honorable gentleman said, that we did not find ourselves able to contribute to the fund that he mentioned, but that should be looked at against the background of the other funds, projects and agencies outside Australia to which we did and do contribute, and to which we will continue to contribute.

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– I ask the Prime Minister whether it is a fact that foreign investments in a number of important Australian industries constitute over 50 per cent., and in some up to 100 per cent., of the total share capital. Is it a fact that such foreign shareholdings mean, in effect, that decisions as to whether production should be expanded or restricted in such industries is made by people resident outside Australia? Does the Prime Minister agree that this represents a sacrifice of sovereignty by the Australian Government over matters which could affect our national welfare and, if so, what action does he propose to correct this very undesirable situation?


– Of course, there is no sacrifice of Australian sovereignty. Right through the history of Australia we have had many examples of enterprises financed from outside Australia and created by people, in the first place, outside Australia. Those enterprises, having become established in Australia, have expanded, in very many instances to the powerful advantage of the people of this country. To regard that kind of useful and expanding investment in this country as a derogation of sovereignty is, to my mind, completely absurd.

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Prime Minister · Kooyong · LP

– by leave - Although my statement will relate in particular to the matters that I looked into when I was abroad, there may be other aspects of these matters that honorable members would like to deal with. Therefore, I have asked for leave to make a statement on foreign affairs in the general sense.

It is no part of my intention to inflict upon the House a species of travel talk. Nor do I desire to make a comprehensive statement on current foreign affairs, some aspects of which, such as the events in Laos, are engaging our close and anxious attention. What I want to do as concisely as possible is to speak of those large problems with which I concerned myself during my overseas visit, of some of the leading personalities arid of my conversations and impressions.

In relation to matters now under discussion and disagreement between the Soviet Union and the Western Powers, I will offer some observations arising from talks in Washington, London, Bonn and Paris. I will say a little about the European Common Market and the “Little Free

Trade Area “. My talks at The Hague with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and at Zurich with the Dutch Foreign Minister deserve some mention in this House. Subsequently on my journey I had talks in Karachi and New Delhi of which I will say a little. I ended with a very useful and interesting meeting with the new government of Singapore.

Naturally, a great deal which is said in conversations conducted privately cannot be repeated. I will, therefore, largely confine myself to a statement of my own impressions, and occasionally views, in the hope that they may in a small way assist our joint consideration of matters which have a lively interest for Australia and Australians.

My visit to Washington was sadly interrupted by the death of Mr. John Foster Dulles. Of him and his work, all I need say in expressing my own opinion is that while it was always permissible and occasionally, I thought, proper to disagree with his view, it was never possible to have anything else but the most profound respect for his ability, his integrity and his courage.

Notwithstanding the intervention of these sad events, the President was good enough to give me a lengthy interview, the course of which demonstrated quite clearly that Mr. Eisenhower is in a state of health and vigour which one might not have expected two or three years ago. He has been for some time very reluctant to engage in summit talks without a preliminary determination of the agenda and some preliminary achievements which might serve as an earnest of goodwill. On this point, I felt in Washington itself that opinion was developing a growing sense of the urgency of consultation.

Nobody who knows Mr. Eisenhower will doubt his loftiness of outlook and his passionate devotion to the securing of peace. I think, therefore, that we were all, after my return to Australia, delighted to find that he had arranged an exchange of visits with Mr. Khrushchev and that he would also take the opportunity of personal consultation with. European leaders. He has made it clear that he is not negotiating on behalf of other people. One may accept this without forgetting that in so many international negotiations it is the first step that counts, and that the breaking of the ice as between individuals is the essential precursor to the breaking of ice between nations.

Mr. Dulles’s successor, Mr. Herter, flew in from Geneva with the other Foreign Secretaries on the morning of the Dulles funeral. He was good enough to give me an interview an hour after his arrival. I was particularly interested in this because, although I wa9 on close personal terms with Mr. Dulles, I had never previously met Mr. Herter. I did my best to encourage him in what I thought was his good work at Geneva, in constantly propounding with clarity and moderation the approach of the democracies to the settlement of the German question.

If I may say so without impertinence, Mr. Herter is a man of a singularly winning personality, behind which there is clearly a highly informed mind. We will, I believe, find much satisfaction in our future co-operation with him.

I had several long talks with VicePresident Nixon whose bold approach to international problems, prior to my visit, in Latin American and, subsequent to my visit, in the Soviet Union, commends itself to the Australian mind. It is quite clear that he is a great believer in going to the seat of the trouble and meeting other people freely and frankly. As I will point out later, this seems to me to be essential in the near future of the world.

I do not propose to take up time in this statement in relation to my discussions with the World Bank in respect of the Mount Isa railway project. That matter is still the subject of negotiation in Australia, and I would wish to avoid any public discussion about it.

In London, I had lengthy conversations of a quite informal kind with the Prime Minister and with the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations. I also attended, by invitation, a meeting of the Cabinet at No. 10 Downing Street, a meeting at which the possibilities of a summit meeting were discussed.

The fact that I attended this meeting and took part in its deliberations, and very shortly afterwards went to Bonn and Paris was, I gather, interpreted in some sections of the press as an indication that I was the chosen emissary of the United Kingdom Government. This was not true. I had arranged my appointments with Dr. Adenauer and General de Gaulle two of three weeks before, and in my meetings with them I confined myself to eliciting their views on various topics and offering them such views as I had myself. I subsequently put Mr. Macmillan in possession of my impressions.

It is quite true that on the major matter of a top-level conference, I was completely in agreement with Mr. Macmillan and had in fact said so publicly at the National Press Club in Washingon before I went to London. I think honorable members may take it as quite certain that Mr. Macmillan’s advocacy of a top-level meeting has the overwhelming support of both Parliament and public opinion in the United Kingdom. It has been criticised in some other countries as suggesting appeasement. This, of course, is not justified; it suggests nothing more than the simple fact that when all the formal procedures, despatches and diplomatic exchanges have failed to resolve important differences, common sense indicates that leaders of governments should talk directly to each other.

It is, I think, a source of great satisfaction to British people like ourselves that following upon Mr. Macmillan’s visit to Moscow, Great Britain should be recapturing some of the moral and intellectual leadership in world affairs which she is so fitted to exhibit. Anybody who considers the part played in these recent months by British leaders, and who adds to this some understanding of the remarkable economic recovery of Great Britain, will reject the moans about Great Britain now being a second or third-rate power for the sort of nonsense that they are. Great Birtain, after all, never was possessed of a dominance based on numbers. But her place among the great world powers is obvious and tremendously significant.

Honorable members will know that it is part of the Communist propaganda to represent the United States of America as the strong-hold of reaction and as the one great power opposed to communism. The Communists try to convert every issue into one of “ Soviet Union versus United States “. This is so false a picture - though, having regard to military and physical resources, so plausible a one - that it is essential that British leadership and initiative and prestige should continue.

In 1956, I paid a special official visit to Germany and had ample opportunity of getting to know Chancellor Adenauer. The result was that on this occasion we met as friends and were able to get down to our discussions without preliminaries. In the result, I had four or five hours with the Chancellor, in the course of which I was, of course, particularly concerned to elicit his views on current international problems. It is neither proper nor necessary for me to state his views on all the matters we had under consideration. But there are some things that can and should be said.

Dr. Adenauer has led his country with singular distinction and success. Under his general direction, West Germany has made a post-war recovery of the most spectacular kind. The German people are working very hard and very successfully to reconstruct and expand their industries, which have already become a very material factor in international trade. There is very naturally a strong desire to see Germany reunified. But at the same time, I did not get the impression anywhere in Europe that reunification is regarded as an immediate possibility.

I felt that the Chancellor’s chief anxiety was lest there should be such a recognition of the East German regime as would perpetuate a severance and tend to make ultimate reunification improbable. In particular, Dr. Adenauer exhibited some anxiety lest there should be some de facto recognition of the East German regime by the United Kingdom. I pointed out to him that if he had in mind the making of normal business arrangements relating to trade with East Germany, then the Government of West Germany seemed to me to be already involved in such arrangements on its own account. The German reply to this was that it is one thing to make, under protest, working arrangements with a separated portion of your own country but quite another matter for some foreign nation to do similar things. I offer no comment on that.

This led us to a closer analysis as to why there should be apprehensions in the

German mind. It very soon appeared that the Chancellor himself believes that public opinion and government opinion in Great Britain are strongly and even bitterly anti-German and anti-Adenauer. I did my best to combat this view, which in my belief is erroneously founded. It is-, I think, and as I said to the Chancellor, unfortunate that one or two largecirculation English newspapers have published intemperate observations on the German problem. But I ventured the opinion that they did not represent sensible opinion in Great Britain, the British people having no faculty for the perpetuation of hatreds but, on the other hand, having a considerable respect for what has been done by the Chancellor and his people since the end of the war.

Having found that the Chancellor had a very warm respect for Mr. Macmillan, I took the opportunity of urging that he should increase his personal contacts in order to clear up any points of difficulty or misapprehension which might arise.

Dr. Adenauer had considerable reservations about a summit conference which was not preceded by proper preparation and the selection of the topic or topics to be discussed. But I did quite clearly get the impression that he agreed that what has been called “ a Western summit “ should be held and that he would be happy to attend one. In this respect, recent developments are, we will all agree, most satisfactory. I refer particularly to the projected visits by the President of the United States of America.

Apart from the question of reunification, the two other matters then under consideration at Geneva were, first, the juridical basis of the partial occupation of Berlin by Western powers and, second, the possibility of some working arrangement in respect of Berlin which would represent a sort of moratorium for a period of years.

We both agreed that legal arguments, in the absence of any tribunal to decide the issues, should not be unduly pursued. I offered my own opinion that the best thing to do would be for each side to publish its views so that people around the world might consider them, and that they should then “ agree to disagree “ on that legal matter for the time being.

One other matter which I discussed with Dr. Adenauer was the developments in relation, to the European Common Market. I advanced the view - a view, I thought, widely held in Great Britain - that if the six nations of the Common Market found themselves side by side with the projected seven nations of the Little Free Trade Area, and nothing further happened, there would be an economic division within Europe of a mutually dangerous kind. Such a division would, I pointed out, be not only unhealthy from the point of view of the seven, but also from the point of view of the six, since so great a proportion of the trade of the six is conducted with the seven. I repeat that, because it is worth noting and realizing that a very great proportion of the trade of the six Powers in the European Common Market is conducted with the seven nations of the Little Free Trade Area. I therefore pointed out that it seemed to me to be important that the organization of the seven should be regarded as the constituting of a bridge across which negotiations with the six might be carried on.

Dr. Adenauer seemed to me to feel that in the course of time, Great Britain and other countries should be associated with the main original European arrangements. But he clearly thought that such discussions could not be hurried, since France was going through a programme of economic reconstruction and should be given some time to complete it. I should add at this point that Dr. Adenauer was disposed to think that the period would not be unduly protracted, but the following day in Paris, President de Gaulle, while accepting the need for association in principle, clearly had in mind a much longer period before negotiations could become fruitful.

In spite of what I believe to be the erroneous impressions entertained by Dr. Adenauer - honestly entertained, I agree, of course - about British policy, I am convinced that he is patriotically devoted to the maintenance of peace in Europe on a foundation of strong Western association, and that there are few difficulties which he raised with me in the course of our talks which could not be resolved by frank exchanges with other Western leaders.

In Bonn, as in Paris, I became greatly strengthened in my belief that a very great deal turned upon the attitude and approach of the President of the United States. It was, therefore, as I have already indicated, with particular pleasure that I read of the decision of President Eisenhower to establish direct personal contacts with Mr. Khrushchev, both in America and Russia. These exchanges have been referred to by President Eisenhower as an attempt to melt a little of the ice that has been accumulating in recent years.

It is, in fact, an outstanding phenomenon of recent times that personal contacts between leaders have come to be regarded as the exception rather than as the rule.

In the course of most of my talks, I kept emphasizing my own belief that the events of the last two or three years, ominous as some of them have been, have made it more and more important and indeed urgent that personal contacts should be developed. At an earlier date, as honorable members will recall, I shared the belief that preparatory work was an essential condition of a successful conference. There is still validity in that belief where the projected conference is to deal with specific and concrete matters. But in the last two years in particular, Communist propaganda has been concentrated upon what it calls “ a peace offensive “ and upon an attempt to create the impression that the Soviet Union- wants peace and is willing to discuss it with anybody at any time and that all the reluctance is on the side of the West, that is, on the side of the democracies. This is untrue in fact, but it must be demonstrated to be untrue before the tribunal of world opinion. Standing as they do for a peaceful settlement of Europe and the creation of a state of human affairs in which the threat of major war may be reduced, the democracies have nothing to lose and everything to gain by a constant willingness to engage in personal meetings and a constant willingness to expound their beliefs and proposals. I did, in fact, continue to offer the opinion, both publicly and privately, in the United States, in Great Britain and on the Continent, that even an unsuccessful conference at Geneva - unsuccessful in that it was not producing any concrete results - had great value in the contest for the minds of men. I constantly emphasized - and I would think on behalf of and with the support of honorable members - that even though the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union might continue to reject the proposals put to him, the very fact that those proposals were made and maintained and explained to the world, should have a considerable effect upon what we refer to as the “ uncommitted nations “; particularly those of Asia whose attitude was of vital significance to Australia and who were themselves constantly feeling the weight and pressure of Communist propaganda.

Mr. Macmillan’s visit to Moscow, though I have no doubt it was the subject of some criticism or reservations both in Europe and in the United States, was in my opinion a real stroke of statesmanship. It did a great deal to encourage the idea that there is no salvation for the world in the perpetuation of frozen relationships or of inveterate hostilities. This is not to say that we of the democracies weaken in our rejection of communism as something utterly alien to our traditions, our institutions of selfgovernment or our conceptions of human dignity. But it does mean that we believe that we cannot impose our ideas upon other nations any more than they can or should impose theirs upon us. We must, in brief, all learn to live in the same world without war. Many people like myself - like most honorable members - have frequently criticized the Soviet doctrine of peaceful coexistence, by pointing out that having regard to some tragic world events in recent years, it appeared to be a doctrine which permitted aggression on one side and rejected it on the other. But, if as a result of personal contacts and patient negotiation, the state of affairs can be brought about in which coexistence connotes complete mutual nonaggression and rights of self-determination in countries with old or new claims to nationhood, then such a new doctrine of coexistence can and will be cheerfully accepted by all lovers of peace all over the world. Great as the apprehensions are which are naturally felt in Germany about the possibility of Communist aggression, they would, I think, be sensibly diminished if the leaders of the Soviet Union decided upon a course of true realism in international relations preceded by genuine discussions and founded upon a recognition of the right of every nation to live its own life and to govern itself in its own fashion. Detailed discussions will need much preliminary work. The function of personal meetings at the summit is to make such things possible.

In Paris I had several hours with President de Gaulle, whom I had not seen since the war and whose own personal career since the war must have been marked by a profound sense of frustration until he was called to power two years ago.

President de Gaulle occupies, of course, under the new French Constitution, a position of immense power. He enjoys in his own right, and for eloquent historical reasons, a position of immense prestige. He clearly has a considerable sense of pride in what has happened, and in particular with the remarkable economic recovery of France. This recovery has, in fact, been so great that, whereas two years ago when I was abroad the dominant factor in the European Common Market was Germany, and France was regarded as something of a problem, France is to-day becoming one of the vital factors in the European economic settlement.

As the President himself enjoys good personal relations with Great Britain’s leaders, I would feel that the scope for cooperation at the top level is very considerable. I was particularly interested to learn both from President de Gaulle and from his Prime Minister, M. Debré, of their outlook on the Algerian problem. That they must sensibly put an end to the fighting is, of course, both natural and inevitable. But they are certainly not contemplating the imposing on Algeria of any ready-made constitutional structure. On the contrary, they feel, as I think most of us here would, that whatever form of self-government should be created in Algeria should, so to speak, grow out of the Algerian soil and exhibit in its own fashion local Algerian attitudes and desires. 1 share the belief that ultimate forms of government should never be imposed from without, but should, starting at the ground level and in the simplest forms of local administration, be encouraged to grow into something which is indigenous and not exotic.

A system of government which is longestablished and well understood in an old democracy is not necessarily appropriate, either initially or ultimately, to a country with new-found independence. This truth is frequently forgotten.

At The Hague I was interested to meet the new Prime Minister, Mr. de Quay, and his colleagues. It was of importance from an Australian point of view to discover whether the change of government in the Netherlands involved a change in their policy in relation to West New Guinea. I was informed that there was no change.

On my part, I was content to repeat that the statement of Australian policy set forward by me with great care in the Australian Parliament on 24th February, 1959, after the valuable visit of Dr. Subandrio, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, remained unaltered.

These two positions were reaffirmed when I had a lengthy discussion with Mr. Luns, the Netherlands Foreign Minister, at Zurich. In both The Hague and Zurich, I found considerable importance attached to the development of administrative contacts between the Dutch and the Australian sections of New Guinea.

We have, as honorable members know, already by our public declaration of 6th November, 1957, initiated such contacts. As each of the two powers concerned - the Netherlands and Australia - has as its expressed objective the developing of the native population to the ultimate point of self-government, there seemed to me to be considerable advantage from the point of view of the native population in frequent comparing of notes and collating of experience between the two administrations; and I said so. Indeed, I am sure that the process is one which can be profitably expanded.

I arrived in Karachi just as the mon.soonal rains were about to begin. These rains later developed some ruinous floods, with consequences which excite the sympathy of all of us.

Pakistan has, as honorable members know, sustained a number of fairly quick changes in the administration since the lamentable death of that great man, Liaquat Ali Khan. The new President, General Mohammad Ayub Khan, in substance took over in 1958 from the then existing administration and at present governs very largely in right of his own authority. There is inevitably a somewhat military flavour about the administration, since several of bis ministers are military officers. The President himself regards this as a purely temporary state of affairs. He told me,, and I think with great frankness and sincerity, that he hoped to proceed to the stage of popular elections within a couple of years and that the administration could then become purely civic. In the meantime, he and his colleagues are behaving with great vigour in the face of some enormous problems.

We, in Australia, do not always realize that upon the partition of old India into India and Pakistan, no fewer than 18,000,000 refugees passed between the two countries, most of them in a state of absolute poverty. There are still large settlements of such refugees to be observed in or near the great cities, many of their population existing in a state of indescribable squalor. Housing and re-settlement have therefore become major problems to be tackled with vigour and concentration.

Apart from these matters there has been, of course, for many years, conflict between Pakistan and India in respect of Kashmir, and very great and unresolved differences of opinion about the waters of the Indus, the head-waters of which are in India but the ultimate flow of which is literally vital to the rural economy and the national existence of West Pakistan. On this matter, just before I went away, a statesmanlike achievement was made by the President of the World Bank, Mr. Eugene Black, who, largely through his own efforts but with the complete backing of his directors, has negotiated a settlement of this problem which will involve substantial financial contributions from other nations including Australia, contributions which we are very willing to make. A settlement of this matter will, I believe, do much to relieve the tension between the two countries.

When I point out to honorable members that in both India and Pakistan - and, in a real degree, because of their own differences - substantially more than 50 per cent, of the Budget is devoted to military preparations, it will be seen how essential it is, if these two countries are to devote an adequate volume of their resources to economic and social development, that so great a point of difference should be removed. I found General Ayub, and later Mr. Nehru in New Delhi, pleased with the projected settlement and warmly appreciative of its high significance.

In the course of three days at New Delhi, I had a number of long and interesting conversations with Mr. Nehru. He carries vast responsibilities which his high prestige causes to fall to a large extent on his own shoulders. He was naturally concerned about recent events in Tibet and in the Province of Kerala.

Mr. Nehru was good enough to convey to me in an intimate way some of his own views about recent developments in continental China. It is not my function to repeat them here, but I found them of considerable assistance in discussing our own policies with my colleagues in the Cabinet. Sir, I conveyed to Mr. Nehru once more an invitation to visit Australia at some time convenient to him. He pointed out some of the difficulties of dates and seasons and I undertook to communicate with him a little later.

Finally, in Singapore I had very good meetings with the members of the newlyelected government. The new Chief Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, is a young man, highly educated, and the average age of his Cabinet is under 38. Mr. Lee himself is a man of great intellectual capacity. He is a socialist, but I would accept his statements that he is opposed to communism and that his policies and actions are designed to cope with it.

My own perusal of the election pamphlets of Mr. Lee’s party did not justify some of the more extravagant statements that have appeared about the new government. The fact is that these ministers have been elected by a proper democratic process and are, therefore, entitled to our complete friendship and co-operation. They have immense problems - on a small island, a large population which increases by 60,000 a year; an uncomfortable measure of unemployment running at about 6 per cent.; an inability to expand resources in so small a place except by industrial activity which would require the confidence of outside investors. It is clear that there is a strong desire to become associated with the Federation of Malaya, an association which, in the view of the Singapore ministers, would tend to relieve some of the pressures upon their own population and resources.

While, in any place like this, one expects to find some of those attitudes of mind which derive from a lengthy opposition to the old colonialism, I did not find the Singapore ministers in any way lacking in realism or a desire for friendship. Sir, in particular, I was most happy to find that the coming to Australia of students and their subsequent return had been a remarkable success and had done much to create a better understanding of the Australian character and outlook.

I came back to Australia, in the terms of the remark by counsel in the High Court of Australia once, much better informed, if not wiser. On the whole, I have some real optimism about the future. Therefore I lay on the table the following paper: -

Foreign Affairs - Visit abroad of Prime Minister - Ministerial Statement - and move -

That the paper be printed.

Suspension of Standing Orders

Motion (by Mr. Townley) - by leave - agreed to -

That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the right honorable the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) speaking for a period not exceeding 40 minutes.

Leader of the Opposition · Hunter

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that we all have listened with intense interest to the statement made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies). If I may use the terms of his own expression, I feel that he has come back to Australia not only better informed but also wiser. I think that his approach to the question of summit talks is positive. It is helpful, and I think it is frank. I contrast what has been said by the right honorable gentleman to-day with what has been said over the last four and one-half years in this country while the Australian Labour Party has been advocating summit talks of the very kind now about to be held. I do not want to elaborate on that. One could go back to past occasions; but times change, and I feel very happy and relieved that the Prime Minister of this country has expressed his views on the question as it is to-day in a way which should convey to all the peoples of the world some hope of an enduring settlement.

I should like to read to the House one Article from the Charter of the United

Nations, by which we and all its members are bound. The principle applies almost universally. It applies, for instance, to the present situation in Laos, where there is obviously a dispute - I am not dealing now with the fighting - between Laos and North Viet Nam. Honorable members will have noticed the reserve with which that subject has been treated by the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey), who actually said that the United Nations might become involved in it. But the very purpose of the United Nations is to become involved in disputes of this kind at an early stage in order to prevent them from developing further! As I have said, the principle stated in this Article in the Charter applies to the situation in Laos. It applies also to the great dispute which evidences the existence of what we call, quite correctly, the cold war between Russia, on the one hand, and the Western powers, on the other - a cold war which has gone on for so many years. Article 33 of the United Nations Charter states -

The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.

The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary call upon the parties to settle thendispute by such means.

Laos has been mentioned by the Prime Minister and has been raised in questions asked in this House. It is an illustration of how the situation in Asia could worsen very rapidly if it is not settled. I am willing to accept the statement of the Minister for External Affairs that the Government is interested in the matter, but I want to see something done.

I mention Laos by way of introduction to the bigger question, which is the question of the meetings that are now to take place between Mr. Khrushchev of Russia, President Eisenhower of the United States of America and other leaders of the world, such as the Prime Minister of Great Britain. In the words of our Prime Minister, a little of the ice accumulated over recent years - I thought it was a good deal of ice - seems to be melting. Personal contacts have been almost abandoned in recent years, as the Prime Minister indicated in one part of his statement. There is a case for summit talks and for a joint attempt to end the cold war. There is a case for trying to end the disputes not only over Berlin and Europe on the one hand but in Asia as well. The Prime Minister said -

We must, in brief, all learn to live in the same world without war.

He criticized the Soviet policy, as he was quite entitled to do, and there is much justice in the criticism. He then summed up by saying -

If, as a result of personal contacts and patient negotiation, the state of affairs can be brought about in which co-existence connotes complete mutual non-aggression and rights of selfdetermination in countries with old or new claims to nationhood, then such a new doctrine of coexistence can and will be cheerfully accepted by all lovers of peace all over the world.

That is really satisfactory and all lovers of peace should be glad to find this attitude announced on behalf of Australia by the most authoritative leader in Australia. I da not think it necessary to hark back to past statements. When the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr. Macmillan, dealt with this matter at the parliamentary luncheon with which he was honoured, I made a public appeal to him not to allow the move for talks at the summit to be defeated by mere failure to agree upon a prior agenda. That has happened in Geneva. Agreeing upon an agenda, as every one knows, is often more difficult than reaching final agreement, and that has again proved to be true. Mr. Macmillan’s attitude then, both publicly and privately, accorded with the view submitted by the Australian Labour Party. I agree with the tribute paid to him, although it is only fair to say that the British Labour Party, under the leadership of Mr. Gaitskell, has been advocating summit talks for a very long period.

The Minister for External Affairs has given me an advance copy of what he wishes to say, and no doubt will say later. He will be answered by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell). The Minister for External Affairs will refer to the recognition of Communist China. I was very pleased to see in the draft supplied to me by the right honorable gentleman that he intends to say -

It is not a slamming of the door for all time. The world does not stand still.

That is a generous admission - the world does not stand still. The truth of the matter is that thesituation in Europe must have a reaction on Asia. Although the Prime Minister favours summit talksin relation toBerlinandother matters, such talks might exclude the problems of Asia, including the tiny problems of Laos. Ibelieve that, with energy and goodwill, a nation suchas Australia could take the initiative in respectof Laos. It has no interest to servethereandnooneinthat area couldthink that Australia would be tryingto gain some advantage.I should like to see the Minister for External Affairs endeavourto do that.

I must mention other matters that arise from the Prime Minister’s statement. He paidatributetoMr.Dulles, who was a greatworkerfor the United Nations , and a great loverof peace, and to the President of theUnited States President Eisenhower wasatowerofstrength to Australia during thewar, long beforehe became the Supreme Commander in the crisis towards the end of the war. He planned and, to a large extentin the early stageswhenGeneral MacArthur was here, he organized thedefenceofthe south and south-west Pacific. He did anenormousamount ofwork with hisfriend, Walter Bedell Smith, who later was associated with himinthefight in Europe.I like thetone of whatthe Presidenthas said;it marks a new spirit. One cannothavea cold war with another nation and yet speak to itsleaders.Therightof speakingshould be regarded as a matterof course and as simple as ringing upon the telephone.Mostofushaveseenontelevisionthe interview with Mr. Nixon and Mr. Khrushchev. They had that interview quitepublicly and it was one of the most friendly interviews that I have ever seen, although Mr. Khrushchev was a little more excited than Mr. Nixon. However, every one was pleased to see that someof the ice wasthawing and that theleaders of the various nations were approaching the world’sproblems in anew spirit.

I make the point, however, that Australia must follow up its part in world affairs. I suggested to the Minister forExternal Affairssomemonthsago thatthere mustbe somemethod of following up Australia’s activities and interests at the levelof summit conferences.I know that Australiawould not be a member of thesupreme body, but it is associatedwith othercountries in the British Commonwealth, particularly with the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister paid a tribute to Mr. Nehru today. It is not often that a tribute is paid to the Prime Minister of India by members ofthe Government side of this House, although there are some exceptions. Mr. Nehru is one of the great conciliators of the world. He has proved that inwhat he has done forhis country, and itisdifficultto imagine a truly representativeworld conference, even with a restricted membership, thatdoesnot includehim.Sucha conferenceshould also include a leading representatixefrom Australia.Ihave made thepoint andI neednotrepeatit. Berlin is important .A solution maynot be achieved immediately butit iscertainthatitcanbe achieved.The people of these countries donot want war. War means danger, death and the destruction of their country, especially if it becomes a nuclear war. The war of today could easily be or become a nuclear war, threatening the wholephysical structure of theearth itself.

Mr. Speaker, those are matters of great importance. There is a note in the Prime Minister’s statement of a personal character which we cannot debate but which may lead to further satisfactory developments.

ThePrime Minister visited Pakistan also. Pakistan has come into existence as a separatenation as aresult ofthe generous policy of the British Commonwealth. : Ithas received complete freedomof nationhood. But one of the sadthings, and aset-backtothe objectives of theBritishCommonwealth and oftheUnited Nations, isthat a democracysoestablished . becomesweakened by the substitution ofwhat is called “ guided democracy “, which is a form ofgovernmenttending towardsdictatorship .One cannot look at thesituation frankly without pointing that out. Burmahas passed away from the democratic field. I am not now speaking of the nationswhich are, on the whole, with the West in the cold war. I do not refer to nations thatare with or against the West,buttothose nations like Pakistan,Burma and Thailandwhich all rank along withthe western nations, broadly speaking, against Russia.Inthesecountries is found the same trend. Itis present in Indonesia, a country with which we wish and hope to be friendly and have always adopted a friendly attitude towards. But in that country there is a situation which tends towards dictatorship. I know that the business of these nations is to provide for the welfare of their people, but there are clauses in the Charter of the United Nations which make democratic government the basis of United Nations actions.

I wish to add a word about two countries mentioned by the Prime Minister. One is Indonesia and the other is Singapore. I liked the reference of the Prime Minister to Singapore and the new government there. I wish to quote from a statement issued by the British Labour Party and with which the Australian Labour Party has expressed agreement. Concerning the British Labour Party’s attitude towards Singapore, the secretary, Mr. Morgan Phillips, wrote -

Our aim is to help Singapore pursue policies which will enable it to join the Federation of Malaya at some future date, and we would welcome any attempt by the Malayan Government to admit Singapore into the Federation. For this reason, the new government in Singapore should be helped to maintain democratic institutions while at the same time given assistance in tackling its unemployment problem. In view of Singapore’s recent history, leaders like Lee Kuan Yew should be encouraged to carry out socialist programmes while organizing their party along democratic lines.

The Australian Labour Party exchanged messages of a precisely similar character with the new government of Singapore. The Prime Minister has been there and his approach is essentially the same.

I now wish to add a word about Indonesia and New Guinea because I am sure the statement repeated by the Prime Minister to-day concerning Indonesia and Dutch New Guinea does not represent the policy of the Australian Labour Party. I think it must require revision. I do not think that the future of the native peoples of New Guinea should be determined by the consent of Holland to the wishes of Indonesia. I say that without any feeling against the Indonesians at all. I remind the House that the Labour Government of Australia did its utmost to help them when they put their case for self-government before the United Nations. I would expect, as a matter of simple gratitude, that Indonesia should recognize what Australia did to help it towards self-government. Now Indonesia is moving into an area peculiarly linked with Australian fortunes, not only in connexion with defence, as was very apparent in the great struggle of World War II. for New Guinea, but also in relation to our paramount duty to support native development and the ultimate achievement of native self-government in that country. One would think they would stand up and say, “ We think the Australian Government is best fitted to do this; let it do it”. I do not want to pursue the topic further but I do not want the impression to go abroad that we agree with the formula which Dr. Subandrio brought here. I do not think it is right and I do not think the people of Australia agree with it.

The last matter to which the Prime Minister referred was summit conferences. All our hopes are on this, yet we know that if the conferences are not successful our hopes will still rest on this means of negotiation. If the summit conference is a failure or not completely successful we will not abandon the idea of future summit conferences but pursue it. I think that is the lesson to be learned from international affairs. There are many illustrations of the value of negotiation, perhaps best illustrated by the genius of the British Commonwealth. One of the best, perhaps, is Cyprus. The situation there, eighteen months ago, appeared to be completely insoluble. Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom were involved. There was a bitter struggle between the young soldiers of Great Britain and the young men of Cyprus and there seemed to be no solution. Yet, by adopting what I might call “ summit talks approach “ the problem was settled.

Mr Calwell:

– It should have been settled at the beginning.


– It could have been settled on the first day. I brought up the matter in this House and asked the Government to intervene but the Minister for External Affairs felt that that should not be done. I appreciate his approach, but when a dangerous situation exists I do not think that Australia should appear to be uninterested simply because the trouble area is a long distance away. After all, we owe a great debt to the people of Cyprus for their war effort in the Mediterranean.

I shall conclude by saying that I am very happy to have heard the re-statement of the position to-day by the Prime Minister. I hope that in future this Government will never depart from the principles he stated and that the Minister for External Affairs will be equally active in applying that doctrine even to places so apparently unimportant as Laos. The lives of the people of Laos or North Viet Nam are just as precious to their loved ones as they are to people in any part of the world. That is the principle to apply. I thank the Prime Minister for his important statement.

Minister for External Affairs

Mr. Deputy Speaker, we have listened to a most interesting account by the right honorable the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) of the remarkable series of contacts he made with world leaders in his recent visit overseas. We have listened also, with interest, to the calm and uncritical remarks of the right honorable the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) on the Prime Minister’s speech and on other matters that are related to the maintenance of world peace.

I, Sir, wish to take this opportunity of speaking to honorable members on a matter a little removed from the content of the Prime Minister’s statement and the remarks of the right honorable the Leader of the Opposition but, nevertheless, one which I think is of high importance in the world scene. I wish to make as objective and unemotional an appraisal as I can of the relationship between Australia and Communist China. What I intend to say is not designed to exacerbate feelings in Australia or elsewhere but is an effort to clarify a situation which has been concerning an appreciable number of people in this Parliament and in the press of Australia rather increasingly in recent times. I think the time has come when I should make an appraisal of the situation on behalf of the Government and I should like to do that, Sir, now.

The emergence of mainland China as a unified centrally controlled State in the process of industrialization and with a population of 650,000,000 people, increasing by something like 15,000,000 a year. would be bound, in any circumstances, to have significant international consequences. When it develops, as it has, as a totalitarian and regimented State with a Marxist view of world developments, its impact is likely to be formidable and far-reaching.

Communist China is making a large-scale effort to project itself on the world scene through the exercise of both its national power and its membership of the Communist bloc. Through its armed forces, its propaganda machinery and cultural links, trade, so-called “people’s diplomacy”, and in other ways, Communist China has increasing influence in regional and in world affairs.

The periphery of continental China is the scene of many unresolved disputes. There is a divided country and armed truce in Korea, an armed stalemate in the Formosa Strait, a divided country in Viet Nam, the armed suppression in Tibet, and unresolved frontiers with other countries. In addition, other Asian countries which are not contiguous with continental China are conscious that a threat could develop to their security and their independence.

There are some people who argue, with obvious conviction, that Australia should take steps to recognize the Peking administration - which describes itself as the Chinese People’s Government - as the Government of China, irrespective of what others may do. They believe it is the proper course for Australia to take, on formal legal grounds, notwithstanding what any one else may do. They say it will contribute to international stability. Beyond this, more specific advantages to Australia are sometimes claimed. It is argued that all the normal rules for diplomatic recognition are satisfied - that is, that the government is established in Peking and that it is in a position to exercise sovereignty and to carry out its international obligations. That is, of course, broadly true. It is contended that, if the Australian Government accepts the fact of the existence of the Chinese Communist regime as, of course, we must do, then logically it should take steps towards diplomatic recognition.

There are several things to say about this line of reasoning. The first is that moral and humanitarian considerations cannot easily be passed over. They have great, weight- and they influence our national attitudes. Then, again, it: is- at: least, open, to question whether the Communists accept, the international obligations of the Government of China. Their ownstatements cast doubt on their willingness’ to assume all the obligations and responsibilities undertaken by the Government of the- Republic of’ China* before 1’949.

Finally, a regime’s capacity to govern is not” the sole, test for recognition by othergovernments. International practice certainly supports the view tha’, whilst capacity’ to govern is a primary requirement, recognition remains, in fact, within the national’ discretion, to be determined’ in the national interest.

In- point of fact; some 50 States other than’ Australia- have not recognized trieChinese Communist1 regime*. There- arc only 335 countries which- recognize- the” Peking1 Government’ as’ the Government” of Communist China’ - and’ this’ figure em:braces: all’ the1 Communist1 bloe countries1, including- some that we do- not regard as independent? States. The- States-1 which’ donot’ recognize- Peking include- the United-1 States- and’ other countries with’ particularinterests in the. South-East Asian and Pacific area. These include. Canada, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Viet Nam, Laos, Thailand’, Malaya and the Philippines.

For. various- reasons deriving from their national and’ international: interests; these countries have not so far- recognized. Peking: Some Asian countries, having large Chinese minorities- or insurgent Communist, movements, do- not. want, accredited Communist Chinese representatives and agencies on. their territories. In another case - that of, Japan* - the Chinese Communist pressure for recognition, is accompanied, by, a-, demand that Japan should abandon the present general aims and direction of that country’s foreign policies. As Japan-, is unwilling to yield to- these demands, Peking has. cut off all trade with Japan.-

The separate problems and attitudes of non-recognizing countries reflect the complex political character of this question of recognition. It is not to be: assumed that Australian policy on this matter can be treated as purely and solely a matter arising between Peking and Australia, and with no wider significance.

In itself,, recognition. merely indicates; a readiness on the- part-, oft the recognizing; government to enter into diplomatic relations with the- recognized State. Conditions have, been laid” down by. the Peking, regime for countries which,, having, recognized it, wish to negotiate for the establishment, of” diplomatic relations with iti - which, are two separate things. One of.’ Peking’s conditions is the breaking, off. of. diplomatic relations with the. Government, of. the Republic, of China- the Nationalist. Chinese Government in. Formosa.. This, requirement, by, the Peking regime hasbeen, in. force, since 1949,, and’ *it. has; beenfrequently and. authoritatively, and; recently reasserted. Compliance would require the Australian- Government- to terminate- the Nationalist. Chinese mission- in- Australia’.

Recognition, of, Peking, would, bring to. an, end our relationship with, the: Nationrails t.. Chinese Government and-,, amongst, other, things,, would, deprive: us. of. diplo-matte relations* with.that government; .which’ is-, responsible., for the population of 10,000,000 people on> Formosa:

There are also the problems which are raised1 by the fact” that: the Chinese Communist regime makes’ vehement claims to sovereignty over Formosa-.. The Communists say- it is- an- “ inalienable part- of China,” and;, in- their own, words, “no, plot to’ carve- up- Chinese: territory can - be-, tolerated “., This* is directly relevant, tce the argument for and: against, recognition:- and; is relevant to the: fact that some people hold-, that: Australia- should, recognize “ Mainland “ or: “ Continental “ China..

This means,, as. we believe, that, we- can not,,, in present, circumstances,, expect, to obtain Peking’s acceptance of diplomatic relations, by Our recognizing Peking as thegovernment of. a. China, which excluded. Formosa, , while continuing to support the. position, of the Chinese Nationalist, authorities in- Formosa.- Not should we suppose that, the Chinese- Nationalists, would accept diplomatic, relations- with a country, recognizing them other than as the Government of the Republic of China. The record is clear - in that we have to recognize that the solution of the problem of the so-called “ two Chinas “ is rejected by both the Communists and’ the government in Formosa.

It may be that some would argue that these obstacles could be avoided by Australia’s recognizing Peking and offering to enter into diplomatic relations with Peking as the lawful, government of China and Formosa. The consequences of such a policy deserve examination. Should Australia ignore the claim that the indigenous Formosan people, and the anti-Communist Chinese mainlanders who went to Formosa, are entitled to an alternative political system to Communism and to a voice in fashioning their own future? The question arises:. Should Australia acquiesce in Peking’s objective of eliminating the Nationalist Government on Formosa and its armed forces, or in the elimination of Formosa as a centre of non-Communist cultural and political influence? Are these implications to be accepted lightly or to be dismissed as of no account? Are they all accepted by the advocates of recognition of Peking?

Moreover, the United States is committed* by treaty obligations to defend Formosa. A consequence of recognition by Australia would be a fundamental breach in policy between Australia and the United States. Once having accepted the Chinese Communist claim to be the legitimate government of Formosa, Australia’s position could become immensely difficult, if not untenable, in the event that the United States, under the provisions of its security treaty with the Nationalist Chinese on Formosa, should have to take action militarily or in the United Nations, or perhaps both, in the defence of Formosa against armed attacks from the Communists. Such an attack is of course hypothetical. But in the face of repeated Communist declarations it cannot be dismissed as impossible.

The advocates of recognition of Peking claim to have logic on their side - that recognition flows logically from the fact that Communist China exists. But we must recognize that there are other facts. Communist China is a formidable military threat. The most important military counterpoise to Communist China is the United States. Australia and her allies want the United States’s presence in the Western Pacific region for their collective defence. The Chinese Communists clearly do not. The view of the Austraiian Government is that recognition by Australia at this time could be exploited by Peking in such ways as to affect adversely attitudes in Asian countries towards, and confidence in, United States policies and objectives. We believe that the American objective in the countries bordering China is to fortify and support the elements standing for independent policies with the knowledge that the United States will come to their aid if their independence is under threat. This simply amounts to the fact that recognition of Peking by Australia would clearly affect profoundly Australian-American relations.

It is sometimes argued that if we were to recognize the Chinese Communist regime we could then support its participation in the activities of the United Nations. But recognition of Peking, in itself, would not overcome the practical- problems relating to Chinese representation in the United Nations. There are governments which extend diplomatic recognition to the Communist Chinese regime, but which, conscious of the practical problems, nevertheless have not voted in favour of motions to admit Chinese Communist delegates to the United Nations.

It is not a question of admitting China to the United Nations. China, is a. foundation member of the United Nations and 3 permanent member of the Security Council.. The- question is - who is to represent China in the United Nations? The fact is that the United Nations General Assembly, each year since 1950 - for nine years - has’ had before it the question of the representation of China; that is, in effect, whether to admit the representatives of the Chinese Communist regime in Peking in place of the representatives of the Government of the Republic of China in Formosa which would, mean expelling the latter from the proceedings of the United Nations. By a substantial majority each year the General Assembly has decided not to alter the status quo. The Chinese Communists have made it clear, by declaration and by practice, that they will not sit in any international gathering, with representatives of the Chinese Nationalist Government.

A review of all the facts that I have endeavoured to bring together leads us to the view that nothing should be done at the forthcoming session of the General Assembly of the United Nations to deprive the- Nationalist Chinese Government of use role that it has played since 1945 in discharging the duties and enjoying the rights prescribed by the Charter of the United Nations for the Republic of China.

Let me put the question: What benefits to Australia do the advocates of recognition of Peking offer? In some important respects recognition would not add anything to the contacts and relationships which already exist between Australia and mainland China. Not only Australia, but other countries as well, have entered into relationships without diplomatic recognition. For several years, the United States and Communist China have maintained a contact through the meetings of Ambassadors in Geneva and in Warsaw. Communist China has taken part in international negotiations where her military power required it - such as the Geneva Conference on Indo-China and on Korea.

As to material Australian interests, trade has developed between Australia and Communist China and we are a not insignificant exporter of goods to Communist China. There is no real evidence that our trading position would be appreciably, if at all, improved by an act of diplomatic recognition. Chinese Communist trade can be expected to fluctuate widely, as is customary with Communist systems, and to be dictated by a combination of economic and political motives. But there is nothing to suggest that, aside from the community of Communist countries, the Chinese Communists make a distinction between recognizing and non-recognizing countries in respect of trade.

Similarly, recognition would not appear likely to have any appreciable effect on conditions governing travel between Australia and mainland China. There is no reason to suppose that recognition would gain admission to China for more Australians. Peking will invite - or admit - the people she wants to admit. Various Chinese Communist groups have already visited Australia, each application being considered on its merits in the light of the purposes of the visit. This would continue to be the position. These exchanges take place on a practical basis. We do not propose to depart from this attitude.

Is it claimed that, by recognizing Communist China, Australia would acquire any influence or effect on Communist China’s international policies, or gain insight into Chinese Communist thinking and information? Up to the present time, the experience of diplomatic missions in Peking - some representing greater military or economic strength than Australia’s gives no real basis for holding such an expectation. [Extension of time granted.] Contact with the authorities in any but the most formal sense does not appear to exist at present in Peking. Travel restrictions are more severe in mainland China than in the Soviet Union. Indeed, there has been a tendency for the Chinese Communists so far to regard diplomatic missions in Peking as agencies to be exploited as pressure points upon the governments concerned. This was forcefully expressed by the Canadian Minister for External Affairs in the Canadian House of Commons on 26th February of this year when he said -

We do not see much point in extending recognition to Communist China if the result of such an act will be to put us in a position similar to that of other countries which have recognized China and then have been berated and extravagantly attacked because they have not always backed Communist China pursuant to what the Peking Government feels was an obligation arising out of recognition.

That is what my opposite member in Ottawa has said. What then are the advantages to Australia - to our security or to our standard of living or to our economic, scientific or spiritual progress as a nation - in our extending diplomatic recognition to the Peking authorities on Peking’s terms? The disadvantages have been stated. Considered as an issue between Australia and China, recognition is unlikely to improve, with advantage to Australia, the present state of our relations. Recognition would forfeit the good relations we enjoy with the Chinese Nationalist Government. We should have satisfactory diplomatic relations with neither - and even, possibly, no diplomatic relations at all. An act of recognition by Australia would not contribute towards removing the Communist threat of war over Formosa - nor would it solve the problem of divided Korea or divided Viet Nam - nor Indeed would it achieve anything towards frustrating the underground subversion of independent countries in Asia directed from Peking.

On the contrary, recognition by Australia could encourage the Chinese Communists to remain overbearing and inflexible in their international attitudes. Co-existence with States that recognize her means little where a Chinese Communist interest is to be served. Recognition by Australia would not bring about reasonableness, a desire to settle differences, or a renunciation of force that we all would earnestly wish for.

What I have tried to present is no agonizing reappraisal. It is an attempt to bring together in an objective way all the principal factors that bear on this situation that have been apparent to the Government for some considerable time, and which I believe have got to be brought together in an effort to assess this situation and to reach a logical conclusion which is in the interests of this country and which will stand up to critical examination. It is not a slamming of the door for all time. The world does not stand still.

The simple fact is that, for the greater part, the reasons for our Australian attitude have been created by the Peking Government itself, and not by us or others. The Australian Government does not propose to enter into speculations as to what the effect would be if 50 countries - the other 50 countries which do not recognize red China - were to recognize Peking. The question is whether Australia should do so. The Government regards recognition as not primarily a juridical question but as a question of Australia’s national interests in the broadest sense, in all the existing circumstances. These justify - indeed I believe they compel - the Government’s policy of continuing to recognize the Government of the Republic of China.

Sitting suspended from 12.44 to 2.15 p.m.


.- The two statements that we have heard to-day, one from the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and the other from the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey), are complementary to each other. The speech of the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt), in commenting upon the speech of the Prime Minister and anticipating the speech of the Minister for External Affairs, stated the Labour position quite clearly in regard to a number of important matters that concern the world to-day.

Both the Prime Minister and the Minister for External Affairs, in my view, missed the important facts of the world situation. They treated Asian and European problems as if they were matters of difficulty caused by some peculiar streaks of misbehaviour on the part of some people, or caused by something else that has somehow resulted in world tension. We are in trouble in the world to-day because of the failure of Western civilization to deal justly and honestly with Asian peoples in the past. That is the bedrock cause of all the trouble. It stems from hunger, poverty and ignorance.

Mr Curtin:

– Exploitation!


– Yes, and exploitation. This has been the case for many years. lt is true that the Western world has had a change of heart, and that Western imperialism and Western colonialism are no longer the potent factors that they were, but in the minds of the Asian people who were the victims of these forms of exploitation, all those of European origin or descent are held responsible. Hunger, poverty and ignorance followed the investment of vast amounts of Western capital. These investmen.s, of course, increased as the years went by, until ultimately revolutions occurred. Two world wars and a world depression were the combustibles that caused the revolution throughout the under-privileged world.

The position in, for instance, India today is still far from satisfactory. Of the 100,000,000 of India’s population engaged in agriculture, about 67,500,000, or 68 per cent., are landless. More than one-third of all agriculturalists are tenants or sharecroppers, and just under one-third are labourers. These landless labourers are unemployed for about half the year. Tenants pay 50 per cent, or 60 per cent, of their gross produce as rent to landlords. How can we expect peace in Asia while these conditions last? In many cases those who have succeeded the Western imperialists and colonialists have been native exploiters who have refused to allow democracy to function in their countries. So we see, in Burma, Pakistan and other places, the democratic processes being set aside, and dictatorships, thinly veiled or open, taking their place.

We of the Labour Party want to end the cold war. We think that the Prime Minister’s visit abroad did him some good. He told us that he did not intend to give us a travelogue, but that is precisely what he did -do. It was a very interesting one, and in some ways it was informative, but the most important parts of k were the revelations concerning his own changes of mind on a number of -matters. During the last federal election campaign we were held to ridicule as a party that could not be trusted with government. The Prime Minister had some very caustic comments to make about what would follow if the Labour Party took office. He said this -

Labour’s foreign policy might well destroy the bridges the Government had built up with our great friends overseas.

That was reported in the Melbourne “ Sun “ on 11th November last year. Since his return to Australia the Prime Minister has advocated the very ‘things that we were advocating then, and for which we were criticized by ‘him, by the Minister for External Affairs and by other people. We wanted a summit ‘conference. We believe that the right way to solve problems, as Vice-President Nixon lias said, is to get people talking together instead of trading insults. The Prime Minister may have been converted by the British “Prime Minister, or perhaps the peculiarly vulnerable position of Great Britain has made a deep impression on Mr. Macmillan’s mind, and this impression was conveyed to the Prime Minister. In any event, he did strive to bring about summit meetings. He had talks, as he told us in his travelogue, with Chancellor Adenauer, with General de Gaulle and with a number of other people, and I do not think he did any harm in those talks. I am prepared to believe that he tried to advocate a course of action which is completely in line with what the Labour Party has been advocating, and for which it was criticized as I have said, on 11th November last year.

The -statements that were made in criticism of our policy then and during the -remainder of the election campaign were designed, as were other statements by other Ministers, to prejudice the Australian people against the Labour Party and its candidates. I do not want to regale the House with all the things that were said at that time, but the Minister for External Affairs said this -

If Br. Evan became Prime Minister, Australia -would cease to set secret and -confidential infor mation from -our overseas friends, who could not be at .all .certain ‘that the information would not drift back to Moscow.

That was published in the morning press on 11th November last year, just before the federal election took place. A few months have passed and not only do the Prime Minister and the Minister for External Affairs and the members of the Government parties do a turn-about, but we find Russia being re-admitted to this country, and its embassy being re-established. What was previously described as a centre of espionage, a place containing all sorts of subversive elements, is now being reestablished in our midst with our permission and, indeed, with the Government’s blessing. 1 am sure that if the Prime Minister were to remain in office for another eighteen months ox two years he would adopt the Labour Party’s foreign policy in its entirety. He has already adopted .the most important part of our policy which he previously denounced and derided; that is, the need for and the urgency of holding summit talks between the leaders of the great powers.

I think the most significant part of the Prime Minister’s speech was “his reference to President Eisenhower, and his expression of satisfaction at the fact that President Eisenhower and Mr. Khrushchev will be meeting shortly. I do not think there would be any disagreement with the sentiments that he expressed in that regard. ‘We all hope .that success will follow their meeting. I know that there are one or two dissentients in the Government ranks. The honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen) does not agree with the holding of summit meetings but the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth), even eighteen months ago, anticipated his Prime Minister with a speech advocating summit meetings. The honorable member for Mackellar, strangely enough, is sometimes right by accident.

With regard to Dutch New Guinea the Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s stand. He said that if the Governments of the Netherlands and Indonesia come to agreement with regard to the future of Dutch New Guinea, Australia will stand aside. The Opposition disagrees with that attitude. We think that the people of Dutch New Guinea alone have the right to determine their future. I think that it is an un-Australian attitude for anybody to- suggest that the right of self-determination should not be enjoyed by the people of Dutch’ New Guinea as well as by other peoples: It is not possible at the present timer to: allow* the people of Dutch NewGuinea to make their own decision, and so the- Australian Labour Party advocates a policy that this Government will come round to at some future time. We on this side of the House say that there should’ be a tri-partite agreement between the Netherlands, Indonesia and’ Australia for the maintenance of peace in the areas of Indonesia and New Guinea. In other words, we want to preserve the status quo against the day when the people of Dutch New Guinea will be sufficiently advanced and educated to make their own. decision in common with all! the other peoples of New Guinea. The people of Dutch New Guinea belong to the Micronesian group and are much more closely related to the people of New Guinea than they are to the Indonesian Malays or people of other- countries. Strangely enough, the Prime Minister, in a television interview on 2nd August last, said- -

In due course, with all the efforts we can make in the meantime to promote their welfare, we may find ail independent nation of native New Guinea citizens conducting their’ own affairs’ and, I hope, living in teems of close, friendship, with- Australia..

We must all agree with that sentiment. Why does the Government adopt the false attitude - the attitude which, at the risk of offending against Standing Orders, I describe as hypocritical - of saying to the Dutch and the Indonesians that Australia does not care if the Indonesians walk into New Guinea as a new imperialist power, trampling on the rights of the native people?

A lot has been said by this Government from time to time which is quite contradictory, and I should like to direct attention to some of the more recent sentiments expressed by the Government regarding the recognition of Communist China. The Minister for External Affairs took great pains to prove, to his own satisfaction at least, that Communist China cannot be recognized by Australia. He told us of all the nations that have not recognizedred China, but significantly he did not say that the United Kingdom Government had recognized red China. He did not tell us that the United Kingdom Government has a charge d’affaires- in Peking: and at the same time has a consul hi Taipei*.

Mr Wight:

– It has not!


– The honorable member for Lilley may be on the Foreign Affairs Committee - the Foreign Affairs study circle - but I suggest that such affairs are foreign: to him. The British’ Government has maintained representation in both countries. If nationalist China were to say to us: “ You have no right to recognize mainland China “, we would have to say that it was none of their business who werecognized or when we decided to giverecognition. Similarly we have’ the right to (eft the Peking Government that it has no juridical control over Formosa, or Taiwan as they call it. The Australian Labour Party, in its 1957 declaration on foreign policy, made at the Brisbane conference of the party, stipulated that the Government of mainland China was the government that should be recognized.. The Labour Party believes in. the theory of two Chinas. This Government recognizes two Koreas. It recognizes, two areas in Viet Nam - north and south. It has recognized partition everywhere. As a matter of fact, the Minister for External: Affairs is very anxious to maintain the partition of Ireland. Yet he balks at the suggestion of partition of China!

There is a growing opinion among the people of the United States in favour of recognizing two Chinas. I recommend- that honorable members- opposite should read some of (he forward thinking of men like Dr. Arthur M. Schlesinger jim. and some other leading Democrats, because I have a fairly shrewd suspicion that after the I960 elections in the United States the Democrats wilt be back in power. Should that happen, and should the new United States government change its policy, this Government will change its policy also. This Government has never had an original policy with regard to China or anything else. If you read carefully what the Minister for External Affairs has said, you. will see that he is more concerned about how he- stands with the people who constitute the government of the United States than he is about anything else..

The Government speaks with three or four voices on the question of the- recognition of Communist China. The Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) was interviewed on the “ Meet the Press “ session on Channel HSV7 in Melbourne on 30th May this year. He said -

I think if Communist China remains the government - and 1 see no reason why it should not - then it will be recognized as the de facto government of the Chinese mainland.

The Prime Minister, having heard what his Minister for Trade had said, sought to recover the position somewhat for the benefit of the Minister for External Affairs, because, speaking over the British Broadcasting Commission in London on 27th June last, the right honorable gentleman said -

Australia has no intention in the visible future of recognizing Communist China. For Australia to recognize Communist China would be a very great encouragement to the extension of communism in Asia.

Later the Prime Minister said that the case for recognition of red China was almost overwhelming. The Minister for External Affairs says that can never happen, and there are people on the Government side, mostly the obscurantists, the back bench tribe in the foreign affairs study circle, who think that they know better than the statesmen of the world. That is not all that has happened with regard to Communist China but it is all that I have time to refer to.

The question of communism was raised by the Prime Minister quite recently as well as on the occasion of the last federal elections. He said then that if he had his way he would outlaw the Communist Party in Australia. However, while in London recently the Prime Minister was asked to comment on communism in Australia, and, as reported in the press of this country on 12th June this year, he said -

I would say there is no danger. They are a minority. They are very active and full of vigorous and evil intentions, but they are not a major factor.

In instancing the conflicting attitudes that the Government has on every issue, I have tried to show just how untrustworthy it is with respect to future foreign affairs policy.

Returning to what I have said about the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade and their views about the recognition of red China, I should like to remark that the Minister for External Affairs was not to be left out of the talking on this subject. [Extension of time granted.] I thank the House for its forbearance. The Minister for External Affairs said that Australian recognition of red China would grievously affect our relations with the United States of America and a number of friendly SouthEast Asian countries. That adds the necessary emphasis to what 1 have said previously. This Government has no original thoughts on foreign policy. On a previous occasion, I said that the Minister listens in to Whitehall on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and to Washington on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and, on Sunday, makes up Australia’s foreign policy for the coming week. That situation will continue as long as this Government lasts.

The Prime Minister, in a moment of unconscious humour, said that he had met Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the Chief Minister of Singapore, and that this gentleman was a very intelligent young man. He said, “ He is a socialist “. Then, quite gratuitously he added, “ But he is opposed to communism “. Every socialist is opposed to communism. If it were not for democratic socialism, communism would be sweeping the world to-day. What hope would Australian democracy have of stemming an onrush of communism if its sole defenders were the present occupants of the government benches in this Parliament? What could they do? What could anybody else who stands for monopoly capitalism do? What could be done by any of those people who, only a few years ago, had to accept as a fact a revolution in the minds and the hearts of the Asian people which they never wanted to see - a revolution which brought about the very great changes that we have seen? We, too, wish Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his government every success. But we are more closely allied to them spiritually than are those who try to make the best of a situation which they never wanted to be created and which they cannot now alter.

The Minister for External Affairs, earlier to-day, did nothing more than set up Aunt Sallies and knock them down. He postulated a number of questions, and then he said that the Australian Labour Party, or somebody else by inference, wanted to do something about Communist China. We have never said that we would hand over Formosa to the control of the Chinese Communists. And I repeat that. We think that we can negotiate an agreement, and China must come round to our view by negotiation. This Government once said that it was opposed to Russia. The wretched Petrov business of 1954, which occurred so fortuitously for this Government after the date of the election in that year had been announced, has been forgotten now by those who engineered it. As soon as a Russian envoy arrived in Australia to attend the conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East, at Broadbeach, Queensland, in March of this year, the Prime Minister sent a Royal Australian Air Force plane to bring him to Canberra. The right honorable gentleman welcomed him and was photographed patting him on the back. The Prime Minister said that they did not talk about the resumption of diplomatic relations, but when the Russian envoy went to Broadbeach, negotiations were successfully concluded and Russia was re-admitted, as it were, to the comity of nations in Canberra. Trade was the sole reason.

The point I am making is that the Government decided to re-establish diplomatic relations with Russia because the resumption of these relations meant that Russia would buy our wool. Immediately after Russia agreed to resume diplomatic relations with Australia, the price of wool rose by 20 per cent. The Minister for External Affairs said to-day that there is no reason to believe that red China will trade with us if we recognize her, because trade with Communist countries is unreliable. I suggest that if Communist China were prepared to buy our wool and other products in a big way she would be recognized by this Government very quickly and very easily. The question of recognition does not rest on any high principle where this Government is concerned. It is all a matter of trade. If members of the Australian Country Party see farmers’ incomes dwindling further and wool cheques going down, they will be among the most determined advocates for the recognition of Communist or mainland China.

Mr Erwin:

– That means reciprocal trade, too.


– Exactly. I see a convert already; and he is not a member of the Australian Country Party. This Government’s policy on Russia, China and everything else is not determined by any altruistic consideration. The United States of

America took seventeen years to recognize Russia, which she did not recognize until 1934. I believe that this Government ultimately will come round to the recognition of mainland China.

I conclude where I began: There will be no peace in the world, there will be no end to the cold war, unless the Australian Government and the governments of all the countries that have the wealth of the world give of their largesse and of the bounties of Providence to the under-privileged people of Asia and Africa. But what do we find? As soon as the United Stales attempts to dispose of its surplus primary products to the people of Asia, members of the Australian Country Party complain and seek an embargo on the sale or disposal of those products in the manner intended by the United States, presumably because, in some way or other, our economy would be disturbed. Members of the Australian Country Party would rather let the people of Asia starve. If the people of Asia continue to starve, the peace of the world will not be worth very much!


Mr. Speaker, I felt, first, that it was rather ironical, even if the assertion were correct - and it was not - that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) should claim that there was a conflict of opinion in the ranks of Government supporters. I think it is an expression of democracy that Government supporters can have differences of opinion on certain subjects and be permitted quite freely and without censure - without being put on the mat - to express those opinions. I sincerely hope that so long as I remain a supporter of this Government in the Parliament we shall be able to do that, as we have always been able to do it in the past.

I believe that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition was off the beam in many of the remarks that he made. First of all, he reiterated once more an old theme that we have heard in this House on so many occasions about the bad treatment that had been meted out to some of the people of the Asian countries. As I have said on a number of occasions - and I repeat it again now- nobody denies that there may be black pages in the history of what we called the British Empire, but there have been also periods and days of which we could- be very proud. In the United Nations, Mr. Krishna Menon, the Indian representative, and Dr. Ismail, the Malayan representative, both made statements declaring the debt that their countries owed to the British civil servants and the British people generally for the foundations of development that .had enabled them to go forward after they had been given their independence. Many Opposition members suggest that some Asian countries have been exploited by white people in recent years, but let us look at the development and progress of those countries and at the public services that have been inaugurated there. We have nothing in the sense of exploitation of which we :should be ashamed. Our contribution to the progress and development of these countries has been significant. Let us also be conscious of the fact that many .countries that have been given their independence to-day owe that independence to the foresight of, and assistance given to them by, our forebears.

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition said that the United Kingdom Government had recognized Peking, that it had a representative there and that it also had a representative to the Chinese Nationalist Government. That is not correct. The representative of the United Kingdom Government is the representative to the local Governor of Taiwan or Formosa, as a province of China. Any one who has had any association with the British consul there will appreciate the difficult position in which he, as the representative of a great power, is placed.

The Deputy Leader then spoke about the relationship of Australia to Dutch New Guinea and Indonesia. No one would deny that we have a vital interest in this area, or that any worsening of the situation there .must have an effect on this Commonwealth. The position is extremely difficult. I ask those who advocate that Australia should take action: What action can Australia take, other than to confer with both parties to the dispute and to bring a deal of influence to bear? If the Dutch decided in the future to hand their portion of New Guinea to Indonesia, are those who say we should not stand by and allow this to happen prepared to go the full distance and use armed force to ensure that it does not happend?

Mr Calwell:

– Would the honorable member say that that ought not to happen?


– No; I ask whether those who say we should take action are prepared in the ultimate to use armed force to prevent Dutch New Guinea being handed to Indonesia. It is easy to say that we should do certain things without being prepared to follow that course to its ultimate conclusion. The action of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) and the Government in keeping in close contact with all parties concerned, - bringing their influence to bear and pointing to the best course to follow, while at the same time working for the advancement of the native people in this area, is the wisest policy, and I know that the leaders of the Government will continue to follow it. lt is ironic to hear Opposition members say that the time is not yet ripe, for these people to be given independence. Everybody realises that But a good deal of criticism comes from Opposition members when Government supporters say that the time is not yet ripe to give certain countries their independence. No one in the United Kingdom Government or in this Government would deny independence to these people. It is a matter of timing. We must constantly keep in mind that to give people their independence too quickly could destroy the very thing for which we have been working for a number of years.

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition said that the Prime Minister has changed his mind on the question of a summit conference. If honorable members read the speeches of the Prime Minister, the Minister for External Affairs and other representatives of the Government, they will find that the Government has never opposed a summit meeting.

Mr Curtin:

– Oh!


– If members of the Opposition who say “ Oh “ as though my statement were not correct can read, I suggest that they read the speeches of the Prime Minister and the Minister for External Affairs. I repeat that the Prime Minister, the Minister for External Affairs and this Government have never opposed a summit meeting. What they have said is that a summit ‘meeting -without a possibility df success, understanding and appreciation would be of no value. Any one with an appreciation of the international situation would agree with that. It has been said that it would :be unwise to ‘hold a summit meeting before a meeting of Foreign Ministers. The Foreign Ministers’ ‘conference has been ‘held. Whatever success may have attended such a conference is ‘beside the point; the fact is ‘that the ‘Foreign Ministers’ -conference has ‘been held ‘and, therefore, one Of ‘the conditions laid down has been fulfilled. The way is now open for a summit conference.

I ‘feel ‘that here we should walk slowly. While it is a good thing, as every one will agree, ‘for President Eisenhower and Mr. Khrushchev .to get together and discuss certain matters relating to their countries in the world -situation, I do not think that any of us should become over-optimistic and feel that this one move will solve all the problems now confronting the world in the international sphere. We still need to j»ive our full attention to the problems. The speeches of the Prime .Minister and the Minister for External Affairs reveal two facts. One is that Australia is extremely fortunate at this .time to have two men of such -calibre representing it. The contributions made by -them -and by the Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) and other Ministers are -something of which -Australia -can -be proud. Our prestige overseas ‘has been enhanced. -

Although <bn -a number of occasions honorable -members have -urged that ‘summit conferences be held, criticism is still levelled at the expense of ministerial visits overseas. The inference is that these trips are merely jaunts by the Ministers concerned. I should think that the Minister for External Affairs has seen so many countries that trips overseas cannot afford any real pleasure to him and that only his sense of duty and responsibility makes ,him trawl abroad to represent Australia at these conferences. The cost should .not .be counted; the value of the presence of the Prime Minister, the Minister for -External Affairs and other Ministers at conferences -cannot be reckoned in pounds, shillings and pence.

The second point . arising from the Prime Minister’s statement ana the speech of ‘the

Minister for External Affairs is the complexity of ‘the international -situation. “No one situation in -the world today can :be regarded as an isolated incident. The rape cif Tibet by (Communist ‘China has an effect oh the total world ‘situation. “The position in Iraq, Iran and the United Arab Republic; the ‘division of -Berlin and <6f Germ’any itself, ‘the problem of Formasa and a’ll other ‘disputes -can no longer be regarded as ‘-isolated events. They ‘must be viewed as part df the total ‘World situation. 1 feel sometimes that that :is the -mistake ‘we make in our attitude -towards Russia ‘and ‘Communist China. We sometimes regard situations as individual and isolated ‘incidents instead of planning for them as .part of the total world situation. This is one aspect in respect of which -the Communists have been able to make progress against us in the field of propaganda and in furtherance of their desire to gain ultimate control of the whole world. .Admittedly lit ‘is easy for them because they are a dictatorship. -A dictatorship always has an advantage over a .democracy in certain .respects. In the past they have been making the running; therefore they know where they will strike next, whereas in certain cases, we -have had to wait to see where they would strike be’fore we could take action against them. I emphasize again that we must look at these happenings not as being isolated but as ingredients of the total overall international strategy. If, as a result, we can achieve a ‘greater degree df unity among the United States of America, the United Kingdom, ‘France and Germany than we have done in the past, then we will be better able to combat this danger which we are facing from Communist Russia at the moment.

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition said that the Minister for External Affairs listened to the United States of America on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and to the United Kingdom on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and then on Sunday put forward the policy of Australia. Speaking with a degree of experience I suggest that -any one who has had any contact with people overseas has a full appreciation of the -part that this country plays in international ‘affairs. The United States of America and the United Kingdom are the two major powers in the West, but Australia is linked with them in the fields of strategy and of economics, and it is only common sense that although we retain our complete independence and put forward our opinions as consistently and as definitely as we can - and as we have done in the past - we should, nevertheless, work with these two great powers instead of constantly opposing them. That does not mean that we must agree with everything they do, and if any one examines the records of Australia’s participation in international affairs, it will be seen that on many occasions Australia has followed and supported an individual line.

Mr Uren:

– Name one occasion.


– I remember two occasions in this House. On one the Government was accused of always being dragged at the tail of the United Kingdom and deserting the United States of America, whilst on the second it was accused of being dragged at the tail of the United States of America and deserting the United Kingdom. These are the sort of accusations which come from the Opposition, but they only illustrate how inconsistent its attitude is towards international affairs. Honorable members on this side of the House have become accustomed to that inconsistency.

Any one who studies the international situation soon realizes that matters of trade play an important part. The Minister for External Affairs answered, quite convincingly, the argument that Australia would get more trade with Communist China if we recognized that country. That contention has been disproved by those countries which have recognized Communist China. Only seven days ago a statement appeared in the newspapers from businessmen who had visited Communist China. They said it was impossible to trade with that country unless it was on the terms which Communist China laid down.

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition mentioned two other minor matters. He said that this capitalist-controlled Government did not desire to help other people. He said, further, that when the United States of America was prepared to give them some of its surplus products Australia immediately squealed. Surely, there is a realization that in the world situation the economy of our country depends upon trade. Surely, among the members of the Opposition there is an appreciation that those whom they profess - and I say “ profess “ advisedly - to support in this House are dependent also upon the trade of Australia with overseas countries. Therefore, the overall situation must be looked at in a realistic way, particularly with regard to international trade.

Let us look at the contribution which, Australia has made to international trade. Another speaker on the Government side commented on this the other night when dealing with a totally different subject. He pointed out that, too frequently, statements come from Opposition members decrying Australia’s contribution to world affairs. I direct their attention to Australia’s contribution to the refugee problem and also to what she has done in providing food and finance for backward countries. Australia has nothing to be ashamed of in the contribution it has made in these matters; it is equal to anything that has been made by any other country. Looked at on the basis of population, Australia is up with the leaders in the assistance it has given to various countries which are not so fortunately situated as we are.In view of these facts, statements by the Opposition that Australia has bled white the people of Asia and that it is not prepared to make a contribution to their development and progress are completely unjustified and should not be heard in this Parliament. Not only the members of the Government, but also the people of Australia generally can be oroud of Australia’s contributions to the international situation in recent years.


.-I am afraid that a speech such as the honorable member for Lyne (Mr. Lucock) has just delivered does not contribute much to the understanding of international affairs or to the elucidation of problems in the interests of the Australian community- In reply to his challenge as to whether members of the Opposition would be prepared to defend with arms the taking over of the Territory of New Guinea by Indonesia as a result of an agreement with the Netherlands Government.I ask him whether he would be prepared to surrender that territory. He makes noreply, but it is just as logical for me to ask the honorable member that question as it is for him to challenge the Opposition as he did. The honorable member went on to criticize the attitude of the Australian Labour Party towards the Government concerning its willingness to accept the views of the United Kingdom or of the United States of America in regard to international affairs, but he gave no concrete evidence in support of his criticism. It is quite an easy thing to make the kind of loose statement that the honorable member made this afternoon. His statement purported to be one of fact, but he failed to adduce any clear evidence to justify it.

The honorable member for Hume (Mr. Anderson) is interjecting, but he knows full well that the Labour Party has a consistent record of allegiance to the great Commonwealth of Nations, membership of which is part of our heritage. We offer no apology for our loyalty to the Commonwealth. If there are people who want to be identified with other causes and to hold other allegiances, that is their responsibility; but at least we make our view clear, and without equivocation.

We are indeed glad that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) gave us to-day a statement on the impressions that he gained during his recent trip abroad. We are also gratified to note that the views of the Prime Minister in regard to what should be this country’s attitude to foreign affairs have changed considerably. It must be very pleasing to the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) to see vindicated, by this change in the Prime Minister’s attitude to foreign affairs, the view that he has held over the years, and for the holding of which he has been so consistently, and even violently, criticized by honorable members on the Government side. They have now come to accept the policy enunciated by the Leader of the Opposition as a correct expression of what ought to be done to meet the world situation.

I can remember that as far back as ten years ago the Leader of the Opposition expressed the belief that a summit conference was an essential prerequisite to greater international understanding and improved international relations. Surely we must recognize the vision that was demonstrated in those days by the Leader of the Opposition, who has so earnestly and consistently advocated the meeting of the world’s leaders in council as a means of achieving world peace. In addition, the right honorable gentleman’s consistently expressed belief in the efficacy of the United Nations and the services it can render in attaining world peace must, I am sure, have convinced the people of this country that he is a great man with a great mind.

The Labour Party, with which I have the honour to be associated, more closely expresses the collective opinion of Australians on foreign policy than do the parties opposite us. However, the non-Labour parties have now come at least a little nearer to the view that the Labour Party has been expressing over the years. To-day, they see the wisdom of bringing the world’s leaders together in an effort to reconcile international differences and produce some positive world policy for achieving peace.

I suggest that any summit conference to discuss the vital question of world peace should include the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Hammarskjoeld, as a delegate with the responsibility to express the view of all those peoples and nations who would otherwise be unrepresented at the conference. Such a gathering, including a representative of the United Nations would, I am sure, have the approval of the whole world, and not only of the major nations directly represented. By this means the small and otherwise unrepresented nations would be given a voice in whatever decisions might be made on international relations. When the time comes for the holding of a summit conference some procedure such as I have suggested might well be considered.

One hightly controversial matter which engages our attention at the moment is the recognition or otherwise by Australia of countries with ideologies different from ours. Australia and other nations quite readily recognized certain Communist countries. Soviet Russia itself, the centre of world communism, has been recognized and has a place in the world’s councils. Yet mainland China, whose people were our allies against Japan in the last war, who resisted the onslaught of the Japanese for two years, and who greatly helped in the victory against Japan, at a time when this country was threatened with invasion, is denied recognition and the opportunity to trade with us. Russia stands for a political philosophy to which certain people in this House object, yet it is recognized. while another country,; which- was. an. actual factor in the: victory of the1 allied cause during: the war; and- whose people stood by us; in our most serious extremity during that war, is denied recognition. For its efforts in the war against Japan alone that country might well claim recognition.

I” hope that some thought will be given to that aspect by those concerned with framing our foreign policy, and that some effort will be made to reconcile the difference in approach that I have mentioned. In fact,. I wish that some Minister would” tell me why one Communist country is recognized by Australia’ while another’ is not. It seems to’ me to be woefully inconsistent and to disregard the procedures’ that might” be expected from1 a responsible government of a country such as Australia. I feel: that’ the people’ of this country are’ confused in mind about that circumstance and desire to have’ some- elaboration’ made’ of it to their satisfaction’. AIF that Australia may be able to” da in’ promoting goodwill and understanding should be done..

Therefore, I. think that our Australian Government should, be prepared! to? take’ the. initiative, with respect to- Laos - a trouble spot which has been prominent in our minds in recent days! The Australian Government should be. prepared) to bring to< the notice of the United. Nations this condition of affairs: which, as> has been< indicated! already, could become a very serious threat to world peace. As this area> is vital to our own security, I feel it is not beyond, the right el the Australian Government to sponsor a discussion of the dispute- in the United Nations- in order that a reconciliation may be effected.

Everything that will tend towards bringing peace, order and good, government to the world should be done by all peoples of goodwill. Members of the Opposition anA of the Australian Labour movement generally seek earnestly to secure understanding between the peoples of other, lands: in order that we shall all be able to live in the world together, without the constant threat, of wars or disturbances between peoples who have no real disagreement but who suffer because of the misguided actions of those who claim- to be their leaders.

I- hope, that the House will now be prepared to- acknowledge more readily- the obligation that we have as a nation that is recognized for its originality of thought and its objectiveness. Because independence of thought is a vital part of our own democracy, we should” exercise it with helpfulness to the problems of the’ world in which we live.


– There- are two matters, one of which was referred to by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and the other by the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey); which I- wish to speak about during my time’ in this- debate. First of all. I want to say that it must be a matter of pride to all Australians that the Prime Minister of this country can be receivedwith such honour and with such readiness in the capital’s- of the- most important nations of the world. Both he and the Minister for External’ Affairs have built up a reputation in other countries- Of which all Australians must be proud. The foreign policy which has been expounded by those two leaders must be a. good foreign policy.

I” said that there were two subjects on which’ 1’ wanted to touch: They concern activity on opposite sides of the world. One is the subject of the reunification’ of East and West Germany, to which the Prime Minister referred. Bound up with that’ is the question of Berlin. The other subject is the recognition of Communist China. They are both of supreme importance to us. We cannot escape involvement in the settlement of either question. Although affairs in1 Germany may seem a long way from Australia and, perhaps, affairs in China may seem a great deal closer; a satisfactory settlement of the affairs of Germany is’ important - in fact, essential- not only to the peace- of Europe but to the peace of the world and- Australia cannot avoid becoming involved- in any such’ settlement- and; of course. Australia cannot avoid becoming, involved, in whatever, future arrangements are made between Communist China and’ other nations- of- the world.

When the Prime Minister was speaking of Germany he used the word “ moratorium “. I think it is immensely important and extremely sensible that we should take up this idea. Time must be allowed in Europe for passions to cool and for hates, fears and suspicions to subside. Germany is not at problem whichcan beeasily and readily settled. I referto it as one problem because, in fact, the question of a Berlin settlement is more or less part of the questionof reunification of East and West Germany - at any rate, in the broad sense.

I am talking now chiefly about the reunificationof the two Germanys. The Soviet proposals demand; inr the broad, a settlement between the Governments of West Germany and East Germany. It is easyto see why the Soviet wishes to pursue asettlementontheselines. This would imply a recognition by the West and by West Germany of the status of East Germany. For the Communist states, it would get over the difficulty that the West Germans far outnumber the East Germans. It would do something to remove the fearsof the Russians that a reunified Germany would present a threat to Russian security. Itis quite obvious that the Russians, from their point of view, have solid reasons for using pressureto obtain a settlement by these moves.

It is equally obvious thatfor almost precisely opposite reasons, the West cannot agree to a settlement along thoselines. There are twomain reasons. One, of course, is that the Western attitude is that a reunification canonly be properly brought about by a vote of the German people, both West and East. It is true that the West Germans outnumber the EastGermans. It is equally true that this is the only real settlementin which the people of Germany, both East and West, can really expresstheir desires. But nobody imagines that, under a Communist system; a free vote- can be obtained in a Communist dominated state. So here we have almost incompatible factors in this situation.

As the Prime Minister pointed out, time is required. We need time for a demonstration of peaceful intentions and of peaceful methods of living; The longer this demonstration goes on, the greater will bethehope thatthese conditions will be perpetuated. If standards rise in Europe; if comfort and methods of living improve, if friendliness develops between, people who live in contiguity, armaments will probably fall away; questions which now appear insoluble may become more easy of solu tionand, by a process of attrition, it is likely that stateswillcome closer together. But time - perhaps considerable time - is required for all this.

In addition, firmness is required. The Western Powers must always be on the alert not to allow themselves - and that includes us - to be put into a position where they can be manoeuvred into a corner or committeetosome evil compromise. We mustnotgetintoa situationwhereourvitalinterestsare,infact, seriously compromised. So the Western Powersmustmaintainapolicy- towhich, ofcourse,weadhereinwhichneither bythreats,norbysubversion,norbyguile, cantheybemovedfromtheirpositionor committedtooneofgravedisadvantage. When theLeader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt)** was speaking, he said, that the peoples of the countries did not want war. Of course,theydonot want war; but the peoples of the Communist countries are unable, in the first place,to express their opinions about whattheydoordonot want in their own country, and they are quite incapable of transmitting their opinions freely to other countries. For all these reasons, time is required. The Prime Minister directed our attention to this matter earlier today. I come now to the second matter about whichI wish to say something. It is a question which has been debated by almost every speaker today - the recognition of Communist Ctiina.Ishall start by asking straight out: What is Opposition policy on this matter? AsIunderstandit from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell),** itisapolicy of recognition of Communist China within the shortest possible time. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -I did not saythat. I said that it is recognition of two Chinas. {: .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr DONALD CAMERON:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP -- Is there such a possibility? At any rate, itisrecognitionof Communist China. Mr.Calwell - As mainland China. {: .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr DONALD CAMERON:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP -- But it is recognition of Communist China. The Minister for External Affairs stated very clearly this morning, what the recognition of mainland China implies. PerhapsI could recall some of the points he made, The first of these was that it involved, quite plainly - as had been made clear by the mainland Chinese themselves - the abandonment of Formosa. So, I ask the Deputy Leader of the Opposition: Is it Opposition policy to abandon Formosa? {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- No. {: .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr DONALD CAMERON:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP -- We often hear members of the Opposition defend the United Nations. One of the purposes of the United Nations is to secure what I may call a fair go for small nations. As we all know, recognition of Communist China involves the abandonment of one of them. As the Minister for External Affaire pointed out. it will also involve a breach with the United States of America of a very grave nature. So. I ask again: Is it Opposition policy to have a breach with the United States? We require good relations with the U.S.A., their protection and presence in the West Pacific. We require the friendship of the United States in almost every activity of ours. Such an association is of immense importance to us and not only to us; it is of immense importance that Australia, in particular, and the Western world in general, should be unified with the U.S.A. in all major international activities. For this reason alone, itappears to me that recognition of mainland China is obviously impossible at the moment, as the Minister for External Affairs has pointed out. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- What will be your position if the attitude of the U.S.A. changes? {: .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr DONALD CAMERON:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP -- May I remind the honorable gentleman that the Minister for External Affairs concluded his speech by pointing out that the world does not stand still. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- A magnificent platitude! {: .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr DONALD CAMERON:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP -- It was not. The Minister was quite right. But there is another matter to which I have referred previously in this House, although one never hears honorable members opposite refer to it, and it is this: What would be the effect on Japan of our recognition of mainland China? The Minister for External Affairs spoke of the immense pressures to which Japan is being subjected by Communist China. I hope we are all seised of the importance of pre serving the independence of Japan in the Pacific. Whatever may have happened in the past, and whatever differences we have had with the Japanese empire and the Japanese people, surely it must be obvious that it is of paramount importance now thatthe Japanese nation should be able to grow economically and as a democracy. If we were now to withdraw, as it were, from such tenets as this by recognizing red China, we would be doing all we could to push Japan into communism; to destroy the rising hope of democracy in Japan and to remove from the counter-weights to Communist policy one of the great nations of the Pacific. So I ask the Deputy Leader of the Opposition: Is it Opposition policy to throw away all attempts to assist Japan? {: #subdebate-21-0-s7 .speaker-KID} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Luchetti:
MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES -- Order! The Minister for Health must direct his remarks to the Chair and not directly to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. {: .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr DONALD CAMERON:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP -- Well, **Sir, I** ask that question of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition through the Chair. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- The answer is, "No". {: .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr DONALD CAMERON:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP -- Are we to throw away everything we can do to assist Japan to grow to national democratic stature and friendship with Australia in the Pacific? Again, what effect would our recognition of Communist China have on other countries? Such action would involve virtual acceptance of the Communist solution of the Korean crisis. Is that Opposition policy? Not long ago, Australians were fighting and dying in Korea to prevent the implementation of that policy. Recognition of Communist China by us would involve virtual acceptance of the Communist solution of the division of Viet Nam. Is that Opposition policy? One can draw no other inference from what we have heard in this House to-day. I have heard it said - and it was said this morning, I think, by way of interjection - that if the United Kingdom recognized Communist China, why should not Australia do so as well? Of course, the position is that when the United Kingdom was considering recognition of mainland China it endeavoured to secure a position in which the United Kingdom Government at the same time would not withdraw recognition of the Chinese in Formosa. In fact, it took the Chinese Government four years to receive in Peking representatives of the United Kingdom whom the Chinese would style as other than negotiators. After four years, they agreed to confer the title of charge d'affaires on the so-called negotiators. The Chinese have not yet received a full United Kingdom mission in Peking, nor is there really full diplomatic relationship between the United Kingdom and mainland China now. I ask again: Is it Opposition policy to subject Australia to similar indignities? One can come to no other conclusion than that it is. Not only that; the attitude of mainland China has stiffened greatly since then, and it has become quite clear that recognition would mean that the Chinese would demand all those things that I have been putting as propositions, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** through you to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. I have asked him whether they are Opposition policy. If they are not, they have never been openly denied. It appears to me that the Minister for External Affairs put this point correctly when he spoke this morning. He made it perfectly plain that it is not the policy of this country to recognize mainland China, and for very good reasons. But I think he also made it plain that time is required. As he said, the world does not stand still, but a premature move, an action advocated, as I understand it to be advocated, by the Opposition, is completely at variance with Australian policy at the present time. Those are the two matters on which I wished to speak. They are the crux of the two speeches that we heard this morning. They are both matters of great importance to this country. They are both matters of which there is no immediate solution, and in respect of which premature attempts to hasten and to settle can do nothing but harm. {: #subdebate-21-0-s8 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS:
Yarra .- I would like to commence by answering in a few moments the questions that the Minister for Health **(Dr. Donald Cameron)** has taken nearly a quarter of an hour to ask. He asked: What is the policy of the Opposition with regard to recognition of Communist China? That was made very clear by the **Deputy** Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell).** Our policy involves the recognition of Communist China and the maintenance of relations with Formosa. The Minister went along very slowly to raise a number of Aunt Sallies, a number of straw men. He said that the policy I have just mentioned would result in the abandonment of Formosa. The answer is that it would not result in the abandonment of Formosa. His next proposition was that it would involve conflict with the United States of America. Of course, it would not involve conflict with the United States of America. The position taken up by the Minister would involve the complete loss of Australian independence with regard to these matters. We say that we should take a strong and independent line on issues on which we think we are right and on which we may differ from the United States of America. This would not necessarily involve any conflict. My experience of the Americans leads me to believe that they are quite ready to accept a different point of view, and that they do not appreciate a spineless attitude such as that adopted by this Government. The Minister then asked: What effect would it have on Japan? It would have no effect, and our relations with Japan would remain the same. We are particularly concerned about the development of democracy in Japan, and we would deplore the re-emergence of a pro-Zaibatsu policy. We do not want an anti-trade union policy to be followed in Japan such as is supported by this Government. The Minister then said that the Labour Party's policy involves the acceptance of Communist solutions of the situations in Korea and Viet Nam. Of course it does not involve the acceptance of Communist solutions of these problems. Lastly, what is the convincing proof that these arguments produced by the Minister for Health are merely Aunt Sallies? The convincing proof lies in the fact that the United Kingdom has already recognized Communist China. It has not abandoned Formosa and it is not in conflict with the United States of America. Its policy has not had any adverse effect on relations with Japan. It has not involved the United Kingdom in the acceptance of Communist solutions of the problems of Korea and Viet Nam. If these results have not flowed in the case of the United Kingdom, then neither would they flow in the case of Australia. This morning we heard a speech from the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies).** He began by saying that he was going to speak on foreign affairs. I suppose he meant to distinguish it from external affairs, which is a subject handled by his Minister. He omitted one very important point in his survey of the world; he did not tell us whether he had whispered in the ear of Princess Margaret. The matter of summit conferences has constituted a vital and contentious issue in international affairs for three years. The Government now supports such conferences. There is no question about that. The Prime Minister, not so long ago, said - >I believe that the democratic "leaders, from wherever they come, must be prepared to meet at any time and at any place with the leaders of the Communist world. We must demonstrate our minds, our views and our faith, if we are to be democrats. Somebody has said that if you have such a meeting and it fails, a great deal is lost. 1 do not agree with that. I believe a great dealis gained. There is no question of the support of this Government now for summit conferences, and in order to answer the honorable member for Lyne **(Mr. Lucock)** and those who say there has been no change of policy, I want to compare two statements. The first is the one I have just mentioned, by the Prime Minister, in which he said - >Somebody has said that if you have such a meeting and it fails, a great deal is lost. I do not agree with that. I believe a great deal is gained. However, on 5th December, 1957, the Minister for External Affairs said in this House, as reported at page 2915 of " Hansard "- >Another such failure would stratify positions still more firmly and might well bring nearer the possibility of conflict. So, the position of the Government in 1957 was that there should not be a summit conference, and that such a conference would make war much more likely. The Prime Minister to-day says that we must have these conferences, that even if they fail and continue to fail, they will do nothing but good. To-day we hear nothing about preliminary conditions, about the freeing of the countries of Europe that are enslaved, about the necessity for free elections throughout the whole of Germany. Wehearnone of these objections which havebeen raised time and time again by speakers forthe Government and Ministers in opposingsuggestions fromthis side of the House that summitconferences should : be held without such conditions, even if theyfail. Of 'course, the Government has vastly changed its position with regard tothis matter. The question we could seek to answer is this: Whyhasthe Government made this change? Does it consider that the Communists have changed? Has it abandoned thebasic proposition that was put by the Minister for 'External Affairs on 5th December, 1957? I refer to the Minister's statement at page 2916 of "Hansard ",whenhe said - >Thedemocratic world would be foolish in the extremetobelieve that weare dealing with otherthan an implacable enemy dedicated to our destruction. Do you still believe that? {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- Yes. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- Of course, you do; but your Minister does not, and neither does your Prime Minister, because if they believed that, then what would be the good of having conferences at every level? {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- Exactly! {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- The honorable member for Moreton, who says, " Exactly ", is that irresponsible man who, if war comes, will have to bear a considerable share of the blame for it, because he is prepared to resist and oppose every move to improve relations. When I denied, in 1957, that proposition of the Minister's which I have just quoted, the Minister for Immigration **(Mr. Downer),** who has just come into the chamber, said, in astonishment, "Don't you believe that?" and I said, "No, I do not believe that. That is not the position Now, the Prime Minister and the Minister for External Affairs have changed their view. Of course, they do not now accept the proposition that the Communist powers are our implacable enemies dedicated to our destruction. They now accept the proposition that it is possible to have conferences with these powers and to Teach agreements with them, and they accept the proposition that it is possible for these agreements to be kept. Of course it is, and it was always so. It was so in 1957 and in 1955. The Prime Minister and the Minister for External Affairs no longer follow the bitter, frustrated, negative policy that was supported by this Government in earlier times, and is still supported by some honorable members opposite, and will be supported by the speaker who will follow me in this debate. This is the main issue in the discussion to-day. If there has been some change in the Communists, that is not the only reason why the policy of this Government has changed. I will suggest what the other reason is. This year there will be an election in England, and next year there will be one in the United States of America. The Prime Minister said that **Mr. Macmillan's** attitude in the United Kingdom has the overwhelming support of the British people. The reason why this Government has changed its policy on summit conferences is that the American and British Governments have changed their policies on summit conferences. Those two governments have changed their policies because they have elections coming up this year and next, and they know what public opinion is. They know that there is overwhelming support for the reduction of tension between the East and the West. They know that they have some responsibility to reduce that tension. So, we find that when **Mr Macmillan** went to Moscow and held his summit conferences, the British press said that the Conservatives had already won the election. Before **Mr. Nixon** went to the Soviet Union he had 44 per cent, of public support according , to a gallup poll and **Mr. Stephenson** had 56 per cent. Within a week of **Mr. Nixon's** return to the United States he had 51 per cent, compared to **Mr. Stephenson's** 49 per cent. The force of public opinion in the United States and in the United Kingdom is of very great importance and that is what has influenced the Governments of those countries to change their . attitude, and, tagging along behind them, the Government of this country has also changed its .attitude. A number of things can he learnt from this situation. The first is that in all countries of any significance there is a power elite. There is a power elite in the Soviet Union, on which the people have very little influence, and there is also a power elite in the United States and, to a lesser extent, in this country. The only thing that we can be thankful for is that in the United States and the United Kingdom public opinion can force its way through into that power elite and can modify its conduct. What we should be thankful for to-day are movements such as the congress for disarmament, in England, and the movements for peace in Australia, which, despite the influence of the deaths-head point of view have influenced public opinion in this country. We should thank those people who are associated with those movements. We should remember that the Government, having been successful at the elections, does not really support the proposition of negotiation and conference but simply follows that line because of political expediency in the circumstances. Having won the elections, the Government thinks that it can return to its former reactionary position and it will do .so unless it is prevented by- public opinion.. It is very important to have continued active public opinion throughout the world to stop such reactionary changes of policy. But the Government has made an important advance. It has made a vast change in its position, and honorable members should welcome that change. We should do what we can to sustain the Government in that position. But a good deal more than that is necessary. In addition to supporting conferences at every level, and in addition to supporting the attitude of the Prime Minister - an attitude that is opposed by many of his own supporters - we must go further. In reaching its present position, the Government (has come substantially into line with the policy that has been advocated since 1955, without qualification, by the Labour Party. The Government is now in agreement with the great majority of people in this country, in the United States and in the United Kingdom. But that is not enough. In addition to being prepared to support conferences and to take part in them we must do something more. We must identify the things about which agreement is possible. Let me refer first of all to Germany, which was dealt with at great length by the Prime Minister. His remarks about **Dr. Adenauer** were strangely reminiscent of the remarks he made about another Chancellor of Germany whom he admired in the late 30's. What he had to say about **Dr. Adenauer** was strangely reminiscent of what he said about Adolf Hitler in those days. The division of Germany is permanent. Anybody who does not believe that is completely unrealistic. The only possibility of peace in Europe is by the acceptance of the division of Germany, and any attempt to destroy that division could make war very probable. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- There is an agreement with regard to the unification of Germany. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- We must be realistic and try to preserve peace in this world that could be destroyed by war. We must not think in terms of stupid agreements entered into years ago. I am aware that the honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Anderson)** and the honorable member for Moreton **(Mr. Killen)** are advocates of war. I know that they will not compromise and that it pays them politically to take up that position. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- What a stupid, offensive thing to say! {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- It is the truth, whether it is offensive or not. The case put to **Dr. Adenauer** and to this Parliament by the Prime Minister has hidden more than half the truth. The Prime Minister said that he told **Dr. Adenauer** how the United Kingdom stood in this matter. He said that he told **Dr. Adenauer** that the people of the United Kingdom had no capacity for hatred and that they admired the development that had taken place in West Germany. That much is true. The people of the United Kingdom have no capacity for hatred. They admire the development that has taken place in West Germany. But I think that they, like myself, wouk admire West Germany a little more if the accumulated economic wealth gained by that country over the last few years were shared more equally among the people of West Germany. The people of the United Kingdom have other views about Germany in addition to those whispered by the Prime Minister into the ear of **Dr. Adenauer,** perhaps as a substitute for the ear of Princess Margaret. The British people suspect the extremists of West Germany. They are suspicious of those people who were associated with the Nazis and who to-day occupy prominent positions in West Germany. In addition the Prime Minister could have told **Dr. Adenauer** that the British public will not support war in order to unify West and East Germany. The reality of the situation should be recognized when consideration is given to subjects for a conference. The Government must go further than simply support conferences. It must decide what are the substantial things about which agreement is possible. Mere conferences are not enough. The Government must realize that it is possible to bring an end completely to nuclear tests. Nuclear bomb tes:s are no longer necessary for any side, and agreement can be reached in this field. That is a realistic possibility. Further to that, the Government should recognize that it is possible to confine the possession of nuclear weapons at least to the countries that already possess them. Action must be taken to stop the Algerian generals from gaining possession of nuclear weapons; to stop the neo-Nazis of West Germany from gaining possession of nuclear weapons; and to stop Japan from obtaining nuclear weapons. Similar action must be taken also with regard to a dozen other countries the economic resources of which might be able to support the development of nuclear weapons. Such an achievement is a realistic possibility. Accordingly, the Government must do more than simply support a conference. It will be possible for the countries of Europe and the Pacific to agree that certain areas shall be neutral - arms free. That is a possibility. The Government will have to think about these things. In doing so it will more and more turn towards the policy of the Opposition. All these things are either explicit or implicit in the Opposition's policy. Just as the Government has begun to lean towards Labour's policy with regard to summit conferences, so it will come to accept our policy with regard to the separation of Germany, the cessation of nuclear tests, the confining of nuclear weapons as narrowly as possible, and the definition of neutral areas in Europe and Asia. All these things will be achieved in the next ten years. The Government will turn towards Labour's policy in respect of all those matters. It will do so because public opinion in the free countries of the world is in favour of all those things. The Government, ultimately, depends on votes and it will be forced to accept Labour's policy in every case. So, why not accept that policy a little ahead of public opinion? Why not accept it a little ahead of the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom? There are many other things in the Prime Minister's speech that should be dealt with. He spoke to General de Gaulle in Paris. He accepted General de Gaulle's statement that France must put an end to fighting in Algeria. Did he tell General de Gaulle that he was put into power by people who opposed in every conceivable way the cessation of fighting in Algeria? Did the right honorable gentleman tell General de Gaulle that those people upon whom he depends for office will not permit the fighting in Algeria to come to an end until what the Prime Minister called an exotic government is imposed upon the people of Algeria? Those people - the generals of Algeria - will not accept what the Prime Minister called an indigenous government. The people of Algeria will be subjected to the will of those Frenchmen. That is why they are in Algeria. Their motives are far stronger to-day, because Algeria has great economic resources. It is not a matter now just of military and social prestige. It is a matter now of resources of oil and a vast array of other minerals. {: #subdebate-21-0-s9 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-21-0-s10 .speaker-KEE} ##### Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES:
Chisholm -- **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** I feel that it is a very great privilege to be able to take part in what I regard as the most important discussion on international affairs that has been heard in this House for many a long day. Not only is it the most important debate, but also, in some respects - particularly in view of the interpretation of the statement of the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** given by the honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns)** - it is the most dangerous debate that has taken place here, because such interpretations will lead many people to believe that the path to the summit and the road to peace is much easier than it actually is. I am surprised that the honorable member for Yarra accused other people of talking in what he called untruths, because he based his speech partly on idealism - in respect of which there is probably very little difference between honorable members on both sides of the House - and partly on half-truths, misinterpretation and, in some respects, what I would call, in his own language, deliberate untruths. The last phrase may be offensive in parliamentary language, so shall we say " deliberate distortion ". In other debates on international affairs I have been accused of talking in a most emotional manner. Emotion is one of the human characteristics, and I believe that, in the discussion of international affairs and the enslavement of millions of people, one who was deprived of his freedom for more than three and a half years in a prisoner-of-war camp, as some other members of this House also were, may be excused for being perhaps a little emotional over these matters. Furthermore, one who owed his life on more than one occasion to the courage and tenacity of Chinese people, may be expected to feel emotional towards the Chinese race as such. Therefore, I do not mind if I am accused of emotionalism or even, as the honorable member for Melbourne **(Mr. Calwell)** accused me, of obscurantism. Members of the Australian Labour Party were very glad of some of the obscurantists in 1914 and 1939. The honorable member for Melbourne, incidentally, does not agree that any one else should hold opinions other than those which he himself holds. It is interesting to note who speaks for the Australian Labour Party on the first of the points which arose out of the Prime Minister's visit overseas. Who speaks for the Labour Party on the recognition of red China and the abandonment of Formosa? The views of the honorable member for Parkes **(Mr. Haylen)** - Marco Polo, 1957 model - were reported in the Communist daily " Ta Kung Poa ", of 21st July, 1957, in these terms - > **Mr. Haylen** again stated to reporters the Australian Labour Party's three-point policy: recognition of the Peking Government, unlimited trade with China and China's admission to the United > >Nations . . . Every one knows that there can-, not be two Chinas in the United Nations at the one time and so America's desire to preserve Taiwan's position- cannot stand. Taiwan is part of China: The Cairo Declaration laid it down that Taiwan should be returned to China. The Australian Labour Party is aware of this. Who is right - the honorable member for Parkes, or the honorable member for Melbourne and the honorable member for Yarra who say that the Australian Labour Party wants to recognize red China without abandoning. Formosa? In this changing and challenging world in which we live, we all recognize the changes, and, unfortunately, we have to stand up almost daily to new challenges. I agree with the Prime Minister that they have to be faced with honesty, frankness and courage. Let us face the facts, if the Opposition wants to recognize China. As late as 15th April, 1959, **Mr. Chou** En-lai, in a speech to the Chinese National People's Congress in Peking, said - >All U.S. armed forces in the Taiwan area must be withdrawn. No plot to carve up Chinese territory and create " two Chinas " can be tolerated by the Chinese people. In accordance with this princple any country that desires to establish diplomatic relations with our country must sever so-called diplomatic relations with the Chiang Kai-shek clique and respect our country's legitimate rights in international affairs. It is of no use to talk in airy-fairy fashion about a situation that does not exist. This is the situation that exists. I tender my very warm congratulations to the Prime Minister, both for his statement in London and for his more recent statement in a television interview here, and also to the Minister for External Affairs **(Mr. Casey)** for the clear, concise, well-reasoned and factual statement of the Government's policy on the non-recognition of red China given to us in the House to-day. That statement was closely reasoned and clearly stated. Nobody who has heard it can misunderstand the position. I believe that, in making that statement and defining the Australian Government's policy, the Minister did a very great service, not only to this country, but also to many other countries in this region of the world and in other parts of the world also. Perhaps I may be forgiven for feeling a little pleased about it, because it justifies every thing that I said in a much debated statement in Tokyo, in February, 1955, which was said to have caused the Govern ment some embarrassment. Perhaps 1 should apologize for having been almost four years early in that respect, but again I plead the excuse of the experiences that I went through. I am sure that other honorable members in this House who had similar experiences will agree with me.. They will remember the bitterness and the iron that entered into their souls in the first four or six weeks of their confinement in the Changi prison camp. I remember sitting under a tree in that camp and writing of the days before the war - >The Anzac spirit was not dead, > >But when the leaders feared to tell the truth and tried to win instead > >The votes the people had to sell, > >Each one should hang his head in shame, > >Each one must take his share of blame. When I found myself in Tokyo in 1955, I went to the Australian Embassy and asked whether the Prime Minister had made any statement. When the Embassy officials said " No ", and added that the Minister for External Affairs had made a statement saying that the policy of the Australian Government was to back up the SinoAmericantreaty which had just been signed, I considered that I would be doing the same thing as I had accused other people of doing - perhaps too bitterly, I agree - if I did not tell the truth as I saw it. The same thing applied to certain things that I said about the communique on West New Guinea issued during the recent visit by **Dr. Subandrio,** the Indonesian Foreign Minister. I know that my remarks were not very popular, and I have lived long enough to know that one is not always 100 per cent, right, but everybody has seen the recent statements in the newspapers and headlines in these terms - >Australia double-faces on New Guinea-Djakarta claim. That bears out exactly what I said - that it was not how we interpreted the communique but how it would be interpreted in Djakarta that mattered, and that we would be accused of double-dealing. Unfortunately, that is the case. I hope that the position has now been made crystal clear in the second important statement made in Holland by the Prime Minister during his trip abroad and Australia's position is now clearly understood by all concerned, and I am sure that wewould all be sorry if thar one point were to cause any ill feeling in our relations with our next-door neighbours in Indonesia. Members of the Labour Party have said on several occasions - I agree with them; we on this side of the House have said it also - in some things we must agree to disagree. However, it is of no use putting our own interpretation on what has happened and not bothering about how other people may interpret the same communique. When we come to the question of summit and other conferences, we must remind ourselves of what the honorable member for Yarra has denied, and that is that at present the Communists are our implacable enemies and are dedicated to our destruction. They use the same words as we do, but those words have not the same meaning in the Communist dictionary. When Communists talk of peaceful co-existence, they mean living together in a manner that does not interfere in any way with their red strategy of world domination. When they talk of peace, they mean the peace that will come to the world when it is completely dominated by the Communists. It is, therefore, very difficult to deal with them or to talk to them, but that does not mean for one moment that we will not talk to them at all. Again, it is very difficult to shake the hand of a man who was recently called " The Bloody Butcher of Hungary ", but it will be much more difficult for the world if we refuse to talk to people for whom we may have such feelings. When we talk we hope that we will be able to convert them and that they will get out of the guillotine stage of their revolution and come to realize that there is something more in this world than dialectical materialism. I said that this debate is dangerous because I feel that many people will be influenced by cliches such as " a peace offensive " or by catchwords such as " peaceful co-existence " and clutch at them as a drowning man clutches at a straw. I fear that many people will forget that in this world we must first maintain idealism, but idealism in this human world is very dangerous without realism. Probably every member of this House has the same general ideals of peace and peaceful coexistence, as we understand the terms; but at the same time we must realize that we are dealing with people who have a fanati cal belief in a godless materialism and in a world conquest that challenges Christianity and all the other older religions. We must realize that we are dealing with people who -believe that murder, sudden death, infiltration, broken agreements or any means justifies the end for which they strive. They do not tell lies; they believe what they say, and they believe that they can ultimately achieve their objective by these methods. Let us realize therefore that the road to the summit is a long and difficult one. Those who travel .it will encounter many blizzards of bluff and bluster, many avalanches of hatred and crevices of ultimatums, such as we had on 27th May in regard to Berlin .and as we have had before. Maybe on the first occasion that we arrive at the summit, if we have managed to survive all these perils, we will find nothing there but an abominable noman. Again, when we arrive there, the clouds around the summit may prevent any view of the valley below or of the promised land. .But, we must go on striving. We must realize that idealism must have realism and that the realism we must mix with the idealism, if we do not want to be completely eliminated or destroyed, is that without strength to command respect idealism is very dangerous. The Communists . have shown time and again that they will respect strength and exploit weakness. As I said, summit meetings and conferences are essential, but we must not forget another realistic point. The reds look at these conferences as interludes in the cold war and as a means of distracting attention. As I said about Berlin, they regard such an incident as a decoy duck while they cook up tension in some other part of the world, such as we have seen in Iraq and now in Laos. They generally tell us beforehand what they intend to do. On 18th May, the Peking "Review" said exactly what they would do with Laos, but, as was the case with " Mein Kampf ", we do not seem to take any notice. If we are going to this summit conference, we must realize that the other side will use it as a means of propaganda in every direction. Therefore, part of the equipment that we must carry to the summit must be a private propaganda machine to ensure that every proposal, every aim and every objective of the Western world receives full publicity throughout the world and is not swamped by Peking Radio, or by Moscow Radio, with the result that the people hear only the views of one side. As the Prime Minister said, we must not expect quick returns. The individual meetings may achieve far more than a summit conference, and we should approach all these meetings with a spirit of idealism properly mixed with realism. We should not lead our people to think that they will get quick returns. They will not then be disappointed when nothing happens, and I do not expect anything to happen for some time - I hope I am wrong when I say that I do not expect anything to happen at all. If the people are disappointed because their expectations of quick returns are not realized, the last state of the house will be worse than the first. This has been a most important and, in these respects, dangerous debate. However, I congratulate the Prime Minister and, particularly, the Minister for External Affairs on the clear statements that have been made, particularly the statement about our position with red China. I inferred from the policy speech made last year that, in the incident in the Formosan Straits, the Government came to a definite decision to support America. When **Mr. Walter** S. Robertson, the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, gave evidence in February of this year before the Sub-committee on Disarmament of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he said - >During the Quemoy (Kinmen) crisis, many were our friends throughout the Far East who privately counselled standing firm in the face of force. I think that it is much better to adopt the policy that we have now adopted of frankness, honesty and courage in saying what our decisions are, instead of making them known privately for fear that something may happen to some facet of our trade or something of that nature. I hope that now we have taken this step we will proceed forward and continue to deal with facts as they exist, to keep up our guard and yet instigate our own peace offensive, with the hope that eventually - sometime, somewhere - we will reach our objective. {: #subdebate-21-0-s11 .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr CLAREY:
Bendigo **.- Mr. Deputy Speaker,** I rather regret the somewhat pessimistic note which has been expressed by the honorable member for Chisholm **(Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes)** in discussing the matter now before the House. In my opinion, the continuance of antagonism and hostility in international affairs will not help to produce better understanding between the nations. Although I can appreciate the feelings expressed by the honorable member for Chisholm, I cannot agree with some of the conclusions he reached. I do not, for one moment, believe that this is a dangerous debate. I think it has shown one thing very clearly, which might well be stressed - so far as this House is concerned, there is now a desire for continued efforts for peace and for positive action towards that end. The machinery most likely to accomplish the best results is that which has been provided by the United Nations Organization. In order to demonstrate in some slight measure what that organization stands for. I propose to read a brief extract from its Charter. In the preamble some of its objectives are stated as follows - to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and nth pr sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, AND FOR THESE ENDS to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security. The final quotation which I make from this preamble is - to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples. I might well recall, at this stage, that the great slogan of the International Labour Organization, which has existed since the days of the League of Nations, was that universal peace can only be achieved if based upon social justice. Having read that extract from the preamble to the Charter of the United Nations Organization, I point out that the carrying out of the principles expressed therein have been clearly demonstrated to be capable of success. They have achieved success on many occasions in the thirteen years in which United Nations Organization has existed. Without mentioning the many international disputes which have been either stopped or avoided, one need point to only a few of the great achievements of the United Nations Organization. The dispute between the Netherlands Government and Indonesia was finally settled by the intervention of the United Nations, as were also the dispute between the Arab nations and Israel in 1949 and the Suez Canal dispute some two or three years ago. Those achievements indicate that if the United Nations Organization is given the opportunity to function as it should, it is the most powerful factor for peace that the people of the world have yet been able to evolve. But it will not reach the zenith of its capacity to steer the world along the road to universal peace unless the nations are gradually drawn within its fold and become part and parcel of its organization. For that reason I believe that it is essential that mainland China should become part of the United Nations. Obviously U.N.O. cannot be successful if a nation which represents a quarter of the world's population is denied access of entry into that important body. It is good to know that there is now unanimity upon the question of a summit conference and although the honorable member for Chisholm has pointed out certain dangers which he foresees in the matter, it has long been recognized that unless the actual rulers of countries which are involved in the cold war can talk over their problems together there is very little chance of an abatement of the cold war or of being able to relieve the international tension which now exists. I remind honorable members that in Australia we apply these principles to our industrial relations. We say that industrial disputes should be settled by conciliation or by arbitral methods. What is a good thing between the contending forces in the economic life of this country, where suspicion and mistrust have existed for so many generations, is a good thing to apply in international relations where mistrust and suspicion prevail. We see that mistrust and suspicion in operation between the Western countries and the Soviet Union to-day. In our hearts we all know that the Western world believes there is a possibility of Russia making an attack by force upon the Western nations. On the other hand, those who have endeavoured to study conditions in Russia know that the Russian people believe that to the extent that they make a success of communism in that country they run the risk of being attacked by the capitalist forces of the world who do not desire to see communism succeed. These fears operating among the peoples of the West and the peoples of the Soviet Union have caused mistrust and suspicion of the worst description. The question is: How can we try to relieve the tension, secure understanding and enable the West to see the position as Russia sees it and enable Russia to see the position as the West sees it? The proposed summit conference is all to the good. Whether or not it is successful on the first occasion is of little consequence. Once the principle of summit conferences has been established, it is possible for those who have the real power in the nations to be able to discuss their problems and try to find some solution of them. It may take years to reach this point but, as we have so often found in the industrial sphere, the more people meet and understand one another the better chance there is of reaching a more harmonious level. A most dramatic phase of international relations has taken place since the conclusion of World War II. We have seen engulfing the world the spirit of nationalism and the spirit of anti-colonialism among the peoples of Asia, Africa and the Pacific. The emotionalism which has arisen from the spirit of nationalism and anti-colonialism has brought about most remarkable changes which need to be closely watched. The psychology behind the nations which has been created and their desire for economic emancipation has to be properly understood if Australia is to play its part in promoting better international relations with the people who are its neighbours. What the Western World refers to as the " Far East " is, to Australia, the near north, and it is desirable that we as a nation should pursue a policy that will indicate to the peoples of those countries to our north that, above all, we desire understanding with them, and peace with them, and that, to the extent to which it is possible, we will do all we can to help them to solve their economic problems. Again I refer to the International Labour Organization's view that universal peace cannot be achieved unless based on social justice. In most of the countries of Africa, Asia and of the Pacific area the conditions under which people live are beyond the comprehension of people who are .used to Western standards, of life. Poverty of a description that is hard to impress on people who do not know hunger and the lack of shelter, who have never suffered from malnutrition, exist to a remarkable degree in many countries. One of the great problems of those countries is that of giving their peasants access to land. Democratic institutions, as we understand them, do not exist there, and because of that fact their peoples are incapable of expressing the popular desires that need expression. So we in Australia have a responsibility to show that our friendship for our neighbours is a friendship based on goodwill and understanding and on a desire to help - and a capacity to help - in the solution of the problems that beset them. I suggest that perhaps the best contribution we can make to assisting those countries is to see that the Colombo Plan is extended as fully as possible, and that every opportunity !s given to the young men and women of our neighbouring countries to obtain in Australia the technical education that they desire to have. In addition, a more realistic attitude should be taken to the food problems of countries where food is scarce and where foreign credits are lacking. In such circumstances it is the task of this country, in its superior economic condition, to make food available to countries that lack it, on liberal, extended terms, so that it cannot be said of us that when people wanted food we, who have so much food, were not prepared to provide it unless we received full payment for it. To those who, in this debate, have made clear their fear of communism, and of the methods pursued by communism, I would point out that in many of the new nations of the East, ot Africa, and of the Pacific area, internal struggles are taking place to win the support of the masses, because these countries are concerned with the dominant question of obtaining enough food to sustain life. One has always to bear in mind the fact that the political group or- party which is prepared to guarantee security of food supplies to people who are living below the bread-line will secure the support of the masses. So it becomes our task, if we want to be effective and realistic in helping those countries, to see that the peasants and the masses there at all times have sufficient food to keep life within them. Very little recognition is given to the tremendous field of work covered by United Nations auxiliaries and subsidiaries in dealing with the problems that are inherent in every undeveloped country. I wish to say a word or two in praise of the wonderful work that is being done by the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization, the International Children's Emergency Fund and the International Labour Organization. To most people these organizations are just bodies that are usually known by their initials; but it is these organizations that are making known to the illiterate, the starving and the hungry men and women of the east, the north and the west, the existence of the United Nations and the fact that there is a body of thought in the Western world that is determined that the superior economic conditions of Western nations shall be used to the fullest possible extent to raise the standards of living in the depressed countries. One thinks of the wonderful work done by the World Health Organization, and its terrific fight in the Middle East, Africa and Asia against malaria. In those areas, not hundreds of thousands of people, but millions of people, died each year of that dread disease. In many parts of the world, because of the work of the World Health Organization, malaria has been suppressed. One thinks also of the work that has been done by the Food and Agricultural Organization, whose trained agrarian experts go into backward countries and teach the peasants better ways of tilling the soil and better methods of using irrigation resources, provide them with better types of seeds so as to produce better crops and show them the best way to use and cultivate the land. Wherever those agricultural missionaries of the United Nations go their work has resulted in increased productivity of the soil and larger quantities of food. One can express only the greatest, appreciation of. the wonderful work doneby the International Children's EmergencyFund, for which devoted, men and. women have gone into. Indonesia-, and other coun-tries- andi have provided the scientific treatment tor rid; them of that dread disease known-! as* yaws.-a disease that afflicts, children and which,-, if. untreated; cans eventually, reducer them, to lifelong; help-less cripples. By/ means- of- penicillin, supplied at a very smalL- charge-, literally- hun-dreds of, thousands^ of children have been - cured of-this crippling disease. One also -thinks of the work of the International' Labour. Organization-, which brings; to backward, countries,, in. a simple form, industrial'- hygiene and industrial laws, and actively- organizes co-operative societies- iri! : communities! where some sort ofl co-operation is? necessary. Iti also treats industrial diseases, and> tries, to- get undeveloped countries-, to- adopt liberal, laws that will give: proper treatment- and > properconditions to- employees in industry. The people who are doing the work of. these various organizations are bringing under the notice of millions of people the existence of the. United" Nations - an organization dedicated to- bringing,, as- far as possible, peace to the. peoples-, of the world, to raising the living standards of. the world, to getting people to live in tolerance ' one with the other, and to making us- able to appreciate the difficulties of our neighbours; Those,, L think,. **Mr. Speaker,** are the principles which should, animate, this de-? bate:- on foreign affairs,,, the principles, that w.ill-:enable us. to give, to other- people better conditions^ than- they have; so that- we can: say that in< our. time, we; as:. a, nation,, have done our- best- to', raise their conditions of life. L' conclude, by. saying that peace can be achieved' if we convince our neighbours that we desire to. live ifr peace and harmony with them, that we will honestly Kelp them in every, way. possible to- raise their living standards, and. that we. extend to them the dual hands of friendship and goodwill. By such means alone can we. attain the objective of us. all- that- of peace, and interna? tiona!- understanding. {: #subdebate-21-0-s12 .speaker-KCS} ##### Mr DRUMMOND:
New England -- I am sure that those who have listened to the honorable member for- Bendigo(Mr. Clarey), in this- House and outside,, will- be -the, richer in their knowledge of the wonderful work that has. been done by thevarious, agencies, of the. United Nations. I. think, that the note. that, he struck should) always be, kept in mind, in: our consideration. *at* the; ultimate, results- of. our. policy on a. long-term, basis,, and, perhaps, on a shortterm, basis. I. have-sometimes, thought, that, . if the nations! which, produce great surpluses of food which constantly threaten, the- stability- of our markets, could enter (into some arrangement with the underprivileged' nations to provide them, as a gift or by way of nominal loan, with thesurplus, provided' such arrangement did. not interfere with- the quantities normally bought each- year' by the recipient countries, it. might solve some problems both of an economic and-' international nature. We are. discussing this afternoon the very able, review of - foreign- affairs given by thePrime Minister. **(Mr.. Menzies),:** and the . supplementary statement made by the Minister for External Affairs **(Mr. Casey.).** The . Prime, Minister's, address, was. mainly directed, to -bringing to. our attention the en. deavours. of. the leading, nations of the Western, world,, in conjunction, with the. representatives of, the Russian, people, to. secure, some, measure of. agreement. Ultimately he. passed, oni to- the. subject of the. desirability, of- ai meeting, of. the heads of government of the powers concerned. He then referred to : certain other matters- including' our relations- with China; and our policy concerning' West1 New Guineas I do not. feel, that it. serves, any great purpose^- very often, it does- worse thar* serve, no purpose; - to., go back, into past, statements by- world, leaders, on the. subject of foreign affairs. I. am, left, stone cold by< the statement.that twelve or. eighteen monthsago so and so, in, international politics, said': this, and.- that now he,says(.that... We live. ina. rapidly changing world:. Circumstances, alter so much, almost from day- to day, that what a. statesman said, three months agomay. not be what he considers, advisable for him to say to-day. One. of the. significant factors in, world affairs, is this:- a nation, engaged in a warsuch as I saw in 19-14-1918, finds, itself fighting certain people to the death; yet in the next war some of its allies have become its enemies whereas former enemies have become allies. The Italians, for instance, fought on our side in the first world war and fought against us in the second. Turkey gave us much trouble in the first world war but during the second world war remained poised as an indeterminate factor which certainly influenced German policy in the Middle East. Japanese ships escorted our transports in the first world war and blew them to Jericho in the second. Here is a fact which nobody in this House who studies history and the trend of human events can ignore or deny: Every nation has pursued the foreign policy that suited it at the moment; when that policy has become unsuitable, it has been rapidly changed. Certain firm friendships have, for historical reasons, not greatly altered. They are the friendships between the English-speaking peoples - the Motherland, the United States of America, and other British Commonwealth nations. It is apparent from the Prime Minister's statement that, as the leader of the Australian nation and its spokesman, he has made no small impact upon world opinion so far as he has been able to enter into councils with the leaders of other nations. Yet, we are a relatively small nation. Compared to the 170,000.000 people of the United States of America and the 50,000,000 of the United Kingdom, we are indeed a small factor. That does not mean that we should simply follow a lead blindly and not express firmly opinions which we hold. But it does mean that we should have a sense of proportion. Those who query the interlocking of our policy with those of the United States and the United Kingdom should remember that without American help we might have been a Japanese province to-day. Putting the position in blunt terms, I would say that the foreign policies of the world, as long as there has been history, have been strictly amoral. They are still amoral. We must have regard to that fact if we want to continue to exist as a nation and not lower our guard. I would say that two main factors influence the international climate to-day: The first is the threat of nuclear war; the second is the emergence of a new China. These factors need thought and time. When my friends of the Opposition say that, about eighteen months ago, they insisted on the value of summit meetings and the Government side was rather cautious about them, I would say that, in these things, it is a matter of time. One has to consider whether it is the right time to take a particular step or to make a statement of policy. The main thing is to have clearly in our own minds the ultimate aim of our policy, and to pursue it even though our tactics and our strategy might vary. The threat of nuclear warfare overshadows the world. Our great fear is the destruction that is inherent in that threat. All thinking individuals, even those who are selfish and cold-blooded, pause and shudder at the thought that they might launch their own nation as well as others into a battle which could destroy the world itself by releasing nuclear chain reaction. No nation wants that. They know that all countries will be shattered wrecks if such a war is started. That is one of the things that makes the nations of the world prepared to come together, irrespective of ideologies. They want to discuss how far they can go to remove that threat and enable the nations of the world to move towards peaceful development rather than to destructive ends. The next point which affects timing, although it may seem irrelevant to some, is the emergence of the new China. I want to say, with due respect to the opinions of others, that one of the most amazing developments in the world to-day is the tremendous resurgence in China. The Chinese are known to-day as a nation, but those who have studied their history know that over thousands of years they have had influxes of slightly different types such as the Manchus and Mongolians. Those who realize how the Chinese nation has risen to great crests of civilization, descended into the trough and arisen again must have unbounded admiration for the extraordinary capacity of these people. They have a capacity for laughter and hard work and unfortunately, in certain circumstances, they have capacity for cruelty. They have abandoned their age-old hatred of things military and have begun to westernize themselves. As Lin-Yu Tang wrote in impassioned terms, in effect, " God help the world if my nation, under the spur of the things that have been done to it and its betrayal, ever decides to become a militaristic nation ". China has decided to become militaristic. Our own Chief-of-Staff, recently retired, said that China to-day was a great Pacific power and added, " in ten years she will be a great world power by any reckoning ". The Chinese nation, with a capacity for hard work and driven by a false ideology, is moving forward and, with its 700,000,000 people constitutes a new threat to world peace. Let us make no mistake about it. Honorable members might talk about communism and the brotherhood of man, but when China is in a position to strike, communism with its brotherhood of man will go down the bloody drain, even as it did in Russia. {: .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin: -- That is unparliamentary language. {: .speaker-KCS} ##### Mr DRUMMOND: -- Honorable members know the sense in which I have used the word. It is not a subject for laughter. Millions of Russians and others have perished in rivers of blood, and the world will go that way too unless it takes more effective notice of what is taking place than do my well intentioned friends who have interjected. I profoundly believe that vacillation in Russian policy is not determined by any of those considerations which usually sway the policies of nations. Russia to-day is divided in its own counsels because it fears the Frankenstein monster it has created in the East. It has put its stamp on Sinkiang, Mongolia and Manchuria, but for how long is a proud nation of 700,000,000 of the toughest, most intelligent and most enduring people in the world going to put up with that? Russia is realistic enough to understand the position. Russia knows that if it can precipitate China into war with the U.S.A., it might have a breathing space. What Russia is beginning to fear is that at its back door it might have this vast mass of disciplined, communist-driven people whilst it has at its front door the nuclear threat of nations which have led the world so far in science and culture as we understand them in the West. So, **Mr. Speaker,** 1 approach these problems on the occasion of the statement by the Prime Minister with no illusions as to what is involved in a more friendly approach to the Russian people. I have painful recollections of our disarmament by the League of Nations because we thought at the time that if we preached peace, there would be peace. As a result, we found hundreds of thousands of our young people mentally disarmed against the threat which confronted them. I say this: While we should strive with every means in our power to bring about a balance between the nations and to endeavour to make a summit meeting a success, do not let our people become mentally disarmed or led to believe that because Russia is prepared to meet us, it has abandoned its ideas of international communism. Do not let us completely shut the door but, at the same time, do not let us fall into the error of believing that the Russians are abandoning their theories. We must not think that the Russians will not use any advantage gained if the opportunity arises. I should like to develop these thoughts, but I will close with a reference to West New Guinea. I agree with my friend, the honorable member for Chisholm **(Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes),** on the statement about West New Guinea which was issued some time ago. I shuddered when it was issued because I believed it would be misunderstood, as it was. While the population pressures of Japan, China and India might drive those nations in a certain direction. Indonesia has not that excuse. Tt has vast areas which are capable of development. The Indonesians do not need the land which belongs to the people of Papua, who are not able to look after themselves at present. {: #subdebate-21-0-s13 .speaker-K97} ##### Mr GALVIN:
Kingston .- I was pleased to hear the address of the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** and to note the changed attitude of the right honorable gentleman and the Government to the summit talks. Many Government supporters have clearly indicated that they do not hold out any hope of real success from the summit talks. I believe that is one example of the wrong approach of this Government to such issue, an approach that led Australia to take the wrong track in international policy. If we cannot convince ourselves that some good can come out of summit talks, or that they can and must succeed, they are doomed to failure before they start. If our approach to the matter is that we do not believe that the cold war can be stopped, we must be convinced that war is inevitable. The honorable member for New England **(Mr. Drummond)** almost always approaches this subject with a good deal of tolerance, but he said that we must be careful in the preaching of peace. If we do not preach peace, if we do not campaign for peace, we will surely see a bloodheat war develop from the cold war in which we have been taking part 'for some time. I think that the Leader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt)** made a most kindly approach to this subject to-day. He could quite easily have taken the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** to task by pointing out that many times, in this chamber and outside of it, he had urged that summit talks be '.held. The Leader of the Opposition probably was one of the few statesmen in the -world then who was constantly advocating summit .talks and the getting together of the leaders of the various countries, saying that if we only could 'get the world's leaders 'together to talk, that would be an achievement of "itself and -might be a starting off point. But to-day in this 'House, instead of taking the Prime "Minister !to task, he complimented him on his attitude and said that 'he hoped that at last this -Government, and -the world, "were going to 'make an approach to the problem that might bring about a substantial degree of peace '"in 'the near future. " The Prime [Minister told to that on his recent trip abroad die visited ".the United States and France and had talks with .the leaders of ; those countries. He 'also 'visited the United Kingdom, Germany and Holland, and managed finally to drop in at "Singapore and speak with the newly-elected Prime Minister *df* that island. He told us - and we were -all delighted 'to know it - that the Prime Minister of Singapore was not only a very intelligent man but also a socialist, -although not a socialist who had any friendship 'for the cause of communism. "I hope that now that the Prime Minister sees clearly that to be a socialist you need not at the 'same time be a Communist, honorable members on the Government side in this Parliament, particularly at election times, will not try to convince the people of -Australia 'that ali socialists are Communists. The Prime Minister's description of the new 'leader of the people of Singapore indicates that perhaps he has adopted a changed attitude towards socialists. it is unfortunate that although the £ rime Minister .could find the time to visit the big countries, .he could not End the time ito .stay a little -.while in other countries near our snores - -the (countries to the near north, as it has been described by 'the honorable member for Bendigo <Mr. Clarey). I believe that *me* Prime Minister's presence in Indonesia would . have done a -lot of .good for Australia and , might have helped :to heal any breach that is -occurring in the .good relations between -the two -countries. I .arn /sure .that he -would .have received a very warm wel,come. So far the Prime Minister has devoted most of his -time. to the big countries of the world, but I -hope that in the near future he will take it upon himself to visit those ^countries which are so ?near to and so vital to Australia. It is imperative .that -we have very good relations with them, that -we find out -how we can help them, -and -.that we <set about doing .something ito .help them **Mr. -Calwell.** - He could have taken a slow boat to 'China. {: .speaker-K97} ##### Mr GALVIN: -- As the Deputy .Leader of -the .Opposition says, he could have done worse than take a slow boat to China. 1 am sure -that .ne would have received a very .good -welcome in some .of these countries. A stay in Cevlon would have done a lot ot -good. He -could have had talks with **Mr.** Bandaranaiake, the Prime Minister of Ceylon, -and found out what a struggle the Government of Ceylon is having to-day to mete -out some measure of justice to -the people of )t-ha 'country. The 'Prime 'Minister mentioned Pakistan and spoke of 'the extreme and indescribable poverty that exists there. He touched on the partition of India and the trouble that has resulted from the fact that .millions of refugees flowed from Pakistan to India, arriving almost penniless and almost, if not actually, at the. point df starvation. Of .course, millions also flowed from India to Pakistan. The indescribable poverty that exists in these countries is a bigger .threat to the world to-day than is all the talk of possible war with China and other -countries. Unless we .do something to give food to the hungry people df Asia, to give homes to the millions of people who are forced to sleep upon the pavements of India, to find work for the beggars of these countries, and to provide hospitals and other necessary aid on a much bigger scale than we are doing under the Colombo Plan, no matter how sincere we are, and no matter how capable are the leaders of these countries, we will not succeed in our aims. Speaking of capable leaders, Pandit Nehru, the great leader of the Indian people, probably has done more tor democracy than the leader of any other country in the world to-day. He recognized that the granting of independence to India gave his people an opportunity to show that they could govern their own country. However, the leaders of the Asian nations ot the Commonwealth are faced with great problems which they will be unable to solve if they do not get assistance from the more richly endowed members of the Commonwealth. If the Governments of India, Ceylon and Singapore cannot provide the necessities of life that their peoples are demanding, and to which they are entitled, it is quite possible that the peoples of those countries will desert the ship of democracy. lt is quite possible that they will say, " We have tried democracy. It is all very well to let us elect our governments and it is all very well to talk about how good it is to accept democracy and be tied to the British way of life as members of the Commonwealth of Nations, but we will try another system now ". When I was in Ceylon I heard many members of Parliament there - Communists, Trotskyites, and even Conservatives - all agree that because of the change that had taken place in their country their greatest task was to feed the empty stomachs of their people and to provide them with the schools and the other things they needed. But all of these people said that while they wanted to develop a democratic parliamentary system and to make it work, they feared that time was against them. They believed they would not be able to do the job in the short space of time available. Almost all of them pointed out that if they could not achieve their aims under our parliamentary system and our democratic way of life, they would be fo xed to try some other method in order to give their people the things they demanded and were entitled to. Of course, it is realized by many of them, and by us, that in taking the chance of changing from the democratic system, they might burn their boats and never be able to return. But if food is not provided for the people, if education facilities are not available for their children, if hospitals and other necessary services cannot be found for them, they will take any chance that offers any prospect of success. That is why I say that the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations that are more richly endowed must devise some way of giving the poorer countries more assistance than they are giving them today. The Colombo Plan certainly has helped to a great extent. It has been most gratifying to me to see more emphasis laid on the technical side than on the capital side in connexion with the Colombo Plan. I believe that the students and technical men who have been here and returned to their countries have helped greatly to build up an understanding between the various nations. This understanding will be much more lasting than anything that can be achieved by presenting those countries with trains or buses, because most of the people will have no idea whatever where these machines have come from. The summit talks, which we hope will prove of some success, alone will not solve the problems facing us. They will serve to get the nations' leaders together, but, as I -have said earlier, we must do something to assist those countries, particularly the members of the Commonwealth of Nations, that need assistance. It has been said that the natural sequel to summit talks will be a discussion on the nuclear experiments that are taking place continually for defence purposes. I believe that the British Commonwealth of Nations has a real chance to give a lead to the rest of the world by a total discontinuance of these experiments. To-day these experiments are being carried out by the three major powers, the United States of America, Russia and the United Kingdom. These nations, which are extremely powerful in their own rights, hold the secrets. It is quite obvious that the United States of America arid Russia cannot or will not agree on abandoning these experiments. There is complete mistrust and fear on both sides. Both these nations will finally be left with stockpiles of nuclear weapons, each, to some extent, cancelling out the strength of the other. But I believe that the British Commonwealth, through the United Kingdom Government, could give a lead in this direction. Such a move would, of course, give rise to some arguments with our friends in the United States of America, but it should not be sufficient to cause any real breach. I believe that the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth of Nations should carry on nuclear experiments for peaceful purposes only. This is one matter on which I believe all member nations of the British Commonwealth would agree. Such a move would do much to remove the mistrust that exists even amongst those nations. We cannot expect all of them to agree on a common foreign policy, but I believe they would agree on a move to continue nuclear experiments only for peaceful purposes. A move of this kind would have very strong support in public opinion. It has been said that we should try to use public opinion in every nation, including Russia and the United States of America. I believe that public opinion would swing behind the lead given by the United Kingdom. It might be said that Russia would not be interested. I remind honorable members that ever since the last war Russia has succeeded because the Russians are experts in the art of propaganda. They are always able to adopt a popular line, so that people say, "At least the Russians are advocating peace ", or, " The Russians are certainly doing this or that ". The Russians have always emphasized a desire for peace in their propaganda, and if a lead in this way were given by the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Russians would eventually have to fall in line. I believe that the British Commonwealth has a chance in this way to become again the leading group of nations in the world, if not for war then for peace. If we succeed with these summit talks, we must continue the campaign for the banning of nuclear weapons. If we do not, if we keep experimenting with them, and if these experiments are inevitable, then it is inevitable that civilization will be wiped out. We must preach peace. We have to take om talk of peace into the councils of war. and we have to continue a campaign to hold nuclear experiments for peaceful purposes only, and so give a lead to the rest of the world. {: #subdebate-21-0-s14 .speaker-L0V} ##### Mr WIGHT:
Lilley .- First, let me say that I found much in the speech of the honorable member for Kingston **(Mr. Galvin)** with which I wholeheartedly agree. However, I wish to express my disappointment at the fact that this debate will close when the sitting is suspended at 6 o'clock. I believe that debates on foreign affairs are of greater importance than any other debates that are conducted in this chamber, and we must in the near future remedy a situation in which these debates are restricted to such an extent that on this occasion a great many members on both sides of the House will be denied an opportunity of expressing themselves. The views of every member, even though some may be diametrically opposed to others, are of vital importance in these debates. The time allotted for speeches, a mere twenty minutes, is, of course, insufficient if we are to cover the subject adequately. The Leader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt)** found it necessary to obtain an extension of time, and even then he was required to curtail his remarks. The Minister for External Affairs **(Mr. Casey)** made possibly the most powerful statement that he has yet delivered in this House - certainly in the ten years that I have been here - and yet he had to curtail his remarks, even after having been granted an extension of time. The debate has now resolved itself into two matters of major importance. On the one hand we have a discussion on the value of summit conferences. This has arisen mainly because the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** recently had an opportunity of visiting Europe and hearing the opinions expressed by the leaders of European governments. The other point in the debate has been whether Australia should recognize Communist China. Those are subjects of such tremendous importance that they each deserve to be discussed for at least a full twenty minutes. So far as summit conferences are concerned, I find myself holding a minority opinion in this Parliament. I believe that summit conferences are not giving any value to the Western world. The only people who derive any benefit from summit conferences or from any conferences between the Communists and the representatives of the United Nations or of the free world, are the Communists. Such conferences are abortive because they are used by the Communists as forums, not to negotiate, but in order to disseminate propaganda behind the iron curtain and in the neutral countries. Those conferences are used by the Communist Party operating throughout the free world in order to try to weaken the minds of simple people. If it were true that a summit conference could contribute one iota towards bringing peace to the world, then not one member of this Parliament, whatever his politics, would fail to support it whole-heartedly. All honorable members desire peace in the world. Nobody wants a nuclear war. Nobody wants to see the destruction that such a war would bring. All honorable members want to see a world living in peace and harmony. But the situation that exists to-day is that whilst we are striving to achieve peace, we are losing ground day by day because of the tactics of the Communists, who refuse to negotiate. I can speak with some personal knowledge of this subject because I was privileged in June of this year to attend a conference held at Panmunjon between the Communists and the United Nations forces to discuss the problems of the cease fire and the truce agreement on the 38th parallel in Korea. Very definite charges were made by General Biddle as the spokesman of the United Nations. General Biddle charged the Communists with breaches of the armistice agreement. But does any honorable member think that General Biddle could get the Communist spokesman even to discuss one point of the armistice agreement? No. Not once would General Chang Joon Joo, the Communist representative, come into the discussion on any basis of negotiation. I saw General Joo pick up and read a document that had been prepared by the Communist propaganda department in north Korea and red China. General Joo is a Moscow-trained propagandist who had no service in the army. He was appointed a general so that he could lead the Communist missions in discussions with the United Nations in Korea. The only value of an armistice conference to the Communists was that General Joo could take up a document prepared by the propagandists behind the iron curtain and read it, although it had no relation to the armistice agreement and no relation to anything for which the conference had been called. He was able to make false accusations against the United Nations and the free world in the belief that because these things were said at an international conference, the people of many neutral countries, who did not know about the propaganda that was being disseminated by the Communists, would be convinced in their minds that there must be some truth in them. One charge levelled by the Communists was that the United States was selling South Korean people into slavery in South America. The charges made by General Joo, who read from his prepared document for 40 minutes, were so ridiculous that honorable members would laugh at them. His purpose was to have the stories published in newspapers behind the iron curtain, and in countries such as India where they could be distributed in the bazaars. As evidence of the truth of the accusations, it would be pointed out that General Joo made the charges to the face of General Biddle, who led the United Nations delegation at the armistice talks in Korea. Is that not the situation that exists at every summit conference? Why is it that President Eisenhower, **Mr. Macmillan** and all other leaders of the free world have been reluctant to agree to attend a summit conference? Is it because they do not want peace? Anybody who suggests that is raving mad. Of course those men want peace. We all want peace. The reason why those leaders have been reluctant to attend a summit conference is that in their hearts they have held no hope that a summit conference would contribute anything towards peace; rather have they believed that it would provide an opportunity to the Communists to spread more propaganda, and so merely add fuel to the fires that are burning in the countries where Communist agitators have been able to bring about a state of unrest. That is all that such conferences can contribute. They have never yet resulted in any material gain to anybody except the Communists. I defy anybody to give me an instance of one summit conference or one international conference between the United Nations or the free world and the Communists where any gain was made by anybody other than the Communists. If at the proposed summit conference there would be an opportunity to tie the Communists down to an agenda so that they could not stray from it, and if there were reason to believe that they would adhere rigidly to the terms of the agenda and really discuss and negotiate on the problems of the world, I would support the conference. But I know from the records of previous conferences that such things are impossible. Therefore, I hold out no hope that the next summit conference will contribute anything towards world peace. It will only give a further advantage to the Communist world. Because we are limited to only twenty minutes in this debate, I must now turn to the other matter that I consider to be a major issue, and that is the recognition of red China. Honorable members heard two stories to-day from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell)** regarding recognition of red China. First of all he said that the policy of the Australian Labour Party was to recognize Communist China. Later, when the Minister for Health **(Dr. Donald Cameron)** challenged him, he qualified his statement. He qualified what is written in the resolutions carried at the Hobart conference of the Labour Party. I ask members of the Labour Party whether he, as Deputy Leader of the Opposition, has authority to qualify a decision of the Hobart conference? That decision of that conference was that the Labour Party would recognize Communist China. There was no suggestion of delay, nor was there any suggestion of the attitude towards the real Republic of China. The fact is that the Communist Government of Peking has laid down in strict terms that before it will enter into diplomatic relations with any country, that country must acknowledge that Peking - Mao Tse-tung - has a right to control the 10,000,000 people who are living on Taiwan. Those 10,000,000 people are enjoying a higher standard of living and a more honest government than are the people of any other country in Asia. I defy anybody to contradict that. A check with any department of foreign affairs in any government in the world, other than those behind the Iron Curtain, will confirm that the standard of living of the people on Taiwan is higher than in any other country in, Asia, and that the Government of Taiwan is honest. Those who advocate that Australia should recognize red China place a great deal of store on the fact that the United Kingdom has already done so. But let me remind honorable members that the United Kingdom found that it had made a mistake and it now regrets that it ever gave recognition to red China. {: .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr Duthie: -- What, rubbish! {: .speaker-L0V} ##### Mr WIGHT: -- The honorable member who interjects should go to his party room and look at to-day's issue of the Sydney " Sun ". The quotation that I propose to read is from a written statement by **Mr. Kishi,** Prime Minister of Japan. The newspaper report states - >In London, the British Prime Minister, **Mr. Macmillan,** . had told him Japan's policy, of not recognizing Communist China's Government in Peking was wise and realistic. > > **Mr.** Macmillian had expressed the view that, as things stood now, it was not wise to have political ties with the Peking Government and that Japan was taking the most realistic course of action. It is not the first time, let me remind the House, that **Mr. Macmillan** has expressed similar views. It is not the first time that it has been suggested by the representatives of the United Kingdom Government that they made a mistake in the recognition of red China. Honorable members on the Labour side of the House who are interjecting have got to advocate the recognition of red China because so many of the trade unions are controlled by Communists and Labour members know only too well that if they do not support the policy enunciated at the Hobart conference they will be dealt with by their own political party or Communists in the trade unions. Let us look at the facts. Let one member of the Opposition, including the Leader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt),** the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell)** and the aspirant to that position who is to speak next on the other side, give to this House one solid reason why Australia should recognize red China from the stand-point that this country has anything to gain by so doing. Can any member of this House tell me one thing that this country would gain by recognizing red China? I can tell this House a lot of things we would lose. It is true that the future of Australia is intimately bound up with what goes on in Asia. Of course, what happens in Europe will have a profound effect, but greater will be the effect of the events that will occur in Asia, and it is important that we in this country should learn to know more about the people of Asia by being closer to them, and getting to know their problems. I hear the honorable member for Reid **(Mr. Uren)** interjecting. He is a new member of this House and knows nothing about this subject as yet. Let me remind honorable members that there are only 34 countries in the world that have seen fit to have diplomatic relations with Communist China and twelve of them are members of the Communist bloc. Among the other 22 countries is the United Kingdom, which now admits that it made a mistake. There are also the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands. Although the " Sydney Morning Herald ", in advocating recognition of red China, made the suggestion that France had given recognition to red China, the newspaper was wrong, because the de Gaulle Government of France does not recognize red China, nor will it give recognition to red China. The only other countries that have given recognition to red China are those which have Communist or pro-Communist sympathies and a mere handful of neutral countries. But what of the free world? With the exception of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries, no country in the free world has given recognition to red China. Why should Australia recognize red China? The moment we gave recognition to red China we would lose the confidence and the faith of our friends in Asia, and they are not inconsiderable. There are a great many nations in Asia that are looking to us to give some leadership. There are people who are leaning on us and expecting us to continue to give them solid moral support. We are giving them economic support under the Colombo Plan. Let us continue to give them the support they look for. I refer particularly to the people who are struggling to reunify their countries which have been divided by Communist aggression, people who recognize that they are living on the brink of the smouldering volcano of Communist China. There are people who recognize that red China invaded Tibet for one purpose only - genocide. I had an opportunity to speak to a man who had escaped from Tibet and he told me that the whole policy of Communist China in Tibet was genocide- the elimination of all the Tibetans. The people of Thailand and of free China look to us for support. Are we going to betray them? Are we going to betray Viet Nam? Are we going to betray Korea? Are we prepared to betray the memory of the men who fought in Korea to stop Communist aggression and to try to bring about the reunification of that country? They gave their lives. Are we going to renege, on them? How could we say that we stood four square behind them if we recognized red China? We are still technically at war with red China. Of course we are! What happened in Korea? Was the war completely finished. No! There is a state of armed neutrality with forces drawn up on both sides of the 38th parallel. The Armistice Agreement entered into by the United Nations is continually being broken by the Communists in the north of Korea. They continue their arms build up. It is suggested that the Chinese army would withdraw behind the Yalu River, but have they? Can we engage in diplomatic relations with a country with which we are still technically at war? The whole suggestion of recognition of red China is ridiculous to this country. Those who suggest that we should recognize red China are provoked by one of two things. They are actuated either by greed, for by recognition they believe that greater trade will fill their purses even deeper, or they are lending themselves to Communist blackmail which will enable the Peking Government to get control of the 10,000,000 people in Formosa. It is important to the Communists to get control of Formosa and South Korea and Viet Nam, because let it not be forgotten that the fourth largest army in the world, outside the Iron Curtain is the Army of the Republic of Korea, and the fifth largest army outside the Iron Curtain is the army of the Republic of China. I remind the people who suggest that we are sabre rattling or that those armies are being maintained for purposes of aggression that it was the Communists who attacked Quemoy and Matsu islands and who sought to destroy Formosa. It was the Communists who on a peaceful Sunday morning launched a vicious attack on the peaceful people of the Republic of Korea. It was they who were the aggressors. The armies of the Republic of Korea and the Republic of China are maintained only to contribute to the peace of the world and if necessary to the re-unification of their countries and the release to freedom of their families and their countrymen. {: #subdebate-21-0-s15 .speaker-JRJ} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Bowden:
GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-21-0-s16 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD:
East Sydney Different Government speakers have described this debate in various ways. Some said that it was interesting, others said that it was important, and some said that it was dangerous. I was not too sure which term we should regard as being applicable to this debate until I heard the contribution of the honorable member for Lilley **(Mr. Wight).** It would not be a dangerous contribution in Australia, because he would be known for his sabre rattling and his red baiting, but in other countries where he is not known other than as a member of this Parliament, it would be a very dangerous contribution. I can now see the wisdom of the decision of the Liberal Party, made in the last few weeks, that in the future that party intends to commence its meetings with prayers. I think they need it if this is the type of policy which is to be pursued by these people who term themselves Young Liberals. Let me tell you what I think about the debate. This Government has earned a reputation for Ministers traipsing around the world, and naturally when they return to this country they have to give some explanation in an attempt to justify the expenditure upon their trips. The Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** himself - it seems to me that he goes away at least once a year- introduced this debate, and if his speech is the sole accomplishment of his recent trip, which cost about £13,000- I do not know the exact total - I say it was a colossal waste of public money. On almost any night of the week, in the capital cities, one can see the right honorable gentleman on television talking about where he went, and whom he met, and saying that he cannot divulge what was said in private conversations and that he gave world leaders overseas the benefit of his opinions. I have never before seen a leader of this country who was so egotistical as to believe that the leaders of the world just waited for him to go abroad in order to give them the benefit of his opinions. What does the Government say about red China? I shall refer to the general question of red China in a moment The honorable member for Lilley seemed greatly disturbed at the possibility that the Australian Government may reach the point of acknowledging the advisability of the recognition of red China. The honorable member for Chisholm **(Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes)** said that Labour speaks with two voices. He asked, "Who speaks for Labour? " The honorable member will now have to correct his speech, which implied that only Labour speaks with two voices, because the honorable member for Lilley has made it quite clear that he does not approve of the Prime Minister's advocacy of summit conferences. I think it is far better for the leaders of the two opposing groups in the world to talk, no matter how they may attempt to get the advantage over one another, and to go on talking, rather than to fight. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- The honorable member is not the only one who thinks that. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD: -- There are many people who think in the same way. If there is another war, it will not be the old kind of war fought by soldiers with bayonets and hand grenades. What we are discussing to-day is the possibility of decisions which may mean either the extinction or the survival of humanity itself. I am glad to see the number of members who have refrained from rattling the sabre and making provocative speeches in this debate. Let us be realistic about these problems. Australia is a great nation, but it is not a great military power, although one would almost think so to judge by the remarks of some Government supporters. It was only a few days ago, when we believe that the situation in Laos was worsening, that there was a great flurry to discover whether we had the capacity to send any aid if a war developed. Let us now consider what the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** said about the Government and its defences. I have stated that one would imagine, from the way some Government supporters talk, that we were a great military power. I think it is a good thing that the voice of Australia, which has a worldwide reputation for desiring peace, should be heard making its contribution in the attempt to preserve world peace, but let us noi come to believe that we can issue ultimatums to great powers and say to them, " This is the policy that you must follow. If you do not follow it, we will do something about the matter ". The honorable member for Mackellar criticized the Government that he supports, and said that the Department of Defence has consistently under-estimated the menace of atomic warfare and what it means. He said that liaison between the Cabinet and the Department is not good and that most of the things on which we have spent £190,000,000 for defence have given us very little defence potential. Let us be realistic about it. If there is one nation in the world which can benefit more than any other by the continuance of world peace, it is our country. We are merely 10,000,000 people. Our egotistical Prime Minister has now returned from his leisurely journey round the world. One would imagine, from the way in which he talked to-day, that it was a very arduous trip. I am not the only on: who has described it as leisurely. The right honorable gentleman visited many parts of the world including Washington, London. Bonn, Paris and The Hague. This Prime Minister of ours has earned a reputation for globe trotting! He has told us how he advised the various world leaders, lt is rather noticeable that the Government has been anxious to avoid a head-on collision between the Prime Minister, who has now changed his attitude towards summit conferences, and his own Minister for External Affairs, who, evidently, did not regard the statement made by the Prime Minister to-day as being of much importance. The Minister said only that he was very pleased to hear the Prime Minister's interesting story of his many contacts with world leaders. The Prime Minister's statement expressed no opinion about the situation in Berlin. 1 repeat: Let us be realistic. I admire the courage of the honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns),** who stated quite plainly that, no matter what we say here or what is said elsewhere, the unification of Germany can be forced only by a world war, and that that is too big a price to pay. I believe that if the world's leaders can continue to express points of view at summit conferences, the great powers will eventually reach an agreement that will provide a solution to the problem. Why did not the Prime Minister tell us of the difficulties caused by the division of Berlin and by the fact that West Berlin is some 150 miles inside Communist East Germany? With the city divided as it is, there are people living in the Western sector and working in the Communist part, and there are others who live in the Communist zone and work in the Western sector. This situation creates great problems, which can be settled peacefully only by the great powers getting together at summit conferences and reaching agreement. My one objection to the composition of the proposed summit conferences is that some of the great powers are to be excluded. If China is to be excluded from a summit conference, no agreement reached there will solve the problems in this part of the world that may involve Australia in great difficulties. Either China must be admitted to the summit conference which is now proposed or there must be further summit conferences at which the representatives of the Chinese Government are permitted to attend and express their government's viewpoint. The Prime Minister expressed certain views, no doubt because there had been criticism of his abject failures overseas in international affairs. We all remember his abject failure when he was sent by the United Kingdom Government to represent its viewpoint and that of the French Government in the negotiations with President Nasser over the Suez incident. The right honorable gentleman to-day assured the House that it was not correct, as the press had been saying, that he talked to Adenauer, de Gaulle and other world leaders as a representative of the United Kingdom Government. He said, "I did attend a meeting of the British Cabinet, and we did discuss the question of summit talks, but when I visited Adenauer and de Gaulle I merely expressed my own point of view ". Then he reported back to the United Kingdom Government. I accept his word that he was not the representative of the United Kingdom Government. I admire the wisdom of the United Kingdom Government in deciding not to have him as its representative, in view of his abject failure in his negotiations with Nasser. Let me return now to the past attitude of Government supporters towards summit talks. The honorable member for Lilley has not changed his ground. Consistently, Government supporters in this Parliament have opposed summit talks. I have heard some Government supporters say in this debate - and I have heard others applauding them - that, at summit talks, we should have to take the word of the Russian leaders, who would use summit conferences for propaganda conferences in order to gain an advantage for the countries in the Communist bloc. If that is the opinion of the Government, it ought to oppose summit conferences if it is to be consistent. The Prime Minister avoided all the major issues. We do not want to know whether he talked with somebody unless he is able to tell us what the talks were about and what opinions were expressed on both sides. The right honorable gentleman told us nothing about those things. He told us nothing about nuclear weapon bases or the creation of a neutral zone in Europe. He dealt with none of these things in the statement that he made this morning. We must remember, when we consider this matter, that the Prime Minister is not embarrassed by a lack of time in expressing his point of view. There has never been an occasion when the Prime Minister wanted unlimited time in this Parliament to state his attitude that unlimited time has not been conceded. The truth is that every Government supporter has his own foreign policy. What did the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** say about the recognition of Communist China? His view was expressed in these terms - >The Liberal Party would never favour recognition of Communist China until it gave up war as an instrument of policy. What does that mean? If the Chinese say that they have renounced war as an instrument of policy, will the Minister then advocate recognition of red China? Why does the Government want to impose on red China a condition precedent to recognition that is not imposed on Soviet Russia? Is there any difference between the point of view of the Russian Communist and that of the Chinese Communist? The Prime Minister talked of the right of self-determination and of the right of every nation to live its own life and govern itself as it wishes. Then we heard speakers on the Government side referring to the free world. What do they mean by the free world? In Pakistan, there is a military dictatorship, even if it is to be of only two years' duration, as the leader of that country has declared. Is Spain included in the free world in which the people are allowed to determine for themselves the form of government they will have? ls Portugal in that position, or even Algeria? In referring to Algeria, the Prime Minister said that forms of government should not be enforced from without. I agree entirely. I recognize the fundamental differences between our system and that prevailing in some other parts of the world. There are fundamental differences, but that does not mean that I do not recognize the right of people living in other countries to determine for themselves the form of government and the particular economic system under which they want to live. It is their right to make their own decision. Let me turn again to the Minister for External Affairs. I noticed that when he commenced his speech he began to say " red China " and then hesitated and said mainland China " and later used the term "continental China". A few months ago, when we on this side were referring to mainland China and continental China, members on the Government side implied that we were soft-pedalling on the subject and did not want to refer to that country as Communist China. For some reason or other they regarded that as a very strong criticism of Labour Party members. The countries which recognize Communist China, said the Minister for External Affairs, are not all free and independent nations. It is rather significant that when he was referring to the nations that had recognized red China he did not make any reference to the United Kingdom. The honorable member for Lilley says to-day that the British have changed their attitude, and he accepts as his authority none other than our former enemy, **Mr. Kishi,** who happens to be the Premier of Japan to-day. I should prefer to wait until **Mr. Macmillan,** who is quite capable of speaking on behalf of the United Kingdom, has commented, rather than take a second-hand report from a newspaper of a statement said to' have been made by the present leader of the Japanese nation. "The Minister for External Affairs said that in China to-day there are 650,000,000 people, and that China's population is increasing by 15,000,000 a year. Despite all this Government's immigration policies, that, means that in every twelve months the population of this great power that exists in the world to-day, whether we like it or not, increases by 50 per cent, more than our total population. The supporters of the Government say that we want to be realistic in our approach to' this question. They say that by recognizing, mainland China we will betray the National. Government of China, and Nationalist China, was described as a free' and: independent nation of 10,000.000: people. Nobody in the- Labour Party has ever" suggested that- those people should be' sacrificed in. any settlements, but surely noone believes for. a moment that the great powers of the world coul'd not settle this' problem without resort to war. There were, conferences'- on the-' matter between1 those three great world leaders - Churchill; Roosevelt and Stalin. They were not three Communists but one Communist and- twoantiCommunists:, They entered into* a solemn agreement recognizing Formosa asChinese territory. There can be no. doubt in the world- about that. In my opinion, a settlement is going to be obtained and I hope it will be done by peaceful means. There, has to be some settlement of this problem; otherwise it will always- be adanger, and a. threat to world peace. According to what the Minister for External1 Affairs said, this can be a very serious matter for us. He stated that the United States, by treaty, is pledged to defend Formosa - that is, to defend Formosa if Formosa is attacked. I think we shall have to have summit talks with the leaders of the Chinese nation. They must be Brought into the discussions if we are to have a peaceful settlement of this problem before it leads to world conflict. The Minister said that neither the Communists nor the non-Communists would accept two Chinas, Formosa talks of invading the mainland and reoccupying it. How foolish can you get! An island nation of 1 0,000,000' people talks about conquering and reoccupying a nation of 650,000.000 people, with a population increasing at the rate of 15,000,000- every year. On the subject of recognition of mainland' China by the United Nations, the Minister said that the question was not whether China should be a member, butwho should represent China. I have heard supporters of the Government speak- about democracy. I would not mind giving the Chinese people a vote and an opportunity to- determine the matter, but how can honorable members opposite argue' that they favour democracy when they say that in deciding' who should? have the right to represent China- at the' United Nations you should accept the representatives of an island of 10,000,000 people as against those of a country with a population of 650,000,000? How can that be regarded as a democratic and a sensible arrangement? The Minister for External Affairs said that recognition, fo which, he is still strongly opposed, would, not bring about reasonableness' or a- desire- to resolve- problems in at friendly way. He said' that- it would not solve- the problem of the division of Korea or the division of Viet Nam. He does know what it would' solve. At least anattempt coul'd' be made to- secure a settlement Conferences could? be held and' the problems- could'- be discussed. The recognition of China would- at least- lead the way to- a' summit conference' at which- the representatives of that? nation could1 be- invited' to express a> point of view. Why is the division remaining in Viet Nam? The northern Vietnamese outnumber the people living in. the southern portionof the country. The terms of the settlement were for a free election, but. the southern Vietnamese refuse to have a free election because they would be outnumbered. I am' not suggesting that that sort of thing does not go on on both sides' in the political argument. Where the Communist bloc believes that the people whose cause they are- advocating will- lose, they also avoid democratic elections if they are able to do so. That is an understandable approach. Let us not be foolish enough to believe that the time has not arrived for us in this country to reach a decision. We are in the Asian area. We have a great expanse of territory, a sparse population, and there are millions of people to the north of us. The speeches made by the honorable member for Lilley and other honorable members opposite will only be provocative and cause antagonism. I want to see peace prevail, not merely during my lifetime, but for all time, and not merely in this part of the world but throughout the world, because it is only by that means that humanity can survive. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Wentworth)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 234 {:#debate-22} ### CUSTOMS HOUSE, MELBOURNE Non-approval of Work - Public Works Committee Act. {: #debate-22-s0 .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr FREETH:
Minister for the Interior and Minister for Works · Forrest · LP -- I move - >That, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1913-1953, it is not expedient to carry out the following proposed work which was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works in 1956 for investigation and report and upon which the Committee reported unfavorably, namely: - The erection of additions to the Customs House, Flindersstreet, Melbourne. On 1st November, 1956, a proposal for the erection of additions to the Customs House, Flinders-street, Melbourne, was referred to the Public Works Committee for investigation and report. After consideration the committee recommended in its report, which was tabled in the House on 16th October, 1957, that erection of additions to the existing Customs House should not be accepted, but that the present Customs House should be demolished and replaced by a new building. The committee also recommended that when a suitable proposal for a new building had been developed, it should be submitted to the committee. The committee's report has been considered by the Government. It has finally agreed that a new Customs House should be provided but that the existing Customs House should not be demolished. This building, in addition to having considerable historical and architectural merits, can with little expense provide suitable accommodation for Commonwealth purposes for many years. The Government has decided, therefore, that the requirements of the Department of Customs and Excise in Melbourne should be provided in a new building in the vicinity of the present Customs House site where the Government has acquired suitable land. This proposal is being developed, and, when planning has been sufficiently advanced, I propose to seek the approval of the House to refer it to the Public Works Committee for investigation and report. {: #debate-22-s1 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL:
Melbourne .- I think that the Government has acted rightly in deciding to preserve the Customs House building in Melbourne. It is, as the Minister said, a building of architectural beauty and can be used for Government purposes when it is vacated by the Department of Customs and Excise. I am not so sure that the decision to build another Customs House in William-street, Melbourne, is the right decision to take. I can see no reason why the department could not be properly housed at the top of Spring-street in the second block of the new Commonwealth centre there. I know the argument that Customs officials need to be near the Customs House and the shipping interests, but then many taxpayers need to be near the Taxation Branch when they are in trouble. The new Commonwealth centre in Melbourne is very well situated and its further development will enhance the beauty and dignity of Melbourne, and particularly the part where it is situated. I hope that we will have no further misrepresentation at the hands of the press in regard to the future use of the Customs House in Melbourne. Some pundit, Canberra correspondent or equally foolish person published a story some time ago that members of the Commonwealth Parliament residing in Melbourne wanted to use portion of the Customs House building as a billiard room and also wanted all sorts of amenities provided for them in this area. Whoever else does not know, I certainly do know - and I am well acquainted with the activities of all members of this Parliament around Australia - that those who are chosen to represent the people in the National Parliament work hard and must work hard. They have no time during the day, or at any other time as far as I can see, for the type of leisurely life that newspapers sometimes suggest they would like to lead. I hope that the Customs House will be preserved for many years, but I want it preserved as Commonwealth property. I do not want it handed over to the Victorian Government or to the City of Melbourne. We now have some beautiful buildings in Melbourne belonging to the Commonwealth and they should be used to full advantage. 1 hope that next year the Government will start the construction of the second and third sections of the Commonwealth block at the top of Spring-street so that we can concentrate all Commonwealth buildings there. That will be of advantage to the taxpayers who need to go to Commonwealth offices, and it will in the long run mean a very substantial saving in the rents that are paid to-day for the buildings which are scattered around the city and which are occupied by the Victorian branches of the Commonwealth departments. {: #debate-22-s2 .speaker-LLW} ##### Mr DEAN:
Robertson .- As a member of the committee which brought in this report, I want to say two things in reply to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell)** who made some interesting comments about the future of the Customs House. The first point is that in evidence it was shown that the life of the present building is limited. It is not an economic building now from a departmental point of view. On the architectural aspect, a lot of evidence was given to show that it is not a good object of that type of architecture of the time. It is a stucco building, and far better examples of that type of architecture are available in Melbourne. The other point I wish to make is that it was shown in evidence without doubt that, if any alteration were started or an additional building put adjacent, as was suggested in the proposed work, the present Customs House would have to be demolished in any case. The committee thought, therefore, that it would be far wiser and more economic to demolish it straight away and put a new building on that site, and it recommended that course as Plan A. If the honorable gentleman will be good enough to look at the report of the committee, he will see what is recommended as Plan B. I hope that the Minister will consider referring the matter to the committee at the appropriate time. Question resolved in the affirmative. {: .page-start } page 235 {:#debate-23} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-23-0} #### SUPPLY. ("GRIEVANCE DAY.") {: #subdebate-23-0-s0 .speaker-JRJ} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Bowden: -- Order! As it is now past the time provided for " Grievance Day ", Order of the Day No. 1 will not be called on. The Committee of Supply will be set down for the next sitting. Sitting suspended from 6.2 to 8 p.m. {: .page-start } page 235 {:#debate-24} ### MATRIMONIAL CAUSES BILL 1959 {:#subdebate-24-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from 14th May (vide page 2239, vol. H. of R. 23), on motion by **Sir Garfield** Barwick - >That the bill be now read a second time. {: #subdebate-24-0-s0 .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT:
Leader of the Opposition · Hunter -- I think we all know that this bill is one of the greatest importance in that it affects the life of the whole Australian community. It seeks to effect some far-reaching reforms, and, in my opinion, it is one of the most important pieces of legislation with which we have had to deal because it affects not only the rights of parties to marriages but also the social welfare of the people as a whole. The Australian Labour Party, after considering the bill itself and realizing its importance, unanimously resolved that it should be treated as a non-party measure in both the House of Representatives and Senate. We firmly believe that no question of party politics can properly come into the discussion of this measure either in the House of Representatives or in the other place. I wish to refer first to the speech delivered by the Attorney-General **(Sir Garfield Barwick)** when moving the second reading of the bill. Immediately after he had completed his speech, I said that the bill was a great contribution to legal learning and practice and that its provisions evidenced great political wisdom. The AttorneyGeneral's speech was of very great importance. I have closely studied both that speech and the provisions of the bill and I feel that -a substantial case has been made by the Attorney-General. I do not propose to deal with every detail of the bill. That would be .impossible, for the measure covers a vast area, .affecting as it does the whole of Australia. It picks up the law of divorce applying at present in each State - and these laws differ in each of the States - and in the two Territories. Each of the six States, as well as the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory has its own law >on matrimonial -causes so that in all we have eight codes on matrimonial causes. This bill affects them all. It attempts to bring them together with the object of defining a just and reasonable law according to the <Commonwealth Constitution - and, incidentally, according to the constitution and rules of the Australian Labour Party. In other words, it aims at establishing a uniform law on divorce. That brings . me to "what was, in a sense, the origin of the legislation, ;and I want to refer to it shortly. The matter was not considered very closely by Parliament for many years. During the Second World War, a number of Australian women and girls married .members of armed forces which came to Australia from other countries. Very many of those women and girls left Australia and made their 'homes overseas. Others stayed here and were -deserted by their husbands. The question that then arose was, " What can be done in the case of those wives who 'have been finally; and irrevocably deserted? Where can they seek a remedy? " The whole law on matrimonial causes at the time was built upon the legal fact and legal theory that the husband and wife each had the same domicile or permanent home. In these cases - and it was the general rule - domicile was deemed to be the -home or domicile of the husband. Under those circumstances, these women found that although they had been deserted for the full period required by the law of the State in -which they happened to live, they were unable .to obtain redress. They could not bring suit in the place of their residence in Australia because, under the law, that was not their domicile. Their domicile was deemed to be the particular State in any country - if it was a federation such as the United States of America - in which their husband lived, and this meant that in order to obtain a dissolution of their .marriage they would have to go to the State in which their husband resided. After the Curtin Government and then the Chifley Government had considered the matter carefully, a law was framed under .the constitutional powers of the -Commonwealth Parliament to give such wives access to Australian courts if they desired to bring suit for divorce. This Parliament exercised its statutory -powers -to pass legislation which provided that the domicile of :such wives may be deemed to be -the 'State .or ;States in which they were Irving. By obtaining domicile in this way, those wives were able "to invoke the laws of the particular States -in which they then lived and so obtain (redress. That gave them tremendous relief from -the terrible injustices that they had been suffering and from the position in which they found themselves as a result of their marriage to members of visiting forces. Relatively speaking, only a small number of women were affected, although the actual number was large. Then came the broader issue. For a number of years, one of the distinguished judges of the High Court of Australia, the late **Sir George** Rich, referred over and over again to -the fact that in Australia a married woman who had been deserted by her husband, and he having gone to another State, or some other place not easily known, could not obtain redress in the State in which she resided because the State in which she lived was not deemed to be her domicile. The law .of divorce is governed by domicile in these cases, and, in the circumstances which I have described, the wife was debarred from bringing suit for divorce. On examining the position, we of the Labour Party felt that this state of affairs was completely illogical and that it should inevitably follow that if it was right to take the steps proposed for the relief of those Australian girls who had married members of overseas forces then it was equally right that similar opportunity for redress should be available to every Australian married woman who had been deserted in Australia and that she should be given domicile in the same -way it was proposed to give domicile to the Australian wives of members of overseas forces. Although that might sound complicated, generally speaking, it simply meant that upon establishing desertion for a fixed time, or adultery, it was possible in every State of Australia for a wife to obtain redress. Although there might be many differences between the laws of the various States, the basic grounds subsisted in most of them, and redress was possible in that way. It will be seen, therefore, that two very grave problems were solved by the exercise of Commonwealth powers. In the circumstances, we thought it was proper to consider whether we should allow to continue a situation in which there were eight sets of laws on divorce in Australia and in which it was very difficult indeed to obtain redress in our courts. " Could we not, therefore " it was asked, " have a uniform law of matrimonial causes for all Australia? " After all, that was why the power was included in the Constitution. Marriage and divorce is a subject for Commonweath Parliamentary jurisdiction. I do not know of any other federal system - certainly not that of the United States - in which the Government has the power to make a uniform law of divorce. I think that the Attorney-General has himself confirmed that fact. The power was included in the Australian Constitution in 1901 because, plainly, it was intended that it should be exercised. No doubt in the early days of federation there was not that sense of unity, or nationality, that exists in Australia to-day, partly as a result of the great crises that the country has been through during two world wars, and partly as a result of our rapid development into nationhood. When I was Attorney-General we were so fortunate as to obtain the services of three members of the bar in connexion with this problem. One was the honorable member for Balaclava **(Mr. Joske),** who is a very distinguished member of the profession, especially in regard to the very difficult law of divorce. Another was **Mr. Justice** Toose, who had been the divorce judge in New South Wales and had recently retired, and the third was Alderman K.C. - now Q.C. Those three gentlemen drafted a bill, which it was intended should be brought to the Parliament, for a uniform law of matrimonial causes. It was not possible to proceed with it during that Parliament, which covered the last period of office of the Chifley Government but, in a sense, it represented the beginning of the legislation that the Attorney-General has now put before us. Later, the honorable member for Balaclava brought down his own bill, which was, in some respects, different from the first. I think it is right to say that in some respects the grounds of divorce were not so broadly stated. Perhaps I should describe them as being not so liberal as those expressed in the first draft. The honorable member has taken part in the drafting of both measures, but the change was doubtless due to the parliamentary situation at the time. As honorable members know, the bill was treated here as an important measure, but could not be brought into law during that Parliament. The final step in the process has now been taken by the Attorney-General and the bill introduced by him, despite its resemblance to the previous bills, really takes up the whole problem in a broader way. I think that the feature of the legislation is not so much the inclusion of grounds for divorce which were absent from previous bills as the bold attempt to look at the problem of husband and wife and, incidental thereto, the problem of divorce from the point of view of the welfare of the people concerned, and the children in particular. An attempt is being made to solve this tremendous problem of divorce which is not, of course, limited to Australia and is to be found in so many other countries. To-day, I obtained from the Commonwealth Statistician some of the figures in relation to divorce. Let us consider the percentage of divorces per thousand of population. The figures reveal that there have been substantial increases not merely in totals but in percentages also. In the United States the percentage has increased. There has been a very large increase in Canada also. There has been a similar increase since 1930 in England and Wales. In France there has been a substantial increase, and in Australia also. Let us consider the position since 1949, when the backlog of cases had been to some extent overtaken by the Supreme Courts of the States. There has since been an improvement, as one would expect. The divorces per thousand of population in Australia have declined since 1941 from .83 to .65; in France from .95 to .66; in England and Wales from .78 to .52; and in Canada from 45 to .40. In the United States, which has the highest percentage of all, the figure has fallen from 2.67 per cent, to 2.22 per cent. Those are the percentages. They can be expressed in actual numbers, but numbers cannot measure the effect of matrimonial discord and disputes in all these countries in terms of human suffering, human pain and, I regret to say, often human cruelty. It is a great and tremendous problem. What I am especially pleased about is the attempt by the Attorney-General to go further than merely broadening the grounds which, I think, are within the purport and the spirit of the existing laws of the States. An attempt is being made to find a way of dealing with the problem of broken marriage. The bill is aimed at preventing divorce and separation and at ensuring that people who marry - especially young people - have a chance to succeed. It is quite usual for young people to encounter evil or unreliable advisers in the course of matrimonial disputes. Nothing is easier than to find such people. People come to the court after living under social conditions which, in early married life, have proved almost unbearable. They have had no proper home. They have often had to share a home with relatives, and live under conditions far from suitable. They have become very unhappy and ready to take offence - under circumstances which might well lead to litigation in the courts. That does happen. The great feature of this bill is that it seeks to prevent complete separation and establishes, or supports, organizations for the very purpose of reconciling people. I think that, having in mind the way it is done in this legislation, it is a completely new development in Australia. I do not think that its boldness has been exceeded in any other country. That is a matter for congratulation. When the case comes before the court a duty is placed upon the presiding judge to keep in mind always the possibility of reconciling the parties and of taking action accordingly if he thinks the attempt should be made. He can take the initiative himself. Indeed, in accordance with the words and spirit of the statute, he must do so. Marriage guidance organizations are to be not only established, but very largely financed by the community - by the Government. Their members will participate in the pursuit of the same aim. The Attorney-General is right to emphasize that these provisions are an attempt to prevent the breaking up of marriages. The court must, at the same time, dispense justice where there has been a serious breach of the marriage vows - the marriage contract. The two things go hand in hand. The objective that I have mentioned is stamped upon this legislation and cannot fail to give it impetus. The Attorney-General says, as I have tried to summarize, that legislatures have long since come to the view that a point of breakdown in relationships may be reached where it is proper that there should, in effect, be a divorce. There has been a complete failure of the marriage. The honorable gentleman said, in impressive terms - >There are those of us who cannot be reconciled in doctrine or in conscience to this view. This we understand and profoundly respect. But nobody supposes that this Government is to-day, for the first time introducing a system of divorce into Australian life. Such a system has been part of our civil law, part of the pattern of our community life, for a century. The first great divorce bill, enacted in the United Kingdom, became law in 1857, more than 100 years ago. That is not so long in the history of the Mother Country, but it is comparatively recent. But divorce legislation is almost all of the same age in the States of the Commonwealth. This legislation proceeds on two purposes. The first sets out the grounds upon which cases might be brought, either for divorce or for judicial separation; and the second sets up a system of reconciliation. The second is as necessary as the first. I think that most Australians will feel that the second purpose is equally important - indeed more important - than the first. Just imagine what could be done if, in the early stages of a marriage, the young parties to it were turned aside from their intention to obtain a separation or a complete divorce, and resolve, with the assistance of advisers, to make another effort to achieve the true objectives of marriage which, of course, can be the greatest blessing that any young Australian man or woman could enjoy. That is a bold step. I know very little of the working of marriage guidance organizations and I accept what the Attorney-General has said about them. I can appreciate how difficult it must be for people in this work to deal with marriage partners who come to them full of anger and complain about the conduct of each other. We can appreciate how difficult it would be to achieve a reconciliation. But then they have, side by side with them an experienced judicial officer, a judge of the Supreme Court, who will be able to intervene and be of assistance to them. He would have no other object than the carrying out of his statutory duties. Honorable members will appreciate how important is the work of marriage guidance organizations. I refer to clause 9 of the bill which provides assistance for them. It reads - >The Attorney-General may, from time to time, out of moneys appropriated by the Parliament for the purposes of this Part, grant to an approved marriage guidance organization, upon such conditions as he thinks fit, such sums by way of financial assistance as he determines. The Attorney-General's comment on that is that such work could not be assumed to be done satisfactorily by people who make it no more than a means of a livelihood. It calls for those who are specially trained for it. I am sure that all honorable members will agree with that. If their work is successful, no greater service could be rendered by them to the community. The honorable gentleman went on to say - >I am conscious that in the early days of married life, particularly amongst younger people, the two personalities which had theretofore no need to consider any one's interests or comfort but their own must make many adjustments in accommodation each to the other in married life. I would expect that, in this period, marriage guidance organizations, if they earn acceptance, can be most useful. I have felt that if, in this period, it was not easy for either party to commence judicial proceedings to end the marriage there would be a much greater prospect of a more earnest endeavour to make a success of the marriage; and there may be added scope for the services of the marriage guidance organizations. The bill then provides a rule that, with certain exceptions, no proceedings for dissolution or judicial separation may be commenced within three years of marriage except by leave of a court. That seems to me to be a very sound, common-sense rule. Three years is a substantial period, and that provision will prevent young couples from rushing into marriage and from rushing into divorce proceedings. That is the objective of that provision. Then there is a further provision dealing with the short step from marriage to divorce, the suit for the restitution of conjugal rights. In New South Wales if a decree for the restitution of conjugal rights directed to one party is not complied with within three weeks, the other party is entitled to bring a suit for divorce at once. The provision in the bill will apply uniformly to Australia, and will alter the present period laid down by State law. The Attorney-General said - >This bill makes provision for such a suit but it does not allow proceedings for dissolution of marriage to be taken immediately upon a failure to comply with an order for restitution. As I have pointed out, that is the present position in New South Wales. The AttorneyGeneral went on - >This bill permits proceedings for divorce founded on non-compliance with an order for restitution of conjugal rights only where that non-compliance has continued for the full space of one year and, of course, where three years have elapsed since the marriage. I think that is a substantial answer to those who may say that the bill makes short-cuts for the dissolution of marriage. On the contrary the design is clear, especially in respect of those who are recently married. There will be no encouragement for divorce - at' all for the first three years, but rather some compulsion to see that young people have time to work out a happier destiny than seemed to be threatening them. The whole design of these provisions is to avoid divorce and to maintain marriage. It cannot be denied that this measure is practical and sympathetic and may prove to be a positive contribution to the success of marriage. The objective of this legislation is not merely to be a charter of justice for those who have been wronged, possibly seriously, and therefore entitled to the orders of the court, releasing them from the bond of marriage or giving them recourse to the remedy of judicial separation. It seeks also to provide an opportunity to make a success of marriages which at first seemed to be threatened with disaster. The provisions of the bill, therefore, include matters such as the following: - 1, the approval of marriage guidance organizations; 2, limitation on the commencement of divorce proceedings in the first three years of marriage; 3, return of the procedure for restitution of conjugal rights to its function as an aid to reconciliation. Restitution of conjugal rights was a procedure known to the ecclesiastical courts. Reconciliation of the parties was the purpose of it. It was intended not as a step to end the marriage, but as a step to give the parties to the marriage another opportunity of carrying out their mutual obligations. The fourth matter included in the measure is resort to, and machinery for, conciliation either through the marriage guidance councils or with the assistance of the judge, wherever there is a practical possibility of success. Another is the ability when a party to a separation agreement bona fide wishes to resume married life to bring the consensual separation to an end. Then there is the limitation on the decree absolute - and this is a very important factor - until the court is satisfied that the welfare of the children has been secured. Now I turn to the second portion of the bill, which deals with the grounds upon which the remedy, and especially the remedy of dissolution of the marriage, can be obtained. Fourteen grounds are set out in clause 27, and they are, of course, based on the existing laws of the six States and the Territories - eight sets of laws altogether. There is a great deal of change in the laws of the varying States, and some simplification. The. grounds set out are extremely important. Many of them have been contained in. the earlier legislation to which I have referred, particularly the legislation drafted by the honorable member for Balaclava, by **Mr. Alderman** and by **Mr. Justice** Toose. In some respects, the periods for which misconduct must last have been shortened. For instance, in the case of cruelty the period in relation to proved cruelty is not as long as it previously was.I feel, **Sir, that** some illustrations in relation to the grounds are extremely helpful to an understanding of the purposes of the bill. In Western Australia, if the parties have been separated for five years without any order of the court, but completely separated, that is a ground upon which a complaint may be made aiming at a dissolution of the marriage. That has been in existence, I think, for fourteen or fifteen years in Western Australia. It seems to me that the ground upon which it is justified - and it has been put by the AttorneyGeneral in this way - is that in fact the marriage has broken down. I shall read the relevant portion of clause 27, which deals with the matter - {: type="i" start="1"} 0. . a petition under this Act for a decree of dissolution of the marriage may be based on one or more of the following grounds: - {: type="a" start="m"} 0. that, since the marriage, the parties to the marriage have been separated (whether by agreement, decree or otherwise) for a continuous period of not less than five years immediately preceding the date of the petition and there is no reasonable likelihood of cohabitation being resumed; My own view is that that, in effect, does mean that the marriage has broken down and is really, prima facie, incapable of being remedied. But even so, there is discretion in the court, and in certain circumstances the decree may be refused. Then there is this case which is new so far as the law of New South Wales is concerned. It is referred to in clause 27 (1) which reads - that the other party to the marriage - {: type="i" start="i"} 0. is, at the date of the petition of unsound mind and unlikely to recover; and 1. since the marriage and within the period of six years immediately preceding the date of the petition, has been confined for a period of, or for periods aggregating, not less than five years in an institution where persons may be confined for unsoundness of mind in accordance with law, or in more than one such institution; The very situation envisaged by that provision is one that would move any person to pity. It involves the tragedy of the home life broken up in the ease of, say, the wife having been stricken with mental disease, and the difficulty of the father fending for the children of the marriage. One's instinct might be to say that this is a pitiful case, but it is a case of illness and the decree should not be granted; but you have to look at the circumstances of the case. You have to see what is involved in the problem. That is, at any rate, the ground to be applied to New South Wales, because it is applied to the rest of Australia. I am pointing out some of these individual grounds partly for the purpose of their being understood by honorable members. The drafting of the legislation has been very carefully done. I can see in a case like this that one element of danger might be the evidence that is brought forward in order to prove the case - what the legislation calls " proving the fact that the party to the marriage is of unsound mind and unlikely to recover". Then you get the expert evidence put to the court - and in these cases you want security in these things. No doubt provisions should be obtained by which there is corroboration of the fact. Now I turn to the decree granted for failure to comply with an order for the restitution of conjugal rights. The bill provides that there must be disobedience of that order for a period of not less than twelve months, whereas under the New South Wales law at present a period of 21 days is regarded as sufficient. Another provision deals with habitual cruelty, the ground being that since the marriage the other party to the marriage has, during a period of not less than one year, habitually been guilty of cruelty to the petitioner. The period in some States is longer. If there is habitual cruelty it seems to me that proof of that over a period of twelve months is just as serious an infringement of the marriage obligation and vows as if it were for two or three years. In other words there should not be a requirement for an endurance over longer periods. Those are some of the chief grounds. The law of divorce will become, if the legislation is passed, part of the law of Australia. The domicile of every person in Australia seeking redress, whether husband or wife, will be domicile not in a State but in Australia. It will be an Australian domicile and the courts of the States and Territories will be vested with federal jurisdiction springing from this legislation. I think it is legislation that commands respect and attention and I am sure that the House will give it the close observation that is so necessary for this type of bill. I conclude on this note. There are two objectives. One is to have an Australian uniform law, and the other is to have the problem of domicile settled and removed practically from all consideration so far as divorce is concerned. The grounds, as I have tried to describe them, are a combination of a number of grounds taken from some of the State laws. They are not common to all the States but still they are there. They are very much in the same spirit as are the grounds on which the latest English law has been based, and above all there is an attempt, with the authority of this Parliament, to strengthen the marriage, to give opportunities for reconciliation by special bodies and marriage guidance organizations, with the judge doing his utmost to see that reconciliation is obtained and that the marriage which seemed on the point of being dissolved is brought into life again for the good of the couple and for the good of the community of Australia. From that point of view this legislation demands, and I am sure will receive, the complete attention of all honorable members. {: #subdebate-24-0-s1 .speaker-KDY} ##### Mr JOSKE:
Balaclava .- In his speech introducing this bill, the AttorneyGeneral **(Sir Garfield Barwick)** gave an extremely able exposition of a most important piece of legislation. His speech showed the tremendous amount of thought, time and effort that he had put into the preparation of this measure. I believe that this Parliament, the Government, and the people of Australia owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to him for all that he has done. Personally, I believe that he deserves the warmest congratulations. I should like to thank him personally, for the very courteous and, indeed, generous reference which he made to me during his speech. I should also like to thank the Leader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt)** for the kind reference that he made to me to-night, and also for the opportunity which he gave to me originally to prepare a bill on this subject. He thereby directed my mind to the great importance of the subject with which we are now dealing and kindled my enthusiasm for the idea that there should be uniform laws throughout Australia. I am also indebted to the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** for the tremendous amount of encouragement he has given to me on this matter and, indeed, for giving me the opportunity to bring forward private members' bills. The right honorable gentleman, in his policy speech, said that legislation would be brought forward by the Government, founded upon the previous private member's bill, and the proposal was referred to in the Governor-General's Speech. Ample opportunity has been given tor consideration of the provisions of this bill. There is a tremendous amount of public support for it. 1 would say that there is overwhelming public support for the bill. It is of great importance that it should be a government bill. Whether it is due to the t remendous amount of control that a government has in a parliament, or whether it is for other reasons, it is clear that the people of Australia regard a great piece of legislation such as this as legislation which a government should introduce. The people of Australia have voted the Government into office and they expect the Government itself to introduce its leading legislation. The idea obtains that a private member, in introducing a bill into Parliament, is endeavouring to foist his own views on the people of Australia. Of course, that is entirely wrong. Any private member's bill that is accepted by the Parliament represents the will of the Parliament. Nevertheless, the view prevails that a government should undertake this type of measure itself, and I heartily agree. In the preparation of this bill as a Government measure, many minds have concentrated on bringing out the best, and I believe that it is the best piece of legislation on this subject which has ever been brought before any parliament at any time. The Attorney-General, in his speech, was careful to point out the differences between the present bill and the private member's bill which was previously introduced. Of course, he was quite right in doing that. But it may be that, to some minds, the differences have been over-emphasized. Some people may think that a preference should be expressed for one bill or the other. I state unhesitatingly that I do not regard the differences as matters of substance or as matters upon which we can quarrel. They appear to be differences in detail rather than differences in principle. The first difference which the AttorneyGeneral mentioned concerned the reconciliation provision of the bill. All the reconciliation provisions in the previous bill have been adopted, but the Attorney-General has been able to go further. Because the Government has the power of the purse the Attorney-General has been able to include many valuable provisions with regard to marriage guidance. That is a tremendous step forward, an excellent development, and an improvement upon the private member's bill. The next difference which the AttorneyGeneral mentioned concerned the approach to the grounds of divorce. The Government was able to approach this matter in a direct way and there are now fourteen grounds for divorce instead of eight. It has been said, therefore, that the grounds of divorce have been widened, lt struck me, when I read that, that it was rather akin to the university students' claim that the examiner weighed the examination papers rather than examined their contents. In fact, if one examines the previous grounds and the present grounds, one sees that a great number of the additional grounds were in fact included within the compass of the grounds in the private member's bill. Therefore, there should be no reason to disagree with the bill on the basis that there are fourteen grounds for divorce instead of eight. In fact, the field is very much the same. There are certain distinctions which I shall refer to. First of all, the period of desertion is now two years, not three years. That is a difference of detail, not a difference of principle. The principle that desertion is a ground for divorce is accepted. How long the desertion period should continue has always been debatable, lt has to be remembered that the longer the desertion period, the greater the punishment of the person who has been wronged and who is prevented from getting a decree. It has to be remembered that before one party actually deserts the other a period of unhappiness has been gone through. Although it was provided originally that there should be a period of three years in order that people might have the opportunity to come together again, in my experience it is very rare indeed that people come together in the third year of desertion. The period of three years was first introduced into legislation in 1889 but the work of the courts in those days was not crowded. One could get one's case on for hearing very rapidly. Nowadays, this may take twelve months or longer. Consequently. although the period of desertion is being reduced from three years to two, in effect it will be the same as it was in 1889. The reduction of the desertion period to two years has enabled the Attorney-General to deal with the restitution provision in a somewhat different way to that in which it was dealt with in the private member's bill. But here, again, this is a matter of detail and not a matter of principle. The object of the provision in the private member's bill was to preserve restitution proceedings for genuine reconciliation and for nothing else. Therefore, there was to be a period of time between the taking of the restitution proceedings and any subsequent divorce proceedings for disobedience. That is exactly the same procedure as is being accepted in the present bill, but in view of the fact that the period of desertion is now to be two years, the period of delay before the second set of proceedings after restitution proceedings can be taken has been properly cut down to one year. The position now is that if a person wants to get a divorce by adopting restitution proceedings, he will first of all have to take the first set of restitution proceedings. That will cost him money. He will then have to wait a year before he can take the second set of divorce proceedings. That again will cost him money. In those circumstances, he has practically taken up the two years period of desertion at double expense. The probabilities are that restitution proceedings in future will be begun only for genuine purposes of reconciliation and not with a view to getting a quick or easy divorce. In other words, the blot which has existed in the law previously with regard to restitution proceedings will be removed by the measure which the Attorney-General has brought before us. In view of the fact that the period of desertion has been cut down to two years, it follows that the period applied to habitual drunkenness must also be cut down to two years because if a person, in an endeavour to save a marriage, is prepared to put up with two years drunkenness instead of leaving immediately and seeking a divorce for desertion after two years, surely that conduct in trying to hold a marriage together for an additional two years should not be penalised. With regard to the grounds mentioned by the Leader of the Opposition - habitual cruelty for one year - that provision differs somewhat from the ground of cruelty in the private member's bill. The provision in that bill was that cruelty must be in the form of repeated assaults for a period of one year. That was criticized on the ground that mental cruelty was not included. I think I should point out to the House that the ground in its present form is both narrower and wider than the ground in the previous measure. So far as physical cruelty is concerned, all that was necessary in the previous bill was repeated assaults and that could be satisfied by evidence of two or three assaults. In the present bill, habitual cruelty means that throughout the period of a year, the cruelty must be such as to be a habit. On the other hand, mental cruelty has been brought within that particular ground. The next matter to which the AttorneyGeneral referred as a matter of differentiation between the private member's bill and the present bill was in relation to the jurisdiction of the courts. The AttorneyGeneral said that in his bill, the State courts were to have jurisdiction and there was to be no Federal court. I point out that in the previous bill, the State courts' jurisdiction as Federal courts was also provided for. So far as a Federal court was concerned, there was no promise that that part of the bill would be accepted by the Government, and it was left to be proclaimed in the bill's own terms. So there is no substantial difference between the courts provided in the Attorney-General's measure and those provided in the previous bill. The last point of differentiation that the Attorney-General mentioned was with regard to judicial separation. The private member's bill provided in lieu of judicial separation that there should be a ground by which maintenance could be obtained without divorce or separation. But there was power also in the bill to grant relief by way of injunction, and an injunction would have been obtained if necessary in maintenance proceedings in order to prevent molestation, if that were needed. Actually, the only difference between judicial separation proceedings and the previous power of the court to give relief was that judicial separation amounts to a legal separation which is a bar to divorce. The AttorneyGeneral proposes to overcome that position by providing for five years separation as a ground of divorce, provided the marriage has completely broken down. In those circumstances, with that ground included, I can see no objection and no serious formal difference between his bill and the private member's bill. So the four differences to which the Attorney-General referred seem to me to be differences of detail rather than differences in matters of principle. As I have emphasized, the ground of five years separation is applicable only where a marriage has completely broken down. It is a ground which has been of use in Western Australia. The people of Western Australia insist that it has not been abused in any way. In fact, they go so far as to say that it has delayed divorce proceedings, because in order to prove that ground, it is not necessary to reveal in great detail the facts of the married life of the persons concerned. It is not necessary, as it is in a case of desertion, to disclose to the court all the unfortunate episodes and incidents which may have occurred during married life. Therefore, people prefer to delay their divorce for a period of two years in order that they may act on this ground rather than the ground of desertion. By dealing with the matter in the way that he has dealt with it, the Attorney-General has introduced a principle of public interest - that it is more in the interest of the public that a marriage which has thoroughly broken down should come to an end than that it should be carried on at the caprice of a particular individual. After all, separation is just as contrary to marriage vows as is divorce, and separation, in fact, does lead to very undesirable social conditions. Let me say just what this bill does. It is designed to produce uniformity of divorce throughout Australia. That has been requested for many years. In a matter closely concerning personal rights of citizens, unquestionably there should be uniform laws throughout the Commonwealth. There should not be inequalities and anomalies in different parts of the Commonwealth on matters such as this because if there are - and there have been - many injustices can occur and have occurred. The bill, for the first time, gives an Australian domicile, and enables a person to take proceedings wherever he or she is living in Australia without regard to the fact that there may be what is called domicile in a particular State, and having to go to that State for a divorce. The bill also preserves those rights, of women, which have been granted in prior legislation, enabling, them to get over technical difficulties with regard to domicile. The bill improves the position of women very greatly and protects them. So far as grounds for divorce are concerned, in Victoria women have always been under an injustice by reason of the rule that a repeated act of adultery had to be proved by a woman whereas in the case of a man, a single case of adultery had to be proved. Now, in this regard, women are to be put on the same basis as men. Women are to be given the right to have property of their husbands, settled upon them, if the court thinks it just. A husband may be prevented from getting rid of his property in such a way as to prevent orders for alimony and maintenance being effective. The power to make orders for alimony and maintenance is to be wider than it has ever been before. Having regard to the fact that a woman is generally desirous of being reconciled with her husband if possible, the provisions in the bill for reconciliation are of tremendous value to women in particular. I have said that a principle of public interest has been introduced into the bill, extending the old idea that divorce should be obtained only where wrong has been done. That principle is exemplified by three grounds, namely, the grounds of presumption of death, separation and insanity. So far as the insanity ground is concerned, insanity means incurable insanity. There must be confinement in a government mental institution for a period of five years immediately preceding the petition. Medical evidence is essential in these insanity cases to prove that the insanity is incurable. Itis. the institutional doctors who must give the medical evidence. They cannot afford to, and they do not, give evidence which indicates that a person is incurably insane unless the person is in fact incurably insane. Let me say something about insanity in relation to marriage. Insanity changes the personality completely. In many instances, the fact is that the insane partner no longer even recognizes the other partner. Even if there is recognition, all affection and kindly feeling have disappeared and there is no desire to have anything to do with the other party to the marriage. That is the effect of insanity in relation to married life. There is the separation in fact, due to the confinement in the. institution. Because a decree is granted on the grounds of insanity, that does not mean that the person, getting- the decree is relieved from all liability,. The court still has power, and frequently exercises its power, to provide for, the maintenance of the insane- person. That is, a provision which the AttorneyGeneral, very wisely and rightly, has retained in the present bill. As the Leader of the Opposition pointed out, this is a piece of legislation which has been long delayed. The power to pass legislation of this kind was inserted in the Commonwealth Constitution. It is the duty of the Parliament to pass, laws, and it is the duty of the Parliament to pass laws which humanity requires. This, is a, measure which humanity in. fact requires. Divorce, as the Leader of the Opposition said, has become accepted as a civil fact. Indeed, the churches, accept if to the degree that those members who are lawyers are allowed to take part in. divorce proceedings' as judges, counsel, or. solicitors, as the case may be. The basis of national life is family life. It is essential to the welfare of the nation that- family life Be preserved'. Divorce is not the disease; it is the remedy for the. disease. In the absence of divorce, and with separation only, you. have much bitterness, hatred, broken homes-, illicit and' irregular- relationships- and illegitimate children. With- divorce, family life by remarriagecan be renewed. Without divorce, you- do not get that when the parties are in- the unfortunate state of separation. The real" evil is- the separation and the causes of it. This bill will make the strongest possible contribution to upholding the sanctity of marriage, to keeping married couples together and to preserving family life. It is a bill which will save homes, not break homes. {: #subdebate-24-0-s2 .speaker-KVT} ##### Mr THOMPSON:
Port Adelaide -- I feel that it is a little presumptuous on my part to attempt to deal with, this matter. We have heard so far speeches by the Attorney-General **(Sir Garfield Barwick),** who is a noted barrister; by the Leader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt),** who is a very notable man of the law; and by the honorable member for Balaclava- **(Mr. Joske),** an expert in- these matters, who previously introduced a bill of this nature. I shall not attempt to go into the legal aspects of the measure, but I shall speak of its effect on the- people of Australia. When all is said and done, this legislation concerns the ordinary people of the community, not only one section. I congratulate the Attorney-General on the measure, and I say at the outset of my speech that I do not object even to one clause. If amendments, are moved pro. posing, alterations of the periods of time specified, I may be prepared to- consider them, but I accept the principles of the bill'. I think that the measure is long overdue. I know that the Attorney-General will pardon me if- 1- refer to some of the remarks he made in his second-reading speech. He referred to. paragraph- (xxii) of section 51 of the Constitution, which gives this Parliament power to, make laws with respect to - >Divorce and matrimonial causes; and in relation thereto, parental rights, and the custody and guardianship of infants. He then went on to, say. - >In simple- terms, our forefathers thought it appropriate to an Australian way of life for which they.- were, preparing that' the regulation of these matters- should, be. on- an Australia-wide basis. For almost two complete generations, this power has been left largely to the States. A little further, on, he said - >No. government! hitherto has sponsored a bill to introduce such, a federal, law. I feel that- the- Attorney-General! is to be congratulated, and that the Government, to a. degree,, is also< to- be congratulated for having the courage to, bring: down a bill: of this, nature.. No doubt the AttorneyGeneral! would.- say, "Jj have put nothing into the bill that- has: not been accepted by some. State of the Commonwealth in somewhat similar terms. I have introduced nothing really new, apart from the reconciliation provisions. All- that is proposed in. the bill, is. in operation, to a degree; in the States at the present time ". While E was. a. member of a State Parliament,, that. Parliament from time to time dealt with measures relating to divorce or matrimonial causes. Prior to the passage of some of those measures, people whom I knew came to see me about some of the proposed sections. I remember well discussing two matters of great moment that are exercising the minds of many people to-day. One is insantity as a ground for divorce, and the other concerns separation. When the South Australian Parliament provided for divorce on the ground of insanity - I think it specified a period of five years, as this bill does - I was a little afraid of what the consequence would be. I was afraid that a situation may arise in which a husband could get a divorce on the ground of his wife having been in an insane asylum for five years, and then at a later date the woman might regain her sanity and be discharged from the mental asylum. What would her position be then, when she found her husband married to another woman? However, since that provision was introduced, my fears have been proved groundless. I do not know of one case in which such a position has arisen. I say to the Attorney-General, therefore, that in making this provision general throughout Australia he will be taking a very slight chance of causing any ill-effects. On some remote occasion a case such as I have envisaged may arise, but, generally speaking, the benefits to be conferred will greatly outweigh any evils that may be caused. When we were discussing in South Australia the introduction of the provision to which I have just referred, I remember that one of our present judges of the South Australian Supreme Court, who was a member of the State Parliament at that time, said, " There is one danger in connexion with this ". Let me explain to honorable members that in South Australia it is necessary to obtain a court order covering a separation if the separation is to be made the basis of a divorce action; a voluntary separation is not sufficient. This gentleman, who was then a member of the South Australian Parliament, said, "The guilty one of the separated couple could obtain a divorce after five year's separation, and then, perhaps, marry again and have another family. The former wife might then be placed in a position in which she could not claim maintenance for herself or her children". I am pleased to note that the proposed legislation that is now before us makes provision for such a case. It provides that maintenance or alimony would still be payable in cases of that kind. It even provides that if the person concerned fails to pay, then the court may issue an order authorizing his employer to pay the money and deduct it from his wages. I have always felt that the question of matrimonial causes is a very important one in our community, and I am pleased to see that this measure will give a degree of protection to the children of a divorced couple, no matter the grounds on which the divorce was obtained, greater than that afforded under the laws of any of the States. It is only right that we should do something for the children who are the innocent victims of broken marriages. I have tried to judge this legislation not merely from a legal stand-point but from a consideration of its effects on our people. When we are considering the provision to make separation for five years a ground for divorce, I am reminded of certain cases that have come to my notice from time to time. Only last year a lady in her fifties came to me and asked me to try to assist her to obtain a pension. She said, " I was married 30-odd years ago, and when my baby was twelve months old my husband took me to a tumbledown shack at the edge of a brickyard. There was no bed to put the baby in and no furniture. I told him I could not live there, and he said, Well, go back to your parents'". She then went back to her parents and in order to retain control of the infant she made a voluntary agreement of separation, under which he paid her a few shillings a week for the infant and nothing at all for herself. When she came to me the infant had grown up. By this time the child was 32 years of age and was then a married woman with two children. The father of the lady in question, a ship's captain, had died in the meantime. She was not able to work to keep herself, and she wanted to obtain a divorce because another man, a very fine type, wished to marry her. She went to our legal representative, and he told her that she could not get a divorce in South Australia. She had been separated from her husband for 32 years, she had worked to keep herself during that period, and her child had grown up. Nevertheless, she could not get a divorce. The legal representative told her that if she went to Western Australia and lived there for two years she could get a divorce under the laws of that State. The Attorney-General knows the particular law to which I am referring. The man who wanted to marry her said to her, " If you cannot get a divorce we will go and live together ". I say to those church people who have such high principles - and I speak now as a Christian man: Is it better that that woman should be able to obtain a divorce in those circumstances or that she should have to go and live in adultery - as she eventually had to do? The man concerned ultimately died suddenly and she came to me for assistance. She could not claim maintenance from her husband, and she was in dire straits. Fortunately, as she had lived for three years with the second man, she was able to obtain a pension. This is one of the anomalies that the present legislation will remedy in South Australia. Let me mention another case to honorable members. A man came to me two or three years ago and asked me to do something for him. He said, " My wife and I agreed to part 25 years ago ". This man was a good worker in one of our leading Adelaide churches. He was a man of fine character and his wife was a good type of woman, but because years ago they could not agree on some question they decided to part. However, because they had obtained no court order to cover the separation they could not be divorced. I went into the question, and I said, "I am sorry, but there is nothing I can do. That is the law." This man wanted to marry another woman with whom he was acquainted. He was getting along in years and wanted a companion, but the law prevented him from marrying. We have heard today from people who want to stick to the old church edict, " Whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder". I believe that God never intended that when a couple were married by a priest or a clergyman of any church, who said those words at the ceremony, the woman then had to live under conditions under which many women have to live to-day. Some men these days are worse than animals, but women who have married them are debarred from obtaining divorces unless they can prove one of the grounds for divorce laid down in the laws of the various States. I was pleased to hear the honorable member for Balaclava **(Mr. Joske)** refer to mental cruelty. I am well aware of how some women are struggling to raise families and how their husbands, although they earn a wage that could provide all the necessaries of life, give them only about one-third of their wage and waste the remainder in all manner of ways. Some of those women are at the end of their wits. Their health is deteriorating and they are almost at the point of mental breakdown. Perhaps some of them could have left their husbands and obtained a divorce on the ground of constructive desertion. Some people to-day claim that from a Christian stand-point constructive desertion as a ground for divorce is undesirable. In my opinion it is very desirable and could be a God-send to many people. I can recall many instances of tragedy and heart-break that have come to my notice. Many years ago at about the time when widows' pensions were introduced, a woman came to me and said that she had three sons in the services. One of them, who was in the Navy, had made an allotment to her. That woman was very worried because she had never been married to the father of her sons, although they were not aware of that. It was the same old story. The father's wife had left him and this woman had kept house for him and they had lived together as man and wife. Although the father had been dead for a number of years, the mother was afraid that her sons would learn the true position. The father had not been able to obtain a divorce from his wife because of religious beliefs. It was the old story of people who placed dogmas of the years above people's happiness. I do not accept those old church principles. The happiness of men and women and their children is more precious to me than the teachings ot years of any denomination. The Attorney-General told us what family life means to a nation. But I refuse to believe that all problem children come from homes that have been broken up by divorce. In my opinion the great majority of delinquent children come from homes where the husband and wife are living cat and dog lives. The children have no happiness in the home and their parents find difficulty in finding grounds for divorce. The bill provides that a divorce will not be granted before a couple have been married for at least three years, but I am glad that there is a proviso to that. Otherwise I dp not think that I could have supported the bill. The Attorney-General has inserted a proviso that a divorce may be granted before a couple have been married for three years, by order of the court. Most honorable members know of couples who, although married for less than three years, are leading tragic lives. I will admit that usually the blame for the failure of a marriage lies with the husband and not the wife. Not all women are white angels, but in the majority of broken marriages the husband is to blame because of the way he has treated his wife. I come from an industrial area, but living in that area are some of the finest people it is possible to meet. Unfortunately some of the worst types of people who live in the big cities drift towards the industrial areas. I agree that we should not make divorce easy. I do not want to read in our newspapers of women going to a particular State, residing there for a fortnight or so, and then obtaining a divorce. However, I do think that the rights of our people as human beings should be recognized. It is all very well to quote the law. I can remember going to a government department recently and being told by an official that to comply with a request that I had made would involve breaking the law. I said to him, "If that is so, go ahead and break the law ". Ultimately he did and I congratulated him. I recognize the need for law in divorce but above all else I think the needs of the individual must be recognized. There is a tendency to-day for many people to claim that Parliament is responsible for the actions of the people. I can remember being invited some years ago to a clergymens' fraternity meeting. I was in the South Australian Parliament at the time. One of the clergymen began to tell me what Parliament should do about gambling. I told the clergyman that they should not place the responsibility for the moral life of the people on Parliament. I told them that if they could show their parishioners what was right and what was wrong, there would be no need for Parliament to make laws to enforce morality. I say the same thing to-day. Some clergymen are afraid that this bill will make divorce a little easier to obtain in some States than it is at present. But the bill will make no difference to people who are good Christians and who follow their church, because for them there will be no need for divorce. Regardless of their religion, if people follow the teachings of their church they will be leading proper lives and will have no need of divorce. Many divorces could be prevented if married couples attended their church more regularly. When a .census is taken people state that they are Presbyterians, Methodists, and so on. But many of them have not been to church since they were married. lt is their responsibility to see that their children attend church in order to obtain the moral training necessary to enable them to go through life. The bill before the House makes provision for financial assistance to marriage guidance councils. Some of the provisions to be found in this bill are not present in the divorce legislation of all States, although they may be found in the legislation of some States. I told the House earlier of the solicitor who advised a lady that if she went to Western Australia and lived there for two years she could get a divorce but that if she remained in South Australia she could not obtain a divorce. Similarly, in one of the States - I forget which- under the existing law a wife must prove that her husband has really bashed her and chastised her severely before she may obtain a divorce on the ground of cruelty. I also told the House earlier of a woman who was driven into a mental state and did not know what to do. I heard yesterday of a man who has a nice home and the money to carry it on but he is so tight regarding money matters that his wife is worried out of her life and wants to get away from him. I know that this bill will not cure those cases. They are typical of the matters we have to face in our communities at the present time. Earlier to-day, an honorable member said he thought that debates on foreign affairs were the most important ones in this House. I think that debates concerning the lives of our people are the most important debates. I might be a little bit sentimental about kiddies, and I know that the church says a divorce should not be given on this ground or that ground, but I always -remember His word - >And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. I .do not think that Christ would tell a woman that she had to continue to live under such miserable conditions that he kiddies were afraid to say anything to their father when he came home because he was the worse for liquor. We must realize that there are certain principles that should be stood up for. The honorable member for Balaclava **(Mr. Joske)** said that there were means ot dealing with these matters. I admit that, but we have to adopt methods that will meet the needs of the people. I should like to say, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** that I am not speaking to-night as the mouthpiece of the Labour Party. This is one of the occasions on which you, **Sir, on** your side and I on my side can say what we think, and I am not putting forward anything from the party viewpoint. My view is that this bill is not going too far, and I am prepared to support it. As I have said, in one or two cases I would be prepared to go even a little bit further than this bill goes, but if in the opinion of honorable members generally a clause should be amended in a way which would not materially affect it, I would be prepared to consider the proposal. I congratulate the Atttorney-General **(Sir Garfield Barwick)** on his secondreading speech, and I also congratulate the honorable member for Balaclava for the persistency that he has evinced in endeavouring to obtain a uniform divorce law. As he knows, I did not agree with his proposal to withdraw the separation clause, and I am glad that the Minister has retained it in this bill. I notice that the grounds for separation are the same as those for divorce. As I have said before, I am pleased with what has been done to protect the children of divorcees. Generally speaking, I think this is a good bill, and it has my support. {: #subdebate-24-0-s3 .speaker-JNZ} ##### Mr BANDIDT:
Wide Bay .- I have been privileged for 28 years to advise my fellow citizens about all types of troubles and difficulties. After that experience, and after studying this bill, I say with humility that it is a good measure. It bears witness to the great skill and the hard work of a brilliant lawyer, and it bears witness also to the courage of the Government, because most governments fight shy of introducing bills of this nature. To those members of this House who do not agree with some provisions of the bill, I should like to stress one thing. The question is not whether we should have an act dealing with divorce and matrimonial causes or not, because we have a series of statutes in the various States of the Commonwealth dealing with that very subject. The question is whether we are to have a Commonwealth act dealing with that subject instead of a series of State acts. Because the Government has had the courage to bring in this bill, under the Constitution, instead of allowing a lot of piecemeal acts to remain on the various statute-books, I say that this bill deserves commendation. Some honorable members may not approve of some of the grounds for divorce; some honorable members may wish to amend certain of the grounds; but I have no doubt that every one will agree that this measure will add richly to our social law. Due to the skill and industry of the AttorneyGeneral **(Sir Garfield Barwick),** the measure does so in many ways. For example, he made it clear that divorce is not the only subject that we should consider. He made it clear that reconciliation, and the protection of the children of every marriage are matters that deserve our first and paramount consideration. The provisions in the bill dealing with reconciliation enable the Attorney-General to grant to an approved marriage guidance organization, upon such conditions as he thinks fit, such sums by way of financial assistance as he determines, and although it is believed by some people that marriage guidance organizations are not effective, a great number of people throughout our land believe that not only are they effective but they are also very desirable organizations. It is believed, too, that if a marriage guidance organization is able to save only one marriage in ten, or one in 50, it has served a good purpose. This measure provides not only for marriage guidance councils but also the means of reconciliation through them. The bill goes even further by enabling the courts to try to reconcile couples. Clause 14 (1.) provides - >It is the duty of the court in which a matrimonial cause has been instituted to give consideration, from time to time, to the possibility of a reconciliation of the parties to the marriage (unless the proceedings are of such a nature that it would not be appropriate to do so), and if at any time it appears to the Judge constituting the court, either from the nature of the case, the evidence in the proceedings or the attitude of those parties, or of either of them, or of counsel, that there is a reasonable possibility of such a reconciliation, the Judge may do all or any of the following: - > >adjourn the proceedings to afford those parties an opportunity of becoming reconciled or to enable anything to be done in accordance with either of the next two succeeding paragraphs; > >with the consent of those parties, interview them in chambers, with or without counsel, as the Judge thinks proper, with a view to effecting a reconciliation; > >nominate - > >an approved marriage guidance organization or a person with experience or training in marriage conciliation; or > >in special circumstances, some other suitable person, to endeavour, with the consent of those parties, to effect a reconciliation. So this bill introduces something very important. It lays it down as a principle that it shall be the duty of the court at all stages to try to effect reconciliation between the two warring parties. Some people may say that once the parties to a marriage have gone to a court it is of no use to talk about reconciliation. **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** I have seen people who entered a court in a very hostile frame of mind leave that court and embrace each other. That is where the value of reconciliation lies. Human nature is such that reconciliation is never impossible. Marriage is the basis of our unit of social life, and this bill, in its attempt to preserve marriage, does everything possible to protect the children of a marriage. It is framed in accordance with the principle that everything possible must be done for the children, whether or not a marriage breaks up. The bill makes provision for the case where a marriage breaks up com pletely, despite attempts at reconciliation. Clause 66 (1.) states - >Where there are children of the marriage in relation to whom this section applies, the decree nisi shall not become absolute unless the court, by order, has declared that it is satisfied - > >that proper arrangements have been made for the welfare of those children; or > >that there are such special circumstances that the decree nisi should become absolute notwithstanding that it is not satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the welfare of those children. So the bill tries to ensure that the children receive all possible protection. It goes even further by providing means for proper maintenance, custody and settlements. It provides that the court may make whatever order it thinks fit for the maintenance of a spouse. It lays it down that, in proceedings for custody, the court shall regard the welfare of the children as the paramount consideration. With respect to the settlement of property, clause 79 (1.) provides - {: type="i" start="1"} 0. . the court may, in proceedings with respect to the settlement of property, . . . make such order as it thinks proper. . . . There are certain qualifications attached to that clause. So the court will have very wide powers not only with respect to reconciliation and the welfare of children, but also with respect to maintenance, custody, and the settlement of property. But this measure goes further still. One of the difficulties with respect to maintenance - the sum awarded being commonly called alimony - is that it is not always easy to enforce an order for maintenance, but the bill gives power to attach the earnings of a husband. Clause 97 reads - >An order under this Act for the payment of maintenance may be enforced in accordance with the Third Schedule to this Act. . . . The Third Schedule contains very detailed provisions for the enforcement of orders for maintenance. I have mentioned the way in which this bill adds to our social law in an enlightened manner. But it does more than that. It introduces obvious improvements. I cannot outline them all, but I should like to mention some. First, let me say that when I was called upon during World War II. to advise servicemen and their families on matters arising out of domestic troubles, and especially those who wanted advice about divorce, the first question that I had to ask was, " Which State do you come from? ". All of the servicemen and servicemen's wives who came to see me on these matters appeared to me to be Australians. 1 may say that even one who came from the Mallee looked no different from any other Australian. The reason why I had to ask that quesiton was that the rights with respect to divorce depend entirely on the State from which one comes. If it was, say, a wife from the enlightened State of Victoria who came to see me about a divorce, I was able to ascertain by looking at a very admirable book entitled " The Laws of Marriage and Divorce in Australia and New Zealand ", commonly spoken of by lawyers as " Joske on Divorce ", that she would have to prove that her husband had committed adultery more than once, if she wished to proceed on the ground of adultery. However, a husband from Victoria would be told by me that he needed to prove only that his wife had committed adultery once. I make no comment as to how advanced is Victoria's social legislation. I merely point out that, at present, the rights to a divorce depend entirely on the State in which one lives. 1 could tell a person from New South Wales who wished to obtain an order for the restitution of conjugal rights, and to proceed for a divorce if the order were not complied with, that a divorce could be sought after the time prescribed in the order had elapsed, and that that time was usually 21 days. But I had to tell a South Australian that proceedings for divorce could not be taken until the failure to comply with the order for restitution of conjugal rights had continued for three years. It is obvious, in the light of these facts, that, in a country like Australia, we must have a common set of laws on such an important matter as marriage and divorce. A mere glance at the schedule that has been provided by the Attorney-General, showing all the grounds for divorce in Australia, should convince us that the time is ripe for something to be done. Honorable members have heard it stated that, generally speaking, this bill provides that no petition can be lodged until after three years from the date of marriage. That is one example of how every attempt has been made to make the parties think about their responsibilities under the marriage. At the present time, in New South Wales, for example, it is possible theoretically to take action after a few months of marriage, to obtain a decree for restitution of conjugal rights, and to obtain a divorce in much under a year. This bill will prevent such hurried acts on the part of petitioners. The bill makes another improvement of our existing laws, whichever State we may consider. There is a part of the bill which provides practically for automatic decrees absolute. As you know, **Sir, first** of all a decree nisi is granted, but under existing law certain steps have to be taken to obtain a decree absolute, involving the parties in extra trouble and extra expense. Under this bill, the obtaining of a decree absolute will be almost automatic, because it provides that, in general, a decree nisi will become absolute at the expiration of a period of three months from the date of the making of the decree. There is also provision to cover other circumstances. Even that time may be reduced by order, or it may be extended. That is a considerable addition to our present laws. Another improvement contemplated by the bill is to be found in the provision that enables separation to be brought to an end. Under existing law, once a separation of a certain type is signed by the parties, that settles the matter for the future. No matter what may happen, that agreement keeps the parties apart for the future, and keeps them apart undivorced. This bill provides that where a husband and a wife are parties to an agreement for separation, whether by word of mouth or in writing, or constituted by conduct, the refusal by one of them, without reasonable justification, to comply with the other's genuine request to resume cohabitation constitutes, as from the date of the refusal, wilful desertion without just cause or excuse on the part of the party so refusing. If a married couple have agreed in writing, or in any other way, to separate, and if one of them says, " I am sick of this, I want you to come back " - believe me, a lot of people say that genuinely - if the other party does not come back in response to that genuine request, that constitutes a ground for divorce. The bill is a long one and embodies many new and important provisions. It prescribes many grounds for divorce. It contains many other provisions which will add greatly to our social law. There will come a time when those of us who do not agree with a specific ground for divorce, for example, will have the right to ask for an amendment of that ground, but at this stage there is one important question before us. It is not whether divorce is or is not a good thing, or whether the provision of a lot of grounds for divorce is good or bad, but whether it is desirable that the Commonwealth should deal with questions of divorce and matrimonial causes, of the reconciliation of estranged couples, and of the care, custody and maintenance of the children of a marriage. Is. it desirable that this Commonwealth of ours, having been given power under the Constitution to do so, should deal with this question, or should we leave the law relating to matrimonial causes in the state- in which it is to-day, with a whole series of differing grounds and a whole series of differing provisions throughout the various States, of the Commonwealth? I submit, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** that there is only one answer to the question I have posed, and that is that we should support this bill. {: #subdebate-24-0-s4 .speaker-KWR} ##### Mr TURNER:
Bradfield .- It must be very gratifying to the AttorneyGeneral **(Sir Garfield Barwick)** and to the honorable, member for Balaclava **(Mr. Joske)** to find the measure of agreement that has been evident to-night. The Leader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt),,** himself a very distinguished lawyer and himself the Attorney-General when this matter was first taken in hand, has, as I understand, him,, given the bill his blessing. The honorable member for Port Adelaide **(Mr. Thompson)** drew on the rich fund of his own experience and gave us some examples illustrating why this measure is desirable. Of course, other honorable members, on this side of the chamber have spoken in. support of it. I find myself in the difficulty, **Sir, that** although there must be. some criticism of the bill, that criticism has not yet become' vocal in the House. So, I must draw upon what I have heard outside and upon what I anticipate may follow during the course of the debate. I support the bill wholeheartedly for several very good reasons. The first reason - and it is not at all original - is that it is a very good bill, proposing many substantial and significant improvements of the law as it at present operates in regard to this matter in the various States. Secondly, I support the bill because it eliminates many needless and pointless complexities, arising from the existence of six separate codes within the one Australian community; thirdly, because it gives to all Australians a common code, intelligible to all and applicable to all, in a field where the rights and obligations of citizens ought to be generally known and clearly understood; and fourthly, because such a- bill is a challenge to the courage and sense of responsibility of honorable members. We may exercise a free vote. The subject-matter is not a popular one; and the responsibility lies at the door of each individual member. For those reasons, **Sir, I** wholeheartedly support the bill. The subject of this measure is inevitably highly controversial. People will be guided by their prejudices, by their own individual experiences and, I suppose, by their genuine religious susceptibilities in many cases. The answers given to this question, therefore, may well be different and conflicting. Nevertheless, as I have said1, a decision must be made by honorable members, since this matter has come before us and we cannot evade that obligation. Before turning to the contents of the bill and discussing them in a little more detail, it may be as well to say a few words in reply to those who contend that this Commonwealth Parliament ought, not to deal with a matter of this kind, that it is no business of the Australian Parliament and should be left to the States. These people say, firstly, that there is no mandate for the bill. I point out that before, the conclusion of the last Parliament it was clearly stated that a bill of this kind would be brought down by the. Attorney-General. That was clearly understood by every one. But again, since this is a measure upon which there is a free vote and upon which honorable members will not be regimented by the Whips, each member has an individual responsibility to bis constituents. That is a greater responsibility than often exists when a number of proposals have been put into a policy speech. The electors may approve in general of a party's proposals but may not approve of individual matters. There is a more immediate responsibility of the Parliament to the people in a case like this. Secondly, the critics say that there is no demand' for the bill. I have before me a list of a score of organizations, mainly women's organizations, that have over the years endorsed the principle of a uniform divorce code and have indeed urged upon successive governments that it should be implemented. I do not propose to read the names of these organizations because, in view of the turn the debate has taken, I feel that that is quite unnecessary. But I ask this: Before we pass legislation, must we wait until there is a clamour for it? I do not remember any great demand for the " little Budget ", for example. I cannot recall any newspaper, any section of the people, or indeed any individual urging its introduction. Nevertheless, it was something that had to be done in the interests of the community, and the Government had to shoulder the responsibility of doing it. There are many people to whom this bill is tremendously important and, even if there is no clamour, there is a duty upon this Parliament to give relief. Thirdly, the critics say that there is no virtue in uniformity for its own sake. I agree with that, but the fact is that this bill stands upon its own excellence. It does not depend upon the fact simply that it introduces uniformity into this field of the law. But let me look at the matter conversely. Is there any peculiar virtue in diversity? I personally prefer to wear a pair of shoes rather than to have two odd ones. If diversity has no particular virtue then there is no merit as far as I can see, in perpetuating it. Further, it has been said, I think by a former member of this House - there are others who agree with him - that it will be very difficult to obtain any amendment to this once it is passed. It is true that this is a very unpopular field of legislation. It is true that few will agree with any bill or any amendment that is brought forward on these matters, and once a law is passed it is difficult to have it amended. But I suggest that the States have not been very progressive in their attitude on these matters. The Parliament at Westminster, which provides for something like 60,000,000 people, has not been notably behindhand, compared with the States of Australia, in bringing its matrimonial law up to date-. Indeed, there is a very good reason why this should be so. I believe that the broader national issues swallow the smaller issues. It is less likely that the members of a State Parliament, immersed in all the little matters, will tackle an issue of this kind, which electorally may affect them far more than it will affect the members of a National Parliament. The bigger national issues tend to swallow up the smaller issues. Clearing the ground before I come to the bill itself, I shall deal with just one other matter. There are those who object to the bill in toto because they object to divorce in any shape or form. I would say here that for one hundred years, since the first divorce bill was introduced in the United Kingdom Parliament, the principle has been generally accepted that ordinary people may obtain relief in the courts of the land for intolerable matrimonial circumstances. So this bill does not in that respect introduce any new principle. Of course, stricter rules will bind the conscience of individuals, and it is quite right that that should be so. Even if it were possible and desirable to put back the- clock a hundred years and prohibit divorce absolutely, this could not prevent the de facto termination of marriages or the formation of unions that were not recognized by the law. Indeed, we might abolish divorce but we would not abolish the separation of married people and we would not prevent them, as individuals, from establishing other associations. But this would have the great disadvantage that these things would not be legalized, and great sorrow and hurt to the community as a whole would flow from that situation. I shall now refer to the increasing divorce rate, which was cited at an earlier stage in the debate. In earlier times, external compulsions bound people together but to-day the parties to a marriage have to work through a conscious self-discipline to maintain their marriages. New economic factors are at work. Because of full employment, higher living standards and so forth, young people are able to marry earlier, perhaps when they are less mature, and difficulties arise from that situation. To-day, unlike the situation that existed in the times of our grandmothers, women are trained for work and can obtain it. Recently, I was present at the marriage of a young woman doctor to a young engineer. At any time, if her husband did not appeal to her for some reason and if there were children of the marriage, that woman could say, " Very well, 1 will look after the children myself. 1 have the means of livelihood for myself and my children ". That was not so in the days of our grandmothers. To-day, there are not only economic factors, but social factors as well. Knowledge of sex and birth control is widespread. Novels, films and plays have inculcated a different point of view. There have been two world wars in half a century, with the resultant intermingling of the sexes. All these factors have led to the development of a different attitude of mind and, therefore, we have had a much higher divorce rate than was experienced in earlier times. I believe, also, that too often the passions of the parents have been preferred to the welfare of the children. That is part of the outlook of the present time. I believe, with the honorable member for Port Adelaide that the whole responsibility for this situation is not to be placed upon the shoulders of a parliament. It is true that, in legislation of this kind, we can do something through the reconciliation provisions of the bill, and Parliament should do what can be done. But really the prevention of the separation of married people is a matter far wider than can be handled by a parliament. It is a matter for the general attitude of the community, for the churches, for educators of various kinds, whether in schools or universities, and for the equally important educators - those who write books and plays and produce films- This is a matter of the attitude of the community and for those who form and mould the minds of the people, not least among whom are the church leaders. So I say the whole responsibility for failing to prevent divorces from happening is not to be placed upon Parliament. Having. I hope, cleared the ground to some extent with regard to the objections to a bill brought forward in this Parliament, and the objections of those who are opposed to divorce for any reason whatever, I turn to those principles of the bill the excellence of which I think will not be denied by anybody, although some may disagree with the means chosen by the Minister for giving effect to them. First, I think that the emphasis upon reconciliation will be accepted without question by all honorable members, and by the public, as a highly desirable feature of the bill. For example, clause 14 imposes upon the judge a special duty to bring about a reconciliation if, at any stage of the proceedings, he thinks there is any possibility of bringing it about, either directly through his own attempts in chambers, or by referring the matter, with the consent of the parties, to a conciliator who is a member of a marriage guidance organization, or some other person agreed upon by the parties. Clause 14 also makes provision for the granting of financial assistance to marriage guidance organizations. It may well be that at the time when the parties have become so estranged that they have appeared before the court, prospects of a reconciliation are not very bright, but I think the provision for financial support of these organizations is primarily designed to bring about assistance at an earlier stage during the marriage before there is any prospect of divorce in the home. It may be possible at that stage to prevent a difficulty from growing and ending in the divorce court. There are other mechanisms in the bill designed to bring about a reconciliation. There may be some dispute as to the efficacy of those, and I shall have more to say about them in a few minutes, for I am dealing now with those matters upon which I should imagine there would be common agreement in the House and amongst the public. The second feature upon which I think there will be such agreement is that which emphasises the special rights and the special place of children in these matters. Too often in the past the parties have considered not the children but merely themselves. I have no personal experience of these matters, but I have spoken to barristers who have practised extensively in the matrimonial jurisdiction. They assure me that, contrary to what I would have believed to be the fact, when parties go to the court seeking a divorce they seldom think of the children. Therefore, I feel that the provision that the judge may not pronounce a decree absolute until he is satisfied that proper financial provision has been made for the children is very salutary because, at the very outset of the proceedings, it brings before the parties the question of what is to happen to the children if and when a divorce is granted. I can imagine nothing more effective than that both in reconciling the parties and in emphasizing the rights of the children, and I am glad that the definition of " children " as contained in clause 6 is wise and humane. The third feature about which I think there will be very little disagreement is the fact that the bill brings about various technical improvements. For example, it clarifies the law relating to constructive desertion. Under the existing law in the various States, if one party leaves the matrimonial home, that is regarded as desertion. Again, if one party, through his or her own conduct, drives out the other party, that is deemed to be constructive desertion and is regarded by the courts as the equivalent of desertion. Sometimes where, through constructive desertion, one party has been driven out of the matrimonial home by conduct that any reasonable person would regard as intolerable, it is argued - and it may be believed - that the party guilty of that conduct did not intend to drive out the other party; in other words, one could beat one's wife and yet be perfectly sincere in wishing her to stay in the home so that one could continue to beat her. In such circumstances, the court can decide, under the existing law, that there is no intention to drive the other party out and that therefore constructive desertion has not been established. It is provided by clause 28 of the bill that if the conduct of one party to the marriage is such that any reasonable person would have just cause to leave the home, the other party is not to be heard to say he or she did not intend to drive that party out. There is also provision for the much more effective enforcement of orders for the payment of maintenance to a wife. This is covered by clause 97 and the Third Schedule, and I believe that it will receive general approval. There is also a great simplification of the law relating to domicile. This is covered by clause 23 and I am sure it will have general approbation. Certain matters relating to evidence are also clarified by the bill. There may be some doubt as to such matters as cruelty and insanity, but I believe that they are matters upon which there should be fairly common agreement. In the past, the States have accepted " repeated assaults and cruel beatings " as ground for divorce. This bill substitutes the simple ground of " cruelty " as contained in the English law. I am only a layman, but the terms " repeated assaults " and " cruel beatings ' have a rather mediaeval ring to me, and I should think that the substitution of " cruelty " for those terms is a marked improvement of which most people would approve. I think insanity is accepted as a ground for divorce in every State except New South Wales. Nobody looking at the careful drafting of this bill with relation to insanity could come to any conclusion other than that it contains every safeguard to ensure that, as far as all human knowledge goes, the insane person is not likely to recover from his or her insanity and so bring about that poignant situation described in Clemence Dane's play "A Bill of Divorcement ". On all these matters I think there will be fairly common or almost total agreement. I come now to some other matters which may be more controversial. I am concerned about one, although it is possible that others might not be really concerned about it. I refer to the fact that I find myself rather at a loss to understand exactly what the Attorney-General means by these sentences in his second-reading speech and, so far as I do understand them, I find myself unable to agree entirely with them - >I do not hold with the view that this work- that is, the work of marriage guidance - can be done satisfactorily by people who make it no more than a means of livelihood. The work will best be done by those who, as well as being trained, have a sense of vocation and who, to a large extent, volunteer their good offices in this very skilful and sympathetic task. I will acknowledge that the best marriage guidance counsellor is one who is professionally trained, who is or has been married, who has a practical experience of the problems of marriage, who gives his or her spare time in a voluntary capacity and, who, as a sine qua non, has a sense of vocation. But are these the only people qualified to carry out this work? I believe that professional training is very important indeed, and I would not have it said that a medical man, a teacher, or any of the many other classes of people who perform services which are of great value to the community, could not possibly have a sense of vocation for that work if he were also paid fees or received ordinary professional emolument for his work. I see no objection to a fully trained social worker who is receiving an ordinary professional salary being employed in this work, provided always that he has a sense of vocation. Indeed, if this service is to be extended to the country areas - as it should - the Government will need all the help that it can get, including fully paid professional workers. I made it my business to visit some of those who were conducting marriage guidance organizations. As I waited at one office someone rang seeking assistance. He was told that it would be three months before an interview could be given. If that is happening now in the metropolitan area, what will happen when we try to extend these services to the country? I hope that the Attorney-General will personally exercise his power to ensure that proper training schemes are undertaken by these organizations in co-operation with the relevant departments of universities, where these exist, and that he will not look askance at the employment of professional people wherever it is possible. I hope that he will be generous in this matter and that this talk of reconciliation is not merely a means of dressing up the bill. I do not suggest for a moment that it is, or that the AttorneyGeneral is other than completely sincere. No doubt with the financial provision that will be made in this direction, he will be able to carry out his intention. I come now to two or three matters that might be contentious. The bill provides that no divorce shall be possible within three years of marriage. Some people have objected to this requirement. The honorable member for Port Adelaide **(Mr. Thompson)** said that he would not have approved it but for the inclusion of certain safeguards. I do not think that it will do a great deal of good. I have looked up the statistics and I find that only 2 per cent, of marriages end in divorce within the first three years. The Morton Commission also looked at this matter. Tt agreed to retain the provision in the English act, but did not recommend its application in Scotland, where it had not previously operated because it felt that the results had not proved a dramatic success in England. Nevertheless, if the provision saves but one marriage in this country, its insertion will have proved worthwhile. Clause 66 provides that no decree absolute shall be granted until a court is satisfied that adequate financial arrangements have been made in regard to the children. It has been suggested that this could result in some delay in the granting of a decree absolute, and the possible birth of illegitimate children. I do not believe that that is a real objection because in such a situation there would be pressure upon the parties to come to some agreement about the children before entering upon proceedings. In 1957, in Australia 6,298 marriages were dissolved. The number of children involved was 8,127. This is a tremendous problem. In a single year over 8,000 children became children from broken homes! All the social workers with whom I have spoken agree that delinquency and instability in children arises, in almost every case, from the fact that their homes have been broken, or do not function satisfactorily. This is one of the great cancers in our community. If the courts can offer financial security to such children - so far as legislation can make that possible - something worth while will have been done But we have to go much further than that. It is a matter of education to prevent the breaking of homes. The educators and the churches cannot pass over this matter, for Parliament will have done what it could. My time is limited and it is not possible for me to say very much more. However, I should like to say a word or two about the curtailment from three years to two. years of the period specified as amounting to desertion. At present in the States it is three years. In my opinion, two years is ample time for the parties to have second thoughts. Indeed, I would be inclined to regard the desertion as having occurred, not at the end of two years or three years, but at the beginning of that period. The period specified would merely provide evidence that the intention to desert was permanent and irrevocable; that no second thoughts were possible. When one looks at the principle underlying the provision one feels that an absence for two years will present satisfactory evidence of desertion. {: #subdebate-24-0-s5 .speaker-KSC} ##### Mr SPEAKER (Hon John McLeay:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA Order! The honorable gentleman's time has expired. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Courtnay)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 257 {:#debate-25} ### ADJOURNMENT {:#subdebate-25-0} #### Pharmaceutical Benefits - Harvesting Machinery - Import Licensing - Australian Airlines - Superannuation - Grave of William Farrer Motion (by **Sir Garfield** Barwick) proposed - >That the 'House do now adjourn. {: #subdebate-25-0-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY:
Grayndler .- I wish to raise with the Minister for Health **(Dr. Donald Cameron)** a matter which relates to the free medicine scheme - to the deletion from the list of a number of medicines that are vital to elderly people, including age and invalid pensioners. Without touching on a matter that is now before this House, I would like to express my concern at the fact that in future, whether medicines are on the formulary or not, an initial fee of 5s. will have to be paid where a prescription in respect of them is made out. That will cause even greater hardship than the deletion from the list of a number of free medicines. When Labour introduced the free medicine scheme the great criticism of the then Opposition was that the formulary was restricted and did not include every medicine that a person might need. To-day, we see the Government implementing a scheme which does not provide for the free distribution of life-saving drugs and is, as a result, caus ing untold hardship to a particular section of the community. During the recess I received a letter, dated 28th July, from a constituent who is in a very bad state of health. He said - >My only worry is the huge weekly cost I have to pay for life-saving tablets for myself and my wife, and I trust you will appeal to Bob Menzies, **Dr. Cameron,** Minister for Health, and all members of the Federal Parliament to see that these tablets, when prescribed by a doctor, will be free at once to all pensioners, as the economy of the country could afford it. Following are the names and cost of these tablets: Largactil (25) £1 10s. 9d.; Esidrex (20) £1; Sonergan (25) 8s.; Randixin (100) £2 4s.- total £5 2s. 9d. These tablets are purchased from Washington and Soul, Dulwich Hill. I do trust you will do your best in this case when Parliament resumes business, and I would like you to read my letter to the House if possible so that electors and pensioners would hear over the air the broadcast of Parliament from Canberra and its reply. I received a further letter, dated 6th August, in these terms - >Re tablets that are not free but charged to all pensioners who are compelled to purchase on a doctor's orders, that they may survive heart attacks, in fact, from my experience, these costly tablets are 100 per cent, and give a patient with cardiac complaints great relief, as against the free tablets, which are inferior substitutes. I would like you, when in consultation with **Dr. Cameron,** to tell him that pensioners on £4 7s. 6d. a week complain bitterly to me of their inability in old age to pay, and trust you will be able to impress the doctor. The altered catalogue is just completed for chemists, but not one of those mentioned by me are free . . . He added this postscript - >My own doctor told me at to-day's visit that the catalogue for chemists was just issued so I have wrote to let you know. None of these items is on it. I mention these facts to the Minister for Health in order that he might give favorable consideration to including on the list these medicines which are so vital, as this person has mentioned, to aged and invalid persons in particular and naturally to people who might be in a bad state of health. The cost will not be so very great in the overall scheme of things. These medicines will be taken only by people vitally interested in them, and who need them because they are essential for life saving purposes. I cannot imagine that there would be any run on them which would increase, to any extent, the overall cost of the scheme at the present time. Naturally, J am in complete disagreement with the initial charge being imposed on pensioners and people such as these. {: .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr DONALD CAMERON:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP -- It will not affect the pensioners. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- Yes, it will. I have just read a letter which the Minister evidently did not hear because his festivities evidentlyprevented him from being present to hear the important matter which I have just brought before the House. However, this letter will be recorded in " Hansard " for him to read to-morrow morning and 1 hope that, in his cooler moments he will sit down and examine it. He will then find that the wild remark he made just now was not only unjustified but also inaccurate. This person is still buying the drugs, at high cost, paying for them out of his age and invalid pension. He cannot live unless he keeps on buying the drugs, but he can scarcely afford to do so. I think it is time the Minister overhauled this formulary completely and included every drug needed by people in the categories I have mentioned. I do not wish to say more at this stage. I hope that the Minister will give consideration to my submissions and study the case I have mentioned. There are many others in the same category. After listening to the Budget Speech delivered by the Treasurer **(Mr. Harold Holt),** which some people said was inspiring, I cannot see any reason why the Government should endeavour to save a few miserable pounds at the expense of the aged, sick and infirm by denying them the life-saving drugs which I have mentioned. I appeal, therefore to the sympathetic nature of the Minister for Health and to his sense of justice. No doubt, he agrees that all persons should share in the prosperity which is said to prevail at the present time. Surely, these persons whom I have mentioned and others similarly affected should receive a greater measure of social justice by having these drugs made available to them entirely free of cost. This would enable them to live in a reasonable degree of peace and on a less costly basis. {: #subdebate-25-0-s1 .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON:
Canning .- I hate to delay the House at this hour of the night, but the subject I wish to deal with is entirely different from that mentioned by the honorable member for Grayndler **(Mr. Daly).** Some years ago the Government saw fit to permit the importation of harvesting machinery from West Germany into Western Australia because the manufacturers in the eastern States could not supply it to that far-distant bulwark of democracy. Since then they have been able to import Claas harvesters from West Germany, and these have performed very great service for the farming community in Western Australia. They have been supplied also to South Australia, and some to Queensland. In December last year the importing firm lodged an application with the Customs Department to import some drawn machines with a power take-off and some self-propelled machines. Until 5th May this year no decision had been made. When inquiries were made from the Customs Department it was found that the authorities saw fit to grant an import licence, duty free, for 60 of the drawn machines, but refused a permit for the importation of the self-propelled models. Negotiations have been going on since then until this afternoon when a final approach was made to the Minister for Customs. Acting on the advice he has received he has seen fit to reject again the application. This matter has been in the hands of the Minister for Agriculture in Western Australia. The Premier of that State and also the Minister for Industrial Development have taken a keen interest in it. It is impossible for the Commonwealth authorities to carry out a physical check of these machines. Honorable members will agree that it would be impracticable to line up each type of machine one beside the other in a crop in order to test their capabilities. However, the Minister for Customs, being in some doubt, had to come down, perhaps rightly on the side of the Australian manufacturers. According to my information, there is no machine manufactured in Australia comparable with the Claas machine. My own sense of their capabilities leads me to the conclusion that they are an engineering product whereas others that are manufactured look like the product of a blacksmith. The manufacturers in Australia - the International Harvester Company and Massey-Ferguson - say that this year they will manufacture two models of selfpropelled harvesters, one with a 10-foot cut and the other with a 14-foot cut. The cost will be £1,200 less than the imported machine even free of duty. Although some people in this Parliament and elsewhere may think that the farmer is a fool, he is not quite what they may believe. He has to balance his budget, and I cannot imagine any farmer with any sense of responsibility or with any business acumen paying £1,200 more than he need for a machine if he will not get £1,200 worth of service out of it. No clear-cut advice has been given to the Minister for Customs and consequently he has had to come down on the side of the Australian manufacturer. At the moment there is a drive going on in Western Australia to encourage manufacturers from overseas to come and establish industries in that State. The Claas harvester people are prepared to come out and investigate the possibilities of setting up such an industry in Western Australia. Their machines, which are equipped with a British diesel engine for their self-propulsion, would be manufactured and exported to South Australia and Queensland and as far away as New Zealand which, I understand, is some 1,200 miles by sea from Sydney. There is a small opportunity, to say *the* least, of encouraging the establishment of this industry in Western Australia. Therefore, I appeal to the Minister for Air **(Mr. Osborne)** who is now at the table and who represents the Minister for Customs in this House, to consider this application once again before a final decision is made and the door is closed irrevocably. If this happened, an order which is already placed in Germany would have to be cancelled. The latest date on which these machines could be shipped from Hamburg is 26th August, thirteen days from now. To-morrow night at 8.30 o'clock western standard time, the general manager of the importing company will leave Perth to go to Germany to discuss matters further with the manufacturers. **Sir Edward** Lefroy is already there with his representatives. He has an idea of bringing the machines to Western Australia. I understand that 30 are wanted for that State, something like twenty for Queensland, in respect of which my colleague and friend, the honorable member for Darling Downs **(Mr. Swartz)** has been making representations, and I understand that the State from which the honorable member for Wakefield **(Mr. Kelly)** hails is also looking forward to receiving a proportion of the number coming to Western Australia. I ask again that further consideration, even at this late stage, be given to this matter as there is an element of doubt as to the capabilities and capacity of the Australian manufactured machines. It would be of great advantage to allow the German machine to come in duty free and if the manufacturers could be encouraged to establish their industry in Western Australia this would prove of great benefit to farmers in more than one State. At the moment honorable members may be aware that the Department of Primary Industry tenders advice to the Department of Customs, but the Department of Primary Industry can only look at the facts placed before them per medium of advertisements. As I have mentioned previously they cannot go into the field and carry out practical tests. Those of us who have been associated with the land know the impracticability of that. Since the importation of the ordinary harvesting machines the manufacture of Australian harvesting equipment has improved immeasurably. The bearings and so forth, and even the nuts and bolts put into them, have altered considerably - in fact completely - since the days before this machine was imported. Production of the machines is now moving from being a blacksmith's job to being an engineer's job. This imported machine can harvest in damp and dewy conditions, and can also harvest for longer periods in areas contiguous to the coast. The ordinary machine can go for only a couple of hours during the day before having to stop as a result of damp conditions coming in with the coastal breezes or dewy conditions arriving overnight. The imported machine can also harvest through the night - a performance that has not yet been obtained from any machine manufactured in this country. In saying that, I do not want honorable members to think that I am condemning the Australian machines on that score. All I want to say is that these machines are capable of harvesting every kind of seed that we might grow in this country. They can even operate satisfactorily at Humpty Doo in the harvesting of rice, whereas no other Australian machine can do this without extra attachments. The people in Western Australia feel very bitterly disappointed with the activities of the department in that part of the world when they realize that the Case company from Racine, Wisconsin, in the United States of America can land here duty free machines which are only a 14-ft. cut but Western Australia cannot get them although the ability to use them would give the fanners an added opportunity for harvesting for longer periods and enable them to pick up down and tangled crops. I can assure you that they are very bitter about it tonight, as I rang the Western Australian Minister for Agriculture who is going to see the Premier, who will get in touch with the Prime Minister on the matter. So I request the Minister for Air **(Mr. Osborne)** who represents in this House the Minister for Customs and Excise, to urge that Minister to look again into the matter, because, as I said previously there is an element of doubt. I do not disagree with the principle that where a good case has been made out definitely for protection of an Australian industry the scales should come down on the side of the Australian manufacturer; but in view of the circumstances surrounding this machine, and in view of its capabilities, and because no comparable machine is being manufactured in Australia, the authorities should tend towards the importation of this machine duty free instead of imposing a duty of 30 per cent, on it. {: #subdebate-25-0-s2 .speaker-KMD} ##### Mr OSBORNE:
Minister for Air · Evans · LP -- As the Minister representing in this House the Minister for Customs and Excise **(Senator Henty)** I have been informed of this application concerning the West German Class 12-ft. combine harvester in the self-propelled category. I shall certainly convey the request of the honorable member for Canning **(Mr. Hamilton)** to the Minister for Customs and Excise for a further investigation of this matter. However, as I understand the situation it is not a matter of the exercise of discretion, but a matter of the law and its proper administration. The law at present imposes a protective duty of 30 per cent, most-favoured-nation on 12-ft. combine self-propelled harvesters. The Minister is authorized to admit by a bylaw, duty free, articles of this sort, provided that no suitably equivalent machine is manufactured in Australia. As to the self-propelled 12-ft. combine harvester, a machine of this sort is now manufactured in Australia, and the manufacturers have objected to the by-law admission, dutyfree, of the imported article. The Minister has examined the .situation and has decided that the Australian machine is a suitably equivalent machine. The test is not, as the honorable member for Canning suggested, whether the one is as good as the other, or whether the one is reasonably preferred by farmers to the other. The test is rather: Is it capable of doing the same sort of work? {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr Hamilton: -- The farmers say it is not. {: .speaker-KMD} ##### Mr OSBORNE: -- Though the farmers may prefer one to the other, nevertheless it is a matter of law and the proper administration of the law that is involved. The law to give protection to the Australian manufacturers having been passed, and the Australian manufacturers having claimed that protection, it must be accorded to them. The honorable member for Canning mentioned the possibility of the West German company undertaking the manufacture of these machines in Australia. The application of a protective duty should certainly not prevent them from carrying out that intention, but rather should encourage them, because it is to protect and encourage Australian manufacture that such duties are imposed. I shall convey to the Minister for Customs and Excise in another place the honorable member's request that this matter be further examined {: #subdebate-25-0-s3 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD:
East Sydney .- I desire to take this opportunity to refer to two matters. It has been a well-known fact for some time among many people that the Government does not want Trans-Australia Airlines to prosper. The Government wants to destroy it, in the interests of its private competitors. I am quite aware that the Minister in charge of the House will tell me, in reply to my criticism, that the Government has nothing to do with the matter, .and that independent authorities are operating these services. But it is under those people, evidently, that rationalization of services, involving a great deal of damage to T.A.A., is being carried out. A few figures that have been given to me by another honorable member show that for some reason or other a T.A.A. Viscount leaves Perth at 10.15 a.m., and arrives in Melbourne, after a stopover at Adelaide, at *T.H5* p.m. The last plane from Melbourne to Canberra has left at .7.5 p.m. I understand that if a passenger cares to travel on to Sydney he can arrive in 'Sydney at 8.5 p.m.; but the last plane from Sydney to Canberra has left 35 minutes prior to that. When some 'honorable members who want to travel by T.A.A. - the safe way - have complained about the situation they have been advised by letter to make their arrangements with Ansett-A.N.A., the opponents of T.A.A. Now, it is quite obvious that if the .people in charge of T.A.A. were running it in the interests of the nation .and had to make their own decisions they would not arrange a timetable in such a stupid fashion. They would be going after the business. So, -either the people who are running T.A.A. or some of them could be sabotaging the line or not doing their best, or T.A.A.'s services could be crippled by other people who, on the plea of rationalization, are giving all of the advantages to Ansett-A.N.A. Here is another instance. There is a flight from Perth on five nights a week. The aircraft by-passes Adelaide and is scheduled to arrive in Melbourne at 7 a.m. But it has been consistently arriving early. If the aircraft arrives at the scheduled time a passenger has one hour to one and a half hours to wait for a connexion to Canberra; but usually these planes arrive earlier than the scheduled time and the passenger has to wait for over two hours before he can get a connexion to Canberra. I should like the Minister responsible to get an explanation for this, because I was rather disturbed to read in the press recently of the great advances being made by AnsettA.N.A. in competition with the national airline. -I am quite certain that these advances are not made as a result of any comparison in respect of safety, because T.A.A. has never lost a passenger whereas the private companies operating the com peting airlines in this country have lost a considerable number of passengers. The advances made by Ansett-A.N.A. cannot be based on giving a superior service to that given -by T.A.A., because I have heard numbers of honorable members talking about the excellent service given by T.A.A. So I hope that the Government has some explanation :for the position that I have mentioned and will ascertain the reason why T.A.A.'s flight .-schedules cannot be arranged in a way that will be more convenient for the travelling public. Since time "is limited in an adjournment debate, **Mr. Speaker,** but since this seems to be the appropriate .time to refer to it, I wish to bring another matter before the House. It is a matter that I have raised previously in the House. ATI this evening we have been .discussing a divorce bill. Everybody seems to think it is a good measure. We are told that what we have to aim for is not divorce but reconciliation. According to the honorable member for Balaclava **(Mr. Joske)** it is quite unusual for a reconciliation to take place after there has been a separation for two or three years. I happen to know of a case in which, not merely a reconciliation, but a remarriage occurred after .there had been a divorce. I shall not mention the name >of the lady concerned but I will hand it to the appropriate Minister, although no doubt he is fully aware of 'the circumstances of the case. This lady was married to a Commonwealth public servant in the Postmaster-General's Department. He had been a contributor to the superannuation scheme for very many years. Then he and his wife separated and a divorce occurred in 1948. They were remarried on 5th of August, 1954, three months after the man had retired. Subsequently the man died and immediately his pension ceased entirely. It is stated that because the marriage took place after the contributor's retirement there is no way in which this woman can have paid to her the pension for which her husband contributed : for many years. His pension was £9 16s. per fortnight but he received it only for about three-and-a-half or four years, although he had contributed for many years to the superannuation fund. On this technicality, the Government declared that it could do nothing to give this woman a pension. I do not know why we have these continual illustrations of discrimination against the ordinary citizen in this community. How rigid the law and the Government can be when it comes to dealing with some unfortunate individual who happened to be a worker during his lifetime! If a woman is fortunate enough to marry a member of this Parliament, even a very elderly member, should that member die, she immediately qualifies for a pension of £18 a week. The Government should correct this anomaly. Surely, in view of the initiative that Ministers have been able to display on other occasions they should be able to find some way of adjusting this situation, even if it requires an amendment of the act. When I referred to this case on a previous occasion, the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** said that it was an unusual case. Of course it is an unusual case! But because this is an unusual case which was evidently not contemplated at the time the legislation was drawn, must this injustice be perpetuated without correction? I hope that die Government will have another look at this case. As I have said, when we deal with our own situation, we do not adopt an attitude such as is now being adopted in relation to this woman. The Government is merely asked to give to this woman what she believes she is entitled to - a pension for which her husband contributed for many years to the superannuation fund. I propose to press the Government to do something about this. I know that Ministers will probably say, " This is only one woman. One vote does not matter." But to the Labour Party an injustice does matter, and we want this one corrected. I believe that this woman has right on her side and I hope that the Government will take appropriate action. {: #subdebate-25-0-s4 .speaker-KZP} ##### Mr WHEELER:
Mitchell .- Yesterday, the honorable member for New England **(Mr. Drummond)** asked a question of the Minister for the Interior **(Mr. Freeth)** which implied that the grave of the late William Farrer had not been preserved in the interests of the nation and suggested that some action be taken as a mark of respect to the memory of a man to whom Australia owes so much. I respect the good intentions of the honorable member but, lest some wrong impression may have been created, I wish to advise the House and the honorable member for New England in particular that he has been wrongly informed on this matter. The last resting place of the late William Farrer is located on the " Lambrigg " property, which is owned by a former colleague of ours, **Mr. H.** B. S. Gullett. Recently, I was the guest of **Mr. and Mrs. Gullett** and we visited the grave of the late William Farrer. It is located on a steep hill overlooking the river which flows through " Lambrigg " and the countryside where the late William Farrer carried out his experiment for the benefit of the wheat industry in Australia. There is neat order all around and one could hardly wish to see a piece of hallowed ground kept in better condition. If the honorable member for New England visited " Lambrigg " - which obviously he has not done - and made his way to the top of the hill he would be impressed, as I was, with the tidy appearance of the grave, the neat stonework which surrounds it and the monument and the plaque which have been erected to the memory of the late William Farrer by the Federal Government. 1 make these comments because I feel that the relatives of the late William Farrer and of his wife may have been disturbed to read the reports which appeared in the press on this matter. I hope it may be possible to correct any wrong impression which may have been given. I assure the House and the relatives that **Mr. Gullett** has accepted the personal responsibility of this area and he has devoted to it the care and attention which one would expect from one who values the history of this country - a history to which **Mr. Gullett** and his forebears have contributed in no small degree. Question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 10.56 p.m. {: .page-start } page 262 {:#debate-26} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS The following answers to questions were circulated: - {:#subdebate-26-0} #### Royal Australian Naval College {: #subdebate-26-0-s0 .speaker-JWX} ##### Mr J R FRASER:
ALP ser asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Navy, upon notice - >How many cadets are at present in training at the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay? {: #subdebate-26-0-s1 .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr Freeth:
LP -- The Minister for the Navy has supplied the following answer: - >At the moment (13th August, 19S9), there are 63 Royal Australian Navy and eleven Royal New Zealand Navy Cadet Midshipmen undergoing training at the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay. {:#subdebate-26-1} #### Lantana {: #subdebate-26-1-s0 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND z asked the Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, upon notice - >Is any further information available regarding the biological control or eradication of lantana? {: #subdebate-26-1-s1 .speaker-JWE} ##### Mr CASEY: -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - >Investigations into the biological control and eradication of lantana are being carried out by the Queensland Department of Public Lands. The Forestry Commission of New South Wales is also co-operating. C.S.I.R.O. has contributed financially but the research work is completely in the hands of the State Departmental officers. C.S.I.R.O. has of course a continuing interest in the work and I understand that studies of the liberation and establishment of the two introduced plant-eating insects are continuing. It is probably still too early to predict the final outcome as work of this kind often requires long and painstaking effort. However, detailed information could be obtained from the Queensland Minister of Public Lands. Pharmaceutical Benefits. {: #subdebate-26-1-s2 .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr DONALD CAMERON:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP n. - On 26th February, 1959, an interim reply to the following questions by **Mr. Whitlam** was furnished: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. On what date did the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee recommend the omission and substitution of drugs listed in the statutory rule gazetted on 29th January, 1959? 1. On what date did he accept the committee's recommendations? 2. On what date were instructions for the preparation of the statutory rule forwarded to the Parliamentary Draftsman? 3. On what date was the statutory rule received from the Draftsman? The final answer is as follows: - 1 to 4. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee is established by the National Health Act, 1953-1958 and its function is to make recommendations to the Minister from time to time as to the drugs and medicinal preparations which it considers should be made available as pharmaceutical benefits under the National Health Act and to advise the Minister upon any other matters concerning Pharmaceutical Benefits referred to it by the Minister. It is proposed in future to regard the recommendations of this committee as confidential to the Minister.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 13 August 1959, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.