House of Representatives
30 August 1962

24th Parliament · 1st Session

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

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– I direct a question to the Treasurer. In view of the increase in individual entitlements under the War Service Homes Act from £2,750 to £3,500 and the maintenance of the annual allocation at £35,000,000 without change, will a smaller number of war service homes be built or commenced in this financial year?


– I do not know that I can give a short, direct answer to that question, because there will be different applications, and how the available money is spread will determine the total number of houses to be built in the year. The honorable gentleman will appreciate that the needs of ex-servicemen will not be met merely by the construction of new homes. Some of them wish to purchase existing homes. Others of them, already established in homes, will be seeking an opportunity to add another room to meet the needs of a growing family. What the Government has decided is to maintain the already substantial level of financial provision for war service homes and, inside that total of availability, the Minister will make the best arrangements he can to meet the varying needs of ex-servicemen.

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– I direct a question to the Minister for External Affairs. When the agreement between Holland and Indonesia comes before the United Nations for ratification will the Minister direct the attention of the Assembly to the fact that it will sow the seeds of its own destruction if it ignores the blatant manner in which the United Nations Charter was violated by Indonesia in continuing to use force before, during and after the negotiations took place? If the Minister cannot demand, will he at least urge, that the United Nations be responsible for the administration of West New Guinea until the proposed referendum is held, since Dr. Soekarno has already torn up the treaty by his own peculiar definition of self-determination in his Independence Day speech.


– Order! I think the honorable gentleman’s question is becoming too long.


– If the suggestion contained in my second question is not possible will the Minister ask the United Nations to give some realistic substance to the idealistic shadow of the Papuans’ right of self-determination as at present contained in the agreement?


– The question is very long and involves a number of matters of policy. Let me say this one thing in answer to it: The two parties who have rights in this matter have made an agreement. We have said that we will respect that agreement. From the point of view of the Government, respect it we will. We have consistently deplored the use of force. We have said on several occasions that it is most regrettable that the use of force has brought into question the control of the international community over the peaceful settlement of disputes. No doubt these sentiments will be echoed again.

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– Does the Treasurer consider that the present method of compiling the Budget is satisfactory? Is he satisfied that the Budget figures reflect the correct position in accordance with orthodox bookkeeping practice? Has he seen the claim by the “ Taxpayers’ Bulletin “ that the 1962-63 Budget figures of receipts and expenditure, if properly presented in accordance with a formula published in that journal, would show a surplus of £51,000,000?


– I do not think that the Commonwealth Budget is directly comparable with financial statements published by commercial houses. Quite apart from the enormous range of Commonwealth activities, relationships with the States and so on, the programme set out in the Budget this year involves more than £2,000,000,000 of expenditure. We have an all-party committee of this Parliament - the Public Accounts Committee - which is a very efficient and conscientious body. If that body wishes to suggest to me changes in the method of presentation of the Budget, it can be sure that its suggestions will be considered very carefully. I do not think honorable gentlemen have any great difficulty in following the Government’s financial transactions through the printed accounts, nor for that matter do I detect any lack of capacity to do so, even if at times I disagree with their judgments, by financial editors, commentators, and the like.

The point raised by the honorable gentleman, that on one approach the Commonwealth Budget could be shown to be in surplus, involves no novelty for this Parliament. Even back in the days when Labour was in office, it was found necessary to finance many of the Commonwealth’s capital works directly out of revenue. This Government is the first government in the history of this federation which has not only financed Commonwealth works out of revenue but also has provided out of revenue very substantial amounts - totalling, I think, in the neighbourhood of £800,000,000- for the capital works programmes of the States. But from an economic point of view what is important for this Parliament and for the people to understand is the net economic effect of our transactions. Are we actually spending more than we are receiving? When we spend more than we receive, we announce that difference as a budget deficit. That way, I think it is very much easier for the people to understand what is going on. This is a practice to which the honorable gentlemen opposite lent themselves when they were in office.

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– In addressing my question to the Minister for Trade, I refer to the fear that exists in the minds of some people in the Australian wool industry that there will be considerable dangers to the industry as a result of pressures being applied to countries in the European Common Market to impose a tariff on wool, which would be of benefit to the production of synthetics in Europe. Has the Government knowledge of any such pressures being applied? Do such dangers in fact exist? If so, what steps is the Government taking to protect the interests of the Australian wool industry?

Minister for Trade · MURRAY, VICTORIA · CP

– The Government has no knowledge of any pressures being applied to any country within the Common Market area to impose a duty on wool. If any evidence is at hand that such pressures are being, or are likely to be, applied, it would be most useful to acquaint the Government of that evidence.

So far as the United Kingdom is concerned, raw wool from all sources is dutyfree. So far as the six countries of the Common Market are concerned, which now negotiate within the terms of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade as one entity, wool is duty-free. The step that the Government took to defend the wool interests was to negotiate with the six countries a year or two ago when the opportunity occurred. From those negotiations we secured a binding by the six countries that wool would remain duty-free. That is the best safeguard and precaution that could be taken. The Government acted, and achieved that objective.

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– I ask the Minister for Repatriation whether detailed arrangements have been worked out for the payment of increased war pensions to native exservicemen in the Torres Strait islands. When will these war pension increases commence?

Minister for Repatriation · DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · LP

– I know the interest that the honorable member has taken in this matter. He has made representations to me on several occasions. As he knows, the matter was also raised by the Australian Legion of Ex-service Men and Women. Some time ago, representatives of the Queensland Government and my department set up a committee to investigate this matter. The committee made certain recommendations, and it was decided to increase war pensions for native ex-servicemen who had been associated with the Torres Strait Regiment. It was also decided to increase pension benefits for war widows and dependants related to these people. At the moment, the final administrative arrangements are being worked out, and I expect that they will be completed in the next week or so. The new war pensions will be the equivalent of the war pensions payable to all other ex-servicemen in Australia. The increased rates will take effect as from 12th April, 1962.

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– My question is addressed to the Postmaster-General. As the same transmitter mast will be used for both the commercial and the national television stations in Ballarat, and in view of the fact that the royal visit will take place early next year, will the Postmaster-General investigate the possibility of speeding up the opening of the national station? At the present time, this is scheduled to commence operation next April or May. If the opening date cannot be put forward, will the PostmasterGeneral make sure that the commercial stations give a good coverage of the royal visit?

Postmaster-General · DAWSON, QUEENSLAND · CP

– According to the originally announced plans for the development of national television services which have not been materially altered in this case, it is intended that the station at Ballarat should commence operations in May, 1963. The honorable member for Wimmera has asked, in effect, whether the opening date Could be brought forward so that the viewers in that area would have the benefit of seeing the royal visitors through the national station. We are operating to a carefully prepared plan and, in 1963, it is planned to open ten national television stations in country areas in phase 3. If the date of opening of one station were altered it would materially affect the opening date of other stations with equal claims. For example, the first three stations that we plan to open next year will be at Newcastle, Bendigo and Ballarat respectively. If the opening of the Ballarat station were brought forward the opening of the other two stations would be delayed. However, I can assure the honorable member for Wimmera that it is expected that there will be a good coverage of the royal visit available to viewers in the Ballarat area from the local commercial service.

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– I wish to ask the Minister for Primary Industry a question. Is he aware that efforts are being made to by-pass the cow as a producer of milk by producing milk directly from grass and weeds?

Can the Minister inform the House what stage the investigations have reached? Is the Department of Primary Industry carefully watching the experiments in the interests of the primary producers?

Minister for Primary Industry · FISHER, QUEENSLAND · CP

– The only thing that I know about this subject is that it is reported that scientists in the United Kingdom are able to produce milk from grass and weeds without using the cow as a medium. I have no further knowledge of how far the experiments have gone. However, I think that, even if this new process succeeds in producing sufficient milk, we shall still be left with plenty of cows on the other side of the House.

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– My question is addressed to the Treasurer. For many years, Commonwealth public servants have been able to arrange for deductions from their salaries to repay small loans advanced by different organizations - I refer especially to the Victorian and Tasmanian Public Service Provident Society - which, over the years, have lent to their members sums up to £100, to be repaid by direct deduction from salary, in some instances over two years. Recently, the Treasury has intimated that if deductions are to be made from salary such loans must be repaid within one year. This decision apparently has been made because of the misuse of this procedure in some loans. I ask the Treasurer whether he will consider permitting the continuance of the long-standing practice of making deductions over two years for the repayment of loans made by the Victorian and Tasmanian Public Service Provident Society.


– I know that many public servants have benefited by the opportunity to obtain loans up to the level mentioned by the honorable gentleman. Indeed, I think that, in other jurisdictions outside our own Commonwealth scheme, there have been very much higher drawings for purposes which appear to go well beyond what was contemplated by the Commonwealth scheme. It had not previously been brought to my notice that some change in the arrangements about repayment had been effected. I shall now examine the matter. I understand that there is a wish for me to discuss the subject with those interested. Whether or not I am able to do so directly or to arrange for it to be done on my behalf, I shall certainly look into the matter sympathetically.

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– I address a question to the Minister for Trade. I ask: Can the Minister provide an estimate of the additions to Australia’s already near-crippling bill for freights and insurance on her exports which will be inevitable as a result of the various recent increases in freight charges to Britain, New Zealand and other customers? Also, does the right honorable gentleman know the tax savings made by our exporters through the Government’s export incentives scheme? Is he aware of the danger that, as gains in our balance of payments from additional exports are being outweighed by freight rises, the effectiveness of the export incentives scheme is being nullified, with the Australian taxpayer contributing to the earnings of the overseas shipping companies instead of to the building up of our export income?


– I shall endeavour to provide for the honorable member, if possible, the figures that he asks for concerning the additional freight bill on the items that he has mentioned. I would not agree that increased freight rates are outweighing the gains made by additional exports from Australia. I direct the honorable member’s attention to the fact that if, last year, we had received for what we exported the same prices as we received nine years earlier, this country would have earned-

Mr Whitlam:

– This is a different issue.


– The Opposition does not like to hear this. Had prices been the same as they were nine years ago, this country would have earned about an additional £500,000,000. I wish the Australian Labour Party would display some real interest in the farmers’ problem of trying to get world prices up.

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– I direct a question to the Minister for Primary Industry. He will recall that during the autumn sittings of this Parliament I suggested that there should be a press, radio and television campaign to promote the sale of Australian lamb in Australia. The Minister then said he would pass the suggestion on to the Australian Meat Board for consideration. I now ask the Minister: What was the reaction of the Australian Meat Board to the suggestion?


– I remember the honorable member’s question and the answer I gave. I said that a measure of promotion of the sale of lamb had been undertaken late in the last season and that it had had some success. I passed on the honorable member’s suggestion to the Meat Board by way of a letter and I received a reply advising me that the board had undertaken a consumer survey in an effort to find out the possible results of a promotional campaign. The view is held by some people that if you promote the sales of lamb, that could affect the sales of beef, and vice versa. All these factors are being considered by those making the survey. The Meat Board expects to have the results of the inquiry early in September, when I may be able to give the honorable member some further information.

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– I address a question to the Minister for Defence, and I preface it by reminding him of his recent visit to Indonesia where, among other things, he seems to have settled an international conflict. My question relates specifically to his alleged wearing of a uniform. If, as he says, he was not wearing an Indonesian uniform on his visit to this neighbouring country, will he say whether he was wearing an Australian uniform? If he was wearing neither an Indonesian uniform nor an Australian uniform, why did he have service medals and ribbons on the garment he was wearing?

Minister for Defence · DENISON, TASMANIA · LP

- Mr. Speaker, I am quite flattered by the honorable member’s interested in my dress, but I would not have thought that a grown man would take any interest in what I wore. The incident was a very minor one. It is long over. I am sure we are all pleased that the troubles between Indonesia and the Dutch have been resolved, which is the really important thing.

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– I direct a question to the Minister for Repatriation. From time to time he has referred to the work being done in the geriatric field by his department. I understand that a number of projects are under way at the Lady Davidson Hospital at Turramurra. Can he give some information to the House regarding these developments?


– It is a fact that a very extensive programme of construction and renovation is taking place at the Lady Davidson Hospital at Turramurra. When the Repatriation Department originally took over this hospital, it was intended to be used for chest cases only, but with the decline in the number of tuberculosis cases in Austraia the department found that the full ward accommodation was not required for this purpose. The department is pioneering a new field so far as geriatric treatment is concerned, and a part of the Lady Davidson Hospital has been converted for this purpose. One new ward has been opened, and another ward will be completed within the next month or so. That will give bed accomodation for about 40 additional patients.

I might mention that this work is of great importance to many elderly ex-servicemen, and I am pleased to see the interest that the honorable member is taking in this important venture in his electorate. At the present time, we are able to accommodate about 150 patients in the hospital. Some of those patients are tuberculosis sufferers and others are geriatric patients. Emphasis is placed on treating the patients by physiotherapy and occupational therapy. When the building work is completed before the end of this year, the Lady Davidson Hospital will be able to accommodate about 240 patients.

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– I ask a question of the Minister for Labour and National Service. Will the honorable gentleman do all in his power, as I understand he promised he would when he visited Cessnock about three years ago, to relieve the chronic unemployment situation in the area as it affects young people? About 600 school leavers in that area are already registered for employment, and they expect to be joined at the end of this year by a further 600 school leavers.

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

– Recently I had figures extracted relating to employment in the Cessnock area, particularly figures relating to coal miners. I have asked my department to do everything possible to find employment for coal miners and for school leavers. I will have detailed information collated, and will provide the honorable member with up to date figures as soon as possible. The honorable member should be aware that although 72,500 school leavers were registered for employment last year, the figure now is about 5,000. Of those, 60 per cent, are in country areas and 60 per cent, also are young women. The Government is not completely satisfied with the present position, but in all the circumstances I think the figures for school leavers may be regarded as satisfactory.

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– I preface my question to the Minister for Territories by referring to the case of Ruth Daylight, the aboriginal girl who has been offered employment by a Hobart businessman. I ask the Minister whether aborigines may register for employment with the Commonwealth Employment Service. If so, how many have so registered? What particular efforts are made to obtain suitable employment for young aborigines who are anxious to take their place in the Australian community?

Minister for Territories · CURTIN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · LP

– The matters to which the honorable member has referred do not come under my administration. The aboriginal girl to whom he referred is under the administration of the Western Australian Government. Registration for employment comes within the province of my colleague, the Minister for Labour and National Service, to whom I shall refer the honorable member’s question. I am sure that the Minister will provide a reply.

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– I remind the Treasurer, to whom I direct my question, that in Tasmania dental mechanics are permitted by law to deal directly with the public. Will the Treasurer say why the Government continues to discriminate against some 25,000 people in Tasmania by not allowing them to claim as deductions for taxation purposes amounts paid for work performed by dental mechanics?


– Generally, the type of extraction that I deal in is different from dental extractions. The honorable gentleman’s question raises a matter of policy that is not influenced purely by Treasury considerations. I shall see that the honorable member’s question is brought to the notice of my colleague, the Minister for Health, who may be persuaded to provide a more detailed reply.

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– Some months ago, I asked the Minister for Repatriation whether he would make provision in the Commonwealth artificial limb centres for apprentices to train as craftsmen in order to be able to carry out the highly skilled work associated with the making and repairing of artificial limbs. I again ask the Minister whether he has made any decision on this matter, particularly as there is a need at this time of the year to find employment for prospective school leavers.


– When the honorable member raised this question in the House previously I promised him that I would undertake an investigation into the matter to see whether an apprenticeship scheme could be introduced for employees in the Repatriation artificial limb and appliance centres. We had discussions with officers of the Department of Labour and National Service and also with technical education authorities in New South Wales and Victoria. As a result of those discussions it was found that there would not be sufficient labour requirements over the next few years in my department or with outside manufacturers in Australia to warrant the introduction of an apprenticeship scheme. Following that we looked at an alternative. At the present time most people employed in these centres have a basic trade and, in addition, they do undergo some specialist training while employed at the centres. That training is provided by the Repatriation Department. (

We are now considering a scheme whereby some trainees will be introduced into the centres. They will be given specialist training in basic trades, and will undertake technical training at some technical institution outside. That will require additional staff. We are at present putting that case to the Public Service Board to see whether the scheme can be introduced.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for the Army. Has there been a general cut of about 50 per cent, in the allocation of funds this year to the Citizen Military Forces? If this is so, is it the intention of the Government to spend more on the Regular Army at the expense of the Citizen Military Forces, or does it merely intend to discourage the Citizen Military Forces?

Minister for the Army · BENNELONG, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– The suggestion implicit in the honorable member’s question is quite incorrect. The programme envisages that the Regular Army shall have a strength of 21,000. It has that strength. The programme also envisages that the Citizen Military Forces shall have a strength of 30,000. That number has been exceeded; we already have 30,500. There is no intention whatever of reducing the amount of money available for the Citizen Military Forces.

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– My question is addressed to the Treasurer. Does the right honorable gentleman know that the Commonwealth Development Bank refused a loan for primary production development to a desirable young man owing to the fact that he was unable to provide £8,000 as security? The Treasurer will be aware that if the applicant was to be granted a loan in these circumstances the proposition must have been considered sound. If this is so, why should the loan be subject to the provision of this security if the applicant meets every other requirement of the Commonwealth Bank’s Act? If I supply definite information that the position is as stated, will the Treasurer ask the Development Bank authorities to give further consideration to this application?


– It is, of course, impossible for me to comment on a particular transaction when all the details are not known. In any event, the decision on these matters lies with the administration of the Commonwealth Development Bank itself. If the honorable gentlemen feels that some injustice has been done, or is arising out of misunderstanding or otherwise, whilst I will not attempt to influence the decision of the authorities on the matter, I shall see that any information that he believes to be relevant to their consideration is brought to them.

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– My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister likely to discuss next year’s royal tour with officials at Buckingham Palace, or with Her Majesty the Queen, during his visit to London next month? If possible, will he undertake to ascertain whether the tour could be extended by at least one week to enable Their Majesties to visit Newcastle and other large cities which, according to the present itinerary, are to be excluded from the visit? Is it a fact that Newcastle is the fourth or fifth most densely populated city in Australia and the largest industrial city? Is it also a fact that Newcastle is the second biggest trading port in Australia? Are the citizens of the Newcastle-Hunter Valley area considered to be any less loyal to the Throne than are the people elsewhere in Australia? If not, will the right honorable gentleman keep in mind that the area I have mentioned has now a population of over 100,000 more persons than when Her Majesty last visited Newcastle?


– Order! I think the honorable member is now completely out of order. He must ask his question.


– Will the right honorable gentleman see that Newcastle is included in the next tour by Their Majesties?

Prime Minister · KOOYONG, VICTORIA · LP

– So that there will be no misunderstanding, let me say that I regard Newcastle as a magnificent city. I think it does great credit to Australia. I am delighted that it is in Australia, and I am delighted with its industrial strength. The only thing about it that I have ever disliked is that it is slightly unsound politically. However, that will not prevent me from putting in a word, if I may, in any appropriate quarter. I would not hold out much hope that the royal tour could be extended in point of time, because all the details have been worked out very carefully in London by Australia’s representative. I will undoubtedly be discussing the tour, or some aspects of it, with Her Majesty the Queen, and if it will give the honorable member any pleasure, I will tell her a little about Newcastle in the same somewhat rhetorical terms that I have just employed.

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– I ask the Minister for Trade a question supplementary to that asked by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Would the shipping proposal of the Australian Labour Party more than double overseas freights in one blow? Would the adoption of the proposal cause us to lose the valuable new coal, meat and other markers, cause hundreds of millions of pounds to be spent on subsidizing freights, or cause ruin to farmers who would receive low prices for their goods? Is this in fact the old Communist plan to ruin Australia by taking over its shipping?


– I think that this matter, which is so critical to Australian export industries and to the Australian economy, needs to be examined by the Opposition as a business issue rather than as a political issue. It should be possible, having regard to the known costs of operating Australian ships on Australian coastal runs, to make an estimate of the cost of operating ships on the overseas routes. I presume the Opposition would use ships built in Australia, and I presume also that those ships would be manned by Australians, paid on the standards of Australia. The cost of running an overseas shipping line should be compared with the present overseas freight rates. On such a comparison, there could be an assessment of where the genuine Australian interest lies - whether it lies in adventuring into an overseas shipping line or in having our cargo carried as at present, at what I confidently believe would be a lower rate. The main point I make is that this is an issue of great intrinsic business importance and should not be treated as a political football.


– May I ask a question of the Minister for Trade? Can the right honorable gentleman explain why foreign shipping companies based in Britain or Europe charge a greater sum to transport goods between Australia and their countries of registration than they do to transport goods a simliar distance between other countries which operate their own ships and Europe or Britain?


– This is an issue that may have some validity, and I suspect that from time to time it does have some validity. The Department of Trade has not been backward in making protests or representations or asking for explanations of this kind of thing. There are some instances - I do not carry them in my mind - in which protest or inquiry has borne some fruit. But one fact must be borne in mind, Mr. Speaker: Australian industries must be serviced with a certain regularity. It is not merely the freight that has to be taken into consideration. A shipping line must enter into a contract that it will put a ship with refrigerated space in a certain port in a certain week. It must contract to do so a year in advance in respect of apples from Tasmania, meat from Queensland, and so on.

Mr Whitlam:

– And meat from New Zealand and the Argentine.


– Yes, but part of the element which finally influences the freight rate is the contractual commitment that the shipping line enters into long in advance to put ships of certain dimensions in certain ports on certain dates. It is obvious to any one that this must have a compelling effect on the charge made.

I should like to add that I do not feel obliged to defend the shipping interests, but I do not want to be unfair to them. The contracts provide that if the cargo is not available when a ship is placed in a certain port, certain penalties shall attach. I am aware of many instances where the shipping lines have placed their ships in accordance with a contract and cargo has not been available, and the lines have not sought to impose a penalty. I am not aware of any instance where they have sought to impose a penalty.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for Labour and National Service. Is it a fact that registration with the Department of Labour and National Service of school-leavers has increased over the past three years, not only because of the increase in their number, but also because the success of the department in helping school-leavers has led to almost all of them registering upon leaving school? Because there must be a tendency for these figures relating to school-leavers to distort the real unemployment picture in December and January and so give rise to unwarranted criticism, will the Minister give consideration to devising a means of clearly separating school-leavers from adults seeking placement in work when making the statement on unemployment for each of those months?


– There has been far too much misunderstanding and even misrepresentation about the impact of schoolleavers on the unemployment figures for the months of November to February inclusive, and I regret that the honorable member for Fremantle, who usually sticks to facts and logic, lent himself to this campaign last week. The truth of the matter is that this year we expect to have registered with us about 75,000 school-leavers. Seventy per cent, of them, or between 52,000 and 53,000, register with us over the Christmas period. During this period, employers do not recruit employees, and consequently there must be a substantial increase in the number of people registering over the Christmas period as compared with October.

These figures are not, in themselves, significant. There must be an increase. It is inevitable, and I think people will understand the reason. What is significant is the underlying trend, and that is the growth of employment opportunities and also the rate at which people are being placed in employment. Of the 72,500 school-leavers registered last financial year, about 5,000 are registered now, and, as I said this morning in answer to the honorable member for Hunter, over 60 per cent, are in the country areas and 60 per cent, are young women. As it is confidently expected this year that the trend will be more favorable, we can hope to place the young people in employment from February, March and April through until the end of October more easily this year than last year. This matter must be seen in perspective and I will do as the honorable gentleman has suggested. In the releases for the early months of 1963, I will see that juniors are registered separately from other people registered for employment and that whenever it is thought desirable I will make a statement related to schoolleavers.

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Motion (by Mr. Davidson) agreed to -

That the House, at its rising, adjourn until Tuesday, 2nd October next, at 2.30 p.m., unless Mr. Speaker shall, by telegram or letter addressed to each Member of the House, fix an earlier day of meeting.

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Motion (by Mr. Davidson) agreed to -

That leave of absence be given to every member of the House of Representatives from the determination of this sitting of the House to the date of its next sitting.

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Mr SPEAKER (Hon Sir John McLeay:

-I have received a letter from the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) proposing that a definite matter of urgent public importance be submitted to the House for discussion, namely -

The need for the Parliament to legislate for a referendum to delete from the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia Section 127 and to delete the words “ other than the aboriginal race in any State” from Section SI paragraph XXVI.

I call upon those members who approve of the proposed discussion to rise in their places. (More than the number of members required by the Standing Orders having risen in their places) -


.- In stating the need for the Parliament to legislate for a referendum to delete from the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, section 127, and to delete the words “ other than the aboriginal race in any State “ from section 51, paragraph (xxvi.), I should like to point out that the statement is not an expression of personal opinion but the considered opinion of the Labour movement as determined at its federal conference in 1961. It is further the considered opinion of the Federal Parliamentary Labour Party. Section 127 of the Constitution was also the subject of a recent statement by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) who is now unfortunately indisposed. I would remind the House that section 127 states -

In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted.

The Opposition pledges to the Government its full support if it will introduce a referendum to cover either this point or the words which we propose should be deleted from section 51, paragraph (xxvi.). Both points seem to us to be necessary, but we would support either or both of them if the Government would put this matter forward as a referendum. An element of urgency is provided to spur the deletion of section 127 in the fact that the presence of this section is distorting the current proposed redistribution, but that is not the deepest reason why section 127 should be removed. Any form of discrimination is a more urgent question than is redistribution.

Section 127 has implications which every member of this House rejects. The people who framed it did not mean that aborigines were not people of the Commonwealth, but that is what it clearly implies. The issues of electoral quotas and discrimination were both presented at the 1897 and the 1895 conventions. It is rather interesting to go back to the brief discussion which took place between Dr. Cockburn, Mr. Barton and Mr. Deakin on this section, because most of the points of a constitutional nature which can be made in this debate were made then. The section was then clause 120 of the proposed Constitution. Immediately the clause was put, Dr. Cockburn of the South Australian delegation spoke. The report is in these terms -

DR. COCKBURN.; As a general principle I think this is quite right. But in this colony, and I suppose in some of the other colonies, there are a number of natives who are on the rolls, and they ought not to be debarred from voting.

Mr. Deakin. ; This only determines the number of your representatives, and the aboriginal population is too small to affect that in the least degree.

Mr. Barton. ; It is only for the purpose of determining the quota.

DR. COCKBURN. Is that perfectly clear? Even then, as a matter of principle, they ought not to be deducted.

Mr O’Connor:

– The amendment you have carried already preserves their votes.

That was section 41. The report goes on -

DR. COCKBURN. I think these natives ought to be preserved as component parts in reckoning up the people. I can point out one place where 100 or 200 of these aboriginals vote.

Mr. Deakin. Well, it will take 26,000 to affect one vote.

Of course, Mr. Deakin’s reply was not correct because the aboriginal element in the population would have helped to make a quota and determine a seat, a situation which has arisen now in Western Australia and Queensland. There is a briefer reference to this aspect in the report of the 1898 convention in Melbourne.

Mr Jeff Bate:

– Would they have received another seat each if the aborigines had been counted?


– They would not have lost a seat. That is what I understand the position to be. When the matter was debated in Melbourne there was a brief reference to this aspect, which arose from the fact that the Parliaments of New South Wales and Tasmania had perceived an anomaly which had arisen. An amendment was suggested by the Legislative Council of New South Wales in this form -

After “ natives “ insert “ and aliens not naturalized “.

Aboriginal natives, subjects of the Queen, were not to be counted in determining a quota even if they had voting rights, whereas aliens not naturalized, not subjects of the Queen and not in the same sense a part of the community of the Commonwealth, were to be counted in determining a quota. Mr. Barton suggested that the amendment should more properly have been moved under another section of the Constitution, and there was no further discussion of the matter.

Everything which reasonably can be construed as discrimination should be eliminated from the Constitution of the Commonwealth. Section 127 reasonably can be construed as discrimination. The practical difficulties of reckoning the numbers of abo- rigines, which would have been very great in 1897, would not be insuperable to-day. Section 127 is now operating unjustly to the States which have the largest aboriginal populations. Now that aborigines have voting rights, an indefensible anomaly has arisen. Unnaturalized people who may not vote and are not citizens count in a State’s quota. Aborigines who may vote and are citizens do not count in a State’s quota. The removal of section 127 does not involve us in any dispute over the distribution of power between the Commonwealth and the States.

Section 51, paragraph (xxvi.), is another provision which can be construed as discrimination. It is a mention of aborigines which has had in the past - unnecessarily it is true - the serious effect of depriving them of social services. This was a misconstruction of the section, remedied comparatively recently by the present Government, but there is no reason why aborigines should be mentioned. If, as the conferences of State and Federal Ministers recently declared, aborigines are fully Australian citizens, then their constitutional position should be that they are subject to State and Federal law in the same way as are other citizens. This would be the effect of not mentioning them at all in the Constitution of the Commonwealth. The truth is that they are not citizens in the same sense as are other Australians while this section exists. The Commonwealth can confer full citizenship rights on an aboriginal in the Northern Territory. He loses them on entering Western Australia or Queensland. The Commonwealth is powerless to insist that citizenship rights have Australia-wide force. Section 51, paragraph (xxvi.), has a different effect from section 127. It means that the aborigines in the States are a body of citizens to whom the Commonwealth is denied access.

I realize that the deletion of the words “ other than the aboriginal race in any State “ may not reach voting rights in State parliamentary elections, but other features of citizenship - the right of movement to seek employment, for instance - might be reached by the elimination of these words. Special laws might be necessary to meet the special needs of aborigines, but those special laws are forbidden by the presence of the words we propose to delete from this paragraph.

At international conferences the Commonwealth bears the odium of any discrimination against aborigines. Absence of any discrimination would be a significant part of the ideological defences of the nation. Aborigines facing the problems of citizenship are facing senseless anomalies. They are subjects of the Queen; they are people of the Commonwealth; they are people of a State. But their whole status is called into question by these two sections.

We do not doubt that a referendum to delete these provisions would have the support of the great majority of the people of Australia, and of the press. A liability on Australian diplomacy would be removed and reality could be given to aboriginal citizenship. Barriers to tackling their special needs would be removed. This is not a party question. It is not the wielding of a governmental economic power at the expense of private enterprise. It is not the removal of something that inherently should be an exclusive power of a State. It is a removal of a barrier to effective Commonwealth power to confer a meaningful nationality and citizenship on the people of the aboriginal race.

Minister for the Interior · Forrest · LP

– There is very little in the subject-matter which the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) introduced with which the Government can quarrel, but I join issue with him and his party for raising this matter to-day as one of urgency. The only way in which the honorable member for Fremantle could relate this to a matter of urgency was by saying that it disturbed and affected the existing proposals for redistribution in Western Australia and Queensland. Of course, a moment’s reflection will indicate that that is not so. The census for 1961 has been taken already and no decision of this House at this stage can alter the consequences of that census. Under that census, governed as it was by the rules of the Constitution, the aboriginal populations pf Western Australia and Queensland were not counted for the purposes of the redistribution.

In the Commonwealth of Australia we have taken a census roughly every ten years since the Commonwealth was established. There have been seven including the initial one in 1901. Under normal conditions another census will be taken in 1971. But the Labour Party to-day proposes, as a matter of urgency, that we should remove section 127 of the Constitution before we take the next census in 1971. I think the House will find little difficulty in concluding that this, at least, cannot be regarded as a matter of urgent public importance. So we are led to wonder exactly why this matter was raised to-day. I can only conclude, with all due respect to the honorable member for Fremantle, who rarely lends himself to political stunts, that this is a political stunt on the part of the Labour Party for two purposes: The* first is to try to woo a potential aboriginal vote; the second is to direct attention to the fact that Western Australia, where an important by-election is looming, has lost one seat.

Mr Beazley:

– Oh, no!


– The honorable member may moan if he wishes, but we all heard him say that the only reason for urgency in this matter was the fact of redistribution. I have already demonstrated that 1971 is the normal time for any census on which to base a future redistribution. What does the present situation show? It is quite true that the counting of the aboriginal population can have a marginal effect. It is possible to be just short of half a quota or just over half a quota and this, perhaps, can affect the issue. But surely this is putting a smokescreen over the effect that population growth has on redistribution in a State.

One of the most remarkable facts about Western Australia is that during the intercensus period between 1947 and 1954 that State’s population grew at a rate far greater than the average rate of population growth throughout Australia. Between 1947 and 1954, two years of census, the population growth in Australia was at the rate of 18.57 per cent. In Western Australia it was at the rate of 27.32 per cent. In 1947, the Liberal Government came into power in Western Australia and it stayed in office until 1953. Whether or not any other circumstances influenced the record rate of population growth it is certain that one influence was a Liberal government which had succeeded in office a Labour government which had been designated a “ cobweb government” because cobwebs grew over everything during its term of office.

In 1953, a Labour government was again elected in Western Australia and it stayed in office till 1959. During those years Australia’s population increased at the rate of 16.93 per cent., but the Western Australian population increased by only 15.14 per cent. Therein lies the reason why Western Australia stands to lose a seat in a redistribution which, after all, is based on the same elements as the previous redistribution when Western Australia gained one seat. This illustrates how the country grows and prospers under a Liberal administration and becomes stagnant under a socialist administration.

Mr Bryant:

– You are getting worse.


– You do not like these facts.

Mr Beazley:

– Even if the Minister’s statements are true, they do not affect aboriginal rights.


– Let us get back to aboriginal rights. I said earlier that this move by the Opposition was a stunt. Either it is a stunt or the Labour Party has not thought the matter through to its logical conclusion. Opposition members have assumed that if this House decides, as a matter of urgency, to hold a referendum to delete section 127 of the Constitution that proposal will be approved by the people. This is an assumption that is not warranted if it is based only on the fact that honorable members opposite would support the referendum proposal. In 1937, a referendum was held to give the Commonwealth Parliament power to control aviation. One would have thought that, as a matter of course, that proposal would have been approved. It was not, in spite of the fact that it was introduced by the then Liberal Government and was supported by the Labour Party. It secured a majority in only three States. So it is all very well for honorable members opposite to pledge support for the Government and assure us that a referendum proposal would be approved. I believe that Opposition members have not properly examined the Constitution in this respect. They have considered only the immediate political appeal that their proposal might have. If they read carefully section 128, which deals with methods of amending the Constitution, they will see this statement, the effects of which I am sure they have not considered -

No alteration diminishing the proportionate representation of any State in either House of the Parliament or the minimum number of representatives of a State in the House of Representatives . . shall become law unless the majority of the electors voting in that State approve the proposed law.

Immediately the amendment to the Constitution proposed by the honorable member for Fremantle became law the proportionate representation of other States in the House would be diminished. Therefore, any proposal to alter the Constitution in this way could be met with that objection in other States. In Tasmania, for example, there are no aborigines, and this proposal would have no popular appeal there. The defeat of the referendum in any one State could result in its total loss. The proposal of the honorable member is not nearly as easy to implement as would appear at first glance. Nor have Opposition members, apparently, examined section 25 of the Constitution, which contains the following provision: -

For the purposes of the last section, if, by the law of any State all persons of any race are disqualified from voting at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State then, in reckoning the number of the people of the State or of the Commonwealth, persons of that race resident in that State shall not be counted.

In Queensland, at the present time, aboriginal people are not entitled to vote. Therefore, even if section 127 were deleted from the Constitution an amendment of Queensland law would be required in order to allow aborigines to be counted in that State. So this is a hasty and ill-conceived proposal, which does not have regard to the whole problem involved.

In the brief minutes left to me I want to mention the other more far reaching proposal which has been made by honorable members opposite. They are virtually proposing that, by an amendment of section 51 of the Constitution, the Commonwealth should assume full power to legislate with regard to aborigines. It is true that it would be a concurrent power until exercised. The Joint Committee on Constitutional Review, in its report of 1959, did not have the temerity to make such a quick assessment of the situation as the Opposition has made. In its report it stated -

When the Committee ceased its deliberations in 1958, it had given some consideration to the very important question as to whether the Commonwealth Parliament should have an express power to make laws with respect to aborigines, and representations from various quarters advocated the adoption of a recommendation to this effect. The Committee had, however, not completed its inquiries on all the issues involved and consequently no recommendation has been made.

That did not deter the honorable member for Fremantle and his colleagues from recommending that this House should take such action as a matter of urgency.

In 1929, a royal commission decided specifically against giving the Commonwealth power with respect to aborigines. It stated -

We do not recommend that section 51 be amended so as to empower the Commonwealth Parliament to make laws with respect to aborigines. We recognize that the effect of the treatment of aborigines on the reputation of Australia furnishes a powerful argument for a transference of control to the Commonwealth. But we think that on the whole the States are better equipped for controlling aborigines than the Commonwealth. The States control the police and the lands, and they to a large extent control the conditions of industry. We think that a Commonwealth authority would be at a disadvantage in dealing with the aborigines, and that the States are better qualified to do so.

The members of that royal commission thought long about this subject. They heard evidence, and considered and weighed the matter. Those authorities, apparently, count for nothing against the object of the Australian Labour Party, which is trying to win its way into the political limelight in relation to this matter.

Members of that party have not thought this subject through to a logical conclusion, Sir. I suggest that they have not established that this is a matter of urgency. Quite clearly, the current redistribution will not be affected by any decision of the Parliament on the matter that we are now discussing. The population figures could not be affected in this respect until the next census, which, as I have said, is not due until 1971 under present arrangements. Opposition members, it is true, may suggest that, having put through a referendum at a cost of something like £500,000, we should forthwith take another census, at a cost of about £1,500,000, and then immediately undertake another redistribution of electoral boundaries. A redistribution may not be as costly in cash as are the other procedures, but I am quite certain that honorable members here would be vastly disturbed by the prospects of frequent redistributions, if I am any judge of the reactions to the current proposals. I am sure that honorable members would not be very happy at the thought of redistribution following redistribution with such frequency.

This is a very important problem, Sir, but it is not the kind of problem that this House should deal with in so limited a time as is provided by the procedure for the discussion of a subject as a matter of urgency. I believe that if honorable members opposite would sincerely apply themselves to the other difficulties that I have mentioned, they would not come forward so readily from time to time and so glibly urge this Government to embark on referendums for the amendment of the Constitution on so flimsy a pretext as they have adopted to-day.


– Order! The Minister’s time has expired.


.- Mr. Deputy Speaker, what a monumentally ignoble speech we have just heard from a Minister of the Crown on a matter that fundamentally affects the whole status of about 100,000 people in Australia, Australia’s standing in international affairs and the very essence of democracy itself! On this issue, we are not concerned with pettifoggery, politics or precedent. We are concerned only with people. The Minister for the Interior (Mr. Freeth), in discussing this issue, tried to divert our attention by citing statistics and talking of elections, and on the basis of those things he concluded that urgency is not involved in this question. He turned from one section of the Constitution to the next and suggested that various provisions of the Constitution pose difficulties. If they do, the Government has a duly to submit to the people constitutional referendums of a consequential nature designed to remove those difficulties. If difficulties appear in the report presented by the Constitutional Review Committee, why has not the Government let that committee continue in existence in order to remove those difficulties? I believe that we would have the support of the majority of Australians - perhaps 90 per cent, of them - if we submitted this issue to the people at a referendum.

I am federal vice-president of the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement and I speak in this House on behalf of that organization as well as in my capacity as a member of the Australian Labour Party. The council has held conference after conference attended by members of the aboriginal race and people of all classes and creeds in Australia, at which the delegates have advocated alteration of the Constitution to remove from it any provision under which discrimination against the aborigines may flow from the terminology used. The essence of the question before us here to-day is to remove from the Commonwealth Constitution the flavour of discrimination which has besmirched it for more than 61 years. That is what we are asking for. We are not seeking to win political or legal points. We are asking for action. The personal attitude of the Minister for the Interior, of course, was incidental to his remarks. He said that this is not the time to consider this subject as a matter of urgency. Not that he is opposed to reform, of course! Honorable members opposite are always in favour of reform, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but they always say, “ Not now “!

I remind the House that this subject has an international aspect. At the conference of the International Labour Organization in 1957, when international convention No. 107 and recommendation No. 104, concerning the protection and integration of indigenous and other tribal and semi-tribal populations in independent countries were considered - I shall not read the full details, because my time is restricted - the Australian delegates abstained from the votes which led to the adoption of the convention and the associated recommendation. Our delegates abstained on the ground that in certain respects the subject-matter went beyond the constitutional and traditional competence of the organization. As a result, no Australian delegate can step into the councils of the world and say that every person bom in this country is a free citizen equal with all other Australians. This is the point that I make: The two provisions with which we are now concerned, while they remain in the Constitution, are an affront to every sophisticated aboriginal.

I know lots of sophisticated aborigines. Mr. Joe McGuinness, of Cairns, who is federal president of the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement, is a man of aboriginal ancestry. He feels that these provisions of the Constitution are an affront to all aborigines. My close friend, Pastor Doug Nicholls, of Victoria, also feels that. George Bracken, our champion boxer, one day, in my own house, told me, “ You cannot be an aboriginal and be a free Australian “. Until we remove these provisions from the Constitution aborigines cannot feel that they are free, or equal with Australians.

It is one of the tragedies of Australian federation that we have inflicted on the people with the most primitive social organization the most complex laws in the country. No aboriginal can move about this country knowing that he is free. You may think, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that an aboriginal should always take with him for his protection when he moves about this country a staff of three - a lawyer, a navigator and an anthropologist. He needs a lawyer to interpret our laws. I have not time this morning to go through them all. The aboriginal needs a navigator to tell him when he crosses State boundaries, so that he may know whether he is subject to this law or to that law. He needs an anthropologist to say whether or not he fits a particular definition of “ aboriginal “.

The Minister for the Interior is so keen on counting. This Government counts pigs, sheep and horses - it has tremendous statistical resources at its disposal - but it refuses to acknowledge and count the aboriginal people. This is a simple, straightforward issue - whether we are to acknowledge these aboriginal people who were born here. They feel that they are natural-born Australians; yet they are not free and cannot stand up as Australians conscious of their status as citizens unless we remove these constitutional barriers! I refer particularly to placitum (xxvi.) in section 51 of the Constitution. On this point, I am not concerned about the things that flow from that provision with respect to other sections of the Constitution, or anything else. The Australian Labour Party for a long time has adopted this policy that I am stating. We do not stand here as the sole apostles of truth and virtue. I admit that, on looking through the acts of the various Australian parliaments, one finds provisions which were allowed to remain by Labour governments and which should not have been retained. We have not raised this issue in order to attack the Government. We have raised it because we think that this is an occasion, perhaps sufficiently far distant in time from elections held in the ordinary course, when the Government may be able to consider this subject free from the influence of party politics.

It is one of the tragic facts of Australian life that, on the mainland, an aboriginal is absolutely free only in Victoria. I say for the benefit of my Tasmanian friends who are present that in Tasmania all restrictive legislation was removed. I have the legislation of the respective States before me. Section 8a of the Aborigines Protection Act of New South Wales states -

Where an aborigine or a person apparently having an admixture cf aboriginal blood is, in the opinion of the board … a stipendiary or police magistrate may . . . order such aborigine or person to remove to a reserve or place controlled by the board, or, if such aborigine or person is but temporarily resident in this State, to return to the State whence he came within a time specified in the order.

Section 17 of the Aborigines Act of South Australia provides for the removal of aborigines to reserves. Sub-section (3) reads -

Any aborigine who refuses to be so removed, or resists such removal, or who refuses to remain within or attempts to depart from any reserve or institution to which he has been so removed, or within which he is being kept as aforesaid, shall be guilty of an offence against this Act. 1 refer honorable members to the Natives (Citizenship Rights) Act of Western Australia to see the complications of citizenship applicable there that we do not apply to any other person. The African, on the other hand, is considered to be reasonably capable of managing his own affairs. If we applied the thesis adopted in Western Australia, most applicants for enrolment as voters would be denied enrolment.

On the statute-book in Queensland we find the most restrictive legislation to be found in any Australian statute-book. In Queensland, no aboriginal can be absolutely free, even if he is granted exemption from the provisions of the Aboriginals Act by the Director of Native Affairs. The director, by order over his own signature, and without any reason, may withdraw the exemption and have the aboriginal concerned removed to a place chosen by the director. I suggest that honorable members opposite obtain the Queensland act and the regulations made under it and examine them. I repeat that this is an important issue. Under the Queensland act there is power to remove, or, in other words, to exile. There is power to exercise complete control over the children of aborigines and over the property of aborigines, and to inflict taxes. A question that the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick) might well consider is whether the imposition of a State income tax on aborigines, in the form of a levy, as has been done in Queensland, is valid.

We on this side of the House believe that there should be removed from section 51 of the Constitution the words to which the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) has referred. He has raised this matter in the course of his duty to the aboriginal people. He has carried out that duty in this House over many years with unfailing and unflagging vigour, with sincerity of purpose and in conformity with the ideals of the Labour movement. When the honorable member raised this matter in the House again to-day, it ill became the Minister for the Interior (Mr. Freeth) to say what he did, and I hope the Minister who follows me in this debate will make a better contribution.

If we remove these words from section 51 of the Constitution we shall remove from the State Parliaments the right and power to do the things which they have done in the past. I do not say that the State Parliaments have done these things out of mischief or malice. It is a system which has grown up from a desire to protect the aborigines. If we could devote the resources of the Commonwealth to solving the problems of the Australian aborigines we would get results much more quickly in, for instance, housing and education. The problems which confront the aboriginal people, who live in the more remote or less populated parts of Australia, cannot be solved by the States themselves. This is a national question. The people of my electorate are just as much responsible for the native people of northern Queensland as are the people of Queensland themselves. The only way in which we can mobilize the resources of the nation to solve the social problem of the aborigines is by first taking the step of removing from the Constitution the words which prevent this Parliament from legislating with complete confidence in this sphere.

This is a simple, straightforward matter. There is no political advantage to be gained from it, one way or the other. This side of the House has brought it forward with sincerity of purpose. I know that in this instance I speak with the whole of the Labour movement behind me. I have addressed many meetings on this subject in the last five or six years. This is one issue which the Government could use to rehabilitate itself with the community.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- It is hard to listen to this sort of emotional appeal by the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant) and, after listening to him, it is difficult to understand why he was chosen by his party to speak on this matter. After all, he was not chosen by the Labour Party to be a member of the select committee which inquired into the question of voting rights for aborigines, although I understand he was very anxious to be a member of it. During his speech, apparently to show his knowledge of the subject, he referred to the freedom of the aborigines in Victoria and Tasmania. According to the latest Commonwealth Year Book, there are no aborigines in Tasmania now and on the 1954 figures there were only 141 aborigines in Victoria.

The honorable member particularly criticized Queensland for its restrictive laws relating to aborigines, but Queensland is the State with the longest history of government by the Labour Party. Labour governments in that State never did anything, in all those years, to ease the position of the aborigines. Their position is being ameliorated now to a great degree, and undoubtedly this process will be taken further. All the restrictions on aborigines which the honorable member for Wills mentioned were devised, to a degree, to protect these people, but the regulations are outmoded to-day, and they are being changed. Under this Government tremendous progress in this direction is being made in the Northern Territory.

I agree with the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) that the provisions of the Constitution to which he referred should be removed, but I do not see any urgency in the matter. We passed legislation recently to give aborigines the right to vote. I believe that we should go forward carefully. Unfortunately, politics have been brought into this debate. They should not enter into the discussion of a question such as this. The Minister for the Interior (Mr. Freeth) pointed out that a by-election is being held in Western Australia and that a debate like this could influence the outcome. It is unfair, and an insult to the aboriginal people, to associate politics with this important question.

I believe we are going along splendidly in solving the problems of the aborigines. This Government has set a very good example, not only by its actions in the Northern Territory but also by its attitude to the problems throughout the Commonwealth. The committee on aboriginal voting rights gave a considerable amount of publicity to the plight of aborigines in Australia. It brought their plight to the notice of the average Australian and indicated to him what he was able to do to help them to raise their status. These people are now being accepted by all sections of our community on a basis of equality. That is the road we must tread, so that the aborigines eventually will feel they have full equality in the community.


.- Some time ago this Government appointed the Constitutional Review Committee, which comprised Senator Spicer - now Mr. Justice Spicer of the Commonwealth Industrial Court - Senator Wright, Mr. Downer - the Minister for Immigration - Mr. Drummond and

Mr. Hamilton, representing the Government. From this side we had Mr. Calwell, Senator McKenna, Senator Kennelly, Mr. Ward, Mr. Pollard and Mr. Whitlam. That joint committee brought down certain recommendations to the Parliament. The Minister for the Interior (Mr. Freeth) has said there is no urgency about this matter, but the joint committee, on 26th November, 1959, presented a report which contained the following passage: -

For the reasons stated, this Committee has recommended the repeal of Section 127 of the Constitution. Since the repeal only of the section is involved, a draft illustrative constitutional alteration is unnecessary.

The Government had ample warning about this matter relating to section 127, yet the Minister says there is no urgency. A census will be taken in 1971, and if the Minister is still here then he will probably ask, “ What is the urgency about this matter? “ Has any one ever heard such a ridiculous argument? The Minister said that the cost of a referendum would be £400,000. Why, we spend more than that in a year on entertaining royalty in Australia. Will any one say that there would be opposition to the abolition of this iniquitous section 127? Would any person claiming Christian principles oppose its abolition? The Minister says there is no urgency in the matter, despite the fact that he was fully “warned by the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Committee before the last census was held in 1961. But he has completely ignored the recommendations of the committee which was established by his Government, and upon which several leading Government supporters served.

It cannot be denied that certain of our laws discriminate against aborigines. The aborigines feel that we do not want them to become useful citizens. As a result they develop a complex of social inferiority. However, it is interesting to note that in some parts of this country endeavours are being made to ameliorate discrimination towards aborigines. New South Wales has decided to permit aborigines to consume intoxicating liquor. Whether that decision is in the interests of the aborigines only time will tell. But such concessions are of minor importance compared to the elimination of legislation that discriminate! against aborigines as human beings.

Last year, the Minister for the Interior established a committee of seven members of this House to inquire into the voting rights of aborigines. Acting on the recommendations of that committee the Government has brought down legislation to give aborigines full voting rights. In introducing the bill on 15th March last the Minister said -

I would hope and expect that it will be received by the House with enthusiasm and passed without dissent. By so doing we would proclaim to the world that the representatives of all sections of the Australian community are determined to ensure that the aboriginal people of Australia enjoy complete political equality with the rest of the community.

I doubt whether anybody would quarrel with that statement, but we cannot hope to convince the world of our sincerity until we expunge section 127 from the Constitution. That section is positively shameful. It proclaims to the world that we do not count aborigines as human beings. Nobody with Christian principles could oppose the abolition of section 127. We could one day have an aboriginal Prime Minister, but under the law as it stands at present he would not be counted as one of the population. What an anomaly! We could have our Prime Minister representing Australia at meetings of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers, but he would not be counted as an Australian. How absurd for this Government to give votes to aborigines but not to count them in the census

Section 24 of the Constitution prescribes the formula for determining the number of members to be elected in each State. If the recent recommendations of the Distribution Commissioners are accepted, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales each will lose one seat, and Victoria will gain one seat. But if aborigines had been counted as members of the population, Western Australia and Queensland would have retained their present number of seats in this House. For example, Western Australia needed an increase in population of only 2,604 persons to retain its ninth seat. Queensland needed an increase of only 5,208 persons to retain its eighteenth seat. That illustrates how absurd it is to give aborigines a vote but not to count them as members of the population.

Mr Jeff Bate:

– It looks a bit silly, does it not?


– It looks silly not only to you and to me, but to the rest of the world also. Nobody could quarrel with the statement made by the Minister for the Interior when introducing the bill to give voting rights to aborigines, but how could anybody making such a statement say that there is no urgency about the abolition of section 127 of the Constitution? Aborigines should be counted as human beings. Why, we even count our cattle and sheep, but we do not count aborigines. At a time when we are trying to improve our relations with the world’s coloured people how dastardly it is for us to go overseas and say that we do not count our aborigines as part of the population! Who on the Government side of the chamber would oppose the holding of a referendum to abolish section 127? It is useless for the Minister for the Interior to claim that the Government has not had warning about this matter. It was dealt with by the Constitutional Review Committee, which presented its report in November, 1959 - eighteen months before the last census was taken. We on this side of the House are giving notice to-day that we want section 127 abolished before the next census is taken in 1971. I think that is fair notice, but when 1971 comes around the Government, if it is still in power, may choose, for political reasons, to forget about this matter.

Minister for Territories · Curtin · LP

– The clear and moderately expressed case presented by the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) has gained nothing in support from the extravagant speeches that have followed from his side of the House, so I would like to return to the honorable member’s original presentation of his case. On this side of the House there is no difference of opinion whatever as to the importance of this subject - its great importance not merely to the people who may be affected personally, but also to the Australian population at large and to Australia’s reputation. This is an important subject, and the Government recognizes that fact. The one point of difference between the Government’s views and the propositions put forward by the honorable member for

Fremantle concerns the manner in which those propositions have been put forward. It seems to us that a subject of such importance could be handled better if brought forward in a different manner. It would receive more thoughtful and expert attention if it were raised otherwise than as a matter of urgency.

Mr Whitlam:

– Would you support a private member’s bill?


– That is not a question that can be answered in these circumstances. Raising a matter of urgency is recognized as one of the means available to an opposition to put a government on the spot, as it were. It is one of the means available to an opposition to try to gain political advantage in debate. I do not question for a moment the sincerity or genuineness of the intentions of the honorable member for Fremantle, but when a matter of this kind is brought forward in these circumstances, where we are accustomed to fighting a partisan political battle in order to attack reputations and to defend reputations, we cannot give the matter the thoughtful and careful attention that such an important subject warrants.

The honorable member for Fremantle made it clear - his supporting speakers obscured the point - that the method of assessing the population was arrived at when the Constitution was being drafted to determine the number of members of Parliament who should be returned from each State. We have to recognize that at the time at which the founding fathers of the Commonwealth were discussing this matter, circumstances were entirely different from what they are to-day. I am certain that we have been very slow in catching up with the great historic changes that have taken place. In the 1890’s when one talked of the aborigines there was presented to the people a fairly definite picture of a group of people who were still living in a very primitive condition, who were still living apart and in fact rather detached and even segregated from the main body of the population. At that time when you mentioned aborigines in the way that section 127 refers to them it was easy to know what you were talking about - you were talking about this detached and even segregated group of people. They were vastly different from the majority of the Australian population at that time.

When you talk of aborigines to-day, precisely what do you mean? Those who have any knowledge of the subject know that the term “ aboriginal “ is applied to all sorts of people living in all sorts of conditions. Some are still living in nomadic or tribal conditions. My friend, the honorable member for Kalgoorlie (Mr. Collard), will be aware of people in his vast electorate who are still in a nomadic and primitive state, but in other parts of the Commonwealth there are people referred to as aborigines who in fact are living exactly the same type of life and enjoying the same material circumstances and citizenship rights as any other Australian.

The honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant) mentioned by name a couple of people to whom he referred as aborigines and whom I also happen to know. In my view they are not aborigines at all; they are citizens of Australia, subject to no restriction of any kind.

We have to realize that as a result of these historic changes the people who to-day are glibly referred to as aborigines in fact are subject to no limitations on the exercise of their citizenship; they are living as other Australians and are not affected by the kind of arguments that honorable members of the Opposition have used.

Mr Cope:

– Are you opposed to the abolition of section 127? Be honest about it.

Mr Bryant:

– There are special laws about them other than this.


– I am afraid the honorable member for Wills and the honorable member for Watson (Mr. Cope) are quite incapable of following a thoughtful train of argument. I said explicitly that it is regrettable that we have not caught up with the historic changes that have taken place since the 1890’s, and I was trying to bring to their understanding the nature of these historic changes which have meant that to-day one cannot use a glib term like “ aborigines “ and believe it refers only to one group of people.

Mr Bryant:

– The change stopped yesterday.


– A characteristic insult from a person who has no other form of argument.

My colleague the Minister for the Interior (Mr. Freeth) and I have said that we see no objection to the removal of this section; it is only the appropriateness of debating it in this way and at this time that is in dispute.

I turn now from section 127 to section 51 and put to the thoughtful members of the Opposition, and to the member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley), a vein of thought that seems to me to lead in a different direction from the simple repeal of part of section 51. As 1 see it, the tendency in Australia to-day is not to make special legislation affecting aborigines but to reduce as much as we can any special legislation that does apply to them. If part of section 51 is repealed in the way suggested by the honorable member by simply deleting the words relating to the aboriginal race it would mean that this Parliament, concurrently with the Parliaments of the States, would have power to pass special legislation affecting aborigines. My belief is that we do not want special power to make laws affecting aborigines. We should try to remove them from any special legislation.

To underline my words I want to show honorable members a tendency indicated by what has been happening successfully under Commonwealth administration in the Northern Territory. During the term of this Government we have brought in amendments in the Northern Territory to lessen, as much as we can, the application of any special legislation to these people. I should like to recite to the House, very quickly, what are the present, and only, restrictions that apply to a person who is committed to the care of the State as a ward in the Northern Territory. There are, of course, literally thousands of people of aboriginal ancestry to whom no special provisions apply. The restrictions I cite apply only to those who, by legal process, have been committed to the care of the State.

Ordinarily, there is no restriction at all on an aboriginal’s rights in respect of property, but it is possible for the Director of Welfare to apply to a court and for the court to give a direction, similar to what might happen with a white person, that a person who is incapable of managing his property should have that property managed for him by the Director of Welfare. Ordinarily, there is no restriction in respect of property.

There is no power at the present time by which an aboriginal person committed to the care of the State can be ordered to go from place to place. However, there is a provision under which the director can apply to a court and by which the court may make that order.

There are special conditions for the supervision of their employment and to provide for their training.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Brimblecombe:

– Order! The Minister’s time has expired. The debate is concluded.

page 888


Ministerial Statement

Debate resumed from 14th August (vide page 307), on the following paper tabled by Mr. Menzies: -

Common Market Negotiations - Ministerial Statement, 9th August, 1962.

And on the motion by Mr. Hasluck -

That the paper be printed.


– This is the concluding day of the debate on the paper tabled by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and the motion by the Minister for Territories (Mr. Hasluck) that the paper be printed. This paper relates to the Government’s policy in the European Common Market discussions.

May I say at the outset that if the wise and experienced leaders of Great Britain have applied for membership of the European Common Market, surely one single fact ought to be paramount to those in Australia who are considering this application, that is, Britain’s relations with Europe. In 1914 Great Britain entered Europe in what was then the bloodiest and longest war in history. In 1939 she again entered Europe, this time in an even bloodier war. Twenty-five years elapsed between those two wars. Another 25 years have almost elapsed and Britain is again proposing to enter Europe with the hand of fellowship and co-operation. In her first two intrusions into Europe, and throughout her association with Europe, there has been bloodshed, and horrible, unspeakable and barbarous things have happened. On the last two occasions Australia entered the war with Great Britain because of its family ties and because of the strong bonds that exist between this country and the old country. So Australian people have much to be interested in when Britain enters Europe. Surely the families of those who might be slaughtered if there were another war ought to get down on their knees and thank God that this peaceful entry has even been thought about, and that Britain might go into Europe and establish an integrated power, not for warfare and bloodshed but for peace for ever more. That one thought - that Britain has decided to join with Europe to form what the Americans might hope to be a United States of Europe - should take precedence over all other considerations.

There is another important consideration. I refer to the fact that the Soviet Government has unblushingly and quite blatantly started on what it calls a cold war by which it can pick off European nations one by one. With its economic weapons, Russia could destroy each of these countries one by one. It cannot now do this, because the European countries are too strong. This second consideration, without the first, ought to be enough for us to believe that Britain is acting wisely and that Britain’s advisers are well briefed on this matter.

Some people in the rear of these movements have said that there is a danger to British sovereignty and a danger to our traditions and the executive powers surrounding the Crown. We have the advantage of a statement made by the Lord Chancellor on 2nd August. Lord Dilhorne said that he thought it would be helpful at this time to say something about the constitutional aspects and about the loss of sovereignty. He said -

For a considerable time these matters have been under consideration by my predecessor, my noble and learned friend Lord Kilmuir, by me in a former capacity, and by the present AttorneyGeneral. And it is right that I should add that we invoked the help of a number of eminent lawyers, to whom I should like publicly to express my thanks for the many hours of their time which they devoted to an objective study of the Treaties of the three European Communities - the European Economic Community, the European Coal and Steel Community and Euratom . . .

We often lose sight of Euratom, although in this Britain has the lead. She is part of a European treaty on the use of atomic power through Euratom. The Lord Chancellor continued -

I have heard it said . . . that by joining The Six we should be affecting, if not undermining, the position of the Crown. I wish to say, as emphatically as I can, that there is nothing in the Rome Treaty, or in the objectives for which it has been set up, which would in any way weaken the position of our Sovereign; and if proof of this were needed it can be found in the fact that two of The Six are constitutional Monarchies and a third is a Grand Duchy.

I add that a fourth is a republic; indeed, it is almost a dictatorship under General de Gaulle. The authority of none of these countries has been diminished, as far as we can see. In fact, their authorities have been made even greater. The Six was started with great care by an arrangement with the Benelux countries. Then the European Steel and Coal Community was formed and was a success, and lastly the European Economic Community was formed and it has been a resounding success. It has become extremely prosperous and the expansion of its gross national product has been about three times the expansion of that of the United States. If Great Britain did not join The Six, its power, influence and prosperity might diminish, and then the power of the Crown would be weakened. In other words, to avoid weakening the power of the Crown and to avoid damaging the old traditions and the British Commonwealth, it would be right for Great Britain to enter the Common Market. The men who advise the British Prime Minister, Mr. Heath and others are completely on the right line.

It has been said that we are to be damaged. V/e are not able to find out whether The Six will have a common agricultural policy. Indeed, there may not be a common agricultural policy. We should realize that the prices of agricultural products in countries of the Common Market are quite different; butter costs twice as much in Germany and France as it does in Holland. All of these countries have conflicting sets of subsidies, preferences, tariffs and quantitative restrictions. Each of them is anxious to preserve its agricultural community, because each of them believes that its national well-being is based upon the agricultural community - the peasants, if you like. These are the people who are close to the soil and close to the nation. When we realize that these differences exist, we must realize how difficult it is for the Common Market to have a common agricultural policy. Recently, after five years of negotiation, the Common Market countries came up with a momentous decision freezing the prices of goods at their present level. As I said, some goods cost twice as much in one country as they do in another. The Common Market countries have failed to produce a common agricultural policy.

A number of our industries have been built up under Commonwealth trade preferences. Notable amongst these are butter, dried fruit, sugar and wheat. The leaders of these industries do not know what the future holds for them in Europe. The very fact that they do not know creates the fear of the unknown. The industry leaders are, of course, right in saying that this is a dangerous situation, because they do not know what the future of their industry is. No one blames them. I fully support them, and I deplore any idea that our attitude has been exaggerated or overemphasized. It is prudent and wise.

When great communities have been built up on years and years of established practice, they should not be threatened, no matter how rich and prosperous the remainder of the country may become. To do this would be repugnant to the people of Australia. We should ensure that these communities are not destroyed. I have in mind places along the river Murray established by soldier settlers, such as Mildura. The great dairying industry should be protected. It contains some of the best people in Australia. They are always in the forefront of national movements. But there is fear and concern that these communities may be destroyed. Of course, the industry leaders are correct in adopting the attitude that they have, and I dissociate myself from any suggestion that our case has been overemphasized or exaggerated by our leaders.

Let us look at the leaders themselves. The Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) went abroad. I do not suppose there is a man better versed in agricultural commodity agreements than the Minister for Trade is, by a life-time of study. No one has a better understanding of the ramifications and details of these agreements. He is a world expert on British Commonwealth trade preferences.

Mr Peters:

– What rubbish!


– Of course, that is the Labour view. We will deal with the Labour view in a moment. But let me say now that the Labour view is so stupid that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) said here that Russia should be brought into The Six, when in fact, The Six has been established to block the depredations of the brutal Communist dictatorship. That is the sort of thinking we find amongst Opposition members.

Of course, the Minister for Trade is an expert, and an outstanding world expert, on British Commonwealth trade preferences. One of his acts, when he was abroad, could be a model for others who go overseas. When he was abroad, we received two long despatches each day setting out what he was doing. When some people go overseas, they disappear. Could we ask that those who represent Australia abroad on these matters in the future will send back a record of what is happening? The action of the Minister for Trade in this respect should be taken as a model. When he returned, the people of Australia knew what he was doing and immediately the alarm and concern began to be assuaged.

The Prime Minister went away armed with all the knowledge that was gained by the Minister for Trade during his visit. The Minister for Trade went to every country involved in this matter. He saw more people in two or three weeks than any of them will see in their lifetimes. Many of them will never see each other, but he saw them all. He brought back the information he had gathered and the Prime Minister went abroad armed with it. The Prime Minister is a world figure and he has tremendous prestige in Great Britain. He made his great speech at the Australia Club dinner at the Savoy. The Americans, who are terribly important in this matter, immediately began to feel that this man, with all this influence, with his great experience of speaking to the British people and with a clear and precise view on Commonwealth trade, was a man who had to be placated. Then we began to get the fruits of the double mission of those two men.

It is obvious that Great Britain has to go into the European Economic Community. If she does that, there will be terrific concern in some of our industries but the performances of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade have put the situation into perspective for the British negotiators. They know what the price of Britain’s entry into the Common Market will be in terms of Commonwealth trade, and so also do the Americans. We are indebted to the President of the United States of America for his statement that under the trade expansion legislation pending before the Congress, the United States Government should strive, through reciprocal agreements, to bring about a general reduction of trade barriers for the benefit of all. Some of these barriers are erected against our wool, and that is one of the important results of the negotiations.

I suppose that in this situation, one can be pardoned for looking at the silver lining to what otherwise might be a gloomy picture. There is a silver lining, and as a confirmed optimist, I take leave to say what I think about it. We are told that we may lose the whole of our butter trade with the United Kingdom but that special arrangements will be made for New Zealand in this connexion. I shall be grateful if New Zealand dairy production can be disposed of because that is one consideration that affects us. With an enormous supply of butter and cheese almost alongside us, we want to see it sold; so if the European Common Market absorbs that supply, it will be a great help to us.

Great Britain, West Germany and other countries have purchased a lot of Australian butter. If, in future, Australian butter does not go to the United Kingdom, West Germany and other places in Europe, production must be stepped up in those countries. I believe this has been mentioned before in this House. If those countries increase butter production, they must sell on the British market at much lower prices than they would get in their own countries. This would apply to countries like Germany and France. Therefore, they would sell at a loss; and I cannot see those countries increasing production to sell at a loss. If they sell at a high price in the United Kingdom, they will lower consumption; and I cannot conceive of any agricultural policy which would try to reduce the consumption of an article. So I still believe there will be a demand for Australian butter to fill the same voids and vacuums that we fill now and have filled for the past 20, 30 or 50 years. There will still be a market for Australian butter.

The next point to which I wish to refer is the attitude of the United States of America. The honorable member for Darling (Mr. Clark) is interested in this matter because of the lead and zinc markets and the quantitative restrictions on Australian lead and zinc going to other countries. The Americans are trying to pass a trade expansion act. This will give the Administration certain powers over what happens in external trade. We are informed that the act is to be used to alleviate the situation that might be created by the European Common Market against certain world movements of products. In this case, they are Australian products - and particularly Australian products - because the Prime Minister has pointed out very well what might happen to the Commonwealth of Nations which itself is a great association of free nations and should be preserved, in the opinion of the Americans and all other freedom-loving people.

In the light of this circumstance, the Americans could take a good look at the 25 cents, import duty on wool. This trade expansion act should be aimed in the first instance at the 25 cents, duty imposed on Australian wool going into the United States. The greater prosperity in the European Economic Community and in the United Kingdom could lead to world consumption of wool being doubled. This is the view of Mr. Vines, the new managing director of the International Wool Secretariat. If world consumption of wool were doubled, Australia could easily produce the wool to supply the demand. The tools are there. If the Americans removed part or whole of the import duty on wool, Australia’s export income would increase enormously.

The United States trade expansion legislation which, of course, must operate in this area would ensure for Australia its present share of the American manufacturing meat market. That manufacturing meat is bringing us this year about ?46,000,000 whereas five years ago we were getting nothing for it. We have been getting a higher price for this meat than we have obtained for choice meat on the British market.

So we turn to our area of selling in the Pacific. The demand in this market is going up by leaps and bounds. Already it totals ?600,000,000 a year whereas European trade has fallen to below ?400,000,000. If this had happened twenty or 30 years ago, it would have meant certain disaster for Australia and our trade because we were then so heavily involved in the European markets; but to-day the value of the European markets is only two-thirds of that of the Pacific, Asian and American markets. This greatly rising income for Australia is due to the efforts of the Government, and in particular has flowed from one treaty - the Japanese Trade Agreement which was so bitterly attacked by the Opposition. So Australia is being saved by new markets in this new area when markets in Europe are declining. At the present rate of development, it could be that by 1970 the European Common Market countries will be anxious to secure goods from the Australian market.


-(Hon. Sir John Mc Leay). - Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.

Port Adelaide

– I have been listening with interest to the debate on the European Common Market. I shall not deal in detail with what has been said by honorable members for the simple reason that twelve months ago I was a representative of this Parliament at a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Brussels. On my arrival in England, and in Italy before I reached London, I saw quite a lot of what was happening in connexion with the European Economic Community. While in London, I had the privilege of attending the House of Lords and I heard Lord Home deliver a speech similar to that given by the Prime Minister, Mr.

Macmillan, in the House of Commons. I was unable to get into the House of Commons on that occasion, but I heard Lord Home and, following him, the Labour leader, Lord Alexander. I was able then to get into the House of Commons and I heard most of the speech by the Labour leader, Mr. Gaitskell, and by the second speaker on the Government side. 1 was amazed at the difference of opinion expressed among members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons on Great Britain’s entry into the European Common Market. In fact, it seemed to me that neither Lord Home nor Lord Alexander was very definite on the question. Each said a lot, but he did not say just where he stood or where we were going on this question. Mr. Gaitskell was a little more emphatic. I forget the name of the Government speaker who followed, but he attacked Britain’s entry into the Common Market very strongly indeed. The opinion expressed in the English newspapers then forecast what is happening to-day in England. Those who were most afraid of the results flowing from Great Britain’s entry into the European Common Market were the members of the farming community in the United Kingdom. There is no question that the farming community in England, which has been assisted and protected by subsidies and in other ways, has reached a higher level than it has ever attained at any other time in its history.

The honorable member for Gwydir (Mr. Ian Allan) was the leader of the Australian delegation to Brussels. He spoke on our behalf on general matters but when the time came for the discussion of resolutions, the task of being the first speaker was allotted to me. The subject for discussion was: “ Effects on world trade of the policies followed by the regional economic communities “. Mr. Alain Peyrefitte of France, the rapporteur, presented a report in the name of the Economic and Social Committee. I shall devote most of my time to-day to putting before the House the views of the people not only of England but also of other European countries and those associated with the Inter-Parliamentary Union. In presenting his report, Mr. Peyrefitte spoke of the development of regional economic communities throughout the world in the last fifteen years, and said that he was sure that in the near future those communities would become geographical entities and would be shown as such in the atlases of the future. This view supports some of the contentions which have been advanced by honorable members on both sides of the House to the effect that as there is a European economic union there should be also similar unions in this part of the world. We have spoken about an Asian economic community with which perhaps we could make trading arrangements. Already we have a certain degree of economic union with Japan under the Japanese Trade Agreement. Mr. Peyrefitte continued in this way -

Some doubts had been expressed about the setting up of such communities, and the fear was held by some that the new entities would seriously upset world trade.

He spoke at length on that aspect. I shall come now to the draft resolution which was submitted to the conference in the name of the Economic and Social Committee. At this point let me state the way in which we benefit from representation at these organizations. The honorable member for Gwydir, the leader of our delegation, went overseas with Senator Armstrong ahead of the party to attend a meeting of the council prior to the general conference being convened. At the council many matters were prepared for submission to the conference. Our representatives were able to state Australia’s position prior to the presentation of submissions for the approval of the great Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting at which 50 or 60 countries were represented. The following draft resolution which, with slight amendments, was carried was placed before the conference: -

The 50th Inter-Parliamentary Conference,

Aware of the importance for international trade of establishing economic relations and strengthening confidence between States whatever their social or economic systems may be,

Noting the positive role played in the development of international economic relations by regional economic organizations of co-operation and more particularly by the regional economic commissions of the United Nations,

Aware of the legitimate disquiet which has arisen for third-party countries faced with the eventualities stemming from the new economic groups and the fear of discrimination prejudicial to international trade,

Considering that nevertheless the recent setting up of regional economic groups such as the European Economic Community and the European Free Trade Association have, up to the present, helped the economic expansion of member countries and, if liberal trading policies are pursued, should likewise assist in the development of trade between those countries and third parties,

Believes that efforts towards economic cooperation within a regional or sub-regional framework should be encouraged, at the same time paying due regard to the following obligations: -

to respect traditional trade Sows so as to avoid any deterioration in terms of trade within third-party countries outside the groups, and particularly in those nonEuropean countries in process of development;

to aim, as far as possible, at a progressive reduction in external tariffs, either common or national, as well as internal consumption taxes constituting an obstacle to the import of goods;

to take into consideration, in the establishment of any regional agricultural policy, the necessity of not upsetting rural production in those countries traditionally agricultural;

to avoid harming the industrial production of third-party countries and in particular those in process of development;

Appeals to the United Nations and to the competent agencies of the United Nations to implement as soon as possible the objectives set out in Article 55 of the United Nations Charter and Article 1 of the Havana Charter.

Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m.


– The Argentine, India, the Soviet Republic and the United Arab Republic moved some amendments which were agreed to in part, and which I have not time to deal with in detail. I would like to read to the House the speech that I made at the conference of the InterParliamentary Union in Brussels. It was in these terms -

We are discussing the draft resolution on “The effects on world trade of the policies followed by the regional economic communities “. The resolution sets out the positive role being played by regional economic organizations of co-operation and notes particularly the regional Economic Commissions of the United Nations. It sets out that it is aware of the disquiet which has arisen for third-party countries from the eventualities that may stem from the new economic groups and the fear of discrimination prejudicial to international trade.

The resolution states the belief of the Economic and Social Committee that efforts towards economic co-operation should be encouraged but that due regard should be paid to certain obliga tions. While appreciating the desires for economic co-operation set out in the resolution, I am strongly of the opinion that unless the provisions set out in points (a),(b), (c) and (d) are carefully given effect to, the regional economic community set-up will upset world trade in the third-party countries that have built up their economies on trading with countries on a mutual basis.

I admit quite freely that as a representative of Australia at this Conference, while I desire to look at this matter from a world-wide standpoint, I must protect the people of my own country from any unjust disabilities that may eventuate against them. We have small evidence of what the result has been of the six European countries’ CommonMarket, particularly as to its effect on other countries. The most outstanding result being the forcing of Great Britain to apply for membership of that body, we are fearful that should this eventuate, countries like Australia and New Zealand may find the traditional world markets that they have built up become lost to them.

We in Australia, and also New Zealand, have for very many years had co-operative agreements with the United Kingdom, which have been to our mutual advantage. We are in some respects an under-developed country, having for over a century been dependent upon primary production generally, which, together with mineral production, has been the main source of our purchasing power of raw materials and manufactures from overseas countries. This has maintained a large world trade between Australia and other countries.

We want not only to continue world trade, but to expand it. We have been in the forefront of countries who have used the economy of the country to give to the common people of the community a measure of security in their needs for food, shelter, clothing and health, and for the producer either in industry or in primary production. To do this, we have been in the forefront of countries endeavouring to have a cost consideration given to the price at which commodities should be disposed of. These aspects should be given the fullest consideration by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

I have particularly mentioned the Australian viewpoint, not in a narrow parochial manner, but from the point of view of conditions which, I feel, are of like concern to other countries far flung from the greatly advanced countries of Europe and America, and particularly to those great underdeveloped countries which have attained national independence only in recent years. Regional economic communities must not be set up in such a way that the progress and development of these and other older under-developed countries can be impaired.

While the terms of point (c) of the draft resolution refer particularly to rural agricultural countries, the Inter-Parliamentary Union must not lose sight of the fact that a country that is primaryproducing or agricultural only is at the mercy of big manufacturing countries and generally has to depend upon world prices and sales to meet its internal economic needs.

It has long been recognized that for a country which desires to advance from being an underdeveloped country, it is necessary to develop not only primary production, be it food or mineral, t?ut also industrial and manufacturing resources. This has to be met not only from its own resources, but it must receive adequate assistance from developed and industrially prosperous countries, not only in cultural and educational assistance but also in skilled manufacturing help.

Will that help be freely given by groups of countries which form themselves into regional economic groups? Are these groups being formed for the purpose of improving world trade and the improvement of the standards of world countries generally, or is it another grouping of countries for the special benefit of the group itself? We speak very definitely of the dangers to peace that can arise from the formation of blocs of countries. Let us make sure that in our desire to eliminate unfair, ruinous and trade rivalries and practices, we do not form economic groups of common markets that will injure and reduce the standards and the economic welfare of third-party countries.

As I pointed out earlier in my remarks, the result of the six-country European Common Market on the position of Great Britain and her long associated policy with Commonwealth countries is viewed with great apprehension by Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

I readily agree that the Government and people of any country must first look after the needs of that country, my personal feeling being the old adage that charity begins at home and that this is a bread and butter question. But I also believe that the welfare and care of the people of the world are also the responsibility of all peoples and that we, as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, should take great care that wo give our support and blessing only after complete belief that what we do will be justice to all.

I believe that the integration of the people of the world can never be really achieved until we have complete accord with all people and that the draft resolution which is before us is an effort to give effect to that belief. In its general character, but not in its presentation and emphasis, I can support it, but in so doing I strongly emphasize the necessity of giving full and equal cognizance to tha beliefs and conditions set out in points (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the resolution.

That was my effort on behalf of the people of Australia, and I feel very proud when I read to-day that statement which I made twelve months ago in Brussels, for I believe that I was on the right tack.

In the few minutes that I have left, I should like to add a few comments about the prosperity of the countries that belong to the European Economic Community. I travelled through Belgium and Germany first and then through Austria and Switzerland to Italy, where I spent about a fort night traversing the country from one end to the other. I must say, Mr. Speaker, that I was amazed at the prosperity of Belgium and Germany and particularly of Italy, although I was not so greatly impressed by the prosperity of France. The present prosperity of the countries that belong to the Economic Community shows that they have benefited by their membership of that organization. It looks to me as though the United Kingdom will have no option but to join.

I suggest to the Government, and to the people of Australia, that the effects on Australia of the United Kingdom’s entry to the European Economic Community will not be felt next year. They may be felt a little the year after or in three years’ time, but the full force of the effects on Australia will not be felt until 1970. In the intervening period, we must take full advantage of our trade missions, wherever they are throughout the world, and endeavour to improve our trade, whether it is undertaken by private business or by sales from government to government. If we are to lose our extensive market for butter, fruits and perhaps wheat in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe, we must seek other markets in which we can make big sales of those commodities. I suggest to the Government that it should be directing its efforts towards the development of new markets, and I hope that it will strain its sinews to the utmost in encouraging exporters and obtaining new outlets for our trade. I am afraid that the countries of the European Economic Community will just look after themselves, and we must look after ourselves by developing new markets for our exports.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.

New England

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I congratulate the honorable member for Port Adelaide (Mr. Thompson) on approaching th-is subject on such a very high plane. I believe that, in him, the Australian Parliament had a worthy representative at the Brussels conference of the InterParliamentary Union which he has mentioned.

In the very limited time available for the discussion of a very big subject, I hope to make the following points: First, the fear complex with respect to wars in Europe which has been introduced into this debate is of doubtful validity historically. Secondly, the claim that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and the Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) have over-played their hand is unsound. The third point which I wish to make, Sir, is that the political and constitutional issues implicit in the present proposals transcend even the trade developments. Finally, I wish to declare my firm and unswerving adherence to the idea that there is room for the British Commonwealth of Nations, led by the United Kingdom, to give leadership to the uncommitted groups of nations and that something of immeasurable value will be lost if, by any step taken now, Britain loses the leadership which is hers by right of her actions in the past.

I think it would be a fatal error for Australia to assume that because there have been in Europe two great wars, in which Australia engaged at very great cost, the European Common Market arrangements, in a continent of which the United Kingdom is part, will necessarily eliminate fear of the possibilities of war. That is the implication of certain arguments which have been put forward. I state now, without amplification, that that is a claim of very doubtful validity historically. Various developments can be caused by such things as power blocs and by civil war, as the United States of America knows. Too often, we have seen the United States of America conjured up as an image on which to model the United States of Europe which is envisioned by some. I pray that the consequences of developments such as these will not be realized, and I suggest, Sir, that to try to influence public opinion by reference to these matters is simply to beg the whole question. lt would be a fatal error, on the part of Australians particularly, to assume that the implications for trade are the only, or, indeed, the most important, implications of Britain’s proposed entry into the European Economic Community. In the short run, I would say “Yes”. I believe that in the long run, however, the implications of Britain’s entry are so far-reaching as to make incalculable the effects on the Commonwealth of Nations and, more especially, on the Commonwealth of Australia. I hope to return to this subject later, Sir. 1 propose now to direct my remarks particularly to the trade aspect and to the probable effects on Australia’s economy - effects which have been the subject of the most searching analysis by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade. The prospects are serious enough to give every breadwinner and every capitalist in this country cause to dismiss the charge that our leaders have over-played their hand. The commonsense citizen discards this charge as a frivolous cliché

Let us look at the facts. Last financial year, our exports exceeded £1,000,000,000. Seventy per cent, of our imports was for secondary industry and was therefore essential to the expansion of employment. Our rural industries provide 80 per cent, of our exports. Those industries, therefore, pay our overseas interest bill and enable us to buy overseas the essential commodities which we have to import. At this juncture, Sir, I should like to refer briefly to comments made by the Reserve Bank of Australia in its report for the financial year ended 30th June, 1962. At page 8, the report states that in 1961-62, exports of iron and steel increased to a record level of £43,000,000 and that exports of other manufactured products contributed very little to the increase in total exports. The bank pointed out that exports totalled £936,000,000 in 1961-62 and £1,080,000,000 in 1962-63- an increase of £144,000,000. The total of our exports last financial year was £102,000,000 higher than the total in 1956-57, the previous record year, and the deficit in the balance of payments was the smallest for five years.

The significant thing is this statement, at page 7 -

A high level of rural production helped exports to rise to a record figure . . .

That is a plain statement of the importance of the primary industries of this country - the industries for which our Minister for Trade has been fighting overseas for the fullest possible recognition. They are the pillar upon which our secondary industries rest. On the primary industries depend the expansion and operating capacity of the secondary industries. I ask: Is it overplaying Australia’s hand in the international game of cards to emphasize these things vigorously? Since federation, Australia’s trade has been geared to the British market. True it is that, since the 1914-18 war and more particularly since the trade collapse of the 1930’s, Australia has diversified her economy with great benefit to all Australians. Nevertheless, the pattern of trade has remained mutually advantageous to Great Britain and to ourselves, although particularly weighted in favour of Great Britain. I propose to quote some figures that have already been mentioned, because I want to knock the theory that, through our leaders, we have overplayed our hand. The percentages of our exports taken by the United Kingdom are as follows: - Wool, 20 per cent.; wheat, 20 per cent.; sugar, 50 per cent.; butter, 85 per cent.; wines, 75 per cent.; canned fruits, 90 per cent.; dried fruits, 50 per cent.; apples and pears, 70 per cent.; beef, 30 per cent.; lamb, 70 per cent.; and canned meat, 70 per cent.

I emphasize these figures because they are the backbone of the factors which have produced the results so emphatically stated by the Reserve Bank of Australia in its recent report. Let us note that the tariff on sugar will be £80 a ton against Australia if the present arrangements continue in the European Common Market, compared with approximately £5 a ton in favour of Australia under the present tariff. According to the statement made by the Prime Minister in this House on 16th August, current exports to Great Britain are worth £A. 250,000,000 a year, and imports from Great Britain are worth approximately £A. 325,000,000. The balance is weighted heavily in favour of Great Britain. I do not cavil at that. I am trying to refute the misguided statement by critics of the Government that our leaders have overplayed their hand. It is too little recognized, mainly because of the inadequate representations in this Parliament of our great primary producing industries, that exports of primary products are the very basis of our economy. Our current export trade is worth about £1,080,000.000, which shows an increase of £144.000.000 over the previous year, in spite of falling market rates. That result could not have been achieved if there had not been a determined effort by our great primary industries to increase production. This has enabled us to have a live migra tion programme and live secondary industry development. We have a great range of primary industries upon which the transport industry and other service industries entirely depend.

I want to refer now to a very striking statement that was made in a publication issued recently by the City Bank of New York, to the effect that the United States of America has a trade in farm products with the European Common Market countries worth one billion dollars annually. This was supplemented by a statement made by the Secretary for Trade of the United States of America. He said that the total trade b:tween the United States and the European Common Market countries amounts to one and one-half billion dollars. In the same speech he said that the United States admitted 2,000 or more items free of tariff, but the significant feature is that these are basic materials which are in short supply in that country. The duties on other imports by the United States are very high, ranging, if my memory serves me correctly, up to about 800 per cent. It seems almost that that figure was a misprint, but that is my recollection of it. The deduction to be drawn from that speech is that the United States regards the Common Market as an opportunity for placing in Europe both primary and secondary goods of which she has a surplus.

As a nation, we are greatly indebted to the United States of America. Can any one truly say that the Minister for Trade or the Prime Minister overplayed his hand by going to the United States to hammer home to the authorities there what it would mean to this country, as an outpost of our great white civilization, if the Common Market were used to undermine our economic strength? I have read in a recent report by a financial institution which ought to have known better that our leaders have overplayed their hand. I do not think there could be any over-emphasis of what the Common Market could really mean to this young and developing country, which can become a powerful and stabilizing influence in the world. Our leaders played the strongest hand they could play. The late G. K. Chesterton, a great thinker and philosopher, once said that the time to arrest the axe was before it fell on the chicken’s neck. That is what our leaders have been trying to do. ft is of no use sympathizing with the chicken when it has got it in the neck. The time to stop the economic axe is before it reaches a tender part and severs one from life.

A student of world affairs cannot overlook two movements on the part of nations. One is a movement towards aggregation and the other is a movement in the opposite direction. In Europe, there are two phases of the movement towards aggregation. First, the leaders of the great Christian churches have endeavoured to get together in order to establish a common basis of action against the forces of materialism which threaten them from behind the iron curtain and elsewhere. That is a very significant movement towards integration, if you like, in the style of the old Holy Roman Empire, but it does not have a sectarian basis. Secondly, the governments of Europe are seeking, along the economic path, a union of forces to counterbalance the growing might of Russia and China. If this comes about, we will have the great United States of America, a great united states of Europe, Russia, and the vast, powerful and fast-growing Republic of China. There will be no other counterbalancing factor in the world. Therefore, I say there are sound reasons why, if it is humanly possible, Great Britain should remain the leader of the uncommitted nations, to build up the intangible forces which we saw in operation in this Parliament when the multi-racial congress was called together a few years ago. There were things that separated us, but the forces which held us together were more powerful than the forces which tended towards disintegration.

However, at a time when there is a movement towards aggregation in Europe, we find that nations are proliferating in Africa and elsewhere. It might be only a philosophical exercise, but perhaps some one should look into the question of whether it is not a natural law which brings about, at the same time as aggregation, a process of disintegration, which enables a certain balance to be obtained. However, that is not the sphere of discussion on this occasion.

I find, on looking through the press of the United Kingdom, that there is a power ful section of public opinion in that country which has grave doubts as to the wisdom of what has been proposed regarding the Common Market. It is not for us to say to the United Kingdom that it must not enter the Common Market. It is not for us even to suggest that. It is for us to suggest reasons why the historic Commonwealth which has been built up should continue to be a force to protect the liberties and the lives of free men and to uphold the judicial idea that a man shall be entitled to a writ of habeas corpus to bring him before a court without the interference of administrative law. In the United Kingdom are men of forceful character such as Lord Attlee, Lord Montgomery and Sir Winston Churchill. Recently, the London “ Times “ stated that Britain’s pulse was beating weakly at present. I h?ard an honorable member refer to the wise men of Britain. The wise men of Britain, in the time of Neville Chamberlain, nearly sold the world to the Nazi forces. A great author has said that, in the event of danger, Britain’s pulse beats like a cannon. It beat like a cannon under the leadership of Winston Churchill. One cannot but feel that there is need for it to beat in that way at the present time.


.- I think that two of the finest speeches that I have heard in my short career in this House were those made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) in initiating this debate and by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) in stating the viewpoint of the Australian Labour Party. I agree with the statement that the Prime Minister made some time ago that if the United Kingdom joins the European Economic Community on the conditions at present laid down in the Treaty of Rome it will bring immeasurable change to the Commonwealth, which will not be the same as before. Several members of the Australian Parliament have now gone to England in order to put the case for the preservation of those things which we have come to regard as traditionally our rights - the preferences which we have enjoyed in the United Kingdom.

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has appealed to us to accept this issue as a challenge. I say that it is right for the United Kingdom

Government to say where it will go and what it will do. I would resent the United Kingdom or any other country telling us what we should do about our own affairs. Governments, whether of the United Kingdom or of Australia, must decide their own country’s affairs for themselves. However, we hope that the bonds which have bound us together for a century and a half will not be broken lightly. We hope, also, that the interests of Australian producers will be preserved. I am afraid that I cannot agree with the honorable member for New England (Mr. Drummond), for whom I have a very high regard, that members of the Australian Country Party, who claim to be the spokesmen for the primary producers, have come out of this issue very well. It is only eleven and a half months ago that members of the Country Party roused themselves from their inertia and decided to speak on behalf of the Australian producers.

The Prime Minister went overseas and, in his calm, smooth, suave way, approached the United Kingdom Prime Minister and the President of the United States of America relative to the United Kingdom’s application to join the European Economic Community. The Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen), who is Leader of the Australian Country Party, also went overseas, but because he was not received in the way in which he thought he should be received, I say, to use an Australianism, that he did his block in the United States and made most offensive remarks such as “ Get out of our hair”. That was a shocking thing to say, particularly when we were appealing for an advantage for this country. I say that the Leader of the Country Party is far too weak. I believe that is why members of the Australian Labour Party have been asked by the Prime Minister to go overseas in connexion with the Common Market proposals. The Prime Minister’s own supporters have failed him. The Prime Minister has asked the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell), the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Crean) and our potential Minister for Trade, the honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) to go overseas to put the case for Australia. That is why those honorable members are not in this House to-day. They have gone overseas to put the case for Australia,.

It has been suggested that political issues transcend trade issues in this matter. Strangely, this observation came from a Country Party member. I would not have thought that Country Party members, who claim to represent the primary producers, would have said that political issues transcend trade issues in this matter, because it is the primary producers who will be hardest hit if no favorable treatment is given to Australian exports on the United Kingdom market, particularly in regard to butter, wheat, sugar and dried fruits. I would say that trade is the principal issue involved in this matter. It may be a filthy matter because it involves money, but money is a source of progress. It is what the primary producers produce their goods for, and it is what this country is battling for in overseas markets. Consequently, we must endeavour to protect our trade and our existing market.

The Treaty of Rome, in its initial form, holds many difficulties for us. It looks as though we could lose the preferences that we have enjoyed for many years. For centuries, the leaders of European countries have endeavoured to do what it seems will be done in our day and age. For ten centuries the leaders of the countries of Europe have been endeavouring to come together to form a United States of Europe - or call it what you like. They have aimed at the political unity of the European continent. Charlemagne tried to do it. Henry VIII. tried to do it with royal marriages. Napoleon tried to do it by conquest. So did Hitler. I say that it is for the Government of the United Kingdom to decide for itself what it will do, but it seems as though the decision will be influenced mainly by considerations of trade. It is only since 1958, when the Treaty, of Rome was first made, that the countries we refer to as The Sue have enjoyed a fantastic degree of prosperity. The honorable member for Port Adelaide (Mr. Thompson), who preceded me from this side of the chamber, painted a very glowing picture of countries that were battered flat during the war years but have now built themselves up to the front rank as producers in the industrial field. The prosperity of Italy and West Germany cannot be imagined by us in this country as it has grown to such great proportions. It is evident that on the European scene The Six are the leaders in industrial production. The United Kingdom, being aware of this, is seeking to join this community.

Notwithstanding what various people say, I feel from a reading of speeches of some of the leaders of thought in the British Parliament that the United Kingdom is determined to join the European Economic Community. One of the prominent members of this Parliament, the honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen), went to Europe some time ago and had the audacity to advise the English people not to join the European Common Market. That was rather presumptuous in view of the fact that it is a decision that should be taken by the English people on their own behalf. Earlier this afternoon we heard the honorable member for New England say that the European Economic Community is a bloc that is being formed to resist the martch of communism in Europe. Perhaps, now, we can see the honorable member for Moreton paying off to the Communist supporters who were responsible for sending him into this Parliament. The honorable member went to England to beseech the people not to join this Economic Community, which honorable members on the Government side have said is being formed and expanded to resist the advance of communism. When I decided earlier to make this point he was in the chamber, and I am sorry that he is not in the House to hear it; perhaps he is gifted with mental telepathy and he left in fear.

I should like to remind members of observations made by leaders of the British Parliament on this important issue. A statement by Mr. Heath, Lord Privy Seal, who has been the principal negotiator for the United Kingdom, appears in a United Kingdom Information Service publication, as follows: -

We believe, provided w» make proper arrangements, we should be prepared to play our full part in it.

He was referring to the economic growth which he said stems from the European Common Market. That is a very clear observation on what Mr. Heath proposed to do. He said further -

The Commonwealth countries themselves had been spreading their trading arrangements much more widely in recent times - and rightly so, because they believed in the wider outlets of world trade.

We believe it is right to enter these negotiations and that it is right to continue them.

Mr. Deputy Speaker, there seems to be a division of opinion among members of the British Government about whether the United Kingdom should or should not join the Common Market. It is significant that all the Ministers of the Macmillan Government who were pro-Commonwealth have been given the axe and have gone, while the pro-Common Market members remain in the government.

I must inform the Parliament of the remarks made by Mr. Gaitskell, the leader of the Labour Party, in the course of trie debate on this subject. He said -

  1. . it would be dangerous for Britain to stay outside the Common Market. In 10 or 20 years the Commonwealth might change and not count for as much as it does now. We might find ourselves a little island off Europe and nothing else.

Our own Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) has said that if Britain joins the Common Market the Commonwealth as we know it will not exist any longer and political issues will be violently changed. He was taken to task by the British press for making those observations. But the leader of the British Labour Party has made a statement which is almost similar to that made by the Prime Minister of Australia.

I refer briefly to the interview that the Prime Minister had with the President of the United States, Mr. Kennedy. We were told that the interview was most satisfactory and cordial, but the official communique shows that it was not satisfactory at all. It is couched in the most polite terms, but that is about all one can say of it so far as Australia is concerned. The Prime Minister offered the view that it would be a grave misfortune if, after the negotiations, it turned out that the conditions laid down for Britain’s entry were not acceptable to Commonwealth countries on the grounds that the British Commonwealth may be restricted in trade. In the communique the Prime Minister made other observations, which I am sure honorable members have read, but I conclude by reading his final observations which, in my book, indicate an admission of failure. The communique said that as the result of their discussions the President and the Prime Minister were encouraged to believe that a satisfactory solution would be found to these problems faced by their two countries. The upshot of the statement by the President and Prime Minister of Australia was that Mr. McEwen said, “ Why can’t these Americans get out of our hair? “

Various observations made from time to time on these negotiations, and it is strange that they seem to see-saw. One day we read from Brussels that Britain is making great progress in its efforts to preserve Commonwealth preferences, but next day we read that there is no hope for the maintenance of these Commonwealth preferences. On this subject I quote from that reliable organ, the “ Courier-Mail “, of 3rd August. Under a heading “ No ‘ Six ‘ headway export of our food “ this appears -

Members of the Common “Six” virtually have told Britain: “ This is a club; here is the rule book.”

And they add: “ If you don’t want to join on these terms, you don’t have to.”

On 2nd August that newspaper reported -

The prospects for our trade look slim so far as these negotiations are concerned, and it looks as though the Government of France, a country which is to a large extent primary-producing, is determined that if Britain enters the Common Market it will be under the conditions that apply in the existing Treaty of Rome.

Mr. Deputy Speaker, there are issues involving Australia to which we should give pretty serious attention. I am surprised that members of the Country Party, who claim to represent the dairy industry, have not given greater stress to these important issues. The butter industry, which according to the Dairy Industry Committee of Enquiry is a most inefficient industry in certain parts of Australia, enjoys a Commonwealth subsidy of £13,000,000 a year. This industry will face near extinction if Australia does not get any preferential treatment from the United Kingdom when she joins the Common Market. We export butter to the value of £20,000,000 to the United Kingdom each year, and one-sixth of this amount is produced in the State from which I come. Our sister country in the Pacific, and the only other white country in the Pacific, New Zealand, enjoys a very strong butter market in the United Kingdom at the present time. New Zealand also stands to lose the advantages she now enjoys. I feel that Australia may be placed in the position of worrying about the economic condition of New Zealand, because half the manufactured goods exported from Australia go to New Zealand. New Zealand is our best market for manufactured goods. Therefore, we must consider the welfare of New Zealand in this matter.

This is an enormous issue facing Australia, and there is a lot involved in it. There will be confusion for a while. Unless the Commonwealth Government - I should say in a very short time it will not be this Government; it will be a Labour government - co-operates with the States in replanning the economics of the primary-producing industries and, what is more important, unless the States co-operate with the Commonwealth, much hardship will be suffered by the primary producers. As the Deputy Leader of the Opposition said, this is a challenge to us and the Government must be big enough to accept it. We will not go down, but if the Government is not big enough to stand up to the problem, we will suffer very much.


– I desire first to make some comments regarding the remarks just addressed to the House by the honorable member for Griffith (Mr. Coutts). In doing so, Sir, I point out that I had the opportunity to be in London only last month and to attend a conference at which one of the main subjects on the agenda paper was the European Economic Community and Britain’s proposal to join it. I say to the honorable member that there is no clear division of opinion amongst political parties in the United Kingdom. True it is that the majority of Government supporters believe that Britain should join the European Economic Community, and that is the official policy of the Government, as we know. But quite a large number of Conservative members are opposed to the proposal. Similarly, while the official attitude of the Labour Party so far has largely been non-committal, quite a large number of Labour members believe Britain should enter the Common Market.

I had the opportunity to discuss this matter with the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Hugh Gaitskell, and he said that in a number of quarters he had been accused of sitting on the fence. He believed this to be an unfair accusation, because he wished to approach this important subject with an open mind, as I understood him, and, therefore, be could not state his firm attitude until he knew under what conditions Britain could enter the European Economic Community.

The second comment I wish to make to the honorable member is that there is a good deal of confusion in the public mind about this important matter. Some sections of the press are promoting it with great energy and other sections of the press are opposing it with equal energy. So, a large number of people in the United Kingdom are in this state of confusion. I shall refer to this aspect later in my remarks.

At the recent conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, which was held in London in July last, the agenda subject to which members gave the greatest attention was, “ Implications of the Common Market for the Commonwealth “. The Lord Privy Seal, Mr. Heath, who is Britain’s chief negotiator, and Mr. Gaitskell each took a leading part in the discussion. Most of the delegates from the eighteen parliaments represented addressed the conference, and the honorable member for Bass (Mr. Barnard) and I spoke on behalf of Australia. In addition, I had informal talks with a number of members of Parliament, with departmental heads and with leaders of British organizations. I mention this to show that I have had the opportunity of listening to wide expressions of thought in the United Kingdom on this important subject.

I referred, a few moments ago, to the confusion about the proposal to join the Common Market, As far as I could understand the attitude of the majority, it is that Britain should join the Common Market only if the requirements of the Commonwealth countries are met and the needs of British agriculture have been recognized and agreed upon. It was interesting to find that many people, inside and outside Parliament, believed sincerely that the Commonwealth should continue - that if the situation reached a stage where it meant a choice by Britain between the European Economic Community and the Commonwealth, Britain should without hesitation maintain her membership and leadership of the Commonwealth of Nations. There are some people who see the United Kingdom as a supplicant, begging The Six for permission to join them. This is not true. Should Britain join, all sides in the United Kingdom believe she will do so as a strong partner, bringing with her great advantages for the present members of the European Economic Community. I became convinced that the big reason that the United States of America is so keen about Britain’s membership of the European Economic Community is that the Americans believe the community will not be strong enough to resist Communist growth in Europe unless Britain becomes an active partner.

In an earlier speech, I said that this is a political issue as well as an economic one. I should like to quote to the House part of a speech made to the House of Commons in July, 1961, by the British Prime Minister, Mr. Macmillan. He said -

Although the Treaty of Rome is concerned with economic matters, it has an important political objective, namely, to promote unity and stability in Europe, which is so essential a factor in the struggle for freedom and progress throughout the world.

He continued by saying that the tendency now was for larger groups of nations to act together in the common struggle, thereby adding their strength to the struggle for freedom. At the same time, if a closer relationship between the United Kingdom and the countries of the European Economic Community were to disrupt the long-standing and historic ties between the United Kingdom and the other nations of the Commonwealth, the loss would be greater than the gain.

I refer to this because it supports the more recent statements made by the negotiators of his Government about choosing to remain within the Commonwealth and continuing outside the Common Market, should such a serious decision have to be made. The problem for us in this: If the historic ties are disrupted, who will be the authority to decide that this disruption is taking place and how will such a decision be reached? The preamble to the Treaty of Rome states that the signatories are determined to establish the foundations of an ever-closer union among European peoples. The treaty provides, inter alia, for the progressive elimination of customs duties and quantitative restrictions on trade between member States, for the establishment of a common external tariff, and for a common agricultural policy, providing for such matters as increased production and organized marketing. Should Britain join the European Economic Community, such provisions mean that Australia will have a large number of trade problems.

Under the present trade agreement with the United Kingdom, many Australian exports are guaranteed duty free entry to the United Kingdom. Duty preferences are also guaranteed on many Australian export commodities, such as dairy products and fruit. The economies of many Australian industries have been formed by preferences on the United Kingdom market. If such preferential treatment were suddenly abolished, those industries would be badly affected. The possible dangers to Australia from the abolition of preferences have been strongly stated by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and the Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) to the appropriate people. I believe that our leaders have put forward a forceful case for Australia to have in the future outlets for her products comparable with those that she now has. The two things that I kept hammering at the London conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association were, first, the need to have outlets in the Common Market area for our products and, secondly, that if a general agreement for ratification were proposed, its effect on each of our products should be tested. I believe that most honorable members understand the proposal that some preference should continue to be given by the European Economic Community to Commonwealth products until 1970. However, if that preferential treatment were stopped suddenly, considerable harm would be caused to our industries.

When I was in London discussions were being held about what was termed a bridge. That term was used to describe a proposal that some form of preference be continued by the European Economic Community after 1970 to bridge the gap that may develop until countries such as Australia find other markets for their products.

Soon after it came to power the present Government recognized the need to de velop new markets. It is generally agreed that the Government has pursued a consistent and vigorous policy of expanding and diversifying our exports. Let me remind the House of some of the things that have been done by this Government. In 1956 the Department of Trade was established with the major task of stimulating Australia’s trade. That step has proved eminently successful. Our Trade Commissioner Service has been substantially expanded. In 1949, shortly before the Government came to power, we had seventeen trade commissioner posts in twelve countries. This year we have 37 posts in 28 countries. In July, 1956, the Export Payments Insurance Corporation was established. At 30th June, 1961, the corporation had on issue policies to the value of £26,000,000. Those policies covered export transactions with 120 countries. In the main, those countries were in Asia and the Middle East. Since 1954, the Government has supported thirteen trade or survey missions overseas. Honorable members will recall also that the Government has supported missions by three trade ships. We know that many of the new markets that we are entering are highly competitive. That is one reason why our economic and budgetary policies must be designed to stabilize costs. Over the years those policies have been criticized strongly in various quarters, but they are proving highly successful. Australia is selling more and more goods overseas. The announced policies of the Opposition - the socialist Labour Party - would start once again the inflationary gallop which this Government had so much difficulty stopping after it took office in 1949. If Labour came to power again our production costs would increase and we would not be able to sell more of our goods on the world’s markets.

The entry of Great Britain into a European political community would have a big effect on the future of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Britain is at present the principal member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. At present, within the Commonwealth, Britain speaks and acts for herself. After entering the European Economic Community, she must find herself strongly influenced by the community’s common rules and policies. I recognize the problems associated with Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community, but let us not be mournful about them. They are exciting and challenging problems. If we approach them with courage and confidence we shall be able to cope with them. The British Commonwealth is continually changing. I believe that so long as member nations desire it, Britain will be a leader for the peace, order and good government of the world.

In my opinion, if Britain joins the European Economic Community - I think she will join - most of the Scandinavian countries also will join. The Common Market area then would have a population of 250,000,000 people. It would be a community larger than the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and would contain some of the greatest industrial powers in the world. That would be the first big step in the formation of a United States of Europe. Australia should not attempt to prevent the gaining of this objective. The great responsibility of our leaders is to ensure that Australia is not weakened in the process. Apart from our personal reasons, the free world requires a strong and developing Australia.

I summarize my remarks by saying that since the end of the Second World War Britain has wanted to play a full part in the development of European institutions. Reasons existed for Britain not being a foundation member of the European Economic Community, and those reasons have already been discussed. However, neither Britain nor members of the Economic Community have been really happy about Britain being outside the community. In a world where political and economic power is becoming concentrated to a great extent, Britain believes that European unity has become essential. The British Commonwealth of Nations makes an essential contribution to the strength and stability of the world. The British Commonwealth requires an economically strong and developing Australia. Britain, with Australia, Canada and New Zealand as partners, has the job of leading to prosperity the emerging nations of Asia and Africa. Australia must continue its vigorous drive for more overseas markets. I believe that if Britain becomes more closely associated with free Europe it will be of advantage to the British Commonwealth in the long term.

I do not underestimate the difficulties associated with Britain’s entry into the Common Market. I am aware of the responsibilities our Prime Minister will be carrying for Australia at the forthcoming conference in London. I have great confidence in his courage and foresight. I know that, with the help of our other leaders, he will succeed in coping with the problems that will confront him. I believe also that in its own inimitable way the British nation will in turn become the leader of the European Economic Community. I do not envisage that state of affairs being incompatible with Britain’s leadership of the British Commonwealth.


.- The Common Market is no new concept in the pattern of political and economic union in Europe. The idea of a unification of Europe dates back to the beginning of the century and even earlier. When unification of Europe was originally suggested Britain was unwilling to enter into any such arrangement for fear that a major nation on the continent, such as Germany, may become a dominant influence. It is said that, in relation to these aspects of public policy, Prime Minister Disraeli registered a dignified silence. Influential people not directly associated with governments, but associated with banking and industry, continued to examine the possibility of a union of Europe. Many unofficial conferences and parleys were held. Real moves to bring about unity in Europe did not take place until after the Second World War. Sir Winston Churchill was one of the first to declare himself on the principle of European unity in what has been termed his famous speech at Zurich in 1946, although at the time he was not leading a government. In that speech he called for closer European co-operation.

In 1948, two bodies were set up - a Council of Europe established at Strasbourg, and the European Payments Union. A nongovernment body known as the League for Economic Co-operation sponsored conferences on the subject. In May, 1951, talks were held in London and Brussels. Although those talks were not held at government level, they cannot be regarded as other than important. At these gatherings, eight days were spent discussing its many complications. These were the British Commonwealth and how it could be related in trade with Western Europe and in any plan for economic unity. This was also a subject listed for consideration at a gathering of Prime Ministers in 1951.

How this matter escaped the notice and attention of the Australian Government for ten years I cannot understand. It was only quickened into action with the visit of the British Cabinet Minister, Mr. Sandys, in July of last year. Ten valuable years were lost in preparing this nation for the changes that could possibly arise as a result of these moves in Europe. Even if events of this earlier period had not registered, surely the concrete proof of this unity between France, Germany, Italy, Holland and Luxembourg, confirmed by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, should have hit this Government with sledge-hammer effect. But obviously it did not do so.

A government so alerted surely should have seen for itself the dangers that could accrue to certain of our industries if Great Britain should enter this new comity of nations with the probable sweeping aside of preferential trade arrangements for Commonwealth countries in the United Kingdom market. There is not a single record of any move by the Australian Government to plan alternatives to make secure the position of the Australian primary producers.

In 1959, Great Britain sought to organize a rival free-trade organization comprising Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Portugal. All these happenings were vital to our trade as well as to our political relations, and yet little was done by this Government earlier than last year. The Treaty of Rome is the basis of this new European Economic Community. It associates the six nations I have mentioned in a common entity in all matters of trade. But it goes far beyond these ties, and will involve matters that are essentially political in character. Many have directed attention to the military implications also.

Now, Great Britain is negotiating to become a member of this com itv of nations, and there are some persons who speculate on the effect of this move. Allow me to quote a British Cabinet Minister, Mr. Heath who said, in presenting the formal intimation of Britain’s intention to seek membership of the European Economic Community -

We desire to become full, wholehearted and active members of the European Community in its widest sense and to go forward with you in the building of a new Europe. Europe must unite or perish. We are convinced that our destiny is intimately linked with yours.

These words are extremely significant. I think it must be clear to any observant person, especially to those engaged in public affairs, that this move in its real import is designed to strengthen western Europe against the threats that may come from the Communist powers of eastern Europe. The new alinements of Europe have created new economic as well as political consequences, among them being the flow of foods and raw materials from central European powers. These formerly came to the west but now they are being diverted to the east, and moves of this kind are vital to western Europe’s economy.

The union also has a political import which will have an influence and consequence far beyond the bounds of the European continent. It might be claimed as an inevitable progression in the setup of Europe to avoid such disasters as those of the past, but it would be well not to dismiss the dangers to the future as well. Probably the more serious aspect to this country is the basis on which our future trade is to be undertaken and to what extent it will deny our trade with the United Kingdom.

The other aspect of equal if not greater moment is the effect it will have on the future of the Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth of Nations now is a major force and influence in world affairs. Any factor that would weaken it must be received with serious apprehension. The political implications of these moves are much more fundamental than many have yet come to imagine. The whole basis of industrial conditions, living standards and even public institutions of the British people could be affected ultimately. Great Britain alone has the right to determine whether she should enter the European Economic Community, but we cannot be indifferent to such a move; nor should we be denied the right to voice our opinions about the effect upon our own national economy.

I feel, however, that we must be realists. We live in, and are part of, a world subject to great changes, and we cannot logically expect that policies that were appropriate in 1932 must have equal import 30 years later. There is no doubt that the Ottawa Agreement, achieved in July of 1932 to provide for preferential trade, was a strengthening force in what was known in those days as Empire trade; but we live in a greatly changed world, and we must adjust ourselves to those changes. I shall be sorry indeed to see any interruption in, or diminution of, our trade with the United Kingdom, but I am sufficient of a realist to know that changes are inevitable. We do not live in a world that is static and so we would be wise to survey the possibility of alternative markets.

First, it has always been acknowledged that the Australian home market is the most profitable and stable for most of our primary products. With 93,000 of our population registered as unemployed and their dependent families, we have probably almost half a million people inadequately provided for because of the lack of purchasing power. Surely this situation provides great additional opportunities for disposing of larger quantities of meat, butter, sugar, canned and dried fruits and many other items if only our people were fully employed.

As an example of what this really means, let me cite the following figures: - During the first six months of this year, the average number of unemployed was 105,000.” The total number of hours lost from profitable and creative employment was approximately 105,000,000 and wages lost amounted to approximately £59,000,000. There is a great reservoir of spending power that could be provided if employment were available to these people. I emphasize that these are the statistics for only six months. In the same period, we paid out from our own resources about £7,500,000 by way of unemployment benefit for the sustenance of these people so unfortunately placed.

It is evident that we shall need to explore the possibility of obtaining markets in the region adjacent to our continent. Unfortunately many of tie countries in the area either have not the means of reciprocal trade or the financial means to pay for their trade requirements. They need the goods which are largely foodstuffs or such equipment as will permit the development of their countries now established in their own nationhood. They require long-term credits. Australia is not sufficiently well placed to provide indefinitely the necessary financial accommodation. However, there is a solution to this problem.

The two principal countries which will be advantaged by Great Britain’s entering the Common Market are Great Britain herself and the United States. The abolition of preferential trade between Commonwealth countries and Great Britain will give the United States the opportunity to enter the United Kingdom market in a more substantial way than is the case at present. It is my firm opinion that the two countries I have mentioned, which are regarded as the most financial nations in the world, are likely to be advantaged to our detriment because we shall be required to change our venue of trade to countries which are unable to undertake trade without financial accommodation. In those circumstances, why should not Great Britain and the United States be prepared to aid the progress of trade in Asia by supplying longterm credit to Asian countries to enable them to purchase from Australia the goods which have been affected directly by the new economic set-up in Europe? Even at the worst, I do not think that we shall be entirely disadvantaged by Great Britain entering the European Economic Community. Trade will still be available to us but one cannot possibly estimate to what extent. My third suggestion is that the Government immediately should engage in some long-range planning. This has been delayed all too long, and that is why we are in this present dilemma.

Finally, I hope that this debate will not conclude consideration of this subject. At a later time our attention should be redirected to this important question which so vitally affects our industries. We should seek to guard against certain other aspects, namely, the way in which many of our industries are denied the opportunity to export the things that they produce because of influences external to this country. We should be masters of our own business. We should have the right to export those things which are manufactured here or those things which are primary in their character so that we can build up, develop and enrich our own nation.

We should not have to depend upon external sources to transport our goods, particularly our primary products, to markets. I remember only too well how the Country Party, many years ago, moved a certain resolution relating to overcharging by overseas shipping companies. The Country Party actually secured a majority vote in the House against the government of the day, but somehow there has been a great change of heart in those who sit in the Country Party corner. They do not realize that if we are to be independent and able to reduce costs on those commodities which are so essential to the primary producers, we must have a shipping line registered in Australia capable of undertaking all of the services which are required in that direction. Not only must we seek markets for our exports but as well we must have available the most efficient, the most effective and the cheapest possible means of transporting our exports to those markets. By being dependent on others we reduce the effectiveness of our trading arrangements with other countries and at the same time cause possible disadvantage to our producers.

I ask the Government, upon the return of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and the other public men who are visiting Europe, to give honorable members a further opportunity to discuss this subject so that we may fully appraise the events which have occurred in the United Kingdom and upon the continent of Europe in the interim, and consider the serious effects which they may have upon our own nationhood.

La Trobe

.- It is always a very great honour to follow in a debate such a distinguished parliamentarian and a past ambassador of this country as the honorable member for Bonython (Mr. Makin). I hope he will forgive me for sug gesting that at some stages during the very good speech which he delivered there was a tinge of party politics.

Twenty minutes is a very short time in which to discuss a problem of such magnitude as the effects of Britain’s likely entry into the European Economic Community. It is only fair to say that each honorable member in this place has put his own views on those effects, either economic or political. I think the honorable member for Port Adelaide (Mr. Thompson) and other honorable members have said that there is confusion and difference of opinion in all countries of the world at this time, even including Great Britain herself, as to what action should be taken and what could be the result of Britain’s entry into the Common Market. It should be understood that everything we say at this time is purely conjecture because, until we know the conditions to be placed upon Great Britain’s entry into the Economic Community and the British Government’s decision on those conditions, we cannot make any firm statement on the position.

We should realize that there are two problems. The first is the economic problem and the second is the political problem. When dealing with the economic problem, particularly in relation to Australia and the Commonwealth, it is an advantage to understand exactly what the British Commonwealth is and the way in which it operates. The interpretation which I have obtained of the British Commonwealth is that it is a free association of thirteen sovereign States - the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Ghana, the Federation of Malaya, the Federation of Nigeria, Cyprus, Sierra Leone and Tanganyika, together with their dependencies. Consisting thus of a number of free and independent countries the Commonwealth precludes, by its very nature, the possibility of any central administration laying down a common foreign, economic or defence policy. I think that is important. Every member nation enjoys complete control over its own policy, and is solely responsible for the international obligations into which it enters.

It is, however, of vital common concern that there should be the greatest possible measure of community of view and cooperation in action. It is the normal practice of the British Government to keep Commonwealth governments informed of all matters which she is called upon to decide but which may affect Commonwealth interests, the object being to give them the opportunity to express their views, in confidence if they so desire. Consultation, however, does not mean either commitment or agreement, and no member country of the Commonwealth is under any obligation to underwrite the responsibilities undertaken by any other member country. From this we must accept the fact that the decision as to whether Great Britain shall join the Common Market or not is a decision for the British people and the British Parliament. I think all honorable members, on both sides of the House, agree to that proposition.

The economic aspects of Common Market associations are dependent upon the clauses of the Treaty of Rome. The aspects of political union and the complicated matters associated with it will be the subjects of long and involved discussions, which I think have already commenced. These discussions must eventually result in a new treaty, the details of which have not yet been decided or even discussed. Let us be clear that the Treaty of Rome, while it gives expression to a desire for eventual closer political union, does not set out the terms of any such union.

As recently as last week Mr. Macmillan said quite clearly that Britain is anxious to enter the Common Market now, so that she can bring her influence to bear on decisions as to matters to be discussed in connexion with political union. He suggested that if Britain does not go in now but is forced to apply for membership again in, say, ten years’ time through force of even more adverse circumstances, when political union may be a fait accompli, she will have little opportunity to exert any influence in deciding the form of political union.

It may be helpful to go back to the time of the commencement of Great Britain’s negotiations to enter the European Economic Community. On 3rd August, 1961, the following motion was passed in the House of Commons: -

That this House supports the decision of Her Majesty’s Government to make formal application under Article 237 of the Treaty of Rome, in order to initiate negotiations to see if satisfactory arrangements can be made to meet the special interests of the United Kingdom, of the Commonwealth and of the European Free Trade Association; and further accepts the undertaking of Her Majesty’s Government that no agreement affecting these special interests or involving British sovereignty will be entered into until it has been approved by this House after full consultation with other Commonwealth countries, by whatever procedure they may generally agree.

That motion was passed in the House of Commons, 313 votes being cast in favour of the motion and five against it. In concluding his speech on the motion, the Prime Minister of Great Britain said -

If I thought that our entry into Europe would injure our relations with and influence in the Commonwealth, or be against the true interests of the Commonwealth, I would not ask the House to support this step. I think, however, that most of us recognize that in a changing world, if we are not to be left behind and to drop out of the main stream of the world’s life, we must be prepared to change and adapt our methods. All through history this has been one of the main sources of our strength. I therefore ask the House to give Ministers the authority not to sign a treaty but to find out on what honorable basis such a treaty could be put forward for the decision of the House.

It is most important for us to realize that this is what Britain decided to do, and what it is at present endeavouring to do.

I heard an honorable member refer, by way of interjection, to Mr. Heath. At a meeting of Ministers of member states of the European Economic Community in Paris on 10th October, 1961, Mr. Heath said -

Commonwealth trade is one of the strongest elements in maintaining the Commonwealth association, ft would be a tragedy if our entry into the Community forced other members of the Commonwealth to change their whole pattern of trade and consequently their political orientation.

The economies of most Commonwealth countries have been built up on the basis of supplying the British market, which has traditionally imported their produce duty free and often on preferential terms. … I am sure you will understand that Britain could not join the E.E.C. under conditions in which this trade connexion was cut with grave loss and even ruin for some of the Commonwealth countries.

Everything that has been said to date on the likely effects of Britain’s joining the

European Economic Community has been, understandably, conjecture. Even my friend from Moreton (Mr. Killen) has, 1 believe, no better information on this matter than other honorable members. Until we know the eventual terms agreed on by The Six for Britain’s entry, and the decision of the British Parliament as to those terms, we can only guess as to what may occur.

The speech made by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam), which followed the speech of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), was the ably delivered address of a barrister-at-law, fast-flowing, smoothly presented, but, when analysed, saying very little, although perhaps in some parts meaning more than was actually said. I do not wish to comment further on his speech, but I would suggest that primary producers, manufacturers and, indeed, unions should peruse closely that speech - and other speeches delivered by honorable members opposite - and ask themselves whether planning of industry and labour means regimentation and interference.

The honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) made a strong attack on our colleagues of the Australian Country Party, suggesting that the signing of the trade treaty with Japan had placed Britain in a position in which she was compelled to join The Six. Surely every honorable member on this side of the Parliament can realize just how little genuine thought has been given to this matter by some sections of the Labour Party, and how they have treated it as a party issue instead of as a national problem. One member of the executive of the Labour Party says that nothing has been done, while another condemns what has been done.

Honorable members opposite must surely realize what great work the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) have done and what results have been achieved. They must realize that our trade has expanded and has continued to expand, and they must also realize, as everybody else does, that when you are conducting negotiations you cannot make public all your information, and that at times it is difficult, therefore, to put all your cards on the table, although it is very easy for persons who have no responsibilities in a particular matter to make statements which have little basis in actual fact.

I believe that the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade have put our point of view very strongly to all the principal parties to the negotiations and also to the United States of America. No one can say that Australia has not been well and effectively represented. We must now accept Mr. Macmillan’s statement that no decision will be made without consultation with the Commonwealth. We are all aware that our Prime Minister and various members of this Parliament are going to London to take part in discussions on this subject during the forthcoming month. If the terms of Britain’s entry are accepted and certain of our industries are adversely affected, the Government must stand by those industries. This has been made very clear.

However, let us look at the challenge that is confronting us. To me it is Australia’s challenge to become a great nation in her own right. It is a challenge to make a decision to stand on her own feet and set an example to other great young nations of the world. We have the capabilities to accept the challenge to become great, and I am confident that if we do so we will become great. I believe that if this issue were put frankly before the people of Australia they would agree that we should accept the challenge. I feel that the problem confronting the Parliament is also the problem confronting the people of Australia. If we in this Parliament can look at the matter on a national basis, then perhaps manufacturers, primary producers and unions can get together and do likewise. In this way we can find a solution, and in so doing bring wealth and greatness to our country. If we can subjugate party discipline at this time and look at this problem as Australians, I am sure we will be able to achieve something worth while.

I should like to hear from those people who talk about the Commonwealth of Nations, as it is at this stage, how they suggest that it could be made more effective. It is all very well to talk about the sentiment which we all have for the Commonwealth and for the past. If we look at the facts in relation to the Commonwealth at the present time, we find that the countries which belong to it have no common defence policy and no common economic policy. South Africa already is out of the Commonwealth, Canada is tied to the United States of America from a defence point of view, and Australia and New Zealand are considered - and rightly - to be in the American zone of defence. India and Ceylon declare themselves neutral. In the United Nations frequently they vote on different sides. Just where is the power of the Commonwealth of Nations at this stage?

I agree that the example set for the rest of the world by the co-operation of the races within the Commonwealth is something of great merit, but I should like to bear from those who oppose Britain’s entry to the European Economic Community their suggestions about ways in which we could, perhaps, develop a common defence secretariat and a common economic secretariat and form our own economic union. I think that such a development could perhaps be of greater use to the world than the European Economic Community will be.

I think that we should briefly consider what the European Economic Community could do and what effects it could have. Professor Walter Hallstein, President of the Commission of the European Economic Community, made an important speech in the United States of America on 22nd May, 1961. I have not time to read it all, but parts of it will be of value to honorable members and, I hope, will be listened to carefully. Professor Hallstein said -

Nor is it by chance that the geographical area of the six founder stales of the European community is almost identical with that which was brought to the brink of destruction, both materially, and psychologically, by the NaziFascist monster and by the Second World War. The former debased the concept of national sovereignty: the latter emptied it of substance. Frontiers seem less real when they can be flattened by tanks or ignored by intercontinental missiles.

He said further -

And we need to co-operate - to defend ourselves, to help others, to fight poverty, to make a real attack on all those problems which not even the European Community as a whole, not even the United States as a whole, can tackle effectively alone. Can a so-called “ third force “ maintain the NATO shield by itself? Can it meet by itself the needs of the developing countries?

Professor Hallstein went on in that strain. In this speech he gave hope to the underdeveloped countries that this could be a fourth force in the world which would be able to compete with the influence of both the Russians and others in aiding the under-developed nations. Surely we all want to assist the under-developed countries so that they may become wealthy and raise their standard of living, so that there may be peace, and so that, eventually, we shall be able to sell our goods to them.

I sound one further note: If Britain does not go into the European Economic Community and if the United States of America feels that she cannot continue to give Britain close co-operation in matters relating to atomic energy and other important secret information, is it not likely that the United States of America will be forced to turn to France and Germany, which are now becoming the premier powers of Europe? Can Britain afford to stand off and be an off-shore island near the coast of Europe? If the United States pulls out of Europe because she cannot achieve the coordination and unity of effort which she considers may be necessary in order to withstand Russia and China, will she pull back into isolation? If she pulls back into isolation, how shall we be affected? How will the world be affected, and what will be the effect on our dependence on the United States for defence in this South-East Asian region? There is no doubt that if Europe takes on itself greater responsibility, the United States could possibly exercise greater influence in the South-East Asian area and perhaps be able better to meet the threats that confront the Western nations not only in Europe but also in South-East Asia.

The motion that the ministerial statement made by the Prime Minister be printed, which is, technically, the question before the House, will involve no decision on the issue of the European Economic Community. There will be no vote on that issue. But I think that all the opinions that honorable members have put forward in this debate should be considered. Those opinions are being passed by the people of this country from one to another and, indeed, are being discussed overseas.

I do not think that the Commonwealth of Nations should be weakened. We hope that if Britain enters the European Economic Community the willdoso on conditions satisfactory to both sides. We hope that Britain will be able to speak with the voice of Great Britain in the broadest sense, as the Prime Minister said when discussing the Western Alliance - to speak on behalf of not only Britain but the Commonwealth. I think that the entry of the United Kingdom to the European Economic Community could make for a greater Commonwealth of Nations. It should make for a greater, finer and more peaceful world. Australia, if she has the courage to do the things that she should do, can play her part by setting an example to all the young countries. Australia should stand on her own feet and set an example by accepting her proper responsibilities.

Debate (on motion by Mr. E. James Harrison) adjourned.

page 910


Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 38); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 39); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 40); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 41); Customs Tariff Amendment (New Zealand Preference) Amendment (No. 7)

In Committee of Ways and Means:

Minister for Trade · Murray · CP

Mr. Chairman, I move - [Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 38).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1962, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amendedas set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that, on and after the thirty-first day of August, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-two Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates: - 2nd May, 1962; 10th May, 1962; 15th May, 1962; 8th August, 1962; 16th August, 1962; and 23rd August, 1962.

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 39).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1962, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that, on and after the thirty-first day of August, Onethousand nine hundred and sixty-two, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates: - 2nd May, 1962; 10th May, 1962; 15th May, 1962; 8th August, 1962; 16th August, 1962; and 23rd August, 1962.

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 40).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1962, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that, on and after the thirtyfirst day of August, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-two, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates: - 2nd May, 1962; 10th May, 1962; 15th May, 1962; 8th August, 1962; 16th August, 1962; and 23rd August, 1962.

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 41).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1962, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that, on and after the thirty-first day of August, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-two, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates: - 2nd May, 1962; 10th May 1962; 15th May, 1962; 8th August, 1962; 16th August, 1962; and 23rd August, 1962.

[Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Amendment (No. 7).]

That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1933-1962, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the eighth day of August, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-two, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that, on and after the thirty-first day of August, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-two, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly. The Tariff Proposals which I have just introduced relate to proposed amendments to the Customs Tariff 1933-1962. Details of these amendments are now being distributed to honorable members. The first of these Tariff Proposals provides for temporary duties on chicory. These have been imposed on the recommendation of a Special Advisory Authority. They will remain in force until the Tariff Board has held a full inquiry into the protective needs of the Australian chicory industry and the Government has taken action on the board's report. The tariff changes incorporated in the other proposals result from the Government's consideration of reports made by the Tariff Board on chlorine products; paper bobbins, cones, tubes, &c; and cutlery. The board's report on chlorine products covered a wide range of chemicals. Among these are certain weedicides, insecticides and fungicides representing a sector of the Australian chemical industry which has recently been hard pressed to withstand increasingly severe import competition from overseas. Only two months ago temporary duties were imposed on certain of these products. This followed a finding by a Special Advisory Authority that additional temporary protection was necessary to prevent imports from seriously damaging the Australian industry. In the normal course of events, the temporary duties would be removed now that the Government has received and considered the Tariff Board's report of its full inquiry on the industry. However, for reasons which I shall outline, the Government has serious doubts as to whether this course would be appropriate in the present case. Some time after the board had completed taking evidence on chlorine products generally, two of the largest manufacturers of chlorine-based weedicides and insecticides supplied the board with additional information on some of the products covered by the board's inquiry. This was more up to date than that presented to the board during its public inquiry. The companies also amended the requests for protection of these products which they had submitted during the public inquiry. The additional information submitted by the companies and their amended requests were received by the board at a time when the board had virtually completed its report. The board therefore had to consider whether it should complete its report without regard to the new information or whether it should re-open the whole question. This latter course would have delayed submission of the board's report which, of course, also covered a wide range of chemicals which were not affected by the new information. The board decided that it should not delay submission of its report. However, in view of the new requests and for other reasons which are set out in the report, it suggested that chlorine products and certain other chemicals should be the subject of further inquiries at a later date. However, the circumstances outlined and the recent finding by the Special Advisory Authority lead the Government to believe that certain of the board's recommendations may not be appropriate in to-day's conditions. For this reason, it has been decided that the board should be asked to hold a further inquiry forthwith on the products on which later information is now available. A Special Advisory Authority will also be asked to report on whether the Australian producers of the relevant weedicides and insecticides should continue to be accorded temporary protection until the board's report on its new inquiry can be completed and considered by the Government. For the time being, the existing duties on those products, including the temporary duties recommended by the Special Advisory Authority, will remain in force. The board's recommendations on the other chlorine products covered by its report have been accepted by the Government. Higher duties are proposed for trichlorethylene, perchlorethylene, copper oxychloride and zinc ammonium chloride. On the other hand, because the board found that production of this chemical under Australian conditions is uneconomic, the existing protective duties on chloropicrin are being removed. The Government has also accepted the Tariff Board's recommendations on paper bobbins, cones, tubes, &c. The proposed duties will maintain protection on the main lines produced locally but will not continue the existing temporary duties on paper cones. The Tariff Board has found these temporary duties to be no longer required because of the effectiveness of antidumping measures recently introduced. On other goods of minor importance removal of protection is proposed. The board's recommendations on cutlery have also been adopted. Increased protection is proposed on the principal types and qualities produced by the local industry. I shall table the three reports by the Tariff Board and the Special Advisory Authority's report on chicory at a later hour. At the same time, I will also table a report by the Tariff Board on microphones and stands. In this report, the board has recommended against any change in the present protective duties. The Government has accepted this recommendation. In the report, the board has found that the existing duties afford adequate protection against microphones imported from all countries except Japan. The board considers that cheap Japanese microphones do not compete with the local product, but it doubts whether increased protection would be justified if the imports from Japan did compete directly with the local product. The board's report suggests, in fact, that if Japanese competition were to develop in the sector of the market served by the local manufacturer, this would warrant consideration of removal of the existing protection. However, the question of increasing or removing protection will, of course, be decided by the Government in the light of all the circumstances existing when the question arises - if it does, in fact, arise. I commend the proposals to honorable members. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 915 {:#debate-26} ### TARIFF BOARD Reports on Items. {: #debate-26-s0 .speaker-009MB} ##### Mr McEWEN:
Minister for Trade · Murray · CP -- I lay on the table of the House reports by the Tariff Board on the following subjects: - >Chlorine products, cutlery, paper cones, bobbins, tubes, &c, microphones and stands. I also lay on the table of the House a report by the Special Advisory Authority on - >Chicory. Ordered to be printed. PRINTING committee {: #debate-26-s1 .speaker-KDO} ##### Mr ERWIN:
Ballaarat -- I present the second report of the Printing Committee. Report read by the Cleric, and - by leave - adopted. {: .page-start } page 915 {:#debate-27} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-27-0} #### AUSTRALIA AND THE EUROPEAN COMMON MARKET Ministerial Statement Debate resumed (vide page 910). {: #subdebate-27-0-s0 .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
Blaxland -- This debate on the question of Great Britain's entry into the European Economic Community demands from members of this House a great deal of thought as to what should be done, first, with respect to the Australian rural community, and secondly, to safeguard Australia's future. The question of Great Britain's entry into the European Economic Community is purely one for Great Britain herself to decide, and what must disturb everybody who pauses to think about the problem is the delay which took place between the European Economic Community being first suggested and this Government taking into account the implications of such an event. When the charter of the European Economic Community was agreed, based as it is on sound principles, any government in Australia, knowing that this country is dependent upon rural production for its means of livelihood and source of overseas credit, should, at that time, have commenced some of the arguments we are now indulging in. The Treaty of Rome, as adopted by the nations concerned, has four main principles, and every one of them affects the future prosperity of any democracy that trades with Great Britain. Great Britain herself never has been anything but a trading nation. In point of fact, she has very little in the way of raw materials of her own and depends upon exports and imports for the livelihood of her community. I believe that Great Britain realizes that the British Commonwealth - particularly member nations such as Australia, dependent on the sale of rural production for overseas credits - must finally be affected by the results of what happened in Europe in 1958. Let us look at the first principle that was laid down for The Six, as I shall call the Economic Community which consists of France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The first three are certainly not nations of no consequence. As from the beginning of 1958, The Six adopted an agreement providing for the removal of all barriers and restrictions on trade between their countries. Nobody will ever convince me that a country with the great trading knowledge of the United Kingdom would not be aware that the creation of an economic bloc of 170,000,000 people would have a considerable impact on its future and its trading. When the United Kingdom attempted to make an arrangement with six other small nations which were not influential, I believe it was merely trying to achieve a temporary arrangement in the hope that it would eventually get into the position in which it finally found itself. It wanted to have sufficient strength to have some impact upon the Economic Community, and thereby to make possible its entry into the Economic Community. From the time that the Economic Community was formed in 1958, the Government of Australia should have been analysing its effect on this country. We should not have had to wait until 1962 for the kind of debate that we are having at the moment. I agree that this is an argument amongst ourselves and nothing more, but I have not heard any Government supporter yet propound an answer to any one of the questions that have arisen. I do not blame the United Kingdom for the present situation. It played its cards as a trading nation. The United Kingdom has never been anything but a trading nation, and its future has always depended on the preservation of its trading interests. Therefore, it played its cards as one of The Seven until the appropriate time arrived for it to apply to join the Common Market. We should have been alive in 1958 to what would happen, because from that year the United Kingdom's dependence upon the Commonwealth in general, and Australia in particular, commenced to diminish. Between June, 1958, and June, 1959, our exports to the United Kingdom fell by £10,000,000. It was not for the United Kingdom to cry, " Wolf! " It was not for the United Kingdom to make a move when that occurred. In the same period, our imports from the United Kingdom grew from £307,000,000 to £330,000,000. It was in 1958 that we should have had this kind of debate. The flags were up! The warning was there. But because the Government is determined to stick rigidly to a policy which is completely devoid of planning it turned its back on what was happening and made no attempt to meet the situation that was developing. Between 30th June, 1959, and 30th June, 1960, there was a further fall in our exports to the United Kingdom from £247,000,000 to £232,000,000. But the United Kingdom still continued to dominate our markets because our imports from that country rose from £330,000,000 to £341,000,000. This was the second great warning that the United Kingdom was preparing to obtain many of its imports from some country other than Australia. It was natural to expect that it would turn to the European Economic Community, because its opportunities would obviously be greater in a market of 170,000,000 people than they would be in our market of 10,000,000. The United Kingdom was not a bit concerned about the monopoly in shipping that was affecting the products of Australia. As a matter of fact, English money was in the monopoly. The Australian Government, a free trade government, believing always that every problem will settle itself, did not realize - and I do not think it realizes yet - that the signing of the Rome Treaty introduced a new era in that part of the world which we choose to call the free world. I heard it said in the United States of America four years ago that the leaders there doubted that, in the present period of automation, democracy could survive without planning. In turning its back on planning, this Government turns its back on the very principles on which the European Economic Community has commenced to build itself. The second phase of the plan of the Economic Community was the introduction of a new agricultural policy. Looking back, it is hard to realize that only nearing the end of 1962 are we commencing to discuss a problem which began with the formation of the European Economic Community. The plan for a new agricultural policy for Europe in itself should have been a warning to the Government in general, and to the Minister for Trade **(Mr. McEwen)** in particular. He should have set out to discover two things: First, what would be the final result of that closely knit tariff arrangement between nations representing 170,000,000 people? He must have known, if he stopped to consider, that this was not merely co-ordination. This arrangement involved the establishment of a planned system of single tariff application, set against every other country in the world, free or otherwise, including Australia. This arrangement began to operate in January, 1958, yet it is being discussed in a casual way in this Parliament only in August, 1962. That fact deprives this Government of the right ever to say again that it represents rural interests. Let me look at the fourth main plank in the platform of the European Economic Community. It is said that the objective is to harmonize policies in a number of other fields such as social services, mobility of transport and mobility of labour. The Government has said that, without any planning, we should try to compete with a vast community of over 200,000,000 people which has decided to have a planned economy. If the Government thinks that Australia can remain on the outskirts of a planned economy such as that is now, and has been since January, *1958, and if the* Government thinks it can break through by abusing national leaders in other parts of the world, as the Leader of the Country Party has, it is playing in a fool's paradise. I heard the honorable member for New England **(Mr. Drummond)** say earlier this afternoon that the time to *arrest* the axe is before it falls on the chicken's neck. {: .speaker-KWP} ##### Mr Turnbull: -- Don't you believe that? {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON: -- Of course I do, but nobody on your side of the House attempted to stop the axe from falling on the chicken's neck in 1958. That was the base year when this Government, in addition to turning its back on all the changes that were being made against our interests, did nothing. It has continued to do nothing from then till now. Where do we go from here? Do we believe still that rural industry is the basis for our future and that rural production is the walking stick for our support? If Government members believe that, I remind them of the latest figures of employment and unemployment supplied by the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon).** They show that for every job vacant in rural industries at present there are six people registered as waiting for it. {: .speaker-KXZ} ##### Mr Peters: -- Six people waiting for every vacancy? {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON: -- There are six people waiting for every job that is available in the rural industries, according to the Minister's figures. In addition to that, the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** said in reply to a question from me not long ago that so far as it was practicable this Government bends its reasoning towards preference for Australian goods. Last week a new telephone was installed in my federal office, and I found that the box in which it came had been left there. It is an ordinary hand-set telephone, but it had been imported from Great Britain. That is only a minor matter - a hand-set telephone - but it adds weight to what I have been trying to impress upon this Government for twelve months. English interests will be dominated by the industrialinterests of the European Economic Community, which will have a great influence on the determination of English manufacturing companies to use their Australian adjuncts merely as distributors while producing their goods in the English manufacturing centres. I have reminded this Government on four occasions that every one of the last 400 diesel-electric traction engines introduced in Australia was imported from the parent company of Australian Electrical Industries Proprietary Limited in England. The counterpart of that firm, which manufactured the first 700 traction motors in Australia, was not re-equipped in the same way as the parent company in England, yet the Tariff Board tells us, " this type of motor is not available in Australia ". That is the kind of reasoning that this Government allows, and it will break down the production requirements of Australia and the job opportunities for Australians. That condition will intensify once Britain enters the European Common Market, because the Treaty of Rome refers to harmonizing, which means co-ordination or, in simple terms, planning. There will be a planning of policies for the mobility of labour and the mobility of transport. In other words, the European Common Market will determine the impact upon Australian production lines of Britain's manufactures. Things of that kind cause me to wonder whether this country will be able to survive under a government of this character if Britain enters the European Common Market. I believe that Britain's entry into the market will show Australia more clearly than it has been shown in the last two years that a government that is not prepared to plan, and is not prepared to lay the basis for Australia's future, is not a government that will do other than bring hardship to Australia in the years that lie ahead. **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** this would call for the best effort that all Australians can produce, and it will call for a line of reasoning different from that being followed by this Government. The setting-up of a bloc in Europe, with a purchasing power of 200,000,000 people and a mobility of manpower, and with rural production planned and not conducted haphazardly, can have tremendous consequences for Australia. This Government refuses to do anything to provide our own ships as a means of protecting rural industry. Within twelve months or two years of Britain's entry into the Common Market the Government will have proved to the Australian community that it does not understand what is required in a changing community in the free world. {: #subdebate-27-0-s1 .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr HOLTEN:
Indi .- I should like to refer briefly to the speech just made by the honorable member for Blaxland **(Mr. E. James Harrison).** It is no use my criticizing his approach to the European Common Market problems or Australia's place in the Common Market because he hardly mentioned them. The main theme of his speech seems to have been the latest political idea that the Australian Labour Party has gone wild about - planning. I have been in this House for only four years, but in the three years before this year I heard hardly a word about planning from the Labour Party. But all of a sudden professors and various financial editors have been jumping on the planning bandwagon, and so the Opposition has decided that it had better use this to try to dupe the Australian public. The honorable member for Blaxland did mention that the basis of the Common Market was a planned economy. Actually that is not true at all. The basis is the very opposite of a planned economy; it is a free enterprise economy, where the competitive barriers are being swept away, where Italian manufacturers are enabled to set up their factories in France or West Germany, and vice versa. There is provision for free movement of capital, free movement of labour and free movement of goods. So it is the complete opposite of a planned economy. There may be one or two industries that have been the subject of some sort of planning, but by and large the principle behind the Common Market is competition and free enterprise. Coming to the subject of the negotiations over Britain's entry to the Common Market, and without going into great detail, I think we all agree that this is probably the greatest issue that has faced the British people for many generations. Just as I am glad, I believe all members of this Parliament in their hearts are glad that they are not in the British Parliament and are not members of the British Cabinet who are faced with a decision that must be causing an enormous amount of worry to them. From my observations, I consider that so far the British Government has acted with a certain amount of courage iri its decision to open negotiations. That is a point we should all remember. At the moment Britain is merely at the stage of conducting negotiations to enter the Common Market. It is not by any means certain that Britain will enter the Common Market. The honorable member for Blaxland said that the Government has done nothing since the Treaty of Rome was signed. I will tell him what the Government has done. Since the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, we have signed at least three important trade treaties with three major countries. We have signed trade treaties with Japan, West Germany and Canada. We have also signed minor agreements with Ceylon, Malaya, Indonesia and a number of other countries. When the Labour Government went out of office in 1949, the Trade Commissioner Service was practically non-existent. We have increased it and now the service has 73 officers in 37 posts in 27 countries. The Opposition cannot really mean that the Government has not actively attempted at all times to increase our trade. We on this side of the House have always realized that the situation of Britain joining the Common Market and the effect that this would have on Australia's trade is a matter that is practically beyond our control. The way Opposition members speak, one would think that the Australian Government could tell the governments of France, West Germany and the United Kingdom what they can do and what they should do. That is absolute nonsense. The establishment of the European Common Market means the formation of a great trading bloc. This, of course, holds certain perils for smaller developing nations such as Australia. We now have virtually three trading blocs which embrace the vast majority of the world's population. We have the United States of America, which is a trading bloc on its own, the European Common Market, which will eventually include many more countries than are now members of it, and the Communist bloc. Smaller nations like Australia must try to get into the picture. There has been criticism of the methods that have been used by our leaders in the past twelve months to bring Australia's position to the notice of the larger nations. But we must get into the fight. We must press our case at every opportunity and to every official of every country. We are not dealing with people who are not tough and experienced negotiators. The Opposition seems to think that we need only make a suggestion to some of these people and they will agree to it. The European people, from Ely knowledge, are tough and experienced negotiators. A great deal of worry, time and work has gone into preparing the terms and conditions of the Treaty of Rome. The people who have done this work will not set it lightly aside just because a few nations want to vary the conditions. I come now to the speech of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Whitlam).** As other honorable members on this side of the House have said, a close study of his speech reveals that he only told a story, presenting certain facts and figures. Some of these were not accurate, as I will show in a moment. Although I have studied his speech closely, it is hard to find anything in it. It does not contain a constructive suggestion. The honorable member for Blaxland said that the Government has done nothing constructive. But he did not make one suggestion. He spoke about planning, but he did not mention one country that has successfully adopted the form of planning that he has advocated. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition said that before the war Britain took 55 per cent, of our exports. She did not. She took 48.9 per cent. He said that last year Britain took only 19 per cent, of our exports. She did not. She took 24 per cent. He said that 66 per cent, of our exports to the United Kingdom are protected. That is not true. The correct figure is 84 per cent. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition, in the last few months, has made so many inaccurate statements that some of his supporters must be wondering just how much notice they can take of him. {: .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr Duthie: -- Where did you get those figures? {: .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr HOLTEN: -- I obtained my figures from the " Pocket Compendium of Australian Statistics ", compiled by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics. Let us examine the *attitude* of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to the problems that confront the Australian producers of the various commodities that will be affected if Britain joins the Common Market under the present terms of the Treaty of Rome. He said - >We can calculate the proportion of our trade which could be affected by Britain's accession to the Common Market - that is, we can compute the external economic effects - by computing the income which Australia receives from those exports to the United Kingdom which would be subject to the common external tariff or the common agricultural policy of the community. > >We can calculate the effect on our production - that is, the internal economic effect - by computing the percentage of Australia's production that is represented by these exports. He then gave a lot of figures. It seems obvious to me that the Opposition considers the effect on the people purely as a calculation. They regard it as a calculated percentage loss of income without thinking of the problems that confront the people engaged in the industries that may be affected. In making these calculations, of course, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition takes into account only trade with the United Kingdom. He does not take into account all the goods we sell to the countries of the European Economic Community and the countries of the European Free Trade Association, which will eventually, as far as one can tell, all be members of this European bloc. It is not only our trade with the United Kingdom that will be affected; our trade with all the other countries of these various organizations will also be affected. I do not think the Deputy Leader of the Opposition had an argument at all, because he did not take into account the trade with the countries that really count. I thought he showed that he had failed to understand the situation and the possible effect on our future. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition said that we should diversify our markets. On the other hand, as soon as we start trading with a country that wants to send us cheaper goods - I favour the protection of Australia's secondary industries - or as soon as we want to sign a trade treaty with Japan, the Opposition protests. When we try to diversify our markets, the Opposition is quick to protest. {: .speaker-KEP} ##### Mr Falkinder: -- The Opposition voted against it. {: .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr HOLTEN: -- Yes, the Opposition voted against the Japanese Trade Treaty. A great deal has been said about the Minister for Trade **(Mr. McEwen),** particularly, and also about the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies).** They have been accused of making exaggerated statements about the effect of Britain's entry into the Common Market. I have looked at the speeches of those who have said that the position has been exaggerated, but nowhere can I find that they have referred to a statement made overseas or here in Australia by the Minister for Trade which could be called an exaggeration. No practical examples of exaggeration have been given. The Minister for Trade has used typically temperate language in his negotiations and interviews with people overseas. It has been claimed in some quarters that the Minister for Trade has exaggerated the threat to Australia if Britain enters the Common Market. In my opinion, the Minister has not exaggerated by one iota the seriousness of the position. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition made vague promises about looking after people who will be adversely affected in Australia if Britain enters the Common Market. He said that Australia should subsidize industries that are badly hit. How would he do that? Take, for example, the dried fruits industry. Approximately 31,000 adults live in Mildura, Robinvale and Red Cliffs - three towns in the electorate so ably represented by the honorable member for Mallee **(Mr. Turnbull).** Those people depend on the dried fruits industry. Sixty per cent, of the export earnings derived by the dried fruits industry comes from Common Market countries. What does the Opposition suggest should be done for those 31,000 people and their families? Would the Opposition put them on the dole and pay them £10 or £20 a week? The Opposition should wake up and get its facts straight. What would the Opposition do for the 24,000 people in Shepparton if the canned fruits industry collapsed? At present 98 per cent, of our exports of canned fruits goes to Common Market countries. Shepparton is but one town that would be affected if we lost our overseas markets for canned fruits. What about the sugar industry? A large proportion of Queensland's east coast depends on the sugar industry. Fifty per cent, of our sugar exports goes to Common Market countries. A large proportion of that percentage goes to Britain under a special agreement negotiated by this Government which returns to sugar producers approximately twice the world price for sugar. What would the Opposition do if the sugar-growers lost their present £17,000,000 a year income from exports? Would it subsidize them and allow them to do nothing? {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- Have you any proposals? {: .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr HOLTEN: -- The Opposition is making all the proposals, but they are not concrete proposals. I support the Minister for Trade and the Prime Minister in the skilful negotiations that they are conducting at present. They are doing everything possible to protect Australia. Some people say that they are acting only to enhance their political reputations. Well, as far as the Minister for Trade is concerned, he does not need to do anything in order to enhance his political reputation. He is working for Australia's future - a job to which he has dedicated himself. The negotiations in which the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade have been involved have produced results. Places were reserved at the conference table for **Dr. Westerman** and other Department of Trade officials. Overseas countries, as a result, have a better understanding of Australia's trade position. The leaders of our great primary producing organizations support wholeheartedly the actions of the Minister for Trade and the Prime Minister. A recent article in the " Sunday Telegraph " read - >Australia's Common Market proposals are held as the most realistic yet made by any Commonwealth country. Members of the Country Party and the majority of Government supporters do not want to see a single Australian, let alone vast communities, hurt by Britain's entry into the Common Market. We do not want to see the result of years of hard work and the investment of hard-earned capital disappear. That must not be allowed to happen without a fight. I am confident that our leaders will continue their negotiations with undiminishing vigour and skill in an attempt to obtain the best possible terms for Australia if Britain finally enters the Common Market. I am certain that all members on this side of the House are right behind the Minister for Trade and the Prime Minister and wish them the best of luck. {: #subdebate-27-0-s2 .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R JOHNSON:
Hughes .- The problems surrounding Britain's entry into the European Economic Community have received very little attention from the Government. This afternoon the honorable member for Indi **(Mr. Holten)** and other Government supporters outlined for us the Government's attitude to this matter. I think it will be readily conceded that for far too long the Government did nothing about this impending crisis. The situation has been incredibly exaggerated by the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** and the Minister for Trade **(Mr. McEwen),** each of whom went overseas ranting and raving. Despite their efforts, no concrete results have been achieved. So dissatisfied was the honorable member for Moreton **(Mr. Killen)** with the performances of his leaders that he went to Britain to try to shake things up, but still we have not achieved anything. Our primary industries have been left in a very unsatisfactory position. Now the Prime Minister is about to depart on another trip designed to distract the people of Australia from a consideration of his misdemeanours. Speeches made by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe are designed primarily for public consumption in Australia. I was interested to hear the honorable member for Indi refer to what he called the real figures relating to export earnings. The Government has no reason to be proud of the fact that some years ago - about the period of the last war - exports to the United Kingdom accounted for 48 per cent, of our total exports but to-day the figure is down to 24 per cent. Those were the figures given by the honorable member for Indi. The disaster that has befallen Australian exports is due to the Government's failure to maintain adequate markets in Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe. Even without the advent of Britain's entry into the Common Market our export industries would find themselves in a difficult situation. I want to refer to a number of courses of action that were open to the Government. One thing is certain: As far as we are concerned the horse has bolted. The Government has failed to act in a matter that could threaten the living standards of many Australians. With our traditional trading arrangements threatened, several fundamental courses of action could have been pursued by the Government. Let me refer at the outset to the Government's vacillation so far as trade with China is concerned. On what moral grounds should we refrain for so long from trading with China - a country of 600,000,000 people- and then rush it with our wheat when our exports fell and we were unable to find other outlets? I concede that trading with China presents certain difficulties, but we should do all in our power to overcome those difficulties. The Government has been most unrealistic in its attitude towards trade with China. China's lack of overseas funds presents a problem, and it may be that some sales must be on a basis of deferred payment. I feel it is time consideration was given to the need to divert some of our swollen overseas reserves not only to China but also to a number of other Asian countries so that we can stimulate these trade outlets for the benefit of our people. It is true there has been some increase in our exports to Asia. Australia's exports to that area have increased quite considerably over the past ten years. The proportion of Australia's exports to Asia has increased from 12 to 25 per cent, in that period. Something like half this total volume involves the export of goods to Japan, but we have scratched only the surface of the rest of Asia. With Japan, wool is the principal item of trade and Japan has very little alternative in that connexion. However, even though the proportions of total exports have increased from 6 to 10 per cent., foodstuffs still offer a great future for Australian trade in countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Ceylon, India, Hong Kong and Singapore. I shall refer to our trade with several of these countries and propose to cite statistics for 1960. Japan has 95,000,000 people and we exported to Japan, in 1960, goods worth £154,000,000. We have done pretty well with Japan. 1 do not think anybody on the Government side can say sensibly that the Opposition was wrong in its attitude to Japan and trade with that country. We stand for trade with all nations, including China and Japan, but we also have stood for the protection of Australian industries while expanding trade processes were under way. The Government has found it necessary now to provide such safeguards even though this has been done somewhat belatedly. Let us consider the trade situation in relation to Indonesia, our closest neighbour, with a population of 90,000,000. Indonesia's imports from all sources in 1960 were valued at £257,000,000, of which Australia's share was a miserable £4,000,000. A great deal could be done with comparatively little effort to meet this situation. Only 3 per cent, of Hong Kong's imports are obtained from Australia. Ceylon has 8,000,000 people and its imports in 1960 amounted to £185,000,000, but Australia was only the sixth best supplier to Ceylon. I was unable to get the exact figures. Burma, with a population of 20,000,000, had imports valued at £105,000,000, of which Australia supplied £1,800,000. The situation is similar in relation to North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei. It is interesting to study the trade of Thailand, a country that has been in the news recently. Thailand has a population of 25,000,000 and Australia sells her goods valued at £1,800,000. The value of Thailand's total imports is £204,000,000. What sort of incredible relationship do we have with these countries which are our nearest neighbours? In 1960, the imports of the Philippines were valued at £271,000.000 and Australia's share was £3,100,000. A similar position applies to the Federation of Malaya. It is apparent that there is plenty of room for improvement. Recently I had a look at the International Telephone Directory in the Parliamentary Library. I was astounded to find that this incredible reference book - as it is for trade purposes - has 3,000 pages, but only 34 are devoted to Australia although the exporting concerns of 125 different countries are advertised. This International Telephone Directory is not available in most government departments. It is not available in such places as the Commonwealth Bank. It does not even list Australian Trade Commissioners. How can we talk about trade drives when we neglect such an important document as the International Telephone Directory? That is something the Government should study at the first opportunity. This Government has been terribly deficient in many ways. I think first of the need for an overseas shipping line which has been referred to frequently in this House. Even now, the Government refuses to acquiesce in meeting the obvious need to do something in that connexion. If the Government had been alert to the prospect of Great Britain entering the European Common Market, obviously it should have taken action. We should have set about conserving our overseas balances and reserves, but we remember what happened when the Government lifted import licensing and goods flowed into Australia at an unprecedented rate. As a sequel, a credit squeeze was imposed. It was not imposed on selected sections of the economy which needed to be retarded, but it was a blanket squeeze which did untold harm at a time when we should have been stimulating many industries so that we could reduce imports. Nothing of any worth has been put forward by members of the Government in that connexion even in the current debate. We think of the need for import replacement industries. If the Government refuses to accept the general principle of planning which is conceded to be necessary by the nations of the world, at least it should recognize that the establishment of import replacement planning is fundamental if we are to face up to the effects of Great Britain's entry into the European Common Market. A great deal of time could be devoted to national development which has been a pretty scratchy sort of matter. The resources of northern Australia are still unsurveyed. There is no analysis of what is needed and the extent to which resources could be assisted by government action. It is true that a few millions of pounds have been thrown here and there fairly indiscriminately through the medium of the Budget, but generally speaking it is fair to say that the dead hand of liberalism has fallen on the hinterland of Australia. I believe a resurgence of national pride could result from a spirited programme of national development. I believe we could awaken the pioneering instincts of the people. The mighty giants of Africa and Asia are awake. AH the world, except Australia, is awake to the challenge of the 1960's. Since time is moving rapidly, I shall have to disregard some of the matters I intended to discuss. However, I wish to state, first, that some people have said that it is not the prerogative of the Australian Parliament to express a view on Great Britain's application to join the European Common Market. Several things have become clear in recent times. The Australian Government did not speculate and has never made up its mind whether Great Britain's entry into the Common Market would be desirable to Australia or to the rest of the world. Secondly, the Government's entire consideration of these matters has been belated. Irresponsibility, off-handedness and neglect of duty have been the order of the day in Common Market matters. The people of Australia have been denied the protection to which they are entitled. Thirdly, the facts of life have been there for us to see for a long time but we have not recognized them. Britain has no choice but to seek admission to the European Economic Community. Economic and political factors have long been pointing to this very real likelihood, which every country except Australia seemed to recognize. I have heard a host of arguments for and against Britain's proposed entry. Some have said that the 500,000,000 people of Europe have held the 3,000,000,000 people of the world in a state of crisis for centuries. More than any other comparable number of people, those 500,000,000 Europeans have sparked off international conflagrations every few decades which have wreaked untold misery, privation, suffering, death and destruction in many countries. It is argued that any treaty which minimimizes these events should be welcomed by every one. I believe this is a mistake. Here it is contended that if we take those countries which have been warring in bygone days into a new federation called the Common Market, we will bring about a situation which will be conducive to peace in the world. But we are thinking in terms of the dissenting nations of bygone times. This seems to involve a retrospective consideration rather than a consideration of the contemporary division between nations. Can this exercise a conciliatory influence upon the dissenting national groups which exist in 1962, not those which existed in 19397 To what extent will they be brought together as a result of the Common Market? Can this organization break down the Berlin wall? Will it slow down the arms race? Will it afford any protection from the deluge of radio-active fall-out, with its deathdealing doses of leukemia, and the other dangers associated with nuclear weapons? I do not think this is the answer. Will the Common Market aggravate or alleviate the fundamental cleavage between East and West - the Communist bloc, on one hand, and the capitalist bloc on the other hand? Will it perpetuate or placate the division between the Communist and the capitalist blocs? The greatest thing which could have happened to the world might well have been a great common market between the United States and the Soviet Union. We might have made some real progress with an approach of that kind. That would be an arrangement that would give hope for the future - an alliance conducive to the fulfilment of our greatest aspirations and the allaying of our greatest fears. But I doubt very much if we are contributing anything to the peace of the world by perpetuating the differences which exist to-day. I stand with many of my colleagues for reconciliation rather than rifts and recriminations. The Common Market seems to leave very much to be desired in this regard. In fact, the alliance of France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and possibly the United Kingdom is nothing more than a regrouping of Nato powers. Each nation concerned may well have its own motive for joining the Common Market, but the common denominator is the search for sanctuary in the anti-Communist bloc through the medium of this Common Market arrangement. Looked at from the stand-point of what will happen to the world in the future, this is not a very good thing. For example, France, which has been ravaged by German imperialism and Nazism over the years, would be anxious to perpetuate the division of Germany. What hope will there be for the re-unification of Germany if the eastern half is driven into the Soviet bloc by the entry of the western half into the Common Market? De Gaulle could well be expected to take such a view. West Germany has benefited greatly by the dismemberment of Germany. There is no question about that. It has benefited by heavy hand-outs of capital from the United States and other Western countries. Chancellor Adenauer's ulterior motive could well be to consummate his marriage to Western monopoly investment. I am satisfied that this Government could have adopted an attitude on other important matters which would have altered its overall view of the Common Market. One matter which is worthy of a great deal of thought is the extent to which the diminution of British individuality will take place if the United Kingdom enters the Common Market. Will monopolistic concerns and international cartels prevail? Can there be nationalization under the Common Market arrangements? I wonder whether a genuine socialist programme can be implemented in the United Kingdom if she enters the Common Market. I doubt very strongly whether such things as nationalization, public enterprise, national health schemes and a welfare state will be sustained if this situation emerges. {: #subdebate-27-0-s3 .speaker-KGP} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon W C Haworth:
ISAACS, VICTORIA -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-27-0-s4 .speaker-KEE} ##### Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES:
Chisholm -- The honorable member for Hughes **(Mr. L. R. Johnson)** may not realize it, but as his points came out one by one they followed closely the line of argument which **Mr. Khrushchev** has been using to destroy the Common Market. I advise him to drop them. I do not know whether he realizes it, but the circumstantial evidence points that way. If one has a personal interest in a subject which is being discussed in this House, I think one should make that clear. Once upon a time, whenever I rose to speak in the Victorian Parliament, members of the Victorian Country Party- {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: -- You are a Fascist! {: #subdebate-27-0-s5 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member for Yarra will withdraw that remark. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: -- I shall be pleased to withdraw the remark if the honorable member regards it as being in any way offensive. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member will withdraw the remark unreservedly. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: -- Very well, **Sir. If** you think it is offensive to the honorable member, I shall withdraw it. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- It is offensive and the honorable member will withdraw it. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: -- I withdraw it. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- I should like to raise a point of order, **Mr. Deputy Speaker.** Will you please advise me what section of the Standing Orders states that an honorable member cannot make a statement concerning another honorable member who has already made a similar statement? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! Is the honorable member for Parkes questioning the Chair? {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- No, I am only seeking advice from the Chair, if the Chair is capable of giving advice. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! The statement has been withdrawn and the matter is finished. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- Could I ask you, **Sir, for** the benefit of parliamentary procedure - I notice you are without the assistance of the Clerk on this occasion- {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member is out of order. {: .speaker-KEE} ##### Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES: -- It is obvious that the Opposition does not want me to speak on this matter. As I was saying, once upon a time when I spoke on farming problems in the Victorian Parliament, the Victorian Country Party would refer to me as a Collins-street farmer. I am not a farmer to-day and I am not an absentee landlord, but sixteen out of nineteen persons in my immediate family depend on small dairy, sheep and cattle farms for their livelihood. Therefore, I am as interested as any honorable member, and probably more interested than any member of the Country Party, in our primary production, in spite of the fact that I maintain a different point of view from that of the honorable members. To-day we are discussing the Common Market. I know that there are different points of view, but I believe that these sittings of the Commonwealth Parliament are probably the most significant and important in its history. Sometimes I doubt whether we realize our responsibilities. For instance, the United Nations is about to discuss the Foot report on New Guinea which has very significant consequences for us in the future, but few have read it and time will not permit us to debate it. Other very important matters remain to be debated. First, there is a curious coincidence: A short time ago, when most Australians were scanning their newspapers to find which candidate had the best chance of winning an international beauty contest, the blackest page of Australia's history was being written in Amsterdam and Djakarta. To-day, when we are again discussing probably the greatest historical event of this century, our very charming ambassadress has returned home, and I am perfectly certain that she will command far more space in the newspapers than anybody who has spoken in this Parliament on a matter that affects not only the future of Australia but also, I believe, the future progress of mankind. Here we are, with the final curtain just about to drop on Act 2 of the 1962 Australian Parliament, and each one of us, whether he be a principal or a super, has to take a certain amount of responsibility for our discussion of this question. It is of no use for any one on this side to think that he can hide behind the purple panoplies of the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** any more than any honorable member on the Opposition side can hide behind what we might describe, after hearing his speech, as the negative negligee of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Whitlam).** We have to realize that although we are not principals, every one of us who is a super in the chorus of this House has to make up his mind to go out and tell the people why he supports or docs not support Britain's entry into the European Common Market. There are some who take a view entirely the opposite of mine. There are some who are still living in the Victorian era, who hope that times have not changed and that the good times will last out their lifetime. But I think all of us will agree that this is an era of very great change, an era in which we have to use large maps and try to extend our vision. Coast-watching, which was a virtue during the war, is almost a crime to-day. We have to focus our eyes beyond our own shores. This is an age of rocketry, of orbiting satellites and, if we are not careful, it may be an age of atomic incineration. It is an age in which power politics are still in command of the world and mankind is still groping towards the better days for which we all hope. It is an age of change in which every dawn brings its new challenge. It is no use suggesting that we stand at the gate of our own backyard, or our own farmyard, and believe that we can sell our produce to the casual passers-by. lt is no use thinking that we can shift our responsibilities on to other people when we are one of the richest nations in the world. Therefore, irrespective of whether Britain goes into the Common Market or not, I think we must realize that the age of sheltered markets and defence on the cheap is disappearing very rapidly. The last speaker in the debate seemed to think that the Government had done nothing in regard to this important problem. May I remind him that this matter has been treated in a very piecemeal fashion by the British governments - and I use the plural - since about 1949. **Sir Winston** Churchill, I think, gave a lead after the war and tried to bring some drive and urgency towards the matter of establishing a united Europe. In 1950 the Labour Government, which was then in office in the United Kingdom, declined to support the suggestion that Britain should enter the European Coal and Steel Community. When the Conservatives came back to power they seemed to have switched again from the policy enunciated by **Sir Winston,** and finally, in 1956, started the European Free Trade Association, in contradistinction to The Six. I mention these matters for the benefit of those who say that this government should have done this, or that government should have done that. Britain has to decide herself whether she will enter the Common Market or not, and she has been obviously distracted by the difficulties of the problem, even up to the present day. Personally, I hope that Britain will join the Common Market. I feel, as the last speaker said, and as other speakers have said, that the fact that the old Europe which has, through hatreds and wars, torn herself and the world to pieces over centuries past, is now coming together in a more satisfactory and successful fashion than the most optimistic founder of the Common Market would have dared to forecast, is the great historical event of the century. After all, what is wrong with a united states of Europe? What is the British race but a collection of descendants of Angles, Saxons, Jute, Danes, Normans and French? The countries in the Common Market are simply the home countries of our forefathers. To-day, we have the picture of the Old World, Western Europe, trying to get together, while the rest of the world is fragmenting, falling to pieces. As I said, Britain was the first united states of Europe, America was the second and Australia and Canada are now becoming the third and fourth. The most we can hope for at the moment is that the movement towards a united Europe will succeed. We have seen the failure of the League of Nations, man struggling towards the poet's dream of a parliament of man, a federation of the world. We have recently seen the United Nations discarding its principles and tearing up its own charter. It also may fail. At trie present time, it seems to be only an instrument of propaganda, although we still have to support it and try to help it succeed. The British parliamentary form of government, of which you are all so proud, grew out of the village moot under the village oak tree, and was extended when the knights of the shires and the other representatives from the provinces met together in Westminster. In a similar way, I believe, there is some hope for international co-operation and for the founding of international movements to help in the progress of the world and the maintenance of peace. The development should begin, first, in the provinces or the regional areas, and when success is achieved there we can move forward another step. Let me say to all the honorable members who support the United Nations that if you cannot achieve success in an organization like the European Common Market, in which all the nations are of the Romance-language races of Western Europe, how can you expect to succeed in an organization in which you have 101 or more nations, many of which have little in common? For these fundamental reasons I believe it is necessary for us to support Britain's entry, because I believe it will strengthen the organization as a whole. The United State of America has been trying to bring about unity ever since the war ended. The Marshall plan in Europe went a long way towards assisting the formation of the Common Market, although the Marshall mission in the east unfortunately went in the opposite direction and was disastrous. But even the United States of America has found that carrying the part of the world known as the free world on her shoulders is too much for her. She needs the help of a combined Europe, and Britain, as much as Europe, needs the help of America. She needs, as all of us need if we are to avoid depression, misery and hardship, international monetary organizations which will back up currencies that are inclined to weaken, as our Reserve Bank does within our own borders. I know that many people say, " But what about Commonwealth ties and family ties? " Our own federation did not come about overnight, **Mr. Deputy Speaker.** It is still developing and is still dynamic. I think that, in the same way, nothing will come about overnight in political affairs in Europe. Anything that develops will develop by trial and error. I do not believe that the ties that bind the hard core of the Commonwealth of Nations depend entirely on trade. If it does, Napoleon was indeed right when he said that the British were a nation of shopkeepers. There are many ties far more important than trade, but I do not have to enumerate them to this assembly. I believe that those ties will remain. I consider that a weakened and divided Europe, or a Europe without Britain, would mean a much weaker Commonwealth of Nations. I believe that if we can work step by step with Britain in the strengthening of the European Common Market, we shall eventually proceed to close co-operation with the North Atlantic Alliance. It is interesting to note, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** that **Mr. Khrushchev** fears this intensely. As I said at the outset, he has tried to organize opposition to it in the United Nations. He is on record to this effect in speeches made on the radio and elsewhere in Moscow and other places. I notice that on 11th August Radio Moscow stated that never before in Britain's history had there been such a case of economic and political capitulation. We have heard that also from sources other than Radio Moscow. It is interesting to note, too, that **Mr. Khrushchev** is setting up another body - Comecon - within the Communist countries in order to try to counter what he realizes will be the effects of the European Common Market. This action is something which ought to make every one of us think. **Mr. Khrushchev** knows that the Common Market, if it succeeds, will be the greatest obstacle to the Communist dreams of world conquest which has yet been devised. The Common Market is a guarantee to Australia that we shall be able to go on in our own way, governing ourselves as we wish. It may even be an example that we could emulate in this part of the world. Under the greater protection that we would thereby gain in the future we may be able to strengthen in this area of the world similar ties of trust and loyalty and, through trade and aid, promote cooperation between the nations of this region. Those are ties of the kind which we believe has bound the Commonwealth of Nations together. Surely we can look ahead with broad vision in spite of the difficulties that may lie ahead. Some of us in Australia will be affected by developments in the European Common Market. But may I remind Australians that the internal reconstruction necessary in Australia as a result of the success of the Common Market will be minimal compared to the internal reconstruction that is taking place within The Six, who may perhaps in this context be described as the big six. Surely we can solve our problems of reconstruction. Similar problems are being solved already by The Six. We shall have to face problems of this kind whether or no, and I do not doubt that, under this Government, we can deal with them very successfully. But, please, let us be careful. The Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade **(Mr. McEwen),** who is Deputy Prime Minister, have done a magnificent job in putting Australia's case, and we all are grateful to them. But may I suggest that a little more sympathy, a little more understanding and a little more knowledge of what the countries of the European Common Market and the United States of America are trying to do - and, if they succeed, will do most effectively - will result in a much more sympathetic attitude towards the Government's efforts to remove the difficulties which may confront us. 1 know that, in a moment of enthusiasm, some one told the Americans to get out of our hair, but we would not have had any hair had it not been for the support of the United States in the early 1940's. I know that what was said was not meant in the way in which it sounded. That sort of thing, plus the threat that we shall increase trade with somebody that a friendly nation considers is its continual enemy, and that we shall enter that trade with enthusiasm, does not help Australia in its situation in the world to-day. I do not suggest for one moment that I agree with the foreign policy of the United States in all its aspects. Let us, if we disagree with another country, talk hard and tough, if we like, but let us not say insultingly, "If you do not do what we want, we shall help the people whom you consider to be your enemies ". Finally, **Mr. Speaker,** I say to all Australians that it is not for us to decide what Britain shall do. I believe that the more understanding we bring to bear on the problems of other people, the more understanding and sympathy will be brought to bear by other people on our own problems. {: #subdebate-27-0-s6 .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr DUTHIE:
Wilmot **.- Mr. Speaker,** I agree with and subscribe to a large part of what the honorable member for Chisholm **(Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes)** has just said, but I cannot agree with him on one point. He said that The Six, which comprise the European Common Market, have gone a long way in reconstructing their ideas and their plans within the concept of the Common Market and that Australia must undertake similar reconstruction. We have already had four years in which to begin reconstructing and re-adjusting our ideas on the concept of the Common Market, but have not done so. We have moved along, one may say, at the pace of a snail oi a worm compared with the Common Market countries, which have been moving along at least at the pace of a model T Ford motor car. This is the respect in which we criticize the Government on this issue. It has let four valuable years go by and we have now to catch up. But there is not much time for us to do so. The honorable member for Chisholm has one unfortunate trait: If we do not agree with him on some of these big issues, we are, in his eyes, either Communists or half-witted. I do not like either choice. The creation of the European Common Market, **Mr. Speaker,** is undoubtedly the most exciting development of this century, but on the other hand the Common Market could in the future threaten Australia's very standard of living. In the late 1940's, Monsieur Jean Monnet, of France, conceived a grand plan for an association of European countries as the answer to the devastation by war of European cities, industries and communications. The coal and steel industries were given highest priority in the reconstruction of Europe, and the European Coal and Steel Community was formed. Monsieur Robert Schuman, of France, played a big part in this newly born European community, which was created to exploit the resources of coal and steel, the raw materials which were needed for the massive reconstruction of Europe. After the six nations which now belong to the Common Market joined the European Coal and Steel Community, their sights were suddenly lifted to a new target and they began to consider other major extensions of activity beyond the limits of the coal and steel industries. The outcome was the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Basically, the European Economic Community is an economic union, entered into for the purpose of ensuring economic survival and economic progress within Europe. But we all, on whichever side of the House we sit, believe that over-arching this basic economic factor were political objectives and political motives directed towards a political union that would safeguard economic security. It is fundamental that political stability within a nation, and political integration with other countries, are as important and as vital to economic survival and development as is eating to the maintenance of life. Hence the political content of the plan for the European Common Market. Briefly, the European Economic Community - The Six - plans, firstly, to set up a customs union within which, by 1970, all internal tariff walls will have been pulled down and a free trade area created; secondly, to set up an external tariff wall to protect themselves against nations trading with them, thus creating one complete economic unit of tremendous strength. The significance of this is seen in the fact that the population of the countries of The Six will be nearly 200,000,000 by 1970. It will be an economic unit, therefore, nearly as large as that of the United States of America. Thirdly, the European Economic Community plans the abolition of passports between its members and the interchangeability of labour. Already 50,000 Italian workers have been received into West Germany under this section of the Common Market scheme. The Six also envisage a common bank, a common transport policy, including shipping, a common parliament of 146 delegates and a permanent secretariat in Brussels. As a concept, the Common Market ranks with that of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It involves the emergence of a new economic, political and ethnic climate in Europe. This great experiment will decide the political and economic fate of Europe for the next 50 years at least. A new spirit of co-operation and tolerance is arising out of the ashes of hate and war, and the nationalism, suspicion, terror, intrigue and darkness of centuries. This is the greatest economic revolution since the industrial revolution of 130 years ago. It means the end of jungle war in trade between the six nations of the European Economic Community and also between the outer seven, or the fringe seven nations, who will no doubt come into it later. The Common Market will greatly diminish the likelihood of war between longstanding rivals - particularly France and Germany. It is, of course, a miracle that these nations have got together in this way. The greater the common interest of nations, the less likelihood is there of armed conflict between them. Any alinement of nations that pushes the possibility of war into the background is good, from any point of view. But treaties and agreements on paper are not of themselves sufficient to prolong peace in Europe, or anywhere else. There has to be something in the nature of a complete change of heart and spirit by the ex-enemy nations in Europe and the United Kingdom. This involves a change in attitude. It means a resolve of will to be different towards each other in the future, and that is not easy. There must be a deep-down shedding of old suspicions, old hates, old rivalries and old prejudices if the Common Market is to survive long enough to be of mutual help to its member countries. There must be a submergence of self-interest, self-glorification and selfwill to the common cause, the common ideals' and the common platform. If any of the old attitudes re-assert themselves, if any of The Six revive the old pattern of intrigue, if selfish and wealthy interests decide to go their own way once more, then the Common Market will be doomed. Within this new and as yet experimental community of six nations there must be established a new discipline - a discipline never before seen in the European countries involved, a discipline, moreover, which each must exercise in equal measure. It is a very big order to ask this of nations which only recently were at war, but I believe that the pattern has been set. I have confidence that there has been a genuine resurgence of common sense and that there is a new spirit, a new tolerance and a new respect for one another among these nations. This is the United Kingdom's hour of decision. This is a time of real travail. No matter whether a Labour government were in office, or a Conservative government, as there is now, no one but the United Kingdom could make this decision. It is a decision essentially between neighbours in a world where national boundaries mean less and less. The United Kingdom is a close neighbour - a neighbour living only a stone's throw away - to 170,000,000 people living within a compact industrial and agricultural area about one-quarter the size of Australia, which represents a huge, closely knit market. It cannot be ignored. Outside the Common Market, the United Kingdom would face high tariffs, the same as Australia aru! other nations will, but inside her position would be immeasurably safer and stronger. Just as Australia, during World War II., had to move into the American orbit as a matter of grim, inexorable military necessity, so now the United Kingdom, through economic necessity, has to move into the European orbit, with a weakening of traditional Commonwealth ties and solidarity. The United Kingdom faces the most farreaching decision she has had to make in this past century. Her agriculturists will be better off if she enters the Common Market. Her manufacturing industries definitely will be better off because there will be free trade, eventually, between The Six and any other nations that join the Common Market. The British car industry has built factories in Italy and Germany in the last couple of years so as to be safe if the pincers close with the United Kingdom still outside. Those companies are now manufacturing British cars in Italy and Germany and are selling them within the Common Market area itself. American interests are also investing money in Europe so as to be there when the pincers close. Politically, the Common Market is a dagger pointed at the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. Of course, each member nation will retain its own sovereign parliament for the time being, but some of the architects of the Common Market have their eyes fixed on a federation of European countries, with a federal parliament possessing wide constitutional powers. As this concept takes shape, perhaps in the years after 1970, so will the member countries find an erosion of their sovereignty taking place. If this happens and the United Kingdom is a member, how successful will she be in resisting the erosion of the authority of Westminster or even the monarchy itself, pressed upon her by blackmail or other means by her fellow member nations? Within the framework of such a European federation stands the position of political parties and the industrial movement. The United Kingdom could experience a break-up of traditional party groups, a weakening of industrial movements, the growth of a powerful bureaucracy and a splitting up of political parties into fragments, as has occurred in Europe, as well as the steam-rolling power of monopoly capitalism using the new federal parliament to entrench itself. These are real dangers. Already the ordinary man in the United Kingdom fears his country's entry into the Common Market on the ground that it will then be reduced to a small-time partner in European politics, losing its identity in a powerful union dominated by big business in Western Germany and France, in particular. The ordinary man in Great Britain cannot have all the facts at his disposal, but he has a heap of native common sense. Economic considerations weigh less with him than do the political ramifications. General de Gaulle is driving a hard bargain with the United Kingdom. A common agricultural policy is still being hammered out, and France is looking with longing eyes at the United Kingdom market for the products of her land. De Gaulle is gambling on the United Kingdom going into the Common Market for her very survival and he therefore refuses to compromise. Commonwealth preferences must taper off by 1970, he says. De Gaulle and his fellow Common-Marketeers profess sympathy for Australia, New Zealand and Canada in this crisis, but that is all. Sympathy is passive; it heals no one and saves no one. It must be an inner delight to de Gaulle and other leaders in Europe to have the United Kingdom in the position of a supplicant. They have watched her gradual decline as a world force with the rise of the economic and military strength of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. They would not lose a tear over any loss of sovereignty, prestige or position by the United Kingdom if she entered the European Economic Community. Certain German leaders may be thinking that they have never got on top of the United Kingdom in war but that they may be able to get on top by means of the Common Market - a bloodless victory. I believe that the sacrifices that are expected of the United Kingdom, in signing on the dotted line, are too great and too far-reaching, and in many cases quite unjust. The United Kingdom's responsibilities to the Commonwealth are still strong and impelling. The 64-dolIar question is: Will the United Kingdom join the European Common Market if the trading interests of her Commonwealth partners are not guaranteed? Nobdy can answer this question now. It is a question that will not be answered for some time. I shall now deal with the effect on Australia of the United Kingdom's entry into the Common Market. I do not subscribe to the view that the United Kingdom's entry will be disastrous to Australia. I know that many of Australia's primary industries will be hit hard, especially in the first year or so. But, after all, we shall have another seven or eight years in which to re-adjust the nature of our agricultural production and the methods of exporting it, and to make the switch in markets necessary to take up the losses incurred in Europe. No Government supporters have pointed this out yet. Australia has seven or eight years in which to formulate new policies before her preferences will finally disappear. Let us look upon the United Kingdom's entry into the Common Market as a challenge rather than a disaster. I believe that this is the view of the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies).** {: .speaker-KET} ##### Mr King: -- What has the Minister for Trade said? {: .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr DUTHIE: -- He has not yet mentioned the time factor. We have seven or eight years in which to re-adjust ourselves. From the way the Minister for Trade **(Mr. McEwen)** talks, you would think that we were going to lose everything in a week. {: .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon: -- You should read " Hansard " occasionally! {: .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr DUTHIE: -- I read " Hansard " and I listen to debates more often than you. I spend more than 85 per cent, of my time sitting and listening in this place. We have been signally blessed under the preference system and under our long-term agreements. A weakening of this system and any revision of the agreements will constitute a challenge rather than a disaster. Australians are masters of improvisation and initiative, and in the breaking of new ground. The figures show that the United Kingdom has been taking less and less of our primary products, and while this rather startling decline has been going on, Australia has been quietly adjusting herself to the situation and finding new markets. I do not have sufficient time to quote all the figures relating to this decline in our exports to the United Kingdom, but it is very serious. Great Britain's share of Australia's exports has reached an all-time low. In the last six months of 1961, only 29.8 per cent, of Australian imports came from Great Britain compared with 41.2 per cent, in 1957-58. In the last six months of 1961, Great Britain took only 19.5 per cent, of our exports compared with 27.2 per cent, in the year 1957-58. {: .speaker-JYV} ##### Mr Fuller: -- They could be lower now! {: .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr DUTHIE: -- They could be. These figures are for the last six months of 1961. They represent an 11.4 per cent, drop in imports and a 7.7 per cent, drop in exports. There are perils facing Australia now, as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Whitlam)** pointed out in his excellent speech a few nights ago. There are eight years before the end of preferences as envisaged by The Six. If our trade with Britain declines, as it has been declining during the past few years, very little will be left by 1970 in any event. We would lose further market opportunities anyway, but we should salvage some of our contracts, surely with new adjustments of prices. The Australian Labour Party guarantees primary producers, whose exports total 80 per cent, of our export income, that a Labour government will subsidize those products affected by Great Britain's entry into the European Common Market during the transitional period of adjustment to a new trade pattern. Furthermore, I do not believe that the European Common Market nations can afford to stop trading with Australia even though it is not a big trade at the moment. Finally, as the honorable member for Hughes **(Mr. L. R. Johnson)** said, there are many potential markets in Asia and there is a great opportunity for expansion in that direction. {: #subdebate-27-0-s7 .speaker-KBH} ##### Mr WILSON:
Sturt .- I agree with honorable members who have stated that Great Britain's proposed entry into the European Economic Community calls for the most momentous decision that that country has ever had to make in peacetime. Her decision will undoubtedly affect not only the whole of the people of the United Kingdom, but also all the people in other parts of the Commonwealth and to a lesser extent all the people in the world. What history tells us the future will confirm. When trying to understand the problems of the European Economic Community I think it is important to look for a precedent in history. Fortunately for Australia, we have a precedent in our own country. If we examine the debate of the convention of 1891, we find that the six sovereign States or provinces of Australia, as they were then called, and also the sovereign colony of New Zealand, met together to consider the formation of an economic community. The object of this discussion was to establish free trade within Australasia and to protect that free trade by an external tariff. Immigration laws were discussed to provide free movement of people within Australasia. The proposal to form a political union, whether a federation, or confederation, or some other kind of association, was also discussed. The convention of 1891 was presided over by **Sir Henry** Parkes, whom we now respect as the father of our federation. No finality was reached in 1891, and for six years discussions went on before the parties met again in 1897 and 1898. Let us remember that the proposal was to form an Australasian federation, but between 1891 and 1900 New Zealand decided that it would remain outside the Australasian economic community. In 1901, the six Australian States formed the Australian economic community which provided for freedom of trade within Australia. This freedom of trade was protected by an external trariff. Free movement of people within Australia was provided for. New Zealand decided to remain outside that economic community. Can we say to-day that the Australian people were wrong because they formed an Australian economic community - an Australian nation? Likewise, can we say that the New Zealand people were wrong because they decided to stay outside the Australian economic community? **Sir, we** have to look at this problem, not with bigoted eyes one way or the other. We should try to look at it factually to see in what way the people of the world would bc best advantaged, in what way the people of the United Kingdom would be best advantaged, and in what way the people of our Commonwealth would be best advantaged. The six States of Australia met in 1891 and from time to time up to 1900 to form their economic community, and New Zealand after first negotiating decided to remain out of it. Almost' the exact parallel is now to be seen in Europe. In 1956, six sovereign countries decided to get together and discuss the formation of an economic community. The discussions eventually culminated in 1957 in the Treaty of Rome. At that time the United Kingdom decided to remain outside the community, just as New Zealand decided in 1901 to remain outside the Australasian federation. If we look at the Treaty of Rome we find that the objectives are in many respects almost identical with the Constitution of Australia. We are all well aware of section 92, which provides for freedom of trade, commerce and intercourse between the States, and we are all aware of the customs barriers that are placed against goods coming into Australia. We are all aware of the free movement of people within Australia. This is just what is happening in Europe to-day. Six countries joined together to provide not a common market but an economic community, a community which must result in either a federation, a confederation, or some kind of United States of Europe. I do not think there is any one in this House that does not welcome the fact that those six States of the Continent of Europe have got together in an endeavour to settle their hatreds, which have resulted from past wars, and in an endeavour to get closer together. But because we are wholeheartedly in favour of establishing on the continent of Europe a United States of Europe, it does not necessarily follow that the world would be best served, that the United Kingdom would be best served, or that the Commonwealth would be best served by getting into the United States of Europe. There are vast differences. The United Kingdom is not part of the Continent of Europe, just as New Zealand was not part of the Continent of Australia. {: .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr Wentworth: -- What about Tasmania? {: .speaker-KBH} ##### Mr WILSON: -- Tasmania, if the honorable member does not know, is so close to Australia that it is tied there by a wire. One thing is perfectly clear: The United Kingdom is not part of the Continent of Europe, and there are many reasons why the considerations that apply to The Six do not necessarily apply to the United Kingdom. One of the miracles of the age is the fact that members of The Six, speaking different languages and having different customs and traditions, have got so far so quickly. When one reads the reports of the discussions that have taken place in the last few weeks between the leaders of France, Germany and Belgium, one realizes that the leaders, anyway, are going forward as fast as possible for a United States of Europe. They have even got so far as discussing the number of votes that each country shall have in the United States. The big question that the people of the United Kingdom have to decide is whether they should or should not go into the United States of Europe. Sitting suspended from 6 to 8 p.m. {: .speaker-KBH} ##### Mr WILSON: -- Before the suspension of the sitting, I pointed out to the House the parallel between the proposal of the six countries in Europe to form an economic community and the proposal in the 1890's that the six sovereign Australian States and New Zealand should form an economic community in this part of the world. I pointed out that, after ten years of negotiation, the six States of Australia formed an economic community in the Australian federation, but New Zealand decided to stay outside it. I pointed out that, just as Australia has prospered under federation, so New Zealand has prospered notwithstanding that it stayed out. 1 pointed out that in 1957 the six States of the continent of Europe formed an economic community and the United Kingdom, for reasons which it thought proper at the time, decided to slay out. Therefore, it does not follow that Britain's remaining outside the European Economic Community necessarily is to her disadvantage. I pointed out that it is a matter for the people of the United Kingdom to decide whether they shall enter the European Economic Community. If Britain joins the community, it is idle to imagine that she can do so without losing part of her sovereignty, just as it would have been idle for the six States of Australia to have imagined that they could form a federation without losing part of their sovereignty, and in fact they have lost part of their sovereignty. In considering whether the United Kingdom, at this stage, should go into the Common Market, I think we should look at both sides of the proposition. It is true that a home market of 250,000,000 people, which would be available in the Common Market if Britain joined it, is a very attractive bait; but we must understand that the traditional role of Britain has always been to look outwards - to look out to the world of trade and not in to the closed and already over-populated Europe. I would think, if I were an Englishman, that the market of the Commonwealth, with over 1,000,000,000 people - a rapidly expanding market - would have greater prospects for trade than the closed home market of Europe. I would also think that Britain would exercise far greater influence in the world, as she always has in the past, by remaining outside the European continental association. The people of the United Kingdom must consider, at present, whether they are happy about giving up their sovereignty in whole or in part. It is completely idle to imagine that the United Kingdom can be a member of the United States of Europe and still have the same absolute sovereignty that it has at the moment. Even at present, with the Common Market having been in existence for only a little over five years, we find that the Council of Ministers exercises control over certain matters which is superior to that exercised by the parliaments of the member states of the European Economic Community. I think, **Sir, the** people of the United Kingdom will have to think hard before they decide to give up those British institutions that have been a model for the world to follow and which have been the greatest force for peace that the world has ever known. When we read the statements of leaders in the United Kingdom, we cannot help feeling that there is a tremendous amount of confusion. On 2nd August, 1961, the Prime Minister, **Mr. Macmillan,** said that Her Majesty's Government would not sign the Treaty of Rome if thereby it destroyed the influence of the Commonwealth or damaged it economically. How can the United Kingdom possibly be one of the states of the United States of Europe, placing tariffs against Commonwealth goods instead of the preferences that they now enjoy, without destroying seme of the influence of the Commonwealth? On 16th July, 1962, **Mr. Gaitskell,** the Leader of the Opposition, said that Britain could not possibly enter the European federation. The other six countries not only have decided to form a United States of Europe but have reached the stage of discussing how many votes each of the countries on the continent of Europe shall have. Yet the people of the United Kingdom seem to imagine that they can go into a United States of Europe and still retain their sovereignty, the powers of the House of Lords and the House of Commons and the world influence that they have had in the past. To **Mr. Gaitskell's** statement, **Mr. Spaak,** the Foreign Minister of Belgium, said - > **Mr. Gaitskell** seems to think it possible to create a Common Market without any political community. If that is so, we- That is, the six states of the continent of Europe - had better go ahead with the political union of The Six. So it is abundantly clear that the countries comprising The Six are thinking of a political union, a United States of Europe, which I suggest is an excellent idea. If those countries which in the past had antagonisms and wars came together, I think every honorable member in this House would agree that it was an excellent idea. But that does not necessarily mean that the United Kingdom, which is the head of a great Commonwealth, should necessarily join that United States of Europe. **Sir, we** are fortunate in this country to have a great world leader to guide us in the difficult negotiations that will take place in the next few months. I believe the people of the world are looking to our Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** for a lead in this matter. The Australian people could not be better served than they will be by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade **(Mr. McEwen).** Opposition members should listen to this statement made by a former Labour Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Lord Attlee, who, a few days ago, said - >We should not be justified in hastily handing over substantial power now held by the British Parliament and electorate to untried institutions mainly dependant upon European countries with unstable political records. Nor would it be right to grant tariff preferences in favour of foreign countries and against countries in our Commonwealth. Any such step would be bound to damage the Commonwealth seriously and it is my belief as an association of free countries the Commonwealth of to-day with its membership of five continents is a far more hopeful foundation for peace and democracy than any narrow European group. The statements that I have read are a pretty clear indication of the division of opinion in the United Kingdom at present. I believe that the Australian people have confidence in the leadership of this country and know that our leader will guide us well. {: #subdebate-27-0-s8 .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
Monaro · EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- **Mr. Speaker,** honorable members on each side of the House will wish success to our emissaries in their endeavours to preserve Australian trade. Disregarding those Liberal Party members who display an unfortunate attitude towards the essential needs of this country, the whole Parliament is united in support of the case for Australia now once again to be put. The national interests at stake transcend all party considerations. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- This is refreshing. {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- This is the attitude of all members of the Opposition. We want to see the well-being of the Australian farmer protected. Of course, the well-being of the people of Australia is linked with the well-being of the Australian farmer. So we say, " God-speed " and " Good luck " to every member of the delegation, and particularly to the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** and the Minister for Trade **(Mr. McEwen),** because the responsibility in this matter is theirs. The Opposition has agreed to the Government's proposal that Labour members expert in these matters should reinforce its endeavours abroad. Those members may be able to say a word in season in important circles. They may be able to influence an attitude here and an attitude there in our favour. But they cannot be the negotiators, and they can have no place in official deliberations. I permit myself to say that most Australians would feel very much safer if these Labour members could be our official negotiators. But at present that cannot be done and despite the fact that we may think that Australia's interests could be represented very much more capably than they are now, we must leave those interests in the hands of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade, comforted at least by the thought that those right honorable gentlemen have available to them the services of extremely able departmental officers and experts. If the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade are able to return to Australia and report that all is well for our trade, they will be entitled to claim credit. If they are unable to report along those lines they must face the judgment, not only of their endeavours in the last few frantic months, but during all the years since the first warning of this grim developing situation was given to them. They will then have to face the judgment as to what they have really done to prevent the loss of our present export markets, and what they have done to prepare Australia for the situation that will occur if that loss is experienced. I think Government supporters as a whole recognize that position and disapprove some of the, if I may use the word, rather pathetic efforts to build an alibi - efforts that I heard from the honorable member for Indi **(Mr. Holten)** and some other Government supporters this afternoon. This is the eleventh hour in the Common Market negotiations, and the decisions that will affect Australia have yet to be made. It is still not certain whether Britain will enter the Common Market. It is still not certain what the terms for Australia will be if Britain does enter the Common Market. Little use now remains in whipping the cat over the Government's past blindness to these threatening storm clouds or its indolence in preparing to meet this very dangerous situation. I think it best now to pass over that unfortunate chapter as quickly as possible. {: .speaker-KKU} ##### Mr Mackinnon: -- If it were true, you would- be right. {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- The honorable member for Corangamite forces me to remind him of a few facts. I shall mention them as briefly as possible. It is tragic for Australia that although the Government was warned years ago of these impending and ominous developments, it ignored them. Is that not a fact? **Dr. Adenauer** warned the Australian Prime Minister. Our Prime Minister preferred to take no notice of that warning. Various Labour Party spokesmen warned the Government time after time and, as the honorable member for Bradfield **(Mr. Turner)** is saying by interjection, especially in the Senate. The Government shrugged its shoulders and resumed its slumbers. {: .speaker-JOA} ##### Mr Barnes: -- Why did the Opposition oppose the Japanese Trade Agreement? {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- We opposed the Japanese Trade Agreement because of the necessity to impose safeguards for Australian industry - something that this Government has since been forced to do. The Government's departmental advisers warned it, in urgent terms, about the Common Market dangers, but the Government did nothing. Even as late as twelve months ago, in the hearing of every honorable member present in the chamber at the time, the Prime Minister complacently assured us that he was confident that all would be well, and that there was no reason really to worry about Britain's proposal to enter the Common Market. It is also a sombre reflection that the Government let slide all the years that should have been given to developing alternative markets. Immense quantities of statistics have been poured out in this debate, and it is no use at this stage adding to them, but the honorable member for Hughes gave detailed figures to the House this afternoon relating to our trade with Asian countries. Those figures I am sure were utterly convincing to those honorable members who heard them. The honorable member for Hughes recited a long list of nations each with imports totalling hundreds of millions of pounds in value annually. He informed us that Australia's share in those markets was nothing in some cases, insignificant in others and at the most worth £1,000,000 or £2,000,000 in others. Nothing that the Minister for Trade can say will stand against those official figures cited this afternoon by the honorable member for Hughes. They are tragic proof of lost opportunities, and once again the Minister's story is of efforts which are too little too late. Replying further to the honorable member for Corangamite **(Mr. Mackinnon),** who is an earnest seeker after truth, may I say that in the perilous situation now confronting Australia and her export trade we are faced with the sorry fact that, despite the most urgent warnings given to it, the Government has continually allowed costs and prices to spiral in this country, with the inevitable effect that our primary exports would be priced out of the world's markets if preferential trading arrangements were withdrawn. The Government was well aware of that danger, yet it allowed costs and prices to spiral year after year. Is there one member of the Country Party who will deny that 95 per cent, of the increased costs which the farmer has had to bear in the last few years have arisen outside the farm gate, and have been costs over which the farmer had no control whatever? Will any member of the Country Party deny that the Government, by means of its economic policy, had control over those costs? In those circumstances it is extraordinary to hear voices raised in this country blaming the primary producer for not being able to sell his goods profitably on the world's markets at prices over which we have no control. Nothing has been done by the Government to offset the mounting freight exactions of overseas shipping companies by establishing an Australian overseas shipping line - something that every other country finds essential for the protection of its exports. Surely the establishment of an overseas shipping line was an obvious step when the Government saw this Common Market development looming. Surely, also, in this situation the Government should have done everything in its power to build up our overseas credits and our overseas reserves; but this was the very time when the Government allowed those overseas credits and reserves to be dangerously depleted by amazingly removing import restrictions on goods coming into this country. I will concede that import restrictions were removed against the will of the leader of the Australian Country Party who was overruled by his colleagues. Then, to complete the damage to the Australian economy, at the very time when it needed to build strength to meet this challenge, the Government imposed the credit squeeze, which paralysed Australian industry, destroyed the efficiency of various industries endeavouring to build export markets, and threw out of the work force more than 100,000 men who could have been employed in useful export production. I do not want to continue that list. It could be extended indefinitely. For example, the Government has utterly failed in what should be an essential - a programme of import replacements. But there is no desire on my part to raise any of these things to-night except to remind the Government leaders, now due to depart from this country, that the Australian people are aware of their record and that this time, at least, they expect them to face the realities of the situation and to plan for the future that may be ahead of Australia. We do not want to see any time wasted in Europe by any further exhibitions of rivalry for headlines, or time spent in making noble utterances which receive tremendous space in Australian newspapers and build political reputations at home while having no effect whatever on the hardheaded Ministers and negotiators of the European countries with which we are concerned to-night. We do not want it to become necessary for his colleagues again to send the magnificent Killen to Europe once more to save the Government. The Australian people do not want to see any quarter given or any punches pulled because of that dangerous group in this Cabinet, the existence of which was revealed originally by the honorable member for Wentworth **(Mr. Bury)** and which has since been further revealed in its ramifications by those honorable members who have openly supported him in this House. They have shown that they are prepared to regard injury to Australia with complete detachment and to minimize the losses Australia can suffer. We want to see the fight made for Australia. Let other countries look after their own. At least, the magnificent Killen did that much in his endeavours. I, for one, am not prepared to play down or soft pedal the injury to Australia if Great Britain goes into the Common Market and our trading outlets are not preserved. In this matter we should be sending abroad our advocates for Australia and for Australia alone when Australia's interests are vitally at stake. Because I represent a large butterproducing district, let me give butter as an illustration of the possible injury to Australian exports if Britain enters the Common Market on Rome Treaty terms. At present, we enjoy a benefit of 15s. per cwt. over Denmark. On the Treaty of Rome terms, this benefit would be wiped out and, instead, Danish butter would enter Britain free while Australian butter would pay a duty of 24 per cent. If some customers still bought Australian butter then The Seven - not Britain but the European Economic Community as a whole - could impose a variable tariff higher than the 24 per cent. If that were not sufficient to keep Australian butter out of Europe, then quantitative restrictions could be imposed on the entry of Australian butter. If that still were not sufficient to destroy our butter industry, the European Economic Community as a whole could subsidize the sale of butter abroad at cut-throat prices in the alternative markets of Asia and elsewhere that Australia might be desperately seeking. One of the realities of this situation to which the Government must look is that the Commonwealth of Nations is tending to fade away. It was once the most powerful force in the world but, of course, it is no longer so. It was once the British Commonwealth, and it is no longer British. It was once our sure buckler and shield against any possible invasion and it is no longer so. The fact that Great Britain was never involved in a war on Australia's behalf and that Australia was three times involved in war on Britain's behalf does not come into the question. Third, the Empire, as the Commonwealth of Nations used to be called, had one foreign policy and one alone. That is no longer the position. Now, Australia could be at war while every other member of the Commonwealth of Nations could possibly be neutral. If Great Britain turns back into Europe, as powerful forces are strongly inducing her to do, we may face the situation that there will no longer be a Commonwealth of Nations and Australia will stand alone in a cold, cold world. If, with that as a yardstick, we look at the Commonwealth of Nations to-day, the question whether the Commonwealth really exists any longer except in name may seem more relevant. In "Alice In Wonderland ", Alice saw the face of the cat gradually disappear until only a smile remained. That is what is happening to the Commonwealth of Nations to-day. The simile I use is not my own; it was used the other day in London by Lord Casey. The one conspicuous thing that stands to us now in the Commonwealth of Nations is the tie of trade. If that goes, the Commonwealth as a whole may rapidly dissolve. Of the former Commonwealth then, a great deal no longer survives. There survive unimpaired its mystique, a common recognition of the Queen as the head of the Commonwealth, some important beliefs which Commonwealth countries share, and some very important trade arrangements. Even loyalty to the Throne is not so great in Australia as it used to be with over 1,000,000 new Australians here to whom the portrait of the Queen is simply a picture on the wall. {: .speaker-KKB} ##### Mr Jess: -- Say that outside. {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- I will say it publicly anywhere. Do not fool yourself about this thing. It is one of the facts of life. I have said it more than once. It is vitally important, and if you have any doubt you should discuss it with new Australians. The new Australians do not come to this country with an inborn loyalty to the British throne. I think it is magnificent that Queen Elizabeth the Second and the Duke of Edinburgh are coming to Australia next year to help restore what I believe is a failing loyalty in Australia to the person on the throne. It is important, and every one of us should realize the importance of this tie when other ties are dissolving. If Great Britain goes into the European Common Market on terms which will destroy Australia's export trade, not only Australia but the whole concept of the Commonwealth of Nations will suffer grievously. On the other hand, if Great Britain stops outside the Common Market in circumstances which would permit the blame for her doing so to be placed upon us and other Commonwealth countries, the dissolution of the Commonwealth may still be the result. Those who see the development of new markets as the solution of our Common Market problem do not recognize that our need in the development of a growing country is both to retain existing markets and to build new markets. We must do both. But if Great Britain stays out because she is subjected to the pressure of the other Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London, she will undoubtedly demand the compensatory building of a tight Commonwealth trading bloc and this is a demand to which we in Australia could never agree. As a growing nation and as a nation that must grow to survive, we must retain our rights to develop our markets in other countries and particularly to build our trade in Asia as well as, if possible, to retain our trade in Europe. We should accept the fact then that powerful considerations are leading Great Britain back into Europe and away from the Commonwealth. It is Great Britain now, in a sense, that is cutting the painter. We need to recognize that largely because oi this impetus to a closer unity with Europe, an already dissolving Commonwealth may be hastened. The important thing 1 am trying to bring to the attention of this Government is that this situation needs facing now. It will not be sufficient for the Australian Government in these circumstances merely to throw us into the arms of Uncle Sam as a part of his nuclear arms club with foreign nuclear bases in Australia. That certainly will not satisfy the Australian people. {: #subdebate-27-0-s9 .speaker-009MB} ##### Mr McEWEN:
Minister for Trade · Murray · CP -- I do not think the speech of the honorable member for Eden-Monaro **(Mr. Allan Fraser)** will satisfy the Australian people. The Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** and I leave at the week-end to attend the meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers. This has been called primarily to consider the implications of Britain's possible entry into the European Economic Community. After the war, Australia joined in the search for a better system of world trade. We accepted the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade as the basis of our trade policy. The basic idea was: Equal treatment and equal opportunity for all. As the years have gone by the great European nations, the Communist nations and the American nation, each with a huge internal market, have tended, in agriculture at least, to policies of self-sufficiency. Britain's desire to join the European bloc presents us, quite suddenly, with the prospect of being one of the countries outside looking in on three great markets - the Soviet bloc, the European bloc and the United States of America. For us, a very great deal depends on the policies of the new European group. It is not too far-fetched to foresee the possibility that outside countries like Australia could be faced with a situation where the three great trading blocs dictate to us the terms on which they will trade with us or where they will decide to buy only certain items from us. This is not an. exaggeration. It will be realized that it is not an exaggeration when I point out that under the European Economic Community system of import levies on grains, which has just come into operation, our wheat to-day can enter Germany only on payment of a levy or duty of about £22 a ton, which is equal to about 100 per cent, of our f.o.b. price. This is the first stark glimpse for our trade of the Common Market policy in operation. I shall state briefly the position reached after nine months of negotiation between Britain and The Six. I take for this purpose the report of the British negotiator, **Mr. Heath,** which has been issued as a white paper. None of the proposals that I mention is firmly agreed. The Six are prepared to offer to most of Britain's colonies, and the newer Commonwealth countries in Africa and the Caribbean, the same kind of associated status as that given to The Six's own colonies and former colonies. Arrangements for India, Pakistan and Ceylon have been tentatively agreed in considerable detail. After British accession, the proposal is that the enlarged Common Market would offer to negotiate comprehensive trade agreements with those countries by the end of 1966 at the latest. For exports of copra, coco-nut oil, cocoa and coffee from Papua-New Guinea the arrangements are still to be settled. The arrangements contemplated for Canada, New Zealand and Australia are less clear. On manufactured goods, the British Government has reached a tentative agreement with The Six by which preferences on these goods from our countries would disappear by 1970. The British have proposed that a number of our products, such as lead, zinc and aluminium, should be admitted free of duty into the enlarged Community. The Six have not yet accepted or rejected this proposal. On our processed foodstuffs, the British have proposed, at our request, that Australia should get tariff quotas into the enlarged Community based on our present preferences in the British market and the traditional level of our sales to that market, plus an allowance for normal growth. The treatment by The Six of these items is still to be decided. The trade issue of the greatest difficulty in the negotiations concerns the treatment of temperate agricultural products from Australia, Canada and New Zealand. There has been a prolonged discussion in Brussels on this subject. An outline of proposals relating both to the longer term and the transitional period appears to be taking shape, but it is impossible as yet to see clearly how the actual arrangements for particular commodities will come out. For the longer term, the prospect is that The Six and Britain would state that the policy of the enlarged Community would offer reasonable opportunities in its markets for exports of temperate foodstuffs. Further, they would agree to take an early initiative to secure world-wide arrangements with respect to the principal agricultural products. The Six have given no evidence of departing from insistence that our preferences would be phased out over a transitional period. So far as Australia is concerned, the proposals as they appear to be shaping up in Brussels would amount to completely stripping Australia of the special conditions in the British market that we have negotiated and paid for over the years, and placing Australia in that market in a seriously inferior position to European Economic Community suppliers. This would represent a very sharp change indeed for us. To lose our preferences in Britain would be one thing. To lose our guaranteed duty-free entry would be another thing. To impose a tariff on our products while the tariff is being removed from European products, would be yet another thing. If the levy or tariff were so high as to reduce consumption in Britain, this would create a great difficulty for the products concerned. For example, such could occur in the case of butter or canned fruits. When the likely combined effects of all these changes against us are considered, it is possible to get the perspective of what is at issue for Australia in these negotiations. For the bulk agricultural items, the proposals emerging would leave Australian products, after a transitional period, without any of the traditional rights that we have enjoyed in Britain and without any special arrangements to replace them. Our position after a few years would depend on the details of the Community's common agricultural policy. This policy would determine the quantity of those products produced within the Common Market according to the price incentive decided there. Our position would depend on the character and level of the levy imposed on our products; on whether in certain eventualities quantitative restrictions were imposed on our products; on whether levies collected on imports were used, as is contemplated, to subsidize exports which we would have to face in other markets. We are most anxious that when these negotiations in Brussels end, the fate of our industries should not depend on the possible subsequent achievement of world commodity agreements at some time in the future. The willingness of The Six and Britain to contemplate world-wide agreements on the main agricultural products is most welcome to us. A start on this was made in the Gatt meetings on cereals and meat earlier this year. Although those discussions were commenced, they were suspended. The difficulties of reaching international agreement in this field should not really be underestimated. They are quite considerable. But it would be a tremendous step forward for the agricultural exporting countries if the great industrial powers were to agree to negotiate limits upon the amount of protection they give to their agriculture in the same way as they negotiate with us and between themselves in Gatt the limits upon the level of protection accorded to manufactured goods. If this were done - the agricultural producing members of Gatt have every right to expect this - then it might well be found that the need for world-wide commodity arrangements would be reduced to those commodities with rather special trade problems. I have said that if Britain joined the European Economic Community we would face a complete transformation of our position in the British market. The British market is still our major outlet and many of the programmes of expansion of agricultural production which Australian governments and industry have undertaken have been based on what could reasonably have been regarded until last year as the legitimate expectation of continued outlets in Britain. At the same time, this Government has been seeking the utmost diversification of our export outlets. New markets have been sought through every available means, through Gatt negotiations, through a whole series of trade agreements, through a great expansion of the Trade Commissioner Service, through trade missions to new areas, through trade fairs, through the establishment of facilities such as the Export Payments Insurance Corporation, and through the provision of export incentives. We have endeavoured, by re-negotiating our trade agreement with Britain and by other available means, such as international commodity arrangements, to tighten our hold on our existing markets. All this has produced, contrary to what one hears from the other side of this House, a dramatic transformation in Australia's post-war trading pattern. Before the war, about half of our exports went to Britain. During the immediate post-war period, when we were encouraged by British governments to expand our production of foodstuffs to meet their needs, the proportion of our exports going to Britain remained high. In 1954, the proportion of our exports that went to Britain was 36 per cent., showing that by that time progress had already been made in the search for new markets. To-day our dependence on the British market has been reduced considerably more, and our exports to Britain are a good deal less than 36 per cent, of the total, which was the proportion in 1954. Notwithstanding this, the fact remains that we have not been able to find alter native markets for some products in sufficient quantities to reduce our high degree of dependence on the British market for sales of those products, such as, for example, butter and canned fruits. Some people, including the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Whitlam),** seem to think that we need only courage and enterprise to get new markets. Yet it has required the greatest persistence to sustain the needed growth in our export markets and to bring about the great transformation in our trading pattern to which I have already referred. If Britain should join the European Economic Community, then the enlarged Community would constitute the biggest importing area in the world. Its wheat imports would amount to approximately one-half of the world's total commercial imports; in dairy produce the enlarged Community's imports would account for about two-thirds of the total world imports; for meat the proportion would be about threequarters. If Britain and The Six now import half of the total amount of wheat traded throughout the world, and if an enlarged Common Market area should carry on a policy of high protection, leading to more and more self-sufficiency or even export surpluses, then where in the world would the great exporters of wheat, the United States of America, Canada, Australia and the Argentine, look for markets to replace those lost in Europe? Similar considerations apply in respect to butter and meat. In the case of those commodities most of the main exporting countries of the world are outside Europe, and the European area has been the largest single importing zone. To preserve her position Australia needs clear-cut assurances. We want, first, assurance of access to the enlarged Common Market, at prices remunerative to a fair cross-section of efficient producing countries. Secondly, we want firm pledges on the part of the industrialized countries that they will negotiate fair conditions of international trading in primary products, either in world commodity agreements or in other suitable ways such as in the framework of Gatt trade and tariff negotiations. Thirdly, we want to be certain that if our present trading rights are to be drastically changed, there will be an effective alternative opportunity for us to trade. We might end up in one of a number of final positions which would harm us greatly, and, indeed, leave a nasty taste in our mouths. It would, for instance, be greatly to our disadvantage if there were a cut-off at a definite future date of the arrangements now protecting our trade with Britain, with nothing but mere hopes or vague assurances that some arrangement might be worked out in a world agreement. Secondly, we might be left with no safeguarding arrangements for our trade items traditionally and heavily dependent on the British market. Thirdly, Britain might find herself paying high prices for food supplies inside the Common Market, while Common Market rules governing our products kept our prices down. If Britain should join, and if the circumstances inadequately protected us, she could still exert her influence on European Economic Community policies to minimize damage to the trade of countries like Australia. Our advice is that if Britain at some point of time decided to join, a combination of circumstances would produce a hiatus of a year or eighteen months, or perhaps even two years, before her actual entry. In such a period as that she could use some aspects of her own import policies in a way helpful to us and designed to establish a pattern and example. It would be immensely valuable to us if the United States of America would bring her massive trade bargaining power to bear on this problem. The bargaining scope of the Trade Expansion Bill which the President has recently brought before the Congress could be powerfully directed to keeping open the markets for foodstuffs and metals in a wider Common Market that included Britain. This could substantially reduce the damage to Australia's trade. The rest of the world, in which we and other exporting countries would be scrambling for markets, consists of, first, Japan, which obviously could not absorb the volume of agricultural exports displaced from Europe; secondly, the Communist countries, which trade outside their own bloc only when they need to and certainly cannot be counted on as predictable markets; and, finally, Asia, Africa and Latin America, which, though potentially large markets, are in the main in constant difficulties in connexion with balance of payments. This Government has a responsibility to the Australian community to do what it can to ensure conditions for our overseas trade which will allow our country to develop to the full its capacity to grow. We feel we have a contribution to make to the free world, and we have battled to win the place that we now occupy in the trading world, as one of the great trading nations. We don't seek to tell others how to manage their own affairs, and we certainly don't under-estimate the value to the whole free world of movements aimed at strengthening the great Western countries in Europe which are our allies. We must, nevertheless, carry our own responsibility to preserve what we have developed in this country, and to enable our nation to grow. We believe this to be in the interests of the whole free world. We expect that friendly countries, which share our ideals and our way of life and wish to preserve them, will be understanding when we argue for the preservation of our interests and for the right to continue to grow through international trade. {: #subdebate-27-0-s10 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS:
Yarra .- It seems to me that the Minister for Trade **(Mr. McEwen)** has just concluded the obituary of Australia's preference relationships with Great Britain. He has gone a good deal further than that; he has told us of the dislocations to world trade that result from the attempt by some of our powerful friends to obtain a greater degree of selfsufficiency, to attend to their own interests and requirements irrespective of how they might happen to affect the Australian situation. He said that we are faced with possible ultimatums from three trade blocs which are organized internally to obtain their own self-sufficiency. The Minister happens to be a member of the Government which, over the last two years, has deliberately exposed the Australian economy to the fullest possible extent to all the fluctuations that are inherent in the situation with which we are confronted. The conclusion that Australians should reach in this situation is that, instead of removing import controls and other controls of that kind which are necessary for the development of our economy, and thereby exposing our economy to all these storms and uncertainties of international trade, we should be planning to achieve for this country that degree of selfsufficiency which is necessary for rapid economic progress. The Minister for Trade, with his colleagues, has presided at the elimination of many of those things that are necessary for the development of Australia. When we approach problems of this kind, at the eleventh hour of the negotiations for the United Kingdom's entry to the European Economic Community, it is necessary for us in Australia to ask, " What is the attitude of our Government? " Unfortunately, our Government has not just one attitude. The Government and the Government parties clearly are split into three conflicting bodies of opinion. There are three conflicting opinions. There are the opinions, one may say, of the Australian Country Party. There are the opinions, one may say, of those who take the British point of view. And there are the opinions of those who take the European point of view. Our inability to do better in the negotiations in European Economic Community affairs is due largely to the fact that our Government has not had a single-minded purpose or one point of view. Those who have been conducting negotiations on our behalf have been influenced by people who are thoroughly divided over the essentials. The view of the Australian Country Party has been stated clearly enough by the Minister for Trade, who said that this Government regarded the negotiations on which Britain was earlier about to enter as being of tremendous importance to Australia. The Minister has constantly seen an Australian Country Party point of view, and I think he should be saying that if much harm would be done to Australia by Britain's entering the European Common Market, Britain should not join it - that Britain should not join if Australia's preferences are to be unconditionally abandoned without comparable outlets for our exports. That is the position that the Minister for Trade should take. But has he ever taken such a stand? No! He has to be very careful about this because he is associated with the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies),** who takes a different point of view. The Prime Minister takes what we may call the British point of view. On 16th August of last year, he stated it in this House quite clearly. Referring to the European Economic Community, he said - >Clearly, this is a formidable and far-reaching organism, of profound economic significance, and with political objectives to which I shall refer later . . . > >Great Britain herself has, of course, enormous interests at stake. The Prime Minister has looked at the issue in one form or another from a British point of view. The question of whether or not Britain should enter the Common Market is determined, for him, not by the effects on Australia - effects which, to put the matter broadly, could be handled - but by the effects on Great Britain. Does the Prime Minister, privately or publicly, put this view when abroad? He is concerned with the effects on the position of the Queen, on the sovereignty of Great Britain, on the rule of British law, on the leadership of the Commonwealth of Nations and on the British economy. In this attitude, the Prime Minister has the support of a number of other honorable members, including the honorable member for Moreton **(Mr. Killen)** and the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth),** although I think that the attitude of the honorable member for Mackellar has somehow changed since he stated it pretty clearly on 17th August last. Last year, the honorable member thought, I believe, that the economic harm that was likely to result to Britain was so great that there would be a kind of movement to the left which would produce almost a threat of communism in that country. So, the honorable member, last year, constantly opposed Britain's entry to the European Economic Community. Lastly, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** you have the third point of view - what you may call the European point of view. This is taken by the honorable member for Wentworth **(Mr. Bury),** the honorable member for Bradfield **(Mr. Turner),** the honorable member for Barker **(Mr. Forbes)** and the honorable member for Wannon **(Mr. Malcolm Fraser),** who, in a current periodical, have recently been described as the Oxbridge group. They happen not to be Australians. They do not look like Australians, they do not talk like Australians and they do not act like Australians. I think that the leading advocate of this European point of view among those honorable members is the honorable member for Wentworth, whom 1 now hear interjecting. I want to put clearly his attitude towards Britain's entry to the European Economic Community. On 14th August last, he said - >This issue promises to be a crucial turning point in world history ... We have, therefore, a solemn duty to the nation to lift this question out of the rut of petty parochial politics. Do honorable members see what he means by the reference to " petty parochial politics " ? He means that we should not be concerned very much about our exports of fruit, butter and wheat, about the prosperity of the Goulburn valley, in Victoria, or about the view expressed by the Minister for Trade. Consequently, the honorable member for Wentworth is no longer in the Ministry. He said also - >European integration, of which the Common Market is an essential expression, is a keystone of the grand design for Western survival. This point of view is not by any means insignificant in the ranks of the present Government. This is the view that the question of whether or not Britain enters the Common Market should be determined, not by the effects on Britain - and certainly not by the effects on Australia - but solely by the need for European unity. The European Economic Community, of course, does not establish European unity. It divides Europe down the centre. Indeed, Britain's entry to the Common Market and European unity would have only minor effects on Australia, and on Britain as well, according to this point of view. The honorable member for Wentworth said, also, that the overall economic effects on Australia, in years to come, could well be beneficial. I think, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** that at this eleventh hour we need to know who is right about this. Is it the Australian Country Party, those who take the British point of view - the so-called little England point of view, as it is known in Britain itself - or those who take the European point of view? But what is more important is the question of whose view predominates among those who speak for Australia in the councils of the world. When the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade go overseas, whose point of view do they put? They certainly do not put an Australian point of view. Government supporters interjecting- {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- The battery of interjections coming from a group on the other side of the House illustrates the division that has arisen in the ranks of the Government and its supporters. If the Europeans had their way, the Prime Minister would not object to Britain's entry to the European Economic Community. Indeed, he would support it enthusiastically. If those whom we may call the Britishers had their way, the Prime Minister would tell the United Kingdom Government what he told this House on 16th August, 1961. This is recorded at page 135 of " Hansard " of that date, if any one wants to check it. The right honorable gentleman, referring to Australia, said - >It would not be for us to substitute some opinion of our own, even if we had formed one. {: .speaker-KID} ##### Mr Luchetti: -- The Government had not formed one then. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- It certainly had not formed one on 16th August, 1961, and it has not formed one now. Honorable members interjecting- {: #subdebate-27-0-s11 .speaker-KIH} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock: -- Order! I suggest that the honorable member for Yarra address the Chair. I suggest, also, that other honorable members cease interjecting. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren: -- One-eyed! {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! I name the honorable member for Reid. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: -- **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** I believe that the honorable member for Reid will make amends in this matter if you will accept his offer to do so. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! I suggest that, before criticizing, honorable members wait to see what happens. I say quite frankly that the honorable member for Yarra was inviting certain interjections from the Government benches. Opposition Members. - Oh! {: #subdebate-27-0-s12 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! When the Deputy Speaker is on his feet, honorable members should remain silent. Having told members of the Government parties that they should not interject, I suggested to the honorable member for Yarra that he address the Chair. In the circumstances, I think it would be best if I forgot the action which I proposed to take earlier in regard to the honorable member for Reid. I will call on the honorable member for Yarra, and we will continue the debate. {: #subdebate-27-0-s13 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- The position is that in August of last year the Government had not formed an opinion on Britain's entry into the European Common Market. The attitude taken by the Prime Minister was that if Britain joined the Common Market, then, in view of her immense experience and ripe judgment, he would say " We will accept that decision". In those circumstances, we would take it on the chin and would do our best to be loyal to that decision. I think it is most important for us to know, at this eleventh hour, just what view will be put by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade during their coming negotiations overseas. It is extremely difficult to know, from what has been said in debate on this matter in the House and from public statements, where the Prime Minister stands in relation to these matters. We know where the Minister for Trade stands. We know the Country Party's view. It is a sectional view. The Country Party is concerned mainly with the fruit, dairy produce and wheat interests. It has not given the same degree of prominence to meat, metals and sugar. In this, it has accepted the weakest line of negotiation in the European situation. It has taken a stand on temperate foodstuffs and has practically ignored tropical produce, in respect of which there was an opportunity to reach common ground with a number of other countries and to strenghthen our position. Secondly, the view taken by the Minister for Trade has been only partially argued. We have ben told that we cannot say what effect Britain's entry into the Common Market would have on Australia. Presumably, we have to wait until the United Kingdom enters the Common Market. We have been told to-night that that is almost certain to happen, and that the effects on Australia will be pretty severe. Thirdly, the Minister for Trade has not produced figures to show what might be the effect on Australia of Britain's entry. I suggest that the reason why he has not produced these figures is that he is anxious to keep them quiet, because of the considerable danger that, if he produced them, the honorable member for Wentworth **(Mr. Bury)** might be proved to be right. Instead of the kind of obituary on the situation which the Minister for Trade read to us to-night, I would like to have from him some figures showing in black and white the effect that Britain's entry to the Common Market will have. The fourth weakness that underlies the position of the Minister for Trade in his negotiating is that, in effect, he says we cannot go beyond a request to be given comparable outlets in Europe, because anything else might seem like a threat. Only yesterday, in answer to a question by the honorable member for Mitchell **(Mr. Armitage),** the Minister said that he could not bring himself to suggest to the British negotiators that if we lost preferences in the British market Britain might have to lose preferences in Australia. Of course, Britain has done much better in our market than we have in hers. In the years from 1955 to 1960 we imported from Great Britain goods worth £1,954,000,000 and exported goods worth £1,482,000,000 so Britain was £472,000,000 better off in that period than we were. We had some kind of bargaining position on those terms. Who is talking about threats? From the Country Party's point of view, Australia's trade is threatened by what is happening, so would it not be completely unrealistic not to point out to the United Kingdom negotiators the position they retain in the Australian market and the fact that it cannot survive forever? The next weakness is that I do not think that those who talk from what I call the Country Party point of view can understand the significance of the European Economic Community to people in Europe and to many people in England. It is not just an economic or political matter to those people, but something in which they believe with almost a religious fervour. Merely to try to bargain on the basis of what will happen to a few thousand people 10,000 miles away in Australia will have no effect at all. Has the Government proved itself capable of negotiating? I think an examination of these conflicting and differing views shows that the Government has not proved itself capable of negotiating. It has an uncomfortable and inconsistent mixture of Country Party, British and European views. It has not an Australian attitude. Perhaps the Country Party gets nearest to that, but its view is sectional and only partly argued and reveals a misunderstanding of the real significance of the European Economic Community. The question that arises then is: What will happen should the Australian case fail? We need to know what case will be put by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade in their negotiations overseas, but we have been given no assurance or undertaking in that regard by the Minister for Trade this evening. The Government has never expected that it would succeed. As long ago as 16th August of last year, the Prime Minister gave no real hope that we would achieve anything on this basis of negotiation. The Europeans know that there will be some losses for Australia but they believe those losses can be easily repaired, and I think that all informed people in Australia agree with that. There will be a continuation of existing trends, with an accentuation in certain cases. To imagine that the people of Europe are not aware of this is to imagine that they are not aware of anything at all. Of course the Government will not allow this position to be taken up, because it believes that to put this view would weaken our case with the European Economic Community. That is why the honorable member for Wentworth got into trouble. The Government believes that to prepare to deal with the effects of Britain's entry would show that we would accept that entry without comparable outlets, or with reduced outlets, and this would weaken our case. The Government believes also that to actually deal with the effects would show that we were capable of dealing with them, and that this would weaken our case. For those reasons, all we do through our representatives overseas, apparently, is to talk. There has been an awful lot of talk but very little achievement in these negotiations. I suggest that what we need is an Australian view. We must realize that our British and European outlets are declining and that whether we get into the European Economic Community market or stay in the British market, the position will be exactly the same. We should get on with the job of replacing these markets. We should get on with the job and be Australians. The first thing that I suggest we need to do is to re-establish full employment and economic growth in this country, so that there will be a demand for fruit, butter and sugar. How can there be any confidence in the minds of the Australian people when the Government's performance over the last two years has been to depart fundamentally from this position and to refuse to go back to it? Next, we must guarantee the growers that we will not force them to carry the whole cost of the loss of markets which is involved. Can the growers have any confidence in the Government in this regard? The Government did not protect the 1 30,000 unemployed people from the direct effects of economic changes. It did not protect the tobacco-growers all over Australia, and three or four hundred tobaccofarmers in Victoria went broke. What confidence can other growers have in the Government? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-27-0-s14 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr SNEDDEN:
Bruce .- The House has just had the benefit of hearing the intellectual eclipse of one of two great intellects of the Australian Labour Party. The honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns)** and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Whitlam)** are both great intellects. Neither of them has had any association at any time with the trade union movement of Australia. Neither of them, at any time, has ever had to put his hand to work that is solid and which is part of the very concept of the craft union. {: .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr Duthie: -- Give us your ideas. {: .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr SNEDDEN: -- I shall give them to you, if you like, but you will have difficulty in understanding because, with the narrowness of your mind, you would see no view but your own. You are not even trustworthy as a listener far less as a speaker. The intellectual giants of the Labour Party have spoken. The honorable member for Yarra spoke about restoring full employment in Australia. One does not want to be diverted to full employment from the true issue in this debate; but it will be recalled by everybody that the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, **Mr. Monk,** said that we need 1.5 per cent, of workers at any time in Australia to be moveable to meet seasonal requirements. The Australian Labour Party was at that time attacking the Government, and said that **Mr. Monk's** statement did not represent the view of the Labour Party. Immediately thereafter, the vice-president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, **Mr. Evans,** said that **Mr. Monk's** statement had been correct. The Labour Party then said that it disowned **Mr. Evans.** Then the paid officer of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, **Mr. Sourer,** said that both **Mr. Monk** and **Mr. Evans** had been correct. In Australia we have barely 2 per cent, of unemployment. To-day, every country in Europe, as well as the United States, has a greater percentage of unemployment than Australia. In the United States an interim target of 4 per cent, has been set for unemployment. The Americans are hoping to achieve that within a year. This intellectual giant, the honorable member for Yarra, said that the Government had not yet reached a decision concerning Australia's attitude to the Common Market. How could the Government have reached a decision? No facts are available to it. Only conjectures are available. Until matters are negotiated and agreements reached there are no facts. How can one reach a decision about a projection into the future? Only the great intellect of the honorable member for Yarra, reinforced by the great intellect of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, could suggest that the Government should have reached a decision. A very cursory reading of the newspapers would disclose to anybody that the position which it was hoped would be reached before the Commonwealth Prime Minister's conference in September has not been reached. The six and the United Kingdom, in their negotiations, have not reached conclusions which could be put to the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference. But I refuse to be diverted for too long by the meanderings of the honorable member for Yarra. I think there is only one further comment that I should make on his effort to-night. That is his allegation that the Government has exposed the economy of Australia to all sorts of fluctuations. The truth, as everybody knows, is that we have a steadily developing, rapidly expanding economy in which we have reached a degree of price stability which is the envy of every other country, including the six members of the European Economic Community. If we are to be criticized on this record, I say, it is a record of which I, as a member of the party which has achieved it, am proud. Let me return to the subject of this debate - the Common Market. There have been years of discussions on this matter. We saw, first, the evolution of the European Coal and Steel Community, which became operative on 25th July, 1952. As a result of that coal and steel community we saw the production levels of the countries which subscribed to the agreement rapidly rising. That they rose rapidly there can be no doubt. About the figures relating to their production increases we can have some doubt. We can have doubts as to their validity as a measurement and as a reality, because after the war they had a great deal of erosion to make up and they received a great amount of financial assistance. There is a variety of reasons why we should regard these figures with some diffidence. But, because of the very success of the European Coal and Steel Community, we find that the nations of Europe met in Sicily. There, certain conclusions were reached, and the process of negotiation went on which culminated in the signing, in March, 1957, of the Treaty of Rome. Probably this had the greatest impact on current world events of any treaty that has ever been signed. The treaty became operative from 1st January, 1958, and covered a variety of matters; but nobody who has examined it can escape being impressed with the ultimate reasons for its conclusion. These were the movement of capital, the movement of individuals, and the coalescing together of different entities of government and of different entities of social and economic activity. It was, without any doubt, the precursor of the union of the countries of Europe which acceded as original signatories to the Treaty of Rome. In February, 1961, the United Kingdom let it be known - I think that is the best way to describe what happened - that it would be prepared to join the European Economic Community if certain difficulties could be overcome. Broadly speaking, there were three difficulties. These were, the position of the Commonwealth, the position of the Outer Seven - the European Free Trade Association - and the situation of agriculture in the United Kingdom. On 31st July, 1961, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, **Mr. Macmillan,** announced to the House of Commons that the United Kingdom was making an application to join the European Economic Community. This was an immense decision to be taken by any country, but especially by a country with the United Kingdom's history and its obligations. Why did the United Kingdom seek to join the European Economic Community? Was it a political or an economic reason which led to this decision? It is not easy to decide which of these two, both of them shrouded somewhat in shadowy boundaries, with one merging into the other, as the main activating force. It may, therefore, be helpful to refer to the speech of the Right Honorable Edward Heath, M.P., Lord Privy Seal and chief negotiator for the United Kingdom in the matter. The purpose for which I read extracts from his speech delivered in Paris on 10th October, 1961, and dealing with his confrontation, as one might say, of members of the Economic Community is to try to determine whether a political or economic decision led the United Kingdom Government to its conclusion. A part of the speech reads as follows: - >The British Government and the British people have been through a searching debate during the last few years on the subject of their relations with Europe. The result of the debate has been our present application. It was a decision arrived at, not on any narrow or short-term grounds, but as a result of a thorough assessment over a considerable period of the needs of our own country, of Europe and of the free world as a whole. We recognize it as a great decision, a turning point in our history, and we take it in all seriousness. In saying that we wish to join the E.E.C., we mean wc desire to become full, wholehearted and active members of the European Community in its widest sense and to go forward with you in the building of a new Europe. He proceeded to say - >One of our main purposes to-day is to discover afresh the inspiration and the stimulus of working together in a new effort of political and economic construction. So if it be true, and I believe it to be true, that it has not yet been made certain whether Britain seeks to join for political or for economic reasons, we can then ask the question: If it is true that the Government of the United Kingdom wishes to join, is it equally true that the public of the United Kingdom wishes to join? Of this we cannot be sure. We cannot be sure, in any event, until it is put to a test by election, referendum, or something of that kind. We in Australia have a peculiar knowledge of how easy it is to be misled about to the ultimate results of a referendum. It is true, certainly, that if we do not know why Britain wants to join, we do know that Europe does not want the United Kingdom to join merely on economic grounds. It must therefore be on political grounds that Europe wishes the United Kingdom to join. We know that the Treaty of Rome, in any event, has a concept of economic co-operation, predicating ultimate political co-operation and the formulation of some form of unity. Whether that be a confederation, a federation, or a union as we know them in the political sense. We do not know yet, nor do the nations of Europe know yet. This has not been decided. They are still negotiating. I have with me a German press information bulletin, but I fear that I cannot spend the time to read it to the House now. This bulletin makes it perfectly clear that some of the nations of Europe want a loose federation and others want a union. The Germans, they say, stand in about the middle. But here the real dilemma arises, in my view. There are different views as to what is a union, a confederation, or a federation. We all know from the modern history of Europe of the fragility of a loose confederation in Europe. If it is true that a loose confederation is so fragile, then we can reasonably ask ourselves the question: Could the political benefits that a political union is thought to bring in fact be a reasonable aim to pursue? It is only if the confederation is not fragile that the political benefits are worth pursuing. We know, for instance, that France does not seek political unity, but rather seeks a very loose confederation of the European countries that are members of the Treaty of Rome. {: .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr Bury: -- You mean de Gaulle? {: .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr SNEDDEN: -- I said France. If de Gaulle means France it is the same thing, because de Gaulle is certainly the man of France to-day. So if France equally favours a loose confederation, it is certainly true that France has no enticement to offer the United Kingdom by way of concessions which would encourage the United Kingdom into Europe, because France itself sees only a very loose confederation. Other countries of Europe see a much more intimate association in the political sense, and these are the very countries that are likely to concede more in negotiations to encourage the United Kingdom into it. But here is the dilemma - it is a puzzlement indeed. The United Kingdom, which is the negotiator on behalf of the Commonwealth to gain concessions, can gain those concessions only if it agrees to become more intimately associated with the political union of Europe. Then as it becomes more closely associated with the political union of Europe, one asks how it can maintain its role in the Commonwealth, because as the ties of union are drawn closer, so the ties of the Commonwealth must become more subject to snapping. We then come to the situation that the very success of the United Kingdom as a negotiator on behalf of the Commonwealth is the very means by which the Commonwealth as we know it is weakened by the absence of the United Kingdom from the framework of that Commonwealth. It is generally assumed that the negotiations are the concern only of the United Kingdom and of Europe. This undoubtedly is true as to the United Kingdom joining Europe, but only to that extent. It is the concern of the Commonwealth and we Australians whether or not the United Kingdom departs from the Commonwealth, or whether there is a changed status of the Commonwealth as a result of any arrangement that may be made by the United Kingdom I think, if I can resort to this simile, it is rather like the United Kingdom applying to the Commonwealth, not for a clearance to play with another team absolutely, but for a permit to play in the Sunday League, but while still playing with the Commonwealth team in the Saturday matches. This is something not easily achieved, and in the political sphere I believe it is beyond the capacity of the make-up of the people who compose either Europe or the Commonwealth. It is clear, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** that if the United Kingdom joins the Common Market there must be serious changes in the structure of the Commonwealth as we know it. Whether these will happen, I do not know. Nobody can know at this stage. There must be a sense of dynamism and inevitability of the United Kingdom going into this great concept of a United States of Europe, and it is a brave man indeed who can take the decision to stop that movement, to arrest the dynamism, and divert into another course the inevitability of history. Indeed, the man who would take that course I think would need to be gifted with some sort of divine power of intervention to assist him in his judgment. It is not a task that I would like, but I am certain that the judgment that needs to be exercised is in the hands of men able to exercise the judgment. I have been talking about this matter with my colleagues. They say, " Do not be like the honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns)** and fail to say where you stand ". I am very sorely tempted to say that despite all that I have said I believe the United Kingdom should join the Common Market. I am tempted to do it in this House. Some people have been for it; others have been against it. I am reminded of **Mr. Bruce** Wight, a former member of this House, who described a member of the Opposition as skating along a barbed wire fence with one foot on each side. That is the situation, and it is not an easy decision because one is not in possession of all the facts upon which a decision can be made. I feel, **Mr. Speaker,** that too many people who have made a decision have been activated by intuition. {: #subdebate-27-0-s15 .speaker-KSC} ##### Mr SPEAKER (Hon Sir John McLeay: -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-27-0-s16 .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr HAYLEN:
Parkes .- For many days now, the Parliament has discussed the Common Market. We have discussed it without knowing which way Britain will move in the matter. Many pearls of wisdom have fallen from the honorable members on both sides of the House. The honorable member for Bruce **(Mr. Snedden),** who has just sat down, has taken the usual Liberal attitude of having a little each way - of being extremely patriotic to Britain and a little patriotic to Australia, but coming down on no solid core when dealing with the implications of the Common Market. I sympathize with the honorable member, who has been finally unmasked. For the last few days - I say this with great charity - he has looked like that famous character in the thriller on television. But now that he has prepared himself for us to-night, we find that his speech represents absolutely nothing. If we must have some view on the Common Market, we must have sympathy with what Britain is trying to do. We must have a vast Australianism so that we can bear the weight of the circumstances of fate that now fall upon our shoulders. I have found that the Liberal Party, as always, does not represent Australian thought in these matters It natters from one side to the other. Let us have a look at the pearls of wisdom that have cascaded upon us. The Minister for Trade and Deputy Prime Minister **(Mr. McEwen)** went abroad. He came back in a veritable fury because he thought that something would happen to Australian primary production. Every gum tree shook with the breeze; every possum went out on the widest limb. We were told that our hope and our future was in primary production. We thought that he made something of a case as to what we had to do, the markets we had to find and the amount of money our exports had to earn to restore our overseas balances. But I found in his statements very little faith in the future of Australia. The Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** took an entirely different view. He has an Oedipus complex. If I may take an analogy from the Greeks, he wants to climb back into the womb of Europe. He wants to struggle with the Mother Country so that he may stay at home. Tha elder son has not the guts to go out and fight for himself. His case was that he wanted to stay with the people to whom he belonged. He has a European mind. He has a belief in Europe and an adoration for the old country. Although we on this side of the House pay the greatest tribute to the old country, that is not the thinking of 1962. On one side, we have the Australian Country Party moaning and groaning, and crying about the loss of their exports. Of course, there are alternative markets for our goods, but members of the Australian Country Party will not look for them. The Prime Minister, on his side, says, in effect, " You have robbed the Empire ". Surely we have grown up. How long have we been a nation? How long have we been trying to develop our own country? We are on the perimeter of Asia and we must accept the fact that we belong rather to the Southern than the Northern Hemisphere. Its failure to. recognize this makes the Liberal Party woefully inadequate. I do not want to talk about the statistics of this problem. I rather would like to talk about the philosophy of the matter. We have the Prime Minister, who feels that we must get back to Europe. We find that the leader of the Australian Country Party is concerned, as the Australian Country Party always is, only with retaining markets at all costs. Then we have other people of various types who make certain contributions. The Prime Minister says: " We are British to the boots. We are loyal to the Empire. We will stick to England whatever the cost". But the British say: " For God's sake grow up. You are 180 years old. For goodness' sake, remember that you are a dominion and that you ought to have reached adulthood. Have a look at the possibilities in your own hemisphere and within your own perimeter. The members of the Australian Country Party come into the picture purely on the trading basis. In a changing world, they claim that they should retain the markets that have been traditionally theirs. The perplexity of Britain arises from trying to decide what to do in such a situation. I always think with gratitude of the British people. They produced the Labour socialism of which I am an adherent. I must talk of my own generation - of the works of Sidney Webb, of Bernard Shaw, of H. G. Wells and of G. D. H. Cole. This wonderful tradition of left-wing socialism belongs exclusively to the British people, not to the European people. The British people gave sanctuary to Marx when he wrote his treatise on socialism. These are the people who are in perplexity to-day; but we are not in any great perplexity when we contemplate our future. The claim is made that £160,000,000 worth of our markets are in hazard. Then, when we talk to the economists - when we have a yarn with the men of figures - we find that this is not so. We are told that between £70,000,000 and £90,000,000 worth of our exports are at risk. I say to honorable members opposite, as fellow Australians, because this is a non-political debate, that if they cannot push themselves along and find markets that will provide us with outlets for additional exports worth £70,000,000 in ten years, they have no faith in Australia. This is not a great problem for us. The Common Market is not a problem for the Australian people. We have 3,000,000 square miles of territory and 10,000,000 people. We have a progressive and almost an aggressive economy. We are going places. If we would get rid of our laziness and look for markets, instead of being obsessed forever with the European scene, we would not suffer at all. The British people have told us a thousand times that we must live in our own hemisphere and work within our own perimeter. What would they think of a trader, following a Drake, a Hawkins or a Frobisher, who wanted to sell goods to Antarctica when markets were available in Europe and America? We must look to our eastern markets and the resurgent people of the East who, provided we can do something for them, will develop markets for us. We will be able to make profits from their markets and live in friendship with them. The saddest feature of all in this debate, which is non-political, is the complete destruction of the Liberal Party. We did not attack members of the Liberal Party for what they had said; but, as usual, when left alone they fall on their faces. The Prime Minister has some idea that he must be more British than the British themselves. He talks about being British to the boot straps. But we have 1,500,000 migrants who are not British at all. We must be realistic. We on this side of the House are not unpatriotic, but surely we must be realistic when dealing with this subject. The Minister for Trade and Deputy Prime Minister, as I said before, shook the gum trees and every possum was affrighted. The possums ran to the topmost points of the tallest gum trees and all the men in " Possum Paddock " were terrified of the prospects. They thought they were losing their trade. But what have they ever done to develop trade? They were vociferous about China. They were hostile towards eastern markets until those markets became a good cop. Immediately members of the Australian Country Party found they could sell wheat to Red China and could develop eastern markets, they became as silent as the grave. I never have any time for the Australian Country Party, because it is a party of the cop. It is always concerned with what it can get. I have a respect for the Liberal Party. It is a tory party, and as such I am antagonistic towards it, but it does represent a principle. The Australian Country Party looks only for trade. When it sees a possibility of selling its goods, it suddenly drops all its hostility to red China. It has no hesitation about selling wheat to red China. This gives point to the claim that if we are to exist, we must exist in our own hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere. The British have pointed this out to us before. What an embarrassment it must be for **Mr. Heath** and **Mr. Macmillan** to realize that we are talking in an academic sense about the Common Market. The British people will eventually make up their own minds about what they will do, and good luck to them. We have not the right in any way to tell them what they should do. I think that the bulk of opinion on both sides of the House is this: If joining the Common Market is good for Britain, it should on all counts do so. But we do say, with some understanding, as Kipling said - >What should they know of England who only England know? Over this last century, there has developed in the dominions a feeling that perhaps is more English-minded than the English themselves. Driven by the exigencies of trade development, the future of the country and the preservation of upwards of 50,000,000 people, Britain must think in terms of her economy. She must think in terms of the rights, privileges and welfare of England - that tight little isle off the coast of Europe which for 400 years has held the balance of power. As I said earlier, one thinks in terms of his own generation. I think it is a bad thing to get caught up with the Germans and the French in an economic set-up in Europe - a set-up that is so blatantly narrow. Nobody will believe that the French and the Germans love the English. When one thinks of Britain one thinks of her innate sense of democracy. This is the country that welcomed Karl Marx when he was forced to leave Europe. Britain allowed him to enter and write his treatise on socialism. This is the country which for years has been the refuge and the strength of all those people who have escaped from Europe. When I think of Britain I think not in terms of trade but rather in terms of general history. Whenever the British have made treaties with European powers, fear of Britain by those powers has ultimately forced her out of Europe. If Britain could hold fast for a few years she would find that her best interests are served by keeping out of Europe. The British people belong to the world. They belong to Britain's colonies and dominions. Those colonies and dominions have something to sell to Britain but Europe has nothing to sell to her. Australia has sufficient primary industries. We do not have subsidized primary production. The European growing wheat is a joke. The European raising cattle is a joke. The European making himself self-contained in a world which the United Nations and everybody else are trying to make one world has a narrow and miserable concept of the future. If we are to preserve peace and to live in amity and understanding with each other we cannot have a conglomeration of countries. If you refer to the 19th century, with things like the Hanseatic Leagues and those people who tried time and again to make Europe self-contained, you will find that they failed because Europe is a manufacturing area. Europe's agricultural policies are a joke. French wheat is heavily subsidized. German wheat is heavily subsidized. Italian wheat is heavily subsidized. The Germans, French and Italians are not efficient primary producers as are the Australians. On 1st September next the British Trade Union Congress will make a decision on this matter. I daresay that it will turn thumbs down on this proposition and it may be that if he insists on going into Europe Macmillan will find himself in the same category as Chamberlain. Remember the little European! Remember the little Englander! England belongs to the world because she is a great democracy and has had a great human understanding for many hundreds of years. If England goes into Europe - into this conglomeration of France, Germany and other countries, with their narrow European outlooks - what will happen? On the one hand you have what are loosely termed the Russian satellite countries. They are not a combination forming a great European bloc. Those countries are a great protective bloc - something along the lines of an economic Nato. That state of affairs is too narrow and restrictive in to-day's world. I prefer the outlook of U Thant, the Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations, who said: " Let us look at the world! Let us look at the starving peoples of the world! Let us look at our world! ". The people of Western Europe to-day enjoy many amenities, but at the same time two-thirds of the world's population still goes to sleep hungry each night. Two-thirds of the world's population is full of misery. Two-thirds of the world's population works one day for one loaf of bread. How in the name of justice can you support a scheme that will restrict Asia and form that little European empire into an economic bloc excluding the rest of the world? Such a scheme is bound to founder, because those things no longer can work. The United Nations is offering a solution in what is called the decade of development. We do not want men to make exorbitant profits. The Germans, the Italians and the French want an economic union so that they may squeeze everything out of the world. They want to impose tariffs on the efficient Australian primary producer. They want to impose tariffs on anything that enters Europe. They want to live the life of Riley because in their view they represent a great manufacturing area. They are convinced that people must have their goods. But they reckon without the modern concept of one world. It is one world and if ancient colonial Europe restricts the Asian countries which it exploited for 400 years, it will be inevitably wrecked. What is the answer to Britain's entry into' the Common Market. As I see the position, the Common Market will collapse for two reasons. First, because it is undemocratic. There is not much British blood in me. Honorable members are aware that I am part-Irish and part-French. The only Scotch in me comes from a tumbler. But I cannot understand Britain going into Europe in this fashion. In doing so she would be taking an unconscionable risk. Churchill's great ancestor, Marlborough, and Pitt and others realized that if England is to live with Europe she must see that a balance of power is maintained in Europe. If Britain wants to continue to live as an entity in the world of 1962 she has to live with her dominions, her colonies, her prestige and her power. From where I stand I see the Common Market as a tragic error. The Common Market countries may ask what is the alternative. They may point to statistics and show that their profits increased by 14 per cent. - but that happened in China and Russia in the early years. Afterwards comes the hard task of maintaining standards. It would be completely against the democratic attitudes of the British to go into the Common Market. Remember what that great man Douglas Jay, M.P., said on this matter. He warned that the set-up of the Common Market was completely undemocratic. He warned that the bureaucratic and civil servants of Germany, Italy, Belgium and the other countries were not elected; they were appointed and they would have the right to do all manner of things in relation to the Common Market. The Common Market is a narrow trading arrangement in which there is no democracy. It is ruled by civil servants. Surely every Briton will recoil from that. It may be that Macmillan will be greater in infamy than was Chamberlain if he takes Britain into Europe in this way. As Kipling said - >What should they know of England who only England know? Outside England there is a great democracy comprising Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many smaller but potent countries, all of which are prepared to see England through this crisis. Why should England bind herself to narrow old Europe in this year of grace 1962, when the whole world is seeking a wider concept? That is the point. But let us look at the problem as it affects Australia. The Minister for Social Services **(Mr. Roberton)** is a primary producer, but he has revealed the weaknesses of the Country Party. He asked who would help him when he stands at the gate of his farm seeking to sell his produce. I suppose he has a bucket of milk from old Strawberry and a few pounds of peas that he has grown. That kind of farming finished years ago. Australia is a great and efficient primary-producing nation. We can seek, and find without any difficulty, markets for our products. The Leader of the Country Party has said, "We have £106,000,000 at risk ". As I said before, it is more like £70,000,000 at risk. {: #subdebate-27-0-s17 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-27-0-s18 .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr KILLEN:
Moreton **.- Mr. speaker,** I hope that nobody in the House will be either disappointed or upset if I speak with frankness. The House is a debating chamber, and the subject under discussion is a great issue which should be approached in a reasoned way and in a way which will not lend itself to the interpretation that any member of this House is trying to score a political advantage. It must be quite obvious to any outsider, or to any person who has sat in on this debate, that there are certain differences of opinion on both sides of the House about Britain's entry into the European Common Market. This is precisely the circumstance in the United Kingdom. There the Conservative Party is literally ripped to pieces. The Labour Party officially is sitting on the fence although it has for its next conference some 52 resolutions dealing with the European Common Market. Of these, 46 resolutions are uncompromisingly opposed to the United Kingdom going into the Common Market. Five of the resolutions are heavily qualified and one is for the move. The Liberal Party in the United Kingdom officially is in favour of going into the Common Market, but there again, many of its members are completely opposed to such a move and repudiate quite plainly the general concept of the European Economic Community. Without being offensive to any honorable members who have taken part in this debate, I recognize and concede that they have read the Treaty of Rome, the Euratom Treaty and the treaty setting up the European Coal and Steel Community. I make that recognition. Some people may be a little startled by it; but I imagine it would be acceptable to this House because it puts one in the position of being able to discuss with people who have bothered themselves to discipline their minds, what the three treaties hold within them. But I am bound to say that I am disturbed - and mightily disturbed - at the reluctance - one could say the wicked, wilful reluctance - of some people to give to the language of the treaties its ordinary everday meaning. I do not believe that anyone is at liberty to look at one of these treaties and say of its language, " This does not mean what it says". It surprises me to find that that characteristic has largely been displayed by those upon whom rest academic laurels. I want to say to those people, not in any offensive way but in a frank way, that if their stubbornness to concede and recognize facts - for example to recognize that a triangle contains 180 degrees - had been in previous years of the quality it is to-day, they would still be heavily engaged in doing supplementary examinations and would have no laurels resting upon them. The first of the great myths on this issue that should be put at rest is the inevitability of the United Kingdom going into the European Economic Community. I believe that some lines of G. K. Chesterton seem to put the circumstances very well - >Smile at us, pay us, pass us > >But do not quite forget > >For we are the people of England > >Who never have spoken yet. I believe that when the people of England do speak, they will consign to oblivion any government that takes them into the Common Market. Any person who fails to recognize that fact is hopelessly out of touch with reality. When the matter of the inevitability of the United Kingdom's joining the Common Market is raised, you are confronted with the argument: What alternative is there for the United Kingdom? I was always under the impression that if you regarded your economic circumstances as impelling you towards a particular form of behaviour, that was economic determinism, and it surprises me - indeed it dismays me - to find some people being motivated by economic determinism when economic determinism is at the very heart and soul of Marxist philosophy. It is also impossible to get from anyone in the United Kingdom any list of the advantages or any list of the disadvantages of going into the European Common Market. I would have thought that, when the future of 50,000,000 people iri the United Kingdom was at stake and when the future of the Commonwealth could well be regarded as being at stake, someone would heed the discipline and say what are the pluses and minuses. It is impossible to get such a list. However, the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, **Mr. Reginald** Maudling, in an address to the Primrose League in May this year, referred to the matter of inevitability. I earnestly commend the speech to every member of this Parliament and to every person who believes the United Kingdom's entry into the Common Market can be regarded as a foregone conclusion. He said - >Although the case for going into Europe is immensely strong, it is not absolutely essential. He went on - >Some people I think exaggerate . . . Some people suggest that by staying outside Europe we will starve. And he concluded - >That, of course, is nonsense. Then, **Sir, we** are bound to consider, on the count of inevitability, the fact that between 1950 and 1960 the United Kingdom's exports to the Commonwealth of Nations went up by £440,000,000 and her exports to The Six went up by £285,000,000. Frankly, I do not understand the form of thinking that suggests that £440,000,000 is a figure that should be despised while £285,000,000 - the increase of trade to The Six - should be regarded as being the open door and the persuader to enter the European Economic Community. I move now to the politics of this scheme which is at the heart of it and should be recognized - trade economics. That is the trivia of it. I hope by now that it is well understood that this is not merely a case of entering one community - the European Economic Community. It is a case of entering three communities - the Euratom Agreement, the European Coal and Steel Community, the so-called parliament which I regard as a caricature of parliament. The convention signed at the same time as the Treaty of Rome brings together the Euratom Community, the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community by providing for these three communities a common so-called parliament, a common court of justice and a common economic and social committee. Looking at these institutions and the three treaties we find, mutatis mutandis, that they are in substantially similar terms throughout, and so I will direct my remarks to the European Economic Community. These three communities represent a thoroughgoing piece of totalitarianism and that should be stated in the plainest possible terms. What is the power of the parliament? What power? Article 144 of the European Economic Community agreement gives to the parliament one power and one power alone. If two-thirds of its members resolve to sanction a commission, the commission must resign as a body. That is the sole power that the European parliament has. To illustrate the pitiful plight of intellectual dishonesty and confusion to which the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom is now reduced, I mention that it brought out a pamphlet which, at page 2, dealing with sovereignty in the European Economic Community said - >Democratic control is exercised through a parliament. And at page 3 - >The parliament has no power to legislate. I put it to the House and to the country: What sort of a mind is it that can write a pamphlet of that description and let such a startling conflict of ideas remain in it? I am told that if the United Kingdom goes into the European Economic Community, she will be able to lead it. Quite apart from the utter arrogance that that proposition represents, it reveals an abysmal ignorance of the way in which the Community functions, because no member country has any power whatsoever. Article 157 of the Treaty of Rome states in most explicit language that the commission, in carrying out its function, shall not take any notice of any one, of any government or of any member country. The Council of Ministers cannot act on any substantive problem or any substantive matter unless there is a proposal from the commission. The commission is not elected; it is appointed. I put to you, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** and to the House that if a Minister came here, be he from the Labour side of politics or from the Government side, with a resolution in his hand proposing to the House that the powers of this Parliament should be handed over to nine people - not elected, not under any control other than by subjecting themselves to a two-thirds vote of the House - and the House was then asked to give its reply to such a proposal, it would give an angry, a defiant and a derisive " No ". I invite any person in this House to go to the country and to say in plain terms, " I believe that parliamentary government is finished ". I ask any honorary member who supports that view to please put up his hand so that I will know where he stands on this issue. What has been advocated and supported time and time again in this House, in many newspapers in this country and in newspapers in other countries of the world, is the complete demolition of parliamentary government. The European Economic Community agreement makes that quite plain. The council cannot act unless a proposal comes to it from the commission. Similarly with the European Coal and Steel Community. The Council of Ministers cannot act unless a proposal comes to it from the high authority of the Coal and Steel Community. Then there is the Court of Justice. I believe it is legitimate to ask: Why should we be concerned? Is this not primarily a decision for the United Kingdom? I respect that argument, but I disagree with it because I believe the United Kingdom is still the centre of the British Commonwealth. Whatever imperfections the Commonwealth of Nations may have, at least it is far more successful as an arrangement of countries trying to get some peace, sanity and stability into this world than is any other body. It would be a singular stroke of vandalism if the country which is the mother of parliaments surrendered her sovereignty - no, I go further - destroyed her sovereignty and handed over nine people with a totalitarian concept all her great powers. The Court of Justice in Europe, as has been shown by its judgments, is no academic matter. The West Germany Government wanted to subsidize railways near the Soviet zone for political purposes, to show the Soviet people that the West German Government was not collapsing. The high authority of the European Coal and Steel Community cited the West German Government before the Court of Justice, and the argument of the West German Government was declared to be irrelevant. Similarly with the Belgian Government, which was subsidizing coal mines to provide employment. The high authority of the Coal and Steel Community sent a letter - not a public document - to the Belgian Government directing it to withdraw the subsidy. The Belgian Government withdrew the subsidy, and some of the industries which were badly affected challenged the right of the high authority to so direct the Belgian Government. The Court of Justice upheld, first, that the private letter to the Belgian Government was in fact a decision, and secondly, that the decision was enforceable. These are the massive considerations which must confront every person who wants earnestly and honestly to come to some settled conclusion on this matter. Do not think for one moment that I get any pleasure out of disagreeing with people in this place who have sat beside and around me for years. It gives me no pleasure to find myself in violent conflict with my honorable and very gallant friend, the honorable member for Chisholm **(Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes),** who regards the European Economic Community as a defence against communism. I say to my honorable friend that I believe he is incredibly wrong. It gives me no pleasure to say to him and to every other person who may share his view, " You will never defeat tyranny by surrendering those principles on which your independence stand's". If you believe that by surrendering those principles to an authority over which you have no control you take one risk, I believe that you are in error. I believe that you take two risks. Not only do you risk your own principles but you risk also setting an example which may lead future generations to believe that the state of free men was won with ease and that there is no demand for any exertion on their part. I believe that the peace of this world either will be won by all the world or will be lost by all the world. Far from being a bulwark against communism, I believe that the European Economic Community will promote communism. Consider the tariffs that it is proposing. The Six to-day are 108 per cent, self-sufficient in sugar and they are proposing to put a tariff of 80 per cent, on that commodity. The Six to-day are 101 per cent, self-sufficient in dairy products and they are proposing to put a tariff of 24 per cent, on them. Where will the under-developed countries go, not only economically and materially but also spiritually? Many of them will go to the wall. If they do not have access to markets for their goods, the present plight of their peoples will be entrenched and exacerbated time and time again. You hear people say that because **Mr. Khrushchev** is opposed to the European Economic Community, it must be good. That is a false argument. I liken it to the Greeks bearing gifts. Unless the people are prepared to realize that the Communist theorists constantly oppose things merely for the sake of creating confusion and bewildering people, it is completely hopeless trying to deal with the circumstances and with the problems. We have been asked what alternatives exist to Britain's entry. This is very much like saying to a man who proposes to shoot himself, " Instead of taking a gun why do you not take a razor and cut your throat?" I do not believe that there is a need for an alternative. Rather the positive case should be put. That may seem to be an Irishman's way of stating it, and possibly it is, but it is rather strange that eighteen months ago Ministers in the United Kingdom who today are pressing for entry into the Common Market were pointing out all the political and economic dangers of entry and were clamouring for the United Kingdom to stay out. The alternative I propose is a revitalizing and rebuilding of the Commonwealth. It strikes me as utter nonsense and humbug to think that six foreign countries can establish a balance-of-payments union and that the Commonwealth cannot. I believe that there is scope and a need for a Commonwealth development bank. I believe that this great crisis of our time will act, in a fortuitous sense, as a catalyst and will bring the Commonwealth to a realization that it must return to the time and the circumstance when it worked as one and when there was a common will and a common purpose. We will not win peace for the world by harbouring the Messianic mood that blows out of Moscow. Neither will peace be won by the possibly well-meaning contentions that flow out of Washington. If people believe that there is no resentment in the United Kingdom at American influence trying to push it into the Community, they have misunderstood the mind and the temper of the British people. My quarrel is not against people but against causes and philosophies. In my judgment the whole of this philosophy is thoroughly rotten. {: #subdebate-27-0-s19 .speaker-KGP} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon W C Haworth: -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-27-0-s20 .speaker-KQY} ##### Mr SEXTON:
Adelaide .- The honorable member for Moreton **(Mr. Killen),** using dramatic eloquence, has tonight set himself up as spokesman for the British people. To what extent he is qualified to speak for them, I do not claim to know. I prefer to speak in terms of what we in Australia must do, in our small sphere, in a changing world and in changing circumstances. The Common Market negotiations have now reached a somewhat decisive stage. The United Kingdom has applied for membership, and there is every prospect of her application being accepted. The discussions now proceeding in respect of the United Kingdom's obligations within the British Commonwealth are being conducted by not only the British Parliament and the British people but also by member nations of the British Commonwealth. But I believe that the forces which drive the British Government on are so powerful that some formula will be found to pave the way for Great Britain's eventual entry into the European bloc. It has been pointed out in this debate that the concept of closer European cooperation is not new. It has been discussed for many years, but the idea received real impetus after World War II. Great Britain's earlier fears and jealousies largely disappeared after the realignment of nations and the economic and political consequences of the Second World War. **Sir Winston** Churchill in 1946 made a powerful plea at a conference in Zurich for closer European co-operation. The following years, until 1951, produced many organized attempts to bring about European unity, and the matter was even listed for discussion at a conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers in 1951. The main problem was to reconcile Great Britain's trade and economic obligations to the Commonwealth nations with the obligations that she must accept if she joined the European Economic Community. While the United Kingdom continued to grapple with the problem our own Australian Government did nothing about it. The amazing claim by Minister of this Government that they knew nothing of Great Britain's intentions until 1961 merely shows their lack of vision, lack of planning and acceptance of the principle of government by improvisation and expediency. For the Australian people, ten valuable years were lost in which to prepare this country for the inevitable changes that must take place if and when Britain becomes a member of the Common Market. Even if we excuse the Government's apathy of earlier years we could have expected it to take a more lively interest since the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, when the European Common Market was established. In the various councils and diplomatic circles it should have been plain that this treaty was only the beginning of a federated Europe, and that other countries in the area, including the United Kingdom, would eventually want to join the Community. Recent conferences held in London and Brussels have accepted a proposition that Western European countries must remove many of the impediments that prevent freer interchange of goods and are a barrier to the achievement of a rising standard of living for the millions of inhabitants of those countries. At the same time it has been accepted that the Western European countries must make themselves strong enough to resist aggression. It is against this background that the United Kingdom's problems are now approached. A profound statement by the British Minister, **Mr. Heath,** acting! as spokesman for the Government, gives a clear indication of the policy of the United Kingdom Government. He recently said - >We desire to become full, whole-hearted and active members of the European Community in its widest sense, and to go forward with you in the building of a new Europe. Europe must unite or perish. We are convinced that our destiny is intimately linked with yours. That statement clearly shows Great Britain's concern for the future security of both Western Europe and the United Kingdom. I think it also shows that these free countries are conscious of a possible threat from the eastern European countries now under the domination of Soviet Russia. We must accept that the countries concerned are best qualified to judge whether these fears are well-founded or not. We must also consider the political implications of Great Britain's projected entry into the Common Market. Many people believe that the move is more political than economic. It may be extremely important politically for some countries, but the importance to Australia is essentially economic. If Britain does decide to join there are many who will claim to be able to predict future events, but I feel that Australia must adopt a realistic attitude. We do not achieve anything by loud protests and by voicing dire forebodings. The honorable member for Werriwa, Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Whitlam),** pointed out a weakness in Australia's conduct of its case when, replying to an interjection by the Minister for Trade **(Mr. McEwen)** on 9th August in this House, he said - >I would have argued better than you did. You have postured and protested well enough; you have not progressed well enough. The Minister for Trade cannot resist the opportunity to blame Britain's application to join the Common Market for the deterioration and deficiencies in our trade pattern that have developed during his term of office. We have failed to increase the proportion of our exports of manufactures. We still depend on foreign trade services. We have not diversified our markets for our existing products and we have not found the markets for those products that can be produced in our under-developed areas. This accusing statement silenced the Minister, who wisely refrained from interjecting further. A sober assessment of the position shows that Australia will lose some of her advantageous trading arrangements that now provide suitable outlets for our primary products. This means that we must constantly seek new markets, particularly for those products likely to be most affected by Britain's entry into the Common Market. It is unreasonable to assume that our trade will be completely cut off. We should have limited access to the British market, to European markets and, more importantly, to the new Asian and South American markets. A vital requirement is that Australia must meet the challenge of excessive freight costs. A former First Assistant Secretary of the Department of Trade, **Mr. McClintock,** recently said in the " Australian Quarterly ":- >The simple facts are that it costs too much to deliver our products to Asian markets. Australian manufacturers face a herculean task if they are to be expected to manufacture at a price which will carry freights which are often 60 per cent, higher than the freights paid by their Japanese competitors. This home-truth, coming from a person with close knowledge of the difficulties of export producers, should be more widely publicised. What applies to manufactures applies with equal force to our primary products. We should expect Country Party members to be loud in protest against the burden of freight charges, but they remain silent. They fail to publicise the fact that the transportation of goods to and from Australia is in foreign hands. Australia is unique in being the only trading country in the world that tolerates such a situation. Foreign shipping companies play a large part in determining the extent and direction of our export trade. We are tied to the markets they service. Our marketing boards frequently tell the Parliament of the handicaps under which our exporters labour because of shipping freight charges, but the Government does nothing to solve this basic export problem. Only last night the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** gave examples of exorbitant charges imposed by the Adelaide Steamship Company Limited in respect of goods shipped by soldier settlers of Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Incidentally, that company is owned and directed by prominent members of the Liberal Party of Australia The figures cited show just what a burden primary producers have to carry without any representations being made on their behalf by the members who represent them in this Parliament. It is tragic that Government supporters will not lift a finger to solve this great problem. If the Government and its followers had the interests of Australia at heart, they would long before now have established a government shipping line to carry Australia's exports and keep them free from exploitation by the private shipping combines and monopolies. Our nation must await a Labour government to rescue it from the grip of the shipping octopus. Another aspect of the proposal for Britain's entry to the European Economic Community that is causing concern is the likelihood that the British Commonwealth of Nations, which is now a major force and influence in world affairs, will be severely weakened. Anything that will weaken the Commonwealth of Nations must be viewed seriously, of course, but I am not convinced that we are qualified to pass firm or sound judgment on this point. The political implications of the move are far-reaching, but I say that we must have confidence in the ability of the United Kingdom Government and the British people to play their part and accept their responsibilities in relation to this issue. We can play our part and make a major con tribution to our future security by trying to uplift the under-privileged countries, the potential markets of which are now denied to us. In better circumstances, those countries could be extremely valuable as outlets for our trade and as friendly trading nations. This is the direction in which Australia must bend its best endeavours. The present Government, of course, does precious little about the matter. Admittedly, it sends abroad small trade missions, which achieve some results. But, if we are to successfully face up to the inevitability of Britain's joining the European Common Market, we must do much more than is now being done. We can feel grateful, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** for the fact that Labour leaders have been allowed to go overseas to ascertain the situation for themselves and obtain a balanced view of it. I am sure that the House was gratified to hear the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, who is acting as Leader of the Opposition, explain the situation and give us the assessment of developments and of the effects on Australia that he has made as a result of his visit to Europe and the United Kingdom. The view that he presented was certainly a much more sober one than we had been used to seeing expressed in press releases made by the Minister for Trade and other Ministers or responsible officials who have been overseas. I remember quite clearly that when the Minister for Trade was overseas we saw a series of repetitive press releases. After his visit to each of the countries to which he went, we saw a press release stating that he felt confident that the country concerned better understood Australia's position than it had done before his visit. What does that mean in substance? It means absolutely nothing. It is simply an attempt at justification to cover the Minister's failure to obtain any substantial concessions from the various countries that he visited. As the Deputy Leader of the Opposition said, the Minister protested very successfully, but he did not progress at all. I have stated the situation in which Australia finds itself to-day. I hope, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** that our Government will face up to its responsibilities, play down its own political interests, shall we say, and look at the matter from a purely Australian viewpoint. I am satisfied, on the evidence of the press releases that have been made up to date, that this has not been done. I hope that when leading members of the Opposition return from overseas, this Parliament and Australia generally will be given a much more balanced view of the United Kingdom's proposal to enter the European Common Market. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Howson)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 959 {:#debate-28} ### ADJOURNMENT {:#subdebate-28-0} #### Advertising - Shipping - Commonwealth Properties - Communism - Social Services - Canberra and Australian Capital Territory Motion (by **Mr. Cramer)** proposed - >That the House do now adjourn. {: #subdebate-28-0-s0 .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
Monaro · EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** I want to direct the attention of the Government and the House to grossly misleading advertising by some firms which specialize in selling television sets and other electrical appliances, the effect of which is so to hoax simple and decent and honest people so that, upon being inveigled into the shop, instead of receiving the discount for which they have been persuaded to go into the shop, they find themselves, under highpressure salesmanship, signing contracts which require them to pay three times the advertised price for the goods. The firm that I name is Goodwins Limited. I noticed in the newspapers the other day that its profit last financial year increased by 98 per cent. In my belief, this increased profit has been attained by methods so dishonest as to require the attention of the Government, and particularly of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board insofar as it has any control over the advertising given over commercial radio stations. This firm, I believe, exists in several States. The advertising that it constantly uses states - 30% off the set of your choice with five years to pay. I shall give two examples of what actually happens if a person answers that advertisement. In the first case, the inquirer wished to buy a set costing £240. He said, " One- third off that is £80; so I will pay you £160". The answer by Goodwins' salesman was that the offer was not available for cash and that the inquirer must accept terms. The customer then said: "Well, £80 off £240 leaves £160. With five years to pay, I shall have to pay you, apparently £32 a year, or about £2 8s. a month. " The salesman replied that it was not a bit like that and that what the customer would have to pay was the full list price of £240, plus three years' maintenance at eighteen guineas a year, plus eight guineas for insurance, making a total of £302, with interest on £302 for five years at the flat rate of 10 per cent. With the whole cost of maintenance over the years and the insurance tacked on, in addition to the cash price, and all of it made subject to interest at the flat rate of 10 per cent., the result was that in that case, the customer, instead of receiving his set for £160, was required to pay £452, payable at the rate of £7 10s. a month over five years. He asked the firm how he could obtain the discount of one-third which it had advertised and was told he could obtain it by signing a separate contract. That separate contract provided that if he agreed to pay the full list price with no discount, as well as £18 18s. for maintenance, which is far higher than the normal charge of any firm, and a high amount of insurance, plus a 10 per cent, flat rate of interest and maintained every payment exactly on the due date for three and a half years without slipping once he would receive a rebate of the balance that he would otherwise be required to pay. So even if he gained every alleged benefit that Goodwins offered him he would still have to pay a total of £315 for a £240 set, instead of receiving the 33 1/3rd per cent, discount which had been offered. And the amount which he would finally pay would still be more than is charged by any ordinary reputable retailer who charges the full list price and a reasonable charge for terms, and who only charges interest on the actual amount of maintenance money due at that time. The second case is even worse. I have here the actual contract entered into by this customer who was deluded into going into Goodwins' shop by the offer of one third discount on list price and was then subjected to this high-pressure salesmanship. He did not realize at first that he was being robbed in this way because, in his simplicity and honesty, he believed the firm would not be allowed to advertise such an offer if it were not true, but of course it was utterly false. He went in to get a discount of one-third off a set costing £229 19s. and instead this is what he was required to sign for: A cash price of £229 19s., maintenance at £56 14s. and insurance at £11, giving a total of £297 13s. To that was added a 10 per cent, interest flat minimum charge on the whole of the balance although some of it would not become due for years afterwards. So there was a total cash price of £297 13s. and terms charges of £148 7s., with a total payable under the agreement of £446 for a set the retail price of which is £229 19s. This was the contract under the terms of an offer which he thought meant he would receive a reduction of onethird in the price if he went to that shop. {: .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin: -- What is the name of that firm? {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- It is Goodwins. The second contract, in this case, provided that this man would receive a discount of £150 if he paid every single payment as it became due, on the due date, for three and a half years. As the result of this he would still be paying just on £300 for a set the list price of which is £229, instead of receiving the one-third reduction offered. I would point out that one-third of £229 would be about £70 and this man should have got the set, under the terms of Goodwins' offer, for about the sum of £160. Instead of that, if he failed to pay even one instalment exactly on the due date he would have to pay a total of £446 and the least he could hope for was to escape the total payment a pound or two short of £300. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: -- Shylocks! {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- As the member for Grayndler has interjected, these people are in the role of Shylocks. What concerns me greatly is that they should be allowed to advertise in this way over commercial radio stations in Australia. I do not blame the commercial radio stations. It is not possible for them to check on the exact terms of every advertisement they are offered. When an advertisement like this has been allowed on other stations in other States it is quite normal for a radio station to accept it in the belief that the people advertising are reputable and honest dealers. The most shocking feature of it all is that people believe that broadcasting is under the control of the Government and that firms would not be allowed to have broadcast an advertisement of this kind unless it were true. Therefore, in their simplicity and honesty, people go into these shops and only wake up days later to find how grossly they have been robbed and fleeced. I bring this matter to the attention of the Government and hope appropriate action will be taken. {: #subdebate-28-0-s1 .speaker-JZG} ##### Mr COCKLE:
Warringah .- Last night, **Mr. Speaker,** we listened to a tearjerking story from the honorable member for Petrie **(Mr. O'Brien)** about a Greek vessel called " Aristides ", registered in Liberia, which is in Brisbane to load 4,500 tons of flour for Ceylon. It has been found to be in such a condition that it requires certain repair work to its hatches and gear, as well as fumigation of the holds because of the conditions below decks. Apparently, the vessel is not in a fit condition to take the flour at present. There is nothing unusual about that. Ships often come to Australia from other parts of the world in such a bad condition that they require fumigation, repairs to gear and so on. We pride ourselves that we have a very good Navigation Branch which ensures that a ship's gear is in good order and does not constitute a danger to the men. {: .speaker-JZP} ##### Mr Fulton: -- Is this a Liberty ship? {: .speaker-JZG} ##### Mr COCKLE: -- It does not matter whether it is a Liberty ship or not. Our Navigation Branch sets the standards required, and sets them very high. We also have a very good Department of Health, which ensures by inspection, and if necessary by ordering fumigation, that the conditions under which the waterside workers and the seamen work are good. I know that the honorable member for Petrie takes a keen and lively interest in the affairs of the waterside workers, but I am not sure that he is an authority on world trade, particularly in relation to the work performed by seamen. The honorable member tried to cloud the issue by giving misleading information. He said that this 4,500 tons of flour for Ceylon was gift flour. I find that it is not gift flour but is a purchase by the Government of Ceylon. {: .speaker-KXZ} ##### Mr Peters: -- That does not make any difference. {: .speaker-JZG} ##### Mr COCKLE: -- It makes a big difference. Honorable members opposite scream about the need for the Australian Government to send its own ships overseas, at the expense of the primary producers apparently. The situation is simple. When the Australian Wheat Board sells flour, it is for the purchaser to decide how he will have the flour transported from Australia to the port of destination. That decision is entirely in his hands. He goes to the Baltic Exchange and farms around for the cheapest transport. After all, if he cannot find cheap transport there is a good chance that the Australian primary producer will lose the sale of his flour. It is therefore in our interests that the purchaser should obtain cheap transport. All around the world to-day there are millions of tons of shipping laid up because there is no work for the ships. Consequently it stands to reason that there are Liberty ships and other ships available to lift flour. This is the type of ship - a Liberty ship - which has been enlisted into this trade. The reason why this Liberty ship has been procured to carry this flour is that the freight charge is much lower than it would have been if an Australian vessel manned by an Australian crew were put into the trade. This is a sad commentary on the shipping industry, both in its private and public sectors. This creeping paralysis which has overcome the industry is purely the result of the tactics of the Communists in the Seamen's Union of Australia over the years. There are many illustrations of this fact in the actions of the Communist hierarchy of Elliott and his colleagues who have placed all sorts of bans on the working of vessels. From time to time, this has made it impracticable even to move ships, let alone run them economically. That is the situation which has developed over the years. During the last two years the number of stoppages and strikes by the seamen has been reduced considerably; but there is a very good reason for that. Because these unions have made it so difficult to operate ships economically in Australia there has been a reduction of ships on the Australian coast. Stewards are very concerned at their situation, since we have no passenger vessels now except, I think, the " Bulolo ". Consequently, there are no ships for stewards to man - and none for seamen either. So the Communist hierarchy of the seamen's union now has more difficulty in calling men out on strike. {: .speaker-JZP} ##### Mr Fulton: -- What has this to do with the ship that you are talking about? {: .speaker-JZG} ##### Mr COCKLE: -- I am illustrating the conditions under which this vessel was procured overseas to carry flour because it would be too expensive to bring an Australian ship manned by an Australian crew into the trade. What action have Labour members taken to ensure that Australian ships have not been held up? None whatsoever. They have sat here, revelling in the fact that the poor old shipowners' vessels could not sail. They have not been a scrap concerned that, on a Friday night, an interstate vessel has been held up with 160 passengers ready to go on their three weeks' annual holiday. They have revelled in the fact that Communists have instigated a situation in which a vessel could not sail. It has been said on the other side of the chamber that I was secretary and chief industrial advocate for the shipowners. I agree that I was. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- You are still advocating for them. {: .speaker-JZG} ##### Mr COCKLE: -- I am not. I am very proud of the fact that I was the secretary and industrial advocate for the shipowners, because I have been actively fighting communism over the years while honorable gentlemen opposite have condoned everything that the Communists have done without raising their voices to ensure that the seamen's union, which is registered under the conciliation and arbitration legislation, would take its grievances to arbitration. Yesterday, when I was speaking, the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** said that he believed in strikes. All Opposition members believe in strikes, apparently. None of them believe in constitutional control. Consequently, they have forsaken all right to be members of a parliament which believes in constitutional authority. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The shipowners do not believe in constitutional authority. {: .speaker-JZG} ##### Mr COCKLE: -- They certainly do. When there is an industrial grievance on which agreement cannot be reached there is an opportunity for the person who believes he is aggrieved to have the matter settled by an arbitration tribunal. Opposition members have agreed, in the past, that that procedure should be adopted, but do they counsel trade unions such as the Waterside Workers Federation of Australia or the Seamen's Union of Australia to do that sort of thing? Of course not! They sit glumly over there and do not make any effort to ensure that constitutional authority is exercised. {: #subdebate-28-0-s2 .speaker-KSC} ##### Mr SPEAKER (Hon Sir John McLeay: -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-28-0-s3 .speaker-JZP} ##### Mr FULTON:
Leichhardt .- I rise on this occasion because I have a problem which involves more than two important departments of the Government. It is the kind of problem which any member could have in his own area. I want to speak about the poor cousins of the Government - the local authorities. While I was connected with local authorities before coming into this House I had occasion to try to make a deal with the Government concerning two pieces of land, both owned by the Crown. A portion of one area was owned by the Department of the Army and a portion was occupied by the Postal Department. The other area was occupied by the Cairns Regional Electricity Board which is under the control of the Cairns City Council as trustees of the area. During that period, when the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Cramer)** was in Cairns, I took him to visit the sites and explained our problem. He was most courteous. The portion of the land which is occupied by the Army and the Postal Department is in the heart of the city of Cairns. It is holding up development in that area. The Minister informed me that the Army had plans for building there, but what would suit the army would not necessarily suit the development of the city. For instance, the army would not provide the space for awnings - a principle which we always try to preserve in tropical areas to protect the pedestrian traffic from the sun and the wet weather. I took the Minister around and tried to get him to agree to accepting the area then occupied by the Department of Immigration which is alongside the rifle range. He was not too happy about that, nor were his advisers. So I took him to the site that was occupied by the Regional Electricity Board and he was happy about the Army's taking that. Then we came down to details to try to have this area transferred from the Federal Government to the local authority through the State Government. Two parcels of Crown land were concerned. When the Army decided to take over this land it brought a valuer in. I suppose he came from the Department of the Interior. He valued the land. I think that he valued it wrongly. Possibly he based his valuation on the value of freehold land in the area. Consequently, the Cairns City Council will be forced to pay £32,000 for the ground that it wants. I think that the Minister will agree with me that this amount would be paid to the Department of the Army, which would have to construct a new building. I do not think that the council should have to pay as much as this for the land. However I think it will proceed with the transaction because the area is required for a civic centre. The council has to do something with the area because in the present circumstances it is holding up the progress of that part of the town. I think it should be developed in accordance with the rest of the area. The buildings at present occupied by the Army there are very old, as I think the Minister will agree. Although a lot of money has been spent on painting them they are still just wood and iron structures. The other buildings, occupied by the Postal Department, were bits of snacks, erected for war-time purposes, and they should have been demolished when the war finished. Unfortunately, they were retained. I had no objection to them earlier because there was a scarcity of building materials, but surely after all these years the local government authority should have some say about what is to be built in this area. This block is right in the heart of the city of Cairns and is delaying any further development there. My present quarrel is with the Government. I do not know which department is to blame - the Treasury, the Department of the Interior, the Department of the Army, or the Postmaster-General's Department. This situation does pose a problem for the city of Cairns. I do not think there should have been a valuation of that Crown land, although I agree that the buildings should have been valued. Also, I agree that there would be justification for a valuation of the buildings on other parts of the land if they would suit the Army for the time being. I am not suggesting that £32,000 was an excessive valuation, but as two pieces of land are Crown land and the other is under the control of the council as trustees there would be no right to sell and so there would be no point in having a valuation made. The part at present occupied by the Army is insufficient for its needs because at present it is holding parades on the grounds alongside the other piece it was offered, as the Minister knows very well. Probably the Minister for the Army has nothing to do with the valuation of the land, but I suggest that no matter who was responsible it should never have been valued as though it was freehold land. If the land to be exchanged was acceptable to both departments, there could have been an even swap without any need for a valuation. If there was a difference between the value of the respective pieces of land I agree that there could have been some adjustment made, but a valuation achieves nothing and is merely a burden on the ratepayers of Cairns who have to pay the Government £32,000. If the Department of the Army were to accept the land offered it would be helped rather than hindered as it is not far from the area at present occupied by the department. In addition, the city of Cairns is prepared to provide accommodation for the Postmaster-General's Department in modern premises. We are concerned to ensure that premises for the department should be built to the same standard as that enforced upon any private person seeking to build in that area. We are prepared to put in a concrete footpath, but we believe that any buildings erected should have awnings over the footpath to provide shade for pedestrians. There are shops available in a first-class area that would be quite suitable for accommodating the PostmasterGeneral's Department. Any building erected by private enterprise in that area must be built of brick or concrete, but the Department of the Army and the PostmasterGeneral's Department can build what they like on their own land. I ask the department concerned not to value the land on a freehold basis. Incidentally, the question arose of how best the land could be serviced. I think the land offered to the Army would be far better for its purpose than what it has. {: #subdebate-28-0-s4 .speaker-KKB} ##### Mr JESS:
La Trobe .- It is not my intention to enter the debate on behalf of the shipowners but, if I may in passing, I would like to make one reference to the comments my friend, the honorable member for Warringah **(Mr. Cockle),** made earlier. It does appear that the Labour Party is endeavouring at the moment to persuade the Australian people and the Government that we should again enter into the overseas shipping business. Although there is quite a lot of merit in the argument, I think that is something that the people and the Government should consider very carefully in view of past experience in regard to the Communist domination of the Seamen's Union of Australia and the continuous stoppages that all people of the country distinctly remember. Should we put the economy of Australia in the hands of persons who consider that it is their right to decide when they will sail the ships, where they will sail the ships, and what they will put on the ships? I believe this is something to which the Labour Party should give close attention, and I am sure that the people of Australia will do so. But that is not the purpose of my rising to-night. In the Library this afternoon I was reading a book, which has just recently come in, entitled " School for Spies " by Bernard Hutton, published in London by the Neville Spearman press. At page 61 in chapter 7 the book mentions the school for subversion in Russia. It says the function is to educate future operators in all fields of espionage in America, England, and other English-speaking countries. The chapter is entitled "Learning the 'English Way ' ". Further down that page this passage appears - >Apart from language tuition . . . pupils are, at the same time, continuously educated exactly on the same lines as school children and university students in America, the United Kingdom, Australia, &c. It was the words " Australia, &c. " that really interested me at that stage. But it was not until this evening that I received from the Attorney-General **(Sir Garfield Barwick)** the reply to my question, which I asked in the House on 14th August, and which I put on the notice-paper. That question related to the Communist school of subversion here in Australia. I feel that the House should know the contents of the answer, and indeed the whole country should look at what is allowed to be conducted in our country at the present time. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: -- We will see it in "Hansard" to-morrow. {: .speaker-KKB} ##### Mr JESS: -- I assume that honorable members opposite are not in favour of my remarks, and it is interesting how many are becoming excited. The honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns)** knows much more about this than other members. My first question directed to the AttorneyGeneral was - >Is he able to give any details regarding the background, finances and curriculum of the Communist school of subversion at Minto, New South Wales? My second question was - >Can he say how many students qualifying from the school have gone to Moscow or Peking for higher study? In an answer to both questions he replied - >The Government is in possession of a good deal of information regarding this school, but I do not think it desirable that I should take this opportunity to disclose everything that is known. Indeed, I think the honorable member had this possibility clearly in mind in asking his question in the form in which he did ask it. I go down a little further in his answer - >Towards the end of 1957, 13 acres of land, lot 6, Howard-road, Minto, which is between Liverpool and Campbelltown, were purchased for the purpose of establishing a residential training school which became known in Communist Party circles as the " Communist Party of Australia University ". The school is situated in a secluded spot and, in order to conceal the actual nature of the school, it is commonly referred to by members of the Communist Party in outside circles as the " Bush Lovers' Club ". The original application for a building permit was taken out in that name. The Communist Party of Australia imposes maximum security precautions at Minto. The primary purpose of the school is to provide a residential establishment where Communists from every State and Territory within the Commonwealth and from New Zealand undertake higher Communist Party training. The schools are held for periods varying from one to six weeks. The curriculum is illustrated by the subjects of courses held during 1961, namely - I think honorable members opposite, particularly the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** could be interested in this. The first subject is Philosophy, and I understand that certain people have had certain experiences in that. The second is Political Economy, and I understand that other people have a great interest in that. The third is The State; the fourth, Imperialism; and the fifth is Work Among Migrants. Why is the Communist school of subversion training in work among migrants? ls that a matter of interest to the honorable members on this and the other side of the chamber? Has this been the cause of the riots that we have had in the past, or is there any connexion between this school and what has been going on in migrant hostels? The sixth subject is Work Among Youth. Why is the school of subversion training its people to work among the youth of Australia? Has that anything to do with what is happening in South Australia and in New South Wales? The seventh subject is The Party. The students can study that as much as they like; I do not care. The last subject mentioned is Work Among Women, and we are all aware of that. The answer continues - >During the last decade, some 140 full-time functionaries of the Communist Party of Australia have been in the Soviet Union and/or in Communist China for periods ranging from three months to three years. A large percentage of these persons have received training at Minto. I think this House should look at this matter very closely. We are Australians. We have an Australian way of life. We are under pressure and are likely to be under pressure in the years to come. Yet we tolerate a school such as this in New South Wales, where people are being trained to subvert and to undermine this country and the people of this, country. *I* believe that the average Opposition member has some concern about this matter. My new young friend possibly has not been brought up to date on these matters. I think the decent members of the Australian Labour Party have concern for this. Those who have no concern, in my opinion, have no right to be in this House or in the Australian Labour Party. I think it is time the people of Australia decided that something should be done about schools such as this that are known to exist and are known to be working for the overthrow of Australia and the Australian way of life. {: #subdebate-28-0-s5 .speaker-K5L} ##### Mr COPE:
Watson .- It is very interesting to listen to the usual diatribe in which the red bogy is raised in this House. The small township of Minto, in which it is said that this school exists, is' in the electorate represented by none other than our friend, the honorable member for Macarthur **(Mr. Jeff Bate).** Who would be better able to inform the House whether there is any subversion practised in this school than our friend, who is the champion fence climber in Australia? I guarantee that no fence is so high that he could not climb over it to spy on any establishment. Possibly the people at this school are being taught the value of preference votes. Perhaps they are being shown on a blackboard how to put the Liberal Party back into power. Perhaps they are being told to place the figure " 1 " in this square, then to pass over the Labour candidate and cast their vote for the Liberal Party candidate. Instruction given to people at such schools as this was responsible for the return to office of the Government at the last election. Honorable members opposite have the audacity to condemn the Communist Party, though they owe their success at the last election to the Communist Party preferences they received in the Moreton electorate. I should like to refer to a matter that comes within the jurisdiction of the Minister for Social Services **(Mr. Roberton).** I wrote to the Minister early in March of this year regarding a girl aged nineteen years. She is an unmarried mother. She was notified that her invalid pension and child allowance would cease on 19th April last, because she had been adjudged as not being permanently unfit for work to the degree required to qualify for an invalid pension. I had submitted medical certificates which had been given to me by the girl's father. As a consequence, the Minister agreed to re-submit the girl for another medical examination by the medical authorities in his department. However, the medical authorities refused to alter the first opinion, despite the fact that the two medical certificates which I had tendered on behalf of the girl were the opinions of two eminent Macquarie-street doctors. I shall read the first of the two certificates. This opinion is expressed by **Dr. Crawford** McKellar, F.R.C.S.Ed., F.R.A.C.S., of Macquarie-street I shall refer to the girl as Miss X. The certificate, which is dated 26th February of this year, states - >Certified I treated Miss X some years ago at the Royal South Sydney Hospital on account of the effects of a toxic polyneuritis. > >Miss X had "drop" feet and unsteady gait for years and also attended the hospital rehabilitation centre. She has reported back to me requesting a certificate in relation to her pensions claim > >It is stated she still is weak in the feet and the balance. I find she still has a gait resembling her old condition and appears weak on feet. For example, she 'failed to stand on heels or reflect passive plantar flexion. The second medical opinion was submitted by **Dr. Justin** Markell of Macquarie-street. This eminent doctor said - >This is to certify that Miss X, aged 19, was attended by me at the Royal South Sydney Hospital in 1954-55 suffering from thallium poisoning. She was in a demented state for some months, and suffered severe peripheral neuritis with contractures of both knees. She was intellectually subnormal at that time, and does not appear to have developed intellectually since. Her mental age is, I consider, about eleven years. She still has partial foot drop on the left side . . . She walks unsteadily. In my opinion she is intellectually and physically unsuitable for employment, and I strongly recommend her for reconsideration for invalid pension on the grounds of thalliuminduced encephalopathy and chronic peripheral neuritis. I received a letter from the Minister for Social Services. In the last paragraph, he said - >May I suggest that Miss X register for employment with the District Officer, Commonwealth Employment Service, 1263 Botany-road, Mascot. If she is unable to obtain suitable work, she should apply for unemployment benefit. I repeat that the girl is intellectually and physically incapable of doing any work. This opinion was given by an eminent specialist yet his advice is denied and is overlooked by the medical authorities of the Department of Social Services. If the Minister is willing, I will arrange to bring Miss X to see him at his office in Sydney at any time during the next month that he chooses to suit his convenience. I will bring this girl to him and let him judge for himself. This girl cannot walk properly. I have seen her, and she hobbles. She cannot walk steadily on her feet. Yet she is told to go to an employment office and register for employment. Has any one ever heard of anything so ridiculous? This young girl is an unmarried mother, keeping a baby. She was receiving an allowance with her invalid pension. Now she is denied that because some medical authority in the Department of Social Services thinks he is a greater authority than eminent Macquarie-street specialists are. I do not blame the Minister, but I blame the officers in his department. I blame the medical authorities in his department. But, at the same time, it is absurd for the Minister to suggest that this girl should apply for employment and, if she cannot get employment, should go on the dole. Surely the Minister can make an exception in this case. I am sure he would do so if he saw her. I repeat that, if the Minister is willing, I will make an appointment for him to see the girl at his convenience in his office in Sydney at any time next month, during the recess, that he cares to name. {: #subdebate-28-0-s6 .speaker-KZE} ##### Mr ROBERTON:
Minister for Social Services · Riverina · CP .- For the benefit of the comparatively new members of the House, may I be permitted to say that it is never my practice to discuss individual cases coming from the Department of Social Services during a debate such as this or during any other debate. It would be wrong for me to breach the confidence of applicants for social service benefits. It would be wrong for the Department of Social Services to breach the confidence of applicants from time to time. For that reason, the honorable member for Watson **(Mr. Cope)** ought to know that cases of the kind cannot be discussed in detail. This is a sad case. Honorable members are not helping to resolve this poor girl's difficulties by publicly discussing her private affairs. I do not propose to engage in a public discussion of her private affairs but it is my manifest duty, if you, **Sir, would** be so good as to control the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward),** who is interjecting, to put the honorable member for Watson **(Mr. Cope)** right in one or two respects. When an application for an invalid pension or any other social service benefit necessitates a medical assessment that assessment is not made by officers of the Department of Social Services. The medical officers concerned are officers of the Department of Health. If the applicant is dissatisfied with the assessment they make he or she may appeal to my department, as frequently happens, and another assessment is made by another medical officer of the Department of Health. If that assessment is unacceptable to the applicant a further assessment may be made. What I stress is that medical assessments of this type are not made by me nor could they ever be made by any Minister for Social Services. They are not made by any officer of the Department of Social Services. Eligibility for an invalid pension is determined on the medical evidence submitted by the appropriate medical officer. No Minister for Social Services and no officer of the Department of Social Services may in any way change that procedure. No one knows better than the honorable member for Watson that I have personally examined the case to which he referred. I have done everything in my power to assist this poor unfortunate girl. The honorable member knows also that every officer in the Sydney branch of the Department of Social Services has done everything in his power to assist this poor girl. It was only in an effort to help her in the present circumstances that she was told that if she could not qualify for an invalid pension she should apply for the unemployment or sickness benefit. {: #subdebate-28-0-s7 .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr DUTHIE:
Wilmot -- The reply given by the Minister for Social Services **(Mr. Roberton)** to the matter raised by the honorable member for Watson **(Mr. Cope)** reminds me that in its policy speech last November the Labour Party promised that if it were returned to power it would set up an appeal tribunal to deal with cases of the type referred to here to-night. An appeal tribunal is the only way to deal justly with these matters. There is no justice under the present system. An appeal tribunal should be an independent tribunal. That part of Labour's policy appealed to the electors. They liked it and 1 hope that before long the Labour Party will occupy the treasury bench and will be able to introduce this necessary reform. I want to refer to a matter that I have raised on several previous occasions in this House. In raising this matter I have the support of the honorable member for the Australian Capital Territory **(Mr. J. R. Fraser).** I refer to the inordinate delay on the part of the Government in recognizing the sevices of King O'Malley. It is scandalous that to date no suburb in this great city of Canberra bears King O'Malley's name. King O'Malley, who died about eight years ago, had charge of the plans for the building of this national capital, but to date not even a street in Canberra bears his name. Some outlandish names - meaningless names - have been given to suburbs and streets in Canberra but none has been named after King O'Malley. The Government has had ample opportunity to honour this great statesman by naming a suburb of Canberra after him, but it persistently refuses to do so. Its only reason is that King O'Malley was a Labour man. The Government is blatantly discriminating against a Labour statesman. King O'Malley had his faults, but I have studied his life history and I say without fear of contradiction that few have done so much for Australia as did King O'Malley. I am particularly proud of the fact that he represented a Tasmanian electorate. He was member for Darwin - it is now Braddon - from 1901 to 1917, when he was defeated on the conscription issue. The Minister for the Interior **(Mr. Freeth)** is completely unresponsive to our claims that a suburb of Canberra should be named after this great Labour statesman. Indeed, the Government now proposes to remove from the list of electorates the names of some of our great Labour Prime Ministers. The Government displays a callous and cynical attitude towards this matter. It is playing a low, sneaky political game. The Government's attitude towards King O'Malley constitutes an insult to the memory of a very great man - one who helped to establish the Commonwealth Bank and many other great national projects in this country. The Government persists in naming suburbs of Canberra after men who did nothing for this city, but it refuses to honour a man like King O'Malley. When the Labour Party gets into power one of the first things that it will do will be to name one of Canberra's new suburbs after King O'Malley and thus honour the memory of a great man. {: #subdebate-28-0-s8 .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr WENTWORTH:
Mackellar -- I was surprised that the honorable member for Wilmot **(Mr. Duthie)** did not also enter an eloquent plea for recognition of another great Tasmanian who to date has not been honoured. I refer to a former Prime Minister - **Mr. Joseph** Lyons. His real services to this country have not yet been recognized. No suburb of Canberra has been named after him. I was surprised that the honorable member for Wilmot did not devote his eloquence to the cause honouring perhaps the greatest and most distinguished of Tasmania's sons. I rise tonight to direct the attention of the House once again to the significance of the remarks passed by the honorable member for La Trobe **(Mr. Jess)** concerning the Communist school at Minto. It is disgraceful that a secret and subversive organization of this kind should be tolerated in our midst. The Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia and other persons are to be congratulated on directing attention to this matter. In his answer to a question asked by the honorable member for La Trobe the Attorney-General **(Sir Garfield Barwick)** has revealed certain facts but he has stated that the Government is not prepared at this stage to reveal certain other facts in its possession. I do not know the nature of those other facts but I do say it is essential for the Government to reveal all the facts about Communist subversion in this country. {: .speaker-K0I} ##### Mr Comber: -- What rot! {: .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr WENTWORTH: -- The Opposition says, " What rot! " This brings me to the other point. While the honorable member was talking, we could see that the friends of communism in the Opposition were endeavouring to interrupt him by sneering and jeering. I name, for example, the honorable member for Parkes **(Mr. Haylen)** and the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** who, during the time the honorable member for La Trobe was speaking, were continuously interrupting, sneering and jeering, as indeed some honorable members opposite are doing now, because their policy is to cover up for the Communists. Their policy is to help the Communists. There are certain members of the Opposition - not all of them by any means, but certain of them - who are the friends of communism in many of its guises. One of the things they try to do is to pour scorn on the R.S.L., and on the honorable member for La Trobe or anybody else who gets up in this House and reveals what the Communists are doing and endeavours to get some action taken against them. I am going to agree with the implied criticism of the Government that it has not been sufficiently vigilant in the past about using the knowledge that it has of these Communists to alert the people of this country as to what communism is. I believe that greater publicity should be given to the operations of the Communist Party, particularly to such operations as those at Minto, which the Communist Party is endeavouring to keep secret, with the maximum security precautions. The so-called bush lovers' club is actually a Communist university. This kind of subversion is going on, not only here, and it is time that the lid was taken off. I also direct attention to the Opposition's reception of the remarks of the honorable member for Warringah **(Mr. Cockle)** in regard to the Communists in the Seamen's Union. This, I think, is something which the House should bear in mind. The Communists who are leading and actively controlling the Seamen's Union are the identical people who lined up the Communist Party in alliance with Hitler in 1939 and 1940, when Russia and Nazi Germany were in alliance. These people have proved themselves to be active traitors, by their alliance with Nazi Germany at a time when Russia was allied with Nazi Germany. They showed that they were willing to betray the interests of Australia in the interests of Russia. These are the same people. They have continued a consistent line of policy ever since. Does the Labour Party regard them as acceptable bedfellows? If not, what is the Labour Party doing against them? Is the Labour Party continuing to associate with them? Indeed, the Labour Party is continuing to back them. I myself feel that there is a good reason for having an Australian shipping line, but that good reason is outweighed by the unfortunate fact that the seamen of Australia are allowing themselves to be led by Communists who, by their conduct, are individually proved as traitors. We do not want these people disseminating their Communist propaganda and befouling the name of Australia all over the world by controlling Australian ships and Australian seamen. If the Labour Party wants this, if it wants the emissaries of treason to be known as the representatives of Australia abroad, let it continue with its policy. If members of the Labour Pary are really sincere in their advocacy of an Australian shipping line abroad - and I think that there is a good deal to be said for it - let us help this by doing the right thing which is the first prerequisite, that is, helping the seamen to get rid of the Communist traitors who are now in control of their union. These are not just anonymous people. These are individual traitors who were allied with Nazi Germany in 1939 and 1940 and who fomented strikes and disruption in order to help Nazi Germany at the time when that country was allied with Soviet Russia. If they could ally themselves with Nazi Germany for the sake of Soviet Russia, do you not think that they are Soviet agents still? Are you going to help them in their plots against the security of Australia? You ask what we are doing about it. In my view, the Government is still not doing enough, but one of he reasons why it is not doing enough is that honorable gentlemen opposite are defending the Communist Party. They are operating as a kind of rearguard for the Communist Party, and whenever action against the Communist Party is suggested, honorable gentlemen opposite, by sneers, jeers and catcalls, such as we have heard in this House to-night, appoint themselves as defenders and protectors of the Communist Party. Unfortunately, they mislead a lot of Australian people and perhaps they intimidate the Government. I agree that the Government should not be intimidated, but they help to weaken the hand of the Government, perhaps to intimidate it, and perhaps to bring about this state of affairs wherein the Communist Party and its machinations are getting altogether too free a hand. Motion (by **Mr. Davidson)** put - >That the question be now put. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. Sir John McLeay.) AYES: 57 NOES: 55 Majority . . . . 2 AYES NOES Question so resolvedin the affirmative. Original question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 11.34 p.m. until Tuesday, 2nd October next, at 2.30 p.m., unless **Mr. Speaker** shall, by telegram or letter addressed to each member of the House, fix an earlier date of meeting. {: .page-start } page 969 {:#debate-29} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS The following answers to questions were circulated: - {:#subdebate-29-0} #### Wheat {: #subdebate-29-0-s0 .speaker-KDO} ##### Mr Erwin: n asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What are the exact terms of the latest contract between the Australian Wheat Board and the representatives of the Government of Communist China? 1. On what dates are payments to be made, and what are the amounts? 2. In what currency are the payments to be made? 3. Through what banking channels are the payments to be made? 4. Have past payments been made on due dates? 5. What is the (a) date and (b) amount of the next payment? {: #subdebate-29-0-s1 .speaker-JLR} ##### Mr Adermann:
CP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - 1 and 2. The last substantial contract between the Australian Wheat Board and the China Resources Company was entered into in February, 1962. The quantity was 650,000 tons plus or minus 10 per cent.; with subsequent sales of smaller parcels the total has become 773,000 tons. The terms of sale have been 10 per cent. on shipment and 40 per cent in six months, with the balance of 50 per cent. payable twelve months from the bill of lading date of shipment. The Wheat Board is a competitive trading concern and does not make public its selling prices to overseas markets. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Sterling. 1. The payments are made by the Bank of China through the Commonwealth Trading Bank to the account of the Australian Wheat Board with the Reserve Bank. 2. Yes. 3. The six monthly payments (40 per cent.) for shipments made in February and later are now falling due shipment by shipment. {:#subdebate-29-1} #### Gold {: #subdebate-29-1-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Treasurer, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What agreements exist between countries in regard to the price of gold? 1. What countries are involved, and what are the details of the agreements? 2. In the event of the European Common Market adversely affecting Australia does the Government intend to consider proposals designed to stimulate business internationally and locally by doubling the price of gold? {: #subdebate-29-1-s1 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Harold Holt:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The price of gold is subject to the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund. 1. There are 77 member countries of the International Monetary Fund including Australia. A full list of these countries is contained in the annual reports of the International Monetary Fund which are available in the Parliamentary Library. Article IV. of the International Monetary Fund agreement requires each member country to establish a par value for its currency in terms of gold and this determines the price of gold in terms of each member's currency. Member countries are not permitted to buy gold at a price above par value plus a small prescribed margin or to sell gold at a price below par minus the small prescribed margin. The article provides for an increase in the world price of gold through a uniform increase in the par values of all members' currencies in terms of gold by a majority vote of International Monetary Fund members. 2. The Government has advocated an increase in the world price of gold on many occasions for quite a few years past. {:#subdebate-29-2} #### Qantas Empire Airways Limited {: #subdebate-29-2-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is it a fact that Qantas Empire Airways Limited has been endeavouring to exchange the site of its proposed hotel in Sydney because it is considered unsuitable for hotel purposes, and that the site is to be made available for other development in the near future? 1. Do adverse conditions exist in the hotel industry; if so, is it still the intention of the Government and Qantas Empire Airways Limited to proceed with the building of a luxury hotel? {: #subdebate-29-2-s1 .speaker-KWH} ##### Mr Townley:
LP -- The Minister for Civil Aviation has supplied the following information: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. It is not a fact that Qantas has been endeavouring to exchange the site. This site is regarded as eminently suitable for hotel purposes, and it will not be made available for other development. 1. I am not aware of any adverse conditions in the hotel industry. It continues to be the intention of Government that Qantas proceed to sponsor the formation of a new company, in which subscription will be open to the public, to build and operate a first-class hotel on the site in question. {:#subdebate-29-3} #### Broadcasting {: #subdebate-29-3-s0 .speaker-JZX} ##### Mr Collard:
KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA d asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice - >As radio reception is very poor in the rapidly extending districts of Esperance, Norseman, Mallee and Ravensthorpe, will he give early consideration to the establishment of a radio relay station in the area. {: #subdebate-29-3-s1 .speaker-KCA} ##### Mr Davidson:
CP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - >I am aware that radio reception in the Esperance area leaves something to be desired and I have consulted the Australian Broadcasting Control Board which informs me that it proposes to send an engineer to obtain first-hand knowledge of reception conditions in the area. > >Arrangements have been made for the board's engineer and an officer from my department to visit the Esperance district in mid-September. I have asked the board to furnish me with a report on the matter and the steps which might be possible to improve the position when the investigations which I have referred to are completed. {:#subdebate-29-4} #### Postal Department {: #subdebate-29-4-s0 .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: n asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What was the amount of the most recently announced trading profit earned by his Department? 1. Was this a record profit? 2. Has the Crossdale-Murrumba Progress Association in Queensland approached his department during the past twelve months requesting either (a) that telephone subscribers at Crossdale be provided with an automatic telephone exchange at Crossdale or (b) that those subscribers be connected with the automatic exchange at Murrumba? 3. What is the estimated cost of each of these proposals? 4. Is it possible to accede to either of these requests? {: #subdebate-29-4-s1 .speaker-KCA} ##### Mr Davidson:
CP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. £2,763,163 for 1960-61. 1. No. 2. The Crossdale-Murrumba Progress Association have made representations both to my department and to myself during the past twelve months, seeking an automatic telephone exchange at Crossdale. The possibility of diversion to Murrumba was first suggested by the Department as offering a more attractive proposition. 4. (a) Automatic exchange at Crossdale would cost approximately £4,500. (b) Diversion to Murrumba £4,000. It might be noted that, regardless of what is done for Crossdale, the Murrumba exchange requires replacement. The £4,000 therefore is the additional cost of amalgamation. 3. Not at the present time. The existing facilities at Crossdale will cater adequately for the needs of the district for some years and there are not any known circumstances which would justify priority treatment. {:#subdebate-29-5} #### Telephone Services {: #subdebate-29-5-s0 .speaker-KYS} ##### Mr Reynolds:
BARTON, NEW SOUTH WALES s asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many telephone services have been provided in each of the last five years? 1. What was the number of unsatisfied applications at the 30th June in each of these years? 2. How many new applications were made in each of these years? 3. How many services were provided in each of the months of 1962 for which data ere available? {: #subdebate-29-5-s1 .speaker-KCA} ##### Mr Davidson:
CP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: #subdebate-29-5-s2 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many telephone applications are outstanding in (a) each State and (b) Australia at this date? 1. What is the (a) average and (b) longest period of waiting time which elapses before installation of telephones? 2. When is it anticipated that telephones will be installed almost immediately after an application is lodged? {: #subdebate-29-5-s3 .speaker-KCA} ##### Mr Davidson:
CP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - 1. (a) New South Wales, 13,418; Victoria, 14,480; Queensland, 786; South Australia, 3,580; Western Australia, 962; Tasmania, 520. (b) Commonwealth, 33,746. 2. (a) The average waiting time on applications is not available but 80 per cent, of the present deferred requests are less than two years old. (b) Six years. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. It may be some time before such action is practicable, but everything possible is being done to achieve this aim. Diseases from Imported Cheeses. {: #subdebate-29-5-s4 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon: n asked the Minister representing the Minister in Charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, upon notice - >Has the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization discovered that exotic diseases such as foot and mouth disease and blue tongue can be introduced into Australia through imported cheeses? {: #subdebate-29-5-s5 .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr Freeth:
LP -- The Minister in Charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has supplied the following answer: - >No. Overseas Loan. {: #subdebate-29-5-s6 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Harold Holt:
LP t- On 16th August the honorable member for Banks **(Mr. Costa)** asked me a question without notice concerning the use of the recent 100,000,000 dollar loan to Australia from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the Snowy Mountains scheme. The following information is provided in answer to the question: - >The loan of 100,000,000 dollars (£44,600,000) to Australia from the International Bank was arranged in January, 1962. The purpose of the loan is to assist in financing the Murray 1 section of the Snowy-Murray project, and the works to be undertaken are set out in the schedule to the Loan (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) Act, which received the Royal Assent on 10th May, 1962. The loan agreement, which is also annexed to the act, provides that the Commonwealth may make drawings on the loan in amounts equivalent initially to 50 per cent, of amounts expended on the Murray 1 project from 1st July, 1961. Thus drawings are made in respect of all expenditure on the project, irrespective of whether it is incurred in Australia or overseas. {:#subdebate-29-6} #### Shipping {: #subdebate-29-6-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: s asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Was the Australian ship "Wanganella" sold recently? 1. To whom was it sold, and where is it now registered? 2. Is this ship still trading to Australian ports? 3. Where is its present crew normally resident? 4. Are the wage rates and conditions on this ship higher or lower than when registered in Australia? 5. Is there any advantage to be gained in taxation paid on the earnings of ships when registered in other countries compared with registration in Australia, or when owned by overseas companies compared with ownership by Australian companies? {: #subdebate-29-6-s1 .speaker-KMB} ##### Mr Opperman:
Minister for Shipping and Transport · CORIO, VICTORIA · LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. The vessel has been sold to the Hang Fung Shipping and Trading Company Limited of Hong Kong, and the port of registry was transferred to Hong Kong on 20th August, 1962. 2. The " Wanganella " sailed from Sydney on 25th August, 1962, for the Far East and is scheduled to return to Sydney at the end of the cruise on 10th October, 1962. The understanding of my Department is that the intended future employment of the vessel will be in the Australia- Pacific-Far East passenger-cargo trade. 3. Australia. 4. It is understood that the existing Australian crew will take the vessel to Hong Kong after which the majority will be repatriated to Australia. A Hong Kong crew will take over the vessel on arrival but some Australian officers will be retained. Wages and conditions are usually lower in vessels registered in Far East ports and manned with a non-Australian crew. 5. The amount of Australian tax payable on the earnings of a ship operated by a company resident in Australia, is not affected by the port of registry of the ship. Where a ship is operated by a resident of a country with which Australia has concluded an agreement for the relief of double taxation and its port of registry is in that country, the earnings of the ship are exempt from Australian tax but are taxed in the country in which the operator resides. Australia has entered into such agreements with the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada and New Zealand. The general levels of taxes payable in those countries on company profits are higher than the corresponding rates of company tax payable in Australia. In the case of a ship operated by a resident of any other overseas country, Australian tax is payable on 5% of the gross amounts earned by the ship from carriage of passengers or freight from Australia. If a resident of Australia owned or operated the ship, Australian tax would be based upon any profit having its source in Australia and any profit derived from abroad and not taxed in the country of its origin. In some circumstances, the transfer of a ship from an Australian company to an overseas company could result in an increase in the overall tax liability of the owner or charterer but it is not practicable to generalize on the taxation consequences of such a transfer. {:#subdebate-29-7} #### Unemployment {: #subdebate-29-7-s0 .speaker-KLL} ##### Mr Makin: n asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice - >How many persons between the ages of 15 and 20 years were registered as unemployed on 1st January, 1st February, 1st March and 1st July of this year? {: #subdebate-29-7-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - >The numbers under the age of 21 registered for employment with the Commonwealth Employment Service who had claimed when registering that they were not employed and who were recorded as unplaced can be given for the dates shown below and were - 1961.- 29th December, 40,401. 1962- 2nd February, 46,254; 2nd March, 37,669; 29th June, 24,954. > >These figures would cover some young people under 15; it is not practicable to say how many. The dates given are the nearest to those mentioned in the question, for which figures are available. {:#subdebate-29-8} #### Education {: #subdebate-29-8-s0 .speaker-KYS} ##### Mr Reynolds: s asked the Prime Minister, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Who are the members of the Commonwealth Committee on the Future of Tertiary Education in Australia? 1. What is the professional or business background of each member? 2. Which of them have had recent personal experience in teaching or research in education institutions? 3. Can an estimate be made of the likely date of availability of the report? {: #subdebate-29-8-s1 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and 2. The members of the committee are - **Sir Leslie** Martin, C.B.E., Chairman, Australian Universities Commission. **Dr. C.** M. Gilray, O.B.E., M.C., former Principal of Scotch College, Melbourne, and Deputy Chancellor of the University of Melbourne. **Sir Keith** Angas, Grazier and recently Chairman of St. Mark's College Council, University of Adelaide. Professor A. H. Ennor, Deputy Chairman of the Institute of Advanced Studies and Dean of the John Curtin School of Medical Research in the Australian National University. **Sir Alexander** Fitzgerald, O.B.E., former Professor of Accountancy, University of Melbourne, and for many years Chairman of the Commonwealth Grants Commission. Professor **Sir Edward** Ford, O.B.E., Professor of Preventive Medicine and Director of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Sydney. **Mr. N.** E. Jones, Managing Director, Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited, and Chairman of Finance Committee, University of Melbourne. Professor P. H. Karmel, Professor of Economics in the University of Adelaide. **Mr. R.** R. Mackay, Principal, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Professor **Sir Fred** Schonell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Queensland and formerly Professor of Education in that University. **Sir Samuel** Wadham, former Professor of Agriculture in the University of Melbourne. **Mr. L.** W. Weickhardt, Technical Director, Imperial Chemical Industries. **Dr. H.** S. Wyndham, Director General of Education in New South Wales. Professor D. P. Derham, M.B.E., Professor of Jurisprudence in the University of Melbourne. Professor C. R. McRae, formerly Deputy ViceChancellor and Professor of Education in the University of Sydney was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Committee but has since resigned because of ill health. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. The answers to questions 1. and 2. above indicate the qualifications of the members of the committee and the broad range of experience thus brought together to consider this complex problem. 1. It is expected that the report of the com mittee will be available late in 1963. Uranium. {: #subdebate-29-8-s2 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP s. - On 9th August, the honorable member for New England **(Mr. Drummond)** asked in a question without notice whether Australia is receiving full value for the uranium it is selling and whether sufficient definitely known and surveyed quantities of uranium for our national existence have been reserved. At the time I said that I would refer the question to my colleague, the Minister for National Development and obtain an answer. **Senator Spooner** has given me the following information: - >The honorable member may be assured that Australia is receiving a very favorable price for uranium oxide sold under existing contracts. In all cases the price is fixed at a level which will not only cover the costs of production, but will also amortize the plant over the life of the contract and provide reasonable profit margins. The price payable to Australian producers under existing contracts is believed to be substantially in excess of the price that would be offered for uranium oxide under any new contracts. > >It will be apparent from a perusal of the published reports of the major producers in Australia that operations under existing contracts have been highly profitable. Complete financial details of the Rum Jungle and Radium Hill projects have not yet been released. However, it can be said that the Rum Jungle operation has been successful from a financial point of view and the profits derived from that operation are now being reinvested in the mining and treatment of the Rum Jungle Creek South deposit. This will be of great importance to the development of the Northern Territory. > >It is quite impracticable to assess at present the quantities of uranium oxide that will be required for our own purposes. Apart from our known reserves which are considerable, there are good technical reasons for believing that further significant reserves of economically recoverable uranium could be developed in Australia if required. On the basis of the best technical advice available, Australia should have in the future adequate uranium for its own requirements and a surplus for export. {:#subdebate-29-9} #### Communism {: #subdebate-29-9-s0 .speaker-KKB} ##### Mr Jess: s asked the Attorney-General, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is he able to give any details regarding the background, finances and curriculum of the Communist school of subversion at Minto, New South Wales? 1. Can he say how many students qualifying from the school have gone to Moscow or Peking for higher study? {: #subdebate-29-9-s1 .speaker-126} ##### Sir Garfield Barwick:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and 2. The Government is in possession of a good deal of information regarding this school, but I do not think it desirable that I should take this opportunity to disclose everything that is known. Indeed, I think the honorable member had this possibility clearly in mind in asking his question in the form in which he did ask it. The full text of a statement purporting to have been made to the Returned Servicemen's League by a defector from the Communist Party, extracts from which had previously been published, is published in " The Free Spirit ", Volume 7, No. 2 (July /August, 1962), page 4, a copy of which is available in the Library. Towards the end of 19s7, 13 acres of land, lot 6, Howard-road, Minto, which is between Liverpool and Campbelltown, were purchased for the purpose of establishing a residential training school which became known in Communist Party circles as the " Communist Party of Australia University ". The school is situated in a secluded spot and, in order to conceal the actual nature of the school, it is commonly referred to by members of the Communist Party in outside circles as the "Bush Lovers' Club ". The original application for a building permit was taken out in that name. The Communist Party of Australia imposes maximum security precautions at Minto. The primary purpose of the school is to provide a residential establishment where Communists from every State and Territory within the Commonwealth and from New Zealand undertake higher Communist Party training. The schools are held for periods varying from one to six weeks. The curriculum is illustrated by the subjects of courses held during 1961, namely - >Philosophy. > >Political Economy. > >The State. > >Imperialism. > >Work among Migrants. > >Work among Youth. > >The Party. > >Work among Women. > >During the last decade, some 140 full-time functionaries of the Communist Party of Australia have been in the Soviet Union and/or in Communist China for periods ranging from three months to three years. A large percentage of these persons have received training at Minto. {:#subdebate-29-10} #### Papua and New Guinea {: #subdebate-29-10-s0 .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: n asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. . How many of the indigenous inhabitants of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea during the past five years have received industrial trade training to a standard recognized as sufficient to permit the recipient to participate in industry as a tradesman? 1. Are those standards equivalent to those demanded by the trades in Australia? {: #subdebate-29-10-s1 .speaker-ZL6} ##### Mr Hasluck:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 106 indigenes have received certificates as tradesman under the Territory's apprenticeship scheme. A further 261 indigenes are currently receiving training as apprentices including SO due to complete their training in February, 1963. It is expected that ISO indigenes will commence apprenticeship training in January, 1963. In addition to those indigenes who have received or are receiving apprenticeship training, some thousands of students have completed training at Technical Training Schools and are employed in industry as skilled and semi-skilled artisans. Large numbers of others have received and are receiving onthejobtraining. 1. The standards of practical trade work demanded by the Territory's apprenticeship scheme are equivalent to Australian standards. Because of the limited educational attainments of indigenous students the present standards of trade theory on completion of Territory apprenticeship are approximately three-fifths of the standards demanded by the trades in Australia. This situation is expected to improve progressively as educational standards are raised and more indigenes are sent to Australia for apprenticeship and post-apprenticeship training. {:#subdebate-29-11} #### Australian Security Intelligence Organization {: #subdebate-29-11-s0 .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: n asked the Attorney-General, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is it the duty of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization to keep subversive political organizations under surveillance? 1. Is the Fascist Party or any front organization for such party regarded as a subversive political organization by the Security Organization? 2. Is the Australian League of Rights a fascist or fascist front organization, and is it kept under surveillance by the Security Organization? {: #subdebate-29-11-s1 .speaker-126} ##### Sir Garfield Barwick:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - 1 and 2. The functions of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization are as set out in the Australian Security Intelligence Organizaion Act 1956. They include the duty " to obtain, correlate and evaluate intelligence relevant to security ". The Act defines " security " as meaning " the protection of the Commonwealth and the Territories of the Commonwealth from acts of espionage, sabotage or subversion". All acts of espionage, sabotage or subversion by whomsoever done fall within the scope of that definition. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Since the Security Service was established by a Labour Government in 1949, it has been the general practice of Governments to refrain, in answers to questions in the House, from disclosing details of the operations or absence of operations on the part of the Service in relation to particular individuals or organizations. I therefore give no information, and express no opinion, as to the security status of the organization mentioned. {:#subdebate-29-12} #### Medical Benefits Scheme {: #subdebate-29-12-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: m asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What payments were made to registered medical benefits oroganizations by (a) their members and (b) the Commonwealth in the year 1961-62? 1. What payments of (a) organization and (b) Commonwealth benefits were made to, or in respect of, their members by the organizations in 1961-62? 2. For how many individual professional services were claims (a) accepted and (b) rejected by the organizations in 1961-62? 3. What percentage of the cost of the services for which claims were accepted was met by (a) the organizations, (b) the Commonwealth and (c) the members? 4. What were the principal reasons for rejecting claims? 5. What are the (a) reserves and (b) operating expenses of the organizations? 6. How many persons are employed by the organizations? {: #subdebate-29-12-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The Minister for Health has furnished the following information: - 1. (a) Payments made to registered medical benefits organizations by their members during the financial year 1960-61 amounted to £17,542,424. Figures for 1961-62 are not yet available, (b) Payments made to registered medical benefits organizations by the Commonwealth during the financial year 1961-62 amounted to £10,911,483. (This figure includes payments of £265,841 towards special deficits.) {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Payments of fund benefits (including ancillaries) to members during 1961-62 totalled £15,402,850, and Commonwealth benefits paid amounted to £10,645,642. 3. (a) Claims were accepted for fund benefits in respect of 21,527,241 services during 1961-62. (b) Claims were rejected by the funds in respect of 141,891 services. 1. The portion of the cost of services met by each party during 1961-62 was: (a) Fund, 36.9%; (b) Commonwealth, 27.0% (c) member, 36.1%. These figures do not include payments in respect of contract medical organizations. 2. The principal reasons for refusing organization benefit and the percentage that the services rejected for each reason represents of the total services qualifying for Commonwealth benefit were - (i) Service during the waiting period - 0.12%; (ii) maximum annual benefits previously paid - 0.01%; (iii) where the member is not insured for the optional schedule of benefits - 0.02%. 6. (a) The aggregate reserves of registered medical benefits organizations were £5,498,609 at 30th June, 1961. The 1961-62 figure is not yet available, (b) The total operating expenses incurred by registered medical benefits oragnizations for the financial year 1960-61 amounted to £2,671,104. The 1961-62 figure is not yet available. 3. Details of the total number of persons employed by the registered organizations are not available. {:#subdebate-29-13} #### Hospital Benefits Scheme {: #subdebate-29-13-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: m asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What payments were made to registered hospital benefits organizations by (a) their members and (b) the Commonwealth in the year 1961-62? 1. What payments of (a) organization and (b) Commonwealth benefits were made to, or in respect of, their members by the organizations in 1961-62? 2. How many claims qualified for (a) organization and (b) Commonwealth benefits in 1961-62? 3. What was the average amount paid in (a) organization and (b) Commonwealth benefits? 4. What were the principal reasons for refusing organization benefits? 5. What are the (a) reserves and (b) operating expenses of the organizations? 6. How many persons are employed by the organizations? {: #subdebate-29-13-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The Minister for Health has furnished the following information: - 1. (a) Payments made to registered hospital benefit organizations by their members during the financial year 1960-61 amounted to £16,705,297. Figures for 1961-62 are not yet available, (b) Payments made to registered hospital benefits organizations by the Commonwealth during the financial year 1961-62 amounted to £12,356,954. (This figure includes payments of £2,665,566 towards special account deficits.) {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Payments of fund benefits (including ancillaries to members by registered hospital benefit organizations during 1961-62 were £16,705,738 and Commonwealth benefits paid amounted to £9,691,388. 3. (a) Claims that qualified for fund benefit totalled 958,955 in 1961-62. (b) Claims that qualified for Commonwealth additional benefit totalled 1,176,016 in 1961-62. 4. (a) The average amount of fund benefit paid per claim during 1961-62 was £17 8s. 5d. (b) The average amount of Commonwealth benefit paid per claim during 1961-62 was £8 4s. lOd. 1. The principal reasons for refusing organization benefit, and the percentage that the days rejected for each reason represents of total days qualifying for Commonwealth additional benefit were - (i) Hospitalization during the waiting period, 0.7%; (ii) maximum annual benefits previously paid, 0.1%; (iii) the hospital was not recognized for fund benefit under the rules of the organization, 39.2%. 6. (a) The aggregate reserves of registered hospital benefit organizations were £13,128,198 as at 30th June, 1961. The figure as at 30th June, 1962, is not yet available, (b) The total operating expenses incurred by registered hospital benefit organizations for the financial year 1960-61 amounted to £2,008,293. The 1961-62 figure is not yet available. 2. Details of the total number of persons employed by the registered organizations are not available. {:#subdebate-29-14} #### Leukaemia {: #subdebate-29-14-s0 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren: n asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice. {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many deaths have been caused by leukaemia in Australia in each year from 1944 to 1961, inclusive? 1. How many of these deaths occurred in the various age groups in each of these years? {: #subdebate-29-14-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The Minister for Health has furnished the following information: - 1 and 2. The following table shows the information required by the honorable member. {:#subdebate-29-15} #### Papua and New Guinea {: #subdebate-29-15-s0 .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: n asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice - >What secondary industry has been established in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea during the past ten years? {: #subdebate-29-15-s1 .speaker-ZL6} ##### Mr Hasluck:
LP -- The reply to the honorable member's question is as follows: - >The latest official statistics on industrial activity in Papua and New Guinea as prepared by the Territory Bureau of Statistics show that for the year 1960-61 the salient figures were - > >Number of factories - 209 > >Persons employed - 4,884 > >Value of materials used- £5,044,000 > >Value of production (i.e., value added in manufacturing process) - £4,080,000 > >Value of - > >Land and buildings (book value) - £3,419,000 > >Machinery and plant (book value) - £4,295,000 > >For the purposes of these statistics a factory is defined as an industrial establishment employing four or more persons or using motive power other than hand power. They did not include plants at farms or mines for elementary processing of primary products, e.g., copra driers, cocoa fermentaries and coffee factories. It is not possible to give wholly comparable figures for earlier years. > >These industrial establishments include - > >Aerated water manufacture. > >Baking. > >Battery manufacture and repairing. > >Biscuit manufacture. > >Boat building and repairing. > >Brewing. > >Clay brick manufacture. > >Coconut oil manufacture. > >Concrete pipe and block manufacture. > >Electric power generation (major). > >Engine and machine repairing. > >Joinery and furniture making. > >Non-ferrous casting. > >Paint manufacture. > >Panel beating and spray painting. > >Passionfruit juice and pulp canning. > >Plywood and veneer manufacture. > >Printing. > >Radiator repairing. > >Sawmilling. > >Structural steel, welding and sheet metal work. > >Twist tobacco manufacture. > >Tyre retreading. > >Industries in all these categories have been established during the past ten years. Some facilities did exist prior to 1951-52, especially in sawmilling and baking and in the service type industries such as machinery and motor maintenance and boat repairing, but these facilities have been greatly expanded over the ten-year period. Australian Representation in Ireland. {: #subdebate-29-15-s2 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice - >What are the problems connected with the form of accreditation which he has stated have pre vented Australia being represented in the Republic of Ireland at an ambassadorial level? {: #subdebate-29-15-s3 .speaker-126} ##### Sir Garfield Barwick:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - >The problems associated with the form of accreditation of the Head of the Australian diplomatic mission in the Republic of Ireland have been referred to in the House on a number of previous occasions. I would refer the honorable member to the following references in " Hansard ": - > > **Mr. Casey's** reply of 11th October, 1956, to a question on notice (" Hansard " page 1463). > >The Prime Minister's reply to a question without notice on 17th March, 1960 ("Hansard" page 321). > >The Prime Minister's reply of 15th November, 1960, to a question on notice ("Hansard" page 2884). {:#subdebate-29-16} #### Australian Economic Aid and Military Expenditure Overseas {: #subdebate-29-16-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: s asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What is the total amount of economic aid given by Australia (a) under the Colombo Plan, (b) through the United Nations and (c) in other ways? 1. What is the total amount of military expenditure by Australia (a) under S.E.A.T.O., (b) in support of other Defence programmes and (c) upon Australian military forces actually engaged in operations in Asia? {: #subdebate-29-16-s1 .speaker-126} ##### Sir Garfield Barwick:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The total amount of economic aid given by Australia is as follows: - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Colombo Plan (to 30th June, 1962)- £A.43,700,000. 1. Through United Nations (from 1st July, 1946, to 30th June, 1962) (excluding Australian contribution to Budget of U.N. and Specialised Agencies) - £A.40,200,000. 2. In other ways - from 1st July, 1946, to 30th June, 1962 (excluding assistance to Papua-New Guinea which, in 1961-62 amounted to almost £21,000,000) - £A.70,000,000. 1. Military expenditure - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. At 30th June, 1962, Australia's contribution to S.E.A.T.O.'s military budget totalled £35,318. (Para-military and economic aid to member countries of S.E.A.T.O. and countries covered by the Protocol to the Manila Treaty amounted, at 30th June, 1962, to £2,500,000. This amount is includedin the £70,000,000 referred to in 1 (c) above.) 1. Nil. 2. No Australian military forces are actually engaged in operations in Asia. At the invitation of the Government of the Federation of Malaya, units of the Australian component of the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve take part from time to time in operations against communist terrorists in Northern Malaya. {:#subdebate-29-17} #### Television {: #subdebate-29-17-s0 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP n asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is it a fact that, in the V.H.F. band, only five television channels can be used for the transmission of programmes at the same time in any one area? 1. If so, will he give an assurance that one channel in each television area will be reserved solely for educational purposes? {: #subdebate-29-17-s1 .speaker-KCA} ##### Mr Davidson:
CP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The frequency plan in the V.H.F. band provides for channels for five television stations in each- mainland capital city, four in Hobart, and up to four in major provincial areas. This does not mean that these numbers of stations will necessarily be established. The plan is a frequency plan only. 1. The Australian Broadcasting Control Board has given a great deal of consideration to the question of educational television and has made a preliminary report to me on the matter. The board's investigations into this complex question are still proceeding. The question of the reservation of channels for educational stations is only one of the matters to be considered. Generally speaking, the view is taken that at present it is not necessary to take any action to reserve channels, in the strict sense, as channels are currently available. {:#subdebate-29-18} #### Papua and New Guinea {: #subdebate-29-18-s0 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP n asked the Minister for Terirtories, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What are the circumstances under the Workers' Compensation Ordinance 1958-1961 when a wife and children of a New Guinea or Papua worker, who is killed or permanently and totally incapacitated during the course of his employment, can be paid a maximum payment of £100? 1. What is the weekly compensation payable under the ordinance to a worker with a wife and four children who is totally and permanently incapacitated in cases where the wife and children are - (a) declared to be "dependants by native custom " and (b) not so declared? 2. What is the weekly sum payable under the ordinance to such a worker who has no wife or children? {: #subdebate-29-18-s1 .speaker-ZL6} ##### Mr Hasluck:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Workers' Compensation Ordinance 1958- 1961 provides a code of compensation payable, in the case of a worker who is killed in the course of his employment, to his dependants wholly or in part dependent upon bis earnings, and payable, in the case of a worker who is totally incapa citated for work by injury arising out of or in the course of his employment, to the worker himself, the amount in this latter case varying according to his dependants. The only circumstance in which a maximum payment of £100 is payable under the ordinance is when a native worker dies and leaves dependants by native custom. All those persons who would be his dependants, if the worker were a European, are dependants of a native worker for the purpose of the ordinance, and the same benefits as prescribed in the ordinance are payable to them or in relation to them. If the wife is the wife either by a legal marriage or by native custom, other than a wife of a polygamous union entered into after the date on which the worker entered into employment with the relevant employer, and is wholly or in part dependent upon his earnings, in no case is she limited to a maximum payment of £100. In no circumstances are the children of a native worker who are wholly or in part dependent upon his earnings, whether the children of a legal or of a customary marriage, limited to a maximum payment of £100. A wife or children who are not dependent upon a worker's earnings, or a wife of such a polygamous union as referred to above, may, however, be certified to be dependants by native custom. A person may be certified as a dependant by native custom, other than - (a) a member of the worker's family; (b) a person to whom the worker stood in loco parentis or who stood in loco parentis to the worker; (c) an exnuptial child or grandchild of the worker; and (d) if the worker was an ex-nuptial child, a parent or grandparent of the work, who was wholly or in part dependent upon his earnings. In the case of the death of the worker, the total amount payable under the ordinance to all persons certified to be at a relevant time dependants by native custom of the worker is limited to £100. 2. (a) The ordinance does not provide that the amount of weekly compensation payable to a worker who is totally and permanently incapacitated is to be varied according to whether or not he has dependants by native custom. See also answer to 2. (b) and 3. below. 2. (b) and 3. The weekly compensation payable to a worker under the ordinance is the amount of weekly pay of the worker at the date of the injury, which is deemed to include the value of rations and accommodation supplied to the worker and accompanying dependants, or the following sum, whichever is the lesser: - (i) in the case of a worker whose wages exceed £668 per annum, a weekly sum of £10 plus £2 10s. in respect ot the worker's wife if she is wholly or mainly dependent upon his earnings (or £2 10s. in respect of one dependent female over the age of sixteen years who is a member of his family or caring for a dependent child under sixteen years), and £1 2s. fid. in respect of each dependent child under sixteen years of age; (ii) in the case of a worker whose wages exceed £400 per annum but less than £668 per annum, 60 per cent, of the prescribed amounts as set out in (a) above; (iii) in the case of a worker whose wages are less than £400 per annum, 27 per cent, of the prescribed amounts as set out in (a) above. The amount paid to a worker with a wife and four children would depend, inter alia, on whether they were wholly or mainly dependent upon his earnings and whether the children were under the age of sixteen years. {:#subdebate-29-19} #### Bulolo Timber Company {: #subdebate-29-19-s0 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP n asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What percentage of the capital of the Bulolo Timber Company was subscribed by the Commonwealth Government? 1. What was the gross profit of this company in each of the past five years? 2. How many of the company's native employees are paid at the minimum wage of 7s. 6d. per week and keep, and how many are paid at the minimum rate of 8s. 9d. per week and keep? 3. How many of these employees are married, and how many of them receive additional payments for the upkeep of their families? 4. What is the average weekly wage of (a) European male employees and (b) native male employees of the company? {: #subdebate-29-19-s1 .speaker-ZL6} ##### Mr Hasluck:
LP -- The answers to the honor able member's questions are as follows.- {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Commonwealth Government holds 5( 00006% of the £1,500,000 subscribed capital o Commonwealth-New Guinea Timbers Limited. 1. Profits before provision for taxation were - {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Nil and 205 respectively. The remainder of the company's native employees (189) are on higher wages according to relevant skills. Benefits additional to wages and keep are provided by the company for all native employees. 1. Eighty-six, of whom fourteen receive extra pay and/or additional rations for the upkeep of their families. The families of the remaining 72 married employees are living in their home villages. 5. (a) £30 19s. Id. (b) £1 8s. 6d. (exclusive of accommodation, rations and other issues). The average European wage is for male plymill operaives only and excludes all office and maintenance workers while the average native wage includes all native workers engaged in plymill, sawmill and logging activities.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 30 August 1962, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.