27 June 1951

20th Parliament · 1st Session

The President (Senator the Hon. Edward Mattner) took’ the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.’

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Senator O’BYRNE:

– I present a petition from 376 electors of the State of . Tasmania, praying that action be taken to secure by a referendum an. extension of the Commonwealth’s constitutional powers to enable it to control prices.

Petition received and read.

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– Can the Minister for National Development say what, assistance the Commonwealth is extending to the chairman of .the New South Wales Electricity Commission, Mr. Conde, in his quest for electric power generating plant in the United States of America and Great Britain? Has priority of delivery been sought by the Commonwealth on the ground of the urgent defence factor represented by electric power?

SenatorSPOONER.- Before Mr. Conde wont to the United States of America the Premier of New South Wales communicated with the Prime Minister who arranged, through the Australian Ambassador in Washington, for all assistance to he given to Mr. Conde, and for power plant which he ordered to be given the appropriate priority.

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Senator SEWARD:

– Will the Minis ter representing the Minister for Supply answer the following questions: - 1. Has the Government come to. any decision regarding the recommendations made in May, 1950, by the inter-departmental committee on sulphuric acid? 2. If so, what was the decision? 3. If it has been decided by the Government to adopt the recommendations of the committee, what action has been taken to give effect to that decision? 4. Has the Western Australian Government been notified of any action taken, or to be taken, and has its co-operation been sought? 5. If not, why not? 6. Is the Minister aware that superphosphate is being rationed to consumers in Western Australia even more severely than it has been during the past two years, owing to the inability of manufacturers to obtain necessary materials to extend their existing works or to build the new superphosphate works at Albany ? 7. Is the Minister aware that the shortage of superphosphate is retarding the opening up for dairying purposes of 500,000 acres of new land in an assured rainfall area, as well as preventing established farmers and new settlers from extending their operations? 8. What action, if any, is the Government taking to assist the State Government in its efforts toprevent a diminution in the supply of superphosphate due to reduced supplies of sulphur? .

Senator COOPER:
Minister for Repatriation · QUEENSLAND · CP

– I am aware that superphosphate is used in. considerable quantities for agricultural pursuits in Australia and I am also aware of the present shortage of that fertilizer. I shall be pleased to confer with the Minister for Supply concerning that part of the honorable senator’s question that relates totherecommendations made by an inter-departmental committee on sul phuric acid supplies, and I will obtain a considered reply for him at an early date.

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Senator COOPER:

– On the 21st June Senator Sandford asked the following question : -

Will the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral undertake to impress upon his colleagues’ the urgent need for improvements at the Daylesford post office in Victoria? My information, which I believe to be authoritative, is that this post office is not on the list for early attention. In addition to a number of industries located there, it is a popular holiday resort, and therefore, its post office should rank high in the postal list in Victoria. I understand that the amenities and conveniences provided for the staff are totally inadequate and that the conditions generally at this post office are unsatisfactory. Will the Minister undertake to bring this matter tothe notice of the Postmaster-General with a view to alteration’s and improvements being expedited?

The Postmaster-General has furnished the following information: -

The department fully appreciates the need for improvements at the Daylesford post office and a proposalis in hand to enable the work to commence. However, the residential quarters at the post office must first be vacated. Two residences are to be erected in Miller-street, one of which will be allocated to the Postmaster. The quarters thus vacated will allow the alterations to be carried out. The postal area,- public space and telephone exchange ‘will be enlarged and suitable staff facilities be provided.

Senator NASH:

– Is the Minister representing the Postmaster-General aware that only a non-official post office is pro vided at Muckinbudin in Western Australia, and that more than 400 people are resident in and around that township? The nearest official post office is situated at Bencubbin, which is 24 miles distant. Furthermore, there is no branch of the Commonwealth Bank at Muckinbudin. Will the Minister consider establishing an official post office at this centre?

Senator COOPER:

– I . shall be very pleased to bring this matter to the notice of my colleague the Postmaster-General and request that a reply be furnished to the honorable senator at an early date.

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Senator WRIGHT:

– I address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service concerning the operations of the Aus- tralian Stevedoring Industry Board. As the alleged justification for establishing that board was that it would promote industrial peace on the waterfront, I ask the Minister to furnish a comparison of the man-days lost on the waterfront through strikes for the three years preceding the establishment of the board and for a similar period following its establishment. Will the Minister also furnish figures showing the cost of administration of the board and the amount raised by special levy to finance its operations?

Senator SPICER:
Attorney-General · VICTORIA · LP

– I believe that a report has just been issued or is. about to be issued by the Australian Stevedoring Industry Board. It may contain much of the information that the honorable senator seeks. Copies of the report should be available to honorable senators soon. However, I shall direct the attention of the Minister for Labour and National Service to the matters to which the honorable senator has referred, and see whether it is possible to provide him with an answer to his question.

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Senator O’BYRNE:

– I preface a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture by reminding him that the whaling industry is now being developed on the western and eastern coasts of Australia. I should like to know whether, in view of the world shortage of animal fats, as well as of butter and margarine, the Minister will consult his colleague with a view to encouraging the establishment of the whaling industry in southern Tasmania to exploit the vast oil potential of the Antarctic seas.

Senator McLEAY:
Minister for Shipping and Transport · SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP

-The answer is “Yes”.

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Senator VINCENT:

– As good general rains, have fallen in the rural districts of Western Australia, making climatic conditions “very- favorable for spreading throughout that State the virus of the disease known as myxomatosis, will the Minister who administers the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, indicate what steps are at present being taken by that organization in Western Australia to combat the rabbit plague by this means ?

Senator SPICER:

– The honorable senator was good enough to inform me that he proposed to ask this question and the Minister in control of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has supplied the following information : -

The responsible department of the Western Australian Government handling this matter is the Department of Agriculture, and in February of this year supplies of the virus were given to that department. It was, however, a hit too late in the mosquito season for much to be done about it at the end of last summer.

However, on 3 1st July of this year a conference is to be held in Melbourne of the various interested State departments and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization with a view to drawing up plans for the best method of “spreading the disease in the coming spring and summer, when - with the emergence of mosquitoes - it will again be possible to take up the task of spreading the disease.

It is interesting to have this information supplied by the’ honorable senator about the heavy rains in Western Australia, and if this wet season continues on into Spring, it enhances the possibilities of the disease taking on actively in Western Australia.

The honorable senator may be interested to know that the section of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization handling myxomatosis is “ The Wild Life Survey Section”, and an officer of that section is now stationed in Western Australia to enable the closest asociation with State authorities to be maintained.

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Senator COOPER:

– On the 20th June, Senator Robertson asked the following ‘ question : -

Will the Minister representing the Minister for Health state whether hearing aids are provided free of cost under the free medical scheme for deafened school children and exservicemen? If that is so, will the Minister consider extending the scheme to include age pensioners and persons on low-grade superannuation

The Minister for Health has furnished the following reply

Hearing aids are now supplied to deafened school children and ex-servicemen, but it is not proposed at present to extend the facilities beyond those groups.

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Senator COOPER:

– On the 20th June, Senator Brown asked me a question in relation to the alleged reduction of wages of telephonists employed by the Repatriation Department in Brisbane. The telephonists referred to were employed on the switchboard at the Repatriation General Hospital at Greenslopes. Two of the three girls concerned are permanent officers of the Public Service and the other a temporary employee. The positions they occupied were recently investigated by representatives of the Public Service Board and the PostmasterGeneral’s Department, and as a result of this review the Public Service Board decided that the positions should be abolished. All three girls were offered other employment as telephonists in the Postmaster-General’s Department, but that offer was refused. The two permanent officers asked permission to remain at Greenslopes in any capacity and stated that if they were removed to another department they would resign. The temporary employee also elected to remain at Greenslopes, despite her reduced status. The girls are now all female assistants, grade 1, and the reduction will become effective from tomorrow.

Senator TANGNEY:

– “Will the Minister for Repatriation inform me what facilities are available at Repatriation General Hospitals for the out-patient treatment of war widows? Can war widows and their dependants receive medical treatment by specialists on the panel of doctors of the Repatriation Department? May a war widow exercise a choice of specialists for consultation without being an in-patient of a repatriation hospital?

Senator COOPER:

– War widows are entitled to treatment in a repatriation hospital provided that beds are available. In most instances, also, it is a prerequisite of in-patient treatment that a war widow is suffering from an acute illness. I shall furnish the honorable senator with a considered reply as to the provisions that have been made for inpatient specialist treatment for war widows and their children.

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Senator McLEAY:

– On the 20th June, Senator Henty asked me a question in relation to shipping. To. improve the general stock position in Tasmania, arrangements’ have been made for Daylesford to undertake a special voyage with wheat from Melbourne to Launceston on the 9th July, and for Dubbo, which will discharge a full cargo of wheat in Hobart on the 9th July, to make a special trip to South Australia for wheat loading. These arrangements should satisfactorily meet the present position and overcome the shortage of stocks in Tasmania.

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Senator PEARSON:

– In view of conflicting statements that have been made by various authorities concerning the supply of cornsacks for the coming harvest, will the Minister representing the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture confer with his colleague with a view to obtaining an authoritative and up-to-date statement on this important matter ?

Senator McLEAY:

– The answer is “Yes”.

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– I preface a question to the Minister for Shipping and Transport by stating that during the last Parliament I asked him on two occasions if he could indicate to the Senate what progress had been made towards the holding of a conference of State Transport Ministers and authorities with a view to achieving uniform road traffic laws throughout the Commonwealth. On the first occasion the Minister reported progress and assured me that he would have a further report to make to the Senate at an early date. Because of the increasing number of road accidents and the need for action to be taken in this matter, is the Minister now in a position to give any further information to the Senate?

Senator McLEAY:

– A committee representative of all States -of the Commonwealth has met regularly in connexion with the problem mentioned by the honorable senator. As soon as possible I shall be pleased to present a report indicating what steps have been taken to introduce legislation in conformity with the suggestions that have been made by the committee.

Senator TANGNEY:

– In March last, I asked the Minister for Shipping and T ransport whether steps were being taken to minimize the number of fatal accidents on the roads, particularly among young motor cyclists. In reply, the Minister informed me that 80 per cent. of road fatalities occurred to young men between the ages of eighteen and 29 years. In view of the appalling number of road accidents that have taken place since then, and the ages of the young persons involved, will the Minister state whether steps were taken by the federal conference of transport authorities to lower the toll of the road by providing for the fixation of speed regulators to motor cycles or by other means?

Senator McLEAY:

– These matters were discussed by the federal conference of transport authorities, but legislative action in regard to them is a matter principally for the States. I shall ascertain what action has been taken and furnish a report to the honorable senator as soon as possible.

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SenatorFRASER- Will the Minister representing the Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization make a statement to the Senate concerning expenditure on the experimental station which is being erected on a £l-for-£l basis at Ord River in Western Australia ? In view of the importance of the Kimberleys to Western Australia, can the Minister also indicate how the project has progressed?

Senator SPICER:

– I shall convey to the Minister the request made by the honorable senator and I shall furnish him with a reply in due course.

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Senator BROWN:

– In view of fre quent reports that have appeared in the newspapers of Australia concerning the arrival in this country of immigrants of a very low calibre, and with no conception of hygiene, will the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration seek the fullest information on this matter, ascertain who is responsible and inform the Senate of the steps being taken to prevent such immigrants from coming to Australia ?

Senator SPICER:

– I have not seen the reports to which the honorable senator has referred. If they have been published, they appear to greatly exaggerate a situation which may arise with respect to perhaps a few persons. I shall bring the request of the honorable senator to the attention of the Minister and if any information can be obtained I shall pass it on to him.

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Senator WRIGHT:

– I address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for the Interior in connexion with war service land settlement. It will be remembered that by a recent decision of the High Court, certain legislation of New South Wales, when used in association with Commonwealth power, was declared to be invalid on the ground that acquisition of land at 1942 values was unjust and unconstitutional. Since then certain States have passed independent legislation for the acquisition of land at values related to 1942 values. I ask the Minister whether there is any arrangement between the Australian Government and those State governments, either expressed or implied, that as far as financial responsibility is concerned, such action would be taken independently by the State governments.

Senator McLEAY:

– I shall bring the honorable senator’s question to the attention of the Minister for the Interior and request him to supply the information as early as practicable.

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asked the

Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice -

Will the Minister consider amending the Quarantine (Plant) Regulations to enable the necessary fumigation of plants capable of being infected with narcissus fly to be carriedout at local quarantine stations in Australia, instead of in the country of origin, as at present required; if not, why not?

Senator COOPER:

– The Minister for Health has furnished the following reply : -

The regulations to which the honorable senator refers are Quarantine Regulations - Statutory Rule No. 27 of 1 950- designed to prevent the introduction to Australia of the narcissus flies by means of bulbs imported from countries where those insects are present. In the larval stage they are easily carried inside the bulbs and are difficult to detect by examination. These regulations insist that bulbs of susceptible types from any area where narcissus flies are present must be treated in one of three ways proven in Holland, England and United States of America to be effective and actually practised in these countries to keep the pest under control. Experience has shown- that thebulbs maybe damaged unless treatment is done to precise limits, using special equipmentand at the maximum period of dormancy for the bulbs. It is only in countries from which the bulbs are exported that all these conditions can be met and therefore it is considered that the interests both of the bulb exporter and the Australian importer are bust served by the present arrangement.

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Motion . (by Senator O’Sullivan) agreed to -

That, in accordance with the provisions of section eleven of the Australian National University Act 1946-1047, the Senate elects Senators Gorton and Tangney to be members of the Council of the Australian National University for a period of two years.

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Debate resumed from the 26th June (vide page 375), on motion by Senator


That the following Address-in-Reply to the Speech of His Excellency the GovernorGeneral be agreed to: -


We, the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, desire to express our loyalty to our Most Gracious Sovereign, and to thank Your Excellency for the Speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.

Senator McKENNA:
Leader of the Opposition · Tasmania

– When the Senate adjourned last night, I was discussing the report of the select committee appointed to consider and report on the Constitution Alteration (Avoidance of Double Dissolution Deadlocks) Bill. I drew the attention of honorable senators to the matter in the hope that it might be considered at this stage when no emergency was confronting us. I had mentioned the first two recommendations of the select committee, and I now come to the third. In paragraph 279 of its report, the committee discussed the ratio of numerical strength in the two Houses of the Parliament as prescribed by the Constitution which provides that the House of Representatives shall consist, as nearly as practicable, of twice the number of members in the Senate. The committee reached the conclusion that the provision should be retained so long as anything depended for determination upon a joint vote of the members of both Houses.

The fourth recommendation of the committee refers to the filling of casual vacancies, a matter which is of greater importance to-day than ever before because, under the system of proportional representation, the margin between the parties is likely to be a fairly narrow one. It is true that a single mishap, which I hope will never occur, could alter the balance of strength of the parties in this chamber. Casual vacancies are, therefore, of real interest and concern to the Senate, and particularly to the Government. The committee recommended that the undemocratic procedure whereby casual vacancies were filled either by the State executive or by the Houses of the State Parliament meeting in combination should be discarded in favour of a proposal that the senator vacating office should be succeeded by one of a similar political persuasion where that could be arranged. In paragraph 180 of the report the committee suggests a machinery clause that might be adopted to ensure that end.

The fifth recommendation was that the Constitution should be altered to enable the Parliament to deal with casual vacancies, and determine how they should be filled.

For reasons set out in paragraph 121 of its report thecommittee makes the fundamental and drastic recommendation that the absolute power of veto of the Senate should be curtailed. Apart from the fact that the Senate may not initiate certain money bills, as they are inexpertly called, there is almost complete equality between this chamber and the House of

Representatives in the matter of legislation. I speak of the practical functioning of the two Houses. Even though it may not amend money bills, this chamber can press requests for amendments and there is little practical difference between the power to make amendments and the power to press requests. I shall refresh the minds of honorable senators by reading paragraph 121 of the report of the committee. It is as follows: -

But the Committee considers it must face the fact that the Senate has not functioned as a States House within the conception of its founders; it must face the fact that the Senate does function as a Party House - again contrary to the forecasts of its founders - and that it will continue, so far as can be foreseen, to do so. ‘ It reaches the conclusion that, theory to the contrary notwithstanding, when the Government of the day commands a majority in the Senate that Chamber becomes very largely an echo or instrument of the House of Representatives, and that when the Government lacks a majority in the Senate that Chamber, subject to the penalty of a double dissolution, can act and sometimes has acted in a way that, while strictly constitutional, is not compatible with the. principle of responsible government. The Committee is of opinion that in the tempo of modern times it is in the best interest of the nation that this principle of responsible government should prevail. It follows that it thinks there should lie some qualification of the Senate’s almost unqualified right of veto. A consequential diminution of the power of the Senate in this regard need not prevent the use by the Senate of Standing Committees; indeed it may stimulate such use and so give to the Senate a new dignity and respect arising from its objective and informed treatment of subjects of fundamental importance to the nation.

Those were the thoughts which inspired the recommendation that I now urge.

The final recommendation is to the effect that, when circumstances arise that were contemplated in section 57 of the Constitution, and which led to the recent double dissolution; or if, in the case of an ordinary bill, its passage is delayed in this chamber for six months; or, in the case of a money bill, if its passage is delayed for two months - there should be a joint sitting of the members of both houses of the Parliament at which a majority vote would prevail. The acceptance of that recommendation would involve a drastic curtailment of the Senate’s now almost absolute power, but it would be in accordance with the principle of responsible government. The effect would be to make this chamber truly a house of review. There could be no double dissolution, because differences between the chambers could, in all instances, be resolved by a joint meeting of all members of the Parliament.

Senator Wright:

– Would not the adoption of that system amount to throwing the small States to the wolves?

Senator McKENNA:

– I do not think so. The constitution of the Senate favours the small States. I agree that difficulties could arise when the margin between the parties in this chamber i3 narrow. It becomes relatively insignificant when the margin in the House of Representatives is great. That is one reason why the committee recommended that if the last-mentioned proposal were, adopted it would preserve the ratio of two-to-one between the House of Representatives and the Senate so that the Senate should have a true significance and not be relegated to fulfilling a completely insignificant role. I raised these matters at the time because of their importance, and I do so again now because I consider that this is an. opportune time to consider the future of the Senate. I am also inspired to raise the matter now by reason of the interest in constitutional change that was exhibited by so many Government supporters in the course, of this debate. Now that I am reminded of it, I take this opportunity to congratulate Senator Cormack and Senator Seward who were, respectively the mover and the seconder of the motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply. I also take this opportunity to congratulate the other honorable senators who made their maiden speeches during this debate, and I hope I will be pardoned for mentioning in my commendation one of my colleagues of the Opposition. I refer ‘ to Senator Byrne. I do not need to stress the high impression that I formed of the character and capacity of the honorable senators who made their maiden speeches during the debate. They seemed to dispose with apparent ease of the ordeal that is always associated with the making of maiden speeches, and the speeches themselves were thoughtful and forceful contributions to the debate. On behalf of the Opposition I congratulate each of them, and I am quite confident that they will make a very notable contribution to the debating strength of this chamber. Although the Opposition possesses only one neophyte, we welcome any addition to the debating strength of the chamber.

I pass now to a consideration of another .matter. I refer to the report of the 7th March, by the Special Committee on National Service in the Defence Force. The Opposition submitted a motion for the adoption of that report on the 8th March. However, the debate did not proceed very far and did not reach a conclusion because it was interrupted by the recent double dissolution of the Parliament. However, in the course of the short debate that ensued certain statements were made on behalf of the Government that I feel should be answered. I do not want’ to traverse the whole of the matters covered in the report, but I have listed the main points that were made by the committee and by the Opposition. The first one dealt with the discourtesy of the Treasurer (Sir Arthur Fadden), who was at the relevant time, Acting Prime Minister, in not replying to « letter from the committee of the 12th January until the first day upon whig the committee sat in Melbourne, namely, the 6th February. The second point is set. out in paragraphs 55 and 56 of thu committee’s report. It expresses the committee’s unanimous view that it regarded as an insult the terms of the Treasurer’s letter to its chairman. I do not propose to review those aspects of the matter now because I do not think that it is worth while to resurrect them other than to emphasize the points that were made by the Opposition in the course of the subsequent debate. Particular attention was drawn to the fact that the Treasurer was in error in claiming that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) had announced previously that service chiefs and others would not be allowed to attend the committee and to give evidence before it. The Prime Minister had, in fact, intimated that they would attend, but that they would claim privilege under certain circumstances. The fourth point to which the committee directed particular attention, was the discourtesy, to use a mild word, of which two of the Service chiefs and one civil departmental head had been guilty in not advising the committee that they would not attend and give evidence. The fifth point stressed the contrast in behaviour of those gentlemen with that of another Service chief. I refer to Sir Edmund Herring, the Director-General of Recruiting, who apparently regarded the direction of the Cabinet as illegal, and attended the committee and gave most helpful and valuable evidence before it. The sixth point made by the Opposition was that there had been an assault by the Government on parliamentary privilege; that there was contempt of the Senate and, in fact, of the Parliament ; and that there was a contravention of the Commonwealth Constitution. The final point made was that the issue really raised by the Government’s action in the matter amounted, in the words used by the Treasurer himself on a former occasion, to an issue between dictatorship and democracy.

Before the debate closed on those seven points two Ministers - the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator O’sullivan) and the Attorney-General (Senator Spicer) - had spoke, and, I think, one Government supporter had also taken part in it. Three members of the Opposition had also spoken. However, the debate was adjourned and was never concluded. The first point that I desire to make now is that not one word was uttered by the Government in reply to any of the facts brought forward by the Opposition. No defence was attempted of the action of the Treasurer and no excuse was offered for the behaviour of the Service chiefs. In fact, not one word of rebuttal of the first five points came from the Government. Of course, there was a very good reason for that; the reason was that no real answer could be given to any of -those five points made by the Opposition. I shall say something now in relation to the speeches made by the Minister for Trade and Customs and the Attorney-General on that occasion. Those who recall the speech made by the Leader of the Government may remember that he accused the Opposition of many sins against the parliamentary institution. I make the point at once that even if he were correct in charging all those sins against the Opposition, that was no answer to the case made out by us in this matter. Of course, I do not admit for one moment that the Opposition had been guilty of those alleged offences. It is clear, therefore, that the allegations made by the Minister, like the flowers that bloom in the spring, had nothing to do with the case. In fact, I need say little concerning the Minister’s speech except that he devoted his undoubted energies and abilities to abuse of the Opposition. In fact, the entire speech consisted of evasion and abuse and did not meet the case put forward by us.

I pass now to the speech made by the Attorney-General, and I say at once that, there were two pathetic aspects of that speech. The first was the obvious surprise and delight of Government supporters, as expressed by their faces, when the Attorney-General began to defend the Government. They were astonished that anything could be said in defence of the Government’s actions in this matter. Quite apart from their pleasure at the lengthy argument that was so lucidly and “powerfully expressed by the Minister, they were obviously’ surprised to discover that the Government might have some case, after all. The second pathetic aspect of the Attorney-General’s utterance was the trouble he had taken to prepare material to develop an argument that was completely irrelevant to the case that had been presented by the Opposition. In fact, his argument had no foundation whatever, as I shall show presently. If I might be permitted a flight of fancy, I would say that his speech reminded me of a particularly under-done poached egg that was looking for a piece of toast on which to perch itself, because his argument had exactly as much foundation as the under-done poached egg.

Let me deal with some of the points that the Attorney-General made. As part of the. case presented by the Opposition, I quoted a sessional order of the House of Commons that has stood since the year 1700. I claimed then, and I repeat now, that that sessional order applies to our own proceedings. The Attorney-General denied that claim and contended that the mere fact that the House of Commons exercised its right to pass a particular sessional order did not make it applicable to a parliament in this country. In fact, he alleged that it had no application whatever to this Parliament. What the Attorney-General overlooked was that that sessional order was merely declaratory of a right that had been fought for very bitterly over the centuries of parliamentary government. That right had been wrested by the Commons from kings of England, and has been cherished and enshrined in the sessional orders that are made at the beginning of each session since 1700. I do not ask the Senate to accept my word that the rule stands quite apart from the sessional orders of the House of Commons. I propose to quote from the House of Commons Reports from Committees, vol. 6, of 1934-35, in which there is a most interesting appendix containing a memorandum by Sir Horace Dawkins, then Clerk of the House of Commons. Sir Horace Dawkins deals at length with the resolution to which I have referred. There are many pages in the memorandum, and I propose to quote only a few brief extracts from it. If honorable senators will follow my comments, they will find that the rule for which the select committee contended and which the Opposition supported, had an existence quite apart from the sessional orders of the House of Commons, and was completely incorporated in our parliamentary practice pursuant to the provisions of section 49 of the Constitution. Sir Horace Dawkins says, in paragraph 1 of his memorandum -

The resolutions “ That if it shall appear that any person hath been tampering with any witness, in respect of his evidence to be given to this House, or any Committee thereof, or directly or indirectly hath endeavoured to deter or hinder any person from appearing oi giving evidence, the same is declared to be a high crime and misdemeanour; and this House will proceed with the utmost severity against such offender,” and “ That if it shall appear that any person hath given false evidence in any cause before this House, or any Committee thereof, this House will proceed with the utmost severity against such offender,” were first adopted on February 21, 1700-1. They have been regularly renewed in every succeeding session.

Sir Horace stated in paragraph 5 ;

It is important to observe that the sessional resolutions are merely declaratory of the law and usage of Parliament, not introductory of a new usage. They did not create new offences. They did not convert into breaches of privilege or contempts acts which had previously not been regarded as such, and which, unless the resolutions were renewed each session; would not be treated as breaches of privilege.

Then, in paragraphs 7 and 8, he says -

  1. It is, therefore, incorrect to speak of tampering with witnesses or any other of the kinds of misconduct mentioned in the sessional resolutions as “ contravening “ or “ infringing “, or as “ being prohibited by “ these resolutions. It is because of their nature and not because they are expressly prohibited by an order of the House that these acts are breaches of privilege. The right of investigating, by the testimony of witnesses or otherwise, any subject or matter in reference to which it has power to act is one of the collective privileges of the House; and all conduct of a kind calculated to obstruct the House in the exercise of this right is consequently a contempt of the authority of the House and a breach of its privileges.

    1. If this be so, it may be asked, why has it been thought necessary to repeat these resolutions each session? To this the only answers that can be given are, first, that the same reasons which led to the adoption of the resolutions in the first instance probably led to their repetition in succeeding sessions; and, secondly, that though a resolution declaratory of a general law or. usage of Parliament continues to be observed as such in succeeding sessions even though it is not formally renewed, failure to renew these resolutions, after they have been repeated every session for two hundred and thirty-three years, might be misconstrued as implying an intention on the part of the House to waive its privileges and not to treat such acts as breaches of privilege for the future.

I commend to those honorable senators who may wish to pursue the subject, the rest of the memorandum by Sir Horace Dawkins. I do not propose at this stage to take that matter any further. It has been sufficient for me to establish that the principle for which the committee contended in its report had an existence anterior to the resolution of 1700, and completely apart from the resolution of 1700, and that that principle was incorporated in our practice and procedure by section 49 of the Constitution. Accordingly, the argument addressed by the Attorney-General to the Senate on that point was entirely without substance. The honorable senator also ignored completely another parliamentary authority who was quoted at length on page 11 of the report of the select committee. I ask the Senate to pay particular attention to the words “ any person M and “ prospective witnesses “ in those quotations because they occur over and over again, and I shall later develop an argument in relation to them. First, I draw the attention of honorable senators to the following passage that appeared in the Report of the Committee of Privileges; Commons Paper 90 of 1934:-

The Sessional Order and what may be described as the general privilege of the House of Commons clearly prohibit anything in the nature of intimidation or force or any suggestion of false evidence on a question of fact or any attempt to prevent any person from appearing before a Committee of the House or from expressing his honest opinion.

The select committee’s report also quoted the following passages from May: -

To tamper with a witness in regard to the evidence to be given before either House or any committee of either House or to endeavour, directly or indirectly, to deter or hinder any person from appearing or giving evidence is a breach of privilege.

May, 14th edition, p. 129.

Any conduct which is calculated to deter prospective witnesses from giving evidence before either House or before committees of either House is a breach of privilege. -Ibid., p. 129.

Persons who tamper with witnesses in respect of evidence to be given before committees of either House, or endeavour, directly or indirectly, to deter or hinder persons from appearing or giving evidence, are punishable as for breach of privilege. -Ibid., p. 593.

Again I direct the attention of honorable senators to the words “ any person “, and “ prospective witnesses “, in those quotations. I come now to the exact words used by the Attorney-General. He said -

I come now to the gravamen of the committee’s charge. It is said witnesses who were bound to attend the meetings of the committee were induced by the ministry not to do so.

That was a completely false statement of the case presented by the Opposition. Neither we on this side of the chamber, nor the select committee in .its report, claimed that the witnesses were bound to appear to give evidence. What the Attorney-General did was to present a false position, and then devote the whole of his time and energy to demolishing that position. To clear the minds of honorable senators of any false impression that the committee was speaking of persons who were bound to appear and give evidence, I shall refer briefly to two portions of the report.

Paragraph 19 states -

While this letter asks the witness to attend to give evidence, he is not ordered to attend at a particular time; he is asked to indicate whether a certain time would be convenient. . The Committee might well have instructed the Clerk peremptorily to summon the witnesses to appear at stated times, but it was felt that it was reasonable - and courteous - that the Committee should study the convenience of the witnesses in this matter.

Again, in paragraph * 39, the committee’s view is set out at length. It states -

Comments. - It may be argued that the letter from the Clerk of the Committee - see paragraph 18 - was not, technically, a summons to attend: that it was rather an inquiry asking whether a specified appointment would be convenient. To the Committee it is unimportant whether that letter is regarded as a formal summons to attend, or not. There is obviously little profit in arguing a technicality when neither the proposed witnesses nor the Ministry sought to exploit such a technicality. There was no suggestion from any witness that the time suggested was not convenient.

The committee’s argument was that persons had been hindered or prevented from giving evidence. The terms of the rule setting out the usage and customs of the House of Commons are so clear that they can be regarded as including prospective witnesses of whose existence a committee is not aware, but who desire to give evidence, or to express an intention to give evidence, but are hindered, impeded, or dissuaded from so doing. The law in the. matter is so completely clear that if a person expressed to the Cabinet a desire or intention to give evidence, and that person and his intention were equally not known to the committee, and the Cabinet impeded that person from giving evidence, nevertheless the offence would have been committed. So I point out to the Senate how false was the case presented by the AttorneyGeneral (Senator Spicer). Doubtless honorable senators will recall the case that he presented. He claimed that if he were a capitalist employing a great deal of labour and one of his employees received the letter that the prospective witnesses of the committee received, he would have said to the employee, “ This is merely an invitation, not a summons. If you do not want to go, you need not do so “. He claimed that is exactly what the Cabinet did in this instance. Put again the Minister was clearly in error. What the Cabinet said to the service chiefs and others was not “ If you do not want to go, you need not do so “. It did something entirely different. It issued to them a direction in writing not to attend. That is a very different case from the one cited by the Attorney-General. I think it is common knowledge to those who are experienced in Parliament that it has been normal practice, certainly a primary practice, for a Select Committee not to issue formal summonses to its prospective witnesses. I think that the Minister for Repatriation (Senator Cooper) would acknowledge that no such summonses were issued by the Social Security Committee, and that Senator Amour would acknowledge that the Broadcasting Committee did not issue formal summonses. Indeed, I do not think that that would have been desirable. I suggest that the issue of a formal summons would not permit the happy exchange of thought that should take place between a witness and the committee, and that it should be resorted to only when compulsion is strictly necessary. Again I draw the attention of the Senate to th, practice in the United States of America. As honorable senators have probably read in the press, General Eisenhower, Allied Chief Commander of the West Atlantic Forces in the Defence of Europe, General John Marshall, Defence Secretary, and other important executive and administrative officers, are daily giving evidence before select committees of Congress and of the American Senate. There is no hesitation about the matter at all. It is a practice that might well be introduced with approval by the Government. Probably the best thing that has been said on this subject was said by a man who, more than anybody else, committed the offence. I refer to the right honorable member for McPherson (Sir Arthur Fadden), when acting as Prime Minister. When speaking in the House of Representatives on the 14th October, 1948, he stated -

If once the Executive, as represented by Cabinet Ministers, is given .power to override the Parliament and the privileges of members, then at that very moment our free democracy ceases to exist, and the institution of Parliament, as we know it, is supplanted by a dictatorship of nineteen Ministers answerable to no one but themselves.

That was indeed a great indictment of his own act. I invite honorable senators to remember that breaches of the privileges of the Senate involve great implications. Members of Parliament enjoy privileges only in their representative capacity. When there is a breach of, or an assault upon, those privileges, there is an assault upon the people, because in the final analysis the privileges are theirs and we only exercise them in their name and on their behalf. As I pointed out last March, just prior to the dissolution of the previous Parliament, the Opposition regards this matter most seriously. We consider it incumbent upon us to traverse once more the argument that the AttorneyGeneral presented on behalf of the Government, and to demolish it. I submit that in my brief remarks this afternoon I have demolished it.

Western Australia

– Before proceeding with matters relating to the Address-in-Reply, I should like to add my warm congratulations to you, Mr. President, on behalf of the people of Western Australia, and on my own behalf, upon your elevation to the high office of President of the Senate. I also congratulate Senator George Rankin on his appointment as Chairman of Committees. With all other honorable senators, I wish you both a long and successful term of office. The appointment of the honorable member for Curtin (Mr.- Hasluck) as Minister for Territories was very gratifying to the people of Western Australia. I point out, however, that I am not convinced that that State’s greatness has yet been fully recognizer].

The announcement of the proposed visit to Australia next year of Their Majesties the King and Queen, and Princess Margaret has, I am sure, given us all sincere pleasure. I endorse the hope that has been expressed by other honorable senators that His Majesty’s health will be such as to enable the Royal visit to take place as planned, and thai. Their Majesties will derive considerable enjoyment from the tour. It behoves us during this Jubilee Session of the Parliament to remember with praise and gratitude the wise leadership of the men who were instrumental in bringing about the federation of this country. Although some portions of the Constitution could with advantage be revised, I believe that that document was ably drawn and . that it is still a very remarkable document, which reveals’ great forethought and vision by the fathers of federation. It is fitting in this Jubilee year that we should remember the pioneers of this country, who, by their bravery, courage, hard work and endurance, laid such splendid foundations for the development of this fine Commonwealth. We might well emulate them during the coming years. Australia is still largely a pioneering country, and we cannot expect to take our place as the leading nation in tin-. Pacific unless we exert ourselves to the full to populate this country and increase its production. A number of honorable senators have referred to the shortage of basic foods. We all realize that a large measure of the shortage is due to lack of labour. The dairy-farmers and the housewives of this country have nol benefited by the questionable advantage of the 40-hour week. The farmers are quite unable to obtain all of the labour that they require on their farms. Dairy herds are being greatly diminished, with a consequent serious decrease of production of basic foods, such as milk, butter and cheese. Unless something drastic is done to improve our rural industries, the outlook will be bleak indeed. According to recent figures, during the last ten years our dairy cattle herds have decreased by 25,000 head. Because of increased population, our consumption of butter has increased by 25 per cent. Experts estimate that if the present rate of increase of population continues, and the rate of decrease of production of basic foods is maintained, by the year 1960 we shall be faced with a famine in this country. A remedy might perhaps be found in more equitable allocation of labour. Figures compiled by experts show that last year 11 per cent, of immigrants went into primary industries, 23 per cent, to secondary industries, and 66 per cent, to feeder services. . I consider that it would be better for the country if the figures 11 per cent, and 66 per cent, were reversed. .There are, of course, other causes of1 food shortages. Soil erosion is a subject with which we have not dealt adequately. I should like to see more effort along scientific lines to halt the ravages of erosion ; otherwise the day is not far distant when this country, because of the low rate of food production and the increase J rate of population, will not be able to feed itself. Honorable senators will appreciate that that would have serious international repercussions. I think that the success or otherwise of the Colombo plan will be largely determined ‘by the amount of food that Australia is able to send to Asian countries. It is of very little use for us to export to Asian peoples “ Sunshine “ harvesters and other laboursaving machinery commonly used on Australian farms, because mechanical labour does not matter greatly to countries where human labour is sp plentiful. The pressing need of the Asian countries is for food.

The effect of the 40-hour week on the sugar industry would have been much more serious had it not been for the fact that an amicable arrangement was arrived at between growers and workers to the effect that some overtime should be worked. The figures indicate that under the 40-hour week system, the production of sugar would have decreased by 45,000 tons a year; however, because overtime was permitted to be worked, the decrease of production was only 20,000 tons. At the same time the consumption of sugar in Australia has increased toy approximately 500,000 tons a year. People ask why there is a sugar shortage in Australia to-day. I suggest that those figures give the answer to that question.

In speaking- during the AddressinReply debate during the last Parliament, I stressed the importance of the development of the Northern Territory, the northern parts of Queensland, and especially the north-west of Western Australia. It must be admitted that previous governments failed in all their endeavours on behalf of the people who live in those parts of the continent which are so important to us, not only because of their potential value as food-producing areas, but also from the viewpoint of defence. With the international situation as it is to-day, food production and defence have become almost burning questions. In the north-west of Western Australia the population has actually declined. A suggestion has been made that the area should be declared tax free for a limited period, but that would be but a drop in the bucket when one considers the extent of the development that is required. Families must live there and extensive water and power schemes must be proceeded with immediately in order that the ordinary amenities of life may be provided. I recall that in Western Australia in earlier years, liberal land laws were enacted in the hope that settlers would be encouraged to spread > out and bring about decentralization in that State. The provisions of those laws were so liberal that for all practical purposes each adult member of a family could receive free 160 acres of land on condition that within a limited time improvements would be put on the property. Those laws resulted in the development of some of the best agricultural, wheat and dairy-farming land in the State. We have the land, but we need people to settle on it. Let us, therefore, make great grants of land to those who are willing to put up with a certain amount of discomfort in the knowledge that they will be assisting to develop the country. I should, of course, prefer to see settlers of British stock given such generous land grants.

Air services need to be developed in order to improve communications in undeveloped areas. The Wittenoom Gorge now provides an excellent example of cooperation between Commonwealth and State air services, and those people who are developing the asbestos fields in that district have been given every encouragement by the Australian Government in the provision of air services. For instance, fresh milk is delivered to them by 10 o’clock each morning, which is a most important amenity. That is the sort of progress which I should like to see taking place in the northern areas of Australia. While I am discussing air services, I wish to refer reverently to the passing last month of a great Australian. I refer to the Very Reverend Dr. John Flynn, known to thousands of Australians as ,v Flynn of the Inland “. In his humble way, as a missionary of the Presbyterian

Church., he first went out into the inland tq acquaint himself with the great problems of the Commonwealth, and he immediately set to work to give reality to a dream which he had had. To-day we have fine flying doctor services, missionary services, and bush nursing hostels and hospitals scattered throughout the inland. Those services have made it safe for families to live in parts of Australia where no white person had previously lived. Pedal wireless sets enable communication with capital cities. The name of Dr. John Flynn will go down in the annals of Australian history as one who bad a true conception of what this continent could be.

To-day, international affairs are a tangled skein, and it must be patent to all of us that strong action must be taken to augment our defence system. The electors have spoken again in no uncertain terms about the defence of this country. “We prize the freedoms that we enjoy, but if we are to retain them we must be ready to protect them in the best possible way. What we prize for ourselves we are eager that other peoples also should enjoy, and therefore we are proud that so many Australians were willing to go with the expeditionary forces to Korea to fight alongside the troops of other members of the United Nations in defence of world liberty. When, the full facts of the Korean war are known we may learn that by joining’ with the forces of the other members of the United Nations our gallant soldiers probably kent an enemy from attacking their own country.

In the field of social services there must be constant change to meet changing circumstances. I stress the needs of many age pensioners whose lot could in many ways be made very much easier. To-day, when I asked that hearing aids be provided for aged persons I regret to say that the Minister for National Development (Senator Spooner) who represents the Minister for Social Services answered it in the negative. That, is a matter to which the Government may well give a second thought. Many aged persons lead very quiet and isolated lives. By the provision of hearing aids to those who need them the Government would bring a great deal of joy into the lives of the pioneers of this country who showed such great fortitude in the early days of its settlement and are entitled to as much comfort as we can give them in the closing years of their lives.

I appeal especially for better treatment of the large number of superannuated persons in the Commonwealth who, having contributed for small superannuation pensions, are compelled to pay the social services contribution. Many persons who, during their working lives; contributed to superannuation schemes were able to contribute for units sufficient only to give them an income of £2 10s. a week, but even that small income is subject to deduction for social services contribution. To-day I received details of a case in which a person who is in receipt of a superannuation pension of only £2 10s. a week is called upon to pay social services contribution amounting to 8s. 6d. annually: On such a low income a person has not much margin on which to save the money necessary to pay that impost. Persons in receipt of small superannuation pensions should be able to enjoy the benefit of the full amount for which they contributed. The levying of social services contribution on such persons seems to me to be one of the greatest anomalies in our social services legislation and should be removed without delay. Age pensioners are given different treatment. They may enjoy an income of £2 10s. a week without deduction for social services contribution.

Western Australia is the only State in the Commonwealth in which a medical school has not been established. Some years ago the Australian Government made a grant pf money to the Western Australian Government - I think it was £125,000 - to be used for the establishment of a medical school. At that time building costs were not nearly as high as they are now. According to the prices index figures published in March last, building costs in Western Australia have increased so steeply that, even if building materials were available, that amount of money would not be nearly sufficient to meet the cost of the construction and establishment of a medical school. In Western Australia medical students are taken only for the first year of the course, after which they have to go to universities in the eastern States to complete the course and obtain their degrees. The universities in the eastern States are showing some unwillingness to take our students, not because they do not want the cream of Australia from Western Australia, but because shortage of accommodation prevents them from being as generous as they would like to be. I appeal to the Government to increase the grant. In Perth building costs have increased more steeply than in any other capital city in the Commonwealth. The latest statistics show that in March, 1951, costs increased by 75 per cent. over the figures of March, 1947. Thus the grant has already lost a great deal of its value.

I congratulate Senator McKenna upon his appointment as Leader of the Opposition but I was exceedingly sorry that in his speech to-day he should have dealt with the reference to a select committee appointed by the Senate last year to inquire into and report upon national service in the Defence Force. I regret that the honorable senator, as leader of his party, did not offer a constructive suggestion about those important national and international matters which so much concern us to-day. His defence of the Labour party on the Communist issue was extremely weak. During the general election campaign the electors were under no misapprehension about the attitude of the Labour party on that issue. They knew the record of the Labour Government in relation to communism during the eight years in which it held office. They recalled how the Labour party had continually flirted with the Communist party and how honorable senators opposite repeatedly described communism as a political philosophy, pretending that there was no infiltration of Communists in this country notwithstanding the fact that such infiltration was patent to every person in Australia. The people knew that industrial unrest in Australia was caused purely and simply by Communist infiltration.

SenatorAylett. - Not in the Labour party.


– Nothing could prevent the people from realizing the great danger of communism to Australia. Opposition senators have lived to see the day when that political philosophy has cost Australia a great deal. It has also put them into the political wilderness for many years to come. A political philosophy that causes the electors such major inconvenience to family life, and foments industrial disputes resulting in losses of wages amounting to £4,000,000 in four years, can only be described as treason to the workers of this country. The members of the Labour party do not speak with one voice on this issue. In yesterday’s Canberra Times the Labour Premier of Tasmania, Mr. Cosgrove, who, I am sure, has no Liberal views, is reported to have said: -

The “ reds “ were to blame for the sick state of the Australian economy. Stoppages, strikes, go-slow tactics and general industrial unrest arethe commodities they deal in. Your weekly pay envelope would go further if only the vast majority of unionists and workers would expel these individuals from executive positions in union ranks.

When the Government brought in a bill to provide for the holding of secret ballots among members of trade unions, the Labour party condemned it, but did not offer any other solution of the problem. It is true that some trade unions do hold so-called secret ballots, but they are secret only to a degree. It is time that the Labour party had a good spring cleaning. It should decide where’ it stands on various issues, and then it should speak with one voice so that the people may be able to judge it fairly. I am sure that the people, having done so, will put the Labour party where I think ‘it properly belongs - in honorable opposition.

I congratulate the Government upon being returned to power in the recent elections. Senator Brown said that the anti-Labour parties tried to hoodwink the people. I do not know what sort of electors there are in Queensland, but I know that ‘ the electors of Western Australia cannot be hoodwinked. They know the genuine article when they see it. There was no ballyhoo on our part in Western Australia. The electors were confronted with astraight-out choice. They were asked, “ Do you value the freedom that you enjoy; do you want democracy to survive or do you want communism to reign ? “ We rejoice in our victory. I quote in all reverence the words uttered by the late President

Roosevelt when he was returned to the Presidency after a strenuous campaign -

In this victorious hour there can be no feeling of victorious exaltation. Rather does it impose a sense of solemn responsibility on you all to the future, and of complete dependence on Divine Guidance.

I thank honorable senators for the patient hearing they have given me. I congratulate newly elected senators upon the able speeches they have made. I hope that, exercising the earnest cooperation which the late leader of the Labour party, Mr. Chifley, preached in his closing days, we shall all pull together for the benefit of our beloved Commonwealth.

New South Wales

– I am stimulated by the speech to which we have just listened, but before I discuss it further let me sincerely congratulate you, Mr.. President, upon your election to the Presidency. You have taken on a big job, but I feel sure that you will discharge your duties with dignity and impartiality. To the Chair- . man of Committees I also convey my congratulations upon his appointment. I am confident that he will be a success iri that position. I congratulate also those honorable senators who made their maiden speeches during this debate. I have had a good many years’ experience in this chamber, and I know that the quality of the speeches which we have heard recently has been very high. Of the Labour party’s solitary recruit, Senator Byrne, . from Queensland, we have reason to feel proud. His contribution to the debate was outstanding. I look forward to very keen debating in the Senate when the new senators have got the pace of the pitch.

Although Senator Henty might not have used the expression had he given the matter more thought, I believe that he unwittingly spoke for many honorable senators on the Government side when he described himself as a political innocent. It, is their duty to remedy that condition as quickly as possible. When a man is elected to the Senate he moves into a bigger field. If he is a Government supporter there rests upon him a heavy responsibility, not only in the Senate chamber itself, but also in the party room where the policy of the Government is hammered out. It is there that know ledge and experience are so valuable. It is the duty of every honorable senator to make himself as well-informed as he can in the business of his country so that he may assist his party in the formulation of policy.

The speech of Senator Robertson was unconsciously humorous. She told the same old story that we have heard from every Liberal and Australian Country party platform during the last three years. It really amounts to an excuse for inaction. During the election campaigns it was backed, by very effective advertising which hoodwinked the people. I am not complaining. Indeed, I offer the Government my sympathy. The job before it is colossal, and I can see no indication that the Government is fitted to do that job, a reflection which makes me feel rather sad. Senator Robertson said that the electors had spoken in no uncertain terms on the subject of defence, and yet the Minister for ‘ National Development (Senator Spooner) wants to close down the Glen Davis shale oil project, which basically is a defence project.

Senator Robertson:

– Sometimes it is necessary to be cruel in order to be kind.


– That may be the honorable senator’s opinion, but the fact remains that the Glen- Davis project is a basic defence measure.

Senator Robertson:

– It has been losing money.


– So have the Navy, the Army and the Air Force. The Government is always complaining of the activities of the Communists in industry, but the Postal Department, which is under its own control, has been losing money at the rate of £12,000,000 a year. I understand that the Government proposes to introduce legislation shortly to increase postal charges by 33£ per cent. The Glen Davis project has been incurring an actual trading loss of only £183,000 a year, but the Government intends to close it down. Its proposal looks to me suspiciously like the old Liberal party policy of the ‘thirties when, particularly in New South Wales, an anti-Labour government closed down every government-operated enterprise it could get its hands on, whether the enterprise was making money or not. It was a matter of policy, and the public is now suffering because of the closing down of the government brickworks and pipeworks, and the works at Walsh Island. At this time, particularly, the Government should keep the Glen Davis project in operation, because experience is being gained there in the working of shale deposits- and the refining of oil.

Senator Guy:

– What is the production darg at Glen Davis?


– The output per miner at Glen Davis is higher than in any other mine in Australia.


– What rot ! That is not what Senator Ashley said.


– Production is high in spite of the fact that the digging of shale is much harder than the digging of coal, and in spite of the fact that the miners at Glen Davis are working on a very small seam. The Government will find it hard to justify the closing of the Glen Davis project.

Senator Robertson attacked the Labour party for its attitude to communism, saying that it had been conducting a continuous flirtation with the Communist party. She added that because the Australian people valued their freedom they had .returned the Liberal and Australian Country parties to power. Surely Government supporters must know what is in the mind of the Government in connexion with controls. They must know what is just around the corner in the way of direction of man-power. Are they unaware that the Government is restoring control over capital issues in order to organize the credit of the country? In the last issue of the Sunday Sun the following paragraph was published: -

Industry is to be submitted to- controls nearly as drastic as those in war-time so that the Commonwealth can be fully mobilized against war in three years.

The economic side is to be achieved under the Government’s Defence Preparation Bill, to be passed by Parliament during the present session.

Ministers admit frankly that the Government’s basic intention is to “ strangle “ luxury production and to switch man- power and materials to essential industry.

During the initial stages, at least, emphasis is to be. upon co-operation rather than compulsion.

Senator Guy:

– That is only a newspaper report.


– It may be, but the honorable senator will see that it is right. Apparently, he is one of the political innocents to whom I referred. Honorable senators should keep themselves informed on Government policy so that, in the party- room, they may fight for the freedom about which they talk so glibly.: The newspaper report continued -

But Ministers, with the American example before them of the failure of voluntary attempts to secure high war production, believe that it will not be long before they will have to change to a “ get tough policy “:

Senator Guy:

– Does the honorable senator always believe what he reads in the newspapers ? ‘


– Not always, but I ask the honorable senator to watch developments closely during the next few weeks in order to see what the Government does. Ministers are already talking of increasing income tax rates and sales tax. There was a double dissolution of the Parliament because the Labour party failed to pass the Commonwealth Bank Bill. We made no excuses for what we did. We said we would not pass the bill, and we took the consequences. A question of principle was involved, and we stood by our principles. Although some people do not seem to understand it, there is something more in politics than just winning seats in Parliament or getting into power. A political party can sometimes do as much good for the country by being in opposition as by being in government. A party must strive to do its best for the people all’ the time, whether it be in government or in opposition. In some ‘circumstances, a party may lose honour and respect by holding on to office. It is no burden t.i me to be in opposition. I believe that members of the Parliament in opposition have an important duty to perform, and I also believe that when the people have had an opportunity to review the record of the present Government they will return Labour to office. When the lastgeneral ‘ election took place the Mens Government had npt been in office very long, but if it had been in office a little longer the people would have had a fairer opportunity to realize the futility of tha,

Administration. In fact, if there were a general election to-morrow all that the people would need to do would be to ask themselves the simple question, “ What has this Government done to fulfil all the promises that it has made to us? “ The anti-Labour parties know that the only, way in which they can defeat the Labour party, which has such a splendid record in peace as well as in war, is to besmirch it with the smear of communism. Members of those parties know that the great est political weapon is that of fear, and they plied that weapon ruthlessly during the last two general elections. Their tactics were successful, but now that they have attained office they have my sympathy and my best wishes that, for the good of the country, they may make a success of the job they have set themselves. And if they do the things that should be done I shall be the first to applaud them.

Senator Guy:

– Then we shall always be receiving credit from the honorable senator.


– Unfortunately, the record of the Government during the last eighteen months is completely barren of achievement. Admittedly, members of the Government and their supporters have indulged in a great deal of high-minded talk. In fact, the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) is blessed with a golden voice, and it is undoubtedly a. treat to listen to him, but unfortunately, he cannot translate his highminded talk into resolute and effective action. Whenever the right honorable gentleman is asked what his Government is doing to- restore value to the £1 he invariably says that he cannot take any effective action until he has dealt with the Communists. In fact, he admitted that during a public meeting in Brisbane in the course of the last election campaign. However, when he was elected to office in 1949 he introduced, with a great fanfare of trumpets, a measure to outlaw the Communist party. Apart. from that, his Government took no effective action against the Communists. That measure, incidentally, was so defective that the Government accepted 54 amendments t” it during the course of .its passage through the Parliament. The Labour Opposition did- its best to improve the form of that legislation, although we realized that it was defective in substance. Subsequently, as we all know, the High Court rejected it completely. The Government cannot accuse Labour of having frustrated it in this matter because the Opposition did not vote against the bill.

When Senator Nash was speaking in the course of this debate Senator Cormack interrupted him, and his interjection exposed the ignorance of supporters of the Government of the very important subject of the relation of administration to the law. Senator Cormack asked Senator Nash whether the Opposition would give the Government power to deal with the Communists, and Senator Nash replied that the Government already possessed all the powers it needed to deal with the situation. That reply led me to examine the Crimes Act, and my examination disclosed the almost unlimited power thai that legislation confers on the Government to deal with the Communists. It also proved that all the talk of members of the Government about the legal barriers that allegedly prevent them from dealing with the Communists is “ phoney “. I emphasize at once that I agree with members of the Government that communism is a menace in this country. If we have any doubt about that matter, we need only recall that Aorangi has been tied up in Sydney for 23 days. But what action has the Government, taken to raise the ban imposed by the Communists on the sailing of that vessel ? Members of the Government are apparently engaging in some undercover negotiations with the Communists. Of course, when they were in opposition they constantly accused us of flirting with the Communists. But what is the Minister fbr Labour and National Service (Mr. Holt) doing with. Mr. Healy? Is he wooing him with flowers and chocolates? Although I have asked questions of Ministers about the action that the Government is taking to release that vessel, the only answer that I can obtain is that negotiations are going on. What sort of negotiations are they ?

As I have said, an examination of the Crimes Act makes it quite clear that all the Government needs to do is to display a little courage in this matter, because it already possesses ample statutory power to deal with the Communists. For instance, consider section 24 of that act, which deals with treason, and reads as follows : -

  1. Any person who within the Commonwealth or any Territory -

    1. instigates any foreigner to make an armed invasion of the Commonwealth or any part of the King’s Dominions, or
    2. assists by any means whatever any public enemy, shall be guilty of an indictable offence and shall be liable to the punishment of death.

Surely the Government does not want to inflict any more severe punishment than death.

Senator Cormack:

– Is the honorable senator and his colleagues willing to invoke the Crimes Act to fight the Communists ?


– That is not the point. The responsibility of dealing with this matter rests with the Government, which now has a majority not only in the House of Representatives, but also in this chamber. It is idle for it to advance the excuse on which it relied during the last Parliament when it constantly complained that it was frustrated by. the Senate.

Senator O’Sullivan:

– What is the definition of “ public enemy “ ?


– I think that such a person is clearly defined by section 24 (c), which deals with sedition, and is as follows : -

Any person who -

engages in or agrees or undertakes to engage in, a seditious enterprise;

conspires with any person to carry out a seditious enterprise;

counsels, advises, or attempts to procure the carrying out of a seditious enterprise, shall be guilty of an indictable offence.

Penalty: Imprisonment for three years.

SenatorO’Sullivan. - The honorable senator has still not defined “ public enemy “.


– The Minister is trained in law, and six members of the Government are lawyers, so that he should be able to answer that question himself.

Senator O’Sullivan:

– The fact is that there is no definition of “ public enemy and that is the trouble. On ordinary legal interpretation, “ public enemy “ means a country with which Australia is at war.


– Does the Minister deny that the penalty provided in the Crimes Act for treason is death? That is the point which Senator Cormack completely overlooked. I also take the opportunity to remind the Government that when Labour was in office it did not hesitate to invoke section 24c of the Crimes Act against the Communists. An examination of the Crimes Act also discloses that the Government has ample power to deal with unlawful associations. Section 30a contains the following provision : - : (1.) The following are hereby declared to bc unlawful associations, namely : -

  1. Any body of persons, incorporated or unincorporated, which by its constitution or propaganda or otherwise advocates or encourages -

    1. the overthrow of the Constitution of the Commonwealth by revolution or sabotage ;
    2. the overthrow by force or violence of the established government of the Commonwealth or of a State or of any other civilized country or of organized government ; or
    3. the destruction or injury of property of the Commonwealth or of property used in trade or commerce with other countries or among the States, or which is, or purports to be, affiliated with any organization which advocates or encourages any of the doctrines or practices specified in this paragraph;

I consider that I am not wasting the time of the Senate in reading these extracts because they should serve an educational purpose for us, and particularly for supporters of the Government who, after all, are charged with the responsibility of convincing themselves that their Government is doing everything it can to suppress the enemies of Australia. Why did not the present Government invoke the section of the Crimes Act that I have just read? Let me remind members of the Government that in prosecutions under the Crimes Act section 30b of that statute provides all that the Government has to do is to make certain averments, and the burden of proof is thrown upon the defendants.

The Crimes Act also provides that foreign-born trouble-makers may be deported from this country, but I have not heard of the Government taking action to deport any known Communist. Has the menace of communism disappeared? Have the notorious Communists of foreign origin suddenly become good boys? Is there no more sedition or sabotage on the waterfront? In case honorable senators have any doubt about the power of the Government to deport Communists who came to this country from overseas I shall read sub-section (1.) of 30l, which provides -

Where, in consequence of an application made by the Attorney-General under section thirty aa of this Act, any body of persons has been declared by the High Court or the Supreme Court of a State to be an unlawful association, the Attorney-General may, by order under his hand, direct that any person, not born in Australia, who, at the date of the application, was a member of that body of persons, shall be deported from the Commonwealth.

The preceding section also provides that any person who inflicts “ violence to the person or property of another person, or by spoken or written threat or intimidation of any kind … or threat of boycott of person or property” shall be liable to imprisonment for one year. Section 30o deals with incitement to crime, and is as follows: -

Any person who by speech or writing advocates or encourages -

the overthrow of the Constitution of the Commonwealth by revolution or sabotage ;

the overthrow by force or violence of the established government of the Commonwealth or of a State or of any other civilized country or of organized government; or

the destruction or injury of property of the Commonwealth or of property used in trade or commerce with other countries or among the States, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable in conviction . to imprisonment for any period not exceeding two years, and in addition (if he was not born in Australia) to deportation by order of the Attorney-General as provided in this Act.

Obviously, the overthrow of the Government by force or violence is a cardinal plank in the platform of the Australian Communist party. Another section of the act provides that any person; who, in any way, assists or encourages persons guilty of offences under the act shall be liable to imprisonment for six months. Honorable senators will realize, therefore, that the Government possesses enormous powers to deal with members of the Communist party. Imagine all that power being reposed in the hands of men or mere words! Section 30g deals with the forfeiture of property possessed by an unlawful organization, and confers on the Government ample power to seize all books, pamphlets and newspapers produced by the Communist party. When Labour was in office it did not hesitate to invoke its powers to deal with subversive elements, but it seems clear that the present Government is frightened to do so. What is the purpose of lawyers if they cannot overcome legal difficulties? If the Government did not include so many lawyers amongst its members probably ite difficulties would be much fewer. I draw particular interest to section 30j, which reads as follows : - (1.) If at any time the Governor-General is of opinion that there exists in Australia a serious industrial disturbance prejudicing or threatening trade or commerce with other countries or among the States, he maymake a Proclamation to that effect, which Proclamation shall be and remain in operation for the purpose of this section until it is revoked. (2.) Any person who, during the operation of such Proclamation, takes part in or continues, or incites to, urges, aids or encourages the taking part in, or continuance of, a lock-out or strike -

  1. in relation to employment in or in connexion with the transport of goods or the conveyance of passengers in trade or commerce with other countries or among the States; or
  2. in relation to employment in, or in connexion with, the provision of any public service by the Commonwealth or by any Department or public authority under the Commonwealth, shall be guilty of an offence, and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for any period not exceeding one year, and in addition (if he was not born in Australia) to deportation by order of the Attorney-General as provided in this Act. (3.) For the purpose of this section - “ employee “ includes any person whose usual occupation is as an employee; “ employer “ includes any person whose usual occupation is as an employer; “ lock-out “ includes the closing of a place or part of a place of employment, if the closing is unreasonable, and the total or partial refusal of employers, acting in combination, to give work, if the refusal is unreasonable, or the total or partial suspension of work by an employer, if the suspension is unreasonable, with a view to compel his employees, or to aid another employer in compelling his employees, to accept any term or condition of employment.

This Government invoked the Crimes Act in respect of the Queensland waterfront dispute last year. On that occasion it could have deported any foreign-born person who incited the waterside workers to strike.

Senator O’Sullivan:

– That is not so.


– The Crimes Act makes that quite clear. I have already read the relevant provision.

Senator O’Sullivan:

– What about convictions?


– Under the Crimes Act any person, not born in this country, who incited the waterside workers to strike, could have been deported. The waterside workers simply ignored the Government.

Senator O’Sullivan:

– Read the Crimes Act again.


– I have already read it. Unfortunately, tho Minister was not listening. He was reading something else. I repeat that the waterside workers ignored the Government, even although it had power to deport persons who were not Australian born.

Senator O’Sullivan:

– Without securing a conviction first?


– I have not said that.

Senator WRIGHT:
TASMANIA · LP; IND from June 1978

– To what section of the Crimes Act is the honorable senator referring ?


– To section 30.T. I am glad that at least one honorable senator on the Government side is apparently prepared to study the Crimes Act. For the past eighteen months. Government supporters have talked loudly about the rights of the Government and what authority it has needed to do the job for which it was elected. Again I say that all the authority that the Government requires is already in its hands. The words that I have read from the Crimes Act are clear. I am not a highly paid barrister. If I were, probably my interpretation would not have been nearly so good as it was. If the Minister for Trade and Customs has any doubt about the power that the Crimes Act confers upon the Government, I shall read again the relevant sections of it.

Senator O’Sullivan:

– The honorable senator is overlooking one point. A conviction must be secured before a person can be deported.


– The Government did not even try to secure convictions during the Queensland waterfront dispute. It did not lay any charges ; yet we are told that unless the Government has power to deal with the watersiders’ leaders and other Communists, it cannot control prices, restore sanity to the community and increase production. Honorable senators opposite- may just as well blame the Communists for the Postal Department’s £12,000,000 deficit. In fact, they may just as well blame the Com,munists for all our ills, because, quite frankly, the Government’s own shoulders are not broad enough to carry the blame that should rightfully be laid upon them. As I have said, in spite of the wide power conferred by the Crimes Act, the Government has been loath to launch prosecutions. Is the Crimes Act to be applied to the Aorangi dispute? There we have a deliberate and successful attempt by the Seamen’s Union to tie up that vessel. The seamen are laughing at the Government. Calls are made for labour every day, but members of the Seamen’s Union, under the direction of its Communist leaders fail to attend. The initiative lies with the Government. Under the Crimes Act it has all the authority that it claims to need to carry out the promises that were so freely and glibly made to the people of Australia. Here is an opportunity for members of the Government to prove themselves men of honour who are prepared to fulfil their undertaking to rid this country of the menace of communism. Senator Robertson said that the Labour party was flirting with the Communists. What is the Minister for Labour and National

Service (Mr. Holt) doing now with the secretary of the Seamen’s Union, Mr. Elliott? They are having repeated conferences. Eventually we may see a report that will tell us something about Aorangi; but day after day the vessel is tied up in Sydney because the Seamen’s Union has decreed that it shall not be manned. It is up to the Government to do something, but what will it do ? It will be judged not by its words but by its actions. Prior to the last elections, the people of Australia were prepared to believe the story that because of the Labour majority in the Senate the Menzies Government had not been given a fair go in its sixteen months of office. The electors administered a sharp rebuke by depriving the Government of five seats in the House of Representatives, but they said in effect, “ We shall give the Government another chance. It may not have had a fair go.’ It may have been frustrated by the Labour Opposition in the Senate. After all, the Government held office for only sixteen months ; we shall return it to power “. I warn honorable senators opposite that the eye of every elector is on the Government. It is too late for words. No more excuses will be accepted; the time has come for action.

Senator Robertson:

– The eyes of the people are on the Labour movement because of the spanner that the Premier of New South Wales, Mr. McGirr, has thrown into the works by refusing to cede to the Commonwealth power to deal with the Communists.


– The eyes of the people of the Commonwealth are on this Government and on nothing else. Unless some action is taken soon, when the electors again have an opportunity to express their will, they will strike like a bolt from the blue. An examination of voting at the last House of Representatives elections shows that the electors moved part of the way towards disciplining the Government. There was a feeling abroad in the community that this Government was merely a Government of words. However, as the Administration had been in office for only sixteen months, the people were not quite sure. The story spread by the anti-Labour propaganda machine was that the Menzies Government had been frustrated by a hostile

Senate ; but every member of this chamber knows that of -the 80 bills .that came before this chamber in the sessional period that concluded in December of last year, only one was not passed by the Senate. Frustration was spoken of from every election platform. In fact, had it not been for the words “ frustration “ and “ communism “, most anti-Labour speakers would have been completely dumb, because that is all they could talk about. I give them full marks because they talked well and sold their story ; but it was a story that must be followed by action or the people of Australia will show by their actions at the next election what they think of a government that believes it can live on words alone.

Senator AYLETT:

.- Much as I regret to see my colleague, Senator Brown, back on the benches o’f the Senate, I, too, offer my congratulations to you, Mr. President, upon your election to your high office. If you can uphold the standard of impartiality that was set by the three previous Presidents under whom I have served, you will have the whole-hearted approval of all honorable senators on both sides of this chamber. I congratulate also those newly elected senators who have made their maiden speeches in the Address-in-Reply debate. I was impressed particularly by the speech of my colleague, Senator Byrne, but the contributions of other honorable senators were also meritorious. All the newcomers appear to be men of character who will not be afraid to speak their minds. They appear to be capable of delivering punches, and I have no doubt that they will be able to take punches without holding bitter thoughts in succeeding years. I trust that their stay in this chamber will be both useful and pleasant.

I am delighted that the administration of the Northern Territory is to be one of the- prime functions of the newly appointed Minister for Territories (Mr. Hasluck). The treatment of the aborigines in the northern areas of the Commonwealth by governments of all political complexions has been a disgrace. Possibly that has 1 been due in some measure to the fact that, until now, no Minister has been given personal responsibility for this matter. I understand that the Minister for Territories has a sound knowledge of our northern regions, and is deeply interested in them. His administration may change the whole future of the Northern Territory. I hope too, that, under his guidance, the treatment of the aborigines will be considerably better than it has been in the past. From some speeches that have been made in this chamber recently one gathers that some of our immigrants are not of the most desirable type, and that their conduct in this country is not up to expectations. I remind honorable senators that many aborigines fought in World War II., some even reaching the rank of captain in the Australian Army ; yet those people do not enjoy full citizenship rights. That is a disgrace to us all as Australians. I hope that the Minister who has been given the responsible task of administering the Northern Territory, will not only take all steps that are necessary to develop that area which is of such vital importance to Australia, but also will do something for members of this forgotten race who have never received the justice to which they are entitled. Our aim should be eventually to extend to the Australian aborigines full citizenship rights in this, their own country.

The two main problems confronting this Government are, first, how to stabilize the Australian economy which is getting completely out of control, and secondly, how to provide for the most effective defence for Australia with the least possible interference with our economy. Unfortunately, after eighteen months of office, this Government has failed to fulfil any of its golden promises to the electors.

Senator Robertson:

– Some of them have been fulfilled.

Senator AYLETT:

– If the honorable senator will permit me to deal with this matter in my own way, she may hear some very interesting information. To refresh the minds of honorable senators opposite who fought and won the 1949 elections, I draw attention to the following advertisement: -

Chifley Government’s Fake Excuse for High Prices Exposed by Actual Facts.

The biggest single factor in bringing about price increases was the Chifley Government’s abrupt and unwarrantable withdrawal of price subsidies and its refusal to grant funds to the States to replace subsidies.

The Socialist Government has, in fact, sabotaged State control of prices - and yet blames the “ deficiencies “ of State control for its own failures.

The Federal Labour Government is entirely to blame for the present extortionate cost of living and for the fact that prices have steadily increased since the Chifley Government “ controlled “ them. No faked excuse will convince Australia to the contrary.

The Liberal party, as soon as returned will take prompt steps along essentially practical lines to remedy the present disastrous position, and will, by the encouragement of incentives to increase production, stabilize aud progressively reduce prices.

Included in the advertisement was a photograph of the present Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies). Unfortunately, the electors of this country “ fell “ for that “bally-hoo”. The day after the right honorable member for Kooyong launched the election campaign on behalf’ of the Liberal and Australian Country parties in 1949 this report appeared in the press -

A policy that would “ cut living costs and improve industrial relations” was launched last night by the Opposition Leader (Mr. Menzies), as the opening shot in the Opposition campaign in the federal elections.

Immediately following the general election the Tasmanian press reported -

page 459



The maximum price of bread sold in Tasmania will be increased by a halfpenny a loaf from to-morrow.

Of course the price of bread has risen still further since 1949. A day or two later the press announced that the price of milk would rise by 4d. a gallon. This was followed within another few days by articles in the press headed “ Trade not Satisfied. Higher Milk Price “, “ Master Builders Alarmed at Prices Increases”, “ Higher Prices for Eggs “, “ Gas goes up another 2d.”, and “ Tyres rise wholesale ; you’ll pay”. The article about the increase of the price of eggs reads -

First quality eggs will cost Tasmanian housewives 3s.3½d. a dozen, an increase of threepence a dozen from Monday.

Within a couple of weeks the price of eggs was further increased by 2d. a dozen. Subsequently another report appeared in the press about the price of eggs. It reads -


The retail price of first-grade hen eggs will rise 2d. to 3s.7½d. a dozen from Monday.

That was followed shortly afterwards by a press report that prices of motor tyres would rise by 1 per cent. Honorable senators should remember that these rises of prices have not escaped notice by the public. They have been reported in the press under headlines in large type. Two weeks after the announcement about a rise in the price of motor tyres articles were published headed “ Egg Prices go up Again “, “ .Firewood up 4s. on Monday “. *’ Complaints on High Vegetable Prices “ and “ Price of Eggs at New Peak “. The prices of these commodities are still rising. Within a short period more reports appeared in the press about price increases. I have before me two other press headings, “ Tea 7d. lb. Dearer on Monday “ and “ Hit by Increase in Price of Super.”. Although the exercise of controls was criticized by the opponents of Labour, when the anti-Labour Government abolished the subsidy on superphosphate the prices of many commodities rose because of the increased cost of primary production. It is obvious from the press reports to which I have referred that Senator Brown was not talking “ bally-hoo “ when he claimed that the Government had not honoured its promises to the electors. The Government has made no attempt during the last eighteen months to fulfil its election pledges.

It would be most encouraging if the Government were to take heed of the petition that was presented fro-day by Senator O’Byrne on behalf of many residents of Tasmania, only a proportion of whom are supporters of Labour, urging the Government to conduct a referendum on the subject of prices control. There should be control of prices on a Commonwealth basis. I do not contend that that alone would overcome the present unfortunate state of our economy but at least it would prevent our headlong rush into disaster. It is to be hoped that the Government will take notice of that position and ask the States to refer power to the Commonwealth to re-institute prices control, because it has been proved beyond doubt that the States are utterly incompetent to control prices. Labour is well aware that this is an unpleasant task, because it was necessary for the Commonwealth to control prices for a lengthy period during Labour’s term of office. However, we must face up to unpleasant tasks if this country is to be restored to an even keel. It is the responsibility of the government of the day to tackle the problem, even if its efforts prove unsuccessful. If the States are unwilling to refer power to control prices to the Commonwealth I consider that the Government should hold a referendum in order to allow the people to decide whether the Commonwealth should be empowered to legislate to control excessive profits and prices and stabilize the economy of this country.

Honorable senators opposite have emphasized the necessity for defence preparations. If the Government does not take action to arrest rising prices, within a relatively short period the cost of implementing the defence preparations envisaged will rise by probably 100 per cent. Just before the previous Labour Government vacated office it drew up a five-years defence programme involving an expenditure of £300,000,000. The cost of carrying out that programme now would be about £500,000,000 as the result of the inflationary trend. Unless the Government takes action to curb the inflationary trend the total cost of implementing that programme may easily amount to £600,000,000 or £700,000,000. Rising prices will definitely hamper the expansion of the defences of this country. I should like to make it perfectly clear that I am not one of those who went around the country from meeting to meeting accusing certain people of being .warmongers because they advocated preparations for defence. The policy of the Australian Labour party is to provide adequate defences for Australia. Labour would support a Government plan for a balanced defence programme in this country. However, that will not be achieved by putting youths of seventeen and eighteen years of age into khaki. We must have seasoned men, fully equipped. .1 was very pleased with His Excellency’s reference to defence equipment. He said -

My Government will also continue the policy of securing the most modern equipment of all sorts for our armed forces; one of the objectives being that at all stages equipment shall match the numbers to be raised and trained.

I am sure that the Government would have the full co-operation and support of every member of this chamber in that connexion. Undoubtedly every man in the armed services should be provided with the most modern equipment. But where are we to obtain such equipment? Are we to manufacture it in Australia, utilizing the services of Australian workmen and engineers? I point out that such work was very ably performed by them during World War II., and it could be carried out efficiently in this country again. If it is the Government’s intention that this up-to-date equipment shall be manufactured in Australia, Labour will support the proposal. But the Opposition is definitely opposed to this country being mortgaged to dollar countries in order to obtain equipment.

Senator AYLETT:

– Australian engineers and workmen are as competent as those in any other country to produce up-to-date equipment. Furthermore, skilled artisans in other British Commonwealth countries could produce it if we were unable to produce all of our requirements. I remind honorable senators that a vast credit was established in Great Britain by the previous Labour Government, and if necessary those funds could be utilized to purchase enormous quantities of equipment from Great Britain. We have not large credits in dollar countries. If British-built equipment is good enough to. enable the British Army to win battles it is good enough for the Australian Army. I am opposed to any government, whether Labour or antiLabour, putting a large proportion of the man-power of this country into uniform and importing equipment. I am opposed to the manhood of this country being used as cannon fodder while workers are retained in industry in other countries to manufacture equipment for them. If we are going to be involved in wars in the future I contend that a reasonable proportion of warlike equipment should be manufactured in this country.

I shall now deal briefly with the subject of immigration. I am firmly convinced that Australia must continue its immigration policy or perish. Some honorable senators have claimed that immigration should be discontinued because of the lack of housing and shortages of foodstuffs. I point out that our forefathers had to put up with makeshift accommodation and difficulties in obtaining their food. To-day, immigrants are treated far better than were our forefathers, who laid the foundation for the progress that has been made by this country. What better means could we adopt to overtake our housing lag than to import more men and utilize them in connexion with the manufacture of materials and the building of houses? The Government would do well to take notice of Senator Robertson’s suggestion that a greater proportion of immigrants should be employed in the rural industries of this country. The Tasmanian Government has its .own officers overseas selecting immigrants because it is unable to secure sufficient manpower with which to carry out development works. The State government brings the immigrants to Tasmania by air and pays their fares. The scheme. is showing satisfactory results; I have ,no doubt that some people will say that I am a warmonger in speaking as I have. My reply is that I do not shut my eyes to stark facts to which I have given much thought and consideration. Kuring World War II., for several years oil end many of my colleagues and I. worked eighteen or twenty hours a day’ without a break. We know what this country produced during that time and we also know the uses to which man-power can be put. I believe that the more immigrants we are able to bring to this country, the greater our production will be and the greater our chance of holding the country in the future. I wish to make perfectly clear where I stand concerning immigration. If my utterances are out of step with those of other people, it is because I am in possession of information which I have studied closely. I put my country first.

As Senator Robertson stated during the debate this afternoon. the Government must give serious consideration to increasing primary production. Australian [secondary industries seem to be able to take care of themselves, but our primary industries are slipping back. Australia is one of the most fertile countries in the world; yet it is fast reaching the stage where it will be faced with a food famine. Particularly will that be so if we continue to bring to this country thousands of immigrants, although I contend that we should continue to do so. The Government should examine carefully the decline of production. If it does so it will note the manner in which employees are leaving .rural production, the way in which farms are being neglected, and the age of the average farm-worker compared with that of ten years ago. This Government ha3 never given to primary producers any assistance or encouragement, such as guaranteed prices for their products, nor has it encouraged young men to go on the land. Although I make that accusation I do not contend that the Government is so lacking in intelligence that it will not do something to remedy the position. I. am hopeful that it will see the necessity to stabilize the primary production of -this country and to guarantee to primary producers prices that will encourage the younger generation to engage in farm work. That was done during the war years. If it could be done then it can also be done in time of peace in order to save the country from disaster. During World War II. I had the privilege of serving on the Rural Industries Committee. The fund of knowledge acquired by honorable members who were members of that committee was amazing. The committee furnished the Government with valuable reports, and o:n many occasions those reports were acted upon. I suggest to the present Government that it should consider reinstituting committees such as that in an effort to halt the present economic drift.

During his speech last evening, Senator Vincent appealed to the Government to stabilize the gold-mining industry in Western Australia, which was the very backbone of that State many years ago. Recently Australia borrowed from the United States of America 100,000,000 dollars and I understand that that is only the first instalment. It is obvious that the United States of America, with its increasing production, will not require foodstuffs from this country. Should it do so, I suggest that we would not be able to spare them. Nor will the United States require Australian wheat, because North

America is one of the Biggest wheatgrowing countries of the world. Wool prices will certainly fall, but it will be necessary nevertheless for us to persuade the United .States of America to buy our wool. I suggest to honorable senators that we are quite able to consume all the crayfish tails and things of that sort that are produced here. An alternative would be to repay the loan with gold. It is well known that many Americans worship the golden dollar. However, as Senator Vincent has pointed out, our gold-mining industry is not healthy. Investors could not be persuaded to put money into a goldmining venture to-day, because if they did so they would probably not receive a reasonable return for their money. The price of gold has remained at £15 a fine ounce, although the wages of a labourer are now £3 a day and all other costs have risen in proportion. Senator Vincent made a very constructive contribution to the debate, and I consider that the points made by him should be considered seriously by the Government. If. nothing is done, future governments will be faced with the necessity to default in repayments of dollar loans. Senator Henty has spoken of the law of supply and demand. I suggest that if the honorable senator believes in the efficacy of that law he should advocate it in relation to the gold-mining industry. If it were applied I suggest that the price of gold would be £30 an ounce instead of £15, as it is at present. The Government, if it wished, could subsidize gold-mining. That, too, might obviate difficulty in repayment of dollar loans from the United States of America.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Motion (by Senator O’Sullivan) agreed to -

That the Address-in-Reply be presented to His Excellency the Governor-General by the President and such honorable senators as may desire to accompany him.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon Edward Mattner:

– I shall ascertain when His Excellency will be pleased to receive the Address-in-Reply, and when a time is fixed, I shall notify the Senate.

Sitting suspended from 5.44 to 8 p.m.

page 463



Debate resumed from the 21st June (vide page 219), on motion by Senator Spicer -

That the following paper be printed: -

Foreign Affairs - Ministerial Statement, 21st June, 1951

Western Australia

– May I say at the outset how particularly pleased I am that, at long last, an opportunity has been given to the members of this chamber to debate the importantsubject of international affairs. In this Parliament and also in the parliaments of many other Britishspeaking countries not as much time as one may think is devoted to the discussion of international relations. Frequent discussion of foreign policy is of the greatest importance because should the relations of one country with another reach breaking point all the. natural aspirations of the peoples of both countries may become null and void. It is of no use for us to foster great, national aspirations if, at one fell swoop, they may be shattered as the result of misunderstanding with another country. I listened with great interest to the statement that was read by the Attorney-General (Senator Spicer) on this subject. I appreciate the action of Ministers in making statements on international affairs in the Parliament from time to time. I trust that in the future more opportunities will be given to the Senate to engage in discussions of this kind. I stress the responsibility of the Government to furnish to the Parliament up-to-date statements about foreign affairs. I cannot help but feel that many of the ministerial statements that have been made on international affairs have lagged behind the problems that faced the country when they were made.

By and large, the ministerial statement which has given rise to this debate dealt with the proposed peace treaty with Japan and the war in Korea. Unlike some other members of the United Nations, it is apparent that we are about to change our views on Japan and agree to its partial rearmament with a full knowledge of the risk involved. We do not know where that nation may stand in the years to come. If I were a citizen of Japan I do not know whether I should be more greatly influenced by the fact that Russia has bombing bases within easy reach of Japan than by the fact that the United States of America, with its main land mass many thousands of miles distant from Japan, has established strong bases’ at Okinawa and other islands close to the Japanese coastline. However, the die appears to have been cast. We can only hope that inthe years to come Australia and Japan will enjoy friendly relations in trade and commerce and that in the event of war, Japan will be on our side, and not ally itself with those nations that are now being lined up against the Western democracies.

Since the Minister made his statement the possibility of the ending of the war in Korea has greatly changed. Korea, viewed from some angles, is unimportant, but viewed from other angles it constitutes a grave danger. Strategically, Korea is unimportant. Geographically, we are fighting another Peninsula War. The danger lies in the fact that the war has developed into a war of attrition. Such a war favours only those nations with large populations, in which life is not held as dearly as it is in the Western democracies. The importance of the war in Korea lies in the fact that, for the first time in the history of the world the troops of 52 nations have banded together in the defence of human liberty. At long last the aspirations and ideals of those who were responsible for the establishment of the League of Nations and the United Nations organization, who desired those bodies to have armed forces at their disposal, have finally been achieved. The troops of 52 nations are now united in a conflict against a common enemy. The United Nations, which has been scorned by many people, has gone into action. In the long run, the very fact that so many nations have been welded togther in this conflict may be worth the expenditure of all the blood that has been spilt in the Korean campaign.

It is regrettable that the great Chinese nation should have entered the battle against us. It seems strange that after all that China has suffered while our ally in recent years that great nation should now pit its forces against us in Korea. We trust that the peace overtures that have been made lately will bear fruit, and that’ the Korean conflict will be quickly terminated. It is important that students of international affairs should study the position of China in relation to the affairs of the Pacific. We might well ask ourselves why the Chinese people have established a people’s republic, or a Communist regime, so soon after the cessation of World War II. There is a Communist regime in China to-day for the same reason as Communist regimes come to power’ anywhere, and that is because their immediate predecessors in office failed to do their job. It exists to-day only because the former .Chinese Government failed the people. The Nationalist Government of China, the Kuomintang, was so corrupt that it tottered to pieces without much pushing. China, which successfully waged a long war against Japan, turned to communism only because of the inefficiency and corruptness of the national administration. We all recall the heroic stand that was made by the Chinese. Army against Japanese aggression.’ The Chinese representatives at the United Nations blame the fall of the Nationalist Government on’ the decisions reached at the Yalta conference, under which Russia was permitted to march into Manchuria. We should appreciate the trend of events that have taken place in China during the last few years. When the Russians marched into Manchuria, the richest and most important area in the Far East, the fate of China was sealed. It is not generally realized that Manchuria is almost as large as France and Germany combined and that its agriculture and industries are highly developed. The Japanese had an army of 500,000 men in Manchuria and they had built huge munition factories there, yet within six days, without a shot being fired, that army was captured and its equipment was finally made available to the Communist forces. The Nationalist Government quickly collapsed.

China and Russia, which contain onefifth and one-tenth respectively of the population of the world, have formidable forces at, their command. ‘Not only recent historical events have brought those two nations together. Although they have shared a common boundary they have never waged war against one another. They first signed a treaty of friendship in 1689; the last was made in 1950. For almost 300 years they have enjoyed friendly, neighbourly relations. The international line-up in the Pacific is well worth studying. The Kuomintang first came into power in 1941 with the help of Soviet advisers. In 1949 the Soviet advisers went over to the side of the Chinese Communists, and the Kuomintang collapsed. The combined strength of Russia and China might well deter any other nation from attacking them. However, we should not be overawed by it nor should we believe that the present position in China is irretrievable. There can never be peace in a country in certain areas of which the people are starving. Consequently we cannot ignore the continued shortage of food in some areas of China. Land reforms, which were never contemplated by the Kuomintang, have been adopted by the Communist Government; corrupt officials have been replaced, and the Chinese people are naturally pleased by the change in their circumstances. Their principal problem is to feed and maintain themselves and their families. . Land reform of itself will not make the Chinese peasant happy, but at least it will make him much better off than he was formerly. The Chinese problem goes much further than mere land reform. “ Give us food “ is the basic cry of the East. It is not of much use to talk about democracy to the starving Chinese people; what they are more interested in is food. They need food and the establishment of industries to meet their needs. In the final analysis food and industrial equipment can come only from the Western democracies which understand the human sufferings of the Chinese people and have the wherewithal to succour them. Nobody with any human understanding would refuse to believe that the sufferings of the Chinese people in the last few years can be ignored. We must devote particular attention to the needs of that country because of its proximity to us in the Pacific area. By no means should we write off China as lost. Peace in the world can be achieved only by the betterment of human understanding. The condition of backward peoples must be uplifted. There can be no peace in the hearts of our people when they watch the peoples of. other nations struggling in a desperate attempt to survive and do nothing to help them.

I shall confine my remarks to the Pacific area. The previous ministerial statement on foreign affairs emphasized that international tension was moving from Europe to Asia. “Within the British Commonwealth of Nations itself there are festering’ spots which it seems difficult to clear up. Within recent years a remarkable event has taken place. The two republics of India and Pakistan have come into existence, and both still remain members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. That represents an extraordinary achievement by the Attlee Government. I remember that the present Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) declared that the dream of an independent Pakistan was impossible of realization. Mr, Casey has been proved to be wrong, but he erred in good company. Many other well-informed people believed as he did, yet to-day there are in the area once described as India two independent republics living side by side.

However, there still remains an area in dispute between them, the province of Kashmir. We should not regard it as an isolated problem. It is something that affects the British Commonwealth of Nations, of which we are a part, and it is geographically within an area in which we are interested. We should use every endeavour to bring about a peaceful settlement of the dispute, if not by action through the United Nations, then by our influence as a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. India and Pakistan sit astride our sea and air routes to the Middle East, Africa and the British Isles. In time of war we should have to rely upon them to protect those routes, and keep them open. I am not unmindful of the work done by Sir Owen Dixon, who attempted to settle” the Kashmir dispute, but we should remember that it took the efforts of many British statesmen over a long period of time to bring th, republics of Pakistan and India into existence. There are many difficulties in the way of a peaceful settlement. It is not just a matter of geography. There are also problems of human understanding. I am sure that the solving of them is not beyond the ability of statesmen of the British Commonwealth. We are not without experience in such matters. For centuries Britain sent governors and magistrates to India. In this time of trouble we should be willing to go to the aid of the people of India and Pakistan. In India, thousands of people are dying of starvation for lack of grain which the Government of India refuses to import from Pakistan because it is unwilling to increase the trade credits of that country. No nation can escape the influence of its geography, and because of geographical considerations the situation in India and Pakistan is more serious than it is comfortable to contemplate. Kashmir and parts of Pakistan actually border upon Soviet Russia. Recently, I read an article in which it was stated that the Soviet, under the Sino-Russian Agreement of 1950 was developing in the adjacent province of Sinkiang an industrialized area similar to the Ruhr district in Europe. Slave labour is being used, and where’ a short time ago there were only mud villages there are now modern cities. In the ideological battle Soviet Russia has the advantage of being right next door. The Kashmir dispute has been before the Security Council of the United Nations- since 1948, but no solution has yet been found.

It is reported that the Colombo plan appears to be working well, but there is a great deal of ground to cover. For instance, I have read that in Calcutta 1,000,000 persons sleep each night on the sidewalks - not just on Saturday night, as might happen elsewhere, but every night. The existence of such conditions is a challenge to the men of our day and generation. Unless the living conditions of the people of India, China, Persia and other eastern countries are raised there can be no permanent peace in the .world. Not long ago there was held in this chamber a meeting of the Empire Parliamentary Association, which was attended by representatives of the Congress of the United States of America. One of them,

Senator Homer Ferguson, of the State of Michigan, wrote as follows after his return to his own country: -

When we arrived at Canberra and attended the British Commonwealth meeting itself, we came upon mixed views, shaped in various ways by the countries taking part in the meeting. But here again I gained the uneasy feeling that these countries- even those closest to the danger spots of the world - had little grasp of the real dangers either to themselves or to the free world.

Perhaps because of our isolation we do not see these things clearly, but we should try to understand that the problems of eastern countries are close to us and very real. Burma and Indo-China have been described as the rice bowl of the East, but in recent years because of internecine strife production in those countries has dropped,, and there has been famine or* near famine in neighboring countries. The United Nations concerns itself with the problems of the whole world, but certain zonal problems are the concern of particular countries, and the problems of South-East Asia are our concern. I have read with interest of attempts to form a Pacific pact. I regret that the New Zealand-Australia pact, which was formed some years ago, was not used as the basis of a Pacific pact. In that pact the hope was expressed that the other nations of the Pacific would eventually see their way to co-operate. I hope that the present Government will return to the idea of developing and extending the New Zealand-Australia pact.

When the United Nations organization was first established the voice of Australia was consistently raised in the cause of peace. Australia was able to help the officers of the organization in their inquiries into such matters as the Palestine dispute and the Spanish problem. I do not believe that the present Government has deliberately set out to make war-like statements, but there has certainly been a change in the attitude of Australia towards international affairs. The emphasis now is on war-like preparations rather than on peace.

What should be the consistent policy of the nation, having regard to the problems with which we are confronted? James Byrne, one of the original American diplomats associated with the United Nations, said that the proper attitude towards Russia, was one of patience and firmness. After a few years he said that he had changed his mind only in degree. He then said that the attitude should be one of firmness and patience. I believe that there is needed in addition courage and action. There must be action to assist starving peoples, if the peace of the world is to be preserved. I do not believe that war is inevitable. If we are firm, patient and courageous I believe that we can have peace in our time. Of course, there can be no peace unless we deal wisely with that enigma, Russia, which stands between the peoples of the east and the west. It is our job to ensure that Russia shall be a bridge that unites the peoples of the east and the west rather than a chasm* that, divides them. I* believe that it is possible, by the exercise of patience, understanding, and courage, to ensure peace, not only for our own people in our own time, but for all people for all time.

Senator MAHER:

. -I should like to share the youthful optimism and enthusiasm of Senator Willesee, who believes that it is possible, by being firm, courageous and patient, to avert the danger of war. However, we must realize that we are living to-day in an atmosphere of international tension, and we must take stock of our position. No one can be quite sure where the next trouble spot will develop. I have heard some strange statements in this Senate since I entered it in 194’9, but I have not heard anything more foolish than the statement that was made by Senator Grant in this chamber last week when he said that Japan was the only country that could overrun Australia and that Russia was not at all a menace to us. When he made that statement the honorable senator was advocating that the terms of the proposed Japanese peace treaty should be discussed and approved of by the Senate before a treaty was signed. Let us consider the background of the proposal to make a peace treaty with Japan. We all know that” Japan was overwhelmed and thrown back by the armed might of the United States of America; and who can deny to that nation the moral right to propose the terms of any peace treaty with Japan ? Senator Grant belongs to a political party group that is ill-qualified to interfere in such a matter because the Labour Administration that it supported during the war shamefully fixed the geographical limits in which Australian troops could be employed in the Pacific war. An arbitrary line was drawn between New Guinea and the Philippines, and beyond that line Australian troops could not be employed. Furthermore, that decision was adhered to, notwithstanding that General MacArthur was most anxious that a contingent of Australian troops should* accompany the American forces to the Philippines, and eventually to Japan. If I were in the position of Senator Grant vis-a-vis the proposed Japanese peace treaty I would be silent. The honorable senator and those who share his views should also remember that it was American naval and air power that saved Australia from invasion during the Coral Sea battle. Che present Government can be relied upon to place the Australian point of view clearly and fairly before the governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

One important matter which should not be overlooked is the payment of reparations by the Japanese to Australian prisoners of war, and the Menzies Government deserves great credit for having taken the initiative in raising this matter in international discussions and for having represented its views so forcefully to the Government of the United Kingdom. The Australian representatives pointed out that although the United States Government paid compensation to those of its servicemen who were prisoners of war of the Japanese out of enemy property seized during the war Australia could not do so because no such property fell into its hands. It contended, however, that it was right and proper to claim compensation of 3s. 6d. per diem in respect of each Australian who became a prisoner of war of the Japanese during the war during the period he was a prisoner. The Government pressed its view upon the Government of the United Kingdom with such vigour that the matter became .the subject of debate in the House of Commons and both the major party political groups in that Parliament supported the claim. I am not without hope, therefore, that the claim will be recognized and included in the peace treaty with Japan.

Unfortunately, some sections of the community, including people who share the views which .Senator Grant expressed, are opposed to the re-armament of Japan. The most conclusive answer that can be given to that contention is that unless we are prepared to garrison Japan after the Americans withdraw from that country it is not practicable, nor desirable, to prevent Japan from re-arming. The Americans have made it quite clear that they intend in the near future to terminate the occupation of Japan, and unless .Senator Grant and his friends are prepared to advocate that we should raise an army of, say, 50,000 men and send them to Japan to serve as an occupation force, it is idle for us to talk about opposing its re-armament. In fact, such an argument is quite fantastic. Once peace is concluded with Japan and the United States forces leave that country no nation could prevent the Japanese from rearming, at least sufficiently to repel an aggressor. Is there any member of the United Nations that desires to prevent the Japanese from being sufficiently armed to repel the armed hordes on the mainland of Asia to-day? It must be obvious that if Japan were subjugated by the Communists the whole of Asia would be linked with Russia in one vast communistic Hoc. What would be the effect of such a gigantic force upon the rest of the world ? We must be realistic in these matters, and although our views will necessarily differ on a subject of such importance, I submit that Australia is caught in a cleft stick and that we must be prepared to abide by the decisions that are reached in the negotiations that will precede the making of the peace treaty.

Senator Grant also averred that after the peace treaty was made the Japanese would again thrust southwards, although he assured us, in the next breath, that there was no danger of the Russians coming here. We all know that Japan was a naked and unashamed aggressor in the last war. However, since then it has certainly paid the price of its aggression. I remind Senator Grant and hia colleagues that other Asian nations are just as capable of aggression as is Japan, and that fact is evident from what is happening in Korea to-day. Other densely populated nations in Asia might also thrust southwards, and, after all, Japan does not posses any monopoly of the aggressive spirit amongst the Asian racial groups. We must have regard to the correctness of the old maxim with .which we are all familiar to the effect that our enemy of to-day may become our friend of to-morrow, and vice versa. Every one knows that for many years, almost for centuries, England and France were deadly enemies, and that England and Germany fought together in comradely association to defeat Napoleon. However, in the last half century Germany and England have fought each other in two world wars. A more recent example of the change from ally to foe is supplied by .the relationship between ourselves and Russia. I also recall that Japan was our friend in World War I. and helped us to defeat Germany. Who knows but that in the ever-changing tides of international affairs Japan may again become our friend in resisting aggression? After all, we can only hope for the best. The traditional role of Japan in the Pacific has been to hold the balance of power in Asia, and if Japan again discharges that duty conscientiously it will be extremely helpful to our security if the gathering storm in Europe should burst.

I disagree entirely with Senator Grant’s statement .that Russia is not a menace to Australia. What would happen if Russia overran Europe and vanquished Great Britain?- The power that dominates Europe can dominate the world, because that continent is one of the richest and most densely populated areas of the world. If Russia were able to dominate Europe, through its system of establishing satellite States by infiltration, it would acquire complete domination over a vast land mass with tremendous natural resources and a huge reservoir of virile man-power. If that happened, what nation could resist Russia? That is the great menace which confronts us in the continuing expansion of Communist imperialism. I am much more fearful of the expansion of Russia through its satellite States than I am of the resurgence of the Japanese militarist spirit. In support of the views that 1 have been placing before the Senate I direct the attention of honorable senators to a report that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald of a statement made on the 11th June by Mr. Thomas Cabot, a senior official of the State Department of the United States of America. The report is as follows: -

A U.S. State Department official, Mr. Thomas Cabot, yesterday said Russia is growing “ more reckless, subtle “, in its preparation for aggression.

Mr. Cabot is Director of International Security Affairs at the State Department. “ It is already later than we think. We are confronted by a nation which makes no secret of its intent to dominate the entire world, or of its faith in the inevitability of its victory “, he said.

The U.S. would not choose the gradual surrender represented by appeasement. “ Our primary aim is peace, but an even more basic aim is survival. We pray that the Soviet imperialists will not force us to choose between these aims; but if they do we have left no doubt as- to what our choice will be”, he said.

I emphasize Mr. Cabot’s view that it may be later than we think. If Russia is not a menace, then I ask Senator Grant why the Russians are maintaining on their western frontiers an army of 2,500,000 troops in full readiness for war, and why they have partly mobilized’ an additional 5,000,000 men. According to authentic information, Russian tanks out-number ours by approximately ten to one. We know something of the “ Joseph Stalin “ tanks which knocked out the American tanks and guns in the early stages of the Korean conflict. Russia also has 20,000 military aircraft of such quality that the United States . Air Force in Korea has admitted the superiority of certain types of their aircraft. Russia also possesses 250 to 300 modern submarines, including some of the new German type, to which no satisfactory counter weapon has yet been found. In addition, Russia has more than 1,500,000 mcn standing to arms in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Roumania, all of which are satellite states under its complete domination. Why are such huge armies and armaments being maintained? It cannot be reasonably contended that Russia requires such huge forces for its own defence, because the whole world knows that Russia has a sound defence in the huge extent of its territory. I remind honorable senators that the Kremlin was responsible for setting brother against brother in Korea and for the f rightful civil war in China. To-day, Russia is the dominant and sleeping partner of China in the war of aggression in Korea which, for reasons not apparent, it now apparently desires to terminate. Does Russia consider Korea a lost cause, as was the Berlin blockade in 1949? Is Russia throwing in its hand in Korea ? There is trouble in Persia and in Malaya. Yugoslavia is under constant threat. Russian arms are pouring into the neighbouring satellite countries, Bulgaria, Hungary and Roumania. The Yugoslav people believe that those countries are being primed to attack Yugoslavia. Only this month the chief of the Yugoslavian general staff, Colonel General Popovic, has been in “Washington conferring with defence officials of the United States of America. He is there to secure arms, as his countrymen- believe that the red pattern as revealed in China and Korea is about to extend to south-eastern Europe.

Senator Grant’s extraordinary statement that Russia was no menace to Australia . should be reviewed by the honorable gentleman. Russia, without a doubt, is plotting the destruction of the free world, and if the free world falls, Australia will fall with it. I hope that those who share Senator Grant’s views will see the dangers before it is too late.

Senator MORROW:

– The statement on foreign affairs made in this chamber by the Attorney-General (Senator Spicer) on behalf of the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey”* dealt with Japan, Korea and the Soviet Union. I shall speak first of Korea. Those who have studied the history of that country will know that it has been ravaged by war many times in the last 3,000 years, and that it has been the victim of aggression by numerous nations, including Imperial China, Japan, Czarist Russia, France, Britain and America. The Korean people reached a high standard of culture long before some of the present-day powerful western nations became civilized. . Iron was produced in Korea long before it was produced in China. The Koreans built bridges lon;.: before they were built in America. The Koreans were also amongst the first peoples of the world to print books. In short, for centuries Korea has been a highly cultured nation, but, as I hansaid, it has repeatedly been the victim of aggression. Therefore, the Koreans have also been a fighting people. Korea is, of course, a rich country. It producer good rice and has valuable mineral deposits. Unfortunately, in comparatively recent times the Korean people have noi been able to enjoy the fruits of their rich land because between 1905 and 1945 they lived under Japanese dictatorship. At the end of World War II. .the Japanese were driven out of Korea by the Russians and the Americans. The atrocities committed in Korea were appalling. However, the Koreans did not lose heart or hope. Indeed, their hopes rose greatly when, in the Atlantic Charter, President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill proclaimed that all small nations should have selfgovernment.

To support my remarks to-night I propose to read to the Senate extracts from certain documents. They are official publications and not merely something that I had prepared myself. The fundamental principles of the Atlantic Charter included the declaration by President. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill that -

  1. Their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other.
  2. They desire to sec no territorial changes. that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the people concerned.
  3. They respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.

Those were very noble and very just words and we all looked forward to seeing those words translated into action. The Minister for External Affairs said in his statement -

Pressure continues to be exerted against the democratic countries by Russia, and Communist China and their satellites. The most obvious point of pressure is Korea, where twelve months ago aggression became direct .instead of indirect.

The agreement reached between President Roosevelt, Mr. Churchilland Chiang Kaishek at the Cairo Conference was as follows : -

The three great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion.

It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning 1.i f the first world war in 1914, and that all the territories that Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria/ Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.

Japan will also be expelled from allother territories which she has taken by violence and greed.

The aforesaid three great Powers, mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea, are determined that in due course they shall become free and independent.

Those, too, were noble just words.

Senator Spicer:

– And that is whatwe are fighting for to-day.

Senator MORROW:

-I shall prove that we are not fighting for those principles to-day. What we are doing is directly opposed to all the agreements made by those great nations.

In 1905, as I have said, the Japanese conquered Korea. They continued to exploit that country until 1945 when the Russians drove them out of North Korea and the Americans drove them out of South Korea. The Korean people were then told that they would be allowed to form their own government. The Russians left North Korea and the Koreans formed their own government. Unfortunately, the country was divided, and there was another government in the south. The South Korean Government was headed by Syngman Rhee, who, although holding only 25 seats out of 191 in the South Korean legislature, was able to assume control simply because he had the necessary force to back him. So much for the Atlantic Charter declaration that the peoples of all countries were to be permitted to choose their own form of government! The Minister for External Affairs said in his statement -

The Korean war has now been in progress for almost a year. Is there in sight an end of this costly and apparently inconclusive struggle? And is there a clear understanding of the objectives for which it is being waged?

The people of the world are asking that same question and what is the reply? The Communist bogy is raised. I shall tell the Attorney-General what the United Nations are fighting for in Korea. They are not fighting to save the world from communism. Every one knows that the United States of America is short of tungsten, nickel, and other minerals. As I have said, Korea is rich in minerals, and some of the richest mines are in the north-eastern region. The following article on Korea was published, not in a Communist newspaper or in a Labour newspaper, but in the Sydney Morning Herald : -

Korea has valuable deposits of about 200 minerals and ores, according to a National Geographic Society news bulletin issued in Washington.

These strategic mineral reserves, largest in the Far Fast outside Manchuria, have received little attention in the various estimates of long-range Communist strategy in the Orient, says the bulletin.

About five-sixths of the mining production is in North Korea, which has most of the underground wealth, but several of the most important metals are found in quantity only in the South.

The southern part of the peninsula, for example, has produced all the cobalt and manganese, more than half the tungsten, and nearly all the molybdenum - a steel-hardening ingredient known to be scarce behind the Iron Curtain.

In general, Korean resources are more important for their variety than quantity.

Coal, iron, gold, nickel, zinc, magnesite, graphite, lead, -titanium, and phosphate are only a few in a long list.

Before the last war Korea produced about one-third of the world’s graphite, important in the electrical industry.

The deposits of barite, with many industrial applications, are among the best in the world.

Value of gold production has been as high as £22,321,428 a year.

Coal reserves are well over 1,500,000,000 tons.

Iron ore has been estimated at more than 1,000,000,000 tons, although only part of it has a high iron content.

The possibilities of this “ poor little rich land “ are often overlooked because of its strife-ridden history.

Before the outbreak of the present fighting, however, Korea’s industry was believed to be larger than that of either Mexico or Turkey.

A survey has estimated the peninsula’s hydro-electric potential at five million kilowatts - more than the 1937 electrical output of either Italy or France.

Ports a Prize.

Ports, as. well as mineral riches, make Korea jo. desirable prize.

The peninsula has ten major all-weather ports, 29 secondary ports, and an additional 139 off-shore anchorages.

Around the nation’s 11,000-miles coastline, where warm and cold currents meet, are found 75 kinds of edible fish.

Korea’s best farming lands and most of the rice-growing areas are in the south. A decade ago Korea was the world’s fourth largest rice producer.

Senator Maher:

– Why did the North Koreans make war on the South Koreans ?

Senator MORROW:

– I shall answer the honorable senator’s interjection as I develop my speech, because I do not consider that he is well informed on the subject.

Senator Grant:

– Why not answer it now ?

Senator MORROW:

– I shall do so. In 1948 Mr. Syngman Rhee, at the request of the United States of America, announced that the South Koreans were ready to march on the North Koreans. In March, 1950, several members of the South Korean Parliament were arrested because they objected to the South Koreans invading North Korea, and thirteen of their number were sentenced to ten years imprisonment. In June, 1950, the North Koreans invaded South Korea. Subsequently, with the aid of American troops, the South Koreans repulsed the northern invaders.

Senator Spicer:

– Who were the aggressors ?

Senator MORROW:

– I have already mentioned that some members of the South Korean Parliament received long terms of imprisonment, because they objected to the South Koreans invading North Korea. It is well known what has since happened in Korea. The people of that country are suffering untold misery. Doubtless some honorable senators have read press reports about 30 square miles of the country being sprayed with petroleum jelly, which was then ignited, and many men, women and children were burned alive. I have also read a newspaper account about children at play being killed by machine gun fire, while others were shot while swimming. I have been greatly moved by reports that I have read because I believe in the humane treatment of all peoples, whether black, white or brindle. When I asked the the Minister for Trade and Customs yesterday to request the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) to instruct Australia’s representatives on the appropriate international bodies to call for an immediate cease fire and a truce in Korea in order that the dispute, if any, existing in that country may be settled in some more humanitarian manner, such as by a round-table conference, or by civil arbitrator, the Minister replied - -

Senator Spicer:

– Why does not the honorable senator request the Dean of Canterbury to ask Stalin ?

Senator MORROW:

– I made that request because I want to see the wholesale murder being committed in Korea stopped. The Minister replied, “ As honorable senators are aware, Australia is carrying out certain commitments in Korea in fulfilment of its obligations as a member of the United Nations. Of course, Senator Morrow may have some influence in other quarters which, if properly exercised, might result in an early cessation of hostilities in that country “.

Senator Robertson:

– That was a very good answer.

Senator MORROW:

– Honorable senators opposite may jeer in their ignorance. Such a reply should not have come from a responsible Minister. It savours of the thoughts of an irresponsible person. We expect from the Minister, who is alleged to be an educated man, replies to questions more in keeping with the dignity of this chamber and his office. If we treat these things lightly we merely place ourselves on the same level as the people who are responsible for the present state of affairs in Korea. It is our bounden duty to take whatever steps are in our power to prevent the murder of innocent people in Korea, and of our own troops. According to the last casualty list that I have seen, about 50 per cent, of our troops have become casualties. Some honorable senators have referred to the conflict as a war to preserve democracy. According to an article in to-day’s Canberra Times, the United Nations troops are building permanent fortifications along the 38th parallel. If in fact we are fighting to preserve democracy why should permanent fortifications be constructed in Korea? Several minutes ago the Attorney-General (Senator Spicer) asked by interjection who were the aggressors in Korea. I shall read to the Senate an extract from Chapter XVI. of International Sanctions, issued under the auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Senator Spicer:

– Was it published in Moscow.?

Senator MORROW:

– It was published by the Oxford press. Portion of the chapter “ The Determination of the Aggressor “ reads -

Article1. -

  1. Declaration of war on another state.
  2. Invasion by armed forces of the territory of another state, even without declaration of war.
  3. An attack by its land, sea, or air forces even without declaration of war, upon the territory, vessels, or flying machines of another state.
  4. A naval blockade of the coasts or ports of another state.
  5. Support accorded to armed bands, which organized on its territory shall have invaded the territory of another state, or refusal, in spite of the demand of the invaded state, to take in its own territory all the steps in its power to deprive the bandits aforesaid of all aid or protection.

Article II. -

No consideration of a political, military, economic, or any other character shall serve as an excuse or a justification of aggression as defined in. Article I.

An annex said that: “ The High Contracting Parties desired to furnish indications for the determination of the aggressor, and hold that no act of aggression in the sense of Article II. could be justified by any of the following circumstances: - “ A. The internal situation of a state, e.g. its political structure, economic or social, the alleged defects of its administration, disturbances arising out of strikes, revolutions, counterrevolutions, or civil war. “B.. The international conduct of a state, e.g. the violation or the danger of violation of the moral or material rights or interests of a foreign state. or its nationals; the rupture of diplomatic or economic relations, measures of economic or financial boycott; differences relating to economic, financial, or other engagements towards foreign countries; frontier incidents which do not come under the head of cases of aggression indicated in Article I.”.

It is apparent, therefore, that no right is conferred on any country to send its troops into another country even in the event of civil war.

Senator MORROW:

– I have read the definition of an aggressor. Earlier to-day Senator Maher asked Senator Grant, by interjection, whether he favoured the sending of 60,000 troops to Japan, and whether any country could prevent the Japanese from re-arming. I point out that all necessary precautions are laid down in the Potsdam Agreement for the purpose of preventing re-armament and any further aggression. We should abide by the terms of that agreement, which was reached between Churchill, Truman and Stalin. The declaration of the United Nations provides that no peace pact shall be entered into unless it has been drawn up by the foreign ministers. But what has happened so far as Japan is concerned? The foreign ministers were not called together. The United States of America drew up what has been called a peace pact and, behind the backs of the five foreign ministers, has asked various countries to agree to it. Had the United States of America adhered to the precepts of the Potsdam Agreement there would not now be division between the five powers. In 1947 it was suggested that a meeting of the foreign ministers should be convened for the purpose of drafting a peace pact with Japan. That suggestion was ignored.

Senator Spicer:

– Russia has never agreed to an agenda.

Senator MORROW:

– Since 1947 Russia has asked repeatedly for the foreign ministers to be called together to draw up a peace pact, but no notice has been taken of that request. As I have already mentioned, the United States of America drew up a peace pact and then asked various countries to agree to it. We in Australia are in a precarious position. Had the Potsdam Agreement been carried out in its entirety we would have been safeguarded from aggression by any nation, including Japan. The reason that the. terms of that agreement have not been carried is that the United States of America wants a peace pact that suits that country, not the five foreign ministers. Although the Cairo declaration provided for the return of the island of Formosa to China, what has happened?

Senator Spicer:

– It provided for the return of Formosa to the Republic of China.

Senator MORROW:

– That is so, but there was no Republic of China when Chiang Kai-shek was there. It was a dictatorship. There are 450,000,000 people in China and another 7,000,000 in Formosa, which is recognized as a part of China. Whether the Minister likes it or not, the Cairo Agreement provided that certain islands would be returned to the nations from which they were stolen. If we are not prepared to fight for peace we shall play into the hands of the merchants of death, the warmongers. Capitalism is dying and its advocates know that the only way to keep it alive is to open up <a new industry, war. If we allow ourselves to be so inveigled, we shall go in with our eyes open. It is well known that the United States of America . is producing more goods than can be purchased by its own people, and in order to keep its factories going it is advocating the re-armament of the world. It is taking the place occupied by the Nazis before 1939. Must we sit back and refuse to look at facts or should Ave take advantage of warnings that have been provided for us ? We have disregarded all those warnings and have thrown them to the winds. Senator Maher has stated that Russia has an army of 2,900,000 men, and millions of troops in other parts of the world. If that is so, the wonder is that there are any workers left in Russia. I recently read that the Russians are developing their hydro-electric plans’ and in doing so are changing the course of rivers. When the Panama Canal was being cut, it meant the removal of 180,000,000 yards of earth. The Russians now have a plan to remove 2,000,000,000 yards of earth. I suggest that if as many men are in the Russian army as Senator Maher would have us believe there are, that work could hot be undertaken.

Senator Robertson:

– It will probably be done by slave labour.

Senator MORROW:

– I am not in a position to say whether there is slave labour. I am endeavouring to put the facts before honorable senators and to indicate the path that we should follow; The three great powers of the world have pointed out that path and, if we disregard it, the onus will be on us.

Senator GORTON:

.- In supporting the motion that this paper be printed, I wish to say how refreshing it is for a statement on foreign affairs to be presented in this form. For many years it has been the custom for .such statements to be presented to the- Parliament, but usually their compilers have endeavoured to cover the whole field of foreign, relations and to discuss all the problems in every field. Such a form made the documents somewhat intimidating and not as informative as they might have been. The statement now before the Senate, concentrating as it does on the inter-related subjects of the projected Japanese peace treaty, Korea and the Pacific Pact, sets what I hope will bt’ a precedent for future statements on foreign affairs.

Before discussing the subjects of the . statement, I consider that the immoderate diatribe to which honorable senators have been treated by Senator Morrow should not be permitted to .pass without comment. The honorable senator was speaking as a spokesman of the Australian Labour party in this chamber. He was also speaking as a man who was chosen by the Tasmanian Labour party to top its Senate ticket at the recent general election. Therefore, the views which he presented must be considered as not entirely his own, unless they are repudiated subsequently by his colleagues. I suggest “that those views follow in meticulous detail the Communist party line as it has been peddled in this country on every subject discussed by the honorable senator. The argument that he presented concerning the question of aggression in Korea appears to boil down to the contention that the war started when we hit back at the North Koreans. He tells us that the North Koreans used tanks, artillery and masses of mechanized infantry allegedly to repel an invasion by a country which had no tanks, no artillery, and nothing but a few ill-armed regiments of infantry. The honorable senator asks us to believe, as the Communists ask us to believe, that the ill-armed Southern Koreans attacked the mighty cohorts to their north. Not only is that statement contrary to all common sense but it is also in direct contradiction of the expressed opinion of the United Nations and the Security Council of the United Nations. Many of his colleagues have already agreed in this chamber with the opinion of the Security Council that the North Koreans invaded Southern Korea, and that the Southern Koreans were justified in resisting. Apparently the honorable senator- believes that every nation but Russia is wrong, an attitude he dows not confine to consideration of the Korean situation. All through his speech be followed that line. I suggest that if he is not a Communist he is very definitely a “ Commibut “, which means a man who says, “ I am not a Communist but I follow everything they do, and I believe in everything they say “. If we .are to take his remarks as an expression of opinion of the Australian Labour party I fail to see how that party could. have taken action such as it did in the past. If it is not such an expression, I fail to understand why a man who publicly utters such opinions is permitted to remain a member of the party, and I am sure that it is dangerous for Australia that he should continue to do so.

I now wish to discuss the proposed Japanese peace treaty, a subject which was thrown up at supporters of the Government time and again during the last general election campaign and on which Senator Grant has spoken at great length in this chamber. The points made by Senator Grant were that judged by civilized standards, Japan was, and still is, a barbaric power, that it has not in its nature changed since the end of the last war, but is still a war-like and somewhat brutal nation, and that it may at some future time, because of pressure of population if for no other reason, be led into another adventure against its Pacific neighbours. I cannot dispute any of those contentions. I do not think that any one who came in contact with the Japaneseas organized soldiers could for a moment deny that they acted as a barbaric power. I doubt whether a few short years of democratic occupation could change that. However, what does the honorable senator, or any one else who opposes thesigning of a peace treaty with Japan, suggest that we should do about it ? It is of no use to say to Japan, “ You cannot rearm “. If we wish to prevent that from happening we must take physical action to insure against it. While I should like to see that happen, it is obvious that such a course w.ould involve an occupation force of at least 150,000 troops, which would have to be maintained for ever. The moment that force was withdrawn we would cease to have the power to prevent Japanese rearmament and that force would be merely a police garrison to ensure that the terms of the treaty were carried out. It would be by no means sufficient to protect the country against attack from overseas, either by Russia or by China at the instigation of Russia. If the responsibility fell on us to provide that force, we should require other forces to be held ready to protect it and Japan in the event of such an attack. .

It is obvious that the raising of a force of that size, together with the munitions and sea and air power necessary, would be a task beyond the capacity of Australia. I am sure that no honorable senator would suggest that Australia could undertake it. That being so, we must endeavour to find the best methods by which we can avert the dangers arising from our inability to prevent Japanese rearmament. It is not a matter of displaying a sporting spirit, as an honorable senator on the other side of the chamber has stated. It is a matter of stern, hard necessity. As far as it is possible for us to- do so, I consider that we have found the best method in that Pacific Pact which has grown out of the projected peace treaty. By that pact each signatory regards an attack on the territory of any other signatory as an attack upon its own territory. Australia is thereby guaranteed the protection of the United States of America, which saved us once before. The United States of America is the greatest power in the world to-day and its help is the most effective guarantee for a Pacific power against attack from the north. That is the reward which compensates for the unfortunate fact that we are not sufficiently physically powerful to prevent Japan from rearming.

The Pacific Pact and the proposed treaty with Japan have been dealt with by the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) in the statement now before the Senate. In relation to the Pacific Pact, it is proposed to appoint a council to carry out economic co-operation and planning methods. I trust that that council will appreciate that if we are attacked we shall be forced to rely almost entirely on American aircraft. Australia should therefore be kept informed of such matters as the length of runways required for the latest types of aircraft, and the kind of installations needed to maintain and service those aircraft. We should also be given a chance to accumulate stocks of spare parts. The greatest cause of wastage of aircraft in war is inability to use them because of lack of spare parts. We should also require stocks of spare parts for tanks, trucks, and radar apparatus, so that should this country be invaded, modern weapons and the equipment to maintain them would be ready at hand. Arrangements should be made under the aegis of the council for a uniform method of training maintenance crews in each of the signatory countries. I realize that these remarks come rather within the realm of defence than that of international affairs, yet if anybody can tell me where international affairs leave off and defence begins I shall regard him as having more acute perception than has been displayed in the past by most statesmen. In all international affairs discussions there is a tendency to say, “ We should seek for better human, understanding ; we should try to patch up this trouble”. That is a highly admirable tendency with which nobody can quarrel, but I am sure that the countries of the western world have bent and are bending their greatest efforts to settle all the quarrels that beset them at present. The Kashmir problem was mentioned by an honorable senator opposite during this debate. The United Nations, and the Prime Ministers of the British nations, in conference assembled, have tried to solve that problem. What more could be done is, I must admit, completely beyond my comprehension. If any honorable senator is able to submit a concrete proposition for solving it he will earn and obtain the approbation, not only of this Senate, but also of the tortured countries involved in the dispute. When, we say that such and such a thing should be done, let us suggest some method by which the end in view might be attained. Where we are heading in the field of international relations no one but the rulers of Russia can say. In their hands alone lies the issue of war or peace.

The danger to the world to-day is different from what it was in past centuries. To-day, there are no . real territorial differences that could lead to a world conflict. Both the great aggregations of power in the world have within their control all the resources and all the territories they need to maintain their economies. They are self-sufficient in all materials, and no longer, as there was in the past, is there a danger of one country casting covetous eyes on the territory of another. Nor is there now a danger of a conquered country nourishing national ambitions to throw off the yoke of its conqueror and thereby provoking a world conflagration. The danger that besets us to-day comes from a quite different source. It exists because of ideological differences among the powerful nations of the world. Those who rule Russia to-day believes that their way of life cannot long survive side by side with the system of free enterprise, no matter how much the State may enter into it, and accordingly they will not have peace, even as an experiment. Their leaders, from Lenin to Stalin, have repeatedly stated that fact as clearly as Hitler stated his beliefs in Mein Kampf. I doubt whether their way of life could survive. Sooner or later, those who live in soul-destroying fear in Iron Curtain countries would throw off the yoke. Because the leaders of the Russian people know that, and fear the consequences, they make life difficult’ for us. The only way to prevent them from putting their beliefs to the test is to build up our strength by alliances and by military power. In such a policy Ties the hope of the world to avoid war. It is the aim of the foreign policy of Australia and of the free nations so to build their strength as to deter outbursts of aggression from countries behind the Iron Curtain. If we follow that policy in time we may overcome our present difficulties. Let us work to overcome them.

Senator GRANT:
New South Wales

– At the outset of my speech I congratulate the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) upon the presentation to the Parliament of the paper which the Senate is now discussing. The information contained in it is certainly much more comprehensive than anything we have had in the’ past. When the portfolio of External Affairs was administered by the former Minister, Mr. Spender, informative statements of this kind were never submitted to the Parliament. Indeed, I described that gentleman’s last statement as so naive as to be infantile. The statement now before us deals with the treaty with Japan, a subject upon which I have asked a number of questions during the last few weeks. Honorable senators will recall that I asked whether the .Senate will be given an opportunity to discuss the treaty before it is signed and whether it will contain provision for reparations. Although some attempt was made to answer the latter question, not much information was vouchsafed to me on that subject.

While I was temporarily absent from the chamber I understand that Senator Maher accused me of saying that Russia does not menace us. I left the chamber because I observed that the honorable senator was reading an essay which had been written for him by some other person. He has taken my words completely out of their context. I did not say that Russia does’ not menace us. On the contrary, I believe that the Russian political system constitutes the greatest menace that the world has ever known. What I said was’ that the Russian army did not constitute a menace to Australia. It would be impossible for the Russian army to come here, but it is not unlikely that within the next decade or so, after this Governmenthas passed into political oblivion, the Japanese will try to come here.

I listened with great interest to the speech delivered by Senator Gorton.

His speeches are always easy to’ listen to because he speaks in such a way that even with my poor intelligence I am able to understand him. The honorable senator has invited suggestions on the part of Opposition senators in relation’ to foreign policy. I have suggested on many occasions that we should follow the. lead of the British Government and recognize the present government of China. How can any body claim that the regime led by Chiang Kai-shek constituted the Government of China? In 1946 the United States of America alone provided 750,000,000 dollars in an attempt to bolster Chiang Kai-shek’s regime, but the more money they provided the worse his position became because he was not the head of the Chinese people, but of a regime that was noted for its graft and corruption. Notwithstanding the total collapse of Chiang Kaishek’s government we are still told -that we should recognize it. Chiang Kaishek’s forces do not occupy one foot of Chinese territory. Before a treaty with Japan is contemplated we should recognize the present administration in China which is not a Communist country in the sense that we understand communism in Europe.

Senator Gorton referred to the occupation of Japan. If I had the choice of -occupying Japan or of signing a peace treaty with that country I should certainly occupy it. If Senator Gorton thinks that the Japanese realize that they lost the war he knows nothing of the psychology of the Japanese people. I was opposed to Australia taking part in World War I. and I have no reason to alter that view. That war was the outcome of a struggle between Germany and Britain for economic domination of the world. To the Germans all Germans were- white and all British were black; to the British all Britishers were white and all Germans were black. To-day, the Russians talk about the right of countries to selfgovernment. They have not extended to the Czechoslovakians the privilege they claim foi the Koreans. To the Russians, all Russians and North Korean’s are, white and Americans and Britishers are black; but to the Americans and Britishers only the Russians and North’ Koreans are black. At the time of the Japanese surrender the Japanese Emperor, the son of Heaven, whom the people worship as a god, had this to say -

The war has developed nut necessarily to Japanese advantage. Having been able to safeguard the structure of the Imperial state and to maintain it, the Emperor has decided to effect a settlement.

Despite those words of the Emperor of Japan there are some among us who believe that after a few years of military occupation the Japanese people have become civilized and that Japan should be allowed to rearm. I am bitterly opposed to the making of a treaty with Japan. I have opposed such a treaty since it was first mooted. It is amazing how men like Senator Gorton, who, I believe, was a soldier, can support such a proposal. The foreign policy of some of the western powers is going from bad to worse. American foreign policy has reached the height of stupidity. What the Americans are trying to accomplish in Korea, I do not know. Prior to the general election I pointed out that even if Korea was completely destroyed America would gain no advantage. In Korea more than 4,000,000 men, women and children have already been Rilled. As an industrial entity, Korea no longer counts. If Korea were bombed out of. existence the last condition of the Americans would be worse than the first. To me there is a considerable difference between the situation in the East and the situation in the West. In international diplomacy the Russians have outclassed the representatives of the other great powers. The Russians, said to the Koreans, “ Get rid of the land lords. Seize the land and fill up the rice bowl “. The United States of America would have done better had it heeded the advice of Britain, which is the only country that lias stopped the growth of communism within its borders. Communism thrives in countries whose peoples are not properly cared for. Even in England before the war of 1939-45, only 7 per cent, of the land was cultivated. I have not the time to recite how the British Labour party was responsible for increasing the productivity of the land and stimulating the cattle industry, and to how it improved social services and carried out other constructive and progressive measures, all of which, despite criticism of them by one of the lady members of this chamber, are known to all students of political history. The citizens of Western countries like Czechoslovakia are different from those of most Eastern countries. Democracy means something to them. It means trade unions, and a comparatively free press. In northern Korea the Communists gave the people more rice and more land. The Americans said to them, “ What you want is democracy “. As a matter of fact, democracy means no more to the people of Korea than does this piece of paper I hold in my hand. They are not interested in elections. They want to know what democracy means in terms of rice, houses and the control of usury. A little while ago General MacArthur, off. his own bat, suggested that there should be a truce in Korea. He arrogated to himself the authority of the United Nations, and acted without even consulting his own State Department. Our Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), if he did not directly endorse the action of General MacArthur, paid him compliments, and I think that any intelligent person would be justified in concluding that he was in favour of what General MacArthur had done. The Prime Minister certainly did not say anything in favour of Mr. Marshall or Mr. Truman. The Russians were pledged to come into the war if Manchuria were attacked. If the Russians had come in, and there was a general war, what would have happened? What defences are there in Western Europe? Mr. Menzies, that facade of a man with the golden voice, has been consistently on the wrong side from the time he praised Hitler until the present time. Britain is particularly vulnerable to attack. From the Firth of Forth to the Clyde is only 29 miles. One atomic bomb could split the country in two. In France, no one wants to fight, whether he be of the right or the left. The French people have had a bellyful of fighting. In Germany, the situation is so complicated, and the people so divided that, for purposes of military action, Germany can practically be written off. If the Russians, with their 200 divisions, had marched, there was nothing to stop them.

Even if the Russians did not come in, it would be impossible to beat the Chinese with atom bombs. If we had dropped bombs on Shanghai and Peking it would not have mattered from a military point of view. The Chinese have been fighting for twenty years, and they can get along without cities. If we had bombed the Chinese, the only result would be that the Asians, who to-day hate us 50 per cent., would have hated us 100 per cent. Many people are still thinking in terms of the great white man who once dominated the Asiatics. As a matter of fact, there is not a vestige of evidence to show that the white man is superior, mentally or physically, to any other race in the world, given the same conditions. Even in the so-called sport of pugilism, negroes are superior in every field from featherweights to heavyweights. They are also equal mentally, to white men, given the same opportunities. It is sheer impudence on the part of white people, who for 120 years have exploited the Chinese, to assume an attitude of superiority. During that time they fought two wars with -the Chinese in order to force opium upon them- for the benefit of the Indian producers. The Chinese are well aware of the fact, and yet we presume to look down on them. The Chinese were civilized before the civilizations of Babylon or Rome existed. They were a cultured people when Greece was over-run by barbarians. They had their teachers and philosophers such as Confuscius, who said that a wise ruler did not fight against people; he fought against poverty. If the United States of America had spent as much money on helping the Chinese as it has spent on rearming the Japanese we might now have had Mao Tse-tung on our side. I could speak on that topic for half an hour. I could tell how Mao did not agree with Stalin, how Stalin had him expelled from the central committee of the Communist party, and sent a Russian to take his place; how Mao chased the Russian out, and made a deal with . the Chinese Nationalists. If we had cultivated his goodwill at that time there would be a very different story to tell now.

There is a great difference between conditions in China and in India. In China, there are no religious differences of the kind that exist in India. Confucianism is not in the strict sense a religion ; it is a philosophy. The United States of America has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to arm the Japanese, but has begrudged the granting of a mere 10,000,000-dollar loan for famine relief in India. Its attitude has disgusted decent people all over the world. If one does a good turn to the average Chinese he never forgets it. There is a deep bond of sympathy between China and Australia. Many Chinese firms have been operating in Australia over the last 80 years. Goodwill has been created by trade, but the Menzies Government failed in its duty when it refused to endorse the action of Britain in recognizing the so-called Communist Government in China. “What right have we to thrust our conception of democracy on the Chinese? In any case, democracy is a comparatively new thing. A few hundred years ago Europe was merely a. subsidiary of Asia. European culture is not old. “When Marco Polo went to China he was amazed at the evidences of culture and civilization that he found there. Let us stop trying to talk down to the Chinese in broken English as some people do even to men who have been educated at Oxford. Unless the Chinese are made parties to the peace treaty with Japan, the treaty will not be worth the paper it is written on. We hear a great deal about what the Americans did in the war, but for ten years the Chinese pinned down 1,000,000 Japanese soldiers. Had those soldiers come south I do not know what would have happened to Australia. The Japanese committed appalling atrocities against the Chinese. They also committed atrocities against Australian and British soldiers, yet now we are told that we must trust them.

General MacArthur, one of the greatest . tories alive to-day, is a very wealthy man. He was reared in the military tradition, as his father was before him. He may be all right in the military sphere ; but in the political, economic and social spheres soldiers always make a mess of things. General MacArthur said that the great industrial concerns in Japan had been broken up. When investigators began inquiring into those concerns, the ramifications were found to be so great that no. European could understand them. The great Japanese business houses were then told to dissolve themselves, and when those in control said that it had been done their word was accepted. The Japanese people still worship the emperor just as they did when they added Formosa, Manchuria, and parts of northern China to their empire. If a school house catches fire, the children will risk their lives to save the picture of the emperor which hangs on the wall in every school. The law provides that no building shall be higher than the emperor’s palace. An American correspondent who wrote the book called Last Train from Berlin, tells the story of a conversation he had with the Japanese consul in Australia. He asked the Japanese to tell him something about the emperor, and the Japanese began to weep. The American said, “ I hope I have not offended you “. The Japanese replied, “ You spoke irreverently of the emperor. What would you think if I asked you in the same tone what you thought of Jesus Christ ? “ During the war, the Japanese overran twice the area of land and sea that the Germans did, and they did it in half the time. Now we are told that we must trust them. Japanese representatives were actually sitting in conference with the Americans discussing peace at the very moment that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. When I last spoke on this subject I suggested that we should try to place ourselves in the position of Chinese, whether Communists or conservatives, who had fought for ten years against the Japanese, and were now told that they could have no say in the framing of the treaty with Japan. The Chinese will have to be consulted sooner or later, and the sooner the better. Australia should use its influence to ensure that they are consulted now. Only last night I pointed out to the conservatives and reactionaries opposite that if they imagined we could combat communism by passing legislation to ban it they were deluding themselves. They imagine that by establishing great armies and equipping ourselves with huge armaments we cap solve the problem of the Communist menace. I remind them that the Russians do not need any army to pursue their aggressive campaign. To listen to honorable senators opposite one would imagine that all we had to do to safeguard ourselves was o place every man in this country under arms and to saddle ourselves with an impossible load of taxes for armaments. If we heeded that advice our economy would be ruined and our country would be distracted by internal dissention and a continuing series of crises. The Russians thoroughly understand these matters, and even they realize that the only way in which we caa prevent the forward march of communism is to prove to the peoples of the world that we have a better policy to offer them than the Russians have. Look at what happened in Czechoslovakia, which is a highly civilized country. Let us think objectively about these matters, but let us not imagine that right is on our side in all we do. I, for one, do not believe that it is. I think that the foreign policy the United States of America has been pursuing is entirely wrong. In fact, it is going from bad to worse; and it is high time that some one told the leaders of that country that the Russians are hopelessly outclassing them in the international arena. I know a good deal about the Russians, because I have watched them at work for many years.

Senator Cormack:

– Where did tha the honorable senator see them at work?

Senator GRANT:

– I first observed their methods at the Paris Peace Conference in, 1919, and since then, over thi years, I have observed Vyshinsky and Molotov conducting international negotiations, and I have had lengthy conversations with Kardelz of Yugoslavia. I know from my experience of the Russians that they are not deterred by ordinary political or moral considerations; they stand for whatever they believe to be beneficial to Russia. I also know that the Communists have never come to power in any country until they have succeeded in undermining the Labour party or its counterpart. The Russians know that the only party that can combat them is the Labour party. The anti-Labour parties of this country were paving the way for the Communists by discrediting the Australian Labour party., Only a few days ago one member of the Opposition actually accused Senator Armstrong, who is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in this chamber, of defending the Communists. By fostering the idea that, members of the Labour party are Communists honorable senators opposite an: doing their utmost to undermine the faith of the Australian people in their parliamentary democracy.

In every country that the Communists have successfully infiltrated they have sought first to drive the party of the social democrats out of existence; and that is exactly what the anti-Labour forces are unwittingly doing in this country when they accuse us of being allies of the Communists. Consider, for a moment, the sharp and continuing decline of popularity of the Communist party in the United Kingdom. That country is led by a virile Labour party, which includes such outstanding democrats as Aneurin Bevan, Jenny Lee, Strachey and Shinwell. Those individuals know that the present capitalist’ system, with all its faults, can be transformed into a system that will afford social justice and progress to the common people. ‘The objectives of that party, which include the eradication of illiteracy and the provision of adequate social services, including medical attention and hospital treatment for the underprivileged, are those which should guide the democratic party of any country that hopes to defeat communism. The Labour party in the United Kingdom has been able to accomplish a great deal for its under-privileged people, including the rebuilding of former slum areas and theintroduction of an effective scheme of national health, notwithstanding that it has had to rearm the country. The consequence of its magnificent effort is, as I have already said, that the Communists are receiving practically no support from the people. At the last general election in the United Kingdom I believe that every Communist candidate in that country forfeited his deposit, as also happened at the last Commonwealth election.

I appeal to honorable senators opposite to get behind the Australian Labour party and ‘prepare to defend this country by removing social injustices and so cut the ground from under the feet of the

Communists. It is idle for the reactionaries in our midst to attempt to maintain the status quo. They have no more chance of staying where they are sociologically than they have of doing so biologically. After all, there is more reason why the capitalist system should persist than there is that a tree, or a human life, should continue forever. Remember that the powers of disintegration in nature are greater than the powers of cohesion. The world will eventually be dominated either by the Communists or by the forces of social democracy. The success, or otherwise, of the social democrats will depend upon their ability to introduce a sound economy and to provide social justice for the masses, whilst at the same time preserving the right of individual liberty, without which life is not worth living. That, after all, is the mission of the Australian Labour party.

Before I conclude I desire to impress upon honorable senators that if we intend to prevent an invasion of Australia by the barbaric Japanese people we must first discuss the proposed treaty with the Government of China, because, after all, the Chinese people know more about the Japanese than do any other people. Everything that is worthwhile that the J Japanese have acquired they have learned from the Chinese. Therefore, I appeal to the ‘ Government immediately to discuss this matter with the Chinese Government.

Senator McCALLUM:
New South Wales

– Since this is the first occasion that I have spoken in the Senate since the general election I take this opportunity to congratulate you, Mr. President, on the high and honorable office to which you have attained. I also tender my sincere congratulations to the new Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) on the admirably succinct statement on international affairs that he has placed before the Parliament. Our policy on such matters as our relations with Japan and the proposed Japanese peace treaty, the pact with the United States of America and the Colombo plan must, I think, be linked with some general principle. Rather than embark upon a discussion of the details of such matters I shall attempt to trace the common background of our policy in each of those matters. The aim of a democratic parliament is not primarily to inform itself about the world as it is to-day. This is not a mere academic discussion to improve our minds. The aim of our foreign policy should . be to afford security to our country, and in doing so to maintain all the values that have come to us from our British heritage and from western civilization. Like the Americans, who have been so severely criticized to-night, we are a young and inexperienced people, and we must seek guidance from the nations that have pursued successful foreign policy in the past. We cannot conjure up a foreign policy out of our own fancy and wishes.

We must ask ourselves, first of all, what has maintained the peace of the world up to date? The answer is, force backed by mora] authority, or, if you like, moral authority backed by force. Listening to the remarks of some honorable senators opposite, one would imagine that the world has been involved in war ever since civilization began. That is not so. There have been many lengthy periods of peace. For instance, there was peace during the early days of the Roman Republic and in the later days of the Roman Empire ; and that peace rested on the Roman legions. There were also long intervals of peace in the Middle Ages. That peace was based on the conception of Christendom. People believed that Europe was the only continent in the world that mattered, and it was bound together by certain values. The factious people, the barons, the small states and so forth, did attempt to obey some common law. There was peace also in thi= century until the outbreak of World War I.,’ although, admittedly, there were minor wars. However, the fact remains that for many years major disturbances were avoided. That peace rested on two ideas - the balance of power in Europe and the predominance, of Britain on the seas. Those days are gone, and we have to find a new basis of peace. We cannot find it in any mere superstitious worship of documents that have been prepared by great men and put forward as possible permanent policies. I respect those who established the United Nations, including the representatives of Australia. However, I say that the mere documents and the institutions that have been developed will not, of themselves, maintain peace. We must come back to the source of power, and, if it seems possible that one great Power can disturb the entire peace of the world and conquer other nations in order to establish its rule, we must attempt to prevent it from doing so. At present there is clear evidence that the one power that can do that is Soviet Russia.

We have the evidence of what happened after the recent war. I have ample statistics to support the statements that I am about to make. We know that although we disarmed after the war, Russia did not do so. It was not long before Russian aggression in Roumania, Hungary, Poland and afterwards in Czechoslovakia shocked the world. It was not until then that we began to rearm, even in an elementary fashion. The leader in that cause of peace through armed strength is the United States of America, and I deplore the bitter diatribes that have been launched against that country to-night. The United States of America has made mistakes. It may even be making mistakes now; but there is no body of people who have learned so much in so short a time as have the people of that country. During the ‘thirties President Roosevelt attempted to lead his people forward, but found again and again that he had to go back and wait for them. We all remember the famous “ quarantine “ speech that he delivered at Chicago. If the people of the United States of America bad followed him then there would have been no world war, because that was an attempt to get an armed body to support, the authority of the League of Nations. But look at what has happened since. Isolationism is now a discredited theory. Men who were leading isolationists in the United States Senate, such as Senator Vandenberg, have become collaborators in the foreign policy of their political opponents, just as I hope that members of the Opposition of this Senate will collaborate in the foreign policy of the present Government.

Senator Grant sees some things clearly, but he is like a man wandering in a thunderstorm. When the lightning flashes he sees a thing; but when the lightning flash ends he sees nothing. He said some things to-night that are perfectly true, tn fact, no one on this side of the chamber will attempt to controvert those statements; but he has drawn the wrong conclusions from them because he cannot see things steadily and see them whole. He asked us to view international matters objectively, but I think that he ended by making an impassioned appeal to us to view them subjectively.

No supporter of the Government has any illusions about Japan. The statement of the Minister for External Affairs made that quite clear. But we can only adopt towards Japan a policy that can be agreed upon by the general, body of the United Nations, and notably by the United States of America. The present Australian Government and its predecessor have placed our views before the Government of the United States of America. The position is simply this: “We have to accept the position that the Japanese, even if they are as bad as Senator Grant mould have us believe, must live. “We cannot have a Carthagian peace unless we are prepared to do to Japan what Rome did to Carthage. Unless we ar.j prepared to drive the plough through the capital of Japan and obliterate our former enemy, invoking the Roman attitude, delenda est Carthago, we must accept the fact that Japan has a part to play in the world. “We must accept the Japanese as an Eastern people with a great potentiality for mischief; and would not that potentiality for mischief greatly increase if the Japanese were driven into the Russion bloc? That is the problem that we have to face. The policy that the United States of America and its allies are pursuing in relation to Japan is certainly a second or third choice, but it is probably the best policy that can be pursued in the circumstances. We must rely on the moral leadership of the United States of America. At present, we can only supplement that leadership. I hope that the British family of nations will some day become so powerful that we shall be able to talk with the United States of America on terms of absolute equality, but at present we cannot do that. Obviously, it is not possible to talk on terms of equality with a person when one is depending upon that person for one’s means of livelihood.

The whole western world has been depending upon the economic strength of the United States of America. Had that country not evolved first the Truman doctrine, which simply meant that the Americans would help the people of other nations who were prepared to help themselves against communism, and later, the Marshall plan, Europe and Asia to-day would lie at the foot of the despots of the Kremlin. The countries of Europe have been saved by the flow of material from the United States of America. T believe that that assistance will continue, but we cannot expect it to continue if, in the parliaments of the free nations that are supposed to be co-operating with the United States of America, insults are being hurled continually at the people of that great country. We cannot expect the people of America - the country of Jefferson, and the land in which our ideas of freedom have developed to a greater degree than in any other country except the United Kingdom - to accept insults as if everybody in America was a millionaire; as if America were not the country with the largest middle class in the world, the country in which the bulk of the people have the highest living standard in the world, and the country which, out of its mere surplus production, can keep the rest of the world from starving. We are told that the United States of America should have done this or that, and that the Americans are throwing money away. They can afford to throw away an enormous amount of their wealth because they will still have plenty left. Their generosity has kept millions of people from starving. Errors of judgment are inevitable. It is said that the United States of America gambled wrongly in supporting the Chiang Kai-shek regime in China. Possibly that is true, but can any one be certain that someone else is not gambling wrongly in supporting the Communists in China? There was a choice of two governments, neither of which appeared very worthy of support. One or the other had to be accepted.

Of the three speeches delivered by Opposition senators to-night. I wish to commend that of Senator Willesee, who approached this problem as it should be approached. I did not agree with everything he said, but my disagreement was of a kind that can be thrashed out in this chamber. I have already dealt with Senator Grant’s remarks. The speech of the third Opposition member, which has already been effectively dealt with by one of my colleagues, was mischievous. It was a speech which I think might well make one reflect upon whether discussions in this chamber are likely to benefit the cause of international peace. If there was anything at all in the honorable senator’s remarks beyond approval of what appears to be the Russian line, it was a childish plea for a pacifist attitude. Whatever else the history of the world reveals about international pacifism, it shows conclusively that pacifism never solves a problem. We frequently hear the ridiculous quotation that war solves no problem. It is true in a sense that no problem is solved in human life, because the life of a man on this earth is an unending adventure. As soon as one problem is solved, there is another to be solved. War has deter: mined how. men shall live. Why is the United States of America independent to-day? It is independent because of war. Slavery was ended in the southern States of the United States of America by war. The map of Europe to-day has been drawn by war. It is absurd to say that war solves no problem; but pacifism means simply allowing the aggressor to have his way.

Senator Grant:

– Is the honorable senator not a Christian?

Senator McCALLUM:

– I shall come to Christianity. We are told that certain countries have been preserved from the ravages of war because they were neutral though they could not defend, themselves. What are those countries? First, there is Switzerland. Had it suited either the Kaiser or Hitler to go through Switzerland, he would have done so despite the mountains. It is said that Sweden was saved from the devastation that overtook Norway and Denmark because Marshal Goer ing, the least despicable of that bloody crew, had a Swedish wife and therefore had some little consideration for that country, but certainly pacifism has never saved anybody. As for the doctrines of Christianity,

I have not found in the New Testament, with which I am very familiar, any definite prohibition against supporting the country to which one belongs. On the contrary, I find in the gospels, and particularly in the writings of Saint Paul, a definite statement that it is obligatory to support the country to which one belongs. I find no warrant in Christianity as I know it for complete pacifism, because complete pacifism is based on the assumption that war, because of the destruction it causes is the worst of evils. We believe that evil as war undoubtedly is, it is less evil than passively bowing one’s neck to something that is completely wrong and evil.

Our’ entire foreign policy in these years must be based on co-operation with the United States of America, with tha British Commonwealth of Nations, and with the other Western powers. The rest is a matter of detail. We must see things in their true proportion. We must put first things first. That policy has been well outlined by Mr. Marshall, President Truman, and many eloquent spokesmen in the Senate of the United States of America. We know fairly well what it is. It is a policy of containment - I do not like the word “ containment “ particularly, and I use it only to avoid confusion. It is not merely a policy of a preventive war against Soviet Russia. The aim is not just to build up armed strength and then to establish American supremacy. It is to resist aggression wherever it occurs, and that is the justification for the help that has been given in Greece and in Korea. In Korea, that policy has succeeded to the degree that it has stayed aggression. The rot has been stopped in Asia. Had the Korean campaign not been fought, it is almost certain that Indo-China, Siam - peaceful Siam which has not troubled anybody for three centuries - Burma, India and Pakistan, would be over-run or struggling for their lives. That is the justification of this policy, but we cannot simply accept the plan, fold our hands, and do nothing. The policy of containment is simply this : Unless we contain this evil dynamic force that is emanating from Soviet Russia, the free nations of the world will fall one after’ another, and all the values of Western

European culture and civilization will be lost. But containment means a long, steady, persistent effort.

We on this side of the chamber have been accused of wanting to maintain the status quo. Surely no one is so foolish as to believe that anything that may be called the status quo can be maintained in the world to-day. This is a world of continual change. What we wish to do is to conserve those values that we believe to be necessary ; but there is one thing we constantly find we cannot do. We cannot get rid of all controls. Government supporters are twitted about their reluctance to impose controls. Our policy is that any control that is necessary for the defence of the nation will be imposed; but it must be necessary. Unfortunately some of the controls that will be required for the national defence are more extensive than we on this side of the chamber would like them to be.

There is need for a positive policy. We cannot contain Russia simply by building up armed strength, sitting back, and hoping that the Russians will learn some sense. There must be a counterattack of the kind that the Russians themselves are making on us. I refer not to war but to propaganda, and the encouragement of the fifth column in their own country. I do not believe that this mighty colossus, the Soviet Union, is impregnable Its apparent solidarity is maintained largely by force. Undoubtedly there are discontents within Russia, and if an intelligent policy were pursued by the other countries, those discontents would be exploited. In time they might bring the whole edifice crumbling down, but until the crack comes, as I believe it will come, we dare not disarm or relax our expenditure on the Navy, Army, Air Force, the secret service,- and everything that is necessary to maintain a front. I do not believe that the future is with the people who believe in an ever mighty domineering central state. The future is with the new kind of individualism - not the individualism that was callous and did not care about the rights of others, but the individualism that encourages in every man the right to develop his talents, and in every group the right to govern itself.

I sum up my. remarks by saying that 1 hope that the policy that this country will pursue will be supported by all political parties. For that reason I believe that we should all co-operate in the establishment of either a Senate committee or a joint committee to discuss international problems in private; Some of the things that have been said to-night would have been better unsaid, although I do not for a moment wish to curb the right of any man to speak in this chamber on any matter that he considers to be in the public interest. However, one injudicious word or phrase uttered in a debate that is perhaps broadcast from this chamber and subsequently reported in the press, may help to stir up ill will against us.’ I hope that, without any thought of political advantage, we shall all devote ourselves to the great task of formulating a policy that will save this country from ruin and invasion.

Senator BROWN:

, - After listening to this debate, I have come to the conclusion that there is a real need for the appointment of a parliamentary committee on. foreign affairs. Problems such as those which have been discussed to-night are of vital importance not only to members of all political parties, but also to the people of Australia. In a debate on foreign affairs there should he no wordy warfare arising from political antagonism. Australia is in danger. We are living in a fool’s paradise and it behoves all sensible men and women in this legislature to ponder deeply on. the many problems that confront us in the realm of international relations. I admit a good deal of ignorance concerning, those affairs. Because of our insularity many of our people put to one side any faults in our foreign relations, and their importance. That has- been part and parcel of th” Australian make-up. We are so insular, and our attention has been so ‘occupied with affairs within Australia that our foreign relations have not always received the mental attention that they warrant. I agree with Senator McCallum that it would be a splendid thing for Australia if we were to form a committee to establish the facts, even if it were not politic to make them available immediately to the people at large. I consider that there is a dire need for the formation of such a committee. There is a good deal of ignorance in this chamber. So far as the present situation is concerned there are two extremes, and in their extremity honorable senators who support opposing schools of thought are at times blind to the real facts of the situation. Some honorable senators are so biassed politically that they are not prepared to listen to another honorable senator’s point of view. I believe that we should all try to understand and appreciate every honorable senator’s submissions. I deplore that when Senator Morrow was addressing the chamber this evening some honorable senators sneered at him. Even if a Communist is stating his views I consider that, in our democracy he has a right to do so and we should listen carefully.It is important that we should try to under stand one another’s point of view. If Australia is to be saved as a white man’s country there must be the deepest understanding and the closest cohesion, irrespective of party politics.

I suppose that I have matured with age. In my early days I was an idealist, like our venerable friend ex-Senator Collings. Unlike him, however, I am not a pacifist. . In the main, Joseph Silver Collings always means what he says. I remember one evening some years ago being approached by the party whip when I was playing billiards, a much happier occupation at times than addressing this chamber. It was then 1.30 a.m. He said to me, “I want you to stone-wall fora while “. I replied “ Why not let us all go home and get to bed like sensible men ? “ He said, “N o, you will be the last speaker. We are going to keep SirGeorge Pearce and others here also . As I entered the chamber Senator Rae concluded his address with the words “ I am a pacifist “. The then President, Senator Lynch, was about to put the question, and I feared that my opportunity to render a service to my party by stone-walling for about an hour and a half would be lost. I said, “ Just a moment, Mr. President, I wish to speak”. I then received the call, and commenced my address. I had not prepared any notes. I pointed out that at times some of ‘ the greatest pacifists became ardent militants. Sitting in front of me was grey-haired Senator Collings, full of vigour and virility, so I related a story concerning the honorable senator. I told the Senate that on one occasion when he was addressing an anticonscription meeting from a dray in the market square in Brisbane, in 1917, a conscription meeting also was being held in the square. Joseph Silver Collings was speaking very forcibly, with a great flow of English. He folded his arms, adopted a striking attitude, and said, “ Ladies and gentlemen, there is only one way to stop wars, and that is by the folded arms policy “. A man in the crowd threw a potato weighing about 2 lb. It struck our venerable friend’s shoulder and jaw. He said, “Who threw that”? When a man said “I did”, our good friend took off his coat, jumped off the dray, and strode towards the man. At that stage a burly policeman of Irish descent said, “ Leave him to me “, drew his baton and struck the potato thrower on the head. Immediately there was an uproar and within two minutes the market square became a scene of carnage. As a result of being struck by the potato, the great pacifist had become a great militant. The import of this story is that we can not afford to be pacifist in our outlook If one nation attacks another, the nation attacked will strike back irrespective of its philosophy.

I remember when’, as a boy, I first stood on the public platform and, with all the ardour of youth, preached the new el dorado, socialism as the end of capitalism. I recited the following portion of Locksley Rall by Tennyson: -

For I dip’t into the future, far as human eye could see,

Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;

Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,

Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain’d a ghastly dew

From the nations’ airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Far along the world-wide whisper, of the south wind rushing warm,

With the standards of the peoples plunging through the thunderstorm;

Till the war drum throbbed no longer, and the battle flags were furled

In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.

Senator NASH:

– What is wrong with that?

Senator BROWN:

– There is nothing wrong with it, except that it illustrates the philosophy of idealism, whereas we are living in a world of war. A few moments ago I recalled some lines of Arnold. Although some honorable senators opposite may smile, I am in a serious mood. I have noticed that their risible muscles . relax very readily. I remind them that I have the welfare of Australia at heart at all times. As I grew up, I read books that most young men read, including the works of Ingersoll. Arnold adopted a vastly different style. The passage that I mentioned a moment ago clearly shows the difference between idealism and reality. In his Light of Asia Arnold recorded how the gentle Buddha had noted -

How lizard fed on ant, and snake on him,

And kite on both; and how the fish-hawk robbed

The fish-tiger of that which it had seized;

The shrike chasing the bulbul, which did chase

The jewelled butterflies; till everywhere

Each slew a slayer and in turn was slain,

Life living upon death. So the fair show

Veiled one vast, savage, grim conspiracy

Of mutual murder, from the worm to man,

Who himself kills his fellow.

We are living in a world of reality and we see Nature red in tooth and claw. We have been idealists in our weaker moments, and many of us are still idealists, but we must face facts. We must decide things one way or the other. We cannot pander to both sides. Unfortunately, as far as I can see, there is no middle road, which is the one that I should prefer. It would be the perfect road leading to peace, but we are not living in a peaceful world. We know, at least in part, what’ has happened in Korea, and of the struggle that is taking place there. We also know that the Koreans have not reached a great height of civilization, and that politically they are very backward. We know that there are ruthless men in the south as well as in the north. Furthermore, we know that this antagonism has existed for many years. From what I have read I believe that the Russians are backing the North and the Americans are backing the South Koreans. We know that the Americans were helping to drill the former and that the North Koreans were also being drilled and armed by Russia. Two great forces are facing one another, only a little distance separating them. Peoples of other countries may see only the antagonism between the North Koreans and the South Koreans and not the mighty forces behind them. We in Australia who know the facts may be inclined to say “ A plague on both your houses “. But, situated as we are geographically, and with all our weaknesses, can we as a nation step aside and take no part in the struggle that is taking place? On the one hand there is the mighty capitalist nation, the United States of America. Like Napoleon, who stated that every soldier carried a marshal’sbaton in his knapsack, the American people believe in the philosophy that any man who is prepared to work hard enough can get to the top of a tree and become rich. Russia has cast aside the capitalist system and has substituted the Communist system. Men of great courage have fought for that system. Most of them, with the exception of Stalin and Molotov, have been liquidated. Many of those idealists who saw in their own activities resultant world peace and economic security have succeeded only in benefiting Russia. Those idealists have passed from this earth and to-day there are in control of the affairs of that country brave, intelligent, strong and absolutely ruthless men. We do not want to see a similar dictatorship established in Australia. That is why, mentally and psychologically, we incline to those who would maintain the present system. Honorable senators on this side of the chamber do not believe that predatory capitalism is right. We fight it. But we say that there is a method whereby our security and freedom can be maintained if the problem is attacked properly. Let us consider whether we as a nation can possibly afford to be neither on one side nor the other. I advise the Government to endeavour to understand the forces that are at work in the world to-day. On numerous occasions, Senator Grant has tried to tell honorable senators opposite what those forces are. Unfortunately, Senator Morrow seems to turn Nelson’s blind eye to the Russian rulers and to see all good in them and all bad in other people. “I do not agree with that view. I endeavour to be a realist, as far as my learning and understanding permit me. When a nation takes the road to dictatorship, and is ruled by the sword it must be forced along irrevocably, lt is a simple illustration of the old saying that he who rides the tiger cannot dismount. Hitler may well have been a mighty force in the world, but instead of that he reached out to try to conquer it. If he had not done so he may well have been with us to-day. . The alinement of forces compels a dictatorship to continue on its march towards the eventual goal of domination of mankind.

I agree completely with Senator Grant and with all honorable senators who have spoken kindly of the Chinese. I have, as my friends here in Australia some Chinese who are among the finest human beings it has been my pleasure to meet. The Chinese are . a lovable people, but unfortunately some of them are very cruel. I remember as a boy reading of the cruelties of the Chinese to their fellows. I recall the punishment of the thousand cuts, when a man was placed in chain mail which was screwed up. The protruding flesh was then sliced, after which he was strapped down over an ant. bed, his body being rubbed with some sweet substance, such as sugar so that he would be eaten. It was also fairly common for women to «be’ tied to growing bamboo and for men to be placed in wicker cages on the lids of which wen; huge stones, so that they could not stand upright without forcing up the stones. Yet, when people speak to me to-day of the cruelty of .the Chinese, I remember what happened in Germany during Work! War II. and what is happening in Russia to-day. Such matters remind one of Robbie Burns’s famous lines that man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn. Such brutalities make us think at times that it would be a good thing if an atomic bomb, big enough to blow the whole universe to pieces, could be made. In our own army I have known men of such low calibre and sadistic tendencies that they have not hesitated to put the boot into .their fellows. But because there are men like that in Australia it does no mean necessarily that all Australians are brutal.

Under a dictatorship, . however, . it is found that the people vie with one another in such activities to win the approbation of those above them. In the concentration camps in Germany, for instance, the guards vied with one another to discover the worst forms of cruelty. That element exists in every community, even in Australia.

I also agree with Senator Grant when he stated that the United States of America, Britain and Australia hare missed their opportunity to win the friendship of the Chinese people. If we had the Chinese nation on our side I suggest that we would not need to fear either Russia or Japan. Only a few years ago I attended a party at which there were many Chinese. Among those present whs a lecturer, who now lectures in Queensland, and also a Chinese missionary who made ‘ an intensely interesting speech. From the manner in which he spoke 1 believe that he was a member of the Society of Friends. He stated that he ban been in Chungking and was isolated there for some time because the city was being attacked. He assured us that the Chinese are not Communists but are great co-operators who respond to proper treatment. He said that the opportunity wa.s at hand for the free democratic governments of the world to win China to their side and that if the United States of” America and Great Britain followed a policy of peace towards the Chinese, and if they endeavoured to understand them and helped to bring about those reforms which are so necessary, China would be on the side of the United States of America, Great Britain and Australia. But we have missed that opportunity. We cannot win a nation over with bombs and bayonets. ‘ To-day the struggle is for men’s minds and we should never forgetthat. . If we were as active in winning the minds of men as we are in sending atomic bombs screaming through the air or in building mighty ships and submarines, we should have nothing to fear.

The Russians are a subtle and clever people. They went into Eastern Germany, gave the land to the peasants and turned out the Junkers. We went into Western Germany and brought back the Nazis. We all know, of course, that subsequently the Russians will take back the land “from the . peasants and establish communal farms. In China, the Russians have followed a similar policy. The landholders of China exploited the peasants for over a thousand years and in some cases the peasants were forced to pay their rents two or three years in advance. With the Russian armies went the political commissars who preached the Communist doctrines and taught the Chinese their political ideas. The Chinese listened to them. The western nations did not think that it was necessary to use such propaganda. I consider that the proper use of educational propaganda in the struggle against communism should he recognized, and that we should exercise our intelligence in order to win the Chinese people to our side. I agree with Senator Grant that we should not look down upon the Chinese, because in ‘ many respects I consider that they are ahead of us. Some of their students study for 30 years, casting aside all the pleasures of life in order to inform their minds. Some of the greatest thinkers have come from China. Do not let us look down upon them with an air of superiority.

Senator Maher:

– We do not.

Senator BROWN:

– I am delighted to hear that honorable senators opposite do not look down upon the Chinese. However, we must be reasonable and admit that there is a definite tendency to look askance at the non-whites. One has only to consider the attitude adopted towards aborigines to see the truth of that contention. I had the pleasure to meet Xavier Herbert, the writer of that brilliant book Capricornia, and to travel from Darwin with him. Before I had been with him an hour I was ashamed of my lack of knowledge. He said that he would take ten aborigines and pit them against ten Australians from any city of the Commonwealth, and he would prove that the intellectual capacity of the aborigines was just as great as that of the white men. I am making a plea for a proper understanding of our fellow men in all parts of the world. Even though I have Chinese friends, and although I admit that the aborigine in his pristine state is highly moral and of great capacity in many respects, we must face the facts of the situation. I say to honorable senators on both sides of the chamber that no matter what feeling exists between us and the Chinese, the Japanese or any other people, the fact remains that we are living in a world of realities. We must appreciate that we have to arm and organize ourselves to such an extent that we can retain Australia for the white race. There is a struggle taking place in the world to-day and the forces of the western world and of Russia will eventually meet. If that takes place and the .democracies are defeated, I believe that Australia will cease to be a white man’s country.

I support Senator McCallum’s opinion that we should not utter one word to upset those who are not of the same colour as ourselves. Although I hold the Chinese people in the greatest respect, an economic argument applies. We in Australia have built up a certain standard of living and we wish to maintain that standard. The statement now before the Senate is all very well, but it contains no details, no real facts into which we can put our teeth. It is the duty of the Government to indicate the direction from which trouble is expected, and prepare our forces to defend Australia.

Senator VINCENT:
Western Australia

– I desire to congratulate Senator Brown on having made a very fine speech. I listened to it .most attentively, and I agree with practically everything that he said. His remarks on the importance of realism as opposed to pacificism have my whole-hearted support, and I am sure that they have the approval of all honorable senators on this side of the chamber. I believe that that is the essence of the policy of the United Nations organization in its present great struggle against the forces of communism.

In speaking to this motion, I desire to commend the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) on the statement which has been submitted to the Parliament. It is a clear exposition of the views of the Government concerning the matters with which it deals. It also contains a precise statement of Government’ policy and sets out the reasons why certain action had been taken.

Debate interrupted.

page 489


Grant to Winners of Victoria Cross


– Order ! In accordance with the sessional order relating to the adjournment of the Senate, I formally put the question -

Senator COLE:

.- I direct the attention of the Senate to an anomaly which affects certain winners of the Victoria Cross, the rectification of which would constitute a fitting jubilee gesture on the part of the Government. As honorable senators are aware, a Victoria Cross winner who is not a commissioned officer receives a grant of £10 a year and, in addition, a pension of 6d. a day. A commissioned officer is not entitled to the grant. This discrimination against commissioned Victoria Cross winners is very unfair. I assumethat the practice adopted in Australia follows the English practice, which in early “ears was based on the supposition that only persons of substantial means were commissioned and to such persons the grant of £10 per annum would mean little or nothing. The Army is now a democratic institution and men are commissioned according to their ability and not according to their birth or financial position. After being demobilized many commissioned officers resumed their former avocations and became ordinary wage-earners in the community. There is no reason why they should not receive the grant. I have received from a Victoria Cross winner a letter on the subject, which reads, in part, as follows : -

I was a corporal at the time of the battle of Messines, June, 1917, and as a result of my actions was recommended, hut in place of a decoration I was granted, a commission on the field, and carried on without missing a day in the line on any stunt the battalion was in, until put out of action in the counter attack at Villiers Brettoneaux, April 24-25, 1918, on which date I was awarded the Victoria Cross.

I was retired as totally and permanently incapacitated owing to war disabilities from the Repatriation Department some two years ago, and in these times the additional benefit, would be of great help in securing freehold of a home.

This man has a very good case for the payment of the grant. Iappeal to the Government to correct this injustice and to make the grant available to all Victoria Cross winners.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

page 489


The following papers were pre sented : -

Defence Act and Naval Defence Act - Regulations Statutory Rules 1951, No. 44.

Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act - Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Board - Second Annual Report, for year 1949-50.

Lands Acquisition Act- Land acquired for - Defence purposes - Penrith, New South Wales.

Department of Civil Aviation purposes - Mascot, New South Wales.

Life Insurance Act - Fifth Annual Report of the Insurance Commissioner, for 1950.

Postmaster-General’s Department- Fortieth

Annual Report, for year 1949-50.

Public Service Act - Appointment - Department of Trade and Customs - S. P. Fraser.

Senate adjourned at 11.5 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 27 June 1951, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.