10 May 1955

21st Parliament · 1st Session

The President (Senator the Hon. A. M. McMullin) took the chair at 3 p.m., and . read prayers.

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– I address a question to the Minister for Repatriation. As he knows, for years past I have advocated the accommodation of exservice mental patients in other than mental hospitals. That advocacy has been supported in the recent Stoller report. In order that justice shall be done to ex-servicemen who have suffered terrible injuries as a result of offering their lives for this country, and in view of the fact that every mental hospital in Australia is over-crowded, will the Minister inform me whether any progress has been made in the provision of proper hospital wards in repatriation hospitals for mentally ill ex-servicemen?

Senator COOPER:
Minister for Repatriation · QUEENSLAND · CP

– In all States, special accommodation has been made available by the Repatriation Department for ex-service mental patients. However, as the Commonwealth has no power in relation to lunacy, or the certification of patients, we have had to depend upon the States to staff repatriation mental hospitals. Although the Repatriation Department has its own hospitals, those hospitals are staffed by State attendants. The Stoller report which was recently published, deals extensively with that aspect of the matter. Broadly, the recommendations contained in that report have been adopted by the Australian Government. As a matter of fact, the Commonwealth is now offering £10,000,000 to the States for capital expenditure, in order to help overcome the overcrowded conditions in mental hospitals. According to Dr. Stoller’s report, that state of affaire has presented the chief obstacle to treatment. The Commonwealth offer of £10,000,000 out of revenue is conditional on the States providing £20,000,000 out of loan funds to improve accommodation for mental patients. It is pointed out that the provision of improved accommodation and equipment will result in a great savin? in maintenance costs. The amount of £10,000,000 is 25 times as large as any annual amount that the States received’ from the Commonwealth under the old agreement. However, according to press reports, the States are apparently looking the gift horse in the mouth. I believe that, if satisfactory accommodation and equipment can be provided for the treatment of mental cases, it will be possible, within five years, to reduce the mental population by 10 per cent. Another 20 per cent, may become self-supporting, to the benefit not only of themselves, .but also of the general economy of Australia. These are the objectives of the Commonwealth Government. It is hoped that the provision of this £10,000,000 will enable mental hospitals throughout Australia to reach the standard of efficiency that similar institutions under the control of the Repatriation Department in the several States have already reached.


– I wish to direct a further question to the Minister for Repatriation, in his capacity as Minister for Repatriation and not as Minister representing the Minister for Health. In my previous question, I purposely inquired about the intention of the Government and the Minister for Repatriation concerning Australian exservice personnel who are in civilian mental hospitals to-day. Previously, the Minister assured me that wards were being erected in repatriation hospitals throughout the States. Is that plan being proceeded with, or am I to take the statement of the Minister that there are some matters of which the States have control, to indicate that the Australian Government is leaving to the mercy of the States those men who, are Buffering from mental illness, and that the Commonwealth is leaving thom in State mental institutions? ‘Will the Minister assure me that the work which he promised me would be done - and I know that in some instances it is being proceeded with - will be completed as quickly as possible, so that these men may be cared for by the Australian Government, whose sole responsibility they are; and so that they may be taken away from State mental institutions, in the interests of themselves and their relatives, and also to prevent overcrowding in such institutions? AD.

Australian governments, not only this Government, have been neglectful of this matter. Will the Government accept its responsibility in respect of men who were injured on active service after volunteering to defend this country?

Senator COOPER:

– I did not try to evade the honorable senator’s previous question. I again point out to him thai this generous offer of the Commonwealth of £10,000,000 to the .States is going to make a tremendous difference to the mental health of the community - that is, if it is taken advantage of, on the £2 for £1 basis. In regard to returned soldiers who are suffering from mental illness-

Senator Critchley:

– It is our job to look after them.

Senator COOPER:

– No, it is not entirely the job of the Australian Government. The ones who are the responsibility of the Australian Government are those whose mental state has been accepted as having been caused by war service. Such men are the full responsibility of this Government, and they are being well looked after in our own wards and hospitals throughout the Commonwealth. In addition, where we have room in our own mental wards, we are looking after a proportion of those whose disability has not been caused by the war. Naturally, if we are able to look after such people, we give them first preference. In regard to the programme of work, I have spoken to Senator Critchley before about this matter, because I know that he is very concerned with it, and so is the Government. I inform him that the building programme is going ahead as well as we can carry it out at the present time.


– For about twelve years !

Senator COOPER:

– It has not taken twelve years. Quite a lot has been done, and the honorable senator knows that that is so. We are gradually improving the conditions, and I say again that this money that has been offered to the States will make a tremendous difference throughout Australia and will help to bring the standards of mental hospitals more into conformity with those that exist to-day in the repatriation wards and mental hospitals. The building programme is by no means at a standstill, but if we are able to accelerate it, we shall do so.

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Senator PEARSON:

– Can the Minister say whether it is the intention of the Minister for Health, or of the Prime Minister, to convene a conference of representatives of the Commonwealth and the States to discuss the issues arising from the Stoller report on mental institutions in Australia? If so, can he say when it is likely to be held, and whether State Premiers, or State Ministers of Health, or both, will be invited to attend?

Senator COOPER:

– I understand that a conference will be held, on a Prime Minister-Premier basis, to which the State Ministers for Health will be invited. So far, no date has been arranged for such a conference.

Senator BYRNE:
QUEENSLAND · ALP; QLP from 1957; DLP from 1968

– Has the Minister’s attention been drawn to the report of a statement made by the Queensland Premier, Mr. Gair, commenting on the lack of courtesy shown to the six States in connexion with the Stoller report on mental institutions? This report, which is critical of the control of mental health in all States, and is probably less critical of Queensland than of the other States, was released publicly, without the State Premiers having first been placed in possession of its contents. Will the Minister ensure that in similar circumstances in future due courtesy will be shown to State governments?

Senator COOPER:

– I shall place the honorable senator’s complaint before the Minister for Health.

Senator LAUGHT:

– Is it a fact that some States have finished the last three financial years with sums of money, amounting to many millions of pounds, unspent? Will he let the Senate know what amounts have been received by each State from Commonwealth sources, and the amounts unspent in each of the financial years ended on the 30th June, 1952, 1953, and 1954? Will he also say whether any sums so unspent could have been used by the States to improve the conditions of the mentally sick in the community?

Senator SPOONER:
Minister for National Development · NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– During recent years there has been a lot of propaganda on the part of State Labour governments, alleging a lack of sufficient funds to enable them to carry out their work. This practice has become an established procedure on their part. When they realize that they have not. done something that they ought to have done, they blame the Commonwealth Government for not pro.viding money for the purpose. The facts are that the Commonwealth Government has made such generous provision of money that the States have been unable to expend all that they have received, If the honorable senator will place his question on the notice-paper I shall see if the Treasurer can prove, by chapter and verse, that substantial sums of money have been held by State governments in excess of their requirements, because of the generosity of the Menzies Government.

Senator TANGNEY:

– Can the Minister say how many children in Australia have been certified as insane, and confined in mental hospitals primarily intended for adult patients? What are the numbers so certified and detained in each of the various States? What special provision is to be made for the segregation and rehabilitation, where possible, of such children? When children are considered incapable of receiving any kind of education, will due consideration be given to their plight when a conference, as envisaged by the Minister, is eventually held?

Senator COOPER:

– I am unable to give the figures requested by the honorable senator off-hand, but I shall obtain a full report from the Minister for Health and furnish the information to the honorable senator as soon as possible.

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Senator WRIGHT:

– I direct a question to the Minister for Shipping and Transport in relation to strong representations that have been made in Tasmania by the Tasmanian Farmers. Federationfor consideration of a proposal to set up the Commonwealth Shipping Line a3 a separate trading; entity. Has tha

Minister had prepared, any statement of the outlay that would be. involved and of the advantages and disadvantages, of such an arrangement? If not, will the Minister have a statement prepared on this matter for the information of myself and other honorable senators ?

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

– The matter to which the honorable senator has referred has been under consideration for some time; Having regard to the shortage of men and money and the expenditure that would be incurred, the Government believes, that this is not a proper time to act along the lines indicated by the honorable senator in the first part of his question. I shall be pleased, however, to ascertain whether the information requested by the honorable senator can be made available.

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Senator AMOUR:

– In view of a request in another place for the setting up of a Committee of Privileges to inquire into a particular matter in connexion with a Sydney suburban newspaper, will the Leader of the Government in the Senate confer with the Prime Minister with a view to providing that such a Committee of Privileges shall hear the views of a deputation of citizens from Bankstown, which has a population of 100,000? The people of Bankstown believe that they have been grossly insulted and offended by statements that have been made in another place and by the press of Australia. They believe that they have been branded as criminal’s and they would like to have an opportunity to put their view-point before a. properly constituted’ committee. I do not know the normal procedure of a Committee of Privileges, as I have not been a member of one, but I hope that these admirable citizens and good Australians, many of whom are ex-servicemen, will be given the opportunity they seek, as they have been grossly insulted.

Minister for Trade and Customs · QUEENSLAND · LP

– I am not sure of the correct: procedure in the matter to which the honorable senator - has referred but I shall be happy to discuss with the Prime Minister the suggestion the honorable senator has made, and inform him of the result in due course;

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– Has the Minister for National. Development seen a report that at the recent conference of State Housing Ministers, held in Perth, a resolution was agreed to that the Australian Government should he approached to provide funds for the establishment of shopping centres in areas developed under the ‘Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement? Will the Minister assure the Senate that when such an approach is made, the Australian Government will inform the State Housing Ministers that the Commonwealth’s interest in building is confined to homes, and that it has no intention of participating in the suggested scheme for shop-building or any other similar socialistic scheme?

Senator SPOONER:

– The matter to which the honorable senator has referred has been raised from time to time during the currency of the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement. The Australian Government has always taken the attitude that it was providing money for the States at low interest rates for the purpose of making homes available to those who did not enjoy large incomes. In other words it has been a social housing scheme. That being so, it would be quite wrong to appropriate this money for the purpose of building shops. A person who builds a shop does so for the purpose of trading and he takes a risk as to whether his business will be successful or unsuccessful. Surely it should not be a government function to provide money at low interest rates for people to build shops. That has been the view of the Government and I see no reason why it should be changed.

Senator VINCENT:

– I ask the Minister for National Development whether it is a fact that the Government of Western Australia uses federal moneys, provided under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement, to acquire land for the purpose of erecting houses? Is the Minister aware that the Western Australian Government has recently compulsorily acquired considerable areas of land from private individuals for less than thetrue value of that land? Will the Minister consider whether the Commonwealth

Government can refuse to provide money to a State unless properties are to be acquired on just terms, or, in some other way, can insist that the States shall adopt an equitable policy in relation to land acquisitions?

Senator SPOONER:

– The point raised by the honorable senator has not previously been brought to my attention. The Commonwealth lends money to the States for the building of homes, but leaves the detailed arrangements to the States. What a State government does in connexion with the purchase of land and the building of houses is done on its own authority. When the houses are built they are owned by the State governments. I have not previously had put to me the suggestion that the States are using Commonwealth funds compulsorily to acquire land for less than its real value, but I shall have inquiries made into the matter.

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Senator BENN:

– I ask the Minister for Trade and Customs whether the proceedings which were commenced against officers of the Department of Customs and others in Sydney for importing merchandise to Australia by using bogus import licences has been completed ? If the proceedings have been completed, and the persons charged have been found guilty, what penalty was inflicted on them? What was the total value of the goods that were imported by using bogus licences?


– I think that only one Customs officer was involved in the case to which the honorable senator has referred although prosecutions also were launched against twelve or fourteen members of the public. If the honorable senator will put his question on the notice-paper I shall obtain a detailed answer for him.

Senator SEWARD (through Senator

Annabelle Rankin) asked the Minister for Trade and Customs upon notice -

  1. Were those importers who are included in A category permitted unrestricted imports prior to 1st April last?
  2. If not, to what extent were they restricted ?
  3. What restrictions were imposed on importers in A category, after 1st April last?
  4. Were those importers whocome within B category restricted to imports prior to 1st April last?
  5. If so, to what extent were they restricted?
  6. What restrictions were imposed on the import licences of those included in B category as from 1st April last?
  7. Are manufacturers, as well as importers, issued with import licences?
  8. Were import licences issued to manufacturers as well as to importers prior to April, 1954?
  9. In view of the fact that, generally speaking, manufacturers have not the overseas organization necessary to secure supplies, why are import licences issued to manufacturers?
  10. Is it a fact that by issuing licences to manufacturers the door is opened to black marketing?
  11. ls black marketing going on at present; if so, what steps are being taken by the Minister to prevent it?
  12. If the Minister is not aware that such black marketing is going on, will he take measures necessary to acquaint himself fully on the matter, and, if it is found to exist, take steps necessary to prevent itf

– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follows: -

  1. The majority of goods which are now in A category were free from quota restrictions only between April, 1954, and September, 1954.
  2. During the six months ended 31st March, 1955, A category goods were licensed on the basis of 100 per cent, of importers’ annual quota except that licences issued in the previous six months were taken into consideration.
  3. As from 1st April, 1955, importers’ quotas for A category goods were, in general, reduced by 15 per cent.
  4. Goods of the kind included in category B have been subject to quota limitations since 8th March, 1952.
  5. During- the year ended 31st March, 1955, the basis for calculating B category quotas was generally 00 per cent, of the value of imports of B category goods in the year ended 30th June. 1051.
  6. B category quotas were reduced by onethird as from the 1st April, 1955.
  7. Where the facte of the case justified thi issue of licences to a manufacturer, quotas bare been established in his favour.
  8. See answer to No. 7.
  9. The issue of import licences to manufacturers provides them with greater scope to obtain at competitive prices their basic materials used in manufacture.
  10. 11 and 12. I do not know in what sense the honorable senator uses the term black marketing. I can assure him that it is the constant aim of the Government to suppress any abuses of the import licensing measures and constant vigilance is exercised by the department in this regard. The Government has not hesitated to withdraw quotas where there has been evidence of improper use. If the honorable senator cares to furnish me with specific instances of what he terms black marketing, I assure him that they will be thoroughly investigated.

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Senator HENTY:

– I desire to ask the Minister representing the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture a question which is prompted by the brochure with which he has presented honorable senators in relation to the trade mission to SouthEast Asia. Not one of the 27 members of the Australian business community who visited the countries of South-East Asia came from Tasmania. I notice, also, that neither House of Parliament was represented in the mission. Was an opportunity given to the business community of Tasmania to be represented in this trade mission? Has consideration been given to repeated requests from honorable senators and honorable members in another place that a member of parliament be included in trade missions, particularly those which go to SouthEast Asia?

Senator McLEAY:

– A proposal for parliamentary representation on the trade mission to South-East Asia was considered and rejected. An experienced officer of the Department of Commerce and Agriculture was appointed to lead the delegation. The man who was selected is able and competent. The party had to be limited to a certain number. If Tasmania was not represented I should not think that it was because it was not invited to send a representative. In order to get the facts, I shall make inquiries as to whether business representatives in Tasmania were invited to send a representative with this mission. The mission was very successful, and I remind the Senate that the members had to pay their own expenses.

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– I desire to ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health whether he will request thu Minister for Health to give early consideration to the placing of the drug, serpasil. on the free drug list? This is an expensive drug and is being generally prescribed by medical practitioners, particularly for blood pressure cases. The cost, in many instances, involves people in great hardship.

Senator COOPER:

– I shall be very pleased to bring the honorable senator’s question to the notice of the Minister for Health in order that he may decide what he can do in regard to this drug.


asked the Minister for Tradeand Customs, upon notice -

  1. In connexion with the entry of illegal drugs into the Commonwealth, is it a fact that, after a Commonwealth-wide investigation, a promise was made that a duly certificated trained pharmacist would be appointed to the Customs stall to assist in this matter?
  2. Has any appointment of this nature been made?
  3. If so, at which point of entry ?

– The answers to the honorable senator’s questionsare as follows: - 1, 2 and 3. It is a fact that a Commonwealthwide survey was made by the Commonwealth Department of Health of the position generally in relation to the control over dangerous drugs in Australia but 1 have no knowledge of a promise being made in such connexion that a trained pharmacist would be appointed to the Department of Trade and Customs. However, such an appointment was considered hutwas deemed unnecessary and has not been made. The Commonwealth Department of Health freely makes available to the central office of the Department of Trade and Customs the services of a senior pharmacist when matters requiring technical advice arise in connexion with the control of dangerous drugs. In addition the State offices of the Department of Trade and Customs have trained analysts on the staff at all main ports of the Commonwealth and their advice is readily available on any technical aspects relating to drugs which may arise.

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– Can the Minister for Trade and Customs say whether the Tariff Board’s report on asbestos has yet been received by the Government? If so, having regard to the wide public interest in the report, particularly in Western Australia, can he indicate when it will be made available to the Parliament?


– The report has been received and is being considered. I hope it will be tabled before the end of the present sittings.

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Senator TANGNEY:

– Last week, in the course of a debate in this chamber on pensions, the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services promised to review pension payments before the next budget is brought down. Will the Minis ter consider also the plight of the wives of invalid pensioners who at present are forced to exist on £1 13s. a week ? Will he consider raising that pension, and also that of spinster daughters who are charged with the task of looking after invalid pensioner parents, at least to the level of the widows’ pension or the invalid pension?

Senator SPOONER:

– I have no doubt that on the occasion of the preparation of the forthcoming budget, as on similar previous occasions, the circumstances of all categories of pensioners will be carefully examined by the Government, and appropriate action taken.

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– Last year, the Government announced that a proposal would be submitted to the Parliament for the appointment of a committee to review certain aspects of the Constitution and to make recommendations for Constitution alterations. Can the Leader of the Senate say whether any steps have been taken by the Government in this direction?


– I am not personally aware of precisely what has been done with regard to this matter, but I shall ascertain the position and advise the honorable senator accordingly.

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Senator COOPER:

– On the 20th April,

Senator Sandford:

asked the following question : -

I wish to direct to the appropriate Minister a question relating to the supply of shark liver oil for the manufacture of Aspros. I assure him that the question has not been actuated by fear on the part of honorable senators on this side of the chamber about a shortage of that commodity. Representations have been made to me by a number of Victorian fishermen who have been, until recently, selling sharks livers, from which the oil is obtained, to Nicholas Proprietary Limited at 8s.6d. per lb. However, (he price has been reduced to 3s. 3d. per lb. As the oil obtained from the sharks liver is a basic ingredient in the manufacture of Aspros, and as the fishermen have been advised that from the 1st May Nicholas Proprietary Limited will not be -wanting any more sharks’ livers, will the Minister allay the fishermen’s fears that this oil may be imported from Japan, in an endeavour to further reduce the price of the local product?

I have received the following reply to “the honorable senator’s question from the Minister for Health : -

Shark liver oil is not used in the manufacture of Aspros, although it is used in the manufacture of a number of products which have medicinal uses. Any manufacturer desiring to import shark liver oil would be required to obtain permission from the Customs authorities, who consult the Department of Health as to the purity and efficacy of the particular product and also the extent to which it is necessary to obtain it from overseas, having regard to its availability from local sources. The object of this control is to maintain a high standard of therapeutic substances. The Commonwealth of course has no direct power to require any manufacturer to purchase shark liver oil from local sources.

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Senator WARDLAW:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Interior, upon notice -

  1. In view of the importance of the Olympic -Games to Australia and the fact that they will bring to these shores men and women from all countries of the globe, will the Government take up with the proper authorities in all States, embracing both governmental and private enterprise, the importance of organizing a national “ facelift “ .for all towns, cities and beauty spots on lines similar to those taken in preparation for the recent Royal visit?
  2. Will the Government consider the appointment of an expert organizer forthwith to carry out the foregoing suggestion, with a view to ensuring that as favorable an impression as possible is made on our visitors, which is doubly necessary owing to the adverse criticism and publicity recently levelled at Australia’s lack of adequate preparation and organization to date?
Senator McLEAY:

– The Minister for the Interior has supplied the following answers : - 1 and 2. The Department of the Interior was not responsible for action taken during the Royal visit. The Department of Works arranged the contracts for most of the work done on Commonwealth public buildings on that occasion, but the allocation of funds was a matter for the Treasury. Recent newspaper reports state that the City of Melbourne is taking action along the lines suggested. The games are granted to a city, not a country, though this Federal Government, with the approval of Parliament, has agreed to assist financially in the provision of facilities for the games. As regards recent criticism on preparations, the person who made them was reported in the press as stating before he left Mascot, that he was “ disturbed that hie suggestions had been construed as an attack on Australian Olympic organizers “.. He also said that “ the arrangements Melbourne had made for the Olympic games were satisfactory - if the Olympic organizers in Australia carried out all the work they had promised to do “. At the moment all the preparations! are proceeding smoothly, though in a tremendous undertaking of ‘this nature there are bound to be difficulties arising from time to time.

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Senator O’BYRNE:
through Senator Aylett

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice -

  1. Is it a fact that a most valuable discovery of uranium has been made in Tasmania bv Wladamir Pitulej, which is said to be equal in scope to the famous Mary Kathleen deposits ?
  2. Will the Minister inform the Senate whether the reward for the discovery of uranium is available to the discoverer of thi* mineral in Tasmania?
  3. Has the Department of National Develop ment any facilities for assisting in the develop ment of uranium fields, such as the one thm has been discovered in Tasmania?
Senator SPOONER:

– I now supply the following answers : -

  1. Tt is true that a uranium prospect wm discovered by Wladamir Pitulej at the Old Royal George tin mine near Avoca, in Tasmania. This discovery is a recent one and it is too early to estimate its importance. It has been examined by officers of the Bureau of Mineral Resources and Tasmanian Mine* Department.
  2. The discoverer has applied to the Atomic Energy Commission . for the payment of a reward. The matter is under consideration and a decision will be made when a report i« received from the Tasmanian Mines Depart ment.
  3. The Department of National Development has rendered assistance by: .(a) inspection of the prospect by officers of the Bureau of Mineral Resources; (6) advising on method* of prospecting and exploration; (c.) loan of equipment to Tasmanian Department of Mines to assist the prospecting of the Royal George and any other prospects discovered.

Senator O’BYRNE (through Senator Aylett) asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice -

  1. Is it a fact that huge amounts cif American capital ‘are being used for the pur pose of buying controlling interests in Northern Territory uranium-fields?

    1. Has the Department of National Development struck a limit to the balance to be maintained (between Australian ownership and outside ownership over this much sought after mineral V
Senator SPOONER:

– The answers to the honorable, senator’s questions are as follows : -

  1. The question refers to a proposal by au American company to participate on an equal basis with one Australian company in the development of an area in the Northern Territory, This is the only American company proposing to participate in uranium-mining in Australia.
  2. The amount of non-Australian capital invested in uranium in Australia is very small compared with that of Australian companies. This matter is kept constantly under review by the Atomic Energy Commission.

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asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice -

  1. Is it a fact, as reported in the press that from time to time very large amounts of dollars are taken from Australia by visiting American film stars and other show people?
  2. Will the Treasurer make available a statement showing the total amount of dollars permitted to be taken to America by those artists in the nine months ended the 31st March 1055, and will he state if the amount of purchases desired to be made by Australia from the United States of America has been cut, or is likely to be cut, because of the dollars earned by these visiting American show people?
Senator SPOONER:

– The Treasurer has supplied the following answer : - l and 2. In the nine months ended the 31st March, 1955, approval was given to the remittance of approximately £155,000 to the United States in respect of the net earnings in Australia of visiting American entertainers, ineluding sportsmen as well as vaudeville and musical artists. By way of comparison, expenditure on the importation of dollar goods during the eight months ended the 28th February, 1955,. was approximately £8.1,000.000.

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asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -

  1. Has the Prime Minister noticed the quite spectacular savings effected in expenditure and man-power as the result of the activities of the organization and methods unit of’ the Public Service, as reported in the recently released report, of the Public Service Board?

    1. Will the Government give consideration to increasing the staff of the unit so that further savings in administrative costs may be accelerated?

– The right honorable gentleman has furnished the following answers: - 1.. Yes.

  1. Staffing of the Public Service Board is a matter under the board’s own control. The board is in process of increasing inspection staff engaged on organization and method work. The board’s policy, however, is to have as much of this work as possible done in the departments, a policy which has been referred to in the board’s last and earlier reports. In a new field such as organization and methods, considerable training of selected officers is necessary and in this field also the board has expanded its activities.

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Senator PEARSON:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice -

  1. What is the average number of days spent by overseas vessels in Australian waters for the three months ended the 31st March, 1955?
  2. How does this average compare with that of the last five years?
  3. How many man-hours have been lost on the waterfront at main Australian outports during the period of three months ended the 31st March, 1955?
  4. At which ports have these hours been lost, and how many hours are involved in each case?
  5. How many interstate and intra-state vessels have been held up in port because of industrial troubles during the period of three months ended the 31st March, 1955, and what is the total number of days involved in such delays ?
Senator SPICER:
Attorney-General · VICTORIA · LP

– The Minister for Labour and National Service has: supplied the following answers : - 1 and 2. This information is not included in the statistics kept by the Australian Stevedoring Industry Board. The Overseas Shipping Representatives Association states that the average number of days spent per vessel on the Australian coast for vessels under the auspices of that association trading with the United Kingdom and the Continent are -

3, 4 and 5. Statistics for the March, 1955, quarter are not yet available. The information sought will be furnished to the honorable senator as soon as it can be: obtained.

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Senator ARNOLD:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Interior, upon notice -

  1. Were tenders called for the lease of grazing rights on land known as the A.F.V.Range, between Singleton and Broke?
  2. If so, was any indication given in the advertisements that the term of the lease was not only for live years but that an option for a further five years would be given?
Senator McLEAY:

– The Minister for the Interior has supplied the following answers : -

  1. Yes.
  2. No, hut the successful tenderer applied for and was granted an option of renewal for a further term offive years after the expiration of the initial term of five years.

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Motion (by Senator Spicer) agreed to-

That leave be given to bring in a bill to amend the Public Service Arbitration Act 1920- 1952.

Bill presented, and read a first time.

Standing Orders suspended.

Second Reading

Senator SPICER (Victoria- Attorney-

General) [3.50]. - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this billis to make minor, but important, amendments to the Public Service Arbitration Act, mainly to clarify points on which difficulty has arisen in recent proceedings. The principal amendments, broadly stated, are -

  1. to make positive provision, in accordance withthe interpretation of section 19 recently given by the High Court, permitting representation of organizations by an officer or member even Though that officer or member is legally qualified ;
  2. to permit parties in proceedings before the court, or the Chief Judge, by way of reference or appeal from the Arbitrator, but not in proceedings before the Arbitrator himself, to be represented by counsel or solicitor with the leave of the tribunal;
  3. to make clear that a part of a claim, application or matter may be referred by the Arbitrator to the court, or referred back from the court to the Arbitrator ;
  4. to make clear that the Arbitrator, like the court or a conciliation commissioner, has power to refuse to proceed with a matter which is trivial, or proper to be dealt with by another industrial tribunal, or which in the public interest should not be dealt with ; and
  5. to make more flexible the provisions of the act relating to the making of determinations.

First, the act as it stands contains an express prohibition against representation of a person or organization by counsel or solicitor in any proceedings under the act. This applies not only to proceedings before the Arbitrator, but also to proceedings in the Arbitration Court itself, by way of reference or appeal. Unlike the Conciliation and Arbitration Act, the existing Public Service Arbitration Act contains no provision which expressly permits an officer or member of an organization to represent that organization in proceedings under the act. Nevertheless, the uniform practice, until very recently, has been to permit the representation of an organization by one of its own members or officers, notwithstanding the fact that he might himself be legally qualified. In the Repatriation Medical Officers case, the Arbitration Court held, in March, 1955, that the act could not be interpreted as permitting this practice. The matter was tested by mandamus proceedings in the High Court. The court took the contrary view; it held that the prohibition of counsel or solicitor applies only to representation by counsel or solicitor in his professional capacity, and that the act does not prevent an officer or member from representing his organization in that capacity, even though he is legally qualified. Before these proceedings took place, the High Council of Public Service Organizations requested that the act should be amended to provide expressly for the continuance of the present practice in this connexion. In view of the

High Court’s decision, no amendment’ is logically necessary. But it seems preferable to deal with the matter expressly, as the High Council suggests. This is done by clause 6 of the bill. Since the Public Service Board is not an “ organization “ within the meaning of the act, opportunity has been taken to make it clear that, like organizations of employees, the board and other Commonwealth employing authorities may be represented by one of their own officers, even though he is legally qualified.

Secondly, in 1951 the main Conciliation and Arbitration Act was amended so as to permit representation by counsel or solicitor, by leave of the tribunal, in proceedings arising under that act before either the court or a conciliation commissioner. This arrangement applies also to proceedings under the Stevedoring Industry Act, the Navigation Act and the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Power Act, though under the Coal Industry Act the consent of the parties is also required. No comparable amendment was made in the Public Service Arbitration Act.

The Chief Judge of the Arbitration Court, in his annual report for 1954, expressly advised amendment to permit representation by counsel or solicitor by leave of the court in proceedings under the act before the court. The High Council of Public Service Organizations, moreover, although maintaining its opposition to the system of appeal and reference, has sought an amendment to permit this limited representation. An amendment for this purpose is made by clause 6 of the bill. I emphasize, however, that nothing in the amendment will permit legal representation before the arbitrator ; that the clause leaves it to the court to decide on each occasion whether or not the circumstances justify representation by counsel or solicitor; and that this legal representation will not be automatic.

Thirdly, I refer to the fact that claims and applications under the act commonly comprise several subject-matters, which may be of diverse character and of widely differing degrees of public importance. Under the act as it stands, however, it is by no means clear that the Arbitrator can isolate the particular part of parts of a claim or application which it is desirable to refer for determination by the court. The scope likewise of the court’s power to refer matters back to the Arbitrator is by no means clear. Recent instances have shown the desirability of putting the matter beyond doubt. Clauses 4 and 5 of the bill are designed for this purpose. Under these clauses, part of a claim or application may be referred to the court, and likewise, the court will be able to refer back to the Arbitrator for determination, it may be in the light of some expression of its own views, part of the claim or application before it.

Fourthly, the bill will make clear in clause 3 that the Arbitrator possesses similar powers to those which are expressly conferred upon the Arbitration Court and upon Conciliation Commissioners by section 40 (d) of the main Arbitration Act. The Arbitrator lias hitherto interpreted his own act as placing on him an express duty to hear and determine all matters submitted to him, and, therefore, as denying to him the power to refrain from hearing a matter which is trivial in character or more proper for determination by some other industrial authority, or a matter which in the public interest should not be decided at all. Three judges of the Arbitration Court recently expressed the opinion (obiter) that, as a matter of construction, the Arbitrator does possess these powers. Clause 3 of the bill will put the matter beyond doubt.

Fifthly, the act requires a determination to be expressed to come into operation as from a date fixed by the Arbitrator, but not earlier than after the expiration of 30 days after the determination has been laid before both Houses of Parliament. The Arbitrator has not regarded the provisions of a mandatory requirement that every determination must specify a date for its coming into operation. In the recent proceedings concerning marginal adjustments in the Public Service, however, the Chief Judge held that a determination which did not contain an express date of operation was not a valid determination, and could not be made the subject of an appeal. Clause 7 of the bill will make a determination operate 80 days after it was laid before the House, unless the Arbitrator fixes a later date.

The amendments will have no retrospective effect, but clause 9 makes clear that it will operate, of course, as machinery amendments normally do, in respect of current proceedings.

The amendments relate, as honorable senators will see, only to procedural matters though some of them are of substantial importance. In particular, the amendments providing for legal representation in proper cases before the court will assist, not only the parties, but’ the court itself. The Chief Judge has emphasized that technical questions of great complexity frequently arise in this kind of proceedings, and the assistance of qualified professional argument is pf material advantage in the effective operation of the system. I commend the bill to honorable senators.

Debase (on motion by Senator McKenna) adjourned.

page 260


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

That leave be .given to introduce a bill for an act to make available for the benefit of the Australian Wine Research Institute, moneys held in the Wine Industry Assistance Account established under the Wine Export Bounty Act 1047, and to repeal that act.

Bill presented, and read a first time.

Standing Orders suspended.

Second Reading

QueenslandMinister for Trade and Customs · LP

– J move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

This bill arises from section 17 of the Wine Export Bounty Act 1947 which provides that moneys in a trust fund called the Wine Industry Assistance Account may be ‘expended at any time within ten years after the end of February, 1947, for the assistance of the wine-making industry. The money originally placed to the credit of the assistance account was the residue of another trust fund known as the Wine Export Encouragement Account, which had been created in 1930 by raising the rate of ‘excise duty on spirit used in .the fortification of wine. The encouragement account was for the purpose of paying a bounty on wine exported. Prior to 1930, bounty payments were met from general revenue under the Wine Export Bounty Act of 1924 which had been introduced to rehabilitate the wine industry, at that time experiencing a recession, and to secure for growers an equitable price for grapes. Subsequently, in 1947, the bounty on wine was discontinued. It was considered that the industry had then made a sufficient recovery, mainly due to increased sales’ on the Australian market.

When the bounty payments ceased, there was a surplus in the encouragement account of about £1,100,000. By the Wine Export Bounty Act of 1947, which this bill seeks to repeal, about £600,000 of this amount was transferred to Consolidated Revenue and the balance of £500,000, the subject ‘o’f this legislation, was placed in the Wine Industry Assistance Account. The 1947 act stipulated that any requests for assistance to the industry from the fund should be investigated bv the Tariff Board, and be subject to a determination by the Minister for Trade and Customs.

An application to use £300,000 for advertising purposes was refused in 194ft after report by the Tariff Board.

Later, in 1951, the Australian Wine Board made a request on behalf of the wine-making and grape-growing interests for the whole of the money, £500,000. remaining in the Assistance Account to be made available to the industry for the establishment of an Australian Wine Research Institute. Following an inquiry, the Tariff Board found that there was scope for an extension of research into questions affecting the wine industry, and suggested that an investigation be made as to the nature and extent of the research contemplated. Accordingly, an investigation was carried out by representatives of the Australian Wine Board, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, the Department of Trade and Customs, the Department of Commerce and Agriculture, the departments of -agriculture in South Australia, New

South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, and the wine-making and grapegrowing industries. A comprehensive detailed programme of research was drawn up and submitted to the Government which agreed, in principle, to the proposals.

The Australian Wine Research Institute has since been registered in South Australia as a company limited by guarantee and not having a share ‘Capital. The registration of the institute under a ‘State law is for convenience in administration. This line was followed also in the cases of the Australian Leather Research Association and the Australian Bread Research Institute. Interms of the articles of association, the institute will be managed and controlled by a council, the members of which will be, in effect, the directors. Initially,the members of the council will be the chairman andtwo othermembers of the Australian Wine Board, a nominee of the Commonwealth Government and a representative of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

The memorandum and articles of association of the Australian Wine Research Institute were drafted following consultations between the parties interested and theCrown Law authorities. Copies are available for examination by honorable senators during considerationof the bill in committee. The objects of the institute and its rules are set out fully and they ‘have had my approval as Minister.

Thebill proposes to transfer the whole of the sumof £500,000 standing to the creditof the Wine Industry Assistance Accountto a : new trust account which will beknownas the Wine Research Trust Fund. A sum not exceeding £100,000 willbe allocated to the institute from the fundfor capital expenditure on items such as (land, buildings and equipment. Income derived from investment of the balanceof the money in the fund will also be paid to the institute in order tocarry on its research work in accordance with estimates of expenditure previouslyapproved by the Minister. This money will be madeavailableconditionally upon theAustralian WineBoard making a contribution to the institute of a sum expected to be not less than £4,000 annually.

Other safeguards in the bill are the authority to withhold payment of further moneys to the institute if an alteration is made to the memorandum or articles of association without ministerial approval, and the permanent retention of the promotion of export trade in wine as one of the objects of the institute. I trust the honorable senators will see fit to endorse the bill.

Debate (on motion by Senator McKenna) adjourned.

page 261



Debate resumed from the 5th May (vide page 249), on motion by Senator O’SULLIvan - [That the following paper be printed: -

Foreign affairs and defence - Statement made by the right honorable the Prime Minister intheHouse of Representatives on the 20th April, 1955.

Upon which Senator Armstrong had movedby way of amendment -

That all the words after the word “ that” be left out with a view to inserting in lieu thereof the following words : - “ this House rejectsthe Government’s proposals ‘to despatch Australian armedforces to Malaya as set out in thepaper read by the Prime Minister.”.

Senator AYLETT:

– In the course of this debate, Senator Mattnersaid that only returnedsoldiers were competentto speak on this matter.. I remindhim that the Prime Minister(Mr. Menzies),who introduced the debate on this subject in another place, is not a returned soldier. This isa very important debate. It concerns a subjectabout whichevery Australian should think, whether he : be a returned soldier or not. Australia has to play a very weighty part in world affairs. I agreed with the six points which the Prime Minister mentioned in hisspeech, but I disagree with him as to how some of his proposals should be implemented. It , is because the Opposition also disagrees with the Prime Minister on these points that Senator Armstrong hasmoved his amendment to the original motion. Instead of merely talking all the time, let us try to have Australia play a major part in bringing about peace and stability, lt has become the cry of the opponents of the Australian Labour party both the Liberals and the Santamaria party that anybody who mentions peace is a Communist. That has also been the attitude of some Government supporters who contend that the only way to achieve peace is by crushing all our opponents underfoot. Why did Australia become a member of the United Nations organization and play a prominent part in its activities? Why was the United Nations organization established ? Was it for the purpose of crushing everybody underfoot or was it for the purpose of bringing about peace in world affairs?

Peace and world security will never be achieved while we keep a large number of nations out of the United Nations organization. They must be admitted to the United Nations organization if we are to discuss world affairs and peace with them. The world is divided into two camps. There is what one might call the “ Communist block “ on the one side and the “ democratic block “ on the other. Some people refer to the “ free nations “ on one side and “ tyranny “ on the other. It is not very clear why they interpret the situation in that way. But if we are not to be plunged into war with those who have chosen a different form of government from ours, then we must try to be friendly with them. If they refuse to negotiate with us on the ground that they do not believe in our form of government, then we must seek other means of solving world problems. The time has arrived when Australia should have diplomatic relations with every country of any consequence in the world. Peace can only be achieved if all nations know the needs of one another.

The United Nations Security Council is becoming dormant as far as Australia is concerned. Has Australia taken the initiative in the United Nations Organization during the last few years? The time has arrived when Australia should again play an important part in the Security Council. Australia should try to bring other countries into the Council. We intend to trade with countries such as Italy and Germany, and they should be represented in the council where we could discuss world affairs with them and bring about some harmony in those affairs. Due to something which happened in Australia, and which has been hushed up, Russia has broken off diplomatic relations with Australia. Australia has broken off diplomatic relations with Russia. I think that the time has arrived when negotiations should be ‘ resumed. After all, the thing that caused the severance of diplomatic relations came about because of the actions of a spy. If Australia does not watch him, it may find that that man will be a worse spy from our point of view than he was from that of the Russians. Our diplomatic relations with another nation should not be terminated because of the actions of a traitor to that country, who will be a bigger traitor to us.

Let us come to China. Should we dictate to China the form of government which the Chinese people should have? Would we accept dictation from the Chinese people about how we should elect our government ? The government which the Chinese people choose is their affair. If we refuse to resume relations with China, we shall go headlong into trouble. In my opinion, the time is overdue for us to resume diplomatic, relations with China, although it is a Communist country. We should have diplomatic relations with any country which is prepared to be friendly towards us, in respect of trade, negotiations for peace, or anything of that kind. We take the stand that because we do not like their form of government, we should not have anything to do with the Chinese. We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that the recent Afro-Asian conference did a lot of good. A few more such conferences would bring the countries of the world closer together. There might be more harmony and less tendency towards war and bloodshed. Incidentally, all of the countries which had representatives at the Afro-Asian conference are not in complete agreement. Some are on our side, and some are on the other side. But the Prime Minister of Ceylon made a very impassioned and direct plea to the Communist countries to cease their Communist propaganda and to terminate the work of Communist organizations in other countries. It seems to me that if we can establish friendly relations with these Communist countries we shall be better able to curb their warlike activities than if we try to wield a big stick at them.

The Government says that we should not have relations with Communist China and that we should place a barrier between that country and Australia. It thinks that that barrier should be placed in Malaya. Apparently, the idea is that Communist China is to be told, “ If you dare to come down here, our two divisions will stop you from coming any closer to Australia “. Are the people of Malaya afraid that their country is going to be invaded? Can honorable senators opposite tell me whether the Malayan Government made a request for troops to be stationed there? Nobody has yet told us that. There are millions of people in Malaya, and I suggest that unless those people have admitted that they are not competent to defend the country, our proposal to send two divisions there is an insult. Whilst I was abroad as a member of a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation, I associated with the people of Malaya and other countries in that part of the world. If honorable senators opposite have the idea that those people are a bunch of nitwits, they have another think coming to them. The people of those countries are just as educated as are honorable senators opposite. When it comes to looking world affairs in the face and summing up the situation, they are just as capable of doing it as are any other men in the world to-day and are in a better position to do so than a lot of people. They have - intelligence and ability. If we did not ask them directly whether they wanted our troops to be stationed in their country, we are insulting them by proposing to send them there. I believe that the mass of the people of Malaya do not want our troops there.

India has a population of between 300,000,000 and 400,000,000 people. If Australia is threatened, as honorable senators opposite say it is, then India also is threatened. There are about 6,000,000 people in Malaya, but there are only 9,000,000 of us.

Senator Scott:

– So we should keep our troops here?

Senator AYLETT:

– Would the honorable senator appreciate it if a million Indians were stationed in Australia, and the Australian people pushed aside and told they were not capable of defending their country? That is the position in relation to Malaya.

Senator O’sullivan:

– Did the honorable senator resent the Americans coming here ?

Senator AYLETT:

– I am dealing with another subject. The past has gone, but if the honorable senator wants me to deal with it, I shall do so. I resented Australia being left in the position in which we found it in 1941. The Government of that day had made no preparations for the defence of the country. Our troops were in Malaya, where the Government is again proposing to send Australian forces. They were left there with nothing to fight with. They had no air protection, and many of them were slaughtered. Later on, others died on the Burma railway and on other projects of that sort. Did you people-

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Pearson).- Order! The honorable gentleman must address the Chair.

Senator AYLETT:

– I am addressing the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator O’sullivan) through the Chair, Mr. Acting Deputy President. If the Minister refrains from interjecting, lie will not hear how the party which he supports left the country in the lurch in the past. We do not want a repetition of the position in 1941 and 1942, when our troops had to be left in Singapore. I shall come back to the present and leave the past for honorable senators opposite to ponder. I think they have little to be proud about on that score.

What is the position in Malaya ? There are approximately 5,000 terrorists or Communists, call them what you will, in that country. Against them there are between 30,000 and 50.000 troops. Yet the Government wants to send more troops there. Is the Government afraid of the people of Malaya, or is it afraid of the Communist hordes coming down that way? If it is afraid that the Communist hordes will come down through Malaya, then I say it is not going about this matter in the right way. It will not bring about peace by stationing troops in Malaya and ignoring the Government of red China, as it is doing at present. Perhaps the Government prefers to back America and the arming of Japan. It seems to me that if anything happens in that area we shall need more than two divisions of troops. The position could be the same as it was in the Middle East during World War II. Our troops could be cut off and left in Malaya, as nearly happened to our troops in the Middle East.

In my opinion, and also that of a good many others, if the Government looks hard facts in the face, it will appreciate that ‘China is not the only country from which aggression can come. China has large areas which it can still develop, but there is another country to the north of us which is not fortunate in having large areas of territory to develop. It has a population which is increasing by millions every year, and it is being armed at the present time with the assistance of the United States. If the population of that country continues to increase at its present rate, it must have more territory before long. I refer to Japan. Which way do honorable senators opposite think that that country will expand? Do they think that it is going to fight Russia or China for territory? Of course not. I think that, in the course of time, Japan will join hands with those countries. It will not be a democratic country, but a Communist country, because it will have to adopt communism to survive. Otherwise it will be jammed between Communist nations. Japan can move in only one direction, and that is the direction it took during the last war - towards Australia. The more we arm Japan the greater the threat that nation will be to us. Are Australian forces to be sent to Malaya to thwart another drive by Japan towards Australia? No. Have we any information that convinces us that the Communists will launch all-out aggression against us and other democratic countries? If the Government has such information, it should be disclosed to the people of Australia, and the Government should do somethingmore tangible in the defence of thiscountry than merely committing a couple of divisions to Malaya. Nine months ago, the Government announced its intention to send Australian troops to Malaya for jungle training. Are there no jungles in New Guinea or even in Australia itself where such training could be, carried out? Australian forces are to be sent to Malaya ostensibly to halt an onslaught by the Communists. But where is that onslaught to come from, and when is it expected? If it is not to come for ten years or even five years, why are Australian forces being committed to Malaya now, and, in any case, what good would two Australian divisions be in such a war? They would be walked over as our troops were walked over in Malaya in World War II. They would be mere cannon fodder, and Australia would be deprived of their assistance should our shores be threatened.

However, I am one of those who believe that there is still hope for peace in the world. As far back as 1949, the war-scare parties now in government stumped the country telling the Australian people that they had three year? in which to prepare for war. We have not seen that war yet. There have been skirmishes in Korea and Indo-China, but no full-scale war. When the three years passed, we were told that war wouldcome within the next two years, but still it has not eventuated. Nevertheless, the Government is continuing its warscarepropaganda. We are told that our forces must go to Malaya as our first line of defence. But are they being sent with the approval of the Malayan people? I say we have not their approval. The people of Malaya want self-government as we have it in this country. Considering the stamp of the people that I met when I was in Malaya, they are quite capable of governing themselves if they are given an opportunity to do so. Why should we act the part of the policeman? What right have we to say to the people of Malaya, “ If is time we came to your country and let Britain withdraw its. forces to look after affairs in Europe “ ? By taking that attitude, we are inviting, trouble not only from potential aggressors to our north, but also from the Malayans themselves, who are at present our friends. If we want friends in any future war, we are going the wrong way about getting them. If we fear aggression from the north, we should try to make a friend of Malaya. The men of that country are probably just as capable as are Australians of becoming soldiers, sailors and airmen, and I have no doubt that they will be found just as eager as we are to defend their country. If they are encouraged to govern themselves they will be found as eager to train their armies to defend their country as we are. They can provide men by hundreds of thousands - not the mere tens of thousands that Australia could muster. It must be remembered also that a soldier will fight better for his own country than for that of another nation. While the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) was in America he announced that he had made arrangements for Australia to get all the material necessary from America if war broke out. He said, “ We must train more soldiers and have a big army to place in the field ; America will supply the munitions “. That means that a sparsely populated country like Australia must provide cannon fodder while a heavily populated country like America provides the means with which, to carry on the fight.

The world has seen a sample of that in at least two wars. In World War II. the Australian and British armies were in the field of battle while the vast industries of America turned out the machines of war. When. America saw that the Australians and the British could not withstand the enemy it sent some of its men. An honorable senator opposite asked, “ Did we welcome the Americans ? “ Of course we did, but it must not be forgotten that when the Americans were in the Pacific theatre of war they were fighting to defend, not only Australia, but also America. If Australia had been overcome it would not have been long before the enemy would have attacked America.

The world is facing another menace, of which honorable senators opposite seem to take no notice at all. There are fertile countries ready to turn Communist. I think of Africa, India, and Pakistan. What is Australia doing about it? Are we sending divisions, of soldiers there to meet possible Communist attack, or have we done something to uplift their standards of living? When I was abroad, the only country that I noticed doing anything practical was Ceylon. It was making what use it could of help received under the Colombo plan. It has an able government which is prepared to do things. It is facing and tackling tremendous problems in a way that England would not have had a hope of doing. That is the way that Ceylon is combating communism.

In South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika the native population has developed a bitter racial hatred against the white people, and that spirit is spreading throughout the entire continent. Australia, as a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations is doing nothing to meet that situation, and neither is England. Africa is the weakest link in the defence and economic policy of the British Empire. Everything that is being done seems deliberately designed to nurture the seeds of distrust. That is because of the stupidity of some Englishmen in Africa, men whose outlook is still that of fifty years ago. They have not advanced with the times, and both they and we will suffer as a result. My friends opposite smile, but I remind them that in Africa no young man can take up land - it is reserved for elderly English colonels. The white settlers are leaving Africa because of the threat of terrorism, which is an expression of the racial hatred that has developed against them. Africa is a fertile seedbed of communism. Even if the British succeed in suppressing Mau Mau terrorists they will find themselves faced with a more difficult problem. Well educated Indian and. African Communists are spreading the doctrine of communism in Africa. Highly qualified African workers are being treated by the British in such a way that they are ready to turn against them. African students are assisted by being sent to a British University, as Asian students are, and after completing a course in medicine or engineering or some other faculty and returning to their native land they are paid only threesevenths of award rates paid to Europeans. Indian workers receive only five-sevenths of the wage of Europeans. The African reasons that while he was in England he did not receive board for three-sevenths of the price paid by the European, neither did he purchase his books at three-sevenths of the full price, and when he faced his examinations he had to sit for the full quota of subjects and not three-sevenths of them. Why should he be paid only three-sevenths of the award rate when he has been educated to the same standard as the European? Further, why should a discrimination be made between him and the Indian who is receiving five-sevenths of the European rate? That sort of treatment makes him a Communist. The Indian worker has been insulted also by being paid only fivesevenths of the European wage. In Kenya, the African population is about 5,000,000, and there are only a few thousand whites. But the natives are turning Communist because the whites are treading them underfoot.

In India, similar treatment is being given to the native workers. They are ground down and expected to exist on a wage of 2 rupees a day - the equivalent of 3s. or 4s. A wage of 3 rupees a day would be high. In India 30,000,000 or 40,000,000 people are starving because they cannot obtain employment. We are afraid of what might happen in Malaya with a population of 6,000,000, but how much more dangerous is the situation in India and Africa? The population of India is about 400,000,000 and that of Pakistan 3 50,000,000. In Africa, 40,000,000 natives are ready to accept communism.

The need is urgent to call into conference representatives of all countries so as to face the world situation, and to lift the standard of living of sub-standard peoples. According to American statistics, the world population is increasing at the rate of about 30,000,000 a year. A Canadian has been reported as saying that the Americans are never wrong. I have my own opinion about that. If honorable senators can appreciate the enormous increase of population in Communist and potential Communist countries, they will have some idea of the problems facing the white races and democratic countries. Will a state of peace be achieved by deliberately provoking Malaya? Australia is proposing to send troops there although the Malayans say they do not want them. They assert that they are capable of looking after their own affairs, but Australia will not allow them to do so. Honorable senators on this side of the chamber are branded as Communists if they speak in this fashion. I assure my political friends on the Government side that my colleagues and I take second place to no one in combating communism. We have proved that by our actions, but the Government has given only lip service in this direction. We have been fighting communism personally, and we will not take second place to any Liberal or Santamaria or minister of religion, irrespective of who he is, in our opposition to communism. I deplore the Communist system of government, but if we do not want deliberately to provoke Communist-influenced nations to invade and overrun our country it is of vital importance that we should make friends with them. That does not mean that we should adopt their policy or system of government, but if we are to continue to exist, the only way to do it is to lift the masses of the people to a better standard of living. It is not the fault of any man or woman that he or she is born with either a white or a coloured skin. Irrespective of what nationality a people may be, if they are prepared to live decently it is our responsibility to see that they have the chance to do so. That should be our policy instead of our being party to branding them as slaves and grinding them into the dust.

Foreign affairs policy is a major and most important question in world politics. No one can forecast what will happen within the next ten years, but I predict that if those nations whom the Government is ignoring because they are behind the iron curtain, and those which are ready to receive communism, cannot be encouraged to be our friends, they will overrun Australia and crush it out of existence as a British country. Only one means can prevent that - the use of British and American science to massacre millions of natives fighting under the control and influence of communism. We should try to make friends with them and live in harmony with them, because if they decided to attack us we would be enslaved. The position can be summarized in this way: We should try to maintain friendly relationships with them, and help to improve their standard of living. But if they take aggressive action, we should invoke the aid of science to prevent ourselves from becoming enslaved.

Senator MATTNER:

– As we know, the Afro-Asian conference, which was attended by the leaders of 29 countries - representing hundreds of millions of people - recently concluded its sitting at Bandung, in Indonesia. That conference was an event of great historic interest, inasmuch as it brought to a close an era of European leadership in most of Asia and some parts of Africa. Many of the nations which were represented at the conference benefited over several centuries by wise British administration. In this respect, I refute Senator Aylett’s contentions in relation to the British administration of Kenya and other countries. I have no hesitation in saying that British leadership for several centuries in countries that Great Britain colonized, brought law and order, security, and progressive development to those countries. The British governed India for about three and a half centuries, and Burma, Ceylon and Pakistan for similar periods. Proof of the efficiency of the British administration is shown by the fact that nationals of the various countries who studied under the British system are now able to direct self-government in those countries. In point of fact, Great Britain did for those Asian countries what ancient Rome did for Great Britain during the early Christian era.

I was sorry to hear Senator Aylett try to belittle the fine work that was carried out under European leadership to develop backward countries of Asia to the extent that they are now able to govern them selves. Of course, I do not doubt for a moment that, in British, French, and Dutch colonial administration of Indonesia, there were errors of judgment and mistakes. However, in the overall picture, the colonial administration by Great Britain of Asian countries was a tremendous factor in their development.

The Premier of China, Mr. Chou Enlai, revealed himself as the most outstanding personality at the Bandung conference. But we must maintain reservations in connexion with his approach to certain Asian delegates at the conference. Mr. Chou En-lai, at that forum., gained access to the leaders of countries whose populations number many millions. Without a doubt, he made a good impression on both African and Asian delegates. However, I think that we should be cautious in accepting at their face value, his overtures to the free Asian leaders. I am reminded of a poem that we used to recite at school. Its opening lines were -

Will you come into my parlour,

Said the spider to the fly.

I believe that the Chinese Premier is too well disciplined, and too well doctrinated in the objectives of international communism - that is, the attaining of world power and world domination - to detach himself from his party, its principles and objectives. Of course, if he intends to pursue a good-neighbour policy, in order to assist us to maintain peace in our time, and if his intention is to contain communism on the Chinese mainland, he could go down in history as a strong Asian personality who had benefited not only Asia, but the rest of the world. As far as I am concerned, however, he will have to prove by deeds, rather than words, that those are his ambitions.

Senator Aylett advocated red China’s admission to the United Nations. As I have said on previous occasions in this chamber, that country must prove its bona fides before consideration can be given to its admission. China was guilty of naked and open aggression in Korea, and peace has not yet been signed in that country. Furthermore, China has backed aggressors in Indo-China, and is still engaged in backing subversive activities in countries adjoining China. In those circumstances, it would be palpably wrong, and contrary to the interests of justice, to grant China a seat in the United Nations, or for Australia to recognize that country. Until China proves its good faith, and shows that it means to apply the honeyed policy that Chou En-lai. enunciated at Bandung, I shall remain opposed to recognition of red China. If China proves by deeds that it intends to be a good neighbour, and wants to maintain peace, not only in Asia, but throughout the world, I will support any move for Australia to recognize that country and support its admission to the United Nations.

It must not be forgotten that Russia vetoed the admission of certain friendly and peaceful nations to the United Nations. I refer to nations such as Spain, Italy, Ireland and Finland, as well as others that have been mentioned by Senator McKenna. It is noteworthy that Senator Aylett did not condemn that action by Russia. Whilst the Opposition has criticized the attitude of the Australian Government to this subject, and bas expressed hostility towards the United States of America, honorable senators opposite have not criticized Russia for what it did. We should look at these matters in the right perspective. In view of the communistic background of the Chinese Premier, and his personal ideological links with Moscow, we could be forgiven, in the light of China’s recent acts of aggression in Korea and IndoChina, for watching closely the Chinese Government’s policy. Without a doubt, Chou En-lai is a very able leader. Speaking at Bandung, he said - “The Chinese people were friendly to the American people. The Chinese people do not want war with the U.S.A. The Chinese Government is willing to sit down and enter into negotiations with the United States Government to discuss the question of relaxing tension in the Far East and especially the question of Taiwon (Formosa) Area”.

That statement, made with every show of good faith, encouraged me to believe that the Premier of China had opened the door wide to talks which might pave the way to a settlement of the Formosan problem. However, his words lost their appeal when Mr. Chou En-lai, almost at the last minute of the Bandung conference, on Monday, the 25th April, qualified his offer to sit down and enter into negotiations with the United States by declaring that it must be understood from the start that Formosa belonged to red China.


– He was right.

Senator MAHER:

– As I see it, that qualification rather weakens any chance of sitting down - to use the Chinese Premier’s own words - to talk over the problem around the table. He imposed a hard and fast condition - that it must be recognized by the United States of America and the United Nations, and. indeed, the rest of the world, that Formosa belongs to red China. From my study of the position, there is only one point on which Mr. Chou En-lai and General Chiang Kai-shek agree. Each of them agrees that Formosa belongs to China. But Mr. Chou En-lai says that Formosa belongs to red China, whereas General Chiang Kai-shek says that Formosa belongs to what he describes as free China. In November last, the American Secretary of State, Mr. Dulles, said -

Formosa and the Pescadores Island occupy a special juridical state.

He continued -

Japan had renounced its rights to these areas which it controlled before the war, but the .areas have never been reconveyed to any other nation.

Mr. Dulles ended his statement on this note -

These islands have a distinctively international status.

Whatever claim the Chinese Premier. Mr. Chou En-lai, and ‘General Chiang Kai-shek have to Formosa and the Pescadores Islands, at least before the bar of international jurisdiction these islands have an international status now. They belong neither to red China nor to the Chinese leader in Formosa, Chiang Kai-shek. Their ownership is a matter for settlement.

Dr. Evatt, in a speech in another place last week, followed a definite line of hostility to the United States of America, which country, he said in effect, was playing the “ nark “ by standing guard over Formosa, and preventing the doctor’s friends at Peking from “ liberating” Formosa - to use the jargon of the Communists. In his speech Dr. Evatt said -

The ‘United States had made itself a party to the dispute over Formosa … .in opposition to the -claims of Communist China. Chiang Kai-shek remained in possession of Formosa only by the grace of the military and naval forces of the U.S.A.

The obvious inference is that Dr. Evatt is perturbed by the fact that the United States maintains guard over Formosa. He wishes to direct the American authorities to move their fleet and air arm from Formosa, in ‘Order to make it easy for red China to attack and invade the islands. I do not know why the United States of America goes to so much trouble and expense in the China Sea in order to annoy Dr. Evatt. If Formosa belongs to anybody, it surely belongs to the native Formosans whose homeland it is. Formosa is a fertile island, with a population greater than that of Australia. It was in the hands of the Japanese from 1895 until a few years ago. I .believe that, in the final analysis, it will be decided that Formosa belongs to the Formosans. That will be so if Formosa can be protected from those who would have the island attached to another country to which it does not want to be attached.

The Formosans are happy with the existing set up, for they have supported Chiang Kai-shek as their president. Indeed, Chiang Kai-shek gets the majority of the recruits for his army, navy and air force from the ranks of native Formosans. They voted for Chiang Kai-shek because they believed in hi3 “ free China “ movement. There is no doubt where the Formosans stand ; they have chosen Chiang Kai-shek as their leader. Their decision should be respected.

This is a subject which involves agreement between the United States of America and Communist -China on the matter that was raised at the Bandung conference by Chou En-lai. I am not sufficiently presumptuous to suggest how the problem should be settled, but I look at the realities of the case. I believe that those who will participate in the talks - if any talks take place - are competent to find a basis for agreement. If the Chinese Communists, who push th>idea of .peaceful co-existence in the world, are sincere, they might look at the application of that principle to Formosa. They might agree to the principle of peaceful co-existence and allow the Formosans to have their own form of government an<: to run their country without any suggestien of invasion or direction from th< mainland of China, or elsewhere. I hopi that the offer presented by Chou En-lai. when he spoke at the Bandung conference in favour of sit-down talks, will not be lost, but that some effort will be made to get the parties together to see if it is possible to bridge the gulf now existing -between them, and so arrive at a peaceful settlement which will lessen th,tension in the China Sea.

At Bandung there was considerable talk about colonialism, and I was pleased to note that many Asian leaders present at the conference directed attention to a matter to which I referred when I spoke in a previous debate on foreign affairs in this chamber. They referred to the neoimperialism of Russia. As I have said, colonialism is dying rapidly in Asia, if it is not already dead. It is all very well to talk of colonialism in that part of the world while, at the same time, concealing, or failing to direct to the attention of the world, the fact that Russia exercises now a form of imperialistic control or neo-colonialism over many great and cultured European States. We hear much about the evils of British administration in Asia and Africa. Senator Aylett made some reference to the situation in Africa when he was speaking in this debate. We do not hear any attacks upon Russia in this connexion, or criticism of its actions in .establishing satellite states in Europe. Many ancient European states with a great history and culture are held by Russia under pressure from which they cannot escape. In those countries, there are Quislings who are prepared to follow the dictates of Moscow and who have the support the red Army if any -attempt is made by the enslaved people to rise against the Communists who are their masters. Senator Aylett did not criticize Russia for imposing in Europe that state of neoimperialism or colonialism which is apparent to all who look below the surface.

When this matter was raised at the Bandung conference, some notable delegates spoke of colonialism in Asia. As r have said, that system is passing, if it is not already dead, and there is nothing to be gained by attacking a system that is dying. I was pleased to see that very distinguished men from many Asian and African countries drew attention to the fact that Russian neo-imperialism had worse features than British colonialism in Asia had been shown to possess. In my opinion, Asian countries have nothing to fear from the old colonialism, but they have something to fear from Russia, because the Communists have no hesitation in imposing a system of imperialism or colonialism upon any country they dominate. While the Russians do that, they have the colossal nerve to ask the world, loudly and persistently, to condemn the so-called colonialism of democratic countries. While they practice the evils of those systems, they condemn the leadership of France, Great Britain and other European countries in Asia. I am glad, therefore, that many able leaders of nations represented at the Bandung conference turned the spotlight on Russia in that connexion. We should turn the attack against Russia and the Communists because of the continuance of colonialism under Russian domination.

The Premier of China called at Bandung for freedom for the colonies in Africa and Asia within fifteen years. There are some regions in Africa where the native races live in protectorates under conditions of primitive simplicity. In my opinion, European leadership is still essential on those areas. If such leadership were removed, the native races living within the protectorates would have to direct their own affairs and they would rapidly drift back into the savagery and barbarity from which they have been lifted by British and Belgian leadership during the past 70 to 80 years. Any honorable senator who has read the history of colonialism in Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika knows that dreadful massacres occurred there in the last century when the tribes fought against each other, and only European administration caused such savagery to cease. The British Government, in particular, brought security to those countries, and gave the African tribes an opportunity to build up their strength and occupy a place in the sun. It may be true that errors occurred in the administration of Kenya, as Senator Aylett has said. We can all point to errors in our own democratic system. There is room for criticism of any form of government, whether it is totalitarian or democratic. One of the objectives of a parliament is to find weak spots in a government’s armour and try to strengthen its weaknesses. There are bound to be mistakes and wrongs in the administration of territories by individuals with different personalities, but if we could consult the inner consciences of the more intelligent natives in the African protectorates governed by Great Britain, I believe the natives would agree that great strides had been made in their ways of living and they were better off under British leadership than they were when they could not defend themselves against the barbarism of neighbouring tribesmen. I believe that Great Britain has done great work in Africa.

The great problem is that many of the native races living in European protectorates lack leaders sufficiently qualified to govern a modern State. They are ambitious enough to undertake the task, but it would be folly to permit them to do so. The best that can be done is to absorb the most capable and intelligent of the native leaders into a system of administration, and educate them to a point where they are able to direct and govern a State themselves. The natives require help and guidance from those who are qualified to assist them, and that guidance will be required for many years to come. Nothing is to be gained by condemning colonialism, as the Premier of China did at Bandung when he called for freedom for the Asian and African colonies within fifteen years. Colonialism must be considered on its merits, and nothing is to be gained by fixing date lines for moving out of areas that are under colonial government or protectorate control when the native races concerned have not evolved to a point where they can take over, or establish, forms of government with their attendant responsibilities.

In the meantime, all concerned should recognize that great constructive work is in progress in some parts of the world where the natives will gradually acquire the experience required for democratic government and produce leaders of the calibre of those who now govern in advanced Asian states. They will produce men who will be capable of strengthening their country to resist invasion by any aggressive power which may wish to absorb them.

The greatest difficulty has been experienced in finding, amongst the native races, men who are competent to take over their government. South Viet Nam is an example of this difficulty. There appears to be a dearth of strong, virile leaders among native people. I believe that a leader is one who can unite his country, not one who will break it into fragments. Since South Viet Nam secured its freedom under the Geneva agreement, there has been nothing but turmoil and discord within its borders. At this moment, it is engaged in civil war. It seems to me that, without the guidance and help of the French, the Vietnamese have lost their way and broken up into opposing factions which are prepared to fight it out with guns. The French maintained security and law and order, but they were condemned and finally forced out of South Viet Nam by the strength of a Communist attack. Now, South Viet Nam finds itself, like a small boy without the guiding hand of a father or mother to help him.

South Viet Nam provides the answer to those who ask why Australia should send troops to Malaya. If ‘the British were to move out of Malaya to-morrow, the trouble in South Viet Nam could be re-enacted in Malaya. The Communist bandits would most certainly move in overnight. They would have plenty of under-cover support. They would make their presence felt throughout Malaya and in Singapore. ‘ They would prepare for a major coup d’etat and take over the Government, perhaps without any trouble, because of the apathy of many of the people of Malaya. I have heard it said that there are 5,000 bandits in Malaya. Many thousands have been accounted for over the years, so it seems that a constant supply is coming into the country in order to take the place of those guerrillas who are killed or wounded in the fighting. Of these bandits, 95 per cent, have been estimated by the British authorities in Malaya to be Chinese.

The bandits do not constitute a nationalistic movement as some honorable senators opposite have alleged. A very minor proportion of Malays, if any, would be included in the ranks of the bandits. These Chinese bandits are obviously backed and encouraged from Peking. As reinforcements are required they are sent to the Malayan jungle in order to resist the British power in Malaya. This is not a nationalistic movement. It is purely Chinese, communistic banditry. The pressure is being kept up in order to force the United Kingdom to leave Malaya. Once that happens, it would not be long before the bandits would be in the heart of Singapore. They would find plenty of undercover recruits who would assist them in taking supreme power there. In those circumstances, Malaya would be thrown into the same measure of turmoil as exists in South Viet Nam. But in Malaya, the Communists would be on top. It is important to remember that the Malays are in the minority in their own country.

Senator Ashley:

– Only very slightly.

Senator MAHER:

– I shall cite the approximate figures. The population of the federation of Malaya and Singapore comprises 43 per cent. Malays, 40 per cent. Chinese, and 17 per cent. Indonesians, Eurasians, and miscellaneous races.

Senator Ashley:

– In other words, Malaya has a cosmopolitan population.

Senator MAHER:

– I agree. But they all have their allegiances and their feelings can be whipped up. If the Communist bandits got possession of Singapore, a surprisingly large percentage of the Chinese population would support them. It has been said that the Malays are struggling for independence and that the Australian Government, by sending a small force to Malaya, is taking provocative, action which will engender hatred of Australia. Nearly all the political groups in Malaya regard independence as impossible while the present emergency lasts. The- emergency results from Communist banditry and the fear of Communist agression from, a greater power than the bandits in the jungle. I shall cite several statements which were made by Malayan leaders in Kuala Lumpur during January. Mr. Heah Joo Seang, a vice-president of Party Negara, said -

Malaya will not be ready for selfgovernment for some years. First we have to train our future administrators. With insufficient talent at present, this is going to take time.

Mr. G. V. Thaver, president of the

Malayan Indian Association said -

Too much fuss is being made about independence when the country is not ready for the task. Two things stand in the way of Malaya seeking immediate self-government. One is the emergency and the other is the shortage of qualified men to make it a reality. It is nonsense to speak of self-government before the emergency is ended. It is like putting the cart before the hor«e.

Mr. Robert Singham, Seremban Labour councillor, a member of a party similar to that to which Senator Ashley belongs, made the following statement : -

Independence should not be rushed. Presentday politicians are. immature and inexperienced. Independence in their hands at this stage would be detrimental to the whole Malayan nation.

Last, but not least, we have Mr. Thuraisingham, one of the founders of the party Negara, who said -

I am all for early independence, but not too early to wreck it.

Those are the opinions of responsible leaders of political groups in Malaya, and those opinions were expressed as recently as January last.

Naturally, there is pressure in Malaya from Communist elements who wish to see self-government, because they have their evil designs and aims. They hope to absorb Malaya into the Asian Communist Moe. We have the same type of people in our own country and they say much the same things. The responsible leaders of Malaya do not want to be overrun by communism. They know that it is British power in> Malaya which is keeping the bandits at bay, and in keeping the spearhead of aggressive communism at bay they are also keeping at bay the whole of the. Communist nations.

Senator ASHLEY:

– Has the honorable senator heard about the telegram which the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) received from the trade union* there ?

Senator MAHER:

– No, I have not heard about that. I do not know the make-up of the trade unions in Malaya, but I have no doubt that they have a good dash of active Communists in the lead, just as we have in our own country. Therefore, any telegram from Malayan trade unions would be somewhat suspect as. far as I am concerned.

I wish to make it clear that the Malayan leaders to whom I have just referred, and many others whose words 1 have not cited, but who are active in Malaya, know full well that Great Britain has said, time and again, that its continuing purpose is to confer selfgovernment on Malaya. Evidence of that intention was seen the other day when legislative council elections were held in Singapore for the first time. An elective council now governs Singapore. That is a first step. Could Great Britain fairly walk out of Malaya, after Malaya has been the ward of Great Britain since the days of Raffles ? It might be said that Singapore is a British city. It has been developed from the marshes and the swamps, as a result of the leadership of Raffles, until to-day it is one of the great harbours and trading centres of the world. After that tremendous accomplishment, would Great Britain be entitled simply to walk out and leave the city to the people of Malaya who have not yet evolved to the point -where they have leaders equal to the task of governing it and raising armed forces with which to resist any attempt by local Communists to overcome the government, or any threat of invasion by a superior Communist power? It would be like leaving a. young child in a busy street without the guardianship of its father or mother.

The Malayan people are not yet ready for the task of self-government and do not want it. One of the leaders to whom I referred earlier said that he wanted independence with all his heart, but he did not want it so early that independence might be. wrecked.. That is what could well happen in South Viet. Nam to-day.

If the warring factions in that country cannot come to terms and appoint a leader who is acceptable to all of them, the Viet Minh, who are just across the border, may walk in and take over. Great Britain has developed this great trading centre in Malaya and made Singapore one of the greatest cities of the world. More ships enter the harbour at Singapore than enter any other harbour of the world. Great Britain has a responsibility towards Malaya. It means a lot to us, too, to contain communism on the Asian mainland. Malaya is too close for us to allow a powerful Communist body to gain control of that country. Control of Indonesia would follow, and, finally, Australia also would be controlled by the Communists. The sending of Australian troops to Malaya is a friendly move towards the Malayan people and is accepted as such by all thinking people. It is opposed by the Communists and their friends, who are legion, I regret to say, and not confined to the peninsula of Malaya.

Without doubt, responsible public opinion in Malaya .favours the continuance of British power in that country until this emergency passes. There is no doubt that the people of Malaya will welcome this small Australian force comprising Australian Imperial Force and Royal Australian Air Force units. The Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt), and also the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator McKenna), have said that the Australian Labour party is opposed to Australian armed forces being sent to Malaya, and both have declared that we should try to talk our way out of trouble with the Communists. I do not know where we should start to talk, but that is their suggestion. I should say that if the learned doctor and Senator McKenna were to go to Malaya and commence a parley with the bandits in the jungle, and were able to smoke the bandits out of the jungle, that would be a good argument for sending our best talkers to Moscow and Peking.

Although the Manila treaty was supported by the Opposition when the ratification bill was being discussed by the Senate, we now have the Leader of the Opposition ‘here and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, declaring that the treaty is a threat to the peaceful settlement of Asian problems. In the Sydney Morning Herald of the 4th May, there was a cabled message from Manila, dated the 3rd May, which read as follows : -

Siam’s chief delegate to the South-East Asia Defence Treaty military conference at Baguio, Major-General Sir Surajit Charuzreni, said yesterday that he was alarmed about the crisis in South Vietnam. The South-East Asia treaty nations, including Australia, had no time to lose in forming a collective military organization against Communist aggression.

We have the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives, and also the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, telling us that the Manila treaty is a threat to the peaceful settlement of Asian problems. To whom should we listen? Should we listen to this distinguished Siamese general who lives in the threatened area, or to the right honorable member for Barton and Senator McKenna, who are a long way from those places? I am sorry to say that, in my observation of the right honorable member for Barton, he is never short of ammunition to fire at the United States, France, Holland, Japan, and other countries that appear to have a semblance of friendliness towards Australia or Great Britain. I am open to correction, but 1 cannot recall an instance when he launched an attack against the Communists or the Communist powers, notably Russia and China. It occurs to me as strange that the right honorable gentleman should not have found some point or other on which to base criticism of the Communist countries. Yet, he has not done so. Furthermore, he is never short of criticism of countries that are friendly towards Australia. It is a rather extraordinary situation when we consider that those countries include the United States, to which we owe so much and on which, in future years, we may have to Jean more heavily than in the past.

When the Leader of the Opposition was speaking last week, I asked him why he now objected to Australian armed forces going to Malaya, when, in fact, Australian armed forces had been in that country for a considerable time. We have had units of the

Royal Australian Air Force in Malaya for several years, but I have never heard any criticism of their presence there from members of the Opposition. Only since the Hobart Labour conference has i Lis antagonism to the sending of troops to Malaya been whipped up. Many members of the Labour party to-day are taking a line which they have never taken before, and it is not a good Australian line. I hope that some of them will repent before it is too late. I believe that the less powerful nations of South-East Asia have derived great moral strength from the presence of British forces and units of the Royal Australian Air Force in Malaya in recent years. They have been encouraged to hold their heads erect, and to resist elements in their own countries that have sought to weaken governments and to increase the strength of the Communists.

The nations of South-East Asia, which our friends opposite tell us will regard our action as provocative and :i threat to the peaceful settlement of Asian problems, have nothing to fear from Australia. Indeed, I am sure they will welcome the sending of our forces to Malaya. Our goodwill for the Asian people has been manifest on many occasions and in many ways. “We initiated the Colombo plan under which certain nations of South-East Asia derive great economic benefits. If Britain and Australia were to withdraw their forces from Malaya to-morrow, there would be wide- 3read dismay, not only in that country, but also all over South-East Asia. It is Australia’s aim to see the whole of Asia free and prosperous. “We are sending our forces up there on a mission of goodwill and co-operation. “We want to assist the people of South-East Asia and to give them hope so that they will be encouraged, in spite of their lack of military strength, t resist subversion and even acts of aggression by Communist China. If China means well by the world, it cannot regard the presence of Australian troops in Malaya as provocative. I believe it to be absolutely vital to the security of Australia that Malaya should not be overrun by the Communists at this emergency period when the people of the Malayan Peninsula are in process of qualifying for self-government. It is important that, when we move out of Malaya, that country should be in a position to stand on its own feet, with every evidence of unity among the various national elements which it comprises. Malaya must be able to defend its own shores. In these circumstances, I strongly support the Government’s proposal to send armed forces to Malaya.

Senator ARNOLD:
New South “Wales

.- Before I deal with the substance of the statement on foreign affairs made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), I shall reply to one or two remarks that Senator Maher obtruded into this debate for propaganda purposes. I take him to task, first of all, for saying that our leader, the right honorable member for Barton. (Dr. Evatt) was propounding a policy in relation to Formosa calculated to please his friends in Peking. I say to Senator Maher that that is a deliberate lie.

Senator Maher:

Mr. President, that remark is offensive to me and I ask that it be withdrawn.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. A. M. McMullin) - Senator Arnold must withdraw the remark.

Senator ARNOLD:

– Very well. 1 rather thought it might be offensive, but I had to say it because I believe it to be true. I withdraw it, and I say instead that Senator Maher’s remark was deliberately untrue.


– Order ! Senator Arnold, you will also withdraw that remark.

Senator ARNOLD:

– I withdraw it, and I say instead that it was deliberately incorrect. Is that offensive?


– It is equally offensive.

Senator ARNOLD:

– I see. “Words fail me.

Senator Benn:

– It was deliberate misrepresentation.

Senator ARNOLD:

– That is probably just as offensive to the honorable senator. However, I have made my point. Another remark made by Senator Maher to which I take objection is that members of the Labour party are deliberately hostile to the great United States of America.


– That was objectionable to us.

Senator ARNOLD:

– That is so, but, of course, we know that such remarks are made, not because those who make them believe them to be true, but merely for party political propaganda. I believe therefore that we in this Parliament have every right to show such remarks in their proper light whenever they are uttered.

Senator Gorton:

– I believe the honorable senator is anti-American.

Senator ARNOLD:

– I suppose I could take offence at that remark, too. When this country was in dire peril, the Labour Government appealed to the great American people for aid. We were then told by honorable senators opposite that we were anti-British. Yet now the very people who called us anti-British in those days are calling us anti-American. Obviously they will say anything at all for political advantage. There was a time when a member of this Parliament could differ from the Government on questions of moment, and still not be called a Communist or a friend of the Communists. In those days, a view expressed in this Parliament was accepted as an honest view, democratically voiced in an effort to help one’s country. But nowadays, anyone who deviates in the slightest from this Government’s policy, is immediately dubbed a fellow-traveller or even a Communist. Such accusations are made deliberately to mislead the Australian people. I deprecate such conduct because it is unworthy of the Senate.

We are debating whether the views on foreign affairs expressed by the Prime Minister are in the best interests of Australia. When I say that I differ from those views, I hasten to assure the Senate that I have not gone over to the Communist party. Surely it is still possible to criticize government policy if one believes it to be wrong. The Labour party is critical of this Government’s policy because we believe that, if pursued, instead of ensuring for this country an era of peace, it will lead us into war by engendering hatred of us among the people of the East.

Senator ARNOLD:

– Prior to the dinner adjournment I had dealt with some of the inaccurate statements in the speech of Senator Maher. He said that both Dr. Evatt and Senator McKenna had stated that Seato was a threat to peace. During the dinner adjournment, I asked Senator McKenna whether he had ever made such a statement and his reply was that he had never said such a thing, he had never thought that way and it was not his opinion now. I am certain that the same could be said of the Leader of the Opposition.

Senator Maher:

– I will guarantee that in another place the Leader of the Opposition said it.

Senator ARNOLD:

– When I referred to some of the other inaccuracies in Senator Maher’s speech you, Mr. President, thought that I was being harsh. The paper that has been presented to honorable senators is of great importance. Australians are in a unique position to form a judgment on world affairs. They have no great investments in other countries, particularly in Asia, nor are there rulers in Australia who want an expansion of Australian territory. It can be said that Australia has a genuine desire for peace. The only problem that warps the judgment of men in Australian public life is the great fear of communism, and Government supporters sometimes allow that fear to override their better judgment. The problem facing Australia is how best to prevent the spread of communism. How is this philosophy affecting the future of this country? When parties consider these questions their views immediately come into conflict, but it is wise to look back and find how communism has worked in parts of Asia. How far has it advanced, and how far is it likely to expand? Australian people have become apprehensive of China since it has come under Communist rule, but it presents a great lesson. Before World War II., China was governed by warlords and a corrupt government. Millions of Chinese each year died of starvation. The country was torn asunder by a war with the Japanese, and after World War II., under the rule of the Chiang Kai-shek

Government - which is now in Formosa - corruption and black marketing flourished and the people lived in a continuous state of poverty. In those circumstances, they became easy prey to a new philosophy and readily turned to communism. If the choice of other i.sian countries such as Indonesia, Malaya and their neighbours is to be either democracy with colonialism or self-government with communism it is more than likely that the second alternative will be their choice.

Senator Vincent:

– But they are not the only alternatives.

Senator ARNOLD:

– The honorable senator can suggest what alternatives he likes, but in recent years when Asian countries have attempted to get rid of colonialism or have embarked on any national movement they have soon been dubbed “ Communists “, with the result that they have often been forced into the Communist camp.

Senator Wordsworth:

– Countries such as India, Pakistan, Thailand, Burma and Indonesia?

Senator ARNOLD:

– If Senator Wordsworth wishes, I am prepared to examine the recent history of each of those countries. The honorable senator mentioned India and Pakistan. A situation developed in those countries, and also in Ceylon and Burma, such as is now developing in Malaya, but a Labour government in Great Britain, which was alert enough to appreciate that unless self-government were granted to those countries they would not be able to prevent the spread of communism, wisely decided to grant them self-government.

Senator Kendall:

– But those countries were not called Communist as a result.

Senator Vincent:

– It was a Labour government that brought about the. Malayan Union.

Senator ARNOLD:

Senator Maher said that Malaya was not ready for selfgovernment because it has- no officials to administer its affairs. The same sort of thing was said about India by the. Conservatives in Great Britain, and they warned’ the- Labour Government that it was bad policy to- grant India self-govern ment. The same suggestion is now being made about the Malayan people. Why is it that some Asian countries have turned so readily towards communism ( Why have millions of people who have lived a different way of life adopted that philosophy although they have heard stories about communism such as democratic countries have been told? A consideration of those questions leads to a search for a policy to prevent other Asian peoples turning to such a system. I suggest that the principal reason why people turn from the democratic to the totalitarian way of life, is that they are hungry and are living in misery; because they do not enjoy a standard of living such as ours, and are looking for something better for themselves and their children. If that is true, the mere sending of a few thousand troops to Malaya will not delay the spread of communism in that country. We are told that 98 per cent, of the land in Malaya is owned by 2 per cent, of the people.

Senator Vincent:

– That Ls not true.

Senator ARNOLD:

– Those figures are stated in authentic Malayan documents. If it is true that the standard of living in Malaya is only one-thirtieth as good as the standard of living in the United States of America, it is easy to see why the people of Malaya are upset. In America, the people are required to pay millions of pounds in taxes to defray the cost of storing foodstuffs. Primary producers in Australia have been advised to restrict the production of food in this country.

Senator Vincent:

– Advised by whom?

Senator ARNOLD:

– A year or so ago., the farmers were asked to restrict t’.sir acreage of crops.

Senator Robertson:

– But not this year.

Senator ARNOLD:

– About 100,000,000 bushels of wheat was carried over from last year.

Senator Vincent:

– Some one is pulling the honorable senator’s leg.

Senator ARNOLD:

– Despite Senator Vincent’s irresponsible statements, we in Australia are embarrassed because we have too much wheat, and the Americans are embarrassed because they have too much food generally. Yet the people of Asia are hungry.

Senator Wardlaw:

– What would the honorable senator do about that?

Senator ARNOLD:

– I would try to help the Asian people. After the cessation of hostilities in World War II. in Europe, it became necessary to try to prevent the spread of communism there. America introduced the Marshall plan, under which arms and food were supplied to the countries of Europe to establish a bulwark against communism. Senator Wardlaw asks what I would do about the huge surplus of food now available. I would introduce something of the nature of another Marshall plan for Asia. I would do, on a much larger scale, what the Government did under the Colombo plan. Surely the honorable senator does not think that it was wrong of the Government that he supports to tax the Australian people in an attempt to alleviate the misery of the peoples of Asia and to win their goodwill. It would be a grand thing if America could introduce something like the Marshall plan for the people of Asia.

Senator Grant has stated that we are about to lose the goodwill that we have built up in Malaya. I believe that that is so. The Government apparently believes that it can best assist, to combat communism in Malaya by sending a few thousand troops there to try to keep the bandits at bay a little longer. I do not support that line of reasoning. As other speakers on this side of the chamber have pointed out, there were supposed to be about 5,000 bandits in Malaya five years ago. Although from 5,000 to 6,000 bandits have been killed in that country, we are told that there are still 5,000 bandits there. I understand that 100,000 troops are endeavouring to combat them. Obviously, therefore, for the Government to believe that the sending of a couple of thousand Australian boys to Malaya will have any marked effect on the spread of communism in that country is only wishful thinking.

As I. have said before, I believe that the way to stop the spread of communism is to improve the living conditions of the people. to such an. extent that they- will not want to embrace communism, because it is well known that freedom is surrendered under the Communist order. But what does freedom mean to people who are hungry? If the native peoples of Asia were offered the choice of losing their freedom, but being able to obtain sufficient food to keep them alive, or retaining their freedom, but slowly starving to death, I am sure that they would choose the former.

The Opposition does not believe that any benefit will be derived by the sending of Australian troops to Malaya. We consider that that would result in the destruction, within a year, of the goodwill that Australia has built up in that country. At the moment, the Government proposes to commit a few thousand Australian troops to Malaya. It is not a far cry to the day when we will have two divisions of troops there. During World War II., we were told that it was best for Australia to keep the war away from this country, and to fight it on other territory. But what happened 1 We had a division of troops in Malaya. Those troops were by-passed by the Japanese, and subsequently taken prisoner within a week. Two other Australian divisions were in the Middle East. This country was left undefended. It was only by getting those two divisions back that we were able to keep the Japanese out of Australia. What is now proposed is that we should fight any future war away from” Australia. The Government suggests that we ought to establish a strong-post in Malaya. In view of the greatly increased potential forces of destruction that now exist, it is obvious that, by stationing our troops in Malaya, their services in the defence of Australia would not be available if another conflict occurred. I think that the sending of Australian troops to Malaya would, in addition to destroying the goodwill that we have established with our northern neighbours, prejudice the future security of Australia.

Senator Vincent:

– That is just Commo stuff.

Senator ARNOLD:

Senator Vincent* who has just interjected, is so intolerant that if one does not agree with his point of view, he is immediately labelled as a

Communist. That is the very attitude that I protested against prior to the suspension of the sitting. Supporters of the Government have become so intolerant that if one expresses a view different from theirs, he is immediately labelled a Communist, or a fellow traveller. If we, in this Parliament, are going to descend to that level, I believe that we are well on the way to totalitarianism.

Senator Benn:

– Or fascism!

Senator ARNOLD:

– Looking back to the ‘thirties, one sees that that was the kind of thing that happened in the Reichstag in Germany. The adherents of Hitler called their opponents Communists and enemies of the state, and thus prepared the way for a Fascist coup in that country. I do not want that to happen in Australia. Whether my friends opposite are fascists or not, I do not say; I merely ask them to be tolerant enough to hear views that are not in line with their own, and to extend to those who express such views the same goodwill as they expect when they express their own opinions. I protest against people whose views differ from our own being labelled as Communists.

It is not right that Australia, with a population of only about 9,000,000, living in an area which is far from that of its allies - I refer particularly to the Mother country, Britain, and to our other great ally of World War II., the United States of America - should antagonize the millions of Asian people who are our near neighbours. First of all, we must give unswerving loyalty to the United Nations. Then, by following a policy of conciliation, and by visiting the people of other countries, talking with them and trying to understand their problems, we should be able to get along well together, because we shall respect one another. In that way, goodwill between us and the peoples of these countries will be developed.

We sent troops to Korea because we believed in the principles of the United Nations. If the United Nations were to decide that troops ought to be sent to Malaya, I would support that decision; but I do not support a decision to send troops there until such a decision by the United Nations has been made, or until a request that they be sent is received from the Malayan people. I urge that we should do our utmost to develop goodwill between Australia and the peoples of other nations. The situation is such that in the near future we could be in conflict with Indonesia over New Guinea. For that reason we ought now to be trying to come to an agreement with Holland and Indonesia about the future of New Guinea.

Senator Vincent:

– What does the honorable senator think we are trying to do?

Senator ARNOLD:

– What would be our position if we had two divisions in Malaya, and trouble broke out with Indonesia ?

Senator HENTY:

– We would bring them home.

Senator ARNOLD:

– The honorable senator has all the answers. I remind him of what happened in the last war, and the trouble we had in bringing our troops home from the Middle East.

I have tried to place before the Senate the problem as I see it. I believe that we should try to build up the Australian economy, so that it would be capable of meeting the demands of a major war, should that, unfortunately, be necessary. We should also attract as many people to Australia as we can. We should develop our factories, and provide roads and railways, and the other things necessary for our defence. In my opinion, we are in a worse state to meet a major war than we were when World War II. broke out.

Senator Vincent:

– We shall be worse off if we take the honorable senator’s advice.

Senator ARNOLD:

– Every man should be used to develop our economy, so that we may become strong enough to resist an aggressor; but because of our unprepared state, I do not think that we are strong enough to send divisions to Malaya from Australia. Above all, we must never abandon the belief that peace throughout the world can be preserved. If we accept the view that a major conflict is inevitable, civilization as we know it will undoubtedly disappear.

We should avail ourselves of every opportunity to discuss with potential opponents matters of mutual interest, and we should try to reach agreement with them. We should do our utmost to make the United Nations an instrument for conciliation between the nations. If we adopt that policy, I believe that there is a strong possibility that Australia will be at peace for many years.

Western Australia

Senator Arnold devoted a good deal of time to an interesting discourse on the causes and growth of communism. At the outset of my remarks I wish to place on record that I do not agree with all that he said. However, I agree with him that it is an interesting subject. I go further, and say that the growth of communism is one of the big problems facing the world to-day. Our objective is to find some practical plan to prevent the spread of communism. However, like the flowers that bloom in the spring, the growth of communism has nothing to do with the problem which the Senate is discussing to-night. The problem to which we are addressing ourselves is how Australia, as a member of the Western democracies, and a country which, because of its isolation, must look to its own defences, can evolve a foreign policy, and a defence policy, in cooperation with our allies, that will enable us to hold this country secure, not only for ourselves and our children, but also for those who will follow them. We should not forget that the Russian communism and Russian imperialism against which the Western democracies are now preparing themselves, is the same as that which overran some of the continental countries in which living standards were not low. Notwithstanding their development, they fell victims to the Russian imperialism that is threatenng this country and the whole of south-east Asia. That is the problem that we are facing, not the problem of communism as such, or the growth of communism.

This afternoon, Senator Aylet took the opportunity presented by this debate to repeat the fiction that when the Labour Government came into office in 1941, it found this country unprepared. During the dinner adjournment, I made some inquiries about the state of affairs at that time, and what progress had been made towards meeting the coming onslaught. I read that no less an authority than Mr. John Curtin, soon after he took office as Prime Minister, paid a high tribute to the work done by the former Menzies Government, and * that he repeated that tribute on at least two other occasions. In spite of that clear statement, Senator Aylett would have us believe that Australia was “wholly unprepared. Up to the time that that Menzies Government went out of office, it had built and had in operation eleven munitions factories, and sixteen more munitions factories were in the course of construction. Private firms were operating 100 munitions annexes. Completely new industries had been established, and were producing such things as textiles, cables, tool steel, alloys, bearings, chemicals, motors and motor parts, armaments and munitions and small arms, precision instruments, and armoured vehicles. Many of these things had not been manufactured in Australia before the war broke out. No fewer than 996 factories were working for the Department of Supply. Employees in government munition factories had risen from 12,000 in August, 1939, to 58,000 in June, 1941. One thousand trainer aircraft had been built in Australia. Four divisions of the Australian Imperial Force had been trained and sent overseas. Australia was playing a full part in the Empire Air Scheme; in fact, it was a foundation member of that scheme. Ships of the Royal Australian Navy had been active in all theatres of war, and a naval shipbuilding programme had been started in 1940. Work had begun on the Captain Cook dock in Sydney and a merchant shipping programme had been announced in June, 1940. I mention those few examples to indicate how utterly untrue is the story that Senator Aylett and his ilk delight in repeating on every occasion. He is given the lie, not only by the word of Senator Aylett’s leader of that time, Mr Curtin, but also by the record itself.

The statement of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) has a marked historical significance. It marks the end of an era during which this nation accepted, as a prime duty, some part of the defence of the Middle East. It marks the beginning of an era in which Australia recognizes and accepts its position in SouthEast Asia, and recognizes that it is there that it must accept its major military commitment. The objection of the Oppo”sition to the motion for the printing of the statement has crystallized around the decision of the Government to send troops to Malaya. Indeed, if one were to sit in this chamber and listen to the speeches that emanate from the Opposition benches with wearying monotony, one would be justified in coming to the conclusion that the Government had agreed to commit, not a small compact force, but the entire Australian Navy, Army and Air Force The decision that the Government has made has been magnified out of all proportion to the numbers of servicemen, ships and aircraft to be involved in this movement of troops.

Senator Wordsworth:

– The Opposition has stated that two divisions will be involved.


– Nothing of the sort. I propose to state again the actual strength of the force to be sent to Malaya from Australia. It comprises two destroyers or frigates, an aircraft carrier on an annual visit, one infantry battalion, one fighter wing of two squadrons, a bomber wing of one squadron and an aircraft construction squadron. It is a compact and mobile force which could be moved with a minimum of delay at any time, either back to Australia or to any other point in the South-East Asian theatre where it might be required at any time. The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator McKenna), in addressing himself to the motion for the printing of the statement, tried to create the impression that, in reaching the decision to send this force to Malaya, the Prime Minister and the Australian Government had acted in some way which fell rather short of accepted international standards of conduct. Senator McKenna implied that the decision had been made without reference to all those who are concerned. For that reason, he said, in effect, there was something suspect and almost sinister about it. The history of the negotiations is detailed in the statement presented by the Prime Minister. The right honorable gentleman stated -

In London, I said that no specific commitments could be accepted by Australia except by a Government decision and that, in any event, Australian opinion would wish some adequate confidence that British forces would have support in these vulnerable respects from the United States of America.

I do not believe there was any holding back of information from the United Kingdom Government when the Prime Minister went to some trouble to make it quit clear that the Australian public would like to know what was the extent, if any, of United States of America co-operation. The right honorable gentleman continued -

It was therefore agreed, on the basis of understandings reached with the United Kingdom and New Zealand during the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ meetings, that on my return through Washington, I should take the opportunity of the frankest possible talks with our great friend, the President of the United States, and his Administration.

As the world now knows, the Prime Minister, having completed his talks in the United Kingdom, did what he said in London le would do, and on his way home, he called on the President of the United States. The result was that a statement was made which had the complete support and concurrence of the President. That statement is worth repeating, and I emphasize that it was made by the Prime Minister with the concurrence of the President. The right honorable gentleman stated -

During my visit to Washington, I had valuable conversations with the President of the United States and other members of the American Government about our undertakings under the Manila Pact for the collective defence of South-East Asia, and, in particular, on the defence of Malaya, to which Australia attaches the highest possible significance. Our discussions made it abundantly clear that in the general task of preventing further Communist aggression, the United States considered the defence of South-East Asia, of which Malaya is an integral part, to be of very great importance.

It is to be expected that the military arrangements put in train at the recent Bangkok meeting will provide all of the Manila Pact member governments with more specific information with regard to the best means for each country to contribute toward* the defence of this area. 1 raised the question whether in the event of Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand undertaking to station substantial forces in Malaya, we could bc assured that the United States would be prepared to give us effective co-operation.

I was informed that though the tactical employment of forces was a matter which would hare to be worked out in detail on the services level, the United States considered that such effective co-operation was implicit in the Manila Pact.

I inquired further whether, because of the deficiencies in military equipment which have inevitably arisen from the very great pressure which exists upon our own resources of money, men and materials, we might hope to he able to look to the United States for military supply on some basis to be arranged.

X was assured that, having regard to what the Americans knew so well about Australia’s attitude and lighting capacity, they would be happy to take this matter up with our officials upon the basis of an accurate assessment of our deficiencies and a consideration of the ways and means by which the equipment position ma)’ be improved.

I point out that the last part of the statement completely disposes of the implication, which could be drawn from some of the remarks emanating from the Opposition, that this was a movement away from the policy of the United States and from our agreements and commitments with that nation. Obviously, the United States not only knew of our intention to send forces to Malaya, but concurred in that intention, agreeing that Malaya was a most important strategic point in the South-East Asian area.

The Leader of the Opposition also suggested that Australia might have been subjected to some pressure from the United Kingdom to send forces to Malaya, in order to afford financial relief to the United Kingdom by replacing some United Kingdom forces in Malaya. That is a puerile argument. The Australian force that it is proposed to send to Malaya will comprise less than 3 per cent, of the total British forces engaged there. Many Opposition senators have said that the proposal to send this small force to Malaya will arouse the resentment of the Malayan people. If that were so, such hostility would have evidenced itself long since. As has been pointed out already in this debate, Australian air force units have been in Malava for a number of years years and there is no evidence that the Malayan people resent their presence. The Malayans know that they are moving steadily towards selfgovernment. They know that only the incursion of Communists from neighbouring states can prevent or delay the granting of selfgovernment to Malaya. Knowing that, the Malayans, instead of resenting the presence of overseas troops, welcome them as harbingers of the self-government for which they wait.

It was strange that Senator Armstrong should have moved the amendment to the motion that the paper be printed. I do not know whether the Opposition gave him this job to do so that he might show that he was with them even if he was not of them. This is one of the strange political pirouettes that have been occurring in the Labour party. Senator Armstrong made the statement that he opposed the Government’s plan because he did not know of any advantage that would accrue to Australia from the decision to send a small force to Malaya. I suggest that Australia, placed as it is at present, should be the last country to base iti defence policy solely on considerations of self-advantage. We who have lived through the last war know full well that the defence of Australia cannot be considered in isolation from the rest of this part of the world. If ever a country was dependent for its defence on the cooperation of other nations it is Australia. I suggest that every advantage is likely to accrue to Australia from the decision to send troops to Malaya.

Senator Armstrong also said that the Government’s prime duty in regard to defence lay within oi 1 own country. I could not agree with i’m more in that respect. That principle applies, not only to Australia, but to every other country in the world. But that does not mean that Australia should not station forces at strategic points which will be of value in the defence of this Asian area. The advisability of defence in depth is selfevident. One has only to remember the position which arose in this area during the last war to realize the danger with which Australia could be confronted. During the last war, as the Japanese advanced southwards, we lost island after island and we were placed in increasing jeopardy. It is important that the defence of Australia should be established in the greatest possible depth. In order to establish such a defence, it is necessary for us to help countries such as Malaya. We must work in co-operation with our allies of Seato and of Anzus in order to build up a defence system many miles from the coast of Australia. If we were to wait, as Senator Arnold suggested, until Australia was under threat pf invasion, it would be too late to do anything about the defence of our country. A direct threat of invasion to Australia could only result from our allies having suffered such reverses elsewhere that they would be unable to help us. We must fight the battle for Australia as far from Australian shores as possible.

The decision to send troops to Malaya will not disadvantageously affect the mobility of the Australian defence forces. Our troops will be readily movable from Malaya to any other point in South-East Asia. The fact that they are in Malaya will increase, rather than decrease, the mobility of the Australian fighting services.

It has been suggested that the perfect arrangement would be for all Asian countries to make their own defence preparations. I have no argument with that proposition. I do not suppose that any general, strategist or citizen in the democracies would contest the desirability of such an arrangement. Each country would then be able to conduct its own defence without calling upon other countries to help it. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. The whole position with regard to the defence of the countries to which I have referred is that, until such time as they are able to conduct their own defence, they must be given whatever assistance we can give, so that they will not be overrun by Communist aggression or aggression from any other quarter.

I have heard it said in this debate that South Korea provides a perfect example of a country which has built up its own defence forces and defence methods. That is quite true. Under the tutelage of the United Nations, particularly America, South Korea has developed effective armed forces far beyond those which it had when it first became the victim of invasion by China. South Korea would never have had the defence forces which it has to-day had it not received assistance from the United Nations in keeping out the Communist aggressor.

I should have thought that, in conducting this debate, the supporters of the Australian Labour party would have said something about an alternative foreign policy, because after all, the Opposition has a brand new foreign policy which emanated from the Hobart conference. Some of the things which are included in that policy are indeed remarkable. We have heard many reasons why the Labour party opposes the sending of this small Australian force to Malaya. The real reason, of course, is not that the members of the Opposition do not see any immediate advantage in the proposal, or because they think that the presence of Australian forces in Malaya might cause resentment against the Australian nation, but purely because a policy has been fastened on them by the recent Hobart conference, whether they like it or not. I propose to read one or two items from that policy. Item 7, which is an interesting one, states -

Having regard to the present state of international tension and the resulting threat to world peace, this conference declares as follows: The Australian Labour party is satisfied that the use of Australian armed forces in Malaya will gravely injure Australian relations with our Asian neighbours while in no way contributing to the prevention of aggression. The “guerrilla” operations in Malaya have lasted five years. They will eventually be ended by some form of agreement or amnesty. Action towards this end should begin now.

We have had Labour speaker after Labour speaker stating that the number of guerrillas operating in Malaya for the last six or seven years has never decreased. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) referred to it as a “ hydra-headed “ type of communism. Senator Armstrong, and many other Labour senators, said that the Communists obviously were being sustained from across the border of Siam, and were being reinforced from there. It is acknowledged that this Communist force of bandits is present in Malaya, and that its number does not decrease. It is also acknowledged that the members of the force are Communists. Yet the Labour party advocates that there should be some arrangement with them, that they should be granted some form of amnesty, and that action along those lines should be put in train immediately. I do not know whether the Opposition appreciates the fact, but what it proposes to do in this respect is entirely in line with what the Russians would like to happen. What other country in the world would gain comfort from the thought that the Communist bandits in Malaya were to be granted an amnesty? Who would draw succour or comfort from that other than the Communists? This policy, which is called Labour party policy, is wholly in line, on this point, with Russian imperialist policy.

Item S of the Hobart conference policy reads as follows: -

Having regard to the present state of international tension and the resulting threat to world peace, this conference declares as follows: Labour policy is to oppose the use of armed forces in Malaya.

Which armed forces does the Opposition want to oppose? Obviously it is not prepared to oppose the Communist bandit armed forces. The supporters of the Labour party say, “ We will not oppose them, but there will be no other armed opposition. We will pull out all the armed forces which are there to keep those bandits in check and to wipe them out, and we will leave the 5,000 admitted Communists there “. I suggest that on this point, too, the Opposition policy is completely in line with Russian policy.

The policy drawn up at the Hobart conference also deals with the admission to the United Nations of countries which are now excluded. If the provision does not mean that red China should be admitted, it does not mean anything. It has particular and peculiar relevance to red China. Again, who would draw most comfort from red China’s admission to the United Nations? Who has sought that admission over the years? What country has striven more for the admission of red China than has Russia? Presumably, the Australian Labour party will from now also strive towards that end.

I go from that point to the question of the use of atomic power, because here again the Labour party, in complete sympathy and consonance with Russian policy, advocates the banning of atomic power. If Russia sincerely wants a reduction of armaments, let it be a reduction of all armaments. As Russia knows, and I am sure, Senator O’Byrne knows, in the immediate post-war years when the democracies were making a real contribution towards disarmament, both Russia and China steadily built up their stocks of conventional arms. The position to-day is that, excluding atomic power, there is an overwhelming superiority of Communist arms and manpower opposing the forces of the democracies. If Russia really wants a reduction of armaments, such a reduction must apply to all armaments, atomic and otherwise. The furthest that Russia will go in this direction is to agree to a flat reduction of one-third all round, which would merely mean, of course, that the balance in Russia’s favour would b preserved. In view of Russia’s post-war conduct, and particularly the untrustworthiness exhibited by Russian leaders again and again, we should be false to the principles for which we stand if we even considered some form of armament reduction that would guarantee the continuance of Communist superiority. On the four specific points of Labour policy that I have cited, that policy is completely in sympathy with Russia’s policy. Thai is not so simply because I, as a member of the Liberal party and a Government supporter, say it. It is so because other socialists with whom honorable senators opposite have been prepared to sit for many years, have challenged them on the adoption of a pro-Communist policy. We should not forget that those gentlemen who, to-day, denounce the Labour party more bitterly than it has ever been denounced from this side of the chamber, are socialists of the same ilk as those who now form the official Opposition. For that reason, I would always fight them politically. But the Labour party has not split from top to bottom on the issue of communism within the party. Certain members of the party have had the courage to say that, whilst they still subscribe to the socialist platform, they will not subscribe to a policy that would lay

Australia, or the other democratic nations, bare to Communist aggression and subversion.

The Prime Minister’s statement represents a realistic approach to foreign affairs and to defence. It extends the hand of friendship and of peace to all those who are prepared to accept it. But, at the same time, it proclaims that we, in concert with our allies, are not prepared to go on being out-negotiated so that, progressively, our position becomes weaker and weaker. This statement to the Australian Parliament will have its counterpart in the parliaments of the other democracies with which we are allied, and this unity of purpose will, I am sure, put an end to the Communist aggression which we have watched with so much anxiety since the end of the last war.

Senator ASHLEY:
New South Wales

, - When Government supporters find themselves in deep water in discussions in this chamber they invariably resort, as Senator Paltridge has done, to the graveyard of the late John Curtin. That is an indication of the weakness of the case that the Government parties are presenting to the people, using as their main weapon the Communist smear of the Labour party.

Whether the causes are real or artificial, there is certainly an atmosphere of unrest in the world to-day, and great anxiety is being caused to thinking people. We in Australia share these disturbed conditions arising from the unsettled world and the threat of international turmoil. Trips abroad by almost every Minister, and numerous trips by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), have not made any contribution to relieving the fears of the people of Australia. After all these jaunts abroad, particularly those of the Prime Minister to conferences in Great Britain at which foreign policy has been determined, there has been a significant dearth of information. Indeed, the right honorable gentleman has seemed reluctant to give any information at all to the Australian people. Perhaps he has good reason for not taking the people into his confidence. His attitude may be prompted by his experience following an earlier visit. On that occasion the right honorable gentleman returned to Australia and prophesied that there would be war within three years. Happily his prognostication on that occasion was not correct. However, although his prophecy was not borne out by subsequent events, it was invaluable to the Government because it enabled the Government to impose on the Australian people, under the guise of war preparations, financial and fiscal restrictions which disrupted the Australian economy. Now, the Prime Minister belatedly informs us that he cannot be precise about the decisions and recommendations that were made at the most recent conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London, but that he will be as accurate as he can. There has been a grave lack of information. Indeed, honorable senators gleaned more information concerning the international situation and its inherent dangers from the honorable member for Mackellar in another place (Mr. Wentworth), who, I understand, paid his own expenses when he went abroad. 1 appreciate the Prime Minister’s position, because in England, at the conferences, there was a lack of unanimity among the leaders of the nations. There was even open conflict on problems of an international character, which could easily have led to the lighting of the fuse of a third world war.

The people of Australia are trying to cultivate a better understanding with the people of Asia so that they may cooperate in protecting and preserving the peace that now prevails. If the international situation is a3 explosive as the Government claims, it is hard to understand why greater attempts are not being made to create a better understanding between the Government and the Opposition. I wish that parties could return to the times when there was greater understanding among them, particularly when international disruptions threatened. 1 refer to periods when Labour was in opposition and also when the Labour party was in government. Full information on impending international dangers was then freely communicated to the Opposition. The Opposition is entitled to receive a full measure of intelligence, particularly when commitments are as extensive as the

Prime Minister has intimated. Every honorable senator will agree that the safety of the nation transcends all political considerations and advantages.

Although the Prime Minister’s statement has been published in a booklet, it is vague, and honorable senators are in practically the same position as when that right honorable gentleman returned from abroad on a previous occasion and we were informed, baldly, that a war and probable disaster for Australia were looming. Parliament and the public should be informed whether the Government intends to use military forces against the terrorists in Malaya, or make a contribution to solving the national problem contained in the threat of Communist aggression. I expect the Minister in his reply to say that the Opposition has an opportunity to join in a foreign affairs committee to discuss these matters. But there is a limit to the information given to a foreign affairs committee, and its members are not even allowed to impart to their parties all the information they receive. Consequently, the value of being a member of such a committee is lost.

An outstanding feature of the Menzies Government’s term of office is its dependence for existence upon the scare of communism, the threat of international turmoil, and the consequent potential dangers to Australia. These are the alibis for the many mistakes and misdeeds of the Government. It claims to be deeply concerned for the safety and security of Australia, but in spite of its alleged possession of profound knowledge of international problems which, it claims, make war inevitable, none of that knowledge has been imparted to either Parliament or the people. The only reaction of the Government to the threat of international disputation and the inevitability of war is the dissipation of £200,000,000 a year in defence expenditure. However, there is no adequate defence preparation such as would be justified by the Prime Minister’s statement, and no apparent preparation for home defence.

According to the Prime Minister, instead of the conference in London reducing the tension and the possibility of further international conflict, its actions confirmed a statement made in this chamber last October by the Minister representing the Minister for External Affairs, that there was a definite threat to world peace. Honorable senators were then told that it was no longer possible for the nation to rely entirely on its own strength and resources for its security. These had to be reinforced by a system of collective defence. That statement is, perhaps, true of all nations except those that have the advantage of possessing thermo-nuclear weapons. In normal conditions only a fool would say that a combination of nations would not have an advantage over a single nation in isolation. Much depends upon the relationship between the nations concerned and the mutual advantages to be gained, and, above all, the factor that is always foremost in international treaties - trade.

The Minister’s statement contained also a warning that if the whole of Indo-China fell to the Communists, Thailand would be exposed, and if Thailand fell - Siam as it was referred to this evening - the road would be open to the Malayan peninsula and the life-line to the northern parts of Australia would be in danger. That statement is not endorsed by an announcement made by Major-General Charuzreni, the Thailand delegate at the Seato conference, a few days ago in Manila to 86 military experts representing the South-East Asia Treaty organizations. They would include, I expect, a representative from Australia, because the Minister for External Affairs and the Minister representing him in this chamber have continually stressed the benefits to be gained by Australia being a member of that organization. It is obvious that the United States of America, Great Britain, France and Australia would not send to such a conference military experts other than of the highest order. The general told that gathering of experts that Thailand was not threatened by Communist aggression and that, in any event, that country’s forces would be able to repel any external threat. Observers at the conference have stated that other delegates contended that the Seato countries should concentrate their forces to counter Communist aggression in Thailand.

At the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ conference in London, Sir Winston Churchill and our Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) opposed the views of Mr. Anthony Eden and Mr. Nehru as to what should be done in Formosa. Yet, when the bill to ratify the Seato pact was before this Senate, we were told that the treaty extended only to the twenty-first parallel, which is just below Formosa.

Many people in this country would like to know what influenced the Government’s decision to send Australian troops to Malaya. It is obvious that some members of the Government are not happy about the plans for the defence of this country. A few days ago, the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) received a telegram from the Trade Union Committee in Malaya, containing a resolution, which had been passed unanimously, requesting the Australian Government, in the interests of peace, not to send Australian troops to Malaya. That request warrants earnest consideration by the Government. Senator Maher and Senator Paltridge, who conducted a smear campaign, would probably suggest that that resolution was Communistinspired. Of course, it is reasonable to expect that there is a percentage of Communists in the ranks of the trade unionists in Malaya, as there is in Australia and other countries.

Senator HARRIS:

– And in the Liberal party !

Senator ASHLEY:

– There is no doubt about that. There has been a tendency to cloud the real issue, which is, whether our troops will be employed to combat the terrorists in Malaya, or stationed on the Malay Peninsula, where it is proposed to establish an impregnable line. Of course, during World War II., we were led to believe that the defences of Singapore were impregnable.

It is generally understood that Great Britain has expended about £1,000,000,000 in trying to clear out the terrorists from Malaya. I believe that about 350,000 troops and police have been engaged in that activity. Obviously, therefore, the Australian troops will have no easy task in trying to clear out the bandits from Malaya. It is said that there are now just as many bandits in Malaya as there were when the British commenced activities there about six years ago. I do not know where they have come from. Senator Paltridge said that the Communists would come down through Thailand to Malaya. If the Government sends Australian troops to Malaya, the defences of Australia will be as weak as they were at the outbreak of World War II. in 1939, when the previous Menzies Government was in office; we were then practically defenceless.

To what extent has Seato strengthened the security of Australia? The Government has claimed that the pact between the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia strengthened our security immensely. Supporters of the Government emphasized that claim during the debate in this chamber in October last on the bill to ratify the treaty. The assertion of the Minister for External Affairs that as a. result of the collective defence treaty Australia has entered into, Australia’s defences have been strengthened, was completely misleading. Although treaties appear to be very sound when they are communicated to the people per medium of the press and government propaganda, on close examination they are found to be without teeth. It is time that we realized how little value, from a defence point of view, the taxpayers of this country are getting from the expenditure of about £200,000,000 a year on defence. If, as the Government contends, war is inevitable, it is time that the brass hats of the defence services were reminded of their responsibilities to this country. I refer particularly to the brass hats who are nesting in Victoria Barracks in Sydney and Melbourne, at Richmond. and at Lapstone Hill, where members of the women’s services are waiting on them hand and foot. Their chief occupation seems to be attending social functions, such as dinners and cocktail parties, and vying with each other for . publicity in the social columns of the press. The Prime Minister has indicated that we could meet the threat of a hot war with a force of two divisions. Military experts estimate that the raising and equipping of two divisions, with their ancillary requirements, would absorb approximately 120,000 men.

Senator Kendall:

– Only about 35,000 men.

Senator ASHLEY:

– I refer to all requirements, not merely the number of men in the field. It would be interesting to know - and this is a matter on which the Government has not had the courage to inform the people - the way in which it is proposed to raise this new army. We should have more details of the obligations associated with the sending of Australian forces to Malaya. We should know, for instance, whether there is any secret arrangement, and what undertakings the Prime Minister gave during his visit to Great Britain. Surely we should know who asked that troops be sent to Malaya. Where did the request come from? On his return to Australia the Prime Minister said that Australia was in danger. Accordingly, we are to send troops out of this country; but by so doing we may leave ourselves practically defenceless. Should the troops sent to Malaya be by-passed by an enemy, Australia would be almost without defenders. It is clear that the Government has entered into commitments which will have the effect of reducing Australia’s defence strength in man-power and equipment. Instead of long-range planning to build up an effective system of defence, with special attention to the vital problem of home defence, the Menzies Government has squandered up to £200,000,000 a year since it came into office. That is a large sum of money. I ask honorable senators opposite whether they know of anything that Australia has to show for that expenditure. In its last budget the Government set out to expend £200,000,000 on defence during the present financial year, but to the end of March only £116,000,000 had been expended. On the basis of an average expenditure of £13,000,000 a month, that means that £45,000,000 will be unexpended at the end of the financial year. It is obvious that the Government’s budget was based on guess work, instead of on a planned and definite programme.

No member of the Senate can feel happy about Australia’s defence position.

There is unrest and discontent in the Navy.

Senator Kendall:

– -Rubbish

Senator ASHLEY:

– So great is the discontent in the Navy that recently a serious mishap was attributed to sabotage. Recruiting for the Army is hopelessly below requirements, despite a lowering of long-established standards. For instance, the height requirement for members of the forces has been reduced. No attempt has been made to educate the people in the elementary precautions necessary in the event of an atomic air attack. The Government has engaged in a smear campaign against the Australian Labour party by trying to connect that party with communism. Senator Maher made constant references to Dr. Evatt in this connexion. No man in Australia is hated more by the Communists than Dr. Evatt is. It was he who found a way to deal with the Communists. The Menzies Government has failed to deal with them, for the reason that the Communists are the best asset the Government has. If members of the Government were to deal effectively with their friends the Communists, they would have to go out of business through the loss of their comfortable meal tickets. The Liberal and Australian Country parties talk about Communists, but they do nothing to protect us against them. The Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Holt) has bent over backwards to assist Mr. Healy and the waterside workers. He refused permission to a highly respected clergyman to go to Denmark, but he gave Mr. Idress Williams, the Communist president of the miners’ federation, a permit to’ go. The Minister said that Mr. Williams had promised not to go behind the iron curtain, but since his return, Williams has delivered lectures on the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, Poland and Rumania. The only man in this country who found a way to deal with the Communists was Dr. Evatt. He put them in gaol, where they belonged. That is something that those who smear the Labour party have never attempted to do. On the contrary, the Menzies Government protects the Communists. The Government and the

Communists have a perfect working understanding, based on the motto “ Live and let live

One would think that in a discussion of such an important subject as the safety and security of Australia we would hear something better from honorable senators who support the Government than a campaign of smears, and attempts to connect the Opposition with the Communists. That policy does not help either the Government or Australia. It is time that we got away from that technique, at least in the Senate, and tried to make a contribution that would help the defence of Australia.

Reference has been made in this chamber, on behalf of the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey), to the benefit that Australia will derive, and the strength that this country will gain, from it membership of the Seato. I direct attention to a press statement that Thailand has no need for outside assistance to meet Communist aggression. The Minister for External Affairs and supporters of the Government have stated that all the advice they had from military experts showed that Thailand would be exposed to attack. Now the military experts of Thailand have stated that they can meet the threat ‘ of communism themselves. Yet this Government has decided to send troops to Malaya on the pretext that they will prevent Communist aggression there.

Whatever system of defence is adopted for South-East Asia, it can be of little value unless we reach a better understanding with the people of South-East Asia. The nations that have joined with Australia in the Seato pact include New Zealand, France, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Only three Asian nations have been associated with it. Thailand has now made a fresh statement of its position to which I have referred. Of the other two Asian nations associated with the pact, Pakistan has joined the other nations with the reservation that it will not be engaged in armed conflict. That leaves only one Asian nation - the Philippines - actively in the pact which the Minister for External Affairs has claimed so glibly will make the de- fence of Australia secure. It does not make common sense to send Australian troops to Asia to strengthen the security of Australia. I am sure that no supporter of the Government believes thai that objective will be achieved. India is not a party to the pact. Canada, which is a powerful force in the Pacific, is not a member. Ceylon and Burma have stood apart. Indonesia, with a population ten times as great as that of Australia, and an area of over 700,000 square miles in the centre of any system of defence that may be established in South-East Asia, a member of Seato.

What is the position in Indonesia? The feeling there is one of mistrust of the white people, just as it is in other South-East Asian countries. After 300 years of Dutch rule, So per cent, of the Indonesians were illiterate. Since they have gained their independence, illiteracy has been reduced to 60 per cent. The health services were very poor. Sewerage wa3 practically non-existent. The retail trade of the country was in the hands of the Chinese and the wholesale trade was controlled by the Dutch. The average Indonesian was a common labourer working for a very small wage. Is it any wonder that the people of Indonesia mistrust the white people? Attempts have been made by the Australian Government only recently to reach a better understanding with Indonesia. The Menzies Government was responsible for a break of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Australia that was never satisfactorily explained. Diplomatic relations were restored only when it became apparent that the Indonesians might be helpful in the event of war.

Reference has been made frequently during this debate to Formosa, and the islands of Quemoy and Matsu, which are near the coast of China. Conflicting statements about Formosa have been made on behalf of the United Kingdom and the United States. Before he retired from the office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Winston Churchill stated in the Houfe of Commons that not one English soldier would be sent abroad to take part in a battle for Formosa. Then Mr. John Foster Dulles, the United States Secretary of

State, stated thai the United States Government was committed to the defence of Formosa, but would act in defence of the islands of Quemoy and Matsu only if they were attacked for the purpose of an invasion of Formosa. That was a very ambiguous statement, and attempts have been made in recent mouths to interpret it satisfactorily.

Anybody who studies international affairs will agree that we cannot have world peace unless there is unanimity of opinion and action between the United Kingdom and the United States. Various views have been expressed about Formosa, but damaging actions of the Chinese Nationalist Government in Formosa have never been mentioned. Senator Maher eulogized Chiang Kai-shek but he did not mention that when the Chinese Nationalist Government under Chiang Kai-shek’s leadership took over Formosa, 10,000 Formosan civil servants who had been trained by the Japanese vere liquidated. I think that Senator Maher suggested that the Formosan people should be given an opportunity of determining whether they should be free to govern their own country. The action of Chiang Kai-shek in liquidating the Formosa n civil servants has prevented any possibility of the Formosan people themselves carrying on the government of their country.

Senator Maher stated that the Malays were in a minority in Malaya. The Malayan population comprises about 43 par cent, of Malays, 40 per cent, of Chinese and 17 per cent, of Indians and other races. The fact that the population of Malaya includes only 43 per cent, of Malays is no reason why the people of Malaya should be denied their independence. Senator Maher and other Government supporters have argued that the United Kingdom should continue to occupy Malaya and educate the people until they oan govern the country for themselves. That is not in accordance with the wishes of the Malayan people. I hope that, in future debates on this important subject, honorable senators opposite will give more consideration to the defence of this country, and that they will spend less time in endeavouring to smear people with accusations of communism. I hope that they will make constructive contributions to the debate which will be of advantage, not only to the Parliament, but to the country.

Debate (on motion by Senator HENTY) adjourned.

page 289


The following papers were presented : -

Bankruptcy Act - Twenty-sixth Annual Report by this Attorney-General, for year ended 3) st July, f!*S4.

International Monetary Agreements Act - Annual Report on operations of the Act, and insofar as they relate to Australia, cf the International Monetary Fund Agreement ami the Internattonal Bank Agreement, for year 1053-54.

Lands Acquisition Act - Land, &c., acquired, for-

Defence purposes - Tumbi Umbi, Kew South Wales.

Department of Air purposes - Hoban, iasmania.

Postal purposes - Burra, South Australia.

Public Service Act - Appointments - PostmasterGeneral’s Department - I. C. Lawson, A. K. Liubinas, A. Ozolins.

Public Service Arbitration Act - Determination by the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration - 1954 -

No. 11. - Australian National Airlines Commission.

River Murray Waters Act - River Murray Commission - Report for year 1B53-54.

Senate adjourned at 9.53 p.m.-

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 10 May 1955, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.