23rd Parliament · 1st Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMullin)1 took the chair at 3 p.m., and read’ prayers:
Recording’ of Divisions
– Mr. President, I should like to ask you a question, without notice. Have you read the statement that the French National’ Assembly intends to install’ an electronic device for recording votes? Having in mind the waste of time that is entailed’ in counting, divisions, would you seriously consider installing such a system in this chamber?’
– Some, little time ago I made inquiries into the system of electronic voting. I found that it had already been installed in the Belgian Parliament and in several’ legislatures in the United States of America. Now, of course, the French Chamber, of. Deputies is installing! it. The system’ certainly has advantages,, but there would be- very serious engineerings difficulties, ku the- way of installing! it. in the Senate, chamber:. My interest in- the matter took its. rise from the fact that some day there may be a new Parliament House and £ thought, therefore; that we would be well advised to’ inquire: into- what appears to be a very well worth-while system of recording votes- cast in- divisions.
– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health: Has the Commonwealth made a decision on the request of State Health Ministers, notably the New South Wales and Victorian Ministers, for sufficient supplies of Salk anti-polio vaccine to be made available so that private doctors may’ receive supplies, thus widening the avenues for immunization to the’ degree already deemed necessary by many members of the medical profession? If a decision has been made, what quantities of the vaccine- will- be available?
Senate]!’ HENTY.- I do. not. know whether a- final decision- has been, taken; but I do know that the department has been, earnestly, engaged in; increasing, the supply of Salk, vaccine- throughout the Commonwealth. If the; honorable senator will place: the’ question on the notice-paper. It shall- get a’ reply for him as. soon as possible..
– Is, the Minister for Customs, and Excise1 aware, that since books and magazines, have, been exempt from, import licensing there is a’ danger that the; Australian publishing industry may be detrimentally affected1 by the flooding of the Australian: market with- back-dated copies of: American magazines?’
– My attention has been drawn to that possibility - indeed, it is more than a possibility, because other countries of the world’ have had the experience of their markets being flooded with back-dated, magazines. I am having the Australian Industries Preservation Act examined to see whether there is any possibility of. using it in cases of alleged dumping of such magazines; and I am inquiring also whether there is any other appropriate Customs legislation that I could use, should the necessity arise,, to. prevent injury to the Australian public interest.. As for censorship,, Commonwealth procedure in relationto obscene and pornographic literature has never been altered. All this comes under the particular section of the Customs Act which, applies to. magazines of this type.
– It direct a question to’ the Minister representing: the Prime Minister. In the light of the- fact that the Prime: Minister encouraged the- Queensland Government to prepare a more elaborate plan for the reconditioning of the. Mount Isa, to Townsville railway than was originally intended by the State Government; and: in« the; light of the fact that the Country Party and’ Liberal Party Government is Queensland is embarrassed, but claims that Mr. Hiley; the Liberal Treasurer, has the Prime Minister oh a spot, will the Prime Minister provide some tangible financial evidence that he is substantially interested in the railway disabilities of the area which the Townsville to Mount Isa railway serves?
– I do not know what Senator Dittmer means by his reference to the Prime Minister encouraging the Queensland Government or the Mount Isa Company - I am not sure which - to go in for an extended plan, although I know that the Prime Minister has been constantly bending his endeavours to ensure that a really first-class line, with all modern facilities, is provided for the Mount Isa mine. I do not know what is meant by the allegation that Mr. Hiley has the Prime Minister on a spot, but I do know that the Prime Minister and Mr. Nicklin have been working together to achieve the best possible result. I recollect - although I do not recall all the details - that the Prime Minister went to the length of writing a special article for the “ Courier-Mail “, in which he set out his view of the importance of the development of the Mount Isa line, and in which he reviewed the work that had been done by the Queensland Government and the Commonwealth Government in order to obtain the result which is desired, not only by Queenslanders, but by everybody in Australia.
– My question is directed to the Minister for National Development, although it could well ultimately concern his colleague, the Minister for the Interior. Has the Minister seen the announcement in yesterday’s Sydney “ Daily Telegraph “ that the new artificial lake in the Snowy Mountains area, Lake Eucumbene, could become a world-famous fishing resort? In view of the fact that there are in other States of Australia, particularly in Tasmania, fishing resorts of world repute, and as everything should be done in Australia to encourage the development of the tourist industry, will the Minister approach the Minister for the Interior with the suggestion that the News and Information Bureau should prepare a brochure for worldwide distribution, showing the great attractions that Australia has for the tourist who enjoys fishing as a sport? Will the Minister also recommend the inclusion in the brochure of publicity for the deep-sea fishing available off the New South Wales and Tasmanian coasts?
– I was at the Snowy Mountains for a couple of days last week, and I was told in all quarters of the good fishing that is available in Lake Eucumbene. It seems that the catching of a 9 lb. trout is an everyday occurrence. I hasten to add that, needless to say, it did not happen on the day when I was fishing. However, there is no doubt that the work on the Snowy Mountains scheme is providing fishing facilities to a greater extent than was thought possible a couple of years ago. These fishing facilities will add to the attractions of the Snowy Mountains area as a tourist resort. Senator Marriott suggested that a concerted effort should be made to attract additional tourists to Australia, by publicizing the facilities for fishing. I can only say that that is a good suggestion. I should think that in most States there is already some form of publicity or tourist activity, but if the honorable senator will not mind letting me have the opportunity to do so, I shall consider the proposal and see whether it is practicable to give effect to it.
– Can the Minister for Shipping and Transport indicate the amount of shipping that is being built at the present time at Whyalla, in South Australia, and the amount that is being planned to be built there in the future? Is the Commonwealth granting a subsidy for all this shipping, and, if not, for what part is it granting a subsidy? To what extent will the Commonwealth contribute towards the cost of building the ships?
– I should like to have an opportunity to obtain for the honorable senator precise details of the shipbuilding programme at Whyalla before giving him an answer. I am well aware of some of the bigger units that are being built there, of course. Whyalla is forunately placed in that it has the best shipbuilding programme of any yard in Australia. But there are units being built other than the bigger vessels, and I should like to include details of them in the information that I give to the honorable senator. The Commonwealth, of course, continues to assist the shipbuilding industry at Whyalla, as elsewhere, through the payment of a subsidy.
– Further to the question asked by Senator Buttfield, and the reply of the Minister for Customs and Excise that he is examining existing Commonwealth legislation in case it may be necessary to take action to prevent the dumping of cheap publications on the Australian market after the lifting of import regulations, I now ask: Will the Minister examine the action taken by the Government of Great Britain in exactly similar circumstances? I understand that that action included the retention of a barrier against the importation into Great Britain of such publications to the value of less than 3s. 6d. sterling which, on the Australian market, would probably be about 7s. 6d. Will the Minister have a look at the action taken in Great Britain if any decision is to be made in the matter?
– I shall be happy to have a look at that legislation to see whether it would be applicable in any way to Australian conditions.
– On 15th September, I asked the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service a question relative to statistical figures on unemployment in the north-western part of Western Australia. I understand that he now has an answer to the question.
– The Minister for Labour and National Service has supplied the following information: -
The Commonwealth Employment Service has district employment offices at Perth, Fremantle, Midland Junction, Victoria Park, Albany - with an agent at Katanning- Bunbury - with branch offices at Collie and Manjimup and an agent at Bridgetown - Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Northam - with a branch office at Merredin and an agent at Narrogin. These offices serve the whole of Western Australia.
While there is no district employment office north of the 26th parallel, persons wishing to claim unemployment benefit may do so, claim forms being available from all post offices. The current procedure is for persons in the Carnarvon area to forward their completed claims by post to the Geraldton district employment office and for those who reside in areas north of Carnarvon to mail their claims to the Director of Social Services, Perth. Any such claimants are then registered for employment with the Commonwealth Employment Service. These claimants are included in the figures of persons receiving unemployment benefit and registered for employment in Western Australia. I am informed that at 18th September there. was one person residing north of the 26th parallel registered for employment with the Commonwealth Employment Service.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice-
Will the Minister arrange for a statement to be made to the Senate regarding allegations in recent press reports of dissatisfaction in Great Britain concerning Australia’s purchases of military equipment, especially radar?
– The Minister for Defence has now supplied the following answer to the honorable senator’s question: -
The policy of the Government, as stated on several occasions by the Prime Minister, is that equipment used by Australian forces should be standard or compatible as far as possible with that used by United States forces with whom we are associated in defence arrangements.
This policy does not mean that where we have to buy from overseas we automatically buy from the United States. The increasing degree of standardization between Britain and the United States goes a long way towards simplifying this problem. The bulk of equipment purchased overseas by the Royal Australian Navy still remains of United Kingdom origin although a limited quantity of radar and communications equipment in common use in Nato, Seato and Commonwealth Naval Forces has been bought over recent yean from the United States on the grounds of standardization and availability. A considerable proportion of the Australian Army’s imports of military equipment still come from the United Kingdom, the proportion being, in the financial years ! 957-58 and 1958-59, approximately 60 per cent, from the United Kingdom and 40 per cent, from the United States. The Royal Australian Air Force similarly continues to buy a considerable proportion of its equipment from the United Kingdom. The three Services, through their representatives stationed in the United Kingdom, are kept fully informed of British developments in military equipment.
The Air Force decision to buy equipment from America for the Royal Australian Air Force’s radar complex at Darwin was made after a comprehensive study of equipments offered by European and American companies. In fact, the Decca. and Marconi companies in the United Kingdom * ::nt* representatives to Australia for preliminary discussions with the Royal Australian Air Force. The equipment selected was the best of the proven radars available, which satisfied the Royal Australian Air Force’s delivery requirement and had the added advantage that its spares were compatible’ with those of other equipments already in service use. The equipment chosen is well proven, and is the prime radar equipment installed in the North American Air Defence System. .
asked theMinister representing the Ministerfor Labour and National Service, upon notice - 1.Isitafactthatthefederalpresidentofthe ReturnedSailorsSoldiersandAirmen’sImperial LeagueofAustraliahassuggestedthatyoungmen eligibletobecalledupfornationalservicetrain- ing,whoarenotactuallyrequiredforthispur- pose,shouldbecalledupfortrainingincivil defence?
-The Minister for Labour and National Service has supplied the following answers: - 1.I saw a press report to that effect.
Motion (by Senator Spooner) agreedto -
That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn till Wednesday next, at 3 p.m.
Report of Public Works Committee
Debate resumed from 3rd September (vide page 487), on motion by Senator O’Byrne -
That the following report-
Proposed Government Printing Office,Canberra, A.C.T.- be printed.
.- When this report was first tabled Senator O’Byrne moved that it be printed, and some debate immediately followed. I asked Senator O’Byrne whether he would be good enough to obtain for me information on three points. One was whether there had been co-operationbetween the committee and the various State government printing offices, and I made particular reference to the State Government Printing Office in Hobart, Tasmania, which had been enlarged recently and in which had been installed modern machinery to enable it to undertake a great deal of printing for the Commonwealth. I asked whether evidence Trad been taken from the State Government Printer of Tasmania. I hope that Senator O’Byrne will be able to give me the required information.
I take this opportunity to congratulate the committee onits work in considering this proposal.I know the work ofthis committee.It has alwaysbeenof a high standard, land I was very glad indeed to note that after a (thorough investigation ithad decided in favour of a single-story building for theproper flow of work in what is really a printing factory to be erected in Canberra. I note from the report that there was considerable evidence on the point whether thenew building should be a multi-story building or a single-story building spread over a large area of land. I know that mere are a number of multi-story printing offices in Australia, and indeed throughout the world but I believe the main reason for this is that either there is not sufficient land available or whatever land is available in the cities is so valuable that printing establishments, structurally, had to go up. That consideration does not apply in Canberra. In this city plenty of land is available, and by far the most economic method of doing this type of work to-dayis by planning a proper work flow and using every possible means of mechanical handling and automation. That can be done best in a large, one-story building. The work can ‘be planned and completed with far greater efficiency. I commend the committee forcoming down on the side of single-story construction, which I am sure is the most efficient for the purpose.
– I intrude into the debate briefly because I want to emphasize a principle of mine which I feel certain isalso a principle of the Government parties generally. It is a principle of which we ‘Should continually remind ourselves so that we do not forget it or let government departments forget it. It is most appropriate that the Senate should spend some time debating this report on the Government Printing Office, Canberra. Printing is a large, Australiawide industry, in which governments, State and Federal, play an important part, and in which private enterprise also plays a very important part. The printing industry carries a very heavy responsibility in the cultural education of the people and in the matterofinforming the people.
It is appropriate that the Senate should on this day he debating the subject of Government printing,because the35th conference of the Printing and Allied Trades Employers Association of Australia is currently meeting ;in Hobart. The federal president of the .organization, Mr. K. R. Gourlay, a Hobart printer, in his opening presidential address at the conference, ‘made some remarks which are pertinent to ‘the subject on which I am addressing the Senate. Mr. Gourlay protested about the extension of Government printeries into work that should be given to private enterprise. He implied - and I believe it to be true - that governments are tending to let their printeries do work which should be done by private enterprise. He made a comparison with the position in America and England, where governments have, found it more profitable to themselves - which means to the taxpayers - to ;call .tenders .for much (government printing work and to have it done by private enterprise. Any government that can get work done for -the taxpayers more cheaply by calling tenders through private enterprise has a -moral duty to give effect to that system. I hope that Mr. Gourlay ‘s suggestion and criticism will be given fair consideration by this Government.
More and more work that should not be :done by government printers appears to be being done by them. One ‘has -not ito be a member of the ‘Parliament ‘for very long ‘before he realizes the terrific volume of printing -that the Commonwealth Government Printer is called upon (to do. Where :it is all stored afterwards, I cannot think, but a terrific quantity -passes ‘through the hands of each and every member and senator. In my estimation .the quality of the work of the Commonwealth Government Printer cannot be criticized. The printing office here does a remarkably good job. In recent -years it undertook, under great ‘hardship .and difficulties, the -production -of the daily ‘” Hansard “. It really .amazes me ‘how ^speeches .made here up ito 10.30 at might are available in booklet form at 10.30 the following morning >for >us .to read. Every honorable senator can sincerely -congratulate the Government Printer on the work ‘that goes into the production of .our “ Hansard “. My criticism is not directed in .any way at him. It «is mom ‘ in -the .nature of a suggestion to the Government to ensure that it .allows work that -.can be done .by private enterprise to be given to private enterprise, and thus help to promote the efficiency and prosperity of the printing industry, which is so important to Australia.
.- I .rise to participate in this debate on the motion .that the report of the Public Works Committee be .printed. Before I embark on the remarks I want to make, I would like to .underline the statement that has fallen from Senator Marriott, concerning a principle that has given some concern in Tasmania. I am glad .that he has seen fit .to refer .to it here, but as we are considering a .report of the Public Works Committee, I rather prefer to emphasize other aspects of this matter than the actual conduct of the business. Over .the last three or four years, I have been very keenly aware that the- supervision of actual expenditure of capital works by this Parliament leaves something to be desired. There are evident weaknesses, and -each year as expenditure of this ‘sort is approved I feel that we go away wanting in a sense of satisfaction that we “have scrutinized this type of expenditure fully. I have therefore been advocating over some two and a half years now earnest consideration to strengthen the provisions df the Public Works Committee Act, under which this report is submitted.
I shall obtrude at length upon the attention of honorable senators to repeat what, as they will recall, I have said - not on one occasion only - over that period. I remind mem that I made :a very ‘strong plea for the strengthening of this act over .two years ago. I repeated it in 1 May last and asked that it be -:given consideration in the recess. I repeated it in :my speech on the Budget. I just pause to give a reminder on this occasion that I think it is reasonable that we know .whether or not the Government has any ‘proposals “in that -regard before we are asked to pass “judgment upon any bill for the appropriation of moneys for capital works and capital expenditure this year. The time !has now ripened for this Senate to be informed of “the specific proposals involved before we are asked to pass the schedule to an appropriation bill containing provision ‘for public works expenditure. The -next .thing I say with regard to this report is .that -when .1 urge that all public works involving an expenditure of over £100,000 be by law referred to the Public Works Committee, I have no mind that we shall simply accept the Public Works Committee’s report automatically. I rather look forward to the use of its report on each project as the beginning of our information and the basis of our judgment on the expenditure that is proposed. Therefore, I want to say how much 1 am indebted to the committee for the care and consideration that has obviously been given to this project. Nevertheless, this vote will actually come before us in the Schedule to the Appropriation Bill, and I just want on this occasion, so to speak, to give notice so that the members of the committee might be then prepared to justify their recommendation with regard to this proposal in a few very important respects. I say that of course, as my colleagues in the Senate will know, with no disrespect; whenever I level criticism, it is rather a token of respect than otherwise.
The committee’s report reveals that the Government Printer started in Canberra in 1926. furnished with the handsome sum of £16.000 for a building and £30,000 for equipment. There were proposals to build a larger printery just before the depression, but they were dropped because of that depression. We are told by the committee that the shortage of space in the present building and the inadequacy of its equipment mean that the efficiency of the undertaking is being retarded. But, Mr. Deputy President, out of those beginnings blossomed a proposal in 1959 that an undertaking should be authorized by the Parliament which in April last was estimated to cost a total of £2,800,000- £2,800,000 for a Commonwealth Government printery! I think the amount I heard suggested the other day as necessary to finance improvement to the railroad from Townsville to Mount Isa is £20,000,000. I ask honorable senators to compare the two projects from the point ot view of productivity and the actual welfare of the people- I do not by that mean to indicate that if this expenditure can be justified it should not be authorized; but an expenditure of that order, even in the light of 1959 costs, requires very definite justification in this chamber when the relevant appropriation measure is before us.
There are two or three other aspects of the matter. I notice that the committee has referred to the need for the building. It has also considered the appropriateness of the site and the design of the building. In that respect it had the assistance of the Government Printer himself who undertook - I would interpret the report to mean especially for this purpose, an overseas tour to inform himself - it seems to have been a world tour - on all modern developments with regard to the latest production methods. In addition to that, the chief of the preliminary planning section of the Department of Works also inspected various printing establishments abroad during - I would imagine from the purport of this report - a special mission with regard to this undertaking. I hope that we will be informed as to those matters, because overseas visits are not in themselves so intrinsically significant, but they are so attractive as to require eternal vigilance on the part of the people’s representatives to see that they are indulged in, not for pleasure, but for the purpose of obtaining useful information.
I call attention to the fact, as Senator Henty has said, that the new structure is to be a single-story building. My information, having inspected the plan, is that it is proposed to cover an area of no less than ten acres. Well, somebody will be footsore if much travelling is to be done from the northern extremity to the southern, or from the eastern to the western extremity, or even diagonally. I do hope that when faced with an expenditure of £3,000,000 we will be completely satisfied - as I think Senator Henty suggested - that the selected design will provide the appropriate building for this type of industry.
– All the evidence suggested that it will.
– I am not disputing that; but I shall be most indebted to the members of the committee if they will - I am sure they will accede to my invitation - at the appropriate time reinforce with argument the recommendations contained in the report. Then we could go away from this chamber with a sense of satisfaction, knowing that our decision had been based upon fact and judgment.
The other aspect is that the provision of the special roof for this one-story establishment will add £100,000 to the cost of the roof structure. As well as that, £108,000 will be spent on additional provision for air-conditioning, made necessary by the extra heat load associated with the provision of this type of roof to give maximum natural lighting.
– That is very important in that industry.
– I have no reason to think otherwise. The two items total £208,000, which is a considerable sum to pay for a special roof and the additional provision for air-conditioning.
– That fact worried the committee considerably. We recalled witnesses so that we could consider the matter right to the bitter end.
– I am obliged to Senator Maher for that degree of assurance. I notice that a considerable part of the report is devoted to the subject of airconditioning.
– The cost of airconditioning is assuming frightening proportions in relation to the overall cost of Government buildings.
– It is being demanded more and more now as a modern amenity and utility for government buildings. I trust that we will hear a justification in due time. I note that paragraph 64 of the report states - . . the estimated costs included airconditioning £367,000, heating and ventilation £55,000, boiler equipment £28,000, air compressor £4,000 plus contingencies. In addition, the annual charges indicated estimates of £52,000 per annum -
A neat £1,000 a week - for interest and depreciation, attendance and maintenance, electricity and fuel.
That money is to be spent simply to maintain and operate the air-conditioning plant. The report, of course, is in keeping with the attention that one would expect to be given to a matter of this kind by members such as Senator Maher and the worthy chairman of the committee, Mr. Allen Fairhall, whose ability I think we would all acknowledge. I notice that the committee has reported for the information of the Parliament that expert evidence was required by the committee, not once, but on a number of occasions, to justify this expenditure arising from air-conditioning. The committee says that the statistics as to actual operations show that air-conditioning conduces to proper conditions of working. In paragraph 68 - I want to quote this because it is put in a rather emphatic way - the committee says also -
There is little doubt, therefore, that an efficient air-conditioning system will be an economic proposition, notwithstanding the high cost.
In view of the magnitude of the figures that I have stated, 1 trust that when this matter is debated we will hear something about the staff employed in this project, about the receipts and expenditure of the Government Printing Office and about how we are going to finance the greatly increased cost attributable to airconditioning alone. An amount of £52,000 will have to be found for maintenance every year, and the capital cost will exceed half a million pounds. Mr. Allen Fairhall has put his signature to the statement - and he is supported by a committee of this calibre - that there is little doubt that it will be an economic proposition. I am not here to dispute that, but I want to hear it proved before a committee of the Senate when the appropriation is asked for.
The only other thing I wish to say is that I note that the Government Printer has said that, even with this huge capital expenditure, he is saddled with the responsibility of making the whole undertaking pay its way. I understand that the committee had evidence from the Treasury and the Government Printer to satisfy it that there was a reasonable prospect that the project would pay its way. That, too, is an aspect that we should consider at the appropriate time.
Lastly, let me say that I hope that we will hear something from the members of the committee as to the way in which this project is integrated with the general public works construction programme of the Government, which must be kept in relation to the private enterprise development that is taking place at the time. I think it is important to ensure that a programme of public works expenditure on the part of the Government is so planned that the money will be spent most efficiently, having regard to the economic conditions prevailing from year to year. What I mean is that as the building of a government printery has been delayed from 1926 to 1959, it would appear that there is no urgency about completing the building within two years. It is the sort of thing im respect of which six or seven years’ further delay might be inconvenient, and might show a lack of recognition of the value of the Government Printer’s work, but. if the. construction of the building would impose an undue, burden on the budget for expenditure on public works in one year,, it might be better to extend the building time and spread the- expenditure over a longer period. I trust that that aspect of capital works expenditure by the Government is considered, by the committee..
I- express some degree of pleasure that the Senate has noticed one of these reports and has given it preliminary consideration, for the purpose of enabling us to have a real debate on the1 proposal when> aw appropriation for it is sought.
– As one- of the members of the Public Works Committee, I am delighted’ that a report from the committee is being debated in the Senate. I accept the implied challenge from Senator Wright that at the appropriate time, when the Senate is dealing with the appropriation for this project, we should’ discuss the project in more detail. As to the point made by Senator Wright in relation to the overall pattern of the works programme, I think it is proper to say - and I think he will readily appreciate the point when I direct his attention to it - that the Public Works Committee gets a reference from the Minister for an individual job. The committee is called upon to consider only evidence in relation to the job’ that is referred to- it.
– That is why I suggest that the committee should be. authorized to investigate every job. over a. certain period.
– The acceptance of Senator Wright’s proposition would, of course, necessitate a mandatory provision that any capital work over, say, £200,000 - or £100,000, if you wish to make it as low as that - should be investigated by the Public Works Committee. In that way the committee, which is a committee of both Houses of the Parliament, would obtain a clear picture of the public works to be embarked on over a period of years.
Another matter that should be stated and understood, even in a preliminary discussion such as this, is that a. committee of this nature considers evidence submitted to it and comes to its conclusions, on that evidence. I think there is sometimes a. tendency for us to be influenced by our inclinations, or’ our natural reactions. Senator Wright, aw eminent legal man, will appreciate that our report to the Parliament is based on the evidence placed before us; and that we have’ s responsibility to see to it that we get the best evidence that is possible in relation to particular projects. I think it. is. worthy of note that, in connexion with the Government Printing Office,, we took evidence first of all from the Government Printer himself, and also from Mr. Blight, of the New South Wales Government Printing’ Office; Mr. Brooks of the Victorian Government Printing Office; Mr; Hewitt, First Assistant Secretary, Budget and Accounting Branch, Department of the Treasury; Mr. Osborne, Director of Architecture, Department of Works, Melbourne; Mr. Pitt, Acting Chief Structural Engineer, Department of Works, Melbourne; Mr. Rudduck, Associate Commissioner, National Capital Development Commission; Mr. T weddell, a partner in a firm of consultants to the Department of Works; and Mr. Ure-
– We could read all that.
– I have had the harrowing experience many times of having to listen to the honorable senator reading ad nauseam from: a report of the Auditor-General that we had had for six months. The point: I want to- make is that the committee took evidence from expert, witnesses and that its report is based, on that evidence.
– I should think that a most relevant point for any one who was interested would be: Why not take evidence from printers: other than government, printers?
– The proposed1 Government Printing Office is to be built over an area of 10 acres, with a possibleextension over an additional 7 acres, and’ is to be a building costing about £2,800,000. There are very few private printeries of a magnitude comparable to that of government printing offices. That fact came; out in the evidence; given to- the committee. We took particular, evidence from Mr. Blight, for instance,, and: also from. Mc. Arthur, who had been overseas in their capacity- as government printers to study problems experienced’ by- printeries, other than, government printeries, in America, the United Kingdom and* continental countries.. If honorable senators were to read the transcript of the evidence they would see. that those witnesses, made’ it clear that, their difficulty lay in finding printeries, other than at the governmental level, for purposes of comparison. There are few structures that are comparable with government printing, offices, except perhaps in, the United Kingdom and the United States, of America. Certainly, there are none in Australia. We could not. bring forward witnesses who could give us the evidence that we required relative to a private printery that was going to cost about £3,000,000.
Some reference has. been’ made’ to the question of air-conditioning. I want to say, in this, preliminary discussion, that the committee has been most concerned with- this matter of air-conditioning. When we look at the figures and find that air-conditioning runs at between 25 and 30 per cent, of capital cost, it becomes, an almost frightening prospect: in regard to future works programmes.
– And thm you are not sure that it will be worth while.
– We are as sure as. our experts- can be sure that if will be efficient, but air-conditioning is in its infancy. That is one more reason why the committee spent an> extraordinary amount of time im trying to- obtain evidence which would” prove; not only that air-conditioning was necessary, but that it was necessary to have air-conditioning of a specialized type; for instance, a particular type as against a package unit type.
Senator Wright has made a point in regard to the economic aspect of airconditioning. The committee took extensive evidence, which I should like honorable senators to take the opportunity to read, concerning the effect of air-conditioning on the work output of individual workers. Not only did the committee look at the matter from the point of view of the inr dividual,, but it; also, felt that it. was. incumbent on it. to have evidence regarding, the statistical- factors- involved in the effect of air-conditioning, on. the efficiency, of a man or- a woman, worker,, compared, with, the effect of. working under normal conditions. On the evidence, we: find that there, is overwhelming, world experience to. prove that the degree, of efficiency attained by working in. air-conditioned areas makes it an economic proposition, to provide airconditioning; under general. Australian conditions.
As we all know, the Government Printing Office has to employ specialized treatments in- regard- to’ photography- and. printing, which make air. conditioning, an absolute; “ must “, regardless o£ its- effect on- the: individual. It is necessary to achieve, quality of output. When; the Senate is. dealing, with this, matter during, the. Estimates, debate,, those of us who have the- honour, to. serve on the Public Works; Committee will. have, with us. a. copy of the. transcript of evidence so that when particular points, are raised we shall be able to indicate the. specialized evidence that the committee received.
There is one other matter that I want to refer to>, and’ that concerns the site of the proposed Government Printing Office. I mention this, matter because: I know that Senator McCallum and the other members, of the Australian) Capital Territory Committee always are most concerned with, the. future development of Canberra.. The committee took evidence from Mr., Rudduck, of. the National Capital. Development. Commission. Indeed,, he came back twice to give us. particular information that we had sought as, to the effect on the commercial’ development of Canberra of the alienation, of ten acres, with the possibility of additional’ expansion covering another seven acres. The committee satisfied itself on the evidence, as is disclosed’ in its report, that the site for the printery’ is suitable. The committee also satisfied itself that it is proper’ for a printery of this type to be on one level, instead of having a multi-story building, in the interests of work-flow: The need1 for this Government Printing Office is so urgent that the necessary financial arrangements should’ be made for the work to be commenced’ without delay.
– in reply - I appreciate very much indeed the opportunity that the Senate has been given to debate this matter. I wish to thank Senator Wright for his contribution to the debate in relation to the very important principle that is involved in the proper functioning of a statutory parliamentary standing committee. The activities of the Public Works Committee, of which I have the honour to be vicechairman, are very much circumscribed by the absence of a mandatory clause in its terms of reference. We see on the works programme many projects which have not been referred to us. My view has always been that a standing committee of the Parliament should be a watchdog with two functions. First, it should be there to protect the taxpayers’ money. Secondly, it is the last check that the people have on public works expenditure;’, it is the last phase of the cycle - the people, the Parliament, the Public Service, the people. Our Public Service is doing a magnificent job. Its responsibilities are continually widening and, as a consequence, the power that is reposed in it is becoming very extensive. The responsibilities of Ministers are great, and it is impossible for any member of the Cabinet to absorb the infinite detail of departmental administration. With the consequent delegation of authority comes a lessening of that obligation which we expect in a democracy - final responsibility to the people for the actions of the Government.
The great advantage, and purpose, of appointing standing parliamentary committees is that they can re-examine the work of the Public Service - and the decision of the relevant Minister - and report back to their peers in the Parliament who, in the final result, are directly responsible to the taxpayers. That is the true function of standing committees. I regret to say that only two such committees are operating in this democratic Parliament. They are the Public Accounts Committee and the Public Works Committee. The Foreign Affairs Committee has a more specific purpose, and its activities are circumscribed by the need for secrecy. Therefore, from the point of view of public administration, only two of these watchdog committees are functioning. The Public Accounts Committee has the good fortune to be able to choose the matters into which it will inquire. I should like to pay a tribute to that committee, which is doing most important work and, in the process, adding prestige to the committee concept, as part of a democratic Parliament.
I turn now to the position of the Public Works Committee to which, at the discretion of the Minister for Works, certain works projects may be referred for inquiry. The committee tries to draw upon as wide a field of evidence as possible. We have the right to go from place to place and to call upon witnesses to give evidence: if necessary, we may subpoena them. Fortunately, it is never necessary to compel any one to come before us. The committee receives tremendous co-operation in its dealings with the general public and the officers of departments. Every one is eager to proffer evidence that will assist the compilation of our reports to the Parliament. However, I must stress the feeling - always present - that because we may investigate only the special cases referred to us by the Minister we cannot fulfil the functions envisaged in 1914 when the Public Works Committee was set up. Instead, because of this circumscription of our authority, we cannot suggest priorities. Once we have recommended to the Parliament that a work should be undertaken we hear no more of it. We have no right to recall a project for further examination. We have no right to inspect tender prices. If alterations are made we have no right of recall.
– Do you see all the projects into which you inquire?
– Not even in the blueprint stage; we see only the sketch plans. Our function should be to follow a job right through to its conclusion and ensure that the taxpayers get value for their money. Nothing could be more democratic than that, but we are unable to proceed beyond the restricted limits laid down under the act.
As has been mentioned, the Government Printing Office has a long history of congestion, unsuitable conditions and other factors which gave the committee cause to recommend that this project should be proceeded with. Senator Henty asked whether any evidence had been called on the matter of co-operation with State Government Printers. We took comprehensive evidence from Mr. V. C. N. Blight, the Government Printer of New South Wales, and Mr. A. C. Brooks, the
Government Printer of Victoria. Both in discussion and by way of evidence we ascertained that the Commonwealth and State Government Printing Offices cooperated to a very high degree indeed. At present, New South Wales is carrying out, for the Commonwealth, work to the value of £117,000 annually. That is a considerable sum, and evidence of the substantial co-operation that exists between the Commonwealth and the States in this field. I may add that the contact between Mr. A. J. Arthur, the Commonwealth Government Printer, and the State Government Printers, is of a very cordial kind.
Senator Marriott spoke of the Commonwealth Government Printing Office operating in competition with private firms. So much of the Government Printer’s work is of a confidential nature - and associated with Public Service activity - that it should not be farmed out to private printers. The private printing industry is prosperous and expanding. We have seen evidence of that. There has been some criticism of visits overseas by the government printers and others. The information supplied by Mi. Arthur and1 other people who went overseas was of great value in establishing the justification for a building of this magnitude and modernity of design. Mr. Arthur said -
I can best answer your inquiry concerning the advantages of a single-story building compared with a multistoried building by describing some of the plants that have been erected both overseas and in Australia during the post-war period.
First he gave local examples. For instance, Halstead Press Pty. Ltd. has erected a one-floor production structure at Kingsgrove, near Sydney. This company undertakes all the printing for the biggest publishing house in Australia - Angus and Robertson. Mr. Arthur then mentioned W. E. Smith Ltd., one of Sydney’s leading printers, which has built a single-story establishment at Croydon. J. Fielding and Company Limited, carton and box printers, have established a similar building at Kingsgrove, Sydney. Cumberland Newspapers Limited, Deaton and Spencer Proprietary Limited, and Kenmure Press Proprietary Limited, have each erected, near Sydney, buildings with production areas on one floor to obtain a straight-line work flow. In Victoria, Wilkie and Company Limited print the telephone directory and the “ Reader’s Digest “, and this company has recently occupied a single-story building at Clayton. At Hawthorne, the Melbourne “ Herald “ has erected a multi-story building, but the main production areas are concentrated on one large floor.
In England, many printing establishments have the latest straight-line work flow. At Watford, a suburb of London, which is really a city of printers, there are several good examples of straight-line flow. I understand that Watford has a population of from 70,000 to 80,000 and, of that number, some 43,000 people are dependent on the printing industry. At one establishment approximately 9,000,000 coloured magazines were produced each week on two large working floors. That evidence by Mr. Arthur as a result of his overseas visit gave me a wide picture of the needs of a modern printer. With that background, the committee felt more than justified in recommending to Parliament that this particular design be adopted.
– Can you tell us anything about the health of the workers and the prevalence of industrial diseases in the printing industry?
– We heard evidence on that point. It was to the effect that traditionally in the printing industry there has been a tendency for lead to affect the lungs of employees.
– I understand they drink a lot of milk.
– Yes. We made inquiries of other printing establishments and we were told that milk did protect the employees against lead getting into the lungs. We made a point of inquiring at various printing works about the precautions that had been taken. We discovered that the New South Wales Government Printing Office had ‘conducted an extensive investigation into this matter and adopted certain precautions. Since those precautions have been taken, there has not been one case of an employee’s lungs being affected by lead. By introducing modern methods of ventilation, air conditioning, hygiene and eliminating dust, this hazard is avoided. All those necessary precautions will be incorporated in the project at Canberra. Everything will be done to safeguard the health of the employees and to enable them to produce high quality work. We want the quality of our work to be equal to that of work done anywhere else in theworld, and there is no reason why that cannot be achieved.
We also gave careful consideration to the question of lighting. In this we were guided by experience in other parts of the world. We ascertained, for instance, that southern lighting has special properties which help the employee considerably in such operations as matching colours and so on. The evidence was overwhelmingly in favour of adopting a roof design which would permit of the entry of southern light with resultant high-quality work. On the evidence before us, we were convinced that the extra cost of air-conditioning, lighting and so on would be economic in the long run.
It has been stated in the Senate before that the Public Works Committee has been greatly concerned about the high cost of air-conditioning, , a new factor in modern industry. It has been mentioned already that anything from 20 per cent. to 30 per cent. of the total cost of modern buildings is absorbed by the cost of air-conditioning. I repeat that we have given the matter very careful consideration. Here I pay tribute to the work done by Mr. Weiss of the Department of Works who has devoted a tremendous amount of time to research and study in his efforts to help thecommittee. We have had the benefit of the experience of expert engineers and designers of air-conditioning in private enterprise. Because of the work done by Mr. Weiss, I am certain the Public Works Committee is as well informed on airconditioning as any other body in Australia. Mr. Weiss hasbeen most tenacious in his research and study and we have derived great benefit from it Fox instance, through his efforts we have learned that on a hot summer afternoon between the hours of 3 o’clock and 4 o’clock, when the sun is heating through the windows, the work output decreases. Working on the formula of multiplying the days in theyear on which the temperature is oyer a certain height by the amount of waste that occurs through a depreciation of energy, we are of the firm opinion thatair-conditioningis a sound economic proposition.
– Could you give us a few hints about this chamber?
– I think we should ask Mr. Weiss to apply his knowledge to that matter. Ibelieve thatwhen airconditioning was installed in this building the engineers had not the knowledge that is available to-day of the various factors that make for an efficient system.
I was strengthened in presenting this report by the fact that we have had the advantage of help from highly skilled, experienced technical men; and, as a result of our investigations, I am confident that we shall have what Mr. Arthur says is desirable for Canberra. In his evidence, he said -
I am confident we will be able to claim that the ‘building is at least equal, if not superior to, any printing establishment I saw overseas. The design of the new printing office is, in my opinion, in keeping with the prestige of our national capital. The committee should bear in mind that a printing office is primarily an industrial establishment, but I want to see erected in Canberra a building thatis both suitable and dignified. I am also anxious that it should operate as an economicalunit, and for this reasonI have recommended a single floor with a straight line production work flow.
I am satisfied on the evidence we have heard that the project recommended in the committee’s report will achieve what Mr. Arthur says is desirable for this city. I have pleasure in presenting the report, and if honorable senators desire further information, it will be readily available from Mr. Blackman, the secretary of the Public Works Committee, who has done an excellent job.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Debate resumed from 17th September (videpage 648), on motion by Senator Spooner -
That the following paper -
Communist China-Speech by the Minister for External Affairs, 13th August, 1959- be printed.
Development in Laos - Statement by the Acting Minister for External Affairs, dated 17th September, 1959.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. A. D. Reid). - Is there any objection to the adoption of that procedure? There being no dissentient voice, leave is granted.
– When I spoke on the afternoon of 17th September on the subject of the recognition of Communist China, Senator Arnold appeared to doubt the correctness of my statement that 5,000,000 Chinese had been settled in Tibet and that another 400,000 Chinese were being prepared in China for sending to Tibet for a like purpose. I should like to sayfor the benefit of Senator Arnold, who raised the matter by interjection, that I gathered this information from the report On Tibet made by an international commission of juristsin a document issued on 5th June last.This commission of jurists was led by the senior advocate of the Indian Supreme Court, Shri Purshottam Trikamdas. I hesitated to give Senator Arnold the source of my information, because the document hadcome from the Foreign Affairs Committee, and on the spur of the moment I could not make certain whether ornot the document was confidential and whether or not I could release its name. So I merely stated to Senator Arnold that I had the information and that he could rely on its correctness.On inquiry since, I found that thejurists report is available for public circulation. It is entitled, “ The Question of Tibet land the Rule of Law “. At : page 70 of the report appears a statement in these terms made by the Dalai Lama, at Mussoorie, India, on 20th June, 1959-
The ultimate Chinese aim with regard to Tibet, as faras Ican make out, seems to attempt the extermination of religion and culture and even the absorption of the Tibetan race . Besides the civilian and military personnel already in Tibet, 5,000,000 Chinese settlers have arrived in eastern and north-eastern Tso,in additiontowhich 4,000,000 Chinese settlers areplanned to be sent to U and Sung provinces of Central Tibet. Many Tibetans have been deported, thereby resulting in the complete absorption ofthese Tibetans as a race, which is being undertaken by the Chinese.
– WeretheTibetans allowed to preserve their property rights after the Chinese migrants entered Tibet
– No, they were not. The Tibetans have been very badly treated, indeed. There have been imprisonments and deportations, and a vast slaughter of Tibetans. The complete report, which is most interesting, including what the Dalai
Lama said, indicates clearly that Tibet is now a Chinese province and that the Tibetans are being absorbed into the Chinese bloodstream.
– You are basing your statement on what the Dalai Lama said?
– I base it on what is contained in this report of the international jurists, who obtained that information from the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is a man of very high standard. He is a cultured, highly educated person of great religious sentiment and spirituality. I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the statement made by him. He was in Tibet himself at the time and he had in Tibet intelligence men who knew what was proceeding. I have no doubt that what he said was quite correct. It accords with all the information , about the severity of the Chinese occupation of Tibet, as reported in the Australian press from time to time. The immigration of 5,000,000 Chinese settlers into Tibetis not really remarkable, when viewed against the pressures of a Chinese population of approximately 650,000,000 and the fact that Chinese troops and political commissarshave been in Tibet since . 1950 and havethus had eight or nine years in which toorganize the mass migration of 5,000,000 Chinese settlers into Tibet and the absorption of another 4,000,000 Chinese.
In view of the Communist Chinese oppression, imprisonment, slaughter and deportation of Tibetans, and the fact of the complete military conquest of Tibet, it is beyond my understanding how the Australian Labour Party policy, as determined at the Hobart conference andre-affirmed at the Brisbane conference in 1957, can possibly favour Australian recognition of the ruthlessaggressor, namelyCommunist China.
There is another aspect of theurge for recognition which is not generally considered bythe Australian Labour Party or by pressure groups in this country. Peking isnot worried one scrap about nonrecogniti on of the Communist regime in China by this or any othercountry. Peking shows about the same measure of concern over non-recognitionas a jungle elephant would show over the presence of a flea on its ear. Indeed, some countries which have recognized Communist China have not qualified for diplomatic relations. Let us mark the distinction. Peking, far from calling out to the world for official recognition, is prepared to have recognition only on the terms that Peking lays down. One of its requirements for diplomatic exchanges is that the applicant countries break off diplomatic relations with the Nationalist Chinese Government in Formosa. This requirement has been in force since 1949 and has been repeatedly and authoritatively re-asserted from time to time. To be properly effective, recognition of Communist China must be coupled with diplomatic representation. This can be obtained only on Peking’s own terms, which require the rejection of our friendship with and loyalty to the Government of Formosa. If Australia did anything as base as that, our friendship and goodwill with the United States of America and free Asian countries would come to an abrupt end.
Another important point, which must not be lost sight of, is that the United States is committed by treaty obligations to defend Formosa. If Formosa is attacked by mainland China, the United States is bound by solemn treaty requirements to come to the aid of Formosa. If we were to step in, as fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and recognize Communist China at the expense of dropping our good friends in Formosa, an awkward situation could develop between us and our powerful friends in the United States of America, to whom we must look for support and help if Communist China ever decided on a thrust against us. It is not difficult to envisage the immense difficulties that would arise between Australia and the United States through such a breach of policy and of the understanding between the two countries.
When I was speaking on1’ this subject earlier in the month, Senator Cooke, by way of interjection, asked what Great Britain’s position was. The British Government certainly recognized red China in 1950, but the Chinese Communists refused to exchange ambassadors with Great Britain. Instead, Great Britain has been represented there since 1950 by a charge d’affaires.
– How does that affect Great Britain’s relations with the United States of America?
– Great Britain’s position is entirely different from ours. Great Britain is not completely dependent on the United States for support, nor is Great Britain located anywhere near Communist China’s sphere of influence. As Communist China’s military power extends and as it looks around for some place in which to settle its enormous population, we in these waters must rely on the strength of the United States. We cannot afford to adopt a policy that will put us in bad favour with our good friends in the United States. Great Britain is far removed from the Chinese geographical area and is in an entirely different position.
Great Britain’s main purpose in recognizing the Communist régime in China was the hope - a rather dim hope - that it might recover assets valued at more than £300,000,000 which were confiscated by the Communist Government. Great Britain’s intention was good, but the object was not achieved. Great Britain did not recover any of the £300,000,000 of assets in Communist China. Although Great Britain has recognized Communist China and has placed a charge d’affaires in Peking, it has fared no better than has Australia in trade and other matters. Trade with China is meagre, but there is some between Australia and mainland China. The figures that are available reveal that our exports last year amounted to approximately £13,000,000.
– Is not that recognition?
– Not at all. You can trade with people without recognizing them at the official or diplomatic level.
– Do you know whether those figures include exports to Hong Kong, or are they kept separately?
– I cannot dissect them. I understand that the figures relate to trade with mainland China, but I am not sufficiently informed to be able to dissect them and say where the exports went. However, mainland China is officially given the credit for having purchased from Australia goods to the value of £13,000,000. In the Australian experience and in world experience, the Chinese Communists will buy what they want, within the limitations of their foreign exchange, from any country, provided that they get the goods at competitive prices. The Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) recently said -
The experience of diplomatic missions in Peking, some representing greater military and economic strength than Australia, suggests that contact with the governing authorities in any but the most formal sense does not appear to exist at present at Peking.
In other words, no matter how powerful the country, the Peking Government in effect ignores its very existence. Contact between the Peking Government and the great countries of the world who have recognized red China even at the ambassadorial level is, as Mr. Casey said, only of the most formal character. For all practical purposes, their presence is not discerned by the Peking authorities. It is clear from what I have said, and from what Mr. Casey has said, that the Peking Government is not worried one scrap about lack of recognition by Australia. That being so, why should we worry about the recognition of Communist China?
There is one further point against the official recognition of red China. Red China has set up a great number of agricultural communes throughout the country. A visiting sociologist from India recently described them as -
Worse than a zoo and more terrifying than all the hells put together.
I note that the Communist regime has now become tremendously worried about the failure of the system of communes and is trying to work out some betterment of the wretched plight in which millions of Chinese nationals are placed by the operation of this frightful system. Another reason against recognition lies in the systematic and determined persecution of Christian churchmen and missionaries throughout China. Everybody has read of that and has a proper understanding of it, and there is no need for me to give details. The bad behaviour of Communist China does not entitle it to be recognized by this country.
Information released by Peking refutes the idea that the Communists are one happy family and one big united body on the Chinese mainland. The accumulated evidence makes it clear that this is not so. When Mao Tse-tung decided to allow criticism in a campaign in which he said “Let a hundred flowers bloom “, he was shocked when he uncovered strong opposition to Communist rule all over China, and stern action was taken to crush the manifestation of freedom by severe rectification and antirightist drives in the best Communist fashion. For those who had the courage to criticize the regime the “ hundred flowers” soon withered.
There have been wide-spread antiCommunist student demonstrations. Tens of thousands of intellectuals have been transferred from urban areas to farms. There is a constant stream of refugees from the Chinese mainland to Hong Kong and to Portuguese Macao, and a few get across to Formosa at great peril to their lives. The Minister for Justice at Peking, Shiah Liang, said some time ago that - the people’s Courts had dealt with 364,604 counter revolutionary cases over a period ot eighteen months.
The odds would be heavily against the survival of anybody described as a counterrevolutionary in Communist China, so I would say that the incinerators would have been kept very busy disposing of the poor fellows who had the courage to resist.
I want to make it clear in dealing with the Communist regime in China that I recognize there is a wide gap - a tremendous gap - between the friendly and industrious people of China - the hardworking Chinese people - and the ruling Communist clique. Less than 2 per cent, of the total population of China which, as I mentioned a while ago, is about 650,000,000 people - are members of the Communist Party. This overwhelming majority of the Chinese people have no voice whatsoever in public affairs.
– They never did have, of course.
– They certainly did have, in past days, to a far greater extent than is the case to-day. Failure to obey the orders of a very few fanatical, international Communists at the top, who rule red China, means imprisonment or death. Indeed, to tens of thousands of Chinese people, death is far preferable to living under this stern and tyrannical rule.
At this point lies the great challenge of our time - freedom or slavery. If the world came under full Communist control, a few powerful men: - bloodthirsty despots - having, total control of power weapons could hold, hundreds, of millions of people all over the world in subjection as complete and absolute as that which the Pharaohs exercised over the slaves who built the pyramids..
Is there any escape for the human race from such horrors? Is there any hope of the Chinese mainland masses throwing off the terrible grip of Communist enslavement? Euripides, an- Athenian poet who flourished about five centuries B.C., declared in that far-off time1 -
A slave is a man who has lost his liberty of thought or’ opinion.
Euripides made that assertion a fong time ago, but the principle has never changed and that definition is as true to-day as when Euripides gave it. On this very true assessment, every person in Communist China except those in the top echelon is a slave. Some day, no- doubt, the worm will’ turn and the enslaved peoples will overthrow and destroy their leaders.
I get some hope, Sir, from the story of the brazen bull of: Carthage. This- contrivance was a furnace made of brass and shaped like a bull. King Phalaris was the Carthaginian tyrant of the period. He purchased’ the bull from a Greek who had designed the fearsome thing. The king used to put his political opponents and all who displeased him inside the bull. A. fire was lit underneath. The bull’s, throat was so fluted that the shrieks and the groans of the unfortunate victims made the bull bellow as though it were alive. King. Phalaris made the first experiment on. the Greek designer, and, the last experiment was made by the people of Carthage on King Phalaris himself. So there is hope that sooner or later the people of China will1 find ways and means of throwing off the yoke which burdens them, and which could be called the brazen bull of communism.
There is no reasonable doubt that the basic foreign” policy aims- of the Chinese Communists are not: reconcilable with our own. We in this1 country seek free, friendly governments in the Pacific and throughout Asia. The- Chinese Communists want to- overthrow such governments’ in order to dominate the whole- Pacific and Asian- areas. It is rather odd and, indeed, most disturbing that at this point of time when Soviet Russia is calling out for peace - a most welcome happening in a torn and divided world: - Russia’s ally, Communist China,, is engaging in desperate military ventures and stirring: revolt in Asian countries. The Chinese- reds convey the impression by their bellicosity that they are spoiling for a fight with India. Even such a mild man of peace and measured words as Mr. Nehru said, during the week,, as reported in the “ Sydney Morning Herald “ of 14th September -
What we face to-day is a great and powerful nation’ which is an: aggressor.
In the Brisbane “ Courier-Mail “ of yesterday, the following report appeared:1 -
New Delhi, September 28th. (A.A.P.>- The Indian Prime Minister (Mr. Nehru)’ today called on the Indian- people to give- up bickerings and internal strife and! stand: united1 in the face ot a serious, threat from “‘a big country “ across, the frontier..
It is very clear that India, is beginning’ to feel the pressure of the massive strength of China. It is beginning to stand in fear of what could’ happen along its own borders.
I want to say,, in. conclusion,, that on. the weight of evidence, Australian recognition of red China is right out. of. the question. World-wide recognition of Communist China, incorporating a seat in the United Nations, lies in the hand’s of nobody but the Communist leaders of China. This matter will be decided in> time by their attitude to their neighbours and to the rest of the world.
Senator McMANUS’ (Victoria) [4.48J.:- I want to begin my discussion of these vital issues affecting. Australia’s future by saying that I deplore the increasing tendency in our own country to-day to accept expediency as the measuring rod of our international obligations. I regret that more- valid arguments are not put forward for supporting certain types of summit talks - I emphasize “ certain types “ - and for supporting, the principles of co-existence and the suggestion that we should recognize certain regimes. I regret: tha* better reasons are- not put forward to-day- than- reasons of pure expediency associated! only with our personal safety or our personal profit? through trade. If we are going to make decisions: on foreign affairs,, we: should do> so. on principles and not on. expediency:
Before considering the reasons I propose to advance for making that statement, I want to say that I agree with Senator Toohey’s contention that it is not right to suggest that any person who supports recognition of Communist China is a Communist. I know a number of people who are not Communists - people in this Senate for example - who have supported recognition of Communist China. But I would say to Senator Toohey that it is equally wrong for many people outside this chamber to accuse people who oppose recognition of Communist China of being irresponsible fanatics, fascists or warmongers.
We get that kind of talk particularly from leading figures in the so-called peace congress which is being organized in this country and which is to take place within the next month or two. Everybody knows that one of the reasons for the organization of this congress is, not to advance the cause of peace, but rather to see that a .substantial body of people who may be genuinely in favour of peace will be marshalled ‘behind certain decisions which are in accord with the foreign policy of the Communist Party. My objection to the people who run these peace congresses is that they say, “ This is my way of bringing about peace; if you do not accept my way of bringing about peace, you are against peace and you ‘are a warmonger “.. I think that attitude is just as objectionable as the attitude to which Senator Toohey referred.
We had a prime example <of the attitude of these so-called peace-lovers the other night in the Victorian city of Bendigo. Most of ‘‘those in this ‘Chamber who ‘are associated with the Australian Labour Party know that for years the Labour Party saw behind the organization ‘of these congresses and banned them as Communistsponsored organizations. A different decision has now been made, and m Victoria the A.LJ. has endorsed -the congress to which 1 have referred. In Bendigo the other ‘night, a meeting was held under the auspices of the A.L.’P. ft was ‘addressed by the ‘Rev. F. Hartley- one of the ‘leading figures in the organization of the peace congress - and by “Mr. ‘Tripovich, : th (secretary of the Victorian branch of the A.L/P. Apparently the Labourites of Bendigo stayed /away from the ‘meeting in ‘large numbers. Apparently’ they pre ferred the decision of the old Labour Party to the decision of the new Labour Party. However, what interested me was a report, in headlines, of a statement made by the Rev. F. Hartley about members of the Labour Party who exercised their undoubted right to stay away from such a meeting if they -wanted to. This is what was reported in a newspaper - “I am not a betting man, but I would like to bet that a lot .more people would have been here to-night but for the fact that they were frightened of being * tagged .’ They are a lot of dingoes “, Rev. F. Hartley stated at a public meeting last night.
– No. That is a remarkable statement from a man who claims he is organizing peace.
I turn now to the question of the recognition of red China. We must admit that any decision on that subject which is made in this country should be made on the basis of principles, not of expediency. The decision should not be made on the basis that we will profit by trade with the country we recognize, or on the basis that such a decision, although leading to our abandoning a large section of the world now under Communist dictatorship, may provide for our own ‘future safety. After all, there are principles of international law. There is a well-worked-out -code of international law and Australian governments of all political colours have repeatedly ‘made decisions on foreign affairs on ‘the basis of that international ‘code <of relationships between nations.
The present Government recently declared that in re-opening ‘the Soviet Embassy in this country, it proceeded in accordance wim the principles of International law. It said that even when the members of the Russian Embassy departed from Australia after the Petrov incident, our recognition of the Russian Government still existed, in ‘spite of the fact that it had no physical representatives “here. The Government justified ‘the re-opening of the Russian Embassy ‘on the basis that recognition had never been withdrawn in accordance with the principles of international law. If governments - Labour and ‘non-Labour - have -always made -such decisions in accordance -mim international law what .are me bases upon which we should make our decision?
I am indebted to Mr. W. Dean, a lecturer in international law at the Sydney University, for setting out three principles for the making of such decisions which have acceptance throughout the world. First of all, the government to be recognized must exercise effective control and must be able to ensure stability. It must be able to keep order. It must be independent of outside control, and it must be reasonably permanent. Most people would say that probably the red Chinese Government would qualify under that heading. The second rule for determining whether recognition should be accorded is that the government concerned must aim to achieve the common welfare, and must guarantee to the people within its borders fundamental rights and liberties. Most people would say that the Government of Communist China does not qualify in that respect. Thirdly, to qualify for recognition a government must show that it is willing to abide by international law on all issues, and it must have a record which indicates that it proposes to discharge its international obligations. Most people would agree that Communist China has never at any time suggested that it is prepared to accept that obligation. Those are the rules, and governments in this country have always said that they abided by them. I fail to see why those rules should be discarded for reasons of expediency.
We remember that some years ago the present Government decided that it was expedient that the Communist Party should be banned. The Labour Party adopted the attitude that it was contrary to human rights that that action should be taken. It said that in opposing the ban it was making a stand for principle as against expediency. I would point out that those principles of international law to which I have referred were affirmed by the present Leader of the Opposition in another place as long ago as 1 949. In discussing the recognition of Communist China, he made the statement that the Communist Government of China could not be recognized. I will quote what I understand were his actual words. He said -
The Communist Government of China could not be recognized in the absence of specific assurances that the territorial integrity of neighbouring countries, notably Hong Kong, would be respected, and that new China would discharge all her international obligations.
At that stage at any rate, the Leader of the Opposition was in accord with the principles of international law to which I have already referred.
Let us examine the record of Communist China, particularly from the point of view of the principle that a government seeking recognition must show willingness to abide by international law. If we look at the record of Communist China we find that during the Communist regime there have been continual attacks on the shipping of foreign countries along the Chinese coast. We find that there has been confiscation, on a considerable scale, of property belonging to overseas nationals, and there has been a complete refusal to afford any compensation. We find that Communist China, while seeking admission to the United Nations, has defied and fought against the troops of the United Nations in Korea. She has violated the frontiers of Burma, India and Pakistan, and she has deprived the people of Tibet of their ordinary human right to liberty. She has denied the usual rights accorded to foreigners under international law, particularly to missionaries. We find that in the case of Formosa, she has adopted the attitude that she will refuse to establish ordinary diplomatic relations with other countries unless her rights are recognized to a country over which she has exercised no effective rule at all.
When we have a country which defies international law, which disregards the principles of international law and refuses to accept any of the obligations that other countries which we recognize accept, are we, for reasons of expediency alone, for reasons of personal safety, for reasons of money-making by selling wool, steel or other commodities, to turn our back on the principles of law and accept expediency? To those who say, “ We are prepared to do this because it might bring peace “, let me say that the same thing was done twenty years ago at Munich. There were summit talks then; principles were disregarded for reasons of expediency, but the Munich agreement did not bring peace. It brought war, in the same way that disregarded principles and acceptance of expediency will bring war in these present circumstances.
We have been told that, after all, in advocating recognition of red China the Opposition is tuning in with Great Britain. I do not think we can suggest that it would be a very laudable thing if we recognized red China for the same reasons that Great Britain has recognized that country. The late Mr. Chifley, in speaking of recognition of red China, had this to say -
The Australian Government has announced that it is not prepared to recognize that administration and I can understand there are many reasons tor its decision. The United Kingdom has recognized the Communist Government for the real reason that British capital amounting to £300,000,000 is invested in China and investors want some authority to which they can make representations or to which representations can be made on thenbehalf.
As Mr. Chifley said, the reason for British recognition of red China was a sordid trade reason. I hope that if we are going to make our international decisions we will make them upon a higher principle than that.
I also point out that the leading British authority on international relations, at the time that recognition was accorded by Great Britain, said that it was the first time in 150 years that a Government of Great Britain had, for reasons of expediency, turned its back on principles of international law. 1 am not going to be too captious in regard to Great Britain for her decision. She had just fought a great war. She had expended her financial reserves. She was in a serious economic state, and the pressure from the people who owned property in red China must have been tremendous. But I do blame the British for their lack of nous, of knowledge of the world, and for thinking that it would be possible, in the case of a Communist regime, to prevent the confiscation of those vast industrial undertakings.
Honorable senators know what happened. Britain recognized red China, and immediately her diplomatic representatives were treated with contempt. There was a refusal to accept full ambassadorship, and the British representative was accorded a kind of grudging recognition. There were three classes of diplomatic representation in China in those days, and the British representative was put by Communist China in the lowest class. The property of people of his country was confiscated to the extent of millions of pounds, and protests were contemptuously rejected.
I can understand why Mr. Macmillan, when he recently spoke to Mr. Kishi, the Premier of Japan, told him, as Mr. Kishi later told the Japanese Parliament, that after Britain’s experience he could not see any reason why Japan should recognize red China. I also heard what was said by Mr. Diefenbaker, the Prime Minister of Canada, who was represented in the press of many countries months ago as being a supporter of the so-called liberal .policy - I mean liberal, not in the sense of the present government, but in relation to the recognition of red China. I heard Mr. Diefenbaker, after a tour of the East and having learned what was going on there, say exactly the opposite to a very large gathering in Melbourne. I say, therefore, that the arguments that are put forward at the present time for recognition of red China are arguments of pure expediency and that if we stand on principles we will not accept such recognition.
Even on the question of trade, everybody knows that the alleged advantages are much exaggerated. When an Australian ship went to the East to examine trade potentialities there, I heard a representative of the dairying industry, in a television interview in Melbourne, say that there were no possibilities for dairying trade with China. Trade has gone on through Hong Kong. The Communists are supreme realists. They do not make trade dependent on diplomatic recognition. They trade with you if it is to their advantage to do so. They will use trade against you as an economic weapon if they think that by doing so they can destroy your institutions. The only thing on which the Communists will base a decision as to whether or not they will trade is the question of whether it will be to their advantage. Trade is going on through Hong Kong, as I have said. The suggestion that there are big trade opportunities in red China is simply additional to the other arguments of expediency which have been put forward to cloud this issue.
I regret to say that in this country there are some people who are falling for the trade argument. We have had a secret delegation from red China here for months. The press had the greatest of difficulty even in finding out where the delegation was located, and when the pressmen did find out they were told there was no comment. I asked a question in the press as to what this delegation was doing here and why it was so secret,, and an anonymous representative of the Department of Trade stated that it. was here in. the same way as a trade delegation from any other country would be here-. The anonymous’ representative of the Department of Trade concerned must be supremely unintelligent or he must, have a very peculiar sense, of humour.. Fancy imagining, that a trade delegation or any other delegation from a Communist country would be similar to a trade delegation from a country where private enterprise reigned!
That delegation has been here for months endeavouring to line up Australian firms to make contracts for trade with red China. Glowing prospects have been dangled under the noses of Australian businessmen, but there has always been the suggestion - -“‘But, of course, you would have, to get your government to recognize our regime”.. Businessmen, many of them in leading positions, who become purple at the mention of communism in Australia, have been quite prepared to put. pressure on the Australian Government to recognize red China, because they thought they could make profits if that were done.
We saw the same thing happen in reference to Japan. A Communist trade delegation went there and made contracts with hundreds of Japanese firms. As honorable senators are aware, Japan is in desperate need of trade. When many of the manufacturers had entered into commitments for machinery, and had1 gone to considerable expense to fulfil contracts, the Japanese were told that the’ arrangement could not be proceeded with unless a government favorable to red China, and to the Communist orbit was elected. When the people of Japan failed to elect such a government the trade commitments were broken ofT. Immense l’oss was suffered by Japanese firms and red China showed, as she has shown in Malaya,, Burma and other countries, that to her trade is an economic and political, weapon which she will use to advance her interests without regard to those of the countries with whom she negotiates.
If similar contracts are signed by Australian business men, who hate communism at home but are prepared to take its money abroad, trade relations will be cut, off thevery moment that red China thinks she can do most damage to our. economy.
To suggest, as do some people, that there is a big argument in favour of recognition of red China is very wrong indeed. We all know of the propaganda that is disseminated.. We all know about the delegations that are invited to go to red China. I have been amazed at the actions of some fierce anti-communists in the New South Wales trade union movement whose anticommunism suffered a change when they were offered a free trip to shake hands with Mao Tse-tung. When I read their glowing accounts of red China - written after being there a fortnight - I recalled what Herbert Morrison,, the Deputy Leader, of the British Labour Party, had said when a delegation returned after seven or eight days in red China and made glowing statements about that country. He said, “They ought to write a book called, ‘ How I learned everything about 600,000,000 people in eight days’”. I read of another Australian trade union leader who came back to this: country and said that in red China there was complete religious freedom. While, be was there he was ill and was treated in a hospital which,, though erected and paid: for by Catholic nuns, was confiscated from them without any compensation whatever - they were driven out of the countryHaving been, treated in such a hospital he came back and. told of the complete’ religious’ freedom which, existed.. I hope that we shall not: sell our. principles for cash1.. I. hope that we shall not sell out for a. free, trip abroad. I hope: that we: shall make decisions on the basis of principle, rather than expediency.
There are other relevant’ aspects, many of which have been dealt with very well1 indeed1, by Senator Maher. I should like to compliment the honorable senator on his excellent speech. If cannot be denied that through Seato we have attempted to set up at least a defence line. If we are to breakthat line it will’ not’ be to our ultimate advantage. There is also the argument that if we recognize red China it will1 be asignal to those countries in Asia which still stand on the democratic side that red1 China is going, to win; that they had better sell out and make their peace while there is. yet time. One can see already, the next stage of. the Communist plan. The Soviet Union is encouraging, red China to advance southward - to Pakistan, to India. It is doing that for one reason. The red Chinese might otherwise- turn their eyes to the almost: empty lands’ of southern Siberia.. We would) be foolish! to falk into the trapsinherent: in- the Communist: policy of to-day..
I regret that the Government has not had the courage to settle the problem of Formosa, or Taiwan, in the way that it ought, to be settled’. Why does the Governmentaccept’ an ambassador from Formosa, yet make no arrangements for Australian diplomatic representation in that country? If we take a Formosan representative here, is that not recognition” of the regime in Formosa? We say that the Russians can come here, go away and come back’ again. Ifr their case recognition persists. By the same token, if Formosa is to be- permitted to send, an ambassador here: we should stand up to our acceptance of him and send: an. Australian, representative back to his country. Why do Australian Ministers who. go to the East avoid Formosa as if there were a plague there? Australian Ministers go to Japan, Hongkong, the Philippines,. Burma, Indonesia, Siam and’ so on. Why do they not go. to Formosa?’ The. Government, in not providing diplomatic representation in Formosa, and apparently preventing. Ministers from visiting, that country, is running away from a decision that it. should have made long’ ago. I hope- that in future it will show more courage than it has for a considerable- time past in its attitude to Formosa. If Australia were represented in that country it would have a good effect in the East generally.
In closing, I would’ say that I am as much in favour of peace as any one, but I do not believe that there is one honorable senator, who wants peace at any price. I am amazed sometimes when people who proclaim their devotion to the cause of peace suggest that unless- you- accept their way of bringing it about you are a warmonger: They talk of co-existence. They say,. “ We will- co-exist with Khrushchev,; with the Soviet Union “. What does co-existence- mean? It. means that, you sacrifice the people, of Latvia-, Lithuania, Estonia,. East Germany,. Hungary, Tibet, and,, i£ necessary,. India- and Viet Nam- you. sacrifice: the. lot if. you can in. that way save your. own. skin.. I do not believe that the seeds of peace are. to be. sown by abandoning, people,, many of whom fought with. us. in the. last war,, to the rule of dictatorial communism. I do not believe that you will get. peace by sacrificing countries in the. way that Hungary was sacrificed. You. do not. get. peace that way - any more than you got it. when you sacrificed Czechoslovakia in the First. World War. Therefore, I doubt both, the sincerity and. realism of many of. these, people. If you read the. statements made by Communist, leaders for internal consumption in. their own countries. - in the higher ranks of the Red Army, in Red Army training schools and in government circles generally - you. find that they do not talk of co-existence.. That is merely something to gull us along while they nibble bit by bit at. what is left of the democratic world. When they are talking to. their own people they say what. Khrushchev was. so. unwise as to say openly on one occasion, “We will bury you”. The clear intention, of the people who govern international communism’ to-clay in the ‘ Soviet. Union and in China is to bury democracy, and create the world Communist State. That is what their leaders, have said: as long as there has been, communism. If the members of the Labour Party do: not believe that, they are allowing themselves- to be gulled- into a false sense of security. Many men, on. the. Opposition side have had experience of the Communists and their problems in: the political and trade union worlds. We know that the Communists have said that they love the Labour Party and that they want to have a united front with the Labour Party; but many members’ of the Labour Party have voted against the Communists because they never believed the Communists loved the Labour Party or that they really wanted’ a united front with it. The policy of the Communists always has been to split and destroy the Labour Party.
– Like the D.L.P.
– You would not know or understand; you were a little bit outside it: I was inside it, and I saw a great deal more than you ever saw.
Say what we like about international affairs, it. seems to me that if you stick to principles you always come out better than if you give your principles away or sell them, whether it is1 for’ trade, personal safety or anything else-.
Let me conclude by paying tribute, to. the late. John Foster Dulles.. He, had the great quality of being firm. He realized that if you stood up to these people you did better than if you gave way in front of them. The second great quality John Foster Dulles had was that he never left people in doubt as to what he believed and what he was going to do. We have been told that wars have been caused because some people really did not understand what the leaders of other countries meant, or what they were going to do. He always made his position clear, and I think this world is a lot poorer for his passing.
– I must begin by agreeing with the last sentiment uttered by Senator McManus. It was my great privilege once to meet the late Mr. John Foster Dulles. No man has -ever had so much detraction, and few statesmen have ever achieved such universal respect through devotion to duty.
I am unfortunate, in a way, in following Senator McManus because I agree with the greater part of what he said; but I must assure the Senate that there has been no collaboration between us. We are not speaking from the same brief; each of us has come to our conclusions in our own way. I base whatever opinions I express on the most careful and searching inquiry that I can make into such evidence as is obtainable.
I might begin by answering an interjection from, I think Senator Arnold, who asked a previous speaker, “ Do you accept the word of the Dalai Llama? “ I never accept the word of any interested witness. I base my conclusions, as far’ as I can, on people who are capable of assessing evidence and drawing conclusions. The document Senator Maher cited - “ The Question of Tibet and the Rule of Law “ - is issued by an international authority. It is issued by the International Commission of Jurists, a non-governmental organization which has only consultative status. It sent a special mission to inquire into Tibet. I shall assess its value on two names which are known to me. The first is Sir Owen Dixon, pur own Chief Justice who, in the opinion of the present Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, is one of the greatest jurists alive to-day and one of the greatest who has ever lived. The second is Lord Shawcross, formerly Sir Hartley Shawcross, who was a member of the Attlee Ministry, and who was, and probably still is, a member of the Labour Party.
We have been given a fairly large charter because there are three documents which we can discuss. I am often accused of being too discursive, of wandering to Northern Africa when I should be settling down in Singapore, or somewhere else; but to-day I intend to stick as strictly as I can to one theme - the recognition of Communist China. I state my conclusions as modestly and as moderately as I can and simply say that I am firmly convinced this is not the time for recognition. Whether recognition can ever come, I leave to the Senate to decide from what 1 shall say later. I am firmly convinced thai this is not the time for grasping the hand of the despot who rules Communist China.
Recognition and admission to the United Nations, which is much more important, are not exactly the same. That is obvious. It has been stated that recognition would not mean that Communist China would be admitted to the United Nations. But the two questions are interwoven and, I think, inseparably intermixed. If we recognized Communist China it would be a step towards her admission to the United Nations. If she made many such steps, if she gained universal recognition, I think that ultimately she would be admitted. And remember, that means not only admitting Communist China but also excluding what is called the Republic of China. Some call it Formosa; others call it Taiwan. But it is an independent power of 10,000,000 people, and it is an independent power with which we are on friendly terms although Senator McManus has hinted that those relations are not quite satisfactory. It is a power that I am sure our Government is not prepared - certainly I am not - to sacrifice on the ground of expediency.
Therefore, I begin by saying what recognition means. Most of us remember the formation of the United Nations in, I think, 1945, at San Francisco. I remind honorable senators that we were represented at that conference by the then Minister for External Affairs, the Right Honorable Dr. H. V. Evatt. He, with the full consent, I take it, of his party, and certainly, I think, with the goodwill of virtually everybody in Australia, in particular the parties in these Houses, accepted and took some part in framing its charter. One thing that was decided was that the United Nations would not necessarily include all the nations in the world. It was a kind of club of free peoples’, a club of peoples to prevent war. And it was determined and agreed to by everybody, including Soviet Russia, that there should be a stern test of membership. In order to prove that, I shall read certain parts of Article 1 and Article 4 of the charter. Lest it be argued that I have picked out words to suit my purpose and that the words before or behind what I quote might alter its meaning, I point out that I have the charter with me and it is available for any honorable senator to read. Article 1 of the United Nations Charter says -
The Purposes of the United Nations are: -
To maintain international peace and security, and to that end, to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace.
Article 4 reads -
Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving States- that is all States not included at the beginning - which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.
So the United Nations was a select body to begin with, selected on the principle that it included only nations that wished to keep the peace and prevent aggression. The original members had the right that members of a club have, to black-ball any outside nation which was seeking admission, but which did not qualify. The question I ask. and which I hope to be able to answer, is: Does Communist China qualify? I am sure that it does not. It has a record of some nine years, and this is what has happened in those nine years. In February, 1950, which was, I think, just a month or two after the Communist regime had been established in Peiping - I am afraid I shall fall into the habit of calling it Peking, as it is the same place - the Communist Chinese asked that the peoples of South-East Asia overthrow their governments and offered them help. Is that the action of a peace- loving people? Remember that some of those governments still exist. Some, by peaceful transformation, have given way to others.
That year the Communist Chinese invaded Tibet. Is that the action of a peace-loving people? That year it invaded Korea. Is that the action of a peace-loving nation? I remember the reaction of this Parliament to the invasion of Korea, and I think most of those present here remember it.You will remember that we were all summoned for a session of one day only, the only time that has happened, to my recollection, in the history of this Parliament. I know of no expression of dissent made by any member in the other place or in this chamber. I know that the action Parliament took to declare that an act of aggression had been committed and that China was in the wrong, was taken with the full support of the Right Honorable H. V. Evatt, the Leader of the Opposition in another place, the then Leader of the Labour Party in the Senate, my late friend Senator Ashley, and, I think, of every other member of the Senate who was present. That was followed, as you know, by a declaration of the General Assembly in 1951 that Communist China was an aggressor.
That Korean war seems, in the fancy of most people, to have been a kind of sideshow, a little event that did not matter very much. By comparison, of course, with the scale of the first and second world wars, it was small, but it was a long and cruel war and our own men, and men from many other countries, suffered both as combatants and later, unfortunately - too many of them - as prisoners. Capture was followed by the cruel and revolting process that the popular press calls “ brain washing “, but which I describe by the good oldfashioned term, “ torture “, to force men to sign confessions that they had renounced all their previous beliefs and accepted what a cruel tyranny enforced upon them.
What followed? The armistice that came about in Korea was never kept. It is not being kept to-day. It is being violated by the Communist Chinese every day. There is no peace. I have not yet visited South Korea, but I hope to do so. I have spoken to many Koreans. I spoke to one only a few days ago. I know that there is a long battle line there that has to be constantly manned, and I know that if force or the threat of force from our side were relaxed there for one moment, the Chinese would swarm over again.
In Indo-China the position after the Second World War was very confused. I certainly am not one w’ho will try to simplify the position by saying that it was a case of communism against anti-communism. It most certainly was not. There was a nationalist rising there. Japan had been in possession, and the old French government had been driven out and its attempt to reassert its authority was made by a nation enfeebled by war in its own metropolis and throughout the world. But there is no question whatsoever that the intervention of the Communists prevented a speedy solution of the difficulties of Indo-China. There is no doubt whatever that the honest nationalists, who were wanting only the independence of their country, were confused and betrayed by Communists who came into their ranks.
The :fina’l settlement, .which unfortunately did not come till 1954 - df I ;can ‘.talk of a final settlement when it .is not final yet - was made only when metropolitan France realized that tit could not alone restore -order there and, after long consultations with other nations, including :ourselves and America, it finally agreed to a settlement which left only one solid bastion for freedom in the whole of .that area, namely South Viet Nam. North Viet Nam, as you .know, became a mere puppet of Communist China. Laos, which I shall refer to later, is a weak .state in which it is doubtful what will happen.
I visited South Viet Nam in May. I had a free trip there, Mr. Acting President, but it was not at the expense of the taxpayer of this country. I had the good ‘fortune to be on an aircraft that broke down, and we had to go to ‘both Singapore - memorable name - and to “Saigon, and at the expense of the airline company I was able to make a quite good investigation there. I do not profess to understand any country that I have visited for only a few days, but I was able to talk to people and I met former ministers. I met the president of the assembly and -some seventeen members of it. I met members of the commission which is overseeing the country, -including ‘the Indian officer who is .the head <of it, I had -long consultations with our own officials there, who are very competent men, .and 1 was able to gain knowledge .which, ‘added to my previous and subsequent reading, has given me a good appreciation off that country. I feel convinced that it :is a very -solid bulwark and -what ‘we call a free country. I have no illusions about ‘the government. I do not imagine that -there is in Asia any government which is democratic ‘in the sense in which we understand it, >but ‘South Viet Nam has a parliament, lt has a constitution, and it has a president who is a very able man and who is, although renouncing the former French authority, carrying on what he considers the best in the tradition that the ‘French brought here.
Let us make no hypocritical attack on the other European nations that bad colonies and have given them up. ,1 am very tired of “hearing people say that European imperialism has merely been oppression and exploitation. There .have been bad elements in it, just as there are in the imperialism that comes from Communist China ‘to-day. But there was a very good element in .both the French and Dutch administration <of these colonies. To-day, the people of ‘France and ‘Holland are themselves willing to tell you: “ We made mistakes. We .did not. do the right thing. We did not train enough people to carry on after us.” But they did train some people to ‘Carry on after them, and they ‘left Christianity there. I was amazed to ‘find, for instance, an Saigon, that ‘there -were -not only, -as I would ‘have expected in a place the French had occupied, quite a number of Catholic churches, but also two very large Protestant churches. There were also all the other evidences of French civilization - ‘universities, colleges, and all the business life that only European countries have been able to build up, and that the Asian countries have never built up out of their own resources or their own ‘traditions.
That is a slight digression. The point I want to make is that ‘that State, .the .relic of a former European imperialism, shall we say, is an independent State. It is powerful. It has .well-trained soldiers. It has a small navy; I .looked at the ships in the river. It .has an excellent police force and it gives every other external indication of being a well governed country. It is ;a much better governed ‘country and a better country to stay “in land look at than are most oof the countries I have seen outside our own or (Europe. The point is that
Communist China is still hammering at the gate there, and if South Viet Nam has not a complete democracy it is because it has to retain something like a war regime, with censorship and all the other hideous apparatus that I detest, in order to prevent the Communists from stepping in.
I come now to another country, Laos, on which we have had a definite report. That country was also part of this rather shortlived French empire that lasted from about 1884 until the last war. Laos is almost entirely agricultural. The Laotians are a primitive people who live in villages. They live on subsistence agriculture and so forth. The main race - the governing race - is a well-educated people with an ancient tradition. They are called Laotians. There are hill tribes in the north, who are a different kind of people with a different culture. Laos has never been particularly well-governed, because it is a country with a relatively small population for Asia and its people are content to live the happygolucky life that seems to have been the lot of mankind in Asia from time immemorial.
I am not going to assert that everything that is happening there has been caused by Communist intrusion, whether from China or anywhere else, because I believe from what I have heard and read that there are local troubles. The hill tribes are not particularly well looked after by the central government, the Royal Family and other aristocrats follow the ways that aristocrats in other countries followed in former days, and their Buddhist monks perhaps are not always the most enlightened people. But it is not a good thing to believe that because we do not like a particular type of society and because we think it is oldfashioned, it must go. It is not a good thing to think that any kind of change brought about by any means is progress.
Undoubtedly, the Communists can promise the Laotians progress of. a kind. It is easy to show them better methods of agriculture and even to provide better machinery, because their agriculture is so crude; and they are such a happy-go-lucky people that they welcome anybody who can show them better ways of growing crops. Undoubtedly, the Communists in China have those kinds of techniques, and they are making them an advertisement for their regime. Do not let us think, because we may believe, for instance, that Buddhism is a religion we could not accept, that it would be a good thing to take from those people their belief in the supernatural or their belief in some power or force outside the material round of life. The people of Laos adhere to Buddhism because it gives them the belief that life is not merely a matter of eating and drinking and the enjoyment of material pleasures. Whilst the Communists can bring these material advantages, it does not follow that they are all to the good of the people of Laos.
With respect to the charges of Communist aggression in Laos, although there was definite evidence of local discontent, there can be no doubt that Chinese Communists through North Viet Nam, which is the great spear-head outside China itself for Communism, are exploiting local conditions in Laos, not for the ultimate benefit of the people of Laos but in order to spread the Communist empire.
Sitting suspended from 5.45 to 8 p.m.
– I was discussing the progress, if we can call it such, of Communist China in Asia. I come now to Tibet and the aggression on the boundaries of India. Tibet, like Laos and the other Asian countries, is an old country with an old society and a form of government that is hardly comprehensible to us, but it should not be dismissed by regarding it simply as something belonging to the realm of the Arabian Nights - something that is old and finished with. Even if it is, we should be prepared to allow the natural course of evolution to alter it. We should not be prepared to allow an outside ruler with a determination to be the master of Asia to conquer it. From this point of view, I regard Communist China just as I would regard Genghis Khan or one of the old Mongol overlords of the Middle Ages.
We cannot understand how Tibet is governed, but the Tibetans understand. I was in India twelve years ago and I saw the emissaries from Tibet at the Asian conference. I spoke to the two interpreters, who were both highly educated men. One of them had been to school in England, at Rugby, and the other had been educated in India. They explained to the rest of us how their country was governed. 1 do not think that we have got democracy or liberalism, as we understand it, in any of these Asian countries. That is a European product and, in the main, a Britisn product. This ruthless destruction of the Tibetan way of life is something that should revolt every liberal-minded person. It is not for Mao, the ruler of Communist China, or for any one else to say that Tibet must vanish and that it must adjust its ways according to his conceptions.
The report of the jurists - I have read it, but 1 have not time to do more than hint at its contents now - is a long record ot nine years’ aggression in Tibet. Acting on a vague kind of overlordship which had belonged to the old Chinese empire, but which had been dropped and then reasserted by the republicans, the Communists went into Tibet. Their record during the last few months shows an attempt to stamp out the whole of the culture and the ordinary way of life of the people of Tibet. Even the Prime Minister of India, a pacifist by nature, a man who has proclaimed himself neutral in the struggle between West and East, is now, because of the danger to his own country, alive to what is happening. I am convinced that the whole nine years’ record of the present regime in China is a record of aggression, of fomenting civil war in other countries and of promoting war abroad.
I return to the proposition with which I started. Is this a nation to recognize? Is this a government to grasp by the hand while the bloodstains are still on it? I am speaking of Communist China alone; I am not indulging in any attack on communism. I do not think I have mentioned Russia, except incidentally. I am not talking about the iron curtain or anything else of that kind. I am speaking of Communist China. Until Communist China has proved that it is a peace-loving nation and until it has proved that it has departed from the aggression that has stained the first nine years of its history, we should reject recognition. We should, furthermore, reject the admission of this bloodstained nation to the comity of peaceful peoples.
– I think it is acknowledged that a political party, in order to be considered as such, must have its interests directed towards the economic, financial and social structure of the country in which it functions. It must also, in order to be regarded as a political party, have a foreign policy, because of the number of independent nations there are in the world to-day. During this discussion, Mr. President, the foreign policy of the Australian Labour Party has been placarded and held up to the view of everybody within the Senate. That is not a new experience for us. It is possible for anybody within the community to go to any stationer’s shop and obtain a copy of the constitution and the policy, together with the rules, of the Australian Labour Party. They are not hidden from any one. They are open for everybody to examine and make their own deductions.
It was a member of the Country Party who introduced the subject of Labour’s foreign policy. Before I resume my seat, I have no doubt that he will place in my hands a copy of the Country Party’s foreign policy.
– It has not got one.
– I am informed that the Country Party has’ riot got a foreign policy. Surely that is not so. We know that the Country Party is a Dracula party, and that to live it must suck the blood of the Liberal Party. It is a parasitical party without a national policy. It never hopes to form a national government. Therefore, the honorable senator who raised the subject of Labour’s foreign policy is a member of a party that has no foreign policy at all. Of course, Mr. President, in New South Wales the Country Party is increasing its strength - at the rate of three a day.
We have been told this afternoon what diplomatic recognition means. Let us reduce it to simple terms so that it can be easily understood by everybody. In respect of China, and- Australia,, diplomatic recognition really means that a handful of Australian public servants would be sent to China and they would be our diplomatic connexion with the Government of China. Their function would be to communicate to the Australian Government anything that was submitted to them by the Chinese Government. Of course, during various periods throughout the year feasts would be given by our diplomatic representatives in China, and on occasions there would be grog parties, also! Here in Australia, in reciprocity for our representatives being in China, there would be Chinese public servants, doing identically the work that is done by our Australian representatives over there.
Of course, Mr. President, there are other forms of recognition in the world. We have to acknowledge that, especially to-day when each country is trying to do the best it possibly can for itself in the field of international trade. The trading policy of the Commonwealth Government at the present time is to trade wherever it possibly can throughout the world. The traditional markets of the Commonwealth have been drying up for a number of years, and this Government is doing its utmost to establish new markets in other countries. I think that it proposes to expend the sum of approximately £1,000,000 to establish new markets overseas. That is quite all right. I endorse that action. But would Australia dream of trading with red China, which has a longterm programme of destruction in certain parts of Asia? Surely not! Would Australia be guilty of a breach of the international trading pact by trading with the enemy? Surely not! I am sure it would hesitate to trade with a country which must be regarded as an enemy of the Commonwealth.
Let us make just a brief comparison between Australia and red China. We have a different form of government from that of China. The people of Australia have aspirations that are different from those of the Chinese people. We have a different course to pursue. Our way of life is vastly different, and I know of very few Australians indeed who would exchange places with any one in China to-night. But as I said a while ago, it would, I think, be a serious breach of duty on the part of the Commonwealth Government to trade with such a country as red China, and I feel sure that it is not doing so, not at all. This afternoon” though, I heard an honorable senator, when skating very lightly over this matter, mention the value of Australian products sold to a certain country; but he did not give us very much information on the point. I should say, Mr. President, that a country which trades with a Communist country is assisting that Communist country with its programme. . What’ is , the pro gramme of red China? It is to emulate the deeds of Russia. China is doing once more the things that Russia did 20 or 30 years ago. It will go on doing what it has done to Tibet, what it seeks to do to India in respect of her frontiers, and what it would do to Formosa if it were not for the balance of strength being deposited in another quarter.
I want to have a look at our trade policy in regard to red China. Here we have a peculiar situation. We have the Government telling us that we should not at any price recognize red China for diplomatic purposes, and taking its stand firmly on that base. It says, in effect, “ We will not help China with its long-term programme of annexation so far as Tibet and other countries are concerned “. That being so, it is surprising to learn that our exports to Communist centres last year amounted to no less than £33,800,000. Australia has been trading freely with the Communist countries of the world. Yet, when a debate of this nature is in progress, honorable senators opposite speak about diplomatic representation in Communist countries, countries which care no more for diplomatic representation than honorable senators opposite do for a snap of the fingers. What Communist China is concerned about is to get from Australia and other countries the goods which will assist it in its economic progress. Is it getting them? Surely not from Australia, where the supporters of the Government in the Senate get up and decry Labour’s foreign policy. Surely no member of the Australian Country Party would stand for Australia selling wool to red China, so that the soldiers of that country might be warmly clad as they traverse Tibet and go on to the high mountains on the Indian border.
Let us reveal, by means of an examination of the trading that has taken place during the last twelve months or so, exactly what the position is. Australia’s seventh best customer happens to be China - red China or continental China, not nationalist China. So, the statement of Senator Maher this afternoon about diplomatic representation in China was tinged with hypocrisy, because there is a trade representation that has been carried on all the time. Let us examine the position still further. We find that, in the » year ^1955^56;-* the ‘ value of
Australian exports to red China was only £2,700,000 - just a little bit, as they sang in “My Fair Lady”. The sum of £2,700,000 is- scarcely worth talking about. I know that supporters of the Australian Country Party would not stand for Australia increasing the volume of trade with red China. Senator Maher skated quickly away from the subject of trade, not only with China, but also with other Communist countries. He will hear the truth within the next few minutes. If his attitude represents the attitude of the Government in regard to China, then he has indicated the hypocrisy of the Government’s policy in relation to China and other Communist and satellite countries of the world.
– This, debate relates only to China. You are out of order.
– I am not out of order. As I have said, in 1955-56, there was just a little bit of trade with red China. Our exports were worth £2,700,000. We move on to 1956-57, and we find that there was a. substantial increase, of almost £4,000,000. The value of. our exports to China in that year was £6,400,000, and for the next year, 1957-58, it was £9,700,000. In 1958-59, the value of our exports to China was £13,800,000, so that there was an increase last year of . about £4,000,000. The value of our. exports to China has risen from £2,700,000 in 1955-56 to £.13,800,000 last year.
Red China is a good customer of Australia, a very good customer indeed. We know that goods manufactured in Australia are sold indirectly to red China. Let us face the facts. Honorable senators opposite quibble about the foreign policy of the Australian Labour Party. The Australian Country Party has not a foreign policy at all. It has a blank page where a foreign policy should be. The supporters of the Country Party in the Senate belong to a parasitical party, one that must live on the Liberal Party.
– That is what the honorable senator thinks, but a lot of other people in the country do not agree with him.
– Senator Maher must sit there and take it now. We know that Australia has sold certain goods to China, but surely it would not sell steel’ to that country. The Chinese could then make bayonets and rifles to destroy Tibet, poor little Tibet, the most backward country in the world; a country which has only a few primary schools and is educating no more than 10,000 of its inhabitants annually - a peaceloving people. Surely Australia would not assist any country to subdue 6,000,000 people in Tibet. Oh no! That was why Senator Maher skated very quickly away from the question of trading operations between Australia and red China. This Government would not sell such a thing, as steel piping to red China, so that it could develop its economy; build water races for its hydro-electric schemes; and have tubes for its steam engines and many other purposes. Oh no, Australia would not be guilty of doing that while the present Government was in office. Nor would it export to China sheet steel, which is used for numerous purposes in every country. When we are thinking of steel exports to Russia we must remember that she has a long-term military programme as well as a long-term annexation policy; that the two will be operated together. What about steel rods, for the fabrication of buildings, bridges, weirs, dams and similar developmental projects? Surely Australia would not export such goods to Communist countries.
Surely Country Party senators, would not permit their wool to be exported to red Russia. What is the true position? Last year, Australia sold to Russia wool to the value of £6,500,000. It is perhaps a small sum, but Senator Maher who, this afternoon, condemned Labour’s foreign policy, said nothing about the sale of wool to red Russia - so that the red soldiers could be warmly clad as they raced through Tibet and towards the frontiers of India. Would Australian Country Party senators like to know that the red soldiers are apparently well fed. because last year Australia exported to red Russia wheat to the value of £233,000? This Government has been very helpful, indeed, to red Russia. Not only has it traded freely with that country, but it has extended its trading activities to other Communist countries, also.
I propose to transfer my attention from red China to Russia. If any honorable senator wishes to see my figures I shall be glad to supply them after I have finished speaking. I obtained them from the trade journals. No doubt Senator Maher had a glimpse of those journals before he spoke.
I repeat that last year we exported substantial quantities of goods to Communist countries. To Poland we sold goods to the value Of £11,000,000; to Hungary goods to the value of £104,000; and to Yugoslavia, goods to the value of £3,000,000. Do we recognize those countries? Have we representatives in them? I repeat, there is more than one way of recognizing a country. You can recognize it by trading with it. The Government of the day prefers trading with Communist countries to sending them its diplomatic representatives. I will leave it to honorable senators - and to the thousands who comprise my audience outside of this place - to judge the Government on its record.
– Thousands of knobs are being turned off while you are speaking.
– Well, no doubt they were turned off when Senator Maher was speaking. So far I have spoken only of exports. This country has also bought freely from Communist countries. Last year, we bought from continental China goods worth £3,300,000. We had no scruples about the kind of goods that we bought either, because most were textiles, which could have been obtained from the United Kingdom. Government supporters need not take my word for that. They may test it against the relevant trade journals.
From Poland, one of the Russian satellites, we bought goods to the value of £193,000. From Russia itself we purchased goods to the value of £430,000; from Czechoslovakia goods to the value of £2,200,000; and from Hungary goods to the value of £395,000. Only six countries in the world purchased more from China than we did. They were Japan, the United States, France, Belgium,. Italy and Germany. So we have a very good trading relationship with all the Communist countries of the world, yet some Government supporters quibble about this matter of diplomatic representation. If we had stronger representation, in those countries I am doubtful whether we could trade with them any more extensively than we do at present.
The scene changes. We shall look now at what is being done in Europe to protect trading rights. The main aspect of any foreign affairs policy is the fostering of trade with other countries. Early this year, five or six’ European’ nations formed a “ common market “. This allowed -free trade to take place. One of the principal signatories was France. Within the last few weeks a European Free Trade Association consisting of seven countries- Austria^. Denmark, Norway, Portugal; Sweden* Switzerland and the United Kingdom was formed in opposition to the European “ common market “. These countries decided that, in order to preserve their trading rights and the present level of production, they must combine in this way.
One of the other matters raised this afternoon was the admission of red China to the United Nations. That has nothing whatever to do with any political party in the Commonwealth, or with this Government. No single government can admit, or sponsor the admission of, another country to the United Nations. Only the member nations may do so. I understand that red China did make such an application this year, but it was rejected. It is quite beyond the power of any one in Australia to attempt to deal with this question.
What is China’s future? I have not the slightest doubt, Mr. Acting Deputy President, that she will proceed on her course of annexation. She has already annexed territories. Let us have no hallucinations about that.
– Then why join issue with us?
– I wanted to correct the impression - which you left with the Senate - that this Government would not trade with Communist countries; that it wanted to keep China and other such countries apart from the ordinary commercial life of the world. I wanted to tell the Senate about the volume of trade that was at present taking place between Australia and red China, Russia and the other Communist countries of the world. -
– I stated it. I mentioned £13,000,000 worth of export trade last year.
– But that was only part of the trade I. mentioned a while ago.
I come now to Tibet. That country will never be- able to raise her head again; she will never be able again to work out her own destiny.
– is that something to be proud’ of? ;’
– I look at these matters in the light of what actually happened in Europe, between Russia, Poland and the other countries that were mentioned this afternoon. The honorable senator knows them all, and it is not necessary for me to mention them again.
– Poland will come again. Make no mistake about that.
– But what as?
– As Poland, not as part of Russia.
– That remains to be seen. So far, there has been no. sign of her extricating herself from her present position. And Russia may continue to extend her boundaries in Asia, to take in Burma and other countries. We have been told about what Russia is doing with respect to the frontiers of India. We know that for a number of years India was not very particular about her boundaries. The nation adjoining her was friendly and the area involved was not fertile country. Therefore, India was not punctilious about having her boundaries alined as they should have been. In those circumstances, when a marauding country such as China goes. in she feels she is at liberty to set India’s boundaries back to where it .suits her. There are no important industries in that area; it is not fertile country; and I have not the slightest doubt that China feels she should go as far as she possibly can.
I come now to China’s industrial policy. She has a long-term industrial policy, and we know of our own knowledge that she is going to expand as an industrial nation. Perhaps, in another ten or fifteen years, she will reach the present level of the United States of America. She might even attain a level of industrial production which will eclipse that of any other country in the world. She is a vast country with vast potentialities. Sometimes we are not conscious of that. Any country that can sup-( port a population of 650,000,000 must be ‘ big. We know what her government has been since 21st September, 1949, when she proclaimed the People’s Republic of China.
To me, standing here, it seems almost impossible to .contest that proclamation in any way. - It seems to me that we must submit to it. If we are going to contest it, then we must do so with arms; and I do not think any country in the world is prepared to carry out that test. The area of China is something like 4,300,000 square miles; so she has a fair share of the world’s surface. She is not neglecting the essentials which make for progress. She has something like 500,000 elementary schools. She is concentrating upon education. She has approximately 5,000 secondary schools, 50 engineering colleges and fifteen universities. Australia, of course, has helped her considerably during the past few years by exporting Australian wool and steel to her shores.
Tibet is a different country. It comprises that narrow territory between the Himalayas and the Kunlun Mountains. As Senator McCallum said this afternoon, it is an old and peaceful country. Its people have a very low standard of living; the country has poor educational facilities and there has been very little development there. For a population of 6,000,000, it has only 78 primary schools. Indeed, only 10,000 Tibetans receive any education at all. Tibet is now in the clutches of Communist China, and I do not see any prospect of her ever releasing herself from them. I have noticed that honorable senators opposite have advanced no solution to the situation in Asia so far as China is concerned;
– How can we solve it?
– But you did not offer any suggestion.
– I was making one point only - that we should not recognize red China. That is all I had to do.
– I know they will be greatly pained because Australia does not recognize them. They are getting all the goods they require to improve their economy from Australia at the present time, consonant with their financial ability to improve.
One, pf the outstanding features about the world tb-day is the very short memory of the people of the world. Back in 1956, when the Hungarian revolution was in full swing, thousands upon thousands of Hungarians were flying across to the United States of America as refugees. If Mr. Krushchev had visited the United States of America in 1956, he would not have proceeded very happily very. far. .But,, in three short years, evidently the people of the United States of America and other parts of the world have forgotten that historic episode with the result that Mr. Krushchev can jaunt along through America. Whether that is for the good of the world, or the ill of the future, 1 am not prepared to say.
.- lt grieves me painfully to think that Senator Benn, who has such a reputation in this place for gentle satire and charity in all his remarks is prepared to consign to eternal slavery all those nations at present behind the iron curtain. I was stirred a little when he referred to Poland. I think it is impossible to discuss Chinese Communist aggression in India without considering post-war international Communist aggression in general, because China’s aggression on the northern frontiers of India is simply another illustration of a particular evil which we must discuss as a whole, whether the aggression be taking place in East-West Berlin, Quemoy, Matsu or the Middle East.
I remind Senator Benn that we have good reason to be grateful to many of the nations at present locked behind the iron curtain. 1 recall that one-fifth of the fighter pilots in the Battle for Britain came from Poland. They were men of initiative and courage and were there to strike against one of the aggressors who had taken over their home country. I am sorry to say that the government for which the men who served under General Anders fought, a government which was in exile, was ultimately abandoned to its fate by the Western world which was only then beginning to realize the dreadful menace posed by post-war international Communist aggression.
There are other countries, too, to which we in the West must be thankful. Australia, though geographically a part of Asia, is a country of Western culture. We must be thankful to the undying spirit of the Hungarian people, who rose in a hopeless revolt against their oppressors in 1956 and showed to the world that no matter what steel, what bayonets, and what power are held by a tyrant, there comes a stage when free men, women and children of spirit will take it no longer and will revolt, as did the Hungarians, heroically but hopelessly. The free world learned a very important lesson from that. It learned that the Communist world respects nothing except strength. As Mao Tse-tung said, “ All political power grows out of a gun barrel.” “lt might be,” said this distinguished philosopher, “ that the whole world may be remoulded with a gun.” I have not any doubt that if he is given enough guns and. enough opportunities, and’ if enough appeasement is shown towards the Communist empire that he represents, hs or his successors may very well remould the world with a gun, whether the gun is the gun we know or the atomic weapon that is at present in the hands of many nations.
I commend the magnificent statement that has been placed before the Parliament by Mr. Casey. The statement is hardhitting and straight-forward, and there is nothing mealy-mouthed or ambiguous about it. Mr. Casey has said in simple and categorical terms that Australia is not crazy, and that for two reasons it will not recognize red China. In the amplification that the Minister has given, we see evidence of the working of the mind of one who truly understands the machinations of Communist imperialism. For obvious reasons, the statement in relation to the Indian frontier could not be nearly as full, detailed or precise. I simply pass that paper over by saying that we hope and trust that our fellow member nation of the Commonwealth will satisfactorily resolve its first physical brush with Communist aggression.
I do not think there is any need to apologize for the fact that our policy towards Asian communism, red China, and all the countries of South-East Asia, is very largely conditioned by the fact that our most powerful ally and best friend in this area is, of course, the United States of America, the only country with the power and the will to see that this country never stands alone in the Pacific. When the late John Foster Dulles was here in this very building for the Seato conference, he addressed to this nation words of comfort. They have comforted me personally and, I think, all other Australians who have considered them ever since. He was a man who never pulled his punches, was never ambiguous, and never failed to call a spade a spade. He simply said to the Australian nation, “ You will never stand alone in the Pacific “. I take some pride in being a supporter of the Government to which that promise was addressed, because if the United States Government did not have the fullest confidence in this Government, and if it did not know the magnificent record that this Government has in foreign affairs, it would scarcely have been prepared to write that blank cheque on Australia’s security. Supporting an attitude such as that is sometimes described by our honorable friends opposite as becoming a satellite of the United States. If we cannot stand on our own feet, I for one would much rather go into orbit around the great freedom-loving democracy of the United States than whirl to destruction around the axis of Communist imperialism.
– I think we all would.
– I am glad to hear that. 1 was very glad also to hear some remarks that Senator Toohey addressed to us a fortnight ago. I shall come to them later. We should point out that there is a world of difference between trade amounting to a few million pounds a year in non-strategic materials and the full, political recognition of a country. We say that it is not the correct thing to do, on the ground of either principle or selfinterest, to recognize the Communist regime in red China. Looking at the -security angle first, quite apart from the matter of the United States, to which I have already referred, if Taiwan, or Formosa, should fall to the Communists, the position in Japan, the Philippines, and adjacent Pacific islands must become very much more difficult. It would be a strong blow at the strategic, psychological and moral position of the West in this part of the world.
If we did as the Australian Labour Party suggests, we would be guilty of gross treachery. No country outside the red orbit in South-East Asia would ever trust us again. If, having pledged ourselves to support the Republic of China, we were, for the sake of placating red China in what we imagined to be our own selfinterest or for any other reason, to go back on our pledged word and hand over Formosa to the control of mainland China, we would then see a rapid expansion of Communism throughout the rest of South-East Asia. Not one of those countries would trust the West, and we could not blame them. Not one of the seven little countries that have been given a nationality of their own in the past few years and are struggling to establish themselves would be prepared to resist the red colossus. The last stage, of course, would be worse than the first.
The long-range interests of the Chinese themselves - r regarding the Chinese as friendly human beings and not as 600,000,000 automatons- dictate that we should not recognize their red government. It should be remembered that there are only 2,000,000 members of the Communist Party in China at present, insofar as statistics can be drawn from a country of such size and such unreliability in the publication of figures. If we were to pull the forelock to Mao Tse-tung and his gang, the enslaved millions of China who, in one way or another, look to the West or to some miracle to deliver them from the nightmare into which the “ leap forward “, as it is euphemistically called, has taken them, would lose all hope. And then, in addition, of course, we have our 10,000,000 good friends and gallant allies in Taiwan who were sold into slavery, lt was very reassuring to me here in this Senate a fortnight ago that my friend Senator Toohey, who has had quite a good deal to do with the development of the Labour Party’s foreign policy since 1955, was prepared to come round to the proposition that if red China insisted we should scrub our friends in Formosa, that we should scrap our recognition of them, that attitude in itself would be a reason why we should not give them recognition. That is a long and an intelligent step which the honorable senator has taken, and I look forward to the time when he will go from that rather hesitant step forward to the great leap forward, as the Chinese call it, and embrace a foreign policy identical with that of the Government.
The past history of British countries shows that there have been wide differences between various political parties, but in respect of foreign affairs, at least for the first 50 years of this century, there has been a great sameness between the policies of -the conservative parties and the parties of the left in Great Britain. And I think it would be to the great advantage of Australia if the Labour Party could throw out the nonsense that was put through at
Hobart, and confirmed at Brisbane, and establish a national foreign policy very much in line with that which the Government propounds.
– That will not be done, 1 can assure you, because the Government has not got a foreign policy at all.
– I regret to hear Senator Toohey’s interjection, because I had hopes of his conversion to a policy of sanity and national well-being. I direct his attention to the fact that when Labour’s policy was hammered out by the rump at Hobart in 1955, he and Senator Kennelly were the gentlemen who were responsible for having Labour’s foreign policy accepted. Am I right?
– You are off the beam.
– At all events, Senator Toohey’s name appears in “the transcript of the proceedings with that of S~nator Kennelly as having moved eight or nine items, included among which was foreign policy. The Labour Party went to Brisbane in 1957 and, refusing to learn, it wrote these terrible words into its foreign policy -
The immediate recognition of continental China must be, and its admission to the United Nations is, an integral part of Australian Labour’s foreign policy in the Pacific.
If ever there was a policy designed to betray the Australian nation, to sell out the last vestige of our own self-respect and the welfare of our friends, it can be summed up in those three lines emphasized in Brisbane in 1957. I direct the attention of honorable senators opposite to the interesting fact that the motion was put by Mr. Webb, who has since departed from another place; and it was seconded by one Bukowski who has since been deprived of a certain position in a certain party in a certain State. I do not know whether Senator Toohey has seen the writing on the wall and is now inclined to come our way.
– What do you think about Great Britain’s recognition of China?
– I shall come to that in a moment. I feel disappointed that this Government that has such a magnificent record in foreign affairs has not seen fit to set up proper diplomatic relations with Formosa. I understand that one excuse that has been given is that we have not enough money to run an embassy in Formosa, lt appears to me to be drivelling nonsense to say that we have not enough money to set up an embassy in Formosa, in whose existence and security and defence we have a vital interest, when, at the same time, we are able to find the money to reopen an embassy in Moscow, with whom we have no cultural and no economic ties. The value of the actual trade that Australia did with Russia last year was £400,000 - only a drop in the bucket. Yet we can establish an embassy in Moscow. As a matter of fact, the cost of running that embassy is approximately 30 per cent, of the value of the total trade that Russia did with us last year.
That is perhaps one of two small unfortunate errors which this Government has made, because during the long period of ten years that it has been in office it has always been on the ball so far as I have been able to make out. On that question we should remember that for all the abuse, newspaper criticism and all the pink professors and others, Chang Kai-shek is not a discredited gangster. He is a time-tested ally and friend. During World War II., when the Japanese had swept the British from Malaya - that was about half-way through the war - and the Americans were starting their island-hopping procession back to Tokyo, Chiang Kai-shek was cut off from all his allies and friends. Yet he kept engaged in battle from 1,500,000. to 2,000,000 trained Japanese troops. When the position seemed hopeless, the Japanese offered him a princely sum to sell the pass - to tap the mat - and betray his friends; they promised to set him up as the puppet ruler of China. He refused the offer because he was a man of honour. I am not going to defend everything he did, but I get a little tired of hearing our friends belittling and denegrating his every action whilst every conceivable whitewash is painted over mountebanks like Krushchev and others.
The further activities of Chiang Kai-shek in Formosa have been of undoubted value to the security of Australia and the whole of the Pacific area. Our American allies have acknowledged that fact by the very great assistance which they have given him and the complete faith they have in the generalissimo’s integrity.
– He is not -exactly a democrat. -Senator ‘HANNAN. - I am not prepared at -this stage to examine his system of government, ‘but I think that his systems of land reform and monetary reform in Formosa are -infinitely better than those that are operating on the mainland of China.
If we are going to have a look at the question of seating red China in the United Nations, I think it is well to remember, as Senator Benn pointed out in one sense, that only the member nations of the United Nations can seat a nation which desires to join the organization. In 1945, at San Francisco when the formation of the United Nations was being discussed a view was put forward that every nation tin the world should be entitled to join, that the organization should be universal and embrace every country. Some nations, .including Soviet Russia, had a qualification to make to that. I quote from the article that was adopted. I refer to Article 4, which provides -
The Labour Party pays lip service to the ideals of the United Nations but it propounds a foreign policy that is in direct violation of Article 4. Let us look at the facts. Is red China a peace-loving state? In February, 1952, two months after establishing control on the mainland, it urged all the Governments of South East Asia to throw out their leaders as puppets of the imperialists. In 1950, it began its first invasion of Tibet and also invaded North Korea. An army of 1,000,000 soldiers went to Korea to prolong that bloody struggle, and that action was really taken against the United Nations. The result was that a year later China was branded as an aggressor before that august body, and the resolution still stands. It is ironic in these circumstances to think that only this .month the Indian Government proposed that the question of admitting mainland China to the United Nations should be placed on the agenda. The United Nations refused to do so. Perhaps the proposition would not have been put if India .had known then what it now knows of the Chinese intentions and actions - if it had realized that by -the end of the month Communist China would have six airfields .built -on Indian territory, that it would have taken an Indian town and given it a Chinese name, and that Indian nationals on the north-east frontier would be in fear of their lives.
It is difficult to think that any nation which deliberately set .out to outrage world opinion could do more .than red China has done in the past eight years. I shall give a short catalogue, without -details of all the incidents. In 19.50 and .1951 red China supported subversive propaganda in Malaya and in the Philippines, seeking to overthrow the Governments of those -two countries. In North Viet Nam, the Chinese Communists set up, largely by using Ho Chi Minh and his stooges, a Communist state and drove the French nationals and all Vietnamese who opposed them into the new state of South Viet Nam. It seems a miracle that South Viet Nam has been able to survive. This ‘has undoubtedly been due to the resolute and determined leadership of Ngo Dinh Diem, whom we had the honour to welcome ‘in this ‘very building some eighteen months ago. The trouble in Laos, of course, is of Communist inspiration. The United Nations has been compelled to send a fact-finding .committee to the area. The case of Tibet is a tragic one. As Senator Benn said, it is .a backward country. Its rate of literacy is not very ‘high and its standard of living, compared with ours, is not very good. But nonetheless life is very sweet to these people. As the Americans put it, they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I cannot agree with Senator Benn’s rather callous consignment of them to the dustbin of Communist organization.
To shorten this catalogue, which is growing rather more than I intended it should, I think we can say that by every standard df national and international conduct, the red regime in Peking is an outlaw. As Mr. Walter Robertson of the State Department of the United States of America has put it -
It has perpetrated mass murder and slavery upon its own people. It has confiscated without compensation hundreds of millions of dollars of the property of other nationals. It has thrown foreign citizens into jail -without trial and .subjected many of them to inhuman tortures. In nine years it has promoted six foreign - or civil wars- :Korea, Tibet, Indo-China, the Philippines,
Malaya and Laos. It has fought the United Nations. It has been found by it to be an aggressor. It continues to defy the United Nations decision to reunify Korea. It has flagrantly violated the (Corea and Indo-China international armistice agreements. It openly proclaims its continuing purpose, to use force in the Taiwan Strait.
We can add that every alternate day, as we meet here, the islands of Quemoy and Matsu are being shelled by Communist guns, simply as a propaganda gesture. This is the enemy of Asia, the enemy of the world, the enemy of man, and the enemy of the God to whom we pray here every day when the Senate commences its business. This is the nation around whose recognition the cardinal point of Labour’s foreign policy in the Pacific is drawn. If I had to subscribe to a foreign policy of that nature, I would certainly hang my , head in shame.
– It is very much wider than that.
– The issue is simple. Either you believe in the rule of law or you believe in the rule of the jungle.
– Why does Great Britain recognize China? Without supporting China or communism, I would like you to explain to the Senate why Great Britain recognizes China as it does.
– Let me put it this way: Recognition of red China was an act of the Labour Government of Mr. Attlee. I am not criticizing him for that, just for the moment, although I could do so, perhaps, if I expanded on the subject. Red China was recognized by the Labour Government of Mr. Attlee. I concede that the Conservative Government of Mr. Churchill did nothing to change the situation but, as Senator Maher pointed out during his eloquent address this afternoon, Mr. Macmillan told the Japanese Government: “ You know what happened to us. Anybody who recognizes red China now is a fool.” That is the considered opinion of the present Prime Minister of Great Britain. It is a little bit like the egg having been scrambled, but I feel certain that Mr. Macmillan, if he were starting de novo now, would certainly not recognize red China.
Senator Maher referred to the barbarous system of communes. Up to 100,000 people are herded in what are called vil lages. An Indian sociologist said that they were a good deal worse than a zoo. The people in these communes are treated as animals. There is no freedom and no pay. All their wants are supplied. They do not actually go hungry and they are provided with clothes, but every action from dawn to dusk and then until dawn again is controlled and regulated by the Communist commune leader. Even the times of access of a married man to his wife are limited by commune control. The number of children that a person may have is limited by commune control. In one sense, it is very much worse than a zoo because in a zoo, for some few weeks at all events, the animals bring up their own offspring. That privilege is not accorded to inhabitants of Chinese communes.
I oppose with all my might and main any suggestion, coming from whatever quarter, which might tend to soften our attitude toward this monolithic tyrant. It occasions me great sorrow and disappointment that the conversion which I thought was imminent in Senator Toohey, who is such an important man in the framing of Labour’s foreign policy, has not been carried any further than it has. A question was put to Khrushchev about two months ago on the subject of China’s expansion. He was asked whether he would prefer China to expand into Siberia or down to Australia. Naturally enough Khrushchev said, “ Down ‘to Australia every time “. It may well be that he thinks he has created a Frankenstein monster, but that is no reason why we should have to touch our forelock to it.
Off the coast of China there is tiny Macao. It is no paradise by our standards, but the fact that so many Chinese are prepared to risk their lives in escaping from the mainland to Macao is a sure indication of the failure of this tyrannical state. I therefore approve wholeheartedly of the statement put before this chamber by the Minister for External Affairs.
.- We have three ministerial documents before us for our consideration. They deal with Communist China, India’s northern frontier and developments in Laos. Not one of those documents, in my opinion, deals with the relevant facts, to ‘be understood historically, as to the causes of the present state of affairs in those countries, economically, socially and politically. Instead, the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) and the acting Minister for External Affairs (Sir Garfield Barwick) have relied mainly on an appeal to racial prejudice and fear in their efforts to try to influence the people of this country from the Government’s point of view. A classical example of this is the manner in which Mr. Casey began his speech on 13th August when, referring to China, he said -
When it develops, as it has, as a totalitarian and regimented State with a marxist view of world developments, its impact is likely to be formidable and far-reaching.
Then follows a long account of what is alleged to have happened in China since 1949 and of what is likely to happen within the immediate future, from Mr. Casey’s point of view, so far as other countries in the world are concerned.
Not one word has been said by him about the causes of the , revolution in China in 1 949, which had their origin as far back as the 1840’s. Then and for many years afterwards, the armed forces of England and America were used to exploit and impoverish the working masses of that country, in the interests solely of English and American investors. The result was that the Chinese people had no alternative ultimately but to rebel, as they did in 1949. That was the only means they could use to free themselves from foreign aggression and to establish the right of selfgovernment in their own country.
What has happened in China is also happening at the present time, not only on India’s northern frontier and in Laos - to which reference has been made by the Minister and the acting Minister for External Affairs - but also in many other countries throughout the world where peoples have been deprived of the right of self-government by foreign investors and their armed forces. Such must continue to be the case in the future until the peoples of all countries are permited to exercise the right of self-government independently of whether foreign investors would have them do so or not.
In this connexion, I find myself very much in agreement with Sir John Latham, a former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. He made a strong plea to treat Asians on the basis of frank friendship and as human equals. I quote him as he was reported in the “ Sydney Morning Herald “ of 16th September. The report reads -
He said “We must give up the idea, particularly in relation to other members of the British Commonwealth, that we are a superior or master race.”
Sir John, who was the first Australian Minister to Japan, in 1940-41, and leader of an Australian mission to the East in 1934, was addressing a Sydney Rotary Club luncheon at the Trocadero His subject was “Australia and Asia.” “I consider that Great Britain lost what was called her empire in the East largely on account of the bad manners of so many people who were there - their arrogance, impoliteness, lack of consideration, and acting as a master race.
We have to treat the people of the East as partners. To presume to look down on them is an impertinence which is bitterly resented. Some of the most learned men I have met were people of the East and they do not take kindly to the assumption of superiority by our race.”
Sir.’ john said the claim that whatever else the British jost in the East, they were still ahead in moral leadership was not valid. He said: “Do not flatter yourselves by thinking that nobody else thinks it. I have had enough of this complacent self-satisfaction which does us immeasurable harm.”
Australians did not realize often enough, he said, that when their ancestors were mere savages running around in skins, there were already civilizations in Asia some thousands of years old. Leaders of those nations were proud of thenancient civilizations and did not accept the idea that Europeans were superior. Britain emerged in the nineteenth century as the leader of the world, but this was never likely to happen again. This should be obvious from the rate at which millions of Asians were being trained for productive work in industry and the fact that more than half the world’s population was in Asia. Asian countries, particularly India, had ancient religions much older and a lot more accredited than the religions of Europe. Their leaders not only did not appreciate, but resented, the presence of missionaries who informed them that they were a degraded race. In the same way we would not welcome missionaries from a foreign country coming and telling us that our standards and life in general were low.
The report continued -
Sir John said Australia should develop friendships with Asian countries by such means as the Colombo Plan. More interest should be taken in Asian students studying in Australia and there should be more appreciation of the great effect that the cinema and the radio had on Asian people. When they saw the prosperity, wealth and fantastic level of living in America and Europe it was no wonder that they wanted to share in it.
From my reading over the years, I find myself very much in agreement with Sir John Latham. Two or three years ago, in this chamber, I pointed to the indignities to which the Chinese particularly were subjected. I referred mainly to the opium war and the Boxer Rebellion. All those incidents live in the minds of the people, and it is inevitable that there will be reaction in the direction we have seen.
The Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) has referred to the Marxist view of world development. He has never attempted to explain what he meant by that. We are expected to accept the meaning implied by Mr. Casey, in the document to which Senator Hannan referred. My reading of the Marxist philosophy leads me to believe that that philosophy is based on three theories. The first theory is that of the materialist conception of history, which is that the history of mankind should be viewed and understood in the light of the material changes that have been made, particularly during the last 50-odd years. The history of that period is quite different from previous history. The second theory relates to the class struggle. That theory implies that there is a class struggle in all countries where the land and the capital are privately owned, to the detriment of non-owners. Practically all strikes and revolutions similar to those which are taking place in Africa, the Middle East and the Latin States of America at the present time, have their origin in class war in which the people are class-divided, just as they are in Australia, though not to the same degree. Naturally, where the people are class-divided, class war is inevitable. That leads ultimately to strikes and revolutionary action within the borders of a nation, and to military warfare between nations outside those borders. The two world wars and the twenty or so small wars which have taken place since then, such as the war in Korea in 1951-53, all have had their origin in the class struggle.
The third theory on which the Marxist philosophy is based concerns the creation of surplus values. Marx pointed out that all values created in excess of the cost of production were surplus values which were privately appropriated and owned. That cannot be denied. When we read of the colossal surplus values that have been created, particularly in the highly indus trialized and mechanized countries of the world, it must be agreed that those values are not owned by the people who actually created them. They have been socially created, but they are privately appropriated and owned. The effect of that is to give rise to extremes, so that there are very wealthy people and very poor people. The privileged few own and are permitted to enjoy the values created by the working masses, while the working masses in their millions live in a state of semi-starvation. So, when Mr. Casey refers to the Marxist view of world development, he does not indicate exactly what he means by that phrase.
As I have said, the appeal that is made is based mainly on racial prejudice and fear. If people allow themselves to be influenced by their prejudices and fears rather than by their intelligent understanding of the actual position in other countries, it will lead in the future, as it has in the past, to world war. In my opinion, the last 45 years have been a period of modern machine slavery and savagery. There has never been such a period in the past when the slaves of machines produced wealth so cheaply, so quickly and so enormously in excess of the mere subsistence wage. There has never previously been an age when the slaves of the militarized and conscript states, not only in the Communist world, but throughout the world, have been trained and armed so efficiently to slaughter their fellow-men in millions, if they are ordered to do so by the war-lords in the various countries, as they are to-day. So when honorable senators reflect on China they should, in common decency, also have a look at themselves. They should realize what has been done by investors in all countries in advancing their policies by armed force. If we are to have world peace, we must have a dispassionate and intelligent approach to these people, treating them, in the words of Sir John Latham, as men and women with an equal right to live - an equal right to a place in the sun.
I am not for a moment saying that what the Chinese are doing is what should be done. Frankly, I do not know, but I have some idea of how masses react to a changing environment. If the environment is favorable, congenial, and in conformity with their needs their behaviour will be very different from what it would be in an environment such as existed in
China before 1949 and in Russia before 1917 - indeed, in all countries where revolution has resulted in change. Personally, 1 do not regard mankind as civilized in the full sense of the word. Mankind can hardly be said to be. even semi-civilized. If all are to live as they should - as human beings in congenial surroundings, enjoying the best that life has to offer - they must have self-government, which involves enonomic as well as political democracy. In Australia, and in various countries of Europe, we have political democracy, but I have yet to learn of a country which has economic democracy - complete control of the land, and the use of wealth in the promotion of the common good, rather than the good of the few.
A good deal more could be said on the subject, but if a more intelligent approach is to be made to it, I urge honorable senators to read about what has happened in the past; for example, as revealed in E. J. Morell’s “Black Man’s Burden”, which was written in the twenties. That book shows how ruthlessly the French treated the natives of the Congo and of other areas. The position has gone from bad to worse. We have now reached a point in our history when we can no longer act as we did in the past - as a master race of superior beings. As Sir John Latham has said, we must recognize that Asians should have rights equal to our own; the right to live under the very best conditions which our society is capable of experiencing.
– 1 understood at the outset that two or three ministerial, statements on foreign affairs were to be discussed jointly. Most speakers have concentrated on the recognition of Communist China, but one of the statements before us for consideration is that by the Minister, for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) on the Indian-Chinese frontier, and I propose to refer to it. As Senator Toohey pointed out at an earlier stage, there is no very clear line of demarcation. Perhaps neither the Indians nor the Chinese are very sure of the actual position of the frontier. Obviously, it is still a matter for negotiation. It is certainly not one for the employment of armed force. When we read of Chinese Communist excursions across the Indian border, or supposed Indian border, we may surely be pardoned for remembering what happened in Tibet, in North Korea and in other parts of Asia, and for assuming, that this is just another case of Communist aggression: I repeat, whatever differences; may exist between the two countries, it is still’ a matter for negotiation rather than aggression against a country which has. practised a policy of neutrality. Indeed, Mr. Nehru’s policy towards the Communist bloc might well be described as one of appeasement.
Before I came to this Parliament I was always hearing over the air vitriolic speeches against what was termed the “ free world “. It was attacked on the score that much of it was, in fact, not free. I recall clearly that Franco’s Spain, certain republics of South America and other parts of what we know as the free world were stigmatized by certain people. It may well be that these countries practise a system of government, different from ours, which may best suit their mentality and temperament - and the stage of progress that they have reached. The all-important point is that these people, who are classed as belonging to the free world, do not threaten the existence of’ other nations. They are not units in a world-wide movement which has as its aim the conquest of the remainder of the world. I should say that therein lies a mighty difference. This non-recognition of countries by other countries which are threatened by a potential aggressor is not new. It waspractised in Europe for many years just before the outbreak of the Napoleonic wars. The people who were threatened by Napoleon saw that to recognize the French Republic, to bestow upon it some of the advantages that follow from recognition, would only strengthen Napoleon’s hand. For that reason, recognition was not given by many of the European countries which were theatened by Napoleon.
I recall that my history book says that after the battle of Austerlitz, in an effort to placate the conqueror, the Austrian foreign minister inserted in his armistice a provision to the effect that Austria recognized the republic of the French. Napoleon said, “ Strike that out. The Republic is. like the sun - none but the blind would fail to recognize it.” Some people think that the recognition or otherwise of Communist China is as simple as that. There are those who believe that because China is governed by a government: which apparently is. there: to stay, and: which, can. not be replaced and is. therefore to all intents and purposes undoubtedly the government of China, the simple thing to do would be to recognize Communist China* There is very much’ more than that behind it. I endorse entirely what Senator Hannan said about Mr. Casey’s references to trade between Australia and, the Communist bloc. For. a long time now I have- heard many people in this country argue that recognition of Communist China would bring great trade benefits to Australia. Mr: Casey’s statement on, this point is worthy of. note. He said - . trade has developed between Australia and Communist China and we are a not insignificant exporter of goods to Communist China. There is no real evidence that our. trading position would be appreciably,, if at all, improved by an act of diplomatic recognition. Chinese Communist trade can be expected to fluctuate widely, as is customary with Communist systems, and to be dictated by a combination of, economic, and political, motives. But there is nothing to suggest that, aside from the community of Communist countries, the Chinese Communists make a. distinction between recognizing and nonrecognizing countries, in respect of trade.
So far as my limited ability goes, I believe that- to be a correct statement..
Not long’ ago, I read an article written by a journalist! of long: residence in Japan. He stated that whilst Japan’s standard of living; is low indeed! judged, by. our- standards, it is still the- envy of Communist China and the other one or two satellites in, Asia. He went on- to say that Japan, with a.- population of 90,000,000, and anincrease’ of 1,000,000 in population each year, had. to increase her exports by 10 per cent, ai year in order to maintain her existing standards. The great bait held out to. Japan by Communist China was- trade. It was pointed out continually to Japanese industrialists that, in Communist China was a- market rich. in. raw material, a market right at Japan’s door which; would buy- most; of the goods manufactured by Japan if she cared to exploit it. Japan did not recognize Communist China. And that bait was being, held, out to her with, the idea of using it as a weapon to disrupt the Japanese economy at some future, date when and if Japanese trade became so dependent upon the Chinese market that it. could be used’ in that way. We must not forget that’ these Communists are fanatics. Their mission im life is to spread their doctrinethroughout the whole world and’ eventually govern most of the world. It has been stated irc evidence before the UnAmericanActivities Committee, that the Communists allege that by 1972, by subversion’ and by the use of every other known weapon, they will have brought all the smaller countries of the world into the Communist bloc, and’ the two Anglo-Saxon powers eventually will not be able to stand alone much longer. I. have no doubt that is a correct statement of the Communist aims. The policy followed by the Communists would indicate that.
At various meetings of farmers which I have attended, I have heard the question of trade with Communist China discussed. I have heard farmers deplore the fact that the Commonwealth Government does not recognize Communist China. They argue that because of this they are denied the opportunity of developing a wonderful trade avenue. Let me point out that the Labour Government in New Zealand follows exactly the same policy on recognition of red China as we do, yet a few weeks ago in a newspaper dated December last I read a leading article about a trade mission from Communist China visiting New Zealand at that time. The leader went on to state that New Zealand had sent a representative to China to see what trade could be developed, and that the Communist mission in New Zealand, had shown itself very much alive to the possibilities of trade with this country and had had its representatives here since the middle of the year. These facts seem, to- bear out Mr. Casey’s statement that the- countries of the Communist bloc do not differentiate in their trade relations: between recognizing and non-recognizing countries.
It seems to me that the question of recognition of red China boils down to a matter of self-preservation. If recognition would in any way assist the world-wide movement of Communism to further its aims for the subjugation of the rest of the world, this country should follow without alteration the policy that it is following to-day. I submit that recognition would, help the Communists considerably. The.. late John Foster Dulles was a man who., endured considerable criticism as American’, Secretary of State, and the Australian and”
British people did not approve his policy in regard to Suez, which I arn not debating in any way now. But because of bis experience and ability and the position he occupied, he was well qualified to express an opinion on these important matters. He was regarded, even by President Eisenhower, as the greatest Secretary of State the United States ever had. In relation to the recognition of red China, he said -
The United States recognition of Communist China would almost surely result in Communist domination of Asia and drive American defences back to the United States continental frontiers. United States political recognition of the Peking regime would be a well-nigh mortal blow to the survival of the non-Communist countries in the Far East. Such recognition and the seating of the Chinese Communists in the United Nations would so increase their prestige and influence in the Far East and so dishearten the free nations that the Communist subversive efforts would almost surely succeed. Concrete measures would be needed to meet Chinese dumping practices in world trade.
I take it that he was there referring to the dumping practices used as a weapon to disrupt the economy of the free world. He went on to say that the United States did not pretend that Communist China did not exist, but dealt with the Peking regime whenever that was expedient. He added -
It is certain that diplomatic recognition of the Chinese Communist regime would gravely jeopardise the political, economic and security interests of the United States. The Pacific, instead of being a friendly body of water, would in great part be dominated by hostile forces and our own defences driven back to or about our continental frontiers.
While I admit that Australia’s influence in that direction is, by comparison with that of the United States, infinitesimal, it would have an effect, and therefore I say that Australia should not recognize red China. We in this country simply cannot afford to do anything that might tend to drive back to its continental frontiers what Mr. Casey has called the only counterpoise in the Pacific to the great military threat of Communist China. That must be perfectly obvious. The most effective protection that we in this country have is the power and influence of the United States. I do not doubt for a moment that, as Mr. Dulles said, the act of recognition would so discourage the people who are living continually under the threat of Communist aggression, and so assist the subversive forces within their borders, that it would be only a matter of time before South-East Asia was subjugated. Therefore, I say without hesitation that we cannot afford to follow a course of action that would tend to help the world-wide movement of communism.
We must remember that we are not dealing with people who have the ordinary, healthy outlook of the inhabitants of the free world. We are dealing with a unit in a force that threatens the world with, I believe, the worst tyranny that history has ever recorded. I recall reading, a few years ago, a book by a French authoress, Odette Heun, who had a vast experience of conditions in most European countries. She was expelled from Nazi Germany, she was a prisoner of Stalin, and eventually she was forbidden, I think, to enter Mussolini’s Italy. I remember quite well her making this statement: Where Mussolini counted his victims in thousands. Hitler counted his in hundreds of thousands, but Stalin counted his in millions. She went on to say that, by comparison with Stalin and by comparison with the Communist hierarchy in Russia, Hitler and Mussolini, so far as tyranny were concerned, were the merest amateurs. That is the movement that threatens the free world. It has always been a matter of wonderment to me that there are some peculiarly minded people in this country - I don’t know why; whether it arises from an inferiority complex or lust for power - who would pull down all that the British people have built in thousands of years and put the clock right back to the days of Port Arthur and inflict upon us probably the worst tyranny the world has seen. I have never been able to understand that attitude, because I am one of those who believe that the Anglo-Saxon race has shown greatest ingenuity in evolving a system which guarantees a reasonable standard of living to any one who wants to go after it and, at the same time, guarantees a measure, in fact the greatest measure in the world, of individual freedom and liberty. I do not think there is any doubt about that. From a foreign tyranny we have nothing to lose whatsoever.
By the same token, I for one have little faith, although it has been advocated for so long, in what is known as a summit conference. Before you confer with people and before you can enter into discussion with them with a view to arriving at some agreement or settlement, you have got to have a certain amount of faith - not necessarily a great lot of faith, but some faith - in their sincerity of purpose. I think that that has been the stumbling block so tar as the holding of a summit conference is concerned. When we are considering the Communist philosophy, we must remember that the Communists are fanatical in spreading their movement right throughout the earth. Taking all these facts into consideration, I do not wonder that Great Britain and the United States of America have long hesitated to hold a summit conference with these people. It is very difficult to arrive at any decision with people in whom you cannot have a lot of confidence.
Some time ago I read the evidence that was tendered to the Un-American Activities Committee in the United States. One man gave evidence that he had made a study - and I believe he had - of the Communist philosophy, which he summed up by saying that the Communists had abandoned all religion and therefore there was only one book of rules, the book of rules laid down by the Communist hierarchy. He went on to point out that the great aim and the obsession of the Communists is to spread their doctrine throughout the earth. He expressed the view that the only peace they envisage when they talk about peace is the peace that will endure after they have gained their objective. It will be something like the Pax Romana when the Roman Empire so dominated the whole earth that there could not be war because every country in the world was under the domination of Rome. He said that when a Communist speaks of peace he means the sort of peace he envisages when the Communist doctrine is spread right throughout the earth, and every country is a member of the Communist bloc, as the Communist satellites are. If that were gained there would be what the Communists term peace on this earth. In his evidence he said -
When the Chinese Communists murder millions it is an act of peace. When the Russian tanks rolled into Budapest to butcher and destroy it was glorious peace. Peace is wonderful and within their framework of ideology. Whatever helps their conquest is peaceful, good and true because it brings the ultimate peace they envisage closer.
He went on to say -
According to Communist ideology, a lie told in the interest of communism is a creditable act.
We have all noticed how Soviet propaganda very often proclaims to be true what the free world knows to be the exact opposite of the truth.
Mr. Deputy President, I feel that the whole crux of this question as to whether red China should be recognized hinges round that one essential. I verily believe that that is now in fact going on in a struggle for existence - the struggle to retain the way of life that we consider to bc the only way of life worth while. I really believe that communism is a world-wide movement that will not stop but will use every means at its disposal to penetrate the whole world. If this act of recognition is going to help it on its way - and I verily believe it would do so - then Australia should have none of it. I believe, as John Foster Dulles said, that it would help it on its way; and we cannot afford for a moment to do anything that would disturb the great protection that we have got in the Pacific - that is, the strength and the power of the United States of America - by an act of recognition of red China. I believe that all the advantages - they were dealt with most effectively this afternoon by Senator McManus - that it is supposed would accrue to us from recognition would not eventuate. I believe that in the long run we would contribute towards the eventual triumph of communism, which, without doubt, does threaten the world, and that we would be doing something, I repeat, thai would help it on its way.
– I have read with interest the speech by the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) on the desirability or otherwise or recognizing red China. I have also read the statement that was made by the AttorneyGeneral (Sir Garfield Barwick), as acting Minister for External Affairs, on the frontier dispute between China and India. I might say at the outset of my remarks that I agree with Senator Toohey, the opening speaker for the Opposition in this debate, that if any good purpose is to be served by the debate, the speeches will have to be objective and free from my implication that because an honorable senator expresses a certain view it indicates that he has Communist sympathies.. However, having listened, to the majority of those who have spoken so far, I must say that I regret that speeches have not been objective and free from such implications.
I believe that, generally speaking, honorable senators opposite, who were adamant in their view that continental China should not be recognized-, ignored three facts. First, they ignored the fact that there is a cold war in existence to-day, and that, as in a fighting war, the propaganda machines are putting out propaganda from both sides. Whilst it might be thought to be patriotic to echo the propaganda coming from our side, I do not think that that would come within the definition of an objective speech in a debate like this, when the question to be decided is. whether or not it is in the interests of Australia, and in the interests of world peace, that we should accept that there is now existing on the continent of China a government that is well established. It is a government which, in my opinion, and also in the opinion of the great majority, if not all, of the people who have visited China, has the support of the majority of the people of China. In point of fact, the people who are advocating the recognition of Communist China are those who recognize as a fact that there is in existence in. China a government that has the support of the people of China. It must be remembered that China contains approximately one-quarter of the people of the earth. For that reason alone, I do not think that the advocates of the recognition of Communist China leave themselves open to the charge that was made by Senator Maher earlier in. this debate. He said: that there were a number of sincere but misguided people who supported the recognition of Communist China, and he implied that those people were not only supporting the “ fellow travellers “ of the Communists, but’ were actually advocating the same thing as they do.
The second trap into which the majority of the’ speakers from the opposite side of the chamber have fallen is that they have assumed’ that’ if there is any discontent in any country of Asia, it necessarily follows that the discontent has been aroused as a result of Communist machinations. Senator Maher stated: quite dogmatically that the trouble’, in Laos had. been, brought about by
Communist insurgents, yet, the; author of the paper we- are discussing said: - if we can believe the newspapers - that he warned the people not to., be too dogmatic, on this, question’,, because there was some, evidence that the trouble in Laos arose as the result of, popular discontent by the. people of Laos, with the government, of the day. Senator Hannan, mentioned later in the debate that the. United Nations had. seen, fit to send a. committee of inquiry - I do not know whether that is. the correct term - to investigate and find out what is the. trouble in Laos. It is possibly true that the trouble is Communist-inspired, but I think it is more probable that there was discontent there and. that the Communists seized’ upon it.
The third mistake that honorable senators opposite have, made during this debate is that they have accepted as an indisputable fact that, overnight, a government with which the Government of continental China was in dispute became the freely elected’ government of a free people; SenatorMaher instanced Tibet,, which has come in for a good, deal of discussion by a number of speakers during the course of this debate. It is not my intention to act as an apologist for the Government of red China in respect of the subjugation of Tibet, but I think it is a denial of common sense to say that because, there is a dispute between. China and Tibet, that necessarily means, that. Tibet was a free country. I think. “ free country “ were the words that were used..
We- have come to accept that a free country is one that freely elects its own- government. There is not very much known about the beginning, of the régime in Tibet. TheTibetans were led by a Dalai Lama and also by a. very much forgotten person, who goes under the- title of. Panchen Lama. I am not putting, it forward as an indisputable statement of facts, but 1 believe that what I am about to say is probably as close to the truth as anything else, we can find, out about Tibet. The fact, is that the Dalai Lama, and the Panchen Lama were both delegates to the People’s National Assembly of China - the body that the Chinese: recognize as their supreme governing authority. The advisers of the Dalai. Lama saw fit to advise him to break with the Government of China, but the Panchen Lama did not see fit to break with that government.
-. - He. has been taken care of now.
– That remark is in keeping with an aspect of the debate about which I am complaining. The honorable senator is stating, something as a positive fact. 1 may not be sure of the accuracy of what I am saying, but 1 am positive that the honorable senator opposite is not sure of what he is talking about.
– In other words, none of us know what we are talking about.
– I can state as a fact that there are two Lamas in Tibet. Only those who read the newspapers very closely know that there are two Lamas there. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of Tibet and the Panchen Lama is the political head. As to whether the Dalai Lama has the support of the majority of the Tibetan people, or as to whether the Panchen Lama has the greater support, nobody knows. If in this day and age some one has seen fit to find out what are the views of the Tibetan people, I guarantee that it is the first time that the Tibetan people’s views have ever been sought. Frankly, I do not think that their views have been sought, and I have never seen any suggestion that they have been.
It may be of interest if I indicate how the situation in Tibet came about. Many centuries ago, a Buddhist monk came to power in Tibet. As death was approaching he realized that after he died there would be a battle for power between those around him, so he evolved a method by which he thought that he could prevent a blood-bath. He said, “ Immediately I die, a number of horsemen must ride to the east and a number to the west. The first new-born child that they find in the east will become the Dalai Lama, and the first new-born child that they find in the west will become the Panchen Lama.” It necessarily followed that, as the new Lama was a recently-born child, those whom the old Dalai Lama was fearful would create a blood-bath after his death in fact became regents or advisers to the new Lamas. Again, my statement is subject to checking, but my advice is to the effect that the Lamas of Tibet have not set a record for longevity. I think that the present Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama, who are in their middle twenties, probably have established, a record in that respect.
While the Tibet dispute has been prominent in the newspapers we have heard quite a lot about the God-King of Tibet and very little about the Panchen Lama, but in actual fact they are both only figureheads. The real leaders of Tibet, leaving aside the question of subjugation by China, are the noble families. There has never been a suggestion of democracy in Tibet in any publication on the subject that it is possible to find. I have discussed this matter at some length, not for the purpose of excusing what is going on in Tibet, but to explode the theory that just because a. country happens to be engaged in a dispute with the Communist, government of China, that necessarily makes the government of that country lily-white and freely elected. The same comment could be made in respect of a number of countries of Asia which have governments that, I am sure, even honorable senators opposite would agree could be improved.
I come now to the point that I am seeking to make. One of the last speeches that I heard the late Ben Chifley make was delivered to a gathering in Adelaide. In the course of his speech, Mr. Chifley warned against the very- thing that is happening to-day. He said that the greatest mistake that the Western allies could make would be to regard as communism the upsurge of nationalism in Asia. He said, “If you do that, you will broaden the field of the people who are opposing you”. If honorable senators opposite think about this matter they will realize that communism breeds in discontent. If discontent exists in Asian countries, there will be people - in some instances a majority of people, as I believe was the case in China - who are not satisfied with the government by which they are being ruled. When that discontent occurs, the Communists come into power. World developments since the end of the last war undoubtedly point to the truth of what Mr. Chifley said. If we think that every nationalistic movement arises from communism or from Communist-inspired discontent, we shall broaden the field of our enemies.
I wish now to state the thoughts that came into my mind when I first read the speech of the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) that we are discussing. Frankly, I thought that it was more in the nature of an apology, or an attempt to soften up people within the ranks of the. Government parties in regard to their request for recognition of China, than an answer to the opinions of people who have long believed that the cold war in Asia must end, in the interests of world peace, and that it could end only by recognizing red China. The Nl mister stated, in the course of his speech -
It is not a slamming of the door for all time. “The world does not stand still.
I think all honorable senators will agree that it was not very profound of the Minister to say that the world does not stand -still. It certainly has not stood still during the last ten years.
I suggest that the main reason why the Australian Government is standing out against the recognition of continental China is that the United States of America is doing so.
– What about Formosa, though? Could the honorable senator elaborate that aspect?
– I will come to Formosa. The interjection was not necessary. I had been saying that we are debating not so much the policy of the Australian Government as the correctness or otherwise -of the policy of the United States. With possibly one exception, I do not think that honorable senators opposite believe that if, overnight, the United States changed its policy in regard to the recognition of red China, the Government of Australia would not also change its policy. I am not arguing against the logic of the statements that have been made, or the views that have been expressed. The fact that America does not recognize red China may be a -strong argument, perhaps, for Australia not to recognize it, but I do not believe that that is the be-all or end-all of the matter.
In the course of this debate, an honorable senator opposite said that he recognized that we were at fault in respect of the Suez dispute. That was indicative of the fact that this Government should not always get in line with the foreign policy of the United States. In any case, despite all the great attributes of the American nation, I do not think that its record in foreign affairs or in diplomacy is such that we should accept American policy without question, or simply follow it without any discussion of it. I think it was Senator Maher who said that we should not recognize red China, if only because the United
States did not do so. That brings up the question of United States policy, which seems to me to be the proper subject of this debate. Incidentally, it would be wrong to suppose that every one in that country agreed that it was wise to continue pouring millions into Formosa to keep alive the regime of a discredited war-lord - a term at which some honorable senators took offence - who had been defeated in China and had retreated to Taiwan, which we call Formosa.
It might be profitable to consider the reasons why the United States first decided to recognize Chiang Kai-shek’s regime. Logic dictates the thought that the United States expected the Communist Government to collapse, either from inability to rule, or from the opposition that would develop on the mainland. That was some ten years ago, and there was then some reason for believing that it would happen. Down through the last 1,500 or 1,600 years, since the beginning of China’s known history, there have been countless revolutions. Each has failed - usually because of discontent among the peasants, who make up 80 per cent, of the population. Invariably, when that has happened, the government set up after the revolution has failed. The United States might have been pardoned for supposing that, by keeping alive the government of Chiang Kai-shek, it could go back to the mainland when the collapse occurred, and take over.
I do not think that any person who has visited China and has studied it actually believes that there is the slightest possibility of the regime collapsing - quite apart from the use of bayonets and the like to suppress the people. I certainly did not come to that conclusion when I visited China. I do not think that one visitor to that country - and there has been a wide range, from church leaders to intellectuals - has forecast anything of the kind. I may say that I have been interested in this whole matter, and that my reading produces no such evidence. No one has suggested that the government will collapse from discontent within.
The strong possibility which existed ten years ago is non-existent to-day, so what does the United States hope to obtain from its recognition of Formosa as the Government of China? It can only mean that it is prepared to support Chiang Kai-shek in an armed invasion of China - with all the possible consequences; or believes that sooner or later thieves will fall out; that there will be a rift in the lute between China and the Soviet Union - which would enable Chiang Kai-shek’s régime to take over. That also is mere wishful thinking, because whatever else one may think about the leaders of China and Russia, they are not fools. They know what would happen if a rift developed. I am sure that whatever arguments they may have will not develop to the stage where some one else would be given an opportunity to take over.
That brings me back to my first point - that America’s policy must be based on the hope that, by keeping Chiang Kai-shek’s regime going, an opportunity will present itself to take over China by armed invasion. However badly any one might feel about the set-up in China, or however hostile he may be to the Communists, I do not think he would care to speak of another world war - for that is what it would mean. It might have been possible six, eight or nine years ago to put down the new régime by force. However, I do not think that to-day any sane person could believe that a largescale war could be waged against Communist China without a world war also developing.
I have quoted Senator Maher a few times because some of his thoughts have stuck in my mind. One of the things that he said was that many misguided but sincere people believed in the recognition of red China, and in so doing. were unwittingly supporting fellow travellers. I am most certainly not a fellow traveller; therefore I must be sincere but misguided. If that is true, I travel in good company.
One rather ironical feature of the statement by the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) on the Chinese-Indian border dispute was that the dispute was given as a reason for not recognizing red China. In point of fact, the representatives of India at the United Nations were at that moment sponsoring a move for the recognition of China. If one is to accept what Senator Maher has said, Mr. Nehru must also be regarded as a sincere but misguided person. I do not think he is that. Whatever differences the two countries may have over borders, Mr. Nehru obviously believes that the best place to settle differences is inside the United Nations.
– I should like to congratulate Senator Lillico upon his stirring address. I was also much interested in the remarks of Senator Ridley, from South Australia. With Senator Lillico, I pay tribute to the memory of the late John Foster Dulles, whom one must remember if only for his courageous life and the way in which he spared neither health nor effort in the interests of world peace, in the Asian area especially.
I support the motion for the printing of the papers. On 13th August, the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) made a speech on Communist China. Later, he made one on Laos and, still later, on the Indian frontier question. I propose to confine my remarks to an examination of the question of recognition of Communist China. Then I should like to deal for a few minutes with several questions concerning Asia which I find of interest. The simple question is, “ Should Australia reverse her present policy and recognize mainland China, or should Australia continue her present recognition of the Chinese on the island of Formosa? “ A third point is whether Australia should recognize both mainland China and the Chinese on the island of Formosa. I feel that anything Australia can do in other parts of SouthEast Asia to influence the mind of man towards peace and an improvement in standards of living should be done. We must not lose sight of the fact that on mainland China there is a population of 650,000,000 and that this population is increasing at the rate of 15,000,000 a year. The form of Government there is totalitarian. It is based on the Marxist theory, and therefore certainly is not the democratic form of government that we know.
The Chinese influence throughout Asia has always interested me. In Hong Kong, one finds the Cantonese who came down the Pearl River to that British possession. Their ratio to other nationalities is probably 50 to 1. There is also a Chinese majority in the new Commonwealth country of Singapore. Many Chinese live in Malaya and Indonesia. It will be appreciated, therefore, that in considering the Chinese question we must remember that other .countries many thousands of miles from mainland China are also affected. Then there are between 10,000,000 and 11,000,000 Chinese on the island of Formosa and on the offshore islands which at present owe allegiance to the Formosan Government.
Much has been said about how malu.land China is going ahead industrially. I was very interested this morning to hear over the national broadcasting system some remarks made in San Francisco yesterday by His Excellency the United States Ambassador to Australia. Among other things, His Excellency said -
We have heard a great deal recently about the “ great leap forward of the Communist Chinese “. I submit Australia’s record is such as to make that leap look somewhat silly, the more so because it has been effected in a free country so similar ‘to our own and without the tragic dislocation of human beings to which the Chinese Communists have so ruthlessly resorted.
The economy of mainland China is bristling with problems, and the rate of progress there is not so fantastically great as many would have us believe. That country could be faced with problems of government so vast that it is possible that the people living in the island of Formosa might, in the fullness of time, be a great influence in leading the mainland Chinese back to a prosperity and integrity similar to what was enjoyed by China before the great Communist drive began ten years or so ago.
When considering the ‘question of the recognition of Communist China, one should examine some df the things that have been happening since the present government came into power there. For instance, one recalls the brutal advance made on Korea by the forces of Communist China. Now, ‘by ‘dint of very hard work, very hard fighting and the intervention of a United Nations force, there is an armed truce in Korea. There is an armed stalemate in Formosa and on the offshore islands at the moment. When I was in Hongkong last year I visited the border area of Communist China. ‘It was bristling with armed Chinese Communists. One does not -know for what purpose they were there, but they were certainly ready for some military and aggressive purpose. Again, almost daily, people ‘fleeing from Communist China in search of asylum in the small Portuguese settlement of Macao near Hongkong are being shot. Viet Nam is divided at the present time because of the activities of the Communist Chinese, and so is Laos.
Again, there is no need to remind the Senate of the armed suppression of Tibet by the Communist Chinese. Then we have the Communist activities in India and Afghanistan. Further, there is a comparatively large force of Australian Army and Air Force personnel in Malaya at the present time protecting and preserving the integrity of that new member of our British Commonwealth from the activities of the Communist Chinese. It will be seen, therefore, that there is Communist Chinese activity in many parts of the world at the present time; and Australia has a definite interest in a number of those places.
Some people say that if we were to recognize mainland China a new State would -be set up, that it would take over all the pre- 1.949 obligations of China and all would be well. It is interesting to look at the score on this question. There are 50 nations -other than Australia which do not recognize mainland China at the moment. Among .them are the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand and Malaya. There are 33 nations, including a large number in the Communist bloc, which do recognize it. Malaya and the Philippines do not recognize Communist China, because they fear the development of unhealthy subversive influences within their own territorial boundaries if they were to do so.
Japan does not recognize Communist China. As Senator Lillico said, Japan has a real fear that the .recognition of Communist China, laced in with the terms that the latter lays down, would cause a disruption of the Japanese economy. If we recognized Communist China, we should have to break off diplomatic relations with Formosa, where there are 10,000,000 Chinese people. Formosa has a legation here, and its seems regrettable, as Senator McManus said, that Australia has not a reciprocal legation in Formosa. I hope that the efforts of Senator McManus and others will be successful and will result in the establishment of that reciprocity. It would be an act of very bad faith towards those brave people of Formosa if, by recognizing Communist China, we put them ‘out in the cold, as it were, in . their relationship with Australia.
We should stick to the principle that we have adopted. It may be regarded as a certainty that complications would occur with the United States and other countries that are committed by alliance sand treaty to supporting Formosa, if we ceased to recognize that country. As 1 see it, no positive case has been put forward in this Parliament for our breaking with Formosa, which would be necessary for our recognition of Communist China. In my view, the Government’s attitude in instructing its delegates to the United Nations, now meeting in New York, to oppose the admission of Communist China to that organization is sound in the light of Communist China’s record, which I and a number of other speakers, especially those on this side and Senator McManus on the other side, have put to the Senate. The record is not good, and the judgment of the majority of the 80 nations now forming the United Nations accords with that of the Australian Government.
There is no evidence that our trade would be improved if we were to recognize Communist China. I understand that the trade policy of that nation fluctuates very widely, being dictated by political and economic motives. Japan appreciates this, which is why Japan prefers not to trade at all with Communist China and not to recognize it. There is no evidence that Australia would gain any trading advantage from recognition of Communist China, and there is no proof that tourists or visitors from Australia would have any specially favorable treatment as a result. It is interesting to recall the remarks made in the Canadian Parliament on 26th February by that country’s Minister for External Affairs. He said -
We do not see much point in extending recognition to Communist China if the result of such an act will be to put us in a position similar to that of other countries which have recognized China and then have been berated and extravagantly attacked because they have not always backed Communist China pursuant to what the Peking Government feels was an obligation arising out of recognition.
I am therefore against recognition, but I believe that we must do something positive for South-East Asia. I believe that the
Communist Chinese have endeavoured, by their penetration, to influence the minds of men and by their philosophy to improve their living conditions. We should send missionaries and doctors over there. I approve entirely -of the great work that -churches of all denominations, and men and women .who have gone forward as doctors and nurses have done lin that area. The Colombo Plan is good ,in .providing material and technical aid for parts of Asia and in promoting the training of Asian students.
We could do more, especially in relation to land use and land title. I am encouraged to present to the Senate some facts relating to one of the deputy registrars-general of the Lands Titles Office in Adelaide, who has gone to Singapore and, I understand, prepared a system of lands title registration for Singapore. The ownership of land and registration of titles to it in Asia and the Middle East have always been problems. When I was in the Middle East during the war, I found that one of the great curses was that ownership and tenancy of land was in a confused state because there was no system of registration of titles. I believe that the registration system that was prepared for the Government of Singapore, and that is about to function is excellent. Australian developments in the registration of titles, including the Torrens system, could well be of great assistance to the people of Asia. Some of our methods of developing land could also well go forward. My friend, the honorable member for Wakefield (Mr. Kelly), put to the House of Representatives some ideas on this very question, and I have discussed them’ with him.
In Asia there are large areas of low scrub, for the cultivation of which the people do not appear to have the right implements or know-how. Mr. Kelly, who has discussed the matter with people who know the position, has discovered that the Asian people are not using the correct implements and that their implements break easily. This problem was presented to us in South Australia, 50 or 60 years ago, when the stump-jump plough was invented. Some of our farmers who are experienced in land development could well go to Asia, together with men who are experienced in land registration systems, with a view to assisting Asians in this very great problem.
Flying over some of this country one notices that it is not being fully used. The population can be seen to be gathered along the rivers. One sees thousands of square miles of green bush country which could present a great challenge to Australians. On the juridical side this Government is quite right in its policy of non-recognition of Communist China.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. A. D. Reid). - Order! In conformity with the sessional order relating to the adjournment of the Senate, I formally put the question -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 11 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 30 September 1959, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1959/19590930_senate_23_s15/>.