26th Parliament · 2nd Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator ti,e Hon. Sir Alister McMullin) took the chau at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
Senator MURPHY presented a petition from the President of the Hobart Branch of the Tasmanian Pensioners League prayin” thai the Senate will do all in ils power to press for further increases in pensions for the aged, infirm and widows.
Petition received and read.
– I ask the leader of the Government and Minister for Supply: What was the purpose of acquisition of the Fill aircraft and when will the aircraft be fit for that purpose?
– -This question quite clearly should be directed to the Minister for Defence and 1 would ask that it be put on the notice paper. 1 shall get a reply to it for the Leader of the Opposition.
– My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is there any foundation in reports that members of the Government parties are so disturbed by the 5 years of bungling over the FI 1 1 aircraft and other associated matters that there will be no election this year? If so, can the Minister advise, in the interests of this Parliament and all Australians, when the election will be held?
– -My answer to the first part of the question is that (here is no concern among members of the Government parties. As to the other parts of the question, time will tell.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. What are the details of the Government’s proposals for the expenditure of the $25m provided last year for the rehabilitation of the dairy industry which is now in urgent need of help? What is the extent of each Stale’s collaboration in the implementation of the scheme? !..> the money lo be advanced as a grant or as a loan, and on what terms and conditions is it to be advanced?
– As I understand the position, the Minister for Primary Industry expects to bc in a position to announce a decision on this matter within the next few months. Again as I understand the position, the agreement with the Slates has not yet been or has only just been finalised. I cannot give the honourable senator any more information on the subject that T have given him.
– I address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence. In view of the serious fault that has now been discovered in the FI 1 1 aircraft, has the Government any idea at all when the aircraft ordered by Australia are likely to be delivered?
– When I came in- . to this chamber, at 3 o’clock the Minister for Defence was making some comment in another place in relation to the FI 1 1 aircraft. For that reason, I think it proper (hal I should have access to the report of that comment before answering the honourable senator’s question, lt is quite obvious that a fault has been detected. I would feel that at this time it would be much too soon to give any detail in relation to the matter; but I hope to be in a position at a later stage to make a more comprehensive and intelligent comment on it.
– I direct my question to the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral. In view of the decision to erect translator television stations at Mount Olinthus near Cowell and Pillaworta Hill near Port Lincoln to serve residents on Eyre Peninsula, can the Postmaster-General say whether he has plans to provide the far west of Eyre Peninsula and other fringe areas with a television service?
– I cannot give the honourable senator the information he requires, but I will put the question before my colleague the PostmasterGeneral and obtain an answer for the honourable senator.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services. Did the Minister for Social Services, at an international conference held in New York, make the statement: We have no laws restricting free emigration and our citizens are at liberty to come and go as they like’? If so, is the Minister aware of the National Service Act? Are not our 20-year-olds restricted in their freedom to come and go under that Act? What would be the position of one of those lads if he desired to emigrate?
– I would say in answer to the first part of the honourable senator’s question that the Minister for Social Services, while at the United Nations, delivered an excellent speech during the discussion on the welfare work which has been done in this country. The other part of the question appears to me to be not one for the Minister for Social Services but one which should be addressed to the Minister for Labour and National Service. I suggest that this part of the question bc put on notice and addressed to the appropriate Minister.
– Has the Leader of the Government noted the forthright statements made this week by two distinguished American statesmen, Mr Arthur Goldberg, who recently resigned from the high office of United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and Senator Mike Mansfield, the Majority Leader in the Senate of the United States, calling upon their Government to halt the bombing of North Vietnam as the best way of achieving progress in the Paris talks and towards ultimate peace in Vietnam? Does the Minister not agree that the time has come for the Australian Government, as one of the few countries with combat troops in Vietnam, to take some initiative and join with Mr Goldberg, Senator Mansfield, U Thant and other enlightened world opinion in pressing for the end of the bombing?
– I did see the references to the speeches made by Mr Goldberg and Senator Mansfield. I feel bound to say that they are entitled to express their points of view. Many points of view are expressed in Australia, in the United States and indeed all over the world in relation to this matter. But this Government’s policy has been quite clearly enunciated and it has been debated in this place. I do not think that a mere statement by some person, be he ever so prominent, necessarily requires that this Government should change its policy. T should say that when making a decision on policy a government gives consideration to all the facts. I do not think it correct to say that because somebody has made a certain statement the Government must do something about the matter. That is not a rational approach. I repeat that this Government’s policy has been clearly defined in relation to Vietnam, and we have debated it here during a discussion on foreign affairs.
– 1 address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport, in view of the policy announced by the Government of denying Australian ports, except in cases of emergency, to foreign fishing vessels with a view to protecting Australia’s coastal fishing industry, does the Government similarly propose to deny Australian ports to vessels which are engaged in carrying materials of war to Australia’s enemies engaged in armed combat with Australian military forces, with a view to protecting the lives of Austalian servicemen?
– The honourable senator knows full well that on 1st January the Government proclaimed certain areas up to the 12 mile limit to protect the Australian fishing industry. The honourable senator is now asking what is going to happen in relation to the shipment of goods from Australia to other areas. I ask that this part of the question be placed on notice and I shall get a considered reply from the Minister for Shipping and Transport.
– Is the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Industry aware of the concern being expressed by many Australian fat lamb producers at the fact that the importation of lamb from other countries has given buyers of lamb a further reason for a depressed price? ls it a fact that for the 12 months ended 30th June 1968 imports of lamb into Australian totalled some 865 tons compared with approximately 121 tons in the previous year and 5 tons in the year before that? Does the Minister feel that the increase in lamb imports of about 2.000%on the initial year and of over 700% on the 12 months ended 30th June 1967, if continued, will pose a particularly serious threat to fat lamb producers in Australia? Will the Government take action to see that returns to Australian producers of this commodity are sustained?
– The honourable senator has directed to me a question concerning an extraordinary increase in the volume of imports of lamb into Australia. I think he said that over a period of 3 years the quantity imported ‘increased from about 5 tons lo about’ 865 tons. Quite clearly 1 am not competent to. answer al question time for the Minister for Trade and Industry a question related to the implications of or reasons for that particular increase. I therefore ask the honourable senator lo place his question on the. notice paper and I will gel a considered reply for him.
– I ask the Leader of the Government in - the Senate: Will the Government present lo the Senate a full statement on every aspect of the Fill alf air and make provision for an early debate on the statement?
– As I understand the position, the Minister for Defence indicated today in another place thai he will table a document in relation lo a statement that he made in the United States of America a few days ago. The honourable senator has asked whether a full statement will be made in the Senate and set clown for debate here. ) will raise the mailer of a statement with the Minister’ for Defence. As to a debate on it, that is a matter for the Senate to decide at an appropriate lime.
– ls the Minister representing the Prime Minister in a position to make a statement on submissions made to the Prime Minister by the Sydney Table of the Brotherhood of the Coast which visualises a race by windjammers from England to Australia to coincide with the Captain Cook bi-centenary celebrations? In particular, has the Commonwealth Government made a specific request lo (he Government of Chile for the participation in such an event of its naval craft ‘Esmeralda’?
– I have sought some information on this matter from the Prime Minister’s Department. I am informed thai in 1967 the Australian Tourist Commission suggested that sail training ships of the world, including the Chilean schooner ‘Esmeralda’, might be invited to Australia to take part in celebrations marking the bi-centenary of Cook’s discovery of the eastern coast of Australia. The Commission envisaged the project as one of great spectacular value which would attract a considerable number of visitors lo this country. The Prime Minister approved the suggestion in principle. My colleague Senator Wright, as Minister-in-Charge of Tourist Activities, under the Minister for Trade and Industry, wrote to the Minister lor External Affairs seeking assistance in outlining proposals lo representatives of governments in order that an indication might be obtained of how countries likely to participate would react to the proposal before formal invitations were issued by the Prime Minister.The Department of External Affairs has been acting on thai request for assistance by first making inquiries through embassies in Canberra, and is currently waiting advice of the informal responses of the governments concerned.
– Did the Minister for Customs and Excise last week, as Acting Minister for Civil Aviation, inform Government members representing electorates adjoining Botany Bay that Cabinet had nol approved and was not likely lo approve the establishment of an airport at Towra Point? Can the Minister say whether the Department of Civil Aviation has had prepared for some time plans for the development of Towra Point as a second airport to serve the needs of Sydney? Indeed, has the new control tower at Mascot (Kingsford-Smith) Airport been so sited that it will be in a position to observe planes landing at or departing from the proposed Towra Point airport, as well as from the Mascot (Kingsford-Smith) Airport? If there are any plans existing in the Department, will the Minister produce them to the Senate? If not, and if the Department does not intend to use the area concerned for future airport development, will the Minister so advise the New South Wales State Planning Authority so that arrangements can be made by that body to release the land to the local council for developmental purposes?
– lt is a fact that I sent telegrams to members representing the areas mentioned by the honourable senator. I .stared then that Cabinet had not considered any proposal in relation to Towra Point and in fact did not want any proposals brought forward on this subject at this time. Governments and Ministers have always to look forward to development, particularly in relation to the airline industry of Australia. There is no doubt that within the next 20 years sites additional to Mascot will have to be found for aircraft to land, and the Department and the Minister will be looking at those sites. When they find a site the Minister will make the decision as to whether he will bring it before Cabinet for consideration. So far no proposition for the use of Towra Point has been brought forward by the Minister.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Health. Is the Minister for Health aware of the existence of the Tasmanian Food and Drug Regulation 277 of 1967 relating to the limitation of excess moisture content in the frozen carcasses of poultry? Will he consider the introduction of similar protection for consumers in the Australian Capital Territory and other Commonwealth territories? Further, will he consider using his good offices to encourage all other State governments to introduce similar protection for consumers in the other States?
– f am very interested in the point raised by the honourable senator and I shall be pleased to place it before my colleague the Minister for Health.
– I ask the Minister representing the Treasurer: Does the Treasurer intend, before the Parliament goes into recess this year, to introduce a Bill governing compensation for Commonwealth employees. If so, when will it be introduced? If not, why will it not be introduced?
– I shall seek the information sought by the honourable senator and 1 hope to be in a position to give him an answer tomorrow.
– My question is directed to the Minister in Charge of Tourist Activities. Has he seen a very conspicuous advertisement in the daily Press, inserted by Thai International Airlines, stating that this organisation offers to guarantee to economy class passengers in its aircraft two abreast sealing, thus eliminating the possibility of a passenger being sandwiched in the middle of three seals as is usually found in economy class? As this service will have considerable attraction for the increasing number of overseas travellers, and .in view of the value of tourism to Australia and the possible adverse effect, on Australia’s overseas airline, can the Minister inform the Senate of the number of passengers carried last year by Qantas Airways Ltd who travelled economy class? By how many would this number be reduced if two abreast seating were offered by Qantas in the economy class?
– I have seen some reference to the proposal to seat passengers two abreast in the economy class seats. However, it did not present the same fascination to me as apparently it does to the honourable senator. With regard to the statistics that she requests in relation to Qantas, I am not acquainted with them but f shall be very glad to obtain them for her.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. I wish to know whether a member of the Australian Wheat Board, Mr T. Shanahan, is reported to have said on Sunday last that Australian Wheat Board officers all over the world are making every effort to establish fresh outlets for Australian wheat. How many Board members or officers are stationed outside Australia? What fresh outlets have been established in the past 5 years?
– I did see the statement referred to by the honourable senator. I. wish to remind him that for a number of years it has been the policy not only of the Australian Wheat Board but also of the Department of Trade and Industry to endeavour to open up fresh markets for Australian produce in different parts of the world. I am not in a position to let the honourable senator know how many officers there are overseas, but I will try to get the information for him.
– ] ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration: Have many Czechoslovakian citizens, recently indicated a desire to migrate to Australia? Are any special arrangements being made to assist such persons to come to Australia?
– I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for the Army. In. view of the fact that the swing wing Fill aircraft may not be delivered until 1972 or later, will consideration be given to basing the Army Air Corps at Townsville in Queensland? If the Corps cannot be based in this area, will the Minister inform me where it is likely to be based when transferred from Amberley?
– The first part of the question asked by the honourable senator is based on supposition. 1 ask the honourable senator to put the remainder of the question on the notice paper so that I may get some information from the Minister for the Army.
– Will the Minister representing the Minister for the Army inquire from his colleague whether Army exercises were held by Western Command at Forestdale, in Western Australia, on or about 10th or 11th August last in which the enemy were described as university students who were alleged to have mined powerlines and to have engaged in other subversive activities? If what I have mentioned is a fact, will the Minister ascertain the purpose of the military authorities in so describing the enemy?
– I understand that exercises as described by the honourable senator were carried out. I wish to inform him that the information 1 have is that a general accusation, based on such a trivial and isolated incident, that the Army is using exercises to indoctrinate soldiers politically, i> ridiculous.
– I ask the Minister for Works whether he has a reply to my question of 21st August in which I drew attention to the fact that according to my advice no provision had been made at Tullamarine Airport for mechanical passenger conveyors such as are becoming standard equipment at international airports.
– I am glad to have the opportunity to give fuller information than I gave when the question was answered originally. No provision has been made in the present design for either the international or the domestic concourse at Tullamarine Airport for moving walkways as envisaged by Senator Bishop, but the international concourse has been designed with sufficient height, to permit this to be done if required at a later date, lt is proposed that at. some future date the present international concourse will be extended by approximately 500 feet. The Department of Civil Aviation is considering the inclusion of moving walkways in the proposed extended section of the concourse.
At a number of airports overseas - for example, Los Angeles and Kennedy Airports - the airlines provide small trains towed by electrically driven prime movers which convey passengers and their luggage along concourses if the passengers so desire. The possibility of local airlines, both domestic and international, providing a similar amenity for passengers using the concourse at Tullamarine is not precluded.
– ls the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science aware that the Premier of Tasmania, on behalf of education authorities in that State, is making representations to the Commonwealth Government for some financial assistance and the co-operation of relevant Commonwealth departments to enable commercial television stations not now operating during weekday morning hours to be used for special high standard education telecasts so that as much use as is possible can be made of this medium to extend the already high standard of education through television in Tasmania?
– I am aware of the statement made by the Premier, lt was given publicity in Tasmania. I find the application of great interest because it proposes to utilise for the purpose of education a lime that is not yet used by the commercial television stations. I remind the Senate that this would be completely in line with the recommendations made by the Senate select committee which inquired into the subject of television some years ago. As to the Government’s decision on the application, of course I can give no information,
– My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for External Affairs. Has the
Minister seen the report of a speech by Professor R. A. Scalapino, one of America’s foremost authorities on Asian politics, in which he said that non-Communist states should seek to discourage the militant Communists of Asia by maintaining enough forces and providing them with sufficient credibility so that the policy makers in Communist countries would be forced to weigh the risks of aggression? If the Minister has seen the report, does he agree with Professor Scalapino’s contention?
– .1 have seen only a very brief reference to the speech by Professor Scalapino and therefore it would be very wrong of me to comment upon it. 1 certainly shall read it now with some particularity having regard to the reference made by the Leader of the Australian Democratic Labor Party.
– I direct my question to the Minister … representing the Minister for National Development, ls the exploitation of the mineral resources of Groote Eylandt subject to a letter of understanding between the Government and Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd? ls a copy of that letter available? If not, can the Minister assure the Senate that the conditions of the agreement are being carried out?
– There is an agreement between the Government and BHP in relation to a contract for mining manganese at Groote Eylandt. The agreement contains provision for a royalty to be paid to the Northern Territory Administration. Money is made available out of this royalty for the benefit of natives . living at Groote Eylandt. I understand that the amount is quite large and is very pleasing to all concerned with handling manganese on the island.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence. Does the .Government still consider that the decision of a former Minister for Defence to purchase the Fill aircraft was a wise one? Does the Government believe that the United States has been completely honest with us over the production problems of the aircraft and its actual value to us as a defence weapon? Will the
Government give urgent consideration even at this late stage to pulling out of the deal?
– The answer to the first question is yes; the answer to the second question is yes, and the answer to the last one is no, as 1 would understand it. Quite clearly the Government believes that the Fi l l decision was a wise one for Australia’s ultimate security. I am sure that the Government believes in the integrity and propriety of the United Slates Government, the contractors and the United States Air Force which acts as our agent in the matter. It would be wrong for anybody to get the feeling that because there have been initial troubles in relation to this aircraft the p ro.ject should be abandoned. These troubles are not peculiar to this type of aircraft. Indeed, one could argue with force, and if necessary I will argue with force, that there has not been a. military aircraft used by Australia or a great power that has not had initially some type of problem. It is wrong to suggest that because we have had this problem we should jettison the decision and the aircraft. It is not in contemplation by the Government in any way.
– ls the Minister representing the Minister for Air aware that as a consequence of recent pay rises given to members of the defence forces, senior flight sergeants, warrant officers, and flying officers in certain musterings are now on exactly the same pay level? Has the Department erred in this matter, or is it new policy to set pay rates for the three ranks in those musterings at a common level? Finally, was it also intended that not all ranks in the Services would get rises under the recent changes in the pay and allowances scale?
– I am not aware of the circumstances outlined by the honourable senator. 1 shall refer the question to the Minister for Air for an answer.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the AttorneyGeneral. I refer to the death sentence for murder imposed by the Supreme Court in Darwin on Jose Manuel da Costa recently and the fifth stay of execution announced last week by the Attorney-General, pend ing the condemned man’s appeal to the Privy Council. In view of the fact that the Death Penalty Abolition Bill which the Senate passed in the autumn sessional period is now before the House of Representatives, does the Minister not agree that it is unthinkable that the Government should hang any man whilst such a Bill is before the Parliament? Will the Minister suggest to the Attorney-General that the proper and humane course for the Government to take in all the circumstances of this case is to commute da Costa’s death sentence immediately, irrespective of the outcome of any Privy Council appeal against the conviction?
– The honourable senator would be one of those in this place who would specially realise that the advice given to the Government in respect of a death sentence is a very special responsibility of the Attorney-General himself. It would be quite impertinent of me to offer any opinion as to the appropriate course to take in this case. It would be impertinent not only to the Attorney-General but also to the House of Represenatives, which’ has legislation concerning this matter before it. How it proceeds with its business and the decision it makes will attract no comment from me as a Minister. All I wish to add is that the Attorney-General has made it abundantly plain that his decision to defer the execution in this case has been made out of consideration of the prisoner’s rights, which are to go to the Privy Council and there get the judgment of a court of law. The Attorney-General has pointed out that in view of the possibility of that judgment involving either an acquittal or a new trial it ls most proper that he should defer sentence until the court has pronounced judgment.
– Does the Minister for Customs and Excise see any connection between the following excerpts from a speech delivered at a Perth businessmen’s luncheon by a recently appointed Minister on 2nd September? Referring to what he called ‘the first Gorton Budget’, that Minister said:
It was Abraham Lincoln who crystallised for all time the politician’s dilemma when he made hig famous remark about fooling some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time - but yon cannot fool all the people all of the time.
Later in the speech he said:
The Government has made the necessary provision for the country’s defence in the light of the current situation, at the same time examining the strategic implications of the changing situation.
Does the Minister feel that that statement would fool any of the people any of the time?
– It is a fact that a Minister made a statement to a meeting in Perth on 2nd September. It is a fact that he used the words quoted by the honourable senator in relation to Abraham Lincoln. It is a fact that I went on in that speech to say that we, as a responsible Government, had to do certain things for the benefit of the people of Australia. In relation to the point the honourable senator raised about the defence of Australia, I mention that in the near future a defence statement will be made to the Australian public by the Prime Minister or the Minister for Defence, and no doubt it will please a majority of the people of Australia.
SenatorLAUCKE -I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for National Development. As the building of the Chowilla Dam is being deferred inordinately pending investigation of the feasibility of constructing a dam at another site, will the Minister seek the good offices of the Minister for National Development in having that investigation speeded up?
– I was talking to the Minister for National Development on this subject a week or so ago. He informed me that a detailed survey of the Dartmouth scheme as compared with the Chowilla scheme should be completed by the end of this year. In fact, he is doing everything possible to obtain from the Department as quick a decision as it is possible to obtain.
– I wish to ask a ques tion which is pursuant to the answer given a minute or two ago by Senator Scott in regard to the impending defence statement, which he said was to be delivered by the Prime Minister or another suitable Minister in the next few days.
-I did not say that.
– Well, shortly, or in the future, anyway. My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence. Based upon the suggested new defence concept which has been referred to as ‘fortress Australia’, from which position defence aircraft presumably would operate, what defence capability has the F111C aircraft, which may come to this country, insofar as its role as a strike-attack bomber is determined by its extremely limited range?
– I am sure that the Senate would not ask me, as the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, to give a tactical evaluation in reply to the question posed by the honourable senator. I know I am very good, but I am not quite that good. Therefore I suggest that the question be put on notice.
– Would the Leader of the Government tell us when the report by Australia to the Secretary-General on the measures to be taken to implement the Security Council resolution of 29th May 1968 on Southern Rhodesia was received by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation?
– I cannot give the date on which it was received by the Secretary-General.I am informed that on 24th August the Australian Government notifi d the Secretary-General of the United Nations that it was taking steps to comply with the resolution. I have also been informed that that notification was sent not by cable but by mail. It is significant that the Minister for External Affairs made a statement on 2nd September. It is clear therefore that the notification was despatched from Australia on 24th August, that an acknowledgment was give to the Minister for External Affairs and that he in turn made a Press statement in Canberra on Monday 2nd September.
(Question No. 120)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice:
– The Minister for National Development has supplied the following answers:
3.In any organisation, particularly at the lime of buoyant economic conditions and especially in an industry directly concerned with the development of the nation’s mineral resources, it must be expected that there will be a difference between staffing and establishment due to staff turnover resulting from retirements, transfers, resignations, etc. The Bureau of Mineral Resources staffing figure of 83% of establishment is reasonable in present circumstances. Current recruitment efforts are promising and in addition, six cadets will complete theirt raining and will be available for professional duties early in 1969.
(Question No. 121)
asked the Minister representing the Ministerfor National Development, upon notice:
– The Minister for National Development has supplied the following answers:
It cannot be expected that those officers recruited would have the same experience as those who have resigned. The greater number of resignations take place among the Class I and Class II officers and most of . these would have had from 4 to10 years experience with the Bureau. Most of the officers recruited are comparatively new graduates - many join the Bureau because it provides the best possible training in nearly every aspect of the earth sciences and it has to be expected that some of these will leave after receiving sufficient training and experience.
(Question No. 123)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice: 1.In 1962-63 and each subsequent financial year, including the present financial year, how many persons resigning from the Geological, Geophysical, Petroleum Exploration and Operations Branch of the Bureau of Mineral Resources have transferred (a) to other parts of the Commonwealth Public Service, (b) to C.S.I.R.O., or (c) to Australian universities?
– The Minister for National Development has supplied the following answers:
Apart from those who leave on promotion to other areas or the Commonwealth Service, or to universities and C.S.I.R.O. the greater majority go to mineral exploration companies operating in Australia, and in the interests of national development generally this cannot be considered a loss to the nation. The Bureau recruits far more officers from other countries than leave it to go overseas, although some do resign to join companies here after gaining experience in Australian earth science conditions. The Commonwealth Government in these ways makes a positive contribution to mineral development in Australia.
(Question No.’ 124)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice:
– The Minister for National Development has supplied the following answers:
(Question No. 237)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development:
Wilh reference to the discovery by oceanographers from Flinders University in Adelaide of a great mass of warm sea water in the Southern Ocean, and in view of the reported effect that this mass of warm water has on the rain-bearing weather systems in southern Australia, will the Minister arrange for an intensive and early investigation into the whole pattern of this area so that any effects may be made known at an early date, thus enabling appropriate mainland research to be made in the spheres of rainfall promotion study and water conservation?
– The Minister for National Development has supplied the following answers:
This is a matter which affects the interests of a number of Commonwealth agencies, and the following comments have been prepared after consultations with appropriate agencies.
First I must say that as is often the case, some care is needed in interpreting general statements of the type referred to by the honourable senator. In this case there is some doubt as to whether the temperature patterns observed in the Southern Ocean during the study referred to, do in fact represent any great departure from what might normally be expected.
With regard to the relationship between sea temperature and weather systems, while there are indications that long term weather changes are connected with variations in sea surface temperatures, the inter-relationship between these systems is very complex, and requires a great deal of scientific research. The Great Southern Ocean covers a very large area, and it is not possible at this stage to allocate sufficient resources to carry out an intensive study as would bc required to determine the nature and extent of these relations, but a good deal is being achieved through co-ordination of he efforts of the main groups concerned. The Australian effort in this regard is greatly strengthened through collaboration with overseas scientific organisations.
For instance meteorological observations (including sca temperatures) being made from satellites and from high level balloons are available to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology through the World Weather Walch programme in which Melbourne is one of the three World Centres.
No spectacular breakthroughs can be expected in this general programme, but it may be hoped that continuing scientific effort will lead to a better understanding of the whole atmosphereoceanland system, and that this will have important and valuable consequences along the lines suggested by the honourable senator.
(Question No. 259)
asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice:
– The Postmaster-General has supplied the following answers:
(Question No. 419)
asked the Minister representing the the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice:
– The Minister for External Affairs has supplied the following answers:
(Question No. 348)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Industry, upon notice:
Are any Australian manufactured products sold on overseas markets at prices lower than (a) the Australian cost prices, or (b) world market values?
– The Minister for Trade and Industry has furnished the following reply:
The pricing of manufactured products for export is a matter entirely wi hin the competence of the company concerned. The Government plays no direct part in this except to advise manufacturers at their request, of current prices of a range of competitive products in various markets, through the Trade Commissioner service. It is then the responsibility of the company itself to decide whether or not it can compete in a particular market. Export prices would of course reflect such things as export incentives but price is not the only factor in export markets for selling manufactured goods.
I am not aware of any case where Australian manufactured goods are sold in export markets at less than the Australian cost price, assuming you mean by this the cost of manufacture. I do not consider that there is such a thing as ‘world market values’ for manufactured goods as there are so many variable factors involved in addition to prices.
(Question No. 351)
askedthe Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:
Will the Minister arrange for members of Parliament, at an early date, a screening of driver education films which were referred to in the June issue of the Australian Road Safety Council’s Report No. 73?
– The Minister for Shipping and Transport has furnished the following reply:
As requested by the honourable senator, a screening of the driver training series of films will be arranged for members of Parliament, as soon as they are available. Filming is presently a little behind schedule due to unfavourable weather and light conditions.
It is now expected that the films will become available about February next.
(Question No. 364)
asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:
– The Minister for Immigration has furnished the following replies:
Embassy in Tel Aviv and action is in course to complete the necessary formalities concerning his application to enter Australia. If he is found able to meet requirements and produces a valid travel document a visa will be granted.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:
What consideration is being given to the representations by overseas migrant spokesmen and Australian migrants in support of migrant social service recipients maintaining those entitlements in the event of their return to their countries of origin?
– The Minister for Social Services has furnished the following reply:
Representations of this kind have beenconsidered in the past and will continue to be considered as and when received. The question involved concerns Government policy and successive governments have confirmed the policy that pensions grantedunder the Social Services Act should not be payable outside Australia except within the terms of the reciprocal agreements between Australia and the United Kingdom and Australia and New Zealand. The honourable senator will be aware that in other cases a pensioner who leaves Australia is entiled to receive, on his return to Australia, a pension for 12 weeks of his period of absence.
(Question No. 394)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for External Territories, upon notice:
Territory of Papua and New Guinea? If so. how many, and to what courts?
– The Minister for External Territories has supplied the following answers: 1. (a) No. (b) Yes, 31 have been appointed magistrates of local courts. 2. (a) There arc at present 5 Supreme Court judges. (b) At present 5 Stipendiary Magistrates. 6 resident magistrates and 160 reserve magistrates hold appointments under the District Courts Ordinance.; 390 magistrates hold appointments under the Local Courts Ordinance.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for External Territories, upon notice:
– The Minister for External Territories has supplied the following answers:
asked the Minister representing the Minister for External Territories,upon notice:
– The Minister for External Territories has supplied the following answers:
Experience as an assistant magistrate is part of the training for appointment as local court magistrates for those who have received training at the Administrative College, Port Moresby.
asked the Minister tepresenting the Minister for External Territories, upon notice: 1, How many new students were admitted in each faculty of the University of Papua and New Guinea this year?
– The Minister for External Territories has supplied the following answers:
In general, students at the University undertake a preliminary year before proceeding to their selected faculty. The figures given above are of students in the first year of the course proper. The intake into the preliminary year amounted to some 130 students including medical students for the Papuan Medical College who do the first 2 years of their studies at the University. There was also an intake of fifty-eight students into postgraduate courses.
(Question No. 405)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:
– The Minister for Immigration has supplied the following answers:
Since 1950 any ex-serviceman from Britain, who has come here as an assisted migrant, has travelled under the United Kingdom-Australia Assisted Passage Agreement; between 1947 and June 1968 a total of 792,157 persons (including the 43,870 mentioned above) arrived under this scheme, but the statistics do not show how many had been members of the Services.
(Question No. 407)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice:
What amounts were paid to each of the States by way of capital grants for the building of mental hospitals in each of the years1960 to 1968?
– The Minister for Health has furnishedthe following reply:
Under the States Grants (Mental Health Institutions) Act 1964-1967 the Commonwealth pays one-third of amounts expended by the States in respect of the building and equipping of menial health institutions. Details of the total expenditure by the Commonwealth in each financial year since 1959-60 are shown in the following table:
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:
What was the total amount paid to organisations operating hostels in connection with sheltered workshops, in each of the Australian States, in each year from the commencement of the scheme?
– The Minister for Social Services has furnished the following reply:
The information required by the honourable senator is set out in the following table:
(Question No. 425)
asked the Minister for Repatriation, upon notice:
– The answers to the honourable senator’s questions are as follow: 1 and 2. An ex-soldier is not required to prove that injuries or illness were war-caused, since the legislation specifically relieves him of that obligation and places the onus of proof on the person or authority who contends that the claim, application or appeal should not be granted or allowed to the full extent claimed. In addition to this special provision, the legislation requires all reasonable inferences to be drawn in the ex-soldier’s favour, and that he be given the benefit of any doubt. This includes doubt as to any question whatsoever which arises for decision under his claim, application or appeal. Taken together, these provisions constitute a sound and reasonable approach to the determination of claims by exsoldiers for acceptance of injuries or illness as due to war service.
(Question No. 435)
asked the Minister for Supply, upon notice:
Is it a fact that the heavy engineering division ofthe Manufacturers Association of Australia has protested against Government defence factories competing with private industry for steel fabrication contracts? If so, what is the nature of the protests and complaints?
– The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
Representations have been received by my Department from the Heavy Engineering Manufacturers Association concerning commercial orders being undertaken at Government defence production establishments. The representations followed a successful tender by the Ordnance Factory, Bendigo for the manufacture of structural steel work for the Country Roads Board of Victoria. The Association expressed concern at the basis used by my Department for pricing its quotations. Members of the Association were invited to discuss the general question of commercial orders undertaken in Government factories with my Department and these discussions are taking place. It will be appreciated that the reason for seeking the work for the Bendigo Ordnance Factory is to maintain a nucleus of specialised skills for defence purposes.
(Question No. 440)
asked the Minis ter representing the Minister for the Navy, upon notice:
– The answers to the honourable senator’s questions are as follows:
– I present the Third Report of the Printing Committee.
Report - by leave - adopted.
– by leave - This statement announces a new 5-year programme for the development of Papua and New Guinea. A similar statement is being made today in the Territory House of Assembly by the official leader of the House. A document prepared by the Administration outlining the proposed programme is being tabled in the House of Assembly and I now table this document forthe information of honourable senators.
This year’s Budget provides for a grant to the Papua and New Guinea Administration of$87m, an increase of 12% over last year’s figure of approximately $78m. The increased grant reflects the Government’s policy on the development of the Territory. The Government will continue to help towards accelerated economic growth and the development of greater economic self reliance in the Territory. With these objectives in mind the Government has been considering a new development programme, covering the 5 years from 1968-69 to 1972-73. It follows on a programme for the 5 years from 1964-65 to 1968-69 recommended in the report of the 1964 World Bank Survey Mission. In May 1965 the Government endorsed the objectives of the Mission’s programme, accepted the proposed production programmes as a working basis for planning and accepted numerous other proposals in the report as guides for policy and action.
The new programme, which envisages the expenditure of nearly $ 1,000m by the Administration over 5 years, takes into account many developments in the Territory since 1964. Its objectives are in harmony with those proposed by the Bank Mission.
The basic aim is to develop the Territory for self-determination and to ensure that when this stage has been reached the Territory will, to the greatest extent feasible, be able to stand on its own feet economically. Emphasis will continue to be put on increasing production in the Territory, on advancing Papuans and New Guineans through secondary and higher education and vocational training, and on the acceptance by Papuans and New Guineans of greater responsibility. Major aims will be to build up the capacity of the local people to develop and manage their own enterprises and also to provide greater opportunities for employment in private industry and in administration.
Allowing for the modifications that will be needed from time to time in the light of changing circumstances, the Government endorses the proposed objectives and targets of the new programme as a basis for planning, subject to a similar endorsement by the Territory House of Assembly. The programme envisages substantial progress over a wide range of industries, ft is planned to increase annual plantings of tree crops by Papuans and New Guineans by more than 50%; to increase fivefold the number of beef cattle raised by indigenes: to expand timber production and exports almost threefold; and to more than double manufacturing output, lt is also planned to increase substantially expenditures on roads, bridges and other transport facilities. Rapid growth in telecommunications will take place under a $l4m programme ‘now under way which will be financed partly by the recently negotiated loan of $6. 3m from the World Bank.
In education priority will be given to secondary and tertiary education with special attention to technical and vocational training. In health emphasis will continue to be given to preventive medicine, such as malaria control. The achievement of the proposed objectives and targets will require steadily increasing expenditure by the Administration. It is estimated that Administration expenditure under the programme will increase from $l55m in 1968-69 to $235m in 1972-73 and average about $200m annually over the 5-year period.
The Government recognises that the development programme now proposed will require increased Commonwealth financial contributions to the Territory over the period of the programme. On the basis of mutual co-operation between the Government, the House of Assembly and the people of the Territory, the Government is prepared to assist in this way the achievement of the programme if the House of Assembly indicates it is prepared progressively to increase the Territory’s financial self-reliance by raising the level of Territory revenue and loan receipts as much as practicable over the period of the programme.
The actual financial contribution by the Government to the Administration budget in any I year will of course be subject to the Commonwealth’s own budgetary situation and also to any special circumstances arising in the Territory that may reduce the need for the Commonwealth grant. The endorsement of the objectives and targets of the proposed development programme as a basis for planning does not rule out the possibility of changes in future years in the method by which the Government’s contribution to the .Administration budget is made. Nor does the Government’s attitude towards the revised development programme mean that there is any change in the Government’s policy towards constitutional development in the Territory.
The achievement of the proposed objectives and targets will also require greater private investment, assistance from international sources and recruitment of skilled people from overseas. Overseas investment wilt continue to be actively encouraged. Assistance from the World Bank and its affiliate, the International Development Association, will be sought for suitable projects.. About 4,500 overseas officers will need to be recruited from Australia and other sources for professional and subprofessional positions in the Administration over the 5-year period. These officers will be required for about 1,450 new positions and also to replace professional and subprofessional people completing service wilh the Administration. Additional skilled overseas officers will be required for administrative and other positions. This is in line with the Government’s policy to supplement locally available skilled manpower with expatriate recruits where necessary in the interests of Territory development and until the accelerated local, training programmes have produced sufficient numbers of people with specalist skills to provide forthe Territory’s needs. The programme provides for a fivefold increase in the annual outturn of Papuans and New Guineans from tertiary educational institutions which will allow a rapidly increasing proportion of professional and technical posts in the Territory to be staffed by local people.
The programme does not at this stage lake into account the development of the large deposits of copper on Bougainville which are being investigated by Bougainville Copper Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Conzinc Riotinto. The company expects to decide during the second half of 1969 whether it will proceed with its proposals to develop the deposits. If the project goes ahead and is successful it could make a dramatic contributionto Territory revenues and export earnings in the final year of the plan period.
Much of the new development proposed for the next 5 years will not make its full impact on the Territory’s export earnings and revenues until after 1973. The agricultural programme is largely concerned with the expansion of plantings of slow maturing tree crops. Much of the public investment envisaged is on new capital works’ designed to encourage new industries in areas where development has been hampered by inaccessibility and high transport costs. Similarly, the substantial investment in education, especially secondary and tertiary education, in training programmes, in preventive medicine and in the employment of skilled overseas staff in the Administration, will bear fruit over a period rather longer than the 5-year programme period By planning for the future in this way the programme aims at significant . progress towards the stage of self-reliant economic growth.
The programme also provides for an increasing measure of self help and for a growing share of the Territory budget to be financed from internal revenue and loans. More and more the pace of progress in the Territory will depend on the efforts and the enterprise of Papuans and New Guineans and on private investment both from within the Territory and from overseas. With Administration expenditure of the order of $ 1 , 000m over the programme period and continuing Commonwealth support the 5- year programme should provide a climate of heightened opportunity for private investment. The new 5-year programme represents a major step forward on the Territory’s road towards economic selfreliance. I presentthe following paper:
Programmes and Policies for the Economic Development of Papua and New Guinea - Ministerial Statement, 10 September 1968.
-I seek leave to propose a motion.
– There being no objection, leave is granted.
– I move:
That the Senatetake note of the paper.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
Motion (by Senator Murphy) agreed to:
That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Murphy moving a motion relating to the order ‘of General Business after 8 p.m.
Senator MURPHY (New South Wales-
Leader of the Opposition)[4.11] - I move: That intervening business be postponed until after consideration of notice of motion No. 7 and order ofthe day No. 8 after 8 p.m. this day. Notice of motion No. 7 deals with Southern Rhodesia and United Nations Security Council resolution No. 253 of. 29th May 1968. Order of the day No. 8 relates to the report of the Senate Select Committee on the Container Method of Handling Cargoes.
-I do not intend to oppose the motion proposed by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Murphy). But I do wish to speak to it. I believe that when I have completed my remarks, all members of the Senate will agree that there is some merit in the contention that I wish to make. We recall that the Opposition took action to alter the consideration of general business from the traditional lime of Thursday evening to Tuesday evening. When this happened, [ protested and gave my reasons for protesting. 1 will not repeat that speech this afternoon.
The fears that I expressed then have ail come true. This causes mc deep concern. I realise that the new practice will not alter during the life of this Senate and that Tuesday evenings will bc devoted to the consideration of private senators’ business and not Government business. But now, approaching a quarter-past four, we are told officially the subject that is to be debated at 8 o’clock tonight. We all knew, if we had studied the traditions of the House, that any one of the matters set out in notices of motion Nos I to 1, which stand in the name of the Opposition and which evidently are important in its eyes, could be brought on for discussion at 8 o’clock tonight. But it is only now, at a quarter-past four, that we are told officially which one is to bc discussed.
Last night. I tried unofficially lo ascertain what subject we would be debating tonight. Having been here working on a committee all day, I had the evening free and 1 wanted to do my homework on the subject that would be discussed. But 1 was unable to get information. But during the morning it was rumoured-
– This morning?
– Yes, it was rumoured this morning that the Opposition, having noted the mood of the Senate and believing that the Senate was not prepared to set up any more select committees, would tonight propose one of the two motions it has on the notice paper and which is aimed, I think, at setting up a standing committee of the Senate. 1 see some reason in this proposal. I am not divulging any secrets by saying that Government senators were told after lunch, although some may have been told during lunch - 1 do not think anyone knew much before lunch - which item was to be debated tonight at 8 o’clock.
So at this hour we find ourselves in this situation: When this motion is carried in a few minutes, the Senate will be thrust back into the Budget debate. This will continue until a quarter to six this evening. Then, following a break of 24 hours, the debate on general business will start. The subject for discussion is one of great importance. It is one that any private member of the Senate would want to do considerable homework on if he was to go on record in Hansard, lt is the one subject that most of us, would have thought would nol be debated tonight, because it is the last one on the notice paper.
A query comes into my mind. Quite frankly it is this: is this move a political stratagem which has been adopted by the Opposition? The word ‘deceitful’ would be too harsh to use in expressing my views on this point. But is this motion an effort to trap the Government, the Australian Democratic Labor Party and the independent senator into being unprepared for the debate? Is this an attempt, in effect, to silence a minority? Members of Parliament are silenced if important subjects are sprung on them for debate and if they have not been given the normally recognised time in which to prepare their speeches.
I hope thai this is not to become a political practice. I do not believe that the Leader of the Opposition is trying to stifle comment by Government senators and Ministers, lt is most important that he should nol do so because, through their mouths, they speak the mind of the Cabinet and of the Ministry. Great importance is attached to what they say. Is it laziness? ls this action taken because no thought has been given to the matter or because the Leader of the Opposition cannot be bothered to think of what he should do? I do not wish to be cruel, but is this action taken because of lack of experience in leadership? Or, to use Army parlance, is it something further down the line? ls it lack of staff work?
All the items under the heading ‘General Business’ are important to every member of the Senate. Every honourable senator wants time to prepare speeches so that he or she may contribute when these subjects are called on for discussion. Surely the Opposition, which has a commanding situation in the Senate at present, could do its homework a bit earlier, get its staff working, become a little more efficient and so let back benchers on both sides of the Senate know in plenty of time the subject that will be brought on for discussion on the following Tuesday night. To start the week at 3 o’clock and to be officially informed at quarter past four what we are to debate tonight is without any fear of contradiction, unfair. Possibly it is not meant to be unfair by the Leader of the Opposition.
I suggest that it would not be beyond the bounds of possibility and correct procedure for the Leader of the Opposition to state at the end of a general business debate on a Tuesday night that the Opposition will be calling on a particular motion for debate on the following Tuesday evening. Honourable senators may say that we have been away for a week; but the telegraph system in Australia is pretty efficient. All senators in all States in their time have received many telegrams of lesser importance than would be a telegram on a subject such as this. I conclude - and I believe that I have the full support of the members of the Senate - by asking: Can we not be treated decently and be given full notice and plenty of time for preparation to debate motions that are put on the notice paper by the Opposition?
– in reply - Mr Acting Deputy President, I think that the suggestion which has been made by Senator Marriott has a lot to commend it. The honourable senator suggests that if we could give some indication at an earlier stage of what matter is to be brought on for debate this would be helpful to all honourable senators. I do not wish to enter into details of the discussions that have been had. It is obvious that some discussions were had as to what kinds of things ought to be dealt with. 1 think that the matter was raised really towards the end of last week but it was not brought to any conclusion until lunchtime today or during lunchtime today. The honourable senator should feel assured that no-one is trying to achieve any political advantage at all.
– The Leader of the Opposition is not trying to make a killing, is he?
-It was a matter of common sense as to what item should come on. As the honourable senator himself has indicated, there are a number of motions on the paper before No. 7. All of them deal with either select committees or standing committees of the Senate. As has been indicated by a number of honourable senators, the reason the last motion was rejected was not because of any objection to the setting up of the proposed committee on its merits; it was rejected on the basis that there were not enough resources to handle it. In those circumstances there did not seem to be very much point in proceeding with the proposals for the select committees.
There still might be some point in proceeding with the proposals for the standing committees and it was thought that some opportunity should be given for the Government and honourable senators generally to consider their position in relation to those standing committees as distinct from select committees. That meant that the next item was No. 7 and it was natural that it should come on. If honourable senators think they may be disadvantaged by its coming on this evening I should not think there would be any objection on the part of (he Opposition to its coming on. say, tomorrow, if the Government wanted that. I know that Senator Marriott has voiced his own opinion and not that of the Government, but if it is felt that more time is desirable, by all means let us have it.
Of course it often happens that matters come on fairly rapidly. Urgency motions or Government business can come on with only a few hours notice. Here at least some notice has been given of the matter to be dealt with. If the honourable senator is so concerned about the seriousness of the subject for debate 1 point out that he has had almost two weeks to prepare for it. Notice of motion was given in the ordinary course and the resolution of the Security Council was set out in full in Hansard for the convenience of honourable senators. I have done all I can do in the circumstances by discussion with the Government and, after that, by giving notice to the Australian Democratic Labor Party of what was intended. Be that as it may. I think that what the honourable senator has suggested is reasonable. As far as it can be done, I think better notice should be given.I will see what I can do to assist him and all other honourable senators.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Debate resumed from 29 August (vide page 454), on motion by Senator Anderson:
That the Senate take note of the following papers:
Civil Works Programme 1968-69
Commonwealth Payments to or for the Slates, 1968-69
Estimates of Receipts and Summary of Estimated Expenditure, for year ending 30 June 1969
Particulars of Proposed Expenditure for the service of the year ending 30 June 1969
Particulars of Proposed Provision for Certain Expenditure in respect of the year ending 30 June 1969
Government Securities on Issue at 30 June 1968
Commonwealth Income Tax Statistics, for income year 1965-66
National Income and Expenditure 1967-68
Upon which Senator Murphy had moved by way of amendment:
At end of motion add - but the Senate is of opinion that the Budget is inadequate in that it does not make provision -
to lighten taxes and health costs for families and to increase benefits;
to plan defence procurement and expenditure;
to meet the problems of Australia’s capital and provincial cities; and
to retain control and promote development of Australia’s mineral, fuel, land and marine resources’.
– On 29th August last I had commenced to deal with the subject of rail standardisation.
BeforeI continue with that aspect I think I should refer to the matter I raised in relation to the Australian economy being dovetailed with economic developments in Japan, and I had instanced the production of coal. I referred to the examinations which were being made in Japan into the use of nuclear energy and the forecast that within 10 years Japanese industries generally would be able to operate with nuclear power. I referred also to the examinations which were reported recently by the Japanese Steel Association which forecast that by 1972 it might be able to use nuclear energy in the steel making process. I suggested that some such forecast should be made about Australia’s position in this matter.
By courtesy of the Parliamentary Library Statistical ServiceI have obtained information relating to our exports of coal to Japan. In 1965-66 we exported 7,199,046 tons of coal to Japan valued at $A59,475,763. By 1967-68 the tonnage had increased to 9,838,409 tons valued at $A82,969,138. This document indicates exports from the various States. The information is up to date and with the concurrence of honourable senatorsI incorporate it in Hansard.
Australia is facing a period of great mineral wealth. We have discovered a number of important minerals but the point has been made, not only in the Press but also by many thinkers, that the Government and authorities in Australia are not thinking enough about the future of Australia’s wealth and the ownership of its resources. Recently Professor Whitmore of the University of Queensland said that Aus tralia first of all must’ be confident that she controls her resources and knows more about them than does anyone else. By the exploitation of her mineral resources Australia is amassing a great deal of wealth and knowhow but largely the revenue from these enterprises is going out of the country. Although temporarily the exploitation of our mineral resources may bring about a number of improvements in the nation’s economy, in the long run someone has to assess the part that Australia will play in relation to this matter.
Another important aspect of the Japanese economy is Japan’s growing competence in industry generally. I have been reminded of her experience in the chemical industry. Everyone knows of the great liability associated with the licensing system in industry generally and particularly in the chemical industry. On 26th August 1968 the ‘Australian Financial Review’ carried a commentary which since has been circulated by the Chemical Industries Association, lt points out a number of important matters. 1 think I should read it as it indicates Japan’s accommodation to the kind of situation involved in dependence upon other . countries in relation to technology. Reference is made to the belief that a combination of government and industry action can offset dependence upon other countries. I refer in particular to the chemical industry. The statement reads:
The tendency has been for US. companies to spend more - as a proportion of turnover - on research and development than European companies. Some of this US effort has resulted from the defence programme and at one time many people predicted a fabulous spin-off of commercially usable knowhow.
Today that view is not widely held and recent developments in Japan have pointed to a far more effective way for governments to spend money to gain commercially usable technology. The Japanese MITI has successfully sponsored joint industry-university research in a bid to achieve greater technological independence.
Under government subsidy, a team from Japan Gasoline Company (a leading contractor) worked with the University of Tokyo to develop a fixedbed catalytic cracking process for fuel oil while Chiyoda (another contractor) and a second university worked on a comparable fluid-bed process. Both teams took about 5 years to develop commercial processes. They exist today solely because of a radical government policy.
The statement, which honourable senators may read, goes on to discuss active government support for development and research, which is much greater in Japan than in Australia. A recent survey by the Australian Industrial Research Group shows that only 0.15% of Australia’s gross national product is spent on industrial research. There ought to be some general appreciation of the need for research into productivity and future development in order to determine the position that the Australian nation should take up in regard to overseas investment and control.
I turn now to a matter which I raised in the earlier part of my speech on 29th August. This is the need for a general policy on railways and a consideration of the position that exists in relation to interruptions to traffic to Alice Springs and Darwin particularly as a result of the present railways organisation and the state of the track. Figures which I have obtained from the Commonwealth Railways indicate that from January 1966 until 6th June 1968 on the North Australia Railway - a distance of 316 miles - there were ‘ fifty-five derailments. On the Central Australia Railway from January 1966. until 2nd July 1967, 110 days were lost because of floods and washaways. In addition, road traffic is frequently held up. Reports in May of this year indicated that airstrips in the southern part of the Northern Territory, including those used by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, were washed out. Tourists and schoolchildren were held in Alice Springs and because of floods perishables could not be brought into the town. During the recent school holidays a similar situation obtained.
With the current standardisation project, almost completed, we will soon have a permanent broad gauge line by which goods and passengers will be carried from east to west. There is a need to consolidate this railway network. The railways industry itself is growing more competent and it can handle some of the heavy containers which are ordinarily carried by ship. The industry - the Commonwealth Railways particularly - is now in a position to compete with the great shipping combines in the carriage of containers across the country from east to west. The Commonwealth Railways Commissioner has put to the Government propositions in relation to permanent broad gauge tracks which would not be subject to washaways, derailments and the interruptions to which I have referred. When I refer to derailments I do not want the Senate to think that I am criticising the administration of the Commonwealth Railways which is a very up-to-date and efficient organisation.
Wilh the development in transportation it ought to be possible for the heavy commodities to which 1 have referred to be carried not only between east and west but also between north and south. The connection to Adelaide and the track to Darwin ought to be of such a standard that if we want to we can transport by rail the heaviest commodities and the heaviest containers. Apart from this, there is a need lo ensure continuous traffic during the flood season. The provision of temporary road works and bridges proposed for some time this year will not correct the position. There ought to be an immediate conference between the transport authorities of the State and the Commonwealth in relation to the standardisation of the South Australian railway system. In South Australia we will simply have a connection between east and west. All of the tangles which arose because of the Silverton tramway are now ironed out. There is some delay in relation to broad gauge work between Cockburn and Broken Hill but I am advised that (his is almost settled.
– Standard gauge.
– Yes. As a matter of fact there were certain legal tangles about compensation and there was a question as to whether the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments would recommend a different route for the short distance of 30 miles, but we now have an assurance that, these difficulties, which took 2 or 3 years to iron out, are settled. When the matter has been raised in the Senate and in the other place it has been suggested that the connection of Adelaide with the standardised system could not be considered until this aspect was settled. It is now positively settled. Only a number of small matters remain to be finalised. We have now reached the situation where immediate consideration should be given to converting the connections between Port Augusta and Port Pirie and Adelaide, and at the same time converting all of the South Australian system so that South Australia has a complete programme of standardisation on the go. Unfortunately, it appears from the information that 1 have been able to get that the connection between Port Pirie and Adelaide will have the lowest priority and may take 5 years, lt seems to me that the economy of South Australia cannot wait 5 years for this connection to the standardised system. This delay is a bad thing for the system, for the nation and for the Commonwealth Railways. In the sort of conference that I have suggested, serious consideration ought to be given to a recommendation that with the financial backing of the Commonwealth Government complete standardisation in South Australia be effected in a progressive way. The Adelaide to Port Pirie connection and conversion of related lines should be considered as part of this work. Another question that has been raised, which is of almost as much significance, is the need for agreement in relation to the line from Whyalla to Port Augusta. At the present lime great fabricated steel sections for this project rolled in the new steelworks of the Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd are being carried by road. This is not necessary. The line could pay for itself and the nation could save » considerable amount of money on road construction if these steel sections were conveyed by rail.
This brings me to a final point in relation to railways which I have introduced a number of times and which is just as important as the competence of the railway system to take the sort of traffic I have mentioned. This is the ability of the Commonwealth Railways organisation to produce a large part of its rolling stock and prime mover capacity. Over the years the workshops at Port Augusta have never been able to do this. They have built a number of passenger cars and other pieces of rolling stock but largely the rolling stock, diesel locomotives and - in the old days - steam locomotives - have been drawn from private producers. Some of this equipment has been obtained from the South Australian railway workshops at Islington, but to a large extent it has come from German and Japanese manufacturers. The Port Augusta workshops have the ability to do this work. In 1963 the workshops completely rebuilt a German first class lounge car which had been burned out almost to its under-frame. It was completely converted and renovated. 1 know that the railways administration is seeking to get a completely new and modern carriage shop, which it has not at present. Its present policy is simply to maintain and renovate existing stock. If the policy of the
Commonwealth Government is not to increase the capacity of the workshops at this stage, it ought to be possible to dovetail into the railway organisation the great capacity of the Islington workshops, which could produce more of the requirements of the Commonwealth Railways than they produce at present.! refer now to Question No. 185, which 1 asked the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport recently. My question was:
What progress is being made in improving the Commonwealth Railways workshop in size anil capacity to enable it to undertake ils own maintenance work and to manufacture, to the maximum extent possible, rolling stock, including passenger cars, required for continued expansion?
The reply was:
Extensions made to the Port Augusta workshop in 1964-65 have until recently enabled demands on the workshop to be met. With the continued acquisition of rolling stock and locomotives, further extensions lo the workshop are planned, and will bo carried out as funds become available.
Any limitations on Commonwealth Railways undertaking their own maintenance are due more lo the lack of skilled labour than to shortage of workshop facilities. To overcome this, recruits are being sought in the United Kingdom, and on present indications it. seems that sufficient tradesmen will bc available in the near future to meet the needs of Commonwealth Railways.
This is the significant paragraph of the reply:
When adequate skilled labour is obtained, Commonwealth Railways will undertake all their own maintenance and repair work, lt is unlikely that Commonwealth Railways will manufacture rolling stock in the foreseeable future.
I understand that since that reply was given the Commonwealth Railways has secured 70 or 80 tradesmen from overseas and that satisfactory arrangements have been made to house them. But, as I pointed out, apart altogether from the claims for decentralisation and for development of the northern part of South Australia there are very good reasons - transportation reasons and meeting the requirements of the standardised system - why we should support the provision of a new railway workshop at Port Augusta, which would be able to supply a large part of this rolling slock, including sleeping cars and some of this prime mover equipment.
– I propose lo take advantage of one of the rulings of a distinguished occupant of the chair which you are occupying so gracefully this afternoon, Mr Deputy President. By that ruling he allowed honourable senators to speak from copious notes. As the Senate will readily appreciate, it is not my habit to speak from copious notes or to involve myself in what Senator Keeffe has described from rime to time, when referring to my speeches, as rhetorical flourishes. In referring to the copious notes that I have in my hand, I wish to draw the attention of honourable senators to a matter that arose in 1964. when the Senate was appalled to discover that the method of presenting appropriation Bills to the Senate subsequent to the debate on the Budget papers was taking away from the Senate, by an administrative device, the authority that was conferred on it in sections 53, 54 and 56 of the Constitution.
Honourable senators will recollect that at that time there was a substantial debate in the Senate on these matters and that a change was effected as a result of negotiation, which in the parliamentary system is the method by which parliamentary forms and procedures are changed. For the benefit of honourable senators who took their places for the first time as from 1st July of this year, I believe that it is necessary to recapitulate some of the matters that were discussed in order that the forms, traditions, constitutional power and authority of the Senate shall be embedded in the record - as an American senator would say.
I draw the attention of those honourable senators to the fact that the Budget is the annual statement of the nation’s expected income and expenditure and thai the Budget papers indicate the ways and means of raising the revenue and how the government proposes that the money shall be spent. The proposals outlined in the Budget papers then come before the Senate in the form of legislative proposals. Naturally enough, the Budget debate is concerned primarily with the merit or otherwise of the government’s economic proposals. As an illustration of that, we have the amendment which has been moved by Senator Murphy and sustained and supported by Senator Bishop who has just resumed his seat. That amendment is to the Government’s motion: That the Senate take note of the papers’.
There are certain constitutional issues that concern the Senate, and each year opportunity should be taken to refer to them if senators are to fulfil their constitutional function. Therefore, I refer to the form of the annual appropriation Bills. Included in the Budget papers are two documents - one the particulars of proposed expenditure and the other the particulars of the proposed provision for certain other expenditure. In due course those two documents will be presented to the ‘Senate in the form of two separate appropriation Bills. With the indulgence of the Senate, I now propose to restate the purpose of this division of the annual appropriations. I believe that this is worthwhile.
Put in the simplest possible way, the purpose of the division of the annual appropriations into two or more Bills is to protect the powers of the Senate. To appreciate this, note must be taken of section 53 of the Constitution, which provides that the Senate may not amend proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the government. If all appropriations were deemed to be for the purpose of the ordinary annual services of- the government the Senate would have no power of amendment over appropriations and could only request the House of Representatives to make the amendment. This would seriously weaken the power of the Senate, because the power of amendment is superior . to the right to request amendment. This was the subject of the struggle that began in 1964.
Let me restate the constitutional situation. In the beginning of federation the Senate made it clear that there must be proper recognition of its constitutional rights and insisted that certain expenditure, such as that for public works and buildings, should not bc included in the appropriation Bill for the ordinary annual services of the government. The government of the day conceded the Senate’s . claim and the practice was adopted of including in the main appropriation Bill only that expenditure for the ordinary annual services which may be described as expenditure for the salaries of public servants and other general upkeep. Appropriations for public works and build ings were included in a separate Bill which is subject to amendment by the Senate.
It was argued by the early Senate - and rightly - that only with that amendment power could the Senate have the means of preventing a disproportionate amount of money being appropriated for public works in certain States to the disadvantage of other States. In view of the matters which all of us as politicians can see coming up on the constitutional and political elevators, the problem of the appropriation of money for public works in the States is of enormous importance to the Senate, composed as it is of representatives of each of the six original States.
This classification of appropriations, which was designed to protect the powers of the Upper House, was adapted from the South Australian Compact of 1857. It took a long time to discover. After a disagreement as to their respective powers, it was agreed that the Upper House of South Australia would not enforce its rights to deal with the details of the ordinary annual expenses of the government - the word expenses’ is used in the South Australian context - but the Upper House claimed the right to modify other appropriations. .This power was considered necessary should the Lower House propose to apportion the revenue so as to give any unjust advantage to any. particular part of the colony. It was also an important part of the South Australian Compact that appropriations for new policies not previously authorised should be excluded from the Appropriation Bill for the ordinary annual expenses of the Government of South Australia. Similarly, in the Federal Parliament, appropriations for new policies not authorised by special legislation are included in a separate Bill which is subject to amendment, not request, by the Senate. Thus, Parliament is protected from the possibility of appropriations for . new policies being tacked - that is an old constitutional word which I repeat - on to the General Appropriation Bill where the Senate may not identify it. In the result, members of both Houses can approach a consideration of the annual appropriations sure in the knowledge that only appropriations for services already approved are included in one Appropriation Bill while those for any new policies not previously authorised attract the searchlight of attention in a separate Bill.
The Senate has always been on guard to ensure a division of annual appropriations consistent with constitutional intent and to protect its powers of amendment. That is why it is important, from time to time, to restate the constitutional intent and satisfy ourselves that the principles laid down in the past are strictly adhered to. That is the reason why I am spelling it out in the most careful way this afternoon.
I remind the Senate, as I have already reminded it, that in 1964 a proposal was made to abandon past practices and include most annual appropriations in an omnibus Appropriation Bill not subject to amendment by the Senate. The 1964 proposal to change the form of the annual Appropriation Bills involved a serious reduction in the powers of the Senate. Indeed, it amounted to tacking in that it included in a Bill which the Senate could not amend appropriations in respect of which the Senate had a constitutional power of amendment. The proposed change was challenged in the Senate by senators from both sides of the chamber.
There followed the appointment by Government senators of an ad hoc committee of senators drawn from the Government side to inquire into the proposed change in the form of the Appropriation Bills. This committee consisting of myself as chairman, Senator McKellar, now Minister for Repatriation, Senator Dame Ivy Wedgwood and Senator Wright, now Minister for Works, submitted a report which was later tabled :md printed as Parliamentary Paper No. 55 of 1967. Following submission of the committee’s report, the Government announced that it had been decided that from 1965 there would be a separate Bill, subject to amendment by the Senate, containing appropriations for expenditure on the construction of public works and buildings, the acquisition of sites and buildings, items of plant and equipment which are clearly definable as capital expenditure, grants to the States under section 96 of the Constitution, to which I have already made an allusion, and new policies not authorised by special legislation. Subsequent appropriations for such items would be included in the Appropriation Bill not subject to amendment by the Senate.
This decision, I think honourable senators will agree, was a very satisfactory one because, for the first time since federation, a real measure of understanding ‘consistent with constitutional intent was reached regarding the division of public expenditure. However, there still remains in the annual Appropriation Bill for the ordinary annual services of the Government a class of appropriation which I suggest should be excluded from that Bill. I would be grateful if honourable senators opposite would take some notice of this. I refer to the appropriation for Parliament. Dealing with this appropriation, the Government senators, in their report of 1964, which was tabled in the Senate, and which the Senate accepted, had this to say in paragraph 98:
The provision in the annual Appropriation Bill for Parliament includes items for the administrative expenses of the Senate, House of Representatives, Parliamentary Reporting Staff, Parliamentary Library and Joint House Department, the expenses of Standing and Select Committees and sessional travelling allowance for members of Parliament.
Paragraph 99 reads:
During the 1964 debate in the Senate on the contents of the annual appropriation Bills, it was questioned whether the Parliament was one o! the services of the Government, lt was suggested that it may be ordinary, it may be annua), and that it may even be regarded as a service - but not a service of the Government. It was suggested that it was inconsistent with the concept of the separation of powers and the supremacy of the Parliament to treat the provisions made for the Parliament as being an ordinary annual service of the Government. The point was also made in the debate that the officers and staff of the Parliament are not officers and staff of the Government - they are responsible to the Parliament. 1 interrupt the quote here to- record my indebtedness to Senator Murphy, the Leader of the Opposition, for his learned contribution to the. 1964 debate on the subject of appropriations. The report continues in paragraph 100:
The Committee considers that the Senate should have a power of amendment with respect to appropriations for the purposes of Parliament and, in our view, such appropriations should not be included in the Appropriation Bill for the ordinary annual services of the Government.
In other words, I would observe, just to make it clear, that in respect of the ordinary annual services of the Government, the Senate has no right of amendment but only the right of request. Yet, in dealing with its own housekeeping, its own integrity as a chamber in the bicameral system, the Senate itself, in relation to the appropriations which are required for the maintenance of the Senate as an institution of Parliament, has only the lightest of control.
– Was any answer given by the Government in those discussions?
– There was never any reply from the Government ministerial bench on this whatsoever. The Committee went on to say in paragraph 101 of its report:
In connection with this general subject, it is of interest to record that by Schedule D of the Constitution Act of Victoria an amount is specially appropriated for The Clerk and Expenses of the Legislative Council’. The expenditure incurred under this item has always been on account of the salaries of the permanent and temporary officers of the Legislative Council and departmental contingencies such as stores, certain items of stationery, typewriters, travelling expenses, text books, etc. The purpose of the Special Appropriation is primarily to allow the Legislative Council to function fully and independently of the Legislative Assembly and of the Government of the day. In a letter to the Premier of the day, a former President (Sir Walter Manifold) said: The Council might bc coerced and even strangled were not its independence and existence guaranteed by Schedule D.’.
In other words, in the 1870s, the Legislative Council of Victoria, which is elected by adult franchise, just as is the Senate in the Commonwealth sphere, was protecting itself against being coerced by the House of Assembly, which was the House of Government and the House in which revenues were raised. 1 am reminded, while reading this, with reference to the interjection by Senator Byrne, that he was in the Senate al the beginning when this great struggle started between the Government and the Senate in 1953.
– I think I discussed with the then Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) the Solicitor-General’s comment on the Auditor-General’s Report.
– Yes. So we come not to the end but perhaps to the penultimate stage of the attempt by the Senate to assert its right as an independent chamber by being able to control, in the future, its own appropriations. I must say that I am pleased to notice that the Government, this year, in the Appropriation Bill has allotted a substantially increased sum of money to the Senate for the conduct of its own business. The increase is from $40,000 to $60,000. lt is a good thing that this increase is being made by the Government.
In fact, it is something that we should be grateful for; but on the other hand we should not be grateful for it because it should be the inherent right of the Senate to appropriate moneys in its own right for the parliamentary vote. I am still of the opinion that the expenditure for the Parliament cannot be controlled in exactly the same manner in which the expenditure of government departments is controlled. Parliament is a unique institution and it is to be recognised that the internal arrangements of the Parliament must be handled as House and not as government matters. As an illustration, I cite the appropriation for select committees, which I have already mentioned.
I do not want to weary the Senate in discussing this rather heavy constitutional matter that relates to the way in which Parliament conducts its affairs. I will merely repeat that Senator Murphy said, when he made a most useful contribution to the debate in 1964, that the great struggle of Parliament was to be able to control its own resources. 1 now draw the attention of honourable senators to the motion moved by the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Anderson) that the Senate take note of the Budget papers. This is a formal matter. We are invited to take note of the Budget papers. Honourable senators will have discovered already that there is a substantial change in the form in which the papers are presented to the Parliament. I draw the attention of honourable senators to the document entitled ‘Particulars of proposed expenditure for the service of the year ending 30 June 1969’. It contains details of expenditure on the ordinary annual services of the Government, which will in due course come before us in the form of Appropriation Bill (No. 1). This year the schedule of salaries and allowances has been omitted from the documents setting out the proposed expenditure and from the Appropriation Bill (No. 1). A rumour is flying around the lobbies that the change in the Appropriation Bill and the schedule thereto arose as a result of a recommendation of the’ Public Accounts Committee. My colleague Senator Sim has handed me a document which may throw some light on that matter. I will deal with it in a moment.
The Senate should take note of the reasons for and the effect of the change in the form of the annual Appropriation Bill. Last year, the sub-schedule to Appropriation Bill (No. 1) included about 1 27 pages of information relating to Public Service positions and salaries. This has been traditional and it is worth remembering what happened in 1901 when the first Supply Bill was considered by the Senate. No schedule was attached to the Bill showing the salaries to be paid to various officials. The Bill included simply a summary of amounts for the various departments. The Senate determined that, as under the Constitution it had a perfect right to review the salaries proposed to be paid to the various officials, it was necessary that senators have a schedule to enable them to ascertain what those salaries were.
Accordingly, on the motion for the second reading of the Bill, an amendment was made to the effect that the Bill be returned to the House of Representatives with a message requesting that it might be so amended as to show the detailed items of expenditure contained in the sums which it purported to grant. The House of Representatives, after debate, agreed to the Senate’s request by sending to the Senate a second Bill with the items of expenditure set out in a schedule thereto, a practice which has always since been followed in connection with Appropriation and Supply Bills. I turn now to the Fifty-fifth Report ofthe Public Accounts Committee, which deals with the form of the Estimates, including the schedule of salaries and allowances. The report states:
The evidence received by your Committee indicated that there was no legal requirement for the Schedule of salaries and allowances. Further, inits present form the Schedule, as a sub-schedule to the Schedule in the Appropriation Act, was defective legally and does not make a clear and definite appropriation for any officer or category of officers set out in the sub-schedule.
That conflicts, of course, with the fact 1 have just indicated to the Senate, that the form of the schedule to Appropriation Bill (No. 1) was the result of agreement between the Senate and the House of Representatives in 1901. A decision was made by Parliament, not by the Public Accounts Committee. The report continues:
The reasonI have placed this matter before the Senate is that as a senatorI am not prepared to accept a situation in which, following a report of the Public Accounts Committee, some of its conclusions and recommendations are accepted and others are disregarded. In essence, the Public Accounts Committee asked for a slight variation, an alteration in the presentation of the papers. It went on to recommend that the schedule should still be attached to the Estimates. However, it suits somebody embedded in the House of Representatives to exclude the schedule as an attachment to Appropriation Bill (No. 1). The question which I think should be considered is whether the new form of presentation of the Appropriation Bill is an improvement. The Appropriation Bill no longer contains the material upon which particularised suggestions for amendments may be made if the Senate wishes to make amendments or requests for amendments, and contains no cross reference to the details of the items involved. Further, in the old form it was convenient to have the detailed salaries in a sub-schedule to the
Appropriation Bill. Now senators must, turn to another document for details of Public Service positions and salaries.
The question of whether the new form is an improvement will1 be answered only when the Senate proceeds to a consideration of the appropriations as a Committee of the Whole of the Senate. While 1 personally have reservations as to the new procedure, 1’ do not propose to advise or make recommendations to the Senate on any course of action at this stage. However, ] think that we should give some attention to the new form of presenting the appropriations and, if the need is shown, the Senate might consider making suggestions to the Government that should be taken into account in the preparation ‘of future appropriation Bills.
This matter may have wearied every honourable senator except those who arc concerned about the constitutional proprieties and the rights of the Senate now and in the future. I have suggested that there are nl least two areas to which the Senate should direct ils attention during the remainder of this debate. One is a consideration of whether the expenses of Parliament are an ordinary annual service of the Government’ which the Senate may not amend. The second area concerns the question as to whether the appropriation Bills, following elimination of the Schedule previously attached thereto. contain information that should in fact he contained therein. Of course, 1 accept the Budget proposals of the Government and will support them with my vote. I cannot accept the amendment moved by Senator Murphy. I commend the attention of all honourable senators to the matters I have brought before the Senate this afternoon.
– This is the fourth opportunity I have had to speak on Budget papers and to comment on Budget proposals placed before us by the Government. It is my fourth opportunity to offer criticisms and suggestions which might help to provide better services for the people of Australia. Surely it is the paramount duty of every elected representative of the people to attempt to the best of his ability to represent the interests of the various sections of the community, and in total to attempt to advance the interests of the people of the nation and the nation itself. I have looked in vain for any real incentive which the Budget has given us. It seems to me that it lacks the sort of stimulus that a Budget ought to give to the affairs of the nation, lt is essentially a financial document dealing with dollars and cents, lt relates to the receipts and expenditure of the Government, to the services which the Government provides, intends to extend and so on.
The Budget is becoming less and less of an incentive to the people. It is creating, I believe, much less interest among the people. This Budget does not seem to have stimulated them at all. If one looks at industry, and particularly the primary industry section of the Australian economy, one sees no stimulus. In fact there are some quite important sections of primary industry which are sick. That is the only way that one can describe them. Those who have their interests in these fields of primary endeavour and have invested their money in these ventures, if I may call them that, are receiving a very slight return on their capital outlay and, in fact, have been receiving only a slight return for years, getting an absolute minimal return on the tremendous amount of capital that they have invested in some sections of primary industry. However, I shall come back to that in a moment or two.
It seems to me that the .1968 Budget is a lack-lustre doucment which has caused hardly any stir in the community. The community has just gone on about ils business. It docs not seem to have been helped in its. attempt to make this a better country for people to live in. But when one looks at the Budget and seeks the proposals which might be regarded as giving stimulus, encouragement or incentive to the various sections of industry in Australia. I do not think one can find them. I certainly cannot find them. I admit that benefits have been conferred and largesse distributed, but that has happened in only limited fields. At long last, thank God, the Government has recognised that there are in the Australian community such people as pensioners who are dependent on the meagre pittance which comes to them from the pension each fortnight and who are endeavouring, under increasing difficulty year by year, to sustain body and soul in some semblance of decency, to bc able to present themselves in the community properly clothed, to be able lo stave off sickness through having sufficient food and a balanced diet, to be able to mix with their fellow men and not have to hide themselves away because they are not in as presentable a state as their more fortunate brethren.
We see in the Budget that there is to be an additional sales tax of 2-1% on a wide range of goods in Australia. J draw the attention of the Senate to the fact that these imposts are of a general character that have no regard for the capacity or ability of one to pay. They have no regard for the financial ability of anyone to meet the additional imposts. J refer especially to those with larger families where the burden falls more heavily. We see a continuation of a feature which has manifested itself in Australia over a number of years, that the burden of taxation has shifted from those better able to pay to those less able to pay to the extent that where once the burden of taxation was carried 60% by the business world and 40% by the wage earning section of the community, the position is now reversed and approximately 60% of the tax burden is borne by the work force and about 40% is borne by industry at large. This is a continuing thing which is perpetuated and more deeply enshrined in our economic system by the Budget’s provision for an additional 21% sales tax on this wide range of goods which are needed by a family. I think honourable senators will find on closer examination that the goods which are subject to the higher tax are probably needed more by families in the lower income group than by families in what I call the wealthier sections of the community where perhaps the family is nol so large. People in the wealthier section have extra income and are much better able to meet the additional charges. 1 believe that an analysis or actuarial survey of the situation, or whatever system one may use to determine a figure, will reveal that the ordinary working people of the Australian community will be carrying the additional burden of the 21% sales tax which the Budget has imposed. So although there have been pension increases to the many recipients of the pension, the Australian working people, those least able to bear the additional charge will be incurring the additional expenditure.
Once again I believe that the Budget dodges the essential issue. It just does not help where a Budget ought to help in balancing or levelling out, in giving a little more to the have-nots by perhaps taking away from those who are more fortunate and who are better able to pay a little more to meet the additional burdens of government in the various fields of government expenditure, f said that there were sections of Australian industry which are in a pretty sick condition and I mentioned that these seemed to me to be mainly in the field of primary industry. The effects are most seriously felt by the small producer, the small dairyman or the farmer who grows peas and beans, and the effects of this malaise in primary industry have now extended to the wheat producers from whom w» often hear suggested solutions to the problems which are bedevilling the wheat industry.
Referring specifically to dairying, I recall that in the 3 years or so that have been in this Senate I have, whenever the opportunity has presented itself, delivered words of wisdom, as I thought them to be, and words of warning to the Government about the type of situation which was developing in that industry. I have warned that it was becoming more and more difficult for the small dairy man to sustain himself on a relatively small block of land in the light of the increased costs which were ever besetting him and because of his complete inability to set the price of his product on the market. So we have got to the stage now where we have an over supply of dairy products. Let us hope that it is a temporary condition of the world market, but at the moment it is a very real problem for the producer. There appears to be an over supply in some commodities produced by the dairy industry to such an extent that recently in my State the butterfat producers suffered a cutback in return of 5c per lb of butterfat. This was a substantial reduction and. 1 suggest, it represents the net return to the producer for his labours. But he has now lost that. The industry is sick. Meetings of producers are held and an attempt is being made by the people who are working in the industry to solve many of the financial problems which are a very serious worry to the dairymen in the north western part of Tasmania.
T recall that last year it was suggested that an amount of $25m might be used for the rehabilitation of the dairy industry. Of this sum 80% or $20m - and I am quoting figures which may not have been agreed upon - was to be used over a period of 4 years for the purchase of uneconomic holdings which would, no doubt, be tacked on to adjoining properties to make them economic holdings. The balance of S5m was to be used for the purchase of obsolescent or redundant dairying equipment. This money was to be used to amortise the debt on these properties. 1 understood that it was to be a straight out grant that would be non-repayable, but it has since been suggested that $20m will be repayable at the rate of 4% per annum and that the interest also will be at the rate of 4%. This means that the people working in a sick industry and being assisted in this way will bc required to pay 8%. If the industry is sick how can anybody meet an 8% service on a loan? I think it is just impossible. If the Government is thinking o” rehabilitating the dairy industry on this sort of basis it should have another look at the matter.
The Minister for Repatriation (Senator McKellar) said today that he was of the opinion that it would not be long before something definite would be forthcoming as to the final arrangements in regard to the expenditure of this rehabilitation sum of $25m. From my own research into the matter it seems to me that it is a matter of coming to an arrangement between the Commonwealth and the Stales as to the handling of the money, the expenditure of the money and the terms and conditions of its repayment. I believe that no basis ‘ of agreement has been reached so far between the Commonwealth and the States. With all the problems associated with this matter, I believe that if could be some considerable time before it is resolved.
Some States - and I believe Queensland is one - have asked that consideration be given to the provision of a part of this money for the repurchase of stock that farmers have but have been unable to pay for. These are some of the problems that are likely to arise before agreement is reached between the Commonwealth and the States. I do not know what situation the dairy industry will be in by the time that decision is reached. I do not know - and T do not think the Commonwealth and State governments know at this time - just how this plan is to be implemented. But 1 suggest that the stage has been reached when something definite should be done. Some sections of the industry are in a bad way, although other sections arc quite viable at the moment. I believe that it is possible for some dairy farmers to carry on. One has to take into account the fact that there are varying degrees of indebtedness in the dairy industry. The position is not nearly so bad with a person who owns his property and has not the quite substantial and on occasions crippling servicing charges to meet as it is with a person who has to try to buy a property and make a living out of it.
I have seen some sad cases amongst returned servicemen of the Second World War who have gone on to soldier settlement properties and have found themselves in most difficult financial circumstances. When I have looked at these people I have asked myself: Surely the stage has not been reached in Australia where a man who has given some of the best years of his life to the service of his country is reduced to such a situation? On a dairy farm on Flinders Island in the Furneaux group off Tasmania I have seen a man who served in the Middle East during the Second World War - and I understand that he served with some distinction - getting around with candles and lanterns because he could not afford to have the necessary equipment installed to give him the lighting that other members of the community have. Surely such a person should not be reduced to this sort of a situation. Surely somebody who has served his country should be given some special consideration.
What I am now saying is not new as I have said it before. It is just not possible to run economic dairy holdings on some of the soldier settlement projects, particularly those on the Furneaux group of islands. The holdings are uneconomic and one cannot make a living on them. In fact, a fellow serviceman of mine went on to one of the properties on King Island and by working hard he made it an economic holding. He poured everything he received into the property. But he was not given additional land as his property was regarded as an economic holding. Eventually the work killed him. He had a few heart attacks and died. So it was not of much use to him to work his insides out trying to make an economic holding of that property. Other soldier settlers realised that this was not the solution to the problem. They realised that the solution was to get more land so that they could run more stock and receive a better income, thereby living in some semblance of comfort.
These things have been happening in the dairy industry for some years. They are well recognised. There has been no halt in the downward trend of returns to dairy farms. In fact, about 8 or 9 years ago, the return on capital was something less that 2% in this area of primary industry. Surveys carried out by groups of accountants and others who were competent showed that dairy farmers were selling their product at below the found cost of production. How cana person carry on in an industry in this fashion? Despite all the warnings that have been given over the years by those in the industry and in the Parliament the stage has only just been reached where the Government has made provision for a sum of $25m to rehabilitate the industry and it does not know how to spend the money. I suggest it will be some months before it does know how to spend the money. While this is going on the industry is languishing.
Let us turn our minds back to a debate which took place in this chamber on the occasion of the ratification of the New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement. On that occasion Opposition senators voted as a bloc against the signing of the Agreement because they realised that damage would be done to pea and bean growers. At thattime the Government said that there would not be substantial damage because there were protective clauses in the agreement and so on. Senator Lillico has referred to this on a number of occasions. In fact, he delivered some words of wisdom about a fortnight ago on the subject of the difficulty of farmers in the north west of Tasmania in making a living from growing peas as a . result of the challenge that has come from the cheaper imported peas. With due credit to Senator Lillico, I believe that on more than one occasion he has raised the point that there could be an increase in the importation of a product called the Surprise pea. This has done much damage to the industry. But will the Government do anything about it? 1 want to place it on record here that the Australian Labor Party, which is the Opposi tion party in the Senate, voted in the Senate as a bloc against the New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement in the interest of protecting the affairs of dairy farmers and of Australia generally.
I am not an expert on wheat. But I have been very interested to read in the last fortnight of the great din that is going on within the ranks of the Country Party over the decision of the Government in regard to wheat. 1 have already spoken about the dairying industry, in particular about a plan which was implemented by a Labor government. Similarly, I draw the attention of the Senate to the fact that it was a Labor government which introduced a wheat agreement which won wide acceptance among wheat farmers of Australia. I will leave it a t that.
– It would be a good idea to leave it at that. The honourable senator could not recognise that agreement as the same thing today.
– That is the very point I am making. It is hardly recognisable as a viable proposition. With due respect, Mr Acting Deputy President, the people whom the honourable senator represents here are saying this. No doubt in due course the problem will be resolved. But 1 do not know how it will be resolved. It is a funny old situation when one Country Party Minister - in fact, the Leader of the Australian Country Party, the Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr McEwen) - tells one of the members of the Country Party in Western Australia not to go into Victoria because of the problems that exist there in regard to wheat.
– Where did the honourable senator scrape up that information?
– It is floating about.
– 1 do not doubt that.
– What about the situation with the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) and the Businessmen for Democratic Government move? There is a fair bit of truth in that one too. I turn now to some of the problems facing primary industry. The Government is always claiming that it is the guardian and saviour of the rights of the primary producer. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. I invite honourable senators to look at the records in the fields about which I have just spoken. I refer to dairying and to potato growing, which is just about ruined in my part of the world. The growing of peas and beans was introduced to supplement the income of the dairymen. But this has been ruined by allowing products to be imported from New Zealand. I refer also to the problem concerning the wheat agreement. And so it goes on. lt is certainly true that the Government increased pensions in the last Budget by granting an extra 75c per week each to married pensioners and $1 per week to single pensioners. I suppose the Government cannot go on dodging this problem forever. A day of reckoning must come when even the toughest and the most hardened of us will recognise that there are people in the community who are less fortunate than we are. I wonder how many honourable senators have studied some of the surveys that have been carried out in recent years in Australia, the United States of America and other places? These surveys indicate a level of poverty of between 16% and 18% of the community. It is a rather staggering figure. It is quite a startling figure. This level has been determined as being the level at which it is no longer possible for people to sustain themselves in a condition of health on the meagre income that they have.
Here we have a situation where, after some years of inaction, the Government magnanimously provides an additional payment of 75c per week per person in the case of married pensioners. Anybody with five wits would know that that 75c was swallowed up years ago in the additional cost of food, clothing and other essentials. A few days ago, Senator McClelland drew attention to the fact that immediately the proposed increases were announced, the rents of pensioners in parts of Sydney were raised by 30c to 40c per week. So, the pensioner will probably finish up a great deal worse off after this increase than he was before the increase.
Surely proper consideration must be given to the tremendous difficulties of these people. They have made a pretty substantial contribution to the development of Australia. It is all very well to say that they were ne’er-do-wells and that they spent their money. What is the position of those who were not ne’er-do-wells and who saved their money? I refer to the superannuitants. They are being penalised. What is the incentive to people to save? We turn a blind eye to this large section of the Australian community. But these people are in the community. The Government cannot dodge the problem. They are there all the time. One of these days we will have to get down to tin tacks in an attempt to solve the problem. The mere introduction of a Budget which provides a few extra cents per week for these people does not solve the big. problem of poverty in the Australian community.
I note also that the Government is to raise the fees for radio and television licences. I ask the Government to make some allowance for people who live in areas where it is not possible to get reasonable television reception. It seems to me that no allowance is made for people who experience poor television or radio reception despite the fact that they have had to go to a great deal more expense than others in providing suitable equipment, by way of an expensive set, outside antennas and so on, to obtain reception These people must pay exactly the same licence fee as those who are in areas of good reception. Complaints have been made about this problem. Television is one of the necessary things nowadays. Nearly every home has a television set in it. lt is time that we had a look at this matter. Where it is not possible to obtain good reception, and until such time as we move technologically to an age when all may enjoy good reception, some consideration should be given to people in poor reception, areas by way of a reduction in licence fees. 1 wish to turn briefly to the subject of immigration. A great deal of interest has been shown in recent times in immigration. We need to turn a great deal more of our attention to this subject if we are to achieve the targets that we have set out to achieve. During the course of my recent overseas tour, I made some inquiries from a number of people who are interested in this subject, f refer particularly to Canada. I asked questions there and in England as to how these people felt about the subject of immigration. A number of the observations that they made to me were quite interesting.
It is recognised that in Australia we have a fairly vigorous immigration programme. But unfortunately we are suffering a loss of about 20,000 migrants a year who go back to their own countries and who do not return to Australia. It is significant that amongst these people there seems to be a feeling of bitterness against Australia. One wonders why it arises. I. think the problem lies in the cost of people getting back home, lt is understandable that migrants are anxious to visit their own folk. It is quite natural. I think any of us would be like that if placed in the same situation. They are anxious to get back to visit their former homeland and to meet their friends again. People come from Great Britain to Australia but. when they go back to Great Britain they cannot afford the cost of the return trip to Australia. They launch themselves on these trips with insufficient money to enable them to make the return journey. 1 believe the cost of a return trip from Australia to Great Britain is approximately S700.
Few of these people have been able to save up this sum of money. They have sufficient to get them to their homeland, but they become disgruntled when they arrive home. They are not good ambassadors for Australia. They become rather embittered because they cannot return here, and they do damage rather than good. As 1 said, I checked the situation in Canada while I was there. Canada’s geographic relation to Great Britain is vastly different from that of Australia’s. It is possible for persons who have migrated from Great Britain to most parts of Canada to return home to England and to have a bit of spending money left over from $200 after paying their fare. I said that the return fare from Australia is $700. I wonder whether we can turn some of our attention to this matter to see whether there is any way of solving it. .
In October last year the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Swartz) had a look at the question of charter flights to Europe and made certain recommendations which were designed to facilitate travelling by migrants from Australia to Europe and return. While 1 commend the Minister’s approach, I believe that it did not go far enough. We must have a much closer look at this and determine whether the charter flight arrangement is a solution of the problem and whether it would not be possible to reduce the fares substantially to enable people to travel to England and return and thus cut down - it has been suggested to me by 80% - the net loss of 20,000 people who remain overseas because they do not have sufficient funds to return to Australia.
We have a funny system in Australia in relation to charter flights which does not seem to apply elsewhere in the world. It is not permitted by law to advertise a charter flight. Anyone contemplating organising a charter flight to Europe must first approach a section of the community which must form itself into a club or an organisation with the common objective of travelling to Europe and return. A sufficient number of people must be interested to fill an aircraft. Having obtained a sufficient number of people the organiser then must approach one of the recognised airlines. Qantas Airways Ltd or Pan American World Airways, and offer it the business. It is only after the business has been declined by a recognised airline that the persons interested in chartering a flight can go into business for themselves. The process seems to be a negation of the Minister’s desire to facilitate the transportation of people to Europe and back to Australia.
In the time remaining to me I want to mention a matter which has caused me a great deal of concern recently, namely, the operation of the two airline system in Australia under this funny system called rationalisation. As I understand it, rationalisation means that the two airlines must operate on a similar basis. They must run their services, so it seems, in parallel. In other words, if one aircraft takes off for a certain destination there will be another aircraft a couple of minutes before or after it for the same destination. One airline is not allowed any advantage over the other in terms of seating capacity. In other words, if one airline has a seating capacity of 3,000, the other airline must have a similar seating capacity. The same position applies in respect of air fares. Irrespective of how much promotion one airline conducts it gets no advantage. The greater amount of business that may flow is of very little use to it because once it reaches its seating capacity it must act as an agent for its opposition.
This has been going on for some years. No doubt one could point to many aspects of the system which have been of advantage to Australia, but in recent years we have grown up quite a lot in terms of our internal airline operations and I think we have reached the stage at which we will not continue to have one of the best airline systems in the world as was mentioned by the Minister the other day when quoting the observations of a visitor from overseas. instead we shortly will have one of the worst airline systems in the world. There are so many deficiencies and shortcomings in the present system that this is quite a serious threat.
Sitting suspended from 5.45 to 8 p.m. (General Business taking precedence of Government Business)
Senator MURPHY (New South Wales-
Leader of the Opposition) [8.0] -I seek leave to make a small alteration to the motion of which I gave notice.
-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
– I move:
This motion deals with a question of very great importance, that is. the attitude which our country takes to the working of the United Nations Organisation. We became a party to the Organisation. We adopted its Charter. We passed legislation to confirm that the Parliament of Australia was adhering to the Charter and to the obligations arising under it. Here we have a situation where an obligation has arisen under the Charter and it is for Australia to say in the most definite terms that it will observe the obligations which arise under the Charter and will carry out those obligations not only to the letter but also in the spirit which is required by the Charter. The obligation to carry out decisions under the Charter arises under article 25, which reads:
The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.
The Security Council has been given authority under the Charter to act in matters such as this. Chapter VH deals with action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression. Article 39 provides:
The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Article 41 provides:
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to bc employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.
That is the article which deals with the obligations which Australia as a member state is called upon to meet in connection with this resolution. Article 40 deals with other, perhaps preventive, measures which might be taken. The situation in Southern Rhodesia is well1 known. Its regime is an illegal one, which is in rebellion against the constituted authority of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, lt has not only engaged in a lengthy course of opposition to the constituted authority but also has maintained a course of action which is completely inconsistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We have seen, and it has been noted by the Security Council and other agencies of the United Nations that the illegal government of Southern Rhodesia has breached those standards which ought to be regarded as common standards of human conduct. There have been attempts, which have been carried into actuality - although illegally - to break the requirement that no discrimination shall prevail between humans on account of their colour or race. There have been attempts to subjugate a large section of the population and to destroy the rights of the black people of Southern Rhodesia, including their right to be governed by a government which is based on the authority of the will of the people.
The attempts by the Government of Great Britain to induce a more reasonable course have failed. The attempts to leave Southern Rhodesia with a democratic system of government have failed. The conduct of Great Britain, although it has been much criticised in the past has been exemplary in many ways - in its relinquishing of authority over colonial peoples and endeavours to leave behind regimes which are broadly democratic. This happened in India, in many parts of Africa and elsewhere in the world, but in Southern Rhodesia those attempts have been frustrated and we see the persistence of a regime which is abhorrent to most of the rest of mankind. Certainly the continued existence of this regime and the continued perpetration of outrages against humanity have incurred the wrath of the whole world. That wrath has been expressed in a great number of resolutions of the United Nations. Some of those have been referred to in the resolution which is at present under consideration here. This resolution commences:
The Security Council,
Recalling and reaffirming its resolutions 216 (1965) of12th November 1965, 217 (1965) of 20th November 1965, 221 (1966) of 9th April 1966, and 232 (1966) of 16th December 1966
It sets out that there has been some but not complete compliance with those resolutions. The situation in Rhodesia persists. Therefore, more stern action is required. For the convenience of those who might read the report of this debate, with the concurrence of honourable senators I incorporate in Hansard the terms of the Security Council resolutions to which I have just referred.
ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT ITS 1258th MEETING, ON 12th NOVEMBER 1965
ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT ITS 1265th MEETING, ON 20th NOVEMBER 1965
Deeply concerned about the situation in Southern Rhodesia,
Considering that the illegal authorities in Southern Rhodesia have proclaimed independence and that the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as the administering Power, looks upon this as an act of rebellion,
Noting that the Government of the United Kingdom has taken certain measures to meet the situation and that to be effective these measures should correspond to the gravity of the situation,
ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT ITS 1277th MEETING, ON 9th APRIL 1966
Recalling its resolutions Nos 216 of 12th November 1965 and 217 of 20th November 1965 and in particular its call to all States to do their utmost to break off economic relations with Southern Rhodesia, including an embargo on oil and petroleum products,
Gravely concerned at reports that substantial supplies of oil may reach Rhodesia as the result of an oil tanker having arrived at Beira and the approach of a further tanker which may lead to the resumption of pumping through the CPMR pipeline with the acquiescence of the Portuguese authorities,
Considering that such supplies will afford great assistance and encouragement to the illegal regime in Southern Rhodesia, thereby enabling it to remain longer in being,
RESOLUTION 232 (1966)
ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT ITS 1340th MEETING. ON 16th DECEMBER 1966
The Security Council,
Reaffirming its resolutions 2.16 (1965) of 12th November 1965. 217 (1965) of 20th November 1965 and 221 (1966) of 9th April 1966. and in particular its appeal to all States to do their utmost in order to break off economic relations with Southern Rhodesia,
Deeply concerned that the Council’s efforts so far and the measures taken by the administering Power have failed to bring the rebellion in Southern Rhodesia to an end,
Reaffirming that to the extent not superseded in this resolution, the measures provided for in resolution 217 (1965) of 20th November 1965, as well as those initiated by Member States in implementation of that resolution, shall continue in effect,
Acting in accordance with Articles 39 and 41 of the United Nations Charter.
Decides that all States Members of the United Nations shall prevent:
Southern Rhodesia and exported therefrom after the date of this resolution, including in particular any transfer of funds to Southern Rhodesia for the purposes of such activities or dealings;
participation in their territories or territories under their administration or in land or air transport facilities or by their nationals or vessels of their registration in the supply of oil or oil products to Southern Rhodesia: notwithstanding any contracts entered into or licences granted before the date of this resolution;
Over a period the resolutions have requested the United Kingdom Government to take more action against the regime in Southern Rhodesia. The requests have included one not to transfer under any circumstances to ils colony of Southern Rhodesia any of the powers or attributes of sovereignty but to promote the country’s attainment of independence by a democratic system of government in accordance with the aspirations of the majority of the population. The resolutions have also requested all member states of the United Nations not to accept any unilateral declaration of independence in Southern Rhodesia by the minority Government. Honourable senators will recall that the purported Government of Southern Rhodesia has made such a unilateral declaration. That declaration has no validity because it is not accepted by the rest of the world, lt is regarded as an attempt by that minority Government, of usurpers to obtain some show of legality for themselves. This will not be accepted by the rest of the world.
Resolution 253 notes with great concern thai the measures taken so far have failed to bring the rebellion in Southern Rhodesia to an end. It states that the Security Council is gravely concerned that the economic measures referred to in earlier resolutions have not been complied with by all states and that some slates have failed to observe their obligations under Article 25 of the Charter, which 1 read out earlier, by failing to prevent trade with the illegal regime in Southern Rhodesia. The Security Council also condemned the recent inhuman executions carried out by the illegal regime which have flagrantly affronted the conscience of mankind and have been universally condemned.
The Security Council affirmed the primary responsibility of the Government of the United Kingdom to enable the people of Southern Rhodesia to achieve selfdetermination and independence, and in particular the responsibility of that Government for dealing with the prevailing situation. lt recognised the legitimacy of the struggle of the people of Southern Rhodesia to secure the enjoyment of their rights as set out in the Charter of the United Nations and in conformity with the resolutions passed by the General Assembly. It stated that the present situation in Southern Rhodesia was a threat to international peace and security. As a consequence of that, the situation comes within the scope of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, including Article 41, which I read out earlier.
The Security Council, vested with this great responsiblity on behalf of the world or most, of it, has unanimously condemned the measures of political repression, including arrests, detentions, trials and executions which violate the fundamental freedoms and rights of the people of Southern Rhodesia. It has called upon the United Kingdom to take all possible measures to put an end to those actions, lt has called upon the United Kingdom to take urgently all effective measures to bring to an end the rebellion in Southern Rhodesia and to enable the people lo secure the enjoyment of their rights. It has decided that in order to further the objective of ending the rebellion - that is really to assist the United Kingdom to bring about the end of illegality in Southern Rhodesia - all states members of the United Nations - that means all the countries of the United Nations - shall take certain actions. Those actions are partly economic and partly a further severing of relations with Southern Rhodesia.
On the purely economic side the actions include action to prevent the import into each state - as far as Australia is concerned, to prevent the import into Australia - of all commodities and products originating in Southern Rhodesia and exported therefrom after the date of the resolution. That is a wide provision. It has a clause which extends its operation to cover all’ sorts of goods whether they are in bond, whether they have any special legal status and so on. It is obvious that the Security Council is determined to close the net to openings that have enabled evasion of the obligations that were expressed in the previous resolutions. The actions to be taken by member states also include action to prevent any activities by their nationals or in their territories which would promote or are calculated to promote the export of any commodities or products in Southern Rhodesia, and any dealings by their nationals or in their territories in any commodities or products originating in Southern Rhodesia and exported therefrom after 29th May of this year.
Certain statements have been made by the Minister for External Affairs (Mr Hasluck) in relation to these matters, particularly as to what action has been taken. 1 propose to come to them shortly, lt seems that some of the requirements of this resolution are being met; some of them may have been met by the announcement; and some of them may have been passed over. It is important to see what the content of the resolution is and how wide the net is cast. The prohibition also extends to shipment in vessels or aircraft of Australian registration, or under charter to Australians, of goods originating in Southern Rhodesia. The prohibition extends also, in our case, to the sale or supply by Australians or from Australia of any commodities or products, with some humanitarian exceptions. These provisions are well worded, and, one would think, would commend themselves to honourable senators. The prohibition covers all commodities, whether or not originating in their territories, but not including supplies intended strictly for medical purposes, educational equipment and material for use in schools and other educational institutions, publications, news material, and, in special humanitarian circumstances, foodstuffs. Commodities other than those 1 have mentioned are prevented from being sold or supplied to anyone in Southern Rhodesia or to any other person or body for the purposes of any business carried on in or operated from Southern Rhodesia: and any activities by Australians or in Australia which promote or are calculated to promote such sale or supply are prevented. There are also other provisions dealing with the shipment of commodities.
The resolution goes further and says, with relation to Australia, that it shall not make available to the illegal regime, or to any commercial industrial or public utility undertaking, including tourist enterprises, in Southern Rhodesia, any funds for investment or any other financial or economic resources, and shall prevent their nationals and any persons within their territories from making available to the regime or to any such undertaking any such funds or resources and from remitting any other funds to persons or bodies within Southern Rhodesia, except payments exclusively for pensions or for strictly medical, humanitarian or educational purposes, or for other humanitarian purposes.
Honourable senators may recall, when I later come to mention the announcement by the Minister for External Affairs, that, although the announcement deals with the transmission of funds it does not deal with the other matters referred to in that particular paragraph. There seems to be a limitation to the transmission of funds and, with respect to many of these paragraphs of the resolution, we are left with some indication of firm compliance; but otherwise the matter is left somewhat vague. 1 am not saying this in any heavily critical sense. One thing to be said and said clearly is that the measures which the Government has announced are to be taken are to be welcomed. The motion which 1 am proposing to the Senate now is not to be taken as a criticism of any failure of the Government but rather as a commendation for what has been done or what it has been announced will be done, and a request that there will be full implementation of the resolution.
The Security Council resolution goes on to deal in detail with such provisions as have been made. It is concerned to cut off all relations with Southern Rhodesia. Apart from purely economic matters, it is concerned to prevent the entry into member states such as Australia, save on exceptional humanitarian grounds, of any person travelling on a Southern Rhodesian passport, regardless of the date of issue, or on a purported passport issued by or on behalf of the illegal regime. It requires Australia to take all possible measures to prevent the entry into Australia of persons whom we have reason to believe to be ordinarily resident in Southern Rhodesia and whom we have reason to believe to have furthered or encouraged or to be likely to further or encourage the unlawful actions of the illegal regime, or any activities which are calculated to evade any measure decided upon in this particular resolution or the earlier resolution. lt also requires that we shall prevent airline companies constituted in Australia from operating to or from Southern Rhodesia and from linking up with any airline company constituted or aircraft registered in Southern Rhodesia. Again, here, in the announcement, it has been made quite clear that our aircraft do not call at airports in Rhodesia, but the announcement does not deal with any measure which is proposed to be taken, or which has been taken to deal with the linking up of aircraft which travel to Southern Rhodesia.
The resolution provides that these measures must be given effect to, irrespective of any contract entered into or licence granted before the date of the resolution. lt also deals with discouraging emigration to Southern Rhodesia, lt requests us lo take all possible further action to deal with the situation in Southern Rhodesia, lt urges us to take action to assist Zambia which is in a situation of economic dependence upon Southern Rhodesia.
In paragraph 18, the resolution calls upon all states members of the United Nations to report to the Secretary-General by 1st August 1968 on measures taken to implement the present resolution, and requests him to report to the Security Council, the first report to be made not later than 1st September 1968. We know from a question which was answered today in the Senate that apparently Australia had not reported to the Secretary-General by 1st August 1968.
– No. The relevant paragraph calls upon all States members of the United Nations or of the specialised agencies to report to the Secretary-General by 1st August 1968 on measures taken to implement the present resolution. That, of course, was not done. But apparently a report was made, certainly by 2nd September, because we have the announcement which was made on 2nd September, about a week after this notice of motion was tabled in the Senate, in terms which originally did not refer to measures taken by the Government. It was in these terms:
Thai the Senate approves the United Nations Security Council resolution No. 253 of 29th May 1968, on Southern Rhodesia and requests that the Australian Government do all in ils power to implement the resolution.
The statement made on 2nd September 1 968 was in these terms:
The Minister for External Affairs, Mr Paul Hasluck, M.P., announced today that he had now been informed by the Australian Mission to the
United Nations in New York that the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations had received the report made by the Australian Government on action taken in response to a resolution passed by the Security Council on 29th May 1968 calling on members of the United Nations to extend the range of measures applying to Rhodesia. Accordingly he was releasing the text of the report, which reads as follows:
The Australian Government is taking the following measures to implement Resolution 253 of the Security Council.
The entry into Australia and the export from Australia of imports from the exports to Southern Rhodesia will bc controlled within the terms of paragraph 3 and 4 of the resolution. 1 do not know quite what that means. It does not say that paragraphs 3 and 4 will be followed, but it may mean that. So far as it goes, it is welcome. The statement continues:
No licence for exports lo Southern Rhodesia will be issued unless the item in question falls within Hit- exceptions specified in the resolution. The Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations provide for control over the transfer of funds to Southern Rhodesia.
That may be so. lt does not say that the regulations will be strictly enforced, but one anticipates that that course will be followed. The statement continues:
There are no vessels of Australian registration engaged in trade with Southern Rhodesia.
So that although the transmission of funds is referred to, the matter of resources and the other provisions dealing with general economic assistance are not dealt with specifically., and there is no general statement that the resolution will be strictly complied with. It may well be that the Government intended that that would be so. The next paragraph states:
I suppose we may assume that that means that the resolution would be observed in that respect, although it does not quite say that, lt states that applications will be considered with due regard to paragraph 5 of the Security Council’s resolution. The statement continues:
In particular, a visa system - not previously applicable to holders of Southern Rhodesian passports as such - will now be introduced.
The Australian international airline, QANTAS, does nol call at airports in Rhodesia.
Complementary action to implement Resolution 253 will also be taken in respect of Australia’s external territories.
The Minister added that the report, together with other reports, would be circulated by the Secretary-General to the Security Council.
What has been said is welcome. The attitude of the world as reflected through its constituted authority, the Security Council, is clear. We in Australia ought to be carrying out our obligations to the United Nations. This matter ought not to be cluttered up with other matters. As I said when we were discussing Czechoslovakia recently in this chamber, there was a clear breach of obligations to the United Nations. In dealing with these matters it is important to ensure that each issue is specifically dealt with on its own merits. When we see that something is wrong, let us act on it. A decision has been made by the Security Council. I believe that it would not matter even if we thought that the decision were wrong. It is comparable to a decision made by a legal authority. The Security Council, with ail its imperfections, is the lawfully constituted authority which at present enables us to hold hope of avoiding threats to peace, preventing outbreaks of war and the trampling underfoot of the human rights of people. Even though it may be virtually impossible or extremely difficult for the Security Council to operate under certain circumstances, .let us in this country make clear to the world that we stand by what is being done; that we approve of the resolution of the United Nations; that we note what has been done so far by the Australian Government in pursuance of the resolution; and that we request the Government to implement the resolution.
I have not criticised the Government and . 1 do not propose to do so for what may be taken as failure to express clearly that all measures will be taken. It may well be that that is exactly what the Government intends. The Security Council has made a firm statement on this issue. It is a repetition of its earlier stands. It is a unanimous decision by the Security Council. Let us not fail to show our unanimous adherence to the United Nations Charter and our firm desire for Australia lo conform completely with the expectations and the request of the Security Council, and therefore with the United Nations Charter to which we have pledged ourselves. I commend the resolution to honourable senators.
– On 28th August Senator Murphy gave notice of a motion which appears on the notice paper as item 7 of General Business. The motion first appeared on the notice paper on 29th August. Tonight we are debating a slight variation of that motion. Senator Murphy has incorporated in his motion Resolution 253 of 29th May 1968 of the Security Council. Indeed, not only has he incorporated that resolution in his motion, but also in his speech tonight has quoted it verbatim, with a few interpolations.
– lt stands repetition.
– I am not being critical. I am simply laying the basis for my comments. Senator Murphy in dealing with his motion has been caught up by events. As was indicated at question time today, on 24th August the Australian Government sent to the Security Council a communication notifying the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations of Australia’s position and the steps taken to comply with the resolution of the Security Council. Therefore tonight a debate is taking place in the Senate which has no real significance because the Government has in fact clone what Senator Murphy’s original motion expressed a desire for it to do.
– In other words, it is redundant.
– lt is a redundant motion, but it puts the Government in the position that if it were to oppose the motion on the ground that it is redundant, it would completely misrepresent the stand the Government has taken. The Government would be facing both ways, lt has sent its notification of compliance with the resolution of the Security Council. Therefore it can be understood that the Government will accept Senator Murphy’s motion.
The fact is that the Government has accepted its responsibility in this matter, as it has always done. That can be demonstrated by the statements made by the then Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, in November 1965, and by the late Mr Holt as Prime Minister in December 1966. Those statements were made in another place and on both occasions they related to Australia’s intention to conform to the Security Council’s dictums in relation to this issue. Senator
Murphy referred to the communique sent by the Minister for External Affairs to the Security Council. For the record and so that what [ say may have some degree of continuity and clarity I propose to read the substance of that communication. Presumably it would have been sent through the diplomatic bag and handed in at the Security Council; certainly it was not sent by cable, radiogram or anything of that nature. The reason for what appeared to be a hiatus between 24th August, when the measure was sent, and 2nd September, when Mr Hasluck’s statement was made, was that Mr Hasluck in turn had to wait until he received a message from the Security Council to say that it had received his communique. This is the statement that he made on 2nd September 1968:
The Minister for External Affairs, Mr Paul Hasluck. M.P., announced today that he had now been informed bythe Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York that the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations had received the report made by the Australian Government on action taken in response to a resolution passed by the Security Council on 29th May 1968. calling on members of the United Nations to extend the range of measures applying to Rhodesia. Accordingly, he was releasing the text of the report, which reads as follows:
The Australian Government is taking the following measures to implement resolution 253 of the Security Council.
The entry into Australia andthe export from Australia of imports from and exports to Southern Rhodesia will be controlled within the terms of paragraphs 3 and 4 of the resolution.
Senator Murphy read out paragraphs 3 and 4 of the resolution and he also incorporated them in his resolution, so there is no doubt as to what those paragraphs are. If I may say so, they contain the real hard core of the Security Council’s intent in relation to the sanctions that are applying. The statement continues:
No licence for export to Southern Rhodesia will be issued unless the item in question falls within the exceptions specified in the resolution. The Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations provide for control over the transfer of funds to Southern Rhodesia. There are no vessels of Australian registration engaged in trade with Southern Rhodesia.
That is in direct response to the United Nations resolution. The statement continues:
That also is a compliance with the resolution. The statement continues:
That also is in direct response to the principle which is contained in the resolution. The statement continues:
Again we are in conformity with the resolution. The statement concludes:
The Minister added that the report, together with other reports, would be circulated by the Secretary-General to the Security Council.
Having said that and having made it abundantly clear that the Government’s intention is to conform to the requirements of the Security Council,I wonder at the logic and the efficacy of this debate. Once the Government has said, speaking for the people of Australia, that it will conform with the requirements of resolution 253, I do not believe that there is any great merit or advantage in our debating as a Senate something on which Australia as a nation has taken a decision. As one of the wings of a bicameral system. I do not see why we need, after the event, to carry a resolution such as is proposed tonight. The Government does not oppose the resolution because we have done already what it proposes, but in the situation in which we are placed 1 see no advantage in carrying the resolution.
A similar situation would arise if Australia entered into treaty obligations and the matter were then debated. There would be no point in the debate, unless a contrary view were being expressed by an honourable senator, as he or any party in the Parliament who would have the right to do. Consequently, I believe that there is no great merit in our debating this matter tonight, beyond showing that the view of the Opposition is the same as that ofthe Government. The Democratic Labor Party may speak for itself, but I would assume that its members would accept and support the substance of the United Nations resolution because -I believe Senator Murphy made this point - it is a question of one’s profound belief in and conviction as to the role of the United Nations in the world in which we live. Whilst any one of us may have some reservations in our own mind as to some snippet, section or division of the principles or operations of the United Nations, we have here a situation in which, in the final analysis, we have to decide whether we believe in the concepts and doctrines of the United Nations as an instrument for world peace. I believe that this is the fundamental and overruling consideration that we have in our acceptance of resolution 253.
I do not want to speak at any great length in this debate because there is no point at which we find ourselves at issue with the Opposition. However, I should add that the Security Council resolution of 29th May 1968 is a further development in the long history of the dispute between Britain and Rhodesia, lt introduces no new clement into the dispute. Britain and the Commonwealth in general had introduced voluntary sanctions against Rhodesia immediately after the regime’s unilateral declaration of independence, and the Security Council had applied selective mandatory economic sanctions in December 1966. I have already made the point that this Government stood four-square in relation to those matters and that both Prime Minister Menzies in November 1965 and Prime Minister Harold Holt in December 1966 made it abundantly clear that Australia faced up to the sanctions that were applied at that time.
The particular event that led up to the May 1968 resolution was the execution by the Rhodesian regime on 6th March 1968 of three Africans who had been convicted on murder charges prior to the unilateral declaration of independence. These executions were carried out in defiance of the Queen’s reprieve, and evidently were intended to be an assertion of the Smith regime’s repudiation of Britain’s constitutional authority in Rhodesian affairs. The action was condemned immediately by the United Nations Committee of Twenty-four and by the Human Rights Commission, and a meeting of the Security Council was requested by thirty-six United Nations delegations. The meeting led to a lengthy debate, concluding in the Council’s approval of a resolution presented by Britain which condemned all measures of political repression - including arrests, detentions, trials and executions - that violated the fundamental freedoms and rights of the people of
Rhodesia, and provided that all United Nations member states should impose an embargo on trade with Rhodesia.
In conclusion I wish to say that the Australian Government has always had the clear conviction that ultimate constitutional authority for Rhodesia remains with the British Government. It considers that the dispute between Britain and Rhodesia is a matter for solution between these two countries and that the steps to be taken to induce the Rhodesian regime to come to terms with Britain lie within the responsibility and the initiative of the British Government. Australia is not directly involved in the Rhodesian dispute and is not in a position to influence its course. Australia’s association with Rhodesia in trade and other fields has never been extensive. The Australian decision to conform with the mandatory clauses of the May 1968 resolution follow logically from its acknowledgment of British constitutional authority in Rhodesia, from Australia’s obligations as a United Nations member, and from the Government’s earlier decision and policy statement in this matter. I have reiterated what the Government, under the leadership of the two previous Prime Ministers, said. We accept our obligation as part of the United Nations. For that reason we have already indicated to the Security Council our intentions in relation to the resolution.
As I said earlier, the Government does not oppose the resolution moved by the Leader of the Opposition, although it believes the resolution to be unnecessary in view of the fact that the responsible Government of Australia has spoken on the matter. The Government has made its decision and it will automatically support the resolution moved by the Leader of the Opposition.
– I rise to present an amendment to the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Murphy). I move:
At the end of motion add the following words: but; (I) noting that the basis of the United Nations action against Rhodesia was that the Rhodesian situation constituted a threat to world peace and security, and
noting that the aggression of the Soviet Union against Czechoslovakia was an actual breach of world peace and security and remains a continuing threat to world peace, and
realising the importance of Australia demonstrating a consistent approach and attitude lo breaches or threatened breaches of the peace, urges the Government immediately to call on die United Nations to institute disciplinary action against the Soviet Union.’
No doubt had the debate proceeded at the time Senator Murphy’s motion was originally presented to the Senate a slightly different course may have been taken to that which is available to the Senate tonight. The motion might not have attracted the considerations that I feel should be placed before honourable senators for their attention in this context. At that time the Czechoslovakian situation had not developed to the extent it did. There was also a further consideration as to the timing of the subsequent announcement of further economic strictures by the Minister for External Affairs (Mr Hasluck) in another place. I do not particularly want to criticise the Minister in the absence of explicit knowledge as to the time when he became aware of the further intensification of sanctions - whether he was in a position to inform the Parliament of the variation in policy or whether that information came to him only after Parliament had risen for the week’s recess. But if the information was available it certainly should have been presented to the Parliament. After all, this is a matter of very great consequence. It is a matter in which Australia is taking a very firm and resolute position in international affairs. It is a matter in which one would have thought the Government would feel not only an obligation but a real desire to receive the support of the Parliament in the policy of intensification of the economic measures against Rhodesia. Therefore, there was every warranty in prudence, responsibility and expediency for that statement to be made to the Parliament if possible. There has been public criticism of the Minister because it was not made. As I said earlier, in the absence of any statement disavowing the claim that the statement was available and could have been made to Parliament, I think that the Minister, in view of the responsibility he owes to Parliament, should make such disavowal if he is in a position to do so. The fact that this has not been done in such a serious matter certainly lends credence to the suggestion that the information was available and was not presented to the Parliament. I think that if that happened it is a very serious disregarding of the rights and privileges of the Parlia ment and I think that the Senate should express - at least in this mild way - its disapproval of such a course of conduct in a matter of such import.
The second matter is the emergency of the Czechoslovakian situation, with which I shall deal more particularly in the terms of my amendment. We must regard first of all the very basis of any action taken against Rhodesia by the United Nations at any stage. The Leader of the Opposition has given a very long and detailed assessment of the economic measures and of the rights and wrongs of the Rhodesian situation recited more particularly in the latest resolution of the Security Council. But, after all, when the Security Council set out to invoke the relevant section of the United Nations Charter it had firstly to discover thai there had been coincidence with the condition precedent which alone would make it possible to invoke the sanctions provided by the United Nations Charter, namely that a situation existed which was a threat to world peace. Placitum 39 of the United Nations Charter states:
The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42 to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The condition precedent, therefore, Ibr the invocation of the penal part or repressive sections of the United Nations Charter was a declaration to the satisfaction of the Security Council that there was a breach of the peace, a threatened breach of the peace or an act of aggression. Therefore, I feel that one matter to which the Senate must give its attention is the question of whether the Rhodesian situation constitutes a breach of the peace. That is not a matter that I propose to canvass. The United Nations, through the nations assembled in the Security Council, determined that breach of the peace was actually threatened in the Rhodesian situation and Australia, as a member of the United Nations although not at the moment a member of the Security Council, adopted the consequences of such a declaration and invoked the penal provisions of the Charter. But it is most important to examine whether other situations in other places were not, a fortiori, much more likely to breach the peace and create international conflict, and therefore whether or not there has been a gross departure from consistency in the foreign policy of Australia in relation to Rhodesia and in relation to other parts of the world. This is a matter which must particularly concern the mind of the Senate in the course of this debate.
There may be some real dispute as to whether the situation in Rhodesia does constitute a breach of the peace. I know there are disputations by people on both sides. Again I do not dogmatise. 1 have not come here to discuss that situation. There are at least Iwo bodies of opinion. One holds that the Rhodesian situation constitutes a threat to world peace and the other holds that it does not. Quite apart from the policies of the Smith Government and quite apart from the situation in Rhodesia, but looking at (he internal situation from the point of view of compliance or noncompliance wilh that Article of the United Nations Charter, the question is: Could it be reasonably said that the Rhodesian situation constituted a threat to world peace? The United Nations Security Council says it did. On that basis the consequences flow. At least we have to say then that this constitutes a breach of the peace.
Let us look at another situation which recently attracted the attention of this Senate. If it constituted a breach nf the peace, the consequences flowed internationally al the insistence of Australia. The situation thai arose in Czechoslovakia was one of extreme gravity, lt was a situation of extreme cruelty. As I said, there can be some disputation as to whether a threat to world peace exists in the Rhodesian situation. Bui there can be no doubt whatsoever thai another part of the very same section of the United Nations Charter obviously applied in the Czechoslovakian situation. If we look at Article 39 of the United Nations Charter we come back to the word which now becomes so extraordinarily important and so pertinent. Article 39 reads:
The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression . . .
If there is any doubt at all about whether a threat to the peace exists in Rhodesia. there can be no doubt whatsoever thai an actual act of physical aggression took place in Czechoslovakia at the instance of the
Soviet Union. Therefore, if we are looking for a compliance with the condition precedent to invoking the appropriate penal section of the United Nations Charter there can bc no doubt that a situation did exist in Czechoslovakia in relation to the Soviet Union which called for the’ invocation of those penal provisions.
What happened? When a resolution came before the Senate only a fortnight or so ago an attempt was made by Senator Gair and the other members of the Australian Democratic Labor Party to have action taken against the Soviet Union because of its aggression against Czechoslovakia. Honourable senators know the outcome of that attempt. They will recall the actual amendment moved by Senator McManus following the motion which was proposed by the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Anderson). I will read these motions again, because it is extremely salutary that we should record them on this occasion. Senator Anderson moved:
That the Senate expresses its distress at and its abhorrence of the armed intervention in Chechoslovakia by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the East German regime. Poland. Hungary, and Bulgaria; condemns this action as a breach of the United Nations Charter and of accepted international conduct: calls for the immediate withdrawal of the forces unlawfully on Czechoslovakia!! territory and expresses the sympathy of the Senate for the people of Czechoslovakia in their ordeal.
Senator McManus moved the following amendment to tha’, motion:
At end of motion add: , and. in the belief that more than sympathy with Czechoslovakia or verbal condemnation of the Soviet Union is required, calls on the Government, in the event that Soviet troops are not recalled and full independence restored to Czechoslovakia immediately, to give urgent consideration to 1. breaking off diplomatic relations wilh the Soviet Union, and 2. the imposition of sanctions on trade with the Soviet Union.’
That was the amendment that we propounded only a fortnight or so ago in this place.
There was a clear violation by the Soviet Union of the appropriate section of the United Nations Charter A consequence should have flowed from that violation just as a consequence would flow from any violation of that section by any other member state of the United Nations. But the amendment we propounded in this place was defeated on the voices, the Government and the Australian Labor Party, the official Opposition, voting against it. Yet we are asked tonight to support this motion - without the amendment which we proposed - to bring this additional pressure against Rhodesia even though similar action was not sought where there was a much clearer, much more violent, much more apparent and much more reprehensible violation of the United Nations Charter at the Instance of the Soviet Union. Mere words have been considered in this chamber and in another place - in the Parliament of Australia - to handle the situation.
– Violation of it was just the same. Lel us take them one at a time. Let us deal with this one.
– Why one at a time? Why not discipline two at a time? Why discipline one breach of the Charter nd nol the other breach? 1 ask the honourable senator who has interjected what justification, what logic or anything else he jan find to warrant the restraint that we have exercised in relation to Czechoslovakia in view of the firm, and now increasingly firm, stand that we take in the case of Rhodesia when the violation is not as apparent, is not as grave, is not as far reaching, and even can be disputed. I can find no response at all in logic for the attitude which is now being advocated in this chamber by the Government, by the Opposition, and now by Senator O’Byrne. There is no justification for it at all.
We need to be realistic in this matter. The continuance of resolutions in the Security Council in relation to Rhodesia, the fact that they have been found necessary until finally we have got to the culmination in this latest resolution, indicates that however much the sanctions may be justified their effectiveness is very doubtful. The United Nations has found it necessary from lime to time to resolve more harshly and more firmly until this final resolution seeks to make the sanctions as stringent as is humanly and economically possible. In other words, the real effectiveness of. economic sanctions is in- grave doubt.
In these circumstances what is the power and the effectiveness of the United Nations, and what is the authority of the member nations of the United Nations? It can only consist in the moral power of persuasion which a united world can bring upon a recalcitrant and rebellious member who will not observe the United Nations Charter. This is the final pressure which can be brought. When we moved our amendment in relation to Czechoslovakia, Senator Anderson appealed to us to withdraw it. He said that if it was not withdrawn it was possible that a resolution would emerge from this chamber which obviously had not attracted the unanimous support of every senator and to that extent it would lose its potency and its effect. He saw that ultimately the significance of the vote was that it should be unanimous, lt should be the total vote of this chamber, the total vote in another place, and the total vote of a united Australian public. What was wanted was a united Australian opinion. That was the recommendation.
Finally, it is the moral power of the member nations which alone perhaps can exercise authority over those who will not obey. Yet, when wc come to this situation where we require the mobilisation of our moral forces, we find a complete departure from any principle of consistency. Rhodesia now can go before the world and say that it has been charged with a breach of the peace but the Soviet Union has not. Rhodesia can say that it has had sanctions imposed on it for its breach of the peace but the Soviet Union has not. This reduces to a farce the sanctions that we have imposed and the moral power that wc have attempted to bring to bear on Rhodesia. It makes a complete hypocrisy of the attitude we have taken. If we want to indicate the authority of Australia in world opinion and if we really wish to impose an enlightened world opinion on nations such as Rhodesia, at least we have to be consistent. We cannot approbate and reprobate. The effectiveness of anything we do here in relation to Rhodesia will be magnified one thousand times if we have the courage to be consistent and to insist on the same type of attitude in relation to the Soviet Union because of its action in Czechoslovakia.
If tonight honourable senators feel as intensely as the speeches we have already heard indicate, if they have the solicitude for Rhodesia which has been proclaimed in their speeches and in the Press, and which will yet be proclaimed in the course of this debate, then I challenge every one of them to conform to the principle of consistency and to support the amendment that we have propounded for their consideration. If honourable senators do that they will really have mobilised the opinion of this chamber and of the Australian nation in a way that must be of effect from one end of the world to the other, whether that expression of opinion be in relation to Rhodesia or to the Soviet Union. The world then will have held out to it a signal that free nations will not tolerate this kind of violation of the principles of the United Nations. lt has been mentioned by honourable senators, including Senator Anderson and Senator Murphy, and Senator O’Byrne by way of interjection, that we should support, rely on and look to the United Nations. Australia always has been a great supporter of the United Nations, lt is an original member of the United Nations and gave distinguished leadership to the Organisation. Australia always has supported it financially and in every action. On this occasion the United Nations again is receiving the support of Australia.
What does our amendment ask? it asks that we take the Czechoslovakian position to the United Nations, the very court which Senator O’Byrne and other honourable senators say we should support and before which we should bring the type of conduct which is alleged against Rhodesia. We say that is the court to which the Czechoslovakian situation should be taken so that from it could emerge the same kind of imposition as has emerged in respect of Rhodesia. Therefore, in the terms of our amendment we urge the Government immediately to call1 on the United Nations to institute disciplinary action against the Soviet Union.
Senator O’Byrne has interrupted me during the course of my remarks and has asked me questions. I now say to him: Czechoslovakia today is a nation in chains, a nation that in vain looked to the world for support, solicitude and succour, ls it any consolation to a nation in bondage, whether it be Czechoslovakia or any other nation, for a country such as Australia to say: ‘We will lake these things in their turn. We will do nothing for Czechoslovakia until the Rhodesian situation is settled. If that takes 20 ears, so much the worse for Czechoslovakia’? Is that the kind of international solicitude
– He did not say that.
– He said that we have to take one at a time and undoubtedly that is the implication. We are asking that these be taken together.
– You are confusing the issue.
– Are you prepared to support our amendment that sanctions or other disciplinary action be applied against the Soviet Union? Let me refer to one or two comments and observations made by Senator Murphy. He said: ‘By this resolution we must carry out not only the letter but also the spirit of the United Nations Charter’. I turn to the original operative resolution in relation to Rhodesia contained in ‘Yearbook of the United Nations, 1966’. After reciting the conditions precedent for a breach of world peace it goes on in paragraph 4 to say that the Security Council:
Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the people in Southern Rhodesia to freedom and independence in accordance with the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples contained in General Assembly resolution 1514; and recognises the legitimacy of their struggle . . .
If we are to observe not only the letter but also the spirit of the United NationsCharter, are those principles which are pertinent to Rhodesia to be denied to Czechoslovakia? Is the independence and freedom of the people of Czechoslovakia less important than the independence and freedom of the people of Rhodesia? If Rhodesia comes under condemnation for violation of the principles in relation to colonial peoples are we to deny the same consideration to the people of Czechoslovakia? Yes, of course let us obey and affirm not only the letter but also the spirit of the United Nations Charter. That is what we are asking every member of this Senate to do tonight. We are asking all honourable senators to adhere not only to the letter of this great historic document but also to the spirit, and to acknowledge here by resolution the fundamental principle of the United Nations that the liberty of all people is the responsibility of all people and that to deny freedom to any people is to deny freedom to all people. The bell tolls for each one of us. Let us remember that tonight as we go forward to support the amendment and the motion that are before the chamber.
It has been said by Senator Murphy and Senator Anderson that there has been a clear breach of the United Nations Charter and that we must stand firm. Since the days of Nazism in Germany have we seen any clearer breach of the principles of the liberty and independence of people than we have seen in Czechoslovakia? If Senator Anderson is right, if Senator Murphy is right, then when a people find themselves in bondage let us observe the principles of the United Nations Charter. That was the unanimous decision of the Security Council.
The first resolution was a strange unanimous decision and it is a cynical observation that one of the abstentions from the vote in the 1966 resolution relating to the imposition of sanctions happened to be the Soviet Union. Perhaps the Soviet Union has a consistency that is denied to us. Perhaps now the Soviet Union can turn to us and say: ‘Originally wc did not support sanctions against Rhodesia and we do not supported them against ourselves’. That is the kind of consistency upon which the Soviet Union relies, a consistency which we deny lo ourselves. 1 do not propose to take this matter any further. 1 commend to the attention of honourable senators the amendment moved on behalf of my Party. The Senate now has the opportunity, in defiance of the opinions of many people, to show the resolution of this Parliament and of this nation that peace is one and indivisible, that liberty is the cherished possession of all and we will see it taken out of the hands of no man. We will do what we can to restore peace to all men whether they be Rhodesian or Czechoslovakian. I commend the amendment.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Laught) - Is the amendment seconded?
– I second the amendment.
– The Australian Labor Party has proposed the resolution before the Senate this evening because we believe that in view of the considerable amount of public discussion which has taken place on the resolution of the United Nations Security Council to apply sanctions against the Rhodesian regime there should be thesame opportunity to debate the approach of the United Nations to Rhodesia inside this Parliament as there has been outside this Parliament. An amendment has been moved by a representative of the Australian Democratic Labor Party calling also for the imposition of sanctions against the Soviet Union. That is not a matter that 1 intend to discuss at any length this evening. The Australian Labor Party already has made its position perfectly clear with regard to Soviet intervention, in Czechoslovakia. I have spoken in the Senate in support of a resolution presented by the Leader of the Government (Senator Anderson) condemning the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia, and I have spoken elsewhere in public against the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia.
If it were argued, as Senator Byrne has argued, that there is a possible threat to the peace of the world by the Soviet action in Czechoslovakia and that the United Nations should consider taking appropriate steps, I believe there would be considerable merit in supporting such an argument but I do not believe that we should be discussing the two matters simultaneously. There are a number of other places throughout the world where aggression has been committed by one country against another but we are not discussing those issues this evening. The Leader of the Democratic Labor Party (Senator Gair) continues to interject. I listened to Senator Byrne in silence and I expect Senator Gair to show me the same courtesy.
The resolution which was carried by the United Nations Security Council was supported not only by all the countries within the so-called Western Bloc. It has also been supported by those countries which are in the so-called Eastern Bloc and, of course, it has been supported most intensively by those countries which belong to the Afro-Asian group. Senator Byrne has said that there may be two bodies of opinion as to whether or not there is a threat to world peace by the action of the Rhodesian regime. Indeed, there may be two bodies of opinion on this matter, but the fact remains that whether or not there are two bodies of opinion the resolution which has been carried by the appropriate authority, that is, the Security Council of the United Nations, is that there has been a breach of the peace by the actions of the illegal regime in Southern Rhodesia. lt may well be that there were some doubts in the minds of some people at the time of the Korean war as to where precisely all the guilt may have lain in that conflict, f do not want to revive any debates on that matter. Certainly, there was a resolution carried by the Security Council of the United Nations that there had been a breach of the peace by the action of the North Korean Government.
– By the General Assembly.
– By the Security Council.
– I am receiving contrary advice on this matter. In any event, the appropriate body of the United Nations did decide that there was a breach of the p;ace by North Korea and the Australian Labor Party supported the action which was taken in accorlance with the resolution of the United Nations relating to the situation in Korea. We supported the sending of Australian troops in accordance with the resolution to repel what was regarded by the United Nations on that occasion as aggression from the north, and I. believe that we acted correctly in supporting this resolution because it was carried by the only properly constituted body for the preservation of world peace - however weak it may bcwhich is the United Nations. The argument has been used by Senator Byrne this evening, and it has been used quite a deal in public elsewhere, that because there are other instances which are alleged to be just as bad as - indeed, worse, if not much worse than - what has been done by the Smith regime in Rhodesia, nothing should be done about Rhodesia itself. This is not an argument which I am prepared to accept. It is not an argument which the Australian Labor Party is prepared to accept, and as far as I can follow it is not an argument which the Minister for External Affairs (Mr Hasluck) himself is prepared to accept.
The fact of the matter is that the resolution has been carried concerning Rhodesia. If it is alleged, and it often is alleged, that the United Nations is a weak force which has proved itself incapable of dealing with all sorts of major crises which have occurred throughout the world, surely opposition to, or luke-warmness in support or lack of support of the resolution which has been carried with regard to Rhodesia can only further weaken the United Nations in future. If we are to say that the United Nations should be a much more powerful body in enforcing the rule of law throughOut the world and in enforcing the rights of countries to be protected from the threats of aggressive neighbours, clearly we must say that whenever the United Nations does carry a resolution - and it is very, very difficult indeed to get any resolution carried by the Security Council, as five of the member nations of it have the power of veto - it is surely incumbent upon us to give our full support to the terms of such a resolution. If we are not to support resolutions with regard to world peace which are carried by the United Nations, it will be very, very pious of us indeed to complain it something is not done in those instances where resolutions are impossible of being carried because of the divisions that occur between the major power blocs in (he world al the present time.
– In the event of failure under Article 47, which we are dealing with now, will the Australian Labor Party support action under Article 48?
– 1 do not intend to deal with that at the moment. I shall discuss that in private later wilh my adviser. Senator Cormack. Frankly, for one reason, I am not clear at the moment what Article 48 says. The regime in Rhodesia has been condemned by all of those nations that constitute the Security Council. In fact, when we are dealing with Rhodesia we are dealing with a vastly different situation from that which occurs in most of the countries which are considered by the United Nations, because in Rhodesia there is not a legally constituted government. For over 40 years limited powers of self-government have been given to the former colony of Southern Rhodesia by the Imperial Parliament in Britain, with certain limitations which have been made clear in the enabling Act which established the Southern Rhodesian Parliament. There was a time in the 1950s and until the end of that decade when certain of the powers of Southern Rhodesia were ceded to the ill-fated federal authority, the Central African Federation. After its failure, Rhodesia again returned to its previous status and in 1965 the Rhodesian Parliament, by what was described as a unilateral declaration of independence, proclaimed that it was no longer subject to the authority of the imperial Parliament
This was invalid in law because the powers of the Southern Rhodesian Parliament were directly limited by the powers of the Imperial Parliament. The Statute of Westminster does not apply to Southern Rhodesia. In fact, Southern Rhodesia had never been recognised as a self-governing dominion in the same sense as countries such as Australia and Canada had been, although in the past it was the practice for the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia to attend Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conferences in London in the capacity of un observer. Even those two countries which feel most warmly towards the Rhodesian regime and which have the most to gain from ils retention and most to lose from its destruction - the Republic of South Africa and Portugal - do not recognise Rhodesia as a sovereign state. Neither of them has full diplomatic representation wilh the government of Southern Rhodesia. Neither of them recognises Southern Rhodesia as an independent nation in any normally accepted use of the term.
In Capetown at the present time the Smith regime does have a representative. It was anxious that ils representative should bs recognised as an ambassador by the South African Government of Mr Vorster, nut this right has been refused. Mr John Gaum, the representative of the Smith regime in Capetown is still permitted by the South African Government only the title of accredited government representative’, lt will not give him the status of ambassador or minister of the Rhodesian government. Indeed. Iiic attitude of both the South African and Portuguese Governments has been that although they give a sort of de facto recognition to the existence of the Smith regime, although they engage in various negotiations with it, although Portugal, for example, has appointed consuls and although South Africa has appointed trade and other diplomatic representatives, neither has recognised Rhodesia as being ‘in independent state.
– How low can you get, when South Africa and Port glial do not recognise ii?
– I thought he was holding them up as paragons of virtue.
– If Senator Little thinks that, it must be difficult to convince him by any argument.
– I thought you would pick a better example.
– There may be others who find the same difficulty in understanding as Senator Little does. I was not saying that they were paragons of virtue. What 1 was saying - 1 say it slowly so that Senator Little may grasp it - is that even two sovereign nations, namely South Africa and Portugal, which have considerable sympathy with the regime in Salisbury and are very anxious to preserve it, do not recognise Rhodesia as an independent nation because, no doubt, of the legal advice which they have available to them. 1 am not saying that because South Africa or Portugal does not recognise a particular country that country does not exist. What 1 am saying is that even those two countries, which one would assume would have every reason for wanting to recognise Rhodesia, have not been able to bring themselves to do so. If Senator Little still cannot understand that. I am prepared to write it out for him and give it to him later so that he can study it quietly some time. lt can be argued - Senator Byrne has argued it - that there are regimes that are doing things thai, are just as bad as, indeed worse than, what is being done in Rhodesia. Anybody who has any familiarity with that part of the world could argue that as far as the great mass of the population is concerned the present regime in South Africa is vastly more repressive than is the present regime in Rhodesia. lt is a considerably more illiberal regime. Even now, although the first elements of apartheid are being applied by the Rhodesian Government, there is considerably more integration within Rhodesia than there is within South Africa. Certainly the measures that the illegal Rhodesian Government has taken against dissident elements have been nowhere near as brutal as those that have been taken by the South African Government.
In fact there are still ten members in the Rhodesian Parliament elected by Africans. 1 think nine of them are African and one is European. But there are nine Africans sitting in the Rhodesian Parliament. That is a gross under-representation of five million people in a country in which the European population is approximately that of the City of South Perth, which is about 210,000. However that may be, there are still nine Africans in the Parliament, although they are elected on that restrictive franchise. In South Africa there are no nonEuropean members of the Parliament. There never have been any non-European members of the South African Parliament. Even the 4 remaining representatives in a House of 170, who represented the coloured population - not the African but the coloured population - and who were elected on a restrictive franchise to represent the Cape Coloured portion of South Africa, have recently had their seats abolished. So even those European representatives of the people of mixed descent have been eliminated from the South African Parliament.
I certainly do not want to be put in the position of by any means praising Rhodesia; but although the two major political organisations in that country - the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union and the Zimbabwe African National Union, which quite clearly represent the overwhelming mass of the Rhodesian people - are illegal and their leaders, Mr Nkomo and the Rev. Mr Sithole, have been imprisoned, what has been done to them is nowhere near as bad as what has happened to those people inside South Africa who have been critical of the regime there. But we are not saying that because the position in South Africa is worse than the position in Rhodesia the Australian Government should be taking action against South Africa and should not be taking action against Rhodesia or should not be taking action against either of those countries.
The fact is that a very particular situation has arisen in Rhodesia. That very particular situation is that an illegal, rebel government is operating against the authority of the British Parliament, which still has the legal authority to make laws with regard to Rhodesia. One might be entitled to criticise the British Government. I am prepared to say that a great measure of hypocrisy has been shown by British governments. I include the present British Labour Government in that. I am opposed to the use of force and violence. The British Labour Government said that it was opposed to the use of force in order to put down what in fact is a rebellion in Rhodesia, lt said that it would not send British troops to Rhodesia to take up arms against their kith and kin. If I may say so, speaking for myself - I am not speaking for my Party here - 1 find that an outrageous position for people who describe themselves as Socialists to take. They were prepared to use all sorts of Draconic measures and to send in troops in order to remove the democratically elected government of British Guiana, for example, which happened to be nonEuropean. There was no talk then about people being their kith and kin. They were prepared to send troops into Cyprus. They were prepared to send troops into Aden. But they were not prepared to send troops into Southern Rhodesia.
However, they decided, they made that decision. That was their business. Apparently they came to the conclusion that there were ways in which they could deal with the rebellion that followed the unilateral declaration of independence by the Smith regime, such as by means of sanctions. But these were found not to be effective owing to the fact that two countries with common borders with Rhodesia, namely Portugal, one of whose colonies - Mozambique - has a common border with Rhodesia, and South Africa, were continuing to provide various goods and services of which the Rhodesians felt themselves in need. For that reason action has been taken by the United Nations itself.
We hear people, especially members of the Democratic Labor Party, talking about certain people being disloyal to the United States alliance and saying that we should follow closely American foreign policy and that we should approve of American foreign policy with regard to international aggression. No country has made its attitude to the situation in Rhodesia clearer than has the United States Administration. It has been in full support of the imposition of sanctions on Rhodesia.
– Does the honourable senator like America now?
– Senator Little says that I like America now. As it happens I do like America, but I disagree with it on some things and agree with it on others. In the past the position taken up by Senator Little and others, as I understand it, has been that anybody who disagrees with American foreign policy is disloyal in some way. But apparently that does not apply in respect of American foreign policy on Africa.
If anybody were to speak to the representatives of the Rhodesian Government or those Rhodesians who support the present regime in Rhodesia, he would not find that the vii Hans whom they deplore most come from the Soviet Union, such as Khrushchev or Kosygin, or from Communist China, such as Mao Tse-tung. The star performers in their annals of demonology are not the leaders in the Kremlin or in Peking. T he evil geniuses to whom they constantly refer arc Arthur Goldberg, Dean Rusk, the hie Senator Robert Kennedy and particularly Mr G. Mennen Williams, the former American Assistant-Secretary of State in charge of African Affairs. Those are the people whom they regard as the evil geniuses and as second only to Harold Wilson in plotting to destroy the regime in Rhodesia. Those are the people who from the very beginning have supported the. resolution that we are supporting here tonight.
We believe that a motion such as this should bc debated on its merits. If the Democratic Labor Party or anybody else wants to have a debate on Czechoslovakia, I am prepared to take part in it. In fact I have taken part in such debates in the past. I have taken part in them in public. I am quite happy to take part in them in the future. I deplore what has happened in that country. I agree that, it has been a threat to world peace. If someone could come up with some constructive suggestions as to how the United Nations should take action to free Czechoslovakia from occupation by the Soviet Union, I would certainly be prepared to support him. But I do not believe that that should be done when we are discussing a matter such as the one that is before the Senate this evening. When references were made to Vietnam in the course of the debate on Czechoslovakia, we heard members of the DLP saying: ‘You are changing the subject. You want to talk about two things at the same time.’ Yet that is the very thing that they are doing tonight.
Of course. 1 realise that they are in an embarrassing position. For a long time the DLP has given up the pretence of being some sort of labor party. If one looks through the columns of ‘News Weekly’ - if he ever has to suffer that unfortunate experience - he will find there that the DLP is full of praise and support for the Smith regime in Rhodesia. Its supporters will probably be embarrassed to find that members of that Party are no longer supporting it. 1 do not wish to waste my time on the DLP or on a sort of half-baked discussion of Czechoslovakia. I believe we should look at the position inside Rhodesia itself. The position inside Rhodesia is that a very small minority of white settlers claim to have built up that country but the’ overwhelming majority of them are people who have settled in Rhodesia since the Second World War, after all the hard work had been done by a few early white settlers and the unfortunate Africans who live there. They are people who have never had it so good, who have shifted out there from Great Britain and suddenly found themselves with two or three servants. They are certainly opposed to the principle of one man one vote being adopted at any time in the foreseeable future because it will mean an end to this Garden of Eden that they have had presented to them without any effort on their part other than to change their address. These people have chosen to ban the democratic organisations of the Rhodesian people - and by the ‘Rhodesian people’ I mean the great mass of the African people - and they are holding the leaders of the Rhodesian people in custody.
There is in fact a threat to world peace, as the United Nations itself has found because, if there is one thing about which the African people feel strongly, however much they may be divided on other matters, it is the question of racialism, the question of colonialism and the question which arises when they find a small minority of white settlers whether they be in Algeria, Rhodesia, Mozambique or anywhere else living in plenty while the great mass of the people in their own country are living in poverty. For that reason I believe it is particularly important that those sections of the United Nations Security Council resolution relating to Zambia should be carried out.
Zambia is a country which has been placed in great difficulties because of these sanctions. A lot of people are often very critical of the Government in Zambia as they are of the Government of Tanzania, but both these Governments have tried in very difficult conditions indeed to be singularly humane and enlightened in their foreign policies. 1 believe that both of them have shown that in connection with the present tragic situation in Biafra. When civil war broke out in Nigeria, both the Government of Tanzania and the Government of Zambia said that because they were supporters of African unity, because they looked forward to the ultimate goal of unity of all of the African people, they supported the federal authorities in Nigeria in suppressing the separatist revolt in Biafra. They also said that they had strong reservations about the type of regime which could be established in Biafra because of the rather close associations which Biafra appeared lo have with both South Africa and Portugal. But both the Government of Tanzania and the Government of Zambia subsequently said that although they were in favour of African unity they were not in favour of genocide. Despite their strong feelings about African unity, both these Governments have adopted their present attitude because Chey believe that great wrongs are being inflicted upon the unfortunate people living in Biafra.
Zambia is a country which is suffering from a situation which is not of the making of its own people, lt is a situation which results from the partition of Africa by the great powers in the last century and the clumsy efforts of British colonialism to divide various colonies and then to set up hopeless federations which were doomed to failure from the very beginning.
There is a threat to world peace, lt has been recognised by the United Nations. I for one wish to support the actions which the Minister for External Affairs (Mr Hasluck) has taken on this question. I believe that he has acted correctly. I believe that he has acted properly. There have been times when I have been very critical of actions which he has taken, but when he acts in a manner which I believe is proper, 1 do not believe that 1 should abstain from praising him for what he has done. I believe that the actions which the Minister has taken on this occasion have been perfectly correct.
Senator Byrne said that one con try which is in chains - Czechoslovakia - is appealing to be freed and asks why we are not doing there what we are doing in connection with Rhodesia. I agree with him in general principle, but 1. have yet to see any appeal from Mr Dubcek or Mr Svoboda or from any of the other leaders of the Czechoslovak Government and people calling for intervention by the United Nations. If there were such appeals, 1 believe they should be closely heeded, but so far I have not heard any such appeals. So far, none of the great western powers such as the United States, Great Britain or France has suggested that the matter of Czechoslovakia should be referred to the United Nations Security Council, but all of the great western powers on the Security Council have supported this resolution with regard to Rhodesia.
Once again, I return to the matter with which I opened my remarks: If we are critical of the United Nations, if we are going to say that the United Nations has in the past proved ineffective to deal with great issues, if we are going to say that in many respects the United Nations has proved to be an ineffective peace keeping element, then, surely, the only way in which we can see that in the future the United Nations will become the effective peace keeping force which we want it to be will be. is when a resolution is carried by the Security Council such as the one that was carried by it on Rhodesia, lo see that it receives the full support of the Australian Parliament and the Australian people.
– I have several motives for rising to speak on this particular matter.
– Name one.
– I can name more than one. One of them is a personal family reason in that, in my father’s family, there were only two children. My father’s elder brother ran away from home at the age of 15, settled in Rhodesia and had II children. He was very probably the main progenitor of the white population in Rhodesia to which reference has been made. But let us set that on one side. This is a debate which concerns all of us very much and it is a little distressing to see so much heat being generated. What we should be concerned with here is the various tests of our own position as a nation. There are some overtones in this issue which affect Australia and they relate to matters quite beyond the subject we are discussing. That is why I propose raising several matters that 1 believe can properly be regarded as flowing out of this issue.
I do not regard myself as any expert on the United Nations. In fact, I am not. I have not a great understanding of it. Senator Cavanagh seeks to interject. 1 have not the understanding he has of so many things. In this instance, I do plead lack of expert knowledge. But last year, for 2 or 3 days, I sat in and listened to the proceedings of what is called the Committee of Twenty-four, the United Nations committee which deals wilh problems relating to trusteeship and colonialism, and we are very greatly involved in these matters. 1 do not think enough people realise that we will be amongst the last countries to have their affairs debated by the Committee of Twenty-four. When we think of the Committee of Twenty-four, we think about our involvement and our responsibilities in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, lt might seem strange to refer to Papua and New Guinea tonight when we are talking about Rhodesia, but 1 refer to that Territory because the affairs of Papua and New Guinea do come within the overtones of the discussion here tonight.
I want to refer to the interesting statement made this afternoon with relation to our financial involvement and our interest in this area to our north. The fact that the Budget makes provision for the expenditure of $87m in that Territory reflects our genuine concern for the welfare of the people who are close to us and for whom we have responsibilities which we exercise very properly and very responsibly. This sum represents an increase of 12% on the amount provided last year. Today we had handed to us a remarkable document demonstrating our intention to take up the World Bank bond proposal to support the development of Papua and New Guinea by investing $ 1,000m of the Australian people’s money over 5 years in order to sustain the development of that country and its resources and to bring its people to a greater state of independence and a greater state of security.
When we speak of dealing badly with the people of small countries, of colonial tendencies and traditions, we should bear in mind that we have done a very good job and can hold our heads high. However, we will probably be the last country in the world to be dealt with by the Committee of Twenty-four as a colonial power. We will not think of ourselves as a colonial power. We will not be happy when the United Nations comes to us as the last of the bucket line. We will be attacked by all sorts of people with the accusation of bad behaviour, irresponsibility and colonialism. We will not think of it in that way. We will think about the responsibility we have shown, and the investments we have made to help these people. We will think of the money advanced as grants, without any ties. We will think of ourselves as responsible people of good behaviour, exercising what might be called a general sense of trying to help people less fortunate than ourselves. Although we are acting in that way now, perhaps some years from now we will be subjected to the concentrated venom of people al the United Nations and the Committee of Twenty-four with no place to vent their spleen other than on ourselves. We will then be very sad people. That is one of the reasons why I have risen to speak in this debate tonight on the problems of Rhodesia and what has been said to be the oppression of that country. Previous speakers in this debate have visited Rhodesia. 1 have never visited that country, but one knows what is going on. One gets the picture. It is very easy to be a critic and judge of events at a distance.
– What is the Committee of Twenty-Four?
– It is a committee of the United Nations concerned with trusteeship. Senator Byrne expressed tonight his concern at the oppression, difficulties and suffering of the Czechoslovakian people. We should be considering our own position and how in the future we will be judged by other people on what we are trying to do. Reference has been made to resolution 253 of the Security Council. It is too long to quote in its entirety in this debate, but I wish to quote several sentences that appear in it. It states:
Reaffirming its determination that the present situation in Southern Rhodesia constitutes a threat to international peace and security—
Does it really? I am not sure that it does, but we are told that is the situation by a body to which we belong. One day we may find that similar statements are made about us, although we may not think there is any justification for them. The resolution also states:
We support and contribute large sums of money to the United Nations. As a member of that body we exercise trusteeship, we believe responsibly and properly. One day we will be judged by world opinion which may not agree with our opinion that we have been responsible benefactors. We may be judged as colonial people who threaten the security of others, lt depends on which way it is looked at. In dealing with comments and observations that have been made one cannot but hope that all members of the United Nations will themselves always observe the conditions referred to in the resolution, whenever the world is in trouble.
We have been brought to the stage of discussing the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Honourable senators opposite have condemned that invasion, but that does not matter. It has happened and has become part of the general debate. Last year I was able to visit Russia for about a fortnight. 1 was also able to visit countries of the eastern Socialist bloc that have been referred to by several speakers in this debate, lt was a very interesting visit. I was able to talk to some of the people there and from those discussions to form a judgment, while at the same time not regarding myself as the last word or a great expert on those countries and their affairs. I passed through Romania and saw there a demonstration of independent foreign policy, a balance of payments surplus, and an anxiety to retain those funds within Romania. The Romanian people want independence financially and in their foreign policy. I saw in Bulgaria a clear economic dependence on the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union turns over, Bulgaria must turn over, or it does not have much to live on.
I saw Yugoslovia as an emerging country, full of experimental ideas on socialist practice and new traditions. It is very much a model for other countries in that part of the world to emulate. To me Hungary seemed to be full of sadness. There was in the air a feeling of desperation In Czechoslovakia I was interested in the disenchantment with the Soviet system and Soviet rulers. Above all else I encountered on my visit I recall the general feeling of wanting to be independent nations, a sense of growing nationalism and a wish for independence. Once again the Russians in their devious and bullying fashion have moved in on a people who are really only trying to be their own people. I again remind honourable senators that we in Australia like to be our own people. We are trying to help the people of Papua and New Guinea to be their own people. The Rhodesians have been trying to be their own people. It is very easy to set oneself up as a judge and critic of the behaviour of other nations. I suggest that Australia would be better occupied in doing what it could in its own home to be as good a country as possible; to continue to help other countries to, become part of the general organisation for peace and understanding throughout the world. We should not expect that the resolutions of this organisation will be perfect instruments. They are not, never have been, and perhaps never will be. But they will be the better for understanding and some tolerance by ourselves. It ill becomes us to adopt the posture of a lecturer.
I suppose it can fairly be said that the invasion of Czechoslovakia shattered the hopes of many independently minded eastern European countries, and the hopes of those people who had looked for improved Russian behaviour and a better world in a time of increasing disillusionment. In dealing with middle Europe we should remember that we are dealing with the lives and problems of people remote from us, although we have a great understanding and sympathy for them. But is it Australia’s job to raise at the United Nations matters concerning Czechoslovakia and Russian behaviour when other nations more interested, capable, responsible and closer to the scene have not raised them? I rather wonder whether the solution to the Russian behaviour in middle Europe is not to wait for the general weight of world opinion to react on the situation. The people in those countries are very strongly minded for independence and nationalism, as can be gathered from talking to them, lt is to be hoped that they will prevail in the end. 1 do not see that we have any capacity to raise at the United Nations the matter of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Anybody who is concerned about the peace of the world must be worried about events in Czechoslovakia. That must be the case. But we are not really debating that issue. We are debating Australia’s support for actions by the United Nations against Rhodesia. Having regard to the fact that we belong to the United Nations, that we believe that it is an imperfect instrument but the best that there is, we are acting quite properly in supporting the proposal that we join with the other members in this measure against Rhodesia. But we ought at the same time to recognise that it is by no means something in which we can be very effective. We cannot be very effective in the affairs of middle Europe. We can be effective in our own country, and our job, 1 imagine, is to do the best we can here, to be the best member that we can of world bodies and regional bodies, and to retrain from censure and lecture when we are not well placed to perform in those two fields.
So my feeling about this matter is that whilst I am very concerned about middle Europe, as I hope I have made clear to the Senate, and sad in many ways about developments there, it is not part of tonight’s exercise. Tonight’s exercise is the Rhodesian consideration. I believe, with some reservations which 1 have tried to express about the imperfect character of actions like this in the United Nations, and about our own problems that will come to us as the years pass, that we have to be prepared to stand up on this occasion and join a body of world opinion that does its best to stand in the face of aggression. But, at the same time, let us be conscious of our position and our size.
– The resolution that has been moved by Senator Murphy on behalf of the Australian Labor Party is a very simple one:
That the Senate approves the United Nations Security Council resolution No. 253 of 29 May 1968 on Southern Rhodesia and requests that the Australian Government do all in its power to implement the resolution.
Since Senator Murphy gave notice of that motion the Government has done exactly what the terms of the motion seek. When we examine the attitudes in world affairs today and the documents relating to the United Nations it becomes clear to us that the Government could do little else. Senator Cotton has been making the point that the Government decided that this was an occasion when it should agree with t e Security Council resolution but in view of that section of the United Nations Charter headed ‘Action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and ac:s of aggression’ I suggest to honourable senators that it would be a very brave government indeed that would defy the resolution of the Security Council.
The United Nations Charter is set out fairly simply and I do not want to quote all of it because time is moving on, but under the heading 1 have just mentioned Article 39 states that the Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to peace, lt goes on to mention breach of the peace and so on. This has given rise to argument, particularly by. the Democratic Labor Party, as to what determines a threat to the peace or a breach of the peace. This is, of course, always an area for argument, but the fact is that the United Nations Security Council has determined that the situation in Rhodesia does constitute a threat to the peace of the world. The United Nations Charter goes on to detail the means that can be taken in this situation. To paraphrase its provisions, it can do all things short of war. This is what it is doing at the present moment. It is applying the most stringent economic sanctions against Southern Rhodesia and these have been stepped up progressively, firstly on what might be termed a nonofficial level, then on an official level at the United Nations and now on a stepper.l-up level by the United Nations. If this action fails there is in Article 42 power to take the next step, which is armed intervention, a step which we hope to avoid.
Being fair to the Democratic Labor Party, if its argument, as T understand it, is that the actions of Southern Rhodesia do not constitute a breach of the peace, certainly what follows from its actions is tending towards a situation in which peace could be broken. If the Australian Government were to examine its situation - this is where 1 think Senator Cotton was far too quiescent in approaching this issue - it could’ find itself in a situation where the United Nations called on Australia to carry out the decision of the Security Council. We could find ourselves in a similar position to the Portuguese who started to take petrol and oil into Rhodesia. On that occasion the British stepped in and stopped them at the request of the Security Council. There are large countries and small countries from all over the world represented at the United Nations and it is obvious that a watertight charter cannot be created, but with all the looseness of the United Nations Charter I believe that any country which wants to preserve its impartiality in the world, as Australia does, can do very little else but follow the dicta of the Security Council. Whatever the arguments and whatever the comparisons wilh other situations in the world, and there is certainly an argument on behalf of the Security Council, J suggest that this situation could lead to a breach of world peace,
Rhodesia, as we know it, has a quite recent history. We look back to the time when the Federation was formed and we find thai if the British had been a little more far sighted in their handling of Rhodesia they might have found their position to be a little better than it is today. They may have found that their last position was not worse than their first. With Rhodesia under the leadership of Sir Godfrey Huggins, with Roy Welensky, later Sir Roy Welensky, as his able lieutenant in those days, when Britain decided that Rhodesia ought to he federated it was the British Home Office which insisted that Nyasaland should be taken in with it. lt was only on the insistence of the British Government that this was done. Then, immediately, the catalyst in the breakup of the Federation was Nyasaland itself. I think that is one of the most interesting experiments in the modern history of federations because it. would appear that the British Government, which was never very ininterested in the Federation, forced on it a situation which was untenable and then did nothing to protect it.
There is no doubt whatever that the situation in Rhodesia would have been far nearer to present day world opinion, firstly under the leadership of Sir Godfrey Huggins and later under Sir Roy Welensky, than it is under Ian Smith. There are possibilities that Ian Smith’s government may be replaced by a more right-wing government in the coming days because his own party conference recently carried a resolution on a vital issue by only eleven votes. He is facing breakaway movement in his own ranks at this very crucial time. So we have moved away from the situation in which Sir Roy Welensky frequently said that Rhodesia must be a black Rhodesia. That proposition could not stand up to the weight of numbers and could not stand up to the mathematics of the situation, but he maintained at that time that in a black Rhodesia they would be able to avoid such a situation as that in the Congo, right at their very borders. The situation at that time was not vast enough to influence world opinion or that of the British. The only thing that T say in passing, because 1 found it difficult to follow Senator Cotton tonight, is that there may be lessons in this for Australia in New Guinea. However, 1 do not want to go so far off the track as Senator Cotton did on the subject.
Today we have a most interesting situation which I propose to come to a little later on the question of Rhodesia. The fact is that every step that has been taken by Rhodesia since the breakup of the Federation has been one which has been worse for the British Government when faced with world opinion than is the situation today. I feel that there is no question that there has to be a black Rhodesia. This proposition is unanswerable, especially in view of the fact that all over the world Britain has been putting up the shutters on its Empire, and saying that the nationals must take over. The British have been insisting that the governors should be accepted by the governed. The stalemate has been brought about because they could not obtain that position in Rhodesia.
Senator Byrne, speaking in support of his party’s amendment, tried to compare the Czechoslovakian situation with the Rhodesian situation. I sympathise with him because although he had a brief to argue I am sure it was not a brief he wanted to argue. Such a situation is always difficult for any politcian, let alone a politico-lawyer. Everybody in this Parliament unanimously condemned what happened in Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately, because of a misunderstanding, I was unable to speak during the debate on Czechoslovakia though I would dearly have loved to do so. I feel that the countries of the world, and Australia in particular, are treating what happened in Czechoslovakia far too lightly. The very foundations of the structure of coexistence that we believed was coming about was shaken by the Russians practising imperialism - a word that they have condemned over the years. I cannot condemn the Russian invasion too strongly. Every argument that has been put forward to justify the Russians is, I feel, weak and hollow. I believe that the ramifications of this invasion will be *o terrible that they will take a long while to get over, if we ever get over them and if we can ever think again of the possibility of co-existence. What the Russians seem to have indicated quite clearly to the world is that there can be only one form of Communism. But the world does not accept that. Co-existence has received a tremendous setback. We had almost reached the situation where it seemed that there could be a Yugoslav, a Czechoslovakian, a Romanian and perhaps a Vietnamese form of Communist government. But that is no more. In dealing with Czechoslovakia, Senator Byrne implied that whilst the Security Council was anxious to rush in and condemn Rhodesia, it was not anxious to rush in and condemn Czechoslovakia.
– 1 did not say that.
– 1 thought the gravamen of the honourable senator’s argument was that whilst the Security Council had condemned Rhodesia the situation in Czechoslovakia had not been condemned. The fact is that the Security Council had cognisance of it but a resolution has been vetoed by Russia. The Security Council still has the Czechoslovakian situation on its plate or agenda - whatever the term is in that very high and august body. The fact is that there are many difficulties associated with the United Nations. These difficulties were argued by a Labor government in 1945, at the time of the Dumbarton Oaks and San Francisco conferences. A peculiar situation arose in respect of Korea. The one country that presumably would have vetoed the Security Council’s action in relation to Korea, namely Russia, was absent from the vital meeting because of the presence of China. So we had the perfect example of the Security Council sending troops into a world trouble spot.
Surely the Vietnam situation is a threat to world peace. I do not think that anybody would argue that it is not. But because of the weaknesses of the United Nations, because some countries are not represented there, and because of the veto, the United Nations has not been able to say officially that the Vietnam situation is a threat to world peace. Yet here is a situation of threat to the world that the United Nationsshould end. There is also the Arab-Israel problem in the Middle East, a traditional area of discord. Israel is holding acres of land which it would probably be quite willing to give back, but wc will not know if this is so until the matter is discussed at a round table conference. Under no circumstances should the United Nations condone permanent occupancy by one country of land belonging to another country. If the situation is reached where land can be taken by force there is not much room left for hope. On the other hand, the Arabs are still defiantly saying - even though they have been most spectacularly defeated - that they are still at war with the Israelis. Only yesterday the United Nations condemned both sides over shelling in the Suez area. There is no use pontificating that the United Nations should be all things to all men, that it should be completely judicial and that it should never be wrong because in any form of human endeavour there is always the element of human weakness and failure. The United Nations certainly has that element.
I think our mistake is this: In regard to domestic matters such as social services, development, roads, bridges, railways and so on, we are prepared to concede that there are many difficulties which cannot be overcome immediately. Yet the moment we turn to the most difficult field that any Parliament can survey - the field of foreign affairs - we immediately become experts and say that such a course is right and another course is wrong. We draw our pictures on a narrow canvas and in complete black and white. I have never seen a human situation where it could be said that everything is completely black and white.
I do not think that the Democratic Labor Party achieved anything by bringing in the invasion of Czechoslovakia. That is why I repeat my earlier statement that I cannot find anything to defend Russia’s intervention in Czechoslovakia. I think Russia has gone back to the cold war era of 10 years ago. But even worse than that, Russia has knocked the hope of mankind for a peaceful co-existence. The interesting point about the Rhodesian situation is that although we are prepared to put what might be brutally termed a slow strangulation on Rhodesia, if we create shortages as a result of economic pressures on Rhodesia, the first people to suffer will be the black people. Evidently we are prepared to apply this strangulation until it finally gets through to the whiles and produces the desired result, without armed intervention. I see this as a weakness in the United Nations and in the people who have such a vital interest in Rhodesia.
Surely we are not past the stage when we want intervention by friendly powers. It has been said time and time again by enlightened people that the final solution to the Vietnam conflict must be a negotiated peace. The final solution has to be the bringing together of all sorts of people at the conference table, particularly Russia and Britain as those countries have the very important position of co-chairmen of the Geneva Accords. I believe that a country like Australia could well say to both Rhodesia and Britain: ‘Let us get around the conference table’. We can do this as we were until recently members of the same organisation sharing a respect for the British tradition of democracy. There should be intervention by some friendly power, whether it be Australia, Canada or somebody else.
If we believe in the United Nations statement that Rhodesia is an area in which world peace can be shattered then we should be doing more than merely passing resolutions, we should be putting up suggestions. We should say: *If we cannot get exactly what Britain wants, which is one man one vote, then maybe we can reach it in a period of time’. Surely somewhere between the two extremes there is a middle position that can be reached with intelligence and understanding. Because of that, I make the suggestion, to which I do not imagine anyone will listen, that it is not sufficient for the Australian Government - this is the government with which we are dealing - merely to sit back and fall in with the legality. As I said at the outset, it could do nothing else.
I do not believe that we achieve much by dragging other situations into our con sideration of this matter. The Australian Democratic Labor Party through Senator Byrne, eloquent as usual, mentioned Czechoslovakia. The list could be extended until it was as long as one’s arm. We could drag in all sorts of situations involving all sorts of countries. I do not want to mention them tonight. It would add nothing to the debate and would give offence to diplomats who represent those countries in our nation.
Because of this 1 believe that the Government has no alternative to taking this action. Surely if we seek to produce a result by a mild set of force there is nothing wrong with reaching that same result by negotiation. In all wars, whenever strife breaks out, this ridiculous situation is always arrived at. Here we are being regaled by the newspapers - 1 do not blame them for this - because we have excluded from entry to this country a man who is a cricketer. We have also excluded some golfers who were to come to our country. These people would be about as interested in the politics o” their country as a lot of cricketers and golfers in this country would be interested in Australian politics. These are the side effects of war and pressures.
The responsibility of those who will vote on this matter, and that of the Australian Government, is to examine much more closely this situation, ls it extra-mural? In other words, is it outside the walls of the United Nations? Is this not a matter in which some other form of intervention should be considered? Can we say that this is a situation in which a third party should become involved? We all know that if negotiation in these disputes goes long enough personalities and hatreds creep in. If these personalities and these hatreds are allowed to creep into a dispute, whether it be a dispute between Rhodesia and Britain or any other countries, they will extend the dispute to such an extent that it finally could envelope our people and our friends. It is for these reasons that I say that something extra ought to be done at this time.
– I rise to oppose the motion proposed by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Murphy). I am shocked and surprised that the Opposition should feel obliged to approve the resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council respecting Rhodesia and the action of the Australian Government in endorsing that resolution. I fully understand that the Government was in a position in which it had to comply with the Charter of the United Nations or decide to leave the United Nations. I do not know that we are ready to leave the United Nations although, for my part, I cease to think of it serving a very useful purpose. It has some usefulness but it is also creating a great deal of danger and wrong influence in the world today.
I am quite appalled by some of the things that are to happen now under this resolution. 1 note that originally, by reason of the first resolution passed by the Security Council, Australia prohibited some 93% of imports from Rhodesia. Under this present resolution, we are to place a complete and total embargo on imports from that country and on exports from Australia to Rhodesia. lt seems to me that the whole of this matter embraces a great deal of humbug. I felt that the whole of Senator Murphy’s speech smelt of humbug. It is all very well for us to be saying that we support this resolution.
– Mr President, I rise to a point of order. That was an offensive statement. The honourable senator should nol use terms like that. I ask that it be withdrawn. It is the kind of expression that ought not to be used in this place of anyone. I would object to its use just as much if it were used on anyone else.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMuIlin) - Order! Senator Buttfield, you will withdraw the word humbug’.
– I will withdraw it if the honourable senator does not like it. I think I would substitute the word insincerity’.
– Mr President, it is discourteous and offensive not only to myself but also to the Chair when that kind of substitution is made. 1 ask that it be withdrawn.
– Order! Senator Buttfield, you will withdraw the word ‘humbug’. You will not qualify it, nor will you substitute any other word for it. You will be safe if you withdraw the words ‘humbug’ and ‘insincerity’.
– Well, Mr President, I will comply with your wishes. I go on to say that I note that section (d) of the resolution of the Security Council states that a member nation is allowed on humanitarian grounds to make exceptions to the total embargo on exports and imports to and from Rhodesia. So we can continue to export wheat and flour to that country because it can be claimed that these are humanitarian imports. I do not know what word other than ‘humbug’ I can use to describe this, but it is a situation that I do not like, lt seems to me that it emphasises the whole weakness of the United Nations. The United Nations is creating a complete colour consciousness throughout the world. The African nations more and more are gaining their independence. This is something at which I think we need to look in connection with Rhodesia.
Southern Rhodesia agreed, probably against its will but because the British nation asked it to, to join the Rhodesian Federation in, I think, 1961. It was led up the garden path by England. It was let down by England as one by one members of the Rhodesian Federation gained their independence. Nyasaland gained its independence. It became Malawi. I cannot remember the names of the other nations which gained independence. I recall now that Zambia was given independence. But for two years following the granting of independence to these sections of the Rhodesian Federation, when the nation of Southern Rhodesia tried to find a way to obtain its independence it found that it could not obtain independence. In desperation, Mr Ian Smith finally decided that Southern Rhodesia would have to seize its independence. The Wilson Government in England took this matter to the Security Council of the United Nations. To mc, it was a disgraceful episode. England led Rhodesia up the garden path, treated the country badly and then took the matter to the United Nations.
This was an internal, domestic affair between England and Southern Rhodesia and should never have been taken to the Security Council. It seems to me that the awful part about this business is that this is the second occasion on which a resolution of this type has gone through the Security Council without the right of veto being exercised. England initiated this matter. Obviously Russia would not veto a resolution like this. Yet Russia itself is doing much worse things, is endangering the peace of the world, and is getting away with it. For these reasons, I support the amendment moved by the Australian Democratic Labor Party. To my mind there should be some censure of Russia in a matter like this.
– We should have a vote on this then. The honourable senator can line up with the DLP.
-I will line up with it. I agree that Russia ought to be censured and that we should not be carrying on as we are against Rhodesia. We only need look at the conditions of the black Rhodesians to see that the Ian Smith Government has been doing a very good job for them. His Government has improved roads, communications, education and housing. All these things have been taken care of. As far as I can see, the black Rhodesians are not protesting against the situation in Rhodesia. The protests come from other countries and are probably fostered by Communist influence in Africa from either China or Russia. These influences wish to see a situation such as this ferment. To my mind this is a domestic situation for Rhodesia itself and we should not be interfering with it.
-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.
The Senate divided. (The President - Senator Sir Alister McMullin)
Majority . . . . 5
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 10.35 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 10 September 1968, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1968/19680910_senate_26_s38/>.