27th Parliament · 2nd Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMullin) took the chair at 2 p.m., and read prayers.
– I give notice that tomorrowI intend to move:
That in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969 the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for investigation and report:
The construction of a tactical trainer building at HMAS ‘Watson’, South Head, Sydney, New South Wales.
That in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969 the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for investigation and report:
Development of freight aprons, taxi-ways, runway extension and engineering services at Melbourne Airport.
– My question is addressed to the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral. Have representatives of Tasmanian Newsagents Pty Ltd approached the PostmasterGeneral requesting him to give favourable consideration to granting a 21/2% commission on the sale of postage stamps? Is the Minister aware that stamps are sold by newsagencies at no profit whatsoever to the retailer? Is the Minister aware that the practice of selling stamps by news-agents is becoming more and more popular with the public? Is the PostmasterGeneral aware that in line with Government policy numerous small post offices are closing down and consequently the sale of postage stamps to the public through other outlets is becoming more necessary? If the Minister agrees with the request for the21/2% commission by Tasmanian Newsagents Pty Ltd, will he advise the secretary of that organisation forthwith?
-I am not aware of any approach such as that mentioned by the honourable senator in the first half of his question. He went on to speak of the closing down of some post offices. I have heard something about this, but I think the whole question should be put before the PostmasterGeneral and a detailed reply obtained.
– I ask the Minister for Works whether a tender has been let for the upgrading of the Royal Australian Air Force Base at Learmonth, Western Australia? If so, when is it expected that the work will be completed?
– Last week a contract was let to the joint venture of Geraldton Building Co. Pty Ltd and Barry Scott and Co. Pty Ltd for the upgrading of the Learmonth RAAF Base. The contract price was$907,000. The contract involves the supply and erection of several new accommodation buildings, repairs to existing buildings and provision of associated services. The work is expected to be completed in January 1971.
– Will the Minister representing the Minister for National Development lay upon the table of the Senate correspondence between the Minister for National Development and the State Mines Ministers, together with transcripts of the proceedings of meetings of the Australian Minerals Council in 1969 connected with off-shore minerals other than petroleum?
– This was the procedure adopted in the other place and I think that as I represent the Minister for National Development but am not the Minister I should ask him whether he is prepared for me to do this in my delegated capacity in this place, and I shall do that.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Customs and Excise in reference to the recent successful prosecution of 2 Australians and a Belgian visitor in connection with the illegal export of 34 Australian parrots. In view of the large profits available in such ventures, have all the fines imposed on all these racketeers been collected? Has the Belgian’s visa been terminated? Has the Minister, in conjunction with the Minister for External Affairs, followed up my request of last week that the
Australian Government seek the cooperation of the appropriate authorities in Holland, which is the hub of this type of racketeering, to endeavour to smash this world-wide operation?
– lt will be remembered that last week Senator Mulvihill asked this question and I had an interest in it myself. 1 have endeavoured to obtain some information for the honourable senator which I hope will answer his present scries of questions. L assume that the honourable senator is referring to the prosecution of David Charles Hannagan, Peter Oxford and Philipe Dor. The fines imposed were as follows: Oxford, $600; Hannagan, $100; Dor, $900. Oxford was given by the court 6 months to pay the fine and no payment has been made to this date. Hannagan was allowed 3 months to pay and has so far deposited $30. Dor was dealt with only yesterday, 1 1th May, and was given 2 weeks to pay the fine. No payment has been made to date.
Dors visa has not been terminated. However, his permit to stay in Australia has now expired and he is legally a prohibited immigrant. Australia has not, at diplomatic level, sought the co-operation of the appropriate authorities in Holland in relation to the illegal export of Australian birds to that country. The difficulty in this area is that concerted action by overseas governments and police is possible only if the country concerned has legislation prohibiting the import of Australian fauna. 1 am advised that no such legislation exists in Holland, other than for the exclusion of domestic fowls. However the Department of Customs and Excise maintains close liaison with Dutch customs authorities on this subject and assistance on this basis is often forthcoming. That is all the information that I have available to me at the present time, but if the honourable senator requires more information perhaps we could have a discussion or I could write a letter to the authorities and see if I can get any more information for him.
– My question is addressed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is the Leader of the Government aware that the Senate has sat on 21 days and has passed 9 Bills? Is he aware that the schedule of sittings for the future, including today’s, comprises 12 days? ls he further aware that there are 5 Bills on our notice paper and 45 Bills on the House of Representatives notice paper with still more to come? What does he propose to do to get around this situation?
– The answer to the first part of the honourable senator’s question is yes. 1 propose to get around the problem with the co-operation of honourable senators.
– My question is directed to the Minister for Supply, lt refers to the future of Woomera, ls it now certain that the European Launcher Development Organisation will withdraw from Woomera and transfer equipment and staff to French Guiana at the end of the year? To what extent will staff and technical equipment at Woomera and the Weapons Research Establishment at Salisbury be redundant following the withdrawal? Has the Commonwealth Government proposed to ELDO members any plan which would ensure the use of Woomera and associated Weapons Research Establishment facilities or are any other arrangements likely which would continue this activity? Finally, in the event of the transfer to French Guiana will Australia continue ELDO membership?
– The question asked by the honourable senator is most appropriate because members of the ELDO council were in Australia last week and in fact visited Parliament House. J had an opportunity to talk to the President and to the Secretary-General of the Organisation. Some time ago I informed the Senate of the transfer from the Woomera Range to French Guiana of the ELDO projects because of geographical factors and the intention to have equatorial firings as distinct from the type of firings we have had from the Woomera establishment. I have also indicated in the Senate in response to questions without notice or by written reply that with the current firing the ELDO programmes at Woomera will cease. It is expected that that firing will take place some time in June or early July.
Certain negotiations are currently going on with the ELDO establishments in relation to Australia’s acquiring the properties in the Woomera establishment. Further, because of the other activities in the Woomera complex, or close by the Woomera complex, certain of the establishments will be used and it may well be that this will help the employment situation.
The honourable senator asked whether it is our intention to remain as a member of ELDO. Yes, it is our intention to remain as a member of ELDO and of ESRO - the European Space Research Organisation - because we believe that Australia in its other activities, for instance, in its joint project, its National Aeronautics and Space Administration establishments and in its other undertakings, has a very real capability and real technical know-how in the field of outer space and in the matter of firings and the steps that may be taken in the various sciences as a result of the firings. I do not think the honourable senator raised any other point.
– What about staffing.
– That matter will arise but it must bc recognised that some of the staff of ELDO, a project which involves a number of other nations, are technical people who have come to Australia for the purpose of the ELDO firings. Apart from that, I believe that we have some know-how and some capability. As to the other point the honourable senator raised, at our conference last week I mentioned this very issue as to whether, apart altogether from the direct firing there could not be some function, some role, or some purpose for Australia in relation to which our Woomera Range could be used. This is just another reason why we are remaining in the ELDO programme. We think we have the potential.
– I presume that the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry is aware that the United States of America has put a ban on the import of mutton from Australia. Would the Minister agree that Australian standards of hygiene in the killing and processing of mutton for export are very high and equal to world standards, and have proved to be so in the past? If so, is the United Slates ban on the acceptance of further consignments of Austraiian mutton really a method of imposing a quota on Australian imports of mutton?
– I would agree that Australia’s standards of hygiene are probably the highest in the world. In regard to the latter part of the honourable senators question, I made some inquiries from the Department of Primary Industry this morning and was informed that Mr Anthony was told by the United States Secretary for Agriculture, Mr Hardoin that there was deep concern at the high rejection rate of Australian mutton. Almost 1,000,000 lb had been rejected in the middle of April indicating that much of the mutton shipped by Australia was not meeting United States standards. Mr Hardoin said that there was severe criticism by Congress and the Senate and warned Mr Anthony that it would probably be necessary for him to take some action. Mr Anthony sent the Secretary of his Department to Washington to confer on the problem. The Secretary subsequently reported that it was inevitable that there would be a decision to place a temporary ban on the import of mutton from Australia until the general standards of hygiene and of mutton inspection in Australia came up to the United States standards. This announcement was made yesterday in Washington. The United States decision is that mutton produced in Australian meatworks after 15th May will not be eligible for export to America. Mutton packed before 15th May will not be affected. This restriction will remain in effect until the United States authorities are satisfied that Australian procedures comply with American standards. Mr Anthony has convened a meeting of the Meat Industry Advisory Committee in Canberra this Thursday to discuss the whole position.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport. Because of the request by the Australia-United KingdomEurope Shipping Conference for a 7i% increase in the rate of freight, which seems to contradict the assurance given to the Senate Select Committee on the Container Method of Handling Cargoes that freight rates would be held following the introduction of containerised cargoes, is the Minister aware of the concern being expressed by some members of the Australia to Europe Shippers Association about whom the Commonwealth Government is supporting when it represents shipowners and shippers’ interests?
– I think I should say in answer to that question, which will have to be directed in its generality to the department concerned, that J share with the honourable senator his concern at any prospect of an increase in shipping freight rates for Australian exports, more particularly in this instance the ones to which he referred - from Australia to the United Kingdom and Europe. I am not as aware of the concern expressed as he obviously is, but I will direct to the Minister his question and his concern and ask that inquiries be made and that a considered reply be given to him, representing as he does a body of opinion in the primary industries which will have concern about his matter, as 1 myself do.
– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science the following question: What are the financial allocations for 1970 for library purposes for the archdioceses and individual Catholic dioceses in Queensland? What are the amounts available to individual Catholic schools in the dioceses of Cairns and Toowoomba in 1970?
– The honourable senator’s question refers to statistics which I shall obtain at the earliest opportunity and provide to him.
Does the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science agree that men holding public office require psychological examination or psychiatric examination? Are 50% of psychiatrists in a state of mental imbalance, as claimed? Will the Minister examine the problem of (a) psychiatrists, (b) psychologists and (c) students in order to discover the validity of the present curricula in universities? To deal with the problem that is enunciated, can psychiatrists and psychologists be displaced by bio-chemists in order that a scientific discipline may be brought to bear upon this problem in universities?
– I am conscious of the fact that the honourable senator’s question penetrates fields in which I would not pretend to be expert. I would like the opportunity to consult with the Minister for Education and Science before formulating a responsible answer to the honourable senator’s question.
– I address my question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. In view of the fact that on 8th, 9th and 10th May many thousands of Australian citizens took part in Moratorium demonstrations throughout Australia which were conducted in a peaceful atmosphere despite many provocations offered to those taking part, will the Government apologise to the organisers of the Moratorium for the slanders which, before the demonstrations took place, were heaped on the heads of the people taking part in the movement?
– I suggest that the question is quite off line from the facts and circumstances.
– You were quite willing to talk about it last week, but you are not so willing this week.
– 1 answered a lot of questions about the Moratorium last Thursday and I am quite willing to answer a lot of questions about it today. But I am not prepared to answer interjections while answering questions, lt is an old gag to ask questions and then to muddy the waters by interjections so that the answers cannot be given. I believe that if anything came out of the Moratorium as far as this Parliament is concerned, it is the fact that supporters of the Government drew attention to the responsibility for peaceful conduct by the people involved in it. I well recall that I was one of those people who contributed to an appeal to everybody taking part in the demonstrations to conduct their dissent in an orderly fashion. What is more to the point, 1 think I was invited to do so by an honourable senator opposite and I readily responded and made the appeal that anybody who chose to dissent should do so within the framework of the law.
– In addressing my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Health 1 remind her that on 23rd April I asked whether she was aware of a crisis situation in the nursing profession because of a reduction in the recruiting rate, an increase in the drop-out rate and a shortage of nursing staff resulting in vacant beds.
– You have been watching ‘Four Corners’.
– I asked my question on 23rd April. I would like to add that I drew attention to the dissatisfaction among nurses in relation to their terms and conditions of employment. I now ask again, on 12th May, whether the Minister for Health will call a meeting of State Ministers for Health with a view to conducting u thorough examination of the critical situation in the nursing profession. I repeat that I first asked this question on 23rd April.
– 1 am very sure that the Federal Minister for Health and State Ministers for Health are concerned about any problems arising in the nursing field. However, I do not think I would suggest at the moment to the Federal Minister for Health that he call a meeting of State Ministers because he is in regular conference with those Ministers on matters pertaining to their departments. I will place the honourable senator’s question before the Minister and if any further information is available in reply to it T will get that information for the honourable senator.
– In view of the continued and understandable opposition by residents of Sydney to the continued use and threatened expansion of the use of large areas around Sydney Harbour by the Royal Australian Navy, will the Minister representing the Minister for the Navy ask his colleague to order a thorough examination of naval requirements in that area with a view to moving some units and base installations to other suitable Australian harbours, of which that at Hobart would be the obvious first and most advantageous choice?
– I know that Hobart has many attractions. I will certainly take the matter up with the Minister for the Navy and let the honourable senator have a reply when 1 receive it.
– My question, which is addressed to the Minister for Supply, follows the question asked by Senator Bishop a short time ago. Can the Minister tell the Senate what steps are being taken to protect Australia’s interests in relation to telecommunications and air navigation satellites in the light of the proposed new programme of the European Launcher Development Organisation at Woomera, and the replacements that are to take place? What is being done to see whether we can provide inducements to retain the scientific community of experts in the field of satellite communications?
– This is a fairly wide question but nevertheless is a very important one. I think it should be recognised in the first place that Australia provides a tremendous amount, in proportion to its population and size, in the fields of research and development in technology, both in outer space and in deep space communications. The fact that the ELDO programme is coming to a conclusion in Australia has been foreseen for considerable time and, as I have said, it is due to the fact that the ELDO nations wish to do their launching on a equatorial basis. We are not geographically placed to enable launchings to be made from Australia. That is one of the prime reasons for the move to French Guiana. The proposed move is not associated with Australia’s development in the sciences or technology of outer space, nor with the applications that stem from it in the navigational or meteorological areas. No matter what ‘ology’ is named, it conies within the study of these things.
We are involved, for instance, in project Mallard’ with other nations involving a communications system for the defence forces. We are involved with the United Nations in joint programmes involving a whole series of studies. In addition there are various studies going on at Woomera and at Salisbury, which is a back-up establishment for Woomera. We are involved probably more than any other country in the NASA programme, which is a long term programme which will continue. Talking about going to the moon is one thing, but comparatively that journey is quite insignificant in terms of deep space. The moon is 240,000 miles away, but there is talk of getting out 30 million miles and having transit stations along the way. Question lime is hardly the appropriate time for me to give a deep studied answer to the question asked by the Leader of the Opposition, lt is sufficient to say that in the short run our continued role in this field is assured. However. I would like to spread my answer and give a considered reply in depth for the advantage of honourable senators and indeed for Australia at large so that all may know just what a significant part we are playing. We have in Australia a great deal of technical know-how and are developing defence know-how and this particular role will continue.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science, ls it a fact, as reported in today’s Press, that a recommendation by the Council of the Australian National University addressed to the Government has proposed additional undergraduate representation on the Council of the University? If so, is it a fact that the Government has decided not to grant such additional representation? If so, what are the reasons for the decision? ‘
– I shall refer he honourable senator’s question to the Minister and get a prompt answer.
– Can the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Industry advise whether it is true that his colleague is now to visit Japan to discuss our wool trade problems? Is it true that over the past weeks both the Minister for Primary Industry and the Prime Minister have discussed our position with the Japanese? Have these talks failed, or is there any truth in the strongly rumoured reports in the industry that this visit is due to the fact that the Minister for Primary Industry and to some extent the Prime Minister failed in their mission and, in effect, had the wool pulled over their eyes by the Japanese?
– I think the first thing to say is that the Prime Minister went to Japan at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Japan to visit Expo 70. While he was there he had an audience with the Emperor, which was the prime purpose of his visit and which was an historical event. There was no secret about it. I believe it was a very successful visit by our Prime Minister to Japan. It is true that the Minister foi- Primary Industry visited Japan where he had discussions on a variety of matters. It is equally true that he visited Canada where he had discussions on matters concerning his portfolio.
I think that the honourable senator has been reading too much of the rumour columns in the Press. I really do not think that the honourable senator should start drawing conclusions about the relationship of one nation with another on matters of trade which are a result of visits of the importance of those of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Primary Industry. These things do not work that way. Questions of trade are of tremendous importance. They are matters to be discussed in depth. Many Government officials are present at these discussions and reports emanate from them. As to the honourable senator’s reference to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Primary Industry having the wool pulled over their eyes, f suggest that the honourable senator needs to be careful that the wool is not pulled over his eyes.
– My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is it a fact that the stated policy of this Government prior to the last election was that it would investigate the making of special financial assistance grants to rural municipalities? Can it be anticipated that recommendations relating to levels of assistance will be announced by the Government in the near future?
– The honourable senator has been here long enough to know that he cannot anticipate statements of policy in the Senate or in the Parliament; nor, and more particularly, can he expect such statements to be made at question time. The result of the consideration of financial matters which the Government has undertaken normally reflects itself in the Budget.
I am not particularly clear as to the isolated area to which the honourable senator referred, but quite clearly it is not normal to anticipate Government ‘ decisions on matters of policy.
– Is the Minister for Civil Aviation aware that only one airport in Queensland has fully air-conditioned facilities? Can he inform the Parliament when airport terminal buildings at Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and other airports, in the tropical zone will be air-conditioned?
– Yes, I was aware that that was the case. I cannot inform the Senate at this stage when the airports mentioned by the honourable senator will receive consideration for the installation of air-conditioning facilities, but I will endeavour to find out the programme that is proposed for this work, and any other relevant facts, and let the honourable senator have them.
– My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is it a fact that during the recent Moratorium day march members of the Australian public and of certain political parties in Australia were seen proudly carrying or marching under the Vietcong and/or North Vietnamese flags?
– They were more respectful than are the Americans at the present time.
– We have some Communist intervention. I. will repeat my question, ls it a fact that during the recent Moratorium day march members of the Australian public and of certain political parties were seen proudly carrying and marching under the Vietcong or North Vietnamese flags? How does the Government view such action? Does the Government consider this action to be insignificant? How docs the Government salve its conscious when it introduces laws which require its citizens to fight and possibly to die in battle against the forces of the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese and yet takes no action to rid the community of such subversive activity as I have mentioned?
– I want to assure the honourable senator and the Senate that I did not witness the procession or marches on Moratorium day at all. I can rely only on what happened outside Parliament House in Canberra, from a very limited observation, and on what was shown on television. I do not think there would be any dispute that Vietcong and North Vietnamese flags were in evidence at various marches. Therefore, anybody who chose to march must have accepted that Vietcong and North Vietnamese flags were part of the march. Why such people choose to march and to march with an awareness of the state in which the world is today, with Australian troops in Vietnam, always has bewildered me. I am sure it has completely bewildered hundreds of thousands - the vast majority of Australian people - who find such action completely incompatible with their sense of the rightness of things. 1 am not here to answer questions on morality or to give judgments on the morality of human beings. I know where my loyalties lie. I know where the loyalties of the great mass of the Australian people lie. If people choose to act in complete conflict with those loyalties, that is their responsibility.
– I ask a question of the Minister representing the AttorneyGeneral. What did the investigations of the Attorney-General’s Department as to the knowledge of a Mr Mark Posa of South Australia concerning the manufacture of molotov cocktails to be used during the Moratorium last weekend reveal? The question has already been asked by Senator Greenwood about this matter. Has not the Attorney-General completed his inquiries as to whether bombs were being made for use last weekend?
– 1 shall refer the honourable senator’s question to the Attorney-General.
– Is the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services aware that the cost of 400 commodities in every day use - food and clothing lines - increased during April? Is the Minister aware that this trend has robbed age and invalid pensioners of still more of their pension pittance? What does the Government intend to do to stop the galloping inflation that is hurting those in the community who are defenceless against such inflation?
– I think it is very obvious that the Treasurer has been taking action to combat inflation in the community. I remind the Senate that no government in the history of Australia has done more in the field of social services than this Government has done and is continuing to do.
– Is the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Industry aware that the loss of export markets for mutton could mean that between 300 and 400 employees at an abattoir at Portland, Victoria, could be dismissed? Is he also aware that such dismissals could have disastrous effects on those employees, on the whole town and on mutton producers generally? Will he use all his influence to see that such a disaster is avoided by requesting the Minister whom he represents in this chamber to do everything possible to retain our overseas markets in the United Slates of America and in other countries to which we now export?
– The honourable senator asks whether I am aware of the consequences of the loss of our mutton export market in terms of the unemployment which may result. 1 am not aware of the precise figures, but I do not challenge the figures which the honourable senator has given. I would agree that it is a serious matter. Any loss of employment is a very serious matter. It is bad to have a large number of people unemployed. It is equally grave to lose an export market because Australia is a country which relies on its primary production. Despite our tremendous development in the mineral field we are still very dependent on our export markets for our primary products for our security, progress and development.
I think it is axiomatic that the Australian Government - particularly the Minister for Trade and Industry - will be making every effort to ensure that, if possible, Australia maintains its share of the market. 1 accept the honourable senator’s question. I shall refer it to the Minister for Trade and Industry. However, I am quite convinced that he will be already doing everything within his capacity and the capacity of the Government to try to preserve our export market in this field.
– I do not have any doubt that the United States of America is entitled to place certain standards on the quality of mutton it imports. I do not know the reason for the present restrictions other than what I said in reply to a question asked earlier by Senator Poyser. I shall make inquiries and inform the honourable senator accordingly.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Postmaster-General I ask: Will the Postmaster-General give consideration to the installation of telephones, without rental charges, in all aged persons homes organisations? If these telephones were situated in group recreational areas it would mean that aged persons would not have to travel long distances to use public telephones.
– I am aware of Senator Drury’s concern about telephones for aged and invalid persons. He has made similar representations on a previous occasion in this chamber. I shall place the honourable senator’s question before the Postmaster-General for his consideration.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. 1 refer to the very strict conditions which are applied in regard to the type of cattle suitable for the meat trade in the United States of America. Does the Minister not consider that the existing State laws in New South Wales, notably the tick regulations, are applied in a discriminatory manner against the meat works of F. J. Walker Pty Ltd at Byron Bay? Is it not a fact that meat works in the northern part of New South Wales, notably Tenterfield, are given greater flexibility in the procuring of cattle from across the Queensland border? ls it not also a fact that if these regulations were applied more consistently the work force at Walker’s meat works at Byron Bay would have more stable employment?
– Some time ago the honourable senator indicated to me his interest in this matter. I have obtained the following information: Because of the incidence of tick fever in cattle in Queensland, the New South Wales Government does not permit Queensland cattle to enter the tick quarantine area of New South Wales. The only exception is pedigree cattle which have originated in tick free areas of Queensland and which have undergone tests to ensure that they are not carrying tick fever organisms. Byron Bay is in the tick quarantine area whereas Tenterfield is not. Cattle carrying tick fever organisms which enter areas outside the New South Wales tick quarantine area in a tick free condition cannot transmit the disease in that area. However, if the cattle picked up ticks in a tick quarantine area these ticks could become infected and their progeny could transmit tick fever. As the restrictions imposed by New South Wales are intended to prevent the introduction of tick fever into the tick quarantine area there would appear to be no basis on which the Commonwealth could intercede.
– -My question, which also concerns a health matter, is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Customs and Excise. Does the Minister agree that the illegal import and export of birds is a social crime and is potentially extremely dangerous to health and commerce? Does he agree that this racket has been going on for years and that it is highly organised, with principals and couriers? Does he agree that so far only the couriers, the little people involved, have been caught? As the Department of Customs and Excise seems to be wholly incapable of stamping out this practice, will the Minister suggest to the Minister for Customs and Excise that he should enlist the aid of the Commonwealth Police Force so that the principals can be located and the racket smashed?
– The honourable senator has directed 4 questions to me in my capacity as representative of the Minister for Customs and Excise. The first three are of the ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’ type of question. I do not propose to answer those except to say that I share the concern of all members of the Australian community about any method by which disease might be brought into the country. To my recollection no cases have been brought to attention of birds being imported - that is feathered birds.
– There have been plenty.
– The honourable senator would know more about that than I would. However. I shall certainly direct the suggestion contained in the honourable senator’s last question to the Minister for Customs and Excise and suggest that every endeavour be made to stamp out this practice. If it is true that there arc people involved who have not been caught 1 will suggest that every effort be made to catch them. I cannot go further than that at this stage.
(Question No. 103)
asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice:
– The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
(Question No. 257)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:
– The Minister for Social Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
On 14th April 1970 there were 7 widow pensioners receiving payment in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. On 23rd April there were 57 age and invalid pensioners receiving payment.
(Question No. 271)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:
In view of the answer received to a previous question that ‘investigations have been carried out, and it is possible for tankers to use routes that avoid the Great Barrier Reef area, to a large extent. However, such routes generally involve considerable extra steaming distances and are therefore commercially unattractive’, are the commercial interests of oil companies to be placed before the future interests of the Great Barrier Reef; if not, what action does the Government intend to take to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
– The Minister for Shipping and Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
The reply to the first part of the honourable senator’s question is no. In relation to the second part of the question the Department of Shipping and Transport has taken action to make safer the movement of tankers and other vessels through the Torres Strait and the inner passage of the Barrier Reef.
Marker buovs have been placed on the site of the obstruction struck by the ‘Oceanic Grandeur’ and on the shoal patch which lies on the track marked by the East Strait Island leading lights.
Officials of the Department of Shipping and Transport have also had discussions with the Hydrographer to the Navy and representatives of the Torres Strait Pilot Service with a view to implementing more detailed recommendations for improving the safety of navigation in these passages. In addition discussions have been held with the officers of the Queensland Government on the form of control which may be possible to cover the passage through the Torres Strait and Barrier Reef area of vessels of deep draft particularly where their use of these areas could result in a hazard to a ship itself or to other ships or would be likely to pollute the sca or the coastline.
These several measures will both improve the safety of navigation and minimise the risk nf further groundings. Taken in conjunction with the installation of additional tide gauging stations in the area, present knowledge of the waters will be substantially increased, draft limitations more accurately determined and the possibility of pollution in the area reduced.
– On 18th March, Senator Poyser asked the following question without notice:
My question is directed to the Minister for Housing and/or the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service. Has either Minister received representations from the Geelong Chamber of Commerce requesting that flats be erected in that city for the housing of newly arriving migrants If so, has any decision yet been reached on those representations?
In reply. I undertook to ascertain whether the Minister for Labour and National Service has received any such representations and to let the honourable senator know. The Minister has now informed me that he has received representations from the Geelong Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures concerning the erection of flats for the housing of newly arrived migrants in Geelong. This question has been and is currently under examination and the Chambers representations arc being fully considered. lt is expected that a decision will be made shortly.
– On 9th April Senator Young asked me a question without notice concerning the exemption of certain rural producers from the recent increase in trading bank lending rates. In particular, he asked whether there is likely to be any resistance by banking institutions lo the lending of money to the primary industry sector. I indicated that I would refer the matter to the Treasurer. The Treasurer has now provided me with the following information: lt has been a long-standing policy of the Government that the trading banks should give preferential treatment to rural producers, both in regard to the availability of finance and the interest rale charged. This policy is well understood by the trading banks which have given the Reserve Bank of Australia frequent assurances that the traditional preference is being maintained.
– On 15th April Senator Milliner asked me the following question: 1 ask the Acting Minister for External Affairs: ls it a fact that the much referred to official request from the Government of South Vietnam to commit Australian combat troops has never been published? Can the Minister give the reasons why the Government has not made known the text of the request or published such a vital document
The answer to the honourable senator’s question may be found in the reply I made to the question without notice asked by Senator Murphy on 1 1th March 1970 (Hansard, page 549).
Is the Minister aware that, because of amendments made to the Federal Copyright Aci last year, as from 1st May next recording companies will have the right to demand from radio stations cash payments of royalties for the right to spin records on air and that as from 1st May an agreement providing record companies wilh compensation in the form of publicity for discs played on radio will terminate? ls it a fact that commercial radio stations say that they will not make cash payments and that the President of the Federation of Australian Commercial Broadcasters has said that ito agreement now seems possible between the stations and the record companies? ls it a fact that commercial broadcasting stations plan to drop all Australian and English discs from their programmes as from 1st May and play only American records? Will such a ban have a crippling effect on Australian composers and musicians? Will the Government immediately intervene between the two warring parties to protect the Australian performers and the public In this matter which is of far reaching importance?
The Postmaster-General has now furnished me with the following information in reply:
I am aware of a dispute between the commercial broadcasting services and the record manufacturers of the nature referred lo by Senator McClelland, though ( am not in possession of sufficient information to confirm the details included in his question, lt would not bc appropriate for me to intervene in this matter, especially as there is provision in the copyright legislation for arbitration on disputes, lt is relevant thai the Broadcasting and Television Act provides that not less than 5% of lnc time spent by broadcasting stations in the broadcasting of music shall be devoted to the music of Australian composers. I am informed that the commercial station operators have told the Broadcasting Control Board that they will be able to continue lo conform wilh this.
My question, which is directed to the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, relates to the earlier question asked by Senator McClelland. Will the Minister obtain, if possible, from the Postmaster-General a full statement as to whether this conflict between the Australian Broadcasting Control Board and Television Stations has arisen mainly because the Board wants to censor items about the Vietnam War while the stations insist upon their right to leave intact combat scenes which are shown in newspaper photographs? Will the Minister request the Postmaster-General to state whether he agrees that viewers arc entitled to see television news without censorship of scenes illustrating the tragic and unpleasant aspects of the society in which these people live? Will she ask the Postmaster-General to make a full statement on the controversial matters which have arisen from restriction being placed on the transmission of television on Sunday mornings, in particular the restrictions being placed upon the broadcasting of commentaries on news? Will she also ask the Postmaster-General to make a statement on whether it is true that in fact television stations were told that the coming of the ‘Britannia’ into Sydney Harbour could not be regarded as news and whether this kind of ridiculous censorship is being imposed on television stations? Will the Minister ask the Postmaster-General to make a full statement on these matters of censorship?
The Postmaster-General has now furnished me with the following information in reply:
In reply to a question by Senator McClelland to which Senator Murphy refers in his own question, 1 have explained the background to this matter. In the light of that explanation, I can only repeat in reply to the honourable senator’s question that no issue of censorship arises. On the question of the regulation of Sunday morning television programmes this matter falls within the responsibilities of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board; the matter is at present under discussion between the Board and the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations. So far as the reference to the progress of the Royal Yacht into Sydney Harbour is concerned, 1 have ascertained that no statement was made by the Board of the nature referred to by the honourable senator.
Has the Minister’s attention been drawn to a report published1 by the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations which slates, amongst other things, that the Australian Broadcasting Control Board is seeking to impose selfcensorship on the evening news programmes of commercial television stations and that commercial television stations have raised strong objections thereto. Does the Government condone censorship by any Government instrumentality or by a’ny commercial television station of any news programmes? If so, what types of news censorship does it condone Will the Government advise the Broadcasting Control Board that Australian citizens are entitled to be fully and widely informed on all aspects of international a’nd national events and that it has no right to impose its form of censorship on any news programme?
The Postmaster-General has now furnished me with the following information in reply:
My attention was drawn to a report by the General Manager of FACTS and I sought information from the. Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. He has advised me as follows:
The Board’s Television Programme Standards contain certain provisions regarding the televising of programmes between 4.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. - these require the exercise of special care and discretion to ensure that material televised during this period is not unsuitable for young viewers. These provisions have been in the Standards since they were first drawn up in 1956, and are similar to those in the Code of National Association of Broadcasters in the United States, and to the policy of the Independent Television Authority as expressed by Lord Hill, the former Chairman of the Authority, which regulates the programmes of commercial television stations in the United Kingdom.
In the course of a revision of the Standards, prior to reprinting, the Board decided not only to print the caution, as at present, in the section relating to family and children’s programmes, but to repeat it in the special section of the Standards dealing with news. The matter is, then, an application of long-established principles in the Board’s Television Programme Standards and it is also consistent with rulings by the Board over a considerable period. For example, in its 18th Annual Report, for the year ended June 30th, 1966, the Board’ said, “There is no wish to restrict the presentation of important news items, but the Board has stressed the importance of discretion in the selection of illustrations, particularly during news programmes which occur at times whe’n the audience may be expected to include large numbers of children and young people”. It is quite incorrect to construe the matter as involving censorship and it is therefore not necessary to reply to the other parts of the Honourable Senator’s question.’
Will the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral give consideration to requiring official and/or non-official suburban Post Offices to cease the practice of closing for 1 hour each working day for lunch breaks when staffs at such offices can be employed on a roster basis?
The Postmaster-General has now furnished me with the following information in reply: r lt is the Department’s policy not to close a post office during the lunch period where suitably trained staff are available and it is normal practice for businesses in the vicinity to remain open, provided that the Department is satisfied that the service will be used.
The position has been examined at all suburban post offices and the following additional five offices in Brisbane, which can be kept open under this policy, will stay open from 5th May 1970:
(Question No. 37)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice:
– The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
Drugs and medicinal preparations may be made available as pharmaceutical benefits only on the recommendations of, and subject to, any restrictions imposed by the Committee.
(Question No. 175)
asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice:
– The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
(Question No. 252)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Army, upon notice:
– The Minister for the Army has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
(Question No. 215)
Minister representing the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:
Docs it cost:
– The Minister for Social Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
Higher cost levels, on the other hand, may be due to such factors as: an unfavourable tendering climate at the time; a high land component; construction of larger units suitable for cither single people or married couples; use of superior materials and finishes; scarcity of materials, or high transport costs, in some areas.
In many cases combinations of the abovementioned factors compensate for each other and most organisations are found to be able to provide accommodation within the upper cost limits imposed for subsidy purposes, which at present are $6,600 for a single unit and $9,000 for a double unit.
It is not considered necessary or desirable to enforce a uniform standard of accommodation, but where the costperhead exceeds the aforementioned figures, the excess cost must be borne entirely by the organisation.
It is regretted that a clerical error occurred in the February publication. The project at Port
Augusta, costing $12,900, comprised two units not one and the figure quoted by the honourable senator should therefore be halved.
(Question No. 282)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:
What is the total number of children on whose behalf child endowment is paid in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.
– The Minister for Social Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
Payments equal to child endowment are at present being paid in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea in respect of 459 children, all of them children of members of the Defence Forces.
These payments are made on an Act of Grace basis as child endowment is not payable in an external Territory.
(Question No. 289)
asked the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice:
– The Postmaster-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
– I refer to Business of the Senate, Notices of Motion Nos 1 and 2, which read: 1 Senator MURPHY: To move-That the amendments of the Public Health (Medical and Dental Inspection of School Children) Regulations, as contained in Australian Capital Territory Regulations 1970. No. 2, and made under the Public Health Ordinance 1928-1966, be disallowed. 2 Senator MURPHY: To move- That the Dentists Registration Ordinance 1970, as contained in Australian Capital Territory Ordinance No.1 of 1970, and made under the Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1910-1965, be disallowed. and move:
That Business of the Senate, Notices of Motion Nos 1 and 2, be postponed until Tuesday, 19th May 1970.
I ask for leave to speak to that motion.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bull) - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
– Last time this matter arose, I indicated that certain discussions were proceeding. Those discussions are still in progress. I understand that certain other discussions on similar notices of motions in the other House are still in progress. Therefore, for reasons connected with the disposal of the business of this chamber, J. move this motion.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Message received from the House of Representatives intimating that it had agreed to the amendments made by the Senate to this Bill.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Motion (by Senator Anderson) proposed:
That the Bill be now read a first time.
Debate (on motion by Senator Murphy) adjourned.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Motion (by Senator Anderson) proposed:
That the Bill be read a first time.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a first time.
That the Bill be now read a second time.
The purpose of this Bill is to obtain parliamentary authority for additional expenditure in 1969-70 amounting to $34,087,000 on various items relating to capital works and services, payments to or for the States and certain other services. Although additional appropriations of $25. 8m are sought for capital works and services it is expected that because of savings of about $8. 6m in other similar appropriations in Appropriation Act (No. 2) of 1969-70, the cash requirement over the Budget estimate of $536.7m will be about $17.2m. The major requirements are $2m for a repayable advance to the Papua and New Guinea Administration for construction of the township at Arawa in connection with the Bougainville copper project, $3m advance to the Papua and New Guinea Administration for Budget equalisation purposes, $1.6m for acquisition of sites and buildings, $1.4m for loans to co-operative building societies in the Australian Capital Territory, $3.9m advance to the Northern Territory Housing Commission which will be offset to the extent of about $3.4m because of savings in a similar appropriation,$1.1m for the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric power project, $4m for payment to the Post Office Trust Account and $5m for buildings and works.
Additional appropriations of$8.1m are sought for payments to or for the States, including $7m for drought assistance to Queensland. It is expected that there will be savings of about $0.6m in other similar appropriations in Appropriation Act (No. 2) 1969-70. The additional appropriations sought for other services amount to $212,000 which includes a grant of $150,000 tothe South Pacific Games (1969) Trust. As I have said this Bill seeks additional appropriations of $34,087,000. However because of savings in expenditure under other appropriations in Appropriation Act (No. 2) 1969-70, it is expected that the total expenditure will exceed the amount appropriated in Appropriation Act (No. 2) 1969-70 by about $24.9m. I commend the Bill to honourable senators.
Debate (on motion by Senator Murphy) adjourned.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Motion (by Senator Anderson) proposed:
That the Bill be now read a first time.
-I do not apologise for using this unusual method to introduce a subject because it is rather urgent and rather important. It is a matter which is causing a considerable amount of anxiety among the whole medical profession. [ am not referring to the National Health Bill but to a drug called Intal’. This is a new drug for the prevention of asthma in young people and also to help those who have already been on corticosteroid but who are now getting worse. It is an expensive drug. On two or three occasions when I have asked whether any drug has been taken off the list because of cost the Department of Health has said no. It is expensive and costs $9.50.
Those honourable senators who have witnessed a patient suffering from asthma will realise what a distressing condition it is and the distress that it causes parents. They would agree that any charge for a drug that can prevent or relieve asthma is well worth while. Apart from the fact that it has been said that if we allowed Intal to be a free drug our health bill would go up by millions, nevertheless I point out that fewer people suffer from asthma than the number suffering from hypertension. The drugs for hypertension can cost anything up to $10.27 for 100 tablets, whereas the 50 spine-caps for Intal required cost $9.50 only. So there is a drug already available under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme which is dearer and which is used more frequently than Intal.
I know that this matter is difficult for honourable senators to understand, so 1 shall have to ask the Senate to excuse me if I explain that there are 3 types of drugs available under our pharmaceutical benefits scheme. Firstly there are the general benefit drugs which any doctor can prescribe if they are listed in the little holy bible that the Department of Health issues to us. If a drug is listed there we can order it for any condition we like. Then there are certain drugs called ‘specified purpose’ drugs which are to be used by doctors for specified purposes only. In prescribing those drugs a doctor has to put the magical letters ‘SP’ after them on a prescription to show the Government that he has thought about prescribing the drug and that he, as a conscientious doctor, believes that this drug is the one suitable for this specified purpose.
– What does the’SP’ stand for starting price?
– Specified purpose. Then there is the group of drugs which requires a special authority, that is, drugs for which, if one wants to use them, one must obtain the consent of the Department of Health through its director in the State in which one is practising. Many of us do not believe that there should be even these 3 categories because the drug which the doctor believes is the one to be used in the best interests of the patient is the drug that he should order irrespective of what the Department of Health thinks. We have heard so much ranting and raving about the National Health Bill and the fact that the Minister for Health (Dr Forbes) has only the welfare of the patient in mind, but we do not hear from anybody that the Minister will do nothing about the Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee and its actions and that he will do nothing to try to help the very patients about whom he talks so glibly. The Minister says that he proposes to help these people under a Bill which in fact does nothing to help them.
Doctors throughout Australia are very indignant about this matter because a ludicrous position arises regarding the 3 categories of drugs. For the last few years, if a doctor wanted to order cortisone, he found that it was not a general benefit drug, it was not a specified purpose drug, but that it was a special authority drug. Suddenly today it is a general benefit drug. There is no rhyme or reason for this. The same comment applies to a drug called tetracycline. There are more people suffering from infectious diseases which require the use of tetracycline than there are people suffering from asthma. Tetracycline has always been on what is called the specified purposes list; that is, doctors use the magical symbols ‘SP’ when prescribing it. But even the Department of Health has realised the futility of using this symbol because today, after saying for so many years that we had to use the drug for specified purposes, the Department now says that we do not need to do so. In fact, we can use the drug for any purpose that we think fit.
The whole crux of the matter is that it is the doctor who knows what is in the best interests of the patient, not the Department of Health. I blame every honourable senator in this chamber for allowing bureaucracy to rise to such power that we cannot get drugs without having to fill out a form which consists of 4 pages and which requires all details concerning the patient. It would take longer to fill in the form that it would to examine and treat the patient. Having filled in the form, the doctor then sends it down to the doctor who represents the Director-General of Health in the State in which the doctor is living, and then this doctor sitting in his office, in Hobart in my case, or in Sydney in other cases, decides what drug that patient, whom he has never seen or examined, should receive. He decides whether the doctor who filled in the form has the right to treat his patient with Intal or not. Can anything be more absurd? Would any honourable senator agree to that if one of their children was affected? I know that every honourable senator would say no, he would not agree with it, but honourable senators allow this situation to continue.
Intal is only 1 drug. J have got up in this chamber on many occasions and criticised the Department of Health’s method of the control of drugs. Here we have an officer of the Department who is not even a specialist officer. In fact, probably he has less knowledge than the general practitioner who sent in the request. Many officers in the Department of Health are drop-outs from general practice. They have reached a certain level of incompetence. I am not saying that of all officers in the Department.
– Have you had any refusals?
– I am coming on to this. I have said that the only person who should decide whether a drug should be used or not is the general practitioner or the specialist concerned with the case. If the Government wants to provide for the use of the drug for a specific purpose, noone would quibble with that because the Government sets out in its holy bible of pharmaceutical benefits the 2 ways in which the drug can be used. If the drug was made a special purposes item instead of a special authority item, no-one would grumble about that; it would be a fair thing.
This has only just happened. I know of only I case in which a patient was referred to a specialist and that specialist, after having gone into the whole history of the patient and having examined the patient, decided that Intal should be used. But what happened? The request came down to- -I will not lose my temper - an unintelligent officer in the Department of Health, sitting in Hobart, who wrote back and said that he disapproved of the use of the drug. Where are we getting to? Time and again we hear Ministers get up in this chamber and say that the Minister for Health is doing his best for the patient. Is the matter to which 1 have referred the best thing for the patient? How many honourable senators agree with the policy? No one of them. I know that if one of their children had asthma and if fatal was the only treatment for it, they would demand it, so why does not the Government allow the use of it? If a doctor wants to use Intal, he has to fill in this form, send it down to Hobart and hope for the best that some nit-wit down there, who has less knowledge than the doctor prescribing the drug, approves of it.
Why do we go on with this? We allow it to go on and we do nothing about it. We sit on our tails and just allow this thing to go on because we are so apathetic’. This does not affect us, so why worry about it? But it does affect people. It is affecting thousands of people in Australia. A lot of them are young people - children and young teenagers. It also affects many asthmatics in the older age groups. Some honourable senators may become asthmatics, although up to the present time I have not seen such a tendency in them. There are a lot of other diseases that I have noted among them, but asthma is not apparent. No-one in this chamber at the moment suffers from asthma. But if any honourable senator were to suffer from it. would he pat up with this position? Of course he would not.
– I think it is appropriate, when the Supply Bill is being discussed, to raise a number of subjects that probably need to be exposed to the public gaze. I want to direct my contribution to the plight of Aboriginals in this country. As members of the Government parties would know, I have raised this matter on 2 or 3 occasions during this session. One of the great problems with which we are faced is due to the fact that various States have discrimatory laws against people who are non-white. Probably the laws were not intended that way originally, but that is how they are now operating. The plight of Aboriginals was brought into public focus fairly clearly during the Captain Cook bi-centenary celebrations. In some areas Aboriginals and Aboriginal descendants have refrained from participating in the celebrations because, in their words, Captain Cook brought no wellbeing to their tribes or to their people. In one instance petitions were presented which showed that some 700 tribes had gone out of existence. Regrettably, this is the general picture throughout Australia, but it applies particularly to Queensland and, perhaps with greater emphasis to the far northern areas of that State, to the Northern Territory and to Western Australia.
I have before me a document which contains the signatures of people from various areas who are appealing against the Queensland Act. Shortly I shall seek leave to have the names of the people incorporated in Hansard. The people who have signed this document come from New Mapoon, Umagic, Bamaga, Cowal Creek, Tamoy Town, Navy Hill, St Pauls, Badu Island, Kubin, Horn Island, Prince of Wales Island, Red Island Point, Yorke Island, Darnley Island, Stephen Island, Townsville, Mareeba, Herberton, Kuranda, Bibookra, Brisbane, Cherbourg, Wondai, Rannes and Murgon. I am not sure how many names are incorporated in this document, but obviously they are not set out in the proper petition form. 1 seek leave of the Senate to have the names and addresses of the people who have signed this document incorporated in Hansard.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bull) - There being no objection, lc;ive is granted.
– I will not detain the Senate for any great length of time. I hope that the plea of these people who have requested that the Queensland Act be abolished is taken into consideration particularly when the material for the Budget Session is being presented. I realise that money left over from the appropriation for last year amounted to approximately $1,300,000. If application is made for additional money to help the unemployed, for educational grants, or for housing and allied problems, great difficulty in obtaining these grants is experienced. I appeal to the Government, if it is still in power when the
Budget is being framed, to listen to appropriate representations which have been made by these people so that considerably more can be allocated this year under this heading than was allocated last year. The tens of thousands of Aboriginals who belong to the underprivileged class in this country cry out for some kind of justice. Unfortunately, unless one knows the right people in the right places, one is not able to get this kind of money, even for housing. I leave that plea there. I hope that it will be heard.
– Mr Deputy President
– I mention a point of order arising out of Senator Keeffe’s speech. I understand that, when Senator Keeffe asked for leave to have documents incorporated in Hansard, you, Mr Deputy President, did not hear what I thought was a very emphatic ‘no’ on my part. I objected to leave being granted. 1 asserted the right which, in my submission, I had at the time leave was asked. I did not hear you say that leave was granted. I am indebted to the Clerk for so informing me. I would seek to have the original objection made at the time noted.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bull) - I did not hear Senator Greenwood say ‘no’. People were standing and conversation was going on. When I looked and saw the consternation on the honourable senator’s face I realised that he may have objected. Senator Keeffe, leave is not granted. I will not permit that document to be incorporated in Hansard.
– I take a point of order because I think that if action of this kind is permitted a very dangerous precedent will be set. It is most unfortunate that you, Mr Deputy President, did not hear Senator Greenwood. I think that, if we depart from the practice adopted in relation to the basis of objection to the incorporation of a passage or a document which an honourable senator wants incorporated in Hansard, we will do something that perhaps will destroy the whole fabric of the Standing Orders. I put it to you, Mr Deputy President, that you should leave your ruling stand. You did state quite clearly that leave was granted. I suggest to you that you should abide by what you said. You ruled that leave was granted.
– Do you doubt that I said it?
– I did not enter into that at all. I said that the Deputy President did not hear Senator Greenwood. 1 did not cast doubt on any person when I said that the Deputy President did not hear him. If I want to cast reflections on Senator Greenwood’s honesty, I have ways and means of doing so. T would do it. On this occasion I accept what the honourable senator said. The point I make is that the honourable senator is placing the Deputy President, or whoever is in the Chair, in a most invidious position by asking him to interfere with a ruling that he gave only” a few moments ago. In all sincerity I put to you, Mr Deputy President, that you should abide by what you said - that leave was granted and that the names should be incorporated in Hansard.
– I was in the chamber when this incident occurred. My attention was otherwise occupied, but I heard the objection. 1 did not hear your ruling, Mr Deputy President. I rise to refute very quietly but firmly the validity of Senator Poke’s submission because it would be unthinkable that, when a chamber is engaged in a debate, if through some inadvertence or inaudibility, an honourable senator’s individual right to deny leave to any honourable senator to incorporate a document in Hansard should be overruled. I submit that the appropriate course is that which you, Mr Deputy President, declared to be the course to be followed when Senator Greenwood brought the matter to your notice immediately Senator Keeffe concluded his speech. You then put the record in accordance with the fact.
– I speak to the point of order. A very unfortunate incident has occurred. I agree with Senator Wright that an honourable senator should not forgo his right of refusing to another senator leave to incorporate material in Hansard because the occupant of the Chair did not hear the objection. This matter is in contrast with the situation which frequently arises in relation to a request for the withdrawal of words when the occupant of the Chair has not heard offensive remarks. On this occasion it is apparent that the honourable senator who was speaking sought leave to have certain documents incorporated in
Hansard. An honourable senator objected. The Deputy President did not hear the objection. I would have thought that the honourable senator who objected would take a point of order, when the Deputy President made his announcement that leave was granted, objecting to the decision. The honourable senator waited until the honourable senator who sought leave to incorporate the material had concluded his speech before raising the point. I think that it is very unfair to the honourable senator who had resumed his seat. I suggest that rather than have a donnybrook on this matter, Senator Keeffe should be permitted again to seek leave to incorporate the material in Hansard. If the objection is raised again, the honourable senator will have an opportunity to read the material.
– I. have no objection to Senator Keeffe continuing his speech.
– I was not present when this situation arose, but it seems that the order of events is clear. Leave was sought by Senator Keeffe. Inaudibly to you, Mr Deputy President, Senator Greenwood objected to leave being granted. You said that leave was granted. Senator Keeffe proceeded in accordance with that ruling. There being no disagreement with your direction, order or ruling, he proceeded and concluded what he had to say. Then the matter was raised by Senator Greenwood. It seems to me that Senator Greenwood was too late. If the occupant of the Chair states erroneously that leave is granted, it is for the person who objects to take objection then and there and, if necessary, to the point of moving a motion of dissent from the ruling. The way the Senate deals with its affairs is that if it is apparent an error has been made it is corrected there and then. Strictly speaking a motion of dissent from the ruling of the Chair is required unless there is general leave to alter the position. If the error is obvious the Senate usually acts upon the matter there and then.
In this instance Senator Greenwood has waited. I have been told that the next speaker actually had been called. Senator Greenwood acted far too late. In order to achieve his purpose of reversing the ruling of the Chair he would need the leave of everyone to do so or he would have to move at this stage that the decision be rescinded. It does not seem right in regard to a matter such as this - the honourable senator concerned having already acted accordingly - that Senator Greenwood should be allowed to wait and then to take advantage of this point. If Senator Greenwood had acted earlier Senator Keeffe would have had other options open to him after leave had been refused to him to have some material incorporated in Hansard. If leave is refused to an honourable senator to have something incorporated in Hansard he is entitled to go ahead and read it. Therefore, Senator Keeffe would have acted in a different manner from the way in which he acted if leave had been refused. I suggest that in all fairness the leave which was granted to him should not be withdrawn.
– 1 rise to debate the point of order, in doing so I am not curtailing the debate in any way. We are still debating the motion for the first reading of the Bill. I was not present when this incident occurred. Therefore, I cannot make any judgment on it. But I do accept the fact that had leave been refused to Senator Keeffe he would have been able to continue his speech and read the names that he wanted to record in Hansard. It is equally true that, if Senator Keeffe had sat down, another speaker could have risen and, without leave being granted to incorporate the material in Hansard, read the matter. I am not going to reflect on the ruling of the Chair, I am interested only in getting on with the job. For that reason, I should think that a simple solution would be to regard Senator Keeffe as in the course of making his speech. What he does after that is up to him.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bull) - Senator Keeffe, 1 suggest that you continue your speech. If you wish to have something incorporated in Hansard you should seek leave so.
– I am sorry that this confusion has taken place over something about which I was quite sincere when I spoke. I sought leave to have names incorporated in Hansard because I thought it would take up a lot of the time of the Senate if I were to read them to the Senate. The petition states:
We, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people of Queensland, being the indigenous people and citizens of Australia, do hereby demand the Federal Government to remove all discriminatory legislation against the Aboriginal and Island people.
This petition bears the signatures and addresses of some 400 or 500 Aboriginal and Island people over the age of 18 years. I seek leave to have their names and addresses incorporated in Hansard.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bull) - ls leave granted?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bull) - Leave is not granted.
– I regret that, such a course should be adopted. It is obvious that Senator Greenwood is launching an attack and engaging in personalities in view of bis defeat last week on the Vietnam Moratorium issue. The government of this country has been held up for 2 weeks while supporters of the Government Parties have pursued a vendetta against the people engaged in the Moratorium. However, because Government supporters did not achieve the results they hoped for - violence in the streets and bloodshed - they are again going to hold up the government of the country. Delaying tactics are being adopted. 1 do not care if the Senate has to sit through July to the Budget session without a recess; I am anxious to see that this country is properly governed. Because of the handicaps which are being placed on the government of the country by, unfortunately, a fairly large number of the Government’s supporters and a small number of Ministers the people of Australia are not going to get the democracy to which they are entitled. I feel that I have answered Senator Greenwood’s objections. Therefore, 1 shall proceed to read the names and addresses of the several hundred people who, like members of the Australian Labor Party and most Australians, seek the justice to which they are entitled. The names and addresses are:
Mr Gorden Jones of 37 Kennedy Terrace, Red Hill, Brisbane, Queensland; Mr W. Pickering of 65 Brisbane Road, Ebbw Vale.
Some of these names are difficult to read. Therefore, it will take time to do so.
– Spell some of them out so that they can be recorded correctly in Hansard.
– I think that might be helpful because Senator Greenwood may have trouble pronouncing them. They continue:
For those who are not too sure about where it is 1 point out that Sadlers Crossing is a few miles north of Brisbane:
Mr S. Coolwell of 37 Kennedy Terrace, Red Hill, Brisbane; Mr H. Coolwell of 37 Kennedy Terrace, Red Hill, Brisbane; Hannah Quinn, of Upper Clifton Terrace, Red Hill, Brisbane.
I am having trouble deciphering one signature, but I think that the name is Terry. The address is 26 Kennedy Street, I presume it is also a Brisbane address:
Incidently, the address is in the suburb of Paddington in Brisbane and not in Sydney - [Quorum formed]
John Dow of 28 Imperial Terrace, Brisbane; Juanita Broderick of 77 Munroe Street, Auchenflower, Brisbane; Iris Smith of 40 Birley Street, Spring Hill, Brisbane; Arthur John Bundi of 146 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington, Brisbane; Norman Ufaner of Opal House, Brisbane; Vera Roma of Opal House, Brisbane; Doris Samon of 57 Warmington Street, Paddington; Merle D. Bundi of 14 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington.
Bonnie Combo, 57 Warmington Street, Paddington; Sonya Williams, 57 Warmington Street, Paddington; Grace Combo, 57 Warmington Street, Paddington; Robert Landers, Cherbourg, via Murgon; Allan Ray, Rannes; Jane Ray - of the same address - May Duncan, Cherbourg, via Murgon; Len Duncan, Cherbourg, via
Murgon; Merle Hegarty, Cherbourg, via Murgon; Colin Hegarty, Cherbourg, via Murgon; Decima Combo, Cherbourg, via Murgon; George Weazel Cherbourg, via Murgon; Sam Chamber, Murgon; Maureen Sligh, Murgon; Delria Sligh, Murgon; Sueelen Sligh, Murgon; [Quorum formed] I regret the lack of interest being shown by honourable senators on the Government side in a debate which they themselves initiated. The document continues:
Clorine Bone, Wondai; Maude Turner, Cherbourg Settlement; Edna Hancock, Cherbourg Settlement-
Both these addresses are via Murgon -
– ls that Brisbane too?
– Yes, it is Brisbane, Queensland. 1 would not like to confuse anybody on that. The list continues:
Alf Belhue, C/o 57 Warmington St, ? Paddington. Brisbane; Fred Gesta, 23 Gordon Rd, Barton, Brisbane; K. McKellar, 9 Moore St, Paddington; W. Davidson, Queen St, Walloon; Jan Arndtd, 9 Moore St, Milton; Aileen Brady, 57 Warmington Set, Paddington, Eva Stewart, 36 Birley Si, Spring Hill; Yvonne Portuls. 40 Birley St, Spring Hill; George Conlon, 11 Normanby Terrace, Kelvin Grove; W. Conlon, 22 Downing St. Spring Hill. City; W. Saylor, 36 Birley St, Spring Hill; J. Thynne, 103 Ninth Avenue, St Lucia; T. K. Dow, 28 Imperial Terrace; H. H. McKellar, 1848 Cannon Hill; K. McCarthy, 207 Gregory Terrace; N. Turbane, 22 Downing St, Spring Hill; Kath Walker, 46 Raff Avenue, Holland Park 4121; C. Watson, 59 Dunbar St, Mt Gravatt; J. A. Lambert, 59 Dunbar St, Mt Gravatt; Sam Chember, Cherbourg, Queensland; Albert Prince, Cherbourg, Queensland.
I ask for leave to continue my remarks at a later stage.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
– I move:
– I desire to speak to this motion. Without seeking to be personally offensive, I think it is an impertinence that Senator Murphy should move a motion and not give any reason why he moves it. I would think that a motion of this character would require some words of explanation or some words of support. I appreciate Ihi circumstances in which this position has come about. Senator Keeffe sought leave to incorporate in Hansard what he described as a list of 500 names of people who supported a petition. I refused leave as is my right as a senator. I refused leave because I believe it is an abuse of Hansard and the procedures of this House to write into Hansard in the form proposed by Senator Keeffe the names of individuals. Senator Keeffe has various alternatives open to him if he desires to bring before the Senate the names of certain people. He has the right to proceed by way of petition which is the way most honourable senators proceed when they have the names of a great number of people who support a particular proposition, and the presentation of petitions is the first business of the Senate every day during the session. But that was something Senator Keeffe chose not to do.
If he was unable to present the petition he had the authority when he had documents in front of him with names attached to them to seek leave of the Senate to table them. That is a procedure which I have seen honourable senators avail themselves of. Senator Keeffe chose not to do that. He sought leave to incorporate in Hansard the names of people. As part of his speech he had already read out what these people were supporting - the text of the petition. The view which I have taken and which f think ought to commend itself to the Senate is that the addition of names of individuals adds nothing to a parliamentary record of debate. It is for that reason that I refused leave. If the Senate is concerned about its own procedure and the standing of its records of parliamentary debate I urge honourable senators not to agree to the suspension of the Standing Orders.
– May I just answer that and say that the documents are going in anyway. That is obvious.
– Are you asking for leave to speak, or are you closing the debate?
– ‘Mr President-
– Mr President-
– Order! Senator Wheeldon, what is your problem?
– I wish to speak to the motion. That is all.
– Mr President-
– I have to get some order into the proceedings. I have already given the call to Senator Murphy who will be closing the debate by speaking.I am not going to depart from that call.
– I will seek leave to make a personal explanation.
– That is a different matter. ButI was not concerned about you. Senator Wheeldon is anxious to speak. We should get order into the proceedings and see how the matter stands.
– I am in the hands of the Senate. You have called me, Mr President, butI do not wish to exclude anybody who wishes to speak.
– If you prefer to stand down for the Minister, that is all right.
– I rise to order.I do not wish to canvass your ruling, Mr President, but Senator Murphy by standing got your call and therefore was closing the debate.I consider that he should be required to continue.
– It is within my discretion to try to get a working arrangement to enable the business of the Senate to proceed and if the Leader of the Government wishes to speak I will give him full opportunity to speak now.
– I feel that I have an obligation to say that my understanding of the purpose of Senator Murphy’s motion was that it was to have the papers tabled.
– No, incorporated.
– Incorporated. As I see the situation, there will be a vote. If the Government resists the motion and wins the vote Senator Keeffe will be entitled to say: That is that. On the other hand, if the Government loses the vote the papers will be incorporated. J therefore think that a vote is a simple and quick way to get a result.
– in reply - Whatever the rights or wrongs of the matter may be and whatever may be the wisdom of having names incorporated in Hansard, that is all beside the point. It is obvious to everyone that they are going to go in. If they have to be read they will go into the record. I suggest that they be incorporated in the record instead of being read out one by one. That is the common sense thing to do especially in the light of what has happened.
The Senate divided. (The President - Senator Sir Alister McMullin)
Majority . . . . 3
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Debate resumed (vide page 1310).
– I now incorporate the balance of the documents in Hansard.
PETITION TO THE COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENT
Wc. the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people of Queensland, being the indigenous people and citizens of Australia, do hereby demand the Federal Government to remove all discriminatory legislation against the Aboriginal and Island people.
Steve Mann. 18 Carroll St, Barton, Brisbane; Pamela Mann. 18 Carroll St, Bardon, Brisbane; Ailsa Burns,’ 14 ‘Rankin St, Mareeba; Jack Cumming. Post Office, Mareeba; Sam Ernest, Post Office, Mareeba; Fred Courtney, Post Office, Mareeba; Percy Courtney, Post Office, Mareeba; Trixie Courtney, Post Office, Mareeba; H. R. Running, 70 Doyle St, Mareeba; Gordon Roy Donohue, Post Office, Kuranda; Thomas J. Mitchell, C/o Post Office, Mareeba; Rosalie Mitchell, C/o Post Office, Mareeba; Tommy Mitchell. C/o Post Office, Mareeba; May Harries, 34 Walsh St, Mareeba; Margaret Harries, 34 Walsh St. Mareeba; Hector Patrick Mitchell, Post Office, Mareeba; Janet East, Post Office, Mareeba; Alex Hayman, Post Office, Mareeba; Gertie Second, Post Office, Mareeba; William East, Post Office, Mareeba; Arthur East, Post Office, Mareeba; Jessie Chong, Post Office, Mareeba; Colin Con Goa, 17 Cowper St, Mareeba; Lillian Con Goa, 17 Cowper St, Mareeba: A. Collins, Post Office, Mareeba; Louise Thomas, Post Office, Biboohra; Meryl Gordon, Post Office, Mareeba; Oliver King. Post Office. Mareeba; William Arthur East, Post Office. Mareeba; Ethel E. Cameron, Doyle St, Mareeba; W. R. Chong, Post Office, Mareeba; P. Harry, Post Office, Mareeba; J. K. Mason, Doyle St, Mareeba; L. Homes, Post Office. Mareeba; James Mitchell, Doyle St, Mareeba; Vincent Wason. Doyle St, Mareeba; Harold Brown, Post Office, Mareeba: G. Dockey, Post Office, Mareeba; Annie Bidge Post Office, Mareeba; Gladys Lee Cheu, Post Office, Mareeba: Ceasar Lee Cheu, Post Office, Mareeba; Agnes Costello, Post Office. Herberton; Sylvia Rodgers, C/o Post Office, Mareeba; Jacey Fulpit, C/o Post Office, Mareeba; David Barney, C/o Post Office, Biboohra; Jack Naylor, Post Office, Mareeba: Ted Mathieson, Post Office, Mareeba; Daniel Himbruns, C/o Post Office, Mareeba; Fred Duffin, Post Office, Mareeba; William Mathieson, Post Office. Mareeba: Ivy East, Post Office, Mareeba; Mavis Gore. Post Office, Mareeba; Daisy Thomas, Post Office, Broohra; Wally Binge. Post Office, Mareeba; Victor Courtney, 16 Estate St, Townsville; G. Dubkins, Bamaga: W. M.. Seden. C.R.E.B., Thursday Island; A. Tapim, Bamaga; M. L. Tapim, Bamaga; D. Bowie, Bamaga; R. Ceasio, Bamaga; J. Sebasio, Bamaga; W. lshmail, Bamaga; D. Sebasio, Bamaga; T. Mari, Bamaga; D. Ami, Bamaga; P. Pail, Bamaga; Seani Paii, Bamaga; H. Koraba Bamaga; Moran Missi Bamaga; Genia Tameroy, Bamaga; Zabirei Sagaukg, Bamaga; Armada Yoebi, Bamaga; Charlie Wasin, Bamaga; Jardine Tom, Cowal Creek: K. Savo, Bamaga; Cassie Bond, New Mapoon: Gerty Savo, New Mapoon; Benny Madua New Mapoon; Agiri Ger, Bamaga; Tebuku Ger, Bamaga; Rita Gebadi, Red ls. Point; Azagedu Gebadi Red ls. Point: Wilmea Gebadi. Red ls. Point; Namabai Atie. Red Island Point; Margaret Atie, Red Island Point: Eddie Sokie, Bamaga; Harry Atie. Red Island Point; Rebecca
Tabuai. Red Island Point; Mediana Atie. Red Island Point; Henry Tabyai. Red Island Point; Nita Lusian, Red Island Point; Mayanna Elu Red Island Point; Patagam Elu, Red Island Point; Tarbunika Elu, Red Island Point; Misgai Elu Red Island Point; Lennie Peter. Red Island Point; Rita Peter, Red Island Point; Ethel Anau, Red Island Point; Rhyda Awati, Red Island Point; Tom Anau, Red Island Point; Johnnie Peter, Red Island Point; Pali Peter, Red Island Point; Gracie Lagaukz, Red Island Point; Wilima Lagaukz, Red Island Point; Kitty Lagaukz. Red Island Point; Kawatag Yoelu, Red Island Point; Smith Lui, Bamaga; Betty Lui, Bamaga; Emma Lui, Bamaga; Kelam Phineaso. Bamaga; Nellie Sam, Bamaga; Accord Ihia, Bamaga; Bakau Sebasio. Bamaga: Jimmy Hobson, Umagico; Cygnet Johnny, Cowal Creek; Charlie Yoelu, Red Island Point; Timothy Ropeyarna, Cowal Creek; Solomon Bowie, Post Office, Bamaga; Frederick Barie Cowal Creek; Roy Stephen, Cowal Creek; Wabu Phineaser. Bamaga; Norah Sagigi, Bamaga; Grethel Agie, Bamaga; Wilford Mudis, Bamaga; Fredwin Bursa, Murray; Stephen Tabo. Murray; Jeremiah Warria, Yorke; Yatamu Gila, Darnley; Frank Kaigey, Murray; Daniel Stephen. Stephen; Wally Edagi, Murray: Mopea Yoelu, Bamaga; Samuel lshmail, Bamaga; Jimmy Soki. Bamaga; Eli Alir, Bamaga; Joiner Jele Nawakie. Bamaga; Michael Stephen, Cowal Creek: Marbad WaS in, Bamaga: Weipa Pete Soki. Bamaga; Leoi Jacob, Bamaga: No,tai Rtu. Bamaga: Ugarie Lusia, Bamaga: Idobi Yoelu, Bamaga; Maisie Mau, Bamaga; Mavis Jawai, Bamaga: Lusia Gin:,u. Bamaga; Wai Ginau, Bamaga; Alban Yusia, Bamaga; Jim Yusia, Bamaga: Emslon Bamogi Bamaga; Herald Nawakie, Bamaga: Sen,nelia Nawakie. Bamaga; Lucy Idai Bamaga; Janet Bamago, Bamaga; Dan Jacob Sagigi, Bamaga; Elizabeth Sigai. Bamaga: Joyce Wason. Bamaga; Ethel Wasin, Bamaga: Penibo Wasiu. Bamaga; Rene Jaiole. Bamaga; Mekeu Ilurai Bamaga; Emily Asse. Bamaga; Amain Sigai. Bamaga; Upon Sam. Bamaga: Mark Ihillea Sam, Bamaga; Gibson Yoelu, Bamaga: Olive Nawakie, Bamaga; Palsie Yoelu, Bamaga; Kubilbigai Agire, Bamaga; Jerry Wasiu. Bamaga; Rini Ti:,ti. Bamaga: Jean Tiati, Bamaga: Rosina Teleuai, Bamaga: Angela M. Sagaukz, Bamaga: Tumema Sagaukz, Bamaga; Edith Sagaukz, Bamaga: Flossie Sam. Bamaga; Collin Asse, Bamaga: Kelly Siya; Amalei Mucin: Pedie Mudu; Gertie Sam; Mrs Jean Jimmy. Madam Chairman, New Mapoon: Mr Gilbert Jimmy, New Mapoon; Mrs Roberta Toby, New Mapoon; Mr John Toby, New Mapoon: Mrs Victoria Luff, New Mapoon; Mr Dick Luff, New Mapoon; Mrs Alison Archie, New Mapoon: Mr Andrew Archie, New Mapoon; Mr Roy Fletcher, New Mapoon; Mr Charlie Archie, New Mapoon: Donald Fletcher, New Mapoon; Felicia Fletcher, New Mapoon; Mrs Mathina Nota, New Mapoon; Mrs Patesipa Warrior, New Mapoon: Timothy Cowley, New Mapoon; Louisa Cowley, New Mapoon; Mr Gordon Pablo. New Mapoon; Mrs Agnes Pablo. New Mapoon: Mr Albert Pablo, New Mapoon: Mrs Josephine Lifu, New Mapoon; Mr Charlie Lifu, New Mapoon; Shirley Bond, New Mapoon; Ronald Boud, New Mapoon; Mary Bond. New Mapoon; Mr Cassie Bond. New Mapoon; Ellen Arthur, New Mapoon: Darrel Mimi, Cowal Creek: Frank Billy, Cowal Creek; Daniel Repejan, Cowal Creek; Ronny Tamuaz
Cowal Creek; Mamharry Magala, Mabinag Island; Isaac Hobson, Umagia; Andrew Archie, New Mapoon; Rim Kris, Cowal Creek; Sam Kris, Cowal Creek; Leslie Bagieu, Cowal Creek; Maia Misi, Cowal Creek; Dennis Sam, Bamaga; Meda Agie, Bamaga; Joe Tiati, Bamaga; Alban Tusia Bamaga; Harvey Kepa, Cowal Creek; Corarlie Kalakala, Cowal Creek; Robert Massey, Cowal Creek; Silas Woosup, Cowal Creek; Phillip Powloo, Umagico Settlement; Simon Peter, Cowal Creek; Freddie Pascoe, Umagico Settlement; Angus Pascoe, Cowal Creek; Yosuf Tamwoy Mara, Cowal Creek: Billy Brisbane, Cowal Creek; David Toby, Cowal Creek; Lawrence Asai, Cowal Creek; Harold Matthew, Cowal Creek; Tom Young, Cowal Creek; Charlie Lifu. New Mapoon; Gordon Pablo. New Mapoon; Thomas Stephen, Cowal Creek; Morris Ware, Cowal Creek: Goodie Massey, Cowal Creek: Robert Solomon, Cowal Creek; Francis Brisbane, Cowal Creek: Ma” Lilli, Cowal Creek; Henry Captain, Cowal Creek; Sammy Mara, Cowal Creek; Andrew Massey, Cowal Creek; Toby Nambone. Cowal Creek: Kaio Wilson, Cowal Creek; Jerry McDonnell. Cowal Creek; Mania Eklon. Cape York Pearling Co.; Tarusu Eklon, Thursday Island; Akabu Waia, Tammoy Town; Sineva Blanket. Navy Hill; Kondie Getawan, Navy Hill; Margaret Baira. Torres Strait Pilot; Myrason Laza. Torres Strait Pilot; Jack Laza, Torres Strait Pilot: Sumai Ronsen. Badu Island: Mrs L. Peter. Tammoy Town: Dial Sagigi, Thursday Island; Eseli Sagigi. Tammoy Town; Lamie Gagai. C/o P.O. Box 1 16. Thursday Island; Dalla Gagai. C/o P.O. Box 116, Thursday Island; Abel Hosca, C/o Church Office, Thursday Island: Elma Hosea. C/o Church Office. Thursday Island; Dawa Paipai, Mabuiog Island; Kama Paipai Mabuiog Island: Pile Kris, St Pauls: Wilson Kris, St Pauls: Eleta Kris, St Pauls; Connie Kris, John Street; Gabie Kris, John Street; Uruba M. Kris, Tammoy: Jimmy Kris, Tammoy; Isaiah
Wigness, Thursday Island. Summer St; Eselina Naurie, Horn Island: Maletta Luta, Horn Island; Philemon Non. Badu Island: Sasnie Baira. Hargrave St. Thursday Island; Powonga Savage. Badu Island: Manap Mara, Thursday Island, St Victoria Parade; Widai Napatali. Thursday Island. Victoria Parade; Eric Mariu, Badu Island; Edward Bowie, Cape York Pearling Coy; Moses Nelsiman. Kubin Island: Stephen Nona, Thursday Island, Summer St: Solomon Nona. Thursday Island, Summer St; Waller Nona. Badu Island; Ronald Lui, Badu Island: Moses Wigness, Thursday Island, Summer St; Ami Ara. Kubin Island: Joseph Wigness, Horn Island; Maker Bosen, Kubin; Oza Bosen, Kubin; Johen Manas, Kubin; Noah Batu. Kubin; Dub Esli, Kubin; Katua Nomai. Kubin; Crossfield Ahmat, Badu Island; Thanat N:-ne, Victoria Parade. Thursday Island: Elthius Niene, Victoria Parade! Thursday Island; Amosa Pawan, P.O.W.: Azikti Pawan. P.O.W.: Tomeka Paiwain, P.O.W.; Josea Mast, P.O.W.: Kagar Mast, P.O.W.: Samuel Sagigi, Aplin Rd, Thursday Island; Moira Sagigi, Aplin Rd, Thursday Island: Henry Sagigi. Aplin Rd. Thursday Island: Eseli Sagigi. Aplin Rd, Thursday Island: Dick Martin Sagigi, Aplin Rd, Thursday Island: Oliphanu Sagigi. Aplin Rd, Thursday Island: Nancy Sagigi. Aplin Rd. Thursday Island: Simion Sagigi, Aplin Rd, Thursday Island: Emily Pawan. P.O.W.: Kawane Motlop P.O.W.: Mrs K. Motlop. P.O.W.: Kanai Ronsen, Victoria Parade; Jimmy Mareho, Asting St,
Thursday Island; Miriam Mareho, Asting St, Thursday Island; Silen David, Asting St. Thursday Island; Peo Uiduldam, Victoria Parade Thursday Island; Dora Uiduldam. Victoria Parade, Thursday Island; Orepei Lulhuan, Hargrave St; Paiwan Blanket, Hargrave Street; Gorpie Cowley, C/o Church Office; George Cowley, C/o Church Office; Frank Apelu, C/o Church Office; Moilong Ware, C/o Church Office; Ned Ware, C/o Church Office; Rose Ware, C/o Church Office; Elsie Pedro. C/o Church Office; Eileen Pedro, C/o Church Office; Lily Pedro, C/o Church Office; Alfred Hankin, C/o Post Office, Thursday Island; Millie Hankin, C/o Post Office. Thursday Island; Neal Motloys, C/o Church Office; Willie Mooka. C/o Church Office; Mugur Mooka. C/o Church Office: Um& Kris, C/o National Bank: Jack Panuel, C/o Cape York Pearling Coy; Lameko Powain, C/o Church Office; Pauline Magala. C/o Post Office. Thursday Island; Paul Magala, C/o Past Office, Thursday Island; Kawane Motlop, C/o Post Office, Thursday Island; Dad a Kipai Motlop, C/o Post Office, Thursday Island; Gragger S. Motion. C/o Post Office, Thursday Island: Lavinia Blanket, C/o Tammoy Suburb; Johnny Rineasa C/o D. D.A.I. A.; Lorna Rineasa’, C/o D. D.A.I. A.; Whap Charlie, Horn Island; Patrick Young, Horu Island; Sammy Wasaga, Horn Island; Eddie Bosen, Horn Island; Kristmas Young, Horn Island; Willie N a,ai. Horn Island: james Misich. Horn Island; Ionea Charlie, Horn Island; Passi Namai, Horn Island: Peter Misken, Horn Island: Korea Charlie, Horn Island; Abe Makie, Horn Island; Billy Wast,ga, Horn Island: Elisah Wees, Horn Island; Parisa N:i/’ria Horn Island; Abca Asera, Horn Island; Richard Tom. Horn Island; Moslem Aken, Horn Island; Ned Baira, Horn Island; Bobby Wigness. Horn Island; John Rattler, Horn Island; Ben Baria. Horn Island; Joshua Naurie. Horn Island; Eric M :i i ru Horn Island Smith Ahen, Horn Island; Phillip Wasaga. Horn Island: Jack Ware, C/o Church Office; Diak Namok, C/o Church Office; Victor Nona, Summer Street, Thursday Island: Baibari Bonasi, Hargrave St, Thursday Island: Walter Larig, Wairaber Island: Alfred Peter. Thursday Island, Tammoy: Jack Daniel, Summer St. Thursday Island; Charlie Kris. D.N. A. Office; Oxen Pryce. R. and R. Taxi; S. Manoli, I.I.B.: Zida Olea. Thursday Island, John St; Granger S. Motlop, P.O.W., Thursday Island; Manase Eseh. Note Clark, Thursday Island; A. Satiuk. Lighthouse Depot, Box 67; P. Hailor, C/o Hospital; Michael Newie, St Paul’s Mission; Wilfred Oth, Green Hill; Madu Nelson Charcoal, C/o P.P.L., Thursday Island; Philby Peo Daniel, C/o Post Office. Thursday Island; William Gache, Summer St. Thursday Island; R. Delah, Blackall St, Thursday Island; Mania Eklon, Cape York Pearling Co.: Lawrence Leip, C/o Church Office; Willie Kepa. Bamaga; James Corrie, C/o Post Office, Thursday Island.
– I take the opportunity on the motion Ibr the first reading of a money Bill to bring up those questions that are occupying my mind. I regret very much the attempt, ;is we have just seen, to get around the procedures of this Senate by someone exercising a right, which would appear to be a stupid right when the alternative available to the speaker is less painful. A question that is worrying me and which I want to ventilate with a view to some rectification being made is the position o? the Australian Government and Australian Government instrumentalities, particularly the Army, in the present war in Vietnam, and the attempt of the Government to defeat any opposition to the war. I wish to refer especially to the question asked today by Senator Webster in which he referred to the pride of walking behind Vietcong flags. My interjection on that occasion was that there was a world wide demonstration against America, not a demonstration against the Vietcong, and that there was greater respect throughout the world today for the Vietcong flag than there was for the American flag.
– I repeat that there is greater respect for the Vietcong flag throughout the world than there is for the American flag.
– Whether it is despicable or not, it is factual; it is real. When sections of the peace loving public of Australia sought to demonstrate their support for Australia’s withdrawal from Vietnam there was an attempt by those in the Government to belittle and to try to discredit the demonstration, as 1 said at the time, by creating an atmosphere of violence in the hope that there would be violence.
Approximately a month ago a citizen of South Australia, one Mark Posa Secretary of the South Australian Branch of the Australian Democratic Labor Party, got front page publicity in the Adelaide Advertiser’ because he claimed that he knew that molotov cocktails were being manufactured in South Australia for use when the violent Moratorium demonstration was to take place. The fact that molotov cocktails are being manufactured in Australia for use in a demonstration must alarm any law enforcement authority. Justifiably, I think, Senator Greenwood asked in the Senate whether an investigation would be held into Mr Posa’s claim. An investigation was never more needed than an investigation into the claim made by Mr Posa which, he stated, was based on information in his possession. He said that he knew where the molotov cocktails were being manufactured. Obviously the investigation had to be hurried so that the bombs would not be used last weekend. Either those who were detected making the bombs, as a result of the information tendered by one Mark Posa, should have been brought to trial and prosecuted for unlawfully assembling bombs for use in a demonstration, or the Attorney-General (Mr Hughes) should have exposed this man who obtained publicity by creating an emotional feeling of fear in relation to the demonstration.
The Moratorium, the event at which the molotov cocktails were to be used, has come and gone but we have not yet received any information about the investigation that Senator Greenwood asked the Attorney-General to make. It would appear that the Government supported the plan to instil fear into the people for the purpose of causing violence during the demonstration to discredit it. Fortunately the demonstration showed that there is tremendous support for those who are opposed to Australia’s involvement in Vietnam.
– There were not as many as at a football match.
– The Press estimated thai in Adelaide between 5,000 and 6,000 people marched. Knowing Adelaide, I say that it was the biggest demonstration on any political question that has ever been witnessed in that city.
– There are 8,000 at Adelaide oval on a Saturday afternoon.
– It was the biggest demonstration on any political question, but apparently Senator Young does not know the difference between a political question and a football match. I can assure him that there is a difference. It is only that they appear to be the same by reason of the attitude in this Senate. Nevertheless, this was the biggest demonstration on any political question that Adelaide has ever seen. In Adelaide on Friday night the banners of the Moratorium were torn by people who turned out to be soldiers stationed at Woodside in South Australia who were on leave at the time. Prior to the tearing of the banners a group of the soldiers assembled in the corner bar of the South Australian Hotel opposite Parliament House in Adelaide. The Secretary of the Seamens Union in South Australia and another seaman, both wearing Moratorium badges, joined the group which was drinking at the South Australian Hotel, exchanged beers with them and had quite a cordial conversation. They gathered that the soldiers were from Woodside. The soldiers showed no opposition to those w.ho were wearing Moratorium badges. Suddenly someone put his head inside the door and said: ‘Come on boys’, and the boys said: There is the sergeant. We have to go now.’
After leaving the bar they assembled on the footpath and the sergeant spoke to them. They went across the road to Parliament House and commenced to tear down banners. They became involved wilh others who were trying to stop them. Obviously there was some pre-arranged plan to be followed by the soldiers who had been cordial towards the demonstration. When 5 of them were arrested by the Adelaide police the Army authorities at Woodside next day stopped further leave and to avoid police court proceedings the men were dealt with by the Army. The Press reported that certain of them were fined. The interesting thing is that no sergeant was fined as a result of the Army investigation or trial of the offenders on that night, and it was the sergeant who had called the lads out of the South Australian Hotel to do their duty across the road.
On the Saturday after the Moratorium I and five or six others went into the South Australian Hotel - the corner bar again - and we saw 2 young chaps, 1 wearing a Moratorium badge and the other wearing the badge of the Returned Services League. They joined us, the one wearing the Moratorium badge to be with his friends in the assembly and the other to apologise for hurling abuse at the procession as it went by. The one who apologised for hurling abuse felt justified insofar as he had been to Vietnam on 2 occasions as a volunteer fighting with the Australian forces. These 2 young men came to be together because the second young man had been to Vietnam on 1 occasion as a conscript and had been in the same unit as the one who had volunteered to serve in Vietnam. During discussion we asked the young man how he could support the Vietnam campaign knowing the horrors and terrors in Vietnam. His reply was: ‘Well, it is of no use criticising the soldiers. If you were there and there were half a dozen Vietnamese around and your mate was shot, you would not wait to ask who had the gun and had fired the shot, would you?’ 1 said: ‘Do you mean to say that you simply mow down the lot?: He said: ‘Well, anyone would do it’. I asked: What if there were women and children?’ He answered: ‘Women and children in Vietnam fire as many guns as soldiers do’. 1 said: ‘You are nol meaning to tell me that innocent people get mowed down by Australian forces?’ He replied: Those are the circumstances of Vietnam. Take another occasion. There is a curfew and no-one should be out after dark. You see a figure slinking across the paddy fields and you do not wait to see whether he has a gun. He should not be there.’ I asked: ‘What if i; is a young Vietnamese going to court his girlfriend? What happens then?’ He replied: Some of them have had ammunition strapped on their back’. I said: ‘Have all of them?’ He answered: ‘No, but some of them have. They should not be out.’ I asked: Do you discover whether they have ammunition after they are dead?’ He replied: What would you do in Australia if they broke the law?’ 1 said: ‘Possibly try them and gaol them or fine them’. I turned to the other chap and asked: ‘Do you agree that Australian soldiers have ever been in an event such as that at My Lai?’ He replied: 1 can assure you that they have’. 1 said: ‘Where?’ He said: ‘1 am not going to tell you’. He went on to say: ‘In my final briefings in Canberra, before I went to Vietnam, 1 was asked: “If you rounded up, say, 30 prisoners of war, there was a possibility of their escaping and because you were in only a small patrol you could not control them, what would you do?” My reply was: “You want to me to answer Shoot them’ but I would not be prepared to shoot them”. I was given duties in Vietnam that never necessitated my shooting anyone.’
These are the statements of 2 mcn who came back from Vietnam. One claimed that he did things in the circumstances in Vietnam which would not be done otherwise. He happened to be the son of a former president of a sub-branch of the Labor Party. I knew his father well. These are very harsh and very severe statements. What
I am suggesting is that this situation calls for some inquiry. The names of those 2 chaps and the names of my 5 companions, who are well respected and high officials of the trade union movement in South Australia and who witnessed this conversation, are available for any inquiry that is appointed to find out whether these are the actions of Australian soldiers in Vietnam. This information is available to any inquiry that is appointed to find out what questions are asked of those who are sent to Vietnam by the Australian Military Forces.
This is a question that must occupy everyone’s mind. We do not get much detail. I have given the. statements of 2 men who were in Vietnam. They can be verified. They are not isolated statements. I am prepared to supply to any inquiry other than an Army inquiry the names of the 2 men who made the statements. I am confident that they would support their statements before any inquiry. I ask that we have an inquiry into this matter. It is a question of Australia’s name being dragged down throughout Asia as a result of our participation in Vietnam. Whatever was the result of the Moratorium, it demonstrated that not only in South Australia but in Australia - South Australia is one of the smaller States and one of the most apathetic States in any demonstration - there is a huge mass of public opinion opposed to Australia’s involvement in Vietnam and to the National Service Act.
– From the Melbourne demonstration I got the idea that they thought we were on the wrong side. They were all carrying Vietcong flags. I got the idea that they were not opposed to it but were stressing the opinion that we were on the wrong side; that we should have been on the other side.
– I take no responsibility for any thoughts Senator Little may have. They would be beyond even the greatest psychiatrist. The point is that the demonstration throughout the whole of Australia was a demonstration to show, among other things that people are opposed to Australia’s involvement in Vietnam. But there is now a very big section of the community that is prepared to demonstrate its loyalty to particular causes.
As Senator Little says, with this agitation comes an impression more favourable to the Vietcong than to those who are inflicting the suffering and misery upon the innocent Vietnamese people. This is a natural sequence. No-one hopes that we will support anyone who is causing the death of Australians at the present time. But this Government by involvement and conscription is more responsible for the death of any Australian in Vietnam than any member of the Vietcong ever was. Therefore, there is just as much credit in carrying a Vietnamese flag as in wearing a Liberal Party badge at the present time, if people are apportioning blame. The Government would be unwise to refuse to take heed of the demonstration last week because it will not stop with Vietnam. At the present time we have created a force that could break up the whole institution and the whole organisation that people are trying to hang on to. I have put before the Senate the facts as given to me and the statement as given to me. It is not some anonymous statement. The names and all can be supplied. I. ask for a full inquiry into the information that I received last Saturday.
– I rise to speak on the motion for the first reading of this Bill. Probably the most important thing that has happened on the Australian scene in the last week has been the Moratorium march. I would like to congratulate those who took part in it for being able to bring about, in the main, a non-violent result. I believe that they should be congratulated for that outcome. I imagine that this will not be the last of similar marches. I only hope that the efforts of the Government as well as the Opposition and those who take part will be directed towards seeing that Australia has non-violent expressions of opinion.
I believe that 2 matters have come out of the debate and the march. Firstly, I pay great attention to the fact that Dr Cairns has suggested to the people of this community that if there is a law to which they find objection they should be free to break that law. This point has been debated in the House of Representatives. I am afraid that I am not aware of how many members of the Opposition support that suggestion. If ever a more abhorrent suggestion was made by one who purports to be a law maker in this country, I have not heard it. I suggest that those members of the Opposition who have been vocal in expressing their attitude towards the march and other matters in the last 3 or 4 days should make their position clear and say how they view that attitude of the supposed Victorian leader of the Moratorium. I know of nothing more abhorrent. 1 know that the criticism of the whole of the Australian public should be levelled at an individual who suggests that type of philosophy on the Australian scene.
As 1 understand the position, Dr Cairns was one of the people who put themselves forward as contenders for the leadership of the Labor Party prior to the last election. If he. as a potential leader, and those in his Party who follow him suggest that laws that they may make should be entirely disregarded by people who have an objection to those laws, they certainly intend, as Senator Cavanagh suggested, to bring anarchy to the Australian scene.
– If they should make foolish mistakes.
– Here we have a respectable senator, if 1 may say so - one whom I respect - giving some support to the proposition that if any government makes a law to which an individual objects he should be quite free to break that law. I suggest to the honourable senator that he does not believe that one little bit. I. think he believes that the law must be supported. Honourable senators opposite by their comments have certainly aligned themselves with something that is abhorrent in our society.
– But did not Dr Cairns say that they should be prepared to pay the penalty for breaking the law?
– Do you believe that that is the criterion to be used?
– I suggest that you should be prepared to appear on television with Dr Cairns and to argue with him.
– lt appears that one honourable senator believes that the correct attitude is that a person who breaks the law must be prepared to pay the penalty for doing so. I would agree with that, but that is not what Dr Cairns put forward. The other point about which I am particularly concerned was raised by me at the first opportunity available at question time today.
I referred to a practice, put into effect for the first time to my knowledge, that has not evoked any comment from the Government of the public in general - certainly nothing particularly vocal. I watched the march in Melbourne. I imagine that similar scenes were enacted in other cities. I saw for the first time a section of the community which is prepared to carry the Vietcong flag and the standard of the North Vietnamese. [ gather from Senator Cavanagh’s comments that he supports those people in the community. I do not think I have ever heard a more subversive comment in this Parliament than that uttered by Senator Cavanagh a few minutes ago. He said that the flag of the Vietcong may have greater elevation than that of the United States.
The honourable senator should have been thrown out of this House for making that statement. Such comments make me sick. I cannot think of a more subversive comment to be made by a member of this Parliament. Honourable senators opposite are smiling. The object of my question asked at question time today was to ascertain whether the Government considers that the carrying of the Vietcong flag by these people is a matter to be laughed at.
– No. We said thai you had sold wheat to China and that you had double standards. So long as you arc making a profit you are satisfied to trade with China. If you were sincere, you would not do that, but you want it both ways.
– The honourable senator is following another line, lt would be interesting to hear the views of various senators on the subject I have raised. I object to the Vietcong flag being carried in our streets and I ask the Government to lake some action. The Government sets a standard through the provisions of the National Service Act. That legislation was brought in because this is a threat to the preservation of Australia. We need defence forces. In the last Budget about $1 ,100m was set aside for defence purposes, the major part of it to be spent in defending those countries in South East Asia which are being infiltrated. The statements by honourable senators opposite fill mc with horror, lt is not simply a case of our fighting in South Vietnam or in any other country. We are attempting to defend South Vietnam against the thrusts of another country.
The subversive comments of Senator Cavanagh a few minutes ago are directed against the security of this country. If our policy is to have an army and a National Service Act which calls on some young men in the community to go overseas to support the defence of this country, I do not believe that we can stand for people marching in the streets behind the Vietcong flag. Undoubtedly many people marched without even knowing what the flag was. They followed blindly down Bourke Street while the march was on. But there were individuals who intentionally carried the Vietcong Bag and the flag of North Vietnam. They were aligned with those people who held high the flag bearing the hammer and sickle. They marched down the main street of Melbourne in what was supposed to be a peace march. It was not a peace march but a march supporting the opposition to what this country stands for.
– It was a subversive march.
– It was a subversive march by people who hold that type of standard. When a bearded youth in a university holds up the Vietcong flag on the campus and has some sort of discussion there, or even burns an effigy of somebody, we may laugh it off. The purpose of my question today was to discover the attitude of the Federal Government to the matter I have raised. Is it laughing off the fact that we have in our community people marching in the streets openly carrying the flag of the people we are opposing in war? Is this the type of thing we are going to stand for in the community? If so, you will achieve everything that Senator Cavanagh and every other subversive senator in this House wishes to bring about.
– Mr Deputy President-
– And I will have the greatest pleasure in never recalling my words.
– I rise to a point of order. I take exception to the words just used by Senator Webster. He said: .’If this is the practice adopted by Senator Cavanagh or any other subversive senator’. The inference is clear. It is plain that Senator Webster regards Senator Cavanagh as a subversive citizen and I ask for a retraction of that statement.
– The whole submission to the Senate by Senator Webster, and one which he is fully entitled to make, is that any person is subversive who supports the display publicly of the Vietcong flag in Australian cities when our own men are compelled to fight in Vietnam the people represented by that flag. In that context it is of the very essence that where we have to submit-
– Why do you not do something about it?
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Davidson) - Order! The Minister has the call.
– It is of the very essence-
– Why do you not tell the Attorney-General to do something about it?
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Georges, you must remain quiet while the Minister is speaking on the point of order.
– It is of the very essence of the freedom of debate we have established in this chamber that if Senator Webster or any other senator believes that the action of Senator Cavanagh who has arrogantly and presumptuously paraded his subversive views here today warrants it, he should be entitled to the advantage of making such a courageous statement and we will judge the justification of it. As for withdrawing it, it is an impudent suggestion.
– The point has been raised that the continuous use of the word subversive’ in reference to Senator Cavanagh has been offensive. I heard it used several times and allowed it to pass. However, I feel that a completely unparliamentary statement has been made. You have in front of you, Sir, a book containing expressions that have had to be withdrawn. In recent days honourable senators have had to withdraw expressions very much less offensive than the one that has just been used. The general aim is to add to the order of the debate. Senator Wright did not speak to the point of order but tried to add to the offence by repeating the word ‘subversive’. Are we not in a situation that somebody objects to a certain flag? Several flags which are not illegal have been carried in such marches. These flags are not illegal and therefore there seems to be some sort of challenge to the Government there. But the point is that offence has been taken at the use of the word ‘subversive’ which is a pretty serious word.
– When it is in relation to the debate it can be used.
– lt is not a case of being in relation to the debate. The Minister is now taking a completely double standard. He is the very person who is forever raising points of order about the use of words very much less offensive than this. ‘Subversive’ is a very offensive word. It is obviously one which could be libellous if used outside this chamber. I suggest that Senator McClelland’s point of order should be upheld.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT-
It has been claimed by Senator McClelland that the words used by Senator Webster are offensive and he has asked for their withdrawal. 1 ask Senator Webster whether he is prepared to withdraw the words to which exception has been taken.
– May 1 speak on the matter?
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - The honourable senator may speak to the point of order, but 1 remind him that he must confine his remarks to the point of order.
– Senator McClelland has raised a point of order and has said that he takes objection to my use of the word ‘subversive’ as it relates to Senator Cavanagh or to any other honourable senator who might support his views. Speaking to that point of order, it would appear to me that if the word is objectionable or is untrue then perhaps Senator Cavanagh does not support the forces which are opposed to those which Australia is supporting at present. In the course of my remarks I used the word ‘subversive’ on several occasions. I view the matter in this way: Senator Cavanagh was the last Senator to speak before I began my remarks and he had made some comments about me and the question which I raised during question time today. The question which I asked was: If there is a standard - by the use of which word I mean ‘flag’ - which was being raised in this community and it was the standard of an enemy of this country-
– Mr Acting Deputy President, Senator Webster is not speaking to the point of order. You asked him to withdraw the word.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Webster, are you speaking to the point of order?
– I was putting the view that if there is in the community or in this Senate any person who supports the contention that it is quite acceptable for the standard or flag of a country which is an enemy of this country to be raised in our cities or towns, then I object to that person.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order! The honourable senator is stretching the liberty that was given to him to speak to the point of order. A point has been taken concerning the withdrawal of words which it is claimed were used by the honourable senator. The honourable senator has permission to speak to the point of order, but 1 should like him to keep within that area rather than open up the general subject of the debate.
– I rise to order. Mr Acting Deputy President, you have asked Senator Webster whether he will withdraw the words to which Senator McClelland has referred. There has been no answer to your question. I submit that you should have an answer to that question before Senator Webster is permitted to proceed.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order! When 1 put the question to Senator Webster he asked whether he might speak to the point of order. It was my view that he was entitled to speak to it. The honourable senator will recall that I asked him to confine his remarks to the point of order and not to canvass the argument. I have just drawn Senator Webster’s attention to the fact that he is perhaps straying from the area of the point of order and I have asked him to keep his remarks to the point of order if he wishes to continue. At this point of time it is my view that Senator Webster is still speaking to the point of order. If he wishes to continue his remarks I ask him to keep them within the area covered by the point of order.
– I accept your comment, Mr Acting Deputy President. I believe the core of what is being debated in this point of order is the word subversive’. One must naturally roam over those areas which I have suggested have a subversive content in this present debate. I was attempting to bring to the attention of the Senate the fact that if there is a foreign flag, the flag of a country with which we are at war, or to all intents and purposes at war-
– 1 rise to order. The way that these matters are dealt with is that an honourable senator takes objection to the use of some word and the objection is dealt with in a summary way. If an honourable senator is given an opportunity to canvass the whole matter, to go into the ins and outs of whether a person is a liar, is dishonest and so on, he worsens and aggravates the offence. That is what is being done here. 1 submit that the correct course in dealing with a point of order is to decide one way or the other whether an honourable senator should be required to withdraw a remark. Depending on how you determine that it is open to others to agree with your ruling or to dissent from it, but the matter should be dealt with by you in a summary way on a point as clear as this where there is a suggestion that an honourable senator is subversive.
– I should have an opportunity to speak on what the Opposition is suggesting is a point of order.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - As I recall your remarks. Senator Webster, you referred to Senator Cavanagh or any other subversive senator. I would like to know whether you are using the word ‘subversive’ in relation to any particular senator or whether you are using the word directly in relation to Senator Cavanagh.
– I do not know that they are exactly the words that I used, but I was instancing a particular case which I believed was subversion, a case which Senator Cavanagh had supported. Certainly I would not think that any other honourable senator would come within the comment subversive’, and certainly 1 would not attempt to suggest that of the Senate. In that regard, if my comment has annoyed Senator McClelland or any other honourable senator I shall withdraw the comment, but I was attempting to say-
– I rise to order. I did not want to rise in the debate on the point of order because I am not much concerned about what Senator Webster thinks of me. It rather eulogises me when he refers to the subversion of Senator Cavanagh. Without a complete misunderstanding there could be no suggestion that I supported the Vietcong flag. What I said is that in world opinion today the Vietcong flag has a greater respectability than the American flag. I further said that as the deaths of our lads is the result more of a decision of this Government than of a decision of the Vietcong, the Vietcong flag must have greater respectability than the flag of the Liberal Party. That is being patriotic; that is not being subversive. Therefore I ask for a withdrawal of the reference to my subversion.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Davidson) - I gathered from Senator Webster’s remarks a few moments ago that he said if the word ‘subversive’ offended, he was prepared to withdraw it. He used the word ‘withdraw’. I call Senator Webster.
– I did not hear your final comment, Mr Acting Deputy President.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - You said that if the word ‘subversive’ offended, you would be prepared to withdraw it. I accept this withdrawal and ask you to continue your remarks.
– Does he withdraw the word?
– 1 withdraw the word ‘subversive’. I was using it in relation to those who would carry or who would be pleased to carry the Vietcong or North Vietnamese flags. I am pleased that the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Anderson) is in the chamber because although I do not doubt that he was listening in his room to what was being said, I was making a demand on this Government - on the Prime Minister and on the leaders of the parties which form the Government - that it must take action to ensure that the Australian community is not subverted. If we as a Government genuinely believe in the principles to which we adhere regarding the freedom of some communities in the world, then we cannot allow in this community individuals, who are subversive to our Australian cause, to carry openly flags or standards of countries with whichwe are at war at this moment.
I make one other point. I ask that the attention of honourable senators be directed to further insidious activities in the community.I ask whether any honourable senator happened to view the ‘Four Corners’ programme on Saturday night? If I may place on that programme the interpretation which I and others placed on it, there was an intention by those responsible for the programme perhaps to compare the Moratorium Campaign and the activities of those who stood behind it with the activities of the Returned Services League. The comperes of the ‘Four Corners’ programme introduced some lad in the programme in order to instil into the minds of the viewing public the fact that he compared Anzac Day marches with all the glorification of war, although he certainly did not support that attitude. If that person holds the view that Anzac Day marches and the activities of the RSL are a glorification of war, then surely he must be the one person in the community who holds that view. I am pleased to hear that honourable senators opposite do not come in on such a comment.
– If I expressed such an opinion you would say it was subversive.
– I would say it was subversive if I could read into the honourable senator’s mind what I believe is there. I gave Senator Cavanagh the opportunity to express himself. The 3 points I have made in my remarks to the Senate are: Firstly, I query the comments made by some supposed law makers in this Parliament, that they view the breaking of a law which some people may think is wrong as the right of those people. 1 then draw attention to the fact that there is subversion in our community, and that the Government will need to take some action if we allow people to carry with pride the flags of those countries with which we are at war at the present time. If honourable senators opposite are proud to march under those flags, I believe that type of activity is subversive. I ask that the Government should take some action regarding it.
Although such action is, perhaps, considered comical when it is taken in the grounds of a university, it certainly is a most serious matter if we, as a government, allow such subversive action as the raising of the standard of an enemy power and the carrying of it down the main streets of Australia when we arc directing lads to war under the National Service Act and when we are spending so much of this country’s resources$1,100m in the last Budget in an attempt to preserve the defence of this country. I ask the Government to take some action, pretty swiftly, to see that this activity is prohibited. If the Government takes any notice of my comments at all, I believe that in the future it should ensure that the community is not divided by some who suggest that their respect for the honour of Australia is so great that they have forgotten to bring an Australian flag to a march, and that instead they have brought the North Vietnamese or Vietcong flag. This was not a peace march; it was a march of war, and it will divide the Australian community.
– I seek to take the opportunity which other honourable senators have taken on the first reading of the Supply Bill to speak on matters which are relevant not to the Bill but to the debate which has taken place this afternoon and to the comments, in particular, of Senator Webster. Senator Webster stated that Senator Cavanagh and those who supported his viewpoint were guilty of subversion. Let me state quite clearly to Senator Webster thatI agree with what Senator Cavanagh has said and I agree with his attitude. If that is so, according to Senator Webster I am guilty of subversion.
Let us carefully calculate the basis upon which Senator Webster makes his statement. Obviously he feels a certain amount of discontent because of the tremendous demonstration against the Government’s action in South East Asia. I speak now not of South Vietnam but of South East Asia, because we have extended the conflict beyond the borders of South Vietnam.
– Who has?
– The Government has.
– What about North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia?
– This Government has extended the conflict. Its decision in the first place was incorrect. So far as 1 am concerned, from listening to what people have bad lo say, 1 say without any qualification whatsoever: You are a bunch of unmitigated hypocrites.
– Order! You will withdraw that remark.
- Mr President, I will withdraw the word-
– You will withdraw that remark without any qualification.
– ls there any objection to saying-
– Order! I am telling you to withdraw that remark.
– I will withdraw the remark that f made, that supporters of the Government are a bunch of unmitigated hypocrites. I think 1 can say fairly that those persons who support the policies of the Liberal-Country Party Government are a bunch of unmitigated hypocrites.
– 1 rise to order. Firstly, I ask that you, Mr President, tell the honourable senator to be seated.
– He is seated.
– Next, I ask whether you are to be mocked by such equivocation as has been put to you just now. Having withdrawn the statement that members of the Government are a bunch of unmitigated hypocrites, the honourable senator substituted that those who support Government policy are a bunch of unmitigated hypocrites, f ask whether the Senate is to be mocked like that.
– Order! The point of order is upheld. To you, Senator Georges, I say that you withdrew the words but that you went on and used them again. They were offensive. Before you proceed you will withdraw those words as well.
– J withdraw the words because they were offensive words. I revert to the debates which took place in this chamber - and which were instigated by Senator Greenwood - against the Moratorium Campaign. I consider that in an inverted way the debates were a deliberate incitement of violence because in declaring that violence would occur he invited violence. He invited those who opposed the Moratorium to use violence.
– I must object. The honourable senator cannot accuse Senator Greenwood of a deliberate incitement to violence. That is most unparliamentary. I suggest that the remark should be withdrawn. The honourable senator named Senator Greenwood as the one who spoke and deliberately incited the violence.
– Order! The Leader of the Government is quite correct. Senator Georges, you will withdraw that. You should try to keep out of the area of conflict. You will withdraw.
– I wish not to withdraw from the area of such conflict.
– Order! The honourable senator will withdraw his remark.
– I will withdraw my remark. But may I in fairness make the comment that the type of speech made by Senator Webster in the terms that he used freely and without control lead me to take a similar approach and to use similar terms? The Moratorium proved to be not one of violence, lt proved to be a massive demonstration throughout Australia against the Government’s actions. If the word ‘subversion’ is to be used, it should be used against the Government because it has subverted the Australian attitude to world affairs, lt has been guilty of a double standard not only in South East Asia but also in China and in other parts of the world. We have been guilty of supporting governments which ought not to have been supported. We have been guilty of supporting dictatorial regimes which ought not to have been supported. We have been guilty of supporting men who have subjected their countries to military dictatorship and whom we should not have supported. On one occasion we invited onto the floor of the Senate the Speaker of the South Korean Parliament. He was responsible for deliberately destroying democracy in South Korea.
– I raise a point of order. That statement is completely offensive to a friendly nation. The long-standing practice, which has been written into our procedures for years, is that an honourable senator must not reflect upon a friendly nation. On this occasion, to identify an individual is shameful.
– Order! Senator Georges, you will withdraw that as well.
– If I may-
– No, you may not. You will withdraw. You must withdraw as I have told you to withdraw. Do not go any further until you have withdrawn.
– I will withdraw. I withdraw, but I cannot withdraw the overall comment that time and time again the Government has been guilty of supporting those who have been the true enemies not only of Australia but also of democracy in general and of peace. What right has Senator Webster to speak of the National Service Act? What right has he to call upon the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Anderson) to do something about the so-called subversion by the carrying of Vietcong flags? Senator Webster has the power in his own Party room to suggest amendments to the National Service Act to make certain that no young man in this country is sent to gaol for 2 years because he considers the war to be unjust and because he refuses to go to South Vietnam and kill because this Government says so. What right has Senator Webster, then, to call upon this Government, when he has the power to speak within his own Party room to change the attitude of this Government? What right has he to accuse honourable senators on this side of subversion? To me, those words which he used are the words of a dissembler. If he looks up the meaning of that word he might seek the withdrawal of that also. The pressures within this country which seek peace - and all we seek is peace-
– Why carry the North Vietnamese flag and be proud of it?
– Order! We will have less interruptions and less interjections. The honourable senator will get on with his speech.
– Order! Senator Georges will speak to me and not to Senator Webster.
– I beg your pardon. May 1 point out to Senator Webster that the carrying of the Vietcong flag, which he considers to be subversive and a crime, is not a subversive aci? If it were subversion and a crime it would be within the power of one of his own Ministers to take action. He must know in his heart - and so must Ministers know - that this is no illegal act. This is no subversive act because we have never indicated that we were in a state of war with North Vietnam or with the Vietcong. British ships carrying the British flag go into the port of Haiphong in North Vietnam. They supply goods to North Vietnam. Does the honourable senator suggest that this is a subversive act? Is this a subversive act on the part of Her Majesty’s Government? It is not, because we are not at war with Vietnam and we do not have the courage to declare that we are at war because we know that the war in Vietnam is an illegal war and an illegal intervention on our part.
What right has the honourable senator to state that an act by a student in carrying a Vietcong flag is one that ought to attract the attention of the Government? He knows that the Government cannot take any action. It has no power under which it can take action. All that he can do, as has been done by other members of the Government, is to cast aspersions on those who support peace and perhaps support North Vietnam’s attitude. They can cast aspersions on such people, but they do not have the courage to take any action and are determined not to take any action.
If one looks at the situation carefully, no matter what the Government does, it shows a double standard. I pointed out here, by way of question, that we have a double standard which imposes a sentence of 2 years without parole on a lad who refuses to kill and a sentence of 3 years with parole on the young man who murders, by strangulation and by mutilation, a young person. In this community we have a double standard. 1 have pointed out that we have traded not only with Communist China but also with North Vietnam. I have pointed out that when we ceased to trade direct with North Vietnam our goods went to Communist China and from Communist China into North Vietnam. Time and time again I have pointed out the hypocrisy of the acts of this Government. I refuse to take offence when Senator Webster uses against me the term subversion’.
– I am brought into this debate by the extraordinary statements which have been made by Senator Cavanagh and Senator Georges to the effect that they find greater respectability in the Vietcong and, presumably, North Vietnamese flags than in the flag of the United States of America. Presumably they are proud to march in a demonstration in which these flags are carried. 1 think that we should calmly but quickly examine what these flags stand for. For my authority I take statements which have been made by the leaders of North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front. Before doing so I wish to make only 2 comments regarding the extraordinary speech we have just heard.
Senator Georges attacked the Australian Government and, by inference, the Government of the United Slates of America for what he regards as an extension of the war into Cambodia. Senator Georges spoke with great heat about double standards. I think it is always unwise for members of the Opposition to talk about moral standards because it is an established fact which has not been denied that for years North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops have illegally and immorally occupied large areas of Cambodia. They have no legal or moral right to be there. If honourable senators opposite are going to talk about moral standards and double standards then I think I should point out, Mr President, that 1 have never heard one word of criticism or one attack in this Senate by any member of the Australian Labor Party on North Vietnam for its acts of aggression against Cambodia. However, when the United States launches attack after attack on the sanctuaries - on main supply routes and supply bases - the action becomes one of aggression. I do not think that honourable senators opposite should talk about moral standards.
Senator Georges also referred to the Australian Government’s support of the enemies of democracy. Let us have a look at the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong, whom he said he supports, to see what their democracies are like. We hear a lot about the supporters of peace. A short while ago as a little exercise I took out some of the statements emanating from the National Liberation Front and North Vietnam. Let us see what they think about peace. In its political programme dated October 1967 the NLF stales as its objective:
The M I-“ undertake^ lo dereion the Liberation Armed Forces with the aim of promoting the people’s war, combining guerilla with regular warfare, wiping out as many live enemy forces, as possible, crushing the enemy’s will for aggression, and winning the final victory.
This is a nice, peaceful statement! It emanates from the National Liberation Front. Senator Cavanagh is proud to march behind its flag. I want to refer to a gentleman named Truong Chinh, who is a very nice fellow. He is one of the leaders of North Vietnam. He was one of the people responsible for the infamous purge of 1954-56, which I will mention in a moment. In an address to Communist cadres in September 1968 Truong Chinh said: lt is absolutely necessary for the people’s democratic dictatorship-
Nol democracy but dictatorship - to use violence against counter revolutionaries and exploiters who refuse to submit to reform. Therefore we must pay continuous attention to consolidating the repressive apparatus of the people’s democratic slate, the people’s army, the people’s control institute, the people’s tribunal and so forth.
Senator Georges and Senator Cavanagh support this nice, democratic gentleman. This is democracy at work, lt means thaI all political groups which do not submit lo Communist dictatorship will be ruthlessly rooted out. The same gentleman, Truong Chinh, in an address to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, said:
All the experiences drawn from the Vietnamese revolution have demonstrated the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist theory of violent revolution and have rejected all illusions about peaceful transition-
I emphasise the words ‘peaceful transition’ - and all reformist and conciliatory tendencies, legalism and so forth.
This statement was made by one of the leaders of North Vietnam whom Senator Cavanagh and Senator Georges arc proud to march behind. We have heard a great deal about-
– Mr President. I ask for a withdrawal of that remark. Senator Sim said that Senator Georges and I arc proud lo march behind the leaders of North Vietnam. 1 object to this statement. I rind it offensive. I ask for a withdrawal.
– If I said that I have made a mistake and 1 withdraw it. 1 meant lo say the flag of North Vietnam. I am sorry if I have offended Senator Cavanagh. I apologise to him. I shall continue with my remarks. 1 shall not speak at great length.
However, I think we should have a look at the actions of the Vietcong in South Vietnam since 1956. There is a good reason why I have taken it from 1956. From 1954 to 1956 the North Vietnamese leaders, led by Truong Chinh and Ho Chi Minh, were engaged in the pleasant Communist pastime of liquidating all political opponents. At that time - under the guise of land reforms-some 100,000 North Vietnamese were murdered and the families of the victims were left to starve. The principle adopted was that it is better to execute 10 innocent people than to allow 1 enemy to escape. Many more were tortured. I repeat that the children of those who were regarded as enemies of the state were left to starve. So much horror was aroused by this purge that General Giap, the Minister for Defence, admitted in October 1956 that the terror had become too widespread. He did not apologise for the terror; he said that it had become too widespread. He admitted that too many innocent people were executed, that torture had become an every day occurrence and that the innocent children of parents wrongly classified as land lords had starved to death. We are now told that some people are happy to march behind the flag of this regime.
I do not want to say very much more. However the North Vietnamese villagers will recall how they were compelled to denounce and torture one another, to sever all family ties and to supress all human feeling. This is a deliberate policy which is designed to pulverise the nerves of all people who resist Communism in North Vietnam. The same Truong Chinh said:
The aim of the present revolution is that the entire people should thoroughly absorb the Socialist ideology, that this should abandon their previous outlooks on life and on the world and replace it with the Marxist viewpoint.
We are told today that some people are proud to march behind the flag of this regime and that its flag and the flag of the Vietcong receive. more respect in the world than the flag of the United States of America.
I conclude by reminding the Senate that in 1960-61, long before the United States was involved, 6,000 South Vietnamese village leaders, teachers, medical personnel, people who exercised some authority, were murdered. Six thousand were abducted. In the years 1956 to 1967 at least 27,600 South Vietnamese village leaders, teachers, and so on were murdered or kidnapped by the Vietcong. The same Vietcong went to extraordinary lengths to emphasise that the killings were calculated acts of terror. They left on the bodies notes warning others what to expect if they refused to co-operate. Briefly, this is the record from Communist sources as to their aims and objectives. I leave it to the Senate and people outside to judge whose flag has more respect in the world.
– I had no intention of entering this debate, but I feel there are some areas of this matter, which has become the major question before the Senate, that have not been covered. These questions should be covered if this matter is to be discussed thoroughly. I think, first of all, Senator Georges should be answered. He endeavoured to make a comparison - it was a very poor one - between what happened in South Korea and what is going on in South East Asia. I suggest to him he should get his historical facts in their proper perspective before he starts to condemn the Government of South Korea. The Government of South Korea exists because its integrity was preserved by the action of the United Nations in appealing to the governments affiliated with the United Nations to take action to protect the integrity of the people of South Korea. I do not know whether Senator Georges belonged to the Australian Labor Party as long ago as that, but that body was a party to the protection of the people of South Korea. The trade union movement of this country debated the issue of South Korea and in its wisdom or otherwise decided that the cause of the people of South Korea was a cause which should be protected; so too did supporters of the Government, which means it was a unanimous decision. I cannot speak for the Party to which I belong at the moment because at that time I was a member of the Australian Labor Party of which Senator Georges now proudly claims to be a member. But the fact that emerges is that we were all unanimous about South Korea.
Now Senator Georges says that the war in South Vietnam is an illegal war and he seeks to draw a comparison with what happened in South Korea. I suggest that he is right. The incident in South Korea was not different from the incident in Vietnam today, lt is a continuation of the same struggle. This is the crux of the situation which causes honourable senators on my right - although on the left of the political spectrum - to make the same mistake about South Vietnam as they made about South Korea. They are trying to isolate the incident in Vietnam as though it is something happening in the world which has never happened before. Of course it has happened before, and it is happening all over the world. It is persisting, lt is the march of those who favour a dictatorial philosophy of Communism as against those who favour a democratic spirit. I think Senator Georges and members of the Australian Labor Party make the same error when they become confused as to what loyalty they owe to Australia itself. lt matters very little to me as an Australian whether we are technically at war in South Vietnam. Those who march under the Vietcong flag are killing Australian soldiers. Whether we are like Senator Cavanagh who has a viewpoint different from mine is beside the point: the important point is the loyalty which we owe to this country. When a government., rightly or wrongly, makes a decision which involves my compatriots, my fellow Australians, in bearing arms in fighting for this country ] feel - Senator Cavanagh, who is trying to interject, can speak for himself - that irrespective of whatever point of view I might hold, I owe a loyalty to these men. I do not subvert them in the military action they are forced to take. I am prepared to admit that even the men in the front line may have some qualifications and doubts but they do not express their doubts by stabbing one another in the back. There would not be one person in this political forum who does not know the extent to which propaganda can destroy the morale of troops in the front line.
– Why do we not bring them home and save them?
– Why do we not bring the troops home?
– 1 will answer that question, as to why we do not bring the troops back, in a moment. Honourable senators are over eager when they require information from me. Let me take my own time. 1 will come to that point. The fact of the matter is: To whom do we owe loyalty? As a political forum of trained politicians, do we not know the value of propaganda? Would any honourable senator reasonably say that the photographs of the Moratorium Campaign marchers in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra, supporting the Vietcong, have not already gone to the source from which they will do the most damage to our soldiers and assist those who are endeavouring to kill them? The photographs will encourage those who are endeavouring lo kill our soldiers to persevere in spite of their military reverses, lt will be said in the propaganda sheets where these photographs will be displayed: ‘Look, you are really being supported by masses of people back in Australia who are slabbing their own soldiers in the back. Here are the photographs illustrating the march not for peace but in favour of the Vietcong which took place in Melbourne.1 Do not accept me as an authority. Accept Dr Cairns. He went on television on Sunday night and admitted that there were only Vietcong flags, Red flags with a hammer and sickle on them, some black flags, and the North Vietnam flag. There was not one Australian flag. What would be the result of the display of this propaganda?
The Labor Parly would not miss such a glorious opportunity, if it were able to exhibit material with as good political prospects in its favour. Does the Labor Party think thai the Communists in Haiphong or Peking are any less able in the arena of political propaganda than it is? This is what the Moratorium Campaign did. Whatever may have been the tragedy of it politically for a recognised political party in this country, the Australian Labor Party, the Moratorium was a tremendous victory for the Communist Party in this country. It could not have won this victory in its own right without the assistance of well-meaning people who were misguided. They may not have been misguided had it not been for the active support of a responsible political party such as the part)’ to which 1 once belonged - the Australian Labor Party, lt is said that some supporters of the Liberal Party were involved. They may have been for all I know or for all anyone else knows. Everybody knows that there were people in this Moratorium Campaign who had personal views on this question which differed from the views held by others. It is not really a party political question as far as politics in this country are concerned.
These people start off on the wrong premise. They think that South Vietnam is an isolated incident not related to the war in Korea and not related to what happened in Malaya when Australian and British troops had to go in and protect the civilian population of that country from the murderous activities of the terrorists there who were prompted by the Communists. They think it is not related in any way to the coup which was nearly successful in Indonesia. Those people who isolate their thinking to the one particular problem as far as Vietnam is concerned and say that this is something that is happening quite irrespective of what else is going on in the world can be misled on the whole question as the Labor Party - or some members of it - is misled in thinking that this can be technically argued on the basis of what is happening in South Vietnam as the Australian Labor Party inevitably argues it. Senator Georges today made the classic blunder of making the attack that he made on the Government of South Korea, showing that whatever may be said publicly by the Labor Party some of its members are well aware that the whole situation as far as the East is concerned, and so far as the whole of the world is concerned, is a battle of 2 ideologies. They are beginning to stand on one side and other people in this democracy of ours stand on the other.
I believe that I must help Senator Cavanagh who is keen and eager to know why we do not end the slaughter and create peace by bringing home our troops. Let us have a look at the validity of the argument. Let us relate it to Senator Georges’ proposition about Korea. Since the war in Korea ended in 1952 - 18 years ago - America has sustained over 50,000 troops there. Does the honourable senator suggest that in Korea - even 18 years after the war has ended - if the troops were returned to America tomorrow there would be peace? There would be the greatest blood bath that one could possibly imagine in Korea and yet you would take the risk - you the pacifists, you the ones who march behind not the flag of the dove of peace but the Vietcong flag - of sending them home from
Korea. You would leave the Koreans to face the results of your irresponsible actions.
There are other people who think more widely and more deeply and who recognise the fact of life that if the troops of America - which does not want to have them there - were extracted from South Korea tomorrow there would be just the same blood bath in South Korea as there would be in South Vietnam if the troops were withdrawn from there before a situation is created in which the South Vietnamese, with a minimum of assistance, can look after themselves. Labor Party senators know - they have quoted Denis Warner and others who have written about it - of the tremendous slaughter that would take place in South Vietnam of those who oppose the Communist cause if the troops were withdrawn. They have seen the practical examples in Czechoslovakia and they have led resolutions here in this Senate expressing their sympathy for the people of Czechoslovakia for what has happened to them. But seeing the iron fist that is prepared to crush anybody who deviates from the line I suggest that we should get back to where Australians owe their loyalty. I say that any Australian who wants to stand up and say: 1 am loyal to this country and this flag’ should be ashamed to stand behind a flag - whether we are technically at war or not - under which those who kill our fellow Australians march. On that point I say that the alleged Moratorium for peace condemned itself. It became not a demonstration for peace at all but a demonstration in favour of the aggressors in Vietnam.
– I cannot sit and hear this debate without expressing my views with regard to it. I am here as an elected senator supporting a Government which has twice been re-elected to authority since the engagement in Vietnam commenced.
– You had a lucky escape last time.
– I notice the cackle. I want to state my view if the honourable senator does not mind. The position is that the Parliament of this country supporting the Government has required compulsory service of its youth and has voted the money of the public to support the engagement in South Vietnam. Those armed forces are there in conflict with the enemy and that enemy carries the Vietcong flag. Anybody in Australia who takes protection, as a resident of this country, from the defence that is given by its armed forces there has a duty to support them. Anybody who subverts those armed forces is a traitor and is guilty of treachery and subversion of the most abhorrent kind, not only in the eyes of the men whose duly it is to hold the line tonight, not only in the eyes of their relatives, but also in the eyes of every decent Australian. If there is any legislator who cannot bring himself to the degree of conviction as to his undivided loyally to the armed forces which the democratic, freely elected Government of this country compels in part and organises in another part to engage in that conflict - if there is any legislator who cannot bring himself to the degree of conviction that his duty is to support them, he is wanting then those elemental human qualities of judgment and character which alone can create the defence of this country. As for the Vietcong flag, honourable senators might be reminded that in 1967 this Parliament passed a statute which outlawed and made illegal the sending of money, goods, services or financial assistance to any of the following: the Government of the country known as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam; the body known as Dang Lao Dong Vietnam or as the Communist Party of North Vietnam.
– -Why do you not enforce it?
– Senator Georges and Senator Cavanagh chorus interjections designed to confuse a clear statement of logic that leads irrefutably to a duty that Senator Cavanagh deserts. Today he has almost arrogantly paraded in this Senate pride in the desertion of that duty. He has advocated that people who wish to march in the public streets in Australia should be entitled to carry the flag of those people whom in Vietnam it is the duty of our armed forces to kill. Those who carry the Vietcong flag in South Vietnam are the people who are perpetrating the atrocities and the carrying out the guerilla warfare against the South Vietnamese people to whom my colleague Senator Sim referred. The reason why our troops are there is that they have the duly, when confronted by Vietcong activities of violence, to kill and exterminate the Vietcong.
– Kill! Let the blood run.
- Senator Cavanagh, I have seen that same grimace from the face of the kennel before, and I just want to say that I. have no pride for it in this instance. Indeed, I only despise it because it is the duty of an armed soldier to kill in defence of the likes of you and me and in defence of the principles that this country elected a Parliament to decide who were our enemies. Then just as they invent pretexts for the purpose of their propaganda a la the fifth column and the totalitarians who paraded through the world in the past 50 years, they say of my colleague Senator Greenwood that because he brings to our attention warnings of violence he is inciting violence.
Now they come forward and say that these people are marching for peace. Lord Haw Haw spoke for peace but by deserting his country and committing treachery against the allied forces. Peace is the pursuit of the traitor. It does not argue that because your ultimate purpose is to obtain peace for the aggrandisement of our enemy you refute the argument that those who carry the Vietcong flag along Australian streets are guilty of subversive conduct of the most shameful and abhorrent kind.
Senator BISHOP (South Australia) r5.36] - I imagine that most reasonable senators would have said today that we have heard enough about Vietnam and the Moratorium. I say that because most of us were greatly impressed with the demonstrations which were held in all capital cities during the past weekend. Everyone must have been impressed because Government senators who now have very carefully twisted the argument to something about Vietcong flags, in some cases have applauded the convenors and organisers of the Moratorium following their observance of the demonstrations. In all cases there was a marked restraint by the organisers. There was no violence, and even those who took no part in the marches but watched the demonstrations on television must have been struck by the careful discipline which had been occasioned, I suppose, by the debates within the country about the need to avoid violence, and because of the wide acceptance of peaceful demonstration. Let us face the facts. The people who are now trying very carefully to divert this argument to one about the national liberation forces <bd the nag were the people who, during the debates in the Senate last week, accepted the principle that there was a right to protest against the Government’s policies on matters of defence.
– And carrying the Vietcong flag.
– 1 will get to that. Government senators in the debate said that everybody in the country - students, unionists, middle class people and professional people - had the right to go on the streets and demonstrate which they did. Government senators were concerned as we all were, that the demonstrations should be peaceful. Well, they were peaceful in all cases.
– Why do you think they were peaceful?
– I think they were peaceful because the convenors of the demonstrations were conscious of the need for peaceful demonstration and because they realised, as 1 accept, that if you want to influence public opinion you certainly have to show that you are responsible. 1 think with very few exceptions the demonstrations did exactly that.
– What about the cooperation of governments and the police?
– I will come to that. Do not put words in my mouth. Everyone must have been impressed because, from what I saw in .South Australia, the police deserve great credit for the way in which they conducted themselves and assisted the convenors of the demonstration. I understand that there were discussions between the police and the organisers.
– What about the people who did not agree with the demonstration and yet did not disrupt it? Do they not get any credit?
– Yes. I agree with that. I am more concerned about, an incident in which people who did not agree with the demonstration and felt very conscious about some flags took it upon themselves to do something other than what their administrators wanted them to do. The whole thing would have been better without them. That is the important thing. The fact is that the Moratorium-
– What about the flag?
– Let me come to it. The Moratorium was a demonstration by a large group of Australian people, not just members of the Communist Party or a small percentage of people who support the Vietcong. I accept that in Australia there are some who support the Vietcong but the fact is, as Senator Georges has said, that the carrying of a Vietcong flag in Australia is not an illegal act. If it is, the Government should do as Senator Webster has challenged the Government to do.
– It is not very patriotic, is it?
– Let me develop my argument and then see whether it makes sense. I do not like seeing demonstrations and I would not take part in a peace demonstration willingly when there was a Vietcong flag ahead of me, but if someone ahead of me in a peace procession hoisted a National Liberation Front flag I would not take any action to get him out because I could not and 1 would not use force. The convenors of the Moratorium decided that the demonstrations should be peaceful. They were. Unlike last week, the issue in the Senate today is not the Moratorium, the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam and from Indo-China or the repeal of the National Service Act. The issue that honourable senators opposite have raised today is that in some cases people hoisted Vietcong flags in the processions and some action should be taken. If honourable senators opposite want to take action, let them do what Senator Webster hits done - consider the position properly.
The Moratorium has started, lt will not lessen, lt will grow as it has grown in America. Any belief that a military solution in Vietnam is possible is based on false premises, lt will not succeed. ! think everyone recognises that it has been proved conclusively day after day that that will not happen. If there is to be any stability in Vietnam or in Cambodia it will have to come from the people themselves through political stability. Let me remind the Senate, because we all forget this in the heat of argument, that basically the Geneva Accords of 1954 proposed elections over the whole of Vietnam in 1956. Unfortunately the position politically was never canvassed properly and it reached the stage at which military intervention became the way to strengthen the position of North Vietnam and of South Vietnam. The fact is that we have a great military intervention which, instead of succeeding, is becoming larger and larger and more dangerous.
In Australia today our Government is speaking with 2 voices. On the one hand it applauds the intervention by America in Cambodia an action which, incidentally, has been condemned by the United States Senate Committee as recently as yesterday; and on the other hand, the Minister for External Affairs (Mr McMahon) is urging upon the countries which will attend the conference in Indonesia the need to set up inspection in Cambodia and Vietnam if that is found to be necessary. So we have 2 movements. We are saying, on the one hand, that military expansion is a good thing and, on the other hand, we are trying to temper that by saying that the real solution lies in inspection to restrain escalation of the war and so on. Sooner or later we in this country must ask ourselves whether we can expect peace to be established in Vietnam and in Indo-China in the way in which we are supporting it. All of the evidence points to the fact that no military solution is possible. The real solution will be found by the Australian Government doing what the people are doing today - urging that it be realised that peace is the major question and that governments in South Vietnam and elsewhere should be commissioned to think about establishing peace by largely political means.
My position is the same as it was when I visited Vietnam in 1964. At that time the then Government of South Vietnam certainly was not even a partly elected government; it was a government of changing military juntas. The Government of South Vietnam still has basically the same defects as it had then. It does not represent all the people in South Vietnam. It has not the stability that would be required for it to take any competent national action. For that reason and because of the interest of the Vietnamese people in the National Liberation Front in areas of South Vietnam that the NLF has controlled for up to 15 years, the Government cannot cope with the situation and is relying on its friends - the United States and ourselves - to hold the position by military means, which finally we will find will be incomplete and unsatisfactory.
So the mission of the people who demonstrated in Australia over the weekend was to raise this very important question and the associated-
– Some of them; not all of them.
– I do not disown that proposition. It may be true, as somebody said, that the demonstrators included members of the Australian Nazi party who are now becoming active in some of the demonstrations. Among the demonstrators were people who said that they did not support the National Liberation Front. There were also people who said: ‘We are against the Moratorium’. But broadly speaking, as everybody knows, the great mass of the people who went along were concerned about the issues about which I am talking now; that is, the real issues about peace.
If any lesson is to be learnt from the Moratorium, surely it is that a large body of Australian people are now most concerned about this matter and intend to take peaceful measures to persuade the Government to change its orientation and its fixation on military solutions. In my view those things will never prove successful. In addition, the demonstrators included many people who object to the method of raising the armies of Australia. That is the lesson. It is not the sidetracking arguments that some people-
– What about carrying the Vietcong flag?
– That is purely a sidetracking argument. I have already told the Senate what I think about that. I have referred to what the honourable senator said. If the Government believes that this is improper, let it do what he suggested. Let it take the action that is necessary. But I hold the opinion that Senator Georges expressed. I do not see how the Government can take action. As far as I can see, this is not an unlawful act. If it is, let the Government act. In my view the demonstrations comprised a majority of persons who are trying to maintain peace. That is the important message of the Moratorium. We should accept that. Members of the Government parties and the
Democratic Labor Party said ail last week: lt will not be a peaceful demonstration. It will not be a success’.
– We warned you of the dangers and that helped to make it peaceful.
– I would have been more impressed if the people who said those things last week had stood up today and said: “We agree that there was a large body of demonstrators and that a clear opinion was expressed by Australians for peace’.
– I was in Melbourne and I do not agree that the demonstration was large.
– They were very big demonstrations. I do not think people are being real if they say that they were not impressed with the body of people about whom 1 am talking. I have referred to the real issue. This issue will continue to arise until we find a real solution and until we use the proper means that we have at our disposal to establish peace in the area. Other honourable senators know as well as I do that war is no solution of these problems. We have learnt that by hard experience. Finally, war is never a solution: peaceful means must be used.
– We are told by Senator Bishop that all of a sudden in the Moratorium march Vietcong flags appeared as if by magic and that the people who were marching in the Moratorium were caught by surprise.
– No, I did not say that. I have never said anything of the sort.
– That is how 1 heard the honourable senator’s speech. If that is not the position, the flags were being carried deliberately.
– Why does not the Minister state his own case instead of trying to use what I said?
– I am obtaining some little help from the honourable senator.
– No, 1 am not giving any help.
– Is it or is it not a fact that a little earlier in the week there was a demonstration or performance in front of Parliament House, at which the Leader of the Opposition in the other place (Mr Whitlam) and Dr Cairns were said to be present? Were there or were there not Vietcong flags at that demonstration?
– Of course there were. They were carried by members of the Liberal Party.
– Evidently these Hags were voluntarily springing up from the lawn in front: of Parliament House.
– What conclusions would the Minister draw from the fact that a number of opponents of the Moratorium were wearing swastikas belonging to the Nazi party?
– I do not belong to that party; so I draw no conclusions. I was about to suggest that to have a march or demonstration in which the Vietcong Hag is prominently displayed, willingly or otherwise, in my opinion, is to give aid and succour to the enemies of this country. I suggest, that the whole operation has weakened the cause of peace and weakened the search for peace. I suggest that it has lengthened the discussions in Paris, where peace has been sought to be achieved.
I equally tell the Senate that Cambodia has been occupied by the enemies of this country and the enemies of peace for a long time. As far as I. can recall, nobody on the other side of this chamber ever protested about that.
– Has the Minister protested about the swastikas worn by members of the Nazi party?
– I do not have to. They do not belong to me. One’s concern in these matters is with one’s own affairs.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Wood) - Order! I want honourable senators lo understand that while I am in the chair the senator who is speaking will be heard; otherwise I will have no hesitation in naming senators who infringe.
– It is a fact that the National Liberation Front has been occupying large areas of north east Cambodia for years. It has been in control of the province of Kamphong Cham. When I was in Cambodia last year the President of the NLF-
– I was there, too.
– Yes, but the honourable senator was not in the place where I was. I followed him; so perhaps we can call it square. The situation was - I think this can be believed - that the President of the NLF was in residence in Kamphong Cham in Cambodia. Senator Wilkinson was doing his own things .there, and I was doing mine. Let us leave it at that. It is nice to feel that after a fairly solid day of abuse we can generate a little mirth in this place. But what I suggest to senators in the Opposition, 1 hope without any nastiness or violence, is that perhaps we could have shortened this war if they, with other people, had done something about trying to remove the menace in Cambodia earlier.
– I reckon that the best way to shorten the war is to withdraw our troops.
– I do not think so. The honourable senator is entitled to his view, and I am entitled to mine. I express mine here in the place of government. When I hear references to the Vietcong flag being more highly regarded than the United States flag in some parts of the world, it seems to me that such remarks are better not made, when we are dealing with our allies and we have been very proud in past wars to fight alongside them and to work with them under their flag and our flag. I do not think such remarks really do anything except show a contempt for a brave people. Anybody who has had the experience of standing in the Arlington cemetery in Washington and seeing the graves of hundreds of thousands of American veterans who fought in foreign wars for which really they did not have to leave their country will believe, I am sure, as I do, that such remarks are beneath contempt.
– This debate has touched on the matter of a number of Vietcong flags being produced at the Moratorium demonstrations last Friday. But that is only a side issue that could be likened to the production by somebody of a Japanese or German flag. The other day a German flag bearing a swastika was raised outside this House. We cannot control the people who do that and who display similar idiosyncrasies at demonstrations. It is their own business if they want to express their freedom to raise some sort of flag. We are not responsible for those persons. In my home town the other day young people were jumping up and down on the footpaths and shouting out slogans as we marched by. They were exercising a prerogative just as we were, but the difference was that we had the permission of the police to march. We had a police escort and were orderly.
Those young people chose their way to demonstrate against us. We did not get hot under the collar because they displayed offensive slogans. I do not know whether they carried particular flags such as the green flag of Ireland, or flags bearing such emblems as the Italian bundle of slicks, the German swastika, or the rising sun of the Japanese. All those were symbols in the past. There is no need to get hot under the collar when the words ‘patriotism’ and ‘nationalism’ or similar words arc used to make people get excited.
The issue that we might well discuss today involves statements made in this Parliament before last Friday that have been proved by time to have been completely false and misleading. Senator Webster today referred to ‘Senator Cavanagh and other subversive senators’. He was made to withdraw that particular statement. Senator Webster might choose to carry a Chinese flag, as he really should as a member of the Australian Country Party. He should carry a Chinese flag in the streets in order to honour the people who are maintaining many of his Country Party farming colleagues in a state of solvency. But for the wheat being sold by Australia to China our wheat stabilisation scheme would be in a very sorry plight. We would excuse Senator Webster if he and the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr McEwen) and other members of the Austraiian Country Party were to hold a special celebration day to pay honour to the people who are purchasing so much of our wheat.
Indirectly, of course, those people are assisting North Vietnam and people who could be classified under the present standards by which war is not declared. If it suits you, and if you do not like another nation’s philosophy, and if you have control of the industrial and military complex that is astride the world today, centred in the United States, you just go to war. I am certain that the presidents of the United States, such as former President Johnson and present President Nixon, are not in control of the machinery of government in that nation. 1 believe that the military and industrial leaders of the United States are the only people who can gain physically and financially from the war. They have a vested interest in the continuation of wars. There would be no war if the United States Government was influenced by peace seeking people, but there would be an enormous repercussion on the United States economy, which would bc thrown into a state almost of major depression. Present unemployment in the United States stands at about 4 million. Throughout the world millions of United Slates troops are scattered. This is a very expensive charge on the taxpayers of the United Stales.
United States industries are engaged in the- manufacture of aircraft, tanks and armaments. lt is the greatest armament manufacturing complex ever known in the history of the world, operating at full blast.
Sitting suspended from 6 to K p.m.
– At the suspension of the sitting I was pointing out that it had appeared as though the United States of America had become severely divided within itself. Although President Nixon claims that the United States is the strongest, the greatest and the most powerful nation in the world, a nation which is divided to the extent that the United States is divided, I would suggest, creates a precedent the like of which has never been understood or realised before in a nation of such strength. If we look down the history of countries which have embarked upon a policy simitar to that of the United Slates we see that they have had a united purpose behind them which has taken them to a point where either they have met total destruction, as happened to the dictatorships of Germany and Italy or. wilh the support of their own people and their allies who have been prepared to go to the last ditch, to fight to the last man on the beaches, and so on, have become victorious. But here we see a situation in which the United States is fast losing its credibility in the light of what is claimed by the President.
– When is the next moratorium going lo take place in Hanoi or Moscow?
– The amazing thing is, as the honourable senator who has just interjected reminds me, that we see this spirit prevailing not only in the streets of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart but also in Berlin, Paris and Milan.
– In Launceston?
– Yes, in Launceston. The flag of protest has been carried through the world. The United States Administration must realise that every time there is a demonstration against the United Slates in the national capital of that country, throughout the world United States credibility and status is reduced. We heard the news only a few moments ago that a committee of the United Slates Senate has voted 9 to I against the supply of funds for United Stales troops fighting in Cambodia after 1st. July. That must humiliate the President of the United Stales. If we suggest that the United States Hag is losing some of its popularity throughout the world we are accused of being subversive and of being all kinds of nasty people. Yet in the United Stales the defence committee of the Senate did not arrive at its decision with a small majority of perhaps 6 to 4 but arrived at it with a majority of 9 to I - almost a unanimous decision. That highly esteemed committee of the Senate deemed fit to vole against the supply of finance for American troops. This is a fantatsic situation, us a result of which surely the Administration of Australia must realise that within the United Stales there is something very much amiss.
This brings me back to the point that I was making before the suspension of the sitting. The situation has become out of hand because the industrial and military people of the United States have taken the administration out of the hands of the Parliament and virtually out of the President’s hands. The President is a prisoner of a system more pernicious, more subtle, more insidious, more undemocratic and more suicidal nationally than any system that has been evolved in the Western world. The military industrial complex of Germany had as a background the Krupp empire with all the militarism of the Prussians, lt had as the ideal historical background this long training of the German people towards the belief thai they were a superior race, the Herrenvolk.
There was the brainwashing, over generations that they were the superior race. They were brainwashed to believe that the Jews must be annihilated so that they could get back to that beautiful, clear Aryan strain of people who would lead the world. This was the philosophy of the Nazi Germans.
All the tricks and techniques of the Germans have been followed holus-bolus by this complex in the United States and there is no doubt that it has lost nothing in its interpretation of the philosophy. Many millions of dollars profit are being made through the perpetuation of war and wherever it is occurring throughout the world the smutty finger of the industrialists and militarists of the United States can be found. They are pouring troops into other countries for the profits that can be gained, but they are doing it under the guise of stopping the thrust of Communism.
– Who is making the money in Russia? Why talk about America?
– The United States is not supplying the Russians with arms.
– But what about Russia? She is producing arms. Talk about the profit there.
– There is no profit there.
– No profit in Russia?
– What about China?
– I do not know how much you make out of the wheat when you sell that to China. I have spoken about the wheat before and the importance to our economy of China purchasing our wheat.
– Talk about arms - enemy arms.
– I wish to get back to the point that I was making. Wherever we look throughout the world we find this hoary old myth of Communism which has absolutely hypnotised people everywhere. It is likened to the great octopus, the tentacles of which will suck people into Communism. This great bogey has been built up, but why? Wherever it exists the power of the United States can be directed towards it. This helps the military and industrial economy of the United States to get rid of its surplus arms. It is a means of settling unemployment in the United States. Without the need for vast industrial armament industries, the like of which the world has never known, not only would there be the present rate of unemployment in the United States but also there would be an unemployment rate more than twice the existing rate. But because of the number engaged in these industries to supply countries, not only where the United States has military representation and a substantial number of troops but also other countries, their unemployment rate is reduced. They would have enormous problems if they were not able to export armaments. They have reached the stage now where they are putting up to the Australian Government that our inspection of mutton is insufficient. There has been some suggestion of lymphonitis or some other complaint with our mutton, but this is just another American hypocrisy prompted by the mutton lobby in the United States.
– We are getting a lot of bull here.
– It is a fact that they import our bulls because hamburgers in the United States are almost the staple diet of the average American. Because of the inflation in the United States the average American cannot afford to buy the choice cuts of beef. As an alternative the Americans buy all our old boners, our old drought stricken stock and our old bulls. This is a fact. American people have told me that the demand for Australian second and third grade beef is fantastic in the United States.
I want to get back to the subject which illustrates the hypocrisy of the propaganda machine. It comes back again to the question of how big is the lie. This is the Hitlerian philosophy: Tell them the big lie and repeat it and you will get people to believe it. This is why we have been sucked into this war in Vietnam. In the first place we were lied to about the agreements that had been made. The Vietnamese people were doublecrossed over the Geneva Convention. I do not think the United States ever wanted to see that agreement work so that there would be an election, within 2 years. At that time President Eisenhower of the United States said that if an election were to be held within 2 years 80% of Ho Chi Minh’s supporters would vote for unification and would vote for a government suitable to them. Then there have been other incidents along the way. and the propaganda machine has been directed at the Australian people through our own news media. There was the Gulf of Tonkin incident. When history is written this will prove to have been the greatest doublecross that was ever put over in the war of propaganda. In the Gulf of Tonkin incident people with sampans - and we have never seen or heard of any North Vietnamese war vessel which is bigger than a sampan-
– They fired on the American Navy.
– They fired on the American Navy to the extent not only that the Navy had to shoot the sampans out of the water, but also that the armed forces of the United States had to be committed to Vietnam. If we ever survive the present trend in world affairs, when the history of this war is written we will find that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was the focal point on which the United States was talked into being committed to the Vietnam war by the military and industrial complex advisers and also by the secret organisation, the Central Intelligence Agency, which is a supranational organisation, which combines the American military, spy and intelligence systems. There is not one honourable senator opposite who would not believe and would not understand what I am saying when I speak of the power of the CIA throughout the world. Wherever people assemble there is this subtle, insidious influence of the CIA. Bat, nevertheless, this is the nature of modern affairs and modern warfare.
Then we come to the next phase of the big lie and the big doublecross. We saw the withdrawal of President Johnson to Texas, the subsequent Presidential election and then the propaganda machine which said: ‘We will not widen this war. We will withdraw our troops.’ The United States has withdrawn its troops, but into Cambodia. What a doublecross that has turned out to be. They have withdrawn their troops into Cambodia instead of withdrawing them back to America, which was the promise made to the people of the United States. Throughout the length and breadth of the United States people are so frustrated and annoyed at having been told this great lie and given this great doublecross, that they are coming out into the streets to demonstrate. Students are demonstrating on their campuses. This is making the American Administration so bewildered that it is starting to panic. It is starting to turn gunfire on to the students in the universities. This is an indication of a nation divided within itself, a nation in panic. We are trying to show honourable senators opposite that they have been caught up in this.
– You have been caught up with the Corns.
– I take a point of order. 1 take exception to Senator Webster’s interjection. He said that Senator O’Byrne was caught up with the Corns’. That to me is wrong, and 1 should like it withdrawn.
– Order! lt is the long established practice in this Senate that the word ‘Corns’ cannot be used to apply to Opposition senators any more than Opposition senators can refer to Government senators as ‘Fascists”. Senator Webster, you will withdraw that remark.
– I withdraw it.
– This is an example of the old phoney practice of trying to smear anyone who is prepared to front up to the realities of life. We are living in a fools paradise if we do not face the facts to which I have referred tonight. History alone will prove whether what I have said is right or wrong, because the mass media are censored at their very source of information. There is a screening of information coming through to us, and one can see this by reading some of the American magazines. One will see articles in American magazines which will give part of the truth. On the other hand one will see unanimity amongst practically the whole of the Australian Press which gives people a one-sided, biased line which, in my view, is biased for the purpose of keeping the Australian people under a cloud and ill-informed.
Because of the fact that the Vietnam Moratorium Campaign has been given quite an airing tonight, I should like to refer back to the debate which took place recently, in which Senator Greenwood raised this matter.
– You are out of order if you refer to that debate, lt is a current debate.
– It is not a current debate. It took place on the motion for the adjournment of the Senate on 15th and 16th April. While I have the page of Hansard open in front of me, I should like to refer to what Senator McManus said on that occasion. This was when he was so confident, and hopeful that he would be able to preen himself in the Senate today and say: I told you so. I knew there would be violence.’ He said:
Let nobody be in any doubt. This is a definite call to violence and disorder. Of course, Monash University would not be behind it by any means.
How disappointed the old senator is. Would he not have loved to think that this would be right. He also said:
The demonstrators are to be grouped in 3 battalions of 20 to 40 students and will link arms and progress along the streets in a snake dance pattern which is modelled on the methods of Japanese student groups.
– Which is what they did.
– We have the honourable senator on record. We know his form now. Earlier in the debate we heard Senator Greenwood trying to paint the great picture. He said:
I say that (he Vietnam Moratorium Campaign is not being adopted for democratic purposes nor as part of democratic processes.It is an invitation to lawlessness; it is an invitation to mob rule. I believe that it is unnecessary.
He went on to quote a Press headline which referred to a ‘Bomb plan for South Australia’. He said:
Violent demonstrations were being planned and Molotov cocktails being made for the Vietnam moratorium’ campaign to be held in Adelaide on May 8, 9 and 10, the DLP’s State secretary (Mr
Senator Toohey interjected and said: Sensational nonsense’. It certainly was. Senator Greenwood continued:
Still referring to Mr Posa, this report states:
He said he had evidence that Molotov cocktails were being made.
They might not be used but there will be violence in Adelaide and it will be deliberately fostered’ he said.
I can say to the Senate that violence was deliberately fostered. It was attempted to be fostered everywhere by people who were also present here in Canberra, who displayed the Nazi swastika symbol and who distributed National Socialist Party literature.
– And the Army, too.
– And in Adelaide members of the Army were taken off the streets. In the demonstration outside the Senate we saw these National Socialists openly parading themselves, supporting the Government policy. I saw them with a Vietcong flag.I do not know where they got it from. One of the demonstrators took it over, exploded a cracker inside of it and carried it along burning. The point I am making is that if he had a Vietcong flag, why did not honourable senators opposite accuse him of being subversive? It is because anyone, I suggest, can obtain a Vietcong flag. Then there is another point about the word ‘Vietcong’. This word seems to be exclusively for Australians, because I saw a film recently which showed an American soldier who had captured a Vietcong, and the soldier had the Vietcong quivering in a corner while he was saying: You VC, you VC, you VC. He was not saying ‘Vietcong’. The poor devil had never heard an American speak before let alone know what a VC meant. He probably thought it meant the Victoria Cross.
– Or Vince Gair.
– Yes, or Vince Gair. He got the V.C. at Wee Waa. The point I make is that the flags which honourable members opposite said were so subversive were home made flags. Anybody could display them if they wanted to. This is the very point that honourable senators opposite forget. Why should not people go out in the streets and demonstrate? The Ustashi have demonstrated. I am sorry Senator Mulvihill is not here to tell us about the little dissident groups who wave their flags any time they want to. I remember having a rather heated discussion with the late, respected and esteemed Senator Sir Shane Paltridge about a Gestapo group leading the Returned Services League march on Anzac Day in Western Australia. I objected strongly.
– The honourable senator should be careful about this.
- Senator Sim was there. He was leading them.
– I was not there. You have the wrong fellow.
– I withdraw and apologise. I believe the whole debate will be a continuing one because the future of this nation is involved. The war is one of the thresholds and one of the watersheds of history. In my view, it will be the last of the brush fire wars. China has the thermonuclear bomb and guided missiles. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Great Britain, the United States of America and France have a proliferation of thermonuclear weapons. They are coming to a flashpoint and the final war could quite easily come out of this. I believe that the Moratorium, or whatever honourable senators opposite like to call it, showed that now is a time for peace, a time for withdrawal, a time for contemplation and a time to reconsider where man is headed. If man is heading towards the final war, it will bring about not only his own destruction but the destruction of the fabric of the earth’s surface, which is within man’s control at present. I believe that time is shorter than we think. We will be making this decision sooner than we think. We should not go on willy-nilly widening the war or thinking of entering a new country to go through the whole process of murdering and burning innocent people because one fellow has a particular ideology and we have to get rid of it. This is the method on which the Government works. Wherever an opposing ideology raises its head, the Government has to break the head even if it kills 9 innocent people9 civilians to get the one. The 9 are expendable. That is the attitude that we, as a Christian nation, are supporting in South East Asia. Whatever the enemy does and whatever the Nuremberg trials found in their final analyses the responsibility for the actions of a government fall back not only on the individual who has to make the decision but also on the men who directed such action. In the past judgment has been passed on those who directed such operations.
If the war continues in the way in which it is going, it is my firm belief that the hopes of the world that, through the United Nations, some measure of compromise to stop this mad rush towards oblivion can be reached will be dashed. I believe that the more the war is expanded and the more examples we give of entering new countries, whatever the excuse may be, the closer comes that day of retribution for all of us. I hope that debates such as this will make Government senators and people outside the Parliament realise that all is not as bright as it looks. The Government is following a line of brute force because it has control temporarily of the military machine. It has tried all the subterfuges through its 20 years of government. It has used every ploy or trick to retain power. It has used fear always fear and the big lie. If such actions have been successful, the Government can crow about the result. The Government has followed a policy which, in my view, is a disastrous one for the future not only of Australia and South East Asia but of the rest of the world. Prior to our involvement in Vietnam and in the South East Asian conflict we held a position of esteem in the eyes of small countries and we helped them get around the table to thrash our their problems. Instead of having that position we have been reduced now to being one of the participants in one of the worst and one of the ugliest wars recorded in modern history. I believe that the sooner the Government answers this world-wide move, this great upsurge of dissent and protest that is increasing throughout the world, and realises before it is too late that it has been following the wrong path a destructive one from a psychological point of view the better it will be for mankind.
– I wish to take part in this debate, and I ask for leave to make my remarks at a later stage.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
– by leave - In making this statement, I should explain that where the wordI is used, it means the Minister for Defence (Mr Malcolm Fraser). The statement is as follows:
My purpose tonight is to report on the results of the recent mission which I led to the United States of America to discuss with Secretary Laird and his Deputy Secretary Packard and other Defence officials, problems concerning F111 aircraft and the need for Australia to get into its inventory a strike bomber. Honourable members will recall that subsequent to discussions I had with Dr J. L. McLucas, the Under Secretary of the United States Department of the Air Force, in December last year and taking account of further unanimous advice provided to mc by the members of the July 1969 Bland Mission to the United States; the Government decided and 1 announced on 5th December that we were sufficiently satisfied that we had protection in regard to the wing carry through box problem and that we would be reactivating our 24 FI 1 1C aircraft with a view to bringing them to Australia at an early date.
As honourable members know, the crash of an FI IIA aircraft on 22nd December revealed a whole new problem area based on the behaviour under stress of D6ac steel which is used extensively and critically in the aircraft. This additional and major problem, made it necessary in our judgement, to reconsider our whole approach to the project and to look for the renegotiation of certain fundamental aspects of our agreements with the United States concerning our purchase of 24 FI 1 1 C aircraft. As a result, 1 was directed by the Government to pursue these questions in direct negotiation with the United States Administration. My discussions were wide ranging and, in addition to Secretary Laird and his Deputy Secretary Packard, 1 and members of my delegation negotiated with Department of Air Force Secretary Seamans, the United States Air Force Chief of Staff General Ryan, Lieutenant General Glasser and other officials. As a result of these discussions I was able to reach certain agreements with Secretary Laird, and I am tabling the Agreed Minute signed jointly by Secretary Laird and myself. This Agreed Minute as it will be tabled is incomplete only in respect of certain operational and technical criteria which are classified and cannot be disclosed.
In the course of my remarks tonight 1 will seek to describe the problems surrounding the FI II programme, the nature of the decisions the Government has so far made, and their consequences for Australia. J will also seek to describe the role that we believe a strike bomber needs to be able to fill. I will mention the importance that we attach to that role and the importance, in consequence, that we attach to the development of an adequate strike capability for the Royal Australian Air Force.
Implications of the Memorandum of Understanding and Technical Arrangement
I want to begin by referring to the original Memorandum of Understanding signed in October 1963 and the associated Technical Arrangement signed in June 1964. These 2 documents are amongst those which were tabled in this Parliament in September, 1968. Honourable members who studied these documents closely will be aware that their broad intention was that the United States Air Force should specify to the contractor, and control the development of, an aircraft with a very high operational capability. At that time we were confident that the aircraft would satisfy Australia’s requirements because those requirements were fully encompassed by the capability then being pursued by the United States Air Force. Honourable members will also see that the practical effect of these documents was that, taken together, they gave the United States the overriding authority to modify or downgrade the aircraft’s specifications if for some reason it felt that it became necessary or unavoidable. It followed that, when the United States authorities did this, Australia was bound to accept any aircraft delivered in accordance with such downgraded specification, provided of course similar aircraft were accepted by the United States Air Force.
In other words these 2 documents gave Australia no assurance against degradation of performance. When the documents were first signed, the RAAF felt there was a negligible risk in saying that planes suitable for USAF would be acceptable to Australia. It had confidence in the ability of the United States - with its unsurpassed achievements in aeronautical science and technology - lo translate the design concept into an aircraft of uniquely high performance entirely suitable for Australia’s needs. No other aircraft embodies such highly developed and proven technological equipment to ensure the delivery of its weapons precisely on target day or night; and there is no other aircraft which can equal the Fill in its designed ability to carry a heavy weapon load over such a wide radius of action and penetrate the most sophisticated enemy defences under any weather conditions.
The manufacturer encountered a series of problems, of which honourable members are aware, and this experience has given the RAAF cause for concern that the performance may be so downgraded that the aircraft would not be able to perform strike missions with the load, range and penetration called for by our Chiefs of Staff. The design was a venture - as all great technological advances require - into new fields of aircraft design and novel material applications and new aspects of metallurgy.
As honourable members well know, problems were encountered which set the development back and there are today doubts as to the ultimate form that the technological solution will take and, most importantly for the RAAF, there are doubts about the timetable in which these solutions might be found and satisfactory aircraft actually delivered. Events have demonstrated that the difficulties encountered were greater than expected and led to a downgrading in performance. In addition, there was a further major financial implication in the original documents. Australia was given no financial protection in the event of the aircraft failing to reach the performance capability needed by Australia. The United States view has been that both governments went into the development of this new aircraft together and that we should each be responsible for our own investment. This would mean, of course, that if Australia for any reason was unable to take delivery of its FI 1 1 aircraft, we could lose our total investment. Our acceptance of this position would have confirmed our obligations to those documents and would have stated that the limit of the responsibilities of each party extended only to its own respective investment and to its agreed obligations. In short, if General Dynamics failed to produce an effective aircraft, we would lose our Australian expenditure without remedy beyond any which the United States could pursue on behalf of both of us with the company. This then was the Australian position and the extent of our rights as they existed prior to my visit to the United States.
These weaknesses would never have become an issue but for the technical problems and shortfalls in manufacturing performance that are plaguing the project. These problems are generally fairly well known to honourable members but I will mention them briefly. I should first remind honourable members that although the Australian aircraft designated F111C differs from the USAF FI IIA in having longer wings and a strengthened undercarriage, it is otherwise identical. By far the greater part of the whole Fill fleet is still grounded for safety reasons following the disastrous accident that occurred on 22nd December last year when a wing broke off a USAF F111A in flight during rocketry training. The only aircraft flying now are engaged on experimental work and they are flying to restricted stress manoeuvres.
There are 3 main problem areas. The first concerns the question of getting our aircraft to the full 100% flight envelope. Until the structural integrity programme of static and fatigue tests due for completion about mid-1971 demonstrates that the strength of the aircraft is adequate to sustain full flight manoeuvre loads with the required fatigue life expectancy, the flight envelope will be restricted so as not to exceed 80% of full performance. With this restriction, the performance is inadequate to meet our requirements. The second problem arises from continuing difficulties with the design and proving of the wing carry through box. Thirdly, there are the difficulties being experienced in the use of D6ac steel. The D6ac steel problem, which overshadows all others at this time, was brought to the fore as a result of the December crash. The D6ac steel is used in 15 critical components of the aircraft and in many others which are subject to less stress. Unless these problems are solved, the aircraft will be unacceptable to Australia as a result of the present shortfalls in performance and doubts about structural reliability. The aircraft is at the moment quite unacceptable to Australia and to the Royal Australian Air Force.
The United States Air Force experts proposed a limited recovery or rehabilitation programme for our aircraft, aimed at an early date for the aircraft to be flown to Australia. This required a decision by 1st May 1970, with commencement of the programme on the 1st July 1970. However, our own scientific and technical advisers are firmly of the opinion that the proof and non-destructive testing techniques proposed are not yet sufficiently advanced to enable recovery proposals to be accepted by us as a basis for a firm acceptance commitment. 1 have every confidence in their judgment and indeed, after the discussions which 1 and my mission conducted., it was determined that there were strong arguments for our FI 1 1 C’s remaining in the United States, not only until the problems of the D6ac steel are overcome., but until all static, fatigue and flight tests and modifications resulting therefrom have been completed. In summary then, there are major technical problems associated with the FI MC aircraft which are as yet unresolved, and for which there was little possibility of financial redress under the conditions established in the Memorandum of Understanding and the Technical Arrangement.
Before proceeding further, I want to remind the House about the role of this aircraft, and the philosophy lying behind ils purchase. There have been some who have said that as there is no obvious and immediate threat, an aircraft of this kind is no longer needed. I think this is a naive view. The whole purpose of defence preparedness is to establish circumstances in which you will noi have to go to war; to provide a capability which will do much to help achieve stability in your own region. You do not wait until you have a specific target before you equip your air force with a strike bomber capability. It is the Government’s view, and this is strongly supported by the Chiefs of Staff Committee, that an air strike and reconnaissance capability is an essential element of a balanced defence force for Australia. Firstly, counter air operations are a critical element of any aitdefence capability; they counter the threat at its source by attacks on air bases, aircraft on the ground, and support installations. This reduces the task of the defensive elements of the air defence system.
Secondly, a strike capability allows us to wrest the initiative in the air war from the enemy, and forces him to divert resources from offensive to defensive operations. Thirdly, the ability of modern strike aircraft to deliver significant weapon loads on deep penetration missions, wilh relative immunity from even the most sophisticated defences, gives them the offensive capability which is an essential requirement of effective deterrent forces. Any sustained attack against Australia or ils Territories would have to he supported over sea lines of communication and through ports and base areas. The possibility that ports and base areas could bc interdicted by a strike force would be a significant deterrent to any foreign power considering such an attack. In addition to their ability to attack enemy forces on land or at sea, strike aircraft can carry heavy weapon loads over short ranges. This makes them a valuable adjunct to the capability of the Royal Australian Air Force to carry out tactical air operations such as air interdiction in support of of the land battle. The last decade has demonstrated the rapidity with which threats can change. The lead time involved in acquisition of aircraft and in reestablishing the skills inherent in bomber operations is such that we cannot wait until the threat arises before we act to meet it. We have to anticipate it as far as we can. Furthermore the British withdrawal from South East Asia, and the United States reappraisal, give added weight to our need for a strike force which would also enable us to make a greater contribution to our regional security strategy should this be necessary.
The lead-time involved in re-introducing such a force, assuming suitable aircraft are available, is such that its provision cannot bc left until the threat arises. The last decade has demonstrated the rapidity with which threats can change, and it will be obvious that the withdrawal of the United Kingdom forces from South East Asia will do nothing to improve the stability and security in the region. It is also less likely that a United Kingdom bomber force would be stationed in Singapore in the future.
Against this background, my three main objectives were:
Firstly, to persuade the United States that there were minimum performance criteria below which the aircraft would not be acceptable to Australia; secondly, to have it accepted by the United States that in the event of the aircraft not reaching these performance criteria, Australia should not lose its full investment in the project; and thirdly, to open options for the Australian Government concerning our need to equip the RAAF with a strike bomber capability.
Speaking to the first objective, I sought to persuade the United States Administration that Australia needed for strategic reasons an aircraft with a strike capability which was related to our physical environment; that we had no alternative capacity as had the United States; that what was good enough for the United States Air Force could well be unacceptable to Australia because of our particular requirements. We needed the right combination of range and carrying and penetration capacity. I reminded the United States that when we originally ordered this aircraft, the British had a significant strike capability stationed in Singapore. It is a. capability that will no longer be committed to the region and I argued that this made it all the more important for this gap in Australia’s weapon systems to be adequately overcome. Persistent argument along these lines by the Mission during the visit to Washington has now, I am pleased to report, for the first time achieved agreement on the operational and technical assurances that will be required on delivery of the F111C aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force. If the aircraft do not reach these minimum operational and technical criteria, the aircraft will be unacceptable to Australia and the United States has accepted this.
The United States Defense Department now understands that to meet our strategic need, it is essential that we have an aircraft that meets a minimum range requirement with a specified weapons load and with performance and operational systems that ensure penetration to targets; an aircraft that has structural integrity and proven strength for all required manoeuvres and that before delivery will be brought up to date with all agreed changes to equipment. These assurances include the need for a solution to the current D6ac steel problem and replacement of the wing carry through box with a new design. These understandings have been incorporated in the newly achieved agreement with the United States to which I have already referred, and it is fundamental in our subsequent negotiations on the project It is an agreement that provides protection to our Air Force; it provides a guarantee that if we ultimately do get delivery of the F111C it will be an aircraft that fully meets our requirements. This agreement is thus a major advance, a protection and improvement on the original Memorandum of Understanding and its associated Technical Arrangement.
Let me now deal with our second objective regarding financial responsibility in the event that the F111C does not meet our agreed performance criteria. As I have already indicated, the United States position has been that Australia and the United States went into this project together as partners and that we must share the consequences, good or bad, of the project. I could not accept this proposition nor the proposition that the limit of the responsibility of each partner extended only to its own respective investment and to its agreed obligations. I reminded the United States Government of our acute dissatisfaction in Australia with the project, and said that Australia did not consider that our order of 24 aircraft created a joint project in any real sense; that, on the contrary, this was essentially a United States project in design, in management, supervision of standards of fabrications and construction and contractual arrangements. In addition, I put the view that the Memorandum of Understanding and Technical Arrangement have not been fulfilled as would have been reasonably expected by two allied governments with acknowledged common interests and engaged in mutual defence assistance. I said that the reduction in the US purchases from 1,500 to a little over 500 had had a significant impact on the total programme and on the price of the aircraft, and could produce in the event of the collapse of the project through failure to solve design and manufacturing problems, financial consequences of major importance requiring special consideration between the governments. The reduction in the programme had also a significant impact on the price and availability of F111C to meet attrition and reconnaissance purposes if Australia so required.
In the result, it was agreed with the US Administration that we could cancel our order within 3 months and receive a partial reimbursement, but this would be subject to the approval of Congress because special legislation would be required. More importantly, however, it was also agreed that should we not cancel at this stage and proceed, but the aircraft does not eventually achieve our now agreed performance criteria, the United States will be prepared to buy back the F111Cs subject to two conditions. These are that the Fill series aircraft are being used actively in the United States Air Force inventory, and that the approval of Congress is obtained. If we do not cancel now, and if it is later demonstrated that the F111C aircraft meets our operational and technical criteria, we should be obliged to accept them, and this of course we would be most willing to do. These agreements, which are included in the Agreed Minute, constitute an obligation by the United States Administration under certain circumstances to buy back the aircraft.
There was no agreement on the financial arrangements that would ensue if the total project failed and the Fill is of no use to either Government, and we agreed to differ on that point. My advisers, however, told me that they think it unlikely that the aircraft will not be actively used by the United States Air Force. Thus, two specific alternatives have been opened for the Australian Government: first, the United States has given us the absolute right to cancel the FI 1 1C aircraft within 3 months and second, we may cancel the F111C aircraft in the event that the agreed technical and performance criteria needed by the RAAF are not achieved.
If the Government takes either of these alternatives the buy-back figure would be between $US130m and $US150m. Now, honourable members may argue that this figure should be higher, but we need to have regard to the realities of the situation. We need to have regard to the fact that the Original Memorandum of Understanding and the associated Technical Arrangement, tabled in this House, did not give us a right to get a single dollar back if the aircraft did not meet our requirements. We have in the place of nothing, arranged a sum negotiable between $US130m and $US150m. This is a significant advance. I should say something about how this figure was reached. And this aspect is important in assessing US Department of Defence expectancy in getting a measure of this kind through the United States Congress. We were advised that if the United States had to buy these aircraft back, they would probably want to convert them to the new FI 1. 1 F model. They have taken the cost of buying back our aircraft and the cost of conversion to the ‘F’ model, and this works out at roughly the figure that they would have to pay in buying new F1 1 1F aircraft. This means that the total cost of conversion of our 24 F111Cs to American FI 1 1 Fs, would be about the same to the United States as if they bought the aircraft originally ordered as ‘F’ models.
I have so far mentioned to the House the circumstances in which the United States Administration would be prepared to buy back F111Cs. Before mentioning in detail the options available to the Australian Government concerning this and other aircraft in accordance with my third objective, I want to mention other factors. These concern finance, the recovery or rehabilitation programme and the achievement of 100% flight envelope for our aircraft.
In November of 1969 Cabinet approved a total of $US300m for the strike version of the 24 F111Cs. On all the information so far available to us, if we do ultimately get delivery of these aircraft the cost should be within that upper limit. Of this total, work involving $US252m has so far been formally authorised. We would, however, have some additional obligations beyond that. To the maximum extent possible, further authorisations will be withheld until we are in a position to make firm decisions whether or not the aircraft will meet our requirements. Thus, in the event of cancellation the full commitment could be somewhat less than the $US300m, but I am not able to give the House a precise calculation as to how much less than that total figure. It would be against this sum that we would receive a reimbursement of between $US130m and $US150m from the agreed buy-back arrangements.
Recovery Programme 1 want to indicate in greater detail some of the problems involved in the recovery programmes for this aircraft I have already mentioned that there are three basic problems. The first concerns the question of getting our aircraft to 100% of our now agreed flight envelope. The second concerns the wing carry through box - of which you have heard much on previous occasions - and the third concerns the D6ac steel. I want now to deal in more depth with the first and third of these problems. 100% Flight Envelope
I have already mentioned that the successful completion of static, fatigue and flight tests scheduled at this stage to be completed by the middle of 1971 will be crucial in demonstrating whether or not the aircraft will ever reach 100% flight envelope with the required fatigue life. In consequence, it will be about the end of 1971 before we will be able to establish some confidence that the aircraft will perform as we require. However, it could be significantly later than that, lt is our opinion that it will only be after our aircraft have been through the USAF Inspection and Repair as Necessary, or IRAN, programme in the United States that we can expect them to be capable of 100% flight envelope and ready for full operational use. We would need to be confident that the IRAN programme was going to achieve this objective before entering our aircraft. The process is one of disassembly, detailed inspection and testing, including non-destructive testing of structural members and then reconditioning and refurbishing. In particular this programme for the FU1C would need to include the installation of such new parts and modifications which the various test programmes have shown to be necessary to bring the aircraft to the required performance. The function of the IRAN programme is to ensure that the aircraft is in an airworthy condition in its operational role.
Let me now detail the problems concerning the D6ac sted. The present USAF plan for the recovery of its aircraft combines a low temperature proof loading test with non-destructive inspection or NDI. Of the aircraft concerned about 100 will have been through this process by September 1970. The first aircraft will enter the programme in May 1970 and the last should be returned to the USAF by August 1971. It is expected that USAF aircraft surviving this programme will be released for a restricted period flying in conditions up to 80% of the full flight envelope. It should be noted that there are marked differences in interpretation of the scientific data between the United States and Australian scientific advisers. In short, the differences concern the methods of inspection and of evaluation of the D6ac steel. To have any certainty concerning the structural integrity of this aircraft, it will be necessary to measure under field conditions cracks in the D6ac steel of the order of less than l/20th of an inch. Even cracks of less than i of an inch could lead to a catastrophic failure.
I would like to suggest that the House keep in mind the following points:
Having dealt with a number of important subsidiary factors, I now return to my third main objective, which was to establish the specific options open to the Australian Government. Cost figures shown in these options are broad brush only, and were obtained from the USAF in good faith as a basis for negotiating. They are adequate for comparative purposes, but will require further negotiation and refinement before they can be taken as absolute. However, they have provided an adequate basis for the Government to take certain broad decisions.
Cancel F111C Purchase within 3 Months and do not replace it with another Strike Aircraft
I would like to restate and emphasise that it is the Government’s view, strongly supported by the Chiefs of Staff Committee, that an air strike force is an essential element of a balanced defence force for Australia. Without a strike force, we could not carry out effective counter air operations against aircraft on the ground, air bases and supporting installations. Counter air operations are a critical element in any air defence capability. An air strike force has deterrent value. The United Kingdom deterrent force will have gone from South East Asia. The last decade demonstrated the rapidity with which threats can change. The lead-time involved in reintroducing an aircraft, assuming one is available, into actual operational readiness could be several years from the decision date.
If we chose to cancel now, we could expect, under the terms of the Agreed Minute, to be paid for our aircraft and spares something between $USI30m and $US150m. We would cut our risk of loss. But our 24 aircraft sold to the United States and representing a financial loss might later be proved capable of our full performance requirement and we would have no strike aircraft. The Government has decided against this course of action for two specific reasons. We need the strike bomber capability in the Australian Force structure. Without it our policies will lack credibility. Secondly, if the F111 is ultimately proved, the RAAF continue to say that it best meets Australian requirements.
Cancel F111C Purchase within 3 Months under Buy-Back and Replace it with Phantom F4E Aircraft plus Reconnaissance and Tanker Aircraft
The Government does not believe that the possibility of the FI 1 1 failing to achieve our flight envelope is so remote that we should adopt this course at this time. If such a decision was taken, we would be saying that the likely delay in getting the F111C, that is a minimum delay of about 3 years and possibly more, is unacceptable; that the chances of the F111 coming good are remote and that we must have a different strike aircraft. This course would enable us to get an effective strike bomber capability into the RAAF inventory in about a year. We would however again face the possibility, as in Option 1, that F111 aircraft might later be proved capable of flying to our full performance requirement, while we had acquired at a higher price an inferior aircraft to the F111C. Financially we could under this option, expect to get back between $US130m and $US150m. However, the total cost of a force of 40 F4Es, 8 RF4Es and 8 tankers, which the RAAF estimate to be a force broadly equivalent to the F111C force, would be to the order of $US414m. To this would have to be added the loss on the F111. It is clear that for this option we would have to pay substantially more than to stay on our present course, even though some part of the tanker cost could be attributed to the later need to replace Hercules transports.
Cancel F111C Purchase Within 3 Months under Buy-Back and Wait to Purchase the F-111F
The F111F is the latest of the family with delivery planned for 1972-73. A firm United States order has been placed for 58 and there is a probability of a further 40, but the additional order is subject to certain financial restrictions. The F111F design has significant improvements and modifications over the F111C and performance is assumed as likely to be better. It will be produced under better quality control. The F111F will probably have the new design wing carry through box installed at manufacture. The 2 major problems with the F111C remain as problems for the F111F and these are:
The total cost of this option including 6 reconnaissance conversions would be $404m which must be added to the loss on the FIll Cs. The Government does not regard this as a tenable course for two reasons:
Storage of F111Cs and Awaiting IRAN
We could put the FI I1Cs into long term storage and await the results of the investigations into the D6ac steel and the results of the static, fatigue and proof testing which alone will indicate whether our aircraft will reach 100% of our required flight envelope. The advantages of leaving our aircraft in the United States until after they had been through the FRAN programme are in the Government’s view overwhelming. In the first place we cannot’ for many engineering reasons connected with the use of the [>6ac steel accept the aircraft until the proof testing and the NDI testing have been completed. The earliest that there may be better understanding of these problems is in September this year, lt is likely to be later. More significant, however, is the fact that it is not until December 1971 at the earliest that we would be able to make a decision concerning the likely ability of our aircraft to reach 100% of our required performance. I have again indicated it could he much later.
If we made a decision to accept the aircraft before we knew that they would reach 100% of, the flight envelope, we would have sold the pass on a major advance achieved by the mission, namely acceptance by the United Stales of minimum performance for the Australian aircraft, giving us a right to cancel the aircraft under a buyback arrangement if it does not reach that performance. This right must be preserved. It can only be preserved if we refuse to accept the aircraft until we know that it will reach Australian strategic requirements. There is this other subsidiary factor: If we did make a decision to accept the aircraft later this year presuming that the
D6ac steel problems had been overcome we would still be taking the aircraft in the faith that they would reach their full performance envelope. We would get delivery of them in the latter part of 1971, but because they would not have been through the IRAN programme they would not be able to fly lo their full flight envelope. They would not be fully operational. It would be necessary, therefore, to begin returning them to the United States in late 1972 for the IRAN programme which includes the fitting of new parts and modifications to enable them to achieve fully operational status.
The Government believes it would be quite unsatisfactory and unacceptable to have new aircraft in Australia for such a short time and have to return them to the United Stales for a major modification programme; especially so, since for that short time the aircraft would not be fully operational. The approach of storing our FI MC and awaiting IRAN as outlined in this option has the potential of providing the cheapest solution to our problems. Also this approach has the potential of providing the Royal Australian Air Force with the opportunity lo acquire aircraft which it firmly believes will still be the best one for our particular role. ft is, however, a course that involves very considerable delay and, as a result of this, it is one that leads to other problems which the Government has had to examine. In talking of delay we need to have in mind that all the dates which have been mentioned concerning the possible time of decisions and concerning the IRAN programme and ultimate delivery are subject to slippage. But at the best it would look like getting FI 1 1C aircraft fully operational some time in 1974. And we at the same time need to have in mind the possibility that the aircraft may still fail. We would be unlikely to bc able to make that judgment before lute 1971.
The Government is clearly concerned about this delay, but if we are ultimately to take delivery of the F111C aircraft, in view of ali the facts, there is no alternative but to accept it. And thus it has made the decision to leave our aircraft in the United States until all the technical and scientific problems have been overcome and until we know that our aircraft will reach their full flight envelope. I reiterate that this decision has been made possible because of 2 of the advances achieved by the mission: Firstly, the agreed performance envelope which gives us the option of cancelling if the aircraft do not meet that envelope; and, secondly, because the buyback arrangements apply not only to present cancellation but to cancellation at a later date if our performance is not reached.
Storage and Awaiting IRAN and Acquiring an Interim Aircraft
Because of the delay, however, I felt it necessary to probe the United States on the possibility of leasing an interim aircraft. The United States has offered us up to 24 new F4E aircraft to fill the gap. While the Government is disposed to accept this offer, its decision will depend very largely on the time during which the Phantom F4E could be in operation in Australia and be effective as a strike force. On the basis of information given us by the United States Air Force we could take delivery of the F4E aircraft towards the latter part of this year and they would become operational between March and July 1971.
The Government has therefore asked the Royal Australian Air Force as a matter of urgency to send an expert evaluation team to the United States to examine the offer of an interim force of F4Es in greater detail, and I am pleased to report that the team, headed by the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, left on Sunday, 10th May. The RAAF evaluation team will concentrate on matters of substance associated with the interim force of 18 to 24 F4Es. Its task would include a careful examination and refinement by negotiation of all costs; the likely date of delivery arid the time when they will become operational; detailed arrangements for air crew and ground staff training including initial and continuation in-flight refuelling and the availability of spare parts and special equipment on loan from the USAF.
I mentioned the time scale in which we might be able to get an interim force into operation. I would like to draw the House’s attention to the other end of the time scale, when the Phantom force might be phased out and replaced by the F111C, and this will be a matter also for further investigation by the Royal Australian Air Force.
Providing the Fill programme goes well, we should be able to make a judgment by the end of next year at the earliest whether or not the aircraft will ultimately be suitable to us. Since we believe it is desirable that some USAF aircraft go through the IRAN programme before ours, we could envisage ours entering the IRAN programme in January 1973 at the earliest. We would get delivery of the last aircraft late in 1963 and they would become operational in 1 974. There would be a phase in period in which some Phantoms would be operating while the F111C force was building up. If this time scale prevailed Phantoms would be operating up to about July 1973, which would be for over 2 years at the minimum. Of course, if the F111C aircraft failed to meet our performance criteria, we would need to keep the Phantoms and convert them into the permanent force. The United States Air Force estimates that the cost of leasing 24 F4Es for 2 years would be a total of $US39m. This is the preliminary estimate provided lo us by the United States Air Force. It is one of the significant matters to be examined in detail by the RAAF evaluation team.
In summary, therefore, before making a firm and final decision on the suitability of the Phantom, we want the Royal Australian Air Force evaluation team to examine in greater detail and advise us on all the matters above which I have roughly outlined on the basis of United States Air Force advice to us. I will also be pursuing with the United States arrangements which might be necessary if more permanent tanker support is required. We would also need to be convinced that the Phantom force could be rapidly expanded to the full requirement of 48 aircraft if the FI 1 1Cs fail.
Phantom F4E as an Interim Aircraft
It should be noted that the Phantom F4E is the aircraft recommended by the Royal Australian Air Force as an interim force and it is also the aircraft recommended by the Royal Australian Air Force if the F111C ultimately fails to reach our performance criteria. However, the RAAF would much prefer the F111C if that aircraft is ultimately proved, because of its much greater range, its independence of tanker support and its ability to drop its weapon load accurately in daylight, in night, or in cloud. The Phantom can drop its weapon load with comparable accuracy if it can see the target, but its blind performance is markedly inferior to that of the F111. In addition, of course, its range is much less than that of the F111. And if we were restricted in the use of airfields in Australia tanker support would be essential. The aircraft, however, would be capable of deployment to and operation from airfields in Singapore and Malaysia and with the availability of those airfields, would have a most useful range.
While I make no great point of it, I should indicate that the United States has undertaken to provide tanker support for training purposes and in other circumstances if appropriate. The United States Department of Defense has also assured us that it will assist us in the acquisition of additional quantities of F4E aircraft and tankers should these be required. In short, much greater range without tanker support and a superior blind bombing capability, originally led the RAAF to select the F111 over the F4C. It should not be overlooked however that while there are many points in favour of the F111C compared to the F4E the latter aircraft is a proven machine and much valuable experience has been established in its favour.
I summarise the foregoing as follows: Firstly, my negotiations with the United States Secretary of Defense have produced a more satisfactory distribution of responsibility between Australia and the United States in this project: and they have given us assurances that we did not previously have. These assurances are as follows:
Secondly, it is now confirmed that the United States Government will be in a position to sell Australia attrition and reconnaissance F111C aircraft. However, it is to be noted that the ceiling price arrangement applying to the 24 F111C strike aircraft do not apply to extra aircraft if purchased later for attrition or reconnaissance purposes.
Thirdly, my inquiries have satisfied me that the United States Administration is mobilising impressive scientific and technical resources to the task of overcoming the difficult metallurgical and other problems which have emerged during the development of the F111 series.
Fourthly, the Government has decided, that while awaiting the results of these efforts, the most suitable course of action, having regard to the uncertainties remaining and the cost of alternatives to the F111C, is to store the F111C aircraft until completion of tests mentioned above and the IRAN programme.
Fifthly, the United States has offered to lease up to 24 Phantom F4E aircraft as an interim force. While the Government is disposed to accept this offer, its decision will depend largely on the time during which a Phantom force could be in operation in Australia.
Sixthly, the Government has asked the RAAF as a matter of urgency to send an expert evaluation team to the United States to examine all aspects of the interim force offer and the implications of converting and expanding it to make a permanent arrangement.
Seventhly, the Government will make a further statement on the question of the interim force after the RAAF reports and the United Slates offer have been fully elucidated. I move:
That the Senatetake note of the statement.
Debate Con motion by Senator Willesee) adjourned.
Debate resumed (vide page 1337).
– I have listened with interest to the debates on Vietnam that have recently taken place in the Senate and have been amazed at the amount of silly talk that they have contained. It has been surprising to me that affairs should be conducted in this Parliament in the way that this debate has proceeded on what is deemed to be a Supply Bill. I am just a simple minded person who thinks of things in simple terms. Some of the things that have been said in this chamber today and were said here last week just could not be comprehended by anybody with a sense of logic. At times I have wondered what honourable senators have been talking about. For instance, we have heard a lot of talk about the Vietnam Moratorium Campaign from people who say: ‘We want peace’.
We have heard it said that the American and Australian troops should get out of Vietnam. That is the sort of talk that has gone on in this debate. I say that it is time we got back to the basic points of this situation. Who is trying to kid whom? Americans are accused of being warlike Fascists by people who say that our troops are not in Vietnam by right. To the people who claim that they want peace I say that it is quite easy to get peace if both sides agree. The people who are so determined to have peace should go to those people who really can give them peace. They are the members of the Vietcong and the Communists of North Vietnam.
– What about the Australian Government?
– Let us get back to first principles. Who started this war? Did the Americans start it? Of course they did not. Did the Australians start it? Of course they did not. The fact is that the Vietcong troops are in a country which does not belong to them, and so are the Communists of North Vietnam.
– It is one country.
– Senator Cavanagh is trying to tell me that if we of north Queensland invaded South Australia we would not be invading South Australia. That is what he is trying to tell me.
– Youcannot divide a country.
– More than one country has been divided in recent times. I am a teetotaller, but when somebody tells me that we are the aggressors, and after listening to some other arguments that have been advanced here, I wonder whether I can really be sober. Those arguments put forward by honourable senators opposite carry no weight whatsoever. Those ideas are absolute stupidity and contain no logic or fact. In simple terms, American and Australian troops are in Vietnam not because they are the aggressors but because they have been called in to help to defend people who are being ill-treated in a state of war by people who are the aggressors.
– Who called them in?
– The Vietnamese people asked them to come.
– Asked whom?
– The American and Australian troops. They have desired all the help it is possible for them to get.
– Where is your documentary proof?
– If that fact is denied it would make one wonder what credence can be given to any argument the honourable senator has tendered in this debate. It is a fact, and we are there trying to help people to defend their own country. Is there anything wrong with that? Members of the Labor Party in years gone by held themselves out as great supporters of democracy. They said that they believed in democracy. Not only do I believe in democracy but I also practise it wherever possible. If honourable senators opposite believe in democracy they should practise it. The people of South Vietnam are asking for help to be safe from the invaders of their country.
– When did they ask?
– You have already been told.
– We have never been told.
– If you do not know, you should know that the Australian troops are there to help the Vietnamese people. Gory stories are told about the terrible Americans and terrible Australians. It is said that those Australians are a terrible lot who are there fighting for democracy and to keep people in their own country. But what do we hear from honourable senators opposite about the atrocities which the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese inflict on the people of South Vietnam? What about the atrocities that they have inflicted on the people of Cambodia? I challenge honourable senators opposite to deny that Cambodia is a country which has tried to remain neutral and at peace. But what has happened? The Communists of North Vietnam have marched down into that country and used it as a base from which to transport materials in order to fight the people of South Vietnam.
If any member of the Opposition tries to tell me that we are the aggressors I begin to wonder at the basis of the Opposition’s arguments. They have no logical base whatever. I challenge any honourable senator opposite to say whether this is not something of which democracy should be proud. We are there helping people to maintain themselves in their homeland. When we hear of the atrocities that are being inflicted on these people by the Communist element it makes one believe thai the Labor Party would want to stir itself to do something to defend these people. 1 cannot understand what has happened to the Labor Party. At one time it called itself a party of humanitarian character, a party that believed in true democracy. What has gone wrong with it? I think it has gone off the track because it has become carried away by these people and will not believe that they can do anything wrong, even when they butcher, slaughter and torture innocent people. It is time thai members of the Labor Party woke up. I believe that the people of Australia will not have them in government while they talk like this. If I were the public relations officer for the Liberal Party and Country Party, if I could not put this talk from the Labor Party to our advantage so that we would win an election I would eat my hat.
– But you are not leader. You are just a rejected backbencher.
– I am not a rejected backbencher. 1 have been here since 1949. I have sat in the Party room and I have said lo the present Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) that 1 am not interested in the Ministry. I have represented Queensland since 1949 and I have done what lots of people in this chamber have not been prepared to do; I have voted according to my conscience, even if it meant that I was to be thrown out of the Parliament, lt is to the credit of the Liberal Party that we have the freedom to express our conscience, and it is to the credit of the Labor Party that 1 have been re-endorsed time after time. Only about 3 months ago when it was last thought that 1 was being written off I was again endorsed for the forthcoming Senate election as No. 1 on the Queensland Senate ticket. No-one in this chamber is able to say that Senator Wood has not been game to express his opinion and to cany his opinion to a vote according to his conscience. The Senate knows full well that I say what I believe, and I want to say now that I believe that our people, in joining in and helping to defend the people of Vietnam, are doing a humanitarian job. They are opposing people who are far from humanitarian in their attitude to the people of that country.
I was pleased when the United States saw fit to stop fighting the battle with one arm behind its back, when it went into Cambodia to attack the Vietcong and North Vietnamese. I believe that was one of the best things that could have happened for democracy. The North Vietnamese have their supply lines in Cambodia and their forces are being fed through Cambodia in order to keep the battle going. Now thai the Americans have taken on the North Vietnamese in the Cambodian region we find a complete change in the fighting on this front. I hope that this action will go on until the North Vietnamese are routed completely. If the North Vietnamese are knocked back completely I feel that peace can come to that area. That must have been the desire of these people for a long time.
There has been a cry today about the tremendous crowds that turned up for the demonstrations last week. In Melbourne there were about 15,000 to 20.000 people in the streets, but many of them were children. We cannot count the bystanders at the side of the street as being part of the crowd of demonstrators. If i had been shopping in the streets of Melbourne I could not. be counted as one of the demonstrators We hear talk about the crowd that was present. Melbourne had the biggest crowd. But even a decent football match in Melbourne would attract many more people than that. It would not be of any great concern to us in north Queensland that a few thousand people turned out to see a football match in Victoria. When we boil it all down, throughout the whole country how many people turned out for this demons! ration when you take into account the number of children who were present and the number of people of the
Australian Labor Party who seized the opportunity to make a display for political purposes? When you find out the number of people who had feelings on this subject and who turned out for the demonstration you find that there were not many at all. 1 do not get carried away by the reports of the number at the demonstrations. Some pressmen will play up the figures. Some have suggested that as many as 100.000 people were present, but the actual number was much less. It must have been disappointing to honourable senators opposite because they wanted it to be a display that would carry them along on a political wave such as they have tried to achieve in the past. As one who has some political nouse and is able to tell how elections generally will go, let me say to honourable senators opposite that they are the best people in the world to keep themselves out of office. They have been very successful at keeping themselves out of office. Does the Senate remember the election when John Kennedy was shot? At that time the then Prime Minister was knocking at the knees about getting back into office, but what was the Labor Party doing? lt was knocking the North West Cape installation and our boys fighting for democracy in Malaysia. When Kennedy was shot by a Communist the Labor Party shot its bolt and had no possibility of getting in. I am not merely saying this after the event; I told members of the Labor Party and lots of other people that it would happen.
– If you were our leader we could not miss out. Come to our Party and we wm elevate you.
– I will say this: In that event you would not have an insincere leader; you would have a person who really believed in democracy. Consider the next election when the Labor Party had an opportunity of getting into office. What did it do? Its members shot their mouths off against conscription. I remind honourable senators opposite that I told their leader before he went out on this platform that if he did so he would be a gone coon.
– Well, he did not tell us.
– No, but I am saying now that I said to him: ‘You will be a gone coon.’ He said: ‘Oh, no! Mothers are against conscription.’ I said: ‘No. The great bulk of the people of Australia want the insurance policy that America will be by their side whenever they need assistance.’ What happened then? The Labor Party came back almost decimated, at a time when it had had a wonderful opportunity. In view of the loyalty of the people of this country, their belief in standing up for democracy and for the freedom of individuals in this and other countries, if the Labor Party comes out with this sort of thing again it will be decimated again and the opportunity that it might have had will be gone to the moon.
– What, about our opportunity at the last election?
– The Labor Party did well at the last election, not because of the Labor Party but because of silly business in our own Party. I am honest about it. What is happening?
– Tell us about it.
– I can tell the honourable senator about it. 1 am honest enough to say so. If honourable senators opposite continue to follow the line they are following tonight, they will commit hara-kiri.
– What is your Party doing? We might both do that and the DLP will be elected to office.
– Our Party has a sense of public relations and good political nouse. Honourable senators opposite are giving my Party a wonderful opportunity to come back with greatly increased numbers. We, as Australians, have people fighting in Vietnam in the name of this country. Never at any time does everybody agree with everything that a government does, and naturally in a war, or in a conflict such as that in Vietnam, there are always some people who say. ‘We do not agree with what the Government is doing.’ But there is this basic thought in most people’s minds: If you are in a thing from a national point of view, you are in it.’ The good sense and loyalty of the Australian people will make them say: ‘They are our boys over there. We have to remain loyal to them. We cannot shoot them in the back, because they are our people.’ The average Australian has strength of character and loyalty, and if he feels that any Party or any group will shoot our own boys in the back - whether by disloyal actions or the attitudes which have been expressed in recent times - he wilt ensure that that Party will be given the right answer at the next election. Honourable senators opposite speak about the Americans and say that they should not be in Vietnam. 1 saw some of the placards.
– ls that your source of information?
– This was at the demonstrations about which you are skiting, and where the number of demonstrators would not equal the crowd at a decent football match. Honourable senators opposite talk about the Americans and they say that they should not be up there in Vietnam and that they should be sent home. The placards 1 saw called them mercenaries, brutal people, butchers, murderers and so on. lt. is a marvellous thing to see to whom people will appeal when they need something. I recall that during the last war when the Labor Parly was in office and John Curtin was Prime Minister he made an appeal when this country was desperately in need of assistance. To whom did John Curtin appeal for help? lt was to the great United States.
– Would you equate Johnson or Nixon with Roosevelt?
– I challenge you to deny what I am saying.
– Whom are von challenging - Senator Cavanagh or me?
– 1 am challenging Senator Mulvihill. I challenge him or anyone else to deny what I am saying. John Curtin yelled to high heaven for assistance. He yelled to the United States to come to our aid.
– It was not a civil war like the one in Vietnam.
– lt is not a civil war.
– What are the issues there? They are prostitution and corrupt landlords. That is what they are fighting about.
– If Senator Mulvihill goes on splitting straws like that, we will have him in the legal profession. I remind him once again that it was not a Liberal
Prime Minister, but a Labor Prime Minister who called to the United States for help. If this country needed assistance again, if it were ever attacked by any country again, to whom do you think Australia would appeal? lt would be the United States. I am convinced that the average Australian believes in his own mind that the greatest insurance policy which any Australian government can give this country is by cooperating and working with the United Slates in the fight for freedom and liberty not only in this country but in other countries which need our assistance, lt staggers me to hear honourable senators opposite who are failing in what their Party has stood for over the years - the love of democracy and the belief that we should help the underdog and those people who need help - now talk as they have done tonight. Surely the people of South Vietnam deserve the help and assistance of all those who love and believe in democracy and the right and opportunity for everybody to live in the way he desires. 1 hope that this issue in Vietnam will continue until the Vietcong, the North Vietnamese and the Communists will be so crushed that the flower of liberty will blossom and grow much greater and much better than ever before in the South East Asian area. I am proud to be associated wilh a Government which stands up for these rights. I only hope that the leaders of this Government, instead of sitting back and taking a defensive attitude, will take more of the offensive in this political fight and show the Australian people that what is being done is the right thing for the preservation of liberty and democracy.
Senator WHEELDON (Western Australia) [9.46J - 1 think that members of the Australian Labor Party appreciate Senator Wood’s contribution. It was a sincere contribution. We know very well that Senator Wood would very much like (o sec the present Government defeated and the Australian Labor Party elected to office. He has been doing his very best to give us some advice as to how we should accomplish this end. He has found it necessary to include a little bit of the usual oratory which members of the Liberal Party are expected to engage in on these occasions, but 1 do not think that we should allow ourselves to lose sight of the basic objective of Senator Wood’s contribution tonight, and that is, to suggest to us how we should defeat the present Government.
He has suggested to us that if we were to oppose the war in Vietnam this would take the heat off us and we would be able to concentrate on the Government’s follies which he mentioned in passing, without referring to them specifically, and having done so we would be able to get rid of the Government and therefore satisfy him. I think that several years ago there may possibly have been some validity in this argument. There is no question that when troops were first sent to Vietnam, the
Old argument about ‘my country right or wrong’ carried some weight with the majority of the Australian people and that those who were opposed to the war were accused of sabotaging in some way the war effort, of stabbing our boys in the back, and we were losing some votes at that time. 1 do not believe that this is the case at the present time. I believe that, just as in the United States of America at this time, the majority of the Australian people are opposed lo Australia’s participation in the Vietnam war.
It is no use comparing the crowds at the Moratorium demonstrations with the crowds at a football match. They should be compared with crowds at any other political meeting. The Australian people have shown that they are opposed to Australia’s participation in the Vietnam war by the greatest series of political demonstrations which have been seen in this country for decades and which took place over the past few days in support of the cessation of Australia’s participation in the Vietnam war. If one felt that there were votes to be gained and offices to be won by supporting the war in Vietnam, and that even if one felt it was wrong that would be a reason for supporting it, I do not believe that the Labor Party came into existence merely to acquire jobs for people who were looking for them. The Labor Party came into existence in order to advocate policies, whether those policies are popular or unpopular. Policies which we once held to, which were unpopular and which were derided by our opponents have now been accepted even by the most reactionary members of the Liberal and Country Parties, not because they would accept these policies if they thought that they could get away wilh opposing them, but because they know that the great bulk of Austraiian people have come now to support those policies.
Apart from the advice that he gave us, Senator Wood said a couple of things about the nature of the war in Vietnam and Cambodia about which I should like to comment. One of them was that he hoped that American forces would remain inside Cambodia until the time when they had won a complete victory over the forces of the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam. I am afraid that his hopes are doomed to be dashed in this matter because even the President of the United States has said that the United States intends to withdraw its troops from Cambodia approximately 7 weeks from now at the latest. The United States has no intention of staying inside Cambodia for any long period - certainly not until such time as the Government and people of North Vietnam have been defeated.
The other argument which Senator Wood raised - an argument which we have heard frequently - was the argument concerning the insurance policy which we were supposed to be obtaining from the United States of America by sending forces into Vietnam; the old argument has been that if we were to do something for the United States now the United States would be so impressed by our 3 battalions of conscripts that whether or not its national interests appeared to demand it the United States would come to our rescue at some time in the future. When this argument was put forward first it was pointed out that it was palpable nonsense, that the United States would come to our assistance only if it believed that it was in its national interest to do so, and that it would not come to our interest in some future conflict if it did not believe this to be the case. The President of the United States, the United States Administration and every national leader in the United States have made it clear that, whatever the outcome of the present conflict in Indo-China may be, the United States does not intend to participate in future conflicts of this nature in Asia. The very cheap insurance policy whereby we hoped to obtain the support of all the armed forces of the United States of America by sending a couple of battalions of conscripts to Vietnam has been cancelled already by the insurer before anybody has made any demand for the payment of damages. The United States has made it perfectly clear that in no wars of this nature in future will it become involved in South East Asia.
I believe that what members of the Government parties have said about the Moratorium has reflected very ill on all the members of the Government parties. They have agitated constantly - some of them in particular, but I do not include all of them - in order to insult, deride and abuse the Australian Labor Party and other people, including the Jesuit priest who was the Chairman of the Moratorium rally in Perth, members of a large number of religious denominations and all kinds of non-political people who have had the courage to come forward and say that they are opposed to the Vietnam war. I was very disappointed when Senator Cotton indulged in such tactics. Normally in the past, he, unlike Senator Greenwood, has not engaged in such tactics. I would not include Senator Cotton in the same category as Senator Greenwood by a kind of guilt by association process except that Senator Cotton happens to belong to the same political party as does Senator Greenwood. Except for that, Senator Cotton bears no resemblance to Senator Greenwood. This afternoon Senator Cotton made reference to the carrying of Vietcong flags, the clear implication being that because certain persons taking part in the Moratorium demonstration carried Vietcong flags, therefore, the members of the Australian Labor Party who supported the Moratorium supported the Vietcong also. A number of people would support the Vietcong. I personally, I do not deny, do support the Vietcong because 1 believe that the Vietcong represents the great mass of the South Vietnamese people. I make no apology for this. I do say that a great number of people - a majority of the people who took part in the Moratorium - do not agree with me on this. They would rather see some other cessation of the hostilities in Vietnam. They merely asked for the withdrawal of Australian troops so that peace could be attained.
If anybody accuses me of being around when somebody was carrying a Vietcong flag, I will not apologise. I will not withdraw. I will not say that I was not there. I will not say that I would have left the
15360/70- S.- (551
march if I had seen the Vietcong flag being carried. I did see some people carrying Vietcong flags and 1 did not withdraw from the march. In saying that, however, I do not come here as an advocate of the Vietcong. My support for the Vietcong is a purely theoretical support. My attitude to the war in Vietnam is that whales er happens inside Vietnam is a matter for settlement by the Vietnamese people and that what is happening in Indo-China is no business of the Australian people, the Australian Army or the Australian Government. Young Australians should not be conscripted to be sent to Indo-China to be killed. My policy as far as Australia and Vietnam are concerned is that Australia should not be intervening in that country. If people, like Senator Greenwood, feel strongly about our involvement and want to fight there - people who have heard the call to arms and who believe that people ought to be getting fired at and killed in Vietnam - they should go there. If Senator Greenwood said that he had enlisted in some force to fight in Vietnam, 1 would say that clearly he had the courage of his convictions. Although I disagree with him, I could not object to his doing this. If Senator Greenwood wanted to fight there, as I think he does - 1 am sure he would like to fight there but apparently something is inhibiting him from going - I would not condemn him for doing this because he would at least be showing that he was prepared to make the same sacrifice as those persons whom he has voted to send there and get killed.
I want to raise another matter referred lo by Senator Wood. He mentioned what he described as the ‘invasion of Cambodia’ by the Vietcong. He condemned those members of the Australian Labor Party who are opposed to the American intervention in Cambodia. It is one thing to say: ‘I disagree with Labor senators who are opposed to the American intervention in Cambodia,’ but it was another thing when Senator Cotton said that not only did he disagree with us but that in fact we were subversives, we were traitors and we were dishonourable people - an allegation which we have never made against Senator Cotton but one which, by implication, he was clearly making against us.
– I did not use those words. You are using those words.
Sena-or WHEELDON- That was the clear implication of Senator Cotton’s statement this afternoon, f do not see what possible interpretation other than that could be put on the statement he made concerning the Vietcong flags. If it is to be said that because members of the Australian Labor Party are opposed to the American intervention in Cambodia we are treacherous and we are subversive, the Government will have to concede that a majority of the members of the United States Senate also are treacherous and subversive because the viewpoint of the Australian Labor Party - the viewpoint of honourable senators sitting in opposition in this chamber - on the American intervention in Cambodia is the same as the viewpoint of a majority of members of the United States Senate.
– The United Stales forces will be out by 1st July.
Sena:or WHEELDON- If Senator Young wishes to say that a majority of members of the United States Senate are traitors and subversives, he is entirely at liberty to do so but 1 do not think this statement would be taken seriously by the Australian people. This is not the main matter on which I rose to speak.
– The honourable senator has ducked away from it.
– I have not ducked away from it.
– Yes, you have.
– I find it very difficult to understand what Senator Young is saying at the best of times. I do not intend to pursue his interjections at present. I propose to say what I intend to say and that is that we have seen the Government trying to suppress free discussion by the branding of those people who come out peaceably to make their demonstrations, despite the provocations of people like Senator Greenwood who desires to build a career by the destruction of other men’s characters. I have heard no apology from Senator Greenwood regarding the matter of the alleged molotov cocktails being made in Adelaide, which allegation he accepted so readily. Honourable senators opposite have tried to discredit members of the Opposition by associating their names with people who carried Vietcong flags. Honourable senators opposite have accused us of subversion through guilt by association.
When Senator Cotton spoke this afternoon I interjected that if it can bc said that because a number of members of the Australian Labor Party were associated with the Moratorium and because certain persons in the Moratorium demonstrations carried Vietcong flags, ipso facto, the Australian Labor Party in the Federal Parliament supports the Vietcong, I do not sec how this statement cannot be made just as easily: As the Australian Nazi Party supports the Vietnam war and as the people who organised the violent assaults, in many instances, and attacks on Moratorium demonstrators were members of the Australian Nazi Party wearing swastikas or were members of the Ustashi who fought against the Allies - of which Australia was one and Ho Chi Minh’s Vietminh was another - during the Second World War and as they hold the same views as supporters of the Government, Senator Cotton and the rest of them are Nazis, Ustashi, or Fascists and are disloyal to Australia because they associate with people who fought against us in the Second World War. 1 do not intend to make that point about them. All I am saying is that the point could be made with equal logic as the point which says that because we are associated with certain people in opposing the Moratorium we are the same as those people.
However, my purpose in rising was to raise another matter. It is a matter which 1 raised this afternoon by way of a question. We are told - and Senator Wood repeated it tonight - that we are fighting in Vietnam and we are supporting the invasion of Cambodia by troops of the United States of America because we stand for freedom. If freedom means anything it means the free dissemination of ideas, freedom of assembly and freedom of movement. The question I asked this afternoon was on another episode in the series of refusals of visas to persons to enter Australia. The man to whom I am referring is Dr Mandel, an author and scholar from Belgium who is well known throughout the world. He has been refused permission to enter Australia. He was to be in Australia for a period of 5 days, during which he was to deliver some lectures at a Socialist scholars’ conference to be held in Sydney. Dr Mandel, who is a Belgian Marxist, is the author of a very serious study of Marxist thought entitled Marxist Economic Theory’. In 1967 he wrote ‘The Formation of Marxist Economic Thought’. In 1968 he wrote a book entitled ‘Europe Versus America’. Both books have been reviewed by serious critics throughout the world. I know that a number of the more hill-billy - I will withdraw that word and substitute the expression ‘less erudite’ - supporters of the Government Parties-
– That is better. We do not know what you mean now.
– 1 am sure Senator Little does not understand what I am saying. I have used the other expression particularly for Senator Little’s edification. I notice that Senator Webster is interjecting. I understand that he is now going to oppose the sale of wheat to China which is being organised by the Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr McEwen), who is the Leader of the Australian Country Party. Senator Webster told us this afternoon that anybody who does anything to assist China is a traitor to his country, and as the Leader of his Party is selling wheat to China, I have no doubt that Senator Webster includes him in that category. However, I do not wish to dwell on Senator Webster. I wish to talk about a more serious person at the moment, namely, Dr Mandel. As I was saying earlier, in case some of the less erudite members of the Government Parties and the fringe groups around them become alarmed by the use of the word ‘Marxist’ - and 1 am sure Senator Greenwood will have something to say about the use of this dreadful word - I think I should point out to them that 2 countries with which we have rather close diplomatic relations, West Germany and Austria, each have a President and each have a Chancellor at present who describe themselves and are proud to be described as Marxists. I think it should be pointed out that Herr Willy Brandt, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany is a Marxist, and Dr Bruno Kreisky, the Chancellor of Austria, is also a Marxist. I am sure that Senator Greenwood will do his own bit of smearing later on and I do not want-
– We do not play your game. You are the expert at this game.
– I am sorry. I thought that Senator Greenwood had been doing a little bit of smearing, but if Senator Young assures me that he has not I will accept his assurance. I had thought Senator Greenwood was the person who raised the question of molotov cocktails being manufactured in Adelaide. Apparently he did not. I will accept Senator Young’s correction. Dr Gustav Heinemann, the President of the Federal Republic of West Germany, is a Marxist and so is the President of Austria.
– He is what is known as a Social Democrat.
– He is a
Marxist, and the German Social Democratic Party and the Austrain Socialist Party are Marxist parties, as 1 should think Senator Sir Magnus Cormack would be only too well aware. They are Marxist Social Democratic parties. Dr Mandel has lectured and travelled extensively in Britain, France, India, Italy and Ceylon. In fact, he has travelled and lectured extensively all over the world. He visits Britain regularly. In March and April of this year he lectured at 12 universities in Britain. In 1968 he visited the United States of America where he lectured at 33 universities and colleges.
In 1969 he applied for a visa to re-enter the United States in order to give another series of lectures, but his visa was refused when objection was taken by the United States Justice Department. 1 know that Senator Greenwood will now think that if the United States has refused him a visa we should do the same. 1 think I should go on to say that the Justice Department was criticised by the State Department for the ban it applied. The State Department dissociated itself from the refusal by the Justice Department to issue a visa to him. It was condemned by a number of organisations and newspapers, including the New York ‘Times’. I know that probably Sir Reginald Sholl would think that it is owned by Jews and therefore it is responsible for this trouble. The Justice Department was condemned by the New York ‘Times’ as well as by Professor J. K. Galbraith, who, I remind those honourable senators who are aware and tell those honourable senators who were not aware previously, was the United States Ambassador to India under President Kennedy. In fact, in order to get around the ban, a debate was arranged between Professor Galbraith and Dr Mandel. They were not even on the same side. They were placed against each other. The debate was shown on an international hook-up.
Dr Mandel is a scholar. He was coming here to lecture on a scholarly subject to a group of scholars interested in the problems of Marxism, problems of Socialism and problems of the Labour movement. I do not want to try to apologise for him because there is nothing for which to apologise in regard to this man. I know that Senator Greenwood finds what 1 am saying funny. I am sure that he has never heard of Dr Mandel before, but if he looks in any reputable encyclopaedia he will find his name-
– I am interested in the way you are covering yourself.
– In which way am 1 covering myself?
– You have to retreat from every statement you make.
– I am not retreating from any statement whatsoever. If Senator Greenwood has the opportunity to speak later I would like him to point out where I have retreated. 1 assure him that I have not retreated from any statement. One thing which can be said about Senator Greenwood is that he has never retreated from Vietcong forces in Vietnam because he has never been there to see them. Dr Mandel was coming to Australia in order to engage in a discussion over a period of 5 days - to deliver lectures for 5 days - but he has been refused permission to enter this country. The only interpretation which can be put on this refusal is that Dr Mandel has been refused entry into this country because this Government is afraid of the free dissemination of ideas. The same sort of tactic was adopted by the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr Snedden) when he referred to the Moratorium demonstrators as pack raping bikies or whatever it was. The use of the same sort of tactic was adopted by Senator Greenwood with his stories about molotov cocktails being manufactured in Adelaide. The same unsubstantiated stories have been told with a completely careless disregard for whom they may hurt. Senator Greenwood is just as careless of the reputations of his fair, fellow Australians as he is of the lives of those Australians whom he votes to send to Vietnam. He will do anything to gain some publicity for himself. He will discredit his opponents in order to get that job which Senator Anderson now occupies and which he tried unsuccessfully to obtain today only to find that even the Australian Democratic Labor Party left the Senate in order to avoid the disagreeable duty of having to vote for something for which Senator Greenwood was responsible.
– Why do you say ‘even the Australian Democratic Labor Party’?
– I did not see members of the DLP here in the chamber. I am not ‘biting the hand’. 1 am sorry if I have offended the DLP by using the word ‘even’. 1 withdraw it. I will just say the DLP.
– lt does not sound so vicious and aggressive.
– All right, this is part of the same pattern with the Moratorium demonstrations and meetings, lt was hoped by the Government that the demonstrations would be disrupted and prevented. lt was hoped that this could be done by slandering the people taking part in the demonstrations, by intimidating them and by holding them out as people willing to subvert this country. But the fact is that hundreds of thousands of Australian people were not intimidated by persons like Senator Greenwood. They came out in their hundreds of thousands.
– How many?
– Hundreds of thousands.
– Your arithmetic, like your logic, is right off the mark.
– I repeat, they turned out in their hundreds of thousands, and identified themselves with the Moratorium movement despite all the slanders. This was a case purely of intimidation. But in regard to Dr Mandel, there is no need to engage in any intimidation. All that is needed is to refuse to issue a document to a person who travels backwards and forwards to and from the United Kingdom where he lectures. There can be no purpose in refusing a visa to Dr Mandel other than to inhibit free discussion in this country, to stop the discussion of ideas which do not agree with those of this Government. This is what is done by people who parade as supporters of democracy. They say that their purpose in sending conscripts to be killed in Vietnam is to save democracy, but their democracy consists of refusing to allow scholarly discussion, serious discussion relating to the Labor movement, to take place in Australia. This is what they understand by democracy: That we should be a society in which a man who is able to travel freely in Europe, whose books are available throughout the world, should be denied the opportunity to enter this country. This is the democracy that these people stand for. This is the kind of democracy which I and the Australian Labor Party repudiate.
– I rise to order in order to make a personal explanation.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Davidson) - Do you rise to a point of order or do you wish to make a personal explanation?
– I claim to have been misrepresented, not once, but many times. I wish to make a personal statement on an issue of misrepresentation.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - You will need leave to make a personal explanation.
– I am subject to your ruling, Mr Acting Deputy President, but do not the Standing Orders give me a right to speak if I claim to have been misrepresented?
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - I am advised that as you have not spoken in this debate you require leave to make a personal explanation.
– I ask for leave to speak.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Leave is granted.
– I said no.
– Without wishing to reflect-
– I ask for leave to move a motion to suspend the Standing Orders.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - ls leave granted?
– 1 now move:
That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Greenwood making a personal explanation.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - In the course of his speech Senator Wheeldon accused me of making a career by attacking other people’s characters. That is not true. 1 have never done so. I have never said anything to that effect. There is no evidence upon which Senator Wheeldon could make such an assertion. In the course of his address Senator Wheeldon said that 1 accepted evidence that molotov cocktails were being made in connection with the Moratorium Campaign. I have never said that. There is no truth in that statement. There is no credible evidence upon which any such assertion could be made. Senator Wheeldon, in the course of his address, said that I obtained satisfaction from sending people to Vietnam to be killed, or words to that effect. There is no basis upon which that statement can be made. It is untrue, and there is no credible evidence upon which that assertion could be made. In the course of his address Senator Wheeldon said that I was opposed to the free discussion of ideas. That is untrue. There is no credible evidence upon which any such assertion could be made. In the course of his address Senator Wheeldon said that I am careless of the lives of people I send to Vietnam and that I am careless of the reputation of people whom I smear. There is absolutely no truth in any one of those allegations. There is no credible evidence upon which those statements could be made. I assert that I have been misrepresented scandalously.
– I had no intention of rising to speak on this Bill until I listened to the debate this afternoon and this evening. I was pleased to see Senator Greenwood given the opportunity to make a personal explanation and I would like to compliment Senator Murphy for his democratic approach and at the same time condemn Senator Georges for his undemocratic approach in again denying freedom of speech. The reason I come into this debate is that Senator Cavanagh this afternoon implied that Senator Greenwood and others went out of their way to provoke and incite violence in the Moratorium demonstrations held on 8th, 9th and 10th May. This was a complete and utter distortion of fact. Concern was felt by many honourable senators on this side of the chamber as well as Senator Greenwood, and also by members of the Democratic Labor Party, that violence might erupt, and it was thought that the people of Australia should have this fact pointed out to them, lt was thought that particularly those participating in the demonstration should be told that they must exercise complete restraint to make sure that people and property would not be endangered or damaged in any way.
Senator Cavanagh also said that there were some returned soldiers who interjected and tried to provoke some of the marchers in the Moratorium demonstration in Adelaide. This was reported in the Press. But why did these young men, wearing the returned soldier’s ribbons of the Vietnam campaign, see fit to try to take away from some of the marchers Vietcong flags and other banners that indicated support for the Vietcong, the very enemy against whom these young men had been fighting? One young returned soldier said, according to the Press report: ‘lt is all very well for these people to march down the streets carrying these banners and flags, but I have been up there. I have fought against the supporters of this flag. 1 have seen comrades shot by those supporters. Then I return to my own country and see people marching and shouting and carrying these flags and banners. Am 1 expected to stand here peacefully and see these people go by? I have seen bullets coming from people carrying these same flags in the country in which 1 served my own country of Australia’. So 1 pose the question again: Why did these young men see fit to provoke some of these marchers in the Moratorium demonstration? Probably all young people and a great bulk of the elderly people of this country would know the name of Normie Rowe.
– The honourable senator would not know him. I would not expect the honourable senator to know him because this young man - is a good Australian. Normie Rowe is one of the top pop singers in Australia, a young lad with a terrific future. He was in England getting right to the top of the entertainment world when he came back to this country. Whilst he was back here he was called up for service in the Army. His name came up in the ballot. I feel privileged and particularly proud to know Normie Rowe because 1 think he is one of the finest young Australians I will ever have the opportunity and privilege of knowing. This young man was willing to sacrifice his career in the entertainment world which is a very risky one. He was at the pinnacle or close to it and be went to serve in Vietnam. He has come home and he has nothing but praise for what his comrades have done in Vietnam and for the cause that the Australians, Americans and others are fighting for.
He said: T wish that some of these people who protest could go and see the good’ - I emphasise the word ‘good’ - ‘that my comrades and others have done, not just for the cause of democracy in keeping a foreign enemy out of this country but in helping the reconstruction and development and the opportunity for freedom and advancement for these people.1 Here is a young man who has been willing and prepared to sacrifice not only his career but, if necessary, his life and when he comes back he is prepared to stand up and say these things. Not only has this young man said these things to me but also he has seen fit to tell the world. He has said this on television. He can feel proud of his service and we can feel proud of him and others like him who not only are very proud to have served this country but also are convinced that what they did was right. They are proud to tell the people of Australia that the cause for which they fought was right.
But 1 want to go further. Much has been said about the Moratorium and the hundreds and hundreds of thousands who marched. I challenge the accuracy of that expression, which was used tonight by Senator Wheeldon. Senator Cavanagh referred to the great success in South Australia. Let us look at these figures factually and on an arithmetical basis. On Friday afternoon - they picked the time of 5 o’clock when they could do the utmost damage and inconvenience the most people - about 2,000 people marched. But it was announced on Friday night: ‘Let us not worry about this. Tomorrow is the big day. This is when the numbers will be out. We are going to have 20,000 marching.’ the next day they had 5,000. I had the good fortune to have the Saturday afternoon off and I went to a football match in a suburb at which there were 8,000 people. All that the Moratorium organisers could raise was 5,000 people. I do commend those who were in control of this march. 1 must say that in all fairness; I speak about Adelaide. There was some violence on the Friday.
– The troops got stuck into them.
– I have mentioned that. But on the Saturday it was a peaceful demonstration. Even though 1 did not agree with the march I must commend those who were in charge for the control they had over any outbursts of violence.
– Were you disappointed?
– That is the one sort of remark that 1 am not prepared to accept. Neither .1, nor any of my colleagues nor any fair, decent Australian would wish for any violence whatsover in any campaign of this kind. In regard to numbers we have heard from Sentaor Wheeldon a lot about these hundreds of thousands of people. I would like to refer to the meeting that was held in Canberra the other day. My estimate was that there were 300 to 400 people there. 1 also asked members of the Press and others how many they thought were there and many said that there could have been 300 or 400. Some sections of the Press came out with a figure of 1,500 to 2,000 which is something like 5 to 5i times more than were there. So one of these days I am expecting to pick up a newspaper and see that Australia’s population stands not at around 12£ million but at about 62 million people. This would be the same distortion of facts.
I believe the police estimates which differed slightly from the numbers given by the organisers of the Moratorium. Accepting the numbers that t the police have given in various areas all I want to say is this:
When these numbers are tallied up and related to the population of - Australia it will be found that this Moratorium was a very, very minimal thing as far as numbers were concerned and would have been on a numerical basis a great disappointment to Dr Cairns and the other organisers. 1 make no bones about this because they did not get the numbers they expected. The tragedy of the Moratorium is that a great number of those who marched in many ways would have been innocent of the reasons why there was a Moratorium and a march. There were many people who were and are opposed to war. All of us are opposed to war. There were many school children. I asked school children who were wearing Moratorium badges why they were doing this and they said: ‘Because 1 am opposed to war’. They could not go past this, and this is one of the tragedies. The Moratorium gained a lot of support from people who were innocent of many of the tragic facts of the Moratorium itself. Statements were made by the Communist leaders during the French occupation of Indo-China. Ho Chi Minh himself said: ‘We will not have to win this war with a frontal military attack. We can play this along with guerilla warfare and other methods. We keep just pinpricking here and there all over the place and by subversive means we can win this war in Paris.’ The same thing has been said about the Vietnam war: ‘Let us not worry about frontal attacks. By subversive means we can win this war in Washington.’
Now, what is this Moratorium doing in reality other than assisting the Communist cause of subverting the cause of freedom and democracy and the development of self-government in South Vietnam? This is the great tragedy that is taking place at the present time. We have heard so much from the Opposition and from some of the leaders and organisers of the Moratorium about the atrocities of the Vietnam war, the atrocities that are being committed by the Americans and by our troops. Have we once heard any comment about the atrocities committed by the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese? Have we heard anything about the atrocities committed during the Tet offensive? Have we heard any comment about the atrocities committed during the invasion of Laos by the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong? Have we heard any comment about the Vietcong trying to take over Cambodia? No, not a word. But the moment the Americans go into Cambodia there is a great outcry from the Opposition and screams of ‘invasion’, tragedy’, ‘atrocities’. What has been going on in Cambodia for a long time? How many deaths in South Vietnam were being caused by the foothold that the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese had in Cambodia itself? How much longer would the war go on in Vietnam if the Vietcong were allowed to continue their invasion and domination of Cambodia?
– Why did the Australian Government recognise that nation?
– I know the honourable senator’s sympathies so there is no need for him to express them now. We are very aware of them.
– Why did your Government represent Cambodia in Vietnam?
– Now, let us go further back.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bull) - Order! In conformity with the sessional order relating to the adjournment of the Senate, I formally put the question:
That the Senate do now adjourn.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 10.30 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 12 May 1970, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1970/19700512_senate_27_s44/>.