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Wednesday, 27 February 1952


Mr FALKINDER (Franklin) . - -Irreconciliable differences of opinion have been expressed in the course of this debate. I was particularly interested to hear the views that were expressed by honorable members who had the misfortune to have been prisoners of the Japanese in World War II. It is noteworthy that those honorable members suppressed the bitterness that they must still feel as a result of their experiences at the hands of the Japanese. The debate has produced two extraordinarily interesting speeches. I refer to those that were made by the honorable member for Angas (Mr. Downer) and the Minister for the Interior (Mr. Kent Hughes). My attitude to this treaty is clear and unequivocal. I say plainly that I am inclined to join those honorable members who are not warmly in favour of it, because T do not consider that its provisions are an adequate safeguard for our future. However, I realize that the present situation demands a realistic approach. A number of realities must be faced. I have misgivings about the treaty, because I believe it to be true to say that General Douglas MacArthur, despite his own views on the subject, has not succeeded in democratizing Japan. Japan may have the veneer of democracy, but I do not think that it lies any deeper than the surface. I have no doubt that in the event of war, Australia will be menaced by Japan if it is not our ally. The proper course is being followed in trying to bring Japan, as safely as we are able to do so, into our camp. Various objections that have been advanced against the treaty on the subject of trade are perfectly valid, but again, the realities of the situation must be faced. The trade threat from Japan must arise one day. We must face that fact, and that is all there is to it.

I now wish to correct a statement that was made by the honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Haylen), who said -

However, the Zaibatsu organization which controls Japanese industry has not been broken up. There is a parallel between this situation and the situation of the Farben chemical enterprises in Germany during the Ant world war. Those great chemical industrial plants were looked upon as legitimate targets by our servicemen, and yet by some strange happening, amid all the fire and thunder of the war, they remained serene and untouched.

From my own knowledge of the facts, I do not believe such a statement to be true.

Yet another reality must be faced. If we do not sign the peace treaty within a. reasonably short time, we shall be keeping the Japanese people, to all intents and purposes, in a state of semi-subjugation. A long extension of that period must inevitably produce a strong reaction among the Japanese against us, and re-fan the flames of any hatred that they mayretain against us as a people. T nave little more to acid to the remarks that have been made by previous speakers in this debate. The whole field has been thoroughly covered, and I wish to refrain from indulging in tedious repetition. However, I should like to place on record ray personal opinion about the peace treaty. Frankly, I do not like it. My instinct is strongly opposed to it. But I realize that we must face the realities of the situation. Nothing else matters in the present extremely tense international situation. For that reason, I shall support the ratification of the treaty, although I shall have some misgivings in doing so. We must watch the dangers in future, because they are real, and we must take every step that lies within our power to protect ourselves and other people against them.







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