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Thursday, 10 March 1966


Mr HASLUCK (Curtin) (Minister for External Affairs) . - by leave - Mr. Speaker, before we start debating what we are doing or what we ought to do in Australian foreign policy let us face plainly the fact that there are two things we cannot do. We cannot change Australia's geographical situation and we cannot cancel out the great forces that are bringing massive changes in the world today and particularly in the southern half of Asia. We in Australia are living on the edge of a great upheaval both in human relations and in the ideas which influence the conduct of mankind. We cannot withdraw from this region and we cannot do anything to prevent the upheaval.

The Australian foreign policy, developed in this setting, must protect and advance Australian interests. This does not mean isolation, which would be equally foolish for us whether we chose it as a policy or whether we drifted into it through lack of care. We have to ally ourselves with others if an Australian policy is to have any effect. We need allies for the sake of our own security. We need allies so that the principles which we regard as vital shall prevail. We choose the principles on which our conduct is to rest and, having chosen them, we stand with those powers who will help maintain them. We examine the dangers to our own security and stand with those who will help us face those dangers. Then we must learn to be a good ally ourselves - to be ready to help as well as be helped. We do not want simply to stand in the shade of any nation. As a small, independent and resolute people we have chosen whom and what we will support and whom and what we will resist. We rely on others and trust they can rely on us.

Our foreign policy is based on a proper concern for the security of our own nation, on a belief that certain principles of international conduct must be observed in order to have fair and honorable dealings between nations and peoples and in order that peace may be achieved in the world, and on a belief that certain conditions will be more conducive to peaceful relations between nations and to co-operation for mutual benefit than other conditions.

The danger to Australia's security is twofold. There is the danger of global war. If it occurs this will probably turn into a nuclear war in which the whole of mankind will suffer. That danger of global war is being averted by the diplomacy of power and, although not a great power ourselves, we have a part to play in the diplomacy of power. A more direct danger is presented to us by the active and belligerent fact of Asian Communist imperialism. This is being held in check by the resistance of the free countries of Asia, helped by nonAsian countries, including ourselves.

For the sake of our own security we will continue to support the United States and its allies in maintaining the restraints of power against the two other great aggregations of power, while hoping that throughout the world success in containment of power will be followed in all cases by attempts to develop the conditions for co-existence. We will continue to support, both in the forum of the United Nations and in all situations in which the organs of the United Nations have any capacity to act, the standards of international conduct set out in the Purposes and Principles of the Charter. We will continue to apply the same principles in all our other international dealings.

We will continue to support the resistance of free countries to external aggression aimed at the overthrow of their independence and we will join in cooperative measures for the common security of the region in which we live. Recognising that security is only the beginning and not the end, we will continue to work with others for the economic and social advancement of the peoples of the less-developed countries.







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