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Wednesday, 16 March 1977
Page: 259


Mr GRAHAM (North Sydney) - I rise to congratulate the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Peacock) on his very long and complete statement on foreign affairs and to express my support of the present-day policies of the Government. I feel that I must reply in this debate to some of the comments of the previous speaker, the honourable member for Oxley (Mr Hayden). He seemed to me, with his military comparisons, to be under the impression that there was some significance between the shipbuilding program within the Warsaw Pact and that of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. I thought that reference seemed to indicate that he did not understand that the Warsaw Pact is geared mainly for land military operations and that the NATO countries are the countries which need the shipbuilding capacity. They need the naval forces because they have the coastlines. The member countries of the Warsaw Pact have very little in the way of maritime power. They are, in fact, virtually satellites of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In August 1968, when the Dubcek Government in Prague appeared to be engaged in policies inconsistent with the policies of Moscow, the result was that Warsaw Pact forces, including those of the U.S.S.R., by invasion of Czechoslovakia, caused a change in personnel in the government in Prague and caused a change in the minds of those who felt that they might indulge in policies more consistent with democratic freedom.


Mr James - Was that before or after the Gary Powers spy plane incident?


Mr GRAHAM -The spy plane incident referred to by the honourable member for Hunter occurred in the time of Premier Khrushchev and President Eisenhower. I point out these facts because by informing the House that there is some significance in comparing these figures, the honourable member for Oxley misleads not only himself but also honourable members who are not familiar with the actual position. He talked about the problems of neutrality in the Indian Ocean and referred to the comments of the Minister for Defence (Mr Killen) about a possible threat. I think there is some advantage on some occasions at least in the House of Representatives in being absolutely frank. Many of the words that are used by political leaders constitute part of an international jargon. They have very little real meaning and very little relationship to what is actually going to occur. If honourable members consider the words, for example, of the Japanese emissaries in Washington in 1941 and contrast those words with the actual events of 7 December 1941, they will appreciate what I mean. If one looks at the words that have come out of Moscow and from the people behind the Iron Curtain right up to 1968, one would believe that these were peaceful, genuinely concerned and compassionate people. I frankly believe that anyone who saw the Russian tanks boring into Prague would really have felt that there was a little less compassion and a little less tolerance demonstrated than was consistent with the talk that emanated from behind the Iron Curtain.

Therefore, I think it is about time that we realised that in this day and age, when there are nuclear submarines that can move from one side of the earth to the other underneath the water without detection by satellites and taking into account the military capacity involved in weapons of this description, it is an exercise in jargon to talk about neutralised areas of peace. If it ever suits people to act in a way that is consistent with their own national interest and if, in fact, some neutral area stands in their way, we can rest assured that what will happen to that neutral area will be exactly what happened to Holland and Belgium in 1940. It is exactly what happened to Belgium in 1 9 1 4. 1 think that the people of Australia are better served by some pragmatic, frank statements which set out the situation for them, hopefully so that they will understand the problems of the future.

I support what was said by my colleague, the honourable member for Leichhardt (Mr Thomson), about Papua New Guinea. Those of us who have had an association with that country over a long period of time and those of us who fought in that country in the armed Services during the World War II have developed a genuine feeling of respect and affection for the people who live there. I take the view that we would all hope and pray that cohesion will in fact be the result of the Australian influence in that country. I hope that in Bougainville those who talk of secession will realise that it is in the best interests of all of the nations of the Pacific that cohesion is sustained. If the Port Moresby Government is able to keep itself in a happy relationship with New Britain, with Bougainville and with Papua I think that the best interests of that nation and also the best interests of the people living in this country will be served.

I congratulate the honourable member for Prospect (Dr Klugman) on making a rather low key speech which I regard as being extremely frank. It was straight forward and pragmatic. In my judgment, it recognised the facts. I was interested to hear his comments on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the People's Republic of China and his description of those nations. I agree with everything that he said. He said, however, that he thought it was of great international significance that the conflict between the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union should continue, the inference being, of course, that were there to be established between the Government of Peking and the Government of Moscow a rapport and an understanding the probability would be that there would be a greater threat in the world because those 2 governments would be so powerful- in truth, two super-powers combined- that the rest of the world would need to tremble. Let me say this to the honourable gentleman: Governments make wars, people do not. There is no animosity between the ordinary human beings that one would meet in the street in those 2 countries. Governments are the influences and the forces that make war. I doubt very much that there is any real basic animosity between the people who live in Western Europe and the Soviet Union and the people who live in the People's Republic of China in the south.

History teaches us, however, that the antipathy between those 2 peoples goes back to the days of Genghis Khan. It was in those days that influences were spread into Russia, and those influences have survived right through to the present time. The Mongol invaders stayed in Russia and subsequent generations were influenced by them. They grew up with remembrances that were passed on from father to son and so on throughout the years. So this great antipathy developed.

There are many thousands of men and great installations of weapons in the eastern area of the Soviet Union. They are there obviously because the Russians believe that there is a threat from the People's Republic of China. The stories we have heard about the efforts in Peking to create underground facilities which will protect the population of the capital city against nuclear attack lead me to believe that there is a very serious apprehension in that country. However, being pragmatic, I believe that if there is one influence which will prevent the outbreak of nuclear war on this earth it is the doubt as to whether or not anyone will win it. From my study of history I do not believe that people go to war unless they believe they are going to win. If Hitler had been able to look into some sort of mirror and see what happened to Berlin in 1945 his whole attitude in 1939 might have been substantially different. I believe also that the same remarks could be applied to the Hohenzollern royal family and to the Kaiser and his colleagues in 1914.

I found very interesting the references made by the honourable member for Prospect to Indonesia and the Philippines being subsidised by Libya. I know that Colonel Gadaffi enjoys throughout the world a reputation for eccentricity. I am well aware of the fact that certain people who were responsible for that monstrous murder of athletes at Munich have in fact found solace and protection with the people of Libya. It makes one wonder whether the new riches produced from the increased oil prices will be used in the future in the revelation of such things as the antipathy between the people in Europe and the people in Africa. If that is the case one can rest assured that, on a religious basis, the future will be as stormy as has been the past. I hope that from our point of view we in this nation will be able to meet people on a basis of understanding and so be able to control our education system and the development of this country that that sort of antipathy will not develop in Australia.

I suppose one cannot look at what is happening in Uganda without thinking of Ireland and what is happening in Belfast and places like that; one cannot look at the areas of the world to which the honourable member for Prospect referred without bearing in mind that governments do tend to take strict control of those who intend to interfere with the development of their policies and programs. From my point of view, I think that people living in Australia can be very grateful for the measure of freedom they enjoypersonal freedom, political freedom- and for the understanding, the moderation and the tolerance that have characterised politics in this country over the last 70 years.

I conclude by again congratulating the Minister for Foreign Affairs on his statement. I express the hope that he will be able to fulfil his objectives. I again caution him with the words that I have used to him before, namely, that he must remember that, in looking to the future, no one in 1929 could have predicted what was going to happen in 1939. I hope that he will not take to much notice of people who look into crystal balls, if he imagines that he can predict what the world situation will be in 1997- in 20 years time. I think Australia must move into the future with compassion, tolerance and understanding for its neighbours, always trying to be the good friend, taking an interest in their affairs and helping them, rather than being the school master and the nation trying to give instructions to them.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock)Order!The honourable member's time has expired.







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