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Friday, 30 October 1964


Senator MAHER (Queensland) . - I am grateful to the Commonwealth Government, and to my colleagues, for an opportunity to visit India, Pakistan and Ceylon earlier this year. I had a most interesting and informative tour of those countries. The Bill now before the Senate, which appropriates the sum of £670,413,000, includes provision for the Department of External Affairs, which sponsored our goodwill visit. I want to say that, in my judgment, the money provided by the Department was money very well spent. It is important that we do not outwear our welcome in these goodwill visits. The Australian Parliament should reciprocate the generous hospitality shown by the Asian Governments and Parliaments to our visiting Australian parliamentary members by inviting a number of their parliamentary members to visit Australia in return. This would be a splendid way of creating and cementing goodwill with our Asian neighbours. In my opinion the visits, to be a success, must be on a two-way basis.

I was hopeful of having an hour to speak on the Appropriation Bill so that I might give the Senate a full coverage of the impressions I gained on my recent tour. But the Bill has been brought forward for discussion when the proceedings are being broadcast and my time is limited to 30 minutes. Therefore, I am obliged to cut down my speech, but I shall deal with the Kashmir question, Indian nonalignment policy, and one or two matters of lesser importance if time permits'.

On arrival at Karachi, the commercial capital of Pakistan, we were met by Mr. McNicol, the High Commissioner for

Australia in Pakistan, and were taken to a new hotel, the Intercontinental. This is a grand tourist hotel and the only hotel on our tour which had women employed on the different floors. We laid a wreath on the grave of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, in honour of the founder of Pakistan. A magnificent tomb is in course of erection to honour his memory. Jinnah is really venerated by the Pakistani people. Above the grave a massive dome of concrete and brick rises up to 108 feet and will be faced with marble.

Karachi had a population of 300,000 at the time of partition but it stands now at 2i million people. From Karachi we travelled by air to Rawalpindi, the federal capital, approximately 1,000 miles distant. We found the inland dry heat in midsummer very trying and the temperature ran up around 110 degrees Fahrenheit during the whole period of our visit. Therefore, we were delighted to make the journey to Murree, one of the hill stations of the British days, in order to meet the President, Ayub Khan, at his palace situated between 7,000 feet to 8,000 feet above sea level where it was delightfully cool and pleasant. We had an interesting talk to President Ayub Khan who is a most impressive figure. He gave us the viewpoint of Pakistan on relations with India. He informed us that he had a very high regard for the Australian Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) whom he thought to be one of the big men of our time.

On arrival in Lahore by air from Rawalpindi, we were very graciously received by the Government of West Pakistan. Later we called on the Speaker of the provincial Assembly and were given seats of honour in the Assembly. As I moved about Lahore, I recalled that Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay and had worked as a journalist on the Lahore " Civil and Military Gazette " in the 1880's. His powerful verse and prose were widely read throughout the world and at almost every stratum of Indian life. His "Barrack Room Ballads", "Kim", and many other great writings on Anglo-Indian life must have derived their inspiration from his early experiences of military and civil life in Lahore. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907 at a time when British power throughout the world was nearing its peak. The British Empire about that time was vividly described by

Daniel Webster, of the United States of America, of dictionary fame, as -

A power, which has dotted over the surface of the whole globe, with her possessions and military posts, whose morning drumbeat, following the sun, and keeping company with the hours, circles the earth, with one continuous and unbroken strain, the martial airs of England.

Kipling expresses the same thought in other words -

We 'ave 'eard of the Widow at Windsor,

It's safest to let 'er alone,

For 'er sentries, we stand by the sea and the land,

Wherever the bugles are blown.

Take 'old of the wings o' the mornin'

And flop round the earth till you're dead,

But you won't get away from the tune that they play

To the bloomin' old rag over 'ead.

It was Kipling who wrote that powerful and beautiful invocation to the Divine Power, known to us all as the "Recesstional ". During my short stay in Lahore, I took time to pay a silent tribute to the memory of Kipling, a great soul who belonged to an age that has passed away. Lahore was one of the famous cities of India. It is now a city of Pakistan, but is situated very close to the border of India. Fears were expressed that trade would not flow so freely from the Indian side as in other days. The Government of Pakistan is currently engaged in the extension and improvement of the city. New residential colonies have been raised, and parks and gardens laid down. Three great Mogul Emperors, Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan, at different periods held their courts in Lahore and built many beautiful palaces, . mosques, gardens and other progressive works.

Perhaps the most troublesome barrier to good relations between India and Pakistan concerns Kashmir. Throughout history Kashmir has been an unhappy country, subject to constant invasion many dynastic changes with visitations of pestilence such as cholera and famine. Nevertheless, I think every member of the delegation would have enjoyed a visit to Kashmir, situated as it is in the uplands of the Himalayan massif and enjoying on the whole a very delightful climate. The Vale of Kashmir was described to me as very beautiful with many lakes and mountain streams. The area has manifold scenic attractions and tourist possibilities. The very name of Kashmir has a romantic ring. The Indian Love Lyrics written by Amy Woodforde Fenden had their setting in Kashmir. Who amongst us does not remember the Kashmiri Love Song - " Pale Hands I loved beside the Shalimar"? The name "Shalimar" means " abode of love " and derives from the ancient and sacred language of India, Sanskrit. The Shalima Gardens at Srinagar, capital of Kashmir, were laid down in 1618 A.D. and at Lahore in 1642 A.D. These beautiful gardens have been world famous for more than 300 years.

Now let us consider Kashmir from the more practical side, as nobody is able to live on love and beautiful surroundings. Kashmir has an area of 82,255 square miles which is roughly equal to the area of England, Scotland and Wales. The population is 4½ million not many considered against the combined populations of India and Pakistan which run to. the order of 550 million people. From what I could gather Kashmir is not a rich country. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. The country itself is almost entirely mountainous. The soil is not fertile and only about 5.6 per cent. of the total area is cultivated. Forests cover about one-eighth of the total area, which provides a limited revenue of about £1 million per annum. It does not seem to me that this Kashmiri territory is worth all the disputation, ill will and monetary expenditure which have been associated with it since partition.

Mr. S.K. Patel, of India, speaking at the Overseas Press Club in New York on July 31st last, said that India and Pakistan were spending the equivalent of about £150 million on armaments. Neither nation, he said, could afford to spend their money in that way. At present a large part of the Indian Army is tied down watching the Pakistan Army and vice versa. When we were in India there was some talk that Mr. Shastri's new Government was anxious to settle the question. I am sure that is so, but can agreement be reached on the terms? It was generally conceded in both India and Pakistan that there can be no real peace between their countries until some settlement is reached on Kashmir. The Indians say that historically Kashmir belongs to India. An instrument of accession was constitutionally drawn up, signed and delivered by the Hindu ruler - Hari Singh of Kashmir - to Lord Mountbatten who accepted it on behalf of the British Government as a legal and binding document. The Indian leader, Mr.

V.   K. Krishna Menon, is on record as saying that the accession of Kashmir to- India was full, final and complete. The Indians therefore, consider their title to Kashmir is sound and unchallengable. The Indians also believe that Kashmir lies . strategically in a position where it is needed for the defence of the whole sub-continent and that India, having the greatest interest, should not be weakened in its defence planning by the loss of this territory.

The Indians also say that there are 50 million Moslems in India and the Government of India has the ever present responsibility of protecting the Moslem minority against riotous attack by the Hindu majority. The Indian Government really feels that if Kashmir were delivered over to the Pakistanis it would lead to awful bloodshed within India and possible war with Pakistan. The Pakistanis say that in accepting the accession to India of Kashmir the British Government laid down the condition that a plebiscite should be undertaken when law and order had been restored to determine the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The Pakistanis, therefore, say that the vital condition of the Indian partition settlement has not been honoured. They say that the Kashmiri people have not been given any voice in the matter; that no plebiscite has been taken and- the Kashmiris are being denied the right of self-determination. The Pakistanis say that the United Nations has recommended that a plebiscite be taken; that the Pakistanis favour the plebiscite; that the Indians are committed to a plebiscite but are holding out.

The Kashmir trouble is currently before the Security Council of the United Nations again. Unofficially, some Indian leaders said to me that as Kashmir had a population which was 80 per cent. Moslem and Pakistan is a Moslem country, a plebiscite would be a foregone conclusion once Moslem religious feeling was stirred up. These Indians said further that in .these circumstances Kashmiri Moslems would vote to join Moslem Pakistan. Another point of view was expressed to me by an Indian gentleman. He said: "What is all this rumpus about the Kashmir question. There is no such question, and if there was one it is finished. Kashmir stands as a part of India." This was said with an air of great finality.

The President of Pakistan, Ayub Khan, informed' us that his country wants peace with all its neighbours and particularly so with its close neighbour, India. The Indians also want peace with Pakistan, but Kashmir is the constant irritant. It would be a cause for rejoicing if the distinguished leaders of both India and Pakistan could come to an understanding on the Kashmir question in a spirit of good will and mutual respect. On 13th October I heard in a broadcast that the Indian Prime Minister returning from the conference of non-aligned countries in Cairo called into Karachi for a talk with President Ayub Khan of Pakistan. I hope that some good results will ensue. Both India and Pakistan need assistance from western nations and this assistance should be made available to them whilst they are governed by moderate men of politics.

After having observed the poverty which exists in many parts of India and Pakistan, I would have thought that grain was a prime and urgent necessity, but it seems that India is receiving wheat under a generous United States aid scheme, limited only by the capacity of Indian ports to handle the quantities of wheat despatched by the United States authorities. No doubt there are also problems of storage and distribution.

The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. Adermann) has stated that consultations are proceeding with representatives of the Indian Government on the basis of help for India in other fields. The- provision of capital equipment for developmental purposes is one example. We should do all we can to help both India and Pakistan. India is the last large free country in Asia. If she is able to maintain her Parliamentary institution and if her plans to develop India were to succeed, her accomplishments in freedom could threaten the strength and existence of Communist China by the force of example. Red China is bent on stifling India sooner or later by force of arms or by swinging the Indian people over to Communism. In the atmosphere of distrust which surrounds both countries, many Indians are convinced that the Pakistanis have joined up with China, not out of any love for China, nor have they anything in common, but it is done on the sole basis of aggression against India. On the other hand, many highly placed Pakistanis believe that the Indians are getting massive aid from Western countries, not to fight China but to make war on the Pakistanis. This situation is tragic when one remembers that Hindus and Moslems lived together in terms of neighbourly good will, except for sporadic outbreaks of racial feeling under the British Raj. They all worked together for the India which sustains them all. Can this fraternal spirit ever be restored? If India and Pakistan are to develop they must be good neighbours. They must trade and thrive together.

In my view, partition has brought about a great weakness in the whole sub-continent through the disunity it has produced. A unified India of 600 million people would have been one of the world's great powers. lt would have been a match for both Russia and China and would have thereby helped to maintain a strong balance of power in the interests of peace and order in the world. Australia stands on terms of good will with both countries. Personally, I found much to admire in both the Indian and Pakistani leaders and people. It is distressing to see both countries in violent disagreement over the Kashmiri question, and the Australian parliamentary delegation most sincerely hopes that some acceptable solution will be found, with good will on both sides.

We left Lahore about 9.30 p.m. for Dacca and arrived in the capital of East Pakistan at about 2.30 a.m. in heavy mon.soonal rain. We were cordially received next day by the Governor of East Pakistan. After leaving Government House we proceeded about 10 miles to the Adamjee jute mills, which proved to be a veritable hive of industry. The mills coyer an area of about four square miles and employ about 30,000 hands. We were shown woolpacks and wheat sacks ready for despatch to Australia and to other parts of the world. The flight from Dacca across to Calcutta was perhaps the most pleasant of all our air trips over the sub-continent. The fields below were a rich emerald colour, cut through with rivers and lesser waterways. The Hoogly River flowed placidly by as we approached Calcutta. Calcutta was the historic capital of British India until the Great Durbar - the third - held in 1911 when King George V and Queen Mary were proclaimed Emperor and Empress of India in person on that great occasion. New Delhi was then named as the capital of India instead of Calcutta. Old Delhi is the ancient capital of Hindustan. It is nearly equidistant from Bombay and Calcutta. This city has played a most important part in the whole chequered history of India. New Delhi, in the opinion of people who are competent to judge, is one of the best designed cities in the world. The planning was done by a world famous artist and architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, during the British days. New Delhi has wide tree lined streets, parks and gardens, and wonderful buildings which are erected in a blend of English colonial, Hindu and Mughal styles. Old Delhi bears evidence of its turbulent past. There are monuments, mosques and minarets, temples and forts standing out against the skyline in this ancient city of India.

We had the very great pleasure of being received by the President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, a very kindly and distinguished gentleman who holds our Prime Minister in very high regard. We also called on the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Hukam Singh, who later entertained us to dinner in the Lok Sabha. The Speaker is a friend of Sir Alister McMullin, the President of the Senate. When our visit to India was first projected we all looked forward with great eagerness to meeting Mr. Nehru, the Prime Minister of India at the time. His death before we left Australia shocked us all. When we did finally arrive in New Delhi we all were most hopeful of meeting Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was the late Mr. Nehru's successor. Unfortunately, Mr. Shastri fell ill and had to cancel arrangements already made for his visit to London to attend the conference of Commonwealth Ministers. Later Sir James Plimsoll informed us that he had received information about Mr. Shastri's continuing illness and that, on doctor's orders, he was not well enough, to see us. This was a big disappointment to all the members of the delegation.

Mr. Shastri,the second Prime Minister of India since independence was achieved, is very short in build, being 5 feet tall. He must have plenty of quality, because the late Mr. Nehru thought very highly of him. Mr. J. K. Galbraith, a former United States Ambassador to India, said recently -

There is more iron in his soul than appears on the surface. He listens to every point of view; he makes up his mind firmly and his decisions stick. He is the kind of man who is trusted.

He has been dreadfully poor all his life and is supremely honest. After my return to Australia, I saw Mr. Shastri being interviewed by a competent Australian newsman on television. As a result, I would say that he possesses deep wells of inner power and strength and that he could well be the man of the hour to cope with India's vast and complex problems.

Within the next 10 years India will have a population of about SOO million people. Great industrial development is being undertaken in India at present, and this is bound to increase. It is not easy to break into a market like this, because India lacks a sufficiency of foreign exchange to pay for other than high priority requirements. The Indian Government is encouraging foreign investments, and both Indian and Australian traders are getting closer together on what are termed joint ventures. Those Australian businessmen who are able to make such agreements at this particular period will get in on the ground floor, so to speak, and thereafter will grow with increasing strength as the Indian economy expands and prospers.

The late Mr. Nehru espoused a policy of non-alignment, which was equivalent to neutralism, in the post-war period. No doubt he was influenced in his thought by Mr. Gandhi, who advocated non-violence in the struggle for independence. Mr. Nehru and other leaders in India were persuaded that, if a nation offered no provocation and looked after its own affairs, it could not possibly antagonise its neighbours. That pleasant thought was good in theory, but in practice it did not work. The Indian policy suited the aggressors of Red China, whose armies invaded northern India. The Chinese might have persisted but for the fact that world opinion was heavily ranged against them. Even the Communist Party of India turned against their Chinese comrades and condemned the invasion. The Indian Communists also had to deal with the mounting anger of the Indian people.

The Chinese attack forced India to embark on an expanded arms programme. Aid is being given to India by the United States. The Pakistanis say it is massive aid, and they are upset about it. Aid is being accorded to India also by the United King dom and Australia, but I think it is fair to say that India is meeting the main burden of defence costs. We were informed that India is to receive 120 million United States dollars for military aid. In September last, the Indian Defence Minister, Mr. Y. B. Chavan, told the Indian Parliament that the combined military aid of the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia would enable India to maintain a well equipped Army of 825,000 men under a five year defence plan which he had formulated. Mr. Chavan said that the Russian offer was worth about £75,500,000. The Russians will accept payment for the military aid in Indian currency in easy instalments spread over several years. The Russians will supply India with three squadrons of MIG21 jet fighters, one submarine, frigates, helicopters and tanks, the tanks being light enough for mountain warfare, and also air to air and ground to air missiles. India will continue her policy of non-alignment despite this aid, but in the nature of things she will be drawn closer to the countries which have befriended her.

Many Indians believe that the Chinese, attacks were designed to divert Indian expenditure from her programme of economic advancement and development to that of defence so that Communism would prosper amongst the Indian masses because of the misery and distress that would be caused by the failure of plans to increase food production substantially. If in the next few years the Chinese are able to dominate South-East Asia, backed up by a Communist Government in India, the Russians and the Pakistanis might well sleep uneasily on their beds. No nation can live alone in the world of today. We all need friends to help us against the predators and the neo-colonialists, who are to be found mostly amongst the Communist and fellow traveller countries, in these changing times.

In conclusion, I should like to pay a well deserved tribute to our tour leader, the Honorable J. D. Anthony, whose youthful bearing, cheerful nature and capacity to say and do the right thing on all occasions attracted a warm hearted response from our hosts in the three countries we visited. Australia is privileged to have three High Commissioners of the calibre of Sir James Plimsoll in India, Mr. McNicol in Pakistan and Mr. Ballard in Ceylon. We all appreciated the bonhomie and good fellowship of the protocol officers and other officials who, on behalf of their Governments, accompanied us on the tour. We all are indebted to the great courtesy and kindness which were accorded to us by the Governments of India, Pakistan and Ceylon. We express our thanks accordingly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a first time.







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