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Monday, 25 February 1985
Page: 166

Senator McINTOSH(10.18) —I will try to confine my comments on the Australian Waters (Nuclear-powered Ships and Nuclear Weapons Prohibition) Bill to 10 minutes, unlike Senator Harradine who took up his full half-hour. However, before I turn to Senator Chipp's Bill I will make a couple of comments on Senator Collard's remarks. For some reason or other Senator Collard likened the situation we are debating to that of the Luddites. I fail to see the connection. Obviously, Senator Collard does not know much about the history of the Luddites. The Luddites, who went about destroying the spinning jenny in the 1780s, did so because they considered progress would be detrimental to the people.

If one cares to check the history of that time, one will see that hundreds of thousands of people died of malnutrition in Britain because of the spinning jenny. The lesson that Senator Collard seems to have learned is that we cannot stop progress. The lesson that I have learned is that not only can we not stop progress; we should also do something about a situation bringing about so much malnutrition and death in the country. Therefore there are ways of looking at the Luddites other than the simplistic way that Senator Collard looked at them.

He also used the expression that peace is like motherhood. When Pandora's box was opened and all the evil spirits came out and killed all the good spirits, they left one spirit called hope. It looks as though Senator Collard was trying to kill that hope. Surely peace is something that we have made great sacrifices for, at the cost of hundreds of thousands-indeed, millions-of lives. The thing that has eroded this precious peace is ignoring violations of human rights. Some honourable senators on the other side who spoke about human rights were most selective about the types of human rights in this world. I believe that when one uses the expression 'man's inhumanity to man', as Senator Collard did, one should use it in connection with the violation of human rights, because it is the violation of human rights that is the start of eroding that peace.

In regard to Senator Chipp's Bill, unfortunately I found it to be a rather cynical exercise designed to embarrass the Government in general and, in particular, those members of my Party who support the broad thrust of the legislation in principle. We do support the broad thrust in principle. However, the honourable senator knows that he will not have the numbers in the Senate, let alone the numbers in the House of Representatives, for the Bill to be passed. No member of this Parliament needs to have spelt out what are the realities and practicalities of the way in which Australian political parties operate; rather, what is needed is a rational and reasonable debate on the matter of our defence, disarmament and foreign policies. The type of exercise that is going on now will do nothing to further the cause that Senator Chipp claims to support.

Some members of my Party have openly and sincerely sent a message of solidarity to Mr Lange, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, supporting the stand he has taken in this matter in his country. He was able to take that stand only with the support of his Party and the people of New Zealand. I emphasise the fact that he could do it only with the support of his Party. I, for one, would not hesitate to send a similar message to any country which democratically came to the same conclusions as the Labour Party, Mr Lange, and the people of New Zealand came to. But Senator Chipp knows full well that members of the Australian Labor Party are bound to support party policy. That does not mean to say that we have abandoned the democratic right to try to have that policy changed. This is, of course, not the only matter on which members on this side of the House have differences. But we are a democratic party and we will sort it out within our Party.

Australian participation in the undeclared war in Vietnam is a good example of what can be done to change the minds of members of parliament. If it had not been for the work done outside this place by lobby groups and the public in general, our immoral participation in that conflict might not have ended as early as it did. I can remember only too well Senator Chipp's support for our presence in Vietnam. With all due credit, he has since changed his position on that matter, and I respect him for that. I respect him sincerely for changing his attitude on that over the last 16 years. Indeed, I was most interested in his contribution to the debate when he tried to give a picture image of the 50,000 nuclear bombs that are stacked in the world today. It is difficult for people to perceive the effect of 50,000 nuclear bombs, but 50,000 nuclear bombs or warheads would be almost equal to one million Hiroshimas. That is what we are looking at. There is a deterrence of one million Hiroshimas. I will say more on that subject in a moment. Does Senator Chipp honestly believe that he and his Party are the only ones with a conscience or the ability and wisdom to change their minds?

Senator Jack Evans —No, most Australians have the same conscience.

Senator McINTOSH —Yes, of course we have. This legislation does the honourable senator no credit. As I said before, I believe it is a cynical and naive exercise that does nothing to further the cause that not only Senator Chipp but also many of us on this side of the chamber believe in. It seems that we drifted from that subject to the subject of ANZUS. Certainly marvellous contributions were made in a debate which was not really designed for the purpose of passing this Bill. The subject of ANZUS came up on a number of occasions. But what are the origins of this alliance? It began, in general terms, with America's role in the Pacific in World War II. Australia apparently became part of a secret strategic intelligence agreement with the United States and others. It was a United Kingdom-United States of America agreement in 1947. But it was the Menzies Government which in 1950 pushed for an open North Atlantic Treaty Organisation type pact to keep the United States in the region. The Menzies Government pushed for the ANZUS alliance, particularly to guard against a re-emergent Japan at that time. The United States was more interested in--

Senator Jack Evans —Japan was not a nuclear nation.

Senator McINTOSH —I am talking about the ANZUS alliance. The United States was more interested in promoting an economically strong Japan.

Senator Jack Evans —But Japan was not a nuclear nation.

Senator McINTOSH —I will come to that in a moment. The honourable senator is against ANZUS. I am not saying that the subject of ANZUS includes the nuclear question and I am not saying that it does not. In the meantime I will talk about ANZUS. The United States was more interested in promoting an economically strong Japan to counter Asian communism. What Australia eventually obtained was a vaguely worded treaty in exchange for acceptance of a lenient peace treaty with Japan. The ANZUS Treaty was signed in 1951 and allegedly formalised the United States in a protector role for Australia and New Zealand. Whilst the treaty in 1985 is only one expression of the alliance, it is still invoked as the legal basis-putting aside any secret agreements that may exist-of our defence links with the United States. Volumes have been written about the limits of the 30-year-old treaty. But these shortcomings are not widely known. Certainly Senator Haines, Senator Chipp and Senator Jack Evans tried to point out some of the shortcomings of it. I believe that the limits of the ANZUS Treaty are best explained by quoting McGeorge Bundy, a former United States assistant to the President for national security, who stated:

. . . the American commitment anywhere is as deep as the continued conviction of Americans that their interests require it.

We all look at it in that way to a degree because the Australian Labor Party is quite well aware of the misconceptions of ANZUS. The Labor Party's constitution states:

Co-operate with the United States and New Zealand within the context of the Australia, New Zealand and the United States (ANZUS) Treaty. Recognise the need to ensure that its provisions do not derogate from Australia's right of national decision-making in foreign and defence policy matters or its duty to provide for its own security to the extent which its resources allow.

Having said that, I should honestly believe what Senator Harradine said, that we should have an intellectual look at the ANZUS Treaty. In the meantime, I intend to support my Party's decision on it. I also throw a challenge to the Democrats as they have thrown out to us, especially to members of the Left. I say to them that if they are genuinely sincere about peace and about the nuclear question, they will find that if they disband their Party and join the Labor Party as individuals they may be able to contribute towards changing the policy of the Australian Labor Party, because we were within an ace of doing something at the last national conference. However, I am standing by the decision made at the last national conference.

Senator Walters —Why should they-

Senator McINTOSH —The honourable senator should pipe down. I am standing by the amendment to the motion for the second reading that was moved by the Government today. The Democrats know, as I said, that they have Buckley's chance of getting enough numbers in the Senate in order to get legislation passed before the holocaust comes. They may have some chance in the Labor Party if they are capable enough. I believe that they all have the capacity to contribute to the policy of the Party. Then they may get somewhere. My advice to the Democrats is to disband their Party, join the Labor Party and work hard towards this policy. They may be able then to lend weight to members of the left wing, whom they have obviously tried to embarrass by putting forward this piece of legislation.

Debate interrupted.