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Tuesday, 26 February 1985
Page: 191


Senator WALTERS(4.00) — Today we are debating Senator Chipp's private member's Bill which is described as 'An Act to prohibit the passage of nuclear-powered ships, and of vessels carrying nuclear weapons, through Australian waters or in the airspace over them'. That pretty well describes it. Only the extreme left wing of the Australian Labor Party agrees with the Australian Democrats on this issue. The Democrats and the left wing of the Labor Party are as one in this area.

First of all I would like to establish the areas of agreement on the concept of this Bill, which supposedly is to seek peace. There are many ways of seeking peace. This side of the chamber does not go along, as the Democrats do, with the idea of unilateral disarmament. Over the past 40 years we have had semi-peace as a result of the balance of power. Although there have been skirmishes nuclear weapons have not been used. I believe that if it had not been for this balance nuclear weapons would certainly have been used.

Senator Chipp commenced his speech by congratulating Senator Chaney and Senator Gareth Evans for what he called the 'thoughtful, high level of debate which they have brought to this crucial question'. He went on to say:

. . . I compliment them on the way in which they said it and the thoughtful way in which they put it. I hope that the rest of the debate . . . will maintain that high standard.

Senator Chipp then proceeded to abuse the Americans and an American senator in particular by calling him a twerp, a moron and an idiot. It was at that point that the debate deteriorated. I agree with Senator Chipp that the speeches of Senator Chaney and Senator Evans were very moderate.

Senator Chipp said that the Democrats have never said that they believe in unilateral disarmament. Of course he does but he will not admit it. That is what this Bill is all about. He suggests, along with the left wing of the Labor Party, that all American bases in the South Pacific be done away with, that ANZUS, a treaty upon which this country has relied for many years, be torn up. He did not suggest-there was not one word about this in his speech-that the Russian bases in Vietnam ought to be discarded. He did not mention it. Let us look at what he did say. He said that we should get rid of the bases and that we should get rid of ANZUS. He said that if the crunch came, no one believes that America would come to our aid. He is 100 per cent wrong. We on this side of the chamber believe that America would come to our aid. He said that the Liberals have been stood over by the Americans. He said that if America destroyed 5,000 of its missiles it would still be well ahead of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' capabilities. Where in the heck did he get that information? He did not try to substantiate it. He says these things just off the top of his head because they sound good in a speech.

Senator Chipp said that America was behaving like big brother, that Shultz and Weinberger were bully boys and that America was only interested in the American defence requirement and not in Australia's defence requirement. He did not say, of course, that America was the protector of the free world. He did not mention that. He did not mention the atrocities that have been committed by the USSR. He called America big brother and American officers bully boys. He did not mention that the USSR was responsible for the building of the Berlin Wall. He did not mention the take-over of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland. He did not mention the five-year war in Afghanistan and the terrible atrocities that the USSR has committed there. He did not mention the 269 people who were slaughtered when a Korean Air Lines jet was shot down by the USSR. He just said that America was big brother and that American officers were bully boys. He did not say that the USSR had test fired 24 missiles into the Pacific Ocean between 1978 and 1984. He did not kick up a fuss about the USSR firing 24 missiles during that period. He did not say a word about the SS18 missiles with a range of over 16,000 kilometres being fired in the vicinity of the Cook Islands. Why did he not bellow about that when it was happening? No, he only mentioned that America is big brother and that its officers are bully boys. Why are the left wing of the Labor Party and the Democrats bringing up this matter at this time? They are doing so in an attempt to undermine the USA in its present negotiations with the USSR.

Let us look at history because Senator Chipp seemed rather keen to talk about history. Senator Chipp talks about disarmament as though it is his own bright idea. Disarmament has been tried many times over the ages. The last time it was tried was before World War II when Great Britain, the United States of America, Japan, France and Italy signed the Washington Treaty. France and Italy dropped out soon after it was signed. However, Great Britain, the United States of America and Japan abided by it until 1936. Indeed, Australia, as a member of the Commonwealth, scuttled its only battleship to abide by the Treaty. Britain disarmed, as did America. Japan got out of the Treaty in 1936. By then,of course, Hitler had come to power and we were scrambling to try to overcome the stupidity of the intervening years. It has been proved time and time again that disarmament by one side does not work.

I believe that Senator Haines, when talking about history, uttered the worst comment of this debate when she said that America had sat by and watched hundreds of Australian soldiers die.


Senator Hamer —Hundreds of thousands, she said.


Senator WALTERS —She said America sat by and watched hundreds of thousands of Australians die until she deigned to enter the war. What an appalling thing for anyone to say; what ignorance of history. In fact, America was supplying us with all sorts of weapons and armaments. Britain desired and requested that it should stay that way. As I said, this was an absolutely appalling thing for anyone to say in this chamber.

Let us look at the MX debacle and Mr Hawke's about-face in this regard, because they are very important. Let us look at why he did it. We have to go back only a little way to see why he was not so keen on his original decision. The United States of America made a very modest request to test a dummy missile over the largest area of ocean, with no land mass, that it could possibly find. The missile was to be fired from California. It was to fall about 320 kilometres south-east of Tasmania. Even if it were to have overshot that position it would not have touched our State. All the United States wanted to do was find out the total distance the missile could travel and its accuracy.

At that stage Mr Hawke agreed to the test taking place. Then the left wing of the Labor Party came into the picture and a few comments were made. Senator Ryan entered the debate and said: 'I think the time has come when real contradictions are appearing between our fundamental role in relation to peace and disarmament and that of the American alliance'. Senator Ryan, the big Minister for Education, decided that she would keep in favour with her left wing constituents and sell her soul for the left wing vote. The Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce, Senator Button, said that he was unhappy about the original secret decision to help the United States with its missile testing and warned of the dangers of taking decisions without consulting Caucus. Mr Keating said that the fourth-graders had better be careful and keep their place in Caucus-they all had to keep quiet. Then the fourth-graders came in. Gerry Hand said: 'I think that our policy should be for a nuclear free area and we should scrap ANZUS'. Senator Crowley and other fourth-graders said: 'I think that the Party's policy is, let us say, a little fluid'. The left wing got at the Prime Minister.

Because the Prime Minister was willing, for political survival, to scrap all his principles, he changed his mind. He told the Americans: 'The test is out. We will not do what you ask. We will not refuel those planes to enable the monitoring of dummy tests. We will not do it for you'. Why did the Prime Minister give in so easily? I do not believe he was fully committed. We have only to go back a few years to an advertisement that appeared in the newspapers. I will read that advertisement because I believe it is terribly important that we know what the Prime Minister was really thinking at that time. The advertisement was published in 1976, which is not very long ago. Under the heading 'For an Independent and Non-Aligned Australia', it is stated:

We, the undersigned, consider that:

Military alliances are a source of international tensions.

They lead to subordination of weaker nations to bigger powers, and often involve the aligned nations in military interventions.

Foreign military bases on our soil are detrimental to Australia's safety.

They constitute a threat to other nations, make this continent a potential nuclear target, and could be used by the USA contrary to our wishes and safety.

Get a load of that! The advertisement continues:

USA-Australia alliance dragged us into the Vietnam War.

Australia's military arrangements with the USA, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia could involve us in military actions in South East Asia in support of unpopular regimes . . . in new Vietnams.

I stress the next line:

Therefore, we the undersigned, support the campaign for an independent and non-aligned Australia, which stands for:

Mutual respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all nations; equality of national rights; opposition to military alliances, foreign military bases and military interventions; and support for national and social liberation.

Who signed that?


Senator MacGibbon —Bob Hawke.


Senator WALTERS —The honourable senator guessed it-Bob Hawke. The Prime Minister of this country signed that advertisement. Not only the Prime Minister of the country signed it. He was in good company because it was also signed by people such as Pat Clancy, Laurie Carmichael, Joe Camilleri, George Crawford, Dr Cairns, Bill Hartley and John Halfpenny. They are all there. It was also signed by Senator Gietzelt, Senator Primmer, Senator Melzer, Robert Tickner and Bill Landeryou.


Senator Harradine —You are not suggesting that he is holding those views at this moment, surely.


Senator WALTERS —It was not very long ago that he signed this advertisement. I want to know why he gave in so quickly to the left wing of the Labor Party. Last year our brave media, which were very keen at that time on Bob Hawke, brought up this subject. They did not press it too much. In an interview on the television program Four Corners, Jim Downes said:

. . . he put his signature to this newspaper advertisement. The signatories were said to consider that the American alliance dragged us into the Vietnam War.

He said to Mr Hawke:

Having believed in non-alignment then, what's your view now?

Senator Harradine might be interested in this because he was asked this in March 1983. Jim Downes said:

Having believed in non-alignment then, what's your view now?

The Prime Minister replied:

I didn't believe in non-alignment then. If you read the document in question it doesn't follow that from the appending of my signature at that time that I was saying that my unequivocal position was one of non-alignment.

Let me read to honourable senators again exactly what that advertisement said:

Therefore, we the undersigned, support the campaign for an independent and non-aligned Australia--

In the Four Corners interview Mr Hawke said that he did not believe in it then and that if one were to read the document one would see that it did not say that he did. What utter rubbish! Let us look again at the things he said at the same time. The Prime Minister gave a speech on Australia's place in world affairs at the inaugural H. V. Evatt Memorial Lecture. He talked about the Fraser Government and detente. He said that the policy of detente attracted strident criticism from the hard line right wing political figures in the United States of America, notably Ronald Reagan. It comes as no surprise that in this controversy Australia's Prime Minister emerged as a strong supporter of Ronald Reagan's line. This is what he said about the President of the United States, with whom he is so friendly these days:

Detente is an essentially modern and civilised process which challenges nations to the cool subtleties of the negotiating table. It belongs to the latter half of the twentieth century. Mr Reagan, in contrast would have us relive on the international stage his wild west celluloid fantasies in which, cast as the hero, he triumphed after quick-draw six-gun shoot-outs.

That is wonderful stuff from our Prime Minister about the President of the United States! It really makes me wonder why the Prime Minister gave in so very quickly to the pressures of the members of the left wing of the Labor Party, who are now so closely aligned with the Democrats on this issue. Look at the result of the MX debacle. We now have a situation where America has cancelled naval manoeuvres and has cut off the flow of security information to New Zealand. Australia is in the difficult position of not knowing who she is meant to be talking with on security matters. We had the ludicrous situation of Mr Lange the other day saying: 'Please, Russia, don't applaud me so loudly'. He was in the embarrassing situation of telling the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics not to keep saying how much it appreciated his action. Of course it appreciated his action, just as it appreciated the actions of Bob Hawke and the Labor Party. The Soviet Union will be sending a congratulatory note to Senator Chipp, too, because it will be laughing all the way to the Pacific.

As I have said, Senator Chipp and Senator Haines have indulged in America bashing the like of which I have never heard before. Senator Haines talked about the United States sitting back and watching our lads dying, but she did not mention the Coral Sea battle. The Democrats are so anti-American it makes me weep. Senator Chipp asked how the Liberals would react if the USSR made demands on Australia similar to those the US is making. I can tell him. We would tell the USSR to go jump in the lake. There would be no way we would tolerate that. Then we see the subtlety of Senator Chipp's suggestion. He said the situation would be very similar, that we are prepared to kowtow to America's demands but we would not be prepared to kowtow to the USSR's demand-as if we could possibly compare those two countries. That is exactly what Senator Chipp is doing. He did not even compare them; he indulged in so much America bashing. I went through all the things he did, and at no time did he tell us of the USSR's atrocities.


Senator Chipp —Mr Deputy President, I raise a point of order. I am always reluctant to interrupt another senator's speech, but when Senator Walters deliberately and mischievously misquotes what I say, it is taken down by Australian Associated Press and it goes out on the wire that Don Chipp compared two things, which I did not. What I said in my speech--


The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Chipp, that is not a point of order. It is a debating point. You will be speaking later in this debate and you may, if you wish, then correct what was said.


Senator Chipp —Can you hear me out, Mr Deputy President? Senator Walters has alleged that I said something whereas in fact I said the opposite. She is basing her criticism on that.


The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! That is not a point of order, as I am sure you are aware. That is a debating point. If Senator Walters has misquoted you when you speak later in the debate you may correct anything she has said, but that is not a point of order.


Senator Chipp —I do not want to canvass your ruling, Mr Deputy President. I just want to ask whether you are saying-if you are I may well take action under the forms of the House-that it is in order for a senator to misquote absolutely what another senator has said in a debate and that the senator who is being misrepresented has no redress in the matter? Is that what you are saying?


The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —No, that is not the situation. If a senator misrepresents something you have said, there are forms of the chamber that allow you to speak a second time to correct the misrepresentation. You are not allowed to interrupt a senator while he or she is speaking. You have to follow the ordinary procedures of the House. It is not a point of order, but a correction of a misrepresentation. I will hear you after Senator Walters has finished speaking if you wish to correct the misrepresentation or, alternatively, you may correct it when you reply to the debate. You are not allowed to correct it while she is speaking.


Senator WALTERS —Thank you, Mr Deputy President. I know Senator Chipp is well aware of that as he has been here a long time, but he has succeeded in taking up three minutes of my time. In the four minutes I have remaining to me I would like people to look at the amendments moved by the Labor and Liberal parties. The Labor Party's amendment is just a deal with the Left. It is just a sop. There is no mention at all of the Labor Party being opposed to unilateral disarmament, as there is in our amendment. It is just a sop to the Labor Party left wing, to keep them all together. I believe the Labor Party really is underlining its lack of will by putting forward this amendment.

I get back to the basic differences in how we pursue peace, because that is what every party in this chamber is, I am sure, all about. We can achieve it either by unilateral disarmament, which Senator Chipp is advocating, or by mutual balance; that is, bilateral disarmament. Anyone who does not believe that the Soviet Union has a strategic plan for world domination or that Australia is ignored in any such plan, should read the new book We will Bury You by Jan Sejna. He is a former Chief-of-Staff for the Minister for Defence in Czechoslovakia and Assistant Secretary to the top secret Czechoslovakian Defence Council. He is considered to be the highest ranking communist ever to defect to the West. At one point he quotes Marshal Grechko, the then Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet land forces, and Boris Ponamarev, the head of the International Department of the Soviet Central Committee. I would like to read the following extract to honourable senators:

In Marshal Grechko's analysis of the major Warsaw Pact exercise . . . he said, 'Comrades, to forget Australia and treat it as a forgotten island would be a great strategic mistake.'

Ponamarev said:

'Comrades, I can understand your view of Australia as a country of little importance to your concerns; I must tell you that you are wrong in this and that you have an important part to play in our operations against this country. You must understand that if we wish to control Asia we must first control Australia.'

Mr Sejna continued:

These startling revelations about the true Soviet view of Australia were clearly confirmed to me when I saw them set out in specific and unambiguous terms in the outlines of the Strategic Plan.

According to the Plan, the neutralization of Australia and New Zealand will follow the neutralization of Western Europe. Like Europe, Australia will advance to Socialism and 'neutralism' step by step . . .

In this process the Strategic Plan aims to exploit the internal forces in Australia by infiltration and deception rather than by a major military threat from outside. Because of the small size of the Communist Party of Australia, the Plan called first for the exploitation of the extreme left of the Australian Labor Party, infiltration of the younger working class in the industrial areas, and, of greatest importance, subversion and control of the trade unions.