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Wednesday, 27 February 1952

Mr CURTIN - That is true.

Mr BERNARD CORSER - Only two weeks ago complaints were published in the press because Japan had indicated its desire to become linked with Nationalist China. Japan selected Nationalist China as against Communist China.

Mr Curtin - Because the Americans made them do so.

Mr BERNARD CORSER - The honorable member for Watson (Mr. Curtin) suggests that the Americans will be allowed to tell the Japanese what they should do so. The treaty gives to Australia protection in ways upon which honorable members opposite refrained from commenting. The Australian Government did. what it could do to prevent wider support of Japan but received no support except from New Zealand. Australia had either . to sign the treaty or refrain from signing it, in which latter event Japan could make an agreement with Australia later in the terms of this treaty. In the treaty the Japanese agreed to the United States of America continuing to hold the Japanese islands and bases within Japan itself. The only assistance that Japan received from Russia in a belated appearance at the peace conference was a demand that it should be allowed, to retain those islands and bases. Japan accepts the obligations imposed under Article 5 of the treaty to conform to Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations. It agrees, further, to pay compensation for prisoners of war, to renounce its claims to Allied property, to grant most-favoured-nation treatment to the signatories to the treaty, to undertake civil aviation and to renounce war claims, including its claim to the Antarctic, which worried Australia.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - They will agree to anything.

Mi-. BERNARD CORSER. - Agitations emanating from Moscow are spreading throughout the world. In them the lowest classes of all communities are merged to demonstrate against the desires of the United Nations and Great Britain. They agitated in Japan last Sunday. Similar people forced the British to abandon their oil interests in Persia. In Egypt individuals of the lowest types were inflamed by the Communists to destroy British interests, but fortunately wisdom prevailed there. Communist-inspired disturbances have occurred in North Africa, Indo-China and Burma. There are limitations to the possibilities of Japanese expansion. Japan is not in a position to restore its army, navy and air force sufficiently to enable it to become an aggressor nation in ten years. The riches of Manchuria have been stripped from it. As a nation the Japanese are bankrupt. They have neither the power nor the industry to rebuild. They must first establish civil industries if they are to save their people. The "Japanese citizens, the rank and file, must be given some hope of the rehabilitation of their country and of reasonable living standards in the future. If they are not given that hope the seeds of communism will spread there as they did in China. That is what Russia desires. No peace treaty anywhere has been assisted by Russia. Taking everything into consideration, and realising Australia's interests, this Government could not have done anything but agree to the treaty. The danger of a Japan controlled by Russia would be greater than the possibility that in some distant future Japan may become an aggressor nation again.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - What about a Japanese-controlled Australia ?

Mr BERNARD CORSER - If the policy of the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron) were adopted, nobody would carry arms in this country for its defence, or in Japan for the defence of that country against Russia. The Australian Workers Union believes in the defence of Australia. That is probably the

Tea son why the honorable member for Hindmarsh was kicked out of it. Whilst all true Australians regret the necessity to permit Japan to rearm there are many side issues that make its rearming obligatory. The alternative would be the retention of an army of Americans, British and Australians in Japan. Such an army would weaken United Nations forces in other parts of the world. I am prepared to support the treaty. I am confident that we can establish a peaceful Japan so long as we do justice to that country, give to it the assistance that is promised in the treaty, and exact from it the obligations imposed by the treaty.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Mr. Speaker, 1 wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER - Order ! Does the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron) claim that he has been misrepresented?

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Yes. I wish to refer to the statement just made by the honorable member for Wide Bay (Mr. Corser) that I had been kicked out of the Australian Workers Union. That is not a correct statement. I am an officer of the executive of the South Australian branch of the Australian Workers Union. I was elected with a record majority at the election just completed.

Mr SPEAKER - Order ! The honorable member's election to office is not a part of the misrepresentation to which he claims to have been subjected.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - There is absolutely no truth in the statement that was made by the honorable member for Wide Bay, and I venture to believe that he knows it.

Mr Bernard Corser - I do not know it.

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