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Thursday, 29 September 1955

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (Hindmarsh) . - I rise to support the remarks that have been made by honorable members on this side of the chamber in connexion with the Government's escapade in Malaya - it is only an escapade - which was agreed upon at secret conferences, about which the Parliament was not even consulted. I was rather surprised to hear the honorable member for Lyne (Mr. Lucock) in the role of sabre-rattling, trigger-happy warmonger. I expected that a man who had spent quite a good deal of his time before he came into this Parliament preaching the word of God might have made at least a small effort to try to practise the things that Christ taught His followers. But no ! The honorable member for Lyne, although he was paid for many years by the Presbyterian Church to teach and preach Christianity, has spent almost the whole of his time in this Parliament advocating a policy that is diametrically opposed to the things that Christ taught.

It seems to me that supporters of the Government have either not noticed that there has been a conference at Geneva, or that they have deliberately chosen to ignore the decisions of that very important conference. I often think, when listening to speeches by members of the Liberal party, that honorable members opposite do not want peace, but that they want war - war at any cost! Their attitude seems to be, "If we cannot get war in one direction, let us intrude ourselves into the affairs of some other direction ". They have gone all over the world looking for local disputes into which they can buy, and risk valuable Australian lives. It seems that honorable members on the Government side of the chamber have not heard of the hydrogen bomb. Apparently they do not realize that one hydrogen bomb can cause the same amount of destruction as 50,000,000 tons of T.N.T. Apparently they have not read in the newspapers that the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey), a man who is not noted for favouring peace, only last week stated that the world faced a situation in which it had to choose between co-existence and non-existence. But honorable members opposite do not want co-existence. They want a war, not realizing that a war, as the Minister for External Affairs said, means nonexistence, because wars will be fought with hydrogen bombs, atomic bombs and perhaps weapons of even greater destructive force.

If we want to save Malaya from communism, -we must let the people of Malaya have the right to govern themselves. That is a right that they do not possess now. We could send all the Australian troops that it is possible to raise, and we would never stop communism in Malaya by trying to force the Malayan people to accept the capitalist way of life. Communism cannot be defeated in that way. Do you realize, Mr. Temporary Chairman, that over the last six or seven years as many as 300,000 troops, home guards and the like have been attempting to defeat the 6,000 terrorists in Malaya? Yet, there are as many bandits there now as there were six years ago in spite of the fact that 300,000 troops, including home guards, have been trying to drive them out of the Malayan jungle. The honorable member for Lyne is leaving the chamber. Apparently he realizes that what I have said about him is perfectly true.

Sir Eric Harrison - That is a foul and miserable statement.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - -The VicePresident of the Executive Council (Sir Eric Harrison) says that that is a foul statement. Let me say something about the administration of the Minister for the Army (Mr. Francis). He is the individual who deliberately refused to take any action in connexion with a case which I brought under his notice in which a member of the Regular Army, who expressed a desire not to go to Malaya to fight the Malayan people, had asked to be allowed to remain in Australia with the Regular Army. The Minister tola me that people in the Regular Army would go where they were sent. He said that if the man concerned would rejoin his unit the matter would receive consideration, but that he would give no guarantee. The man was not prepared to rejoin his unit.

The Government has no right to send any member of the Regular Army to Malaya against his will. It has no right to send any Australian soldier to

Malaya to fight to support the kind of conditions that exist in Malaya. The rights of the Malayan people have been subjugated in the interests of Chinese millionaire merchants, British exporters and the wealthy owners of tin mines and rubber plantations. The people of whom the honorable member for Evans (Mr. Osborne) spoke are, in the main, Chinese millionaires or their representatives and the representatives of the wealthy merchants, bankers, tin mine owners and rubber plantation owners. The honorable member for Evans has not discussed with the ordinary people of Malaya whether or not Australian troops are welcome in Malaya. He attempted to express, on behalf of all the Malayan people, views which had been conveyed to him by a tiny coterie of the vested interests which has a lot to gain by continuing to force upon the Malayan people the form of colonialism that has existed there for over two centuries.

Do honorable members realize that the Government is asking Australian troops to defend a government which allows arrest without warrant, search without warrant, and imprisonment without trial for up to two years? Do they realize that the writ of habeas corpus has been completely suspended in Malaya and that trial by jury is not known? Intimidation of union leaders aud the victimization of militant workers are the order of the day. All militant workers in Malaya are branded by the people with whom Government supporters fraternize when they visit Malaya as Communists in much the same way as in this country Government supporters brand every militant worker as a Communist. They invent an imaginary army of Communists, and by doing so, they give to the Communists the kudos that they are the only people who are capable of being militant. I deny that. I say that the Labour movement takes second place to nobody for militancy. It was the militancy of the early leaders of the Labour party that made it the great party that it is now. At the Hobart conference, the Australian Labour party was proud to proclaim its foreign policy which is not dictated by Communists.

Mr Andrews - Communist imperialism !

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - Nothing of the kind. Will the honorable member say that Mr. Joe Cahill is a Communist?

Mr Keon - He is just a squib.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - You say lie is just a squib.

Mr Keon - That is right.

Mr Andrews - He is only a weakling.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - The honorable member for Yarra says that he is just a squib and the honorable member for Darebin (Mr. Andrews) says that he is only a weakling.

Mr Andrews - That is right.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - The honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. W. M. Bourke) interjects that Mr. Cahill took the action that he did take in order to crawl out of a difficult position. We can realize how irresponsible is this corner group in view of the fact that they have described the Premier of New South Wales as a Communist.

Mr Keon - He is a squib.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - This afternoon, when the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) was speaking, in answer to the question, "Is Joe Cahill a Communist?" the honorable member for Darebin, by way of interjection, said " Yes ".

Mr Andrews - I said that he war following Communist policy.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - And the honorable member said that if he follows Communist policy, he is a Communist on that account.

Mr Andrews - That is right.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - I am glad we have the record clear. The people of Malaya, as distinct from foreign investors, are opposed to Australian troops being in that country. Mr. David Marshall, the Chief Minister of Singapore, lias made it perfectly clear that they do not want Australian troops in Malaya. The Australian people do not want Australian troops in Malaya for the very good reason that they know that after Australian troops are sent to Malaya the Government will then send two divisions to Malaya. The people also know that the Government could only get those two divisions by conscription. The honorable member for Ballarat knows that the Government cannot get them by voluntary methods.

Mr Joshua - Do not indulge in misrepresentation.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON - The honorable member knows that the Government can get them only by conscription.

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