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Wednesday, 31 October 1956

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- I suppose that, in the last 25 years, there have been isolated instances of the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) communicating facts to this House, but I venture to suggest that that phenomenon was not experienced by us this afternoon. 1 have heard it said that the honorable member for East Sydney is a person of no great note and should be ignored. That is an assertion that I would most vigorously contest. The member for East Sydney is a most singular individual. Of whom else can it be said that he has smeared his way through ten parliaments? The House has listened to a most vituperative and vicious attack on the security service of this country, a service which, whilst having but a brief history, has a most distinguished history and has offered to this country a great measure of real security. 1 have said in the past that the honorable member for East Sydney has as much affection for the truth as he has for me but, as that analogy is not clear, may I say now that he as much affection for the truth as he has- obedience to Standing Order 55, and 1 have yet to see him acknowledge it. I have never listened to so much facinorous nonsense in all my life. The honorable member - the description " honorable " has always struck me as being singularly incongruous - this afternoon, as his leader did last night, tried to convey to the House and the country that he was greatly disturbed about civil liberties. I was interested and intrigued to hear him mention the Australia First movement. 1 do not suppose that there are two other people in this country less competent to talk about civil liberties than the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt) and the honorable member for East Sydney. The House will recall the occasion during the last war when, on the initiative and on the authority of the right honorable member for Barton, subjects of the King and citizens of this country were kept in gaol without trial and maintained there, and ultimately one of them died. Yet the honorable member for East Sydney has had the colossal hide this afternoon to mention the Australia First movement.

He expressed some concern, as did his leader last night; about what has been described as the absence of ministerial responsibility and control over the security service, so it is interesting to turn back to 1949 when the security service was established. This is what the right honorable member for Barton had to say on that occasion in reply to a question dealing with the activity of the security service -

To all intents- and purposes the DirectorGeneral of Security is free from ministerial direction. That arrangement is essential in order to maintain maximum internal security which, I have no doubt, all honorable members wish to have preserved.

Dr Evatt - Who asked the question?

Mr KILLEN - The then honorable member for Wentworth, Sir Eric Harrison. That statement indicates the difference between the opinion of the right honorable member for Barton in 1949 and his opinion in 1956. There is this split personality, this duality of ideas and this move to capitalize on. circumstances.

Concerning the conditions under which members of the security service are employed, it is interesting to reflect on what other members of the Australian Labour party have had to say. Here is what the late Mr. Chifley said in reply to a criticism of the security service -

If a request is made for security officers to undertake essential services, the matter will be discussed with the Director-General of Security. As far as I am personally concerned, I do not see that there is anything to be gained by permitting officers who are engaged in very careful personal examinations to be put in the witness box. That would only result in what they are doing becoming, general knowledge. Although, at the moment, I am opposed strongly to doing anything of that kind, I shall discuss it with the Director-General of Security.

Dr Evatt - Who had asked the question?

Mr KILLEN - Mr. Harold Holt had asked a question relating to the activities of the security service. Here is another statement made by the late Mr. Chifley -

I am certain that no gaps will be left in our security measures. As the honorable member knows, it is. not usual to discuss the detailed activities of a security service. Much of the value of such a service lies in the fact that it works quietly. Members of the organization should not be unduly prominent at cocktail parties, but should devote themselves to the tasks allotted to them. I do not propose to divulge details of the staff that will be associated with Mr. Justice Reed, . . .

Yet this afternoon the honorable member for East Sydney demanded, in effect, that all the details of activities of the security service should be made known to the House. I. think it is of the utmost importance to the House and the country that the methods employed by the security service and the structure of that organization have not changed since 1949. It still pursues the same modus operandi, lt is not a police body as the honorable member for East Sydney has endeavoured to make out. It is an investigating body. Having listened to the vituperative nonsense that has come from the lips of the honorable member for East Sydney, I am convinced that if he and the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt) were in charge of security in this country the measure of insecurity visited upon us would be very real.

We are faced with the simple truth that in the last ten years the mass betrayals of their country by persons attracted to international communism have exposed the West to the gravest dangers. One has only to recall the betrayals by Klaus Fuchs, Dr. Allan Nunn May and Professor Pontecorvo to realize this. The defection of these three individuals alone meant for the Soviet Union a saving of at least fifteen years' research work in the nuclear and thermo-nuclear fields. To me, to all honorable members and to every responsible and thinking person in this country, the maintenance of a security service is of the utmost value. What the honorable member for East Sydney has had to say may impress those who follow him, but it certainly will not impress responsible people.

In the last twenty or 25 years we have seen the gradual, but sure, expansion of the Communist movement throughout the world. The Western world, and the democracies in particular, have come to see the really conspiratorial nature of international communism. I have already alluded to the defection of certain individuals. Unless the majority of people in every democracy - I could not hope to include among those people the honorable member for East Sydney - realize that communism is basically conspiratorial, and that a security service must be vigorously maintained, they will make a grave mistake. One has only to reflect on the training given to members of the international Communist movement who are engaged in conspiratorial work. Honorable members may know something of the operations of the Lenin Institute, where selected individuals from every country in the world spend up to four or five years learning every facet of MarxistLeninism, and how to apply that training to the peculiar features of their own country. What have we in the Western world as a counter to that form of training? I suggest that we have practically nothing.

Mr J R FRASER - We have always got the honorable member.

Mr KILLEN - That is a matter of opinion. I appreciate the point of view of the honorable member for the Australian Capital Territory (Mr. J. R. Fraser) but on this we may agree to have a mild disagreement. The fact remains that no western democracy has an organization which squares with the Lenin Institute in Moscow.

Mr Bryant - What about the Liberal party secretariat?

Mr KILLEN - 1 admit that it is a very virile body, and one reason why this Government is in office and the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant) is on the Opposition benches. The report of the Canadian royal commission of 1946 shows the nature and versatility of Communist agents. The report had this to say -

The efficient functioning of the Comintern organization is further shown by the highly systematized interest of " The Director " in Moscow in each non-Russian agent, and in the recruiting of new agents. Before a new agent could be employed by Col. Zabotin for espionage purposes he had to propose the name, with particulars to Moscow. Moscow would then check independently and, inferentially through one of the other agency systems before approving or withholding approval.

As the Canadian royal commission established, the Comintern had a file on every Communist in the world. Before Colonel Zabotin could appoint an agent the Comintern checked, through one of the other groups operating in Canada, to see if he was of sufficient value, and could be completely trusted.

The member for East Sydney has again charged the commissioners who conducted the Petrov inquiry with being involved in a conspiracy. That is a scandalous assertion, and if any sense of shame could penetrate the pachydermatous hide of the member for East Sydney he would be so ashamed that he would leave this Parliament and not come back for six months. The conclusions reached by the Petrov Royal Commission are based on authentic documents. Does the member for East Sydney insist that the commissioners were liars, perjurers, pimps, and conspirators? The documents before them plainly showed that for many years the Soviet Government had been using its embassy at Canberra as a cloak under which to control and operate espionage in Australia. Does he contest that conclusion, or the conclusion that there is a distinct possibility that other espionage organizations such as that we have called the GRU legal apparatus, and the MVD legal apparatus - which are devoted to all espionage other than military - could still be operating in this country? If the member for East Sydney wants to attack the commissioners an obligation rests upon him to say so in the plainest possible terms instead of resorting to the contemptible form of smearing of which he is so capable. He may smile, but. he cannot smile away 25 years of smearing.

He wanted to know why none of the people involved in the Petrov conspiracy were charged, and then endeavoured to show that there was no substance in the argument that this Parliament did not possess the necessary legal powers. I speak as a layman, but one is entitled to form one's own conclusion and, on all the facts available, it is perfectly clear that Parliament has not power to protect itself against people such as those who were involved in this conspiracy. Therefore, I suggest to the Parliament, and to the Government in particular, that if a prima facie weakness really exists in our treason laws we should apply to the Imperial Parliament, using the requesting power of the Statute of Westminster to ensure that the Treason and Felony Act of the United Kingdom applies to this country also. It is of the utmost importance that the Government should examine that suggestion. The second specific suggestion that 1 want to make is that there is in the United States of America, an organization or committee called the Un-American Activities Committee, and it is high time that we established an Un- Australian Activities Committee in this country.

Mr Peters - The honorable member could be its chairman.

Mr KILLEN - The honorable member for Scullin (Mr. Peters) would not have a ghost of a chance of qualifying for that committee. The activities of the American committee have proved most valuable.

Mr Webb - That is McCarthyism!

Mr KILLEN - The honorable member's interjection is typical of most Marxist thinking to-day. If one opposes communism, he is a reactionary, a Catholic-Actionist, a McCarthy-ite, or a ratbag. That is the Marxist line which has successfully penetrated and is now peddled by the honorable member for East Sydney. We oppose that kind of rebellious thought.

Mr Webb - You are a fascist ratbag.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Stirling will withdraw that remark.

Mr Webb - I withdraw it.

Mr KILLEN - I believe that it will only be by equipping ourselves with all the weapons to counter that foe that we will be successful, and one of the prime and essential weapons that we require is an understanding of the nature of the enemy that we oppose. Recently, the United States Un-American Activities Committee made an examination of the denigration of the late Marshal Stalin, and issued a most valuable report. It dealt with the attacks made by Mr. Khrushchev on the late Marshal Stalin, and stated the various interpretations that could possibly be made. I recommend it to all honorable gentlemen, and even perchance the member for East Sydney may be interested.

Mr J R FRASER - I rise to order. I ask you, Mr. Speaker: Is it the custom of this House, and is it in fact required by the Standing Orders, that honorable members shall be referred to as " honorable members "?

Mr SPEAKER -" Honorable members " is the correct term. I direct the attention of the honorable member for Moreton to that fact.

Mr Peters - He has a lot to learn.

Mr SPEAKER - Order !

Mr KILLEN - Thank you, Mr. Speaker I recommend that report to the honorable member for East Sydney. The booklet is entitled " The Great Pretence ", a title that. I. believe, also covers his activities. To illustrate the need for the establishment in this country of such a committee, one has only to turn again to the Canadian royal commission's report and to examine the methods used in Canada in the employment of various agents. For example, the commissioners found, as reported in their own words -

Perhaps the most startling single aspect of the entire Fifth Column network is the uncanny success with which the Soviet agents were able to find Canadians who were willing to betray their country and to supply to agents of a foreign power secret information to which they had access in the course of their work, despite oaths of allegiance, of office, and of secrecy which they had taken.

Then the commissioners went on to an examination of what they called the development of ideological motivation. The manner in which this worked is, I suppose, not easily understood by the great majority of people. The commissioners themselves pointed out that it was very difficult to establish exactly the form that it took, but briefly it was along these lines: Members of a particular group would concentrate on one individual, and over a period of time, even though that individual may have been genuinely anti-Communist, they were able to turn him and persuade him to move towards, and ultimately to embrace, the Communist faith. We have also seen the development in this country, and in other Western countries, of what is now referred to as psycho-politics. The late Mr. Beria, addressing a class of the Lenin Institute, referred to the value of psycho-politics, which is, in essence, merely a refinement of the method used in Canada, the ideological method, where the attack is upon the mind, to destroy the basic fundamental loyalties that a person may have to an ideal or to an institution. Once having achieved that end, of course, half the task has been achieved, and the individual is exposed to the relentless attraction of international communism.

This afternoon I have suggested to the Parliament, and in particular to the Government, two specific suggestions which I trust the Minister at the table will convey to the Government for examination. I recapitulate very briefly. I believe that if the treason laws of this country are not what is required to meet the situation, a serious examination must be made of the proposal to use the requesting power contained in the Statute of Westminster, to ask the Imperial Parliament to say that the treason and felony laws of the United Kingdom apply to this country. My second specific suggestion is for the establishment of an un-Australian activities committee. I believe that it is of the utmost importance that we in this country come to the realization that communism is not a sort of vulgar political force, but that it uses many methods and many means which require great patience and great study to understand. It will only be by addressing ourselves to a systematic and sustained examination of the methods and means of Communists that we will be able to protect this country and ultimately to defeat communism in an ideological sense.

I conclude simply by saying that this bill provides for statutory protection to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization. As I observed when I commenced, this organization has a brief but superb history. It is an organization which has made a notable contribution to the security of this country and to the protection of every individual in this country. It is as much an arm of the defence forces of this country as is the Navy, the Air Force, or the Army.

Many of the men employed in it have splendid war records. The honorable member for East Sydney this afternoon chose once again by innuendo to smear the DirectorGeneral of Security. The simple truth, of course, is that the Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization is a man of great character and of great purpose, with a superb war record, and it ill becomes the honorable member for East Sydney, or any other honorable gentlemen in this place, to attack a man who is not in a position to defend himself. I commend this bill to the House, and few things give me more pleasure than being in a position to support it.

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