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Tuesday, 2 April 1957
Page: 427

Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Bowden) - Order!

Mr LUCOCK - If it is of any interest to the honorable member for East Sydney, who says that it was commenced only on paper, I may say that I was overseas, being trained under the Empire air training scheme, at the time when the Labour government came to power.

Another allegation that has been made by Opposition members concerns the production of munitions.

Mr Whitlam Mr. Whitlaminterjecting,

Mr. ACTING DEPUTYSPEAKER.The honorable member for Werriwa must cease interjecting.

Mr LUCOCK - Let the hounds bay, Mr. Acting Deputy Speaker. As regards the production of munitions and the training of an army, any one who has any knowledge of these matters will realize that the foundation was laid a long time before 1941, and this country was saved in 1952.

Mr Ward - Not by " the Brisbane line ".

Mr.ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKERThe honorable member for East Sydney must remain silent. I shall not warn him again.

Mr LUCOCK - The Opposition's allegations regarding these matters constitute the most fallacious arguments that have ever been put forward in this House.

The Leader of the Opposition said that no positive proposal had been put forward by the Minister for External Affairs. He evidently did not take any notice of what the Minister said in his speech. At one stage the Minister said -

Our present concern is to analyse the deepseated causes of tension in the Middle East in an endeavour to see the possible lines of a solution for them.

At a later stage the Minister, in what I regarded as a calm and considered judgment, expressed the opinion that time should be allowed, that the two belligerents should be separated, and then, when emotion has been removed, calm reasoning may take its place. One of the most forthright and valuable contributions that could have been made in these circumstances was the speech that we have heard to-night from the Minister.

Let us contrast what was said by the Leader of the Opposition. The right honorable gentleman suggested that the two opposing countries should be brought together.

Opposition Members. - Hear, hear!

Mr LUCOCK - Can any one imagine what would happen if, at the present stage, we did bring them together? Skin would soon be flying. The Leader of the Opposition said that although we suggest that this belligerency must be controlled we are not taking positive steps to see that it is controlled. I would point out that as far back as 1951 the Egyptians were ordered by the United Nations to allow Israeli ships passage through the Suez Canal, and that this order was completely ignored.

The Leader of the Opposition stated that the Minister has given away the United Nations. That is completely untrue. What the Minister has said, and what every one should have appreciated, was that we must not only stand by the United Nations and stand with it. but we must also be prepared to accept its difficulties and, therefore, take steps to try to overcome them. Any one who says that an organization comprising the various nations of the world can come together continually and peacefully, without any difficulties to be overcome, would believe in fairy tales.

The Leader of the Opposition spent a lot of time raking over things that happened in the past. He spoke about the very wrong action of Britain and France in committing aggression by invading Egypt. I was interested to note that not once during the whole of his speech did he mention Russia's ghastly attack on Hungary. That attack was far worse than the defensive measures taken by Britain and France in Egypt. Russia's attack in Hungary was described by one of our most famous correspondents in these terms -

In Hungary Russian communism showed its true character to the world.

Mr Haylen - Hungary was not mentioned in the Minister's speech, either.

Mr LUCOCK - The honorable member for Parkes says that this matter was not mentioned from our side. We have mentioned it more than once, and there was no necessity for the Minister to mention it again, because every one knows where we stand in relation to it. This world-famous correspondent continued -

With a ferocity and barbarism unmatched in recent history, it ruthlessly destroyed a defenceless population. After what the Russians did, after their destruction of a magnificent city, after their slaughter of fellow communists, the world can no longer have the slimmest doubt as to what Russia's intentions are.

I would interpolate here and say that no one can have any doubt about Russia's intentions, except the right honorable member for Barton and those who sit behind him. The correspondent continued -

The people in the satellite nations and in the uncommitted countries now know that Soviet Russia is their mortal enemy. For Hungary has laid bare the great Russian lie.

When the Leader of the Opposition spoke about Great Britain and France and their attack on Egypt, he made no mention of the even worse attack by Russia on Hungary. He went on to speak about the nations interested in oil in the Middle East, and he said that it was their concern about oil supplies that was the real reason for the trouble in Egypt, and that it was not caused by the racial feelings about which the Minister spoke. We know that the real difficulty lies in the racial bitterness that exists between the Arab and the Jew. We know that bitter racial feelings exist among those who have been placed in refugee camps, and that these racial feelings must be overcome before we can solve the problem. Did the right honorable member for Barton say that Russia was interested in. oil? No fear! He did not mention oil in that connexion, although Russia is as interested in the Middle East as is any other country. He went on to say that we must have international regulation through the United Nations organization. Again I ask: What about Russia and her action in Hungary? The only reason why the United Nations was completely successful in getting the British and French out of Egypt was that the British and French agreed to go out. If the British and French had said that they would stay there, what action would the United Nations have taken? Would they have taken the same action that they took against Russia, or would they have at last tried to show that they could do something? The Leader of the Opposition speaks about Fascist organizations. I may ask: How does he describe Nasser? Does he describe him as a Fascist, a Communist or what? He went on to speak about the position in Cyprus. Again, one would appreciate that this would be the attitude taken by the Leader of the Opposition, because, after all, I have an idea that I read somewhere about a certain member of the New South Wales Parliament who was going to Cyprus for a particular reason, and also that two men from South Australia were to go. The position in Cyprus is extremely difficult.

It is all right for the Leader of the Opposition to say, " Let the Cypriots have complete union with Greece ". What would be done with the Turkish minority? Britain has said that she is prepared to negotiate and to talk to the Cypriots, so that it might be possible not only to give them independence, but also to safeguard the interests of the Turkish minority in that country.

Would the Leader of the Opposition, who constantly talks about minorities being safeguarded, say that it was wrong for the people and the Government of the United Kingdom to look after the Turkish minority on Cyprus? What has the British Government said? It has said that it will negotiate when the terrorist activities cease. Does the Leader of the Opposition suggest for one moment that the terrorist activities are achieving anything in Cyprus? The terrorist activities were certainly not initiated by those who are interested in the Cypriots being given a degree of independence.

The Leader of the Opposition spoke about nuclear experiments. I listened to a report of a broadcast from Peking radio that was in almost the same terms as the Leader of the Opposition used. He said, in effect, " Let us stop these nuclear experiments, but I am not putting forward the machinery to enable us to achieve this purpose ". Have not the United States Government and the United Kingdom Government repeatedly approached the Soviet Union with a proposal that these nuclear experiments should be stopped? But if we stop them, can anybody give a guarantee that the Soviet Union will stop them? As the Minister for Defence Production (Mr. Beale) pointed out, since the letter read by the Leader of the Opposition was written, the Russians have exploded six nuclear weapons. The Leader of the Opposition said that the risk of further experiments cannot be taken because of the effect on humanity. I say that, unfortunately, the risk must be taken because of humanity. We all desire peace. God knows, anybody who has had any experience of war desires peace! But talking about peace will not bring it about. If history has proved anything, it has proved that. One editorial states -

Nuclear war would indeed be a hideous disaster, but nuclear war will become more likely, and the likelihood of our defeat greater, if the Soviet leaders convince themselves that our fear of war has become so basic to our foreign policy that they can safely count us out as an effective factor in the equation.

Those words are true. If we look as if we are not prepared to defend ourselves. I believe that we are increasing the danger of war. Surely that was proved in the early 1930's, and we saw the result in World War II.

We have seen how the Egyptians, under Nasser, have completely violated a United Nations direction for a number of years. Nasser said that one of his reasons was that Egypt was still at war with Israel. If the Egyptians were still at war with Israel, where was the point in naming the Israelis as aggressors when they went into Egyptian territory? Surely, if they were still at war, it was only to be expected that the Israelis should, at some period of time, attack! So I say it is obvious that Nasser is using the United Nations for his own purposes, and behind Nasser is Russia, which is trying to get a foothold and control in the Middle East. Russia has tried to do so over a period of years.

Unfortunately, the time allowed in this debate is not long, but there is one matter that I should like to mention. The Leader of the Opposition spoke about recognition of red China. Has red China given any indication that she is prepared to accept the responsibility of membership of the United Nations with the attendant international obligations? I say that the greatest danger to our country, and to the Far East position in general, would be the recognition of a regime that certainly has shown no respect whatsoever for international law. If we recognized red China at the present stage we would be betraying again our friends - Nationalist China, who are our defenders in the Far East. The Nationalist Chinese stopped, in my opinion, a greater attack being made by the Chinese in Korea. The threat that was posed by the Nationalist forces in Formosa forced the Chinese Communists to keep a potential, at least, of their army on the mainland coast. This restricted the number of arms and men that they threw into the Korean war. I believe that it also restricted the forces that they threw into the Indo-China campaign.

If we recognized red China, we would literally throw out into the wilderness the overseas Chinese. They would be people without a country, and they would feel that Communist China was getting a stranglehold on the whole area. We have at this moment said to the Communists that communism, whether it be in China or in Russia, is an evil and a danger to this world. We are aware of the danger of red China to the peace and security of our land. To those who say that red China has nothing to do with Communist Russia, I reply that red

China supported the Russians in their action in Hungary. There are other countries, such as the Philippines and Thailand, which are trying to stand firm against communism. If we betray them by the recognition of red China, I believe that we will betray them to the enemy, which will conquer them, and perhaps us in the act.

We want peace. All men want peace. Peace will be achieved by courage and by tenacity of purpose. I heard an honorable member of the Opposition say in a previous debate that we could not betray those who fought in the war for peace and security, and that we should give them homes. Nor can we betray them by allowing a war to eventuate again, and the best way that we can stop war is by being strong ourselves, by being strong with our friends, and by showing any would-be aggressors that if they attack it will be to their detriment and to their finish. Let us stand firm in this with a determination to resist this threat which is confronting our nation so that, in truth, it may be said - to quote the well-known words - " This was their finest hour ".

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