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Thursday, 4 April 1957


Mr TURNER (Bradfield) .- The Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) has made an excellent analysis of the world situation, and has put before the House a practicable policy for the Australian Government to pursue, as it must, in association with its friends. 1 do not propose to repeat what he said, but 1 shall state my views si mpi \ and plainly. First, I wish to make som comment on the speech of the Leader oi the Opposition (Dr. Evatt), because 1 take it that he expressed the official attitude of

Ih.e Labour party on foreign affairs to-da\ Secondly, 1 propose to make some com ment upon the present and future roles oi the United Nations. What is the reason for the problems that beset the world to-day in the Middle East? It is not the existence of racial antagonism, according to th> Leader of the Opposition. The Minister made some reference to that. He spent some time in the Middle East, where hi occupied a position of great responsibily and high authority. In regard to his sei vice, he might say, as a certain Moroccan did, " I have done the State some service and they know it ". The Opposition knows the service that he rendered in that part of the world and the experience that he has. gained from it. Fortunately, there are not many Australians who will believe the Leader of the Opposition when he says that racial antagonisms betwen Arabs and Jews do not exist, because thousands oi Australian ex-servicemen know very well that such antagonisms do exist. Many Australians have heard opinions expressed by Arabs about Jews, and by Jews about Arabs, and have heard them stated in the most emphatic, not to say the most coarse, terms. Therefore, the Leader of the Opposition will not mislead many Australians when he passes over those antagonisms as if they did not exist.

Once again, the Leader of the Opposition has spoken as if there were no dictator in Egypt who had written a book - it was referred to the other evening by the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Chaney) - setting out, as plainly as Hitler set out his ambitions in " Mein Kampf ", his design to bestride the Middle East and to drive Europeans and their interests, bag and baggage, out of that part of the world. The Leader of the Opposition has spoken as if there were no dictator who had been the architect of an alliance of all the encircling Arab powers designed to drive Israel into the sea; as if that dictator had not used the radio to blare haired against Israel in every bazaar and village throughout the Middle East; as if that dictator had not instigated Fedayeen raids across the border between Egypt and Israel; as if he had not compelled the Israelis, in their villages surrounded by barbed wire and protected by watch-towers and searchlights, to lie, both men and women, beside loaded rifles for long periods alert to repel such raids; and as if that dictator had not obtained Russian arms and used them to threaten Israel. I heard the Leader of the Opposition's speech with close attention, and I later read it in " Hansard " with great care. So far as he is concerned, these things do not exist, and the reason for the unrest in the Middle East, and the cause of all our problems, is " the struggle of the world monopolies to control oil supplies ". For him, it is a simple squabble between the oil monopolies! Furthermore, the right honorable gentleman suggested international control of oil in the Middle East.

Opposition Members. - Hear, hear!


Mr TURNER - I wait for the "Hear, hears! " which are sure to come. International control of oil in the Middle East through the United Nations must mean control exercised by Russia among others. Is not Russia a member of the United Nations, and has not it a representative on the Security Council? So, if the Leader of the Opposition has his way, we shall have Russia presiding with others over the flow of oil from the Middle East. That is a very clever design! I shall deal more fully with oil in a moment. The Leader of the Opposition is horrified at imperialism and colonialism in the Middle East - the imperialism of Great Britain as shown in the Suez crisis, and in Cyprus; and the colonialism of France in Algeria! Apparently, the right honorable gentleman has not observed the advance of colonialism in eastern Europe from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea. He made no reference to that. He condemns only one colonialism- the alleged colonialism of Great Britain and France.

The Leader of the Opposition also turned his jaundiced eye to the Far East and to the South-East Asia Treaty Organization, which he said was an organization " for the purpose of opposing radical, socialistdemocratic or Communist governments ", and he stated that the Minister for External Affairs should throw his weight equally " into stopping fascist aggression within a country ". Those were the right honorable gentleman's, very words. Presumably, therefore, Mr. Acting Deputy Speaker, the villains of the piece in South-East Asia are Mr. Pibulsonggram, in Thailand, whom he attacked specifically, and, I suppose, people like the late President Ramon Magsaysay. of the Philippines, and Mr. Suhrawardy, of Pakistan. I suppose that these are the villains of the piece, and 1 suppose that the right honorable gentleman's heroes would be people like Ho-chi-Minh, the leader of the Communists in North Viet Nam, and Chin Peng, the leader of the Communists in Malaya, who, I suppose, are the people who are trying to establish radical, socialist-democratic or Communist governments in the countries of SouthEast Asia. Apparently, these radical, socialist-democratic or Communist governments are those with which we are very familiar^ - those which use the whole apparatus of tyranny, secret police, torture, peoples' courts, slave labour, mass purges, and the mass slaughter of minorities that do not conform. I repeat for the third time that these are the " radical, socialistdemocratic or Communist governments " that the Leader of the Opposition would like to see firmly installed in South-East Asia. The right honorable gentleman would like to see red China recognized by this country, so that it might have an embassy here from which, no doubt, it would be able to conduct activities similar to those formerly conducted by Mr. Petrov from another embassy that was established here until comparatively recently. The Leader of the Opposition would like also to see red China accepted by and established in the United Nations where it could reinforce the Soviet Union and its Communist satellites in their use of that organization as a forum for their propaganda, which they use to throw a spanner into the works wherever it is possible to make matters more difficult for the Western Powers. The right honorable gentleman would like to see that position attained by red China, which, as the Minister for External Affairs has pointed out. has an army of 2,500,000 men,and which at this moment is waging war through guerrilla forces that it sustains in Lacs, Malaya and Burma.

The right honorable gentleman would like also to see abandoned thenuclearteststhat are to be conducted by the United Kingdom at Christmas Island, which he describes as shocking. Many such tests have been conducted by Russia, but has the Leader of the Opposition ever protested about them? He once wrote an infamous letter to Mr. Molotov, a friend of his in the Soviet Union, but he did not gain very much applause in this country for doing so. Letters written to Mr. Molotov, if he is still in a position of influence in Russia, urging that the Soviet Union desist from these tests, might be of some value, but the suggestion made by the right honorable gentleman that tests of this kind should be unilaterally abandoned by the West is tantamount to a suggestion that we should stand naked and unarmed before our enemies. It is true, of course, that we should at all times deal justly with other nations, and that we should urge right courses upon our friends.But, above all, we must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those friends even though we disagree with them in some details. That is only common sense.

Having made those observations about the views of the Leader of the Opposition, I turn to the problem of the Middle East. I suggest that there are three vital factors in the situation there. The first is that oil is vital to Western Europe. Without oil, the wheels of industry will not turn in Western Europe, all activity will cease, its people will become unemployed, and its strength will be gone. Without oil, it can no longer defend itself or play a part in defending the Western world and Western traditions. So oil is a vital interest to Britain and Western Europe generally. The second factor is that there has arisen in Egypt a dictator whose expressed design is to remove Europeans from the Middle East, and to prevent Western Europe from getting oil from that part of the world except upon such terms as he and his friends may decide to extort from the West. The third factor is that this dictator, although not important as the leader of a people about whom Australians at least have an opinion that there is no need for me to express in this place, has the aid of Russia, which enables him to sit astride the oil resources that are the vital interest of Western Europe.

That is the fundamental position in the Middle East. A solution was attempted by the British and the French, taking advantage, I think, of the initiative of the Israelis, but not in concert with them. ] take it that this attempt at a solution was made on the basis of the old Latin maxim, " Salus populi suprema lex ", which means, " The welfare of the people is the supreme law ", and which justifies even war.

What is aggression? One can have aggression where not a shot has been fired and not a bomb has been dropped. ] suggest that if oil is cut off from Western Europe, then Western Europe will die as surely as will a tree that has been ringbarked; and one can kill a tree by ringbarking it as easily as by chopping it down. So, the British and the French stepped in and resorted to armed force. They may havebeenrightorwrongaboutthatIam notarguingthatpintnow,Iamsimply sayingthattherewasavitalinterest,and that was the action they took. They might have been right or wrong in the means they adopted to safeguard that interest, but that they had a right to safeguard it, there can be no doubt. So, I say to-day the position is that it is the United Nations which is in the dock. The Leader of the Opposition, and every speaker on the opposite side, has got up and pilloried Great Britain and France, put them in the dock and accused them of every kind of crime; but I say that to-day it is the United Nations that is in the pillory - it is the United Nations that is in the dock, and it is the United Nations that has to answer the charge. The British, the French and the Israelis have left Egypt. The United Nations ordered that they should, and they did. They have purged any crime they may have committed- if it was a crime to look to their interests and their safety in the way they did.

But what has Nasser, the dictatorof Egypt, done? Egypt is in breach of the Constantinople Convention. It is in breach of the six principles for the control of the canal as laid down by the Security Council; it is in breach of the armistice agreement made between Egypt and Israel, because Nasser maintains the right of belligerency in his attitude in respect of the canal and the Straits of Tiran; and it is in breach of the decision of the United Nations a few years ago that Egypt should allow Israeli ships free passage through the canal. So, Nasser is clearly in breach of the agreement and clearly in breach of the decisions of the United Nations. Now we have the extraordinary paradox that honorable members opposite are condemning not the person who is now in breach of these things and who is defying the United Nations, but the people who, if they did defy it, have now purged their crime and are now exculpated. The British and the French have withdrawn from Egypt. It is not they who should be condemned.


Mr Bryant - And there are hundreds of Egyptians dead. That cannot be purged from the record.


Mr TURNER - And I should have mentioned that the Leader of the Opposition did not mention the thousands of dead in Hungary. The United Nations was absolutely powerless so far as Hungary was concerned. It has shown that there is one law for Russia, that Russia can do what she likes where her vital interests are concerned - as I. concede they were in Hungary - but if the British and French take the same kind of action to safeguard interests equally vital to them, the United Nations can compel them to toe the line. So, there is this disparity in treatment. An institution like the United Nations must fall into contempt unless it can enforce its will equally among all. It has failed in regard to Russia. That is bad enough. What is it going to do now about Egypt, because it is Egypt that is in contempt of the United Nations to-day? Honorable members opposite ought to be urging action against Egypt. They are upholders of the United Nations; we are all upholders of the United Nations. We all want to see it succeed because, in the nuclear age, we know there is no alternative. Rather, we hope we are not going to be forced to rely upon other alternatives. We want to see the United Nations succeed, but how can it succeed except by having its will enforced?

Now, I want to have a look at the United Nations. The Minister mentioned that the Security Council was originally designed to be that place where the Great Powers could use their influence. Of course, the veto destroys its utility. Then, we have the resolution that was passed some years ago during (he accidental absence of Russia at the time of the Korean crisis - the " combining for peace resolution ". That resolution transferred power to the 81 members of the General Assembly. I remind the House that 37 of those 81 members belong to the Afro-Asian bloc and eleven of them belong to the Communist bloc; and in Africa, within the next five years, three, four or perhaps, five new States will come into existence and will adhere to the Afro-Asian bloc. Then, within a very short time, Malaya, Singapore and the West Indies will be members of the United Nations. If all people were prepared to look upon the problems of to-day without a jaundiced eye -if they were prepared, first of all, to do justice; and secondly, if they were prepared to use their forces to put teeth into the United Nations itself - if they were prepared to have implemented with armed force the resolutions that they so readily pass - then it would be a very effective assembly. Too many of those nations that vote so readily in the Assembly are prepared to move neither men nor ships nor guns to enforce the decisions that they endorse so easily.

The honorable member for Corangamite (Mr. Mackinnon) has referred to the fact that they have shown themselves to be moved by all sorts of extraneous considerations - race, colour, colonialism - or, perhaps, by mere log-rolling; you vote for us on this and we will vote for you on that. So, it is a heterogeneous assembly of 81 nations, many of which have no interest in justice, and are prepared to do nothing in a substantial way to implement the resolutions they pass. Many of them are moved by prejudices connected with race, colonialism or something else; and the majority of them are going to rule the world within the next few years. All I can say is, let the United Nations succeed. Let it enforce its will against Egypt. Let :it forget about Britain and France. Its will has been enforced against them. I shall listen with interest to hear the honorable member for Bonython (Mr. Makin) tell us how it is going to enforce its will against Egypt. This institution of the United Nations has yet to succeed.







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