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Tuesday, 9 April 1957


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - The Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) has once again made one of his characteristic speeches; He has proved that he is still Australia's greatest juggler of words, that he is still our greatest word-spinner; but we listened in vain for the whole 45 minutes during which -he spoke for him to give some lead as to how the world can escape from the present mad position that it has got itself into as a consequence of certain tensions that have been built up, and about which the Prime Minister had nothing to say. The main burden of his speech was an attack on the Australian Labour party. It was,' as I say. a characteristic speech. As usual, the Prime Minister resorted to an attempt to smear the Opposition and to give it the description of a Communist appendage. The Prime Minister spoke of nuclear tests by the Soviet Union, as though the Opposition, in opposing nuclear tests, were .willing to allow

Moscow to carry them out and merely wished to stop the Western Powers from doing so. No one knows better than the right honorable gentleman that the Opposition's attitude to nuclear tests is that they must not be carried out, either by Russia or by any other country.

The Prime Minister gave himself away when he accused the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) of constantly repeating untruths in the hope that one day the people would believe them. The Prime Minister is himself a master of the technique of repeating untruths in the hope that the people will believe them. He has spent his whole parliamentary life repeating the untruth that the Australian Labour party is linked in some direct or indirect way with communism, in the hope that people will believe this untruth.

The Prime Minister made no serious attempt to diagnose the cause of international tension or to answer the statements made by the Leader of the Opposition in any other way than by blaming communism. He made no attempt to understand the reasons for Communist success in the world to-day, and it is important to know the reasons for Communist success if we wish to deal with the problem permanently. He made no attempt to suggest an answer to Communist success, except by the threat of another war. He almost accepts, I believe, the inevitability of another world war. In fact, the Government's attitude has not changed since 1951. when, as honorable members will clearly recollect, the Prime Minister came into this Parliament and told us that he could anticipate - he almost guaranteed - a war with the Soviet Union within three years. That war did not eventuate, much, I often think, to his disappointment.

A war now, however, would be an entirely different proposition from the kind of war that we were guaranteed in 1951. A war to-day would mean virtual annihilation of the human race, because since 1951 a new factor has entered into warfare which was not then known in the way that it is known to-day. This new factor is the hydrogen weapon, the effects of which mankind cannot yet fully conceive and understand. If it could, there would be none of this mad talk about war and the inevitability of war. Does the Prime Minister realize that less than 100 hydrogen bombs would be needed to destroy every great power in the world to-day? Does he realize that only six hydrogen bombs would be needed to destroy seven-eighths of the whole of the population of Australia, including Tasmania? Despite these facts, the Australian Government is moving headlong towards the kind of war that means the virtually complete annihilation of everything good - and everything bad as well - that this and every other country stand for. The Government, I believe, has turned its back completely on the desirability of peaceful co-operation with the other countries of the world, lt knows that the alternative to peaceful co-operation is universal destruction, disaster and death. There is no other choice. 1 refer in this connexion to the declaration of the Brisbane conference of the Australian Labour party, to which reference has been made so often during this debate. I mention in passing all this nonsense about the declaration having been written by Dr. John Burton. Even if it were written by Dr. Burton, would that matter? After all, he is an expert on international affairs, and was appointed by this Government as High Commissioner to Ceylon, lt was not until Dr. Burton resigned this appointment that he left the foreign service of this country. It just so happens, if it is of any interest to honorable members opposite, that Dr. Burton had nothing whatever to do with the declaration.

The declaration states -

Australia must give greater practical support to the United Nations by way of conciliation and peaceful intervention for purposes of preventing war and of bringing all armed conflict to an end.

The Prime Minister announced to-night, for the first time to my knowledge, a statement on behalf of the United States of America which virtually means the complete destruction of the United Nations organization. He told us that he had the authority of the United States State Department to say that if anybody attacked Formosa, then, irrespective of what the United Nations Security Council or General Assembly said in the matter, the United States intended to go to war. If that is correct, then let us look at the position and let us stop this double talk that the Prime Minister had so much to say about. What if some one attacks Egypt and Egypt has an agreement outside the United Nations with Russia? Does that give Russia the right to come to

Egypt's aid and plunge the world into another blood bath? Of course not. Whatever the United Nations stands for, it does not stand for the kind of thing that allows America on the one hand to make agreements outside the United Nations and Russia on the other hand to make agreements with other people outside the United Nations, and then when one of those lesser countries is attacked, to declare a general world war.


Mr Cramer - Tell us about Hungary.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The same applies to Hungary. If it is right for Formosa to be protected by the United States when it is attacked, then Russia can rightly say that it has the right to go to Hungary's aid when Hungary is attacked. Lel us stop this double talk and stop trying to split our principles. Let us apply our principles consistently in all circumstances, regardless of what country we are dealing with. The situation that I have described might well arise if this new policy declared by the Prime Minister on behalf of the United States is to take the place of the present set-up in the United Nations. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics might make an agreement with Indonesia outside the United Nations. Mr. Soekarno could hand over the government of Indonesia to a Communist junta, and then if Indonesia were attacked by anybody outside, Russia could claim the right to go to the aid of Indonesia, irrespective of what the Security Council said. If that happened the United Nations would be powerless to stop Australia being plunged right into the vortex of any atomic war.

American aid is appreciated by this country, as the Brisbane declaration made clear. I have heard a lot of criticism about the Brisbane declaration, but not one member of the Government has yet pointed to one clause of it with which he can' disagree. The declaration states that Australia must continue to maintain friendly relations with the United States. The Labour party appreciates the friendly relations with that country. We appreciated the assistance that the United States gave to Australia in the last war, when the Liberal party criticized the late 'o'nn Curtin for seeking American assistance without which this country would have been over-run by the Japanese. What we say is that whilst we appreciate

United States aid and whilst we appreciate the friendship of the United States, it is fatal to suppose that we should accept as inevitable a hostile Asia. We do not want to see a hostile Asia; we want to see an Asia that is as friendly towards us as are America and other countries.

An atomic war would be suicidal. And the next war will be an atomic war, not an orthodox war. All the authorities admit that in an orthodox war Russia would walk across Europe in ten days. With Russia in control of all Europe, and the steel production of the Ruhr, of France, and other parts of Europe, added to Russia's own steel industry, the scales would tip very quickly against the Western Powers. Our position would be untenable and hopeless. So, we are thinking in terms of atomic war only. We can think only of an atomic war because the authorities, including Lord Montgomery, say that we cannot win any other kind of war. So let us be realists. When we talk about force, let us say what we mean. When we say force, let us use the other words - hydrogen and atomic warfare. If we accept that a suicidal atomic war is the only method of retaining exploitation by monopoly capitalism or the control of the world's natural resources, I say that the position is completely hopeless. As a civilization we are gone and our children and all that we hope will be theirs in this world we can forget, because we will not be here to see it. ' The truth of the matter is that the rulers of the Western Powers to-day fear and hate more than- anything else democratic socialism, about- which I will have a lot to say later in this speech. They object to democratic socialism, and yet, if they only knew i|, democratic socialism is the only thing that can save their hides from the world of communism. Unless this country and the other democracies adopt democratic socialism and do it quickly they will have left it far too. late.

Now let me deal with the question of banning nuclear tests. The Prime Minister had something to say about this. The Labour party is utterly opposed to the testing of atomic weapons, whether by Russia or any other country. I make that clear. Here again is another declaration of the Brisbane conference -

The development of atomic weapons has reached such dimensions that the peoples of the world are now faced with the stark, and terrifying spectacle of a possible atomic world war, causing a danger to the very fabric of the earth, its atmosphere, and all of its inhabitants, which is so real that the distinguished scientists refer to the prospects with a sense of utter desperation.

Let us see what has been said by another authority, Mr. D. G. Arnott, secretary of the atomic science committee of the Association of Scientific Workers. He believes that thousands of people will die in the future because of nuclear bomb tests. He is quoted in " Reynolds' News " as saying that there has been a sharp rise in the intake of strontium 90 in Britain since last year and that it now seems doubtful if there is any safe dose. He says that the indications are that any increased strontium 90 intake raises the liability to bone cancer and leukemia. Mr. Arnott suggests that children are particularly vulnerable, because they are building bones and they drink more milk. The position is, therefore, that people who are completely healthy to-day could easily be dying in ten years' time from the very things that the scientists are warning us about. In ten years' time, people who are now healthy could be dying, riddled with cancer and leukemia, because of this mad, stupid race in atomic weapons testing that is going on in the world to-day. The Prime Minister hit the nail on the head when he said, " Can we dare be defenceless against Russia? We have to carry on these tests as a deterrent to Soviet Russia ". But the trouble is that while we talk like that, making no effort to stop these tests, Russia is saying the very same thing. The Russians exploded two more atomic bombs during the last three days, no doubt using the argument that while we go on conducting nuclear tests, they must do the same in order to have a deterrent against our use of the bomb.

Do not let anybody say that we would not use the atomic bomb first. Who used the only two atomic bombs that have been used yet? It was we, the Western Powers, who used them against the Japanese of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. So we can no longer plead that our Christian principles are so great as to prevent us from being the first to use atomic weapons. Other peoples of the world, particularly the Asian peoples, will remember that we did not hesitate to use atomic bombs against the defenceless women and children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, knowing that the Japanese could not retaliate in like manner. This is the situation that we are confronted with in a world where the people are crying out for peace, in a world where the mothers, in particular, are yearning for peace. For how much longer must the mothers of the world produce sons to be used as gun fodder in defence of capitalist investments throughout the world? This thing has to stop. If we do not stop it soon,, we and the sons that the mothers of the world will produce will go up in an atomic cloud.

The Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Holt) had a lot to say about the Brisbane declaration, but he did not point to one clause and criticize it. He made a general sweeping criticism of it. Once again, he used the smear campaign. He believes that by repeating his accusation often enough he can get people to believe that, because the Communists support what we did at Brisbane, it must be wrong. I have yet to learn that the Communists do support it. If the Communists do support it, they are much better with regard to their foreign policy than I thought they were, because the policy declared by the Labour party at Brisbane is a policy which I would like to think the Communists would support. I do not know whether the Minister realizes the compliment that he paid to the Communist parties df Australia and of the world when he assured us that they support, in toto, what we did at Brisbane.

There is too much of this nonsense of saying that because the Communists oppose a thing, we should support it. The Communists can sometimes be right, just as we can sometimes be wrong. When the Communists are right, for God's sake let us be big enough tq agree with them, just as we ought to be big enough to disagree with them when they are wrong. This business of putting ourselves in the wrong in order to ^ opposite to the Communist party is the reason why we are in the trouble that we are in to-day. Because the Communists said that they wanted peace, three years ago it was a crime to believe in any movement for peace. Because the Communists say that we ought to ban atomic warfare and atomic tests, the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth) would be the first to say that any one who wants the same things must be a Communist, too.

The honorable member for Mackellar and I had a cup of coffee one night with Professor Oliphant. He will remember what Professor Oliphant told us when he tried to explain the enormous power of the hydrogen bomb and gave us an example of what it could do. Over that cup of coffee he told us that it was possible to think of hydrogen bombs in terms of 50 megatons. What is a 50-megaton hydrogen bomb? It is a bomb with an explosive power equal to 50,000,000 tons of T.N.T. In the 1,000-bomber raids on Hamburg in the last war, when 10,000-lb. block-busters were dropped, the amount of T.N.T. in each 10,000-lb. block-buster was exactly one ton. The total amount of T.N.T. dropped in a 1,000-bomber raid on Hamburg was 1.000 tons, but here we are talking about a bomb with explosive power equal to 50.000,000 tons of T.N.T. Think, of the madness of the thing! How much longer is this Government going to go on threatening this kind of war in a world which demands peace, a world in which the mo.hers yearn for peace and the right to see their children grow up?


Mr Turnbull - Sob stuff!


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The honorable member for Mallee (Mr. Turnbull; says it is sob stuff only because he has not any sons. If he were a father with sons and had the same love for them as every father that I know has for his sons, he would not call it " sob stuff ". We have to prevent our young men from being destroyed. The trouble with this Government is that it is hell bent on having an atomic war somehow, and anybody who tries to avoid the kind of suicidal war that we are faced with is called a Communist sympathizer. I say that no country could win an atomic war. There would be no winners. Every country engaged in the next atomic war would be defeated.

The Australian Labour party believes in striving to create a world situation which will ensure the inevitability of peace, rather than the inevitability of war. Labour sees a brighter future for mankind than that which is offered by this Government's foreign policy. Labour does not accept war as the only alternative to communism, as this Government does. Democratic socialism can destroy communism, and it will destroy communism if it is accepted in time. The only force in the world to-day that can destroy communism is democratic socialism. Democratic socialism is another name for the policies of the Australian Labour party, the New Zealand Labour party and the British Labour party. It is another name which states more explicitly what those parties stand for.

Even if every Communist in the world were burnt or made to believe in capitalism, the threat of war between the capitalists of the United States, of Europe and of Asia would still be just as real as the threat of war is to-day. Do not forget that differences in ideologies are merely the means for lining up the sides in the war that is always carried on when there is greed and avarice on one side and on the other. The causes of war are material as much as they are ideological. Capitalism showed itself to be quite capable of preparing for, and of fighting, two world wars, without the aid of communism. Can anybody who knows the history of World War 1. truthfully say that the Communists started that war? Can anybody truthfully say that the Communists started World War II.? Of course not! If every Communist were burnt to-morrow, the capitalists who started the first and the second world wars would show that they were capable of starting a third world war. The factors which caused those two world wars will remain unless they are understood and grappled with by this and other governments. The factors which caused those wars were material factors - trade, trade routes and closed markets. Closed markets caused the German people to cry out for living space. It was because Hitler could not get a job as a paper-hanger that he became the leader of the Nazi party. It was because hundreds of thousands of other Germans could not get jobs in their own country, due to the fact that the markets of the world were close to German manufacturers, that they turned to the Nazi party in desperation.


Mr Hulme - Hitler was a democratic socialist.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - He was nothing of the kind. He was a national socialist. I am glad that the honorable member made that interjection. There are many brands of socialism which we completely disagree with. The national socialism which Hitler espoused and the corporate socialism which Mussolini espoused are two brands of socialism that we completely and totally disagree with. We disagree entirely with the absolute socialism of the Communist countries. We disagree completely with them because we have very good reasons for doing so. We of the democratic socialist parties are the number one enemies of the Communists in every part of the world, because they know that we represent the only force that can stand between them and their complete domination of the world. Because we represent the only force that can stand between communism and its domination of the new world, the Communists know that we are their No. 1 enemies.

The cure, I believe, lies in control by the United Nations of the world's resources of oil, uranium and other materials that are basic to the world's economy. I do not believe that any of these basic materials should be monopolized by any one nation, much less by any individuals. Surely no one will say that any nation or individual has a God-given right to monopolize an oil or uranium deposit or any other resource that is basic to the welfare of all God's creatures! No one can truthfully say it.

In regard to trade routes, I refer in particular to the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, the Dardanelles, the Kiel Canal, the Straits of Gibraltar, and even, if you like, the Manchester Ship Canal. If it is correct that the Suez Canal should be placed under international control, why should not the Dardanelles, the Panama Canal, the Kiel Canal, and the Straits of Gibraltar also be placed under international control? It is sheer nonsense for the Prime Minister to say that, because the United States of America has a perpetual lease over the Panama Canal, no one in Panama can have any say over it. That nonsense presupposes that this Government has the right to give Kangaroo Island to some other power in perpetuity and that no future Australian Government can reverse its decision. What a mad. stupid and preposterous proposition to advance - that a government of to-day can decide the future of generations unborn in respect of a particular part of its own territory! But that is the basis of the Prime 'Minister's proposition. I believe that the only proper course for the preservation of world peace is for Russia, France, the

United States and Britain to withdraw from all bases on foreign territory. Let them all withdraw from every base outside their own territories and the problem of world tension will be solved.


Mr McMahon - You will not get Russia out of Hungary.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The Minister talks about Russia. The trouble in the world to-day is that, while the United States and the other Western Powers fear attack by Russia, Russia sees itself ringed by hostile bases and similarly fears attack by the Western Powers. So the tension is maintained.


Mr McMahon - What about the Russian satellites?


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I believe that the satellite countries have every right to resent the presence of Russian troops, but how can we expect Russia to withdraw from those territories while it is surrounded at every point by American bases on foreign territory?


Mr McMahon - Where7


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - If the Minister looks at the map, he will see where. I want to see Russia withdraw from the satellite countries. But let us, for goodness' sake, apply the principle completely and require every other nation to withdraw from its satellites also. Let us not continue to split our principles in our foreign policies. "We cannot have one rule for Suez and one for Hungary ", says the Prime Minister. I agree with him entirely. The Australian Labour party has never adopted one rule for Suez and another for Hungary. It applies a rule that holds good for all countries. Let Government supporters, when they talk about the Hungarian people's right to self-determination, consider the rights to self-determination of the people of Cyprus and Malaya. Let them apply the rule both ways. Let them not split their principles and do the very thing that the Prime Minister accused the Opposition of doing.

I believe that the immediate aim of this Government, if understood and properly analysed, and that of the other capitalist powers, is to preserve world capitalism from the threat of democratic socialism, because, since the hydrogen bomb has ruled out the practicability of holding communism by force alone, the final phases of the present struggle between the East and West are going to be determined on the battlefield of ideas. Let us remember that: The final stages of the struggle are going to be determined on the battlefield of ideas. Therefore, we have to direct our attention to that battlefield. The battle cannot be won by disgraceful smear campaigns such as those that have made famous - or, rather, infamous - certain United States senators. We do not need a measure such as the McCarran act to prevent every one who has ever been or is ever likely to be a Communist from entering the country. Even Professor Oliphant, a mutual friend of the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth) and myself, was refused entry to the United States, presumably on the ground that he was a dangerous person. How silly can people get? How silly can countries get when they act in that fashion towards respectable people like Professor Oliphant? That is the sort of thing that is happening in the world to-day.

Democratic socialists find no difficulty in meeting Communist argument. We democratic socialists are not afraid of Communists entering this country, because we have an argument that the Communists cannot answer. It is only when one cannot answer the arguments of the Communists that one wants to keep them out. It is only when a country is afraid of the consequences of letting its citizens see Communist countries that it wants to prevent them from travelling to Communist countries. Again I refer to the mad rule of the United States which prevents United States citizens from even entering red Ch ina. If red China is the evil place that the American authorities say it is, would it not be well to allow as many Americans as possible to visit it so that they could return to their own country and tell every one else from first-hand knowledge just how bad it is? I am not afraid of any Communist country or argument because I have a better argument than the Communists can ever advance.


Mr Anderson - What is it?


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The argument of democratic socialism, about which I shall tell the honorable member before I finish. It is deplorable that the Americans have resorted to a smear campaign which has resulted in the regrettable episode of the suicide of that magnificent gentleman who represented Canada as its ambassador in Egypt.


Mr Anderson - The honorable member had never heard of him before.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Hisdeath was undoubtedly the result of a smear campaign, and it was rightly described by Mr. Lester Pearson as murder by slander. I deeply regret that incident. The great United States has done itself no good in the eyes of decent-thinking people by allowing some of its leading citizens to murder this man by slander. I believe that that is the kind of thing that the honorable member for Lyne (Mr. Lucock) would do by means of the notice of motion that stands-







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