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Tuesday, 9 April 1957


Sir WILFRED KENT HUGHES (Chisholm) . - In the short time available to me I wish to talk about something practical. Time does not allow me to make an expansive survey of the trials and tribulalations of this troubled world; so, postmortems on Suez I leave to other, perhaps bigger, brains, because, as a simple soldier, I have never been able to understand the object of the exercise, except as far as the Israelis are concerned, and I can only hope that the results there will be beneficial to all concerned. I want to speak for a few minutes as an average citizen, as a member of a free nation, one of the family - not merely of British origin, not merely of Commonwealth affiliation - but one of the worldwide family of free nations which look with dismay at what has happened recently to Anglo-American relations, and which realize that their security and the preservation of their ideals and ways of life depend on the closest possible confidence and co-operation between Washington and Westminster - between Britain and America, the two strongest members of the family.

All of us, of course, know that this is a divided world in which we live. We want to ease international tension. We have the ideal of promoting disarmament provided we can get international safeguards to guarantee it. In other words, we all want to do those things that will, in the long run, bring peace on earth to men of goodwill. But that is not very easy, with the bluff and bluster of the Communist imperialists, such as we see in Europe to-day.

There are two characteristics of the Communists which stand out. One is their respect for strength; the other is that they rapidly exploit weakness. They also promote, with great ability, all kinds of propaganda. Therefore, we do not want our efforts for peace to imply that we are in any way like people being hypnotized by a boa constrictor preparatory to being swallowed. There are many people to-day whose vision is blinded by their own idealism. We can see an example of that on the other side of the House. There are others whose visions are fixed on soft cushions on which they hope to sit in their old age; and sometimes foreign policies are affected unconsciously by such visions. There are others whose perspective is so distorted by subtle narcotics injected into the body politic by the wily that they cannot distinguish between drug dreams and reality. All these people affect, very materially to-day, the friendship between Great Britain and the United States.

Two years and two months ago I tried, when in Tokyo, to issue a warning. All the way up the China coast I had been alarmed at what I had seen and heard to make me realize that the main Communist strategy is to divide and conquer - the old strategy of the Roman imperialists - and that that was the strategy they were applying particularly to the relationship between Great Britain and America. I was alarmed at its success. I was accused of all sorts of things for the statement that I made. I was accused of going against Government policy. One has only to read the article written by the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey), in " Mufti ", in May, 1955, to see that I was wrongly accused, or read the Prime Minister's speech in this House on 20th April, 1955, when he even flattered me by using the same phraseology oi " divide and conquer ", which he used again to-night. My statement was not against Government policy. It was intended as a warning and to be of some assistance to the United Nations forces in the Far East which at that time were in a time of crisis following the evacuation of the Tachen Islands

I was interested to receive last December, as a result of some publicity I got in America in connexion with the Olympic Games, a letter from General Hull, now retired and living in Washington, who was, at the time I made that statement, United Nations Commander in the Far East. He said -

The statements you made at that time were of great assistance to me, and I will always appreciate the position you took and the support you gave the United Nations Command in the Far East.

Unfortunately, my statement was not popular in Westminster and in some other quarters. The only regrets I have in connexion with that Tokio statement are that my appreciation of the situation was, unfortunately, correct, and has been borne out by subsequent events. I say that it is a pity, not because I said it, but because it was true, that more notice was not taken of it. If we go through the history of recent years in the Far East we find, unfortunately, that every time America wanted to stand firm. Britain wanted to compromise, and the diametrically opposite policies of Great Britain and America in the Far East have now brought about the great division between the two countries which has been evident for some time, particularly as these opposing policies are reflected in the Middle East. The origin of the division is in the Far East, but the repercussions are now in the Middle East. Last July, I tri «o warn people in Washington and Westminster what the result was going to be. But no Cassandra is popular. Now, we see in yesterday's newspaper reports the statement - I hope it is not true - that Great Britain intends to po it alone and trade with red China. The b=ill has come back into the Far East court. If that is true, all I can do is to plead, without the eloquence but with the same fervidness of heart and voice and mind as

Edmund Burke pleaded on 22nd March, 1775, when he said, in effect, that the question is not what are your national rights, but what is right in the interests of those who love you and love the freedom that you love. Are the interests and greed of the present to barter away the security of the future? Do not think for one moment I am foolish enough to suggest that the mistakes have been all on the one side. I do not think anybody is foolish enough to suggest that. I have not forgotten Yalta, Potsdam and the tragedy of the Marshall mission to China. I wish America would give more credit to Great Britain for fulfilling her historic mission in assisting others to independence, instead of carping criticism on "colonialism". Since the war more than 600.000.000 people have been granted independence, mainly by Great Britain, but also by other members of the European family of nations of the free world. Without the help of Great Britain most of these people would not have reached natio'nhood. In the same time more than 600.000,000 people have been enslaved by the Communist imperialists. So, I wish America would give Great Britain more praise for her virtues. Perhaps, on both sides of the Atlantic, we should look for things that we can praise each other for, rather than look for things over which we can indulge in carping criticism. On the one hand, we have people who want to carry on the old War of Independence of 200 years ago. These are, one might say, brash people who want revenge still for things tied up with the old Boston Tea Party. On the other side, we have the cynical supercilious and jealous attitude of the stuffed-shirts of the diplomats of the old colonial school. The former are in America, the latter are in Great Britain, and both are in a small minority, but they have had too much influence of late. The vast majority of people, whether in Great Britain, Australia or America, want to see the two strongest members of the family of free nations of the world getting closer together, not drawing farther apart in accordance with Communist strategy. Perhaps I might suggest, in a humble way, that the method of approach is one of the most important things in connexion with this division of opinion. We in Australia have an important part to play, but we cannot play it if we think that Westminster is the fount of all wisdom, or that Washington cannot make a mistake - 1 was going to say " cannot tell a lie ". But in the long run, there is one other thing we want to remember: That double talk to tickle our listeners' ears is making the worst of all worlds.

The Labour party, on the other hand, has enunciated a foreign policy. What is it7 It springs from one of two causes. At the best, it is idealism completely divorced from the realism which made a Labour government call for help from America - and rightly so - in 1941, and at its worst, it is based on Sharkeyism, because it follows, item for item, the policy for Australia set out by Mr. L. L. Sharkey at the eighth Communist conference in Peking in September, 1956, and broadcast by the Peking Radio. The Leader of the Opposition started off by attacking Seato. It does not mean anything to him, apparently, but it does to the Philippines and Thailand, and also to some other nations who are not members of it. He went on to insult Thailand. When all is said and done, Thailand's form, of government is far more democratic than is that exercised by the executive of the Australian Labour party at the present time. Who are the members of the Opposition to criticize? They want to weaken the Malayan Federation by taking away the Australian Imperial Force, which is there only because it was asked to be there. It is helping to provide security and is thereby repaying some of the debt which, the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Cairns) may remember, we owe to Malaya for its loyalty and for what it suffered in saving us from a worse fate during the last war. That debt has not been repaid.

Finally, I come to the recognition of red China which, I suppose, the right honorable member for Barton thinks is a popular subject at the present time, but concerning which he said, in 1949, that the Communist government" of China could not be recognized in the absence of specific assurances that the territorial integrity of neighbouring countries would be respected, and that the new China would discharge all its international obligations. When he looks at Korea, Indo-China, Tibet, Nepal, the infiltration into Kashmir, arid the Burma border incidents, does he think that those international obligations have been fulfilled and that territorial integrity has been maintained? He does not! Great Britain supported the recognition of red China early in the piece, and what did she get? A smack across the mouth with the back of Mao's hand, the confiscation of £300,000,1)00 worth of industrial assets without one penny compensation, and other indignities. You can tell it to the marines, but you cannot tell it to the overseas Chinese and make them understand, that recognition of red China docs not mean approval.

The Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey), in his usual style and with his usual enthusiasm, has been trying to do a good job and has, in fact, done a darned good job in creating fellowship and understanding between us and our neighbours, and also in assisting to promote security through Anzus and Seato. The Prime Minister, in the speech to which I have referred, on 20th April, 1955, said that, under his leadership. Australia's prestige- was high and that we had a right to be proud of it. But something has slipped since then. Governments, like individuals, are judged by deeds, not just by words. I find it rather difficult to understand people who advocate a defence policy based on American arms, communications and equipment and then, by inference and inaction, undermine American foreign policy in the same area. In the speech that the Prime Minister made on defence last week, the right honorable gentleman very rightly drew attention to the savage toll of the lives and cultures of the people of South-East Asia taken by the Communists. He described the subtlety of their machinations and their immoral approach to international relations. There are very few people in this House who will not agree with that summing up of the Communists in South-East Asia, but I find it difficult to see the logic in the Government's policy when, believing that, it promoted the visit of our senior trade commissioner in Hong Kong last year to Peking for an hour's interview with the Prime Minister of red China. We may disagree as to whether or not he should have gone, but I fail to see the logic of it in view of an apparent ban on Ministers of the Government visiting the Republic of China in Formosa. That visit opened the flood gates for many other visits and many other missions with which we may or may not agree. All I say is that if people want to visit somebody with whom 1 am technically at war, I wish they would do so at their own expense, and I wish they would see other places besides Hong Kong, which is the greatest smugglers' cave invented by man. Unless the object of the exercise is to cause loss of face to the 14.000.000 Chinese outside Formosa, they ought to visit Nationalist China as well as Peking.

The Prime Minister himself, I am glad to see, is at last going to visit the Far East. 1 am glad that he is to visit the Philippines, and also Japan and Thailand, but 1 am sorry to see that he is not going to pay even a courtesy call on the Republic of China at Taipeh. What is the reason? Is it because Westminster would not like it? ls that the reason we have no consul there at the present time, despite the fact that we have had a Minister here in Canberra for a long time? Was not the Republic of China - a free nation - one of our allies in the war? We owe the Nationalist Chinese a lot more than many honorable members opposite will give them credit for. There are almost the same number of people on Formosa as there are in Australia, and the Government there represents, if not stability, at least something firm in the shifting sands of China's destiny to the 14.000.000 overseas Chinese. If they lose their morale and go " Com." because they think they are going to be deserted, all of South-East Asia will be in considerable danger. 1 should like to ask the Government to have another look at this important question, because I do not think it realizes everything that is involved in it. I myself make no bones about it: I am not in favour of the recognition of red China, for the good reasons given by the right honorable member for Barton in 1949, for the reasons given by the Secretary of State. Mr. Dulles, to Seato recently in this chamber, and for the reasons given by Mr. Walter Robertson, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Far East, in Washington last week, and published in yesterday's newspapers.

What happens in the future is possibly for the future, but what we do to-day may have a great effect on it. AM I ask is this: There has been a Bermuda conference. The Prime Minister of Great Britain and the President of the United States there discussed many of these subjects which 1 have only lightly adumbrated to-night, but I believe that if all of us realize the importance of ushering in a " new Bermuda era ", in which trade rivalries, jealousies and the spirit of revenge are submerged to the place where they ought to be, then, perhaps, we can get together and assist all free nations of the world to promote the progress and prosperity of, and guarantee the security of not only those who now belong to the free nations, but also those who love the freedom that we love.







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