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Thursday, 11 April 1957


Mr DUTHIE (Wilmot) .- The honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen), in the humble opinion of the Opposition, takes himself far too seriously. If he could get a sense of humour, I am sure his contributions to debate in this Parliament would go down far better on this side of the House and probably throughout the country. To-night, he advanced a philosophy which was very strange and which, because of its intolerance, was very dangerous. His attitude to our leader, the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt), can be summed up in the following statement: " If you do not agree with me, you should be impeached ". The honorable member never makes a speech without attacking the Leader of the Opposition; but he will not succeed in destroying our leader. His speeches savour of Communist tactics, because he smears other people and displays intolerance towards them. The Communists try to destroy people by smearing and slandering them and by uttering untruths, and time after time this honorable member has contributed that kind of thing to debates. I am sure that he has ability. If he were to abandon the negative approach and make positive contributions to debate, he would, indeed, be worthy of his place in the Parliament and in the electorate.

Since its federal conference in Brisbane, from the 11th to 15th March, the Aus. tralian Labour party has been constantly attacked by the press and by Government supporters. Those attacks have consisted of distortion and misrepresentation of

Labour's policy. Labour's critics have endeavoured to aline its policy with communism. The press seems determined to give a wrong twist to everything that Opposition members say in this House. There is no possible way in which the people of Australia can get a fair understanding of Labour's position other than by listening to the broadcast of parliamentary proceedings. I should like to pay a tribute to the Australian Broadcasting Commission for providing this channel through which the Labour party can express its thoughts to the people. The people can get both sides of the story only by listening to the broadcasts of debates.

Let me say a few words about Labour's foreign policy. For the last three years, I have been a member of the federal executive of the Labour party, and I have been present at the federal conferences of the party for the last nine years.


Mr Cleaver - The honorable member was a member of the drafting committee, too, was he not?


Mr DUTHIE - Yes, I was a member of the committee which drafted Labour's foreign policy. Therefore, I have a right to speak on the matter and to let the House know the way in which we formulated that policy. The press has published all sorts of twisted ideas about it. In the Sydney " Sun " of 9th April, a journalist poses the question -

Who formulated this a.l.p. foreign policy?

Then, he set out incorrectly the members of the committee which dealt with it. The honorable member for Stirling (Mr. Webb), Mr. Bukowski of Queensland, Mr. Tony Mulvihill of New South Wales, Mr. Dinny Lovegrove, M.L.A., of Victoria, Mr. Dunstan, M.L.A., of South Australia, and I comprised the committee. From time to time our leader was with us to give us advice and help. The press has made the charge that there was collaboration between our leader and Dr. John Burton. I say quite truthfully that neither at Hobart, when I was a member of the drafting committee, nor at Brisbane did John Burton have anything whatever to do with us or our policy.

Honorable members know that at big conferences delegates form themselves into committees to deal with various items on the agenda. We had six committees at our federal conference, with six delegates on each, and the committee of which I was a member dealt with immigration, rail standardization and foreign policy. We spent hours and hours working out our foreign policy. Each of us made contributions in full committee. Then we would retire and record the points that had been made. Those written contributions would then be brought back to the committee and be added to 01 subtracted from. When the policy was finally formulated, it was typed and next day was presented to the conference item by item by our chairman and either approved or rejected by the full conference. That was the democratic way in which Labour's foreign policy came into being. All the scare stories that the press and honorable members opposite have tried to present to the country are just so much rubbish.

The policy is as follows: -

1.   Conference re-affirms the decisions of thi: Hobart Conference.

In fact, we removed five headings from the decision of the Hobart conference in relation to foreign affairs and brought the policy up to date in the light of current events. Certain events had taken place since the Hobart conference, and it was no longer necessary to retain certain points in the policy. I again quote -

2.   Australia is, and must always remain, an integral part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, as well as of the United Nations organization. Co-operation with the United States in the Pacific is of crucial importance and must be maintained and extended, in accordance with the spirit of this declaration.

3.   Australia must give greater practical support to the United Nations for the purpose of carrying out the principles of the United Nations Charter, and, in particular, for their wholehearted application in the Pacific and South-East Asia areas. These principles cover both collective action to repel military aggression, and also - a factor which is usually forgotten - continuous action by way of conciliation and peaceful intervention for the purpose of preventing war . . .

The Middle East crisis has been fully commented upon by my colleagues, but let me quote Labour's policy in that regard. It is as follows: -

4.   The Australian Government has not sufficiently availed itself of the machinery of the United Nations.

That is a masterly understatement. The statement of policy continues -

On the contrary, the Australian Government has, by the Prime Minister's action in the Suez crisis, completely abandoned the principles of the Atlantic Charter, deliberately repudiated Australia's pledged adherence to U.N.O., and gravely injured Australia's reputation throughout the world. Its open abandonment of arbitration in favour of force has destroyed the confidence of other peoples in the Australian Government.

Conference declares that the basic economic issue underlying the Suez dispute is the struggle of world monopolies to control oil, other resources, and international communications indispensable to the peaceful development of all peoples.

On the question of oil, let me read what Dean Acheson, a former American Secretary of State, said to the Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, on 10th January. Speaking about the vital part which oil played in the canal dispute, he said -

The dependence of Europe on Middle East oil is Colonel Nasser's trump card in getting the canal cleared at the expense of others without concessions on his part. So long as Europe must draw down its gold and dollar reserves for Western Hemisphere oil, Colonel Nasser can bleed Europe to death.

Do you know, Mr. Speaker, that crude oil reserves in the Middle East at the end of 1955 totalled 126 billion barrels, and that during the last eleven years 2.4 billion dollars have been invested in oil development? Oil concessions have been jockeyed about over the years and have passed from group to group. To-day, 52 per cent, of the petroleum reserves are held by America, 33 per cent, by British concerns, and the remaining 15 per cent, by French and Dutch interests. Revenues are flowing to Arab governments and sheikhdoms at the rate of one billion dollars a year. What a vast field that presents for secret oil treaties! What a power oil monopolies have over governments and countries! How much pressure did they exert on Sir Anthony Eden and France to go to war in Egypt to preserve their interests in the Middle East? We tried to point out in our statement of policy that oil has played a major part in the struggle in the Middle East. Any one who will not recognize that is like the ostrich with his head in the sand.

Regarding Australia's relationship with China, we have said, in our policy -

That the admission to the United Nations of continental China should no longer be delayed. We have said that it is in the best interests of

Australian development that, in line with the policy initiated by the British Labour party seven years ago and since supported by the British Conservative party, normal and friendly diplomatic relationships between continental China and Australia should be established and strengthened at once.

The United States, followed by Australia, has consistently refused to accept continental China as a member of the United Nations. The reasons are, first, that the de facto government of China is Communist; second, that it has acted, and is acting, harshly to get its regime accepted; third, that it is a puppet government, driven by Moscow; and fourth, that it does not represent the Chinese people and is, therefore, a dictatorship.

With reference to the first reason, it must be said, of course, that it is a Communist regime. But how can the Australian Liberal Government keep China out of the United Nations and allow Poland, Czechoslovakia, Roumania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics itself to remain inside the United Nations? This attitude is inconsistent, and is humbug. The United States of America has diplomatic relations with all these six Communist countries, which are inside the United Nations at the present time.

The second reason given for the exclusion of China is that it is acting harshly. It must be remembered that the governments of the other countries that I have mentioned have also acted harshly within their own borders. May I also instance Saudi Arabia and Spain? What hypocrisy it is to overlook the persecution of minorities in Dictator Franco's Spain, the detention of minorities in prisons, the silencing of free speech and of a free press, the passing of laws against minorities and the refusal of the great United Nations principle of freedom of worship! What did Franco do at the end of last year in Spain? He closed the British and Foreign Bible Society's office and printing press in Madrid and refused to allow it to set up an office in any other part of the country. This is happening in Spain. Yet Spain is in the United Nations. The Australian Government has the hypocrisy to let one nation in and leave the other out when both are denying basic freedoms to their people.

The third reason that I have mentioned is, in effect, that China is allied to Russia.

Of course, it iS! But not as a puppet. It is allied to Russia as Poland, Roumania and Bulgaria are allied to Russia for political and ideological reasons and for considerations of security. We know that like attracts like, and those countries have a common ideology. That is only natural. Obviously, the attitude of the United States of America and Australia will strengthen the Peking-Moscow axis. The attitude of the United States and Australia is doing nothing to drive a wedge between Peking and Moscow. Rather it is having the oppo: site effect.

I think that the task of the Western nations should be in every way possible to drive a wedge between Peking and Moscow. One way to do it is to accept China as a member of the United Nations. China, interestingly enough, is a different Communist country from others that we have dealt with because of its intense nationalism, which is a great safety valve. They are Chinese people before they are Communists. Their nationalism is inborn over the centuries and comes from the grass roots of their people. Their communism is superimposed on the nation and forced from above. Their nationalism is a native plant, enriched in China's soil. Their communism is a foreign ideology, imposed from without. It is their nationalism which will prevent Moscow from utterly and completely dominating China. Once Russia tries to dominate China as it has dominated countries in Europe, that will be the rock on which it will perish.

The fourth reason that I mentioned was that the Chinese Government was not representative of the common people. That is true. China is not a political or economic democracy. Nor is Spain, Roumania, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or Yugoslavia. If one Communist or Fascist group can be recognized and admitted to the United Nations, why is not China? It is such an inconsistent, humbugging attitude that one wonders at the mentality of people who say that China should be kept out of the United Nations. That is what the Opposition feels about the position of red China.

I come now to Seato. We say that the Seato regional organization must be both in instrument for the peaceful settlement rf South-East Asian disputes and for the mutual defence of the area in case of attack. It should operate strictly within and through the framework of the United Nations. This is what we went on to say at the Labour party conference -

This conference is of the opinion that Seato ha» failed to perform its basic functions.

We are not against Seato. We believe that it is not being used rightly and that it is fast becoming an instrument for bolstering reactionary regimes, as in Thailand, and that the Liberal-Country party coalition Government has contributed to Seato's ineffectiveness. The conference statement continues -

Further, we are of the opinion that the bolster ing of reactionary regimes in South-East Asis . . merely assists the Communists by giving them the opportunity to take over genuinely democratic nationalist movements.

The Labour party advocates generous assistance by Australia to Asian peoples suffering from poverty, disease, and lack of educational facilities. This is only part of our task. Asian peoples als( demand - in accordance with the United Nation: charter - the end of colonialism whenever ann wherever the people are fit for self-government. Even more, Asia rightly demands recognition of the dignity and self-respect of Asian nations and peoples.

It is about time that the West did this. 1 remember quite well my attitude to Asia before the war. At that time, I was at school and at the university and all that 1 knew of Asia was that it was a good place to study in your history and other studies I thought no more than that of Asia. 1 had no real interest in the countries there I studied them only in an impersonal way - disinterestedly and objectively. I never saw the Asian people as people with the same needs that I have, with the same hopes, the same weaknesses and the same problems. I sheltered, as so many of us in Australia shelter, behind our continental shelf; behind our White Australia policy; behind the smug complacency of white superiority. That has been the Western attitude to Asia, but at last we are gradually going to break it down. If we do not, the Communists will take over long before we do the right thing.

I shall now briefly discuss Malaya. The Labour party's foreign policy states -

That ideological and economic weapons should be employed by the Australian Government rathe than armed force in any endeavour to help Malaya in its internal fight against communism and fascism.

Australia has 1,500 troops in Malaya, and the cost is £2,500,000 a year. What are we doing to solve the great Malayan Communist problem? It cannot be solved by armed force. It can only be solved by the instrument of psychological and ideological warfare.

Concerning Algeria, Hungary and Cyprus, the Australian Labour party believes as follows: -

That the present policies of the French Government in Algeria, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Government in Hungary, and the British Government in Cyprus, are contrary to the principles of the United Nations charter and that selfdetermination for people capable of selfgovernment is their right.

Since the war Britain has given freedom in the form of self-government to 600,000,000 people in Asia. We feel that that should be done in Hungary, Algeria and Cyprus - three of the places which are at present fighting for self-government and self-determination. The Australian Labour party pledges itself to do everything possible to achieve it.

In conclusion, I wish to say that I feel that the great weapon that we need to use, plus the political and economic weapon in Asia, is the ideological weapon to wage war against communism which is hammering at the minds of the people. They are not firing off cannons or dropping bombs. They are winning the battle for the minds of men day after day while we are piling up our defence armaments. We need to become ideological-minded and use this great weapon. With it, I believe, we can win the war in Asia. Without it, we will lose. Ideologically speaking, we fiddle while Asia burns.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honorable member's time has expired.







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