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Tuesday, 21 March 1961


Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES (Chisholm) . - I wish to join with other honorable members in expressing very warm and, I think, very well deserved congratulations to the mover and the seconder of the Address-in-Reply and also in wishing them well in their parliamentary careers.

Because of the very nature of the debate on the Address-in-Reply many subjects are discussed. The honorable member for Cunningham (Mr. Kearney) has made a very impassioned speech on social security. I remind the honorable gentleman and a lot of other honorable members, as well as people outside, that social security is not worth very much unless we also have national security. While we are arguing over social security, I am afraid that we are forgetting what is happening in the world to-day. I know that the state of the economy is very important for every man, woman and child in the country, but since the handling not so long ago of the new financial relationship between the Commonwealth and the States I have perfect confidence in the ability of the Acting Prime Minister (Mr. McEwen) and the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) to do what is necessary so that Australia's prosperity may continue. I only hope - perhaps a little optimistically - that they have been given full powers of attorney during the absence of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies).

I would remind anybody who has any doubts about the economic position to-day that I well remember the depression years that started fifteen and a half years after the end of World War I. When we compare the last ten years and our present prosperity with the conditions in 1933 I think we will all agree that not only the civil servants, but also this Government's members, have learned a lot from experience and have done a magnificent job as far as the economy is concerned. I only wish that the security nerve were as sensitive as the hip pocket nerve, because if it were we would be much more concerned by the rapidity with which the Communists have been proceeding with their great leap forward to take over the trade unions and the Australian Labour Party with their united front and unity ticket tactics, and also the white-anting tactics of the red termites. The trouble is that there are so many kind-hearted and humanitarian people in this country like honorable members opposite who are either unable, or refuse, to face the facts, or are ignorant of the facts and therefore, unknowingly, become the tools of the Communists and are therefore much more dangerous than card-carrying members of the Communist Party.

Take, for example, my honorable and literary friend, the honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Haylen), who not so long ago visited red China and on his return, being an author of some distinction, wrote a book called - what was it? - " Love is a Many Splendoured Thing ". I am sorry, that was not the title. I am confusing the mistresspiece of another author with the. masterpiece of the honorable member for Parkes. His book was called " Chinese Journey ".

I listened with great interest to the speech made by the honorable member for Parkes on the Crimes Bill 1960 when he said what a terrible travesty of justice it would be if the known character of the accused were taken into account in any trial held under the provisions of the Crimes Act. During the recess I read " Chinese Journey " and was astounded when I found on page 124 that the honorable member for Parkes had visited the Shanghai municipal court. I have forgotten what the actual trial was that he witnessed, but in no equivocal language he praised the fact that the known character of the accused was taken into account by the judge before the sentence was delivered. In other words, the double standards of the Communists must be a very infectious disease, and the honorable member for Parkes should be careful that he does not come into the category that I mentioned earlier.

Take the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Cairns). He nearly had apoplexy at one stage in the House last year when I said that as a result of the Communist advance through its unity ticket tactics at Yallourn, Victoria, we would soon be faced with threats of total black-outs. I think that at the time there was a dispute at the Melbourne City Council's power house. The mind of the honorable member for Yarra became as disturbed and discolored as the Yarra in full flood. He almost had a stroke and he said that it was nonsense for me to talk in that way. After what has happened in Victoria in the last two or three weeks would any honorable member say that I was talking nonsense then? The workers in the State Electricity Commission were fooled by the Communists, through their shop stewards or committees, into going against the disputes committee of the Trades Hall Council and attempted to stage a black-out. The Communists aim is to return to trial by terrorism under the cloak of collective bargaining. Surely the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Melbourne Trades Hall Council know of the resolutions that were passed by the World Federation of Trade Unions at its world conference and of the directives that have been issued to every Communist Party in every country to employ these tactics in order to tike the trade unions over as far as possible, and destroy conciliation and arbitration courts.

If the honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) who is interjecting now, does not believe me he should read the trade union journals and the Communist Party publications. Mr. L. L. Sharkey's book, "Trade Unions ", published the Communist bible in 1949 and recently in a revised edition, devotes a whole chapter to the campaign to destroy the arbitration court because it is a barrier to Communist ambitions.

One could go on with similar examples. For instance there was the Victorian railways dispute. That, unfortunately, was settled out of court. As a result, this success was followed by threats to the State Electricity Commission. Then the Communist secretary of the tramways employees' union tried the same thing with the Minister for Transport. Then there were the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited and the rolling strikes on the waterfront. One can easily see the pattern of what is going on.

Does the Labour Party know what is going on? If it has any idea of the truth then it must be condoning what the Communists are doing. All these matters, and many more, are incidents of varying importance in the cold war which is being waged with greater and greater severity against us, both 'internally and externally.

The danger of communism in Australia did not disappear with the defection of the Petrovs.


Mr Bryant - We will call for Admiral Dowling.


Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES -

All right, I know this is not very popular with you, and may not be very popular with other people. In 1935, 1 spent a whole year saying what the Japanese military authorities were, and what they were going to do, and the fact that I proved right did not make me any more popular. In 1941. when some boys in the A.I.F. in Malaya wanted to go to the Middle East, I told them that they would get all the fighting they wanted before the end of the year. During the Korean war I was not popular when I said what would happen in Indo China if we did not proceed right through to the Yalu River. In 1955, in Hong Kong, through certain lines of intelligence, I was informed about a smuggling ring which was importing diesel engines for landing craft transshipping them and sending them up the coast in British ships. These engines came into Hong Kong on ships' manifests as replacements for the Kowloon ferry and then went up the coast in British ships just at the time of the Tachen Island evacuation. The British authorities did not like me when I told them I thought it was worth looking into. The American authorities did not laugh at all when I told them my information was that 10 per cent, of the engines were American and 90 per cent. British. A week later the Hong Kong " Standard " published a paragraph saying that on the previous day the Japanese and the Americans had raided a ship loading m Yokohama for Hong Kong and had taken 193 cases of spare parts for diesel engines for landing craft off the ship and had uncovered a smuggling ring in Japan.

Of course, it is not popular to hold certain views and to say certain things, but as long as I am in this Parliament I intend to say about foreign affairs what I feel it is right for me to say, because at my age unless you do that you may as well be out of Parliament altogether. If honorable members opposite do not believe me perhaps they will believe the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, Lord Home, whose remarks were reported by the Melbourne " Herald " of 9th February as follows: -

The Foreign Secretary, Lord Home, warned the West to-night against letting itself be fooled by the Soviet. " The Communist aim is world domination. Only their methods have changed," he said. "Peaceful co-existence is neither peaceful nor co-existence."

Referring to negotiations with the Communists Lord Home said that some accommodaton with them might be possible, but only if it suited their interests and their conditions were fulfilled.


Mr Jones - Do you support the decision of the Government-


Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES - If you want to back the Communists, all right, go ahead, but like a hot war, the cold war cannot be fought by being continually on the defensive. Nor are spasmodic excursions into the realms of rhetoric a suitable substitute for a foreign policy.

I should like to mention how we have fallen further behind in the use of various weapons in the cold war. The first is public relations. We are away back, plodding a long, long trail awinding behind Moscow and Peking in the matter of public relations in the international sphere. Moscow and Peking have a lot of influence on the opinion of the world to-day because of their efficient and continuous radio propaganda. Take the trade position. One of our trade leaders stated the other day that trade with the Communists had nothing to do with politics. That statement was made out of abysmal ignorance. He has never heard of the Burma rice deal or of what happened in Finland in 1957 when the Finns had to change their ministry as a result of a boycott of their goods by Russia which normally took 25 or 30 per cent, of their total exports. Apparently he has never heard of what happened to Japan in 1958. Now I learn that the Government has to decide whether it will sell wheat on credit to red China. As far as I am concerned - I have said this before and I repeat it now - I would rather make a gift of our wheat to feed the starving people of China than sell it on credit, particularly as Ceylon has not yet been able to collect its money for rubber that it sold to the Chinese Communists some time ago.

The other matter which one should mention but on which one cannot speak at any length is the strategic lie which has been followed right through from the time that the Communists in China in the 'forties were represented by Moscow as agrarian liberals. Take another example, the fictitious letter supposed to have been written by an American, Admiral Frost, supporting the Indonesian rebels. The exposure of that strategic lie took place when Kasnakeyev defected from the Russian embassy at Rangoon. I believe that what happened in Suez - the disagreement between Great Britain and France, on the one hand, and America on the other - was brought about largely by a similar document planted on a plane. The French were tipped off about it and eventually brought the plane down. But that cannot be proved. However, in view of the tactics that have been employed in the past I should like very much to see the document which was taken from the plane.

If honorable members do not believe what I have said, they should have a look at the Communist sheet which was published in

Melbourne on 8th March, 1961. It carries the headline -

Secret UK cabinet report bares rightwing union leaders betrayals and intrigues.

This fake document was distributed in Lagos, Nigeria, in an endeavour to oust the International Council of Free Trade Unions, a free trade union organization, in favour of the World Federation of Trade Unions, a Communist organization.

So it goes on. If we do not use much more effectively in this cold war the modern weapons that I have mentioned, we shall be like the people to whom Stewart Alsop referred the other day in an article when he said, "Nice guys finish last". It is no good saying, " It is not done, old man; it is not done ". Those days have gone. One cannot fight knuckle-dusters with boxing gloves. We have to approach this matter much more seriously than we have done. We are confronted with the big problems of the Commonwealth, the United Nations, Laos and the Congo, and I cannot understand why the Government does not realize that the External Affairs portfolio is a fulltime job for any one, not a second-class job to be done in the spare time of a busy Prime Minister, as it has been for a long time in India. The portfolio needs two Ministers - one a junior Minister to attend to routine daily affairs, and so free the Minister himself to give his full attention to constructive thinking on the big problems of the day and to discussing them with the representatives of our allies here in Canberra, who, I should think, hardly ever see the present Minister for External Affairs. He should be able to give plenty of time to constructive thinking on these problems which vitally affect our future. Instead, as has been the case in the past, we have drifted from crisis to crisis and have dealt with each crisis hour by hour as it arrived. That is not good enough. These problems have to be thought out; a lot of attention has to be given to them and a lot of reading done. You cannot pick up these things as one would a brief, argue the matter before a jury, however excellently, and then drop it the next day. I consider there should be many more debates on foreign affairs. We very seldom have them, md when we do they are very restricted. How can the people of Australia understand what is happening unless we tell them?

Last week I asked a question about Laos. Perhaps I was wrong in my interpretation of the manner in which that question was. answered, but I felt like the dunce in the class being answered by teacher's bright boy. I do not think the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick) meant to make me feel that way, but that is how I felt. If that was the impression the people outside received, then they will not be able to understand the danger which is now evident in Laos, the gateway to South-East Asia. If Laos goes to communism, we shall be faced with a situation similar to that which confronted us at the time of Pearl Harbour. I have taken part in one surrender in Singapore and I do not want to take part in another, even if the Singapore is the size of Australia. If we do not pay more attention to these problems and try to make Australians see the difficulties and become more interested, we shall be in a very dangerous position.

I am tired of taking part in a retreat from Moscow - blinded and befogged by blizzards of appeasement, benumbed by the soporific effect of the soft snows of apathy, and frozen into immobility on the ice of inactivity. Is Seato what Peking calls it - a paper tiger? If we continue along the track that we have been treading, I suggest that next Anzac Day we think about the 60,000 men in one war, and the 30,000 in another, who made the supreme sacrifice so that we could remain free, and then we ask ourselves whether, as politicians, we are not just tossing away day after day the very principles for which those fellows died.

The year 1961 is definitely a year of crisis. The United 'Nations is on trial; Christianity is on trial; democracy is on trial and freedom is in danger. The Commonwealth, as we knew it before, is dead. What though have we given to expanding it and to making it a more useful conference or instrument of a similar kind? The United Nations seems to be dying of the red cancer that is already in it. What is the use of some one talking about expelling South Africa from the United Nations organization and in the same breath talking about admitting red China? We do not agree with apartheid, but nevertheless it is not as bad as the genocide that has taken place in Tibet.

What has happened in the Congo? How long can an organization continue to function when some of its members, having voted for action in the Congo and not liking the results, refuse to accept any financial obligation but leave the others to pick up the price tag, and then start a civil war on Congo territory between members of the United Nations? How can an organization exist in such an atmosphere? It is already dying of red cancer. To change the metaphor, if it is a structure worth saving, we must realize it is built on the shifting sands of unreality, and needs some constructive thought or policy for under-pinning and rebuilding the foundations. This subject requires a great deal of thought.

I should like to discuss these problems at greater length, but there is not the time in which to do it. I can understand, for instance, the difficulties in the Congo. I think that the United Nations to a certain extent has reached the stage that the League of Nations reached when it approved the imposition of sanctions against Italy on the question of Eritrea and could not enforce them. We seem to have reached the same stage in relation to the Congo. I can understand President Kasavubu's feelings on the matter, just a little, when you realize that the voting in his favour on 22nd November last was 53 to 24, with 19 abstentions, and that more than half the force that was supplied by the United Nations came from nations which voted against him whilst Uno's chief administrator in the Congo has a double loyalty to his own prime minister, who also voted against Kasavubu on that occasion. But nine French-speaking African countries voted for him, in spite of the fact that Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Morocco and the United Arab Republic voted against him. The position is full of difficulty. The whole of Africa and the Congo are tribal - very much like the position we have in New Guinea. All these problems will not be solved if we are merely going to leave them and think they will solve themslves.

No Australian wants, for one minute, to use force as a means of aggression, but at the same time it is very dangerous to bow before the force of an aggressor. Do not start talking about brink-of-war policies, because the Communists started the brink-of-war policy. The whole idea is to keep the world in nervous tension and try to bluff us out of our inheritance so that the Communists can win by default what they do not dare win by a hot war. I do not think they want a hot war any more than we do, but we have to learn to play international poker for high stakes and if we are going to have Munich after Munich, one of these day we will have to toe the line. I therefore urge the Government, the members of this House, and all Australians to keep a much closer eye on the international situation. We ought to be giving the lead from this House, instead of practically never discussing the international situation.







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