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Wednesday, 12 April 1961

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Chaney (PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - The honorable member is in order relative to the debate.

Mr HAYLEN - Thank you, Sir. Those two trading posts were for the exclusive use of India. No dues were paid, and customs duties were eliminated between Tibet and China under the treaty. Here is the final thing - and it will kill for all time this hypocritical nonsense of the Country Party and those red-baiters and human-haters who infest this Parliament and are never fair on any issue which has anything to do with anything that is outside their own limited conception of what constitutes the free world. Look at the casualties that occurred in those days. The honorable member for Chisholm is always prating about Communists. He has a line through to Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan. He has to get his propaganda direct from Taiwan, because Chiang Kai-shek has killed off all his journalists. So the honorable member for Chisholm has to get his news direct from the propaganda sources. In the period between 1902 and 1904, according to the " Encyclopaedia Britannica ". 10,000 Tibetans were either killed or injured or fled the country after this friendly visit from Sir Francis Younghusband. So when you talk about Tibet you want to get some knowledge first of the historical side of things, and not just flaunt this business of, " Why doesn't the Opposition say something about poor little Tibet? " Over there you have not any facts about Tibet. The honorable member for Barker (Mr. Forbes), who is interjecting now, has not any facts about anything. I do not think he even knows the facts of life. His vacuous look shows that he has not got much to do with them.

We ought to say in our own defence, and we do say, that there is no basis for all this nonsensical business of, " Why don't you weep about Tibet? " There are no real facts about Tibet except one thing - that what happened was fomented as a plot by the Dalai Lama, and that money, ammunition and propaganda came in from. Taiwan to create a trouble spot in Tibet. There is no question about that. Then honorable members opposite ask, "Why didn't you weep about the martyrs of Hungary? " That was properly answered last night by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell). Since I have been chided for taking the analysis too far I permit myself this one remark about Hungary: The leader of our Federal Government - our national leader - gets up and says, in effect at any rate, "There is blood on the lips of the negroes in Sharpeville, but that is a domestic matter for South Africa." But if one dares to say that the revolution in Hungary was a matter that concerned the Hungarians then, because it was Communists revolting against Communists, oni: is accused of being a proponent of the reds. It is time that this dying Government woke up to the fact that there are opinions outside which completely refute all this silly rabid nonsense that comes from honorable members opposite. They are post-dated back to about 1910.

Therefore I think there is a complete answer to the questions that are asked us: " Why didn't you do something about the Tibetans? Why didn't you do something about the Hungarians? " Even if you pui us on the spot on this thing, now is your chance, as well as ours, to do something about the South African natives, about the Bantus. But what do we find? We fi l the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Howson), who has just finished speaking taking a valiant stand for his leader and saying that it is all wrong that these people should be free, that they are not ready for freedom. Away back in the days when Clement Attlee performed the greatest single act of majestic statesmanship when he freed India, it was the present Prime Minister o " Australia who said: " They are not read .1 for self-government. It is a terrible thing to give the Indian people self-government." But Nehru was waiting for his opportunity and in due course, on the floor of the United Nations, he proved not only that he was ready for self-government but that he was the equal and the superior and the conqueror of the right honorable member for Kooyong.

Sitting suspended from 6 to 8 p.m.

Mr HAYLEN - Mr. Speaker, in the ten minutes remaining to me I will try to recover the thread of my speech at the point I had reached before the suspension of the sitting. One has a certain sympathy for steadfast loyalty to a leader, but there is a national ethos, a soul, or a feeling in this country regarding certain unassailable rights of human beings, regardless of their colour. I believe that honorable members on both sides of the House share that feeling. There fore, there cannot be any apology for what has happened in South Africa. There cannot be any full understanding by the Australian people of the way in which the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) allowed himself to be manoeuvred into a situation which does not reflect any credit on the Australian community. In an attempt to preserve what, in his view, was the unity of the Commonwealth of Nations he forgot that the Commonwealth is built upon steadfast principles and that those principles were not being observed in South Africa.

There are two aspects of this problem in South Africa. There appears to be no awareness of that fact by the Government but South African scholars are concerned very deeply about it. One of them, a Dr. Brookes, has written a book which may be found in the Parliamentary Library. In it he states that the tragedy of Africa is that the battle for the soul of South Africa was lost at the polling booths when Dr. Verwoerd was returned as Prime Minister. I think that that will be the judgment of civilization upon this matter. Temporary advantages taken by the Opposition or the Government have no relevancy in a matter which concerns the humanities of existence. Dr. Verwoerd will not remain for ever. His dogged insistence that South Africa must have apartheid or get out of the community of nations may well mean that very soon the South Africans will change him rather than change their allegiance to the Commonwealth, which has been continuous if not always steadfast. The slogan of civilized people all over the world is, " United we stand, divided we fall ". In Africa they have changed it to, " Divided we stand because we stand for apartheid " The preservation of the whites cannot be the first law in any civilized community. The paramount thing upon which democracy insists is the preservation of the decency of human conduct towards all people, whether white or coloured and regardless of class or creed.

I would have thought that a man of the calibre of our Prime Minister would have realized that no clubmanship or friendship could have any place in the determination of fundamental issues. Surely, in view of his stated friendship with such men as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom he would understand what is meant by the winds of change. Would he not understand that there was a clean breeze blowing through Africa which was elevating the cause of the natives, and that it was only a bit of old colonial hokum to say to them, " You are not ready "? The justice of the thing is what counts.

The ancient African, the Indian, the Chinese and the coloured man generally was not ready for the colonial conqueror but the colonial conqueror got him. So when we are retreating from a position which we can no longer hold we should say that the present time is the right time to assist colonial peoples to achieve the maturity that they must have in order to govern themselves. We can get a sort of time lag in our minds which becomes ridiculous when read against the acceleration of history. I was pointing out before the suspension of the sitting that the classic example of that was the backward thinking of the Prime Minister in regard to India. When India gained its independence he, as usual, could not see any future for any of the subject races of the world. He said, referring to the people of India -

It may seem to me, as indeed it does, that to abandon control of the people who have not yet shown a real broad capacity for popular selfgovernment is to do a disservice to them. We do not greatly serve a people when we throw them into a state of self-government before the majority of them have become fit to undertake this extraordinary delicate and difficult task.

How crassly and absurdly wrong was the Prime Minister! After years of administration under the British Raj the Indians were ready for self-government, and they have successfully moved into the community of nations. Their conduct within the Commonwealth of Nations has shown the attitude of the Prime Minister to be out of date, absurd and ridiculous. The Prime Minister's thinking in regard to South Africa is old-fashioned and colonial. In relation to Ghana and the released peoples of other African countries, too, his thinking is backward.

In Australia there is and there will be a national concept of the eternal verities and the eternal decencies. In them there is no place for apartheid. There is no place for hatred of a man's colour. We have made ourselves reprehensible in the eyes of our friends by allowing ourselves to be dragged at the chariot of this monstrous theme that one man is better than another merely because of his colour and that in this year of grace, 1961, people can be condemned, fired upon and murdered because they are black. Shades of the glorious conquering days of the whites in the 1890's!

Mr Snedden - Tell us about Chou Enlai.

Mr HAYLEN - I have not the time and the honorable member would not understand me if I did tell him. The parties which are being arraigned for their absurdly supine attitude are the Government parties. The man in the dock is the Prime Minister. He scored no points for us overseas. Wherever he appeared for us he fell flat on his face. His resolutions were rejected. I shall conclude by reading a motion which was to have been moved in this House but which was not moved because the man who was to have moved it lost heart and did not go on with it. I refer to a proposed amendment which was labelled -

Amendment to be Moved by Some Government Supporter to Motion for Printing Paper.

The honorable member for Perth (Mr. Chaney) was given the accolade. I saw the Prime Minister move towards him. I saw him hold the-

Mr Chresby - You are quite wrong.

Mr HAYLEN - A copy of the motion was handed to the Clerk of the House and to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell). The honorable member for Perth was selected to move this motion because he is the ideal sycophant to do this sort of thing. He was born and bred to do this job for the Prime Minister, but when the document was put into his trembling hands he failed his leader in the last minute. I shall put the proposed amendment on record. It reads -

This House welcomes the cordial relations established by the Prime Minister with President Kennedy and senior members of his Administration. It commends the Prime Minister for his efforts at the conference of Prime Ministers in London, to preserve the unity of the Commonwealth, and for his vigorous expression of Australia's views on matters of vital concern to Australia at this conference and at the South-East Asia Treaty Organization conference in Bangkok.

This House places on record the appreciation of the Australian Parliament and the people for his distinguished service in these and other important directions. . . .

No wonder the honorable member for Perth quailed, with a general election coming up and the imminent danger of being removed from his place here! The note that I have from my own leader on the subject reads -

The above amendment . . . was indicated, but not submitted, by the honorable member for Perth.

The significant fact is that the amendment was written by the Prime Minister himself in full view of the House and was handed by him to the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Chaney) to read when his turn to speak came. The Prime Minister's draft goes to extraordinary lengths. It asks the House to commend the draftsman for his distinguished services and his other alleged remarkable qualities. This incident proves one thing, and that is that the Leader of the Opposition was right on target when he said -

Unfortunately, the foreign affairs policy of the Menzies Government is the private property of the Prime Minister. He makes it and changes it as he likes. He does so without reference to principles or precedents. It is largely an opportunist policy which varies with his moods. Both he and his Government are deserving of censure for this lamentable state of affairs.

That is the conviction of this party.

Mr SPEAKER (Hon John McLeay

Order! The honorable member's time has expired.

Mr Chaney - Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

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