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Wednesday, 16 March 1966


Mr HOLTEN (Indi) .- Mr. Deputy Speaker,the speech that the Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Holt) delivered last Tuesday week covered a wide field involving many matters of great importance. I congratulate the Prime Minister on a first class effort. His speech was presented under 14 different headings. It is not possible or necessary for me to deal at any length with all those sections of activity. I intend to devote my attention this evening to five of those subjects. I will deal with three of them briefly and refer to the other two at greater length. The five subjects that I shall mention are: Immigration, the visit to Vietnam by the Prime Minister, the Vietnam medal, economic affairs - under this heading the Prime Minister referred to the drought and the provision of long term finance for primary producers - and the additional Australian forces for South Vietnam. In relation to the fifth subject I shall refer to the struggle against Communism in South East Asia also.

The immigration innovation that has been announced by the Government will be welcomed by all Australians, I am sure. The Government's policy will be of great benefit to non-Europeans who have lived in Australia for many years and who have been unable to bring their families here to join them. Also it will be of benefit to Australia, I feel, because we will be gaining from the education and skills of the non-Europeans who will be permitted to establish permanent residence here in the future. However, I feel that a great deal of misunderstanding exists about the immigration policy of Australia as it has been inferred or implied that Asians were banned from entering Australia. Of course, that is not true. We have approximately 3,000 Asians who are naturalised Australians. Finally, on the subject of immigration, I hope that we make further efforts to attract citizens of the United States of America to Australia to help overcome our tremendous population problem.

The decision by the Prime Minister to visit Vietnam is an admirable One. lt will be appreciated by the Australian people and also by the service men and women serving in Vietnam and by the Australian civilians who are in that country assisting the South Vietnamese. To my mind, it is a decision that underlines the personal courage and qualities of the new leader of our Government. I am sure that all members of the Government Parties were gratified by the promptness with which the Prime Minister announced his decision to visit South Vietnam.

The Government has decided to strike a new special medal for service by Australian servicemen in Vietnam. This is another decision that will have the full support of the Australian people. I am sure that it is pleasing to all members of this Parliament that the Government has seen fit to break away from tradition and to strike this well deserved medal. I am sure that it will be worn with distinction by our service personnel.

I refer now to the part of the statement by the Prime Minister that deals with economic affairs as it relates to the drought and to medium and long term finance for primary producers. This finance will be a great lift to all connected with Australia's primary producing industries. No group of people is more delighted about the provision of this finance than are the members of the Australian Country Party who have battled unceasingly for many years for the introduction of this long term finance for primary producers. Other organisations have been active in this field also. I would not attempt to claim all the credit for the Australian Country Party, but there is no question that our Party both inside and outside the Parliament has worked untiringly to bring this matter to fruition. As proof of this statement. I mention that I looked up some correspondence that I had personally as a member of the Rural Finance Committee of the Australian Country Party in 1960. At that time I wrote to every bank and every major insurance company in Australia. The replies that 1 received on behalf of the Committee indicated the great need for the special provision of finance through some source other than the normal business of the trading banks. The replies indicated a certain lack of understanding of the need for long term finance. Virtually not one letter I received acknowledged the fact that there was a need for this type of finance. This would appear to point to a lack of understanding of the need for, or a refusal to accept the provision of, this finance, for business reasons.

We must be fair and say that the trading banks and the insurance companies are business enterprises and, therefore, it is their duty to invest their money as fruitfully as possible for the people to whom that money belongs. I refer to an interview that the Rural Finance Committee had with a representative of the banking companies in 1 960. This representative was asked whether he thought it desirable for primary producers to have long term loans. He agreed that it was very desirable but he stated also that to improve the conditions under which the banks could lend money for this purpose was extremely difficult. This was a further indication of the almost hopeless position as far as the trading banks were concerned.

I feel that the very important thing about this announcement of long term finance is the recognition of the principle that the primary producers of Australia need some separate fund through the trading banks for their purposes. If the trading banks will not agree to such a fund, it must be established by some other means. But this announcement recognises that principle. Also, it will enable us to have detailed and accurate statistics of lendings to primary producers which correspondence over the years indicates has not been available to anyone who is interested in these figures.

I come now to the decision to send additional forces to South Vietnam. We all know that these forces will include national service trainees. Surely no-one questions that this was an extremely difficult decision for the Government to make. Certainly no member or supporter of the Government enjoyed the necessity for this decision to be announced and to be put into practice. But the Government in its wisdom, in view of all the circumstances, decided it was necessary for Australia to increase its commitments. This meant that a certain number of national service trainees - in fact, the majority of them - would have to go to Vietnam. I hope the Government can see its way clear to eliminating the inequality resulting from the present call-up arrangements. If we have to call up an age group - and circumstances are such that this is necessary - then we should call up the whole age group. It appears to me that this would do away with the inequality that is now apparent and would do away also with the objectionable ballot system. Speaking for myself, I find the present ballot system a disagreeable one, but unfortunately no one has come up with a better alternative. Our American allies have declared themselves. Their young servicemen are participating in the war and it is up to us to play a significant part in this struggle. It has been said many times that if we do not support our allies we cannot expect support from them. We cannot have a one way partnership. If the Opposition had its way there would be no Australian forces at all in Vietnam.


Mr Daly - What is wrong with that?


Mr HOLTEN - That, of course, would be a ridiculous state of affairs.


Mr Daly - Why?


Mr HOLTEN - Well, I just refer honorable members opposite to the opinions expressed by members of the forces serving in Vietnam and to the reports that have been brought back from extremely reliable citizens who have visited that area. Our servicemen there are satisfied that they are doing a worthwhile job. They are satisfied that the struggle against Communism is a real one and that it is necessary that we fight for the preservation of our freedom. I heard Brigadier Hall, Vice-President of the Returned Services League, addressing a meeting at Wodonga only last week. He gave glowing reports of the magnificent job our soldiers are doing in Vietnam. He spoke of the admiration of the United States forces for our soldiers and the respect in which they are held. They are acquitting themselves in keeping with the finest traditions of our fighting services. Brigadier Hall said flatly that he had deliberately sought complaints from our servicemen in South Vietnam and that he could not elicit a single one. Our men there are convinced they are doing a good job and we in this Parliament surely should support them.

The fifth matter I want to discuss is the struggle against Communism in South East Asia. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell), who I presume is the chief spokesman for the Labour Party in this Parliament, did not concede that there was any struggle with Communism anywhere. Not by a single word did he denigrate Communism to any extent. He virtually asserted that there is no struggle against Communism, not in South East Asia, not in Vietnam, not in Laos or Thailand nor even in Australia. He ignored completely any possibility of such a struggle. Furthermore, he suggested that the Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Holt) had said that China is directing this war from Hanoi. He went on to ask, in the very next sentence, what evidence the Government has of the presence of Chinese troops in Vietnam. Nowhere in his speech did the Prime Minister mention that China was directing the war or that there were Chinese troops in South Vietnam. If the Leader of the Opposition is so naive as to believe that China must have its troops in the field if it is to assist in or direct the war, then I am very surprised.

I would like to refer the House to a newspaper article by Denis Warner which appeared in June 1963. It contained an extract from a letter written two years ago by Mao Tse-tung. It is headed " The world ls his battlefield - Mao Is All For a Fight." The article commenced -

Mao Tse-Tung is determined there shall be no peace in our time. . . .

Not since Hitler's day have the leaders of any major Power so brazenly and so publicly set out their plans for world domination.

In the past, there was room for doubt about China's intentions. There is none any longer.


Mr Stewart - Who wrote this, Jim Killen?


Mr HOLTEN - No, the letter was written by Mao Tse-Tung. The author of this article also said -

He believes the world is a great guerrilla battlefield in which the principles he applied with such genius against Chiang Kai-chek may be applied with equal success in Asia, Africa and Latin America for the isolation and ultimate destruction of the United States and its allies.

It is all right for the Opposition to interject; this is factual. The letter referred to was written by the President of the Chinese Communists. If honorable members opposite choose to ignore it, that is their problem. The important point, of course, is that we should understand the philosophy of Communism. I do not stand here as an expert on this subject but I have read works written by people who do understand it and whose writings make a great deal of sense to me. It is of vital importance that we in Australia, and people everywhere, should understand this philosophy, and I will make my small contribution tonight towards this understanding. Members of the Opposition have talked about negotiations with the Communists. This is quite ridiculous. How can we negotiate with people who do not deal in facts and who believe that lies or untruths are perfectly all right as long as they advance the cause of Communism?

The Leader of the Opposition and other speakers on his side of the House made great play on the differences that exist between various people in countries of the Western world, and between various people in particular countries, on the question of participation in the war in Vietnam. At least in the free world one can read about these differences. People are free to express their opinions. Most of the accounts of the differences have been exaggerated, particularly in regard to the United States. But what are the differences that exist between people in the Communist world with regard to the rotten tactics that the Communist Party uses in every country in which it governs and even in countries in which it does not? We do not have the opportunity to read of those differences. Any anti-government remarks that are made in places like Russia and China are made in secret and they are never published. It is therefore ridiculous to compare differences of opinion in the free world with differences of opinion .u the Communist world.

I have before me a book by Dr. Fred Schwarz. The title is "You Can Trust the Communists ", and the title is followed immediately by the phrase " to do exactly as they say ". The writer makes it clear that you can trust them to do what they say, and that is to dominate the world. Various events that have transpired have made it obvious to all the world that there are differences of opinion in Communist countries. At page 105 of this book we find the following -

During his visit to the United States, Nikita Khrushchev was asked . . . : " Mr. Chairman, I cannot understand, since the Communist Party proclaims itself to be the liberator of the working class, yet we see a mass exodus of workers to other countries following the Communist seizure of power. You have the example of three million workers fleeing from East Germany to West Berlin, and about three million fleeing from North Korea to South Korea and, as mentioned a moment ago, three hundred or so thousands of Hungarians braved arrest and death in escaping to freedom. Mr. Khrushchev, can you tell us of a single instance where, following Communist seizure of power, there has been a mass influx of workers from surrounding non-Communist countries into the Communist country? If the Communist Party is the liberator of the working class, why don't we see this phenomenon? "

Mr. Khrushchev:"Is that all? Think it over. Drink your beer. Perhaps that will help you to find the answer to your question."

The questioner then said: "That certainly is no answer, and apparently nothing will make you understand why millions want to escape from Communism ". Mr. Khrushchev said: " I have told you I am not even afraid of the Devil ". That is just one extract from the millions of words in the thousands of books that have been written, but it underlines the danger of Communism around the world and also the conditions Which a Communist Government imposes on the people over whom it exercises its tyrannical power.

In the last few minutes at my disposal I urge the Government to devote more attention to educating the people of Australia to the dangers of Communism both at home and abroad. I should like to see our Cabinet Ministers appearing on television to explain this to the people of Australia. I should also like to see them enlist the aid of people who 'have studied this rotten ideology.







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