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Thursday, 7 May 1970

Mr HUNT (Gwydir) - I wish to make my views known to this House and to my electorate so far as the Vietnam Moratorium Campaign is concerned. I see the honourable member for Riverina (Mr Grassby) shaking his head in despair. He, of course, is a signatory to the Vietnam Moratorium but has not yet had the courage to wear his badge. Let him wear it in Riverina. This man who had so much to say about the egg industry-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Scholes)Order!The honourable member's Party

Whip raised the matter of honourable members addressing their remarks to the Chair. I would ask the honourable member to do so now and I ask all other honourable members to restrain themselves and refrain from interjecting.

Mr HUNT - Now that the honourable member for Riverina has come into the picture let me say that we heard him talk about the egg industry today. Never has an honourable member spoken so often on so many primary industry matters and made so many complaints or so few constructive suggestions to help primary producers as has the honourable member. I will leave him and deal with the honourable member for Robertson (Mr Cohen), who made a typical speech, once again not really answering the charges levelled by the honourable member for Boothby (Mr MacLeay) and other Government supporters. We have heard not one word from Opposition members to show that they are concerned about the Communist aggression taking place from North Vietnam. This Vietnam Moratorium Campaign is, 1 believe, a further attempt to brainwash the ordinary decent people of this country against the desire of the Government and the decent people of Australia to protect the independence of a sovereign state in South East Asia.

I want to draw attention to the insidious objectives of those who, behind the scenes, are leading the Vietnam Moratorium. Have those associated with this campaign ever sought to stop the North Vietnamese or the Vietcong from murdering the people of South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos? Is there a Vietnam Moratorium acting to bring pressure on North Vietnam or the Vietcong to withdraw their troops or to get on with the peace discussions in Paris? Is there a Vietnam Moratorium acting in Hanoi or Moscow or Peking? No.

Mr Morrison - I rise to order. The honourable member has referred to the peace talks in Paris. 1 point out that there is not a chief peace negotiator for the United States.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - There is no substance in the point of order raised.

Mr HUNT - The action of the honourable member for St George (Mr Morrison) emphasises how fortunate we are that he is no longer in the Department of External

Affairs. All Vietnam Moratorium efforts have been directed to weakening the morale of our people and the morale of those people who are setting out to try to preserve the independence of a non-Communist state in South East Asia. I would like to refer to a statement made recently by Sir Robert Thompson the British expert on counter insurgency. I know that honourable gentlemen opposite will not like to hear his remarks quoted. In today's Daily Telegraph' he writes:

Had President Nixon not acted he faced the prospect that within a few months, if not weeks, Hanoi would control the whole of Cambodia. This not only would be a perpetual threat to South Vietnam, but also would prevent President Nixon from withdrawing more American combat troops.

The article goes on to show that it was a necessary action on the part of the United States to try to preserve its position and honour its commitment in order to withdraw its troops by the announced time. What purpose would there be in withdrawing the troops from this free state and leaving exposed the free people to be tortured and murdered by those who have set out to do these things?

Other objectives of those behind the scenes in the Vietnam Moratorium are to ensure that the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese are successful in their campaign throughout Indo-China, to undermine the support of the Australian Government for our allies fighting in the area and to divert public attention from the attempted Communist takeover of South East Asia. In order to mobilise public support they have adopted their current tactics. They have sought the support of genuine decent peace loving Australians. Some clergymen and academics have been sucked into the fold by the architects behind the scenes who are trying to destroy our efforts to preserve the freedom of these people of South East Asia. They have sought to give the appearance of popular support for their actions by organising mob demonstrations, disrupting schools and universities and, where possible, using the trade union movement to cause industrial disputes and unrest. In the last few days we have seen the wisdom of the silent majority within the trade union movement telling those associated with the Moratorium not to use the trade union movement for political purposes.

Is the Moratorium spontaneous? Of course not; it is part of a world wide plot, organised initially from outside this country. Its origins go back to the Committee for International Co-operation and Disarmament. Who are its sponsors in Australia? They are the card carrying Communists, the Labor Parliamentarians who have become involved in this organisation and the leaders of some of the more militant left wing unions. Sadly, some decent freedom and peace loving Australians have also been caught up in this campaign. I know that in my electorate the silent majority of decent people who are well aware of what could happen in Australia if some of these people had their way will reject this insidious effort to undermine our role of preserving a democratic peace in South East Asia. Let us hope that their efforts do not cause violence, bloodshed and lawlessness over this next weekend. I pray God that this does not happen. I hope that this country will at the weekend treat the Vietnam Moratorium with the contempt it deserves - with the contempt that it should bring upon itself.

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