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Wednesday, 14 October 1964

Senator CAVANAGH (South Australia) . - I rise on this particular matter ; because I take it that- the aid to India of £48,000 which we are discussing represents some form of military or defence aid to ' India. Having been to India I know that this is a matter that is creating some friction at the present time between India and Pakistan. These countries are in dispute over Kashmir, and India is using the invasion by China and a threat of invasion by China to justify a build up of defence equipment. As far as the Pakistan Government is concerned this alleged invason is not a real threat and is not the real reason for India's build up of arms.

I travelled through India and met various Ministers and military heads. I found that the true origin of the India-Chinese dispute was not reported correctly in Australia. Whilst by no means justifying China, I point out that the true history of the dispute, which is accepted in both India and Pakistan, is that China occupied an uninhabited area in the Kashmir region. No Indians lived in the area and the Chinese have occupied it since 1952.

Senator Cormack - Where is it in relation to the McMahon line?

Senator CAVANAGH - There is disagreement between China and India about the boundary. The area occupied by China since 1952 was Indian territory according to the McMahon line, but it was uninhabited territory. In 1962 - 10 years later - politicians in India discovered this occupation by the Chinese and instructed their army that the Chinese had to be removed. The Indian Army encircled the Chinese and when this happened China retaliated by invading India. The invasion was not limited to that particular area but was along the 2.000 mile front that separates China from India. The Chinese made rapid progress into India's territory.

Senator Cormack - Did they penetrate also into upper Assam?

Senator CAVANAGH - I am giving you the report that is accepted in India. The Chinese having invaded Indian territory with success, and having reached the point which they claimed was the true boundary between India and China, withdrew to the positions they held prior to the 1962 dispute. China still occupied the Indian territory which she had held since 1952 and offered to meet India in conference to try to work out the true line of demarcation between the two countries. India refused to confer while China was occupying Indian territory. f have tried to give the Senate the history of the dispute which is accepted in India. I am not justifying China's attitude. India says that she was caught unprepared on that occasion and must not be caught unprepared again. She has therefore appealed to various nations for military assistance in order to build up her army so that she can meet a threat of further invasion by China. Pakistan will not accept that there is a threatened invasion of Indian territory by China. The territory occupied by China was uninhabited but the people of India claim that the mountains form a natural defence barrier. India wants to control the passes through the mountains. Pakistan considers the build up of armaments by India to have been undertaken with the idea of invading Pakistan because of the Kashmir issue. I am not saying that this version is correct, but it is the version that is accepted in Pakistan at the present time.

This aid to India is creating great hostility from the Pakistan Government to the nations giving it. There is much criticism of this aid which is building up India, lt is claimed that if China wanted to invade India she would not go through the mountain passes but would go through Burma, which is a better route for invasion. But China has made no attempt to do so and is prepared to negotiate on the question of the future boundary with India. In the meantime we are giving aid to India which is creating hostility in another country and with a people who could eventually, unless there is some solution to the Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India, come into conflict with India.

Senator Cormack - Mr. Chairman, I wish to take the point of order that the honorable senator is reading from a document and J should be grateful if he would table it.

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