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Friday, 30 October 1964

Senator GORTON (Victoria) (Minister for Works and Acting Minister for External Affairs) . - by leave - The Senate will be aware that a further group of between 50 and 60 Indonesian raiders landed by sea on the Malayan coast some 20 miles south of Malacca yesterday morning. From interrogation of members of the group who were captured after the landing, it is clear that the force includes a substantial number of regular personnel of the Indonesian armed forces. Immediate counter action was taken toy security forces which included Australian troops, and the situation is well in hand. A substantial number of surrenders has already occurred and the operation appears to he heading for a failure as complete as that of the earlier Indonesian landings in Pontiane and Labis. It was only last month that an overwhelming majority of nine of the eleven members of the Security Council supported a resolution deploring the Indonesian paratroop attack which took place on 2nd September and calling on Indonesia to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of Malaysia. Only the casting of a veto by the Soviet Union prevented the adoption of this resolution, which constituted an unequivocal endorsement of Malaysia's right to a free and independent existence without outside interference.

Honorable senators know that the Government has several times repeated its determination to fulfil the pledge made for the defence of Malaysia at the time of its formation. This pledge to defend Malaysia against armed invasion or subversive activity, supported or directed or inspired from outside Malaysia, was made clear in the statement of the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) to the House of Representatives on 25th September 1963. We have tried on many occasions to make plain to Indonesia the dangers to herself and to the whole region which are inherent in her reckless prosecution of her policy of opposition to Malaysia. None of the objections which Indonesia has publicly voiced about the formation of Malaysia could ever reasonably be held to justify her planning and executing policies of armed attack and subversion in Malaysia. This was clearly the opinion of all members of the Security Council except the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.

It was our hope that following the world censure expressed by the Council Indonesia would cease her acts of hostility. Unfortunately, this has not happened. In recent weeks there have 'been further attacks in Borneo and now we see another attack by a group of raiders on the coast of Malaya itself. This time, at the request of the Malaysian Government, Australian troops are assisting Malaysian and other Commonwealth forces to round up the raiders, and thus for the first time we have a situation where Australian forces are engaged in direct military action against Indonesian forces. This is not a situation of our choosing. It is a situation brought about by Indonesia's deliberate decision to defy the expressed opinion of all except the Communist members of the Security Council and to resume armed raids on Malaysia.

The action which Malaysia and her allies are taking is in full accordance with the United Nations Charter, article 51 of which safeguards the right to individual or collective self defence in the event of armed attack until such time as the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. In view of the involvement of Austrlian forces, the Government will report to the United Nations the measures undertaken to assist Malaysia to defend itself against this unprovoked attack.

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