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Wednesday, 5 May 1965


Senator MORRIS (Queensland) .- In the course of his speech Senator Murphy said one or two things which I want to correct very emphatically. First of all he led us to believe that the United States Senate was most violently opposed to the action of America and Australia in Vietnam. Clearly, that is not true and I deny it emphatically. In case the honorable senator did not hear me I repeat that during his speech he made a statement that is clearly and unmistakably not true.


Senator Murphy - What is that?


Senator MORRIS - If the honorable senator had been listening I would not have to repeat what I said. I say that he had tried to mislead not only the Senate but also the Australian people by implying that the majority of the United States Senate is opposed to the action of the United States of America and Australia in Vietnam.


Senator Murphy - I did not say that.


Senator MORRIS - That was the inference which everybody would draw from the honorable senator's statement. One or two United States Senators have disapproved of the action which the American Government has taken, but the overwhelming majority of them stand four square behind the action of the Administration and are now completely in accord with the action of Australia in joining the United States in its operations in Vietnam. Let there be no mistake about that. In a few moments I propose to quote a most distinguished Senator, who is extremely well known throughout the world, on this very matter and, indeed, on the broader and much more dangerous problem of the onward march of Communism in South East Asia. I say here and now that if ever the Australian people had reason to be appreciative of the fact that the proceedings of this Parliament are broadcast, it is at this time, be-> cause until the last two or three days the facts that have been stated from the Government side have never truly seen the light of day in our Press or anywhere else.

The whole of the Australian nation is today watching the onward march of Communism getting closer and closer to our shores until now it is only a matter of a few short hours away. This is vitally important to Australia. Unfortunately for our attitude - perhaps it is fortunate in many ways - during the past few decades when the world has been torn asunder we in Australia have been insulated against a great deal of the degredation of war. The general attitude of many people in Australia has been: " Yes, this thing happens, but it cannot happen here ". But today we are beginning to see how dangerous this onward movement of Communism is; how it is threatening the future of our country.


Senator Murphy - he may be right in this - suggested that there will, in the years ahead, be further examples of aggression. I think his words were: " We will see Vietnam exploits throughout the whole of this part of the world". Unfortunately this is true and I am sorry that there is such a division of opinion amongst members of the Opposition. Admittedly the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) when speaking in another place acknowledged that the fighting in Vietnam is in fact Communist aggression, and this was highlighted by the Prime

Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) when he subsequently spoke. But there are many members of the Opposition who are running away from the facts. They will not even acknowledge that Communist aggression is one of the tragic facts of the world today. Consequently I feel it is vital that we should be as well informed on the onward move of Communism as it is possible to be. ] propose to quote tonight from an article which was probably the most impressive 1 have ever read on this subject. The article from which I intend to quote is a condensation of a speech given in Miami at the Governor's Conference on Cold War Education on 1st December 1964. It is by Senator Thomas J. Dodd who has long been known as an expert on Communism. He is Vice Chairman of the United States Senate Special Sub-Committee on Internal Security, the author of the book " Freedom and Foreign Policy " and has had a very distinguished legal career. Indeed, he was chief prosecutor at the Nuremburg trials of the Nazi war criminals. He has had a very colourful and impressive career. The article is introduced under this extract, referring to the Communists -

They may apply the pressure differently at different times and different places, but the pressure is always on - and the goal is always the same: destruction of the free world.

Then Senator Dodd stated -

There are some wishful thinkers who tell us that the Communism of today is not the same as the Communism of yesterday. . . These wellintentioned people are completely cut off from the reality of the world in which they live.

If 1 might digress here, I would say that unfortunately we have in Australia all too many people who are possibly well intentioned but who are completely cut off from the realities of the world in which they live. Unfortunately, there are all too many of these among the Opposition in this Commonwealth Parliament. The article continues -

In his historic speech after the disaster of the Bay of Pigs, President Kennedy offered a classic definition of the cold war: " It is clearer than ever," said the President, "that we face a relentless struggle in every corner of the globe that goes far beyond the clash of armies or even nuclear armaments. The armies are there, and in large number. The nuclear armaments are there. But they serve primarily as the shield behind which subversion, infiltration and a host of other tactics steadily advance, picking off vulnerable areas one by one in situations which do not permit our own armed intervention. Power is the hallmark of this offensive - power and discipline and deceit."

In his speech Senator Dodd went on to give the record of the onward march of Communism. He stated -

In 1956, there was the bloody suppression of the Hungarian Revolution, with a death toll of 25,000 in Budapest alone.

This was something that happened and was all too quickly forgotten by the free world. It did not affect us and so there was the apathy about which I have been complaining. The article continues -

In December 1960, the Soviet Union - not Red China - began an airlift of military equipment and North Vietnamese specialists to the pro-Communist forces in Laos, thus initiating the crisis which threatens to bring this critically important SouthEast Asian country under complete Communist control.

I am quoting from this article because its author is one of the greatest authorities in the world today on Communist aggression. If I said these things on my own account I would say them not as an authority. I am citing this article because there are few greater authorities on the subject in the world than Senator Thomas J. Dodd. Therefore, we should take note of his opinions. He continued -

In three continental areas - Asia, Africa and Latin America - the forces of Communism have confronted the free world with crisis after crisis in such rapid sequence that the facts are perhaps blurred by the sheer pace of events. ... In South Vietnam, the Communists have doubled and tripled the scale of their attacks. They have now succeeded in creating a situation that places the survival of South Vietnam in question and jeopardizes all of South-East Asia.

We were told by one of our colleagues so very truly that Australia in the eyes of the aggressor countries is a very vital part of this South East Asian area. Senator Dodd went on later to refer to the events in the Congo. Such shocking things happened there that many people could scarcely read the details about them. In his article, Senator Dodd stated -

I see no evidence of moderation or a peaceful intent in this long and terrible record, which continues right up to this day.....

But what of the Sino-Soviet conflict?", our wishful thinkers say ..." Doesn't the growing rift impel the Soviet Union to seek an accommodation with the West?"

The differences between Moscow and Peking are, it is true, serious. But my own reading of the situation is that the conflict, instead of producing an abatement, is bound to result in a further intensification of the cold war. Moscow is not opposing Peking's efforts to bury the free world. It is, rather, competing with Peking to prove that its approach to subversion is more effective, and to take over in critical areas before Peking establishes its own sway. The Kremlin's open letter to the Chinese Communists, published on July 14, 1963, made this clear: "We fully stand for the destruction of imperialism and capitalism," It said. "We are doing everything for this to be accomplished as soon as possible."

The final extract I want to read is this -

This is the picture of the world in which we live. It is not a pleasant picture. But we must face the facts, brutal and unpleasant as they may be. If, in the quest for temporary peace of mind, we bury our heads in the sand and ignore the facts, we are inviting disaster.

There it is. Either we bury our heads in the sand and bring disaster on ourselves or we face up to the situation. Every country has reason to be grateful - as Australia has had reason to be grateful - to the United States for its determination to fight for the protection of the free world in areas where it is not intimately involved. Let us not forget that we are intimately involved now and the fact that the United States is prepared to act as it is doing is perhaps the greatest indication of salvation that we have.

I am deeply shocked to hear anyone who claims to be an Australian saying: " Yes, this is our war all right. This is our problem. This is our danger. But we want somebody else to fight the war for us ". In fact, that is what the Opposition has been saying today. I repeat that the Leader of the Opposition in another place acknowledged the danger and supported the work that was being done by the United States. Indeed, he was more eulogistic about the United States and her efforts in this theatre of war than he has ever been before. The Labour Party realises that another country is fighting our battle, but it follows a recognition of that fact with a statement that Australians must not participate in the fight but must remain neutral. All [ can say is that that is not an Australian sentiment, and I should be ashamed to think for a moment that it was.

We have heard a lot from the Opposition about the rehabilitation of South Vietnam when the subversive elements are, as I am convinced they will be, subdued. All the possible problems in the world seem to be envisaged by members of the Opposition. Is our memory as short as their comments suggest? Surely honorable senators remember - I do not see how they could forget - that the year 1945 saw a complete transformation in the attitude of the United States to affairs outside her own borders. Since then she has done more to provide economic, military and every other type of aid in all countries that have been in need of it than has been done by any other country throughout the existence of this world. And she is still doing that in many parts of the world.

In 1945 Germany was battered and torn asunder and could see no future for herself. At the conclusion of the Second World War Germany was divided into various zones. The Communists had control of one zone and the United States had control of another. Fourteen years after the partitioning of Germany I had an opportunity 10 see both East Germany and West Germany. Never have I seen such a contrast. The area that was under the domination of the Communists remained almost an area of the dead. The haunted expressions on the faces of all the people presented one of the most depressing sights I have ever seen. When I crossed from the Communist zone to the zone that was under the control of the United States, I felt that I was entering an entirely different world. There I saw progress, health and happiness. That area which, as I said, had been torn asunder, had been rehabilitated to a degree that was almost unbelievable. I envisage that pattern being followed in other parts of the world, particularly in the area to which we are referring in this debate.

The United States has not one thing to gain from her participation in events in South Vietnam. She has entered into the problems of South East Asia at tremendous cost - at the cost of her young men, the most valuable commodity of all, and at tremendous expense in every other way. Her motives have been the very highest. We see in South Vietnam an operation which is more unselfish than any we have seen elsewhere in the world in modern days. I repeat that the United States has nothing to gain. She is expending herself merely to help a downtrodden and mutilated country. In spite of this, she is forced to hear herself abused almost throughout the free world. I have been proud of Australia's being an ally of the United States in years gone by, but I do not think anybody could be prouder than I am today as I think of our country being associated with a country that is acting so unselfishly as is the United States of America in this particularsphere. Not for one moment could Australia continue to have pride in her own existence if she were not prepared to join in this operation. I believe that no other course was open to Australia.

I want to make one other observation. If ever journalism in Australia has been prostituted, it has happened during the past week. The Press has published statements which have degraded journalism in a way that I hope I shall never see again. Phrases like " Diggers for Dollars " have been used. That will be a shame to Australian journalism forever. I hope that the Australian Press will realise that fact and that we do not see any more examples of such shocking journalism. I repeat that I am proud that Australia has taken the action that she has taken in regard to South Vietnam. I should be ashamed if we were to stand by, to remain neutral, and to let another country fight our battles.







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