Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 7 November 1973
Page: 1593


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -I enter this debate because from listening to itand I have been here for most of the afternoonit appears to me that 2 things are coming out of debates not only in relation to foreign affairs but also in relation to nearly all other matters. The first is jealousy of a man who has shown that he is a great leader- whether one agrees with his policies or not- and that the whole world believes this. There is no doubt at all about that. Whether one believes in his policies or not, he has done something for Australia. The second thing is that so many people are scared of being defeated at the next election that the bed -


Senator Withers - Not on this side of the House.


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - Yes there are. There are 3 members of the Australian DemocraticLabor Party who are scared of being defeated. Senator Webster is extremely scared about it.


Senator McManus - You are too scared to run.


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -That is right, I am too scared to run.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT-

Order! Senator Turnbull, you will address the Chair.


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - Yes, Mr Acting Deputy President. These people who are scared of being defeated have realised that the only way they can make an allegation against the Government is to raise the old communist can, and so we hear it again. Let us get down to this question of what the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) has done.


Senator Webster - When is the next trip coming off?


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -At any time.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT-

Order! There are too many interjections. I want to hear what Senator Turnbull has to say.


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -Thank you, Mr Acting Deputy President. I am glad that there is one person who is prepared to listen to me. If the Prime Minister were here he could say that he has been misrepresented by the statements made by Senator Greenwood and Senator McManus because he has never said that we are going to be communists. Just because we support a country it does not mean that we are going to support that country's philosophies. We are quite friendly with Russia and with a lot of communist countries. If the members of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence only stopped to think they would realise that there is only one country in this area of the world to which we will be looking for support, and that is China. Do not get carried away with the fact that the Chinese are communists. They will be one of the 3 great powers of the world- they are not quite there yet- along with Russia and America. If the Americans believe that the Chinese should be recognised, surely the Opposition would not deny us the right to recognise the Chinese because, after all, whatever the Americans do in regard to foreign affairs- not to Watergate- is what we should be doing. If they believe that they should recognise China I do not see why the Opposition is making all this fuss about our recognising China.

Let me give the reason why I say that we need China as a friend. This is what Mr Whitlam is trying to do, and I think it is an excellent idea. All the South East Asian countries, including Australia because we live in the area, should get together and form a conclave or achieve some form of friendly co-operation. I do not believe for one moment that we should worry about Mr Hill- whoever he is; I have never heard of himor any of these other communists in Australia. Australia will never become a communist country. We are a country that 'have'; it is only the countries that 'have not' which will become communist. There is no reason why we should not achieve some form of co-operation in this area.

I again warn honourable senators, as I have warned them once before, that a country came down here. It was not communistic at all, but it was aggressive and it wanted the things that we had. That country was Japan. Japan is growing again. Do not make any mistake about this. There is all the talk that under the Japanese Constitution they cannot have an army and a navy. But when one goes to Japan one hears the Japanese talking. A few years ago the only thing that they would talk to me about was getting rid of the Americans so that they could have their own defence force.


Senator Jessop - The Chinese have an Army too.


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - Yes, they have. But the Chinese are not able to industrialise as quickly as the Japanese. If the Opposition wishes to fight another election in which it uses the 'little red arrows' technique, those arrows should come down not from China but from Japan, as that country will come down here again. This is what we must face up to. But honourable senators will not face up to this fact because Japan at the moment means money to Australia. So, we curry favour with Japan.


Senator Jessop - What about China? The Chinese have a lot of money.


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - I think that the Chinese have a lot of money too. I think that our country people will agree that the best things that have ever happened were the trips by the Prime Minister and his party to China. I refer to his first trip as Leader of the Opposition and his recent trip as Prime Minister.

The defence forces in Japan at present are peace keeping and are supposed to be for internal security. It takes a short while only to expand such forces. But, for heaven's sake, look at the position in Australia. I wish the Labor Party would take a quick look at this aspect. Australia is practically defenceless. I give the Labor Party no credit for what it has done with regard to defence. We will need an ally very soon. I do not know how soon that will be. It could be 20 years. The war in the Middle East will not be a war between the Israelis and the Arabs; it will be a war for oil. That is what will happen. It will be a world war because some countries have no oil and they will need to acquire it.

The time will come when in this area Japan will want all our goodies which we are so willing to give away at present. The Japanese will ask: Why go to Australia and buy these goods when we can come down and take them?' A country like Japan can industrialise itself and can expand its Army, Navy and Air Force in a short periodin one-tenth of the time that it would take us to arm ourselves to protect ourselves. I am all for a treaty of friendship with China because I believe that as it is not for humanity for nations to be friendly with people in their area, we need the help of the Chinese.

The other point that was raised concerned Sihanouk. It was suggested that he was fighting through and encouraging the activities of guerrillas. For heaven's sake, let us not draw a comparison between him and the Croats and Yugoslavs. After all, Sihanouk was kicked out of his country and he is fighting to get back. I do not think that it matters whether we agree with his philosophy. He was removed from his country and he is trying to return to power. It appears that eventually, very shortly, he will be successful. Even the Chinese are not enamoured of him. We seem to forget that just as there are hatreds between Western country groups, so also are there internal hatreds amongst the Communist groups. We talk about the Vietnamese and Red China and how the Chinese have helped North Vietnam. But the North Vietnamese hate the Chinese. This sort of attitude can be found all the time. It does not really matter whether or not the Chinese talk to the North Vietnamese because the North Vietnamese will not have a bar of Chinese occupancy of their country.

Lee Kuan Yew is a great man. Before he changed his philosophy, he was a communist. Some people may say that he saw the light. All good credit is due to him because of what he has achieved. But his is scared of China. He dares not recognise China because 75 per cent or 80 per cent of the population of Singapore is Chinese. Let me assure the Senate that if China was recognised by Singapore it would not be long before Singapore was Chinese again. Chinese people remain Chinese. They are not Singaporeans.

The continual denigration of the Prime Minister because he has achieved something should stop. This seems to me an example of the petty jealousy that goes on all the time. When we find that the Prime Minister and his Party have at last managed to do something for our primary products, we hear nothing but sneers and suggestions that there is something wrong about this action. There is nothing wrong with what the Prime Minister has done. We trade with Communist countries as fast as we can. If there is a chance of expanding our trade, so much the better.

Opposition senators who have been to China know about the position taken by that country. I am surprised at the attitude adopted by Senator Greenwood who is trying to interject. He has been to China. If he says that the Chinese are a militant people, he is talking sheer and utter nonsense. The Chinese are not. They must adopt this pose on their northern border because they have other problems there. Here there are two large Communist blocs fighting each other and they must have a certain amount of military preparedness. When we consider that the Chinese have not the sophisticated military hardware that the Russians have, we must acknowledge that they need to make up for this deficiency with numbers, and the Chinese have plenty of people.

Let us have a full debate on foreign affairs so that we can all be prepared to raise these matters at some future time. I remember that, when Opposition Senator's were in power, on two occasions I wished to speak on foreign affairs. Did we ever get a chance to do that? We were never allowed to do so. I think that we had one debate on foreign affairs under the last government. This is a little game that is played. We sit here on the cross benches and see each side rubbishing the other and denigrating the other. Keep at it. That is politics.







Suggest corrections