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Pacific Democrat Union annual council meeting



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PACIFIC DEMOCRAT UNION

ANNUAL COUNCIL MEETING

17. 18. 19 JUNE 1983

ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE M .J .R . MACKELLAR. HP. SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEPUTY CHAIRMAN. AUSTRALIAN PARI I AMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS & DEFENCE. LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN DELEGATION

HONOLULU 18 JUNE 1983

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THERE FOLLOWS FROM THIS STATE OF MIND - "REGIONALISM WORKS

FOR EUROPE, IT CAN WORK IN THE PAC IFIC " - AN ENTHUSIASM FOR

A VISION OF PACIFIC REGIONALISM, WHICH SO FAR IN PRACTICE

HAS PROVED TO BE ELUSIVE.

IT IS HIGHLY APPROPRIATE THAT THIS GROUP - THE PACIFIC

DEMOCRAT UNION - LINKED AS IT WILL BE WITH THE INTERNATIONAL

DEMOCRAT UNION, SHOULD USE THE CONSTRUCTIVE POLITICAL

RESOURCES ASSEMBLED HERE TO EXAMINE CRITICALLY THE VALUE OF

THE WEST EUROPEAN ANALOGY TO THE PAC IFIC .

IT WILL BE SEEN FROM THESE FEW REMARKS THAT I AM ON THE

POINT OF SAYING THAT THE EUROPEAN PARALLEL HAS, I THINK,

BEEN OVER-INDULGED BY THE SUPPORTERS OF A PACIFIC BASIN

CONCEPT.

CONSIDER THE EUROPEAN REGIONAL IMPULSES. THE GEOGRAPHICAL

COHERENCE IS POWERFUL AND OBVIOUS. THE SMALL CHANNEL OF

WATER SEPARATING BRITAIN FROM THE CONTINENT DOES NOT

FRUSTRATE THE LAND TRANSPORT SYSTEMS SERVING A DYNAMIC DRIVE

TO ECONOMIC INTEGRATION - MODERN TECHNOLOGY HAS SEEN TO

THAT. BUT THE EXPLOITATION OF THE NATURAL FORCES OF

GEOGRAPHY BY MODERN LAND TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGY WAS PRECEDED

BY A POLITICAL UPHEAVAL OF GIGANTIC PROPORTIONS. AN

UPHEAVAL CHARACTERISED BY THE MASSIVE HUMAN TRAGEDY OF WAR

AND CATASTROPHIC SUFFERING.

'.../C O N T ,

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IN THE PACIFIC THERE IS NO ANALOGY WITH THE MIX OF

HOMOGENEOUS FACTORS WORKING FOR EUROPEAN UNITY. WEST

EUROPEANS SHARE A COMMON POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY WHICH

UNDERGIRDS THEIR APPROACH TO THEIR POLITICAL SYSTEM. IN ALL

THE EEC COUNTRIES THERE IS A VIGOROUS SYSTEM OF DEMOCRATIC

EXPRESSION - THE BALLOT BOX IS KING. THE ECONOMIES ARE ALL

INTENSIVELY DEVELOPED AND THERE ARE SOPHISTICATED '

ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEMS WHERE THE LANGUAGE BARRIERS ARE

MINIMISED, GIVEN A COMMON ALPHABET - NO SMALL CONTRAST WITH

THE SYSTEMS OF WRITTEN LANGUAGE IN THE PAC IFIC . THIS

ILLUSTRATES THE FACT THAT EUROPE HAS ONE BASIC CULTURE.

THERE IS ALSO A REASONABLE COMPARABILITY OF TECHNOLOGY AND

CO-ORDINATED ADMINISTRATION TO COMPENSATE FOR SIZE. THE

SMALLER STATES - THE BENELUX, BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS AND

LUXEMBOURG - ARE EFFECTIVE IN COPING WITH THE LARGER STATES

BECAUSE THEIR GEOGRAPHY FACILITATES INTEGRATION. '

THE PACIFIC LACKS THESE QUALITIES OF HOMOGENEITY, POLITICAL

PHILOSOPHICAL SYSTEMS INCLUDE COMMUNISM, VARIOUS SYSTEMS

BASED ON LIMITED DEMOCRATIC EXPRESSION, AS WELL AS VIGOROUS

LIBERAL DEMOCRACIES. THERE ARE LARGE LANGUAGE BARRIERS -

BOTH WRITTEN AND SPOKEN. THERE ARE LARGE STATES AND VERY

SMALL STATES. INDEED THE PACIFIC OFFERS A PARTICULAR

EXAMPLE OF THE SPECIAL CHALLENGES FACED BY SMALL ISLAND

STATES. INDIVIDUAL ISLANDS FORMING PART OF A M INI-STATE

SYSTEM ARE OFTEN SEPARATED BY FORMIDABLE DISTANCES, WHICH

COSTLY MODERN SYSTEMS OF TRANSPORT DO NOT OVERCOME, BECAUSE

'.,,/C O N T .

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THE COST FACTORS ARE SO DISPROPORTIONATE TO THE SOCIAL AND

ECONOMIC RETURNS. THE NATIONALISMS ARE VARIED IN STRENGTH -

SOME ARE VIBRANT, ALMOST CHAUVINISTIC, OTHERS ARE MUTED.

NONE CAN BE IGNORED.

EUROPE, OF COURSE, WAS A COCKPIT FOR COMPETING

NATIONALISM. IT WAS ONLY THE ARRIVAL OF EXCEPTIONAL SOCIAL

PRESSURES WHICH LED TO THEIR SUPPRESSION.

THE AFTERMATH OF DESOLATION AND RUIN INSPIRED NATIONAL

FORCES FOR UNITY WHICH SET OUT TO PUT INTO AN INFERIOR PLACE

THE DESTRUCTIVE ETHOS OF THE NATIONALISMS RESURGENT IN THE

WAKE OF WORLD WAR I . OVER-HANGING THIS CONSCIOUSNESS OF

"NEVER AGAIN" WAS THE SHADOWY AND SINISTER MONSTER OF

STALINISM, DEDICATED OVER TIME TO THE OBLITERATION OF .

INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND THE DEGRADATION OF HUMAN '

PERSONALITY. OUT OF THE FLAMING HEAT OF THIS DUAL x -

CONSCIOUSNESS OF THREAT - THE EVIL OF C IV IL IS E D WAR AND THE

BARBARISM OF A DESTRUCTIVE TOTALITARIANISM - EMERGED THE

RESOLVE TO CREATE A EUROPEAN COMMUNITY.

THE ANTECEDENT ORGANISATION BEGINNING WITH THE COUNCIL OF

EUROPE OF 1949 CAPTURED AND SUSTAINED THOSE POST-WAR

POLITICAL IMPULSES AND TRANSLATED THEM INTO A TRANSFERABLE

WORKING CAPITAL FOR A POLITICAL TRANSFORMATION OF EUROPE.

Λ.,/ C ont .

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THE GEOGRAPHY WAS ALWAYS THERE; IT WAS THE MASSIVE

LIBERATION OF THE FORCES OF POLITICAL RATIONALITY BY THE

GREAT EUROPEAN UPHEAVAL THAT SECURED THE TRANSFORMATION AND

INSPIRED THE INSTITUTIONAL INNOVATION WHICH EVOLVED.

IN SAYING THIS I DO NOT INTEND TO IN H IB IT THE OPPORTUNITY

OFFERED THE PACIFIC BASIN COUNTRIES TO DRAW THE STRENGTH"OF

ANALOGY FROM EUROPE. FOR INSTANCE, AUSTRALIA IS A FEDERAL

DEMOCRACY BY ANALOGY WITH THE VITAL DEMOCRATIC EXPERIMENTS

AT WESTMINSTER AND WASHINGTON.

AUSTRALIA'S PATTERN OF DEMOCRACY WAS FORMED BY ANALOGY AND

NOT BY WAR BUT IT TOOK TIME IN POINTING THIS OUT. I ONLY

WISH TO REMIND PEOPLE WHO SEE PACIFIC BASIN CO-OPERATION AS

A FAILED IDEA THAT HAS BEEN AROUND A LONG TIME THAT THEY MAY

DO A GREAT DISSERVICE TO THE IDEA. '

I ALSO WANT TO POINT OUT THAT THE TECHNIQUES OF WORKING FROM

ANALOGY OFFER SCOPE FOR A DIFFERENT ORIGINALITY. IT TOOK

OVER 15 YEARS OF POLITICAL PROCESSING TO MOVE THE SELF-

GOVERNING STATES OF AUSTRALIA INTO A NATIONHOOD - THIS

DESPITE THE FACT THAT THERE WAS A GREAT COMPATABILITY IN

LANGUAGE, IN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS AND A COHERENT

GEOGRAPHICAL BASE.

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WHILE THE EXPERIENCE OF EUROPE CAN PROVIDE A SOURCE.OF

INFORMATION FOR PACIFIC CO-OPERATION, WE SHOULD BE CAUTIOUS

ABOUT DEVELOPING INTERNATIONAL MODELS COPYING EUROPE. THERE

ARE SOME ASPECTS OF EUROPE WHICH COULD JUSTIFY CREATION OF A

PACIFIC BASIN COMMUNITY AS A COMPETING BLOC. BUT TO

APPROACH THE PACIFIC COMMUNITY IN THIS WAY COULD SPELL THE

END OF THE OPEN-MARKET SYSTEM, WHICH SERVES SIGNIFICANT '

COUNTRIES OF THE REGION AS A BASIC PHILOSOPHY OF TRADE

HOLDING IN PLACE THEIR EXTERNAL ECONOMIC POLICIES.

THERE REMAINS THE FACT, HOWEVER, THAT THE MAIN FORCE TENDING

TOWARDS THE MOVEMENT FOR A PACIFIC COMMUNITY IS THE DYNAMISM

OF THE ECONOMIC AND TRADING LINKS IN THE REGION. JAPAN, ONE

OF THE LEADING SPOKESMEN FOR A PACIFIC COMMUNITY, HAS DONE

MUCH TO VITALIZE THE ECONOMY OF THE REGION. THE SINGULAR

LEADERSHIP OF MR OHIRA UNTIL HIS UNTIMELY DEATH IN 1980 KEPT

TO THE FORE THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF A PACIFIC COMMUNITY ‘DRAWING

TOGETHER ABOVE ITS DIFFERENCES. JAPAN IS ONE OF THE GREAT

IMPORTERS OF THE RESOURCES OF THE REGION, AND HER REGIONAL

TRADE IS INDEED OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE TO ALL THE MEMBERS.

THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE REST OF THE REGION HAS TO BALANCE

OUT JAPAN'S DYNAMISM. OTHERWISE RESENTMENT FROM THE WEAKER

MEMBERS COULD BE SHARPENED. ONE CAN SEE THE COMPETITIVE

PRESSURES JAPAN PLACES ON THE UNITED STATES GIANT. HOW MUCH

MORE LATENT ARE THE PRESSURES WHICH ORIENT ECONOMIC POWER TO

JAPAN IN ITS DEALINGS WITH THE REGION'S SMALLER ECONOMIC

POWERS.

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IT IS EASY ENOUGH TO PRESCRIBE INSTITUTIONAL FOCUS FOR THE

SHORT TERM; THE REAL PROBLEM IS TO REACH PROJECTIONS OF .

BENEFIT WHICH ALLOW EACH POTENTIAL CONSTITUENT MEMBER OF

SUCH A COMMUNITY TO BE ABLE TO PROJECT A SCENARIO OF

ADVANTAGE TO THEM, APPROACHING IN PERSUASIVENESS THE .

PERCEIVED ADVANTAGE THAT INFORMS THE JAPANESE OUTLOOK,

THUS WHILE IT IS RECOGNISED THAT THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT

ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES FOR ASEAN IN A PACIFIC-CENTRED TRADE

GROWTH, A PACIFIC BASIN COMMUNITY WILL CONTINUE TO BE SEEN

BY ASEAN AS A POTENTIAL DIVERSION FROM THEIR PRIMARY TASK OF

CONSOLIDATING THEIR SUB-REGIONAL EFFORTS IN ASEAN. THIS

BELIEF KEEPS ALIVE THEIR FEARS.

JAPAN DOES MORE TRADE WITH ASEAN THAN WITH EEC. JAPAN AND

ASEAN BOTH ATTACH A SIGNIFICANCE TO THEIR DEVELOPING

RELATIONSHIP. ASEAN HAS DEVELOPING DIALOGUE WITH JAPAN,

EUROPE, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, CANADA AND THE UNITED

STATES, AND IN THIS WAY SATISFIES A GREAT DEAL OF HER

CONCERN TO HAVE OUTWARD-LOOKING RELATIONSHIPS.

STRATEGICALLY ASEAN COUNTRIES ARE A VITAL LINK IN JAPANESE

SHIPPING LINKS WITH THE INDIAN OCEAN AND THE MIDDLE EAST.

ACCOUNT THEREFORE HAS TO BE TAKEN OF ASEAN CAUTION-BUILDING

PERCEPTIONS OF A WIDER-PACIFIC COMMUNITY. IT IS CLEAR TOO

THAT THEY WOULD FIND LITTLE TO SUPPORT IN A COMMUNITY WHICH

WAS CONFINED TO DEVELOPED COUNTRIES ALONE - JAPAN, THE

UNITED STATES, CANADA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND. -/ Γ D M T

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ASEAN IS THEREFORE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN ANY ATTEMPT TO

DEFINE AN AREA OUTSIDE ASEAN, POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN FAVOUR

OF A PACIFIC BASIN COMMUNITY WILL BE WISE TO DEVELOP

THINKING IN FULL CONCERT WITH ASEAN.

THEN THERE ARE THE NEWLY INDUSTRIALISED AREAS OF KOREA,

TAIWAN, HONG KONG - EACH IN THEIR OWN WAY HAVING AN '

INTERNATIONAL STATUS WITH SIGNIFICANT RESIDUAL PROBLEMS.

NONE ARE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED NATIONS, BUT EACH MAKES A

MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO THE TRADE AND ECONOMIC DYNAMISM OF THE

PACIFIC, A FACTOR WHICH ARGUES FOR CLOSER PACIFIC CO­

OPERATION.

THE PROBLEMS FACING THE MEMBERSHIP QUESTION THEREFORE TEND

TO STULTIFY THE PROCESSING OF INTER-GOVERNMENTAL VIEWS ON

PACIFIC CO-OPERATION. ''

BUT THE REALITY REMAINS. AS THERE ARE NO GENERALLY

COMMONLY-SHARED SECURITY INTERESTS, THE MEMBERS OF THE

PACIFIC RELY ON PACIFIC TRADE AS THE DOMINANT ELEMENT IN

THEIR ECONOMIC AND HENCE THEIR POLITICAL SURVIVAL.

SO LE T'S NOT PUT ASIDE THE CHALLENGE OF DEVELOPING

INSTITUTIONS FOR CLOSER CO-OPERATION IN THE PACIFIC. IN

SPITE OF A NUMBER OF PROTECTIONIST SYSTEMS IN THE REGION,

THERE HAS BEEN A DYNAMIC FORCE IN FAVOUR OF MORE OPEN

TRADING POLICIES. *

".../C O N T ,

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WHILST THIS IS TO BE ENCOURAGED, OPEN TRADING OF ITS OWN

NATURE IS NOT NECESSARILY AN IMPULSE FOR REGIONALISM.

SUCCESS IS NOT NECESSARILY, OR OFTEN, THE MATERIAL OF

POLITICAL CHANGE. .

THE CONCEPT OF A PACIFIC BASIN COMMUNITY THEREFORE NEEDS'

FURTHER ELABORATION, FURTHER DISCUSSION, FURTHER DEFIN ITIO N .

THE FACT THAT THIS TAKES TIME THAT THE POLITICAL PROCESS MAY

NOT PROCEDE AT THE SAME SPEED AS THE COMMERCIAL PROCESSES -

SHOULD NOT BE SEEN NECESSARILY AS A FAILURE OF THE CONCEPT,

HOWEVER DEFINED.

THE EUROPEAN ANALOGY MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE. WHAT IS

APPROPRIATE IS CONTINUATION OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF '

UNDERSTANDING, CO-OPERATION WITH THE PACIFIC BASIN -'AM D THE

WISDOM TO RECOGNISE THE POINT WHEN AND IF THAT PROCESS

REACHES A STAGE ALLOWING FOR MORE FORMAL ARRANGEMENTS TO BE

PUT INTO PLACE.

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