Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 18 October 1983
Page: 1812

Mr STAPLES —My question, which is directed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, concerns the Minister's recent address to the United Nations General Assembly. Has the Minister noted criticism of his failure to condemn the manner in which the Vietnamese entered and remain in Kampuchea? Why did he fail to follow what was presumably a standard practice of previous Foreign Ministers in this regard?

Mr HAYDEN —It is most fortuitous that I can answer this question immediately following the question of the Leader of the Opposition, the Narcissus with a suntan lamp and his own Carmen hot roller set. One would gather from the-

Mr Anthony —Why the dorothy dixer? Are you worried?

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The House will come to order. I invite the Minister for Foreign Affairs to answer the question.

Mr HAYDEN —The Leader of the National Party is interjecting. His numeracy was cut in half when he came into this House and he was forced to wear boots. One would gain the impression from certain comments which would be made, not the least from the implications of the question of the Leader of the Opposition, that there had been certain conventions or practices in relation to statements at the United Nations General Assembly, but more specificially in relation to statements at the United Nations General Assembly concerning the situation in Kampuchea. I note that I have been criticised for apparently not being sufficiently severe in my condemnation of the manner in which the Vietnamese entered and remain in Kampuchea.

I think I will put the record straight. Kampuchea was invaded by Vietnam in December 1978. In 1981-82 Kampuchea was not even mentioned by the then Foreign Minister, Mr Street. In 1979 it was referred to by the then Foreign Minister who is now the Leader of the Opposition, but he did not refer to Vietnam's invasion or occupation. He did no more than say 'all external forces' should be withdrawn . In his speech on 25 September the then Foreign Minister, now Leader of the Opposition, referred to the 'Vietnamese occupation troops' and the 'fundamental question of the occupation of Kampuchea by foreign troops'. He said-honourable members should listen to this-'we accept that Vietnam has legitimate interests to safeguard in relation to Kampuchea'. I never said anything like that. This is what I said:

Australia favours a political solution in Cambodia. We do not support any approach based on a continuation of the present military activity. Any resolution of the conflict will need to include such basic requirements as the withdrawal of foreign forces from Cambodia and a former self-determination for the people of that country. Unfortunately, I expect no quick solution.

So that we can keep these matters in perspective, let me remind the House of what Foreign Minister, Professor Dr Mochta of Indonesia said recently, according to the Australian Associated Press rip-off or tear-off service-I am not sure which it is; it is probably both actually. The report is dated 15 October and states:

Australia's concern at the possible return of the Pol Pot Khmer Rouge regime in Kampuchea was 'well founded', Indonesia Foreign Minister Dr Mochta Kusumaatmjada said here tonight. He also said he hoped a rift could be averted between ASEAN and Australia.

The report goes on:

Dr Mochta said ASEAN members differed in their assessment of Australia's attitude. We feel that it is not always necessary for friends to have the same attitude on certain things. I think that some of the reasons for Australia's attitude, especially the one expressing concern over the possible return of Pol Pot as a consequence of ASEAN policy, is well founded.

It goes on:

It is a concern that others also feel. On the other hand, Kampuchea is not the only issue between Australia and ASEAN, indeed, not the central issue. Asked whether differences between ASEAN and Canberra over Kampuchea could be ironed out to avoid a split Dr Mochta said: That is what I hoped.

I suggest to the Leader of the Opposition that he should not exaggerate or distort for the quick political opportunity of the moment. There are more substantial interests at stake, including the national interests. I remind him of his own humiliation in 1978 and the clumsy way in which he and his Government responded to pressures from the Association of South East Asian Nations concerning civil aviation. We are seeking to avoid that humiliation.