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Thursday, 16 September 1971
Page: 1481

Mr TURNBULL (Mallee) - The debate on the 1971-72 Budget is quickly coming to an end. I understand that I am the second last speaker and that the honourable member for Hunter (Mr James) will follow me. At the outset, I should like to say that I will not go into any fine detail regarding this Budget. Honourable members who have spoken have given many figures and statistics concerning the Budget but no honourable member has been able to follow them or vouch for their authority. I take this opportunity to deal with things that matter to the Australian nation in a wide field and, as I always do, I want to state the priorities that I support. They have always been the same.

It may be tedious repetition but I should like to tell honourable members that my No. 1 priority is loyalty and the defence of this country; my No. 2 priority is primary industry, coupled with water conservation. Someone might say: 'What about pensions, schools, etc.?' It is from primary industry that money flows and makes possible education, hospitalisation and so many other things of importance in this country. Of course, without defence we would be hopeless. Without loyalty we would not care whether we bad defence.

Although many minerals have been discovered in Australia, primary industry remains Australia's stable industry. The money earned by the export of our primary products pays for so many of the raw materials purchased overseas for use in Australia by our secondary industries.

I have listened to budget debates for the last 25 years and the debate on this occasion and the way this Budget has been received by the people have been the quietest in all that time. Generally speaking, members of the Opposition quote from newspapers to support their arguments. Opposition members are ever ready to tell us what the newspapers have to say about the Budget. However, I have noticed that on this occasion few honourable members have referred to newspapers for the very simple reason that the newspaper reports have not been favourable to the case the Opposition desires to submit. I know that many honourable members have travelled overseas; probably I am the only one of the long serving members of this Parliament who has not been on one of these trips associated with one of the parliamentary Associations. When they come back to this country invariably they say This is the best country in the world; we are so pleased to be home again'. They have travelled and looked into the economies and the general conditions of other countries and they come back here - Opposition members, Government supporters and tourists from all over Australia - and say 'This is the finest country in the world'. I do not think that they would say otherwise now, but what Opposition members try to do is to pick out some little advantage that countries such as Sweden or Switzerland may have and they try to put this against the whole of the Australian economy in order to paint this country as being only second class. This was done recently by one honourable member in regard to Australian housing. I think that this is completely wrong.

Australia needs patriotism; anarchy flees before patriotism. Therefore, in the time that I have at my disposal, I should like to speak about patriotism and one or two other matters. Recently I heard a man who was once the Leader of the Opposition say T stand for Fortress Australia'. His policy was not to send troops overseas but to wait and to fight invaders in this country. He did not say that but this is what Fortress Australia means. This is one of the greatest fallacies ever conceived by any nation.

Mr Birrell - Tell us, then.

Mr TURNBULL - I will tell the honourable member. What is the history of Vietnam? The Communists were moving down through South East Asia and no-one was doing anything about it. Everybody was blaming everybody else and saying that something should be done to stop them. Then, America drew a line and said: 'So far and no further'. What happened after that? The first thing that happened was that Indonesia, which is so close to Australia, took courage and threw out the Communists. This is one of the greatest things that has recently happened for this country. Of course, America still has troops in Vietnam and it is building up the local troops so that they can carry on after the Australian and American troops leave that country.

I should like to read to honourable members an article which I happened to pick up just by chance. It appeared in the Canberra Times' on 26th April, the day after Anzac Day.

Mr Foster - Which Anzac Day?

Mr TURNBULL - Anzac Day 1971. The article is headed The Price of Freedom' and it appeals tremendously to me. It reads:

The Reverend J. R. Payne said at the dawn service at the War Memorial yesterday that many young people should remember that their freedom to express their opinions had been bought with the lives of those being remembered on Anzac Day.

Honourable members endeavour to laugh that off. The article continues:

Mr Payne,Commonwealth Secretary of the British and Foreign Bible Society, went on: Whether you are critical of war, whether you are an out-and-out pacificist or not, I believe there is no question of the debt we owe these people today. There are far too many people today who keep prattling about their rights who should be more concerned with living up to their own duties and responsibilities.' Mr Payne said he had found no serviceman who loved war for itself but they were determined to defend their country to the best of their ability.

He said finally that that did not mean waiting until the enemy had stormed the shores of our land; it meant meeting him wherever it was possible to engage him in combat. I support those remarks to the hilt. Whenever our men have gone overseas they have never gone on a quest in search of gain. They have always gone to fight against people who were not upholding the laws of democracy and freedom. Thank God that that has been their mission every time they have gone overseas and we should be proud of them. Young people in this country today do not realise the debt they owe to the men who gave us the freedom to be in this Parliament today, talking as I am doing and as other honourable members have done on matters concerning this Budget and other subjects which are of vital importance to Australia.

I have told the following story before but I should like to tell it again. There was a young man I knew in Melbourne during the Second World War who said to me just after I had enlisted to go away T am not going to the war'. I said 'If you do not do something and give a bit of assistance and Hitler gets over here with his men, you will be in a chain gang down near the wharf or somewhere'. He just laughed and said Oh, the unions would not stand for that'. This is the kind of thinking that one gets from the Australian Labor Party. What would happen to the unions if an enemy did come here? We do not want war but what is the alternative to war? The alternative is to fall at the feet of an invader, slaves to a foreign power. People say'This could not happen here'. This has been said down through history and it has been proved a fallacy. I could quote many such things that have been said. Socrates was referred to today by an honourable member and I now want to refer to Lord Byron. Great nations of the world fell not because of bad times but because they paid too much heed to luxury. They forgot those who upheld and built a nation. They became unprepared and could not fight. The enemy came in and took them over very easily. The great Roman Empire was one of them and the great Grecian Empire was another. Lord Byron said of Greece:

A king sate on the rocky brow which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;

And ships, by thousands, lay below, and men in nations; - all were his!

He counted them at break of day - And when the sun set where were they?

The Persians came in from the hills unexpectedly. They fought a battle at Thermopylae and swept the Greeks into the sea. The Greeks never rose again. Lord Byron said in his poem "The Isles of Greece':

Eternal summer gilds them yet,

But all, except their sun, is set.

Honourable members should not forget that this can happen here. We must be vigilant. Honourable members are laughing at what I am saying and not caring about what has happened. Let me go on further and refer to the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon was a prisoner on the Isle of Elba. They said: The time has come when we must weld our swords into ploughshares and our spears into pruning hooks. But within a week Napoleon had escaped from Elba and the whole of Europe was aflame. Honourable members will know the story about Neville Chamberlain who said, after seeing Hitler: "This means peace in our time'. Labor members say that this cannot happen here. Of course it can happen here. We must watch very closely to see that it does not happen.

What we need in this country is more loyalty. We want people to be well up in the knowledge of what can happen. Let me quote an article from the Melbourne Sun' which is headed: 'Change Flag Ceremony - say Parents'. The article reads as follows:

Toorak Central State School committee wants to update the patriotic ceremony - the salute to the flag in schools every Monday morning.

The Government makes national flags available to schools all over Australia. There would probably not be a member here who has not presented perhaps 50 or more of these flags all around the country and has seen them go to the masthead on a Monday morning. The article continues:

The committee's president, Mr Ian Aird, said today: 'We have heard that children in many schools are bored by it and pay scant regard . . The State president of the RSL . . . said: 'We are a young country with few traditions. The ceremony in its present form is needed. It would be a great loss to the country if it were abolished'.

I hope that members of this Parliament stand for the continuation of that flag ceremony at schools on Monday mornings, because our flag will be honoured in this country and overseas only while we stand for those principles that have made it great. The article continues:

The president of the Primary Principals' Association, Mr R. G. Jennings, said that he had no doubt that the idea behind the ceremony was good. "The question is how best to get this idea to the children.'

The idea of the tradition of Australia and the sacrifice that has been made so that children can go to school should be taught to the children. If the honourable member for Stirling (Mr Webb) who is interjecting does not believe in these things let him get up and say so. Parents should teach their children and instil into them the traditions of Anzac and the other sacrifices that have been made in the 2 great world wars and the other minor conflicts. The parents and also the school teachers should do this, because it is the tradition that counts. I hope that school teachers - and a lot of them - will now and again calmly pause in this rush of modern civilisation for a few moments to tell the children the great story of the Australian tradition with its fighting forces. I believe that this must be done.

Mr Birrell - What has that to do with the Budget?

Mr TURNBULL - I am asked what this has to do with the Budget. That is a question I can answer very fully. Australia is said to have a high standard of living, but has it a high standard of conduct? This is the question to be answered. Are we ready and prepared for it? When our men went overseas they were described as being on active service. I ask the honourable member who is interjecting all the time whether he is always on active service as far as the protection of this country is concerned. Of course he is not. He cares little about it. Are the young people who get together in a conglomeration of population in Melbourne and other places thinking about how they are going to protect this country? I do not believe they give it a thought.

I read a story recently - I hope it is not true - about a conscientious objector who said that if a foreign foe came to this country and one of its troops was going to molest his mother he would not lift a hand to protect her. What decent man in Australia could stand for that sort of talk? I will not stand for it. I hope that every member of the Opposition is of the same opinion. Let me refer now to wheat sales to Mainland China. I want to read the following passages from Hansard to honourable members:

The Country Party, of course, will do anything for trade. As long as it gets the country vote in return for sales of wool and wheat it could not care whom the goods are sold to.

We refer to the hypocrisy of members of the Country Party for criticising Red China and its policies, on the one hand, while sending emissaries there to sell our products. Any markets in the world will be acceptable to members of the Country Party so long as the money comes in.

Mr Daly - That is right.

Mr TURNBULL - The honourable member for Grayndler says that that is all right. This whole page contains quotations from Hansard of statements by him, sb he ought to know. He is the greatest circus acrobat in this country. He has changed his mind. I do not have time to read them all-

Mr Daly - I rise to order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I resent the bitter personal attack being made on me.


Order! There is no substance in the point of order.

Mr TURNBULL - The honourable member said at that time that the wheat was being used to feed the Vietcong. Now he is in favour of selling wheat to Mainland China, and conditions have not changed. The Vietcong are still operating in Vietnam. These quotations go back to 1965. Let me read another one:

One cannot help feeling disturbed when one reads, for instance, of the late Mr Moroney, of the Australian Wheat Board, receiving a nice cheque from Russia and China, worth $48m, for Country Party wheat, although China is said to be an enemy which the Government is conscripting boys to fight.

Now the honourable member for Grayndler is changing his mind altogether. If Wirth's Circus were still operating he would receive more money than he receives as a member of this Parliament.

I appreciated the visit of the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Sinclair) to the Mallee electorate, where he addressed 4 meetings. At one of the meetings he explained the stabilisation plan for dried fruit. It was defeated last time. This time the vote was 4,560 for the scheme and 56 'no' votes.

So there were 56 'no' votes out of 4,616,. which was a great victory. The Minister also went to Hopetoun, Swan Hill and Kerang. At every meeting he answered! questions. There was not the slightest sign of any disruption, and I appreciated hisvisit.

The honourable member for Adelaide (Mr Hurford) said that we must legislate against monopolies. Are the trade unions, not the greatest monopolies in this country? Does he believe that we should legislate against them? The honourable member for Stirling says that the country areas are getting all the attention and, as a result, the urban areas are being neglected. That is the very opposite of the case. At the moment there is a great boom in Melbourne and other urban areas. When one listens to the kind of talk we hear from honourable members opposite one does not wonder that the Labor Party has been on the Opposition benches for 22 years. I believe that it should remain there for another 22 years.


Order! The honourable member's time has expired.

MrWEBB (Stirling)- I wish to make a personal explanation.

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