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
Tuesday, 19 September 1972
Page: 945


Senator CARRICK (New South Wales) - We could well remind ourselves that we are debating a motion moved by Senator Murphy which seeks to refer to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence a matter primarily relating to complaints by the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia that there are in Australia bases, training ranges, storage places for weapons and diversionist material for criminal activity against Yugoslavia, and that the Australian Government has tolerated migrants engaged in terrorist activities against Yugoslavia, and so on. That is the primary part of the motion. I think it is important to relate the Opposition's debating subject matter to that because in fact that has not been dealt with by the Opposition at all. In common with all on the Government side I would say that violence and terrorism, whether from the left or the right of the spectrum, are to be condemned and the perpetrators sought out and fully punished. I find the mote in the eye of the Opposition is that it has discovered violence only of late and that it has discovered it only in the right of the spectrum and never in the left. This is the mote in the Opposition's eye, the thing that in fact taints the sincerity of its argument. I stand for the fullest possible investigation of all acts of violence wherever they may be committed, whether in trade union affairs or in the ranks of the painters and dockers, a matter I raised this morning, because it is equally, if not more, reprehensible, when closely looked at.


Senator Georges - Why did you not raise it some weeks ago?


Senator CARRICK - I have raised it, and the Opposition is tender because I have raised it in parallel with this - and this is a matter on which the Opposition is sensitive. The Opposition is blind to the whole of the spectrum from centre to far left because it seeks to defend it. The Government stands for the fullest possible police investigation of this matter. Even the Opposition, I take it, does not doubt that the police in both New South Wales and Victoria are fully investigating it. Does the Opposition doubt the sincerity or the ability of the police or the magnitude of the police investigations? If Opposition members hold this doubt, then let them say so.


Senator Georges - We would like a result.


Senator CARRICK - Of course, we would all like a result. But the silence of the Opposition signifies that it believes - and I ask Opposition senators to deny it - that the police investigation is being made on a full and effective scale. This is important. Since we have had many lectures in law from the Opposition in recent days - and changes in law when it suits the Oppo- sition - it is abundantly clear that while the police are investigating they should not be hampered in any way by any other inquiry. Let me make my position clear. I believe that when we have seen the results of the police inquiry we should make a firm decision - and I hope it will be in favour of a royal commission type of investigation - to look at all the implications of violence. I will go one step further and say that if it is humanly possible to do so, an interim inquiry should be brought down prior to the election so that there will be no kind of shelving. Let me make it quite clear that once the policy investigations are over then the wider picture of the spectrum should be looked at, when the police are not hampered.


Senator Wright - If the police bring forward evidence that a crime is being committed, then it is a matter for the courts, not a royal commission.


Senator CARRICK - Surely. I agree that the police will carry out their action and that the people who are in fact prosecuted should have to accept the full effects of the law. But when I related this to the suggestion for a royal commission in the future, I did it in the broadest spectrum of violence in Australia. Having sat in this Senate for the last year I have heard from the Opposition a continual attack on Croatians in general, not in particular. The Opposition has become choosy only today and has narrowed its attack. The Opposition has made a general attack on the assumption that there is a Ustasha. The only silence about the Ustasha today came in the speech by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate; I do not think he even mentioned the name. Today he discovered other people - .Croatian terrorists or Croatian independence people - because there is a fair chance that the Ustasha will not be proven to be in existence or to have taken part in this. Certainly, there was a retreat by the Australian Labor Party today from this situation.

Equally, let me make this clear: I will have no part in a general blanket attack on migrants in this country, whether Croats, Serbs or others. The ALP is pledged to reduce vastly the migrant intake into this country. Therefore, it comes readily to its members to commend to the people of Australia a fear that the continuation of the migration programme will bring with it some elements of violence. I want to repeat what I think Senator McManus said: The great bulk of the migrant community has added notably to the character and integrity of this country and. in terms of lawful behaviour, has had a better record than that of the ordinary Australian. No person should make a blanket condemnation of people or of causes on this matter.

I listened with great interest to both the Leader of the Opposition and his deputy, Senator Willesee, debating this motion. I thought that they would bring forward some source of evidence that there were bases, training ranges, storage places for weapons and diversionist material for criminal activity against Yugoslavia. Not a word was said by way of evidence in this regard. Yet the whole basis of this motion is pinned to this. On the contrary, they retreated from this proposition. They hide behind the statement 'everybody knows'. Let me lay the position on the line because Dr J. F. Cairns, in particular, has said recently that he knows of events before they happen. Let me say that every member of the ALP, if they have any specific evidence, in common with every member of this Parliament, have a duty to go to the police or other law enforcement officers and give that evidence immediately. If they do not do so in the day or two immediately ahead, let them stand by the fact that they have no such evidence. Let me make this challenge to the Labor Party and, indeed, the people of Australia: If any person in this country has specific evidence, he has a bounded duty to come forward now.

It is not good enough merely to come forward with some kind of blanket argument. I think that Dr J. F. Cairns says that he knew there was to be a bombing before it happened. All honourable senators would be very interested in the sources of Dr Cairns's knowledge. Let him stand up and tell us how he knows, why he knows and what evidence he has for this. As I have said, I deplore violence of all kind. I listened to Senator Willesee, who derided the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) in regard to a reported incident when he was returning home to Double Bay. Apparently, he passed by the Yugoslav Consulate and saw a group of people who,

I gather, were demonstrating peaceably. I ask honourable members of the Opposition who are interjecting to wait because better things are to come in regard to this matter. A principle, once espoused by Labor can turn and bite them. They have said that a demonstration for independence is a healthy thing. How many Labor Party supporters, in common with others of more extreme views, have demonstrated outside the Embassy of the United States of America and other embassies and consulatesgeneral throughout the length and breadth of Australia? How many of them have taken part in far more violent demonstrations outside embassies? Is it wrong for other groups of people to demonstrate outside an embassy or consulate? Is it wrong for a group of people to leave Australia and go to Yugoslavia, in their view, for freedom? But is it right for members of the ALP to go to North Vietnam and to seek to overthrow South Vietnam and to advocate from Australia the killing and murder of 17 million or 18 million South Vietnamese?

This is nonsense. Opposition senators are asking the Senate to debate a situation involving people going to a country and allegedly attempting to get a change of government. Yet. they are the very people who urge on North Vietnam and who have applauded it in its attemped overthrow of the South. Their leaders have, in recent weeks, gone to North Vietnam and have sought to achieve the overthrow of the South. 1 say to them: 'Physician cure thyself. Here are the people who when governments of the Right such as South Africa or Rhodesia - I do not in any way support or defend them - do something they condemn, they seek to punish. But when governments of the Left such as Communist Russia and China do far worse, there is a great silence and protection the whole time. There is a tremendous silence.

Let me make this perfectly clear: During 20 years in administering a political party in this country I faced from time to time threats of violence and actual violence. I heard the leaders of the Liberal Party on platforms throughout the country say to the people of Australia that inside the trade union movement of Australia there is Communist subversion, Communist intimi dation and Communist violence and that unless we do something about it we will suffer damage and violence in this country. We asked the Labor Party to accept this as a premise and join us. What has in fact happened? For 20 years we were told that this was a lie, that it was not true and that we were kicking the communist can. How has the position been exposed? It has been exposed in recent weeks simply because - I deplore the situation - an ALP official was threatened with violence. The cat is now out of the bag. The fact is that for 20 years in Australia the amount of violence, intimidation and terror inside the trade union movement caused by communism and caused by the Left is of a magnitude


Senator Milliner - You would not know the first thing about the trade union movement.


Senator CARRICK - I am interested in this because the honourable senator's own leaders are not saying now that it is rubbish. Senator Milliner is now saying that Mr John Ducker is wrong because he has said that there is Communist intimidation and violence and that it is threatening to destroy the trade union movement. Let us have a look-


Senator Georges - What about communist bomb throwing?


Senator CARRICK - -1 will talk about bomb throwing in a moment. On 4 or 5 occasions in my political life, there have been bomb threats at major Liberal Party public meetings, no member of the Labor Party has said that that was horrible. We faced this situation in which violence occurred at the meetings. We are debating a motion involving the training of terrorists in Australia. There is no evidence of this. When, in fact, 2 royal commissions found that there were training camps of the Communist Party in Australia training for subversion and that there was a training camp at Minto involving the Communist Party and Communist subversion, the ALP sought to deny these things. It seems to be all right if, inside Australia, we can train people in international Communist subversion and can send Communists overseas to subvert and pervert. That is all right.


Senator Wheeldon - I rise to order. The matters on which the honourable senator has been speaking for the last 10 minutes have no bearing on the motion before the Senate.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Withers) - Order! There is no sub.stance in the point of order.


Senator Wheeldon - I rise to take a further point of order. May I take it, Mr Acting Deputy President, that your ruling is that any honourable senator can debate any matter he wishes during the course of the debate on the motion which is now before the Chair?

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - The motion that we are debating this afternoon is both particularised and generalised as to terrorism and subversion and the general security of Australia. I rule that Senator Carrick is in order.

Sitting suspended from 5.45 p.m to 8 p.m.


Senator CARRICK - Mr Deputy President, earlier I made the point that I oppose referring this matter to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence because I believe it to be highly inappropriate for that Committee. I believe that the Senate Standing Committee should not take on such a reference because, firstly, the Committee and the Senate do not and never should, take upon themselves judicial roles. It ill becomes Parliament or any committee of Parliament to seek to be judicial, inquisitorial, or to put itself in a position where it virtually examines people in terms of their character and behaviour and, in essence, puts them on trial. No matter how well these committees function they, in fact, are political and not impartial. Such a reference should be to a completely impartial judicial body. The Senate committees have made their rules but in fact they are not bound by the rules of evidence at this time, and I believe that any inquiry involving the behaviour of particular persons and the prospective criminal behaviour of particular persons, must be carried out by a judicial body bound by the rules of evidence so that the rights of every individual are protected.

This question, as Senator Murphy implied this morning, involves some implied criticism of the Government in that the Government, by its alleged inaction, has brought about this situation. It would be utterly inappropriate-


Senator Georges - One would not have thought it.


Senator CARRICK - We will leave Senator Georges to his eternal surprise. It is a happy thought indeed. The fact is that if the Government is under any potential criticism, or suggestion of criticism, the last body in the world to sit in judgment should be a committee of the Parliament which in fact consists of a majority of Government members. Therefore I reject that suggestion. I come out clearly for the strongest possible police investigations and prosecutions, and I reserve my judgment on the need for further judicial inquiry, including a royal commission. I stress that in this country we ought to look to the violence and implied violence not only in one direction but in all directions. I believe it would be a good thing for this country if there were investigations into violence from the Left as well as from the Right.

Just before I concluded my earlier remarks I drew attention to double standards because there can be no certainty that the violence involved is necessarily from the Right. I had mentioned Dr Jim Cairns and his attitudes. I remind the Senate that in the 'AM' broadcast on 11th September Dr Jim Cairns was asked during a interview why no-one was talking about extremism on the Left. He replied by using almost the A. A. Milne expression that Senator Georges exhibited a moment ago, and his words require, I think, 2 minutes silent contemplation. He said:

Well because there's very little evidence of extremism on the Left . . .

Those words really do merit 2 minutes silence. His questioner was a little persistent and said:

Many people would argue that there is extremism on the Left in terms of violence within the union movement in Australia.

Dr Cairnsreplied in these A. A. Milne words:

Well I think there are a few fights occasionally but that's quite a different thing. This is something that is part of th: Australian tradition - I'm not talking about that kind of thing.

With full knowledge of the activities of the builders labourers, with full knowledge of the activities of the painters and dockers and with full knowledge of the activities of the plumbers, he said that this is an Aus- tralian tradition and that he was not talking about that kind of thing. I leave the Australian Labor Party to its whimsies in that regard and to its double standards.

At least 2 speakers today have referred rightly, I believe, to this problem in terms of its historical context. I believe that you cannot look at the problem of the Croat and the Croat violence, or alleged violence, unless you look at the history of Croatia and put it in the current context of what seems to be happening.


Senator Georges - That is not going to justify it, though.


Senator CARRICK - I have made it abundantly clear that I would not seek while on my feet in this place or anywhere else to attempt to justify violence of any kind. I want to put a few things into context. I do not want to be repetitious but I would like to say that to understand the situation one must look at the history of Croatia in recent years. Mr Deputy President, I seek leave to continue my remarks at a later hour.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.







Suggest corrections