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Wednesday, 27 February 1952


Mr DUTHIE (Wilmot) .- If every honorable member on this side of the House made it a practice to ask for apologies we all should be asking for apologies from the honorable member for Wide Bay (Mr. Bernard Corser), because he has linked us all with subversive activities. I hope that when he goes home to-night he will have a good look in his cupboard and wardrobe and below his bed, in case any " Corns " have hidden themselves there during his absence. In a recent Gallup poll 67 per cent, of the Australian people expressed an opinion that disagrees with that expressed by the honorable member for Wide Bay and other honorable members who have supported this treaty. It is passing strange that Government supporters depreciate the value of Gallup polls when the findings of these polls do not accord with their opinions, but praise their excellence when the findings are agreeable to them. At the last genera! election 1 per cent, of the Aus tralian electorate voted for Communists, compared with the 67 per cent, of Gallup poll voters who expressed themselves as opposed to ratification of this treaty in its proposed form. How can honorable members opposite reconcile that disparity with their statement that the people who oppose this treaty are all " Corns " ? I firmly believe, and I think that all honorable members who are concerned about this treaty, even those on the Government side who speak with their tongues in their cheeks about it, would agree with me, that this bill would pass through this House without a dissentient voice being raised if it contained no clause providing for the rearmament of Japan. It is incredible that honorable members opposite can now so strenuously support in this Parliament a nation that was guilty of the most cruel barbarities in the war that ended only a little more than six years ago. Honorable members opposite who were prisoners of war of the Japanese must find this a hard pill to swallow, because they saw the Japanese at their rawest. Yet they are prepared to support a move to put guns and bombs into the hands of the Japanese. About 7,000 Australian, English and Allied prisoners of war lost their lives while working on the BurmaThailand railway.

The supporters of this proposed treaty have not demonstrated the necessity for it in its present form. The inclusion in it of clauses that will permit the rearmament of Japan have aroused opposition both here and outside, and are delaying the passage of the bill. Yet in my opinion the general principles underlying the treaty could still be achieved if the rearmament clauses were dropped from it. The Government argues that we must rearm Japan in order to protect ourselves against some other power, presumably Russia. How do honorable members opposite imagine that Japan alone could ward off a Russian attack? It would not have a hope of doing so. Japan would be absolutely blasted and destroyed in one week by atom bombs and so would the army that it is intended to maintain there. iSo it is utterly fantastic to believe that Japan can defend itself against Russia. That being the case, why should this rearmament clause

Lave been inserted in the treaty, especially when the general purposes of the treaty can be achieved without it? I claim that the clause is completely irrelevant to the true issue.

The treaty will give to Japan the right to enter the comity of nations on an equal footing with ourselves. I am agreeable to that. It will allow Japan to make bi-lateral arrangements with other nations. We should not disagree with that proposal. Japan will also be allowed freely to trade again with the world. We should not disagree with that provision, although it holds dangers, because we cannot allow a nation of 83,000,000 people to starve to death. The natural increase of the population of Japan is 1,000,000 a year, and in ten years it will have a population of 93.000,000 people in the small territory that it occupies. It obviously will have to trade if it is to maintain that population. We agree on that point and on all the other incidentals of the treaty relevant to those three points that I have mentioned.

A part of the terms of the security treaty between the United States of America and Japan reads -

The United States of America, in the interest of peace and security, is willing to maintain certain of its armed forces in and about la pan . . .

So America will have, and, in fact, has had an opportunity to establish and develop fortifications around the perimeter of the Japanese islands. Yet, the Government claims that Japan must be armed to defend itself against any attack by Russia. As I have said, Japan could be wiped out by Russia in one week of atomic warfare. American power is based around Japan, therefore America could provide the armed force necessary to withstand an onslaught by Russia from Manchuria or "red" China; not that we would suspect " red " China of having designs on Japan. As the issue of such an attack would depend on American power and not on Japanese power, there is no necessity for the inclusion in tho treaty of a clause to permit Japanese rearmament.

The only matter other than that of rearmament which would evoke much criticism of the terms of the treaty, is in relation to the dangers inherent for Australia in the reindustrialization of Japan. The Government claims that we must forgive and forget the past. That is a Christian principle, and we wish to be Christian in our dealings with others. But repentance must precede forgiveness. What repentance have the Japanese leaders or people shown for their actions ? Have they apologized to the world, or to us? No, they are as arrogant as ever! Until the Japanese are prepared to show real repentance it will be too early for us to welcome them open-handedly into our midst and to forgive them for their barbarous atrocities during the last war. We can afford to wait longer before we ratify this treaty, and we should certainly wait until we see more evidence of the growth of a real democracy in Japan. The Americans bore most of the burden of the war in the Pacific, and so have been the prime movers behind this treaty, but, as the honorable member for Fremantle, (Mr. Beazley) pointed out last night, the United States of America have provided some glaring examples of a political and diplomatic immaturity that I consider to be the result of the long years of American isolationism that ended only in 1941. Americans are still new to the business of conducting world affairs, ' and are taking upon their shoulders responsibilities that they are not yet fitted to carry. It would be dangerous for us to follow the United States foreign policy blindly. I appreciate, as well as does anybody here, what we owed to the Americans in war-time, and I have a keen recollection of the relief which' the Australian people felt when General MacArthur ami American troops arrived here in 1P42. Our opposition to this treaty, however, is not directed against the United States of America, as the honorable member for Wide Bay claimed. He also accused us of being Communists because we do not support the treaty. The fact that such accusations are madeshows that the Government's case is weak, because always when it has a weak case this anti-Labour Government drags in the subject of communism.

How far has Japan deserved such generous treatment as is to be accorded to it under the treaty? Any apparent changes in the Japanese since the war are a result of a form of dictatorship imposed by General MacArthur. The Japanese did not ask for the reforms that were introduced during General MacArthur's regime. Having been imposed on the Japanese people by a foreigner, such reforms have no lasting character. The Japanese people in their hearts reject them. In fact, they do not yet realize that they are a defeated nation. The Japanese are .an unpredictable people, as our prisoners of war well know. On the Burma-Thailand railway, prisoners of war were at times bashed for actions which their captors completely ignored at other times. The Japanese are also completely untrustworthy. Their religion is still Shintoism, combined with ancestor worship and militarism. That religion has been ingrained in the Japanese for centuries, and anybody who thinks that it can be expunged in six years should think again. There are only 70,000 Christians among Japan's poulation of 83,000,000, and they have a very small voice in the affairs of the country.

The obvious intention of the treaty is to develop Japan as a buffer state against Russia. History repeats itself. Our leaders have forgotten that Hitler gained the support of the "Western world on the ground that Germany would be the great buffer against the onslaught of Bolshevism. So the Western world helped Germany to rearm between 1934 and 1936. The Bank of England lent, if not gave, to Hitler £54,000,000 in those early years of his rule. In addition, the Western nations supplied him with raw materials that he would otherwise have been unable to obtain. How ironical it all proved to be. We helped to sharpen the claws of the tiger, and when he started his mad race' he turned on us. A more amazing fact is that in 1941 the very Bolsheviks to contain whom we helped Hitler to rearm became our allies. Now, in 1952, a. similar position exists in the Pacific. Under this treaty, we shall permit a country that was our enemy, six years ago to rearm, in order, presumably, that it will act as a buffer against Russia. The Government may be sincere in pressing for the ratification of this treaty. The Opposition's approach to it would be different if events could be foreseen ten years ahead. But we must rely upon guesswork. The risk involved in allowing Japan to rearm in the near future is altogether too dangerous. It might, again, be a case of arming the tiger; and the tiger might come southward instead of going westward. I believe that in order to find additional living room for its population, Japan will not seek to go westward, but will come southward.

The Opposition has pointed out the dangers to Australia of Japanese industrial expansion. The honorable member for Bendigo (Mr. Clarey) emphasized this point. The treaty represents a threat, to Australian industry. I was informed this afternoon by a leading trade unionist that already high class American machine tools are being landed in Australia from Japan and will be sold at prices 40 per cent, below the cost of production of similar tools in this country. Recently, I read in the press a report that towards the end of last year 32 ships were loading 150,000 tons of goods in Japanese ports for export to Australia. That fact indicates the capacity which Japanese industry has already regained. There cannot be the slightest doubt that attempts will be made to flood Australia with Japanese goods of all kinds. In order to meet those attempts, the Government must act resolutely and erect an effective tariff barrier against the importation of any goods that will compete with Australian manufactures.

The Government assumes that the Japanese will reform and will play fair with us and engage in any possible conflict in future as our ally. That is naive thinking. Racially, the Japanese have affinity with the Chinese and the peoples of the eastern Soviets.


Mr Curtin - Stalin is an Asiatic.


Mr DUTHIE - That is so. The. Japanese, like all Orientals, are contemptuous of Europeans. For racial reasons, the Japanese will be more likely to ally themselves with Russia and China than with the Western democracies. No doubt, Japan, for a time, will cunningly play off the East against the West; but ultimately it will come down on the side that will best serve its interests. It will exploit its racial affinity with Indo-China, Malaya and Indonesia, and very soon will again propagate the ideal of the co-prosperity sphere. Ratification of this treaty will give to Japan ample opportunities to engage in such activities. On the 1st February, the Launceston Examiner published the following article which it had received from Renter's correspondent in Tokyo : -

Police in JAPAN are Nucleus of Army.

Japan to-day has a coastguard service of more than 400 vessels, a 75,000-man police reserve organised like an army, and a national rural police force of nearly 50,000 men. While it is claimed that these units perform essential security services, it is also clear that they are or can be the nucleus of a new armament. The coastguard vessels, organised in the National Maritime Safety Board, are unarmed. This year, after ratification of the Japanese Peace Treaty, according to reports not so far contradicted, armed frigates and patrol boats are to be added to the already sizeable fleet.

Former Imperial Navy officers in the fleet are reported openly anticipating return to their former status. The police reserve works with machine-guns and mortars and bazookas. The rural police are lightly armed.

Japan's post-war constitution forbids rearmament, but her post-war security pact with the U.S. foreshadows Japan's future ability to look after her own security and relieve America nf the burden of keeping armed forces stationed here. The Maritime Safety Board is claimed to be too small at present for its task. It patrols Japan's 11,000 miles of coastline, watches for smugglers, attempts to check the passage of spies and saboteurs from the Asian mainland, watches coastal lights and beacons, engages in rescue work.

In a recent twelvemonth the board's watch led to the capture of 522 persons attempting to enter Japan illegally. The National Police Reserve's arms are leased from the U.S. With the American effort diverted to Korea, General MacArthur in 1950 diverted arms to Japan to ensure the reserve's ability to maintain a security watch.

So, already, the Japanese possess the requisite weapons. The article continued -

The smartly uniformed reservists look very much like soldiers, whatever disavowals may be made about their purpose. Twenty-four full colonels of the former Japanese Imperial Army have been accepted into the reserve with US I lower rank former army officers. Japanese have so far been forbidden by the occupation to use radar or fly their own planes.

The Maritime Board wants radar to aid its work. Japan has her own civil airline already.

Only in the air does she lack the nucleus nf an armed force. Ratification of the peace treaty is, however, expected to put Japanese pilots again at the controls of Japanese-run aircraft.

The ground work is being done even before this treaty has been ratified; and its ratification will give a tremendous impetus to Japanese rearmament. I repeat that had the rearmament clausesbeen omitted from the treaty it would probably have been ratified unanimously by all parties in the Parliament. The Opposition realizes that the time has arrived when the war with Japan should be brought formally to a conclusion. However, my colleagues and I have no alternative but to reject this treaty because it will permit Japan to rearm and to rehabilitate its great industrial war potential. I have no doubt that in the immediate future, Japan will receive great assistance from the United States of America. Dollars will be made available to it because the great industrialists, monopolists and speculators in the United States of America see in Japan a rich field for exploitation. Recently, I was informed on good authority that parts of certain equipment that had been made in the United States of America had been exported to Japan to be assembled there and returned to the United States of America. By that means the American interests concerned were enabled to benefit by employing the cheap labour that is available in Japan. Surely, it is not our task to concentrate upon defending a former enemy which, in any event, could, not defend itself unaided. On the contrary, our primary objective should be to raise the standard of living of the Japanese people as a bulwark against the inroads of communism. Women engaged in industry in Japan -receive a wage of £2 7s. a month. Therefore, Japanese industry must always remain a serious threat to not only Australian but also British industry.

The future of the world will be determined not in the West, as it has been in the past, but in the East. We must maintain friendship with the people of the East, even with " red " China, which is, or at least could be made, the Yugoslavia of the Pacific. We must be careful not to drive China into the arms of Stalin, but, on the contrary, should seek to drive a wedge between that country and Russia. We must not, because of prejudice, follow a shortsighted policy towards China. Great Britain did the right thing in recognizing the "red" regime in China. If we are wise we shall seek to make of " red " China another Yugoslavia. I can see no reason why we should fail to do so. China might continue its adherence to Moscow in a general way, hut, like Yugoslavia, it could refuse to he subservient to Moscow. Mao Tse-tung could become the Tito of Asia. Although no disaster may follow the ratification of this treaty in the immediate future, we must remember that the Japanese have great patience. They will bide their time and will never lose sight of their ultimate objective. They will wait for generations, if need be, to get back on us for Hiroshima.

I admire the honorable member for Angas (Mr. Downer) for his courage in opposing the ratification of this treaty. At the same time, I deplore the action of his colleagues in implying that he was linking himself with the Communists when he dared to stand to his guns. The speech of the honorable member for Henty (Mr. Gullett) was the worst that I have heard him make in this House. He displayed no enthusiasm and, indeed, it was obvious that he did not believe half of what he said. Yet, he had the nerve to link with the Communists all honorable members who have expressed opposition to this treaty, including one of his colleagues. I have only contempt for such an attitude. The Government has the necessary numbers to ensure that this treaty shall be ratified. The blood of future generations will be on its head. The Opposition will not vote for the ratification of this treaty. The future will reveal who was right, the Government or the Opposition.







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