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Wednesday, 27 February 1952

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) . - The use of the term " paranoiac " to describe a State Minister in this country shows the lack of argument that the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr.

Wentworth) has to support his general contentions. He has exhibited a pathological hatred of the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) and of every member of his family. That passes for argument on the Government side in justification of this proposed treaty. I cannot understand this peculiar hatred of one man which exudes from many honorable members opposite every time they speak on foreign affairs. This treaty could bo supported by certain arguments by those who honestly believe that it is a good treaty. The honorable member for New England (Mr. Drummond) has said that in the circumstances the Government has decided that the treaty is a good one. But the honorable member for Mackellar, and certain other honorable gentlemen who have spoken in this debate, ha?e advanced with all the mental arrogance that they can command the argument that honorable members who will not accept the treaty are playing the enemy's game. That is a particularly false and vicious charge to launch at any person in this House who takes a different view from that advanced by the Government. The Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) himself expressed in an article in the J January issue of Foreign Affairs the views that exist in this country about this treaty. I shall read some of the statements which the right honorable gentleman made in his article. He wrote -

It is simple to understand that the instinctive reaction of Australia to any proposal for a Japanese peace settlement is, " Keep them down! Don't let them rearm! Don't trust them! " It is true that history proves that such reactions are ephemeral and sometimes dangerous. But we are not living in a world of historians; we are living in a world of men and women, of widowed wives and bereaved mothers; a world tenaciously attached to a justice which precedes mercy, though it may lie tempered by it .

Those, I repeat, are the words of the Prime Minister of this country, and he wrote them only a month ago. At least, they justify a doubt about the efficacy of any peace treaty that may be made with the Japanese. But the right honorable gentleman, who finished his argument by supporting the treaty, said other significant things. He pleaded for a curtailment of the right of the Japanese to rebuild their naval strength because it could be of great danger to Australia and to the peoples in the Pacific. These are his words -

Are both defensive armament and offensive armament to be included in Japanese rearmament? Japan, to be defended against invasion, does not, for example, need longrange submarines. Nor does she need longrange surface ships of war. She may need them against us, or against you. But does she need them against the common prospective enemy ?

That is the Prime Minister of Australia talking. He said that the Australian Government - made repeated requests to both Washington and London, that in any permitted Japanese rearmament there should be a prohibition upon the creation of naval units of a long-range, i.e., an offensive, character . . .

The very fact that it contains no prohibition upon J Japanese power to rearm in the way that the Prime Minister indicated is justification for opposition to this document. The very fact that Australia did not succeed in securing acceptance of ite point of view was sufficient justification for the Australian Government to have said, " We shall refuse to sign any treaty that does not contain some provision for the protection of those countries which J Japan molested in World War II." That is quite a legitimate contention for any one to advance in the course of this debate. But the Government has said, in effect, " We have done the best we can. Sooner or later, we are going to have a war with Russia. We had better get behind Japan and help to build it up so that it can come in on our side in the fight against Russia ".

Some honorable members opposite have asked what alternative to this treaty does the Australian Labour party suggest. T reply that if the Australian Labour party had been in office when this treaty was being negotiated it would have pressed its claim to have included in the document some provision for what it believed to be necessary for the effective protection of Australian interests, failing to secure which it would have refused to sign the document. I know the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt) well enough to know, that if he could not have defended Australian interests effectively he would not, ultimately, have been a party to sacrificing those iinterests. That is the feeling of the Opposition in respect of this treaty. "We believe that this document is, in effect, just another Munich, an Eastern Munich.

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