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Thursday, 4 April 1957

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member is in order.

Mr DALY - The following extract from the article in question summarizes our position, which, I believe, should be maintained -

If it is necessary to repeat it again - and I would have thought everybody knew it by now - I will repeat: Underlying the While Australia policy is no suggestion of racial superiority, lt began as a positive aspiration, and from it has resulted a positive achievement.

This achievement is a united race of freedomloving Australians who can inter-marry and associate without the disadvantages that inevitably result from the fusion of dissimilar races; a united people who share the same loyalties, the same outlook, and the same traditions.

We will avoid the evils that plague America, that distress South Africa, that embitter Malaya, and that worry Fiji.

Ingredients of an explosive character are inherent in the conditions existing in all those countries, and when the explosion occurs, as it did in Durban recently, there is civil war. The evils of miscegenation always result in rioting and bloodshed. We have avoided them in this country, thanks to the foresight of our forebears and our own innate common sense.

.   . We will continue to avoid them, if we are wise - and if we have the affection that parents ought to have for their children and their children's children. We are heirs of a glorious past. We are also trustees for what can be an even more glorious future.

I believe that those remarks epitomize the attitude of the average Australian to this problem. 1 appreciate the Minister's statement that the words " White Australia " may not appeal to some people, but this is the way in which the average Australian understands our immigration law. Our task is not to contend that we should not describe the policy in a certain way, but rather to explain it to people in Asia, so that they will clearly understand the approach of the Australian people to the problem. 1 hope that the Government will maintain that policy, and will explain it fully to our Asian neighbours, so that they will realize that it is fundamental to the Australian way of life. They will realize, too, that we can explain it, are prepared to do so, are not ashamed of it, and yet are not claiming racial superiority. In America I was able to explain it, and my explanations were accepted. Sir John Latham expressed the same views as I have put forward. He is well known in public affairs in the Orient, and he is a much-travelled man. He has a wide knowledge of this problem. My visit to the United States of America has strengthened my view on this all-important national problem.

I conclude this brief opportunity to speak on such an important subject with a few remarks on another aspect of it. The present Government has criticized the actions of the United Nations. It has said that to some extent the United Nations organization has failed. That may possibly be true. On many occasions I believe that the United Nations has not shown the same firmness of action against strong nations as it did against weaker ones. The events in Hungary provided a striking example of this, although the tragic happenings there' were brought about in the main by a member of the United Nations not abiding by its decisions and not carrying out its Charter. But I believe that although it has many faults, no suitable alternative has ever been presented to us or to the world. If the United Nations fails, so also will go overboard the hopes of many millions of people in all countries of any chance of world peace. When we can achieve the ideals of the United Nations, when its Charter is faithfully followed by all the member nations, and when Russia is made to toe the line and shown, together with the other nations that have disregarded the orders of the United Nations, that it must, abide by the Charter, then only can we say that success has been achieved. It is very important that we should maintain the United Nations as a forum in which the various countries can discuss and solve their problems. If the United Nations should fail we would go back to the chaotic law of the jungle and to bargaining between nations. I hope that this organization will continue and that all Australians who believe in peace will give unswerving support to it and to the ideals and the Charter for which it stands.

In conclusion, let me say that at the Olympic Games in Melbourne last year we saw a glorious example of members of all nations working harmoniously together. There was tragedy behind the spectacle of Hungarians and Russians competing together in the various sports and standing on the victory dais. I suggest that we must try to bring to world affairs and to the United Nations the spirit of goodwill and co-operation that was evident during the Olympic Games. I hope that we shall live to see the day when nations will congregate in the great field of international affairs as they did at the Olympic Games. When the real spirit of Olympia is carried into the parliaments and other places of the world we shall have achieved the ideal of all peoples, of whatever race, of whatever colour, and of whatever religion - world peace and harmony amongst the nations.

Mr. HOWSON(Fawkner) [2.561.- While we on this side of the House cannot agree with all the statements that have been made by the honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly), at any rate we must appreciate the courage he has shown in the remarks he made regarding his own trips abroad. We particularly must appreciate the reasons that he has given for the advantages of travelling overseas, and we hope that more members of the Opposition will see the wisdom of taking greater advantage of opportunities to travel to the Middle East and South-East Asia, areas with which this debate has been so much concerned, and see for themselves the actual situation that has arisen there. Turning now to the more material matters that are before the House, there is a maxim, attributed, I think, to Machiavelli, that while the foreign policy of a nation must have relation to its responsibilities it also must have regard to that country's limitations. No country should attempt a bigger role in foreign affairs than it, in fact, can sustain. That maxim was well known to the first Queen Elizabeth, and I think that it is even more important that we should realize its truth in our daytoday relations with other countries.

In this debate I believe that the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) has not had regard to that maxim. He, perhaps, is inclined to think that he has greater powers than he really possesses, and sometimes I think he would lead Australia to take a larger role than, in fact, it could sustain as a medium power in the United Nations. On the other hand, I believe that our Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey) has at all times shown his wisdom by realizing the truth of that maxim. In all his efforts in directing Australian foreign policy, at no time has he shown a greater awareness of our responsibilities than in the past critical months. It is vital, I believe, that our foreign policies should be related, not to theories of world government which should work, but to courses of action which have been proved by events to offer a reasonable chance of success.

I refer to the .present state of relations between Israel and Egypt. Whatever may be our views of what took place in November last, we must look at the situation as it is to-day. The important fact is that, at least for the time being, there is no armed conflict between these two nations. For more than four years, there were continual border incidents between the two countries. During all of that time, the United Nations tried to prevent such incidents, but was completely unsuccessful. To-day, there is no fighting, and at least a situation has been created that enables a United Nations emergency force to occupy an area between the opposing forces. That force is not large enough, and I hope that it will be expanded. There is some doubt as to the legality of its being there, and I trust that this will be resolved. But it is vital that that emergency force should be increased and that it should remain in the area until the outstanding differences between Egypt and Israel have been resolved.

The Leader of the Opposition referred to the importance, in his judgment, of the oil interests in the Middle East, and he also suggested that we should take it upon ourselves to attempt conciliation between the two nations. To any one who, like myself, has spent some time in the Middle East, it must be obvious that the main cause of conflict is the racial antipathy between these two nations - between the Arab and the Jew. Tremendous passions have been aroused and only time and a period of enforced peace can enable the tension to be relaxed. It cannot be relaxed at the present time by making speeches at the United Nations organization. I feel certain, sir, that the proposals submitted to this House by the Minister for External Affairs are the only ones that can lead to real hope of a solution of this most important problem.

Turning to the wider problems of the Middle East, we also must recognize that the influence of the United Kingdom in the whole of that area has diminished; but in recognizing this I think that the Opposition does not give sufficient credit to the United Kingdom for the work that has been carried on, for a very long time, in that area by loyal, hard-working officials, in bringing the opportunities and advantages of a stable, orderly government, and enlightened social policies, to those areas, especially Jordan and Iraq. Those nations have not yet attained to our standard of living, but the standard there is now very much higher than it was at any time in the past. True democracy and self-government can come only by evolution. The dangers of granting self-government too early are as great as are the dangers of granting it too late.

In answer to the proposals put forward by the Leader of the Opposition regarding the granting of self-government to Cyprus and to Algeria, I should like to put it to him that he should also have a look at the situation that has arisen in the Sudan. There, one can see the tribes in the south fleeing every day over the border into Kenya to avoid the ravages of the new rulers in Khartoum, and seeking once again the protection of Her Majesty the Queen. Here, in this area of the Sudan, we have granted self-government too early. We were unable to realize that the new rulers would not have the regard for minorities and tribes in need of protection that we had. I think that there are particular reasons at this moment for remembering the rights of minorities; for instance, of the Turks in Cyprus, and of the minorities in other parts of the world to which reference has been made during this debate. We should realize, above all, the dangers of granting self-government before the nation concerned has evolved to a true apprecia-tion of the advantages and responsibilities of self-government.

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom influence will leave a vacuum in the Middle East. It may be right in theory, as members of the Opposition have stated, that there should be such a vacuum, and that the governments there should be left to work out their own salvation, but in practice, that will not happen. That vacuum will be filled, and Russia will certainly make every effort to fill it. Therefore, I welcome the news of the Eisenhower doctrine. I trust that the United States of America will endeavour to meet its responsibilities as a world power and that, in conjunction with the United Kingdom, it will play its part, by firm advice and action, especially through the working of the Baghdad pact, to prevent an eruption of the seething volcano of world politics. In this connexion, I believe that the events of last November taught us many lessons. As we stood on the brink of the chasm of a third world war, we realized with horror the dangers of a split in the Anglo-American alliance. The United Kingdom has realized that no longer can she " go it " alone, and I believe that the United States has realized that she, too, cannot " go it " alone. The United KingdomUnited States rift must be closed. To my mind, that consideration transcends all others. It is of importance to every citizen of the Western world and every citizen of Australia.

I believe that the greatest function of Australia in foreign affairs is to act with other nations, such as Canada, as a catalyst to promote a bond of renewed friendship between those two great nations and to ensure common action by both in all the trouble centres of the world, especially the Middle East. That is a role that Australia is well fitted to play. By realizing our limitations, we can exert our influence to the full.

Finally, I should like to refer to our relations with South-East Asia. Here again, I chink it is important to look at facts, not at theories. Prior to 1954, we witnessed a relentless tide of Communist activity flowing southwards from Peking. In that year, the South-East Asia Treaty Organization was formed, and from that moment the tide was stemmed. For the time, communism in South-East Asia is being contained. A state of affairs has been created which is enabling a higher standard of living to be attained in the area, albeit not so fast as, in the name of humanity, we should wish. But the standard of living is rising at any rate.

In this debate, there has been much reference to the situation in Thailand. I think we all realize that the standard of living in Thailand has been rising steadily in the past few years. As I tried to show earlier, it is not possible to give complete selfgovernment in one fell swoop to a nation that has been accustomed for generations to an authoritarian regime. However, the elections that took place in Thailand only recently have shown that there is now a greater measure of self-government in that country and that it is coming nearer to taking its place as one of the true selfgoverning nations of the world. Other nations in the area are benefiting from the activities of Seato. Malaya is working towards independence and self-government within the framework of the British Commonwealth, and there is every prospect that, in time, Singapore will follow suit.

Looking at the area as a whole, I feel that we are witnessing one of the great political developments of the century - the resurgence of the peoples of Asia. That has been matched in even more recent times by a similar resurgence in Africa, a fact which was high-lighted only a few weeks ago by the celebration of the grant of selfgovernment to the State of Ghana. We in Australia welcome these moves towards political responsibility by the Asian peoples and wish to develop new friendships with the new nations that have emerged. But in the course of these developments there is, I. think, a natural reaction against the previous forms of government and administration. There is, possibly, a desire to jettison all that has gone before. But let us not forget that there were in the past a great many good things as well as evil things. The British peoples have given more good things to the world, particularly in the realm of political ideas and forms of political government, than have the peoples of any other nations in recorded history. We in Australia have particular cause to be aware of and grateful for all that we have received from our Mother Country. Let us hope that in the race that is going on in South and South-East Asia to jettison the evil things of the past, an effort will be made to preserve the good things. I believe that Australia has a particular role to play at this time by pointing out to the nations of that area some of the goods things that they have inherited. We ourselves, with our environment, can see them very well, and I think we could do a great deal to make the peoples of other nations see them also.

I believe that this Government has realized that to a great extent. To my mind, there could be no better monument to the work of our present Minister of External Affairs (Mr. Casey) than the high regard that all the countries of South and South-East Asia have for Australia. There, in particular, we have, within the limit of our resources, played our part and exercised our influence to the full. Our task, as I see it, is to provide a bridge between the East and the West. The Opposition may say that that is the task of the United Nations, but, important as is the role of that body, I believe that it has its limitations. One day we may evolve a true world government, but at present that vision is well beyond the horizon. I believe that the work of the United Nations to-day must be supplemented by more intimate ties between nation and nation. Those ties include, not only exchanges of views and the national friendships which flow from the personal contacts of diplomats and government representatives, but also the benefits that accrue from regional pacts and associations of nations that have common objectives.

The British Commonwealth of Nations provides the greatest example in recorded history of the tremendous value of such associations. The work of Australia and, in particular, of our Minister for External Affairs in South and South-East Asia could be the means by which a similar association could be formed, through friendship and common understanding. As we survey the immediate record of the past few critical months, I believe that we have every reason to be proud of the part that the Australian Government has played on the world scene. Within our limitations, we have played our part to the full. We have shouldered all of our responsibilities. In the paper that was tabled by the Minister for External Affairs on Tuesday night, we see a constructive policy - a policy which, if adopted, will give to all of us solid grounds for hoping that gradually we shall draw away from the brink of a third world war and achieve a stability of world affairs that has not yet been seen by our generation.

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