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Thursday, 4 April 1957

Mr DRUMMOND (New England) . - The honorable member for Macquarie (Mr. Luchetti) has said so much with which I agree that I regret the necessity to turn briefly aside from the theme of his remarks and refute the suggestion that this Government is responsible for the concentration of population in the metropolitan areas of Australia, particularly in New South Wales. The people of Australia as a whole are responsible, because they have had political power. Various historical reasons have brought about this congregation of population. I do not deny for one moment that governments have played their part in the process. We live under a system of representative government in which the Government is responsible to the representatives of the people. Unfortunately, the people have congregated so much financial, commercial and industrial power in the metropolitan areas that governments that are representative are sometimes forced, against their will, to continue a policy that is just plain suicide. In that, I agree with the honorable member for Macquarie.

This debate was initiated by a rapid, comprehensive, and extremely fine review of international affairs by the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey), who most capably discussed Australia's relationships with other countries, and gave us an excellent picture of the world situation as it affects Australia, so far as he could cover this immense field of discussion in the 45 minutes available to him. When the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) who took up the debate for the Opposition, came to deal with the United Nations and the part that it can and does play in the world's affairs, he exhibited a singular blindness in refusing to acknowledge the human factors that influence every society. Without wishing to be unkind to Opposition members, I want to say that it is extraordinary that a man who leads a party that is so deeply divided that it has split into distinct component parts should yet think that all the nations of the world can be brought together in conference, or in a kind of parliament, to which the United Nations may be likened, and induced to express a balanced and reasonable view that would enable us to feel a sense of security in, and to depend upon, the United Nations at this stage of its development. I think that we should expand the United Nations organization and endeavour to maintain its ideals. But I hope that, for the sake of this nation, we will detach our idealism, and our chance of arriving at it in the near future, from a consideration of those who are at least 1,000 years behind us in outlook, and do not understand the meaning of democracy. Many people who preach about the freedom-loving democracies, and that kind of thing, do so with such complete detachment from realism that their observations are ludicrous. 1 should like to refer briefly to two related matters - the recognition of red China, and its admission to the United Nations. Of course, they are separate things. Although Great Britain recognized red China some years ago, that does not mean to say that it would vote for red China's admission to the United Nations. What would red China's admission to the United Nations imply? It would imply that red China would be able to send its consuls and ambassadors to all of the countries that have not yet recognized the de facto government there. If you want a red Chinese Con-l-General in, say, Rabaul, that is the way to get him there. If honorable members opposite believe that the admission of red China to the United Nations would make our administration of New Guinea any easier, I must say that I entertain considerable doubt in the matter. The Minister for Health (Dr. Donald Cameron) asked, quite rightly, what would become of Formosa if red China were admitted to the United Nations. There is one point that my friends of the Opposition should not lose sight of. For good or evil, Formosa is an island of refuge for thousands of Chinese who fled from the mainland. Some went of their own accord, while others submitted willingly to capture by the South Korean troops. Do honorable members opposite believe that those refugees should be handed over willy-nilly to a power that has shown that it has no time for people who disagree with its policies? I believe that it would be a sin against Christianity to hand over to red China people who have accepted refuge in Formosa under an antiCommunist flag.

There is another consideration. Upon what basis are nations admitted to the United Nations organization? According to the Opposition, they are not required to comply with any particular rules. When the United Nations organization was established, there were admitted to membership all of the nations that had fought on our side during World War II., as well as other friendly nations and those that we thought, for various reasons, would be prepared to trim their sails and play the game in the future on our side. Do honorable members opposite contend that any nation, irrespective of its record, should be admitted to the United Nations? If that were done, we might admit nations which would play merry hell with all the nations that are trying to keep this world upon an even keel. Quite frankly, that procedure does not appeal to me as containing any element of common sense.

From the actions of red China, I suspect that its particular form of communism is different from Russian communism. At some future time, it is quite possible that the red Chinese will have a slight disagreement with Russia, which the United Nations will have difficulty in resolving. I recall that it was the red Chinese who brought things to a head in Korea. Communist forces were concentrated in North Korea before the attack was launched upon South Korea.

The honorable member for Macquarie referred to Viet Nam. That part of Viet Nam north of a treaty line about 62 miles from Hue on the northern border of South Viet Nam is now in the hands of the Communists. How did they gel it? They got it as a result of the pressure that was brought to bear by the Chinese Communists to the north of Viet Nam. The proposal of the Opposition that red China should be admitted to the United Nations could be likened to a proposal to admit members of anti-Labour parties to the Labour party, in the belief that every one would get along very nicely together. I do not think that that would be a practicable arrangement, although I personally would get along very well with some of my friends opposite. t should like now to refer to the parliamentary delegation that recently attended the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference" at Bangkok, which was mentioned by the honorable member for Macquarie. It is rather extraordinary that, though this body had been in existence for about 60 years, this was the first time that the Parliament of Australia saw the value of being associated wilh it. The fact that the venue was Bangkok, which is the capital of Thailand, one of the Seato nations, and that New Guinea was to be discussed at the conference possibly quickened our perception, and so we went there. 1 am sure that the honorable member for Macquarie and others will agree with me when I say that Australia should be represented at these conferences in future.

The conference was attended by some 500 delegates from no fewer than 40 nations. We met men at the parliamentary level. They were able to say things that representatives of governments could not say at the United Nations, and they made their statements with force and vigour. There was a virility in the conference - the virility of a parliamentary institution. It was not a matter of people moving polite resolutions and others seconding them; there was a vigour and keenness throughout the conference.

The delegates included people from iron curtain countries, Brazil, South-East Asia, Asia, India, Ceylon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, all the countries of Europe, and the United States. Russia was represented by 40 members, the United States by 36 and Australia by six. Though the Australian party included members from both sides of politics, there was a feeling that we were there as Australians. We expressed an Australian point of view on almost every question that arose. That attitude continued throughout the conference. Our leader spoke with great courage and wisdom, and must have impressed all who attended the conference.

I shall probably never attend another of these conferences, but I ask the Parliament to ensure that what has been started will not be permitted to stop. I believe that the free exchange of views and the presentation of Australia's opinion and policy are necessary. Though our political views here are different, we agree far more than we disagree, despite things that are said in the course of a debate such as this. The things that unite us - the life of this country, its greatness and its future - bridge the narrow gaps we try to make from time to time: I hope that the good work will continue.

As my friend, the honorable member for Macquarie, has said, we were the guests of the governments of Viet Nam, Malaya, Singapore and, for a short time, Indonesia. During the course of an intensive and extensive tour of Viet Nam, we saw something of what war can do in forcing upon a civilian population the immense task of shifting 1,000,000 people and absorbing them into a population of 9,000,000. For seven or eight years, Australia, with all its resources, has been combating inflation caused by 1,000,000 people being brought into the country. Viet Nam has been torn internally by a war between various elements trying to secure control of the government, and has been fighting Communists outside its borders. Yet in the three years since the French have left, Viet Nam has been able, with considerable success, to settle and provide for an additional 1,000,000 people.

Those of us who met President Diem felt that he was a man of courage, great sincerity and real moral worth. In eighteen months he defeated the scally-wags who called themselves the War Lords of the Three Sects and obtained control of his country, put it into shape for defence, if need be, against the Communists without and cleaned up the Communists within. He is indeed a great leader.

Australia's immigration policy has been introduced into this debate. I do not think this question should be shirked. One of the greatest problems in Eastern countries is the problem of a Chinese minority. The Chinese form a racial group which is highly intelligent, and tremendously industrious but apparently has not any real attachment to the country in which they live. That attitude may have been caused by the policy of countries which have refused them the right to come into the comity of the country and to take part in it, or it may be their own policy. I do not know the reason, but the fact is that in every one of those countries the people have had to face up to the control of this faction. The leader of Viet Nam was tackling them with very great courage.

The tour upon which we were sent extended for about 5,000 miles from where I am speaking to-day, right through Thailand to the South China Sea. In that area there are 120,000,000 or 130,000,000 people called Thailanders, Indonesians, Malays and so on. With the exception probably of Cambodia, those people belong to the Indonesian race and the areas in which they live extend to only a short distance from our shores. Every one of them needs sympathy and understanding, and, most of all, the Indonesians who are trying to overcome the difficulties created by their suddenly taking over the government of the country without the proper administrative machinery. The greatest gift that we can give them is trained people from this country.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member's time has expired.

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