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Thursday, 4 April 1957

Mr MENZIES (Kooyong) (Prime Minister) . - I present to the House a review of overall Government policy on Australian defence. Following upon a close examination by the Defence Department, the Chiefs of Staff and relevant departments. Cabinet has given comprehensive attention, first, to the chances and nature of hostilities; secondly,to the strategic basis of Australian defence policy; and, thirdly, to the composition and equipment of the Australian defence forces.

A review of defence policy and of the defence forces is. of course, at any time, a matter of outstanding importance. But the present review has even greater significance because it is made against the background of the great scientific and technological developments which have occurred in the recent past. These are of direct relevance to the consideration of risk, the nature of the forces and the equipment which those forces should have. This has led to a number of new decisions which set a new pattern for Australian forces and the most modern standard of equipment.

It is, for obvious reasons, not desirable that the whole of the military appreciations which have guided our analysis should be made public. But it is possible and desirable to say certain things. The first concerns the possibility of war. In earlier days one could speak of war or of peace without the need to add further words of description. Now it is necessary to speak of " global " or full-scale war, " limited " war, meaning, by that, armed conflict short of global war; and " cold " war.

In considering the risks of " global " war, great weight is attached, not only here but in major countries abroad, to the deterrent effect of nuclear and thermo-nuclear weapons. There is, we believe, a clear realization on the part of all the great powers that a major war would be, almost inevitably, a thermo-nuclear one and would, almost certainly, lead to mutual destruction. Global war is, therefore, we think, unlikely to occur as the result of deliberate planning, but it could occur as a result of sudden passion or miscalculation.

A " limited " war is always possible, as we have seen in the Middle East and IndoChina, and such a war could break out with little or no warning. It may, in fact, be that the powerful persuasions which exist not to engage in " global " war may tend in the minds of the Communist powers to increase the temptation to engage in " limited " wars. A " limited " war, of course, might grow into a " global " war, but this would depend on circumstances, none of which can be calculated in advance.

On the whole, we believe that the Communist powers, notably the Soviet Union and China, will continue to seize every opportunity to attain their aims by means of the " cold " war; that is, by infiltration, internal subversion and the propagation of revolutionary ideas, terrorism and other forms of lawlessness, sabotage and economic destruction. These are the methods by which the Communists pursue their objectives of extending the boundaries of communism and narrowing the boundaries of freedom. But here again, the line between " cold " war and a " limited " war is one all too easily crossed by those who have aggressive intentions. 1 say these things because we have reason to fear that when it is said that the common judgment is that the fear of " global " war is reduced there may be many people who are tempted to believe that we can forget about war altogether. This is, unhappily, not true.

In a " global " war, Australia's role would, having regard to our population, be significant but relatively subsidiary. Our chief task would be to co-operate with our allies and to take our share on a basis consistent with our interest, our resources, and our sense of responsibility.

If a " limited " war broke out in SouthEast Asia and did not at once develop into a " global " war, it would, in all probability affect those countries in South-East Asia whose safety and independence are significant and perhaps vital for us. For example, any recrudescence of Communist aggression in South Viet Nam, in Laos or Cambodia, in Thailand or Malaya, would at one affect the safety and defence of Australia.

It is of immense importance to us that the free countries of South-East Asia should not fall one by one to Communist aggression. Security in the area must, therefore, be a collective concept. We believe that participation in regional arrangements for collective defence is the most effective method of securing the safety of Australia and the other countries who are parties to these arrangements. Such participation also provides the best means of coordinating our defence policy and planning with that of our allies. We cannot stand alone; and therefore we stand in good company in Seato, in Anzus, and in Anzam.

The association of the massive power of the United States with the regional arrangements 1 have referred to, and her assurances of support in the event of Communist aggression, are vital factors in maintaining security in this part of the world. United Kingdom forces, though substantial, are necessarily smaller than the United States forces in this region. Despite the re-organization of her forces which is now in hand, the United Kingdom will continue to maintain substantial and flexible striking power in this region.

At present Seato - somewhat slightingly referred to a few days ago - is very important for the defence of South-East Asia. lt has already achieved significant progress, as was demonstrated during the recent conference at Canberra. Putting aside for the present purpose the economic and political associations which are involved in the South-East Asia Treaty, it is good to know that on the military side much planning has been done, the stage having been reached when it has become necessary to set up a permanent military planning office at Bangkok, the head-quarters of the Seato organization. The ability of the armed forces of the Seato nations to work together has been developed in a number of combined exercises, and contact between military advisers has been provided by means of annual schedules of combined training exercises. In addition to all this, our own defence co-operation continues effectively with the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and with the United States under the Anzus treaty.

I remind the House of these matters because I want to give emphasis to the belief of the Government and, I am sure, of the Australian people, that we would not, except at our peril, think of the defence of Australia as a purely local matter, confined within the Australian coastline. For if our coastline becomes the subject of invasion it can only be because our great friends have already been defeated. Even in what is called a " limited " war, therefore, and in the less obvious aspects of the " cold " war, it is an essential ingredient in Australian defence that we make and keep ourselves ready to co-operate with our allies. We cannot expect the defensive assistance of the great democratic Powers unless we are ourselves prepared to take a proper part in the common defence. There is nothing new about this conception. Australia has demonstrated acceptance of it in two world wars already.

It may be thought by some that, with the advent of nuclear and thermo-nuclear weapons, conventional arms are becoming irrelevant. This is by no means true. The fact is, that nuclear potential is available, so far anyway, only to the United States, the United Kingdom and Soviet Russia. How far nuclear weapons would be used by these countries either in attack or in defence in a limited war we cannot foresee. At any rate, for all other nations there will continue to be a requirement for conventional arms.

Accordingly, our present planning and preparations are proceeding on the basis of an operational contribution to allied strategy of highly trained men armed with the most modern conventional weapons and equipment. The emphasis is not, any longer, so much on numbers as on mobility, equipment and fire power. This is not to say that man-power is unimportant. It will still be necessary in the event of a great war to commit large forces to the struggle, but in the upshot speed and the capacity to hit will determine victory.

It is obvious that defence policy and economic policy must run together. This at once brings up special considerations. In Australia the vast programme of national development and industrial expansion and migration currently puts rather more strain on national resources than it does in many other countries. To a large extent, the Government has had to finance this development from revenue because loan raisings have fallen short of the total funds needed. These things are not without impact on the amount of the resources which we can devote to defence. But the Government has concluded that for the year 1957-58 the broad figure of the cost of the defence programme should be of the same order as that provided for defence during the present financial year, that is, £190,000,000.

This is a large sum, but modern weapons are extremely costly and it would be useless to raise fighting forces without giving them the most modern weapons with which to fight. For the third time, sir, I hear a heavy yawn from the front Opposition bench. This is, of course, a boring subject. Large capital expenditures are necessary. Research and development programmes, which include the highly technical and highly skilled work which is being done in the field of testing at Woomera in conjunction with the United Kingdom, are costly. However, the Government believes that the people of Australia will accept the fact that our national defences must be maintained at an adequate level to enable us to play our proper part in the mutual security arrangements to which we adhere and, therefore, in our own defence.

This brings me, sir, to the question of the composition of our forces. BeforeI proceed to describe our plans on this matter, I should make three points -

First, under both Seato and Anzus, it seems clear that in the event of war we will be fighting side by side with the United States. Particularly in the event of a " global " war, it would be manifestly difficult for the United Kingdom to maintain a line of supply in South-East Asia, though the United States undoubtedly could. Common sense dictates that under these circumstances, we should pay considerable attention to the logistic aspect of war, and standardize so far as we can with the Americans. Though this is a wholeheartedly British nation this is not a heresy. It merely recognizes the facts of war. It is based upon exactly the same reasoning as that upon which. I am sure, the United States would wish to see Great Britain, France, Germany and the other European Nato countries standardizing as among themselves their own weapons and techniques so as to eliminate the necessity for excessive stocks of spare parts or precarious technical reinforcements over the waters of the Atlantic.

It is for this reason that, as I will point out, we have decided both in aircraft, in artillery, and in small arms, to fit ourselves for close cooperation with the United States in the South-East Asian area.

Second, we have for some time been greatly disturbed by the fact that an undue proportion of our annual expenditure has been laid out upon the maintenance of existing forces, the bulk of whom are only partially trained, while too small a proportion of our expenditure has been available for equipment. We have, quite frankly, disturbing deficiencies on the equipment side. Such, however, have been the immense social advantages of national service training that we have been reluctant to modify that great scheme. I say " modify " because we have never thought of abandoning it! In addition to this, we have encountered some inevitable delays in getting into production the F.N. rifle and its related ammunition, while on the aircraft side, technical advances have been made so rapidly that it has been difficult to determine within any feasible financial limit how our re-equipment should proceed. This problem is not peculiar to Australia. It has been vexing the United Kingdom authorities for a long time. We have now concluded that we should reduce the proportion of our defence vote which goes to man-power and increase the proportion which goes to modern equipment.

Third, this problem is not solely a problem of money. A considerable proportion of our regular forces has been exclusively devoted to the basic training of the Citizen Military Forces and of national service trainees. This fact, while it has enabled us to give basic training to something like 180,000 men, has inevitably reduced the number of regular troops available for immediate use in the event of war. I will not need to tell honorable members that it needs more than a government decision to expand the regular army. In these days of high competing wages and full employment, the number of recruits for the regular forces is limited. We certainly cannot afford to make an inadequate use of them.

Having made these observations, sir, I pass to the important question of the composition of the forces we think it proper to maintain to meet the possible threats. We cannot prepare for every eventuality, but a judicious balance of highly trained regular forces possessing mobility and power, and adequate reserve forces capable of rapid expansion in time of emergency, can and must ensure that we can meet our regional and local defence tasks.

I will, quite briefly, take the three services in turn. I start with the Navy. Our review has shown that the present structure and organization of our naval forces is sound having regard to their strategic role, and no major changes are proposed.

The function of the Navy in war will be to ensure the defence of sea communica tions, to act in convoy where necessary for military forces, and to co-operate aiong lines already worked out with our allies in general operations. We have for some time been conducting a programme of naval construction and alteration designed to produce craft of the appropriate kind. This programme is being accelerated. The Fleet Air Arm will continue to consist, operationally, of one aircraft carrier, one naval air station and a front line establishment of 40 aircraft in five squadrons, but because of the availability of a second carrier - H.M.A.S. " Sydney " - which has been used during recent years as a non-flying training ship, and of Sea Fury aircraft, it has been decided that this second carrier should be restored to a flying training role. This will permit aircraft now operating from the naval air station at Nowra to be embarked from time to time. Naval construction will, as I have said, be speeded up to correct the present shortage of ships of the appropriate kind, and as a means of reducing overhead costs.

The strength of the permanent naval forces will be maintained at an average figure of about 11,000 for the next three years.

I now turn to the Army. I have already explained that we are seeking in particular mobile well-equipped and readily available regular forces. Moves have already begun to organize a brigade group of over 4,000 as a cohesive battle formation trained to the highest pitch. This force will be equipped with the most modern weapons available. Special attention will be paid to mobility and the requirements of tropical warfare. The force will be additional to the infantry battalion group which will continue to serve in the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve in Malaya, which has a great part, and will continue to have a great part, to play in the " cold " war.

It may be appropriate to explain our proposals in relation to national service training. This scheme has given great benefits to our country in instilling ideals of personal discipline, loyalty and service. We introduce it, and we are very proud of its results. Largely as a result of its introduction, we have to-day, as T have already indicated, a total of over 180.000 men who have received basic training. But we are no longer able to count defence potential interms of numbers of partly trained men.

We have been forced to consider whether devotion of the same effort to the initial training of national servicemen would cost, in time, money, and man-power, a disproportionate amount as compared with what should be expended on quickly available defence forces. We have, therefore, decided most reluctantly to reduce the size of the national service intake.

The Navy and the Air Force are both services which require the continuous engagement of men for service at home or abroad. They have not been able to secure much advantage as military organizations from national service training. We have, therefore, decided that in the case of the Navy and the Air Force, national service training will end.

In the case of the Army, the call-up will be on a selective basis, which will be subsequently announced by my distinguished colleague and will amount to 12,000 trainees annually. We do not propose any change in the present system of universal registration. All young men on reaching eighteen years of age will continue to have an obligation to register. The universal liability to serve remains, but the call-up will be limited to 12,000 each year. Selection will be made by ballot. This will not affect the present geographic and other types of deferment including the deferment of rural workers as at present. The new scheme will commence with the second callup for this year, which will beg:t in July. The total period of training will remain at 140 days, but in future this will be served in an initial period of 77 days continuous training, followed by three years in the Citizen Military Forces for an equivalent of 21 days training each year. After completing their training, national service trainees will remain on the reserve for the balance of five years from the date of callup as at present.

This announcement will, quite understandably, produce disappointment in many minds. I should, therefore, point out that the physical savings of employment of a good deal of Regular Army man-power in the reduced training scheme will contribute substantially to the build-up of the Mobile Brigade Group, while the reduced expenditure on maintenance will permit some most important increased expenditure on the re-equipment of our fighting forces.

Approximately 2,000 regular soldiers will be freed for active duty in this way.

National service training will, of course, not cease. It will continue, within its numerical limits, to provide a reservoir on which the Citizen Military Forces can draw. The Citizen Military Forces itself is, of course, vital to the rapid expansion of our forces in time of emergency.

This whole concept of rebalancing the forces in favour of effectiveness and equipment is, of course, in line with the trend in modern defence provision overseas, and reflects both the increased fire power of the new weapons and their greater complexity and cost.

In our consideration of the Army, we have, in accordance with the principles 1 have already described, decided to provide modern equipment standardized or compatible with that used by the United States. Our re-equipment plans - I am talking about the Army - can involve expenditure of nearly £40,000,000 over the next three years. These plans include provision of the new F.N. rifle and its related ammunition and the United States 105 mm. field artillery equipment. The F.N. rifle, because of its ease of operation and rate of fire, will greatly increase the effectiveness of the infantryman, while the fact that it uses the small arms ammunition which is already in use by the armies of the United Kingdom and the United States of America, will contribute considerably to flexibility of supply. The 105 mm. equipment has trajectory characteristics enabling it to operate effectively in wooded and hilly country and is, therefore, most appropriate to the difficult areas in which it is likely to operate. In brief, it combines the virtues of the howitzer and the 25-pounder. Overall total Regular Army strength will be maintained at about 21,000.

I now turn to the Air Force. The Air Force should include fighter aircraft of the most modern kind to ensure local air superiority and to deal with any raiding bomber. It must have transport aircraft of the highest quality also. The cost of modern aircraft is extraordinary and reequipment will therefore prove a very considerable burden. We already have a substantial Air Force, including light bombers, fighters and modern maritime reconnaissance aircraft. We are planning to re-arm with fighter aircraft of a performance equivalent to the Lockheed F104, which has been accepted by the United States Air Force, and with transport aircraft of the type of the C.130. which is already in operational service with the United States Air Force.

It may be thought by many honorable members, as it was thought by me when the proposals first came forward, that it is unfortunate that we should adopt a reequipment plan which appears to produce some divergence from the United Kingdom. But it seems to us clear that, having regard to Anzus and Seato and to our geographical situation, Australian participation in any future war must be in close association with the forces of the United States of America.

The Air is the most mobile of all arms. It is, therefore, in the air that we have felt it desirable to standardize on types of aircraft which would enable the Royal Australian Air Force to co-operate with American Air Forces, with common lines of supply. We have, of course, thanks to Australian ingenuity and industry, a powerful provision of Avon Sabres, still in the first rank of fighters, and the celebrated Canberra bomber. We are developing a powerfully equipped and efficient air force. The strength of the regular Air Force will build up from its present level of 15.000 to 16,725 by June, 1960.

Two other important new projects in Air Force preparedness will be the introduction of the first ground to air guided weapons unit and the setting-up of mobile control and reporting units at Darwin and at Perth. lt will be understood that, as modern aircraft operate at greater speeds and altitudes, electronic control and reporting have become more difficult and more complicated. The guided weapons unit will be located in the Sydney defence area and will, therefore, be used for air defence training in a place where a modern control and reporting unit has already been established.

This year will see the completion on schedule of the much-abused but little understood St. Mary's filling factory. This plant has been erected on the advice of our military experts that it is of the highest order of priority. It will be essential for the filling of bombs, shells, and other projectiles. Without it the country would be grievously handicapped in the event of war. As my friend, the honorable member for Macquarie (Mr. Luchetti) was glad to learn two days ago, the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow will shortly commence the production of the F.N. rifle.

Mr Luchetti - Will the right honorable gentleman say something about ammunition?

Mr MENZIES - Production of the Jindivik pilotless aircraft in Australia is continuing. Deliveries have already commenced against orders placed by Sweden, and inquiries have been received from other overseas countries. If I may say so to my friend from Macquarie, we give a great deal of thought to the problem of Lithgow.

Mr Luchetti - Thank you very much.

Mr MENZIES - On the side of research and development, I have already mentioned Woomera. Our co-operation with the United Kingdom in the long-range weapons establishment has been both dramatic and productive. We know how much importance the United Kingdom attaches to this venture. Our effort in relation to it will be maintained vigorously at about the existing level for at least some years to come. Indeed, 1 should point out that what has been done at Woomera and Maralinga contributes to the development of the nuclear deterrent and, therefore, relates to something which has the highest priority in the global strategy of the Western Powers.

I wish to refer, before I conclude, to the matter of defence administration. The head-quarters of the Defence Department itself, and of all the other departments in the defence group, are in Melbourne. The chiefs of staff of the three services have their head-quarters in Melbourne. This separation between the centre of government in Canberra and these important, and indeed vital, branches in Melbourne has created difficulties. We believe that, for complete efficiency, the head-quarters of the Cabinet, of the Prime Minister's Department, of the Treasury, of the Department of External Affairs and of Defence should all be within immediate reach of each other in the Federal Capital. Defence policy is inseparable from other aspects of Government policy and, in particular, foreign and financial and economic policy. The Government has, therefore, decided that it should take steps to repeal the separation and to improve the swift co-ordination of policy and action. To this end, we are initiating a movement to Canberra of those elements in defence which deal with policy.

Mr Calwell - You will meet a resistance movement, will you not?

Mr MENZIES - Oh, we have met it; but 1 am a bit long in the tooth. The Minister for Defence and the Minister for the Interior are in consultation about the details of the transfer. The Government will provide the additional money for the necessary development of housing and other elements in Canberra. The first part of the move will be accomplished in two sections. At the beginning of 1959, some 500 officers from the Department of Defence and from the Departments of the Navy, Army and Air, who are associated with the operation of the Defence Committee, the Chiefs of Staff Committee and others will move. Later in that year, another 600 persons from the service departments will move, so that the service boards will meet in Canberra. Office accommodation will be available for all these people in the new permanent secretariat, while the provision of housing is being actively dealt with by my colleague, the Minister for Works and Minister for the Interior. The date of later moves has not been fixed, but there will be no undue delay. I have no doubt that the result of this transfer will be to add enormously to the efficiency of our defence and to the coordination of national policies.

Wc have also made some important changes in the higher defence organization.

The Defence Committee, which today comprises the Secretary of the Defence Department and the three Chiefs of Staff, is being made a more comprehensive body by the addition of the secretaries of the Prime Minister's Department, and the Departments of the Treasury and of External Affairs.

The present practice of co-opting representatives of other interested departments and specialized advisers from time to time will bc continued. The Chiefs of Staff Committee, consisting of the three Chiefs of Staff, will meet regularly on purely military matters - the three Chiefs of Staff and nobody else - so that there may be no restraint placed on the expression of professional military views. In addition to this, of course, the Chiefs of Staff will continue to attend at Cabinet and Cabinet Committee meetings dealing with defence and will be in regular consultation not only with their own service Ministers - and 1 trust that that will happen with growing regularity - but with the Minister for Defence, who has an overall responsibility for defence policy.

May I conclude with some brief but general observations. In 1950, I brought down in this House the first Defence programme of my Government. The facts of Communist expansion in Europe prior to 1950 imposed an obligation on all Australians to heed the warnings of these events, and subsequently I sought a mandate to strengthen our defence system. The continuance of the greatly enlarged programmes then instituted has been justified by subsequent world events.

Prior to the death of Stalin in 1953, Communist expansion had been characterized by dramatic coups which came to be accepted as a regular occurrence. Honorable members will recall that those countries which were unfortunate enough to be occupied by the Soviet Union were taken under control. Expansion and re-armament on the part of the Communist Powers proceeded in the face of extensive disarmament by the West. When Germany surrendered after the last war, American armed strength in Europe amounted to 3,000,000 men. Within one year after the end of the war this enormous force was diminished to 390,000. The United Kingdom strength in Europe at the armistice was 1,300,000. It fell to 488,000 in one year. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, kept in active service some 3,000,000 men.

The rapid reduction of armaments by the Western Powers was an act of good faith which the Soviet Union chose to disregard. The free world had no alternative, in the face of this accumulated Communist power, to getting together in a common defence. In 1949, Nato came into being.

But international communism continued to find outlets for- its dreams of expansion. In 1950, the Communists instigated an invasion of South Korea by North Korea, and once again the shadow of war fell across the world. This event was for us one of prime significance. International communism was for the first time engaging in overt aggression in Asia. The challenge was promptly taken up and, in response to that challenge, Australian forces of all arms operated in Korea. The Soviet Union found itself blocked in its efforts to crush Europe by force and therefore decided upon new tactics in its vision of world conquest.

If only it could expunge from memory, or the memory of most of us, the suppression of the Baltic States, the coups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Korea; if only all these things which seemed to condemn communism in the eyes of the world could be made to fade in human memory, then the way would be open for renewed efforts at expansion. The central idea of the new policy was to create an air of innocence around Soviet diplomacy in order to disguise the Communist subversions which were designed to ensure Communist success. In February of last year, Mr. Kruschev, the Communist leader, tried to dissociate communism from the personality of Stalin and from the odium attaching to his post-war works. He made a notable speech. It was published. The point about it was that the speaker made no attempt to criticize the immoral side of Stalin's behaviour internationally. It was rather a speech of a man seeking world power and condemning his predecessor. At first the world was startled, but perhaps relieved, by these revelations, and hopes ran high that the " cold " war would be called off. The new tactics looked like being successful. Indeed, world commentary on Soviet affairs seemed to be dominated by those who wishfully thought that the Communists had mended their ways. At home and in the satellite countries, the Russian leaders made some small adjustments in favour of their dependants. These were enough to give some of the people who had known freedom a taste of freedom again. For example, the Hungarian people set up a government which was free from the secret police terrorism which is the normal sign of Communist government. What happened? The free regime lasted for a few days and was crushed by Russian tanks.

But the memory of Hungary in the free world is still alive, and more alive than ever having regard to recent horrors, lt speaks more clearly than all the hypocritical protestations of the apologists of international communism.

Other things happened. From our point of view they happened with particular eloquence in South-East Asia. The Communists were busy provoking mischief where they thought mischief could do most good to their own cause. In the Middle East, the Communists promoted mischief when they thought it could do most damage to the economic ties of the Middle East and European countries. I will not dwell on this matter. I may have, I hope, an opportunity of speaking about it, perhaps next Tuesday night before the debate on foreign affairs concludes.

But while the events in the Middle East have captured the attention of the world, we cannot forget that in South-East Asia, communism has intensified its programme of subversion.

The " cold " war has taken a savage toll of the lives and cultures of the people in South-East Asia. For example, in a period when the Federation of Malaya has been working hard, with active British cooperation to mobilize its resources for nationhood, Communist terrorists have waged a wicked campaign to destroy the very basis of the social life of the Malayan people. We are proud to think that troops from Australia have been helping the people of Malaya to defend themselves against this menace. Malaya is not, of course, a single example. There are other free nations who are struggling to maintain the free institutions necessary for the survival of their ancient traditions and the achievement of a modern independence. Those who try to excuse Communist terrorism in SouthEast Asia by suggesting that it represent a stand against colonialism ignore the fact that there are only two colonies on the South-East Asian mainland - Malaya and Singapore. In both of these States, the Governments have been elected by popular vote and are, with the active assistance of many independent nations, including our own. drawing up constitutions which will ensure eventual independence.

The aggressive Communist attitude and the slogans about " colonialism " also ignore the situation in free Burma where, since independence, the Communists have been waging a ceaseless campaign in arms against the Government. They are undismayed by the fact that the leader of the Burmese nation is distinguished internationally for the honesty and courage of his approach to the problems of world peace.

In view of these Communist intentions and the subtlety of the machinations and dangers which inhere in their immoral approach to international relations, the defence programme is for us of paramount importance. Let us remember that communism is still advancing in spite of the fact that it has had set-backs which may and will, as we hope, finally prove disastrous. But we have no cause to slacken our efforts to defend ourselves in co-operation with our neighbours and our friends.

I lay on the table the following paper: -

Defence - Ministerial Statement. and move -

That the paper be printed.

Mr Cairns - I rise to order, Mr. Speaker. I direct your attention to Standing Order 61, which provides that a member shall not read his speech.

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