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Wednesday, 16 March 1977
Page: 269


Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) - It is, of course, not possible to reply in any detail to the comprehensive and very effective introduction to this debate which was made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Peacock). We all have to concentrate on just one or two things. For us in Australia, as for all people, foreign policy must be directed towards our own interests. We in Australia do not determine world politics. We may sometimes act as an honest broker, but we should not exaggerate the influence we wield. We have to observe what happens on the wider scene, adjust outselves to it, and inside that framework look after our own interests. Our problem in Australia now is one of sheer survival because the dream world of security which we once had is now gone, and I fear gone forever. No longer have we the automatic effective protection upon which, except for that small Japanese interlude, we have always been able to rely and inside whose aura the Australian nation has been able to forge its own foreign policy.

In this wider world which we observe and in which we have to live, for the last 30 years all history has been the history of the communist push to dominate the whole of the rest of the world. That is what 30 years of history has been about and what the next decades of history, I fear, may well be about. With that, all foreign policy in fact has been atomic policy, because it has been the nature and the possession of the new weapons which have determined the course of history and the way in which the greater nations could act in order to further what they thought were their own interests. We all recognise now that neither side can face willingly the consequences of total war. So, with the communist push remaining, the will to dominate still there and the scandal of totalitarianism still spreading like a cancer all over the world, even the worst willed have had to have recourse to weapons which are in a sense short of being weapons of total war and are in a sense, one might say, the weapons of peace. The objective is not peace. The objective is total. Survival is threatened just as much as by the cruder weapons of total war. Vae victis. There is no hope, no prospect, in surrender.

Although the issue of war is still as bloody and as violent as the issue of total war, in this phase it is going forward in ways which are short of the total means of conducting it. To paralyse the will to resist is the rationale of the communist attack upon us. For Australia, that is to paralyse the will to survive. The war is now being fought both in Australia and elsewhere on what we could call the political front. We allow the communists to organise against us, but because of their totalitarian organisation we are unable to organise similarly against them inside their countries. If there were freedom, if the balance were held equally and if both sides had the same access, then the position would be quite different. I believe that in the big totalitarian centres of Moscow and Peking there is still the same desire for freedom on the part of the masses of the people but there is not the same capacity to exercise freedom. The appalling irony of it is that the mechanisms of freedom among us are being used to destroy our ultimate freedom.

I want to talk of something small in this great context. After all, these great issues are the accumulation, the concatenation of small things. Let me speak of something that came into my hand only a few moments ago from the official Soviet sources. It is the Novosti Press Agency release on the arrest of a man called Yuri Orlov. I will not be able to read the whole of the article but so that it may not be thought that I am distorting it I ask for leave to incorporate the whole of the article in Hansard.







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