Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 6 November 1985
Page: 1664

Senator CHIPP (Leader of the Australian Democrats)(3.42) —The Senate is debating a matter of urgency which was brought forward by Senator Durack and the Liberal and National parties which reads:

That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:

`The need to strengthen Australia's alliance with the United States through an effective ANZUS Treaty and the maintenance of joint defence facilities'.

I state that the Australian Democrats will fiercely and vigorously oppose this motion. We will vote against it and call for the Senate to divide on it. I respect the views of Senator Durack, the Liberal Party and, indeed, Senator Evans. I passionately disagree with them. I say this without trying to score any points from Senator Durack's speech. Its assumptions were so naive, its approach, with great respect, so craven to the United States of America, its conclusions so defied logic, that one feels chills run down one's spine when one contemplates a possible return to government of the Liberal Party.

When Senator Durack's motion uses the words `more effective' and `to strengthen ANZUS' we assume he means to make it more of the same-namely, more bases, a more secure obligation to the United States, more nuclear installations on Australian soil, or installations that facilitate a nuclear attack, because that is the only way in which the United States would even contemplate changing ANZUS.

Senator Durack —Do you think it is effective at the moment?

Senator CHIPP —I will come to that in a moment. I say it is a sham. I say it is a useless document except that it places Australia in extraordinary danger for no quid pro quo. My argument is that ANZUS is far too dangerous already. It is a sorry state of affairs that such is the state of Australian politics that the Australian Democrats is the only political party in this Parliament which is prepared to expose ANZUS for what it is-an absolute sham.

We go further. We say that not only does ANZUS not give Australia any protection but also that it is a positive danger to Australia. How much more dangerous could ANZUS be? We are already prime nuclear targets. That is not the Democrats saying that; Mr Hawke, the Prime Minister of this country, has admitted it. Mr Hayden has said that we are. More importantly, the Soviets say that we are a prime nuclear target. This country, because of ANZUS, now poses a greater strategic threat to the Soviets than does Western Europe, where nuclear weapons are stationed. It is from Australia that communications, command, control and intelligence to launch the nuclear holocaust could come. The Russians know that in order to knock out the United States these are the facilities that have to be hit first. Australia has to be the first target, even before Europe. We have done that in the name of ANZUS. Yet Senator Durack wants it strengthened and made more dangerous.

What have we done under ANZUS? We have given the United States, in the most craven, weak-gutted way, 24 pieces of Australian soil for bases, some of which make us a nuclear target. On some of these bases Australia does not even know what is happening. For ANZUS Australia has allowed the United States unilaterally, unless something is done soon, perhaps irrevocably to tie Australian bases into the United States strategic defence initiative, or Star Wars, program. Nurrungar, for example, is being transformed from part of an early warning system to assisting the United States in trans- and post-attack Star Wars intelligence.

The entry of nuclear warships and planes into our ports and cities makes them no less nuclear targets. Australian Labor Party policy on this matter is an enigma to me. I plead with Senator Sibraa, who does take an interest in these matters, which I respect, to explain when he follows me why the Labor Party passionately, vigorously and properly opposes nuclear bombs on Australian soil or in the Australian air but allows them in Australian ports. That is beyond my comprehension. Is there a difference between having nuclear bombs in United States warships tied up in Sydney Harbour, surrounded by three and a half to four million people within 25 miles, and having bombs on B52 aircraft? If there is a difference, it escapes me.

Senator Sheil —They don't tell you whether they are loaded with them or not, do they?

Senator CHIPP —Of course they do not. If they are so reluctant to tell us that means, quite obviously, that they are, in fact, equipped with nuclear weapons. I suspect that the B52s now flying over Australian soil are in fact armed with at least conventional arms and conventional bombs. As from next year there is a severe possibility that they could be armed with nuclear missiles, and we will not ask the Americans. The Americans are having their exercises over Queensland and the Northern Territory with our permission. The B52 bombers--

Senator Hill —How do you know they are armed?

Senator CHIPP —You go back to chasing some lesbian, which you did last week. You do that much more effectively.

Senator MacGibbon —I raise a point of order. That is a bit rough.

Senator CHIPP —Well, he did. That is all the diminutive man is good for.

Senator Hill —Mr Acting Deputy President, I raise a point of order. That remark is obviously disorderly. It is offensive. I do not understand what he means, but it ought to be withdrawn.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Jessop) —I am afraid that I have to admit that I did not hear the interjection and I cannot comment on it.

Senator CHIPP —B52 bombers staging through Darwin are meant, according to a private agreement between Australian Foreign Minister Street and United States Secretary of State Haig in 1981, to be unarmed and not to carry nuclear weapons. I cannot get an answer from the Government as to whether the Government has asked or will ask the United States whether these aircraft are armed. In the name of ANZUS, Australia is wasting most of the 2.9 per cent of gross national product devoted to defence on equipment which is not to defend Australia in the region but is to fit in with the United States global foreign and defence needs and objectives, not Australian needs. In the name of ANZUS the Australian Government agreed to monitor the first MX first strike missile tests. Yet Mr Hayden has declared that this Government is categorically opposed to Australia having anything to do at all with first strike weapons or systems. This Government helped the United States in its project to make MX and Trident II missiles more accurate through its involvement in Geosat. I refer to the electromagnetic rail gun. This Government has repeated time and time again its desire to have no part of President Reagan's Star Wars insanity. Yet the United States Air Force is developing this rail gun with our help. Under ANZUS we have helped to develop Navstar, a global positioning system. Australia is involved in the development of Navstar through Tranet Smithfield in South Australia, a system which has enormous military implications. With the Navstar system every guided missile can become accurate to 15 metres. Why does any weapon have to be this accurate? It means that a successful first strike, if that is what is wanted, is highly likely and possible. This is what we have done in the name of ANZUS to protect ANZUS.

In the past Australia has not received any guaranteed defence from the United States. Nor have we received any guarantee of defence from the United States in the future. As to a guarantee from the United States, there is none. Senator Durack chided me about this matter but listeners would be interested to learn that he did not allude to my challenge to him. He is a good lawyer and he is now interested in defence. Time and time again I have asked him to state those words or sets of phrases in the ANZUS agreement which obligate the United States to come to our aid if an attack is made on Australia. He did not do so and he cannot do so because they are just not there. But in the name of this sham treaty we have cravenly gone to the United States and made Australia a nuclear target. Let me read the operative phrases in the ANZUS Treaty. I plead with people who are listening to this broadcast to get a copy of the ANZUS Treaty. It will take only four minutes to read it; it contains only 1,200 words. I ask listeners to listen carefully so that they can determine where, if anywhere, America has any obligation to come to our aid if we are attacked. Article 3 of the ANZUS Treaty states:

The parties--

that is, New Zealand, Australia and the United States--

will consult together whenever in the opinion of any of them the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened in the Pacific.

What the hell does that mean? All that means in that if Indonesia is bombing Rockhampton the parties will consult. One telephone call from President Reagan to Prime Minister Hawke would satisfy that requirement of the ANZUS Treaty. Article 4 of the Treaty is just as inept. It states:

Each party recognises that an armed attack in the Pacific area on any of the parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes.

What does that mean? That means that if, under article 3, President Reagan decided to send troops, aircraft or ships to defend Australia in view of an Indonesian attack, he would have to go to Congress to get approval. Does anybody in this chamber believe that after Vietnam and the other fiascos in which the United States has been involved, Congress would give President Reagan that kind of support for another war in Asia? There is no guarantee whatsoever from the United States. Since ANZUS is already dead as a tripartite treaty in all but the legal sense, what Senator Durack is proposing in this matter of urgency is a new Australia-United States agreement, minus New Zealand, which would entirely throw away any notion or semblance of Australian national sovereignty.

ANZUS has led Australia into 21 treaties with the United States, 55 agreements of not less than treaty status and up to 30 totally secret agreements of which we do not even know the names. Having given all that information, I ask: Will somebody in this chamber please tell me what we have received in return? I could answer the children of this country if somebody said to me: `You in Parliament have made Australia a nuclear target'. I could live with it, almost, if I could say: `Yes, but because we have done that we have made you safe. We have given you protection. The United States will come to our aid automatically if we are attacked. Therefore, although we have made you, the children of Australia, a nuclear target it has been worth while because we have got you automatic protection'. Where is the automatic protection? Will somebody please tell me where it is under the ANZUS Treaty for which we have mortgaged our future and sold our children's birthright? With the imminent collapse of ANZUS and the tripartite agreement and the possibility of a renegotiated treaty, Australia has the opportunity perhaps for the first time to have a full public debate, a national stocktaking of Australia's security interests, Australia's defence needs, and for the first time to act according to this nation's needs and not the needs of other nations. The Democrats look forward to the development of a strong, independent Australia where craven subservience to the interests of any other state will be a thing of the past.