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Thursday, 1 September 1960


Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES (Chisholm) .- The 1960-61 Budget is, perhaps, a somewhat staid, but nevertheless, I think, a very sane Budget, aimed largely at maintaining the status quo. The Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) is relying mainly, I think, on the taxes to be obtained as a result of increased salaries and wages, following upon the margins decision of the Commonwealth Arbitration Commission, to meet increased costs and expenditure. Nevertheless, there are some, no doubt, who would suggest that more imagination should have been shown. There may be others like me who would like to have seen a general re-adjustment, so that we could have eliminated such items as the pay-roll tax, which I feel is inflationary.

I believe, however, that the Government is to be warmly congratulated. I include amongst those to whom congratulations should be extended the honorable members for Sturt (Mr. Wilson) and Swan (Mr. Cleaver), and all the members of the Government's social services committee. I commend them on the excellent alterations that have been made in the means test provisions. These are an outstanding feature of the Budget, and all those who have been concerned in framing them deserve, I think, very hearty congratulations.

I was a little disappointed that not more was said in the Treasurer's Budget speech about the knife-edge on which our present prosperity rather precariously rests. For this reason I have listened carefully to the various speeches made during the debate, and I was most interested to find that much constructive thinking has been done by many back-benchers, such as the honorable members for Isaacs (Mr. Haworth), Paterson (Mr. Fairhall), Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth), Wentworth (Mr. Bury), Bradfield (Mr. Turner) and others. Their speeches have indicated that they have given serious thought to the nation's problems, and I strongly recommend that the Government should seriously consider their suggestions.

All in all, it appears that the Government feels that Australia has never had it so good, if I may use a well-worn phrase, and the Government's endeavours are concentrated towards maintaining that situation. As far as internal prosperity is concerned, I think all of us will agree with the Government's view. In fact, the Opposition becomes more and more desperate each year, as the old phrase rings truer and truer. Nevertheless, I think we should give heed to the warnings which have been sounded in speeches such as those of the honorable members I have mentioned. We should also remember that prosperity can be a very false friend. It leads us, whether as individuals or nations, into laziness and sometimes a lack of discipline, and certainly causes us to look to the future in myopic perspective.

But I would like to leave internal considerations for a moment and turn to the external picture. There, far from having never had it so good, we have never had it so bad or so dangerous at any time in our history, except perhaps during the month or two immediately prior to the Coral Sea battle, and then, of course, we were facing a very different kind of danger. I know that we have had many alarums and excursions, and we have had to learn to live with international tensions. It has been necessary for us to do so, but while we have learned to live with these tensions there has been a tendency for us to disregard them, which I feel is dangerous. In August last year the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), on returning from overseas, told this Parliament -

I came back to Australia better informed if not wiser. On the whole I have some real optimism about the future.

He was referring, of course, to the proposed Summit meetings. I did not win many friends at that time when I said that I felt we had to be realistic and not give way to too much optimism, and that I was afraid that after all the energy spent in climbing to the summit all we would find there would be an abominable no-man. I wish I had not been correct in my forecast.

Of course, we must remember that what happened with regard to the Summit meeting was that Mr. Khrushchev came somewhere near the summit, but sat on a crag at some distance from it, delivered icy blasts of propaganda and departed almost as rapidly as one of his sputniks. I wonder how much of the optimism displayed by the Prime Minister last year remains to-day.

When the Summit meeting was torpedoed, the Communists decided to step up the " hate America " campaign with all the virulence and violence that they could command. Peking and Moscow have carried on the campaign night and day ever since. The Peking propaganda machine has been going at full speed ahead. There have been mass demonstrations in every city throughout the north, south, east and west of China, with mechanized cheer-leaders chanting previously prepared slogans and carrying banners. In one demonstration 3,500,000 of the militarized masses remained from dawn to dusk in Tien-an square in Peking, crying abuse at the running dogs of American imperialism, in an endeavour to undermine the Japan-United States of America security treaty. Japan's left-wing Sohyo trade union leaders were invited to China, where they were instructed, enthused over and given money to supplement that previously taken to Japan by cultural delegations and stage performers, and then were sent home to spread the doctrines propounded by their hosts.

Fifteen years after World War I., Hitler's march on the Rhine was allowed to go unchallenged. It was accepted as one of the winds of change of the time. Fifteen years after World War II., Mao Tse-tung's disciples went back across the China Sea, and although they failed in their objective of preventing the ratification of the JapanUnited States security treaty, they did succeed in preventing the visit of the President of the United States of America to Tokyo and in bringing about the fall of the Kishi Government. I said then and I say now that it was the blackest day for Australia since V.P. day. Why do I say that? I say it because although it might not have seemed very much to us, when those events are blown up to great heights by the Communist propaganda machine the effect on the untutored minds of the millions in Asia cannot be assessed. On that occasion the Leader of the Opposition said -

Any suggestion that the Japanese demonstrations provided a warning to Australia is nonsense.

Unfortunately, the Government did not reply to that statement and, weak and relatively unimportant as the Opposition is in the scheme of things in Australia, I feel that it is dangerous to allow such statements by the Leader of the Opposition to remain unanswered. Two months ago in Ballarat I forecast that this " hate America " campaign, and the heights to which it had risen, would result in renewed attacks on Laos through the Pathet Lao Party, and renewed activity by the Viet Cong guerrillas in South Vietnam. My forecast has proved to be correct. I do not ask any credit for that. You do not need a crystal ball to be able to see what will happen, provided you keep in touch with at least some of the daily events of the world scene. But you cannot keep in touch with them if you are too busy with other matters.

Events move so quickly in this day and age that I believe that the External Affairs portfolio should be a one-man job. I do not suggest that the Prime Minister should not have direct control over major points of policy, but this task of informing the people is a very important one in the cold war which is going on to-day.

Since the red successes in Tokyo there have been two by-elections in prefectures in Japan, both of which the Liberal Government won - by a 3 to 1 and a 2 to 1 majority. The elections were fought on the Japan-United States security treaty. A straw ballot was taken by one of the leading newspapers in Tokyo in which the Ikeda Government received 51 per cent, support, the greatest percentage support given to any government in Japan since the Yoshida Government received 58 per cent, support when the original Japan-United States treaty was signed. But nothing has been, or will be said, of this result by the red propaganda machine. In fact, little was said of it in our own newspapers. The red propaganda machine concentrates on its own successes and says very little about these pointers to public feeling, nor do our own newspapers. But if we are to understand what is going on, these pointers are important. The campaign of divide and conquer, which was the main theme of a disputed statement which I made in Tokyo in 1 955, has been stepped up to new heights. It can be ignored by the free world only at its peril and with the prospect of further subsequent rapid losses.

The average citizen of Australia has never failed to rise to any necessary heights when he has understood the position, but how can the average citizen understand the position unless our leaders in politics and in all walks of life - commerce, industry, labour, the churches and the newspapers - make greater efforts, not only to inform themselves but also to put the facts before the people so that the people will be able to distinguish between the cleansing winds of change and the cataclysmic cyclone of red thuggery and mob action. The ordinary citizen cannot be expected to understand the real danger of isolation in which Australia stands to-day, or in which it may find itself at only a few months notice, unless he is told the main outline of the strategy, tactics and movements in the cold war. Unless he is told that up to the present we have been losing rapidly in the psychological war and that we cannot afford to go on losing, he will not know what he is up against.

It is not easy to be a leader in the world to-day, particularly a prime minister. Therefore, any help which is given to us at any time is of importance. Our own fields are very pleasant, very green and very sunny but the international road is rough and rugged. We do not want to leave our fields and go marching down that road. We hear of accidents and disturbances up or down the road but, because we are so prosperous, we are inclined to sit back and hope that some police force other than our own will come along and deal with the situation. As a result, we allow ourselves to drift into a crisis and then attempt to deal with the situation piecemeal. More often than not, we adopt the wrong policy, as I believe we did in relation to a rather important matter in October, 1956, and in relation to a comparatively minor matter which is now before us. More than ever to-day we need some solid constructive thinking which will enable us to meet and defeat these Communist tactics in the cold war, and to gain and retain the initiative which has been lost.

Unfortunately, no help can be expected from the Labour Party, which is so lost in a jungle of unity tickets that it has neither lead nor direction. It does not know where it is going. I am really sorry about that because the task of convincing Australia of what is required of it to-day would be much easier if the Labour Party were not in that position. The reds' victory on unity tickets at Yallourn is hardly over before there is a dislocation of industry by blackouts in Melbourne this week. Has the Australian Council of Trade Unions, which is affiliated with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, yet is playing around with the World Federation of Trade Unions, not heard of the decision which was arrived at eighteen months or two years ago at a conference of the W.F.T.U., held in the capital of one of the satellite countries of Europe, to concentrate on heavy industries, power and transport and to disrupt and dislocate the economies of the free countries of the world, not by general strikes, which the conference said were out of date, but by the same kind of things as the blackouts which have occurred in Melbourne?

Unfortunately, the Australian Labour Party to-day is the reds' best asset, internally and externally. It might be to our disadvantage as a party if it were not, but it is a very great disadvantage to Australia as a nation that it is. As a result, Labour cannot argue on these matters except to adopt a silly, petty, spiteful attitude such as the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron) adopted last night. It cannot even criticize South Africa's apartheid policy when its own unions will not admit a man who is naturally coloured but not as deeply coloured as some other members of the union who have a good sun-tan. I can give the Labour Party details of the case which I have in mind. Until it clears itself of this kind of attitude, we can expect no help from it - I repeat, unfortunately.

However, one good thing that has come out of the failure of the Summit Conference and the paranoic propaganda which was employed by Mr. Khrushchev, is that the Nato nations of Europe have drawn together more closely than they were. You may say that Australia's part in the cold war could only be a very small one, but I ask the Government this question: Do we take it seriously even when we know that Radio Australia is being jammed by Peking, Phnom Penh and Haiphong, and when we take a year to investigate whether we can build a booster station in Darwin, and then say that it will take four years to construct? If we were engaged in a hot war we would do it in four months - and the cold war is just as dangerous as is a hot war.

Do our people know that the latest strategy of the cold war, especially since the failure of the Summit Conference, has been to rally support under Mr. Khrushchev's banner of peaceful co-existence, under which the international front organizations have branched out in new directions by offering peaceful co-existence and co-operation to respectable non-Communist groups who need not necessarily be affiliated with them? The World Peace Council, proscribed by the British Labour Party as a Communist organization, is making strenuous efforts to draw into its orbit the various nuclear and disarmament movements. In this respect, it had very great successes recently at the Japanese conference, and it is endeavouring to act in the same way with European and American national committees for a sane nuclear policy. The World Peace Conference has even gone further recently in endeavouring to secure the co-operation of nonCommunist parliamentarians under a new label. With this end in view, there have been three conferences lately, one in Brussels and two in London.

When we look at the Tokyo conference on atom and H bombs and1 disarmament and find that one of our members from this Parliament is reported by the Communist news-sheet as having chaired the opening session of the conference, we realize that they are having success right here in our own home quarter. I understand that the honorable member for Reid (Mr. Uren) wrote to the newspapers and said that this conference had nothing to do with the Hate America or the Japanese-United States security campaign. I shall be interested to hear what he has to say, when he comes back, about the resolutions passed by that conference. In answering a question by the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth) about this conference, the Prime Minister said that the conference pursued the policies of the wellknown World Peace Council, which included a number of people who had been taken in. That was all very true as far as it went, but there is a danger in these general statements, and I think that one concealed more than it revealed. I am well aware of the fact that the Melbourne Peace Conference and the conference in Tokyo did not cut much ice in Australia, but they did have a great influence on the minds of the Asian people when taken in hand by the Communist propaganda machine. We should not be blind to the fact that the holding of these conferences, the speeches made at them - particularly those by the Communist delegates - and the resolutions passed are all part and parcel of the propaganda machine. Those who believe in freedom are not reassured when they find that at the conference there were 119 foreign delegates, 63 of whom came from Communist countries, 44 from the

West and 12 from neutral nations. Almost half of the 44 from the West - namely 20 - were delegates from Australia. I do not say that they were all Communists - some of them were - but I presume that most of them will return, like the honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Haylen) did from Peking, warm-hearted and woolly-minded. I hope they will not return like him proudly wearing the insignia of the first-class order of the Oriental sucker. Many of them no doubt will return not realizing the damage they have done to some of the very ideals for which they think they stand. But these things have happened and are happening, and I think it would1 have been much more convincing if the information which is in the Department of External Affairs had been made available to the Prime Minister for use by him in a general statement on the facts. If such a statement is supported by evidence, it is much more convincing.

First of all, the people most interested in atom and H bombs are no doubt the people of Hiroshima who, when holding their anniversary, refused to allow the conference to be held in Hiroshima because they said1 it was Communist-led and Communist dominated. They preferred to celebrate their own anniversary in their own way by asking the Crown Prince Akihito to lay a wreath for them.

Secondly, in 1959, the Japanese Government's Public Security Investigation Agency disclosed that the Japanese Communist Party had received £200,000 from the Sino-Soviet bloc and had given £131,000 to the anti-bomb movement in Japan. Do honorable members want any more evidence that these are things that cannot be laughed off? Thirdly, the Japanese Communist paper, " Akahata ", at the beginning of June, published the fact that it was going to take the socialist party to task for proposing a resolution criticizing both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., and every one of the resolutions passed by that conference was anti-American. There was not a word about the U.S.S.R. In those circumstances, was it any wonder that the Premier of Red China, Chou En-lai, sent the following message to the conference: -

In Tokyo delegates to the conference have denounced the U.S. Imperialist policy of war and supported the Japanese people's patriotic struggle against U.S. Imperialism.

Need I go any further than to say it is no wonder that the Australian Communist Party was very active in raising funds to send our delegates to that conference? Earlier in the debate, some honorable members opposite complained that we should not talk about external affairs during the Budget debate. 1 feel that the opportunities we have for discussing external affairs are too few, and I make no apologies for talking on them now as a Mao Tse-tung typhoon could damage our economy very considerably at very short notice. Do we remember that in 1958 the Chinese reds just turned off the tap and cancelled ail trade between Japan and China? 1 do not say we should not have any trade with the Communists, but now we have got ourselves into the position in which 12 per cent, of our wool is bought by Communist countries. If those countries want to do the same to us as they did to Japan in order to achieve a political objective, do not say it cannot happen here. Let us realize that it can happen here. Let us put some constructive thought into how we would react in order to prevent it dislocating our economy if such a thing should happen. All 1 ask is that we realize and face the facts, not just drift into a crisis and then do the wrong thing, lt is vitally necessary in the world of to-day to have a definite policy, not just to drift along, hoping for the best.

For some time now several of us have been urging that Australia should join with other south-east Asian countries in a defensive trade treaty, and I am sorry to see that we have seemed to take so little interest in ASAS, which consists of south-east Asian countries, and which was initiated at the beginning of 1959 by the Premier of Malaya in conjunction with the Philippines. At that time, it did not seem as though it would achieve much, but now it seems to have- more chance of success. It is interesting to note here that recently Malaya had to ban the importation of cheap Chinese textiles which were undermining her own industries and economy. I do feel that we made a mistake in 1955 in not insisting that we be present at the Bandung conference when we might have had considerable influence on what happened there.

Let us remind ourselves now that the four chief weapons of the cold war are propaganda, trade, aid, cultural delegations and personal contacts. Propaganda is perhaps one of the most important weapons in psychological warfare, and, up to date, we do not seem to have learnt how to use it. Why must we be always on the defensive when what is needed is a policy of action so that we can gain and retain the initiative? Let us attack the daily diet of lies that goes out from such sources as Radio Peking and broadcast the truth in all the lands of Asia in the same way as they are putting over untruths. In the case of financial aid, how many people realize that the confiscation of assets that is taking place in certain countries is part and parcel of Communist strategy? Perhaps we should be considering a plan similar to that recently suggested by Sir Douglas Copland based on the contribution of a percentage of our national income for the development of backward countries, the fund to be administered through the United Nations. Then, if any country practised confiscation, T suppose it would lose its membership of the United Nations. The confiscation that is going on now is aimed at stopping private capital from being invested in those countries which have so newly won their independence, and thus giving the Communists the opportunity to step into the vacuum which is left.

As far as cultural delegations and contacts are concerned we do not want to adopt Communist tactics in order to defeat communism. We value our academic freedom, our press freedom and our other freedoms. A lot of illustrated books on Russia have been distributed to our schools. There is no sign of where they come from except that they bear a Manuka postmark. We do not want to stop that sort of information being distributed. I think that the best way to tackle the problem is to let the Russian schools have similar illustrated books about life in Australia. Then we can see what happens and decide our strategy and tactics from then onwards. We should not be just leaving these things alone. We need counter strategy and counter tactics.

Australia may be a small nation but if, as the Prime Minister said during the Bendigo by-election campaign, " Our voice is respected in the councils of the world ", we must rid ourselves of the creeping paralysis of political poliomyelitis and do some constructive thinking so that we can take the initiative in our own hands at least in our own region. Leadership is difficult and it involves risks, but it is more vitally necessary now than at any other time in our history. If we continue to concentrate on more shiny motor cars, more gadgets, and a higher standard of living at the expense of matters on which our national security depends, we will one day rue the fact that we failed to realize that service and sacrifice are as necessary to win World War III., the cold war, as they were to win World War I. and World War II., the hot wars.







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