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Thursday, 8 September 1960

Mr MENZIES (Kooyong) (Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs) . - Oddly enough, I had decided to accept that invitation before I heard it. Before proceeding to deal with some of the statements made by the honorable member who has just sat down, some of the things said from Yarra and some of the things said from East Sydney, I want to mention two or three particular points that have been raised with a rare sense of relevance by one or two honorable members, particularly my friend, the honorable member for Lilley (Mr. Wight), who inquired about the discrepancies to be seen in the charges in the accounts for postage, telegrams and telephones, and in the following item relating to courier service and diplomatic mails. It is purely a matter of transferring certain amounts from one head to the other. If the honorable member looks at the totals, he will see that the total of the two is substantially the same as the total of the two for last year.

The honorable member for Lilley also said something with which, if he will allow me to say so, I warmly agree. That was that technical assistance is a side of the

Colombo Plan scheme which deserves increasing emphasis. I do agree with that. I think that we must devote more and more time to what I will call this increase in personal skill, the development of the capacity of the receiving countries.

Somebody else - I have forgotten who it was now - referred to the allegation that has appeared that the Netherlands had adopted a new policy in relation to Netherlands New Guinea. We made an inquiry about that, and we have been specifically and officially informed that there is no change in the Netherlands position; that, in point of fact, this last statement that has had some publicity does not vary from the position taken by Mr. Luns, the Foreign Secretary, in February of this year, and which was at that time widely reported.

Having said that, I want to come back, not in chronological order, but as 1 recall them, to three remarkable speeches that have been made from the Opposition side of the committee. I will begin, with proper courtesy, with the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant), who has just sat down. He always fascinates me because, when he makes two speeches, I am never quite sure whether he remembers, when making the second speech, what he said in the first. His second speech was one in which he went to some pains to establish that you could be interested in a problem without knowing the answer, and he did not profess to know the answer. I think that is a very admirable attitude. But in his earlier speech, he knew the answers to the problems of South Africa! What he knows about the internal problems of South Africa could be written on a postage stamp, but there he is not troubled by those philosophic doubts that assailed him in his second edition. At that time he said: "The policies of South Africa are monstrous. We all know how wrong they are." He did not give us the benefit of his opinion as to how they ought to be changed, in what way they ought to be changed, or what ought to be done about them. Obviously - and I think this does him no injustice - be thought the problem singularly easy to solve. I do not think I am unfair in saying that because, if it were not singularly easy to solve, he would not be comfortably solving it from a green cushioned seat in Canberra thousands of miles away. Therefore, I take it that in his first edition, in what one might call the authorized edition, he found South Africa's problem very easy to solve. The honorable member perhaps might be invited to ponder over a few questions. Does he believe in our immigration policy?

Mr Bryant - Who?

Mr MENZIES - The honorable member for Wills. I am not expecting him to answer now because these are questions on which he will need to take advice, if he is wise, before he gives the answers. Does he believe in Australia's immigration policy? If he does not, he is oddly placed in the Labour Party. If he does, why does he7 Does he believe in it because he does not want to have created in Australia multiracial problems? Is that the reason? lt must be the reason. He does not want to have set up in Australia the kind of problem which could arise if we broke down our immigration policy, and which has existed, and in fact now exists, in the Union of South Africa. Yet, if he is right, that is not a difficult problem! Why believe in our immigration policy if it could not matter less if we had a problem of mixed races and of large communities of people of different basic races in Australia?

The honorable member says: " That is quite easy. I know what I would do." I wonder whether he does? I wonder whether he knows what the answer is? I wonder whether he realizes what an impertinence it is for people with no experience of these problems or of the misery of these problems to be getting up, blowing out their chests and telling another country in the Commonwealth how it ought to manage its own affairs? I want to say no more about that. It is a matter that he can chew over to his heart's content.

But I want to come back to a couple of speeches that have been made in the course of these discussions, and which really do deserves some attention. The honorable member for Hume (Mr. Anderson) made, as always, a speech in which he valiantly expressed what he had in his mind, and he was attacked subsequently for what he had said. The honorable member for Hume said that the U2 incident was not a failure and that Khrushchev had not gained any propaganda value from it. He was scoffed at later on by the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Cairns) who, though no doubt he is the most ardent of Labour men, has a singular spiritual consanguinity with the people who dictate the policy of the Kremlin. He never fails to deliver that particular line, and he made a speech in which he was prepared to say that the U2 incident was a colossal crash in public relations for the Western world. In fact, he appeared to me to take some pleasure out of his belief that it was such a crash in public relations.

What effect the U2 incident has in terms of propaganda depends on what side you are on. I am going to say something about it, because I was in London when this occurred and I was able to discuss it both there and in the United States of America. Anybody who knows anything about these things knows that it was Khrushchev who wanted to have a Summit Conference. It was he who put himself in the position of the advocate and inviter

Mr Reynolds - What about Macmillan?

Mr MENZIES - He was keen on it; but after some to and fro and some hesitation, an agreement was secured by de Gaulle and Eisenhower that they would attend a Summit Conference in Paris. As sensible men, they got together. They threshed out their general problems and arrived at what I shall call a broad community of mind on the matters that had to be considered. At that moment it appeared that Khrushchev, the great advocate of a summit meeting, was determined to frustrate it. There was no profit in it for him. He was going to meet three people whom he could not divide and conquer. He was going to meet three people against whom the characteristic Communist technique of the past ten years would fail: and he must have been the most delighted fellow in the world - I have always believed it - when they said, " A U2 aircraft has come down. We have captured the pilot. We now have evidence that the United States of America is spying on us." I am perfectly certain that Khrushchev was very pleased.


Mr MENZIES - Because this gave him the excuse he was looking for not to go on with that Summit Conference. I am not defending the timing of that particular U2 flight for a moment.

Mr Cairns - Ah!

Mr MENZIES - You need not worry. 1 have told that to better men than you in the United States of America. I am not defending the time of the flight, but what 1 am saying is that this came to Khrushchev as glad tidings in the first place until, of course, he realized and was reminded by his assistants that after all the thing had come down over 1,000 miles inside the frontiers of the Soviet Union, and therefore the nuclear deterrent delivered by aircraft was more effective against his country than he had ever conceded. Therefore, his momentary joy was succeeded by a genuine passion, and that genuine passion was expressed when he spoke at his famous press conference in Paris.

The honorable member for Yarra has said that this was great propaganda for Khrushchev. Before anybody settles down to that idea, let me put this to him: Nobody with his five wits would believe that the Soviet Union does not engage in espionage. Of course it does; it has the master spies of our time. Does anybody believe that you can make a nuclear weapon a deterrent unless you know at what target to fire? You don't poop off - to use that expression - a missile at the map of Russia. You have to aim it at a target, and it is one of the oddities of the world to-day that on our side - because after all the United States of America is on our side - anybody in the United States of America may discover where all the installations are and where the various firing points are, within pretty narrow limits, by subscribing to the illustrated papers. As a matter of fact, Khrushchev pointed that out to a very distinguished American last year - a man who happens to be a close friend of mine. Khrushchev said, " You talk about open skies! I do not need them. 1 only have to subscribe to your journals. Do you think I am going to give away the advan tage I have by the secrecy of my installations? You must take me for a simpleton." Therefore, of course I would have been bitterly disappointed if aircraft had not been spotting these places and giving the rest of us in the world a chance of survival in a global contest.

One aircraft was apprehended, and of course the friends of the Soviet Union seized on that. " Ah ", they said, " this is terrible stuff." Only those who are instinctively predisposed to accept Soviet propaganda will fail to understand the basic truth that on this occasion Khrushchev preferred to score his debating point and frustrate the meeting at the Summit. He preferred that to the interests of ordinary men and women all over the world who had hoped that out of the Summit Conference there might come something at any rate - some little point settled, some gleam of hope, even some agreement about nuclear experiments or a moratorium on Berlin. These are the most tremendous issues in the world and these are things, whether Khrushchev knows it or not, that sound in the ears, the minds and the hearts of ordinary men and women all over the world; and ordinary men and women all over the world will not forgive him for taking his debating point and scattering a meeting of the heads of governments to the wind.

That is the first thing I want to say. The second is this: The honorable member for Hume made some reference to the cold war. He said we should try to win the cold war. By a monstruous perversion of the words of a gallant and respected gentleman in this House, the honorable member for Yarra said that this meant that the honorable member for Hume wanted to convert the cold war into a hot war. Those were the very words of the honorable member for Yarra. 1 wrote them down at the time. He said the honorable member for Hume wanted to convert the cold war into a hot war. That was a diabolical statement to make. If it had been made about a gentleman with a career less clear and distinguished than that of the honorable member for Hume it might have been a hurtful remark. The honorable member for Hume, of course, meant what we all mean. We did not start the cold war. We are not responsible for the preservation of tension in the world. There is not one single cause of tension in the world that does not lie squarely at the door of the Communist powers. We did not begin the cold war, but, since it has been commenced, we must win it. You win a cold war by maintaining every effort to remove tension and by maintaining every effort to confer and to discuss at any time. You win a cold war by maintaining every effort to keep up your defences and your strength and by maintaining every effort to keep your world friendships green. That is what is meant by winning a cold war. The honorable member for Yarra, by his contemptible perversion of what the honorable member for Hume said, alleged that we want to win the cold war by having a hot war - presumably a deterrent war.

There is another aspect of the speech made by the honorable member for Yarra. He can always be relied on to put the case of the free world in the worst possible way and the case of the Communist powers in the best way. He is quite famous for that. Consistent with that attitude of mind, he said that the Communist powers have taken the lead in disarmament talks and in talks on the suspension of nuclear tests.

Mr Cairns - That is right.

Mr MENZIES - Of course, the honorable member continues to say that. All Communist propaganda is repeated again and again and the honorable member can be relied on to repeat it in this place. His statement is utterly untrue. One has only to refer to the last meeting of the Disarmament Commission at Geneva to discover that at a time when the two sides, particularly in relation to nuclear tests, were by no means 100 miles apart - a good deal had been agreed upon and, with a little exercise of control, other matters might have been agreed upon - the representatives of the Soviet Union walked out. They did that because they knew that on the next morning constructive proposals by the Western powers were to be placed on the table of the conference. These are the people who are honoured in this place by the gentleman from Yarra as having taken the lead in disarmament talks. I received a letter from Khrushchev himself about this matter and I replied to him. I was not specially favoured in receiving the letter, because I think similar letters were sent to all other leaders of government. No doubt my reply was frightfully oldfashioned. I am sure that it would not get the slightest accommodation in the mind and judgment of the honorable gentleman from Yarra. However, I propose to read a paragraph or two. I said -

I deeply regret, however, that the five Eastern European countries represented at the ten-nation Disarmament Committee, led by the Soviet Union, have seen fit to walk out of the Committee's meetings without waiting even to hear, let alone discuss, the Western powers' considered views of your proposals and the new proposals of their own, which it was known were being prepared for early submission to the Committee. I cannot see that the delegates' action will help to further the general cause of disarmament.

I regret the latest development all the mare because I had been glad to note your assurance that your new proposals had taken into considers, lion some of the views of other Governments participating in the Disarmament Committee's work. It had been our hope that careful stud) in the Disarmament Committee would have justified the expectations raised by news of your approach. We had hoped particularly that the proposals would be followed by the elaboration of concrete measures lor control related to each stage of the disarmament programme and effective from the very beginning of the disarmament process, so that disarmament and its control would proceed hand-in-hand.

Thai is not an unconstructive statement of our policy. I continued -

All these hopes have now been dashed. it was with concern that I noted in your letter the statement that the Soviet Government doubts whether the Western Powers represented in the Disarmament Committee really want disarmament; and I see that similar statements have been made even more forcibly recently by the Soviet delegate in Geneva. The policies followed by the Western Powers since 1946, including their record in the many disarmament conferences held over that period, are, however, sufficient to dispel any such doubts. For my own part, I am convinced from my experience and contact with Western Leaders over the years that these doubts are entirely misplaced. I am certain that the Western Powers, no less than Australia, stand ready to work out measures leading toward general and complete disarmament under effective international control, which was the aim of the unanimous resolution of the United Nations General Assembly last year. 1 venture to suggest that my reply represents the honest view of Australians on this matter. The other view is the view of Khrushchev. 1 now propose to say a word or two about the views of the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward). He is firmly of the opinion that Communist China should be recognized. He believes that recognition of Communist China would go a long way towards solving the problems of Asia. I wonder what reason he has for that belief. Oddly enough his attitude on this matter is completely academic because, in effect, he is saying that here is a country that has a settled government - a government in authority. He says that the country has all the earmarks of one that is entitled first to recognition de facto and secondly to recognition de jure. He asks why we do not recognize Communist China. Well, if the matter were as simple as that it would indeed be simple. But the honorable member must know that you will get nowhere with Communist China by recognizing it unless you recognize also Communist China's control over Formosa. That is the simple truth of the matter. The United Kingdom Government years ago, when my friend Lord Attlee held the reins of office, recognized Communist China and has had some kind of diplomatic post there, but that has not had the slightest effect. That recognition has not made the slightest difference to United Kingdom relations with Communist China because Communist China, being a Communist power, being devoted to an expansion of its jurisdiction and being, as all Communist powers are, imperialist in its quality, must have Formosa. 1 have heard people say that Communist China should have Formosa. I do not want honorable members opposite to tell me that Chiang Kai-shek says that mainland China and Formosa are one country. I am not interested in that. What I am interested in is the fact that 10,000,000 people live on Formosa. A great many of them live there because they object to living under Communist rule. The simple truth of the proposal that we recognize Communist China is that we must also advocate a course of policy that will hand over those 10,000,000 people - now free - into Communist control. I invite honorable members to consider what that would mean. Nothing short of that would be of any interest to Communist China. What would it mean? First, it would mean, of course, the complete destruction of Seato. There are some people - people who did not have the responsibility for negotiating the South-East Asian Treaty - who think nothing of that organization. We think something of it. We think something of a treaty which results in the United States of America, Great Britain, France, Pakistan. New Zealand and Australia, the Philippines and Thailand, standing side by side. But if, cynically, we were prepared to hand over Formosa to the Communists in China, what effect would that have on the protocol countries - Laos, Cambodia, Thailand. South Vietnam and Malaya? They would say, "Well, if you can give away 10,000,000 people in Formosa, you can give away 1 0,000,000 people somewhere else ". It would utterly destroy the whole basis o( confidence on which Seato rests. 1 said so at the ministerial conference of Seato In Washington, with the unanimous approval of all the ministers there present.

There would be another effect of saying to Communist China, " You may have Formosa ", quite apart from its effect on the general defensive structure of the Pacific. Such a move would represent the greatest diplomatic triumph, produced by voluntary concession, in the post-war history of communism. What its effect would be in any of the Asian and South-East Asian countries I leave to anybody's imagination.

When people venture into the field ot foreign affairs I suggest to them that they should take a vow that before going to bed each night they will have a good, long, thoughtful look at the map and try to realize where we live and where our friends live. I have spoken at rather greater length than I intended, and I daresay that most of what I have said and what I have been answering is completely out of order. After all, as the honorable member for Corangamite (Mr. Mackinnon) reminded us yesterday, we are debating the Estimates. But since these matters have been raised, and since there is a chronic disposition on the part of honorable members opposite to believe that the Government has no point of view, I have stated the Government's point of view, in, I hope, the most unambiguous terms.

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