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Monday, 19 October 1970

Mr McLEAY (Boothby) - 1 think that the honourable member for Wills (Mr Bryant; should be corrected on one or two important inaccuracies. He said that the Minister for Defence (Mr Malcolm Fraser) had referred to Senator Kennedy. I would like the honourable member for Wills :o know that the Minister for Defence was talking about John' Kennedy, the former President of the United States. There is a slight difference. The honourable member for Wills referred also to the Canadian forces. He ought to know that the Canadian forces have run down by almost 20,000 Service personnel to 82,000. He talked also about Britain. The British Army has been reduced from 300,000 to 150,000 personnel since national service was abolished. Just to prove the point I quote Mr Denis Healey. He said:

By the end of 1972 we shall have cut our defence expenditure by one-third. We shall have cut our commitments by one-half and our defence manpower by one-fifth. We have 7 fewer battalions in Britain today.

This is as a result of the abolition of national service. The Royal Navy is down severely. I believe the figure is somewhere in excess of 20,000 personnel. I finish on this point of rebuttal by pointing to the fact that the ordinary Australian soldier is the highest paid soldier in the world.

The only point on which 1 agree with the honourable member for Wills is that we do not get enough time to discuss the defence estimates when we have only 10 minutes in which to speak. In the short time left to me I want to say something to honourable members and the Australian public about 2 documents which were produced by the American Security Council, one in 1967 arid one last month, entitled The Changing Strategic Military Balance USA v. USSR'. These studies were prepared for the United Slates House Armed Services Committee to assess the military strength, especially in terms of nuclear capacity, between the 2 great powers. The reports are based on unclassified material and are available to members in the Parliamentary Library and, I would hope, to the general public. They make very grim reading. Every Australian should know what most Americans now realise, that the United States nuclear superiority over the Soviet Union in 1961 has now been reversed. The United States Secretary of Defence noted in a speech to the Associated Press annual luncheon in April last in America:

In the space of 3 years - from 1965 to 1970- the Soviet Union has virtually quadrupled the total megatonnage in its strategic defensive force. ... in the same period the US reduced its megatonnage by more than 40 per cent.

I think there has been a tendency for Australians, and probably Americans, to regard Communist China as world public enemy No. 1. This stems from the lack of proper understanding of the ideologies of the 2 Communist world powers. In my view, the Soviet's ideology is much more dangerous to genuine world peace than the Chinese ideology, certainly in the short term. Red China is completely committed to Maoism, which in simple terms is the practice and advocacy for other nations of old-fashioned reactionary Communism but not direct military involvement in other nations affairs. The present regime in China possesses a fanatical conviction in some sort of dream world Communist Utopia where all nations achieve the purity of Maoist thoughts by internal revolution. I do not believe that the present Communist Chinese hierarchy is interested in overt means of securing this Utopia. It believes in the concept of ultimate Communist world domination through local wars of national liberation achieved through a condition of world revolution and the acts of violence committed at Moratorium demonstrations, university sit-ins, etc, to which I have been personally subjected and which arc the local manifestation of Maoism in action.

Mr Bryant - What division of the estimates is this under?

Mr McLEAY - What 1 am saying is of importance in understanding ideologies and what activates people, lt is a shame that the honourable member does not spend more time in studying them. A study of Soviet Communist ideology is much more disturbing for Australia, especially having regard to obvious Soviet intentions. Like the Chinese, the Soviets believe in the doctrine of permanent world revolution, but unlike the Chinese, the Soviets are committed to a traditional policy of Russian colonialism which makes the former great colonial powers look positively benign.

While covertly observing the doctrine of permanent world revolution, the Soviet also overtly pursues one of 'peaceful coexistence' so that we see her piously coexisting with the United States and other western powers and. at the same time, engaging in deliberate underhand breaches of this 'peace' epitomised at this very moment by the undenied Soviet penetration of Egypt and her undoubted control of the Suez canal.

Several of my colleagues and I have drawn attention to the Soviet activity in the Indian Ocean - such matters as the Russian interest in Mauritius. Socotra, East Africa, India, Ceylon, Singapore, as well as the undeniable proximity to our north of such strategically placed ports as Vladivostok and the submarine port of Petro Pavlovsk. The British have now fewer than 20 combat vessels east of Suez, the French only a couple of destroyers and, apart from an unknown number of submarines, the United States naval activity is confined to the Persian Gulf area. Members of the Opposition take great comfort from the apparent disengagement of the United States in South East Asia and they think they can make capital from the announced United States abolition of national service within the next three years. I find nothing to comfort Australia in any of the changing United States attitudes. The Americans are not in the hot seat, we are. 1 am pleased to note the continuing modernisation of our three Services under this Government and, in particular, the decision to expedite the building of a naval base at Cockburn Sound, together with the upgrading of the RAAF complex at Exmouth. 1 remind honourable members that North West Cape is closer to Saigon than it is to Sydney, closer to Djakarta than Djakarta is to Darwin, and I make the serious proposition that this area could well be established as a major defence complex, including Army training facilities. J remind the House that, even in 1967, the American Security Council reported that the available evidence indicated that the Soviet Union had a goal of strategic superiority designed to win a nuclear war rather than merely deter one. Once in a war-winning posture, the USSR would be ideally situated to practice nuclear blackmail and would not even have to fight a nuclear war.

The United Stales has exchanged ils goal of a war winning strategic superiority for a strategy of mutual deterrence. 1 take the view that the Soviets had already won the arms race and can clinch their policy of world domination any time they please. They will not bother to unleash their nuclear weapons because they need human labor to sustain them and to build their expanding empire. This is the same technique used in eastern Europe except that the slave labor of the captive nations was used and still is used to create and maintain Soviet industry. Soviet Russia is in the position where she can blackmail into sub mission any nation she chooses. How prophetic were the words of Kruschev in 1963 when he said:

Today the imperialists pretend to be brave - but only in words; in reality they tremble before the socialist world which is growing and gaining in strength. And let them tremble! So much the better for us! A fight is in progress between these two systems, a life and death combat. But we Communists want to win this struggle with the least losses, and there is no doubt whatsoever that we shall win. This is why we are striving for victory, for the triumph of Communism, without unleasing a world thermonuclear war.

I believe that we are living in the most dangerous period of human history.

Mr Garrick - At least we are living.

Mr McLEAY - The Australian public is unaware of the danger. The Press is reluctant to tell them - presumably because that kind of information does not sell newspapers - and the Socialist Labor Party in the other side - as someone just interjected and said: 'We are still living' - supports, perhaps unconsciously, what can well be described as a conspiracy of silence and subservience to Soviet-directed international Communism. I commend the proposed expenditure to the Committee and I commend the Minister for his zeal.

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