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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1899

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock - Order! The honourable member for Sturt should raise it.

Mr Foster - I will get on with it when they keep quiet. There is a notice on the notice paper at page 13288 which reads as follows: 4 Mr McMAHON: To move- That this House supports the principle of the guaranteed neutrality of Cambodia and the two fundamental principles of the Bandung Conference to be internationally observed. That is-

(1)   non-interference in the affairs of other countries; and

(2)   the right of all countries to determine their own future.

That stands on the notice paper of this House. Why does the Government not continue the debate on that particular matter standing in the name of the Prime Minister instead of going on with the claptrap that is allowed here today?

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock - Order! There is no substance in the point of order. The honourable member will resume his seat.

Mr NIXON - Mr Deputy Speaker, we have become used to the antics of the honourable member for Sturt in pulling points of order which have no substance. When the Geneva Agreements on Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were, drawn up in 1954 one article of the Agreements called for the complete cessation of all hostilities in Vietnam by all armed forces. Honourable members should bear in mind that at this time the colonial French were withdrawing and there were no Allied combat troops of any kind in South Vietnam. But from the beginning North Vietnam violated the Agreements. For example, in 1962 South Vietnam presented evidence to the International Control Commission which comprised Canada, India and Poland. This evidence was of infiltration from the, North and of aggression in violation of article 10. The findings of the International Control Commission were as follows:

There is sufficient evidence to show beyond reasonable doubt, aggression was committed by North Vietnam.

Previously the legal committee of me Commission had stated that the North Vietnamese army 'has allowed the zone in the North to be used for inciting, encouraging and supporting hostile activities in the zone of the South aimed at the overthrow of the administration in the South'. These activities are what the honourable member for Lalor is keen to describe as a civil war. There are many sorts of examples of North Vietnamese aggression against the South. For further evidence, I refer honourable members to a Radio Hanoi broadcast in February 1959 which claimed: 'Our attack has inflicted serious losses on the enemy . . .'. Again, in May 1960 the Politburo of the Communist Party of North Vietnam announced: 'The time has come to push the armed struggle against the enemy'.

This year we have had the spectacle of North Vietnamese tanks rumbling into South Vietnam in overt aggression. This most recent high point of communist aggression has been acclaimed by the associates of the honourable member for Lalor in the Victorian Branch of the Australian Labor Party, who voted by a clear majority to express support for and satisfaction with what they described as 'this progress'. Need I add that the honourable member for Lalor, who one day may lead the Labor Party, has described this communist thrust as 'justified'? The logical follow-on from that point is that the honourable member for Lalor and large sections of the Labor Party, as evidenced by the Victorian Branch, obviously believe that the North Vietnamese and other communists have been justified in killing Australian soldiers. I am sickened by the approach of such members of the Labor Party and I am sure that every loyal Australian also is sickened and horrified. I have no doubt that the Leader of the Opposition will try to paper over the cracks in this latest expose over North Vietnam but what the Australian people are realising more and more is that the ALP simply cannot be trusted in the vital and delicate fields of foreign affairs and defence.

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