Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 28 August 1980
Page: 868


Mr HAYDEN - Following those sterling sentiments, I ask the Prime Minister to continue in that vein. I refer the Prime Minister to his impending overseas visit to receive international recognition of his humanitarian qualities, a recognition that has so far eluded him domestically. Before the Prime Minister leaves, will he act immediately to remove the single greatest blot on the international record which has brought him this medal - the Fraser Government's continued recognition of the odious Pol Pot regime, which is completely abhorrent--


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will put his question and not make a statement.


Mr HAYDEN - I am not making a statement; I am putting a question. I am asking the Prime Minister whether he will remove immediately the single greatest blot on the international record which has brought him that recognition, namely the Fraser Government's continued recognition of the odious Pol Pot regime, which is completely abhorrent to the decent and compassionate people of Australia.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER -The reasons for the Government's policy as it has been to the present are good and they are sound.

Opposition members interjecting -


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I point out to honourable gentlemen on the Opposition benches that the question seeks an answer. The right honourable gentleman is entitled to give that answer without continual interjection because of a disagreement. The Parliament is a place where disagreements constantly occur and the purpose of having Standing Orders is to ensure that those differing views can be put in silence.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER -The reasons for the Government's policy to the present point are sound, lt needs to be said at the outset that recognition of a government, of a country, does not imply any kind of approval of what that government or country does. There have been examples through the years of Australia maintaining recognition of a country--


Mr Uren - Why don't you support your Foreign Minister?


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Reid will remain silent.


Mr West - What about the two Australians he killed?


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Cunningham will remain silent.


Mr West - What about the two Australians he killed?


Mr SPEAKER -I warn the honourable member for Cunningham.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - There have been many examples down through the years--


Mr Uren - Why don't you support your Foreign Minister?


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Reid will remain silent.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - There have been many examples through the years of Australia maintaining recognition of a government that has been abhorrent in nearly everything it has done. Idi Amin's Government in Uganda is one example. The Soviet Union's purges in the 1930s is another. It needs to be said quite plainly that recognition of a government does not in any way denote any element of approval of any part of a government's policies or practices. What Pol Pot has done is something that all Australians condemn with all the strength and vigour at their command.


Mr West - What about the two Australians he killed?


Mr Uren - Why don't you support your Foreign Minister?


Mr SPEAKER -I warn the honourable member for Cunningham and the honourable member for Reid that if they interject again I will name them.


Mr Nixon - On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I suggest you might warn the Leader of the Opposition. He is prattling like a mad chook.


Mr SPEAKER - There is no point of order. I call the Prime Minister.


Mr Armitage - He is endorsing the murder of 3 million people.


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Chifley will remain silent.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER -The circumstances that need to be held in mind are very clear. The Pol Pot Government was overthrown by an invasion from Vietnam which involves the continued use of well over 200,000 troops and those troops are sustained by foreign support to the tune of $3m a day. That is very substantial outside support sustaining the Heng Samrin regime and an invasion of 200,000 troops from Vietnam.


Mr Kevin Cairns - Supported by the Soviet Union.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - Of course supported by the Soviet Union. We need to understand that the member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations are in the front line of difficulties and problems as a result of that Vietnamese Soviet-supported invasion. Thailand in particular is in the front line of those difficulties, not only with mass refugee movement across the border from Kampuchea itself but also with the active intervention of Vietnamese armed forces across the border into Thailand. There are possibilities in the future that those incursions into Thailand will be increased.

The ASEAN countries are very much in the front line of the difficulties posed by that Vietnamese aggression. They would want, as I believe, to be able to solve this matter by negotiation and consultation, by a political settlement. But, up to this point, Vietnam has shown no signs of being willing to settle for any political settlement apart from that which condones and supports the position that it has achieved by force of arms. Therefore, I have in mind the view of ASEAN countries expressed to me with great force when I was in Japan for Prime Minister Ohira's funeral service which was held just after there had been a recognition of the Heng Samrin regime. Representatives of ASEAN countries at the funeral were particularly concerned that there should be no further diminution in the position in relation to Pol Pot especially preceding the debate which would inevitably take place in the United Nations in relation to credentials before the United Nations. Certainly there was no question of anyone at any time wanting to support the transfer of credentials from Pol Pot to Heng Samrin. That had not been suggested at any time under any circumstances. With the debate on those matters coming forward in the United Nations and with the other moves to support Heng Samrin, the ASEAN countries would have been particularly concerned to find any diminution of support. So, that is one reason.

But the second reason, Mr Speaker--


Mr Barry Jones (LALOR, VICTORIA) - What does the Foreign Minister think?


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Lalor will remain silent.


Mr Barry Jones (LALOR, VICTORIA) - We would like to know what the Foreign Minister thinks.


Mr SPEAKER -I warn the honourable member for Lalor.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER -The second reason is, I believe, a more important one. Once Pol Pot's regime, was derecognised, that very fact in itself would give some encouragement to Vietnam and some encouragement to Heng Samrin because they would both know that a move away from Pol Pot would mean that the next step would be further towards them. It is not possible to move away from Pol Pot without moving a distance towards that Vietnamese supported regime of Heng Samrin.


Mr Hayden - Fiddlesticks. The Malaysians do not believe that. That is fiddlesticks.


Mr SPEAKER -The Leader of the Opposition will remain silent. The Prime Minister will resume his seat. Any person listening or observing may believe that there is a concerted effort to prevent one of the members of this House, who happens to be the Prime Minister, from being heard. I ask honourable members on my left to understand that, because they have a different point of view, they are denying the democratic process by preventing a member from being heard.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER -The second reason of which I was speaking was that to derecognise Pol Pot is to take half a step towards Heng Samrin and the Vietnamese supported regime, for the very simple reason that the whole world would know that once derecognised Pol Pot would never again be recognised. Therefore, if this country were to re-establish any kind of diplomatic relations, it would be with that Vietnamese supported regime. There is no way of avoiding the fact that a move away from Pol Pot is in part an encouragement to that Vietnamese supported aggression. The Government believes strongly that it would be' wrong to take that position at this time, especially when Vietnam has shown no signs whatsoever of wanting to come to a political settlement in relation to a most brutal invasion of the Kampuchean people who have been hurt, damaged, killed and maimed successively by different governments or parties attempting to obtain government. If the honourable gentlemen of the Australian Labor Party wish to give any encouragement to Vietnam in their support of that aggression, that is not the position of this Government.







Suggest corrections