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Friday, 22 June 1906

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) . - I rise to support the remarks of other honorable senators upon the subject that is now being discussed. I believe that the time is coming when any Government that does not seriously take up this question of defence in an earnest and practical manner will cease to exist. The radical parties in the politics of Australia especially recognise that their ideals are only possible of attainment if we are in a position to defend our country by force, if necessary. Because a power has arisen in the world within the last few years which offers the greatest possible menace to our ideals. We have that danger to face. I allude to the rise of Japan, the possibility of aggression by that Power, and of her expansion in the Pacific. We have recently seen an armed Japanese demonstration in our own waters. We have recently seen Japanese vessels--

Senator Fraser - It is very unfriendly to speak against an ally like that, and very unwise too.

Senator PEARCE - It is just as well to face the fact that Japanese statesmen in their own Parliament have already spoken of the possibility of Japanese expansion into Australia. Why should we imitate the ostrich, and hide our heads in the sand while Japanese statesmen plainly state that they look forward to the conquest of Australia?

Senator de Largie - A Japanese told me only a few days ago that the real motive of Japan in the war against Russia was not that they wanted Manchuria, but that they wanted London.

Senator PEARCE - We have only to remember what has happened in the case of the English nation to know that when a people have tasted victory it will not be long before they acquire a thirst for further conquest and expansion. When England first tasted victory she began to long to become a world-wide Power such as she is to-day. Do we believe Japan to be different from other nations in that respect? And if Japan desires to expand in what direction is that expansion to take place?

Senator Fraser - In Manchuria.

Senator PEARCE - In Manchuria, with its teeming millions, when she is within eight days' steam of one of the richest portions of the globe, a vast continent containing 0111 v a small population of some 4.000,000 of people?

Senator Fraser - Yet the honorable senator's party would not allow British subjects to come here.

Senator PEARCE - That I stigmatize as an absolute falsehood !

Senator Fraser - Mr. Chairman, I draw your attention to that statement.

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