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Thursday, 7 October 1971
Page: 2023

Mr WHITLAM (Werriwa) (Leader of the Opposition) - I want to make a personal explanation on a couple of matters in relation to which the Prime Minister misrepresented me during question time.

Mr SPEAKER - Does the honourable gentleman claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr WHITLAM - Yes, Mr Speaker.

Mr Bryant - Why is the Prime Minister walking out of the chamber?

Mr SPEAKER -Order! If the House will come to order honourable members will be able to hear the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr WHITLAM - I appreciate the fact that the right honourable gentleman has returned even if he is sitting as far apart from his predecessor as is possible on the same bench. The present Prime Minister misrepresented my Party and me in a reference to the ANZUS Treaty. At the last Federal Conference of my Party in June, the brief reference to ANZUS in the Party's platform was restated in a fuller form and in a more prominent position. It used to appear halfway down the 2-page foreign affairs platform of the Party. It now appears in the fourth sentence under the overriding principles of foreign policy to which my Party subscribes. The fuller form now adopted is:

The Labor Party seeks close and continuing cooperation with the people of the United States and New Zealand to make -

Mr Whittorn - Where is the misrepresentation?

Mr Jess - How does this relate to what the Prime Minister said?

Mr SPEAKER -Order! If I recollect the question correctly, the Prime Minister referred to the Labor Party and quoted from the platform of that Party. The Leader of the Opposition is in charge of that matter and I think that he is entitled to make his personal explanation on that basis.

Mr WHITLAM - I framed and I sponsored the change at the Conference. Many of my colleagues here were there and supported this change. The wording now is:

The Labor Party seeks close and continuing co-operation with the people of the United States and New Zealand to make the ANZUS Treaty an instrument for justice and peace and political, social and economic advancement :n the Pacific area.

The Prime Minister downgrades the Treaty. Certainly, it refers to peace -

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Leader of the Opposition will not debate the question.

Mr WHITLAM - I make reference to the fact that the ANZUS Treaty uses not only the word 'peace' but also the word justice'.

The right honourable gentleman also, in exculpation of his Minister's statement 2 days ago in New York to the AmericanAustralian Association, referred to my conduct in China. Sir, I have twice addressed the American-Australian Association in New York and on neither occasion have I paraded party differences within Australia. The Prime Minister stated that, in China, I raised matters of political dispute in Australia. I raised no such matters. The Prime Minister of China made this statement:

Probably because your excellencies are here the Australian Prime Minister declared yesterday that the establishment of diplomatic relations with China is far ofl now.

I stated:

There are elections in November next year. If there are no proper relations by the time of these elections there will be as soon as we can achieve it soon afterwards.

The Prime Minister of China then said:

They do not want to establish diplomatic relations. He seems to be quite confident. It is probably because your Party is in China.

I said:

This may be. I must say even to the credit of my opponents, they are catching up with the realities of life on China to a certain extent. They know Dulles's policies have failed dismally and if President Nixon says he wants to visit China, can Mr McMahon be far behind?

I did not raise the matter. When if was raised, I turned it as well as I could to make it plain that my Party would welcome the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Australia and China if that could be brought about by the present Government also.

Not for the first time - I have lost count of the occasions on which the right honourable gentleman has said this - the Prime Minister also said that I insulted Japan. 1 therefore must state - I am sorry to have to reiterate it - that the way in which I was received in Japan by the Prime Minister and all relevant Ministers in the political, defence and economic fields is well known to the Government. I was accompanied either by the ambassador, the Minister or senior members of our embassy. A record of the conversations was sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs and copies were sent to me. It is quite clear - and it is known to the right honourable gentleman if he has read his papers and to the relevant Ministers if they have read their papers - that far from insulting the Japanese before or during, they in fact welcomed very much what I had said in China and what I was saying in Japan.

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