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Thursday, 8 March 1973
Page: 407

Mr FOX (Henty) - I should tike to join with other honourable members who have congratulated Mr Speaker and the Chairman of Committees on their election to those very important offices. I should also like to congratulate those new members who have made their maiden speeches. I think it is obvious that the Parliament has gained some valuable new members. The Government, through the medium of the GovernorGeneral's Speech, has announced a comprehensive program of legislation but already a number of people who voted on 2nd December for a change of government are becoming apprehensive. In the past couple of weeks I have received many calls from people who have asked me: 'How long do we have to put up with this present Government? Where are we heading?' I believe that these are good questions in the light of some of the decisions which have been taken by the Gov ernment since its election and before Parliament had met so that no discussion was possible.

At least 16 fairly important decisions have been taken and I would like to ask why. Was it because the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) was afraid that some of the decisions would not have received the support of a majority of his Party or even of his Ministry? Or was it because these actions would not have stood up to public scrutiny after the Opposition had dealt with them in Parliament? I think that those are good questions in the light of the information contained in a couple of publications sent to me in the post in the last few weeks. I will quote shortly from some of them and let honourable members draw their own conclusions.

I believe they are very good questions indeed, especially when a number of Government supporters have indicated already that they do not acknowledge the Queen nor do they acknowledge God. If this statement horrifies some of the people in the precincts of this House, let me prove what I have said. I can do so quite easily. It has been stated in the Press on a number of occasions - I have copies of the statements - and it has never been denied by the Government that, at a send off party given in Sydney for the Australian Ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China, Dr Fitzgerald, at which about 550 guests were present, including some members of the Ministry, when the toast to Her Majesty the Queen was proposed, many remained seated or acted perfunctorily. But, as one newspaper wrote, when the toast to Chairman Mao was proposed, people were on their feet and applauding most vigorously. Only last week in Parliament House after Parliament was opened by His Excellency the Governor-General, who is the Queen's representative in Australia, honourable members were invited to meet him and pay their respects to him. Quite a number of Government supporters, including some Ministers, refused to shake hands with the Governor-General for a variety of reasons. Some stated that they believed Australia should be a republic. I respect their views but I still believe that even though they hold those views sincerely, it still would have been courteous to acknowledge the Queen's representative while she remains Queen of Australia. So, I believe I have proved my point that a number of Government supporters do not acknowledge the Queen.

As for some honourable members opposite not acknowledging God, it is somewhat farcical that we open the proceedings of this House every day with a prayer. Mr Speaker says: 'Almighty God, we humbly beseech thee to vouchsafe Thy blessings upon this Parliament'. I believe this to be farcical when clearly 12 Government supporters or nearly 20 per cent of the Government Party, including some Ministers, do not acknowledge the existence of God. Last week 124 members of this House were sworn in. There were 66 members of the Government Party, 38 members of the Liberal Party and 20 members of the Australian Country Party. Every Liberal member and every Country Party member took the oath on the Bible, but 12 members of the Australian Labor Party, or approximately 20 per cent of that Party's numbers in this House, refused to take the oath on the Bible and instead made an affirmation. I believe that the public or people should ponder about these things.

Mr Wallis - Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. Is the honourable member for Henty in order in placing doubts on the right of honourable members to make an affirmation in preference to taking the oath.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins)Order!There is no substance to the point of order.

Mr FOX - I am not casting any doubts upon their right to do as they like, but I believe the people should ponder on these things and reflect on the type of government they have elected and ask themselves: 'Is this the type of example which should be set for my children by the supreme authority in this country?'

I should like to refer to the 2 documents which have been sent to me. The first is issued by a group calling themselves the Watervale Advance, Waterville, Minnesota, and I will read to honourable members some of the comments of this paper. The paper begins by saying:

In May of 1919 at Dusseldorp Germany, the Allied Forces obtained a copy of some of the 'Communist Rules for Revolution'.

Honourable members will recall that the Communist Party was formed in that year. The document continues:

As you read the list, stop after each item and think about the present-day situation where you live. We quote from the Red Rules:

Corrupt the. young, get them away from religion, Get them interested in sex. Make them superficial; destroy their ruggedness.

Get people's minds off their government by focusing their attention on athletics* sexy books and plays and other trivialities.

Divide the people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters pf no importance.

Destroy the people's faith in their natural leaders by holding the latter up to contempt, ridicule, obloquy.

By encouraging government extravagance, destroy its credit, produce fear of inflation with rising prices and general discontent.

Foment- unnecessary strikes' in vital industries, encourage civil disorders and foster a lenient and soft attitude on the part of government towards such disorders.

Let me refer to some of the matters contained in that document, lt referred to corrupting the young and getting people's minds off their government. I ask honourable members to think of the soft line taken by many people, including some Government supporters, with respect to the laws, relating to drugs. Think of the pressure groups in the community which are advocating abortion on demand, whether the girl happens to be married or single. Think of the pressure groups which want a relaxation of laws relating to sexual behaviour and think of the pressure for the complete abolition of all forms of censorship. I am sure that many well-meaning people who say that no government has the right to tell them what they should read, see or hear have no idea at all of what they are advocating. They just could not imagine some of the types of hard-core pornography that are freely available in some countries overseas. The theory is that this material can be kept away from children and made available only to adults, but I do not believe that in practice this has any hope of working out. When one looks at these matters - abortion on demand, abolition of censorship and relaxation of laws relating to the use of drugs - I believe that they must result in the undermining of traditional human values.

The document says: 'Divide the people'. There are groups who are constantly trying to divide people and foment trouble. They try to divide them on racial grounds and religious grounds, and there are many people trying to foment unnecessary trouble between employers and employees. Some members of the present Government have openly encouraged radical and militant groups. The document says: 'Destroy the people's faith in leaders.' Again I would like to quote 3 statements made by the present Minister for Overseas Trade and Secondary Industry (Dr J. F. Cairns). On 16th September 1970 he was reported in the 'Daily Telegraph' as saying that he hoped that authority had had its day. On 28th August 1970 he said in the House of Represenatives that he wanted recognition of what he called the formulation of the will of the people outside Parliament by meetings, by demonstrations, by sit-downs and by civil disturbances. Finally, on 16th April 1970 in the House of Represenatives he said:

I recognise the existence of the law as it is, and if 1 think it is wrong and the issue is strong enough, I will break the law.

Surely any member of the present Government could not object if any member of the public sought to break any law which was introduced by this Government. If we want further evidence of this there is the fact that the present Government endorsed a lawbreaker as one of its candidates in the last election. Finally I mention the stand-over tactics adopted by ALP organisations such as State councils and Federal conferences with regard to the elected members of this Parliament. In other words, they tell the elected members that they will do as they are told.

The document refers to encouraging Government extravagance. When the present Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) was Treasurer in the last Government he said that the Government had gone to the boundary of responsiblity when framing its last Budget, but now the present Government has increased the deficit by approximately $300m. It will further add to this deficit by its advocacy of a 35-hour week, and there will be economic effects from the introduction of 4 weeks annual leave, which we support. We made this quite clear. We recognise that the Government has a mandate in consequence of the Prime Minister's promise to introduce 4 weeks annual leave, and we do not intend to oppose the legislation providing for its introduction. As honourable members know, the Government was forced to change it attitude yesterday by extending 4 weeks annual leave to all Government servants whether they happen to be members of unions or not. It is rather interesting to note that the Government believes in compulsion where unionism is concerned but does not believe in compulsion where the defence of this country is concerned. The 35-hour week and 4 weeks annual leave must have economic effects. Spokesmen for the Government have clearly indicated that they believe in substantially higher wages. I believe that this must add to costs for 2 reasons. One is that the Government itself is the biggest employer of labour in Australia, and the second is that the Government is committed to achieving an age pension equivalent to 25 per cent of average weekly male earnings. What I have been talking about must surely and inevitably and substantially increase average weekly male earnings.

I turn to rising prices. The Labor Party claimed that it is able to control prices and that it would perform miracles when it came to office. I quote from the 'Daily Mirror' of Tuesday, 6th March, an article headed '1,500 Prices Rises'. It states:

Housewives paid higher prices for 1,500 grocery items in February and further rises are expected this month. One manufacturer of canned foods increased prices 3 times in the past 5 weeks.

So much for the ability of the Labor Party to control prices. Let me refer to the document's statement about fomenting unnecessary strikes and consider the number of demarcation disputes, which are surely unnecessary and of which the victims are the public. Surely the present Government has fostered a lenient attitude to strikes by its stated policy of placing unions above the law and of removing penalties and sanctions from the conciliation and arbitration legislation. Since 2nd December, the date of the election, there have been at least 7 major strikes. So much for Labor's ability to reduce the incidence of industrial trouble. Even though this document was written more than 50 years ago, I believe that what it states is very applicable today.

The second document which was brought to my attention is much more recent. It was issued just prior to the last election by a group calling itself the Socialist Workers League, which is a communist organisation. It is headed 'Labor to Power!' Let me quote briefly from it:

It is vital that a Labor Government be elected in November. . . . The ALP must be forced to take a clear position in support of the following demands: The complete withdrawal of all Australian military forces and material support of any kind from Indo China; and an end to any form of complicity and political support for US policies there. Withdrawal from SEATO, ANZUS and other reactionary pacts and no Australian forces anywhere in Asia. . . . Abortion on demand. . . . Repeal of all anti-abortion laws. . . . The immediate and unconditional self-determination of Papua New

Guinea. ... No limitation on the right to strike; an end of all penal powers; legislation for a reduction in working hours with no loss of pay. ... A guaranteed wage for all, employed or unemployed.

Mr Daly - Put a bit of ginger into it.

Mr FOX - Yes, I will put a bit of ginger into it for you too. I do it daily. Surely the present Government is following the policies advocated by the Communist Party. In saying that I am not accusing any member of the Government of being a communist or a communist sympathiser. But I believe it is fair comment to say that the Government is unconsciously taking a line which the Communist Party would like it to take consciously. In relation to the immediate and unconditional self-determination of Papua and New Guinea, I want to say that the Opposition believes in the independence of Papua New Guinea, and it made this very clear when in office. But the attitude of the Prime Minister is that big brother knows best and that the Territory will get its independence when he determines, whether the people of Papua New Guinea want it at that time or not. It is clear that substantial sections of the population of Papua New Guinea would like to defer independence beyond December this year, but apparently their wishes are to be entirely disregarded and they will receive their independence when the Prime Minister determines, whether they are ready for it or not. He is also apparently determined to ignore the wishes of the Torres Strait Islanders with respect to the demarcation of boundaries between Australian and Papua New Guinea.

Some weeks ago I was privileged to attend an Australia Day luncheon in the Melbourne Town Hall and to hear a very inspiring address by the Hon. Sir Reginald Sholl. I want to make 2 quotations from what he said. In relation to Communism he said:

I have not forgotten Sharpley, the communist defector, sitting in my chambers in 1949, when the late Sir Charles Lowe . . . was inquiring into his disclosures. He told me: 'In 1940 we estimated we would be in a position to take over Australia in 20 years; we would get control of the unions handling power, transport and food; and we would move from the unions into the universities, and then into the schools. We would not need numbers, only power. This inquiry will put them back another 20 years, but they will keep at it.' When one looks at the unions under communism or left-wing control today, and contemplates the potential pincer movement constituted by the Russian progress across the Indian Ocean and the now apparently inevitable communisation of Indo China, one hopes we shall not too brashly thumb our noses at old friends. We could surely too do without the embarrassment, (to use akind term) of communist sympathisers or left-wing politicians emerging from a state of hitherto discreet reticence in Australia, and presenting themselves and us in abject posture in Hanoi.

He also said:

We do not want to find that our only friends are Communist China and East Germany. History shows that there is no future for small nations who genuflect to the bullies of this world. Free peoples despise them, and they, end up in subjection as satellites.

That is What Mr Justice Sholl said about people who genuflect to the bullies of the world. I ask honourable members to note an article written by Douglas Wilkie following the function to farewell the. Australian Ambassador to Communist China. The article appeared in the Melbourne 'Sun Pictorial'. In it he said:

The Sydney episode will arouse nothing but amused contempt among the leaders at Peking, when they hear of it.

The Chinese may be Maoists. But they are also heirs to the Mandarin tradition of propriety and - outside propaganda invective - formal politeness.

They are also fervent nationalists, looking on all foreign devils as their cultural inferiors- but nonetheless ready to measure the quality of other nations by the strength of their respect for their own national institutions and traditions.

Surely it is time that the present Government woke up to the fact is bringing Australia into disrepute in the eyes of the world and that it is not earning the respect of anyone, including the communists. I repeat, it is fair comment to say that the Government is - unconsciously perhaps - following the policies advocated by the Communist Party. For Australia's sake it is time it Woke up to the facts of life..

Debate (on motion by Dr Gun) adjourned.

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