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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 2625

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I want to answer very briefly the comments made by the Minister for External Territories (Mr Morrison). I was listed originally to speak on the estimates we are now discussing, but I let my place on the list go. Most of us on this side of the chamber have been aroused by the browbeating speech given by the Minister. He has completely twisted the sentiments expressed by my friend, the honourable member for Chisholm (Mr Staley). The point is that the Australian Labor Government came to power at a time when the whole world's approach to China had changed not so much because of the attitude of the rest of the world to China but because of the attitude of China itself. China is a country that was seeking dialogue with the rest of the world. I clearly recall in my own Party moves being made months ago to try to accommodate Mainland China without throwing down the drain our friends, the people of Taiwan. The Minister, who looks rather flushed - he is probably worried - omitted any reference to a country with a population larger than ours. The Australian Labor Party Government just threw to the wind the people of Taiwan. That is one point of difference between our policy on China and that of the Government. Earlier this year we had the exhibition of the Minister for Urban and Regional Development (Mr Uren), the Minister for Labour (Mr Clyde Cameron) and the Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns) all describing the leaders of the United States as a pack of murderers.

Mr Cooke - Disgraceful.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - The honourable member for Petrie says: 'disgraceful'. That is a mild word. The Labor Party seems to think that by attacking the United States it is adopting a stance of independence which will command the admiration of the entire world and that by attacking the United States we might neutralise some of the suspicions that some countries have about Australia. But the fact of life is that the United States, through thick and thin, has proved to be a good friend and ally of Australia. I am the last one who would stand up in this Parliament and say that in the event of a problem the United States would have come rushing to our aid, but I believe that the friendship of the past gave us greater access to a friendly umbrella than would be available at times such as these when we have in office a party which is fully occupied with endeavouring to insult the President of the United States. I am not talking about the man who holds the presidency but about the office of President of the United States. I clearly recall earlier this year that Mr Fred Brenchley of the 'Australian Financial Review' or some other newspaper came back from the United States and ran an article on the front page saying that the President of the United States had refused to see the Australian Prime Minister. I asked a question in this House. An Opposition member is able to ask only one question every 3 weeks. I thought that the issue was so important that I used up one of those opportunities which arise every 3 weeks to ask the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) a question. He waved the matter off as if it was just a lot of hogwash from a reporter trying to obtain a new slant.

Mr McLeay - It was one of his non-answers.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) -It was one of his non-answers. Subsequently the picture clearly unfolded that the man who holds the office of President of the United States was not really interested in meeting the leader of this bunch of alley cats which sits on the other side of the chamber. If honourable members opposite think that their foreign policy is right and if they think all their other policies are right, why do they not give the Australian people the opportunity to show what they think of what the Government is doing.

If anything turned me off in the last week it was a photograph which appeared on the front page of the Brisbane 'Courier-Mail' of that delightful lady, Her Majesty the Queen, seated with a bunch of Labor Ministers. Along the top appeared the words: 'All the Queen's Men'. The Queen has gone back to the United Kingdom so I can now say that the truth is that this Labor Party Government, if the opportunity presents itself, will cut Australia's ties with England so quickly that the Queen will not even know that it has happened. How those Ministers had the temerity, the audacity, to sit there being photographed with the Queen is beyond my comprehension. As far as I am concerned, it was a display of hypocrisy. I am not saying that all honourable members opposite are hypocrites. There are only 27 Ministers, so that cuts down the number. Even a photograph of the Leader of the House (Mr -Daly) appeared in the Brisbane Courier-Mail'. How I had a fit of the horrors, how I had sad memories of the way he gags debate in this Parliament and hardly gives us a chance to speak. The honourable member for Chisholm made points which related to the change of course that this country had taken since 2 December last. Might I simply conclude by stating that this small nation in the South Pacific, a nation of 13 million people, with a land mass in excess of 3 million square miles, does not have the capacity to stand alone. We can pipe dream about a neutralised world, but until there are other indications that this will become a reality we have to depend on our friends in case there comes a time of turmoil.

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