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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 2626

Mr JAMES (Hunter) - I was inspired to speak by the remarks of the honourable member for Griffith (Mr Donald Cameron). I think the time is long overdue when this nation decides to stand alone because it has been dragged into successive wars by its allegiance to the great powers. The real reason why the former Government could not recognise the People's Republic of China is that it had condemned the People's Republic of China for so long that it did not want to take a complete political somersault which would have made it appear ridiculous in the eyes of the Australian community and the peoples of the world, particularly of South East Asia. It is as clear as crystal to anyone now that the previous Government was following blindly the foreign policy of the United States. We were complete lackeys to the United States; we were complete puppets of the United States.

The United States respects the present Australian Government more than it respected the previous Government because we have principle and forthrightness. I one time worked with lackeys. No one will get you into trouble more than a lackey who says: 'Yes, yes, yes. You are right, boss'. You will run into trouble quicker with that man than you will with a man who expresses an independent opinion. America respects this Australian Government because it has expressed an independent opinion. The previous Government heralded the visit to this national capital of a man who is now in disgrace in the United States. I refer to the former Vice President, Spiro Agnew. During his visit 16 young Australian boys were arrested. All were of clean character prior to appearing before the court on. that occasion. I think that the supporters of the previous Government, now the members of the Opposition, should hang their heads in shame. The previous Government entertained in Canberra every spiv and every crook from South East Asia. If it was not Air Vice Marshal Ky, it was Park from South Korea. If it was not Park from South Korea, it was Spiro Agnew. If it had had a chance it would have entertained Darcy Dugan on the steps of Parliament House. What did the Prime Minister remind the Parliament yesterday? Before I quote what the Prime Minister said about the shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Opposition, I look at the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth) and I remember him sitting over here on the Government benches at one time.

Mr Giles - You will see him back again, too.

Mr JAMES - He will not be saying the things he said and wanted to say. I challenge him to deny this: He advocated that the time was ripe to drop the hydrogen bomb on the People's Republic of China not so many years ago, but he never repeated it because powerful influences went to work - I think it was in the days when Sir Robert Menzies was Prime Minister - and warned him never to say it again. He advocated the bombing of women and children in the People's Republic of China, which was figthing for a new way of life.

What did the Prime Minister remind us of yesterday about the attitude of the shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, the honourable member for Kooyong (Mr Peacock)? What did he say on the television program 'Monday Conference' on 1 October when he was under cross-examination by the interviewers? He said: What is wrong with recognition of the People's Republic of China?' He said that its recognition was a matter of common sense. He was asked whether he believed in the recognition of North Vietnam and he said that it was eminently sensible. He was asked what he thought of the Whitlam Government's recognition of East Germany. He said that he welcomed the recognition of East Germany. This was the response of the shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs to those questions, but it has not been the attitude of members of the Opposition this afternoon in this debate. Obviously there has been a complete change. There is such a rabble opposite that members opposite do not know which way they are going. I would not let any of them lead me to a waterhole if I were dying of thirst.

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