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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 2628

Mr MORRIS (Shortland) - One cannot but be amazed at the comments that come from members of the Opposition. Irrespective of what members of the Opposition may feel personally, I am completely confident that the majority of Australians want to be recognised as Australians and want Australia to be recognised as the nation of Australia. They do not want to be recognised as another State of the United States of America, as another island of the United Kingdom or as the second island of Taiwan. They want to be recognised as Australians. Certainly after so many years it is time members of the Opposition had enough courage to start developing that kind of attitude rather than projecting the thoughts and opinions of countries across the water. It has been clear in recent weeks that this is the main motive behind their actions. One has only to mention the terrible words foreign donors to Liberal-Country Party funds' to see the look that comes across the faces of members opposite. They may squeal and scream, but one can gauge the reaction.

There has been no more certain or concrete piece of evidence relating to the change in identity of Australia as Australia than the announcement by the Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns) of the new contract for the sale of wheat to China. It is a 3-year contract and it provides for an annual review of prices. For the first time in Australian history something has been achieved that our wonderful opponents in the Country Party, have sought and wanted for years but which their reactionary attitude to foreign affairs could never let them achieve. One would have thought that in the goodness of their hearts and from a sense of fair play they would have paid some small compliment to the Minister for Overseas Trade and said: 'Yes, we think this is a good contract. We are proud for Australia that it has been achieved.' As a direct result of that contract, some members opposite stand to receive more than any other Australians from the signing of this new contract, from the certainty of sales and from an annual review of prices which will ensure for the product a fair market price which is in accord with the world market price. One would have thought that members opposite would have said something favourable about it but they could not do so because they have too many masters to serve in other places. They cannot rise in their places and put forward a point of view which places Australia first. So far as they are concerned it is donors first and Australia later. As a result of this wheat contract Australian primary producers will have certainty of production and a certain future. One would have thought that members opposite would have adopted a reasonable attitude and congratulated the Minister for Overseas Trade and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and said: 'Yes, this is a good move. We support you. Now what can we do about trying to increase the size of the contract?' Instead of that, they asked: 'What is the price? How much will we get for it?' They were the only comments that came from the corner of the chamber in which members of the Country Party sit - cockies' corner. It is a fact of history that the Australian Labor Party has done more constructive things on a long term basis for the rural man than the Country Party has done by any of its jobbed up, subsidised, propped up schemes.

Mr Staley - This is a foreign affairs debate.

Mr MORRIS - I am very sorry if the honourable member for Chisholm has difficulty in relating the results of the overseas activities of the Minister for Foreign Affairs with the achievement of the new wheat contract. I am sorry for him. I will repeat to him what I have said, if he wishes, or send him a copy of Hansard tomorrow morning. Let the reactionaries opposite state what they would change in our foreign policy. Do they want us not to recognise the People's Republic of China now that the contract has been signed? Do they want us to say that we will wipe the contract and go back to not recognising the People's Republic of China but recognising Taiwan? Will they please, for the guidance of all of the people of Australia, at some stage tell us what they want. The people of Australia want to know what honourable members opposite want.

I also visited Asia recently and passed through some of the countries mentioned by the honourable member for Chisholm and the honourable member for Warringah (Mr MacKellar). It is very strange that I did not experience the feelings or the expressions that both of them say they experienced. It may be that they had tape recorders in their pockets and that their opinions had been formed before they left Australia. But one would have thought that they would have taken some cognisance. I notice that the honourable member for Warringah is smiling. I smile with him. I recall some of the toasts that were proposed - I admit that it was not he who proposed them, but a member of the Country Party - to 'comrades'.

Mr MACKELLAR (WARRINGAH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It was not me though, was it?

Mr MORRIS - The honourable member says that it was not him. I shall not indict him. I say to the members of the Country Party and the members of the Liberal Party who want to do something for Australia: How about having a listen to what the average Australian wants? He wants to be known as an Australian. He does not want to be known as an American or Taiwanese, or whatever label one wants to put on him.

In conclusion, I want to touch on the visit of Her Majesty the Queen to Australia and the cries in this place some weeks ago about her being described as the Queen of Australia. The Queen herself was here last week. I remind honourable members opposite - those reactionaries who have difficulty in mouthing words - that when the debate on her new title took place in this House some weeks ago there were cries of horror from honourable members opposite about the new title, despite the assurances given by supporters of the Government that it was the Queen's own desire that she be known as Her Majesty the Queen of Australia. Honourable members opposite, not having heard from or had communication with the United Kingdom for a long time, could not believe that it was Her Majesty's desire. I compliment - I am sure all other supporters of the Government do - Her Majesty the Queen of Australia on her announcement in this building only last week that it was her desire to be known as the Queen of Australia and that as long ago as 1947 it was the desire of King George VI that he be known as King George VI of Australia. I have reminded honourable members opposite of that in order to help them to understand their history.

Motion (by Mr Daly) agreed to:

That the question be now put

Proposed expenditures agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 6.14 to 8 p.m.

Department of Education

Proposed expenditure, $145,351,000.

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