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Tuesday, 6 November 1973
Page: 1518

Senator McMANUS (VICTORIA) - I desire to ask a question of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. My question refers to a statement made by the Prime Minister at a welcoming banquet given to him by Mr Chou En-lai. The statement was:

In Peking today we give expression to our new international outlook. With no nation is our new aspiration symbolised more than it is with China.

I ask: Are we to take it that the Prime Minister has now identified Australia with the particular style of current Chinese foreign policy? Are reports from Peking correct that the Prime Minister has undertaken the task of persuading South East Asian countries which have not recognised communist China to recognise that country?

Senator WILLESEE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Foreign Affairs) - In reply to the first question asked of me as Minister for Foreign Affairs I wish to point out, firstly, that when we recognise a country or become friendly with a country it does not mean that we agree with all of its foreign policy or internal policy. If we were to do that we would be friends with nobody. The problem with the previous Government was that there was a tremendous imbalance because it looked at the ideology of a particular country and then decided whether it would recognise or be friends with it. That was an imbalance which had to be corrected. It was corrected by the new Government. Senator McManus said that he saw something in a newspaper. I trust his word that he did. I read the newspapers as carefully as I could and I did not see that. The answer to the second part of the honourable senator's question as to whether Mr Whitlam was going to explain Chinese policy to the rest of South East Asia is that Mr Whitlam was very clear that he was not going to be an advocate or an apologist for the People's Republic of China but that if anybody was to discuss it with him he would make very clear what Australia's attitude was towards recognition and how we are getting on with the People 's Republic of China.

Senator McManus - In other words, he is going to do it?

Senator WILLESEE - There is no question of in other words '; those were the words.

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