PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 974

SPEECH BY RT. HON. SIR ROBERT MENZIES, K.T., C.H., Q.C., M.P., ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Photo of Menzies, Robert

Menzies, Robert

Period of Service: 19/12/1949 to 26/01/1966

More information about Menzies, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/08/1964

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 974

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA.
SPEECH BY
Rt. Hon. SIR ROBERT MENZIES,
M. P.,
ON
9INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS.
( From the " Parliamentary Debates 13.8.64.]
Sir ROBERT MENZIES ( Kooyong-
Prime Minister) [ 11 propose to sacy
something at, perhaps, some little length
about the events in and around Vietnam,
but before I do so, I think I should make
a reference to one or two points that have
been made by the Leader of the Opposition
( Mr. Calwell). I think the honorable gentleman
has almost a fixation about me. I
appear to pop up like King Charles' head in
all his speeches. I can understand that. But
.' jNoyI just make a reference to what the
~ nrable gentleman said about my alleged
views on summit conferences? It is quite
true that I made a speech in New York.
It was a lunchtime speech and if anybody
reDgdarod s soth. at as riotous living, he is welcome
Mr. Peters-It depends on the lunch.
Sir ROBERT MENZIES.-You do not
get much if you are going to make a
speech. What I was putting to that audience
in New York was that there was no virtue,
in itself, in having a summit meeting. A
necessary condition of a summit meeting
was that people on both sides--or on three
sides in this case-should approach the
matter in good faith and with a genuine
desire to arrive at a settlement. I made the
point that if one side-as in this casewent
through the motions of saying: " Yes,
10256/ 64. we will have a summit meeting and while
the meeting was actually on, weakened the
position of the other negotiators by military
action-and that is the position along the
frontiers of Borneo-then that is not a
genuine summit meeting at all. it would be
a dangerous kind of meeting to ' have
because, by its implicit concession to force,
it would * be a form of appeasement. That
is what I said in New York, and if the
Leader of the Opposition disagrees with
that, he is welcome to do so. I certainly
have ho apologies to make for those views.
The Leader of the Opposition then said
something of the usual kind to the effect
that instead of talking in military terms, we
ought to be increasing the aid we give to
under-developed countries. It is very interesting
' to, recall that we have two underdeveloped
countries in our immediate
neighbourhood and for which we have an
immediate responsibility-Papua and New
Guinea. If you take our net expenditure
there-because we get no exploitation of
these territories-and what we pay through
the Colombo Plan and the aid of an economic
kind ' that we give under the South
East Asia Treaty Organisation agreement
in all its various forms and through certain
specialised agencies of the United Nations,
you find that Australia today is providing
the equivalent of 100 million American AUG m4G~

dollars a year for these purposes. In anybody's
language-and certainly in minethat
is a very substantial sum of money.
Therefore I put these facts on the -record
because I would not have it believed that
this country is falling down in its human
responsibilities. I propose to say something now about
Cyprus. I will not speak at any great length
on this subject because it is more a matter
of giving some information to the House.
I propose, then, to address myself to the
nub of this matter-the argument that goes
on about Vietnam and our relations to it
and the activities of certain small Australian
forces in South Vietnam. The Republic of
Cyprus-I want to get this matter out of the
way first-was established as an independent
state in 1960 following negotiations between
the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers. As
honorable members know, the outcome of
those negotiations was accepted by Great
Britain. The settlement brought an endor
so it was believed-to a long-drawn stalemate
which had been caused by the preceding
Greek Cypriot campaign for Enosis,
or union with Greece, in the face of Turkish
refusal to contemplate Cyprus falling into
Greek hands and the consequent difficulties
of Great Brtain as the governing or colonial
power. The settlement made in 1960 provided
for special constitutional safeguards. These
were, in effect, a veto on certain legislation
for the Turkish minority and for the right
of the guarantor powers-Greece, Turkey
and Great Britain-to intervene if the terms
of the settlement were contravened.
That settlement was received at the time
with some hope. It has not worked out.
In the opinion of the Prime Minister of
Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios, the Constitution
has failed. Disputes have arisen between
the Turkish minority and the Greek
Cypriot majority while Greece and Turkey,
from the outside, have maintained,
great interest, and from time to
time, activity. These troubles began at the
end of 1963 when Archbishop Makarios
said the Constitution was unworkable.
Attempts to settle the dispute were made,
first, through the North Atlantic Treaty
Organisation-because both Greece and
Turkey belong to N. A. T. O.-and then when
they failed, attempts at a settlement were
made through the United Nations Organisation. Through the Security Council which
acted on this matter, the United Nations
arranged in March of this year for a United
Nations force -to go to Cyprus to restore
order. The United Nations also appointed
a mediator and requests were made for
certain financial assistance to which we
made a small contribution. A request was
also made for a police force for ordinary
police purposes and Australia, through the
courtesy of the various State Governments,
has made a contribution to this force. The
Security Council passed a series of resolutions
concerning these arrangements on 4th
March and 13th March and again on
June of this year.
In spite of these actions, the positio'>
has remained difficult and perhaps hat...'
become more difficult. It is very hard
to say that and I do not want to say
anything which would appear to allocate
any blame because I do not think it is for
us to do that. I believe, as I am sure a'
honorable members believe, that jiiL
this complex affair-and it is immeasurably
complex-it is important to stand
behind the United Nations Security Council
and to do all things possible or to encourage
all things possible to be done to
avoid civil war or a continuance of it and
to bring about a peaceful settlement of the
problem. This was the position when the Prime
Ministers of the Commonwealth of Nations
met in London. After considerable discussion,
a statement on this matter w2-
made in a communique and I quote froish..:
it-The Prime Ministers expressed concern about
the situation with regard to Cyprus. They reaffirmed
their full support for the United Nations
Security Council resolutions of 4th March,' 13t.-
March and 20th June 1964. The Prime Ministel
asserted that the Cyprus problem should be solvewithin
the framework of the United Nations and
in accordance with the principles of democracy
and justice.
They appealed to all countries concerned to
refrain from any action which might undermine
the task of the United Nations peacekeeping
force to which a number of Commonwealth countries
are contributing, or might prejudice the endeavours
of the United Nations to find a lasting
solution in conformity with the Charter of the
United Nations.
T his, I venture to say, was impeccably
correct. The United Nations Security Council
met again in emergency session, things
not having improved very much, on Sunday
last. The President appealed to the Turkish

and Cypriot Governments to cease hostilities.
Now a resolution has again been passed.
I was going to read it in its full terms, but
it can be summarised by saying that it calls
for an immediate cease fire by all parties,
it calls for their co-operation with the United
Nations peace keeping force and it calls
upon all States to refrain from any action
which could exacerbate the position. I think
it will be agreed by all honorable members
that we will not help a settlement of this
extremely difficult matter by offering observations
from the sidelines or by taking
sides, because without a great deal more
knowledge than any of us can have it might
be very difficult to apportion all the blame
one party and none of it to the other.
all want a peaceful settlement, and the
greatest prospect of that settlement will
come from backing the actions of the
Security Council.
Now I would like to turn to the matter
ich was the subject of the original state-
-nent by my colleague, which has given rise
to most of the debate, both outside the
House and in it. My colleague's statement
was a clear and objective one. It did not
go in for fireworks. It put the House in
possession of whatever official knowledge
we had of these matters. I therefore do not
need to repeat what he said. If it is any
comfort to anybody to know it, I can say
that before he made his statement he discussed
the matter with me and we agreed
that he was the appropriate Minister to
ake the statement. So he made it.
The Australian Government thoughf that
the action of the United States of America,
under attack in the Gulf of Tonkin, under
attack in international waters, was well
,-warranted and ought to be supported, and
said so. Many people in different parts
of the world said so. Oddly enough, I did
not wait, as I am occasionally charged with
waiting, to find out what the majority were
doing. We were the first people to make a
public announcement after the President's
speech and after his indication of what he
was going to do. Not for the first time, we
were the first to speak. Does anybody seriously
quarrel with what the President did?
I almost pause for a reply, because the
O) position, as I will show without any difficultv,
has occupied the most ambiguous
position on this point. It is a bitterly disappointing
fact that the one sour note that
reached the public print should have come from the Leader of the Australian Labour
Party, the great alternative governing party
in this country, accompanied by a sort of
lecture to the President on his duty not to
extend the struggle and to see that he had
resort to the United Nations-he having
publicly stated that he wanted no such
extension and that he would seek such
resort, and having acted accordingly.
It is just as well, I think, to recall what
the President said. My colleague quoted the
language of the resolution of Congress, and
I want to quote from the text of the President's
nation-wide statement which preceded
that resolution. After referring to the attack
and the orders he had given, he said-
This new act of agression aimed directly at our
own forces again brings home to all of us in the
United States the importance of the struggle for
peace and security in South East Asia. Aggression
by terror against the peaceful villagers of South
Vietnam has now been joined by open aggression
on the high seas against the United States of
America. The determination of all Americans to
carry out our full commitment to the people and
Government of South Vietnam will be redoubled
by this outrage.
Without anticipating in detail what I will say
a little later, it will be observed that the
President referred to " our commitment to
the people and Government of South
Vietnam", which does not arise from a
treaty. He has no treaty with South
Vietnam. I will explain a little later, if it
needs -to be explained, how these things arise
and flow from the South East Asia Treaty,
but it is worthwhile just reminding honorable
members opposite the America does not
feel it necessary to talk about a formal
treaty before going to the aid of South
Vietnam, and that America recognises a
commitment that has not been drafted by
a lawyer. This is a very important statement.
Then the President went on-
Yet our response for the present will be limited
and fitting. We Americans know, though others
appear to forget, the risks of spreading a conflict.
We will seek no wider war.
Then he went on to say-
; I have instructed Ambassador Stevenson to
raise this matter immediately and urgently before
the Security Council of the United Nations.
He ended by saying-
It is a solemn responsibility to have to order
even limited military action by forces whose overall
strength is as vast and as awesome as those of
the United States, but it is my considered conviction,
shared throughout your Government, that
firmness in the right is indispensible today for
peace. That firmness will always be measured. Its
mission is peace.

I venture to say that that was an historic
and important statement, and it was followed
by a resolution in Congress which
was carried in one House with one dissentient
vote and in the other House unanimously.
I propose to refer to that resolution,
which my colleague read to the House
earlier. I believe that the resolution has no
direct precedent in American history. We
are living in a most historic period. I will
quote just the operative passages of the
resolution, if I may do so without wearying
the House-
The U. S. regards as vital to its national security
and to world peace the maintenance of international
peace and security in South East Asia.
This is the American Congress speaking.
Now, Sir, if I may interrupt the reading of
the resolution, if we cast our minds back,
particularly those of us who have been
seised of the responsibilities for the Government
here, we will remember very vividly
how anxious we were only a few years ago
about the possibility that in the conflict of
ideas between the Western powers and the
Soviet Union, and in the building up of the
nuclear deterrent to armed hostilities in that
connection, South East Asia might be overlooked.
There was a very strong feeling at
one time that perhaps it was a little in the
background. The answer to that anxiety is
in the passage I have just read.
In all my discussions with the late President
Kennedy and with President Johnson
and with the Administration of the State
Department 1 felt there was a growing
realisation of the importance of South East
Asia. This was a matter of some satisfaction
to us because although we knew all too well
the vital significance of the relationships
across the Atlantic, we also felt that the
problems of South East Asia came very near
home and that our immediate security in
Australia was much involved in them.
Therefore, I repeat that this resolution by
Congress is of historic importance. The
resolution continued-
Consonant with the Constitution and the Charter
of the United Nations and in accordance with
its obligations under the South East Asia Collective
Defence Treaty, the United States is therefore
prepared as the President determines to take all
necessary steps, including the use of armed force,
to assist any member or protocol State of the
South East Asia Collective Defence Treaty requesting
assistance in defence of its freedom.
In this resolution we see the constitutional
process referred to in the A. N. Z. U. S. Pact and in the South East Asia Collective Defence
Treaty at work affirming the power
of the President to take action as commander-
in-chief. The importance of this cannot
be overlooked by any Australian unless he is
bemused by academic and unreal ideas.
After all, the matter of substance -is the
defence of freedom in South East Asia. I
would sum this up by saying that the congressional
resolution removes constitutional
restraint on the President's freedom of
action. Of course, -he still remains subject to
the practical restraints which arise from his
need to have in Congress broad support for
whatever he does. But the important thing
is that the resolution has affirmed that the
. maintenance of peace and security in tl'-. V
region-this region immediately adjoins _ j'
-is in the vital interests of the United
States. We would indeed be blind, Sir, if
we did not realize and acknowledge that it
is also in our vital interests.
The South East Asia Collective Defenr
Treaty ought to be referred to. I shoul,-'
have expected its provisions, in the broad,
to be very well known and not matters
which needed to be recited every week,
every year, or once in any other period of
time. However, I think I should mention
them, because they have been overlooked
by some of the spokesmen opposite. The
Treaty was made in September 1954 and
was ratified early in 1955. It was negotiated
on behalf of Australia by my Government.
The parties to it were the United States, the
United Kingdom, Thailand, the Philippines
Pakistan, France, Australia and Ne/
Zealand. The Treaty -itself paid proper
attention to the promotion of the economic
wellbeing and development of all peoples in
the Treaty area. If honorable members care
to look at Article IM, they will find that thiidea
of economic advancement is not
and has not been suddenly discovered by the
Opposition. Mr. Uren.-Name it. It is only peanuts.
Sir ROBERT MENZIES.-It has been
of substantial assistance. It reads-
The Parties undertake to strengthen their free
institutions and to co-operate with one another in
the further development of economic measures, including
technical assistance, designed both to promote
economic progress and social wellbeing
and to further the individual and collective efforts
of governments towards these ends.
The parties to the Treaty were well aware
of these points. The Treaty acknowledges
that one of the facts of life was that unless

there was resistance to Communist aggression
there would be no opportunity for
economic advancement, peaceful life and
peaceful development. Article II reads-
In order more effectively to achieve the objectives
of this Treaty, the Parties, separately and
jointly-In other words, there is a joint and several
obligation; it is not necessary to have a
unanimous decision to discharge the obligationby
means of continuous and effective self help and
mutual aid will maintain and develop their individual
and collective capacity to resist armed attack
and to prevent the counter subversive activities
directed from without against their territorial
integrity and political stability.
) ticle IV reads-
1. Each Party recognises that aggression by
means of armed attack in the treaty area against
any of the Parties or against any State or
territory which the Parties by unanimous agreement
may hereafter designate-
-lat is, the protocol States, including South
,_ etnamwould endanger its own peace and safety, and
agrees that it will in that event act to meet the
common danger in accordance with its constitutional
processes. Measures taken under this paragraph
shall be immediately reported to the Security
Council of the United Nations.
As I have just indicated, the Treaty provided
for the designation by unanimous vote
of nations as protocol State South Vietnam,
like Laos and Cambodia, is one of the
protocol States.
The Treaty contemplated, therefore, that
protocol States might have to be
J.; fended against aggression. It stated with
particularity-It is understood that no action on the territory
of any State designated by unanimous agreement
shall be taken except at the invitation or with
consent of the government concerned.
., are in South Vietnam to the extent that
we are ' there by the invitation of the Government
of that country. The U. S. A. is there
by the invitation of the Government of
South Vietnam. We have no subsequent
treaty with the protocol State; neither ' has
the U. S. It is very disturbing, to say the
least, that the Australian Labour Party
should choose this period in international
history to assert 1ihat Australia, which is
acting at the request of South Vietnam,
should not do so without some new and
special treaty with the Government of South
Vietnam. What a b-. arren performance that
would ' be of the obligations of the South East Asian Collective Defence Treaty. The
Leader of the Opposition said that people
had not been sufficiently informed. I should
have'thought that these matters were almost
as familiar in the minds of people as anything
could be. They have been referred to
very frequently. I remind the House that
extensive statements about our activities in
South Vietnam have been made at the time
of each performance on our part-first, by
the late Mr. Townley when he was Minister
for Defence, and later by Senator Paltridge
as Minister for Defence.
I am sorry if I seem to overdo it, but
the point I want to make is that what is
going on in South Vietnam through us in a
small way, and through the U. S. in a large
way, is the direct consequence of a treaty
to which we are one of the parties. As a
matter of fact, in 1961 South Vietnam
appealed to the U. S. to increase military
aid because of the violation of its territory
in the north and the U. S. responded, but
without a military alliance and without a
treaty. It is interesting to recall that the
Opposition-the Leader of the Opposition
repeated the claim this morning-has long
made it a matter of pride that when in
government it invited U. S. forces to come
here during the war. Did it make a treaty?
Did the United States require a treaty? Did
Australia require a treaty? No, because the
realities of life were so overwhelmingly clear
that this poor academic nonsense about
having a treaty was never even thought of.
But today we are told that -this is exactly
what ought to be done.
I have already taken quite a long time,
but I just want to mention one or two
other aspects of this matter quite briefly. I
notice that the Opposition, including the
Federal Executive of the Australian Labour
Party, is saying that the right way to
handle this matter is to reconstitute the
Geneva Conference. Of course, the Geneva
Conference established the cease fire and
the ' boundary at the 17th parallel, and declared
for a cessation of armed hostilities.
What is it to be reconvened for? The
Leader of the Opposition said the other
day that the powers should meet to resu
bscribe to and honour the agreements.
But who has broken the agreements?
Is it suggested that somebody not in the
Communist zone is conducting a war of
aggression? Does anybody think such nonsense
for a moment? The -people who are

violating the cease fire and the essential
substance of the Geneva accords are the
people from the north, the north Vietnam
forces, the Vietminh, backed as they
unquestionably are at suitable times by the
Communist Chinese, and having as their
agents the Vietcong in their pockets of
activity around South Vietnam. If there is
any reaffirmation of belief in a cease fire to
be made, it ought to be made by the people
who are violating the agreements. The
powers may, for all I know, have another
conference in Geneva or elsewhere, and it
will be a very good thing if a precondition
is that there is a cessation of hostilities,
a termination of these guerrilla activities,
because, for the reasons I mentioned at
the beginning of my speech, I believe
firmly that good faith is an essential to
any conference that may be called.
The Leader of the Opposition has a
general view which he puts. He appears to
think that Australia is unnecessarily buying
hostility with the Asian people. He is
always fond of trying to create some
division between the past and the present in
this Government. He says we are buying
hostility. Does he really believe that we
would cultivate the respect of the Asian
people if, as I rather think he would like
us to do, we abandoned our support of
Malaysia, which is vigorous in all respects,
or if we said to South Vietnam and to the
South East Asian Treaty countries that we
were quite happy to have an agreement with
them but that -we were very reluctant to
perform an agreement? Is this the way to
acquire the respect of our Asian neighbours?
Sir, international goodwill is not to
be firmly established on a basis of a denial
of treaty obligations or a denial of the
overall importance of resisting Communist
aggression. But the Leader of the Opposition is not
the only spokesman for the Labour Party.
I think I have some right to expect that his
most prominent colleague in the victory of
the left wing in Victoria recently, a person
whom I might describe as his running mate
-the honorable member for Yarra ( Dr.
J. F. Cairns)-a prospective deputy leader
at least speaks with some authority on behalf
of the Labour Party. If he does not,
then the party has a curious way of disowning
him. On 9th August, the honorable
member for Yarra made a powerful speech, I gather, to 2,000 people at a
Hiroshima commemoration rally in Sydney.
He had, of course, an audience
of people who advocated nuclear disarmament,
ignoring the fact that if nuclear
disarmament proceeded alone, the
Communist powers would have overwhelming
military strength. These people
also apparently carried slogans about
no war in Vietnam, a consummation
devoutly to be wished for, I must say. But
the pleas ought to be addressed not to our
side, but to the other side if they are to
have any true value.
The honorable member for Yarra is
reported, I hope accurately, as having said
that Australia should not follow the Uni,,
States line-of course, we have heard hn..
say that many times-which he defined as
pursuing a policy of war which had no basis
in morals or justice. He was not talking
about some war of the 19th century; he wasx
talking about these incidents that have b7_)
engaging our attention; he was talking about
these activities of war in the Gulf of Tonkin
and, by the way of counter attack, on the
shores of North Vietnam.
I ' have reminded the House, and, I hope,
the people, of what the President of the
United States said, and the manner in which
he dealt with the matter and the manner in
which Congress dealt with it-the high
level on which the whole thing was put and
the immense importance of it to the future
of this country-yet a prospective leader of
this country is heard to say that they Ei')
pursuing a policy of war which has no bas-"
in morals or justice.
If that is not the view of the Oppositionand
I do not believe for one moment that
it can be-then I hope there will be tho---
who will be willing to say so in their
It was really an extraordinary summary
of American policy. It is apparently both
moral and just that aggressive Communist
powers should seek to strike down free
people but immoral and unjust to resist
them. The honorable member for Yarra
went on to say, according to the report, that
the United States could not claim that it
was being attacked in the present Vietnam
crisis-I think the crews of the American
destroyers would be fascinated to know that
-or that it was acting in self-defence. He
says that the United States cannot say that.
The U. S. has said it. The honorable member
for Yarra is challenging the veracity of

the head of the American Administration.
He is challenging the intelligence and information
of the entire Congress of the United
States which has every avenue of inf ormation
available to it.
The honorable member for Yarra elaborated
this astonishing proposition by saying
that the North Vietnamese torpedo boats
-I like that, because it admits that they
were North Vi etnamese-had been within
a few miles of their own shores when they
came in to attack the United States ships.
Does he really deny that they were 30
miles off shore, as has been stated authoritatively
in America?
1d. Pollard.-Do the Americans deny
Cuba? Sir ROBERT MENZIES.-The honorable
member for Lalor ( Mr. Pollard) has
a singular talent for changing the subject,
I sympathise with him. If the honoremember
wants now to set up another
attack on the United States over Cuba,
over what I thought was a remarkable
effort on behalf of freedom by the late
President Kennedy, let him say so. If we
are to have a symposium of hatred and
criticism of the United States, let us have
it. At least we will know then where the
Opposition stands. But to resume what I
was saying: Is it really denied that the
American destroyers were 30 miles offshore?
Does the honorable member for Yarra or
I~ body else assert that the warships of
: 1,) nation when steaming in international
waters may be attacked with impunity?
The honorable member went on to
charge the United States with helping to
. prevent political, economic and social
> hnges in South Vietnam. This, of course,
. a monstrous falsehood. But he ended
up by saying that Australia should call
immediately for a ceasefire in Vietnam,'
to be followed by talks between all countries
involved in the conflict. He is unaware,
presumably, that the President of the
United States has already put all these
courses of action in train. We, Sir, do not
direct ceasefires. This is not our function.
The honorable member overlooks the
obvious fact that no country has a greater
interest than we have in the cessation of
armed hostilities in South East Asia, provided
that that cessation does not yield the
field to the onward sweep of Communism. The honorable member also overlooks
the fact that President Johnson himself took
the earliest opportunity to encourage action
by the Security Council. I have already
referred to what the President said in his
Address to the Nation. We in Australia are
in a position in the world in which we have,
no doubt, great opportunities, but equally,
no, doubt, face great risks. The Opposition,
in more recent days, has been rather fond
of saying what we ought to be doing about
defence. I do not resent any criticism in
that field, because I do not regard our
provision for defence as static. It must go
on, develop and march with the times. The
plea from the Opposition would be more
eloquent if we had heard it over any considerable
period of time. The fact is that
we are, as the Treasurer ( Mr. Harold Holt)
pointed out in the Budget Speech, spending
50 per cent, more on defence than we were
four years ago. And, as I say, that is not
-the end of the story.
I do not want to occu. py time on this, as
it will no doubt be debated, as some one
was suggesting earlier today; but let us suppose
that the Opposition, being in office,
spent much more on defence. Why would
it do it? This is a question that the Opposition
really should put to itself. Why would
it do it? Would it do it because it thought
that Australia's defence was -a matter for
Austra-lia alone? Does it have that isolationist
view? I could not believe that. Does
it really believe that if we were attacked by
a great power we could defend ourselves
without allies and without mutual systems
of defence? It could not believe such nonsense
as that. Therefore, presumably, it
would do it so that we might be in a position
to make an effective contribution, worthy
of us as a nation, to the common defence.
But if we are to do that there must be some
system of common defence. If we are to do
that we really must have these alliances in
substance with the people who have the
greatest power to preserve freedom and
who carry the major burden of its
preservation. Surely the Labour Party must agree with
that. If it does not, presumably it would
never, if it had been in office, have tried to
secure the A. N. Z. U. S. Pact or the South
East Asia Treaty. But suppose it had
entered into these pacts, and suppose it
realised that the defence of Australia, and
indeed of freedom generally, were a matter

of community of effort, of broad alliances
with, to use the phrase that the honorable
gentleman objects to so much, " great and
powerful friends in the world Suppose it
understood that. Are we really to understand
that, having made those treaties, having
done whatever it thought proper in the
defence field, having perhaps more forces
than we now have, it would have said in
those circumstances, when Vietnam, a
protocol country, asked for help: No. We
are very sorry. We cannot give you help.
We know that America is doing so. That is
all right for America, but we cannot give
you help unless you now sit down and
thrash out a special mutual treaty with us."?
I end there, because I referred to it earlier.
This, to me, is the most fantastic evidence
of the utterly unreal and utterly academic
approach that these people have when they consider these great problems. When they
did have the responsibility of government,
when there were real things happening that
they understood, they had no such
approach. They did not talk about treaties
then, but now they do. Now they want to
put a clog in the operation of the machinery
of the South East Asia Treaty. Why? Is it
because they believe in the Treaty, or
because at heart they do not believe in the
Treaty? Or is it because, which seems most
probable, they have such deep divisions of
opinion between soberminded right wing
members of the Labour Party Who, I will
undertake to say, have agreed with almost
everything I have said today, and a left wing
which, in its heart, is not hostile to Cor~,
munism but, in its heart, is deeply hosti._ j
to the United States of America, the greatest
free power in the world?
BY AUTHORITY: A. J. ARTHUR, COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT PRINTER, CANBERRA.

Transcript 974