Cold Containment

Cold Containment

If your cold and not warm, then shall be maybe cold war.
In containment and posturing, lacking soul all the more/
With no active gestures of peace, solidarity or such;
We put metal and machine, before the human touch.

The soul and spirit are ever so quenched.
The way nation treat nation, an evil entrenched.
So containment and posture, pose ever the loss
Of the love of all people, we see only the gloss.

The deeper, the sweeter, the true and the best;
Again in forgetting the past we should lest.

Lest We forget...
May Australian manufacturers make mining and
associated industries products as the manufacturing
industry can not compete on the world market,
May they compete on the Australian Market.

My God is not a force or a fool, a force has a
beginning and an END, as does a fool,
My God does not. Selah...

My Father, The Most High God of Israel,
The LORD of Hosts, The KING of Jacob,
NO beginning and no end, Bless us ALL. ;)

Malcolm Fraser: 2012 Gough Whitlam Oration

I am honoured to be asked to make this speech. During the turbulent
years of the
1970s, few people would have believed that Malcolm Fraser would be
delivering a
Gough Whitlam Oration. Politics is a hard business. The opposition of
one party
to another can become toxic. We have had this demonstrated to us all
too often
in recent years. But it does not always have to be this way.
By any standards Gough Whitlam is a formidable, political warrior. He
inspired an undying loyalty amongst his supporters. He is an historic
figure who
has made a significant impact on the life of Australia. He had grand
ideas, many
of which left their mark on Australia. A number of which were embraced
by the
following government. Others have survived despite the opposition from
the other
side of politics.
He was the first Australian Prime Minister to recognise China. As
Prime Minister he had the confidence and knowledge to recognise the
national interests of our country. He established ground breaking
enquiries into
Land Rights for Aboriginal Australians and also over a number of
issues, where reports were later implemented by my government.
As political antagonists we had substantial differences, but as
Australians we
had shared interests and concerns.
This is not the place to traverse the politics of the middle 1970s. I
doubt very
much if Gough Whitlam has changed his view of those times.
For my own part if I were confronted with the same issues, the same
circumstances, I would still go down the same path.
But distance does also give a sense of perspective.
In the middle 1970s we were told the supply crisis was more grave than
any other
that beset Australian democracy. That the divisions would be
The conflicts of 1975 were intense, but the passions have dissipated.
I believe there are many Australians who welcome the fact that the two
protagonists in the political battles of those times have established
a good
relationship, a friendship and respect for many of the things for
which we both
I believe we have recognised that those policies and attitudes, on
which we
have, if not a common but a shared view, are more important than the
issues that
divided us.
The Whitlam Labor Government ended the final legal remnants of the
Australia Policy. The symbolism of this has been fundamental. It
terminated a
policy that had been eroded over the post-war years. One significant
act with
later implications for the White Australia Policy was taken in 1954
when Menzies
signed on to the Refugee Convention. In March 1966, Hubert Opperman as
for Immigration, made a speech which effectively nullified the
practical impact
of the White Australia Policy. Anyone who reads that speech will see
that it is
couched in guarded terms. It was the Whitlam Government who crossed
the symbolic
bridge of publicly ending the White Australia Policy.
The great post-war immigration was a major step on the road to a
Australia. Initially it was racially based. Arthur Calwell reflected a
consensus when he said that he wanted the great majority of migrants
to come
from Britain. That desire was never realised.
Political and economic refugees, in their tens of thousands, sought to
Europe. The political parties of that time recognised that an
Australia of 7
million people was not defensible. Our nation had to build, to invest
and grow
as rapidly as our resources would allow. This meant a migration
program that
would come from many countries other than Britain.
When we began our major immigration policy we were very largely an
Irish community, a narrow and somewhat bigoted country. That had to be
aside. But in reality it would have been very easy to arouse the
racism or
exacerbate sectarian feelings which were still strong. The immigration
needed bipartisan support. It achieved that bipartisanship.
Both Government and Opposition knew that Australia was embarking on a
adventure in nation building. If there were problems between new
citizens, both
sides worked to overcome those problems and to maintain harmony. It
recognised that no one should play politics by seeking to exploit
racial or
sectarian divisions. Indeed the parties worked hard to bury remnants
of the
bitter sectarianism exacerbated so wrongly by Prime Minister Billy
Hughes. Both
sides recognised their duty to the nation and the seriousness of the
task ahead
of them.
It is not surprising that the Federal Parliament acted in these ways.
Many of
the Members and Senators had experienced service in two World Wars.
All had
experienced the hardship of The Great Depression. For some Australians
the first
job they had was when they joined the army and went to the Middle
East. Many on
both sides had been prisoners of war. These members of the Australian
knew that the democracies had to govern themselves better, that they
had to put
differences, even hatreds aside and seek to build a future in which
could survive and prosper.
The political leaders of those days knew and understood these
Civilisation had nearly destroyed itself. Leaders of countries across
the world,
both victors and vanquished, knew that the international community had
cooperate and build a productive and peaceful world.
On the question of migration the Parliament had maintained a
bipartisan attitude
since the end of the second war. In the middle 1970’s this was
sustained despite
the sharpness of the divisions on economic management, constitutional
and issues of due process.
At the end of the Vietnam War, tens upon tens of thousands of Indo-
sought to flee to safety. Initially the Whitlam Government decision
was to have
limited numbers of people from Vietnam. My Government made the
decision to take
large numbers of people. Gough Whitlam did not play politics with
this. It would
have been easy to do. Instead he led his party to fully accept the
convention of
the post-war years. Bipartisanship on issues of immigration was
maintained. This
bipartisanship was fundamentally important. It shows that political
conflict can
live alongside the sustaining of a shared, deep respect for people
regardless of
colour, race or religion, a belief that people should be respected for
who they
are. The capacity to engage in conflict and maintain such a respect
depends on a
degree of consensus between political leaders. Gough Whitlam and I
in this consensus.
If instead of this consensus, the disgraceful race to the bottom of
the populist
political point scoring of recent years had prevailed, the cost to
would have been enormous.
Australia would have lost tens upon tens of thousands of hard working
citizens. Citizens who have manifested an extraordinarily strong
loyalty to this
country. Citizens who have directly sought to repay what they regard
as the
generosity of their reception in Australia. Some have entered the
armed forces,
others have entered public life. We would have lost all of this and we
have re-established our reputation as a racially exclusive society.
Recent years have shown that progress in dealing with racism is not
We should not lose heart. The possibility of regression has always
been present
but actually progress has prevailed overwhelmingly amongst the people
By the middle 1970s the political parties were opposed to apartheid
but there
was still contention in the party room. There was still robust
Opposition to apartheid was not universal. I can remember a party
discussion quite early in the time of my Government. The question of
was listed on the agenda. It was clear that a few who supported the
had organised themselves to speak one after another. The gist of their
were, “Why aren’t we supporting our white cousins in South Africa?”
“Why are we
supporting the ANC, a communist organisation, a group of terrorists?”
debate ended somewhat abruptly after I advised my colleagues of the
realities of
the Fraser Government. If they wanted an Australian Government that
support a small white minority in South Africa determined to keep the
overwhelming black majority in a state of perpetual subjection, they
would have
to get another government.
The Whitlam Government believed Australian Aboriginals should have
land rights.
An enquiry was established. The Government did not last long enough to
the recommendations of the Woodward Commission. Nonetheless, my
legislated the Aboriginal Land Rights in 1976. Land Rights for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was established in part as a
result of a
commitment shared by successive governments.
Land Rights stems from an attitude about people. The need to deal with
people on
the basis of respect, a recognition of what people are, of their
history and of
their culture.
Land Rights comes from an idea of what Australia can and should be.
This idea of what Australia can and should be underlaid the Galbally
Report. The
Galbally report sought to give substance to the reality of
multiculturalism and
the establishment of SBS. The report and the actions taken as a result
of that
report were designed to fulfil the idea of respect for all people, no
whence they came. This value is fundamental to a good Australia.
It is a value which both Gough Whitlam and I advanced.
Australia has gained great strength by our tolerance, by our diversity
and by
our respect for the history and culture of people whose pasts are
Over the years there have been a number of issues over which Gough and
I came to
have a relatively common view. From the back of a truck overlooking
Gardens we both spoke for the independence of The Age and of Fairfax
and against
its control by foreign interests. We believed then, that it does
matter who owns
major newspapers, significant instruments for propaganda and
Proprietors seek to influence their readership. If their primary
interests are
foreign to Australia their interests are not necessarily ours. Gough
and I can
remember in November 1951 Menzies, who on some things was far ahead of
his time,
intervened when a British company was seeking to take over four
radio stations. He came into the Parliament and said it would be wrong
people who do not belong to this country to own such a powerful medium
propaganda. A neat way of putting it without offending the British.
The takeover
attempt was dead. How the world has changed. Today’s political parties
seem not
to mind who owns the print media. In our time there were six or seven
proprietors, now there is one and a half.
Increasingly those with financial resources come to have a
influence on public affairs, an influence magnified by the activities
lobbyists whose impact on public affairs is not benign. We have seen
how in
relation to the mining industry, three enormously wealthy individuals
sought to exercise political power, totally disproportionate to the
merit of
their argument.
Today money has too great an influence on the policies of political
parties. If
countries such as Australia wish to maintain the effectiveness of
their own
democracy, we will need to look much more closely at the power of
money and how
to limit the political influence of those with great financial
I want now to turn to other issues which are critical to Australia and
indeed to
our whole region. How can we best contribute to peace, to progress, to
in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia? I believe that Australia
should be able to have more influence than the Australia of 50 years
Two matters have arisen which cast doubt upon that and which cause
throughout South East Asia and indeed many in Australia itself, to
question our
influence and indeed our purpose.
Before Tampa there would have been many who accepted that the idea of
the White
Australia Policy was dead and that those who supported racism had no
Since Tampa, despite the great and beneficial diversity of people
Australia today, there are many who interpret our attitude to
refugees, and the
toxic and demeaning debates that have taken place over this question,
as a
resurgence of racism.
Our treatment of refugees, and the poisonous debate engaged in by our
political parties has done Australia much harm throughout our region.
There is another issue of complexity and difficulty that we need to
address –
the nature of our relationship with America.
In the past twenty years, we seem more and more than ever to be locked
into the
United States’ purposes and objectives. ANZUS was invoked to support
during the invasion of Iraq. The war in Afghanistan was originally
sanctioned by
the United Nations. It was for a specific purpose to destroy Al Qaeda
and Osama
Bin Laden. It then morphed into an attempt to establish some kind of
in Afghanistan itself. That had not been sanctioned in the same way by
United Nations. Why did we follow America without question when so
many believed
this change in mission was impossible to fulfil?
Did we really believe that by force of arms we can force a system of
on people whose history and culture are so very different? We should
withdrawn from Afghanistan when the nature of the mission changed.
America had a huge army in Vietnam and was not able to win. In Iraq,
government arrested 300 or 400 hundred political opponents almost in
the same
week that President Obama brought the last troops home and suggested
that the
job had been successfully completed. There are bombings in Iraq almost
week and scores of people are killed. Security is limited and there
are grave
doubts about the future.
Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan should give pause to those who believe
that there
can be military solutions to problems of governance in other
We need our military, a military efficient, operating and effective.
When our
military goes to war it should be for purposes and objectives clearly
Australia’s interests, not merely because the Americans want some
There are too many who believe if we support the United States and go
to war
when they want us to, they will in turn support us on issues that we
regard as
fundamental to our own security.
History strongly suggests that the real determinant of the actions of
powers are their own interests. We should not expect anything else.
The British Empire once existed, Australia was part of it. I remember
shown a map of the world coloured pink. We would be told that where
the map was
pink you would be safe because that was part of the British Empire.
But, when
Australia was very much under threat, when Darwin was being attacked,
when Japan
was advancing, Britain was so beleaguered that helping Australia was
possible. Strong arguments can be made that Churchill used every
device, every
mechanism, every lever of power and influence to secure Britain, no
matter what
the consequences to a country like Australia. That was his job and
Churchill, Britain and the free world may not have survived.
The point remains however, that too much reliance on great powers for
security is not wise.
Once it became clear that Britain could not help us, we transferred
our sense of
dependence, which had dogged Australia since Federation, from Britain
to the
United States. That sense of dependence remains. Today I believe we
should be
old enough and mature enough to grow out of it.
I support ANZUS and the American alliance. At the same time my belief
in its
efficacy has its limits. Our own skill, our own strength, our own
wisdom, our contribution to our region, our contribution to the
overall security
of that region – these are what will secure Australia’s future.
We need to be a nation acting independently with a mind and direction
of our own
and we need to be recognised as such.
This does not mean we cannot have alliances. There are many things in
which we
will always agree with the United States, but there are some very
things in which the Australian interest is quite different from
The United States’ major interests are in the western hemisphere. Our
interests are in the East and South-East Asia. Our future is totally
bound with
that of the Western Pacific, East and South-East Asia. That
difference defines in significant ways our different national
interest. We live
in the Western Pacific, our secure and peaceful future depends upon
relationships with countries of the region. We do not have the luxury,
as the
United States does, of being able to withdraw across the Pacific, to
the western
We must rely more on ourselves. We need to recognise that ANZUS itself
is a
strictly limited treaty. It is limited geographically and
substantively. It
involves a commitment in the first instance to consult. Then according
to their
constitutional processes the United States may or may not provide
support. There is no blank cheque, no automatic provision of military
The hard commitment does not go beyond consultation.
That is quite unlike NATO which contains an automatic commitment to
defend. The
difference between the treaties is remarkable.
There have been a number of occasions when the United States has not
an Australian view when we had felt our particular interests were
During the period of confrontation the London Economist had this to
say “No
Indonesian regime short of a blatantly communist one would earn active
hostility, no matter what harm it did to the national Australian
To point this out is not an anti-American statement. It is a statement
of fact.
If we blind ourselves to these realities we blind ourselves to the
for our own survival. The United States remains enormously important.
On some
counts it remains the world’s best hope for a peaceful and secure
world. Many of
the good things that have happened since the Second World War, the
Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the
Declaration of Human Rights, even the International Criminal Court,
which they
have not ratified, but whose statutes they helped draft, would not
have been put
in place without the United States’ leadership and support. Good
things have
happened because of leadership or support from America.
This does not mean that Australia can buy security by supporting
unconditionally. Unconditional support diminishes our influence
throughout East
and South-East Asia. It limits our capacity to act as an independent
confident nation. It limits our influence on the United States
herself. The
United States would expect an ally to have views and to put those
views and help
form policy.
I am reminded of some words of Abraham Lincoln:
I am not bound to win,
but I am bound to be true,
I am not bound to succeed,
but I am bound to live up to what light I have.
I must stand with anybody that stands right,
stand with him while he is right,
and part with him when he goes wrong.
I believe that in dealing with countries in our own region, we need to
show a
greater element of independence and a greater strength of mind.
We need to increase our sophistication in our approach to
throughout East and South-East Asia. For example our government still
tends to
say that strategic considerations have no impact on our good economic
and trade
relations with China. That is plainly not true. We cannot expect our
relationship to be unaffected if on every occasion we follow America
strategic matters.
Independence of mind and recognition of Australia’s national interests
become more important in the light of developments in the relationship
China and the United States. If the United States wishes to maintain a
of primacy over all others, that will not be acceptable to China. No
less, if
China because of its increasing economic influence and growing
strength, seeks to replace the United States, that will not be
acceptable to the
United States.
There has been a recent conference in Singapore, the 11th
Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit. The most
constructive and rational presentation by far was made by the
President Yudhoyono. By contrast the United States Secretary of
Defense’s main
thrust was the rebalancing of military forces into the Pacific. It was
not a
constructive speech because it shows quite clearly that the United
believes that the backdrop of military power is necessary for her to
achieve the
outcome that she wants. One could almost believe from that speech that
Secretary of Defense regarded the Western Pacific as a region to be
by the United States. The way Australia immediately rushed in, and
once again
tied herself to American coattails shows that the Australian
Government does not
understand how to secure peace.
The only solution that I can see of minimising the potential friction
these two major powers, is by cooperation. It is by partnership. It is
if you
like, by a concert of nations. This should contribute greatly to
security, progress throughout our entire region. A major part of
policy should be to work for such a result.
Such a result is well capable of achievement. A senior Chinese
official said to
me the other day, China does not want America to withdraw from the
Pacific. China knows that her strength and increasing influence causes
concern amongst neighbouring countries, that concern would be all the
greater if
the United States withdrew. It is in China’s interests also for
America to
remain a country of influence. This suggests that a concert of
nations, acting
with due respect to all countries does hold promise.
Australia does need to play a part. If we have independence of mind,
if we have
confidence in ourselves, as indeed we should as an independent nation,
we cannot
just keep doing as we have in recent times, just doing what America
Troops in Darwin, military activities on Cocos Island, our following
into Iraq, staying in Afghanistan, all indicate an unthinking
compliance with
American policy.
If we continue on this path we will very soon find that we have made
irrelevant to East and South-East Asia, politically and
Irrelevant, because Australia will have nothing to contribute. Being
and being
seen to be independent and having a clear eyed view of what can
achieve security
and continued peace throughout this whole region is critical to
The choice for Australia to make is not for China or for the United
States, but
independence of mind to break with subservience to the United States.
Subservience has not and will not serve Australia’s interests. It is
dangerous to our future.
Australia should not do anything, for example, that suggests that we
could be
part of a policy of military containment of China, but marines in
Darwin, spy
planes in Cocos Island make us part of that policy of containment.
We would not be alone in opposing containment. At the InterAction
meeting in Tianjin, China which I recently attended, with 20
represented, including a significant number from our own region,
Singapore and
South Korea included, endorsed a Communiqué which condemned
containment. In his
opening speech, former Prime Minister of Singapore, Goh Chok Tong had
this to
say “Any rhetoric of “containment” is dangerous. My view is that any
attempt by
the US to contain China will not work, nor will countries in the
region want to
take side on this.” These are strong words for a Singaporean former
Minister. Singaporean Governments have normally avoided public
criticism of the
United States.
We should be trying to lead the United States away from containment.
It is not always understood as China understands very clearly, that
the United
States is running a two-track policy. When I was in Beijing recently,
of State Hilary Clinton led a large, effective delegation to China for
a 4th
round of Strategic and Economic discussions. It appeared that those
went well. A number of continuing dialogues were established. We want
consultation. We want mutual understanding. We want to resolve
through diplomacy and dialogue. We want to understand each other
better. That
seemed to be the message coming both from China and the United States.
If that is the true American attitude, why does the United States talk
rebalancing military power to the Pacific? They already have massive
power in
the Pacific. More than all other nations combined. Do they really need
more, for
what purpose? What is the need to enhance naval cooperation with the
and Singapore? What useful purpose do marines based in Darwin fulfil?
What is
the purpose of spy planes on Cocos Island? Add to this, strategic
involving the United States, India and Japan and naval exercises
between those
three countries.
The United States can say this is not containment, as does the
Government, but nobody believes them. To continue to say that
something that is
obvious is not so, is to damage your own credibility. If the United
States is
genuine in wanting dialogue and discussion with China, what is the
need for this
military rebalancing?
There are further disturbing elements. The House Republicans added to
defence appropriation bill for the coming year, obligations on the
administration “a report on deploying additional conventional and
nuclear forces
to the Western Pacific region to ensure the presence of a robust
and nuclear capability, including a forward-deployed nuclear
capability …”
I have some reason to believe that the current United States
administration has
at some levels begun such discussions. For Australia to be part of
such a policy
would be dangerous to our future. I would sooner be out of ANZUS
altogether than
have any nuclear weapons on Australian soil.
American military expenditure is 43% of the world’s total. China’s is
7% or a
little over. When China increases her military expenditure, our
newspapers have
alarmist headlines “China rearming” “China expanding her military”.
There is
little effort of explanation, there is little logical analysis. There
are claims
China is being more assertive. Reports are often couched in such a way
as to
cause concern.
By contrast, if America renews her arms or develops new weapon
systems, we
generally applaud. We need balance and we need better comprehension.
China has perhaps the most unstable borders of any country in the
world. North
Korea, Iraq, Iran, tensions between India and Pakistan, Afghanistan.
The China
nuclear arsenal is not much bigger than Israel’s. The fact that she is
seeking to strengthen her navy is being used by some to create another
of concern. People ask, “Why does China need a navy? For what purpose
do they
want an all seas navy?” Well there is one answer, China is the last
nuclear state to put her nuclear missiles on submarines. It is
necessary for
China to do something to increase the viability of a small deterrent
about the size of Israel or a little more. As comparison, Russia and
the United
States have 10,000 warheads each.
The future cannot be predicted with any real degree of accuracy. But
there are
some things that are likely, one of them is that if the United States
the way to establish good relations with China is to have a military
alliance of
nations whose purpose is to limit China’s influence, or to contain
China, the
United States is mistaken. This is the wrong way to preserve peace and
We should not be part of it.
Such views demonstrate a significant failure to learn from the
military mistakes
from past decades starting with Vietnam. It demonstrates a failure to
that the break-up of the Soviet Union created a different post-Cold
War world.
The United States response is a Cold War response.
The great task for the United States is to recognise that many of the
things she
wants for herself and for others cannot be achieved by military means.
She needs
to place much more emphasis on “soft power”, on diplomacy and not
allow joint
facilities on Australian soil to be used to support containment.
should use every effort to persuade the United States that her two-
approach to relationships with China is wrong. We should tell the
United States
that we will not be part of it and not allow joint facilities on
Australian soil
to be used to support it.
Historically, China has not been an imperial power the way most
European States
have been imperial powers and America and Japan. There is no real
evidence that
they wish to become such a power. We need to understand that what
China becomes,
how China’s influence is used in future years is not only a function
of China’s
own internal dynamics, or her perception of the world, but it is also
a function
of how the United States and countries like Australia and Japan and
many others,
deal with China. We need a better understanding that China’s policies
will be
formed, in part as a consequence of the attitudes and policies of the
States and of countries with which she deals.
If the consensus that military containment of some kind prevails then
there will
be prospects of military conflict and military conflict between China
and the
United States is the one thing that would be most dangerous to
In 1956 when many feared that China might invade Taiwan, Eisenhower
moved the
7th Fleet in or close to the Taiwan Straits. Many feared war between
the United
States and China over Taiwan. Prime Minister Menzies then advised
Eisenhower that if there were such a conflict between these two
Australia would not be part of it, it would not be our affair. Menzies
had a
keen understanding of Australia’s own interests, which seems to be
quite lacking
in today’s world.
Australia needs to be confident as well as independent when we seek to
values that are important to us. We also need to be clear eyed and
how other countries see us.
Not least we could argue more strongly for the universality of human
rights if
we were more effective in overcoming our own deficiencies, especially
our current attitude to refugees, which is in clear breach of the
Convention, and our failure to lift the standards of Australia’s
We are still the only western country with an indigenous minority
continues to have a trachoma problem. If other countries have been
able to solve
that particular disease, why has Australia failed? Why do too many
Australians live in third world conditions?
An understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of our own democracy
strengthen our own diplomacy throughout East and South-East Asia and
make us a
more effective partner.
Australia’s objective should be to promote peaceful resolutions of
through diplomacy, through the application and acceptance of
international law.
We need to articulate Australia’s national interests as a country
allied to, but
separate from the United States and with some interests that can
differ quite
sharply. We need leadership that will tell Australians in plain terms
that our
security ultimately depends upon ourselves and the relationships that
we can
build with the countries of the Western Pacific and of East Asia. At
the end of
the day it is our relationship with these countries that will
determine our
I put it this way in a submission to the Dr Henry Government White
Paper on the
future of Australia and Asia. “In short the main objective of
Australian policy,
which should be publicly stated, would be to contribute to and to help
achieve a
resolution of any disputes in the Western Pacific through diplomacy or
the application of international law. It should be to deny the use of
except in protection against blatant aggression. It should be to
establish a
concert of nations with both the United States and China having equal
seats at
the table and other nations being appropriately involved. We should
make it
clear that we are opposed to the policy of containment. We should not
take any
actions that can be construed as supporting that objective and we
should not
support actions which suggests that military solutions offer an
appropriate path
to a peaceful Western Pacific, East and South-East Asia. That would be
assertion of Australian policy, principled and practical. It would
gain support
from many countries throughout the region.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, or should I say on this occasion men and women
Australia, Gough Whitlam and I have been robust intellectual
antagonists on some
major issues and on opposing sides of one of the most contentious
issues of
Australian politics. But, on many nation defining, and contested
ideas, we have
been drawn together and are now at one. I say again, it has been an
honour to
give the Gough Whitlam Oration.