The government has simply been evading the real facts in this case and trying to create the pretence that they cannot give information which would fully disclose what is the situation. This is an interesting sequel to the debate in 1949. It was a strange transaction then. This came before the house to ratify an irregular payment by the government. That payment was an obligation that had been incurred in excess of the original contract amount. That was disposed of at that time.
Anyone who wishes to refer to the debate on that day will see that the government was very fully informed in regard to the Ming Sung Company and in regard to the nature of its activities and in regard to where it carried on business. The thing that should be remembered in this is that this is a company primarily operating in communist China. The interesting thing is that the government was prepared to accept a statement from that company delivered to them in Hong Kong as more reliable than a statement sent here by men who were working on these ships or working on ships out of Hong Kong and who, we have every reason to believe, were interested in the welfare of the shipping.
This situation is not merely an incident, it is a symptom of conditions. If this government were really taking a firm stand in regard to communism instead of its attitude in regard to trade with communist China,
Supply-External Affairs this would not have happened, and we would not so easily have made this of definite advantage to a company now operating within communist China.
Subtopic: DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS