20 August 1993. Thought for the Week: "Depression has been caused in the past by deliberate action in the monetary sphere. In the years 1920-22 and 1929-32 measures were taken in England and America for the explicit purpose of diminishing the flow of money and counteracting inflationary tendencies by inflicting depression on the world."
R.G. Hawtrey, Under-Secretary of the British Treasury in a pre-Second World War work, Economic Destiny
TURNING THE TAXATION SCREW
Governor General Bill Hayden's recent statement that economists were "shamans or witchdoctors", and that "The more they are wrong the more people worship at the teachers' feet..." was of some significance, coming as it did not long before another Federal Budget. Mr. Hayden was opening a week of celebrations for the Silver Jubilee of Canberra's National Library. He confessed that he dropped law to take a degree in economics, believing that "the destiny of the country rested in the hands of the economists". Mr. Hayden says, "I still think I was right, but unfortunately I also think that the economists have got the wrong destiny."
As Mr. Hayden was a Senior Minister in the Whitlam Cabinet and last Treasurer in the Whitlam Government, he appears to be saying that while the economic "experts" are "witchdoctors", governments have very little influence over them. There is no evidence that he ever challenged them when a Cabinet Minister. Which brings us to the Federal Budget presented on Tuesday of this week by Treasurer Dawkins. Clearly Mr. Dawkins is acting as a public relations figure for a group of "witchdoctors" whose prevailing view is that "deficits" are of the very devil and that unless severely curtailed could lead to a new outbreak of inflation. In order to achieve this reduction, taxation must be increased. And so, with the aid of his economic witchdoctors, Treasurer Dawkins has come up with some new taxation increases.
We are told that unless a major attempt is made to bring the deficit down, the international "financial markets" may be highly displeased with Australia - and presumably will not lend Australia any more money. And, according to the witchdoctors, this could prove disastrous for Australia. The overall effect of the Federal Budget presented by Treasurer Dawkins must be an extension of the depression, which Prime Minister Paul Keating said, when Federal Treasurer, "we had to have". Presumably he was merely echoing the orders of his witchdoctor advisors?
In a recent daily press article, one well-known economic guru commented that the current depression was not all bad; that people tended to overlook how the inflation rate had been reduced to the lowest level for over 30 years. Lower inflation rates are of little or no benefit for the million plus Australians who have no incomes, for struggling small businessmen and desperate farmers.
All Western nations and Japan have, on the advice
of the international witchdoctors of the International Monetary Fund,
used monetary policies to force the inflation rate down, but the result
has been the same as that of the thirties - mass unemployment and social
disintegration. More liberal welfare systems than those of the thirties
have merely increased social problems.
Victorian Treasurer Stockdale loudly complains that the increased tax burden imposed by Federal Treasurer Dawkins will seriously undermine Victoria, which he says will be the most prosperous State in Australia in two years. And the same Alan Stockdale has attacked the deficit evil in the same way that Dawkins has - by increasing taxes and charges. He is advised by the same type of witchdoctors advising the Federal Government. And while he may be able to show that the State deficit has been reduced, at the same time he has increased the total indebtedness of the State.
It is not the business of electors or their representatives to be experts on financial technique. But it is their business, and responsibility, to point out that the physical realities in Australia are such that there is no reason for the continuing depression and that they insist on changes in financial policy to end the depression. If the present economic witchdoctors are not able to provide an answer, they should be promptly dismissed.
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION FOSTERS RACIAL TENSIONS
Writing in The Bulletin of August 17th,
veteran journalist David McNicoll points out that the intensity of the
pro-Aboriginal propaganda machine has reached the stage "that rational
discussion of Aboriginal problems has become impossible - unless you
are prepared to put up with abuse, an offensive tag and be accused of
inflammatory language". McNicoll asks, "Has freedom of speech been wiped
out as far as discussion of Aboriginal problems is concerned," and goes
on to ask have Tim Fischer, Hugh Moran, or Henry Bosch said anything
that was untrue in their recent statements which have resulted in such
strident yells of protest.
David McNicoll is right when he says that unless Aboriginal topics can be discussed like all other social questions, and if there is intimidation of those who express their views on Aboriginal topics, there will be an inevitable backlash against all Australians of Aboriginal background. The Mabo issue has already generated tensions, which will get worse unless the great majority of Australians make it clear through their elected representatives that they are not prepared to have traditional Australia torn apart as the result of what a former Queensland Supreme Court judge, Mr. Peter Connolly, Q.C., termed the "weird theories" of the present High Court.
Adding fuel to the growing fire of tensions concerning Aboriginal affairs, is the massive, record damages of $20,000 awarded by Mr. Ron Castan, Q.C., Chairman of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, to a couple of part Aboriginal background who claimed that they had been discriminated against by a Sale, Victoria, caravan rental firm, who had refused to rent them a caravan. Commissioner Castan also ordered that the man and wife caravan renters insert a public apology in the local paper. It is common knowledge that caravan park operators in the Sale area are loathe to rent caravans to people of Aboriginal background because of the conditions in which the caravans are often left.
Quite apart from the basic question of whether people have the right to decide to whom they are prepared to rent their houses or their caravans, if Mr. Ron Castan and his Human Rights colleagues believe that they are going to prevent discrimination by imposing what is generally perceived to be an excessive, savage, fine, plus costs, they are completely divorced from reality.
Ms. Irene Moss of the Human Rights Commission is reported in The Age of August 11th as saying that she was "disappointed by the public outcry that greeted" the record payout ordered against the Sale caravan couple. Talkback programmes have been flooded with callers criticising the decision as being excessive. The Human Rights Commission has added to the problem mentioned by David McNicoll.
And what will be the position when the proposed Federal anti-vilification legislation is passed? Eventually there will be an unfortunate massive backlash. Mr. Ron Castan and his fellow Zionist promoters of this type of legislation will then no doubt try to wash their hands of their contribution to the backlash and blame those nasty "racist" Australians who reject what is being imposed upon them. It should be recorded that Mr. Ron Castan has been prominent in the anti-David Irving campaign, making a number of outrageous statements.
FORMER GOVERNOR CHALLENGES KEATING
We note that the former Governor of Queensland, Sir Walter Campbell, has written to the British press, as we have been suggesting, and willingly taken the Prime Minister, Mr. Keating, to task on the question of the republic. Sir Walter obviously feels extremely strongly about the issue, as it is most unusual for even retired vice regal appointees to speak up in this manner. His letter was published in the quite strongly conservative Daily Telegraph, and we reproduce extracts:
"Mr. Keating has suggested that the British monarchy is becoming obsolete and that the Queen of Australia cannot symbolise our Australianness. You should be in no doubt that he speaks for only a small minority of his countrymen." Sir Walter wrote that "in his attempt to hasten the advent of a republic", the Prime Minister has "chosen to ignore the benefit of a centuries old monarchy which epitomises a standard that must be kept separate and above politics. The Prime Minister and other anti-British persons contend that our nationhood and independence are affected while we retain our present system. "But the concept of the Crown pervades our Constitution, and the unique nature of our constitutional monarchy expresses and enhances, rather than denies, our Australianness ... Those Australians who reluctantly returned (Mr. Keating) to power certainly did not want him to proceed along his present path." (The Weekend Australian, 14/8/93)
We suggest that others follow Sir Walter's lead, writing not only to the British papers, but also to the Queen herself.
MABO MONSTER BITES KEATING
by David Thompson
What has changed Mr. Goss' position? The claim by the Wik people of western Cape York for huge areas that consist of Comalco exploration and mining leases has shaken Goss. If such claims could succeed, it jeopardises Comalco's mining operation, and although the Wik claims are regarded as unlikely to be successful, there are serious problems with this. First, it could take many years before the claim is finally dismissed by the High Court. Second, in view of the Mabo ruling, there remains little certainty that the High Court will actually rule according to the law, and not according to some other imperative. Third, Comalco must meet their bankers to make decisions on the $1,750 million expansion plans, and any uncertainty could jeopardise the investment. They are due to meet the bankers on August 20th. No wonder Goss is worried!
WHAT ABOUT FREEHOLD TITLE?
The High Court ruled (Mabo) that the Crown can validly alienate land by granting an interest that is wholly or partly inconsistent with a continuing right to "native title", and native title is extinguished to the extent of the inconsistency. This means native title has been extinguished by grants of freehold title, or of lease, but not necessarily by granting lesser interests like prospecting rights. If prospecting rights do not extinguish native title, then the Wik people can claim that they are the owners of Comalco's prospecting leases.
What appears to worry Goss is that if Queensland is deemed to have acted against the "fiduciary and trust interstate" of the Wik, then all titles could be at risk. Aboriginal land rights consultant Frank Brennan (son of Justice Brennan who helped produce the Mabo ruling) told The Weekend Australian (14/8/93) that essentially Goss's fears were well founded, and that every title in Australia would be invalid.
Goss's bitter disagreement with Keating is really about who might have to pay massive compensation payments. So far, Keating has agreed to validate titles since the Racial Discrimination Act came into being in 1975, and agreed to pay necessary compensation to Aborigines. If he were to agree to validate titles back to 1788, and claims like that of the Wik are successful, the compensation liabilities could dwarf the national debt. It appears more and more that the insufferable Keating is hoist on his own petard as Mabo problems grow to monstrous proportions.
THE DEEPENING RURAL CRISIS
The mass media of Australia never misses an opportunity to encourage the growth of the guilt industry concerning the plight of Australians of Aboriginal background. It is, of course, right and proper that no minority should be unjustly treated. But what about an even bigger minority than the Aboriginal Australians, Australia's rural communities? The overall rural crisis is worsening with no sign at the government level, either State or Federal, of the greatest tragedy in modern Australian history being addressed. Debt wracked farmers continue to be evicted from their properties by banks who are permitted by the Federal Government to be almost a law unto themselves.
The first essential for salvation is a massive write off of financial debt. In South Australia Mr. Mike Deare of the South Australian Farmers' Federation says that the position is now so serious that debt had to be written off as it was during the Great Depression. The State's rural debt has now blown out to about $2 billion. Rural counsellors state that without some type of Government intervention, at least 25 percent of farmers will soon be forced to leave.
President of the State's Association of Services,
Mr. John Neal, has been quoted as saying that in some cases fathers
were willing to leave the land, but the banks would not permit the sons
to stay, preferring to remove farmers from their land, write off the
debt and then refinance to a newcomer. But why not write the debt off
and re-finance the younger farmers to stay on the land? Clearly only
Government intervention is going to bring the current rape of the rural
communities of Australia to an end.
While it is understandable that the Labor Party is not over concerned about the rural community, what about the Opposition? There is no sign of any Member of the Liberal Party giving a lead, which means that such a lead will have to come from within the ranks of the National Party. A merger of the Liberal and National Parties would deprive the rural community of the little remaining representation it has. For this reason Tim Fischer should be given every support in his resistance to the merger policy.
While applauding and supporting the invaluable work of the Bank Watch movement and the Union of Farmers, what is required is a major political "clout". Every member of the State and Federal National Parties must be challenged to state where he or she stands on the subject of a massive debt write off, and the urgent necessity to re-introduce the regulation of banking, making those operating the banking system responsible to the elected representatives of the people.
BEWARE THE HOSTILE TITLE
from Sydney Morning Herald, August 2nd
"In a recent case, a $1 million tract of land on the far south coast of N.S.W. was occupied by a usurper who paid Council rates which had not been paid by the legal owner. For 20 years the usurper paid the rates, fenced and improved the land. He then claimed legal Torrens Title. When the claim was advertised someone found the true owner, an old lady living in Switzerland, and obtained a transfer of the legal title. There was thus a contest between a person whose only title arose from possession for 20 years against a person who could prove that the land was left to her. "The result was never in doubt. The possessary title won the day against the legal title.
I would like to embellish the debate by pointing out that the usurper was an Aborigine; unfortunately he was not. "The right to claim the title to land after 20 years of hostile possession extends to all Australians, Aborigine or not." (Laurence Gruzman, Q.C.)
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.