3 April 1970. Thought for the Week: "When there is an unpleasant job to be done and the ball is in your court, you cannot pass it back to somebody else."
The Minister for Defence, Mr. Malcolm Fraser M.P., on the eve of his departure to U.S. to discuss the Australian decision of the F111.
COMMUNISTS DICTATE STRATEGY IN CAMBODIA - LAOS
"...the White House press secretary, Mr. Ziegler, has already admitted that the policy of 'protective reaction', which is a step farther than 'hot pursuit' has been extended to communist sanctuaries in Cambodia." - The Age, March 31.
When President Nixon in his special foreign affairs message on February 18 spoke of the American role in S.E. Asia he said the U.S. must strike a careful balance between doing too little, which would risk weakening the Asian's will to defend themselves, and doing too much, which would promote dependence rather than independence. Such a policy is a perfect recipe for ensuring the continuation of the type of war the communists can use to pursue their political objectives.
The war now involving Laos and Cambodia and threatening Thailand will be fought as a long drawn out guerrilla action furnishing the propaganda which is grist to the mill of the internal communist conspiracy destroying the West from within. The Communists have been assured by Mr. Nixon's Secretary of State Mr. Rogers, that the U. S. had no intention of "widening the war" already going on in Vietnam. He gave them the green light to pursue their attacks in Cambodia, Laos as well as Vietnam.
Our report in On Target March 20 makes it clear that Communist China's role of active support continues irrespective of Dr. J. Cairns repeating his hoary assertion in a letter to The Age March 30, that the USSR and China are innocent parties in Vietnam. Military supplies from the USSR continue to flow into Haiphong without molestation by the American 7th fleet or American bombers, thus ensuring that America does not "do too much" to defeat the Communists. Mr. Nixon's formula is one of deterioration and rundown, rather than one of gradual withdrawal, and the expansion of guerrilla warfare in Cambodia and Laos makes a mockery of the claim that the war in Vietnam has been won.
WESTERN SEPARATISM IN CANADA
Eric Butler reports:
A Canadian press report on Liberal - Socialist John Gorton's victory over the Australian States on February 26, is very appropriately headed: "Australian States Lose. Canberra still Supreme." But as the drive towards centralisation proceeds in every country in the world, so does resistance to the disastrous effects of robbing individuals of the power to make real decisions in their own communities. Just as Prime Minister Gorton and his colleagues will find that their centralism is not going to produce a real unity, but growing friction, so in Canada there is now open talk by responsible citizens of the possibility of the Canadian Confederation falling apart in the not-so-distant future.
I have been addressing a series of well-attended meetings on the problems of the rural communities, in Western Canada. Time and time again I have been asked do I not think that Western Canada should start seriously considering separating from the rest of Canada. One Member of the House of Commons at Ottawa has informed me that the tempo towards Western separatism is going to grow, and that he personally is prepared to consider the proposal seriously. Prime Minister Trudeau has recognised the fact that Western Canadians are starting to openly adopt the same attitude towards Ottawa, as has Quebec.
In a recent address in Winnipeg. Manitoba, Mr. Trudeau made a special appeal to Westerners, seeking to convince them that the "Whole of Canada is greater than the sum of its parts." But a Federation of any type has no real value unless the parts receive benefits through association, which they cannot obtain as separate units. This requires strict adherence to the correct principle of association. Where there is growing friction, it is certain that the correct principles of association are being ignored.
In his unity appeal at Winnipeg, Prime Minister Trudeau said that, "there is no better way to make sure the interests of a region are known and acted upon than to send hard-working members of Parliament to Ottawa." Westerners react to this with a horselaugh. They agree with former Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, who recently blasted off charging Prime Minister Trudeau with treating Parliament with contempt. "I don't want it (Parliament) to be a cemetery operated by its own inmates." Mr. Diefenbaker charged that the image of Parliament had been forced down and down. He also said that Liberal private Members were mere pawns".
There is no doubt that the association
between two European cultural groups in Canada, the British
and the French has produced many real benefits. But if the
association no longer produces benefits, then it is logical
that serious consideration might be given to ending it. But
the situation is clouded by the well-founded fear that Quebec
as a separate nation could easily become a Cuba on the North
American mainland, dominating the great St. Lawrence Seaway,
which is vital to the U.S.A. and which would also be vital
for some time to a separate Western Canada.
The Trudeau Government's current anti inflationary policy, now producing a serious number of unemployed, is also helping to stoke the fires of separatism. Canada is beyond all doubt moving towards a watershed in its history. What happens will be of the greatest importance to the whole Free World.
CONFESSIONS OF A CANBERRA CORRESPONDENT
I am thoroughly disillusioned with the Parliamentary system as it operates in Australia. This may be a terrible admission for a political journalist. But increasingly I view Parliamentary proceedings as phony, a fraud, a hollow ritual." - Laurie Oakes, The Sun, March 30.
Mr. Oakes goes on, "What amazes me most is that more Parliamentarians don't feel the same way. Perhaps they do, but aren't game to say so." The fact is, and Mr. Oakes later confirms this, the party system effectively muzzles the backbencher. He may be a bit of a lion in the party room, and even this is doubtful if he is ambitious and does not want to offend the party chiefs. But even if outspoken in the party room the fact remains that independent comment and debate in Parliament House has been stifled by the party system. Men of independent character and that integrity which fearlessly examines and exposes policies in the open for all to see are rapidly eliminated. Those that are left are only too happy to leave policy making to departmental heads while they go on enjoying the plums of office.
As one of the more honest parliamentarians replied to our post election On Target, "... it is not going to be easy to get the party to pull together, because most of the members have had it too easy for too long." In the long term the future welfare of Australia is dependent upon some fundamental changes to the party system so that party members are not controlled by a central executive or cabinet, but derive their support directly from the electorate. That support should not only be in the form of electoral support, but also their salary should be paid by the electorate they represent and controlled in such a way that it is payment for services rendered and results obtained. Under such conditions the power of cabinet would soon diminish.
DR. CAIRNS WAGES DIALECTICAL WARFARE
"Dr. Cairns yesterday called Mr. Gorton's statement 'A diatribe of misunderstanding and distortion... As to violence, I deeply believe in peaceful and non-violent action. On many occasions as on this one, I have urged all those who take part in the Vietnam moratorium campaign to follow my lead and act peacefully and even if provoked as they may be, to refuse to retaliate in any way. " The Age March 28.
Quite so Dr. Cairns. As all good communists know, action initiated by the communists against the enemy is always "peaceful". It is only the imperialists, capitalists and the bourgeoisie who are violent, and if you protest your "peaceful, non violent" actions repeatedly, the violence which inevitably results from skilful minority manipulation of mobs who have done as ordered and "taken over the streets", is really the result of "police brutality."
GORTON - BURY INTENSIFY ECONOMIC PRESSURE
"Interest rates on savings bank housing loans will increase steeply from next Wednesday. The new rates are expected to increase the average cost of a fully financed house by more than $1500." - The Age, March 28.
To deliberately increase the debt on an average home by $1500 is an Act of economic sabotage, as soul destroying and destructive of the hopes of thousands of young people as can be devised. It is also the act of men bankrupt of common sense let alone any sense of decency. That the Australian people will be forced to accept it is a tribute to the passing of authority from parliament referred to by Laurie Oakes we reported elsewhere. It is not a decision of parliament but a public servant, Mr. J. G. Phillips who succeeded Dr. H.C. Coombs the Fabian socialist architect of Australian financial policy. Summed up the aim of that policy is monopoly and the destruction of private property. Home ownership is of course indispensable to the maintenance of the latter principle. High interest rates only force up costs and mercilessly rob the individual in a dozen different ways. The truth involved is so simple it is difficult to credit that grown men cannot grasp it.
WE MUST HAVE THE MEANS TO FIGHT THIS EVILThe above report is symptomatic of the sickness facing us in the political arena. We must have the means to fight, and that support must come from our hard hit supporters. We well realise the burden we are asking of a hard working and thrifty section of the Australian community. But to fight is to live. Not to fight means a slow death. Our $25,000 Deficiency Fund Appeal now stands The following report is additional reason for maintaining the pressure. We are well and truly in the vanguard of the battle. Let us keep it that way.
SUCCESSFUL WEST AUSTRALIAN TOUR
Jeremy Lee, in the concluding stages of an intensive tour of Western Australia, reports as follows:
The very big meeting which have been the major feature of this tour are indicative of the mounting concern and tension that is developing in rural areas. Amongst the audiences at each meeting were members of parliament, leaders in farming organisations, and executive members of political parties. One state member of parliament was so impressed that he drove over 200 miles the following evening to attend a League meeting on the subject of probate.
In the wheat areas particularly there
are signs that the latest restrictions will result in a mass
exodus from the industry in the next few months, and the recently
held Farmers Union conference in Perth became an arena of
great bitterness as growers tried to arrive at a just solution
to the granting of quotas. Many farmers belatedly feel that
they have been divided by the quota issue and that they should
have refused to discuss the matter until such time as the
Government guaranteed that no farmer would be penalised by
the restrictions. This is realistic, and a lesson could be
learnt from the tobacco industry in Rhodesia.
It was accepted that farmers would have
to diversify.... But the Rhodesian Government guaranteed that
no farmer would be driven from his farm, and long term finance
at exceptionally low interest rates was made available to
tide farmers over this difficult period. This gave everyone
a breathing space in which to work out feasible and just solutions
to the problem, eliminating the need for panic decisions.
The idea that some wheat farmers will
have to go should not be entertained for a single instance.
The government trick of throwing one life buoy be it to two
drowning men should be firmly rejected. In the meantime John
Thomson Agricultural Economics Centre at the University of
Western Australia headed by Dr. Schapper, the Fabian Socialist
who has propounded a plan to eliminate 100,000 primary producers
as a solution to the problem, has a complete monopoly in the
field of policy advice to farmers.
Until farm leaders are given access to alternative economic suggestions than the socialist concepts propounded by Dr. Schapper and his like, the confusion will continue. But it is my view that there is a growing realisation of this fact amongst farmers, which will soon find expression."
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.