3 June 1977. Thought for the Week: "The Queen is our Queen. In the days when the Crown Commonwealth was much larger than it is now, the world could see a great fellowship of nations, all united in a common allegiance to one Sovereign and this Monarchy was one of the most unifying institutions the world has ever witnessed. Now in Australia, we have the cry for a Republic, and it is said for one thing that a Republic would be much cheaper, that to maintain a President with his retinue would not be so costly as a monarchy. I doubt that it would be cheaper, but even if it is, I am unmoved, because I believe that it is worth the cost to have a Constitutional Monarchy.
It is well to remind ourselves that we do not live in a democracy, but rather under a Monarchy. The word "democratic" is bandied about so much these days that it's not funny - for instance, the juxtaposition of the words "democratic socialism". Yet this Monarchy, because of our history and traditions, can assure us those liberties and privileges so commonly thought to be synonymous with democracy."
Rev. Canon A.G. Fellows, in The Foundations of Liberty.
SOCIALISTS MAKE STRENUOUS EFFORT TO CONSOLIDATE POSITION IN TASMANIA
"The A.L.P's. 'all stops out' attempt to increase its slender representation in the Legislative Council (Tas.) failed spectacularly on Saturday." - "The Age" (Melbourne) May 30th.
We mentioned in a recent issue of On Target that Tasmanians have the "island mentality" and a distrust of "Mainlanders". This is reflected in their political attitudes: e.g., their "independent" Senators and their "independent" Legislative Councillors. The Tasmanian Upper House is strongly independent conservative. Three A.L.P. candidates, strongly supported by the Party machine with cash and effort, weren't in the race last weekend against the three sitting independent Members in each of the three Upper House divisions which the A.L.P. contested. "Labor" has only two seats in the nineteen member Tasmanian Legislative Council.
Is there anything exceptional behind this A.L.P. thrust? Yes, we think so. The Socialists are looking ahead to the time when Tasmanian support for Socialist legislation, framed in Canberra, will be necessary. We particularly have in mind the cession of powers to Canberra from the States. If all States, through their respective Parliaments, agree to cede nominated powers to Canberra, then a Referendum is unnecessary. This situation did actually almost occur, back in 1944, thirty-three years ago.
We should never forget the lesson. In 1944, Dr. H.V. Evatt put forward his "Fourteen Points" which, if carried by the people of Australia, would have advanced Socialism rapidly. Five of the State Parliaments had agreed to the proposals, and the Tasmanian Lower House; but not the Tasmanian Upper House. This was the "fly in the ointment" (for the Socialists) which caused a Referendum on the "fourteen points" to become necessary. The action of the Tasmanian Legislative Council was condemned by all the political commentary "industry of the day": the "industry" which today is railing against the rejection of the recent Simultaneous Elections referendum. The Council was condemned as 'reactionary' for "thwarting" the policies of the democratically elected House of Assembly (lower house). The yapping Socialists are still in full cry; only the names are different!
When the 1944 Referendum did take place, an overwhelming majority of the Tasmanian electors voted to retain the powers, which their "democratic" House of Assembly proposed to give away. As a matter of fact, this Referendum was rejected by all States, and the Parliaments of five of the six States had agreed to cede Dr. Evatt's powers to Canberra. How about "democracy"?
The recent Referendums on Constitutional amendments demonstrated to the Socialists (and others) that Tasmania is where the really solid political "spade work" must be put in. They'll need a much bigger and tougher "spade" than the one they have been using. We know now that the Referendum was defeated, and only just, through the efforts of a small number of League actionists in Western Australia. This does not underrate the efforts of Premiers Sir John Court, and Mr. Bjeke-Petersen: if they, and their party organizations had not campaigned against the Referendum, then it would have been carried. But the Western Australian League actionists just tipped the balance, and the Fraser-Whitlam "expediency - Socialist" machine was halted. The Socialists know all this; they know that the strength of the League is increasing in both Queensland and Western Australia; and that, we believe, is why they are putting everything they have got into "capturing" Tasmania. We don't like their chances.
SOCIALISTS STEP UP CAMPAIGN AGAINST UPPER HOUSE IN NEW SOUTH WALES
"The State Government's plans to reform the Upper House in N.S.W. will shut minor parties out of the chambers." - "Sun-Herald" (Sydney) May 29th.
The "Wran Plan" for the reform of the N.S.W. Legislative Council (Upper House) means that voters will elect candidates on a "first past the post" basis. There will be no second and third preferences, which will mean that none of the smaller party candidates will stand a chance of election, as could quite possibly be the case if, say, D.L.P. or Australia Party candidates were to face the electors under a preferential voting system. The present proposals require political parties to gain at least six per cent of the total State vote to gain a seat in the Upper House, and no minor party in recent times has gained much over three per cent of such a vote. Abandonment of preferential voting will also hinder the Opposition parties' chances of controlling the Legislative Council, as electoral evidence has shown that Labor does least well from preferences; the opposition parties need them.
"The Wran Plan" is rather complex, and it will ultimately mean that N.S.W. electors, that is if the Plan should be successful, will be voting for a party, rather than a candidate. So the Socialists in the N.S.W. Parliament are working for the supremacy of the Party over the individual, just as their brothers at Canberra have already done with the success of the Casual Senate Vacancies Referendum, which means that the Party Game is now written into the Australian Constitution.
COMMON MARKET WHEELING AND DEALING
Many League supporters will remember (fondly) Mrs. Joyce Mew, Chairwoman of the British Housewives' League, who toured Australia under the auspices of the Australian League of Rights in recent times. In the May 1977 issue of the British Housewives League journal, "Housewives Today" is a copy of the letter Mrs. Mew sent on the subject of the Common Market, to Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons. The Objectives of the British Housewives' League run parallel to those of the Australian League of Rights.
Mrs. Mew's letter runs: "Dear Madam, We note
the interesting figures just released from Brussels showing a sharp
decline in British enthusiasm for the Common Market. "Looking again
at the pamphlet put out by the Government (and endorsed by the Conservatives
and the Liberals) before the Referendum in 1975, we find that there
is hardly a paragraph which time and experience does not show up as
being inaccurate and misleading." "The problems of the fishing industry
did not receive so much as a mention. There is evidence that before
June '75 (emphasis in original) certain waters of the Common Market
were 'fished out', whereas conservation measures undertaken by us in
1964 had proved effective. No wonder the Common Market was eager for
access to our more profitable zones. As matters stand at present, by
1982, other nationals will be able to fish right up to our very shores.
None of this was made clear before the Referendum.
A reply came, dated March 7th, 1977, over the
signature of a Mr. Richard Ryder, of the Private Office of the Leader
of the Opposition.
Of course not. If Mrs. Thatcher dared to take Britain along an "independent" road, and away from European centralization, she would be cut to pieces by the mass media. And, of course, the British politicians want direct elections to a multinational European parliament: the salary is to be in the vicinity of $30,000 a year, plus $60 for each sitting day. Furthermore, all the boys and girls on the bandwagon "downstream", like Mr. Richard Ryder, will have a nice little lift in their salaries. Politicians are the same all through the Western world. The troubles of any country are the legacy of the previous government's misrule. Malcolm Fraser & Phillip Lynch are blaming Whitlam & Cairns, etc. Margaret Thatcher is already blaming Harold Wilson & James Callaghan, and will continue to do so if and when elected to the office of Prime Minister. The music goes round and round!
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.