4 February 1977. Thought for the Week: "When we came back from Vietnam we left a lot of good blokes behind who died fighting communism. My decision to help Rhodesia is my personal protest to the free world. I am fighting the same war that we fought and lost in Vietnam."
An Australian serving in Rhodesia, who confines his identity to "Derek A."
THE COMMUNIST WAR AGAINST RHODESIA
As revealed in the February issue of the League's monthly, The Intelligence Survey, Soviet strategists decided some time back on a comprehensive programme for intensifying pressure on Southern Africa, with Rhodesia to be toppled first. An international campaign of intensified vilification has been orchestrated with a view to creating an atmosphere in which Rhodesia can be collapsed with the West not only refusing to help the Rhodesians stem the Communist advance, but blaming the Rhodesians for the advance.
In spite of Prime Minister Smith reluctantly agreeing, after being subjected to enormous pressure, to attend the Rhodesian Geneva Conference to negotiate the implementation of the Kissinger plan, he is now accused of having "wrecked" the conference because he would not agree to the proposal by Mr. Ivor Richards that the Kissinger plan be scrapped and that the Rhodesian Government capitulate to proposals which would make it inevitable that Moscow's man Robert Mugabe and his associates came to power immediately in a welter of chaos and bloodshed.
Meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, the Organisation for African Unity has called for a major war against Rhodesia, stating that the assistance of Cubans and others would welcomed. The power struggle amongst the Rhodesian African "nationalists" was highlighted by the fact that Mr. Robert Mugabe and his colleague, Mr. Joshua Nkomo, last week were making an appeal for intensified attacks on Rhodesia while attending the funeral in Lusaka of Mr. Nkomo's top military aid, Mr. Jason Moyo. Mr. Moyo was killed by a parcel bomb.
The fact that the Rhodesian African "nationalists" represent only their own power-hungry fellows, a minority of the Africans, and have a long record of murdering one another, does not deter Western politicians from urging the Smith Government to agree to surrender to these thugs.
The Fraser Government has provided yet one more example of a foreign policy which is just as disastrous as that of the Whitlam Government. The Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ian Sinclair, felt it necessary to issue a statement last week urging Prime Minister Smith to reconsider his rejection of the British Socialist Government's proposals, as presented by Mr. Ivor Richards. The Sinclair statement, issued on January 25th, said that "Mr. Smith's rejection of the British proposals aimed at producing a peaceful transition to majority rule is a matter of concern and regret. Australia would urge Mr. Smith to reconsider his position and keep in mind the serious consequences for all Rhodesians and for the region as a whole - which delay in finding a peaceful solution will invite."
Prime Minister Smith and' the great majority of Rhodesians, both black and white, do not need any advice from the Sinclairs. The Smith Government, supported by all authorities on International Communism, has been attempting to warn the West for years of the threat of Communist pressure on Southern Africa. The Rhodesian Government has reacted to the open threat of increased terrorist activities by extending the military call-up. Unpublicised by the media is the fact that approximately 50 per cent of the Rhodesian army are Africans, not called up like the whites, but volunteers. The great majority of Africans have no time for the Mugabes, and will help resist terrorist attacks so long as they see the whites standing firm.
Threats against South Africa by African politicians to the North, warning South Africa against helping Rhodesia as the pressure is increased, have produced a further stiffening of attitude by the South Africans, now well aware that they are the ultimate objective of Communist strategy in Southern Africa.
Irrespective of any new constitutional agreements Prime Minister Smith can work out with Rhodesian Africans who want the white man to stay, the international campaign against Rhodesia is going to be increased at an accelerating rate. Aided by a growing number of volunteers, Australians like "Derek A.", there is little doubt that Rhodesia can withstand African Terrorist pressure indefinitely. But what when the Cuban and other "volunteers" are introduced into the struggle? This will be the moment of truth for the West, including Australia.
CAN THE FRASER GOVERNMENT SURVIVE?
Twelve months ago this question would have been regarded as a joke. But history could record that the main charge against the Fraser Government was not only its inept and disastrous policies, but that it enabled Mr. Gough Whitlam to stage the most incredible political come-back in Australian history. The possibility of this happening is chilling.
Prime Minister Fraser stubbornly continues to oppose any suggestion of tax reductions, even though there was a further increase in demands for reductions last week. Former Liberal Minister, Mr. Kevin Cairns, joined with veteran Liberal W. Wentworth, in publicly stating that the Fraser Government would be defeated disastrously if an election were held at present.
In rejecting the calls for tax reductions from the Bank of N.S.W. and the A.N.Z. Banking group, supported by a strong statement by Acting Victorian Premier Mr. L. Thompson, this in turn endorsed by Premier Hazer and those of a growing number of Government Members, Acting Treasurer Mr. Robinson put the official Treasury and Government views as follows on January 30th: "To give tax cuts now would add to the deficit and increase the money supply problems we have. Tax cuts would make the fight against inflation - the Government's over-riding priority at this stage - much more difficult."
Mr. Robinson referred to the "present sick state" of the economy, although claiming that there were "distinct signs that economic recovery was under way." As the present "sick" economy is not going to improve substantially while present restrictive financial policies are imposed, it appears that there are no prospects of any tax relief until the Federal Government's Budget in August. Even some tax relief then could prove too late to save the Fraser Government at the next Federal Elections.
Those who do not want the return of a Whitlam Government would be well advised to use the next few months taking an active part in the campaign to force the Fraser Government to change its policies. Only a grass-roots campaign directed against individual Government Members can now save Australia from even greater disasters than those already suffered.
We were amused by the press headline, "JOH JOINS TAX CALL", followed by the comment, "The Queensland Premier Mr. Bjelke-Petersen, today joined the growing list of State and Federal leaders calling for tax cuts." The Queensland Premier has in fact been campaigning for tax reductions and consumer discounts, to counter inflation, for over two and a half years. Other politicians are now joining with the Queensland Premier who gave the lead. But such is the anti-Petersen feeling that few in the media are prepared. to pay any kind of tribute to the Queensland Premier.
While it is a regrettable
state of affairs that a confidential letter by a State Premier to Prime Minister
Fraser should be almost immediately leaked to the media, the most significant
aspect of the Sir John Court letter is that it contained severe criticism of the
Fraser Government for filching State powers and for continuing the "centralist"
policies of its predecessors. Although Sir John has complained about the "leaking"
of his critical letter to the Prime Minister, he may find that it has helped his
electoral prospects at the coming W.A. State elections.
The anti-Sir John Kerr campaigners are attempting to magnify the fact that the Governer-General accidentally signed into law a Bill not passed by the Federal Parliament. But it is the Attorney General Mr. Ellicott, who must accept responsibility for the mistake. The normal procedure is for the Governor-General to ask a routine question of the Attorney-General concerning legislation placed before him. He asks are there any reasons why he should withhold assent. The Attorney- General then replies that he has carefully examined the Bill, and that there is no reason for withholding the Royal Assent. Did Mr. Ellicott make a mistake? If so, he should explain that Sir John Kerr was not responsible for the mistake made.
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