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31 January 1975. Thought for the Week: "Of all the aspects of the human environment, the most important by far is the family. The family is the first cell of the social organism, the first institution which man encounters upon his arrival on earth, the institution without which he cannot physically survive. It is the family which makes childhood and adolescence possible to the being who is as yet incapable not only of rendering any service to society but even of ensuring his own existence. It is also the family, which will teach him the traditions and culture, which that part of the world where he is born has acquired through the centuries.
Salvador de Madariaga in Democracy Versus Liberty?
WISHFUL THINKING ON INFLATION
"Canberra - The Prime Minister (Mr. Whitlam) yesterday hailed the slowdown in inflation in the December quarter as a chance for Australia to break out of the wage-price spiral. The consumer price index showed a 3.8 percent rise down from 5.1 percent in the September quarter...The unexpectedly low rise in the CPI was due to a 0.2 percent fall in the food group. Potatoes and onions fell 2.1 percent and meat prices fell 6.5 percent."
Like desperate drowning men clutching at straws, Prime Minister Whitlam and his colleagues eagerly grasped at the slight December quarter reduction in consumer prices as evidence that at long last their policies were being successful in reversing inflation. Prime Minister Whitlam said the December figures made it possible "as escape from the escalating and self-perpetuating spiral of wages and prices." "That opportunity must be seized if full employment is to be restored", said Mr. Whitlam.
While the Prime Minister was, as usual, strong on ringing words, he was very weak concerning concrete action. After stating that "The Government is determined to play its part" but without stating what part. Mr. Whitlam then said that he "requires the co-operation of the community and especially of all employers and members of the trade union movement."
This is the same old type of cracked record,
which Australian politicians have been playing to Australians for many
long years. lnflation however, cannot be ended by political jargon,
but by policies, which start to remove the causes of inflation. If Mr.
Whitlam, Dr. Cairns and other Australian Labor Party leaders really
do believe that they are curing inflation, then they have left the world
of reality and are deluding themselves with wishful thinking.
There was, however, a most valuable lesson to be learned from the December inflation figures - by those capable of opening their minds. The temporary small reduction in the inflation rate provided concrete proof of the correctness of the "Petersen Plan" for ending inflation. The Queensland Premier has urged, not only a drastic reduction or abolition of the most inflationary of taxes, Sales Tax, but the use of consumer price discounts to reduce the price of basic items like food.
The fall in food prices, mainly meat prices, was the basic cause of the temporary slowdown in the inflation rate. In other words, in spite of the butchers soaring financial costs, which they have recently publicised, meat consumers obtained their meat 6.5 percent cheaper. And one result was increased meat consumption. But this desirable, if only moderate achievement, was at the expense of the collapsing beef industry, this in turn having a worsening effect in rural communities.
The truth is that if the Federal Government substantially reduced the price of meat by at least 20 percent with a consumer discount - simply the Sales Tax in reverse - while permitting the producers to obtain a profitable price, a constructive step would have been taken to reduce the consumer price index, reduce the demand for increased wages and enable rural communities to start to regenerate without Mr. Clyde Cameron's bureaucratic Regional Development Scheme.
There is no question of "Where would the money come from" to finance even a moderate consumer discount scheme, as since last November the Federal Government has reversed itself completely on its previous credit squeeze with the result as witnessed by bank figures, that new credit - money is being created at a record rate, much of it finding its way to the Federal Government via a flood of tax revenue. The problem is not the money supply, but the Socialists' determination that the consumer will not gain any real benefits from it. Thus the bitter opposition to the "Petersen Plan" and why high inflation is going to continue.
AT LONG LAST A SAY FOR THE BRITISH PEOPLE
"The people of Britain are going into the momentous campaign that will decide in June whether or not their country stays in the Common Market with the feeling that they should vote 'No' and be done with it." - Bruce Rothwell from London in The Australian, January 28th.
It has taken long years, and bitter experiences for the British people before a British Government has been forced into the position where it has had to promise to permit the British people to have a direct say by referendum on their national future. Apart from the miniscule referendum recently held in Northern Ireland, this is the first referendum ever held in British history. It is a unique event. But then it concerns a unique proposal: that the British should surrender that very sovereignty which they have fought many wars to protect.
The Heath Government, originally assisted to office by the decisive impact of Mr. Enoch Powell, lost office when the same Enoch Powell urged electors to put nation above party, making the dramatic gesture of standing aside himself in the elections. Irrespective of his own personal views, that astute politician Harold Wilson realised the tremendous strength of the anti-Common Market vote, and has reacted accordingly. He is, of course, still attempting to be all things to all men, and anti-Marketeers will need to watch with tremendous vigilance just how the referendum is to be conducted.
One of the central figures in the anti-Common Marker line up is Mr. Don Martin, National Director of The British League of Rights, whose unflagging dedication and organising genius has played a major part in keeping the anti-Common Market battle alive. As one of the themes of the pro-Marketeers will be that "The British Commonwealth is finished; Australians and New Zealanders no 'longer care", it is essential that as many Australians and New Zealanders as possible, particularly those with relatives and friends in the United Kingdom, give the lie direct to this, stressing that they wish to see the British Commonwealth re-generated.
Direct assistance can be given with letters or other support to Mr. Don Martin, or British relatives and friends should be urged to get in contact with him. Mr. Don Martin's address is: The British League of Rights, 33 Ashley Rd., Epsom, Surrey, United Kingdom.
THOSE WHO HELPED DARWIN VICTIMS
It would be instructive to hear from Prime Minister Gough Whitlam on how much assistance was given by his "Third World" friends to help with the aftermath of the Darwin disaster. We do not recall any substantial aid being offered by the Soviet Union. But those "ugly Americans" were, as usual, most generous. However, what we would really like Mr. Whitlam to comment on is the magnificent gesture of the people of the little Rhodesian town of Mt. Darwin, who collected $5,000 as a donation to the victims of the Darwin cyclone. Like the people of Darwin, the people of Mt. Darwin also have trouble. In fact they have had it for a long time, as they live in that part of Rhodesia which has suffered cruelly from the terrorist attacks of those Communist-backed "freedom fighters" to which the Whitlam Government has donated. Both whites and blacks have been murdered in the Mt. Darwin area by the terrorists. The terror still continues.
Amidst their own sufferings the Rhodesians of Mt. Darwin found it possible to show practical sympathy for the victims of the Darwin cyclone. We trust that the Whitlam Government does not claim that United Nations sanctions prevent it from permitting the people of Mt. Darwin to show their sympathy for the people of Darwin.
THE EROSION OF THE FAMILY
History testifies to the truth that stable societies require stable families. When Lenin and his fellow Communists first seized power in Russia they set about immediately to achieve one of their major stated objectives: the abolition of the traditional concept of family. But the results were so appalling that eventually the Soviet leaders had to reverse themselves; the very future of the Soviet State was being threatened. A deliberate policy of strengthening the family was promoted.
The Communists have been delighted to help encourage the erosion of the family in the "capitalist" societies. They have managed to operate successfully behind the different versions of the Women's' "Liberation" movements and similar organisations. The greatest blow at the institution of family in the West has been a finance-economic policy, which has driven mothers from their homes in order to try to supplement a husband's inadequate income in terms of effective purchasing power. Rather than adopt a financial policy designed to keep as many mothers as possible in their own homes, at least when their children are growing up, the Soviet system of financing child-minding centres has been favoured.
Now comes the logical end product of the erosion of many years with the type of legislation contained in Senator Lionel Murphy's "Family Law Bill", soon to be before the Federal Parliament once again. The central portion of this legislation, as stressed by Senator Murphy himself, is in Section 26. Stripped of all legal terminology, this section means that a married person can rid himself or herself of the 'marriage partner' with but twelve months' notice. There is no question of any justice being involved. One marriage partner can walk out on the other, and at the end of twelve months separation the marriage can be dissolved.
This simply means divorce almost on demand. If this is what marriage is going to mean, then it is not surprising that large numbers of young people feel that it is not even worth the trouble of going through a marriage ceremony. After all, Mrs. Whitlam is on record as saying that she does not feel that marriage is all that important now. Admittedly marriage is a difficult business, as most married couples know. And there will always be breakdowns and divorce. But the Murphy Bill is a blatant anti-family piece of legislation and those concerned about the future of the family, and the future of Australia, should let their Canberra political representatives know of their opposition immediately.
Words to remember: "We can safely say Australia has turned the corner on inflation, " A.C.T.U. President, Mr. R. Hawke, as quoted in the press on January 25th. Mr. Hawke is alleged to be an economist, and Dr. Cairns, another economist, said concerning the December consumer price figures, "Australians now have greater purchasing power and the knowledge that prices and food prices in particular - are stabilising. " Presumably a 13 percent inflation rate is now regarded as stability by the Whitlam Government.
Once again the U.S.A. Administration has had to increase the ceiling legally fixed by Congress for the national debt. U.S.Treasury Secretary Mr. Simon has asked that the national debt ceiling be lifted to $430,000 million from the present temporary ceiling of $371,000 million. A greater volume of debt finance has to be created under Keynesian financial policies in order to prevent a major economic collapse. But under present rules the current American policy of "reflation" simply means more inflation. The Americans are nearly at the end of the road.
In sheer desperation the Whitlam Government has had to adopt a part of the "Petersen Plan" in an attempt to avoid big retrenchments in the Australian car industry! The reduction of Sales Tax from 27.5 percent to 15 percent has reduced the price of cars by hundreds of dollars. But carefully note that the reduction is only temporary. Our masters do not want too much of the "Petersen 'Plan", just enough to attempt to get out of their political troubles. Electors must insist that the Sales Tax reduction policy on cars be made permanent, and extended.
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