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September 26 1975. Thought for the Week: "Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it". - William Penn.
A STIMULATING AND CHALLENGING WEEKENDThe 1975 National Weekend for League supporters was beyond doubt the most stimulating and challenging yet held. Its impact will be felt in the immediate months ahead. The electric atmosphere at The New Times Dinner was graphically portrayed by David Thompson the nineteen-year old student from Western Australia, who said that he felt that be could almost put his hand out and touch the atmosphere, so all pervading was its impact. There were a few moist eyes as Mrs. Noleen Hunt, a young mother who, although active in public affairs, demonstrated that women do not need to lose their femininity. Mrs. Hunt made history by being the first woman to move the Loyal Toast. The final speaker was Mr. Eric Butler, who spoke on "The Historic Moment". A full report of The New Times Dinner, together with photographs, will appear in the October issue of The New Times.
The National Secretariat, meeting all day on Friday, fashioned another annual programme of expansion in all spheres. The fast-deepening crisis demanded that the League's Basic Fund for 1975-76 be maintained at the $40,000 set last year. Literature sales and distribution continue to soar. Many new people were introduced to the League for the first time at The Annual National Seminar on the Saturday. The final Paper, presented by the Rev. Canon Fellows of Brisbane was correctly described by one enthusiast as "absolutely magnificent". This Paper will be published shortly in booklet form by the Christian Institute, which sponsored the Seminar.
On the Sunday a record number of actionists got down to a full day of examining various types of action programmes. Local Government Councilors presented striking evidence of the great potential of individuals making greater use of Local Government to reverse the centralist drive. Of keen interest to all was the Paper on the effective door-to-door distribution of League and associated material, and follow up techniques. National Director Mr. Eric Butler said that the very challenge of soaring financial costs associated with the use of the official mail system, was a blessing in disguise for the League, requiring League actionists to go out into the community in a way never before considered. One South Australian supporter said that saturation distribution programmes had lifted the morale of supporters by giving them something tangible to do. The National League weekend demonstrated that the League's momentum is accelerating and that it has now reached the stage where it is equipped for the bigger convulsions ahead.
THE DON MARTIN PROGRAMME
Apart from the fortunate few at The New Times
Dinner, Melbourne supporters have not yet had an opportunity of hearing
visiting British lecturer Don Martin. But on Friday, October 3rd, 8p.m.,
he will give a full-scale address at the Banquet Room, The Victoria.
The Common Market and the plight of the British world will be examined.
Also the Communists' use of economic warfare. Make certain to be present
with all your friends.
On Sunday, October 5th, Mr. Martin will be conducting a special in-depth anti-subversion school. This school is designed to equip completely all those who wish to move to the front of the battle for the world. Only 20 students can be taken, which will be held at a private venue. Two sessions will take place in the afternoon, the first starting at 2 p.m. Group discussion. The final session will end at 9p.m.
South Australians should note that Don Martin will he the guest of honour at the State Annual Dinner on Saturday, October 18th. The Dinner will follow the Annual Seminar, this year's theme being on "Centralisation versus Decentralisation of Power". Mr. Martin will be giving a Paper; also Mr. Eric Butler. Mr. Butler will also speak at the Dinner. South Australians are urged to make every endeavour to be present with families at the Seminar and Dinner. These functions will be a tremendous intellectual and spiritual feast.
SHOULD THE SENATE FORCE AN ELECTION?
"The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Fraser, yesterday said the Prime Minister, Mr. Whitlam, will know whether there is an early election the day he presents the Budget appropriation bills to the Senate. He told a crowd of nearly 4,000 in Brisbane's city square: 'Half a dozen times in a week Mr. Whitlam has revived the election issue. He is leading his own nervous nellies. He is trying to get a blank cheque from us that we won't use the powers lawfully given to the Senate, but Mr. Whitlam's credit and credibility have run out. He'll get his answer from us the day he asks for the vote in the Senate"'. - The Australian, September 23rd.
Aided by their many supporters in the press. Mr. Whitlam and his desperate colleagues are attempting to counter-attack against the Fraser offensive, the plea being that it would be a serious break with "convention" for the Senate to deny the Government sufficient finance to continue. All Governments, operating with a majority in the House of Representatives, have tried to insist that the Senate has no right to apply any type of check on a Government "democratically elected". The clear inference is that the Senate is but a rubber stamp for the Government of the day. Even Sir Robert Menzies held this view.
The founders of the Federal system of Government placed great importance on the role of the Senate as a protector of the States. If the Senate is not to act as a check on the House of Representatives, then why maintain it? The truth is that the Senate must not only be preserved, but its role in Government should be enlarged to make it an effective Upper House.
All Governments insist upon the "convention" that having been elected, they have the "right" to stay in office, irrespective of the feelings of the electors, until the scheduled time for the next elections. In a genuine democracy, Governments belong to the electors and electors should be able to "fire" their paid servants when they feel that their policies are intolerably disastrous. It is dangerous nonsense to suggest that the Senate cannot lawfully deny a Government sufficient finance to continue, forcing it either to go back to the electors, or to modify its policies.
The weakness of the Opposition position is that, while it can act "lawfully", as Mr. Fraser claims, it has as yet put forward no genuine alternatives to those being imposed by the Whitlam Government. We have previously congratulated Mr. Fraser on the philosophical viewpoint expressed in his reply to the Hayden Budget. This was in effect a re-statement of the original philosophy of the Liberal Party, as outlined in the document "We Believe". But in practice, for 23 years, most of these beliefs were repudiated. Mr. Fraser himself took part in that repudiation, particularly when he was Federal Minister for Education. Frankly, Mr. Fraser during this period was a centralist. However if he has genuinely changed his viewpoint, we will be the first to applaud.
The real test will come when the Fraser-Anthony Government takes office. For our own part, we express the view that, as it is as certain as the sunrise that all the time in the world is not going to see any beneficial results from the Hayden Budget, Mr. Fraser and his colleagues might as well take the political stage at the first opportunity, even if only to demonstrate that under present finance-economic policies, they have no answer to inflation destroying the free society. At this point sufficient anti-Socialists may see the realistic first steps to sanity suggested in the "Petersen Plan."
THE ITALIAN LESSON
"Communists now have a part in store than half of Italy's local governing bodies. And, in many cases are the controlling part of their Left-wing coalitions. That is one of the continuing phenomenons of the local elections of last June. The communists totaled nearly 33 per cent of the vote, while the country's largest party, the Christian Democrats, gathered 35 per cent." - Alex Dunster from Rome in The Herald, Melbourne, September 20th.
The rapid expansion in the Communist vote in Italy has stemmed, in part, from the attitude of desperate Italians who now argue that the Communists could surely do no worse than the other parties. Italy's membership of that cure-all, the European Economic Community, has not halted the finance-economic collapse anymore than have other members of the E.E.C. obtained any benefits. With a deteriorating situation in both France and West Germany, the public increasingly turns in desperation to the Marxist Socialists. A British correspondent writes of "The slow-burn social and political revolution now being fought out in Britain....and no end in sight".
The lesson from Italy tends to confirm the view of Australian Marxists that desperate people tend to accept desperate political alternatives.
The Whitlam Government has made much of the fact that it has slightly curtailed some of its more extravagant spending. But support for revolution in Africa continues. In Budget Paper No.10, circulated by Senator Don Willesee, Minister for Foreign Affairs, it is recorded (page 10) that "Humanitarian Assistance to National Liberation Movements in Africa" will continue to receive $150,000 a year, the same amount being given last year.
Mr. Malcolm Fraser and Mr. P. Lynch are drawing upon the advice of businessmen in fashioning their finance-economic policies. This procedure has some merit, but unless the businessmen have a real understanding of the basic causes of the finance-economic problems, particularly inflation, they are not likely to offer any more realistic advice than that offered by the Treasury "experts". And unfortunately many larger business organisations are advised by economists who have come out of the Keynesian influence.
The latest weekly statement issued by the Reserve Bank is rather revealing. Mr. Hayden's Budget proposes a deficit of $2,700 million. But in the first two months of the 1975-76 financial year, the deficit was already $1,100 million!
The National Bank does not agree with the optimism of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which recently reported that "The Australian economic slump appears to be ending". The National Bank says that Australia's economy "could be slipping back or entering the secondary stage of the current recessionary cycle". The situation has now developed in all industrialised societies, where neither "reflation" nor credit restrictions can halt the overall worsening of the economy. A completely new policy is required, one which will ensure that individuals can get access to sufficient purchasing power without further inflating financial costs and prices. Consumer price discounts are the starting point.
The beef crisis continues. Stock continues to be shot. While there is a growing demand for the use of consumer discounts to finance a lower consumer price for beef while providing the producer with a profitable price, the "official" line from Graziers' Associations is that the beef industry should be more "controlled" and that the consumer should be taxed to pay a higher price to the producer. One does not need to be a genius to know that there would then be two major results; the consumer would start eating less beef. And the higher consumer price of beef would be reflected in the cost-of-living figures and give inflation yet another lift.
The Ford Administration has managed to influence the American shipping unions to lift temporarily their ban on the massive shipments of American wheat to the Soviet Union. But the ban is only temporary, while the White House sends a team of negotiators to seek an agreement to "a longer term and more certain purchase understanding with the Soviet Union". The Socialist "miracle" continues to depend upon the "decadent capitalists" to sustain it.
It is too early to be cheerful about the alleged "rout" of the Communists in the power struggle in Portugal. The Communists have already achieved their major strategic objectives, with the "liberation" of the Portuguese overseas territories of Angola and Mozambique. And of course the East Timor situation is one which gladdens the hearts of the Communists everywhere. Communism is at the heart of the East Timor affair. In both Angola and Mozambique Peking and Moscow are battling for mastery. Enormous quantities of military equipment is being sent in by both Communist powers. The Communists are giving the African situation their full attention. They are planning for the time when greater pressure can be applied to both Rhodesia and South Africa.
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