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13 May 1977. Thought for the Week: "Behind the high sounding generalities of present day politics, the issue is really a very simple one. It is whether we should accustom ourselves to the ant like existence of the fully integrated and planned State, or whether we believe that individual initiative and increased opportunity are more likely to produce more tolerable conditions of life for the bulk of our citizens. In the long run, it is impossible to preserve freedom of the mind when the power to choose has been removed from the citizen in more and more areas of his daily life. In the end, there will have been produced something approximating to the planned stagnation of the Chinese Empire."
Professor G.W. Keeton in The Passing of Parliament (1952)
A FINAL REFERENDUM THRUST
There is no secret about the real purpose of the Fraser Government's referendum proposals: It is a cynical attempt by a desperate group of politicians to avoid a Senate Election next year, an election which they fear will result in a major electoral setback.
It is significant that although some Government Ministers and back-bench members have privately expressed their disquiet about the long term implications of the referendum proposals, not one of these has, to our knowledge, been prepared to defy Prime Minister Fraser by publicly advocating a "no" vote. This has been left to a group of Senators who are putting principles ahead of short-term party political expediency. They have received excellent support from Tasmanian Independent, Senator Harridine. Senator Harridine's stand could play a decisive part in ensuring that Tasmania records a "no" vote.
If the Simultaneous Elections proposals were carried, the Fraser Government would perhaps be able to gain an extra six months before having to face the electors. But why is the Labor Party, led by Mr. Gough Whitlam, so enthusiastically supporting proposals which, if endorsed on May 21st, would save the Fraser Government from an almost certain humiliating electoral rebuff? Because the Fabian Socialists take the long term and gradual approach to the question of centralising power. They realise that if the Fraser Government perseveres with present financial policies, they have a chance of being re-elected to office at the next election for the House of Representatives. And if the referendum proposal on Simultaneous Elections is carried, they will no longer have to worry unduly about a Senate in which it is highly improbable that they would have a majority after the next Senate Elections.
At a time of deepening national crisis, it was never more urgent that the division of power provided by the Federal Constitution be retained. Every possible effort must be made to ensure that the power of the Senate is not weakened. As we go to press it is being claimed that because all Federal party leaders are backing the referendum proposals, it is not surprising that public opinion polls suggest that the proposals could be carried. Based upon our long experience we reject the view that the Fraser-Whitlam campaign is now certain to be successful. But we do not deny the gravity of the threat, and that the Constitution may only be saved by Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania recording a traditional "no" vote.
It could prove that the proposals are defeated narrowly by an overall majority of electors voting "no". Every vote could be vital and therefore the League of Rights is launching a major final referendum thrust. We appeal for the co-operation of all readers to carry this thrust through. Our carefully considered view is that as the final week of the campaign dawns, a large number of electors are either still confused or have not given the matter much serious thought. It is too late for lengthy debate. One single, basic issue must at this stage be introduced which will immediately "click", and become the central talking point as undecided electors start to ask, "Well, just how do I vote next Saturday?" We are satisfied that the enclosed last minute brochure by the League provides the answer. Readers are urged to make immediate use of the enclosed brochures with carefully selected individuals - those most likely to be talking to many other people. Publicans, clergymen and Municipal Councillors are obvious choices. But there are others.
Supplies of the brochure have been rushed to supporters in areas where it is felt they could have a vital impact. The League of Rights is also financing some press advertisements featuring the same theme as the brochure: the cynical attempt to deceive the Australian people. If enough people can, over the next seven days, grasp that attempted deception is the central feature of the referendum campaign, then this could run like wild fire through the community and result in a sufficiently large "No" vote to save the constitution.
A "no" vote, so far from assisting the Labor-Socialists, as being claimed by the Fraser Government's apologists, it will increase the growing pressure on the Government to make such constructive changes to its financial policies that it will have a real chance of avoiding a major electoral setback at the next Senate Elections. If the Government persists with its present policies, then the electors will have the opportunity of telling the Government that it must change or that it will be doomed when the elections for the House of Representatives take place. The first essential is a "No" vote on May 21st and we appeal for a do-or-die effort by supporters over the next week.
British Prime Minister Callaghan warned at the
start of the seven nations economic summit in London, that unless the
major economic nations "reflated" their economies, revolutionary activities
would undermine the Western world. But "reflation" under present financial
rules means the expansion of financial debt, more inflation and still
more social disintegration.
Australians can safely disregard at least 90 per cent. of the current spate of reports concerning the alleged activities of the C.I.A. in Australia. We hold no brief for the C.I.A., some of its money being indirectly used against the League of Rights, when financing "moderate Socialists" as a "barrier" against Communism. But while the C.I.A. is being attacked, there is little publicity about the KGB. The West needs intelligence and counter-espionage organisations. But most of the intelligence work makes no contribution whatever to exposing the basic Communist programme for destroying free societies. And, needless to say, no intelligence agency anywhere has reported on the Wall Street financing of the Soviet Union.
Recommendations in the Federal Government's "green paper" on immigration and population suggest that there is a growing realisation that the "multiracial", "multicultural" society is not a success. The suggestion that all migrants should speak English is a sound one.
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