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3 October 1980. Thought for the Week: "...in a healthy state of affairs much the greater part of the strength of authority is moral. Men obey because they think they ought to obey; because they feel that the authority, which governs them, has a right to do so. As moral authority weakens those who exercise authority tend to fall back upon physical restraint punishment, and the mere fear of consequences as a method of administration."
Hilaire Belloc in "The Crisis of Civilisation".
SENATE VOTE VITAL
In a brilliant address on the role of the Senate, featured in a striking election journal by the Queensland First Movement, Senator Glen Sheil pointed out that the Australian Senate is the most powerful Upper House in the world. If given sufficient backing by the Australian people, the Senate can play a much more effective role in the government of the Commonwealth of Australia. All the major parties fear the emergence of a Senate acting as an effective "watch dog" on behalf of the people.
One of the Concerned Christian Senate candidates in South Australia, Mr. Jim Cronin, has issued a statement in which he challenges the oil pricing policy of the Fraser Government, charging that the evidence he has suggests a gigantic hoax. Mr. Cronin then goes on to say that if Concerned Christian candidates are elected to the Senate, they will press for the establishment of a committee of investigation to ascertain what is the truth about the world oil situation. In making this suggestion, Senate candidate Cronin is on sound ground because in recent times the Senate has used its powers to uncover facts about "Big Government" which was a revelation to the majority of Australians.
Senator Rae and his colleagues have
revealed some incredible information concerning the operations
of the "qangoes" - quasi-autonomous national government organisations.
Sir Leslie Price of the monopolistic Wheat Board was cut down
to size and ordered to get the affairs of the Wheat Board
into order, so that tens of millions of missing dollars were
accounted for. Those with reasonable political memories will
recall how back in 1975, Mr. Malcolm Fraser was urging Australians
to vote against "big government". At present there are 254
statutory corporations established by the Commonwealth Government,
thirty-four of those over the past five years by the very
government which crusaded against "big government".
There is no prospect that a Labor Government would do other than encourage the establishment of more quangoes. The Labor Party promises a Hydrocarbons Authority, which allegedly will ensure that Australians have adequate oil at the best possible price. The Labor Party also seeks to expand the Foreign Investment Board and the Australian Industries Development Corporation, and to establish a new Resource Development Fund. Clearly the pressure to create more quangoes will continue irrespective of the label on the next Commonwealth Government.
There is an unholy alliance between the
political parties and the media to attempt to prevent immigration
becoming a major election issue. It is encouraging to note
that the Christian Alternative Senate candidates are promising
to press for a national referendum on the issue. Senator Don
Chipp makes much of his desire to consult with the Australian
people on major issues, but to date we have not noticed that
he favours a referendum on the immigration issue. Senator
Chipp also makes much of the fact that Australian Democrat
Senate candidates have signed an undertaking that under no
circumstances will they vote to block a Government's Money
Supply in the Senate, Senator Chipp arguing that a Government
has every right to continue in office for three years. Where
does a Government obtain a "right" to continue in office if
there is good reason to suggest that the Government is a disaster
for the nation and no longer has the confidence of the electors?
We are delighted to note the emergence
of a strong non-partisan "Queensland First" movement working
for the election of Mrs. Florence Bjelke-Petersen and the
re-election of Senator Glen Sheil. We understand that not
even the candidates for the Concerned Christian Senate team
in South Australia or The Christian Alternative in Victoria,
anticipate being elected on October 18th - although miracles
can happen. But if they can poll, at their first attempt,
a significant vote, it will provide further support for the
growing view that the status of the Senate should be elevated
to a House of Review.
Prime Minister Fraser has made the astonishing
claim that the latest Middle East crisis vindicated the Government's
oil pricing policy. Rationing by inflating the price of oil
has resulted in a fractional decrease in consumption. But
assuming that Middle East oil was cut off completely, and
no alternative oil supplies were obtainable elsewhere, in
what way can Mr. Fraser's policies extend the life of present
Australian oil fields more than a few extra years? What would
Like a cracked record, Mr. Fraser and his colleagues keep repeating how well they have "managed" the economy and are successfully "fighting" inflation. But the Bureau of Statistics reveals that the price of commercial, industrial and heavy building materials continued to rise sharply in August, by 1.5 per cent. This brings the rise for the past twelve months to 15.6 per cent, exceeding the overall inflation rate. Following the collapse of the building industry, suppliers of building materials were unable to pass on their total financial costs. They had to subsidise prices. But, as we have constantly pointed out, there is a limit to which private organisations can subsidise. Some go bankrupt and eventually comes the new surge of prices now being experienced. This helps further confirm our view that the rise in the inflation rate is going to continue, under present financial policies.
More than most people, politicians have an unlimited capacity for self-delusion. Prime Minister Fraser said on Friday of last week that anticipation of a significant coalition victory in the coming elections had created a "worrying level of complacency in the community". The truth is that the overwhelming majority of electors have become quite cynical about what the party politicians say or promise. If the Fraser Government survives, it will only do so because a disillusioned electorate cannot bring itself to vote for Mr. Bill Hayden. The Melbourne "Sun" of September 23rd quoted the Commonwealth Employment and Youth Minister, Mr. Viner, as saying "There will be major unemployment with us for years ahead. But we have to fight inflation first. You can't create jobs by spending more and more money. That's what happened under the Whitlam Government." This depressing statement summarises the bankruptcy of those policitians who continue to believe that they can "fight" inflation by restrictive policies, which, amongst other results, create large-scale unemployment, with the young bearing the biggest brunt of what can only be described as an anti-social philosophy. Mr. Viner stands self condemned as a Minister who consigns tens of thousands of young Australians to the social scrap heap in a futile attempt to "fight" an inflation generated by the policies of his own Government. (Essential reading: "The Crime and the Cure" 90 cents.)
Without comment: "If the Treasurer, Mr. Howard, had had to meet the 'true and fair view' rule that accountants apply to private enterprise accounts, his Budget this year would have to have shown a deficit of many millions a Melbourne actuary, Mr. Nick Renton, executive officer of the Life Insurance Federation of Australia... estimates that this year Australian and State Government liability for all public service pension schemes will be an astounding $5,500 million. This is equal to about $1,000 a taxpayer... When the government pension chickens come home to roost, it will probably be too late for our elected representatives to avoid meeting promises made on retirement benefits, however expensive they may prove". - David Jefferson In "The Herald", Melbourne, September. 27.
FROM JOHNATHAN HUNTINGDON'S NOTE BOOKHere's an interesting query. Why does Japan accept Australia as its largest supplier of raw materials, yet not invest here heavily? Recently Japan and Communist China signed an agreement for Japan to spend $20 BILLION in Manchuria. Perhaps Australia is now just a quarry, and a dumping ground for excess population. $20 billion, spent on Rundle shale oil development, would make both Australia and Japan petrochemically self-sufficient. All election comment authorised by Eric D. Butler, 273 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.
Representatives: (September 11th): Mr. Barry Jones (ALP- Labor): ... "Do arrangements exist between the Australian Taxation office and Savings or Trading Banks whereby details of interest payments on savings accounts, or moneys put on deposit are made available for taxation assessment? .... 'Are the banks required to make routinely available to the Taxation Office all details of all interest payments to depositors, irrespective of the sums involved, or does the Office make specific requests from the banks concerning the accounts of individual depositors?"
Mr. John Howard (Federal Treasurer)... "Arrangements exist for this kind of information to be supplied by banks. The Income Tax regulations require banks (and other companies) to furnish statements showing the names and addresses of all persons to whom interest in excess of one hundred dollars was paid or credited during the year preceding the year of tax", and the amount so paid or credited to each person". The regulations also authorise the Commissioner of Taxation to make modifications of the particulars to be shown on the statements. These regulations are utilised in the administration of the taxation law but specific requests regarding individual depositors are also made as the occasion demands."
Senator Elstob.. ."The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released figures, which show that exports to the Soviet Union to April of the last financial year amounted to a record $771.9M compared with $214.7M for the same period in the previous year. In view of these figures, the Government's tacit acceptance of Russia's processing of Australia's uranium, and the Government's continual recognition of the worst Communist Government in history - the Pol Pot regime - I ask the Minister: What has brought about this change of heart towards Communist countries?"
Senator John Carrick (Lib.-NSW): stated that there has been no change by his Government in the terms of trade with the U.S.S.R. (they just sold more to them!). There has been no Government support for the Pol Pot regime (they just recognise it!)
But Rhodesia when fighting against Communist guerrillas was a "threat to world peace": no recognition.
Senator Tate (Sept. 12th): .. ."Is it a fact that some 15,000 businesses have gone bankrupt under the Government's administration of the economy? Is this the greatest number of such bankruptcies since the Depression years? Is it a fact that bankruptcies are now running at a rate approaching 5000 a year? ...Will the Government ensure that the Commonwealth Development Bank of Australia further increase its level of non-rural loans, Will the Government take other urgent steps to ensure that businesses which require overdraft facilities of less than $100,000 can obtain finance at reasonable rates of interest?
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