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25 June 1982. Thought for the Week: "It is a catastrophe when evil triumphs, but it is an even greater catastrophe if it compels the just to injustice in order to combat it. Unless the world returns to moral conscience, to the value of the spirit and its primacy over force, power is only a source of destruction."
THE FALKLANDS AND LEBANON
Thankfully, the Falklands are now back in British hands. Setting aside for the moment the British Foreign Office intransigence that goaded Argentina to invade in the first place, the conduct of the war itself has maintained Britain's reputation for cool efficiency on land, sea and air. Realistic efforts to minimise casualties - particularly civilian casualties - were maintained within overall objectives that were pursued in a determined manner. The setting up of sanctuaries in Port Stanley under Red Cross supervision even before the final assault were a tribute to good British statesmanship. Our only regret is that Lord Carrington and nameless Foreign Office compromisers were not required to serve at the front during hostilities!
The conduct of the Falklands set-to was in marked contrast to the messy and vicious Israeli invasion of the Lebanon where the huge preponderance of civilian casualties - the aged, defenceless women and children - as well as the huge destruction of homes and property were apparently of no account to the invaders. But the Israeli 'cause' however it is interpreted has lost further international support for every physical gain in Lebanon.
An article in The Courier-Mail
(Qld) June 13, 1982, expressed sentiments that would have
been unthought of a year or two ago. Headed "How Long Can
Begin Get Away With It?" the article said:
THE TRANS-SIBERIAN GAS PIPELINE
On Target referred earlier this year to the belated attempt by the Reagan Administration to stop credits to the USSR for the Siberian pipeline. Once Western Europe is dependent on Soviet gas, its defence and economic freedom are enormously compromised. Canada extended the USSR a loan of $600 million at 10% interest in January of this year, specifically for this project.
In March 1974 the American columnist Paul Scott pointed out that Occidental Petroleum, headed by long time Marxist Armand Hammer, had the contract for opening up the Siberian fields. An article to hand from the Washington Post, syndicated in the Weekly Guardian (UK) on February 28th, 1982, adds some revealing facts. It was written by Dan Morgan, (author of the hard hitting "Merchants of Grain".) It said:
"The 25 billion Soviet natural gas pipeline,
a project opposed by the Reagan administration, is destined
to benefit not only European consumers, but also major multinational
oil companies, including U.S. based Exxon, which have signed
up for large volumes of the gas under agreements reached with
the Soviets....Exxon, Shell of the Netherlands and Britain's
B.P. are busily planning to add their share of the new Soviet
gas to the pool they use to supply industries and homes in
"Merchants of Grain", by Dan Morgan, now available from all League offices. Price: $9.00 posted.
THE GUARDIAN WEEKLY (U.K.) May 30th,
THE EXTERNAL AFFAIRS POWER AND THE STATES
"There is no doubt about the Commonwealth (External Affairs) power in wartime. But apparently the extent of the defence and foreign affairs power could be questioned in peacetime." - Russell Schneider, in The Australian, June 19th.
Mr. Russell Schneider is the only political commentator whom we have read who has put his finger on the political peril of abuse of the external affairs provision of the Australian Constitution, in order to over ride both Constitution and the sovereignty of the States. We have known for quarter of a century, or more, that this was coming, and we have warned of it over the years. Mr. Schneider comments that this possibility (overturning the States' powers by the High Court) "is already beginning to dawn on people in Brisbane and Perth." We earnestly pray that this is really so.
Mr. Schneider also comments that: "it is not inconceivable that the new legislation (upholding of the Racial Discrimination Act) might be challenged. Again, we earnestly pray that it is. This question has been thrown into sharp focus by the prodding of Mr. John Cain by the Socialist Left (Communists) of the Victorian A.L.P. in order to have imposed in Victoria anti-nuclear shipping bans (and others). Such bans by a State over shipping are almost certainly unconstitutional, and could be over-ridden by the Commonwealth.
As Defence is at stake, Mr. Fraser, a good "gut" politician knows he would be on a winner if he could bring on a Federal election on this issue. We think that John Cain knows it also. This, in turn, has also brought into sharp focus the limits of the powers of the High Court, particularly with respect to the "external affairs" power of the Australian Constitution. The position now is that there will be two new appointments to the High Court, as Sir Ninian Stephen has resigned to become the next Governor General, and we suffered the sad loss of Sir Keith Aickin. Mr. Schneider is quite right; the appointments could decide the shape of the nation for many years to come. The late Senator Ivor Greenwood, a former Attorney General stated that the High Court would soon have to rule on these issues.
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