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5 October 1984. Thought for the Week: "Nothing is safe that does not show it can bear discussion and publicity"
NATIONAL WEEKEND PREPARES GROUND FOR NEW LEAGUE ADVANCE
The dominating spirit of the 1984 National League of Rights weekend was one of tremendous optimism and determination. At the conclusion of the Action Seminar on Sunday, September 30th, National Director, Mr. Eric Butler said that the stage had been set for another big League advance, one that would meet the rapidly deepening crisis. 120 "hard core" actionists from all over Australia met to discuss the type of strategy and tactics essential for the coming critical months. There were inspiring reports from those working on different battle fronts, ranging from Municipal Government to Christian groups. A feature of League developments has been the growing number of Municipal Councillors becoming associated with the League.
Reporting on decisions made by the National Secretariat meeting on Friday, Mr. Butler said that ambitious new strategic moves concerning the future of the League were proposed. A new and much better equipped national headquarters was planned, and the first step towards this would be to move from the present League offices at 273 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, towards the end of this month. It is proposed to retain a small city office only while other plans are developed. League printing equipment is to be upgraded. Mr. Butler said that the growing response from the distribution of the League's new brochure containing the League's Objectives, History, Record and Services, including journals, was demonstrating that a massive national distribution of the brochure will result in thousands of new subscribers and contacts. The best results were achieved where a saturation strategy was adopted.
Gippsland actionists reported that following the insertion of a large advertisement in the widely read "Express", outlining the League's Objectives, criticism of the League through the local media, had practically ceased. Mr. Butler said the League was now organised to the stage where its actionists were capable of distributing one million pieces of literature in a relatively short time. He said that the League was planning to associate with others in distributing literature concerning the coming Federal elections and the referendum. Mr. Butler envisaged the biggest mass distribution of literature, over the next three months, in the history of the League.
"The New Times" Annual Dinner, on Friday evening, was a memorable and moving affair, with the guest of honour, Mrs. Jackie Butler, completely captivating the large audience with her message of faith and hope. Mrs. Jackie Butler is the driving force behind the Queensland produced journal "Wake Up". Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the C.H. Douglas visit to Australia, the Dinner was addressed by two veteran Social Crediters, both active in the Social Credit movement in 1934 during the Douglas visit. Mr. Harold Hotchkin, present at the Douglas Melbourne Town Hall meeting, where Douglas spoke on "The Monopolistic Idea", moved the toast to "The New Times", which was seconded by Sydney veteran, Mr. Arch Ferguson. Those present were fascinated with the historical material provided by both speakers.
History was made when the youngest speaker yet to address The New Times" dinner, Miss Caroline Schilg, proposed the Loyal Toast in a most capable manner. The Dinner was used to launch a new edition of "The Alberta Experiment", by C.H.Douglas, with an Introduction by Eric D. Butler and fascinating notes, previously unpublished, by L.D. Byrne, Douglas's personal representative, and adviser to the Alberta Social Credit government during the time that Premier Aberhart was battling the centralised Money Power. Mr. Peter Nixon, Editor of Heritage the quarterly magazine of the Australian Heritage Society, a Division of The League of Rights, launched "The Alberta Experiment", now available through League bookshops (Price $9 posted)
. In opening the League's National Seminar on Saturday, October 29th, Mr. Butler made a scathing attack on the media for its role in the national smear campaign against the League. An ABC team from "Countrywide" was present, having previously filmed League meetings in N.S.W. and Victoria in preparing yet another "in depth" study of the League. Melbourne TV channel seven also were present and in an interview with Mr. Butler asked him why he had compared the policies of Prime Minister Hawke with those of Hitler. Commenting on why he bothered to co-operate with a media, which had consistently demonstrated its anti-League bias, Mr. Butler said he was reminded of what Mr. Malcolm Muggeridge had said when asked a similar question. Muggeridge had said that he visualised himself as an organist in a brothel, gently playing "Abide With Me", in the hope of getting some small message through to the inmates. The League continues to move forward.
THE CONTINUING LAND RIGHTS BATTLE
Land rights battle continues
The Age (29th Sept., 1984) said "The Federal Government has come under pressure to declare its hand on Aboriginal land rights after favourable reaction from the mining industry to the West Australian Government's proposals. The Federal and West Australian Oppositions yesterday renewed attacks on the Federal Government over land rights, claiming that statements by the W.A. Premier, Mr. Burke, that he would not give Aborigines the right to veto mining were worthless if the Commonwealth implemented overriding laws...?"
The Seaman inquiry into land rights, set up by the West Australian government, has issued its report which, among other things, says that Australia was originally taken by "conquest" rather than by "settlement". This opinion contradicts the findings of Australia's High Court, and also a Privy Council verdict given earlier. That finding will be quoted extensively in the United Nations. The Age reported: " Mr. Holding said he thought the report of the West Australian Seaman Inquiry into land rights was a "good document".
An accompanying article reported a N.A.C. rally in Perth. "..... At a rally after the peaceful protest the Prime Minister Mr. Hawke and the Premier, Mr. Burke, were criticised angrily by a series of Aboriginal speakers who accused them of selling out on Land Rights. The rally ended with a W.A. Aboriginal activist, Mr. Brian Wyatt, declaring that Aborigines were on the warpath " However, a third article gave a very different Aboriginal point of view: "Aborigines at Leonora in Western Australia's north-eastern gold fields have turned their backs on the push for land rights. They say the State Government is right to reject the Seaman Inquiry recommendation that Aborigines should be able to veto mining industry plans. The vice-chairman of the Leonora Aboriginal Movement body, Mr. Trevor Wyatt, said the 300 Aboriginal people in the district were totally against the concept of land rights. "In places like this it would create racial tension", he said. "We are not full-blood Aborigines, so who is to say that we have more right to the land than anyone else? We are all Australians together and we can work things out without creating division between black and white...."
It so happens that Mr. Trevor Wyatt at Leonora, who made the commonsense remarks quoted above, is the brother of the activist who addressed the rally in Perth, with a radically different point of view. Thus, the policies of the Government are now not only pitting black against white but splitting Aboriginal families against one another.
Deep is the disillusionment of a defeated politician.
Ex-Senator Jean Meltzer was dumped from the A.L.P. Senate
team in 1980, after serving one Senate term. We can well recall
the crusading speeches she made in her political prime: she
was going to really move Australia in the right direction:
"right" being what she considered to be right. She now laments
that the rank and file in the "Labor" Party don't count for
anything; only being used to raise money and hand out how-
to-vote cards. That ordinary people have little effect on
policies. We could have told her that FORTY years ago: Now
she is a Senate candidate for Nuclear Disarmament Party (having
resigned from the A.L.P.) and has as much chance of a Senate
seat as flapping her arms and flying to the moon.
Sir James Killen, former Liberal Minister for the Navy and now retired, writes a regular column for The Herald (Melbourne). He is (rightly) opposed to the two referenda, which will be put to the Australian people at the time of the next Federal elections. Of the Senate, Sir James reminds us that Sir Edmund Barton, first Prime Minister, insisted that the Senate has in its charge the defence of State interests. With the exception of money bills, the Senate is not subordinate to the House of Representatives. Sir James states (and rightly) that if half of the Senate were to be made to face the electors with each dissolution of the Lower House, then such practice would be a blow to its independence. We have heard Mr. Malcolm Mackerass, Australia's psephologist (election expert) condemn the Simultaneous Elections referendum as a naked power grab by Mr. Hawke. Don't forget, supporters, that Malcolm Fraser did exactly the same thing. We well recall one political commentator, with inside knowledge of the matter, right at the time that no one could get near Malcolm Fraser on the Monday after the defeat of his own Simultaneous Elections referendum; such was his fury. And let us remember, as well, that Mr. Andrew Peacock supported the very referendum - under Malcolm Fraser, which he condemns under Bob Hawke. So are politicians made!
FROM "FORUM", (A Newsletter of the Pastoralists' and Graziers' Association of W.A., inc.): Vol. 2, July 1984:
"Pastoralists in the Kimberley region have received a number of de facto claims from aboriginal groups for "One claim involved the excision of nearly 200,000 hectares of prime river frontage. It would have rendered the balance of the station unviable. "In another instance claims were made simultaneously on two adjoining pastoralists for riverfront country. "It was not until both pastoralists separately sought advice from the Pastoralists' & Graders' Association that it was discovered that the claims were back to back and would have amounted to the creation of a new cattle station based entirely on the best land available.
The State Government has also been pre-empting its Seaman Inquiry by making pastoral lease transfers on stations sold recently subject to the excision of land for aboriginal community where de facto claims are outstanding. "Two such instances have already been reported to the P.G.A. "P.G.A. President, Max Cameron, said all of the current claims were being made on a de facto basis. "Aboriginal opportunists and the Government are obviously attempting to force pastoralists to agree to substantial excisions of land prior to the announcement of the Seaman Inquiry findings. "We condemn such actions in the strongest possible terms', he said".
Nyoongahs Weigh In
"Then 1). Control over mining and inalienable
freehold title on land claimed.
"Such claims continue to contradict repeated claims by the Government that the public has nothing to fear from land rights".
We include the following from the Pastoralists'
& Graziers' Association of Western Australia (Inc.) for the
benefit of actionists who want more information; who want
to express their support; or to provide information to the
"The Pastoralists' & Graziers' Association,
as a non-political, rural, organisation, will be intensifying
its public campaign to expose the serious anomalies of the
Aboriginal land rights movement and to fight for equality
in the ownership of this State. "We envisage a long and costly
public debate and would welcome the moral and financial support
of all concerned West Australians. (And no doubt those concerned
citizens of the other States O.T.) "If you would like to support
the P.G.A. land rights campaign, please contact us...
H.W.HERBERT ON THE BALANCE OF PAYMENTS DEFICITOne of the more realistic of what we could term the "orthodox economists" is Mr. H.W.Herbert, economics columnist for The Sunday Mail (Queensland). In its issue of September 23rd, Mr. Herbert writes;
The balance of payments deficit is now becoming more important (than the domestic deficit). Too much of the recovery is going into imported goods and services. "The deficit on current account in July and August was $1,922 million, a rate which will produce a record deficit for 1984-85. "Not only is this 'selling the farm' ($11,000 million more of it this year), but is giving many thousands of jobs to foreigners instead of Australians. "Pretty crazy, isn't it, using borrowed money to import goods and services that deprive our own people of jobs? "Balancing our current account would mean about 300,000 more jobs here, and halve unemployment".
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