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15 June 1990. Thought for the Week: "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
REGAINING AUSTRALIAN ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE
by Eric D. Butler
While the British policy of Free Trade during the latter part of last century produced enormous benefits, these were at the expense of a badly eroded British agriculture. This was not regarded as too important while Britain could draw upon relatively cheap food supplies from a British Empire with control of the seas by the British Navy. But Great Britain came close to defeat during the First World War when the German submarines seriously cut the nation's vital lifeline of food supplies. Free Trade had left the nation vulnerable.
The present turbulent plight of the world, with every indication that the turbulence is going to grow, highlights the urgent necessity to develop a national policy of economic independence, instead of relying upon export markets which might disappear overnight, as witnessed by what has happened to wool exports to the Soviet Union and Communist China. Australia's current foreign debt has soared to $120 Billion while the progressive sale of Australian assets to Japanese investors is supported by the major political parties on the grounds that this is the only way to sustain the Australian economy. This is like saying that a family with vast natural resources must mortgage the family home in order to live. It is a policy of national suicide, which has been endorsed by a series of Australian governments, and one, which must be challenged if traditional Australia is to survive.
There was a time, before the current mania of internationalism was imposed, when Australia effectively controlled imports, ensuring that there was no major trade deficit problem with foreign borrowing kept to a minimum. This type of policy was a legacy of the Founding Fathers, notably Alfred Deakin, who had a vision of an Australia of high wages and a high standard of living based on Australia's own productive capacity. The restrictive immigration policy was adopted for economic as well as social reasons. Cheap coloured labour was seen as a threat to the policy of high wages.
The aim was to develop both primary and secondary industries behind the protection of a tariff policy, which sought to ensure that Australian industries were not jeopardised by competition from low wage nations. This basically sensible policy was distorted by the famous 1909 decision of the Arbitration Court presided over by Mr. Justice Higgins, which in attempting to establish a "basic wage", said that it must be paid irrespective of the capacity of industry to pay. This led to the type of featherbedding and absurd demarcation practices, which have become a way of life for Australian workers.
Nevertheless, as demonstrated by the time of the Second World War, the Deakin concept had provided Australia with an economy capable of producing a flood of sophisticated and diverse production. This was achieved with a big proportion of the labor force being engaged in either the armed forces or in construction activities associated with the war effort.
A liberal credit policy, linked to a consumer price discount system, provided a glimpse of the enormous Australian potential to provide a high standard of living without inflation. Australia ended the Second World War with an economy that made it possible for the nation to be economically self sufficient, with exports such as wool being used to pay for necessary imports.
Any prospect of regenerating the British Commonwealth by any type of Commonwealth Trading Scheme, such as attempted during the Great Depression, was destroyed by the forces of internationalism when Britain was driven into the Common Market. The old sense of unity among the British Commonwealth nations was shattered, with Australians being told that their future was in Asia. But Asian nations, such as Japan, had lower cost labour forces and the latest in modern technology.
In 1921 the Tariff Board had been established to protect Australian industries under the Industries Protection Act. Reacting to the British entry into the Common Market, which it welcomed, the internationalist Whitlam Government replaced the Industries Protection Act in 1974 with the "Industries Assistance Commission", with the instruction "to encourage the growth of internationally competitive industries and to facilitate structural changes". "Restructuring" has become the "in" term, and as Senator Button never tires of saying, is designed to fit Australia into the international economy.
It would be revealing to see a complete list of the number of Australian businesses that have either been destroyed by "re-structuring" or have been forced to re-establish themselves in Asian countries now providing what Australia used to make. A Sydney refrigerator compression plant is a typical example of what is happening. The firm had manufactured 10 million compressors, some exported, but was forced to close in 1985 after operating for 38 years. A thousand jobs were lost. The chairman was quoted as saying, "Now we import compressors from our joint venture in Thailand."
In terms of priorities, the first essentials for halting the programme to disarm Australia economically, is to halt all foreign borrowing, to curb foreign investments, and to cease importing into Australia that which Australians can readily produce themselves. The banking system must be re-regulated, bringing those responsible for creating the nation's financial credit under the authority of the elected representatives of the Australian people. This would make it possible to drastically reduce interest rates and to adopt other financial measures necessary to regenerate Australian industries.
In more robust times, the present policy of sacrificing Australian economic independence through a programme of internationalism would be vigorously attacked as treachery.
THE WOOL DEBACLE
Since our comment in last week's On Target concerning the crisis confronting the wool industry, we have discovered that the Wool Corporation is not currently borrowing off shore, but onshore, at an interest rate of 17 percent. As yet we have not been able to discover the source of the Board's borrowing, and other vital information. But we have discovered that the average woolgrower has little knowledge of how his industry operates. Clearly he has been badly advised, or not even advised at all concerning what has been happening. It would be instructive to learn how much speculation in wool has interfered with the normal law of supply and demand.
The most commonsense question comes from a woman who wants to know why large numbers of Australians cannot afford to buy woollen products in the world's biggest wool producing nation, not even wool for old fashioned home knitting. She asks if the members of the Wool Council or the Wool Corporation has ever directed their attention to this question. If it is in the genuine national interest that the Australian wool industry be preserved, then an appropriate financial policy should be adopted to make this possible. Such a policy would have to arrest a continuing inflation which drives all producers to continue increasing production in a desperate attempt to meet rising financial costs.
Zionist influence at Canberra may be judged by
the reaction to the first Canadian War Crime trial, which
ended with a victory for commonsense and justice. All future
trials are almost certainly going to end the same way. But
unless the High Court rules otherwise, the war crime trials
campaign in Australia is going to continue. Commenting on
how there is a different standard of justice for the Japanese,
Japanese correspondent Gregory Clark commented in The Australian
of March 16th that while the Nazis were punished at the end
of World War II, "... Japanese militarist leaders received
the order of the feather duster. One of them even became Prime
Minister and finishes up as a good friend of conservative
Australian governments. Today, Canberra relentlessly hunts
down former Nazi torturers and killers. Their opposite numbers
from Japan come down as honoured guests, tourists and businessmen.
One of them is doing very well indeed with his Gold Coast
If, as some commentators suggest, Prime Minister Hawke's incredible decision concerning Chinese students was made in order to demonstrate that he was back "in charge" at Canberra, the future of Australia is gravely at risk while Hawke remains Prime Minister. It is to be hoped that the rising public concern about Asian migration, intensified by the Hawke decision on the Chinese students, will reflect itself in the ranks of Hawke's parliamentary colleagues. The immigration question is now becoming a major issue in Australian politics.
BEST ASSETSfrom The Australian, June 6th "As the Australian birthrate slumps to a low of 2.2, this is now below the reproduction rate. On present trends the Australian society would die out within 100 years, were it not for migrants filling the gaps. "Why has the Australian family fallen to this parlous state? One could point to such matters as the pill, abortion, easy divorce, working mothers, one parent families, etc., which are all symptoms that all is not well with the Australian family. "A major factor is an economic one. Parents realise they cannot meet the expenses of rearing more than two children, even with both parents working. "If Federal and State Governments set their minds to helping the family, we could mainly solve the immigration issue. More young Australians are our best asset for the future. (Rupert Goodman, St. Lucia, Qld.)
LEAVING ABORIGINES ALONEfrom NEW LIFE, June 7th - This article by Lance Shilton, former Dean (Anglican) of Sydney. Space problems necessitate some paragraph deletions.
"Aboriginal rights are continually in the news. And it is right that they should be. The difficulty is that in spite of the money spent on Aboriginal welfare and the discussions about the advisability of a treaty and the moves for a bi-partisan policy on the complex question of land rights, Aboriginal people are still hurting.
"Very little positive information about Aborigines is given in the media. This contributes to the negative and indifferent attitudes of many in the rest of the community. How many know about the positive contribution made to the welfare of the Aborigines and other Australians by the Christian Aborigines? Their willingness to forgive the wrongs of the past and to contribute in the name of Christ to a new reconciling approach is rarely mentioned.
"I get sick and tired of unthinking people saying to me that the Australian Aborigines would have been better off left with all their old tribal beliefs. The suggestion is that Christianity has nothing to offer them. Inevitably the bad influences of our civilisation bring havoc to their lives. We should be utterly ashamed of our selfish lack of responsibility. Any attempt to protect them from the ravages of alcohol, for example, is thwarted either by commercial interests or by a false presentation of so called Aboriginal rights.
"Christian missionaries have provided personnel prepared to work for long periods amongst the original inhabitants of this country, studying their languages, understanding their customs, caring for their medical needs, educating their children, teaching them trades and generally preparing them to take their rightful place in Australian society.
"Christianity as a universal religion is relevant to people of East and West, primitive and civilised, old and young. Its essential message is that Christ alone satisfies, and it is incumbent on every Christian to make Him known to all peoples everywhere. Aborigines who have become Christians acknowledge what is good in their beliefs, but reject other customs, because of their inadequacy to meet their deepest needs. This is the natural process for any Christian, whatever his background.
"Aboriginal Christians themselves get sick and tired of hearing others say that they would be better off without Christianity because they know that it has brought them new life and new homes. Their trust is in the living provision of Jesus Christ and they want to share this message with all others..."
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