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28 January 1994. Thought for the Week: "Parliament is summoned by the Sovereign to advise Her Majesty freely. By the nature of the case it is implied that coercion, restraint, or money payment, which is the price of voting at the bidding of others, destroys or imperils that function of the freedom of advice which is fundamental to the very constitution of parliament."
Lord Shaw, 1910
IS PARTY CENSURE OF M.P. ILLEGAL?
All the available evidence indicates that the Federal Member for Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Mr. Graeme Campbell, is representing the will of his electors on the Mabo issue. Premier Richard Court and Members of the West Australian Parliament who oppose the Keating Government's Mabo legislation are also clearly reflecting the will of the great majority of the electors of Western Australia.
But both Premier Court and Mr. Campbell have been subjected to attempts to prevent them carrying out their constitutional duties. A number of press reports have revealed that Mr. Graeme Campbell was subjected to enormous pressure to vote for legislation he had strongly criticised as being opposed to the best interests of his electors, including those of Aboriginal background. Mr. Campbell has been reported as having said that he was ashamed by what he had been pressured to do.
One of those who called for the "censuring" of Graeme Campbell is the Jesuit Priest Father Brennan, who has long campaigned for Aboriginal land claims and is an adviser to the Prime Minister on the legal aspects of Mabo. Father Brennan has been favoured by the A.B.C. to present his views. Following the passing of the Keating legislation, the A.B.C. interviewed Father Brennan, who expressed his pleasure at the passing of the legislation. When asked what his father, Mr. Justice Brennan of the High Court, felt about the passing of the Keating legislation, Father Brennan said that he was sure he would be "delighted". This extraordinary statement should be challenged in the Federal Parliament.
It is bad enough that Mr. Justice Brennan and a majority of his High Court colleagues should take it upon themselves to act to set in motion a constitutional revolution, one which strikes at the very foundations of traditional Australia, but Father Brennan's statement that his father was "delighted" with the Keating legislation is so serious that it calls for a Parliamentary investigation.
It may be that Mr. Justice Brennan has been misrepresented by his son Father Brennan. If this should prove to be the case, then Father Brennan should be publicly rebuked for misrepresenting a member of the High Court. Father Brennan should also be challenged to state where he has derived the authority to demand that an elected Member of any Australian Parliament should be "censured" for failing to support legislation, which does not have the support of his electors.
The time has come for electors to start insisting that party or other threats to a Member of Parliament is illegal and a violation of constitutional government. If those who are demanding that Premier Richard Court and Mr. Graeme Campbell should be "censured" because they oppose the Keating Mabo legislation, why then are they opposed to the proposal that a referendum be conducted to ascertain beyond all argument the attitude of the Australian electors?
We strongly support Premier Richard Court's proposal that he should conduct a West Australian referendum to ascertain what support he has for his own legislation concerning land titles. We also commend Richard Court's proposal that his State Government compile a complete list of all Canberra legislation, which violates the sovereignty of the States. The Mabo issue provides an opportunity for the clarification of the correct role of an elected Member of Parliament, the constitutional rights of electors and for a challenge to the whole programme of centralisation.
THE FALL OF ALLAN GRIFFITHS
We make no attempt to judge the guilt or otherwise of the former Minister for Industry, Mr. Alan Griffiths, over allegations that A.L.P. funds and electoral office facilities were misused for private business purposes. We do, however, recall that it was Alan Griffiths who, as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, was in charge of the All-Party Parliamentary Enquiry into the League of Rights in October 1988. The proposed enquiry was criticised by the press, with editorials asking by what authority independent organisations (irrespective of their political views) could be arbitrarily investigated by Parliamentary committees.
In reply, Mr. Griffiths wrote: "The Parliament has an obligation and responsibility to investigate and expose to full public scrutiny the aims and activities of any organisation which by deception, stealth or misinformation could prey on the fears and ignorance of the people..." He also explained that the enquiry would discover the sources of the League's funds, and inform Parliament of the League's aims and activities.
The full story of this amazing episode has never been told, but the enquiry was eventually abandoned before any genuine investigations began. The League was recorded as offering to co-operate with the enquiry, and presumably it was seen as a source of potential political embarrassment, and was aborted. We do wonder whether the enquiry into the misuse of A.L.P. funds will be more exhaustive than that into the League.
A former business partner of Mr. Griffiths has claimed that A.L.P. funds were used to meet debts incurred by a business they owned, and that she was paid for work she didn't perform at Mr. Griffiths' electoral office. The very ambitious and energetic Mr. Griffiths is widely regarded as future A.L.P. leadership material, and before his current fall from grace, was one of the Government's most senior ministers at an early age. His demise, although perhaps temporary, adds another chapter to the growing catalogue of electoral disenchantment with the Keating administration.
THE FRED LEUCHTER AFFAIR
On October 28th 1993 Mr. Fred Leuchter, author of The Leuchter Report, was arrested by German police as he prepared to take part in a live television interview watched by approximately seven million German viewers. He was held without bail in 'investigative custody' until released on November 30th, on $US15,000 bail. The charges are unclear, but Leuchter was presumably arrested for attempting to defame the victims of the holocaust, a federal crime in Germany.
Fred Leuchter is the American engineer who became a professional consultant to U.S. penitentiaries on gas chamber and electric chair design. In 1988 he was commissioned by Ernst Zundel, being tried in Canada for "spreading false news" about the holocaust, to go to Poland, and take samples from the walls of buildings depicted as gas chambers, for forensic analysis in the United States. His results were published in the booklet The Leuchter Report, which was widely distributed in many Western countries, including Australia.
In his Action Report (distributed to donors to Irving's legal defense fund), David Irving reported further on the Leuchter arrest in Germany. Having been invited to Germany by the Cologne television studio of SAT-l private television channel, Leuchter was arrested after police stormed the studio 10 minutes before the broadcast was due to begin. Irving writes that in a statement widely quoted in the U.S. press, the German police officers arresting the American, told the furious talk show host, Margarethe Schreinemakers, that the decision had been taken at political level, "because Leuchter's appearance on television would have damaged Germany's image".
The German press were incensed that, upon his release, Leuchter flew straight back to Boston, Massachusetts, to prepare his defence. It was claimed that the German justice system had allowed "one of the biggest Nazis" to get away. The presiding judge, however, stated that he is "convinced that Mr. Leuchter will show up for the coming court hearing". The prosecutor of the case has warned that he will not tolerate a battle between experts when the trial begins, and that the genocide committed by the Nazis in their death camps "is an incontrovertible fact".
LEUCHTER'S DAY IN COURT
In his December 1993 Newsletter, Irving writes that the charge against Leuchter is that he delivered a brief lecture at a small Weinheim meeting (in English) in November 1991, setting out his findings following his gas chamber analysis in 1988. Gunter Deckert, who invited Leuchter to speak, has already been sentenced to one year in prison because "he must have known" what his American guest was going to say. Leuchter faces five years in prison in Germany if convicted.
Lawyers are questioning the wisdom of the German Government in allowing the case against Leuchter going ahead, having spent the last three years refusing to allow him and other expert witnesses to give evidence in many other trials against those who challenge the popularly accepted events surrounding 'the holocaust'. By indicting Leuchter, the Germans now offer him a platform; under German trial procedures, he has the chance to speak for as long as he wishes in open court.
According to Irving, while in Mannheim prison, Leuchter was allowed only one visitor for 30 minutes every fortnight, with all English conversations translated immediately into German for the benefit of the prison guards. The effect on Leuchter's wife, who had accompanied him to Germany, and who speaks no German, must have been considerable.
COSTS OF MABO MIGHT BECOME UNBEARABLE
from The Age (Melbourne), January 6th
The Foundation is to perpetuate those ethnic cultural divisions, which have been promoted by successive federal governments for their own political advantage. The greater good of Australia and our very own great cultural heritage has been shamelessly ignored and assiduously undermined.
"Let me make it quite plain where I stand on this critical matter. All cultural groups have the undoubted right to associate in whatever way they see fit, but there ultimately has to be a recognition and an acceptance by these organisations that they only complement Australians culture. They do not in any way replace the values, customs and ways upon which our nation has been built. No other self-respecting nation would cede the primacy of its own culture. Neither will Australia.
"To those who have been 'taken in' by the Government's propaganda that we have to apologise for the circumstances under which our nation originated and which implies that we have no unique Australian identity, I say this: "We are unquestionably and will remain a Western nation. We have quite rightfully, naturally and legally, assumed that status by virtue of a fact that has been to our everlasting advantage, namely that the people of four great Western nations, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, laid the foundations of Australia."
"No, I am not saying that people from other nations did not play any meaningful role in the founding of our nation. But I am saying that because of the overwhelming influence of those Anglo-Celtic people we have derived our very own unique and enduring Australian culture. What an act of treachery for the present Federal Government to systematically play down and belittle those convicts and free settlers who, by their suffering and hardship, gave us what we have inherited today.
"The Foundation For Australian Cultural Development
is no more than a front to further undermine the social and economic
standards by which Australia has been the envy of the world. As much
as any other factor these 'standards' are part of our national identity."
MABO DIVIDES NATION
from Herald-Sun (Melbourne), January 4th
"More than that, the legislation provides for the establishment of a land acquisition fund for the majority of Aborigines who will not benefit directly from the Act. "This will enable them to buy land at the taxpayers' expense and convert it to native title - putting even more of the continent beyond the reach of the great bulk of the population. "The cost of this largesse, on Prime Minister Keating's own admission, will run into hundreds of millions of dollars. More likely, it will be billions.
"The Labor, Democrat, and Green politicians who voted for this Bill clearly could not care less that there are millions of Australians who will never be able to buy a place of their own. "Yet every one of them will be forced to share the cost of a large scale transfer of the nation's land and wealth to one small, already heavily subsidised, racial group.
"Aboriginal people were wronged in the past and deserve preferential treatment from governments to help them improve their lot in society. But the Mabo legislation will leave us all the poorer. "If this grossly discriminatory Act survives court challenges, the Federal Coalition should make its repeal a central policy at the next election. (Ian Blair, Mansfield, Vic.)
LEGISLATING OUR FREEDOMS AWAY
Editorial, Herald-Sun (Melbourne), January
"Bigots and racists deserve no place in our society, which has demonstrated extraordinary tolerance. "But opponents of racial vilification legislation argue that existing laws are adequate to deal with those who seek to incite violence. "It is worth recalling that two leading Australians have been outspoken in their criticism. Leading businessman Sir Arvi Parbo hit out at what he called 'coercive utopianism'. The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Sir Frank Little, has said that while both religious and racial intolerance were unacceptable, public debate could be stifled out of fear of attracting criminal charges.
"The Federal Government should not cave in yet again to noisy pressure groups. Legislation must not be used as a tool of social engineering. "A truly free society needs fewer laws."
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|