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2 August 1996. Thought for the Week: "The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace, and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. It can only be overthrown by the awakened conscience of the nation."
William Jennings Bryan, American Presidential Candidate early this century in one of the most famous election speeches in modern history
DOES ANOTHER GREAT DEPRESSION THREATEN?
by Eric D. Butler
Under the influence of the genius C.H. Douglas, who gave the world the Social Credit movement, the backlash developed its greatest potency throughout the old British world. While the Money Power has progressively consolidated its position and reinforced it with various types of bureaucratic centralism, this having a neutralising effect on the political system, there is evidence that there is an awareness that anything approaching the severity of the Great Depression might well result in an effective political revolt. But the problem confronting the operators of an increasingly centralised system is how to continue with a programme of increasing centralisation without creating an explosion, which would threaten their own position.
Australian students of finance economics have noted with interest, and appreciation, how in recent years the distinguished Roman Catholic commentator, Mr. B.A. Santamaria, has increasingly directed his attention to the role of finance, particularly debt finance, in the human drama. The fact that his articles, some touching on the role of the International Bankers, appear regularly in The Weekend Australian, a part of the Rupert Murdoch media empire, has created some speculation as to why the articles have appeared in The Weekend Australian owned by a man who has relied on the International Bankers to sustain his enterprises. Bob Santamaria is one of the most outstanding conceptual writers in Australia and it is a credit to him that he has attempted to come to grips with the financial question.
One observer whom the writer respects has made the interesting observation that Santamaria and the National Civic Council no longer exercise the political influence they did when the Democratic Labor Party was a major factor in Australian politics. This does not mean that they do not make a most valuable contribution on many social issues. But they are not seen as a major threat to the Money Power. However, in his attempt to come to grips with the finance economic problem, Santamaria, with a limited understanding of the technical aspects of the finance economic issue, highlights some aspects of the problem.
Along with other similar observers, Santamaria draws attention to the period of speculation prior to the onset of the 1929 Great depression, starting in the U.S.A. The stock market collapse on Wall Street was not the major cause of the Depression, but an effect. Anyone who wants to understand what happened in 1929 should turn to C.H. Douglas's work, The Brief For The Prosecution. As Douglas says, "At the end of October, 1929, the New York Banks, without notice, called in practically every overdraft and advanced the rate for 'call money' from a normal 3 percent to 30 percent. The effect was instantaneous."
The panic to sell stocks and shares was a desperate attempt to obtain cash in an attempt to pay wages or to meet the calls from the banks. But the banks had all the cash.
At the height of the Great Depression, with growing political pressure to introduce what Douglas was advocating, the famous John Maynard Keynes was introduced into the drama. As a result of the educational work of Social Creditors and others, it was, in the words of one representative of the banks, no longer possible to deny that the banks created credit.
Keynes said what Douglas had been saying.
Keynes was the Money Power's answer to Douglas. Credit should
be made available for public and capital works. However, Keynes
made the important point that the expansion of credit along
the lines he suggested, while "pump priming" the economy,
would also stimulate inflation. Thus the Keynsian stress on
"controlled inflation". This is a central feature of the finance
During the Second World War the Douglas policy was adopted with a crude system of consumer subsidies. No reference was, of course, made to Douglas. The system was used in Australia for over five years, during which time there was almost complete price stability. In their 1949 policy the Fadden-Menzies Coalition promised when elected to reverse the system, which had been abolished by the Chifley Government. The Federal bureaucracy, led by Dr. H.C. Coombs, fought relentlessly to prevent the Coalition from implementing its election promise. Menzies knew little about finance economics and was vulnerable to the pressure applied by Coombs and associates.
Nothing aroused greater fury against the League of Rights than its campaign in favour of the reintroduction of consumer discounts. When Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen took up the proposal in his famous "Petersen Plan", political hell broke loose. Low interest, long-term credits, especially for primary producers can all be steps towards averting a steady break up of society. But consumer credits are an essential feature of any long-lasting reform. The big threat to what is left of Civilisation is not that the financial system will collapse, but that social disintegration will continue and that, eventually, it will become difficult to operate the production system.
MR TED DRANE'S LEAGUE OF RIGHTS ALLEGATIONS
by David Thompson
Mr. Drane's allegations deserve closer scrutiny, as do his motives. His most extraordinary allegations surfaced in a major article published in the Australia/Israel Review. Drane was interviewed at length for this article by a journalist who worked as the literary editor for Melbourne's Herald-Sun, who appears to have taken leave of absence to write yet another book "exposing" the League of Rights. His name is David Greason. The long-awaited Greason book has missed several publishing deadlines, but is promised for 1996.
Greason's article was summarised by The Australian Jewish News (26/7/96) under the heading "How shooters averted League of Rights coup's Greason wrote that Drane had "discovered that the League of Rights and other extremists were plotting to hijack the shooters movement". Ted Drane is quoted as telling Greason: "There was a clear attempt by the League to take us over (the Reform Party). They very nearly had a handle on what we were doing. We've got something like 60,000 members. It would have been the first time in their short lives that they've got close to power....I thought I could work with Campbell, even though I didn't agree with him on some areas like immigration. But when I look at this League, they work like a secret society. I've no interest in giving them any legitimacy at all...."
THE QUESTIONS NOT ASKED
David Greason himself, whatever his journalistic and academic shortcomings, is not entirely a fool, but even he could not be expected to believe the nonsense he is quoting Ted Drane as saying. This article, repeated uncritically by other press outlets, is deliberately designed to damage Australia First. No attempt was made to check any "facts" with the League, although Greason knows to whom he could speak. But the most interesting questions were never canvassed. Having "captured" the Reform Party, what does Drane suppose the League would do with it? And where are the Reform Party's 60,000 members?
Drane has been bandying figures about of members and money for months, but we know no one who really believes them. The Reform Party does not have 60,000 members. The Sporting Shooters Association, of which Drane is President, is reputed to have something like 60,000 members. Are they happy about Drane claiming them as members of the Reform Party? Has Mr. Drane asked them? Does the vast amounts of money Mr. Drane refers to also belong to the Sporting Shooters - if it exists? Are the Sporting Shooters content to see that money squandered by the Reform Party in an attempt to get Mr. Drane into the Senate? Could Senator Drane do anything about State firearms legislation?
The truth is that the Reform Party is
no more than a shell headed by a political "loose cannon".
Knowing this (having made our enquiries), the League was never
remotely interested in taking over the Reform Party. In fact,
when asked about the proposal to merge Australia First with
the Reform Party, we advised against it. Mr. Drane either
knows little about the League, or is prepared to deliberately
misrepresent the truth for his own purposes. He refers to
the League as a "secret society". He implies that the League
seeks political power, referring to the "short" time the League
has existed. He is either unaware that the League has existed
for 50 years, and has never sought political power, or seeks
Elsewhere in the Greason Australia/Israel Review article, Graeme Campbell is alleged to be in contact with Eric Butler almost daily. Mr. Butler does not recall ever speaking to Graeme Campbell on the telephone. The role of the Australia/Israel Review should also be examined. It was Australia/Israel Publications who demanded Graeme Campbell's expulsion from the A.L.P. for daring to address the League State Seminar in Queensland in May 1995.
This group has campaigned against Campbell, and is clearly campaigning against Australia First. Why? How did Ted Drane come to be used by David Greason and this Zionist group? The only possible conclusion is that Campbell and Australia First are ringing alarm bells somewhere. Every possible effort is being made to undermine the establishment of a new conservative political force based on sensible, outward-looking nationalism. Figures like Mr. Drane will find that they have been manipulated and discarded in the service of a struggle that they barely understand.
DODGING THE RICOCHETS FROM GUN CONTROLS
Bad policy developed on the run almost always has unintended political consequences. Two of those unintended consequences came to light last week, with which the Governments legislating on gun controls will have to deal. The first was the fact that the Prime Minister's new gun controls would eliminate any junior firearms licences, heavily handicapping the Olympic (and international) sport of shooting. The fact that Australia earned several Olympic medals in the shooting events is due to the fact that men like Michael Diamond did not pick up a rifle or shotgun at the age of 18 or 20, but in his case started shooting at age 8.
Diamond, the record-breaking gold medallist in the men's trap event, was known as Little Goliath, because he regularly beat adult competitors. By the time he was 14 and 16, Diamond was winning junior world championships. If Howard's regulations had been in place at the time, he would not have been allowed to shoot in Australia. The Howard proposals dictate that an applicant for a firearms licence "be aged 18 years or over". The women's double trap Olympic shooting event was won by a 16-year-old American girl.
Russell Mark, the other Australian shooting gold medallist, started shooting at age 14, and had won a national junior title by the time he was 16. Until the Olympic gold medals materialised, shooters were being made to feel that they were accessories to the Port Arthur killings. No doubt Mr. Howard will now seek to somehow drape himself with the Olympic gold won by people whom he has vilified by association.
The payment of compensation for the guns that will be surrendered is also clouded by new doubts. Mr. Robert Warnock, legal counsel for the National Tax and Accountants Association in Melbourne, has offered the opinion that farmers whose weapons will be made illegal will be forced to pay tax on their compensation payments. According to reports in The Financial Review (24/7/96), farmers and professional shooters will be assumed to have been claiming depreciation on firearms as a tool of their trade, and as such, the written-down value of the guns may now be nil. This means that any compensation payments will be assessed as a nominal profit. Whether or not farmers have actually claimed depreciation on their weapons, they will be taxed on what are deemed to be "profits" by the Australian Tax Office.
Mr. Peter McDonald, National Director of the Australian Taxpayers Association, agrees with Mr. Warnock's opinion. If a farmer pays the highest marginal rate of tax, he will be expected to repay 48.6% of his compensation in taxes. If John Howard had intended to add insult to injury, he could not have been more successful.
The Fabians have always taught that one political control leads to the next. Writing on the "problem" of inflation, John Strachey addressed this issue noting that the centralisation of financial policy led to a growing degree of social control, he wrote, "the partial character of the policy will itself lead on to further measures. The very fact that no stability, no permanently workable solution can be found within the limits of this policy will ensure that once a community has been driven to tackle its problems in this way, it cannot halt at the first stage, but must of necessity push on to more thorough-going measures of re-organisation."
The gun controls are a similar case. No workable solution can be found within the Howard measures. The tax on compensation will regrettably but inevitably ensure that even fewer firearms owners will hand them in. "More thorough going measures" will be required. Jail sentences and massive fines are next on the agenda.
THE VICTORIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVOLUTION
Premier Jeff Kennett of Victoria is currently at loggerheads with the Melbourne City Council concerning the planning of Greater Melbourne. It will be recalled that originally Kennett suggested that his appointed Commissioners continue running the amalgamated councils. They were doing such a good job, said Jeff Kennett. What he meant was that they were carrying out his plans, permitting the building of monstrosities by his friends like master builder Grollo.
The elected Greater Melbourne Council is complaining that the character of Melbourne is being destroyed and that their views concerning planning are being overridden by Jeff Kennett, who continues to award major projects to his friends. Right around Victoria come complaints of a reduction in some services, while in several municipalities, now being prepared for a return to elected Councillors, find that the number of Councillors has been reduced which means that fewer Councillors are expected to represent a much greater number of ratepayers. This, of course, is impossible. But the Kennett Government's master planners make clear in future there will be a "new type of Councillors" with the amalgamated councils being run like corporations.
The rest of Australia must take careful note because the Howard Government has stated that they are going to force all States to adopt the Victorian programme. Funds from Canberra will be cut off if there is not nationwide compliance.
QUEEN'S PORTRAIT AGAIN AVAILABLEWe advise that the Commonwealth Minister for Administrative Services, Mr. David Jull, has re-introduced the distribution of free portraits of Her Majesty the Queen through Government Book Shops. The Minister acknowledges the representations of the members of the Monarchist League in Australia in again making the portrait available. We suggest that subscribers pass on this information to schools, Scouting and Guiding movements, church groups, local government, and any other organisations with which they are in contact, encouraging such groups to obtain a portrait, and display it in a prominent place. Monarchists night also consider a note of congratulation to the Minister for Administrative Services, Mr. David Jull (Member for Fadden, P.O. Box 134, Springwood, Queensland, 4127).
THE 'BIG PETITION' CONTINUES TO GROW
The Big Petition in Queensland calling for the Voters' Initiative has grown into one of those organic developments that becomes impossible to control. Organisers say that they have lost track of how many signatures they have collected, and are as yet uncertain whether this is the biggest petition Queensland has ever seen.
Research through the Legislative Assembly in Brisbane reveals that the biggest petition ever presented to the Queensland Parliament was back in 1916. 86,953 petitioners asked the Parliament for an adjustment to licensed drinking hours. Queensland being the home of Bundy Rum and XXXX, they were probably asking for them to be relaxed!
The Voters' Initiative petition is a hugely significant issue, and the full implications will affect the history of not only Queensland, but perhaps the rest of Australia. We recall that it was Queensland under Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen that led the way in the abolition of death duties. Such was the impact that other States had to follow suit in short order, resulting in all Australia being freed of the curse of death duties. Only now is there talk of re-introducing death duties.
But if Queenslanders were equipped with the "veto", they could shake off such irritants from a Queensland Parliament. They may even decide it is in order for Queenslanders to have a vote at referendum on the proposal to strip the individual of firearms! Again, the ramifications could be felt around the nation. Any Queenslanders wishing to assist with The Big Petition, contact Mrs. Dawn Brown, M/S 154, Ingham, Qld., 4850.
FROM THE PRESS"Destruction of a sport" from the Sydney Sun Herald (28/7/96)
"In N.S.W 16 years ago, an eight-year-old boy was given a shotgun by his father. The result was the first gold medal for Australia at the 1996 Olympic Games.
"In Tasmania in 1996, a known disturbed adult illegally acquires a firearm. The result is the world's worst firearm-related massacre by an individual. "The Government's response: more gun bans, another firearms amnesty and the withdrawal of junior firearm licences.
"Obscene is the only word to describe it. Not only have they banned the firearms used by the Olympic shooters but they have wiped out generations of upcoming medal winners for all time. The sport is effectively destroyed."
M. Kay, Richmond
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