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29 November 1968. Thought for the Week: "In the final analysis, it is the will to win, not exotic weapons, that is crucial for a country engaged in a great struggle. Without a victory goal, a nation's military efforts will be dissipated in meaningless loss of life and national wealth"
Washington Report, U.S.A. August 5.
THE REAL DANGER OF BIG SALARY INCREASES FOR MPs
"Sir - By a stroke of the pen the Federal Ministers and MPs have increased their well-paid annual emoluments by 25 per cent on the pretext that the national economy has risen by 22 per cent", - Extract from a letter to The Australian, November 25.
Following the substantial increase in the salaries of Federal Ministers, Members and Senators, as well as similar increases for Victorian State Ministers and other Members, there has been a flood of letters to the daily press protesting bitterly about the increases. We well understand the feelings of harassed tax-payers, but most of the complaints we have seen miss the major aspect of this matter.
It is argued, with some justification, by Members of Parliament that their salary increases are justified by the increased cost of living and other costs associated with their parliamentary activities. But this leaves unanswered the question of who is responsible for a rising price level, which makes such salary increases necessary.
Members of Parliament increase the contempt,
which many people have towards politicians, and encourage cynicism concerning
democratic political institutions, when they urge other sections of
the community to show "restraint" in wage and salary demands without
showing the same restraint themselves. Even allowing for inflation,
some of the recent increases in the salaries of Members of Parliament
go beyond what is just and necessary.
Let us stress that Members of Parliament should be adequately remunerated. But if there is responsible Government at Canberra, then Federal Members are obviously responsible for inflationary financial policies, which create a situation in which there is an almost never-ending demand for wage and salary increases. By their acceptance of substantial salary increases, Federal Members are admitting that they have failed completely to discharge their responsibilities.
Responsible Government is impossible without both electors and their political representatives accepting personal responsibility. Electors can act much more constructively than by writing pointless letters to the press; they should seek to obtain from their Members some definite statement concerning where they draw the line at price, salary and taxation increases. Or is there no limit? If there is no limit, then it will only be a matter of time before there are further increases in parliamentary salaries - and a further erosion of confidence in political democracy.
FINANCIAL CRISIS ASSISTS FORCES OF REVOLUTION
"A British cartoon this week showed a group of craggy-faced German financial barons gloating around a board room table. 'Why did we bother to go to war?' the caption asked. In 1945 West Germany was a war ruin of shambled economy and tattered national spirit. Today it has become the masterpiece of European economies while two victors of 1945, France and Britain, teeter on the brink of economic chaos". - The Australian, November 25.
The essential aspect of the latest international
financial crisis is that the major industrialised nations of the world,
including Japan, are involved in a feverish battle with one another
to achieve a favourable balance of trade". It is elementary that not
all can win this battle, because if some nations have a "favourable
balance of trade" - send more production out of the country than is
imported - others will have an unfavourable balance. Attempted juggling
with exchange rates is primarily an attempt to obtain an advantage in
It is not surprising that Mr. Wilson is faced
with political revolt, from all shades of political opinion in Britain.
The British are not a revolutionary people, but it would appear that
those responsible for financial policy are determined to provoke them
to the point where there is a repetition of what France experienced
in May and June. Although President de Gaulle has refused to follow
the lead of the British Socialists by devaluing in an attempt to stimulate
exports, he is proposing to use other harsh financial policies in an
endeavor to achieve the same results. He has ruled out any new salary
increases, for which there have been heavy demands, and says he intends
to stop any price increases in manufactured goods, food and services.
President de Gaulle has warned that measures
would be taken against "all agitations and demonstrations, all unrest
and processions, which hinder work and scandalise sensible people".
All this is meat and drink to the Communists.
Temporarily the Germans are in a better position
than the French, primarily because they have had (as yet) no internal
revolutionary developments, have benefited from the presence of British,
American and Canadian NATO troops in Germany for a long time, and have
been more successful with their exporting, much of it to Communist countries.
But should France collapse, this could prove the final disaster for
a Western Europe under increasing strategic pressure from the Soviet.
Germany's position would then be almost hopeless.
There is much discussion at present on the necessity of "reforming" the international financial system. But such "reforms" could prove to be further steps towards a centralised World State unless based upon an acceptance of fundamental realities concerning present financial policies. These realities are discussed in the London Chamber of Commerce Report on Solving The Problems of International Trade". (Price 14 cents post free from The Institute of Economic Democracy, Box 1052J, GPO Melbourne, 3001.
CHRISTMAS PARTYThose Victorian supporters intending to attend the pre-Christmas Party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Butler on Saturday, December 14, at 6.30 pm., should indicate so immediately. Donation $1 per person. All profits to League of Rights.
PRIME MINISTER TRUDEAU TO WITHDRAW FROM NATO
"Next April, under Article of the North Atlantic Treaty Canada can formally serve notice on Washington that she is leaving NATO. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's Liberal Government, elected last June, is reviewing Canada's foreign policy. Mr. Trudeau himself, it would seem from public statements he has made lately, is in favour of pulling out of Europe as quickly as possible". - From Michael Cope, Toronto, in The Herald, Melbourne, November 26.
Before the Canadian Federal Elections this year
Mr. Trudeau, the declared Socialist with a strange background of association
with Communism, made it clear that he was thinking of removing Canada
from NATO. Mr. Cope reports, "Only a few weeks ago the Secretary-General
of NATO, Manilo Brosio of Italy, flew to Ottawa seeking Canadian assurances
it would not withdraw from NATO. But he did not get them".
HOW LONG TO THE END OF THE VIETNAM AGONY?
"Fifteen U.S. soldiers jumping from helicopters died in a Communist trap yesterday. The killing of the U.S. troops at a jungle landing zone touched off a seven-hour battle in which six enemy soldiers were killed". - The Sun, Melbourne, November 25.
The above report is typical of many which continue to come out of South Vietnam. Viet Cong terrorism against South Vietnamese villages continues. But the headlines have been taken by the tactics being used by both Washington and Hanoi to force the Saigon Government to the peace talks in Paris. To the Communists, fighting while talking "peace" is standard practice.
In the six months that have followed the start
of the "peace" talks in Paris, 6,399 more Americans have died, more
than 43,000 have been wounded, while South Vietnam has lost 7,426 men
in battle. Other allied contingents have suffered 428 battle deaths.
And still there is no end in sight because of the no-win policy being
pursued by Washington.
The Australian Government would be well advised to give some serious thought to this question, because the longer the Vietnam agony continues under present circumstances, the greater the political backlash when it comes. Regular readers of this commentary know that we warned from the beginning about the final result of the no-win policy in Vietnam.
CAN WE SAVE THE 1969 FINANCIAL APPEAL?One of our most dedicated supporters was in our office as we went to press. He said he was so upset about the lack of financial support for the League of Rights 1969 programme that he was increasing his pledge by $250. That made his pledge $750.00! Does this not challenge all of us to pull together immediately?
Only a further 16 readers have contributed and/or pledged since last week, taking the total from $4814.80 to $5437. 60.
Only 83 supporters have given this magnificent lead, an average of over $60 each.
All that is required is an average of $25.00 from 1000 supporters.
Northern N.S.W. and Queensland supporters should send their donations and/or pledges to Mr. Don Martin, P.0, Box 3 Paddington, Brisbane, Queensland. All other contributions to Box 1052J GPO Melbourne.
BRITAIN STILL PACKS MILITARY PUNCH
"The biggest rehearsal of Far East reinforcements the RAF has yet undertaken by the unusual western route across North America and the Pacific began last night. Eight Vulcan bombers of No. 44 Squadron Strike Command, and 11 transport air craft of Air Support Command are flying to Singapore by way of Gander, Goose Bay, (Labrador), Offurt (Nebraska), McClellan (Sacramento) Honolulu, Wake Island and Guam... This exercise is important both in providing some sort of military presence when Britain's permanent bases are gone, and, in particular, in comparing the western route with the normal one through the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean". - The Australian, November 23.
The destruction of Britain as a world power has been so spectacular and incredible, that there is a general tendency to overlook the truth that not even Fabian Harold Wilson has been able (as yet) to completely destroy Britain's military capacity. Britain is still the world's third military force, with a nuclear capacity, which could wreck frightful damage upon Soviet Union if necessary. Britain still possesses a first class army and navy. Given time, and the co-operation of the Crown Commonwealth nations like Australia, Britain could still prove a decisive force in defeating the threat of the World State.
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