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13 December 1968. Thought for the Week: " students are the ultimate beneficiaries under our welfare system. They are supposed to be the spearhead of progress, flattered and paid for by their admiring seniors, an elite who will happily and audaciously carry the torch of progress into the glorious future opening before them.. . All is prepared for a marvelous release of youthful creativity; we await the great works of art, the high-spirited venturing into new fields of perception and understanding - and what do we get? The resort of any old slobbering debauchee anywhere in the world at any time - Dope and Bed"
Malcolm Muggeridge, in Rectorial Address at the University of Edinburgh, January 14, 1968.
NIXON TO TAKE STRONG LINE ON VIETNAM?
"As President Richard Nixon would never settle for a coalition government that would give the Communists any voice in the control of South Vietnam. Politically powerful southern Republican Senator Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina, forecast this in a press interview today. He said Nixon would seek an honorable peace - not one that would mean that the lives of 30,000 American servicemen killed in Vietnam had been sacrificed in vain. Senator Thurmond said he based this estimate of Nixon's policy on assurances the President-elect had given him" - The Herald, Melbourne, December 10.
While it is encouraging to have Senator Thurmond's
assurances about President-elect Nixon's intentions in Vietnam, it is
also necessary to strike a note of caution. What politicians say, or
promise before elections often bears no relationship to what they do
after being elected. But as Richard Nixon moves closer to the stage
where his administration will take over the conduct of both the war
in Vietnam and the Paris "peace" talks, it is an appropriate time to
look at some of the President-elect's considered views on Vietnam, as
set out in an article in The Reader's Digest of September, 1964.
This was at a time when President Johnson was denouncing the "warmongers"
in the Republican Party, particularly Senator Barry Goldwater, and before
the massive American military build-up had been launched in Vietnam.
"The murder of Vietnam's President Ngo Dinh Diem
last November (1963) in a coup encouraged by the United States had a
disastrous effect upon U.S. repute throughout Asia. This assassination
was one of the blackest moments in the history of American diplomacy.
Washington cannot dodge responsibility for what happened".
Mr. Nixon's 1964 statements are clear and unambiguous. He gives a "precise definition" for victory: a free North Vietnam. If the war ends without this objective being achieved, then Mr. Nixon will, by his own definition, have failed to win the war in Vietnam. He makes this clear himself in the following statement in his article: "Failure to win in South Vietnam - whether through following the present equivocal policy, through neutralisation or through outright surrender - will give Communism in Asia a new and vastly increased momentum".
Neither before nor after the Presidential Elections has Mr. Nixon re-echoed any of the strong views expressed in his 1964 article. All his statements have indicated that he believes that some results can be achieved at the Paris "peace" talks. The Communists' views on these and similar talks are well known: they are part of total war. Already the Paris talks are following the pattern of what happened in Korea, even procedural matters and seating arrangements (and probably what size flags should be on the negotiating table:) being used to drag out the proceedings as long as possible. In the meantime the war goes on in Vietnam, where the Communists are preparing to gain every possible advantage.
If President-elect Richard Nixon can find the will to do in Vietnam what he himself has said should and can be done, he will emerge as the greatest Western political leader of the last twenty-five years. We pray that Senator Thurmond is correct. But for the record we must express our cautious doubts.
WILD TALK BY MR. McEWEN
"Elements within the NSW Graziers' Association wanted to destroy the Country Party in the interests of another political party, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. McEwen said at the weekend. He told the Federal Council of the Country Party in Canberra that other graziers' associations also contained elements opposed to the Country Party whether it be the secret Basic Industries Group or the cell within the Graziers' Association, I will continue to oppose and expose efforts by wealthy people and wealthy groups, operating in secrecy of their own real purpose or identity, to harm the Country Party" - The Australian, December 9.
It is time someone with influence with Mr. John McEwen took him aside and pointed out that the greatest damage to the Country Party is the type of policy he has been supporting inside the Liberal-Country Party Coalition Government for so long. It is not the anonymous "wealthy groups', which threaten the future of the Country Party, but the growing number of smaller primary producers who are becoming increasingly disillusioned about the party they have traditionally supported. We would suggest that Mr. McEwen might ponder on the fact that numbers of Country Party members in some areas are cancelling bank orders to the party for membership subscriptions. Any well-informed person could tell him that numbers of primary producers are openly talking about voting Labor at the next Federal Elections.
One of the problems now pressing so heavily upon the primary producer is rising financial costs over which he has no direct control, irrespective of how efficient he may be. Mr. McEwen's critics are on weak ground when they criticise his tariff policies as a major contribution to inflation. They are insignificant compared with inflationary credit expansion and taxation policies of the Fabian Socialist "advisers" whom both Mr. McEwen and his opponent Mr. McMahon, Federal Treasurer, accept as unalterable.
In his address to the Federal Council of the
Country Parry, Mr. McEwen made the revealing statement that "if the
whole community wants full employment, with increasing living standards
and rapid growth and development to go on, then the whole community
must recognise that this results in increased costs for the export industry".
Mr. McEwen is saying that a people cannot use its economic system to
their satisfaction, making use of their own real credit - productive
power and resources - without progressive inflation. This reveals Mr.
McEwen to be just as incompetent as Mr. McMahon, who said something
similar recently on inflation.
LET US KEEP THAT 1969 FUND MOVING
The 1969 fund moved forward from just over $11,000
to $14,000 before we go to press. Commenting on the Fund's progress,
Mr. Eric Butler said that he was deeply moved by the spirit of the comparative
few contributing and/or pledging, two pioneer supporters who are pensioners,
apologised for their delay in responding - they have been in hospital.
Both sent $5.
While it is magnificent to have a few individuals last week (all stalwarts who have given liberally for years) donating and/or pledging from $100 up to $350, what is required is the co-operation of the many giving smaller amounts which all can afford. Can we have one big effort before Christmas? All that is required now is 1000 supporters providing an average of $11.00.
PREPARING FOR THE SOVIET MOVE INTO SINGAPORE BASE
"Russian warships could anchor right in the middle of Britain's massive naval base in Singapore and the Royal Navy could not say or do anything about it. Warships from the Russian or other navies could dock less than a quarter of a mile from the headquarters of the British Far East Fleet in the Sembawang shipyards, the former British naval dockyard which was given to Singapore yesterday" - The Age, Melbourne, December 10.
Already the Soviet has developing trade, diplomatic
and "cultural" relations with Singapore. The Soviet strategists are
already building up their naval strength in the Indian Ocean and have
indicated that they would be willing to make use of the Singapore dockyards.
Sir John Hunter, Chairman of the Swan Hunter Group, which is now managing
Sembawang has admitted that if the Soviet used the dockyards before
the British completed their withdrawal in 1971, "this could cause some
trouble with security".
These developments highlight once again the urgent necessity for Australia to implement a realistic defence policy, and to take steps to arrange closer defence and trade links between Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia and the Portuguese African territories of Angola and Mozambique.
THE WEEK IN BRIEFIn a letter to The Age, Melbourne of December 7, Dr. Frank Knopfelmacher raises more questions about his reliability as an effective anti-Communist by describing Dr. Ian Turner of the Monash University as either a friend or acquaintance whom he recommended should receive a visas to visit America. Dr. Knopfehmacher describes Dr. Turner, a former member of the Communist Party, as an "outspoken democratic socialist" and "an opponent of totalitarianism". Dr. Turner is, we understand, still a Marxist. He has opposed Australian involvement in Vietnam.
The American refusal to grant Dr. Turner a visa is probably the result of bureaucratic red tape. Many former Communists have found it difficult to get an American visa, as even Dr. Knopfelmacher could find....
Guerrilla warfare has flared up in South Korea, the result of Communist infiltration from the North
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