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16 February 1968. Thought for the Week: "The test of a natural law is that it is automatic and inexorable, and the proof of the contention... that as soon as Society ceases to serve the interests of the individual, then the individual will break up Society, is proved by the course of events at this time; and those persons who wish to preserve Society can do no worse service to their cause, than to depict their idol as an unchangeable organization whose claims are to be regarded as superior to those of the human spirit."
C. H. Douglas.
BEHIND THE VIETNAM STRUGGLE
"The Soviet Ambassador to Australia, Mr. Nikolai Tarakanov, said in Melbourne today that his Government had warned Australia about the consequences of taking part in this shameful war against the Vietnamese people. He said the Soviet Government would allow Russian volunteers to fight against the Americans and their allies if the North Vietnamese asked for volunteers. And he said his country was willing to supply the North Vietnamese with 'all the arms they need.' This is Mr. Tarakanov's first visit to Melbourne. He began his press conference today with a statement in which he launched a bitter attack against the Americans and their allies in Vietnam." - The Herald, Melbourne, February 12.
In more robust times, the Australian Government
would have severely censured Mr. Tarakanov, even requesting that he
return home. But today there is "peaceful co-existence", which permits
the Communists controlling Russia to send vast supplies of military
equipment to be used against Australians and their allies in Vietnam,
while their representative in Australia is free to launch public attacks
on Australia's foreign policy.
We have on a number of occasions referred to
the Report issued on August 31 of last year by the American Preparedness
investigating Sub-committee, which, after hearing evidence from America's
military leaders, stated "All military witnesses stated that the closure,
neutralisation, or isolation of the Port of Haiphong was the single
most important thing which could be done in North Vietnam from a military
To close the Port of Haiphong means serving
notice on the Soviet Union that the Americans and their allies are no
longer prepared to fight a war in which they ask men to fight and die
without doing everything possible to deprive their enemies of the tools
Until this harsh truth is faced, the Tarakanov's of the Communist conspiracy will continue to speak with arrogance and contempt about non-Communists. Mr. John Gorton should take the opportunity of telling the Soviet Government that the activities of their Australian representative are unacceptable in Australia. And he should also support those Americans urging that it is time to apply every military pressure to end the war in Vietnam as quickly as possible.
DISTURBING JOHNSON P0LICY
President Johnson said tonight he had gone as far as any decent, honorable man could go in offering to negotiate peace in Vietnam. All the Communists had to do, he said, was to tell him that 'Geneva is the place, tomorrow is the time', and peace talks could begin Mr. Johnson accused the Communists of deception, because, he said, they violated a sacred period - Tet Vietnamese New Year - with the offensive they launched against South Vietnamese cities two weeks ago. Thousands of Americans and South Vietnamese had died because the Communists violated the Tet truce, he said. 'We would meet them tomorrow, but we are not going to surrender." - The Herald, Melbourne, February 13.
If President Johnson were properly instructed
on Communist dialectics by his advisers, he would not waste his breath
accusing the Communists of violating promises or sacred periods. From
the Communists' philosophical point of view, the violation of a promise
to cease military activities during a sacred period was a moral act
if it advanced Communism. Although the Communist leaders keep their
followers blinded with propaganda, they have not succumbed to their
own propaganda to the point where they genuinely believe that they can
force the Americans and their allies out of Vietnam by military force
alone. Their current campaign has as its major objectives the shattering
of the political base of the present South Vietnamese Government in
Saigon, this to be followed by a diplomatic offensive aimed at the creation
of a Coalition Government.
There is no substitute for victory, said General Douglas MacArthur. And it is because the American policy makers continue to insist that they do not propose to seek victory, that the Communists are confident of the ultimate results in Vietnam. Consider the state of Korea!
DOES MR. GORTON UNDERSTAND COMMUNIST GLOBAL STRATEGY?
"Now it is true that this is aggression by a Communist Government seeking to impose its rule by force but the prime reason for preventing it succeeding is not because of its source, not because it stems, as it happens to in this case, from a Communist country, but because it is aggression. That is the reason for opposing it." - Prime Minister John Gorton in his opening speech of the Higgins by-election, as reported in The Age, Melbourne, February 14.
As the Prime Minister has made this type of
comment previously, it would appear that he wishes to stress that Australia
does not differentiate between different kinds of aggression. If this
is true it is most disturbing, because he fails to stress the vital
point that what is happening in South Vietnam is not simply aggression
by North Vietnam against South Vietnam, but is a major feature of Communist
global strategy so clearly outlined by Communist spokesmen like Lin
Piao, Mao Tse-tung's Minister for Defence.
Further in his address, Mr. Gorton criticised the Labor Party policy on Vietnam, as enunciated by Mr. G. Whitlam, concluding that this policy meant "staying where you are and repelling attack and allowing attacks to be concentrated and mounted against you, and just pushing them back not doing anything to prevent them from materialising, or to move out into country surrounded by the enemy."
We could not agree more that the ALP policy is completely irresponsible. But the policy being supported by the Australian Government is rather similar: The Americans and their allies wait in South Vietnam while the Soviet Union concentrates economic and military aid, bringing it in to North Vietnam through Haiphong. All suggestions of choking Haiphong, or of invading the North Vietnamese base from which aggression is directed against South Vietnam, are rejected.
As soon as Mr. Gorton has won the Higgins by-election he should start to insist that Australia has an independent foreign policy in both Asia and Africa, instead of passively accepting every policy laid down in Washington and London. He can make a good start by ridding himself of present Minister for External Affairs, Mr. Paul Hasluck, who has followed Washington on the Vietnam issue and London on the Rhodesian and South African issues.
We have before us a classical example of the dishonest double-talk of Mr. Hasluck and his advisers in the Department of External Affairs. Questioned on the American Senate Subcommittee's report concerning the necessity to close Haiphong, Mr. Hasluck attempts to slide around this by quoting that the report had said that "the question of closing or neutralising Haiphong has important policy and political considerations over and above the purely military requirements " inferring that this neutralised what the Report had said about blockading Haiphong. The truth is that while it is true that the Sub-committee did raise the obvious point that a blockade would produce reactions from the Soviet Union and Red China, the main users of the Port to supply the Communist armies with economic and military support, the Sub-committee said at the end of its Report that Haiphong should be closed and that "we cannot, in good conscience, ask our ground forces to continue their fight in Vietnam unless, amongst other actions, this was done."
Why does the Minister, or his advisers, attempt
to twist the truth? We suggest that the Prime Minister give this matter
his immediate attention. It would be instructive to know if he agrees
with Mr. Hasluck's statement that the conclusion has been reached that
Haiphong should not be attacked particularly because of the risk of
widening the war through damage to "foreign shipping."
LIBERAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DESTROYING CONSTITUTION
"The Liberal MLA for Mornington (Mr. R.C. Dunstan) yesterday lashed our at Federal Government control of State Finances. He said successive Liberal Governments in Canberra since the war had done more to destroy the Federal system than the Labor Party ever could. Former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies and Mr. Holt had followed policies of centralisation of Government, which rightly belonged to the Labor Parry. 'But the Labor Party can defend it,' Mr. Dunstan said. 'We cannot. We are carrying out a socialist policy.'" The Age. Melbourne February 13.
Mr. Dunstan's remarks, made during an address to the Melbourne Constitutional Club, were a refreshing example of honesty by a Liberal Member of Parliament concerning his own party. Similar criticism of the Socialistic policies of the Federal Liberal-Country Party Government have been made in the past, but Mr. Dunstan is to be commended for his comments and presentation of basic facts at the present critical time when the Federal Constitution is being so blatantly subverted by a Government which once claimed that it stood for the preservation of the Federal system.
The following facts presented by Mr. Dunstan
are revealing: The Commonwealth is double taxing the public by lending
surplus income tax money to the States to earn interest. Duty charges
on Commonwealth loans were second only to education as the fastest-growing
item in the Victorian Budget. In the 19 years since Sir Robert Menzies
first became Prime Minister the Victorian public debt had increased
from $400 million to $2174 million (a fivefold increase), the total
debt of the States increased from $2000 million to $8762, while during
the same period the Commonwealth debt was reduced from $3656 million
to $1872 million.
The basis of genuine freedom is decentralised power. If the Federal Liberal-Country Party continues with its policies of centralised financial power, it will socialise just as effectively as the declared Socialists.
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