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7 February 1969. Thought for the Week: "Any human activity is motivated and nobody can escape the final question: What is the purpose of life? What is man's mission on this earth? If it was 'building of socialism', if it was material welfare, we could well imagine a state of well-fed slavery. Communists do not give an answer to these final questions because their horizons are narrowed and reduced to political means and economic methods; because of the emphasis on the totality of man, which degrades all human problems to a socio-economic plane".
A.J. Mellins in Planned Economy - The Answer?
SHOCK STATEMENT ON WESTERN DEFENCE WEAKNESS
"Conventional Western defences would crumble within a few days of any major Russian onslaught in Europe and then NATO would be forced to use nuclear weapons or surrender...This was the grave warning given to an international defence conference in Munich yesterday by Britain's Minister of Defence, Mr. Denis Healey". - The Australian, February 3.
Mr. Healey's shock statement will come as no surprise to regular readers of this commentary, and the League of Rights monthly, Intelligence Survey. In this special study on the "Far-Reaching Significance of Soviet Move into Czechoslovakia" (available from Box 1052J, GPO. Melbourne for 10 cents a copy) Mr. Eric Butler showed clearly how the Soviet thrust into Czechoslovakia had completely shifted the balance of power in Western Europe, and had demonstrated the weakness of NATO. Now Mr. Healey spells this weakness out in some detail: "NATO is out numbered by the Warsaw Pact on the central front by more than two to one in infantry formations, and nearly three one in armoured formations. The Warsaw Pact aircraft superiority is nearly two to one."
Mr. Healey has called for substantial increases in NATO forces, and for integration of those forces. But all this will take time. And the Soviet strategists are not going to lose the initiative they have gained. They are well aware that deteriorating economic and political conditions inside the NATO countries make a coherent defence strategy increasingly difficult. And de Gaulle's France continues to pursue a pro-Soviet policy, which manifests itself in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The present perilous situation in Western Europe
has only become possible because of the dangerous mythology about the
"mellowing" Soviet leaders. This mythology is surviving in spite of
Czechoslovakia, with a group of American "foreign policy experts" urging
President Nixon to call a European "Summitt Conference"
between the U.S.A., Britain, France and the Soviet Union to create....
and prepare the general principles of a European settlement".
Australians cannot directly influence the policies
of other countries, but they can set an example with a realistic policy
of their own. Speaking in Sydney on Sunday, February 2, Prime Minister
Gorton said "we won't follow America blindly", and that "I certainly
see no reason why we should not decide our own policies".
"AUSTRALIA'S FRONT LINE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA"Adequate supplies of the League of Rights' special February issue of Intelligence Survey, outlining the vital importance to Australia of Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, are now available for a nation-wide distribution campaign. This is the most important campaign yet undertaken by the League and all On Target readers are requested to co-operate Prices: 10 cents per single copy; $1 per dozen, $3 per100 and $9 per 200. Order from Box 1052J, GPO. Melbourne, 3001.
ADVANCING NATIONAL SOCIALISM IN AUSTRALIA
"The refusal of the Federal Government to accept any direct responsibility for hospitals, schools and municipal services was at the heart of the, present crisis in Commonwealth State financial relations. The leader of the Federal Opposition, (Mr. Whitlam) said this yesterday". - The Age, Melbourne, February 3.
Mr. Whitlam is a member of the Fabian Socialist
Society, and it is logical that he should strongly advocate the extension
of Federal powers. His concept of solving the "crisis" threatening the
States is to completely subvert the States, making them mere administrative
conveniences of the Central Government. This in reality would mean an
extension of the power of the Federal bureaucracy and the planners directing
it. Mr. Whitlam is playing at politics by attacking the Gorton Government,
because he is aware that since he became Prime Minister, Mr. Gorton
has also been advocating a similar centralist policy to the one he is
advocating. For example, Mr. Gorton also wishes the Federal Government
to accept direct responsibility for Australian education. Mr. Whitlam
says that, "Australia will not keep pace with comparable countries in
schools and teaching government and non-government, until our national
government accepts the same responsibility as other national governments
have already accepted for them".
Excessive centralisation is producing friction and revolt all over the world. President de Gaulle is finding that the French in Brittany want greater local government. Growing friction in Australia between the States and the Commonwealth can only be reduced by a policy of genuine decentralisation of power, and responsibility, not by a policy of what is really National Socialism.
SOVIET SCORES IN MIDDLE EAST CRISIS
"President Nixon conferred for more than three hours yesterday with his National Security Council on plans to help a settlement in the Middle East It was believed in diplomatic circles that the U.S. would edge towards acceptance of a long-standing French proposal for Middle East discussions involving UN representatives of the U.S., Russia, France and Britain ". - The Australian, February 3.
The French proposal for the Middle East is similar to that of the Soviet Union. The fact that some Arab Governments and groups are resorting to terrorism must not be allowed to obscure the basic problem of the Middle East, which is the genuine fear of the Arabs that the Zionists propose to permanently expand the borders of the State of Israel at the expense of the Arabs. Thoroughly documented evidence is available showing that the Israelis have been using terrorist tactics to force Arabs out of the areas conquered by the Israelis in the 1967 conflict. The Arabs believe that this is concrete evidence that the Israelis propose to maintain permanent control over these areas.
The Soviet has hypocritically said that it wishes to see peace in the Middle East, advocating a policy, which has some merits: Israel to withdraw to original borders, and her frontiers to be guaranteed by the Big Powers. This is similar to a proposal put forward by Sir Anthony Eden. But the Soviet knew that Israel would reject the proposal, and that the West would not give support, thus leaving the Soviet in the eyes of the Arabs as their only true friends. The West's policy makers have got to regain the confidence of moderate Arab leaders, if they are to re-establish their influence in an area vital to their future as a major supplier of oil.
STATE RIGHTS AND POLITICAL REALITIES
"The Victorian Premier, Sir Henry Bolte believes a 'pretty evenly divided' House of Representatives in Canberra is the only way the States can get financial justice". - The Herald, Melbourne, February 3.
Further evidence of the methods being adopted by the present Federal Government to destroy the States and the whole Federal system was provided by the Minister for Education in Victoria, Mr. Lindsay Thompson. He showed up clearly, the deficiency of the present financial arrangements between the States and the Commonwealth. For every $2.2 million lent to the States they repay to the Commonwealth the original loan plus $3.3 million in interest over the long-term payment period. The Commonwealth loans such money from funds originally collected from Victorians, New South Welshmen, or whatever State it be, in the form of taxation. The inequity of the charge to the taxpayer is obvious, and beyond any normal measurements of justice. The money is first taken from the taxpayer and then lent back to him at a rate quite breathtaking in its exorbitance. Even with today's inadequate financial policies the States have a strong case for raising such finance by direct taxation powers. The individual would pay once, without interest, which at the moment more than doubles the original impost, all of which has to be recovered by the States. The public debt structure in Australia is now almost entirely carried by the States. The centralisers with Mr. Gorton at the helm, supported by Mr. Whitlam, exploit the situation in pursuit of their objective of concentrating political and economic power at Canberra.
UNREST IN SPAIN
"By accepted Spanish standards, the latest stare of emergency imposed on Spain is mild and not even very new. To enlightened outsiders it may seem intolerable that, after almost three years of relative freedom, the country's Press again suffers the stricture of censorship". - Barrie Bretland in The Herald, Melbourne, February 3.
To those who have watched developments in the Mediterranean countries and the Middle East, "accepted Spanish standards" dealing with situations which threaten the internal security of the country are much more realistic than in most. Spain may have been more fortunate in one sense, as the revolution in the thirties designed to make her a Communist strategical base in both the heart of Europe and the Mediterranean, occurred before propaganda had softened up the internal populace to the extent that has occurred throughout the rest of the world in the years since. Developments in recent years in such matters as trade with Cuba and the U. S. S. R. indicated that the lessons of the thirties were being undermined by other means. No doubt such trade carried with it political provisos. These recent measures by the Spanish Government could indicate that they are not prepared to sell their relative freedom and stability for material gains.
DEFICIENCY FUNDAn additional $82.80 has been added to last week's total, which now stands at $662.40. Our objective of making up the $5000 deficiency by June can be achieved if all who have not yet done so pledge or directly pay $10.00 on the average (10 cents weekly). Send to Box 1052J, GPO Melbourne 3001.
TRADE BAN ON HANOI
"A Sydney businessman, Mr. P. Sayers, who planned to import cigarettes from North Vietnam, has cancelled his order because of government action last Friday to bar trade with Hanoi". - The Australian, February 4.
Mr. Sayers, who is one of those who find no inconsistency in trading with people who are engaged in killing his fellow countrymen, said he did not think the Australian public would be against such trade. "I think this whole matter has shown the lack of public support for the Government's position on the war. I have not had one telephone call or letter opposed to my plan to import the cigarettes . .
The confusion in the public mind over trade with
North Vietnam is that we openly trade with her main supporters and allies,
Communist China and the U.S.S.R. Most people recognise the hypocrisy
of the situation, but as there is no general understanding of economic
realities, which could give Australia a genuine alternative to the hypocritical
policy of trading with the enemy, the vast number of the people remained
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