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SALUTE TO A GREAT AUSTRALIAN
In the passing of Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes
Australia has lost one of her greatest sons. His passing brings
to close an era. For as we survey the Australian political
scene on which the battle for Australia's national freedom
is being fought as our contribution to the freedom of all
mankind, there is no one at this moment demonstrating the
integrity, the wisdom, the forethought, the historical perception
accompanied by the intelligence and clear sighted, single
minded, objectivity which characterised the endeavours of
Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes.
Brought by the passing of time and the erosion of many of the values and principles to a position where he fought a lonely battle, his faith, courage and conviction never deserted him.
To fear not sensible failure
To Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes, fighting with one's back to the wall was only a position from which to advance. As a Knight and a former minister of the Crown with a parliamentary career stretching over forty-three years; an Olympic athlete, a Rhodes Scholar, a ranking soldier of two world wars, poet and writer, and the confidant of numerous personages of importance in national and international affairs all over the world, he had a background from which to demand that he be set apart from his fellows had false pride so dictated. This was never his way. He accepted people for what they were, and with natural humility complimenting his great attainments his ability to "descend to meet" enriched his own life and the lives of those who were privileged to know him. He was "always serving" as befits a soldier who is a warrior to the last.
The day before he died a brilliant summary of the dangers facing Australia was published under his name on the leading page of The Melbourne Herald. There was something prophetic in the decision of the editorial board of The Herald to publish what became within hours the last service he could offer to his country. In the light of the tremendous importance of his words we can think of no more fitting epitaph than to print in full the article as it appeared in The Herald, July 30, 1970.
His words may well serve as the conscience of all those men who by their actions hold the freedom of this nation in their hands. The article was written in the present tense.
TIME FOR US TO WAKE UP TO THE RED THREAT
By SIR WILFRID KENT HUGHES
He is visiting Malaysia, Singapore, Australia
and New Zealand for discussions with their Governments on
defence problems East of Suez. All four nations will undoubtedly welcome
Britain's change of policy towards the region, which has been
brought about by the recent change of government.
While all eyes are diverted to the wars of aggression in South-East Asia, the vital importance of the Indian Ocean has been disregarded by many. The Suez Canal, if it reopens in the future, will be controlled by Russia with bases on both sides of the entrance to the Red Sea.
Ceylon has recently established diplomatic relations with North Korea, and India has her own internal problems to contend with. The importance of the sea route via the Cape, and the necessity for a naval base at Cockburn Sound, and air bases on our west coast cannot be over-estimated.
The U.S.A. has its own problems, both internal and external, in the Western Pacific and Western Europe. Its internal racial problems have at present a devastating effect on its external policies, particularly with respect to Africa. The Pentagon is alive to the importance of the Cape as the only all-weather sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, but the Secretary of State, Mr. Rogers, did not bother to visit any nations south of the Zambesi, or even Malawi, during his recent visit to Africa.
The British Government, well aware that this sea route is vital to Britain's and Western Europe's security (95 per cent of their oil supplies go round the Cape every day), is being criticised at home and in America for the proposal to sell arms to South Africa for the sea and air defence of this route. Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia have already threatened to leave the Commonwealth, if such arms are supplied, and such action could well mean that many other African members would follow their example.
It would be interesting to know what is the total amount of annual subsidies paid by the British taxpayer to her former African colonies. In one case alone, it is £6,000,000 out of a total budget of £16,000,000. The British Labar Government got no marks for supplying arms to the Nigerian Government to help them wipe out Biafra. Russia outbid her.
In an overall analysis it would not be surprising if these total subsidies went a long way towards counterbalancing Britain's trade with many of these nations.
In America today, if the President and Vice-President do not succeed in their appeal to the "silent majority", Australia can tear up the ANZUS Treaty and put it in the wastepaper basket. Whether in America, Britain or Australia, the psychological war has to be won if the Communists are to be stopped in their aim of world conquest.
Recently Government delegations from Tanzania, Zambia, and Brazzaville Congo have received red carpet treatment in Peking, and the railway from liar Es Saham to Lusaka is being built by the Chinese Communists for strategic purposes only. It will never pay in the economic sense.
Russian activities in the Middle East are well known, and their expansion to bases along the north coast of Africa. North and South of the Sahara are now Russian spheres of influence, while Peking operates in Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Brazzaville, Congo and Guinea.
In October last, I was a delegate to
the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Trinidad, and
was seated at a table with the delegates from Tanzania, Uganda
and Zambia. I asked them in a friendly fashion:
Even in Swaziland, a Bantu school teacher, whose wife was a Swazi, was being sent back to South Africa. There is the same distorted thinking even in Canberra. Mr. Whitlam called me a racist because I visited South Africa. By the same line of reasoning, is he now a Communist, because he has visited Moscow?
The same distorted reasoning was obvious in a news letter published by the Russian Embassy in Canberra recently. They said it would be a crime against humanity if Israel bombed the Aswan Dam, which was the finest construction project of recent times. Yet Russia is training explosives experts to try to stop the building of the Caboora-Bassa Darn in Mozambiue. This dam will be nearly twice the size of the Aswan Dam, and will bring untold benefits to all races in the region.
The largely Communist influenced anti-apartheid
movement in Britain is applying its energies to the same objective
- "Stop the Caboora-Bassa". Yet the Portuguese policy
of assimilado is almost the opposite to that of separate development.
Southern Africa is rich in minerals, vital to the defence of the West. so also is the route.
America wants the chrome from this region, but obtains it via Russia, which charges nearly twice the price at which it was bought through an intermediary. How long are these farcical deals to go on, before the West wakes up to the fact that the Communists are not interested in internal policies, some of which are mild compared to their own in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. -- They want to take over or control the Cape the Gibraltar of the international situation today.
These are important factors in the discussions with Lord Carrington that will be ignored only at the expense of our own future security.
We are all in favour of peaceful co-operation, even with Governments that differ us, but at the present the phrase is being used as a blind to cover up the real intentions of the Communists who still operate on the basis that any means justify the end they are seeking.
We should follow the example of Mr Gordon Bryant, MP and open our eyes a bit wider, as he did when he recently visited Cambodia.
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|