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4 June 1971. Thought for the Week "For among my people are found wicked men; they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men...their houses (are) full of deceits; therefore they become great, and waxen rich.
Jeremiah 5: 26-27
THE STEEL PRICE INCREASE
"The Federal Government must force B.H.P. to rescind their recently announced increase in steel prices, the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Mr. Hawke, said yesterday". - The Australian, June lst 1971.
The steel price increase has set off another flurry of accusations and counter-accusations among the Government, Labour and Manufacturers' Associations. Words of truth, half-truth, and fallacy have been spoken by all parties. Mr. Hawke has said that it is unfair to lump the blame for inflation on wage and salary earners; and that wage increases that have occurred have been justified by previous increases in prices and productivity. This is largely true.
Government Ministers have for months past been disposed to lay the bulk of the blame for inflation at the door of the Arbitration Court, because of the Court's readiness to grant large wage and salary increases, which the Government apparently considers excessive. It, of course, cannot be overlooked that, due to Communist pressure in the trade union movement, the drive to force wages up to unrealistic levels is ever operating as one means of further increasing social friction. All these various currents are meeting and causing more and more social turmoil.
Mr. J. Donald, Chairman of the Heavy Engineering Manufacturers' Association, Australia's biggest steel users, said that the increases were inevitable and justified. He went on that the increases were a symptom of inflation, and not a cause, and that inflation in Australia was a growing disease and becoming dangerous. These remarks of Mr. Donald are quite correct.
In a recent article which was featured in "The National Times" (Sydney) on April 26th, Dr. Paul A. Samuelson, Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and 1970 Nobel Prize winner in Economic Science, states that "creeping inflation is BUILT INTO the very nature of our modern mixed economy". We know that this is correct.
All the bleating about productivity,
and wage restraint, and heaven knows what else, will in the
long run make no improvement at all in this "inflationary
disease", as Mr. Donald has well described it. Only a drastic
alteration in the 'accepted' rules of modern finance-economics
will root out this disease, and correct the world's shocking
problem of the mal-distribution of wealth. This will be resisted
to the utmost limit by those forces in control of International
Finance which 'wax rich' out of their control.
UNEASE IN LIBERAL PARTY SUGGESTED BY PRESIDENT'S SPEECH
"The Liberal Party's concern with morale and policy was brought clearly into the open yesterday with a tough speech by the Federal President, Mr. R.J. Southey, at the opening of the Party's annual Federal Council meeting in Canberra." - The Age, Melbourne 1st June
The speech did suggest that the under-currents of concern amongst the rank and file might be beginning to reach the level of the power structure. He said that the main issue that caused nearly two years of dissension between Mr. Gorton and the leadership of the Party organization was the Liberals' commitment to Federalism as against a centralist style of Government. Some interpret this as a strong plea to the Prime Minister to do something to reinforce sagging Federalism in Australia, e, g. the introduction of a States' growth tax.
It is now accepted, even by Canberra that the viability of the States is in jeopardy, to say the least, unless the financial sovereignty of the States is shored up. The policy of the League of Rights is that full taxing powers must be RETURNED to the States. The Commonwealth grew out of the States at Federation in 1901 and it now has become a Frankenstein, which will destroy the States unless actively prevented from doing so.
Mr. McMahon, the Prime Minister, pledged firm support for the Federal system of government in Australia, and for the preservation of State powers. This will be impossible if the financial sovereignty of the States is destroyed - and this is what is happening, despite all the hot air in Canberra. Actions still speak more loudly than words.
ANOTHER BIG SURGE FORWARD IN LEAGUE OF RIGHTS FUNDA magnificent $800 contribution from a Queensland supporter has been a major factor in another big surge forward in the Australian League of Rights' 1971 $25,000 financial appeal. Since last week $1,166-00 has been contributed, taking the total to $23,566! The balance of $1,434 must be obtained by the end of this month.
THE CENSUS WRANGLE
"No Federal laws existed to prevent the Australian Security Intelligence Organization on any other Government agency from taking confidential details from a census form, a Barrister said yesterday." - The Australian, 31st May.
The above words were spoken by Mr. Malcolm
Hilbery of the Australia Party. He asserted that a note printed
on the Census from indicating that the individual's information
shall remain confidential gives a FALSE assurance. It would
appear that there are valid reasons for tightening up the
laws and regulations governing Census taking so that the individual's
right to privacy is not invaded.
Something very interesting did come out of the public meeting in Sydney at which Mr. Hilbery made his accusations. Professor D. Dunphy, Professor of Business Administration, and Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the University of N.S.W., supported the case for anonymous census returns; and he maintained that the issue of privacy should not be used to prevent the gathering of information which could lead to criticism of Government and corporate policies. As an example he said that census questions of household income and household expenditure have been dropped from the current census. He said - "I suspect that the Government's motivation for removing these questions was to prevent public assessment of the scope of poverty in this country at a time when this issue is causing increasing public concern". (What about the 'affluent society'? What has happened to that?)
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. It is satisfying that there are still people in the community who are vigilant concerning the intrusions of government into the lives of the individual. League of Rights supporters should always encourage their fellows to resist these sorts of invasions of privacy.
STEPPING UP FOREIGN CONTROL OF THE ECONOMY
Australia yesterday decided to join one of the world's top economic consultation bodies - the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. - The Age. May 26.
For the cost of $500,000 the Australian taxpayer will foot the bill to allow the domestic bureaucracy to move further into the international financial bureaucracy. The report in the press says we will have in return for our $500,000 access to the most sophisticated economic information available from the world's leading industrial nations.
Mr. McMahon is leading Australia into a firmer grip by the international finance-economic bureaucracy. We are told that an OECD committee will survey Australia's economy within the next year. We may be a little suspicious, but what is the great hurry? Obviously the initiative has not come from Australia, and we are on the receiving end of orders.
Loss of State political sovereignty led to loss of State financial and therefore economic sovereignty. Centralisation at Canberra opened the way to all forms of pernicious controls affecting the economic structure of Australian industry and commerce. Now the final step is being taken after years of involvement with GATT, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and their myriad committees. Who should be master of the Australian house and domestic finances?
We could argue a great deal about the extent to which any domestic government should interfere in the economy. It is simply not the function of government to govern the economy, but ensure that rules prevail to guard against exploitation of individuals and therefore the nation. Entering into contracts to obtain advice from a team of international management consultants on how to run our economy adds up to another advance in international socialism.
MAKE A NOTE OF THIS DAY NOW
A new League of Rights expansion step
of great historical significance will take place in Melbourne
on Saturday, 18th September, when The Australian Heritage
Society will be officially launched at the League's Annual
National Seminar. The Seminar theme will be, "Preserving Australia's
Heritage", and three outstanding Australians will present
papers. Sir C. Stanton Hicks, of Adelaide, will present a
paper on Australia's ecological heritage; the Hon. George
Reid, Victorian Attorney-General, on Australia's constitutional
heritage, and Sir Raphael Cilento, on Australia's racial heritage.
The 1971 Seminar will be an intellectual feast.
The League of Rights will attempt to
arrange private accommodation if required by country and interstate
visitors wishing to attend the Seminar. Requests must be made
well in advance.
MR. HAWKE WRITES TO MR. VORSTER
ACTU president (Mr. Hawke) wrote to the Prime Minister of South Africa (Mr. Vorster) asking that Springbok sporting teams to Australia be chosen on "a basis, which involves no racial discrimination". - The Age, May 19th.
"Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad". Such was the first reaction to the exercise in illusions of grandeur indulged in by Mr. Hawke. A correspondent to The Age, Mr. J. M. Turner adequately disposed of Mr. Hawke's pretensions to take over the role of Foreign Minister for the Government. Since his announcement, Mr. Hawke's empire building has started to crash in ruins around him with the defection of key transport workers who have declared they will service the South African tourists when they come to Australia. Mr. Hawke is now back peddling, and in a meeting in Sydney on the 26th May, was openly laughed at when he conceded the right of conscience for transport workers in arriving at any decision to supply services for the South Africans. Anyone who knows anything about trade unions will know that with such a loophole trade unionists will not go on strike. Only the tight fisted control of the militant minority keeps strike action in line amongst the mass of workers.
However, even if defeated on this issue the importance of Mr. Hawke's letter to Mr. Vorster should not be overlooked. Mr. Hawke was not speaking for the Australian trade union movement, but as the spokesman for the international socialist movement. As such, the protest that Mr. Hawke could not speak for the Australian Government would cut no ice with Mr. Hawke. As an international socialist he understands he is working with a world force directing a war of nerves against the South African Government. On this occasion he miscalculated the degree of loyalty and feeling within the Australian trade unions, and the antagonism within the community generally. However, such will not stop him from continuing to support and work for his international loyalties at every opportunity.
NATIONAL DIRECTOR WILL ADDRESS PUBLIC MEETINGThe National Director of the Australian League of Rights. Mr. Eric D, Butler, will address his first public meeting in Melbourne following his recent return from abroad. We have made arrangements for him to address a public meeting on FRIDAY, the 9th of JULY, at the FEDERAL HOTEL (Collins Room - 3rd floor) on the corner of Collins and King Streets - at 8. 00 p.m. Further details of the nature of his address will be provided shortly, and also a report of his current activities in Queensland.
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