Foreign meddling in Australia’s affairs – part six


CIA agent, Harry Goldberg, looks at Australia in 1960

Australian Report

E. Melbourne

1. The Big Blow-up

The leaders of the Melbourne Trades and Labor Council – the real hotbed of commie influence – invited me to address the Council the evening I arrived. I suppose they didn’t dare not go through the motions, but they allowed me only five minutes, thinking thus to “pull my fangs” as it were, so I couldn’t raise the controversial Communist China issue.

The General-Secretary (and real leader) of the Council is Stout, an embittered, sour Catholic-hating leftist who keeps in power by playing with the commies and, of course, on the Catholic (DLP) issue they practically coincide. The president Littleton, who presides is supposed to be a better fellow. There was present also Bill Evans, Junior Vice-President of the ACTU, its No. 3 man.

Having so few minutes, I decided, after the first minute of the amenities (and I spoke fast) to just spend it on the Communist China issue. I hadn’t spoken more than a minute – recounting merely the revulsion in India and among Asian Socialists re- China, Tibet and India brutality, when the storm broke, led by their chief bully boy, Brown, of the Railway Union.

“What about Little Rock; what about the Rosenbergs”, and such were thrown at me by the commies, to be capped by Brown yelling “murderers”. The place was in an uproar, I couldn’t continue, the commies and their supporters were all on their feet howling in unison.

The Chairman, Littleton, was ringing the bell and finally got some order and I took the opportunity to put in one thought for another half minute. “Those who interrupt me are violators of democracy, which they pretend to believe in. The real test of democracy consists in allowing free expression of opinion to those who disagree with you”.

Uproar again. By this time some of the anti-commies were yelling back, “Let him speak; courtesy to the speaker”. Finally, one of them, Jack Maynes, a good one, obviously the floor leader of the anti-commie minority, and the Federal President of the Clerks (Joe Riordan’s fellow officer) proposed I be granted an extension of time. The Chairman, Littleton, obviously under Stout’s orders refused to entertain the motion. He finally got silence and I spoke for two minutes more and said my piece, again paying my respect to the commies.

Now, the commies didn’t have the majority there, but the interesting point to note is that they were allowed to get away with all this. The gutless get-along-with-the-commies-at-all-costs character of the leadership is that neither Stout, nor Littleton, nor Evans, said one bloody word during the meeting, in my favour, but more, not one word publicly versus the commies doing what they did.

Even further, Rose, Harry Hurrell and I had tea after it was all over with Stout, Littleton and Bill Evans. I waited to see what they would say. Even in private, not one word, either in explanation, or excuse, or criticism, or differentiation from the commies, as if the whole business were quite ordinary and OK from their point of view.

So there you have it. As I said above, however, it was the best thing that could have happened. The commies (and their stooges) overplayed their hand and I went to town on them in the newspapers, radio and television, all of whom came to me after the event. It was good.

2. Bill Evans

I invited him to lunch and he came. I put him on the spot about the whole business. Since our conversation showed up so well exactly those shortcoming of the ACTU leadership which he at the basis of the whole critical communist infiltration (ie lack of character, gutlessness, abysmal ignorance of principles, immoral lack of concern) let me give a blow by blow description here in the case of the No 3 man of the ACTU, who is also supposed to have a good record and background.

Goldberg: Well, Bill, that was quite a business. I was told the commies had a great deal of influence here. Now I know it is so. And it is because those who call themselves non-commies don’t do a thing about it and go along, and allow the commies to have their way all along the line.

We of the AFL-CIO want to have friendly relations with you, but that will be difficult when commies are allowed to howl down our representatives, call them murderers, without you people not only not doing but even not saying anything about it. We will not keep quiet about such scandalous behavior. How is it you didn’t say one bloody word about the business, Bill?

Evans: Well, Harry, why did you raise the question of China; you know how they feel about that?

Goldberg: You mean that I should allow the commies to veto what I want to say, and you would go along with that? You mean nobody who disagrees with the commies should be allowed to state his disagreements? And what about their calling a representative of the AFL-CIO “Murderer”?

Don’t you, a leader of the ACTU, who wants to have friendly relations with the AFL-CIO, presumably have anything to say about that?

Evans: Well, they have as much right to call you murderer as you have to call them.

Goldberg: What do you mean by that?

Evans: Well, you implied about Tibet that the communists were murderers, didn’t you?

(No more comment necessary, is there. Here you have the abysmal ignorance of morals and principles of one who regards himself as a socialist. Naturally, I educated him on this point, or rather, tried to, and then he proceeded on another tack re China).

Evans: Look, Harry, you may think a few things are wrong in China, and I may think, but that is not the important thing. The important thing is what the Chinese themselves think. And that’s why I can understand why our blokes what to go to China for a look-see. I would like to go myself to prove to myself what I suspect, namely, that the overwhelming majority of Chinese like their situation, and are firm supporters of their government.

(So I tried to educate him on this question, on the Communes, on what they signified, about the instances which proved the deep hatred of the Chinese masses of the commies’ bureaucracy, but go fight City Hall. One other remark of his, also characteristic of this benighted leadership, will prove interesting):

Evans: You see, Harry, we are different and so are our movements. The AFL-CIO is not socialist, you believe in the preservation of capitalism. We are socialists and believe in doing away with capitalism. This places us much nearer to the communists.

Well, there you have it! This should about explain everything without my telling you what I told him in return.

And this is supposed to be one of the better ones!

3. Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes

As I told you, a good guy and well-informed, independent and always taking off against Communist China and supporting Taiwan. He told me a good deal of the rottenness inside the Liberal Party – ie the opportunism and lack of principle vis-a-vis Communist China, etc. He has no use for Menzies and it is easy to see why. He will be coming to Washington in the near future. I invited him to come to se us. I hope he does. He will be a good contact. He’s married to an American wife.


Who’s Who (from Tribune article) 

Oscar Rozenbess: Former secretary of the Melbourne Taxi Drivers Association. Former Labor Minister Cameron was probably referring to Rozenbess when he told parliament last Thursday about “a CIA operative who covered by working as a taxi driver”.

Richard Krygier: Sydney book importer who founded the CIA funded Australian Association for Cultural Freedom which published Quadrant. Named in parliament as a CIA agent by Cameron.

Laurie: Mr L Short, national secretary of the Federated Ironworkers Association (FIA). Former Trotskyist now on the ALP’s extreme right.

Harry Hurrell: FIA national president, regarded as the real power in the union until recently.

Joe Riordan: Former secretary of the NSW Clerks Union, a rightwinger who later fell out with Maynes. Elected ALP member for Phillip he became a minister in Whitlam’s cabinet but lost his seat in 1975.

Fred Campbell: Former NSW secretary of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU).

Harry Jensen: ETU official who became Lord Mayor of Sydney. Now Minster for Local Government in the Wran ministry.

Dr Evatt: Federal Labor  leader after Chifley. Former High Court judge and brilliant lawyer, Evatt appeared before the Petrov Commission accusing Menzies and ASIO of securing Petrov’s defection as an anti-Labor stunt. This led to the 1955 ALP split.

Arthur Calwell: ALP leader after Evatt retired. A rightwing Catholic, he moved to a centre position and finally opposed the Vietnam war.

Bland: Sir Henry Bland, top public service bureaucrat (Holt’s secretary of Labor and National Service, then Defence Department secretary). Briefly chairman of the ABC under Fraser.

B.A.Santamaria: Director of the National Civic Council (NCC) and power behind the now almost defunct Democratic Labor Party (DLP).

Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes: Attorney-General and Minister for the Navy in the Menzies government.

Jim Kenny: Former rightwing secretary, NSW Labor Council.

Jack Maynes: Federal president, Federated Clerks Union, NCC supporter and DLP member.

Littleton: Probably Little, Victorian THC president.

Vic Stout: Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council for many years who finally opposed the NCC.

Bill Evans: Federal secretary of the Federated Enginedrivers (FEDFA), ACTU and THC vice-president. 

Albert Monk: ACTU president for many years and a “centre-right” force in the ALP.

Frank Knopfelmacher: A Sudeten German from Czechoslovakia, a notorious anti-communist academic.


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