Foreign meddling in Australia’s affairs – part eight


CIA agent, Harry Goldberg, looks at Australia in 1960

Australian Report


1. And now the whole DLP problem.

I had a long chat first with Santamaria, around whose head swirl all sorts of conflicting tales. “He’s the leader of the DLP”, “he’s the evil genius of the DLP”, he ’s trying to create a separate Catholic Party; he’s the agent of the Archbishop, etc etc.

By the commies and pro-commies, and bitter sectarians he’s the most hated of guys. By those who are not so bitter, still in the ALP, they raise eyebrows. “Well, you know, Santamaria, etc.” Before I met him I said to myself, he must be quite a guy, certainly a very positive character to arouse all these mixed reactions.

Well, he certainly is quite a guy. He’s brilliant, forceful, speaks very well, logically, etc. It was quite a heart-to-heart talk we had. I pressed him hard on the separate Catholic Party, the agent of the Church, etc., on wanting or not to get back to the ALP. His answer was as follows: 

“We don’t want a separate party. We are not building a separate Catholic movement. We are not being guided by the Church. You can prove that by yourself, Goldberg, by seeing the Archbishop. We desire to see a unified Labor Party.

“We want to go back, but we will not go back until the ALP has overcome its weaknesses, has cleaned out the commies and weeded out the communist influence which is there because the non-communist leadership hasn’t the guts to fight it.

“Until this is done, and until the Party changes its line on Communist China we will vote against and keep it out of power (and we have the votes to do so) for an ALP in power with such a line and with the great communist influence inside it would be disastrous for Australia and the Free World”.

With such a line I would agree 100 per cent, in fact its exactly the same thing I’d been pressing versus all and sundry. As to Santamaria himself personally, his moral integrity and sincerity, I can’t offer myself as an authority after one session. All I can say, for what it is worth, is that he impressed me as sincere and that he’s thought of highly by all the Victorian Labor boys, with whom I met, and who are the minority opposition in the Trades Council, and most of whom (not all) are members of the DLP.

2. The Split Hierarchy

One of the most anomalous and complicating factors in the whole battle of the DLP and the entire picture generally is the schism between the Catholic Church of Victoria and that of Sydney. It’s present as Cardinal Gilroy versus Archbishop Mannix, but of course it’s more than that.

Mannix is an amazing man, 96 years of age, and still in complete control of all his faculties and quite cognizant of the issues involved. He supports Santamaria, without directing him or ordering him. The Cardinal who is reported to be a saintly man, is also, it seems not too au courant with the issues.

The decisive force in Sydney is one Bishop Carroll, whose line on these matters the Cardinal is reputed to take. The Bishop supports the ALP and is opposed to the DLP (mostly Catholic mind you) and hates Santamaria’s guts. The fight has been sharp, and has even gone to Rome, I understand. The schism in the hierarchy is, as I said amazing and anomalous, but whatever the reason for it (and there are all sorts of rumours which I can report on verbally) it certainly complicates matters and makes the fight of the DLP more difficult.

I have no hesitation in saying that if the hierarchy were united on this matter victory would be much nearer. The anti-commie trade union boys in Melbourne as also in Sydney are very bitter versus the Bishop and regard him as responsible for the entire situation.

Well, I stuck my nose into this situation also. Saw both the Archbishop (in Melbourne) and the Bishop (in Sydney). Accompanying me to the Archbishop were Santamaria, Rose, Harry Hurrell (Laurie’s assistant) and Jack Maynes (Joe Riordan’s counterpart, of the Clerks). Accompanying me to the Bishop was Joe Riordan who had arranged it for me. 

With the Archbishop it was just a pleasant conversation, though I was able to satisfy myself on certain matters (the DLP is not a plot hatched out by the Archbishop using Santamaria as an agent to create a separate Catholic Party). With the Bishop it was different. Here there was earnest and strong argument with no punches pulled. It was amusing as the devil to find the Jew, Goldberg, trying to mend the fences in a split in the hierarchy and I laughingly told the Bishop so. 

Joe Riordan thinks I made a dent on the Bishop. I doubt that very much.

3. Senator McManus

He’s the leader of the DLP in Parliament. They have only two Senators in the Upper House, none in the lower. He impresses as a very fine type, simple, sincere and of great moral integrity. He told me something of the background of the split, their motives and hopes. His story was substantially the same as that of Santamaria.

He told me an interesting fact (and he promised to send the record on to me). My name was mentioned in the Senate in connection with a question put to the Minister of Naval Affairs. The commies were involved evidently, and in answering, the Minster referred in some fashion to my experience at the blowup in the Trades Council. How exactly I’ll know when/if McManus sends me the stuff.


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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