Remembrance Day in a fearful, servile culture

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…The historian Peter Cochrane recently reminded us in his book Best We Forget that prime minister Billy Hughes spelled it out explicitly. “I bid you go and fight for White Australia in France,” he told Australians in 1916.

It underlined a complicated truth: one of Australia’s central reasons for entering World War I was not as simple as standing with the “mother country”. It was to seal in blood a relationship to ensure Britain would protect White Australia against the feared future expansionist ambitions of Japan, even though Japan was an ally in World War I.

White Australia remained an article of domestic faith and international condemnation until the policy was dismantled in the 1960s and replaced with multiculturalism in 1972.

Yet, a century on, echoes remain. Australians and their parliamentarians in 2018 are restive about immigration, express anxiety about the expansionist ambitions of Asians to our north – it’s China now – and recently, senators even tied themselves in knots over the question of whether it was “OK to be white”.

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The Mongolian Octopus: his grip on Australia 1886

White Australia began dealing with those it deemed “undesirable” or a threat at home during the Great War by detaining and deporting thousands of mainly German-Australians, including naturalised Australians.

More than 7000 were detained in what were called “concentration camps”, and more than 5000 were deported. Scores of German-sounding towns were renamed — 69 of them in South Australia alone under an Act of Parliament known as the Nomenclature Committee’s Report On Enemy Place Names.

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A century later, Australia still detains and deports those it doesn’t want on its shores. And today’s Australia – which long ago switched its hopes of protection to the United States, marching and sailing off to American-led wars from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan – remains a constitutional monarchy, its head of state the Queen.

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Old ties, sealed in blood, die hard. …

Tony Wright, ‘The long reach of old war ties, sealed in blood’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 09.11.18

***

It is proved in the pamphlet that the war of 1914-18 was imperialist (that is, an annexationist, predatory, war of plunder) on the part of both sides; it was a war for the division of the world, for the partition and repartition of colonies and spheres of influence of finance capital, etc.

Proof of what was the true social, or rather, the true class character of the war is naturally to be found, not in the diplomatic history of the war, but in an analysis of the objective position of the ruling classes in all the belligerent countries. In order to depict this objective position one must not take examples or isolated data (in view of the extreme complexity of the phenomena of social life it is always possible to select any number of examples or separate data to prove any proposition), but all the data on the basis of economic life in all the belligerent countries and the whole world.

It is precisely irrefutable summarised data of this kind that I quoted in describing the partition of the world in 1876 and 1914 (in Chapter VI) and the division of the world’s railways in 1890 and 1913 (in Chapter VII). Railways are a summation of the basic capitalist industries, coal, iron and steel; a summation and the most striking index of the development of world trade and bourgeois-democratic civilisation. How the railways are linked up with large-scale industry, with monopolies, syndicates, cartels, trusts, banks and the financial oligarchy is shown in the preceding chapters of the book. The uneven distribution of the railways, their uneven development—sums up, as it were, modern monopolist capitalism on a world-wide scale. And this summary proves that imperialist wars are absolutely inevitable under such an economic system, as long as private property in the means of production exists.

The building of railways seems to be a simple, natural, democratic, cultural and civilising enterprise; that is what it is in the opinion of the bourgeois professors who are paid to depict capitalist slavery in bright colours, and in the opinion of petty-bourgeois philistines. But as a matter of fact the capitalist threads, which in thousands of different intercrossings bind these enterprises with private property in the means of production in general, have converted this railway construction into an instrument for oppressing a thousand million people (in the colonies and semicolonies), that is, more than half the population of the globe that inhabits the dependent countries, as well as the wage-slaves of capital in the “civilised” countries.

Private property based on the labour of the small proprietor, free competition, democracy, all the catchwords with which the capitalists and their press deceive the workers and the peasants are things of the distant past. Capitalism has grown into a world system of colonial oppression and of the financial strangulation of the overwhelming majority of the population of the world by a handful of “advanced” countries. And this “booty” is shared between two or three powerful world plunderers armed to the teeth (America, Great Britain, Japan), who are drawing the whole world into their war over the division of their booty. …

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Private Alfred Jackson Coombs was one of at least 1000 Indigenous Australians who fought in WWI (and who were pushed aside on their return).

…The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk dictated by monarchist Germany, and the subsequent much more brutal and despicable Treaty of Versailles dictated by the “democratic” republics of America and France and also by “free” Britain, have rendered a most useful service to humanity by exposing both imperialism’s hired coolies of the pen and petty-bourgeois reactionaries who, although they call themselves pacifists and socialists, sang praises to “Wilsonism”, and insisted that peace and reforms were possible under imperialism.

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This man was not named. The only information with this image: ‘Australian War Memorial PO6131.006, PO6131.004’

The tens of millions of dead and maimed left by the war—a war to decide whether the British or German group of financial plunderers is to receive the most booty—and those two “peace treaties”, are with unprecedented rapidity opening the eyes of the millions and tens of millions of people who are downtrodden, oppressed, deceived and duped by the bourgeoisie. Thus, out of the universal ruin caused by the war a world-wide revolutionary crisis is arising which, however prolonged and arduous its stages may be, cannot end otherwise than in a proletarian revolution and in its victory.

V.I.Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1917, Preface to the French and German Editions

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Images: 1,3,4,5,6; 2

Aussie pride in servility – we need to be servile for our self-esteem

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David Wroe, ‘PM set to follow Trump on Israel’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 16.10.18

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is considering recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a historic change of policy that would align Australia with US President Donald Trump’s controversial shift but jar with much of the Western world and risk angering Arab and Muslim nations.

Mr Morrison will announce today that he will also initiate a review of Australia’s support for the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal and have Australia vote against Palestine’s leadership of a large United Nations voting bloc of developing nations – also both key Trump policies and top priorities of Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Jerusalem announcement is likely to reverberate around the world as Australia would become only the second country after the US to shift its position on the contentious issue that goes to the heart of the decades-long Israeli-Palestine conflict that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. …

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Australians should want a US governor not ambassador

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US President Donald Trump has yet to nominate an ambassador to Australia.

Nick O’Malley, ‘For two years Australia has been without a US ambassador, but that may not be a bad thing’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 08.09.18

‘“I’ve had it,” said Donald Trump during his now infamous first phone call with an Australian leader, then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. “I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call.”

The conversation, which took place in February last year, was scheduled for an hour but lasted just 25 minutes. Today, 18 months later, the President has yet to appoint an ambassador to Australia and next month the post will have been unfilled for two years. This is the longest the post has been empty since Australia realigned its foreign policy to rely upon the United States during World War II.

The absence is not going unnoticed.

“We are all heartsick about it,” the former US ambassador to Australia, John Berry, told Fairfax Media this week.

An American source plugged into the Washington, DC, diplomatic circuit said as far as he was aware there were not even rumours of a replacement in the wings. In a statement, a spokesman for the US embassy in Canberra said simply: “We have no news to report regarding the nomination of an Ambassador to Australia.”…’

Contrary to his abject obsequiousness to Trump in person, (now ex-)statesman ‘Trumbull’ ‘got even’ by making a savage mockery of him to an audience of his fellow lickspittles back on home soil.

Why do Australians want a US ambassador when their absorption of and need for American culture to validate themselves is to such a degree that they even began pronouncing ‘Iraq’ like Bush when they blindly followed him in attacking that country?

A US governor for Australia is the way to go.

Australia, the 51st state

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Best we forget: the war for white Australia, 1914-1918

Prime-Minister-Billy-Hughes

(Prime Minister) Billy Hughes addresses the troops. (Caption) ‘The Hon William Hughes stayed true to his belief in the White Australia Policy.’

‘Did the fear of Japan send us to war in 1914?’, ABC, Late Night Live, 02.08.18

‘Tensions were high between Australia and Britain after they signed a military alliance with Japan.

Australia was not happy because Britain was selling naval warships to the country they perceived as their biggest threat.

Britain was not happy with the young Australian nation insisting on legislation to guarantee a white Australia which was offensive to Japan.

Australia was adamant about keeping Australia white, and were (sic) willing to do whatever it took to keep it that way.’

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World War One enlistment poster

‘In the half-century preceding the Great War there was a dramatic shift in the mindset of Australia’s political leaders, from a profound sense of safety in the Empire’s embrace to a deep anxiety about abandonment by Britain.

Collective memory now recalls a rallying to the cause in 1914, a total identification with British interests and the need to defeat Germany. But there is an underside to this story: the belief that the newly federated nation’s security, and its race purity, must be bought with blood.

Before the war Commonwealth governments were concerned not with enemies in Europe but with perils in the Pacific. Fearful of an “awakening Asia” and worried by opposition to the White Australia policy, they prepared for defence against Japan—only to find themselves fighting for the Empire on the other side of the world. Prime Minister Billy Hughes spoke of this paradox in 1916, urging his countrymen: “I bid you go and fight for white Australia in France.”

In this vital and illuminating book, Peter Cochrane examines how the racial preoccupations that shaped Australia’s preparation for and commitment to the war have been lost to popular memory.’

(from the Text Publishing page)

Peter Cochrane, Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-1918, Text Publishing

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Foreign meddling in Australia’s affairs – part nine

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CIA agent, Harry Goldberg, looks at Australia in 1960

Australian Report

G. Conclusions and Comments

That’s about the story. I just want to say that it’s good we went. We did make an impact that was felt. All those fighting versus the commies on all levels were grateful that we did come.

They all urged strongly (just as Zenro and the DSP did in Japan) that an AFL-CIO representative be stationed in Australia in view of the difficulty of the fight versus the commies, and the important position of Australia. This I pass on for what it’s worth.

I think we ought to pay more attention to Australia than we have in the past. There are some things we can do. I have a number of proposals I’ll want to make when we get together.

That’s all!

Harry Goldberg

Honolulu

April 9, 1960

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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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Foreign meddling in Australia’s affairs – part eight

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CIA agent, Harry Goldberg, looks at Australia in 1960

Australian Report

F. DLP

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.

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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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Foreign meddling in Australia’s affairs – part seven

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CIA agent, Harry Goldberg, looks at Australia in 1960

Australian Report

E. Melbourne (ctd.)

4. MacNolte and Tripovich

Respectively President and General-Secretary of the Victorian Labor Party.

Two real vermin, whom I had been warned against, but I went to see them so that nobody could say I neglected to see anybody. MacNolte rules the roost, Tripovich is merely a messenger boy. MacNolte is a bitter sectarian (anti-Catholic) who foams at the mouth literally if you mention DLP, is that peculiar valuable type for the commies who, while claiming to be anti-communist, always carries the ball for them, is always seconding their motions, etc.

He greeted me at the very beginning with the copy of the Free Trade Union News carrying Joe Riordan’s article on the commie influence in the trade unions. “Lies, pure exaggeration and lies, and the AFL-CIO prints it”. I told him we didn’t think so, that we print no lies, and gave the story of what happened to me at the meeting as proof, and pressed him hard on the matter. “That was only a bit of noise; there are very few communists and they just make some noise, that’s all”.

“Well,” I answered, “You allow them to make the noise, and not only do nothing about it but support them in the issues that were raised. People like you are responsible for their influence”.

Then Tripovich put in his revealing two cents, “Do you expect us to be against the communists because they’re communists? I don’t care what their political ideology is, if they are good trade unionists. And Brown (that’s the guy who yelled “Murderer” at me, whose name I had mentioned and what did they think about it – H) is one of the best trade unionists I know. Even works on Saturday and Sunday, helping workers visiting their wives in hospitals, etc. etc.”

And remember, this is the leader of the Labor Party, the political wing, not the ACTU.

Then he gave me the final crushing proof of how they’re anti-communists. He gave me the Constitution of the Labor Party and pointed to the article which said no member of the Communist Party can be a member of the Labor Party, etc, etc.

I looked at it, then at him, said good-bye, and walked out. I’d had it.

5. Bland

Went to the bully-boy to see what makes him tick. This guy has power; he’s on the Civil Service list, so he keeps on while Ministers of Labor come and go. (I met the Minister of Labor McMahon, also. Absolutely nothing; a nincompoop). He handles all the cases and makes the decisions. And given the Arbitration System in Australia he has a lot to do and settle.

 Don’t underestimate his intelligence. He’s keen. He regards himself as a “fixer”, as a “smoother-over.” It’s his reputation for fixing that concerns him and that’s why he wants no “trouble”, and wants his reputation to be assured with all concerned, commies included. Principles of course, like with most of these Australians, do not enter into it.

Right at the beginning, I threw the blowup at the hall at him. He deprecated it of course (some of them did; in private), and then went into a lengthy, intellectual explanation of why the  movement is backward, non-intellectually developed, and why therefore the commies were strong. Coming from anybody else it would have made sense, because the guy is no slouch. But coming from the guy who got Healey off the hot seat its hypocritical  nature was evident.

Of course, I threw that right at him after remarking that his explanation was interesting and asked why analyses did not influence actions in his case since he also sounded anti-communist. Oh, he was a government representative and he had to adjudicate impartially, and all that. That’s, of course, the answer I expected. I paid my respects to that answer, and then left it at that. No use any further discussion.

A very smooth, slick operator, one bent essentially on maintaining his own little empire intact, therefore he will swim with the current. If the prevailing line is complacency re-commies he will go along. If the tide turns he’ll  turn also, because Bland is for Bland and nothing else.

6. The Emigres

a. As I said before they are all, each in his own way, doing good work. I met with all of them. Frank Knopfelmacher and Stargardt of the Cultural Freedom crowd, co-workers of Krygier – both University professors and fighting commie influence there which is great. 

They’re trying to put out a magazine and naturally asked for aid from us whom they regard as the source of all virtue (including money). I didn’t promise them anything, of course, said only I would take it up. But they’re very good types. One’s a Czech and the other German.

b. Then our friend, Oscar Rozenbess, who’s conduction a fight all on his own around his News and Views. He makes his living driving a taxi, and is a vice-president of the Taxi Union and its representative to the Trades Council where he conducts a fight versus the bureaucracy no matter the odds. He’s energetic, dedicated and courageous. Hes only lacks  tactical sensitivity. 

He was so glad of our coming that he couldn’t resist presenting himself as sort of our agent which was not good, and for which I bawled him out. But he’s doing very good work. He made a number of requests chiefly for literature which we’ll be able to handle.

c. Bono Wiener

A real character. Background Polish Bund. Through both the Nazi and Soviet concentration camps. Hates them like poison. Is courageous and a fighter. Has two blind spots though:

1) he’s anti-Catholic and so is prejudiced re- the DLP (you know – versus the Catholic Church and versus the Commies) and, 2) he’s for the admission of Communist China to the UN. I hammered away hard at these two things with him and think I made a dent on him. We will keep in touch.

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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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Foreign meddling in Australia’s affairs – part six

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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.

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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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Foreign meddling in Australia’s affairs – part five

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CIA agent, Harry Goldberg, looks at Australia in 1960

Australian Report

D. Canberra

1. Calwell, Leader of Labor Party.

He’s a better type than Evatt, of course (how could he be worse), but the big question mark with him, as with others, is whether he has the guts to make the fight versus the commies and put the Labor Party back on an even keel of democratic progressivism free of commie influence.

The general opinion here of our friends is (Laurie is a minority of almost one on the question) that although he’d like to, and would, if it were easier, that he hasn’t the intestinal fortitude to do so because it will take a real hard fight to accomplish the thing.

I can’t, of course, pose as an authority after a single conversation with him of two hours, but I tend to doubt the extent of his firmness and courage. I do think that our conversation threw some light on the matter, so I’ll give it as briefly as I can, blow-by-blow. My initial question, of course, was calculated to get us right to the heart of things:

Goldberg: Well, Calwell, when will the Labor Party come back into power?

Calwell: Oh, I think at the next election.

Goldberg: I don’t see how you can.

Calwell: What do you mean?

Goldberg: This is a natural labor country, and if you had a united Labor Party agreeing on principles, you’d probably have no difficulty coming back and you could be Prime Minister. But the Labor Party is split, there are differences on fundamental questions and so long as the DLP remains out, it has enough votes to stop you. The Labor Party cannot come back without getting the DLP back in the fold.

Calwell: Oh, yes, you’re right about that, Goldberg, but I’m working at that.

Goldberg: How so?

Calwell: I’m appealing to their rank and file over the heads of their leaders (and here he launched  into a bitter attack on the leaders, of why they didn’t give their second preference vote to the Labor Party, etc.). His whole approach was one of an administrative discipline sort, charging splitters, etc., without his touching at all upon the issues (commie influence, Communist China), which had brought the split about. This was the give-away re- his character and intentions, as far as I was concerned, and so I made my pitch at this point.

Goldberg: Well, Calwell, I doubt whether these admonitions will accomplish anything much. You’ll never win back the bulk of the DLP unless you attend to the issues which forced them out. Unless you stand up to the commies, weed out their influence inside the labor movement, and get rid of complacent compromise with Communist China, like the chief Asian socialist parties have done, you will not be able to unite the party, the Labor Party will not come back into power, and you’ll never be Prime Minster.

What you need is a Labor Party united on principle, fighting versus social reaction of the large industrial interests on the one hand and versus the communists on the other.

Calwell: I agree with you, and that’s exactly the kind of a Labor Party I intend to have.

Goldberg: Well, that’s good. I want to tell you frankly that I intend to see Santamaria and the DLP trade union boys in Melbourne; I want to get all points of view. I could give you my impression, if you’d care, after that.

Calwell: I would be interested in that.

Goldberg: And I can tell them what you’ve just told me about wanting to clean the commies out and restoring the Labor Party to its own even keel?

At this point the conversation became rather fuzzy around the edges. Well, you can judge for yourself from the above.

We discussed other matters, for instance the problem of New Guinea and relations to Indonesia with which the Australians are quite naturally deeply concerned, but this part we’ll skip.

2. Ambassador Seebold

I did this, not only to pay my respects, but to see if I couldn’t help Martinson, our labor attache, a bit. His position here at the Embassy is not too hot.

It isn’t that Seebold is malevolent or anti-labor; not at all, he just doesn’t realise the importance of the labor question in Australia. Also administratively, he wants to keep his “flock” around him in Canberra where they can be seen and controlled.

Now, in the case of the Labor Attache, this is pure idiocy. He should be stationed either in Sydney or Melbourne, the two chief labor centers in the country (there really should be a man in each place).

I offered to go to bat specifically on this question with the Ambassador. But Gene asked me not to, since his position as it were was a bit difficult, and the Ambassador would feel that he had put me up to it which would only worsen his situation. There was something to this so I didn’t mention it in my talk with the Ambassador, though it’s something we’ll have to take up vigorously at home.

Seebold had spent many years in Asia (especially Japan) and was interested in all sorts of situations. I gave him my impressions about Japan, also of India as well as Indonesia at length. Then I took up the Australian situation and ended with the importance of the labor question here.

I think he was impressed. He certainly kept me there, asking questions, etc. We were there for one hour and twenty minutes, longer, said Martinson, than any non-diplomatic guy had ever been given by the Ambassador. I think the conversation helped Martinson’s position. That at least is what he himself said to us, at the end.

About the Ambassador as also Martinson, I’ll have something else to add, privately, when we’re home.

3. Peter Hayden – Deputy Director, Ministry of External Affairs.

A nice guy and a sharp guy. We discussed chiefly two questions. Indonesia and the New Guinea question (I wanted to get from the horse’s mouth the offical Government position). I did. No details of this necessary here.

As to the position of the Government on South Africa, I had the definite feeling that Hayden was not comfortable with it and that personally he didn’t agree. He tried weakly at first to defend the Government’s position saying it was an internal affair of South Africa and it would be unwise to bring it up in the UN, because then, he added “Why couldn’t we also bring up the question of Negro discrimination in the US before the UN, it would be just as legitimate.”

(And these are the better, more intelligent ones in Australia, mind you! – H)

I pressed him sharply here, of course, on his absolute lack of discrimination between the two cases, pointing out first the depth of the violence, and the complete violation of every human and democratic principle and further that  this policy was an offical policy of a government, whereas our case was relatively very minor, that the offical policy of the government and the Supreme Court was versus discrimination, that the majority of the people were versus it; that only a small sectional minority was still opposing, that great progress had been made democratically, that the present sit downs were within democratic procedures, and I had not doubt that further progress would be made. Things were moving inexorably and inevitably in the right direction.

He admitted at the end that he was wrong. 

That’s about all for Canberra.

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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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Foreign meddling in Australia’s affairs – part four

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CIA agent, Harry Goldberg, looks at Australia in 1960

Australian Report

C. Sydney

1. Jim Kenny

Don’t have to say much here. The only value for me, right at the beginning, was to see the point to which ACTU top leadership had degenerated.

He is supposed to have a past record of strength and firm anti-communism. He’s a perfect specimen of lack of principle and complete gutlessness. We raised the commie issue of course and baited him about Monk, but no go. He just squirmed and was visibly quite embarrassed but no admission out of him at all. It was really pathetic, and we cut it short.

I told him I would like to see Monk, but he told me Monk was away in West Australia and wouldn’t be back before we left. Monk’s date out there, incidentally, was quite legitimate, I learned later. Too bad. It would have been good to bait him face to face.

2. Jensen

This Lord Mayor of Sydney tried to impress upon me that he was one of the boys, that he was an old trade unionist, etc. The latter is true, but he’s a real opportunist, interested only in Jensen, who’s used his past labor record as a ladder to climb up on.

The conversation turned a good deal on one topic, which I raised very strongly with those present, the wages of union leaders and their union staffs. These are incredibly low, and I think that’s another illustration of the labor movement’s backwardness here. I was shocked to find out, for instance, that my secretary’s wages are as much as say Laurie gets as head of the Ironworkers’ Union! It’s incredible! Imagine then what  the wages of his staff are. 

It’s due chiefly to two causes: 1) the low contributions made by the workers and 2) the false proletarianism of the workers generally. The result is that unions are terrifically hampered in their work, considerably understaffed, etc. It also accounts for the generally low level of union staff men, for how can they get people of ability at such low wages. They simply go elsewhere.

A contribution is also made, I’d imagine, by the system of arbitration here. Workers have the feeling that a good deal of what they get (when and if they get it) comes from the working of the Tribunal Boards. They tend to look upon their union as a helpful middleman, as it were, rather than their exclusive, indispensable defender.

But whatever the cause, the situation is scandalous. I’d been hammering at Laurie, telling him its about time he educated his membership on the false proletarianism prevalent, it seems, in Australia, and I raised it again sharply at this Consul General’s luncheon with some of labor’s top leaders present. 

There was general agreement with me, except for this hypocrite, Jensen (who I later learned had left the trade union movement because, as he said it didn’t pay high enough salaries) who said he opposed raising wages, that it would destroy the idealism (sic!) of equality characterising the Australian trade union movement and that he hoped things would not go as they had gone in America where materialism had sapped the idealism of  trade unionism.

Well, you can imagine how I let this guy have it, straight between the eyes. The good thing was that everybody else there agreed with me.

red-star

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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