As I predicted…with a lot more of this to come

Julian-Assange

Assange makes a statement outside the High Court in London in February 2016, when he had already spent three years holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Suelette Dreyfus, ‘EU hails Assange while Australia does nothing’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18.04.19

The European Parliament passed a law this week to protect whistleblowers across 28 countries, with support from 591 MEPs to just 29 against, while some abstained and some were absent. This new EU “directive” may have been inspired in part by WikiLeaks’ reporting, but it will not help its founder, Julian Assange, who is already sitting in a British high-security prison, Belmarsh, under harsh conditions.

Assange faces a UK charge of skipping bail. He always said he skipped bail because the US government wanted to put him in a US prison. He was correct.

Now the US is attempting to extradite Assange to face criminal proceedings. Its single charge against him is about an event that happened nearly a decade ago – and it is a serious threat to media freedom.

This was the view of many in the meeting rooms at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week. On Monday night the Parliament’s plenary passed a motion to discuss Assange’s plight. A stream of MEPs from different countries told the chamber of their worry for his safety, proposed giving him asylum in Europe, and insisted he not be extradited to the US.

A few journalists have claimed US criminal proceedings are not a threat to press freedom because “Assange isn’t a journalist”. Why? Because he “just dumped” US military documents, the “War Logs”, in an unredacted form. This is inaccurate.

When WikiLeaks published the Afghanistan War Logs, it withheld more than 15,000 records. Its next major publication, the Iraq War Logs, was more heavily redacted – so much so that other media outlets complained.

Assange is both a journalist and a publisher; he has led fearless news reporting over more than a decade. His digital media outlet has worked like a wire service: it publishes straight, fact-based news pieces, supported by data sets of redacted original material. Media around the globe have taken these news pieces and expanded them by enhancing the stories with local content, as they might with an AP news story.

Traditional media outlets have now copied many innovations by Assange. These include installing anonymous digital drop boxes, publishing large redacted data sets in support of investigative news stories, hiring data science journalists, and encouraging reporters to improve their cybersecurity to protect sources.

I previously worked with Assange, writing the book Underground, and other journalism. What I witnessed was an investigative journalist at work. He had a strong news sense, sought to report the facts accurately, was a good writer, and believed in reporting news in the public interest. Since 2007, he has been a member of the journalists’ trade union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

That the EU Parliament is moving to protect whistleblowers, and many of its members are so concerned about Assange, begs the question: why isn’t the Australian government using its special relationship with Britain to ask for its own citizen to be sent safely home? Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s throw-away lines about Assange’s case raises questions about whether he is a leader who will look after Australians in strife overseas. This is one of the roles of a government.

Labor leader Bill Shorten could easily follow the lead of his British Labour counterpart, Jeremy Corbin, who stated he does not think Assange should be extradited to the US. But he hasn’t yet.

The US criminal charge puts at risk the public interest chain of investigative journalism: the information path of whistleblower from journalist to publisher to the public. This chain depends on technology, particularly for security and anonymity protections. An attack on any part of this chain will weaken this corrective mechanism that exposes corruption in our society.

Whether you agree or disagree with Assange, he has transformed journalism, and turned whistleblowing from a corruption issue into a freedom-of-expression issue. If this extradition goes forward, expect the chill of a coming winter in media freedom.

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Source

Two courageous Australians

Although John Pilger and Julian Assange lack class analysis they are two fine Australians. No aping of the US accent here, no Texan pronunciation of ‘Iraq’ nor beginning every response with ‘So…’.

Principles and no servility, unlike that of their culture and government which can’t wait to abandon Assange to the enraged US capitalist class and their agents (that the ‘Christian’ Prime Minister Morrison said that Assange ‘won’t get any special treatment’ by the Australian government to represent him is an early indicator), just as they did Mamdouh Habib and the token white Taliban David Hicks, even while every other country, including Britain, was demanding the return of their citizens from Guantanamo Bay).

I highly recommend this video.

Watch developments as the Australian government (either Liberal or Labor – note the American spelling – post the upcoming federal election), so big and tough in relation to China (but not too much – as ex-PM Abbott said, ‘fear and greed’ are the drivers in Australia’s myopic relations with China), abandons a fine Australian to his fate.

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Immigration and Racial Prejudice: The Chinese Exclusion Act — A R T L▼R K

On the 15th of March 1879, Thomas Nast’s cartoon, A Matter of Taste, was published. In the cartoon, criticising the support of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Senator James G. Blaine, an active backer of the Act, is shown dining in ‘Kearney’s Senatorial Restaurant’ – a reference to Denis Kearney, the leader of a violent anti-Chinese […]

via Immigration and Racial Prejudice: The Chinese Exclusion Act — A R T L▼R K

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8 VENEZUELA LIES THE US GOVERNMENT & MAINSTREAM MEDIA WANT YOU TO BELIEVE — Desultory Heroics

By Makia Freeman Source: Waking Times Venezuela lies abound. Both the USG (United States Government) and its lapdog MSM (Mainstream Media) have been going into overdrive, exaggerating or just plain lying about the state of affairs in Venezuela. Truth is always a casualty of war, and it’s also a casualty of pre-war, as the NWO […]

via 8 VENEZUELA LIES THE US GOVERNMENT & MAINSTREAM MEDIA WANT YOU TO BELIEVE — Desultory Heroics

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Everyone Has Fallen for the Lies About Venezuela — Desultory Heroics

By Lee Camp Source: truthdig There are three things I know for sure in this fanciful, sometimes inglorious experience we call life: You will never have a safety pin when you need one, and you will have thousands when you don’t need one. Wild animals are breathtakingly majestic until they’re crawling up your pant leg. […]

via Everyone Has Fallen for the Lies About Venezuela — Desultory Heroics

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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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