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Veterans Golf Club of Victoria

We were golfing again!!
But, back to waiting!!

Webmasters Preamble

Remembering that our Club is a Social and Golf Club I added this page to the web site to help us through the Corona Virus shutdown and to maintain the Club in our lives.

At the moment this page is being updated daily with new jokes or Club chit chat. But more of the chit chat needs to come from members. When you read this consider putting finger to keyboard and tell us something as your contribution.

21st October 2020 - I'm not wanted in KMart Click here to pay the hospital bill

An aside on Golf rules

The Royal and Ancient sent me an email with a link to a video about Rules at Carnoustie. As it happens it only vaguely about rules and more about some interesting golf history with the leading Professionals playing shots we'd be ashamed of. With 20 minutes to spare you can watch it here.

Occupying the time

Yesterday I was at my local Kmart buying a large bag of Purina dog food for my loyal pet and was in the checkout queue when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had, an elephant?

So, since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again.

I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in hospital last time, but that I'd lost 10 kgr before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. I have to mention here that practically everyone in queue was now enthralled with my story.

Horrified, she asked me if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me.

I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter's backside and a car hit me.

I'm now banned from Kmart!!

I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details.

Quoted from Einstein

I'd rather go by bus.

Quoted from Prince Charles

There is nothing like it for morale to be reminded that the years are passing - ever more quickly - and that bits are dropping off the ancient frame. But it is nice to be remembered at all.

Quoted from Prince Phillip

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20th October 2020 - The social dlemma Click here to cancel facebook et. al.

Film review - The Social Dilemma

For some time there have been discussions of what is the appropriate time for interaction of children with electronic media. First it was television, but with the invention and dissemination through the community of mobile phones and tablets, the discusion took on new levels of intensity. Unlike television the new tools could be used anywhere and were far more suited to hidden advertising.

Developers invented interfaces (Facebook, Twitter et. al.) to attract not only children, but also adults with the (apparent) cost-free interaction with family, friends, enemies, politicians, celebrities, sports people, experts, psuedo experts, news sources and the world at large.

The apparent cost-free features were in fact paid for by advertising revenue from advertisers who found the effectiveness of the advertising warranted the cost of doing so.

In order to get maximum return for their money the advertisers interacted with the Companies providing the interfaces in a highly symbiotic way. With the power of modern computing vast amounts of data could be collected and analysed to such a degree of certainty that statements such as:

If we run this campaign to advertise that product we can garantee that 25% of people in the age range 30 to 50 will buy it in the next 12 months.

could be made with confidence.

Of course no one outside of this relationship, what ever misgivings they may have, could be fully aware of this until: The Social Dilemma.

The Social Dilemma is a full length feature movie available on Netflix which I don't have and therefore have to plagerise about it. It is in the form of a documentary featuring interviews with top executives from Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and other sites that seduce us into spending time and sharing information so they can sell both.

The film opens with the interviewees, somewhat embarassed by being there and being in a situation where they will need to confess and apologise.

Devika Girish in the New York Times

This documentary from Jeff Orlowski explores how addiction and privacy breaches are features, not bugs, of social media platforms.

That social media can be addictive and creepy isn’t a revelation to anyone who uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. But in Jeff Orlowski’s documentary “The Social Dilemma,” conscientious defectors from these companies explain that the perniciousness of social networking platforms is a feature, not a bug.

They claim that the manipulation of human behavior for profit is coded into these companies with Machiavellian precision: Infinite scrolling and push notifications keep users constantly engaged; personalized recommendations use data not just to predict but also to influence our actions, turning users into easy prey for advertisers and propagandists.

In briskly edited interviews, Orlowski speaks with men and (a few) women who helped build social media and now fear the effects of their creations on users’ mental health and the foundations of democracy. They deliver their cautionary testimonies with the force of a start-up pitch, employing crisp aphorisms and pithy analogies.

“Never before in history have 50 designers made decisions that would have an impact on two billion people,” says Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google. Anna Lembke, an addiction expert at Stanford University, explains that these companies exploit the brain’s evolutionary need for interpersonal connection. And Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook, delivers a chilling allegation: Russia didn’t hack Facebook; it simply used the platform.

Much of this is familiar, but “The Social Dilemma” goes the extra explainer-mile by interspersing the interviews with P.S.A.-style fictional scenes of a suburban family suffering the consequences of social-media addiction. There are silent dinners, a pubescent daughter (Sophia Hammons) with self-image issues and a teenage son (Skyler Gisondo) who’s radicalized by YouTube recommendations promoting a vague ideology.

Roger Ebert

For example, there is Justin Rosenstein, the inventor of Facebook's most ubiquitous feature, the "like" button. He sheepishly says it was intended to "spread positivity." What could be wrong with letting your friends and their friends "like" something you've posted? Well, it turns out people get their feelings hurt if they don't get likes. So, they amend their behavior to attract more likes. Does that seem like a problem? Consider this: a large population of the people urgently trying to get "likes" are young teenagers. We all know the excruciating nightmare that is middle school, when all of a sudden you no longer take for granted what your parents tell you and decide that what you really need is to be considered cool or at least not a total loser by your friends at school. Now multiply that by the big, unregulated world of the internet. This is why there is a precipitous spike in anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide attempts by the girls of Gen Z, current middle and high schoolers, as much as triple in some categories. Then there's the new clinical term "Snapchat Dysmorphia," describing the people who seek plastic surgery to look more like the filtered images they see online.

The experts assure us their intentions were good, even the one whose job title at Facebook was head of "monetization." Another one confesses that he worked on making his site irresistibly seductive at work all day and then found himself unable to resist the very algorithmic tricks he helped to create when he went home at night.

The film's biggest mistake is a poorly-conceived dramatic re-enactment of some of the perils of social media.

For those who want to read more, Google found (amongst others):

John Naughton

Casey Newton

Newton's review goes far beyond the film and discusses the context in which it exists. I found it an interesting read.

The film confirms many worries I've had about Social Media and re-inforces my decision NEVER to use it.

The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.

Quoted from Einstein

Do you seriously expect me to be the first Prince of Wales in history not to have a mistress?

Quoted from Prince Charles

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19th October 2020 - In droving days Click here to buy the horse

Like me Ron Wells in a fan of Banjo Patterson. Ron suggested "In Droving days" so here it is.

In droving days

"Only a pound," said the auctioneer,
"Only a pound; and I'm standing here
Selling this animal, gain or loss --
Only a pound for the drover's horse?
One of the sort that was ne'er afraid,
One of the boys of the Old Brigade;
Thoroughly honest and game, I'll swear,
Only a little the worse for wear;
Plenty as bad to be seen in town,
Give me a bid and I'll knock him down;
Sold as he stands, and without recourse,
Give me a bid for the drover's horse."

Loitering there in an aimless way
Somehow I noticed the poor old grey,
Weary and battered and screwed, of course;
Yet when I noticed the old grey horse,
The rough bush saddle, and single rein
Of the bridle laid on his tangled mane,
Straighway the crowd and the auctioneer
Seemed on a sudden to disappear,
Melted away in a kind if haze --
For my heart went back to the droving days.

Back to the road, and I crossed again
Over the miles of the saltbush plain --
The shining plain that is said to be
The dried-up bed of an inland sea.
Where the air so dry and so clear and bright
Refracts the sun with a wondrous light,
And out in the dim horizon makes
The deep blue gleam of the phantom lakes.

At dawn of day we could feel the breeze
That stirred the boughs of the sleeping trees,
And brought a breath of the fragrance rare
That comes and goes in that scented air;
For the trees and grass and the shrubs contain
A dry sweet scent on the saltbush plain.
for those that love it and understand
The saltbush plain is a wonderland,
A wondrous country, were Nature's ways
Were revealed to me in the droving days.

We saw the fleet wild horses pass,
And kangaroos through the Mitchell grass;
The emu ran with her frightened brood
All unmolested and unpursued.
But there rose a shout and a wild hubbub
When the dingo raced for his native scrub,
And he paid right dear for his stolen meals
With the drovers' dogs at his wretched heels.
For we ran him down at a rattling pace,
While the pack-horse joined in the stirring chase.
And a wild halloo at the kill we'd raise --
We were light of heart in the droving days.
'Twas a drover's horse, and my hand again
Made a move to close on a fancied rein.
For I felt a swing and the easy stride
Of the grand old horse that I used to ride.
In drought or plenty, in good or ill,
The same old steed was my comrade still;
The old grey horse with his honest ways
Was a mate to me in the droving days.

When we kept our watch in the cold and damp,
If the cattle broke from the sleeping camp,
Over the flats and across the plain,
With my head bent down on his waving mane,
Through the boughs above and the stumps below,
On the darkest night I could let him go
At a racing speed; he would choose his course,
And my life was safe with the old grey horse.
But man and horse had a favourite job,
When an outlaw broke from the station mob;
With a right good will was the stockwhip plied,
As the old horse raced at the straggler's side,
And the greenhide whip such a weal would raise --
We could use the whip in the droving days.

"Only a pound!" and was this the end --
Only a pound for the drover's friend.
The drover's friend that has seen his day,
And now was worthless and cast away
With a broken knee and a broken heart
To be flogged and starved in a hawker's cart.
Well, I made a bid for a sense of shame
And the memories of the good old game.

"Thank you? Guinea! and cheap at that!
Against you there in the curly hat!
Only a guinea, and one more chance,
Down he goes if there's no advance,
Third, and last time, one! two! three!"
And the old grey horse was knocked down to me.
And now he's wandering, fat and sleek,
On the lucerne flats by the Homestead Creek;
I dare not ride him for fear he's fall,
But he does a journey to beat them all,
For though he scarcely a trot can raise,
He can take me back to the droving days.

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.

Quoted from Einstein

It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything - until, that is, it comes to climate science.

Quoted from Prince Charles

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18th Oct. 2020 - Uluru Statement from the heart Click here to treat this with respect.

Uluru - Statement from the heart

I've sort of opened a set of Australian themes recently with Ned Kelly and other Australian self-helpers (i.e. Politicians). The following is clearly a call for mutual recognition implemented through a ‘Commision’. When you read it, if you are like me you will be disgusted at the painting of these words by our politicians and news media. What is actually says is entirely different from the image I'd received from the media. Einstein had already made his comment.

Historic background

The Statement was publicly presented by Professor Megan Davis, a member of the Referendum Council, at the First Nations Convention in 2017.

Unlike the preceding political speeches this statement is quite short and to the point.

The statement

We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago. 

This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.

How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?

With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.

Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.

These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.

We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.

Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.

We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the australian people for a better future.

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.

Quoted from Einstein

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17th Oct. 2020 - Hughes Click here to vote for Hughes.

Billy Hughes Nationalist Party

The last two days have covered speeches by possibly the best prime ministers from each of their respective parties, Curtin and Menzies. It led me to think about Billy Hughes a prime minister about whom I know virtually nothing other than that he wanted conscription in WW1. So a bit of research and here is one of his election speeches delivered at Bendigo, Vic, October 30th, 1919.

Historic background

The election was held on 13 December, 1919. The Nationalist Party led by Prime Minister Billy Hughes defeated the Labor Party led by Frank Tudor. Hughes won a strong victory for his party, with the Nationalists winning 37 seats and the Labor Party 26 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Country Party contested their first election and won the balance of power. In the half Senate election the Nationalist Party won 35 seats and Labor 1 seat.

Billy Hughes

William Morris Hughes was born 25 September, 1862 in England and died 28 October, 1952. Hughes was the Prime Minister of Australia 27 October, 1915 to 9 February, 1923. Throughout his parliamentary career he was a member of the Labor Party 1901 to 1916, National Labor Party 1916 to 1917, Nationalist Party 1917 to 1929, Australian Party 1929 to 1931, United Australia Party 1931 to 1944 and Liberal Party 1944 to 1952. He represented the electorates of West Sydney, NSW 1901 to 1917, Bendigo, Vic 1917 to 1922, North Sydney, NSW 1922 to 1949 and Bradfield, NSW 1949 to 1952.

Elections contested

1917, 1919, and 1922.

Once again, this is a long speech, why do politicians take so long to say so little?

Before setting out the present circumstances of the Commonwealth and the policy of the Government in regard to them, it is proper that I should give an account of our stewardship, in order that the electors may judge from that which we have done who is best fitted to lead this country during the period of reconstruction which now confronts us.

The National Party—what it is Let me remind you of the circumstances in which the National Party came into existence, so that you may see what manner of men we are, and who they are who oppose us.

In September 1914, a month after war was declared, the then Labour Party appealed to the electors in a general election for their suffrages. Mr. Fisher as leader, speaking at Colac, pledged Australia's “last man and last shilling.” The manifesto subsequently issued by the party and subscribed to by every candidate standing in the Labour interest was much more definite. It said:— Our interests and our very existence are bound up with those of the Empire. In time of war half measures are worse than none. If returned with a majority we shall pursue with the utmost vigour and determination every course necessary for the defence of the Commonwealth and the Empire in any and every contingency. Regarding as we do such a policy as the first duty of the Government at this juncture, electors may give their support to the Labour Party with the utmost confidence. And this we say, further, that whatever be the verdict of the people, we shall not waver from the position taken up by Mr. Fisher on behalf of our party, viz., that in this hour of peril there are no parties, so far as the defence of the Commonwealth and the Empire are concerned, and that the Opposition will co-operate with the Government and stand behind them as one man. The position then is that if the electors give us a majority we shall expect Mr. Cook and his supporters to stand behind us. If Mr. Cook has a majority we shall stand behind him in all things necessary for the defence of the Commonwealth and the Empire.

This manifesto, with its note of stalwart and lofty patriotism, its definite renunciation of party, its frank declaration that in time of war there ought to be no parties, won the election. On this pledge the Labour Party was returned to power. The electors of the Commonwealth by their vote expressed their determination to follow the course advocated by the party in its manifesto and pursue with the utmost vigour and determination every course necessary for the defence of the Commonwealth and the Empire.

As you know, I became Prime Minister in 1915. My first act was to reinforce our men at the front and to increase the number of Australian divisions to five by raising another 50,000 men. In the dark days of 1916 the Empire and allies were faced with a grave dangerto retrieve the fortunes of the [unreadable] arms had resulted in enormous casualties. The five Australian divisions at the front were far below their strength; recruiting had fallen off; and the British Army Council urgently requested the Government to take some steps to reinforce its men. The outlook was black, the need for men acute.

Those of us who stood by the pledge given to the electors, who were determined to put the war first, saw but one way by which the country and the party could be saved. As Labour men and democrats, as men of honour pledged to do our duty, we submitted the question of compulsory service to the electors. Compulsory service inside the Commonwealth had long been the law; the referendum had long been a plank on the Labour platform. Yet because we sought to give effect to our pledge in the only way possible, those extremists, disloyalists, pacifists, who had since 1914 successfully schemed to obtain control of the Labour organisations, political and industrial, determined to thwart us in our plain duty to the electors and to the soldiers fighting overseas; I and all those who were true to their 1914 pledges were expelled.

National Party, 1917—victory

I came before the country again in March, 1917, as head of a National Party comprised of all sections of the community who put the war first. In this, again, we merely fulfilled that undertaking given to the electors in September, 1914, when the Labour manifesto said, In this hour of peril there are no parties With us were all the old leaders of Labour; the men who had fought for Labour in the dark days, who had brought the movement into existence and led it into power. Again we pledged ourselves to put the war first; and to do all that was necessary to safeguard Australia and the Empire. And, again, the electors expressed their determination to pursue that course, by returning us to power with the greatest majority ever recorded in the history of the Commonwealth.

The real issue before the electors. By who will you be governed?  The war is over, victory is ours. Again I appeal to you, and again am opposed by those men who broke their solemn pledge given to the electors in 1914; who denounced and vilified us in 1916, because we would not be their tools; who right throughout the darkest days of war hampered every effort to achieve victory. These are the men who oppose us [unreadable] to speak for [unreadable] they have [unreadable] to do so. By [unreadable] judged. What shall future generations of Australians say of them, when looking back from the vantage point of time they see these events in their true perspective—the danger that threatened us, the struggle for national existence, the cry for reinforcements, the miracles of valour, the narrow escape not once, but many times from complete disaster?

What shall they say of the part these men played in this the greatest crisis of Australian history? That they broke their solemn pledge; that they refused to do that which patriotism and honour alike demanded of them; that they proved themselves utterly unworthy and degenerate; that they put party first and the lives and liberties of their fellow-citizens and the safety of their country last. They opposed not merely conscription, but voluntary enlistment. In the darkest hours of the war, when the victorious enemy had broken through our sorely tried line, and were within striking distance of Paris, menacing the Channel ports, they were for a peace by negotiation, they were against voluntary recruiting. They said that the Allies could not win; that Australia had done enough; that we should make peace upon such terms as Germany would agree to. Happily for us and for liberty their counsels were spurned.

Victory is ours—the greatest and most complete in the history of the world. Australia is safe and free, despite them and their craven counsels, for if we had listened to their counsels and followed their leadership Australia would have been a German colony today.

The war record of the Government and of its opponents

Let us now briefly review the war records of the Government and of those who oppose it. We were, as I have said, elected by the people to put forth every effort in the war. The need was for men. The Government, in its appeal to the electors in May, 1917, said that it accepted the verdict of the people with regard to compulsory service, that it would not attempt to enforce conscription either by regulation or statute, but if national safety demanded it the question would again be referred to the people. All these promises it faithfully kept. Then came disaster. Towards the end of 1917 came the collapse of Russia, followed by her complete withdrawal from the conflict; the defeat of the Italian army and their disorded retreat to the Piave.

For a time the fortunes of the Allies literally trembled in the balance. Black disaster seemed to [unreadable] the Eastern Front, turned and added their numbers to the already overpowering forces on the West, where our men, exhausted with the long fight, grimly held on to the line which protected the Channel forts, Paris, Britain and civilisation.

It was in these circumstances—which we had prayed to escape—circumstances in which, without doubt, 'national safety demanded it', that the Government, true to its pledge, decided again to appeal to the electors. The issue of the second referendum is known. The Government fulfilled its pledge to the people and the people decided against conscription.

The result of these campaigns, as I said not once but many times, affected in no way our plain duty in this way. Our men had to be reinforced. The war had to be won. Again the Government plunged whole-heartedly into a campaign of voluntary recruiting; and thanks to them, and despite the efforts of their opponents, Australia has emerged from the trials of the war with a record of which any country may well be proud. Let me make this quite clear—but for this record she owes less than nothing to those men who now oppose us.

The business paper drawn up for the annual conference of the Victorian P.L.C. in 1917, which was afterwards called in because of the announcement of the election, contained the following resolution:— That the policy of the Labour Party be to push on for peace as soon as possible, and that they take no further part in recruiting.

This question was shelved owing, as I have said, to the elections of 1917. The elections came, the need for caution and posing was gone, and our opponents showed themselves in their true colours. They were against all recruiting. They were for a peace by negotiation. Let me prove it.

In April 1918, the Victorian Labour Party issued a manifesto containing the following:—

Peace with a British victory is impossible; the Allies cannot beat the Central Powers. The Labour Party believes that the humiliation of a nation creates in its people a spirit of revenge. The Labour Party stands for IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF FIGHTING. NO ANNEXATIONS OR INDEMNITIES. Australia has nothing but responsibility to get by becoming Mistress of a Pacific Empire. She has much to lose.

The Victorian Executive declared the Manifesto to be a true and timely exposition of resolutions passed by the New South Wales [unreadable] Labour conference in 1917 endorsed by Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia. It was on the 14th April, his army fighting desperately for existence, that Haig issued the famous message:

With our backs to the wall each one of us must fight unto the end. There must be no retirement.

I ask the electors of Australia, those who love their country, to note that this craven-spirited resolution was passed at the very moment when the fortunes of the Allies were at their very nadir. Yet the men who approved of this resolution are those who now are claiming to speak for Labour, for Democracy, for Australia.

The Sydney Labour Council, on 30th May, 1918, passed the following resolution:— We refuse to take part in any recruiting campaign, and call on the workers of this and all other belligerent countries to urge their respective Governments to immediately secure an armistice on all fronts and initiate negotiations for peace.

I ask the electors of Australia to remember that on the 29th day of May, the day before this infamous resolution was carried, the Germans advanced as far as Soissons, about 40 miles from Paris, and, advancing north of Rheims, captured tremendous booty.

Yet the men who approved of this resolution are those who are now claiming to speak for Labour, for Democracy, for Australia! On 21st June, 1918, Labour held its Interstate conference at Perth. The following resolutions were passed:—

Further participation in recruiting shall be subject to the following conditions:—

1. That a clear and authoritative statement be made on behalf of the Allies asserting their readiness to enter into peace negotiations on the basis of no annexations and no penal indemnities.

2. That Australia’s requirements in manpower be ascertained and met with respect to (1.) home defence, and (2.) industrial requirements.

I have quoted these things. I could quote many more, but it is not necessary. Out of their mouths they are shown to be men unworthy of the privilege of free citizenship. The electors know them to be men who in the blackest hours of the war deliberately hamstrung voluntary recruiting, denied reinforcements, counselled peace by negotatiation with a victorious enemy.

The Australian Imperial Force

Australia, with its five million people, has reason to be proud of the army it raised, and the great things that army achieved. By voluntary enlistment, despite the efforts of opponents, we raised no less than 416,809, and transported 329 thousand overseas. We maintained five divisions in France, and the equivalent of another division in Palestine—the greatest voluntary army that ever crossed the seas. Our men were fed, equipped and maintained entirely by the Commonwealth.

The Government has faithfully kept its pledge to the electors that it would put forth every effort to aid the Empire in the war. From the standpoint of enlistments our record is unique in the history of the world. In no country, at no time, has such an army been raised and kept for five years in the field by voluntary recruiting.

Of their deeds it is not necessary for me to speak. They have made the name of Australia a household word throughout the world; it occupies an honoured place wherever the deeds of brave men are discussed. Of their valour, endurance and resource at Gallipoli, Pozieres, Baupaume and other famous fields men still speak with awe. At Villers Brettoneux they stayed the onrushing German hordes, and pushed them back and saved Amiens and Paris. In the great and decisive offensive of 8th August—the stroke that finally broke the German miltary power on the Western front—the Australians shared with the Canadians the honour of that amazing and almost unparalleled drive which sent the Germans reeling back and back until at length the vaunted Hindenburg line was broken to fragments. From Marshals Foch, Joffre, and Haig, and even from the enemy, have come glowing tributes of their prowess. And in Palestine, where was fought one of the most momentous battles of the war—the battle that brought about the collapse of the Central Empires and their allies—the Australian Light Horse were the flower of Allenby's victorious army

The Australian Army played a great part in this war; but it paid a great price of victory; 59,957 of our men have died; our casualties total 314,909. This is the price Australia paid for freedom and safety. Our heritage, our free institutions of government—all that we hold dear—are handed back into our keeping stained with the blood of sacrifice.

Surely not only we, their fellow citizens, but Australians throughout the ages, will treasure for ever the memories of those glorious men to whom the Commonwealth owes so much, and will guard with resolute determination the privileges for which they fought and suffered.

Pensions, repatriation, etc.

The work of repatriating our soldiers, both fit and partially incapacitated, [unreadable] maimed and crippled, the widows and children who made the supreme sacrifice has been a colossal task, involving great labour and heavy expenditure. The Government, however, conscious of the debt it owes to them, has devoted to it all its energies.

Since my arrival in Australia I have been in constant touch with the executive of the Returned Soldiers' Association, and as I have already set out what steps the Government proposes to take to do justice to the soldier I need not now recapitulate them.

The peace conference

With the signing of the Armistice on 11th November, 1918, the world war came to an end. I and my colleague, Sir Joseph Cook, were in London. We were asked by the Government to stay and represent Australia in the negotiations for peace. Australia's claims were very definite and just. We had fought for liberty, for the freedom to make our own laws, fiscal and other; we asked that these rights, which had been ours before the war, and for which our soldiers fought, should be retained; we asked that those ex-German islands in the Pacific, that lay like ramparts along our coast, and threatened our national and economic safety, should be controlled by us, and that we should receive our fair share of a just indemnity.

These claims—moderate though they were—were jeopardised by the acceptance of President Wilson's 14 points as the basis for peace. In the name of Australia I protested. And despite the misrepresentation and misunderstanding which threatened to engulf me not only in Britain, but in Australia, time and events have amply justified my protest. Had that protest not been made, not only the interests of Australia, but those of Britain would have suffered.

The right of Australia to be consulted before matters vital to her existence were disposed of was conceded. The right of separate representation at the Peace Conference was granted us; we took our place as a nation on a footing of equality with all other nations. This marks an epoch in our history. We were, by the assembled nations of the earth, granted the status of a nation. By our deeds on the field of battle we had earned the right to a voice in framing the terms of peace. A partner in the great British Empire, we were recognised as a nation with the rank and priviliges of such. And this applied not only to the Peace Conference, but to all future meetings of the League of Nations, and to the International Conference of Labour.

Experience at the conference has shown us clearly that separate representation was and is vital to our welfare. On some things Britain cannot represent us. The Empire is a far flung domain, embracing people of diverse creeds and colours, and the delegates of the British Empire must consider the interests of all, rather than the particular interests of one. During the discussions at the Conference matters vital to Australia—such as the White Australia policy, the open door in trade navigation, and men—were discussed at length. It was and is impossible for delegates chosen to represent the Empire as a whole to reconcile the conflicting claims of the self-governing nations that comprise the Empire.

Australia had played a great part in the world war, and she was given her place at the World Conference. At that Conference no fewer than 27 separate nations, in addition to the four Dominions and India, were represented. It was before this Conference of more than 70 delegates, representing upwards of 1,000 millions of people speaking diverse languages, with clashing interest and opposing ideals, gathered together to represent their rival claims that Australia had to press her claims, uphold her ideals, and make her influence felt. This is not the time or place to speak of the matter in detail, but the facts speak for themselves, and show clearly that despite the persistent opposition of great and powerful nations—in an assembly where our ideals and our circumstances were neither appreciated nor understood—Australia made her influence felt, and secured the fruits of victory for which her soldiers fought.

The so-called Labour Party and International Labour Charter

There is one other matter in connection with the Treaty of Versailles which deserves special mention, as it vitally concerns Australian Labour. Under the Peace Treaty a permanent International Labour Organisation was created for the purpose of equalising labour conditions the world over, of removing injustice, hardship and privation, and all causes of industrial unrest which might by their existence menace the peace of the world. Amongst the improvements urgently required, mentioned in the preamble to the Labour Charter, were the establishment of a 48-hour week, the regulation of the labour supply, the prevention of unemployment, provision of an adequate living wage, the protection of the worker against sickness, disease, and injury arising out of his employment, the protection of children, young persons and women, provision for old age and injury, recognition of the principle of freedom of association, etc.

Australia is vitally concerned in these matters. The inclusion of them in the Peace Treaty marks the greatest advance that organised labour has ever made in the history of the world. It is the great Magna Charta of labour. It gives to the downtrodden workers of all countries the keys to a new world, in which they, too, will have their place in the sun. By raising the standard of workers in other lands, it relieves us in Australia from that unfair competition with the goods made by cheap labour in other countries.

Although the first draft of the Charter Australia was not entitled to separate representation, I fought for and ultimately succeeded in obtaining that representation. The first meeting of the Conference takes place in Washington this month.

As the agenda paper contains questions of vital concern to the interests of Australian Labour, I invited the Labour organisations to nominate a representative to proceed to Washington. The Charter was drawn up by the representatives of Labour all over the world. The most advanced industrialists of Britain, France, Italy, America and many other countries formulated and approved it. One would have imagined that those loud-mouthed ones who presume to speak for labour here would have hailed this victory by international labour with great joy, and accepted the invitation to send representatives. But, ignoring alike the interests of their fellow unionists, the greater interests of Australia and of the workers of the whole world, the Labour Councils of the various States being utterly incapable of anything but a narrow sectional outlook, turned the proposal down.

Australia by this action on the part of Australian Labour will, therefore, be the only country not represented. The Government cannot take the responsibility of sending representatives in the face of this deliberate opposition. The interests of labour in Australia will be jeopardised, the greater interests of Australia injured by the action of this narrow clique of men who, pretending to speak on behalf of Labour, prating of the brotherhood of man, and the rights of Labour the world over, have shown themselves in peace, as in war, as men utterly unworthy. For it is obvious that they have sacrificed Australia and Labour in order to wreak their spite on me. The workers of the world gathered this day in Washington to consider matters of vital concern to their comrades everywhere will see this act of the present leaders of Australian unionism proof that the so-called Labour Party of Australia are opposed to all the principles on which the Labour movement throughout the world rests.

What the Government has done for the producer

I turn now from the record of the Government in prosecuting the war and in securing the fruits of victory when won to its work for the producer. Almost from the inception of the war it became apparent that without Government action grave, if not fatal, consequences would result to the producers through the dislocation of industry and commerce, particularly freight, caused by the war. Ships were withdrawn to transport troops in other seas, our markets were cut off, products accumulated and prices fell, banks refused to advance money on goods for which there was no market. Our surplus wool, wheat, metals, etc., choked our store, and added further difficulties and greater expense to a burden which already seemed too great to bear.

The Government of which I was a member dealt in drastic fashion with the German cancer, which had eaten into our industrial life in the base metal industry and in other directions. At my suggestion it stepped in and organised freight, and threw all its weight behind the pool scheme. Faced with a reduction of more than 50 per cent of the mercantile marine, it undertook the responsibility of financing the producer, finding a market, and transporting his products overseas. Had the Government not acted as it did, the primary producer would have been left at the mercy of phenomenal conditions; there would have been frantic competition for the diminished shipping freight; the greater portion of Australia's products would have rotted, and there would have been industrial and financial stagnation throughout the Commonwealth.

Under the Wheat Pool the Government handled 468,807,000 bushels of wheat, and has paid to growers £88,500,000 Ed. Note: A search on the internet suggests multiplying Australian pound numbers by 100 to get the current Australian dollar value. Then multiply by another five to allow for the costs per individual.). It found the market, provided the ships, and produced the money long before the wheat was shipped. Some idea of the financial side of the position may be gathered from the fact that at one stage the overdraft of the Wheat Pool stood at more than £20,000,000. No private firm or bank would or could have extended such accommodation to the producers of this country.

In December 1916, the Government effected a record sale with Britain of 3,000,000 tons of wheat at 4/9 per bushel f.o.b. This sale saved Australia. It enabled the producers to carry on; it enabled the Government to guarantee a minimum of 4/- for the two succeeding harvets; it kept land in cultivation and prevented widespread unemployment, national, financial, and industrial chaos.

The greatest export of wheat in any year before the war had been only 1,700,000 tons, when freights were normal. What this sale of 3 million tons, at a time when freight was practically unprocurable, actually involved, becomes apparent. Twelve months after the sale was made 2,384,000 tons still remained unshipped. In the normal course of trade, conditions such as these would have meant ruin. The new crop would have been unsaleable; no private firm, bank or commercial group would have considered for one moment the financing of any farmer under the conditions which existed.

Whilst in Britain recently, however, I effected another great sale of 1,500,000 tons at 5/6 f.o.b, at a time when the Wheat Board was willing to accept 5/-.

A word as to price. The average price received for wheat for the three years prior to the war was less than 3/9 per bushel f.o.b. The Government, faced with abnormal conditions of marketing transport and finance, obtained considerably more. On two deals alone it paid to the growers £10,546,875 more than would have been received on a pre-war price.

Something has been said about the world's parity. It is well to remind the wheat growers of this country that under the Government scheme they received considerably more than the world's parity. The key of the situation was freight, and freights were practically unprocurable. Uncontrolled vessels asked up to the equivalent of 8/- a bushel; the Wheat Board itself has been compelled to pay up to 6/- a bushel. With the price of wheat in London at 9/6 a bushel c.i.f., the farmer in Australia basing his return on parity prices, less price of outside freight, would have received from 1/6 to 3/6 per bushel. The Government, on the other hand, guaranteed him 4/- during the most uncertain period of the war, when freights were scarce and the submarine menace very serious; and actually obtained considerably more. The position with regard to freight has not become much easier since war ceased. For some considerable time to come there will be a dearth of shipping; freights will be high. In addition, we have to deal with thousands of tons of accumulated products lying on our wharves, the bulk of which has been already paid for and must be shipped. It is only natural to expect that Britain will endeavour to shift the wheat she has already bought and paid [unreadable] ships to take [unreadable]. Our position in this regard is still serious.


In the marketing of wool the difficulties were practically the same; but the Government formed a pool, sold the whole clip of 1916-17, 1917-18, 1918-19, and 1919-20 at prices approximately 55 per cent higher than those obtained before the war. These sales to Britain involve close on 170 million pounds. Never before in history have such prices been realised or thought possible. In the face of difficulties which seemed insurmountable, by the erection of a great complex machine for appraising, valuing, scouring, distributing, shipping, and financing, the Government has obtained for the grower a price higher than ever before.

The advantages of Government organisation with regard to sugar are particularly striking. Prior to 1915 the price of raw sugar was less than £14 per ton. The Government fixed the price at £18, and later £21, insuring to the grower a sure market and a guaranteed price.

The wages of the field workers were advanced till the men employed in the industry, from being amongst the lowest paid in Australia, were amongst the highest. Notwithstanding the increased price to the grower, and the increased wage to the worker, the Government protected the consumer by fixing the price of sugar at 3½d. per lb., at a time when the people of Britain paid up to 7d., and the citizens of the United States upwards of 4½d.

The profits of the refiners and the commissions of the middlemen and retailers were limited to a fixed amount, and profiteering was completely prevented in this industry. Under the Government scheme the grower, the worker and the consumer benefited by fixed prices and high wages.

The assistance given by the Commonwealth to the northern sugar industry during the war has proved alike advantageous to the grower and consumer. After careful consideration of the necessities and prospects of the near future we have decided to extend the guarantee of £21 for raw sugar for another year. In addition to this the Government will be prepared to consider with the representatives of the producers the steps that may be necessary to enable this great interest to stand against the post-war competition of coloured labour from across the seas.

In sheepskins, hides, tallow, fur skins, butter, metals, cheese, bacon, rabbits, and other products the Government has taken control, advanced money, provided ships, and obtained a greater price than ever before. In one year alone the Government handled £115,000,000 worth of produce, and up to date has paid the primary producers close on £300,000,000.

The aftermath of war—high prices

I leave the record of the Government and turn now to the consideration of those problems that the war has left behind it—the aftermath of war. In the main they are the natural and inevitable consequences of war. For nearly five years the flower of the world's manhood has been engaged in the destruction instead of the production of wealth. Millions of men and women who in normal times would have been employed in producing things which they and others want have been producing implements of destruction—shells, explosives, cannon, ships of war, and the like—in order to destroy all other forms of property as well as life.

The world is therefore drained of wealth; there is a scarcity of the things the people of the world want, and so a great increase in the prices of commodities of all kinds, which has been greatly intensified by the inflation of the currency. Money has become more plentiful, the things that money buys much scarcer. Naturally more money is required as an equivalent, and so prices have risen. The only remedy for this is one obvious on the face of it. As prices have gone up because goods are less plentiful and money more plentiful, we must endeavour to restore the equilibrium by producing more goods, and gradually reduce our paper currency to something like its former level. By these means, and by these means only, can we hope to deal with this great and world-wide problem. Work, and work alone, and safe finance, can save us.


I shall return again and again to this, for it is the foundation of the Government's policy. But I now want to refer to another cause of high prices, which stands in quite a different category to those we have just been considering. I mean profiteering. Profiteering may be defined as the taking of a profit in excess of that which is fair in all the circumstances. It is the exploitation of the community staggering under the fearful burden of war, under cover of the abnormal conditions which exist. All high prices are not due to profiteering, but it is one of the most prolific causes, and it is a preventable cause. It can be dealt with by legislation and admininistration, and it must be [unreadable] with effectually and without [unreadable].

There is no doubt at all that unscrupulous men have taken advantage of the confusion and disorganisation caused by war, and the inevitable increases in price caused by scarcity of goods and abundance of loan money, to exploit the people. It is not always easy to say to what extent high prices are due to legitimate increases in the cost of production, cheap money, and profiteering. This is shown by the fact, broadly speaking, that wherever increase in the cost of living has been most marked industrial unrest and strikes and unemployment are greatest. For example, Queensland, where the increase in the cost of living has been greater than in any other State—64 per cent, as against 38 per cent in South Australia—industrial unrest and unemployment are greater than elsewhere throughout the Commonwealth, and here let me say that, although prices of necessaries of life have risen in Australia during the war, the increase is not comparable with the tragic rises in Britain, France, and America; and this is to a large extent due to the rigid application of the War Precautions Act.

Profiteering must be put down, and the Government will take all necessary steps to deal effectively with it. It is appointing a thoroughly representative Royal Commission to inquire into the question of high prices generally, and profiteering in particular, and will clothe it with full power to obtain evidence in support of charges of profiteering. The Government, as soon as it is in a position to do so, will promptly take whatever action is necessary to deal with the offenders by legislation and administration until profiteering is stamped out.

Amendments of Constitution

The very serious problems arising out of the war to which I have referred cover nearly every phase of national and individual activity. Chief amongst them are the problems of finance, of industrial unrest, of high prices, of disorganised markets, of scarcity of shipping, and high freights. Although the problems are many, they spring from one source. Apart from industrial unrest, they are the problems of production. They exist through lack of wealth, and can only be dealt with by producing much more wealth than we ever did before. These problems are world-wide, and bad as is our position, it is, on the whole, far better than that of many other countries, of Britain for example, and, of course, France.

As the production of more wealth is the only solution of our troubles, it follows the Commonwealth must deal with all aspects of the war, and particularly with industrial unrest, high cost of living, and profiteering. Upon a bold and comprehensive policy towards these vital questions the present and future welfare of Australia literally depend. The States cannot deal with these matters effectively, for in their very nature they are Federal in their scope. Unfortunately the Commonwealth's powers under the Constitution are hopelessly inadequate for the purpose. The extent of the Commonwealth's war powers has shrunk now that peace has come and will shortly disappear altogether.

Yet the Commonwealth must have the power to deal with all the abnormal conditions arising out of the war, with the aftermath of war, as I have called it; it must have power to deal with industrial unrest, not by tinkering with it, but by going down to first causes. And in order to do this it must have power to deal with industrial matters, with trade and commerce, and corporations which carry on over 75 per cent of all the trade of the country, and with trusts and combines. The Government asks the people to grant it those powers by voting in favour of the Constitutional Amendment Bills, which will be submitted to the electors on the same day as the election for the new Parliament. The Government wants these powers in order to solve the complex problems that war has created, and so enable Australia to gather the full fruits of the great victory which her soldiers have won for her.

The Government pledges itself not to use these powers for any other purpose than those I have set out. Their exercise is further limited in point of time, and can only be used pending the passage of the alterations of the Constitution recommended by the Statutory Convention. It is pledged to call a convention during 1920 to consider in the light of nearly 20 years of experience what permanent amendments of the Constitution are desirable in the best interests of the people.

I want to emphasise once more that we shall not use the powers now asked for to scrap State industrial legislation or State Industrial Courts or Boards, but only to supplement them where necessary, and to deal with the fundamental causes of industrial unrest, high prices, and profiteering.

Industrial unrest, Bolshevism and democracy

As I have already said, the war has created conditions that have intensified the industrial unrest which existed in nearly every country throughout the civilised world before August, 1914.

There are many reasons why this should be so. The fury of the world war shook the world to its very foundations. Ancient institutions that seemed destined to last as long as man himself crumbled to dust and have been swept away. Thrones have been overturned, emperors and kings have become exiles or hunted fugitives, and to some an even worse fate has befallen.

The economic as well as the political and social worlds have been convulsed. The world is everywhere in a ferment. In some countries, Russia, for example, chaos streaked with bloody murder and rapine exists and has existed for many long months. There, the distracted people, throwing off the yoke of Czardom, fell under that of Lenin and Trotsky, who, in the name of Liberty, have set up a reign of terror, denying not only liberty and justice, but food to all who would not do their will. Bolshevism is rule by force. It destroys; it does not build up. It is the very negation of democracy; it ignores and despises rule by law, the rights of the individual to justice; it recognises neither the rights of majorities nor of minorities; it does not recognise rights as such at all; it only recognises force. It denies liberty of speech, of action, to all those of its own class who blindly accept its tenets.

Eighteen months of Bolshevism in Russia have reduced millions in that unhappy country to the verge of starvation. It has killed industry. It has murdered tens of thousands of innocent and helpless men, women and children. It is a bloody tyrant, and not less so because it attempts to rule in the name of the people. Bolshevism is the class war which the I.W.W. and the O.B.U. and others in our midst would have us to accept. The world knows something of what it has done in Russia, the state to which it has reduced the industries and finance of that country. Australia knows something, and Queensland much more, of the disastrous effects of the Australian variety of Bolshevism upon industry, finance, and the general welfare of the country.

We stand against the class war; against direct action. We stand for national unity; for constitutional Government; for democracy; for arbitration versus strikes; for justice and right to all as against tyranny and force.

Industrial unrest

Now, since more production is and must be the foundation of any policy that is to solve the problem that now confronts us, it will be proper first to consider what stands in the way of increasing production, and then to set forth the means by which the Government proposes to remove these obstacles.

Now let us go to the root of the matter. Wages are paid out of the wealth produced by labour, and are the share alloted to labour out of the margin between the cost of producing a given commodity and its market value. The balance goes to capital. Industrial unrest arises through disputes between capital and labour as to their respective shares in the wealth created. This dispute cannot be settled unless certain facts are accepted by both parties. We certainly cannot hope to settle industrial unrest by tinkering with the surface of the industrial problem. If we are to have industrial peace, we must be prepared to pay the price, and that price is justice to the worker. Nothing less will serve.

The basic wage and the cost of living

We have long ago adopted in Australia the principles of compulsory arbitration for the settlement of industrial disputes and of the minimum wage. When I speak of the minimum wage I speak, of course, only of a living wage, a wage for unskilled and light labour, upon which is to be superimposed extra remuneration for skill and the arduous nature of the work.

Now wages, although paid in money, really represent so much food, clothes, shelter, and other necessaries of civilised life. It follows that every increase in the cost of living is a decrease in wages, since it is a decrease in the purchasing power of the sovereign.

During the war the cost of living has increased all over the world very much. Although it has increased here in Australia much less than in most countries, it has increased considerably. And the cause of much of the industrial unrest, which is like fuel to the fires of Bolshevism and direct action, arises when the real wage of the worker—that is to say, the things he can buy with the money he receives—decreases with an increase in the cost of living. Nearly every application to the Courts of Arbitration or Wages Board, Federal or State, rests its claim for an increased wage upon the increased cost of living.

Now once it is admitted that it is in the interests of the community that such a wage should be paid as will enable a man to marry and bring up children under decent, wholesome conditions—and that point has been settled long ago—it seems obvious that we must devise better machinery for ensuring the payment of such a wage than at present exists. Means must be found which will ensure that the minimum wage shall be adjusted automatically or almost automatically with the cost of living, so that within the limits of the minimum wage at least the sovereign shall always purchase the same amount of the necessaries of life.

The Government is therefore appointing a Royal Commission to inquire into the cost of living in relation to the minimum or basic wage. The commission will be fully clothed with power to ascertain what is a fair basic wage, and how much the purchasing power of a sovereign has been depreciated during the war, also how the basic wage may be adjusted to the present purchasing power of the sovereign, and the best means when once so adjusted of automatically adjusting itself to the rise and fall of the sovereign. The Government will at the earliest date possible create effective machinery to give effect to these principles. Labour is entitled to a fair share of the wealth ot creates.

Labour entitled to more than living wage

So much for the basic wage. The fundamental question of the basic wage having been thus satisfactorily—because permanently—settled, there remain other causes of industrial unrest, which must be dealt with if we are to have industrial peace. Labour is entitled to something more than a living wage. It is entitled to a fair share of the wealth it produces. Capital must recognise this, and putting aside all ancient prejudices must meet labour frankly on a footing of equality, so that the two factors in production, laying all their cards on the table, shall decide what it is to be a fair share for each.

I have said that increased production is essential to the very existence of Australia; and increased production cannot be assured without the hearty co-operation of labour and capital. Industrial peace is essential to increased production, and that in its turn cannot be assured unless labour is given its legitimate place as a full partner in production. If we are to have industrial peace, if we wish the worker to avoid direct action, either by recourse to ordinary strikes or to that class war which is the avowed aim of the Bolshevist, the O.B.U., the I.W.W., and other wild extremists, we must recognise his status, we must give him speedy and cheap redress for all his grievances, freed from the red tape of legal formalities.

How to deal with the go-slow policy

The workman must have not only a living wage, but such a share of what he produces as will be sufficient inducement to him to produce more. Once we convince him that the more he produces the more he gets, and that what he gets is his fair and legitimate share, and the 'go-slow' policy—that insidious and deadly doctrine preached here as in other countries—will die a speedy death. Since wages are paid and can only be paid out of the wealth the worker himself creates, he must recognise that the only way in which he can get higher wages is to produce more wealth.

Capital entitled to its share

He must recognise also that since capital is essential to production, and his power to produce in abundance and so earn a high wage depends entirely upon sufficient capital being available, capital, like labour, must receive a fair share, and this must be sufficient to induce men to invest in new enterprises or extend those already in existence.

Strikes—a menace to the country

Once both parties recognise these fundamental facts and come together as fellow-citizens engaged in a joint enterprise, upon the success of which the welfare of their country depends, all will be well. I have every confidence in the energy, initiative, skill and enterprise of the Australian workmen and employers. We must produce more wealth. Strikes arrest production, and drain wealth from the community; they inflict loss and suffering upon worker, employer, and the whole community. What is wanted is continuity of operations.

In the shipbuilding industry, which I organised before my departure for the conference in 1918, continuity of operations is laid down as a condition of employment. The agreement was made with the unions in the face of much opposition from the extremists. It has amply justified itself. Despite the introduction of piece work, I am glad to say that with the exception of one dispute on Cockatoo Island the work has gone on uninterruptedly for over 18 months. Excellent work has been turned out. The highest wages have been paid.

At Williamstown—and the same presumably applies to Walsh Island—where the award rates for the six trades involved are £4/6/- per week, the men have averaged over a short period for which a return has been supplied from £5/6/- to £7/11/- per week, while in special cases men have earned up to £11 per week. We have been able to build ships at prices that compare favourably with America, and even Britain. I attribute this to four things—the existence of special tribunals that are always ready to deal with any dispute at a moment's notice; the recognition of unionism; the inducements given to the men to earn more money by producing more wealth; and the knowledge that undue profits were not being made at their expense.

The Government's labour policy

The Government recognising organised labour is prepared to give it legal status and authority. It will create machinery whereby representatives of employers and of organised labour may form industrial councils, Commonwealth and State, and give these statutory authority. It will give legislative sanction to any proposals these councils may recommend in the interests of industrial peace. It will create a Commonwealth Industrial Court in place of the present one, and appoint thereto one Commonwealth and two or more State judges. It will give this Court purview over such industries as are federal in their scope, or are, like the shipbuilding industry, under the direct control of the Commonwealth, and give it power to make a common rule and give legal sanction to industrial agreements between employer and employee, and it will make this court a final industrial court of appeal.

In these or any other ways that circumstances call for, or employees and employer desire, the Government will endeavour to remove all causes of industrial strife. It will provide speedy and economical means of redress for all grievances, and will look in its turn for the co-operation of labour and capital to do all things necessary to ensure that continuity of industrial operations, without which all hope of increasing production, of paying high wages, improving the conditions of employment, and of paying the great burden of debt that the war has imposed, is futile.

Unemployment insurance

The Government believes that insurance of the workers against unemployment and sickness is necessary to stable and progressive industry in Australia, and it intends as early as practicable to institute a searching investigation with a view to the establishment of a system fair to both employers and employees. The future of Australia and the primary producer.

If Australia is to become a great nation its greatness must rest upon the basis of land settlement. National safety, the economic, social, and financial welfare of the nation, make the adoption of an effective policy of land settlement imperative. This great Commonwealth, which could easily support in comfort 100 millions of people, with its illimitable resources, its rich soil, its great mineral wealth, has now but five millions, more than half of whom throng our great cities.

Our huge debt, our isolation, point to us the road we must travel if we would avert national ruin. Every really great nation is built upon the solid foundation of primary industries; every nation that has endured and left its mark upon the history of the world had its roots in the soil. When Rome fell it fell because its crop of men had failed. That sturdy peasantry who had fought its battles and built up its greatness had passed away. The empire spread itself over the known earth. But its greatness had departed. The cities grew, the countryside decayed.


We hear from time to time much talk about immigration and the urgent need for population. Now the time is ripe for action. There is urgent need for population, but, of course, it must be of the right sort, and it must go to the right place. We do not want to make Australia a dumping ground for the world's refuse populations, or to bring population to our already overcrowded cities, for such newcomers would not for the most part produce new wealth, but only share the wealth already there. If you ask what is the policy of the Government in immigration it may be stated quite clearly. The Government clearly recognises the urgent need for more population. And it is going out to get it.

We shall seek the right kind—Britishers, soldiers, and farmers especially. If we had 10,000,000 we should not only halve our great debt per head, but should produce double the amount of wealth. We shall aim at creating such conditions in our primary industries as will offer inducements not only to those already on the land to stay there and others to follow their example, but to our kinsmen overseas to come also. Given these conditions, nothing more is needed save the wide advertisement of what Australia has to offer to suitable settlers, and the provision of such facilities for transport as will bring them here.

The shipbuilding and shipping policy of the Government has been devised not only to ensure that refrigerated tonnage shall be available to our primary producers so that they may send their products to oversea markets at reasonable freights, but also to provide accommodation at cheap rates for suitable settlers. But before we bring new men here we must set our own house in order, we must see to it that the man now on the land is encouraged to remain there; we must devise schemes for settling our own returned soldiers on lands upon which they can have a fair chance of earning a livelihood.

As the States control and own the lands of Australia, we will continue to co-operate with them in land settlement, and I have no doubt at all that future co-operation will take both States and Commonwealth much farther than they have hitherto gone in this direction, and will be welcomed by the various State Governments. I am sure the States will join in this great enterprise. But in any case it must be done, and if concerted action is not obtainable the Commonwealth will resolutely push on.

The policy of the Government for the man on the land

Now let me deal a little more in detail with the policy of the Government towards the primary producer. First, since the greater part of our primary products must find markets overseas, and these markets are now, as a result of the war, disorganised, and since the ordinary pre-war channels are not likely to be available for some little time, at all events, it is plain that organisation both here and abroad is required if the man on the land is to hold his own against his organised competitors who are nearer Europe. And along with organisation, in order that producer shall not be forced by competition or scarcity of freight to sacrifice his produce for less than its fair value, there will be needed financial assistance.

During the war the Government created that organisation without which the primary producer would have been helpless. It provided freight of its own, and by this means, and by being the sole charterer of freight, it was enabled to keep down the rates of freights far below the world's parity. It financed the farmer to the extent of many millions in wheat, butter, and other produce. It organised the wool pool, which has given the wool grower nearly 60 per cent. higher for his wool than ever he formerly received. It organised the metal pools.

By selling the greater part of the zinc output of Australia for ten years at a remunerative rate, it stabilised one of the great primary industries for a lengthy period. It organised the sugar industry from the cane to the consumer, giving the producer over 50 per cent. more than he received before the war, and the consumer far the cheapest sugar in the world. And it did many other things to assist the producer, which I now pass over for lack of time.

Primary producer organisation

The war is over, but organisation is still necessary. The Commonwealth Government has pioneered the way, and as long as the producers wish it, it will continue to act, but it hopes that the producers will, by co-operation amongst themselves, create such organisation as the circumstances make imperative, or take charge of that already created by the Government. The Government policy is to encourage co-operative effort amongst the producers and to eliminate the middleman.

The Government will, if so desired, give statutory authority to boards composed of representatives chosen by the various primary industries, e.g., wool, wheat, meat, etc., and will, where the organisation substantially represents the industry, lend such financial aid as may be necessary. The Government will, if desired, enter into negotiations with Britain and other countries for the sale of our staple products; it will protect the producer against unfair freights; it will co-operate with him in the erection of additional cold storage plants, thus guarding him against manipulation of speculators in the local or overseas markets. The Government will guarantee the 1920-21 crop at 5/4d f.o.b.

In order to help the wheat grower, the Government, in addition to its guarantee for the coming crop, will guarantee 5/- at railway sidings for the 1920-21 harvest. If the farmers so desire, the Government will discuss with their organisations the question of guarantees and assistance beyond that year, for in wheat and all forms of primary production the Government's policy is to stimulate and stabilise these essential industries.


I have already said something about what the Government has done to organise the sugar industry and encourage the man on the sugar lands of the north. The Government has guaranteed this year's sugar crop at £21, and in order to stabilise the industry it will guarantee the next crop at the same price, and will favourably consider further guarantees if the cane growers' association so desire.

The encouragement of Australian industries

The encouragement of Australian industries has been the settled policy of Australia for many years, and as a result the progress of our manufactures has been very considerable. The amount of capital invested in manufacturing industries rose from £52,585,000 in 1908 to £90,528,000 in 1917. The value of the product from £99,529,000 to £206,386,000. The number of persons employed from 257,494 to 321,670; the [unreadable] per capita from £81 [unreadable]. The effect of [unreadable] primary industries [unreadable] viewed; its effects upon Australian manufactures may now be looked at.

The absence of hundreds of thousands of our young men at the war, the increased cost of production, the shortage of raw materials imported from oversea, the general disturbance of industry, industrial unrest, and particularly the disastrous strikes of 1917 and 1919, naturally had their effect upon Australian industries. Despite these handicaps, progress has been made. The consistent policy of the Government throughout the war has been to protect existing and encourage the establishment of new industries, and the treatment of all raw materials produced in the Commonwealth, so that they should be placed upon the markets of the world as far as possible as a manufactured article.

As has already been pointed out, the policy of the Government has resulted in more than £7,000,000 being invested in new industries during the war. When in Britain I made it my business to bring before manufacturers the very great opportunities that Australia offered for profitable investment. As a result, I am glad to be able to announce that several of the best known firms in Britain intend to establish themselves here and manufacture locally.

In the base metal industry, which was entirely in the hands of Germany before the war, very great strides have been made. German influence has been completely eradicated. It may be fairly said that in no other part of the Empire has this been so thoroughly done. All copper produced in Australia is now not only smelted within the Commonwealth, but an up-to-date factory has been erected which will supply practically all Australian requirements for manufactured copper goods. The zinc industry has been placed on a permanent, satisfactory basis owing to arrangements made by me when in England in 1916 for the sale of a large proportion of the zinc concentrates for a period of ten years, and which also provided for the local manufacture into spelter of the balance.

The first units of what will be one of the largest spelter works in the world have been erected in Tasmania, while the lead smelting works at Port Pirie and Cockle Creek have been so greatly extended as to now rank as the largest in the world.

The Broken Hill steel works which employs a very large number of men contains a most up-to-date plant, and has provided the Government with vast quantities of materials for locomotives, etc., rails for the East-West Railway; much of iron and steel requirements for [unreadable] is largely an industry [unreadable] the war.

The shipbuilding industry launched by the Government is making steady headway; the workmanship of the ships and engines is excellent, and a credit to the workmen, designers, and supervisors, while the cost of production compares more than favourably with that of America.

The woollen industry has made gratifying strides in all its branches. Considerably more than a million of new capital has been invested in this great staple industry during the war, and further expansion is in progress.

Many new industries have arisen under the stimulus of dire necessity, and the encouragement of the Government. We have learned to make many things ourselves that we formerly imported from overseas. The war has taught us many lessons. It has taught us, among other things, to believe in ourselves and in the greatness of the resources and destiny of Australia.

The policy of the Government towards Australian industries, new and old, can be once more set forth. We believe in Australia. We believe there stretches before her a great future, that she is destined to become a mighty nation. We have come through dark days; danger and death have encompassed us about. But thanks to the valour of our soldiers and sailors, we have won through. Australia is safe and free. She is still staggering from the effects of the deadly struggle in which she has been engaged. But the dawn of a new day beckons and cheers her on.

We must develop our resources, provide employment for our young men. We must follow in the footsteps of the great Republic of America, while avoiding her errors. Experience has show that the present tariff imposed when different conditions existed is inadequate. During the war it was impossible for many reasons to amend it, and the early appeal to the electors precluded its introduction after peace had been signed.

The Government has carefully prepared a new tariff. It believes it will prove satisfactory to the manufacturers of the Commonwealth, and intends to lay this tariff on the table of the House and give effect to it at the earliest possible moment after the new Parliament assembles. This tariff will protect industries born during the war, will encourage others that are desirable, and will diversify and extend existing ones.

The Government recognises that there is a danger of the market being flooded by imported goods in anticipation of the tariff before it takes effect. It has therefore decided that the Minister for Customs should be empowered to exercise his powers under the Act preventing importation of certain specified lines in excess of the fair normal average.

A careful supervision will be exercised over prices charged for goods the subject of any embargo, and if it is found that any undue advantage is being taken of the position the restrictions on importations will be immediately removed.

Consumer and worker safeguarded

Experience has shown that in America, and even in Australia, consumers have been exploited by unreasonably high prices of the locally-made article, which have materially prejudiced not only the primary producers, but the general consumer.

The Government therefore proposes to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the consumer shall be protected as well as the manufacturer. And finally the Government policy in regard to protecting and encouraging the local manufacturer will go hand in hand with such guarantees for the payment of a fair and reasonable wage for the worker as will ensure that he participates in the benefits of this national policy.

Organisation of industry

Much has already been done by the Government to promote the organistion of primary and secondary industries. We intend to continue our endeavours to extend this necessary spirit of co-operation amongst those who raise raw products. We shall not attempt to force them to accept any cut and dried system, but we shall encourage and aid them wherever possible, and in any direction they consider advantageous to their interests.

Cotton and flax

The figures relating to the world's cotton supply are causing the Governments of Great Britain and the United States of America much concern. The production of this important commodity is being undertaken in the State of Queensland, and, although in its elementary stage, it is already clear that the quality of Australian-grown cotton compares favourably with that raised in other countries. The Government has therefore determined to assist the producer of this article, and it will guarantee a minimum price for three years, and thus increase the interest and efforts of the cotton growers.

Flax production has already been stimulated by the measures adopted by the Government during the war. The Government proposes to continue supporting the growers and thus ensuring progress of the industry in the Commonwealth.


The Government is keenly alive to the urgent necessity for the production of oil within the Commonwealth. The partnership arranged for the Imperial Government for thorough exploration of the territory of Papua bids us hope for good results. The Government has also offered a substantial reward for the discovery of mineral oil deposits by private enterprise. This has already induced considerable activity in the desired direction. The Government will further aid all efforts that are calculated to lead to the development of commercial fields, so that this essential of industry, which is so scarce within the empire, will be produced within Australia.

Trade with Pacific islands

Parliament has authorised the proclamation of important portions of the Navigation Act, the operation of which is essential to the preservation of our trade with the islands of the Pacific adjacent to Australia. The Government is determined that the fullest opportunities shall be afforded the people of the Commonwelath for establishing extensive commercial relations with those lands which are naturally tributory to the Commonwealth.


With the exception of quarantine, all matters affecting public health are within the control of the States. It is doubtful whether Australia will ever be able to satisfactorily cope with some of her grave problems while exclusive power remains with the local authorities. Many preventable diseases still ravage our people, and the full co-operation of all our Governments is alone likely to lead to success. Millions of pounds are annually lost to the nation through sickness and death, and great suffering and sorrow brought by such diseases to the homes of the people. Tuberculosis, venereal complaints, typhoid and other epidemics will yield to treatment if all the forces of Government are combined in their attack.

The Government is prepared either in conjunction with the States, or independently if such conjunction is impossible, to undertake this urgent task. Nothing is so supremely important as the health of the people, and Australia is, because of the present division of authority, lagging behind many other countries in the treatment of the subject [unreadable] lines.

Of all the [unreadable] the attention [unreadable] more important than that of finance. The public credit, the industrial and social prosperity of the Commonwelath, depends upon the skilful mobilisation of our financial resources.

While this is more or less true of every democratic community, even in normal times, it is more especially true of Australia today. A huge burden of debt rests upon us, and it will require all the prudence and caution of high statesmanship to deal with the problem. Until the gradual liquidation of our war indebtedness, production and industry must sustain heavy imposts. This country is rich in resources, developed and undeveloped, but without wise treatment of our financial problems, the interests of this and later generations must inevitably suffer. The wonderful spirit which the Australian public exhibited when called upon to proivide money to equip and feed our forces on land and sea during the war shows what they are capable of. If they preserve that resolute and buoyant temper the future is safe. If they regard the load as insupportable and bow beneath it, then we are in danger.

The Government stresses the great and growing importance of finance, and asks the cheerful co-operation of the people in its treatment of the problem.


In the year before the war the total expenditure of the Commonwealth was £23,150,000. For the present financial year it is estimated that the expenditure out of revenue will amount to £48,650,000, an increase of £25,500,000. This increase has been brough about almost wholly by war, the war expenditure this year being put down at £25,000,000.

That is to say, the Commonwealth expenditure for ordinary purposes has increased since 1913-14 by only £500,000. Since the outbreak of war up to 30th June last the total payments from revenue on account of the war amounted to £43,527,763. Included under this head are interest on war loans, sinking fund, war pensions, and cost of repatriation. The heavy burden of war expenditure compelled the Parliament to increase the land tax and to impose direct taxation on sources previously not levied upon by the commonwealth. Since the war began up to [unreadable] last the direct taxation of the Commonwealth yielded a total of [unreadable].

Taxation to be revised

Due to to the disturbance of war and the impossibility of forecasting future conditions, the taxation was necessarily arranged on a more or less temporary basis, and one result is that the Commonwealth laws collide with those of the States. There is reason to fear, too, that the existing forms of the levies upon the people may, in their secondary effects, bring about results which are not advantageous.

With a view to harmonisation of the taxation of the Commonwealth and the States, to reduce the irritation now suffered by tax-payers, and generally to model the Commonwealth system with due regard to all interests, the whole incidence of Commonwealth taxation will be re-examined so that the burden of post-war taxes will be equitably placed on the shoulders of those best able to carry them. Special consideration will be extended to thosee who are experiencing the effects of the widespread drought.

At an early date a commission will be appointed to make a thorough investigation of the subject.

We must pay our way and meet the obligations of the war.

The government will see that the people get full value for every penny expended, and if extra taxation is needed it will be imposed so that progress will not be discouraged or arrested.

Public debt

The public debt of the Commonwealth and the States is now about £740,000,000, including £360,000,000 borrowed for the purpose of constructing railways and other revenue earning assets. Allowing for that portion of the total debt which earns its own interest, there is a substantial deficit for which the war debt and some State undertakings are responsible. This deficit has to be met by direct taxation.

It has to be borne by a meagre population of 5 millions, and it is a heavy load. The position calls for economy for enterprise, and for development. Both Government and the people must work together for these. There is no doubt, with good management, we can clear away our financial difficulties, but every man and woman in this country should be made to understand that on him and her rest grave responsibilities, not the least important of which is to see that a sane Government is given charge of the affairs of the country.


The Commonwealth Government will continue to take all possible actions towards the replacement of [unreadable] in civil life. The Commonwealth has entered into agreements to lend the States upwards of £30,000,000 to enable them to settle soldiers on the land. Vocational training and all the other activities of the department will be continued, and as quickly as possible, having regard to scarcity of material, houses will be built in accordance with the War Service Homes Act. Apart from land settlement, the expenditure on repatriation will have amounted to £10,750,000 up to 30th June next.

Public service

Economy in expenditure is as essential as increased production. We must produce more and spend less. The Government intends to introduce into the Departments of the Commonwealth a Board of Management, as recently recommended by the Economy Commission. This, we believe, will promote economy and efficiency and a higher level of administration.

We desire also to give hope and encouragement to the employees of the Commonwealth, and we therefore propose to establish a system of contributory superannuation for the Public Service, supported by a reasonable and maximum payment from the Treasury.

The spirit of Australian nationalism

I have set before you a brief record of the Government's work during its term of office. We were elected to do all within our power to win the war. This we have done; our record speaks for itself. Never in the history of the Commonwealth have the difficulties been so great, and never has so much been done.

But what of the future? The burning blasts of war have shrivelled, blackened, and destroyed the world we once knew. Old landmarks have disappeared. The nations of the earth panting from the struggle, impoversihed by the unprecedented destruction of wealth, are confronted with a new set of financial, national, and industrial circumstances.

Humanity has indulged in a terrible orgy of destruction; it must pay the price. We must enter on a long period of reconstruction—wherein captial will be scarce, interest high, wages and materials costly. Australia, a young, growing nation, requiring both capital and men for the development of her boundless resources; burdened with a huge debt; faced with great responsibilities, national and industrial [unreadable] and expand in the [unreadable] can even hold her [unreadable] co-operation of [unreadable] the task will [unreadable]. Fellow citizens, I appeal to all of you who love your country to forget your ancient party differences and stand side by side in this crisis.

I appeal to you to be guided by that spirit of Australian nationalism which animated our soldiers through the long hours of terrible trial and led them at length to victory. On the welfare of Australia depends the welfare of every citizen, producer and consumer, employer and employee. Let our watchword be Australia, and as our splendid boys have fought for it and saved it let us all live and work for it. In this spirit the war was won; in this spirit and in this spirit only can we win the peace. The times call for united action, for just, strong and capable government. They call for leadership, for sagacious statesmanship. The issue before the electors is clear. I have already stated it in plain words. The Commonwealth stands at the crossroads. The electors are to choose who shall lead them, by what manner of men they will be governed. The records and the policy of both are known to you all. Choose ye between us.

Editor thought:

Could you imagine an audience of sub 30 year olds having the needed attention span to hear all of this?

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

Quoted from Einstein

Perhaps it has been too uncomfortable for those with vested interests to acknowledge, but we have spent the best part of the past century enthusiastically testing the world to utter destruction; not looking closely enough at the long-term impact our actions will have.

Quoted from Prince Charles

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16th Oct. 2020 - The task ahead Click here to vote for Curtin.

The task ahead - a speech by Prime Minister John Curtin

Yesterday, we had a speech by Robert Menzies. Today a speech which had even more implications for modern Australia by Menzies political foe, John Curtin.

Historic background

The speech was published in The Herald (Melbourne), 27 December 1941, three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbour. Remembering that Japan had invaded China, Taiwan and Korea years before, it was reasonable that Curtin would have knowledge of its military prowess.

This speech points to the recognition that Britain could no longer defend Australia from external military attack and that the country would now depend on the USA for that protection.

That reddish veil which o'er the face
Of night-hag East is drawn ...
Flames new disaster for the race?
Or can it be the dawn?

So wrote Bernard O'Dowd. I see 1942 as a year in which we shall know the answer.

I would, however, that we provide the answer. We can and we will. Therefore I see 1942 as a year of immense change in Australian life.

The Australian government's policy has been grounded on two facts. One is that the war with Japan is not a phase of the struggle with the Axis powers, but is a new war. The second is that Australia must go on a war footing.

Those two facts involve two lines of action - one in the direction of external policy as to our dealings with Britain, the United States, Russia, the Netherlands East Indies and China in the higher direction of the war in the Pacific.

The second is the reshaping, in fact the revolutionising, of the Australian way of life until a war footing is attained quickly, efficiently and without question.

Now with equal realism, we take the view that, while the determination of military policy is the Soviet's business, we should be able to look forward with reason to aid from Russia against Japan. We look for a solid and impregnable barrier of the Democracies against the three Axis Powers, and we refuse to accept the dictum that the Pacific struggle must be treated as a subordinate segment of the general conflict. By that it is not meant that any one of the other theatres of war is of less importance than the Pacific, but that Australia asks for a concerted plan evoking the greatest strength at the Democracies' disposal, determined upon hurling Japan back.

The Australian Government, therefore, regards the Pacific struggle as primarily one in which the United States and Australia must have the fullest say in the direction of the democracies' fighting plan.

Without any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom. We know the problems that the United Kingdom faces. We know the constant threat of invasion. We know the dangers of dispersal of strength, but we know too, that Australia can go and Britain can still hold on.&

Summed up, Australian external policy will be shaped toward obtaining Russian aid, and working out, with the United States, as the major factor, a plan of Pacific strategy, along with British, Chinese and Dutch forces.

Australian internal policy has undergone striking changes in the past few weeks. These, and those that will inevitably come before 1942 is far advanced, have been prompted by several reasons. In the first place, the Commonwealth Government found it exceedingly difficult to bring Australian people to a realisation of what, after two years of war, our position had become. Even the entry of Japan, bringing a direct threat in our own waters, was met with a subconscious view that the Americans would deal with the short-sighted, underfed and fanatical Japanese.

The announcement that no further appeals would be made to the Australian people, and the decisions that followed, were motivated by psychological factors. They had an arresting effect. They awakened the somewhat lackadaisical Australian mind the attitude that was imperative if we were to save ourselves, to enter an all-in effort in the only possible manner.

That experiment in psychology was eminently successful, and we commence 1942 with a better realisation, by a greater number of Australians, of what the war means than in the whole preceding two years.

The decisions were prompted by other reasons, all related to the necessity of getting onto a war footing, and the results so far achieved have been most heartening, especially in respect of production and conservation of stocks.

I make it clear that the experiment undertaken was never intended as one to awaken Australian patriotism or sense of duty. Those qualities have been ever-present; but the response to leadership and direction had never been requested of the people, and desirable talents and untapped resources had lain dormant.

Our task for 1942 is stern ... The position Australia faces internally far exceeds in potential and sweeping dangers anything that confronted us in 1914-19. The year 1942 will impose supreme tests. These range from resistance to invasion to deprivation of more and more amenities.

Australians must realise that to place the nation on a war footing every citizen must place himself, his private and business affairs, his entire mode of living, on a war footing. The civilian way of life cannot be any less rigorous, can contribute no less than that which the fighting men have to follow.

I demand that Australians everywhere realise that Australia is now inside the firing lines.

Australian governmental policy will be directed strictly on those lines. We have to regard our country and its 7,000,000 people as though we were a nation and a people with the enemy hammering at our frontier. Australians must be perpetually on guard; on guard against the possibility, at any hour without warning, of raid or invasion; on guard against spending money, or doing anything that cannot be justified; on guard against hampering by disputation or idle, irresponsible chatter, the decisions of the Government taken for the welfare of all.

All Australia is the stake in this war. All Australia must stand together to hold that stake. We face a powerful, ably led and unbelievably courageous foe.

We must watch the enemy accordingly. We shall watch him accordingly.

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Quoted from Einstein

You managed not to get eaten then?

Quoted from Prince Phillip

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15th Oct. 2020 - The forgotten people Click here to vote for Menzies.

The Forgotten People - a speech by Robert Menzies

Historic background

The speech, delivered on 22 May 1942, defines and exalts Australia's middle class, which Menzies termed "the forgotten people". Menzies used the speech to outline the values and constituency that would form the basis of the Liberal Party of Australia. Menzies had previously served as Prime Minister as leader of the United Australia Party from 1939-1941. From 1942 onward, Menzies had maintained his public profile with his series of "Forgotten People" radio talks, similar to Franklin Roosevelt's "fireside chats" of the 1930s, in which he spoke of the middle class as the "backbone of Australia" but as nevertheless having been "taken for granted" by political parties and of being effectively powerless because of lack of wealth on the one hand, and lack of organisation on the other.

Quite recently, a bishop wrote a letter to a great daily newspaper. His theme was the importance of doing justice to the workers. His belief, apparently, was that the workers are those who work with their hands. He sought to divide the people of Australia into classes. He was obviously suffering from what has for years seemed to me to be our greatest political disease - the disease of thinking that the community is divided into the relatively rich and the relatively idle, and the laborious poor, and that every social and political controversy can be resolved into the question: What side are you on?

Now, the last thing that I would want to do is to commence or take part in a false war of this kind. In a country like Australia the class war must always be a false war. But if we are to talk of classes, then the time has come to say something of the forgotten class - the middle class - those people who are constantly in danger of being ground between the upper and the nether millstones of the false war; the middle class who, properly regarded represent the backbone of this country.

We do not have classes here as in England, and therefore the terms do not mean the same; so I must define what I mean when I use the expression "middle class."

Let me first define it by exclusion. I exclude at one end of the scale the rich and powerful: those who control great funds and enterprises, and are as a rule able to protect themselves - though it must be said that in a political sense they have as a rule shown neither comprehension nor competence. But I exclude them because, in most material difficulties, the rich can look after themselves.

I exclude at the other end of the scale the mass of unskilled people, almost invariably well-organised, and with their wages and conditions safeguarded by popular law. What I am excluding them from is my definition of the middle class. We cannot exclude them from problems of social progress, for one of the prime objects of modern social and political policy is to give them a proper measure of security, and provide the conditions which will enable them to acquire skill and knowledge and individuality.

These exclusions being made, I include the intervening range - the kind of people I myself represent in Parliament - salary-earners, shopkeepers, skilled artisans, professional men and women, farmers and so on. These are, in the political and economic sense, the middle class. They are for the most part unorganised and unself-conscious. They are envied by those whose benefits are largely obtained by taxing them. They are not rich enough to have individual power. They are taken for granted by each political party in turn. They are not sufficiently lacking in individualism to be organised for what in these days we call "pressure politics." And yet, as I have said, they are the backbone of the nation.

The communist has always hated what he calls the "bourgeoisie", because he sees clearly the existence of one has kept British countries from revolution, while the substantial absence of one in feudal France at the end of the eighteenth century and in Tsarist Russia at the end of the last war made revolution easy and indeed inevitable. You may say to me, "Why bring this matter up at this stage when we are fighting a war, the result of which we are all equally concerned?" My answer is that I am bringing it up because under the pressure of war we may, if we are not careful - if we are not as thoughtful as the times will permit us to be - inflict a fatal injury upon our own backbone.

In point of political, industrial and social theory and practice, there are great delays in time of war. But there are also great accelerations. We must watch each, remembering always that whether we know it or not, and whether we like it or not, the foundations of whatever new order is to come after the war are inevitably being laid down now. We cannot go wrong right up to the peace treaty and expect suddenly thereafter to go right.  Now, what is the value of this middle class, so defined and described?

First, it has a "stake in the country". It has responsibility for homes - homes material, homes human, and homes spiritual. I do not believe that the real life of this nation is to be found either in great luxury hotels and the petty gossip of so-called fashionable suburbs, or in the officialdom of the organised masses. It is to be found in the homes of people who are nameless and unadvertised, and who, whatever their individual religious conviction or dogma, see in their children their greatest contribution to the immortality of their race. The home is the foundation of sanity and sobriety; it is the indispensable condition of continuity; its health determines the health of society as a whole.

I have mentioned homes material, homes human and homes spiritual. Let me take them in order. What do I mean by "homes material"?

The material home represents the concrete expression of the habits of frugality and saving "for a home of our own." Your advanced socialist may rave against private property even while he acquires it; but one of the best instincts in us is that which induces us to have one little piece of earth with a house and a garden which is ours; to which we can withdraw, in which we can be among our friends, into which no stranger may come against our will. If you consider it, you will see that if, as in the old saying, "the Englishman's home is his castle", it is this very fact that leads on to the conclusion that he who seeks to violate that law by violating the soil of England must be repelled and defeated.

National patriotism, in other words, inevitably springs from the instinct to defend and preserve our own homes.

Then we have homes human. A great house, full of loneliness, is not a home. "Stone walls do not a prison make", nor do they make a house. They may equally make a stable or a piggery. Brick walls, dormer windows and central heating need not make more than a hotel. My home is where my wife and children are. The instinct to be with them is the great instinct of civilised man; the instinct to give them a chance in life - to make them not leaners but lifters - is a noble instinct. If Scotland has made a great contribution to the theory and practice of education, it is because of the tradition of Scottish homes. The Scottish ploughman, walking behind his team, cons ways and means of making his son a farmer, and so he sends him to the village school. The Scottish farmer ponders upon the future of his son, and sees it most assured not by the inheritance of money but by the acquisition of that knowledge which will give him power; and so the sons of many Scottish farmers find their way to Edinburgh and a university degree.

The great question is, "How can I qualify my son to help society?" Not, as we have so frequently thought, "How can I qualify society to help my son?" If human homes are to fulfil their destiny, then we must have frugality and saving for education and progress.

And finally, we have homes spiritual. This is a notion which finds its simplest and most moving expression in "The Cotter's Saturday Night" of Burns. Human nature is at its greatest when it combines dependence upon God with independence of man. We offer no affront - on the contrary we have nothing but the warmest human compassion - toward those whom fate has compelled to live upon the bounty of the State, when we say that the greatest element in a strong people is a fierce independence of spirit. This is the only real freedom, and it has as its corollary a brave acceptance of unclouded individual responsibility. The moment a man seeks moral and intellectual refuge in the emotions of a crowd, he ceases to be a human being and becomes a cipher. The home spiritual so understood is not produced by lassitude or by dependence; it is produced by self-sacrifice, by frugality and saving.

In a war, as indeed at most times, we become the ready victims of phrases. We speak glibly of of many things without pausing to consider what they signify. We speak of "financial power", forgetting that the financial power of 1942 is based upon the savings of generations which have preceded it. We speak of "morale" as if it were a quality induced from without - created by others for our benefit - when in truth there can be no national morale which is not based upon the individual courage of men and women. We speak of "man power" as if it were a mere matter of arithmetic: as if it were made up of a multiplication of men and muscles without spirit.

Second, the middle class, more than any other, provides the intelligent ambition which is the motive power of human progress. The idea entertained by many people that, in a well-constituted world, we shall all live on the State is the quintessence of madness, for what is the State but us? We collectively must provide what we individually receive.

The great vice of democracy - a vice which is exacting a bitter retribution from it at this moment - is that for a generation we have been busy getting ourselves on to the list of beneficiaries and removing ourselves from the list of contributors, as if somewhere there was somebody else's wealth and somebody else's effort on which we could thrive.

To discourage ambition, to envy success, to have achieved superiority, to distrust independent thought, to sneer at and impute false motives to public service - these are the maladies of modern democracy, and of Australian democracy in particular. Yet ambition, effort, thinking, and readiness to serve are not only the design and objectives of self-government but are the essential conditions of its success. If this is not so, then we had better put back the clock, and search for a benevolent autocracy once more.  Where do we find these great elements most commonly? Among the defensive and comfortable rich, among the unthinking and unskilled mass, or among what I have called the "middle class"?

Third, the middle class provides more than any other the intellectual life which marks us off from the beast; the life which finds room for literature, for the arts, for science, for medicine and the law.

Consider the case of literature and art. Could these survive as a department of State? Are we to publish our poets according to their political colour? Is the State to decree surrealism because surrealism gets a heavy vote in a key electorate? The truth is that no great book was ever written and no great picture ever painted by the clock or according to civil service rules. These are the things done by man, not men. You cannot regiment them. They require opportunity, and sometimes leisure. The artist, if he is to live, must have a buyer; the writer an audience. He find them among frugal people to whom the margin above bare living means a chance to reach out a little towards that heaven which is just beyond our grasp. It has always seemed to me, for example, that an artist is better helped by the man who sacrifices something to buy a picture he loves than by a rich patron who follows the fashion.

Fourth, this middle class maintains and fills the higher schools and universities, and so feeds the lamp of learning.

What are schools for? To train people for examinations, to enable people to comply with the law, or to produce developed men and women?

Are the universities mere technical schools, or have they as one of their functions the preservation of pure learning, bringing in its train not merely riches for the imagination but a comparative sense for the mind, and leading to what we need so badly - the recognition of values which are other than pecuniary?

One of the great blots on our modern living is the cult of false values, a repeated application of the test of money, notoriety, applause. A world in which a comedian or a beautiful half-wit on the screen can be paid fabulous sums, whilst scientific researchers and discoverers can suffer neglect and starvation, is a world which needs to have its sense of values violently set right.

Now, have we realised and recognised these things, or is most of our policy designed to discourage or penalise thrift, to encourage dependence on the State, to bring about a dull equality on a fantastic idea that all men are equal in mind and needs and deserts: to level down by taking the mountains out of the landscape, to weigh men according to their political organisations and power - as votes and not as human beings? These are formidable questions, and we cannot escape from answering them if there is really to be a new order for the world. I have been actively engaged in politics for fourteen years in the State of Victoria and in the Commonwealth of Australia. In that period I cannot readily recall many occasions upon which any policy was pursued which was designed to help the thrifty, to encourage independence, to recognise the divine and valuable variations of men's minds. On the contrary, there have been many instances in which the votes of the thriftless have been used to defeat the thrifty. On occasions of emergency, as in the depression and during the present war, we have hastened to make it clear that the provision made by man for his own retirement and old age is not half as sacrosanct as the provision the State would have made for him if he had never saved at all.

We have talked of income from savings as if it possessed a somewhat discreditable character. We have taxed it more and more heavily. We have spoken slightingly of the earning of interest at the very moment when we have advocated new pensions and social schemes. I have myself heard a minister of power and influence declare that no deprivation is suffered by a man if he still has the means to fill his stomach, clothe his body and keep a roof over his head. And yet the truth is, as I have endeavoured to show, that frugal people who strive for and obtain the margin above these materially necessary things are the whole foundation of a really active and developing national life.

The case for the middle class is the case for a dynamic democracy as against the stagnant one. Stagnant waters are level, and in them the scum rises. Active waters are never level: they toss and tumble and have crests and troughs; but the scientists tell us that they purify themselves in a few hundred yards.

That we are all, as human souls, of like value cannot be denied. That each of us should have his chance is and must be the great objective of political and social policy. But to say that the industrious and intelligent son of self-sacrificing and saving and forward-looking parents has the same social deserts and even material needs as the dull offspring of stupid and improvident parents is absurd.

If the motto is to be "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you will die, and if it chances you don't die, the State will look after you; but if you don't eat, drink and be merry and save, we shall take your savings from you", then the whole business of life would become foundationless.

Are you looking forward to a breed of men after the war who will have become boneless wonders? Leaners grow flabby; lifters grow muscles. Men without ambition readily become slaves. Indeed, there is much more in slavery in Australia than most people imagine. How many hundreds of thousands of us are slaves to greed, to fear, to newspapers, to public opinion - represented by the accumulated views of our neighbours! Landless men smell the vapours of the street corner. Landed men smell the brown earth, and plant their feet upon it and know that it is good. To all of this many of my friends will retort, "Ah that's all very well, but when this war is over the levellers will have won the day." My answer is that, on the contrary, men will come out of this war as gloriously unequal in many things as when they entered it. Much wealth will have been destroyed; inherited riches will be suspect; a fellowship of suffering, if we really experience it, will have opened many hearts and perhaps closed many mouths. Many great edifices will have fallen, and we shall be able to study foundations as never before, because war will have exposed them.

But I do not believe that we shall come out into the overlordship of an all-powerful State on whose benevolence we shall live, spineless and effortless - a State which will dole out bread and ideas with neatly regulated accuracy; where we shall all have our dividend without subscribing our capital; where the Government, that almost deity, will nurse us and rear us and maintain us and pension us and bury us; where we shall all be civil servants, and all presumably, since we are equal, heads of departments.

If the new world is to be a world of men, we must be not pallid and bloodless ghosts, but a community of people whose motto shall be, "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." Individual enterprise must drive us forward. That does not mean we are to return to the old and selfish notions of laissez-faire. The functions of the State will be much more than merely keeping the ring within which the competitors will fight. Our social and industrial laws will be increased. There will be more law, not less; more control, not less.

But what really happens to us will depend on how many people we have who are of the great and sober and dynamic middle-class - the strivers, the planners, the ambitious ones. We shall destroy them at our peril.


While poking around the internet looking for some Australian Snippets to go with those below, I found a reference to the Eureka Oath. Being curious I looked it up with a view to shedding some light for those reading this.

The oath itself is quite simple:

"We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."

while the website where I found it is well worth a look. Look here. It has a lot more history and excellent illustrations.

As an aside from the exploration above I found that any given list of the X number 'best' or 'most famous' typically will have 50% of its content known only to Trump supporters under 25. Finding a non USA character, or one who is old enough to have died requires significant filtering.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Quoted from Einstein

You don't want to see me all the time.
You'll get bored.

Quoted from Prince Charles

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14th Oct. 2020 - Looking for work Click here to hire a manual worker.

Why manual work is disappearing

As an engineer, I always saw my task as doing something in the most efficient way, so as to minimise the resources used to achieve the required end. The video shows, not an endpoint of this work, but certainly a mind expander as to what can be done to minimise effort in doing any repetative task and hence remove the task from the available jobs listing.

It makes one think about how we should occupy the time of people displaced from conventional employment by this sort of technology.

You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this?  And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there.

The only difference is that there is no cat.

Quoted from Einstein

We are not the technology. It should be our - you know, our slave, the technology. But it's rapidly becoming our master in many areas, I think.

Quoted from Prince Charles

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13th Oct. 2020 - There's nothing like age for speed. Click here to pay the bill.

Rapid sex

An elderly man goes into a brothel and tells the madam he would like a young girl for the night. Surprised, she looks at the ancient man and asks how old he is.

He answers wih pride "I'm 90 years old."

"90! she responds, "Don't you realize you've had it?"

"Oh, sorry," he mumbles, "How much do I owe you?"

On a vaguely related note, my brother gave me Blanche D'Alpuget's biography of Bob Hawke for my last birthday. On about page 150 of the 940 plus appendices I found this little poem written in 1958 by Hawke who is not generally known as a poet.

The subject of the poem was a young woman employee of the ACTU who had a a devout Baptist view of life and clearly would not touch alcohol by choice.

Hawke as he appeared in that era.

But even worse now comes to light
They plan to get young Susie tight
Who is to blame for this foul plot
to turn young Susie into a sot?
The tempress holder of the evil apple
None other than our Tessy Chapple
(who worked for Bob Souter)
But Susie now has been forewarned
Before the evil day has dawned
Now these females cannot harm her
Saved by her knight in shining armour

God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.

Quoted from Einstein

I think I can safely say that, as adolescents, most people have excess energy to spare and need adventure, excitement, and a challenge.

Quoted from Prince Charles

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12th October 2020 - Adolf Hitler Click here to register understanding

Hitler speech example

Adolf Hitler despite all his other bad qualities was clearly one of histories greatest speakers. He had the ability to draw huge crowds who listened to him for long times and were largely influenced by what he said.

It is clearly impossible to visualise any current person making a speech which kept the audience as involved as Hitler did.

There is a web site for Hitler's speeches and I had no intention of looking for the most interesting by reading even a sample, so I chose one with which I could relate to a distinct event - Hitler's trial in 1924.

It was made on Feb 26, 1924 to the court in Munich. The wording may suffer from translation to English and I'm not sure if it is complete. When you add this to 'Mien Kampf' which Hitler wrote while in prison after a later trial, no one could ever accuse him of being dishonest about his violent intentions.

Hitler addressing the Court

It seems strange to me that a man who, as a soldier, was for six years accustomed to blind obedience, should suddenly come into conflict with the State and its Constitution. The reasons for this stem from the days of my youth. When I was seventeen I came to Vienna, and there I learned to study and observe three important problems: the social question, the race problem, and, finally, the Marxist movement. I left Vienna a confirmed anti-Semite, a deadly foe of the whole Marxist world outlook, and pan-German in my political principles. And since I knew that the German destiny of German-Austria would not be fought out in the Austrian Army alone, but in the German and Austrian Army, I enlisted in the German Army.

When, on November 7, [1918] it was announced that the Revolution had broken out in Munich, I at first could not believe it. At that time there arose in me the determination to devote myself to politics. I went through the period of the Soviets, and as a result of my opposition to them I came in contact with the National Socialist German Workers Movement, which at that time numbered six members. I was the seventh. I attached myself to this party, and not to one of the great political parties where my prospects would have been better, because none of the other parties understood or even recognized the decisive, fundamental problem.

By Marxism I understand a doctrine which in principle rejects the idea of the worth of personality, which replaces individual energy by the masses and thereby works the destruction of our whole cultural life. This movement has utilized monstrously effective methods and exercised tremendous influence on the masses, which in the course of three or four decades could have no other result than that the individual has become his own brother's foe, while at the same time calling a Frenchman, an Englishman, or a Zulu his brother. This movement is distinguished by incredible terror, which is based on a knowledge of mass psychology.

The German Revolution is a revolution, and therefore successful high treason; it is well known that such treason is never punished.

For us it was a filthy crime against the German people, a stab in the back of the German nation. The middle class could not take up arms against it because the middle class did not understand the whole revolution. It was necessary to start a new struggle and to incite against the Marxist despoilers of the people who did not even belong to the German race - which is where the Marxist problem is linked with the race problem, forming one of the most difficult and profound questions of our time.

Personally, at the beginning I held a lost position. Nevertheless, in the course of a few years there has grown from a little band of six men a movement which today embraces millions and which, above all, has once made the broad masses nationalistic.

In 1923 came the great and bitter scandal. As early as 1922 we had seen that the Ruhr was about to be lost. France's aim was not merely to weaken Germany, to keep her from obtaining supremacy, but to break her up into small states so that she [France] would be able to hold the Rhine frontier. After all the Government's reiterations of our weakness, we knew that on top of the Saar and Upper Silesia we would lose our third coal region, the Ruhr; each loss brought on the next one.

Only burning, ruthless, brutal fanaticism could have saved the situation. The Reich Government should have let the hundreds of thousands of young men who were pouring out of the Ruhr into the Reich under the old colors of black-white-red flow together in a mighty national wave. Instead, these young people were sent back home. The resistance that was organized was for wages; the national resistance was degraded to a paid general strike. It was forgotten that a foe like France cannot be prayed away, still less can he be idled away.

Our youth has - and may this be heard in Paris - but one thought: that the day may come when we shall again be free. My attitude is this: I would rather that Germany go Bolshevist and I be hanged than that she should be destroyed by the French rule of the sword. It turned out that the back-stabbers were stronger than ever. With pride I admit that our men were the only ones to really resist in the Ruhr. We intended to hold fourteen meetings and introduce a propaganda campaign throughout Germany with the slogan: DOWN WITH THE RUHR TRAITORS! But we were surprised by the banning of these mass meetings. I had met Herr von Kahr in 1920. Kahr had impressed me as being an honest official. I asked him why the fourteen mass meetings had been banned. The reason he gave me simply would not hold water. THE REAL REASON WAS SOMETHING THAT COULD NOT BE REVEALED.

From the very first day the watchword was: UNLIMITED STRUGGLE AGAINST BERLIN.

The struggle against Berlin, as Dr. von Kahr would lead it, is a crime; one must have the courage to be logical and see that the struggle must be incorporated in the German national uprising. I said that all that had been made of this struggle was a Bavarian rejection of Berlin's requests. But the people expected something other than a reduction in the price of beer, regulation of the price of milk and confiscation of butter tubs and other such impossible economic proposals - proposals which make you want to ask: who is the genius that is advising them? Every failure could only further enrage the masses, and I pointed out that while the people were now only laughing at Kahr's measures, later on they would rise up against them. I said: "Either you finish the job - and there is only the political and military struggle left. When you cross the Rubicon, you must march on Rome. Or else you do not want to struggle; then only capitulation is left."

The struggle had to turn toward the North; it could not be led by a purely Bavarian organization. I said: "The only man to head it is Ludendorff."

I had first seen Ludendorff in 1918, in the field. In 1920 I first spoke personally with him. I saw that he was not only the outstanding general, but that he had now learned the lesson and understood what had brought the German nation to ruin. That Ludendorff was talked down by the others was one more reason for me to come closer to him. I therefore proposed Ludendorff, and Lossow and Seisser had no objections.

I further explained to Lossow that right now nothing could be accomplished by petty economic measures. The fight was against Marxism. To solve this problem, not administrators were needed but firebrands who would be in a position to inflame the national spirit to the extreme. Kahr could not do that, I pointed out; the youth were not behind him. I declared that I could join them only on the condition that the political struggle was put into my hands alone. This was not impudence or immodesty; I believe that when a man knows he can do a job, he must not be modest.

One thing was certain: Lossow, Kahr, and Seisser had the same goal that we had: to get rid of the Reich Government with its present international and parliamentary position, and to replace it by an anti-parliamentary government. If our undertaking was actually high treason, then during this whole period Lossow, Seisser, and Kahr must have been committing high treason along with us - for during all those months we talked of nothing but the aims of which we now stand accused.

How could we have called for a new government if we had not known that the gentlemen in power were altogether on our side? How else could we, two days before, have given such orders as: at 8:30 o'clock such and such a government will be proclaimed.

Lossow talked of a coup d'etat. Kahr quite openly declared that he would give the word to strike. The only possible interpretation of this talk is that these men wanted to strike, but each time lost their nerve. Our last conversation, on November 6, was for me the absolute confirmation of my belief that these men wanted to, but - !.


The outcome of this trial showed an enormous sympathy for Hitler's views. His punishment was trivial compared with the acknowledged intentions of his group. There is a decription of this here.

Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.

Quoted from Einstein

Conflict, of course, comes about because of the misuse of power and the clash of ideals, not to mention the inflammatory activities of unscrupulous and bigoted leaders. But it also arises, tragically, from an inability to understand and from the powerful emotions which, out of misunderstanding, lead to distrust and fear.

Quoted from Prince Charles

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11th Oct. 2020 - The magna carta Click here to release the prisoners.

An understanding of the Magna Carta

The Magna Carta is famous as a source document of our rights as citizens of a country with an English cultural and legal heritage.

While I was in 'famous speeches' mode learning a bit more about it became an obvious target. Coming from complete ignorance I was surprised at the length of the document.

Historic background

On June 15, 1215, in a field at Runnymede, King John affixed his seal to Magna Carta. Confronted by 40 rebellious barons, he consented to their demands in order to avert civil war. Just 10 weeks later, Pope Innocent III nullified the agreement, and England plunged into internal war.

Although Magna Carta failed to resolve the conflict between King John and his barons, it was reissued several times after his death.

This meant that there were several versions of it over the years - all written in latin.

I found a full-text translation of the first (1215) edition of Magna Carta.

Clauses marked (+) are still valid under the charter of 1225, but with a few minor amendments. Clauses marked (*) were omitted in all later reissues of the charter. In the charter itself the clauses are not numbered, and the text reads continuously. The translation sets out to convey the sense rather than the precise wording of the original Latin. Even conveying just the sense the translation uses names of procedures and acts which make no sense in our world.

JOHN, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his officials and loyal subjects, Greeting.

KNOW THAT BEFORE GOD, for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and heirs, to the honour of God, the exaltation of the holy Church, and the better ordering of our kingdom, at the advice of our reverend fathers Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal of the holy Roman Church, Henry archbishop of Dublin, William bishop of London, Peter bishop of Winchester, Jocelin bishop of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh bishop of Lincoln, Walter bishop of Worcester, William bishop of Coventry, Benedict bishop of Rochester, Master Pandulf subdeacon and member of the papal household, Brother Aymeric master of the knighthood of the Temple in England, William Marshal earl of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Warren, William earl of Arundel, Alan of Galloway constable of Scotland, Warin fitz Gerald, Peter fitz Herbert, Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poitou, Hugh de Neville, Matthew fitz Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip Daubeny, Robert de Roppeley, John Marshal, John fitz Hugh, and other loyal subjects:

+ (1) FIRST, THAT WE HAVE GRANTED TO GOD, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. That we wish this so to be observed, appears from the fact that of our own free will, before the outbreak of the present dispute between us and our barons, we granted and confirmed by charter the freedom of the Church's elections - a right reckoned to be of the greatest necessity and importance to it - and caused this to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III. This freedom we shall observe ourselves, and desire to be observed in good faith by our heirs in perpetuity. TO ALL FREE MEN OF OUR KINGDOM we have also granted, for us and our heirs for ever, all the liberties written out below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs:

(2) If any earl, baron, or other person that holds lands directly of the Crown, for military service, shall die, and at his death his heir shall be of full age and owe a 'relief', the heir shall have his inheritance on payment of the ancient scale of 'relief'. That is to say, the heir or heirs of an earl shall pay £100 for the entire earl's barony, the heir or heirs of a knight 100s. at most for the entire knight's 'fee', and any man that owes less shall pay less, in accordance with the ancient usage of 'fees'.

(3) But if the heir of such a person is under age and a ward, when he comes of age he shall have his inheritance without 'relief' or fine.

(4) The guardian of the land of an heir who is under age shall take from it only reasonable revenues, customary dues, and feudal services. He shall do this without destruction or damage to men or property. If we have given the guardianship of the land to a sheriff, or to any person answerable to us for the revenues, and he commits destruction or damage, we will exact compensation from him, and the land shall be entrusted to two worthy and prudent men of the same 'fee', who shall be answerable to us for the revenues, or to the person to whom we have assigned them. If we have given or sold to anyone the guardianship of such land, and he causes destruction or damage, he shall lose the guardianship of it, and it shall be handed over to two worthy and prudent men of the same 'fee', who shall be similarly answerable to us.

(5) For so long as a guardian has guardianship of such land, he shall maintain the houses, parks, fish preserves, ponds, mills, and everything else pertaining to it, from the revenues of the land itself. When the heir comes of age, he shall restore the whole land to him, stocked with plough teams and such implements of husbandry as the season demands and the revenues from the land can reasonably bear.

(6) Heirs may be given in marriage, but not to someone of lower social standing. Before a marriage takes place, it shall be made known to the heir's next-of-kin.

7) At her husband's death, a widow may have her marriage portion and inheritance at once and without trouble. She shall pay nothing for her dower, marriage portion, or any inheritance that she and her husband held jointly on the day of his death. She may remain in her husband's house for forty days after his death, and within this period her dower shall be assigned to her.

(8) No widow shall be compelled to marry, so long as she wishes to remain without a husband. But she must give security that she will not marry without royal consent, if she holds her lands of the Crown, or without the consent of whatever other lord she may hold them of.

(9) Neither we nor our officials will seize any land or rent in payment of a debt, so long as the debtor has movable goods sufficient to discharge the debt. A debtor's sureties shall not be distrained upon so long as the debtor himself can discharge his debt. If, for lack of means, the debtor is unable to discharge his debt, his sureties shall be answerable for it. If they so desire, they may have the debtor's lands and rents until they have received satisfaction for the debt that they paid for him, unless the debtor can show that he has settled his obligations to them.

* (10) If anyone who has borrowed a sum of money from Jews dies before the debt has been repaid, his heir shall pay no interest on the debt for so long as he remains under age, irrespective of whom he holds his lands. If such a debt falls into the hands of the Crown, it will take nothing except the principal sum specified in the bond.

* (11) If a man dies owing money to Jews, his wife may have her dower and pay nothing towards the debt from it. If he leaves children that are under age, their needs may also be provided for on a scale appropriate to the size of his holding of lands. The debt is to be paid out of the residue, reserving the service due to his feudal lords. Debts owed to persons other than Jews are to be dealt with similarly.

* (12) No 'scutage' or 'aid' may be levied in our kingdom without its general consent, unless it is for the ransom of our person, to make our eldest son a knight, and (once) to marry our eldest daughter. For these purposes only a reasonable 'aid' may be levied. 'Aids' from the city of London are to be treated similarly.

+ (13) The city of London shall enjoy all its ancient liberties and free customs, both by land and by water. We also will and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall enjoy all their liberties and free customs.

* (14) To obtain the general consent of the realm for the assessment of an 'aid' - except in the three cases specified above - or a 'scutage', we will cause the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons to be summoned individually by letter. To those who hold lands directly of us we will cause a general summons to be issued, through the sheriffs and other officials, to come together on a fixed day (of which at least forty days notice shall be given) and at a fixed place. In all letters of summons, the cause of the summons will be stated. When a summons has been issued, the business appointed for the day shall go forward in accordance with the resolution of those present, even if not all those who were summoned have appeared.

* (15) In future we will allow no one to levy an 'aid' from his free men, except to ransom his person, to make his eldest son a knight, and (once) to marry his eldest daughter. For these purposes only a reasonable 'aid' may be levied.

(16) No man shall be forced to perform more service for a knight's 'fee', or other free holding of land, than is due from it.

17) Ordinary lawsuits shall not follow the royal court around, but shall be held in a fixed place.

18) Inquests of novel disseisin, mort d'ancestor, and darrein presentment shall be taken only in their proper county court. We ourselves, or in our absence abroad our chief justice, will send two justices to each county four times a year, and these justices, with four knights of the county elected by the county itself, shall hold the assizes in the county court, on the day and in the place where the court meets.

(19) If any assizes cannot be taken on the day of the county court, as many knights and freeholders shall afterwards remain behind, of those who have attended the court, as will suffice for the administration of justice, having regard to the volume of business to be done.

(20) For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood. In the same way, a merchant shall be spared his merchandise, and a villein the implements of his husbandry, if they fall upon the mercy of a royal court. None of these fines shall be imposed except by the assessment on oath of reputable men of the neighbourhood.

(21) Earls and barons shall be fined only by their equals, and in proportion to the gravity of their offence.

(22) A fine imposed upon the lay property of a clerk in holy orders shall be assessed upon the same principles, without reference to the value of his ecclesiastical benefice.

23) No town or person shall be forced to build bridges over rivers except those with an ancient obligation to do so.

(24) No sheriff, constable, coroners, or other royal officials are to hold lawsuits that should be held by the royal justices.

* (25) Every county, hundred, wapentake, and tithing shall remain at its ancient rent, without increase, except the royal demesne manors.

(26) If at the death of a man who holds a lay 'fee' of the Crown, a sheriff or royal official produces royal letters patent of summons for a debt due to the Crown, it shall be lawful for them to seize and list movable goods found in the lay 'fee' of the dead man to the value of the debt, as assessed by worthy men. Nothing shall be removed until the whole debt is paid, when the residue shall be given over to the executors to carry out the dead man’s will. If no debt is due to the Crown, all the movable goods shall be regarded as the property of the dead man, except the reasonable shares of his wife and children.

* (27) If a free man dies intestate, his movable goods are to be distributed by his next-of-kin and friends, under the supervision of the Church. The rights of his debtors are to be preserved.

(28) No constable or other royal official shall take corn or other movable goods from any man without immediate payment, unless the seller voluntarily offers postponement of this.

(29) No constable may compel a knight to pay money for castle-guard if the knight is willing to undertake the guard in person, or with reasonable excuse to supply some other fit man to do it. A knight taken or sent on military service shall be excused from castle-guard for the period of this service.

(30) No sheriff, royal official, or other person shall take horses or carts for transport from any free man, without his consent.

(31) Neither we nor any royal official will take wood for our castle, or for any other purpose, without the consent of the owner.

(32) We will not keep the lands of people convicted of felony in our hand for longer than a year and a day, after which they shall be returned to the lords of the 'fees' concerned.

33) All fish-weirs shall be removed from the Thames, the Medway, and throughout the whole of England, except on the sea coast.

(34) The writ called precipe shall not in future be issued to anyone in respect of any holding of land, if a free man could thereby be deprived of the right of trial in his own lord's court.

(35) There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn (the London quarter), throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width of dyed cloth, russet, and haberject, namely two ells within the selvedges. Weights are to be standardised similarly.

(36) In future nothing shall be paid or accepted for the issue of a writ of inquisition of life or limbs. It shall be given gratis, and not refused.

37) If a man holds land of the Crown by 'fee-farm', 'socage', or 'burgage', and also holds land of someone else for knight's service, we will not have guardianship of his heir, nor of the land that belongs to the other person's 'fee', by virtue of the 'fee-farm', 'socage', or 'burgage', unless the 'fee-farm' owes knight's service. We will not have the guardianship of a man's heir, or of land that he holds of someone else, by reason of any small property that he may hold of the Crown for a service of knives, arrows, or the like.

(38) In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.

+ (39) No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.

+ (40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

(41) All merchants may enter or leave England unharmed and without fear, and may stay or travel within it, by land or water, for purposes of trade, free from all illegal exactions, in accordance with ancient and lawful customs. This, however, does not apply in time of war to merchants from a country that is at war with us. Any such merchants found in our country at the outbreak of war shall be detained without injury to their persons or property, until we or our chief justice have discovered how our own merchants are being treated in the country at war with us. If our own merchants are safe they shall be safe too.

* (42) In future it shall be lawful for any man to leave and return to our kingdom unharmed and without fear, by land or water, preserving his allegiance to us, except in time of war, for some short period, for the common benefit of the realm. People that have been imprisoned or outlawed in accordance with the law of the land, people from a country that is at war with us, and merchants - who shall be dealt with as stated above - are excepted from this provision.

(43) If a man holds lands of any 'escheat' such as the 'honour' of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boulogne, Lancaster, or of other 'escheats' in our hand that are baronies, at his death his heir shall give us only the 'relief' and service that he would have made to the baron, had the barony been in the baron's hand. We will hold the 'escheat' in the same manner as the baron held it.

(44) People who live outside the forest need not in future appear before the royal justices of the forest in answer to general summonses, unless they are actually involved in proceedings or are sureties for someone who has been seized for a forest offence.

* (45) We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or other officials, only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it well.

(46) All barons who have founded abbeys, and have charters of English kings or ancient tenure as evidence of this, may have guardianship of them when there is no abbot, as is their due.

(47) All forests that have been created in our reign shall at once be disafforested. River-banks that have been enclosed in our reign shall be treated similarly.

*(48) All evil customs relating to forests and warrens, foresters, warreners, sheriffs and their servants, or river-banks and their wardens, are at once to be investigated in every county by twelve sworn knights of the county, and within forty days of their enquiry the evil customs are to be abolished completely and irrevocably. But we, or our chief justice if we are not in England, are first to be informed.

* (49) We will at once return all hostages and charters delivered up to us by Englishmen as security for peace or for loyal service.

* (50) We will remove completely from their offices the kinsmen of Gerard de Athée, and in future they shall hold no offices in England. The people in question are Engelard de Cigogné, Peter, Guy, and Andrew de Chanceaux, Guy de Cigogné, Geoffrey de Martigny and his brothers, Philip Marc and his brothers, with Geoffrey his nephew, and all their followers.

* (51) As soon as peace is restored, we will remove from the kingdom all the foreign knights, bowmen, their attendants, and the mercenaries that have come to it, to its harm, with horses and arms.

* (52) To any man whom we have deprived or dispossessed of lands, castles, liberties, or rights, without the lawful judgment of his equals, we will at once restore these. In cases of dispute the matter shall be resolved by the judgment of the twenty-five barons referred to below in the clause for securing the peace (§61). In cases, however, where a man was deprived or dispossessed of something without the lawful judgment of his equals by our father King Henry or our brother King Richard, and it remains in our hands or is held by others under our warranty, we shall have respite for the period commonly allowed to Crusaders, unless a lawsuit had been begun, or an enquiry had been made at our order, before we took the Cross as a Crusader. On our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once render justice in full.

* (53) We shall have similar respite in rendering justice in connexion with forests that are to be disafforested, or to remain forests, when these were first afforested by our father Henry or our brother Richard; with the guardianship of lands in another person's 'fee', when we have hitherto had this by virtue of a 'fee' held of us for knight's service by a third party; and with abbeys founded in another person's 'fee', in which the lord of the 'fee' claims to own a right. On our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once do full justice to complaints about these matters.

(54) No one shall be arrested or imprisoned on the appeal of a woman for the death of any person except her husband.

* (55) All fines that have been given to us unjustly and against the law of the land, and all fines that we have exacted unjustly, shall be entirely remitted or the matter decided by a majority judgment of the twenty-five barons referred to below in the clause for securing the peace (§61) together with Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, if he can be present, and such others as he wishes to bring with him. If the archbishop cannot be present, proceedings shall continue without him, provided that if any of the twenty-five barons has been involved in a similar suit himself, his judgment shall be set aside, and someone else chosen and sworn in his place, as a substitute for the single occasion, by the rest of the twenty-five.

56) If we have deprived or dispossessed any Welshmen of land, liberties, or anything else in England or in Wales, without the lawful judgment of their equals, these are at once to be returned to them. A dispute on this point shall be determined in the Marches by the judgment of equals. English law shall apply to holdings of land in England, Welsh law to those in Wales, and the law of the Marches to those in the Marches. The Welsh shall treat us and ours in the same way.

* (57) In cases where a Welshman was deprived or dispossessed of anything, without the lawful judgment of his equals, by our father King Henry or our brother King Richard, and it remains in our hands or is held by others under our warranty, we shall have respite for the period commonly allowed to Crusaders, unless a lawsuit had been begun, or an enquiry had been made at our order, before we took the Cross as a Crusader. But on our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once do full justice according to the laws of Wales and the said regions.

* (58) We will at once return the son of Llywelyn, all Welsh hostages, and the charters delivered to us as security for the peace.

* (59) With regard to the return of the sisters and hostages of Alexander, king of Scotland, his liberties and his rights, we will treat him in the same way as our other barons of England, unless it appears from the charters that we hold from his father William, formerly king of Scotland, that he should be treated otherwise. This matter shall be resolved by the judgment of his equals in our court.

(60) All these customs and liberties that we have granted shall be observed in our kingdom in so far as concerns our own relations with our subjects. Let all men of our kingdom, whether clergy or laymen, observe them similarly in their relations with their own men.

* (61) SINCE WE HAVE GRANTED ALL THESE THINGS for God, for the better ordering of our kingdom, and to allay the discord that has arisen between us and our barons, and since we desire that they shall be enjoyed in their entirety, with lasting strength, for ever, we give and grant to the barons the following security:

The barons shall elect twenty-five of their number to keep, and cause to be observed with all their might, the peace and liberties granted and confirmed to them by this charter.

If we, our chief justice, our officials, or any of our servants offend in any respect against any man, or transgress any of the articles of the peace or of this security, and the offence is made known to four of the said twenty-five barons, they shall come to us – or in our absence from the kingdom to the chief justice – to declare it and claim immediate redress. If we, or in our absence abroad the chief justice, make no redress within forty days, reckoning from the day on which the offence was declared to us or to him, the four barons shall refer the matter to the rest of the twenty-five barons, who may distrain upon and assail us in every way possible, with the support of the whole community of the land, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, or anything else saving only our own person and those of the queen and our children, until they have secured such redress as they have determined upon. Having secured the redress, they may then resume their normal obedience to us.

Any man who so desires may take an oath to obey the commands of the twenty-five barons for the achievement of these ends, and to join with them in assailing us to the utmost of his power. We give public and free permission to take this oath to any man who so desires, and at no time will we prohibit any man from taking it. Indeed, we will compel any of our subjects who are unwilling to take it to swear it at our command.

If one of the twenty-five barons dies or leaves the country, or is prevented in any other way from discharging his duties, the rest of them shall choose another baron in his place, at their discretion, who shall be duly sworn in as they were.

In the event of disagreement among the twenty-five barons on any matter referred to them for decision, the verdict of the majority present shall have the same validity as a unanimous verdict of the whole twenty-five, whether these were all present or some of those summoned were unwilling or unable to appear.

The twenty-five barons shall swear to obey all the above articles faithfully, and shall cause them to be obeyed by others to the best of their power.

We will not seek to procure from anyone, either by our own efforts or those of a third party, anything by which any part of these concessions or liberties might be revoked or diminished. Should such a thing be procured, it shall be null and void and we will at no time make use of it, either ourselves or through a third party.

* (62) We have remitted and pardoned fully to all men any ill-will, hurt, or grudges that have arisen between us and our subjects, whether clergy or laymen, since the beginning of the dispute. We have in addition remitted fully, and for our own part have also pardoned, to all clergy and laymen any offences committed as a result of the said dispute between Easter in the sixteenth year of our reign (i.e. 1215) and the restoration of peace.

In addition we have caused letters patent to be made for the barons, bearing witness to this security and to the concessions set out above, over the seals of Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, Henry archbishop of Dublin, the other bishops named above, and Master Pandulf.

* (63) IT IS ACCORDINGLY OUR WISH AND COMMAND that the English Church shall be free, and that men in our kingdom shall have and keep all these liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably in their fullness and entirety for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and all places for ever. Both we and the barons have sworn that all this shall be observed in good faith and without deceit. Witness the abovementioned people and many others. Given by our hand in the meadow that is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of our reign (i.e. 1215: the new regnal year began on 28 May).

Image of an early copy of the Magna Carta.

Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.

Quoted from Einstein

Do you still throw spears at each other?

Quoted from Prince Phillip

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