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Canberra Times (Newspaper) - December 20, 1965, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory National Library of Australia monday december 20, 1965 anus and Britain re British government has said so Many times recently that it must Cut Down on defence expenditure that we can reasonably assume that it intends to do so. It was this that took or Wilson to Washington last week so that any reduction or rationalisation to be incorporated in the february British defence review is made in ways acceptable to the United states. This is both politically Wise and strategically essential. The British prime minister gave very Little away at his press conference before leaving the american capital but reports from Washington suggest that he May have proposed to president Johnson a formal association of the United kingdom the United states. Australia and new zealand in a collective defence arrangement Geo graphically wider but politically tighter than Seato applicable to South East Asia and the Indian Ocean. With the development of North West Cape and the planned us us radio station at Diego Garcia in the new British Indian Ocean territory the United states will have completed its Chain of communications facilities from Ethiopia to the Philippines facilities whose Pur pose is to serve american and Allied ships and sub marines in the area. The United states is thus preparing the Way for an Extension of is Power into the Indian Ocean indeed is co operating with Britain to this end. Singapore is currently denied to the United states and within five or 10 years could be similarly denied to Britain. The logistics problems for Britain to keep a Force in South East Asia would then be multiplied. While America is reluctant to take on additional defence commitments it May be prepared to ill he gaps in a British or Commonwealth strategic Force if this were the Means of retaining a militarily limited but politically valuable British defence presence cast of Suez and particularly in South East Asia. And Australia might obtain from Britain and the United states together the necessary assistance to build a base to partly replace Singapore. This is a far cry from 1951, when to its great Dis gust Britain was excluded from the Security pact Between Australia new zealand and the United states anus largely because of american reluctance to underwrite British colonial Security in this Region. Now the British colonies have almost All gone and it is the United states which is massively involved in South East asian Security and seeking support from almost any Quarter. It is clearly in the interest of Australia and new zealand to give it. And if possible to bring the United kingdom also into any arrangement. Yet the problems of a joint Force even without a nuclear component Are not to be passed Over lightly. Much of the equipment weapons systems and maintenance facilities Are not compatible Between the four countries. None of the Commonwealth members not even the us could exercise a role significantly Independent of the dominant american partner. With a nuclear component whether of Polaris sub marines or f111 aircraft a joint Force could by offering insurance against chinese atomic blackmail be an attractive idea to countries other than the four involved especially to India and Japan. This week in Britain the Hull by election. Anglo Irish treaty critical by election from Christopher Hollis t have been in the past week up in Hull where there is a by election due to Lake place on Janu Ary 20. At Westminster the seat of Hull North had been a conservative seat until the last election when or Solomons the labour candidate won it Lor his parly but Only by the very narrow majority of 1,181 out of a poll of nearly 50,000. If in this by election the conservatives regain their seat then As everybody know the labour majority will be reduced from three to the tenuous one. On the other hand there Are those who say that if labour should increase its majority or Wilson will take it As a sign that the tide is with him and have a general election in March. Or Solomons the late Mem Ber was a Man of Middle age. All the three candidates this time or Mcnamara for labour a local lecturer or Jussel the conservative a London business executive and mrs Millward the attractive Liberal Are Young. The constituency is a mixed one with a residential Quarter round the red Brick Hull University merchant houses round the Dock area in a Street picturesquely named the land of Green Ginger and a Large housing estate predominantly working class. Mrs Millward for the liberals polled 7,500 votes to the main candidate s 20,000 or so each at the Genera election and it could easily go either Way. The feeling in Hull seems to be that the labour Candi Date will hold it and even in crease his majority. This prophecy could be upset of course if a body of those who voted for mrs Mil Ward at the general election should decide that her cause was hopeless and Transfer themselves to or Jessel. But it does not seem or. Wilson very Likely thai his will Hap pen. If they do desert mrs Millward they Are just As Likely logo labour. Much May happen in the world at Large Between now and january 20, hut Short of a world War breaking out it docs not seem very Likely that outside events will have much effect on the voters of Hull. Polls show that world issues bulk very Little in Hull voters minds. There is almost no in Terest in whether the British should have the nuclear deter rent or join the common Market very Little in rho Desia none at Aii in Vietnam. Even racial issues which have swung votes in a number of constituencies arouse Little in Terest in Hull because it is a port town and ports have been accustomed to mixed populations for Many years. Only in the Inland towns is an Immi Grant a Novelty and do people become excited about his hous ing problems. The Only issues that much excite the voters of Hull Are Hose of their own pay packet and their own Job. Threats about the dangers of inflation or of an unfavourable balance of Trade pass Over their Heads. They Are Only concerned about How things arc at the moment. And at the moment they Are fairly satisfactory. The situation is complicated by the appearance of a Young bearded rebel Richard Gott calling himself the Radical Alliance candidate. He is at tacking or Wilson for Bis fail ure to denounce american bombing in Vietnam. It is Safe to say that Only a minute Frac Tion of the voters of Hull care in the least whether or Wil son denounces american bombing in Vietnam or whether he docs not. If things should be very close Between or Mcnamara and or Jessyl a few Hundred votes detached from or Mcnamara by or Gott might just make the Dif Ference. He Trade pact Between great Britain and the Irish Republic which was signed last week by or Wilson and or Lem ass seems on the face of it a very Good bargain for the Irish. By it All British duties on Irish imports will be at once abolished Irish exports Are almost entirely of foodstuffs. There will be Complete free Rade in 90 per cent of Irish products Quantity pc restrictions will be kept Only on but Ter. Bacon sugar and cereals where Ibe British government is bound by International agreements but even there the quotas will be increased. In return the Irish will re Duce their tariffs on British exports which of course includes Northern Irish goods by stages Over the next ten years achieving total free Trade at the end of that time. At present. British foodstuffs Are sold on the British Market at a guaranteed Price and a subsidy from the British trea Surv makes up the difference president Mobutu the Irish Premier or Lamass left meets Northern Ireland s Premier capt Oneill. Early this year. Between the Price guaranteed to the producer and the Price at which the article is sold on the Market. The British lax payer is now to a the deficiency payment to the Irish producer As Well. Ireland in the clays of the Union was an almost entirely agricultural country with no Industrial development. In the Home Rule controversy one of the most bitterly contested of Irish demands was for the right to impose tariffs. Without such a right it was argued a purely political Freedom would not be a reality and it has of course been one of the main achievements of or Lem ass government to build up Irish industries behind a Lari to Protection. If is generally admitted that tariffs Are legitimate to enable an infant Industry to get started but it has been a com Mon experience in every coun try of the world Leaf when tariffs have been imposed As a temporary measure for this very legitimate purpose vested interests grow Strong and it is very difficult to get the tariffs removed again when the need for them is past. Or Lem ass political opponents the Fine Gael party Are arguing that he is abandon ing Tariff Protection Loo soon and that Irish Industry will be ruined. This remains to be seen. At any rate. Or Lem ass deserves commendation for his rare courage in taking the step. Ii is certainly one that no British government of ire land would Ever have been Able to take. It is the Paradox of Anglo Irish relations that so Long As England and Ireland were nominally United in fact the parliament of Westminster had to spend most of its time in passing special legislation for Ireland. Today when the Irish arc entirely free to go their own Way they arc prepared voluntarily to co operate with the British As they were never prepared to co operate under duress. Another important co use Quence of this agreement will he that it establishes free Trade Between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. The extreme patriots in the South denounced partition and threat ened to use violence to bring it to an end. There is even now a possibility that there May be a Recrudescence of such acts of violence from the Ira and if there Are they will Only have the of acct of postponing the Day of Irish reunion. Both or Lem ass and Cap lain o Neill the Northern Irish Premier have approached the problem realistically and sen Sibly. They have recognised that the majority of the popu lation of Northern Ireland rightly or wrongly is not at the moment prepared to accept Union with the South. Therefore the sensible thing for the moment is to say nothing about direct political arrangements for each Side to accept the rights of the other and to develop relations As Friendly As possible. None is More important than the abolition of tariffs. The Conse Quence of free Trade Between the North and the South will be that an increasing proportion of the people of each country will look to customers in the other country for their business. The result is Likely to be in the Long run that people in both countries will begin to say is it not nonsense to pre tend there Are two countries at All. The Anglo Irish agreement does not in itself make ire land a member of Efta. Committed to abolishing tariffs against Britain she still is free if she wants to keep tariffs against the scandinavian coun tries and the other members of Efta. But so overwhelmingly is the greater part of Irish Trade with Britain that there would he Little purpose in keeping the tariffs against the other countries if she abolishes them against Britain. It is in he logic of things that ire land should now join Efta just As it is certain that if one Day Britain should join the common Market Ireland will then join too. President Mobutu ii naming himself president of the Congo for a five year term and winning massive parliamentary support. General Joseph desire Mobutu brings Stabil Ity and drive to a country which needs both. Although not a charismatic figure and sometimes a Moody indecisive one he can presumably also count on army loyalty including that of the brutal hut indispensable White foreign legion. By naming a Kata Ganese Premier to succeed two Kata Ganese predecessors he clearly Hopes to emulate ousted president Joseph in insuring the country against another Kata Ganese secession. Mobutu aged 35, is capable hardworking prob ably incorruptible dedicated to his country. He is also vain and impetuous and never forgives a slight. Those who have earned his unqualified hostility include the in and the communists he nurses grudges against the former Premier Cyrille Adoulia and former us ambassador Edmund Gullion. For the most of the Congo s five and a half years of Independence he has been an unsmiling often frustrated figure in tinted glasses a brooding Cassius. Articulate and quite courageous a former editor and Agency France Presse reporter he twice saved this correspondent s life in i960. Mobutu likes the press for its impatience with mediocrity. Most of the press likes him. A pre i Independence Lumumba is and Lumumba s chief of staff he Learned to respect More the portly kingly Kas Mvubu but despised his Low gear political inertia. In september 1960, he seized Power from both Kas Mvubu and Premier Joseph Lleo then restored Kas Mvubu who had never actually quit office. This time it looks As though Kas Mvubu s Star has set. In 1961, when Moise Tshombe was arrested in Coqui Thawville he released him on his own authority. He fought Tshombe s forces then backed Tshombe As Premier. He respects Tshombe s Politi Cal skill but detests his corrupt ability and absence of principle. If Mobutu had an american hero it would probably be Macarthur whose the Congo s strongman from Russell Warren Howe political role his own vaguely parallels and has now Over taken. Mobutu clearly hesitated for a Long time to act unconstitutionally. He had to be sure of army support. Probably Only another Soldier could Ever overthrow him Leon Mulamba the new Premier or general Victor Gundula a strangely missing name on the first list of appointments. But no Over throw seems Likely. Mobutu is pro belgian pro French fairly pro British cautiously pro american but most of All pro congolese. By staging Africa s second military coup d eat this year after Algeria he gives his country a regime not unlike that which Ibrahim Abboud gave to the Sudan civilian under military control. This was Independent Africa s eleventh coup in recent years and will certainly not he the last. Another has since taken place in Dahomey colonel Leonard Mulamba the new Premier most of whose tribe live in Zambia is about the same age and shares his chief s tastes for Good food and wine. He has studied counter insurgency in Washington and is regarded at the Pentagon As the congolese army s Best combat officer. Although a Hearty Jovial typical regular officer in contrast to Mobutu s Gravity he shares the general s hot temper. Malayan in troops at Goma boggled in 1962 when he answered a surly congolese private with one word from his .3s. Also a former Lumumba is Mulamba supported Lumumba s heir marxist Antoine Eizenga and was arrested by Mobutu at Lulua Bourg in february 1961. Forty four congolese soldiers died repulsing efforts by Giz Engist forces to liberate Mulamba. He was later freed on orders from the in. He repented his assistance to the Stanleyville regime and since his trip to the us War College he has been an ardent. Americano Phil dress ing his children in american clothes and drinking Bourbon. His Orbital entry into politics will surely spark rumours of Cia assistance but his appointment probably mostly reflects his membership of the Mulamba tribe. Victor Nen Daka aged 41, who retains control of police and Interior is also a converted Radical who broke with the erratic Patrice Lumumba before Independence. He has been in office uninterruptedly since Lumumba fell Over five years ago. Brigadier Louis Robozo who succeeds Mobutu As army chief has always avoided poli tics. Aged 57two years Over retirement age he is prob ably the oldest serving officer. He was a belgian army ser Geant in the far East during the War. In his crumpled tunic with spectacles Askew he is with Mulamba one of the two officers most respected by congolese troops. Mobutu whose Brief army career was a clerical Headquarters Job has leaned heavily on Robozo s crusty prestige with the rank and file. Robozo who risked death to remain Loyal during the Thys Ville Mutiny in i960, was considered sensible and tactful enough to he Given the com Mand of the first Central army regiment to occupy Katanga after the end of Tshombe s secession. He arrived in Elizabethville with a diplomatically empty Holster and an Eye catching Bride of 18. Who frequently accompanied him on Field trips in a dc3, Complete with brass double bed. He efficiently pacified Katanga. Another Mobutu appoint ment causing no Surprise was that of militantly pro Western former foreign minister jus Lin Bomboro aged 37. He was fired by Kas Mvubu three years ago alter declining to wed the president s 14-year-old Daugh Ter a precocious Mother. Mobutu and Bomboro collaborated in the collegial govern ment of late 1960 to Early j 961. Mobutu Mulamba non Daka Bomboro and Are probably the most militantly anti communist group at the head of any african country hence Moscow s unusually Swift and unequivocal condemnation of the new regime. China with which the Congo also refuses to Exchange envoys does not like Mobutu either. The general expelled the russians on his own authority in j 960, to offset a planned communist revolution Kasa Mvubu expelled them again nearly four j ears ago. And there is clearly Little likelihood of relations with the major communist countries being resumed in the near future. The creation of a stable presidency assisted by a Prem Ier who is tribally a zambian will be welcomed in Zambia the country caught in the squeeze Between rebellious Rhodesia and an indignant world. Southern tablelands natives by John Warwick Hay a card from George and Vaska t he card arrived from George and Vaska to or and mrs and to be quite truthful we had nearly forgot ten them in the shambles of moving and settling into a new House. The Story of George and Vaska was a familiar one but in its delineation i suppose there is the Story of Many european migrants to this country. The card says dear mrs. Thank you. You no forget i. I have been very sick and 1 have Ope resin. But now i am very Good. Thanks to and in its Reading time tumbles away to several christmases before. The. Couple were natives of a Southern. European communist country. He had lived in a hut for which he paid 10/ a week in a railway settlement while be was waiting for Vaska and his son to arrive in Australia. It took eight years to get Vaska out of this people s Paradise and another two years for their daughter in Law and grandson. Their son was working in Belgium but he would t leave Europe until his wife and son were safely out. In the decade of waiting we shared George s excitement when some clue in a letter from Europe hinted that they were coming and All the awful deadening despondency when the bureaucratic thumbs were turned Down and the game of cat and mouse continued. The Christmas he finally received notice of Vaska s Immi nent arrival was a momentous one. It appeared suspiciously like one of those chummy Good will moves of timing by the government concerned projecting a benevolent image to soften the victims of their collective Bastardly a sicken ing cynical Noel gesture. The grass widower dec Ade could hardly contain his excitement. His Neighbours had lived with the dream Ever since he came to the Settle ment but on the average they were different from George. Steeped in hire Purchase agreements the latest Holden and Beer they Seldom raised their Heads except to bemoan the self made squalor of their surroundings. This Christmas he invited them into his hut for a Christ Mas drink. He drank Vino himself but he ordered Beer especially for his australian workmates. He did t own a refrigerator. All his surplus pay went Back to Europe to help his family. He kept his Beer Cool in a wet sack in the other room in the hut. After the party he found his Wallet empty on the front Gate Post. One of his guests had been through it while he was out of the room getting Beer for the rest of them. Out Side he had found it was empty and left it. Some people have an Odd interpretation of Christmas. Naturally he was the most reliable Fettler on the run. He regularly delivered our mail on Christmas morning when his workmates were Muzzy As a result of celebrating the event and the Ganger in his shrewdness knew there was a possibility of them running into a train in that state. But he forgave them the extra duty and their i sensibilities because of the arrival of Vaska. She lasted there six months. There was healthy curiosity at first but then intolerance when it was discovered she could t master Strine. George left soon after her for Sydney six months before he was due for retirement. He could t take the pressure of the Little Community any longer. Now his family Are working in Sydney and keep ing him. The card tells there has been sickness but however severe it was neither of them could have been As sick As their Neighbours. And there s nothing like a Christmas where people understand you. Vice regal the governor general and lady Casey entertained sir Charles and lady Johnston the right honourable Selwyn Lloyd professor and mrs t. A. Sutherland or and mrs p. J. Mckeown and or j. Aitken at luncheon at govern ment House yesterday

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