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Canberra Times (Newspaper) - November 20, 1967, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory National Library of Australia a Momii Eta monday november 20, 1967 Sterling and us the devaluation of Sterling May prove to be a Case of too Little and in some ways too late. From his own Point of View and that of his labour government it would have been so much better had or Wilson de valued the Day he took office. From the Point of View. Of Britain s ailing Economy it would have been better had he devalued at a time of his own choosing when the economic and financial situation was relatively favourable rather than being pushed into it in an atmosphere bordering on panic. It is also arguable that having decided to take the plunge the British govern ment should have devalued by something like 25 per cent rather than a Mere 14 per cent. The risk that this would have pulled along More countries than will now follow Britain was slight and it would have made it much easier for the world to believe the British govern ment s inevitable and no doubt heart Felt assurances that this will not happen again for a Long time. The effects of the Sterling devaluation on this country will depend to a considerable extent on which other countries will follow suit. Ireland and Denmark have already declared their intention to do so. New zealand will almost certainly find it necessary to take the same course Given her already difficult balance of payments situation and her dependence on the British Market for the exports meat and Dairy products that would be most hit by an improvement in the relative competitive position of British and danish Farmers. Australia is much less vulnerable and can be expected not to go with Sterling on this occasion. Of course we have already suffered a capital loss of some magnitude on our London funds. But this is not a catastrophe. Whether it will Lead to a decision to hold More of Australia s International reserves henceforth in other centres depends on what Confidence will be Felt in Sterling from now on. Less profitable the australian industries most Likely to be adversely affected Are the Dairy and meat industries which will find it More difficult to compete with British danish. And new zealand Farmers in the British Market. All exporting to the United kingdom will become less profitable in the first instance but if devaluation has the hoped for beneficial effects 011 the British Economy australian exports will share in the Benefit from expansion of the British Market. Australian manufacturers will feel the Impact of stronger British Competition in some areas and if new zealand also devalues May find the going a Little less easy in the new zealand Market. A More immediate but minor and temporary effect of the devaluation will probably be a setback on australian Stock exchanges. A Good Deal of British Money has been invested Here in recent months. Much of what came in anticipation of the devaluation will now go Back. Markets May also suffer for a while from a general expectation that the Sterling devaluation is bad for australian Industry. On a longer View the devaluation both through its direct effects and in its More Remote repercussions could mean a further loosening of the commercial and financial ties Between this country and the United kingdom a further shift of emphasis in australian Trade towards Japan and other new Trade partners. Not the least reason for thinking so is that it must surely facilitate British entry into the european common Market. But even this Prospect is less certain than might seem at first sight., if devaluation and the measures accompanying it succeed in getting Britain out of the economic rut not Only will australian Trade Benefit generally but even bilateral Trade Between the two countries May be strengthened. For nothing has so damaged the traditional economic relations Between Australia and Britain As the chronic weakness of the British balance of payments with its consequences in Stop go policies and slow economic growth. Lord Rothschild International authority on the functions of the reproductive cells predicted that babies would soon he conceived in laboratories. They would be exact physical and mental copies of famous men and women now living and guided by the same behaviour patterns As the originals. Newspaper report Menzies discounted Well gentlemen " we have an application for another dozen Robert Gordon Menzies. I see no objection. But cd Don t you think we re in danger of devaluing the Stock i met sir Robert at least six times in the Street on my Way to this meeting. Yes cd i m inclined to agree with Parsons. I be nothing against sir Robert any of them because he s a Good solid reliable line. Nothing Kinky nothing Chi Chi about our sir Roberts. But i think the time has arrived when we should Dampen Down the demand for him or at least put a Brake on his reproduction this year. The Foreman tells me the Laboratory can t keep up with the demand. In fact this week they had to shut Down on Gough Whitlam postpone the new line of Marcus Oli plants and Donald brahmans and work two shifts just to keep the Menzies moving. Let s face it cd there s a Vogue for Menzies this year. Last year it was " Graham Kennedy. And you know what that led to. You could t turn on the to any Chan Nel mind you without a Graham Kennedy leering at you. They were rioting in the streets by Christmas. Luckily we had on hand several Hundred police com missioner Bischofs who were Able to put Down the mob without much violence. Parsons is right cd. We Are supposed to be a genetic Al control commission. As such we have had some Success in stimulating or alternatively regulating the demand for some famous names. We act As a watchdog for the Community to see that the spread of duplicates is kept within reason. Of course sometimes natural factors like Public opinion play their part. There has for example been no de Mand for Billy Mcmahon this year. And Harold Holts have slumped badly. Oddly enough there has been quite a Clamour for Zaras in the past few weeks. But thank god we have avoided the pit Falls of the French. Imagine 40 million general de Gaul Les were reproduced Yast year the British tried to escalate their Harold Wilsons but he was t equal to the task. True Smith but what has this to do with an order for another dozen sir Roberts Well i was coming to that. I be just done a Quick calculation and do you know that already three of our six state attorney generals Are Robert Gordon Menzies that 14 backbench maps half the fed eral Cabinet and 16 senators All look sound and act like sir Robert if we keep going As we Are sir Robert will be Able to form a coalition government by himself. Hmm i see your Point Smith. That authoritarian Streak. But cd worst of All i met sir Robert in the lift this afternoon. I Don t see what s so alarm ing about. He was driving it. Good grief what s happened to Quality control unfortunately there have been other instances other you mean that men supposedly the exact physical and mental copies of sir Robert have been engaged in manual labour i m afraid so Clief. It must have been a faulty Batch crossed genes or something. We be tried to hush it up but we know of one sir Robert who is a professional Speed Way rider another who s an itinerant Vendor of fairy floss at agricultural shows and still another who serves behind the meat counter in a supermarket at Deakin. Thank god it was Deakin. That sir Robert can t be All bad. Gentlemen this is disastrous. Has the ministry of disposals been informed of the sub Standard surplus yes everyone except the lift Driver whom i Only Dis covered this afternoon has been taken care of. Under the circumstances i will rescind All authority for any More sir Roberts. Such examples As you spoke of would make a mockery of our scientific selection of future generations. We can t allow tainted Stock to leave the lab. But cd what about the Menzies we have stockpiled the Batch of sir Roberts due for release today it s a pretty expensive line to reproduce chief. Perhaps we could discount it elsewhere of course. Of Smith i la leave the details to you. Offer them on the Commonwealth Market first. In fact try and offload them on to the kiwis if Only in retaliation for that Load of Holyoake they dumped Here last year. Only five Days to Senate polling Day and the government has troubles or Holt in a tight Comer by Jonathan Gaul who has been reporting the Campaign with Only five Days to go to polling in the Senate election or Holt is in a very tight spot. Between now and saturday he will have to pro Duce a very Large and very dramatic Rabbit from his political hat if he is to save the Campaign. Or Holt has not Only lost All the first Battles of the elec Tion Campaign so far he looks like losing the whole War. At the end of the first half of the election Campaign the question on the lips of senior men of both the major Par ties is not whether the govern ment will win but by How much it will lose in saturday s election. This is probably the most remarkable feature of a very remarkable election Campaign for the first time during a period of economic Well being in its 18 years of supremacy the Liberal and country Par tics Are facing defeat. Both sides of politics agree that the near defeat of novem Ber 1961, was the hip pocket nerve reaction of the electorate to the credit squeeze. November 1967, is a differ ent Story. The liberals led by or Holt have not even at this stage been Able to copy their achievements in every Federal election since 1949, except the 1961 poll. That achievement was the discrediting of both the labor Leader of the Day and the poli cies of the Alp of the Day particularly in defence and foreign affairs. Or Holt has tried very hard. He selected Vietnam particularly labor s Vietnam policy of conditional withdrawal and its of text on the american Al Liance As the policy to be Dis credited and the Issue on which the election. Should be fought. He has tried even harder to discredit the labor Leader or Whitlam. On Friday in Lai Neston the prime minis Ter reached a Climax when he publicly and directly accused or Whitlam of lying. R in the language of austra Lian politics " words and phrases like falsehood Dis honest Complete Fabrica Tion not. Well founded and the like Are pretty common. It is rare to hear one politician Sav that another is lying it is almost unheard of for a prime minister to do so. It was the second time in a week that the prime minis Ter s normally affable manner had deserted him. In Adelaide a few Days before he had taken time out to describe the reporters covering the continuing Story of the vip aircraft As unctuous and their news or Holt. Less confident now papers As smacking of hum Bug. The prime minister s unaccustomed Liveris Ness Only confirmed that his twin tactics of making Vietnam the chosen election Issue and hotting up the get Whitlam Campaign of. Personalities had failed so far to reverse the steadily accelerating erosion of the government s popularity. If proof were needed the latest Gallup poll results re leased on thursday morning provided it. The downward trend in government support since the overwhelming rejection of the nexus referendum in May and through the Corio and Capr comia by election losses continues. The latest poll taken a fort night ago that is before the special sitting of Federal parliament Over the vip air Craft Issue but after the government s announcements of Large scale assistance for water conservation schemes in West Ern Australia and Queensland showed the government had slipped to its lowest sup port since its blackest electoral year 1961. Then the Gallup poll sup port for the government was 42 per cent. A fortnight ago it was Only 43 per cent. In simple terms this meant that the government has lost a massive seven per cent of sup port since May three per cent of it since the end of october. This latest poll is also the first since the announcement of an increase of 1,700 men in the australian commitment to the Vietnam War. Since it was taken the vip Issue has continued unresolved and the Impact of or Whit Lam s credibility attack is still to be Felt in the final poll before saturday s election. Or Holt himself summed up the election Campaign so far perhaps unconsciously in Launceston no sooner do we seem to have him or Whitlam nailed for a discus Sion on one particular aspect of Basic consequence when he darts off like a wild Hare in some other direction and starts another Issue running. Or Holt was acknowledging one of the Basic Points of the election Campaign that the Issue of Vietnam has so far apparently failed to bite with the electorate. Or Whitlam cannot take All the credit for this although he certainly seems to have succeeded in changing Vietnam from the Black and White question it was in the election a year ago to a much More Grey Choice Between the Par ties. Or Holt himself must take a lot of the blame for allow ing issues like vip aircraft and the government s Gener ally indifferent Domestic performance this year to capture the Public attention. Two months ago. No serious observer would have believed that or Holt could have Al Lowed the vip question to be treated in such a casual and inept Way As to become an election Issue. As it is the whole basis of or Whitlam s successful credibility attack lies in the unexplained aspects and contradictions of the vip Issue. If the government had not been Able to look evasive on this one matter it is very doubtful that or Whitlam would be Able to cast doubt As he has on the government s actions in the voyager affair and Over the Goldberg peace initiatives. It was because of the vip Issue that or Holt had lost the running to or Whitlam before the election Campaign started. It is because or Holt himself volunteered new vip disclosures about an air department minute during the election Campaign itself that he has not been Able to Recap Ture the initiative. Or Holt must somehow do this during the next five Days or lose. For or Whitlam s part All he has to do is to keep the momentum going and Hope that his left Wing keeps quiet until saturday about the Way he has been interpreting labor s policy on Vietnam. There or Whitlam is very vulnerable should anyone on the left try to pull him Back to a stricter interpretation of labor policy As Laid Down by the Alp conference in Ade Laide in August. So far the left seems con tent to give him his Freedom in interpreting policy in Exchange for or at least in de Ference to his chances of defeating the government on saturday. Or Whitlam seems to have de fused Vietnam for labor. Only if it is what the Politi cos Call a Sleeper an Issue that unexpectedly swings the vote at the last minute will this work against him. On the Gallup poll figures or Holt has no Chance of winning the five or the six states necessary for the government to gain a majority in the Senate. On these figures the most Likely result is that the Senate will be controlled by a larger dip Independent Cross Bench than at present. This probability crops up because an increased Alp vote would be Likely up to a certain Point to assist the dip candidate for the fifth seat in several states. Beyond that Point about 50 per cent of the primary vote the Alp itself could expect to return three Candi dates in a state but even the Gallup poll does not give it this degree of support. In Queensland therefore and possibly in Victoria an increase in the Alp vote is Likely to return dip senators in each of those states provided the dip primary vote holds up. In new the Alp will need Only a Small increase in its vote to win three seats because of the traditionally Low dip primary vote in the state. In Western Australia the results of opinion polls give labor More than the 50 per cent it needs to win three of the five vacancies. In South Australia scene of the great pro govern ment swing last november it would need a massive pro labor swing to prevent a government win a larger swing than is indicated so far. In Tasmania labor supporters Are confident but reports Are that the Independent senator Turnbull is in a Strong Posi Tion to win the fifth seat. These trends indicate that the Senate could be divided along the lines of something like government 26, Alp 30, dip three and Independent one for the Senate total of 60. Labor will not have an absolute majority but the government will be a humiliate singly Long Way Short of the absolute majority that was its aim in the election. From Stewart Cockburn in Adelaide Dunstan the unorthodox Mpwo election campaigns have been running simultaneously in South Australia in the past week one for the Senate the other for next year s state elections with a series of statements and actions by the Premier or Dunstan to show the Campaign has be gun in Earnest. There is a Good Deal of bitterness in South Australia at the fact that so few financial crumbs from the Senate Campaign have been allowed to drop in this state. There have certainly been no special Federal handouts for a on the lines of the Multi million Dollar water conserva Tion and other special development projects offered to Queensland and a. Indeed a s share of what might be called the Senate manna amounts to not much More than 1 per cent of the whole less than a tenth of what it might have expected on a strict population ratio basis. The Senate poll will be the first guide to the a voters mood since labor s disastrous performance in the Federal election of a year ago. Then an unprecedented aver age swing of 11.8 per cent against the Alp throughout the state seemed to have Hung a noose around the neck of the state government. A swing of Only about 4i per cent would put labor out and or Dunstan s task of dragging the pendulum his Way by 8 per cent or More in 16 or 17 months is obviously formidable. As usual he is setting about it in an unorthodox Way. Last week for example in one of the traditionally hard Core anti state Aid states he announced that the govern ment proposed to make a Grant of $10 a student to in dependent schools from next year. He followed it up three Days later with an announce ment that a Rise in state taxes is inevitable next year to meet the Cost of increased services. There was other news to smother the immediate Impact of this announcement. Hours after the tax state ment the Premier announced in Melbourne that he had signed a contract with two internationally known consult ing firms w. D. Scott and co of Australia and Arthur d. Little of the us to make a thorough economic Survey of a for the purpose of focussing the most favourable investment opportunities. We shall take special aim at leapfrogging other states he promised a Prospect always calculated to Rouse the nationalistic spirit if that is the term of the average Crow eater. Well they Are Brave enough words but without new re sources being uncovered or Dunstan and his helpers certainly have the Job in front of them. A bit More natural Gas at Gidge Alpa in the dry North of the state one or two promising Copper prospects and a non commercial Gas Well offshore from Robe in the South East Are the Only new Mineral resources in Prospect at present. Fortunately for him it now looks As if or Dunstan has been Able to resuscitate the dying Cho Willa dam project. Or Dunstan has now Sec ured Commonwealth new and victorian assent to a letter of intent assuring the co operation of the three governments concerned in new studies aimed at proceeding with a modified Cho Willa project. If these studies prove unsatisfactory to a the letter of intent will guarantee the state an annual minimum of Lim acre feet of water from the Murray and its tributaries. This would make it unnecessary to reduce the flow of water through the a Section of the River As has happened this year. Industry will now be assured of water to service Normal expansion and development needs for another 20 years or so. Without desalination plants a growth would then have to grind to a halt be cause All potential supplies of catchment and River water will be fully exploited by about 1990. Letters to the editor nurse s life sir the article on nursing As a career in the Canberra times 17/11/67 had two aspects which Are misleading. Firstly the general nursing course in Canberra was reduced to three years in january 1967. Secondly the heading and the caption for the picture Calls nursing a hard life. A nurse s life has its exacting periods on duty but How Many career girls in Canberra can just walk across the Road to work after having a breakfast pre pared by someone else How Many never have to Wash tip or do other household chores How Many have their dresses laundered How Many do not have to prepare the midday snack How Many can sit under a full size hair dryer before going out for a Date and so i could go of making comparisons favourable to nursing. If you mean by a hard life the giving of oneself in nursing practice Well yes it is de manding. But if you mean physically exhausting then in can Berra at least the answer is no. Mrs j. Guy Matron a. Canberra Community Hospi Rygl mysteries and signs sir once again the department of the Interior has sprung one of its casual surprises on Canberra Road users. Mysterious continuous White lines have suddenly appeared in Adelaide Avenue warning motorists away from a considerable Width of usable Roadway. My first thought was that the lines must Mark a new Cycle track thoughtfully provided by or Nixon for his predecessor but since they expire just where they would be useful As such this explanation fails. I am sure that there is some reason for these lines. However in their first few Days of exist Einck they constituted something of a traffic Hazard. Some Drivers respected Vliem some ignored them some just dithered about in the Middle of the Road. Worse still some suddenly realising they were straddling a continuous line swung wildly to the right into the path of overtaking traffic. There appears to be a break Down in communications be tween the department and the Public. Entrances to car Parks suddenly become exits Only parking places become 110 Park ing places give Way signs appear unexpectedly. In each Case no doubt there is a ready source of Revenue in those who fail to notice quickly enough that times have changed. Some possibly All of these changes arc announced Over the radio on television or in the papers. Under this rather Hap Hazard system it is a matter of Luck whether one hears or sees these notices. I would like to suggest that the department 1 keeps a Large and up to Date scoreboard in the window of its City information office. 2 takes a regular live min Ute commercial break say four times a week on All radio and television. 3 has a regular weekly space in your newspaper. In this Way we shall All to Able to keep abreast o f the changes in what must surely be the Only daily completely government organised obstacle race in the Southern hemisphere. John Milson Lyons. Dogs and motorists sir i m in full support of j. Pickett heaps letter of nov Ember 15. Canberra dog owners certainly think that it is Best that their dog should mess up the Neighbours Yards rather than their own. There is one pet in our neighbourhood which Ven Tures on to our Verandah to dam pen Down the milk bottles and bread tin. If people wish to own a dog and it requires exercise they should be on the other end of the Lead to make sure that these thoughtless motorists do not run Over their pet. Those who do not want the responsibility of keep ing a dog properly should Ime the animal put away. Or unfortunately our dog is o gentle to be trained to bite lumps from straying mutts but we Are thinking of other remedial action. J. R. Brown o Connor. Vice regal the governor general and lady Casey entertained the honourable and mrs j. I. Armstrong at lunch Eon at admiralty House on Satur Day. They entertained the governor of new South Wales and lady Cutler at dinner at admiralty House on saturday evening. The governor general and lady Casey returned to government House Canberra from Sydney yesterday morning

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