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Chapter 7- Viet Cong - Australian Wheat

 

 

(https://www.afr.com › World › Asia 

1 July 2021 — The editorial in The Australian Financial Review of August 28, 1967 argues why Australia's position on wheat sales to China was rational.

Currently, in April 2022, with all the talk that is going around regarding the possibility that China might be interested in building a navy base, and possibly other installations, in the Solomons, and discussions about what sort of a threat that might be for us, Australians need to be reminded of how our country sent boat-loads of what to help the Chinese people, back in their hour of need during the 1960s, and how some of that wheat was actually going to North Vietnam. 

We need to think about how the North Vietnamese army had their bellies filled with Australian wheat so they could then go out and kill Australian, New Zealand and USA troops.

We need to remember those young men who were fighting in Vietnam, all the Aussies and our New Zealand and USA friends.

The Australian Financial Review might choose to argue that supplying wheat to a starving China back then saved many Chinese lives, but we must also balance that against the lives of so many lost soldiers too.  It is time to ask the hard questions because, last year, on 01 July 2021, the editorial in The Australian Financial Review discussed one of their earlier stories, from August 28, 1967, which had asked why Australia's position on wheat sales to China was considered a rational decision (https://www.afr.com › World › Asia - How Australia defied US to sell wheat to a famine-starved China), and  we need to ask, now, exactly who it was, from among the Australian ‘Establishment’ of the 1960s, who had the power to manipulate the scales so that they balanced out which lives were the more important to save, the starving Chinese or the Aussie, Kiwi and USA troops fighting a war they did not want to fight?

Is my Telstra story related in any way to my experience in The Peoples Republic of China in August 1967?

by T Zhu2021 — touched the Chinese and Russian grain markets in the 1960s, earlier than ... Australia to China was being sent straight on to North Vietnam.

 

Image of vietcong guerilla
 
Image of vietcong guerilla
 
Image of vietcong guerilla
 
Image of vietcong guerilla
 
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Vietcong guerilla
 
"Viet Cong (VC), in full Viet Nam Cong San, English Vietnamese Communists, the guerrilla force that, with the support of the North Vietnamese Army, fought against South Vietnam (late 1950s–1975) and the United States (early 1960s–1973). The name is said to have first been used by South Vietnamese President NGO Dinh DIEM to Belittl the rebels" (Britannica.com)

MS Hopepeak - Absent Justice

When I commenced writing  My Story Warts & All and this website, I told the full story – I didn’t leave bits out to avoid embarrassing myself. To tell all of my COT story, I had to go back in time to show how the phone faults affected my wellbeing and needed to cover some details regarding an incident involving China.

In 1967, many Australians supported America’s fight against communism in Vietnam. In June 1967, I signed onto the MS Hope Peak, a merchant ship crewed by British and West Indian seaman. (See British Seamans Record Book R744269 Open Letter to PM File No 1 Alan Smiths Seaman). A British Seamen’s Union representative informed me the MS Hope Peak was bound for Canada, but the following day, after I signed on board and accepted conditions, I was told we were REALLY bound for the People’s Republic of China; I was sailing out of Australia with a cargo of wheat heading to China.

The crew was horrified that Australia was trading and selling wheat to the People’s Republic of China. At the time, Mao Zedong’s communist government supported the North Vietnamese communists and authorised the supply of armoury, technical knowledge and financial assistance to them. Australian troops were among those dying in the conflict with the Viet Cong. Nothing made sense to the crew, or me.

I became ill during the voyage and needed medical care when we berthed. The briefing we received from the skipper was that Mao’s guards were LAW; they were authorised to beat even their own comrades if deemed necessary. Red Guards were everywhere: on the wharves, on our ship and at the entrance to the hospital as well as in the wards. When I refused to accept a non-sterile needle in my arm, the two Red Guards escorting me kept yelling at the shipping agent, who only spoke broken English, and I was arrested for refusing to comply and placed under guard.

While writing my third letter to the People’s Republic of China (previous letters were rejected), the skipper advised me this was my last opportunity. I told him I could not write what he was telling me to, which was “I am a US aggressor and a supporter of Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Nationalist Party.” However, I also knew the Red Guards could shoot me at will if I did not obey: they had implied this over the last few days when a Red Guard with a rifle in hand would wake me half-hourly ‘to see if I was asleep’. I believed my death was imminent.

The angry skipper reiterated that I would be shot if I did not say what they wanted me to say. I eventually wrote, “I hate America and its invasion of North Vietnam,” and narrowly managed to leave with my ship.

Absent Justice - The Peoples Republic of China

I would be a “marked man” - a noted communist

On arrival back in Australia in September 1967, the ship’s crew was paid off and a new crew brought in. The Australian Commonwealth Police (now the Australian Federal Police) interviewed me concerning my anti-America/pro-communism words written while under arrest. I gave them a copy of my handwritten letter to the Hon Malcolm Fraser, the then-Minister for Army. This letter clearly advised Mr Fraser that Australia’s grain was being used to assist North Vietnam in their war campaign against Australia, New Zealand and the USA. I asked the police to be sure Mr Fraser received this letter; however, I never received a response and Australia continued to supply grain to the People’s Republic of China, aware some of it was going to North Vietnam.

From the seaman's talk, it appeared as though the traditional rice bowl was now being substituted by Australian wheat. How true this was, it's not known. But what is known is that Mao was assisting the war effort, and this, therefore, should have been enough for Australia to stop any further grain shipments to Vietnam, via the China route.  We will never know after eating a bowl of Australian wheat, how many Viet Cong guerrillas went out on patrol and killed or maimed conscripted Australian, New Zealand and US soldiers?

The press also interviewed me and said my experience in China was a major news story. When the story was printed, however, it was only a very small article. The journalist said my side of the story had been “pulled”, that I would now be a marked man and that the government would have put a black mark against my name, noting me as a communist sympathiser – a ‘Commie’.

Absent Justice - Australia

Ideals sacrificed for ambition

In all the years since September 1967, not one single Australian bureaucrat or politician has ever asked me any questions concerning this. Who in the Australian Public Service advised the government it was for the good of Australia to sell our wheat to China? The decision to sell wheat to a country that was re-shipping it to a nation at war with Australia, New Zealand and the US would not have been made solely by a single Australian politician. 

The selling of wheat to the People’s Republic of China is just one example of where powerful pen-pushing bureaucrats have not acted in the best interest of Australians. From 2005-07, some government bureaucrats received kickbacks worth millions during the Saddam Hussein Australian Wheat Board (AWB) grain scandal. Although the AWB, and by extension the Australian government, was not the only entity implicated in the oil-for-food scandal, this unthinkable act earned notoriety in Australia’s political consciousness.

Is the current threat to Taiwan related in any way to Chiang Kai-Shek and the Chinese Nationalist Party being allowed to live in exile in Taiwan during China’s Cultural Revolution?

The selling of Australian wheat to the People’s Republic of China while it was supporting North Vietnam during that war shows how blind some Australian bureaucrats/public servants can be. These bureaucrats were also warned by the US government, whose troops were being maimed and killed in the same conflict (see

Similar bureaucratic blindness allowed several government-endorsed arbitrations to continue despite advice that proper legal process were not being followed, as Hacking Julian Assange - Chapter 2 - I am not alone shows.

The following three statements taken from a report prepared by Australia's Kim Beasly MP on 4 September 1965 only tells part of this tragic episode concerning Australia's wheat deals

(see  Vol. 87 No. 4462 (4 Sep 1965) - National Library of Australiahttps://nla.gov.au › nla.obj-702601569 

"The Department of External Affairs has recently published an "Information Handbook entitled "Studies on Vietnam" .  It established the fact that the Vietcong are equipped with Chinese arms and ammunition"

If it is right to ask Australian youth to risk everything in Vietnam it is wrong to supply their enemies"

Australian trade commssioners do not so readily see that our Chinese trade in war materials finances our own distruction. NDr do they see so clearly that the wheat trade does the same thing."

Why didn't the Liberal and Country Party coalition government listen to what Kim Beasly MP did? Had they done so, more Australian, New Zealand and USA troops might not have been slaughtered or maimed as they were. The fact that the Australian government profiteered and, by doing so, put many Australian, New Zealand and USA soldiers' lives at risk has never been transparently investigated, and the parents and loved ones whose lives were ruined due to this terrible war have never received an official apology

Why didn't the Liberal and Country Party coalition government listen to what Kim Beasly MP did? Had they done so, more Australian, New Zealand and USA troops might not have been slaughtered or maimed as they were. The fact that the Australian government profiteered and, by doing so, put many Australian, New Zealand and USA soldiers' lives at risk has never been transparently investigated. 

With the talk about the possibility that China might be interested in building a navy base in the Solomons, among other installations, Australia should be reminded of what they did to assist China in their hour of need during the 1960s, at the expense of its young citizens fighting in North Vietnam and the citizens of its New Zealand and the USA friends. 

While the Financial Review might argue that supplying wheat to a starving China saved many Chinese lives, one must also ask how many Australian, New Zealand and USA lives were lost after Australia's wheat went into the bellies of the North Vietnam soldiers who, after eating that wheat went out onto the jungle to kill as many Aussie, Kiwi and USA troops as they could.

1 July 2021 — The editorial in The Australian Financial Review of August 28, 1967 argues why Australia's position on wheat sales to China was rational. (https://www.afr.com › World › Asia - How Australia defied US to sell wheat to a famine-starved China

In the Australian Establishment back in the 1960s, who operated the scales to balance whose lives were the more important to save, the starving Chinese or the Aussie, Kiwi and USA troops fighting a war they did not want to fight?

Absent Justice - Hon Malcolm Fraser

On 26 September 1994, 27 years after I had originally written to Malcolm Fraser, Minister in the Army during the Vietnam war on 18 September 1967, I provided the Australian Federal Police with several newspaper articles about the concerns of the former Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser that amongst FOI documents was a hand-written note from within Telstra stating I had spoken to Mr Fraser. One of those newspaper articles stated: 

“FORMER prime minister Malcolm Fraser yesterday demanded Telecom explain why his name appears in a restricted internal memo.

“Mr Fraser’s request follows the release of a damning government report this week which criticised Telecom for recording conversations without customer permission.

“Mr Fraser said Mr Alan Smith, of the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp near Portland, phoned him early last year seeking advice on a long-running dispute with Telecom which Mr Fraser could not help.” 

Transcripts from my interview with the AFP 26th September 1994 (see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1), confirm that the AFP were alarmed that Telstra had gathered private information about me including documenting on this CCAS data the names of the people who I had telephoned on a daily basis. This CCAS data information was supplied to Warwick Smith, and the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office.

Who within the Telstra Corporation thought it was important to note that I had telephoned Malcolm Fraser? Is my conversation with the former prime minister on one of the nine audio tapes AUSTEL provided to the Australian Federal Police, but refused to supply copies to the COT cases? I was, at no time, suspected of committing a crime or being a possible risk to Australia’s national security.

As mentioned above, I even went as far as reporting in writing to both the Hon Malcolm Fraser and the then Commonwealth Police what was really happening to Australia’s wheat once it left Australia’s shores (see The People’s Republic of China segment on google). I have always acted in a responsible way even when the other side in my case Telstra’s (the defendants in government-endorsed arbitration), acted outside of the law as our Hacking -Julian Assange and Australian Federal Police Investigations two pages show.  So why was I and the other COT Cases subjected to this hacking into our telephone conversations and our faxes as they travelled through Telstra’s network?

On 23 May 2021, fifty-four years later after this China episode, Pata Credlin, a once Chief of Staff (advisor) to the Hon Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, now a high profile Australian media guru and TV host wrote a fascinating article in the Herald Sun newspaper under the heading:

"...Beware The Pen Pusher Power - Bureaucrats need to take orders and not take charge.

Now that the Prime Minister is considering a wider public service reshuffle in the wake of the foreign affairs department's head, Finances Adamson, becoming the next governor of Sooth Australia, it's time to scrutinise the faceless bureaucrats who are often more powerful in practice than the elected politicians.

Outside of the Canberra bubble, almost no one knows their names. But take it from me, these people matter.

When ministers turn over with bewildering rapidity, or are not "take charge" types department secretaries and the deputy secretaries below them can easily become the de facto government of our country".  

Since the start of the 2013, across Labor and now Liberal governments, we’ve had five prime ministers, five treasures, five attorneys-general, seven defence ministers, six education ministers, four health ministers and six trade Ministers.

I found this article to be somewhat frightening to say the least. Frightening because Peta Credlin has hit the nail squarely on the head “bulls eye”, I can relate to what this article is all about and can link it to the many bureaucrats and politicians I met before, during and after my arbitration who during that period a change of government had taken place. The same faceless bureaucrats who in the 1980s to 1996, was advising the Bob Hawke and Paul Keating government on telecommunications issues which included the failed COT Cases Telstra arbitrations maters immediately became the advisers to the liberal government when they won office in March 1996. Lo and behold, where still advising the government a decade later.

The latest, and possibly the worse buggling by the Australian government since the selling of wheat to the Peoples Republic of China in the 1960s in the statement made on 28 March 2022 by the ABC - Solomon Islands China deal: Australia was warned last year ...

28 March 2022 ABC Solomon Islands China deal: Australia was warned last year ...

Democratic Party leader Matthew Wale told the ABC on Monday he warned Australian officials as early as August last year that China was negotiating a military pact that could see a Chinese naval base established in the strategically located Pacific nation, less than 2000 kilometres from Australia’s shoreline.

A draft version of the proposed agreement sent shockwaves through Canberra after being leaked online last week, with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warning it could “destabilise” the region and the federal Opposition saying it was “deeply” concerned about the news.

One commentator has likened it to “Australia’s Cuban missile crisis”.

Because of the seriousness of this Solomon Islands China deal - Australia's blunder yet again, I have reported on it below as well as on Taking on the Establishment, linking what happened when the bureaucrats in and around September and October 1967 did not appear to understand what I was conveying in my letter to Malcolm Fraser concerning sending wheat to China. It should have been apparent to Liberal-Country Party government bureaucrats that when it became known that Australia's wheat [grain] bound sold to China and then redistributed to North Vietnam, not only was Australia allowing condoning this lifeline to North Vietnam and its Vietcong guerilla it was boosting their chance of survival but crippling the chance of South Vietnam winning the war.  

What Australian bureaucrats did not seem to understand strategically is we had China at our mercy. Still, instead of harvesting this position by ensuring to supply it grain on one condition, no redistribution of Australia's grain to anywhere other than China must be agreed upon. Australia entered into no agreement of that nature.

Australia and the Solomon Islands entered no agreement where a deal could have been reached where both nationals could rely upon each other. Who are the faceless bureaucrats? Have any of them ever spent time in the forces, learning how to live in the coal face of hard knocks?

We only must look at the $90 Billion French failed submarine deal to see that if Australia does not set up a school of learning for our bureaucrats, we will have no Australia. Just imagine, had we adopted Paul Keatings not so radical thoughts of more activity with our Asian neighbours more than thirty years ago, we would not be so naked as we are today. 

 

 

 

 

 

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“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

The Hon David Hawker MP

“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

Hon David Hawker

“Only I know from personal experience that your story is true, otherwise I would find it difficult to believe. I was amazed and impressed with the thorough, detailed work you have done in your efforts to find justice”

Sister Burke

“Only I know from personal experience that your story is true, otherwise I would find it difficult to believe. I was amazed and impressed with the thorough, detailed work you have done in your efforts to find justice”

Sister Burke

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”

– Edmund Burke