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Chapter 7-Vietnam Vietcong

 

The following three statements taken from a report prepared by Australia's Kim Beasly MP on 4 September 1965 (father of Australia's former Minister of Defence Kim Beasly) only tell part of this tragic episode concerning what I wanted to convey to Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia when I telephoned him in April 1993 and again in April 1994 concerning Australia's wheat deals which I originally wrote to him about on 18 September 1967 as Minister for the Army.

 

The sacrifice   

Absent Justice - The Peoples Republic of China

Feeding the enemy

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://shorturl.at/bosG3

While the Financial Review might argue in this 1 July 2021 editorial that supplying wheat to a starving China saved millions of Chinese lives, one must also ask how many  Australian, New Zealand and USA lives were lost after Australia's wheat fed the bellies of the North Vietnamese Vietcong guerrilla's before they marched into the jungle's of North Vietnam to kill and maim as many Australian, New Zealand and USA soldiers as they could.

I reported to the government that Australian wheat shipped on humanitarian grounds to the People's Republic of China was being redirected to another communist country under the cloak of humanitarian aid. This raises serious questions about the legitimacy of shipping food to a country under the guise of humanitarian aid while that country is killing and maiming the soldiers of the country who are supplying this humanitarian aid.

In December 1967, the Trade Minister Sir John McEwen became Australia's 18th  Prime Minister. Other Australian Prime Ministers, namely John Howard, have more recently misled and deceived Australian citizens concerning the Iraq War. This misleading and deceiving of the citizens of Australia has hurt many Australians. The government's refusal to accept what happened in China while delivering Australian wheat as a matter of public interest should be addressed. I am hoping my website, absentjustice.com, will do this. 

On and around the first few days in September 1967, after members of the Hopeprak crew, which included me after we had left the Peoples Republic of China, alerted the seaman's union and labour government back in Australia to what we had seen with our own eyes regarding the re-shipping of Australia's wheat to North Vietnam the Australian Senate became interested as the following Senate Hasard dated 6 September 1967 https://shorturl.at/ovEW5 shows. 

This Hansard https://shorturl.at/ovEW5 shows Dr Patterson (minister in opposition) asking Mr Aldermann, Primary Industry Minister. 

"What guarantees has the Australian Government that Australian wheat being sent to mainland China is not forwarding China [sic] to North Vietnam 

Mr Adermann, on behalf of the Liberal and Country Party government that had authorised this three-year wheat deal to China - answered Dr Patterson as follows:

:The Australian Government does not exercise control over the ultimate destination of goods purchased by foreign buyers"

I can only assume that Mr Alderman did not have a sibling fighting in North Vietnam when he made that statement on behalf of the Australian government.   

 

 

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 Press.

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

 

FOOD AND TRADE IN LATE MAOIST CHINA, 1960-1978

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

 

MS Hopepeak - Absent JusticeIn January 2024, for the second or third time since 2021, I read through the paper FOOD AND TRADE IN LATE MAOIST CHINA, 1960-1978prepared by Tianxiao Zhu. Between Footnote 82 to 85 - T Zhu names not only the Hopepeak ship which I was on between 28 June and 18 September 1967 (refer to British Seaman’s Record R744269 - Open Letter to PM File No 1 Alan Smiths Seaman), he tells the story the way it happened (I was there) not the way the government of the day told it to the people of Australia in 1967 through to the present. The Australian Minister of Trade and Industry, Sir John McEwen, referred to by Tianxiao Zhu as having stated the British seafarers of the Hopepeak ship were fearful of going back to China, was only an afterthought after being flown from Sydney back to England. When John McEwen knew full well, this was not an afterthought. 

 

Those British seaman had witnessed me on two occasions being frog marched off the Hopepeak under armed guard never to be seen again. I was only seen again because my life was not worth 13,600 tons of wheat still in Australia ready to be loaded on to the Hopepeak for her return voyage back to the Peoples Republic of China. The voyage these British seaman was affraid of (for good reason) if they retuned with the Hopepeak. 

Interestingly to note, after the crew was flown back to England (I remained in Sydney), a new crew was flown out at the expense of the ship's owners. Had the ship's crew not proven they had good reason to be fearful of returning to Communist Chinathe ship owner would not have met the cost of flying the two crews.  

If the skipper had not reported my experience and that of another crew member of the Hopepeak at the hands of the Chinese Red Guards, on the Hopepeak's return trip to Sydney, the Commonwealth Police (now called the Australian Federal Police) would not have been waiting on the dockside to interview me and this other crew member on 18 September 1967 when we arrived back. 

Both the police and media wanted to know why so many crew members feared returning to Red China. For a ship's crew to all refuse to take the ship to sea because it was to travel to a certain destination is unheard of. This refusal to sail was NO afterthought. I reiterate, If what happened was not true, why did the  Commonwealth Police and media meet the ship? The captain and ship owner must have notified them that not all was well even before the ship had berthed.  

What is not mentioned in the footnotes by Tianxiao Zhu, is that the Australian Trade Minister misled many people about the seriousness of what had taken place so that the Australian government could continue to sell wheat to Red China.   

Likewise, the Commonwealth Police asked me to describe to them the context of what I was forced to write under threat of being shot. They would not have done this had there not been some official acknowledgement from the ship's captain that this was what had happened. Why was I escorted off the Hopepeak  under armed guard by the Red Guards and taken to the hospital in the manner I was? I was told I had syphilis, which I knew was highly unlikely, and when I refused to be injected with an unsterilized needle, I caused a scene at the hospital.

Refusing any demand by the Red Guards in the People's Republic of China in 1967 was not something one did for no good reason. 

I was placed under armed guard for several days, being regularly threatened as was another crew member who had not taken to lightly to being stopped and forced to recite verses from Mao's Red Bible; the ship's officers helped me compile two different letters addressed to Mao and the People's Republic of China. In those two letters, I apologized for causing a problem at the hospital and for my treatment of the Red Guards, whose treatment of me later was threefold. 

What the two ship's officers had written differed from what the Red Guards wanted to say in those letters. A third letter was written under pressure from the Red Guards, stating, "I am a US aggressor and a supporter of Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Nationalist Party." When I told the skipper that writing this statement meant I was signing my death warrant, as Chiang Kai-shek was against Mao Tse Tung, the 'Second Steward' in charge of the ship's correspondence said I was dead if I did not. 

At the suggestion of the 'Second Steward,' he stated it would be more powerful if I wrote ", I disliked America and its invasion of North Vietnam"  It was agreed for me to hand deliver this letter to the armed guards as a show of respect (I did what I was advised) fearful of loosing my life over an unsterilized needle).

Before leaving the ship with this letter, the '(Third Officer) on the Hopepeak, who was from Mauritius, pulled me aside and informed me the cargo being unloaded had already been paid for by the People's Republic of China. A further load of similar wheat still in Australia had also been paid for with that money held in transit until the Hopepeak returned with the next shipment. 

The 'Third Officer' made it noticeably clear to the Chinese Commander that if I were shot, there would be no further wheat sent to Red China, and the fight over what had already been supplied would be arbitrated on with the ship owners winning on appeal because they had completed their first part of the deal. This threat worked, and I returned from delivering this letter in a daze. 

After arriving in Sydney on 17 September 1967, I provided the above and below information to the Commonwealth Police and a newspaper journalist they had been contacted by the ships agent. 

While the ship was in China, for twenty-four hours a day, (night and day), we could hear a loud voice coming from speakers attached to flood light poles on the quayside, which allowed the wharf labourers to work through the night. In English (not in Chinese), the voice was making propaganda statements about British imperialism. The constant drone of the propaganda recordings day and night was unnerving. A sentry box had been placed at the bottom of the ship's gangway, where a Red Guard, sometimes two Guards, stood (not sat) to check the credentials of everyone boarding or leaving the ship. The ship's crew, from officers down, were told we could have shore leave but only to visit the Seaman's Mission and a Shop that sold trinkets and large bottles of Chinese-made beer.

No fishing lines were allowed to go over the side of the ship. Some ship's crews were treated differently from others. For reasons not known, our crew was being treated harshlyRumours had it that two young Chinese girls had been seen on a sister ship to ours and had been shot as prostitutes. Their bodies no longer belonged to The People's Republic of China. Those two bodies left with the sister ship to the Hopepeak. While these were only rumours that may have be why our ship had been singled out.   

When I found out who was Australia's Minister of the Army, I wrote to the Minister Malcolm Fraser asking him to ensure Australia refrained from sending more grain back to Red China on the Hopepeak with a new crew. The ship still left for  Communist China  carrying 13,600 tons of wheat regardless of my pleas. Australia will, of course, never find out how much of that wheat went into the bellies of the North Vietnam soldier's/guerillas before they marched off into the jungles of Vietnam in search of Australian, New Zealand and USA blood. 

Absent Justice Ebook

Blowing the whistle 

Absent Justice - Hon Malcolm Fraser

While in the midst of my arbitration case against the Telstra Corporation, I stumbled upon a freedom of information release by Telstra. The release disclosed that Telstra had documented and redacted my phone conversations with former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser see page 12 → Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1. During those phone conversations, I expressed my concerns that Australia was providing wheat to China in 1967 despite being aware that China was redirecting it to North Vietnam. I'm curious to know how the interception of my telephone conversations during the arbitration proceedings in 1993 and 1994 with Malcolm Fraser is related to my exposure to the government on 18 September 1967 that Australia was trading with the enemy. 

What intrigues me is the reason behind documenting a seemingly harmless conversation about Australia's wheat selling to China while being aware that China was supplying wheat to North Vietnam during a conflict with Australia, New Zealand and the United States. I am confident there must be a significant motive behind this, and I am determined to uncover it.

It's difficult to fathom the extent of harm inflicted on the young Australian, New Zealand, and United States service members by North Vietnam soldiers who were fueled by the wheat supplied to them by their communist Chinese supporters. Sadly, many of these brave service people lost their lives or were left with permanent injuries.

1.     In September of 1967, I brought to the attention of the Australian government that a portion of the wheat allocated to the People's Republic of China on humanitarian grounds was being redirected to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War Chapter 7- Vietnam - Vietcong

2.    Who else in the Australian government was aware that Australian wheat intended for a starving communist China was being redirected to North Vietnam to feed the North Vietnamese soldiers before those soldiers marched into the jungles of North Vietnam to kill and maim Australian, New Zealand, and United States of America troops? Refer to Footnote 82 to 85 FOOD AND TRADE IN LATE MAOIST CHINA, 1960-1978, prepared by Tianxiao Zhu, who even reports the name of our ship, the Hopepeak and how the seaman feared for our lives if we were forced to return to China with another cargo of Australian wheat. This wheat was being redeployed to North Vietnam during the period when Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of America fought the Vietnam Cong in the jungles of North Vietnam.   

3.   During the 1960s, the Australian Liberal-Country Party Government engaged in misleading conduct regarding trade with Communist China despite being cognizant that Australian merchant seamen had vehemently refused to transport Australian wheat to China. The grounds for such an objection were their apprehension that the wheat would be redirected to North Vietnam during the North Vietnam War between Australia, New Zealandand the United States of America. The underlying inquiry is to ascertain the government's rationale for deliberately deceiving the general public and jeopardising the country's troops whose lives were being lost in the conflict in North Vietnam.  Murdered for Mao: The killings China 'forgot'

4.    Why didn't Australia's Trade Minister, John McEwen, correctly and honestly advise the people of Australia why the crew of the British ship Hopepeak had refused to take any more Australian wheat to China because they had witnessed its redeployment to North Vietnam during their first visit to China?  

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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.”

Hon David Hawker

“…the very large number of persons that had been forced into an arbitration process and have been obliged to settle as a result of the sheer weight that Telstra has brought to bear on them as a consequence where they have faced financial ruin if they did not settle…”

Senator Carr

“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

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