Home
Australia needs a Government bank
A national bank, for national sovereignty

Our nation is in a profound crisis, notwithstanding the rosy, pro-globalisation lies of our politicians and media. Look at our soaring personal and foreign debt; our disappearing farms and industries; our disintegrating physical and social (health and education) infrastructure; our record rates of youth suicides; at the rapidly growing number of poor Australians, and at the gap between the rich and the poor, along with numerous other indicators. Internationally, we face a terrifying world economic crisis, the possibility of terrorism, and the likelihood that the Government will soon drag us into some disastrous war behind the U.S., perhaps with Iraq. This could rapidly trigger a "Clash of Civilisations" worldwide, which would be a disaster for all mankind.

In the face of these hard realities, and with a treacherous political leadership, many Australians have become cynical, almost bitter that there seems to be nothing they can do to change a dismal situation. But, don't lose hope! If you are willing to fight, there is a pathway out of this morass, to recover our national sovereignty and to secure a happy future for all Australians, of whatever creed, colour, or country of origin. For reasons which will become clear below, that pathway to recovery begins with the re-establishment of a national bank, an institution deeply rooted in Australia's culture and political traditions.

Thus, the Citizens Electoral Council hereby initiates an urgent call for one million Australians to sign and circulate a petition for a national bank, to put themselves on record as a mighty political force, which will grow in strength in the weeks and months ahead as the world political and economic crisis rapidly worsens, until finally, even the self-interested, sell-out leaderships of the "major" parties will have to bend to this new reality, or be swept aside. As the recent CEC-led mass mobilisation against the Howard government's fascist "anti-terrorist" laws showed—which are now far less draconian than what the Coalition and the ALP originally passed in the House of Representatives on March 13, and intended to ram through the Senate—an aroused citizenry can dramatically change the course of events. Now, instead of merely complaining, or fighting rear-guard actions against one disaster after another, let us take the offensive.


The Struggle for Sovereignty and the Common Good

The fundamental political battle in Australian history, has been to secure what used to be known as the "Common Good" for all our citizens, as reflected in the still passionately held notion that every Australian regardless of origin or background, should "have a fair go", with the freedom and opportunities to make something of him or herself. This passion for the Common Good began with the First Fleet in 1788, which was comprised, not, as lying history books tell us, mainly of criminals, but of Irish, Scottish and English political prisoners, those infected by the "ideas of 1776", the noble ideas of the American revolution, of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", which were then sweeping the globe.


Rev. John Dunmore Lang, Australia's greatest republican organiser.
This struggle for freedom and justice quickly took the inevitable form in Australia, as it did in America, of a battle for national sovereignty, as expressed most eloquently by Australia's greatest republican and political organiser, the Reverend John Dunmore Lang, in his 1852 book, Freedom and Independence for the Golden Lands of Australia:

"The spirit of national freedom and independence is one of the most generous and disinterested, as well as one of the loftiest and most ennobling passions of human nature; and when it once animates a people, they become capable of deeds, and sacrifices, and exertions, of which they could never have supposed themselves capable before...

"It is the very soul of society, which animates and exalts the whole brotherhood of associated men....In one word, nationality, or their entire freedom and independence, is absolutely necessary for the social welfare and political advancement of the Australian colonies. Give us this, and you give us everything to enable us to become a great and glorious people. Withhold this, and you give us nothing."

Lang, the most beloved political figure of his day, came within a hair of establishing a republic in Australia in the 1850s, forcing the British to grant a bastardised form of "limited sovereignty" known as "representative government" (parliaments). But the battle for national sovereignty as the vehicle to secure the "Social Welfare" as Lang put it, or the "Common Good" as it soon became known, continued, and erupted in the great political battles of the 1880s and 1890s, which led to the formation of the Labor Party. Although the Federation established in 1901 was, once again, a very limited form of sovereignty, "under the Crown", the very name, the "Commonwealth of Australia"—i.e. the "Common Good of Australia"—was despised by the British Colonial Office, precisely because it bespoke our noble aspirations.


King O'Malley founded Australia's national bank.
After Federation, the struggle for national sovereignty continued in the early Labor Party's ferocious battle against what it called the "Money Power", the City of London financial establishment which utterly dominated our economy. To combat this, the ALP called for the establishment of a national bank as a leading plank of its non-negotiable Fighting Platform. Finally, in 1911, the courageous, flamboyant immigrant, King O'Malley, secured a national bank, over the objections of the leadership of the ALP, Prime Minister Andrew Fisher and his Anglophile Attorney General Billy Hughes. Though without the full powers for which O'Malley had fought, the new Commonwealth Bank nonetheless stopped a bank run on the eve of World War I, financed the Transcontinental Railroad, much of Australia's role in World War I, and much else of national good, until it was savagely truncated in the mid-1920s. Without a national bank, Australia then suffered miserably in the Great Depression, which the U.S. largely avoided, by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's national bank-style direction of credit for large infrastructure projects.

For more on the great republican struggles of Australian history noted briefly above, see the CEC pamphlet, The Fight for an Australian Republic: From the First Fleet to the Year 2000.

Through the government direction of credit, in World War II Prime Minister John Curtin and his Treasurer, later Prime Minister himself, Ben Chifley, transformed Australia almost overnight into a powerful industrial economy. After Curtin's death in July 1945, Prime Minister Ben Chifley planned to continue the wartime expansion into postwar reconstruction through a national bank, as the mighty engine of national prosperity. He described his majestic vision to the Parliament:

"Essentially, the task of the new [banking] organisation will be to provide a financial mechanism appropriate to the needs of our rapidly growing economy. Australia is destined to see great developments in the coming years and this process, which is already underway, must be promoted by every means possible. There will be a great increase in our population. Industries will expand in all fields, and we must expand our markets abroad. The basic services of transport and communications, water supply, power, housing, health and education, must be enlarged to meet the needs of a larger economy, working at high levels of technique and productivity. The stress everywhere will be upon new forms of enterprise, new methods of production, and new uses of the resources of this country. Finance must cooperate and take the initiative in this process..." A banking system, Chifley proclaimed, is "created to serve the welfare of the community."

Though passed by both houses of Parliament, the British Crown's Privy Council overthrew Chifley's dream of a national bank, as a mortal threat to the City of London's control of Australian finances, just as the IMF and World Bank enforcers of the new form of colonialism, "globalisation", today hysterically oppose the efforts of any nation to actually control its own finances. With the present global financial crisis, that must change radically. Australia's very existence, let alone its sovereignty, is at stake. We must therefore now re-establish a national bank, and on an even broader scale than before.


The global financial crash

The real story behind the Sept. 11 attacks can be found in the New Citizen newspaper.

Copies of the New Citizen, The fight for an Australian Republic, and What Australia Must Do to Survive the Depression can be ordered from the CEC.

The world is now hurtling toward the worst financial crash in history, as long forecast by physical economist and U.S. 2004 Presidential candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. This crash, LaRouche and his associates at Executive Intelligence Review magazine have documented, has been brought on by globalisation, beginning with the elimination of the old, fixed exchange rate international monetary system by U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1971. LaRouche has proposed to replace the current, bankrupt international monetary system with a "New Bretton Woods"—a return to the best, protectionist, national-banking features of the old Bretton Woods system. As LaRouche recently wrote, about the connection between national banks and national prosperity, or the lack thereof:
"The essential difference between a sovereign nation-state and a financier-rentier-dominated form of feudal, or pro-feudalist—e.g. financier-oligarchical—society, is expressed, typically, as the difference between national banking and central banking....It is precisely, the intentional and vicious elimination of such protectionist measures, peculiar to the modern nation-state institution, which have brought

Ready-to-enact draft legislation for a new national bank (the "Commonwealth National Credit Bank") is contained in the CEC's book, What Australia Must Do to Survive the Depression.
the world as a whole to the now-catastrophic, rapidly worsening, global financial and physical-economic state of affairs today. The placing of the world under the control of private banking interests, would quickly doom civilization for perhaps decades to come."

Globalisation has built up the biggest speculative bubble in the history of mankind, with US$400 trillion in debt against only US$40 trillion for the entire world's GDP. The United States, the engine of the world's economy (and our leading trading partner, along with depression-wracked Japan), is disintegrating before our very eyes: its major corporations are toppling into bankruptcy, one after the other, typified by the biggest corporate collapse in world history, that of Enron; 48 of its 50 states are now in a severe budget crisis; the U.S. share markets have lost a staggering US$1.45 trillion this year alone, with worse still to come; the greatest speculative real estate bubble in history has been built up, which is now beginning to unravel; over 2 million U.S. workers have been laid off in the last 22 months, with huge new layoffs every month; and the U.S. dollar has begun to collapse on world exchanges, as the massive foreign capital flows into the U.S., which have enabled the U.S. to run its gigantic trade and current account deficits, are rapidly drying up.

Contrary to the Coalition and news media lies, there is no "recovery"—and there never will be one—as long as globalisation rules. This is what is driving the U.S.—and Australia—into foreign wars, and into fascist police states domestically. The super-sophisticated attacks of 9/11 were not done by the semi-mythical Osama bin Laden hiding in caves somewhere in Afghanistan, but by a rogue faction in the U.S. military, for the same reason Hitler's Nazis lit the Reichstag fire—to justify establishing a police state, under the guise of an "emergency", in order to maintain political control under conditions of a 1930s-style economic crisis, only worse. (see www. cecaust.com.au)


You must take the responsibility

For Australia's greatest thinkers, such as John Dunmore Lang and his associates, as for the founders of the old Labor Party, and for John Curtin and Ben Chifley later, the crucial question in Australian politics was always: What responsibility would the average Australian take for his or her country, and therefore for his or her own future? One of Lang's closest associates, and one of Australia's greatest intellectuals, the poet, writer and MP, Daniel Deniehy, put it, "Our colony has been cursed with bad legislators and bad laws, and unless constituencies are reminded of the duties that they owe to themselves and to the state, we see no prospect of change for the better. The country requires at this junction, men of enlarged views and of statesmen-like abilities. She stands sadly in need of patriots, true lovers of her soil, of her climate, and of her worth, such who know what she would be capable of under a genial rule, and who would, without one selfish desire, shape her destiny."
Deniehy's and Lang's dear friend, Australia's greatest poet, Charles Harpur expressed the same idea in his stirring poem, "This Southern Land of Ours". The final line of the poem's first stanza serves as a refrain throughout (full poem at www.cecaust.com.au):

    With clowns to make our laws, and knaves to rule us as of old,
    In vain our soil is rich, in vain `tis seamed with virgin gold;
    But the present only yields us nought, the future only lours,
    `Till we have a braver manhood, in this Southern Land of ours.

Then, in the 1890s, Australia's greatest union organiser, William Guthrie Spence, the founder of the Australian Workers Union (AWU) and a longtime federal member of Parliament, waged the same polemic. "If any body of persons in Australia is to blame for the evils of our social system", Spence said, it is the people themselves, who must take up their responsibilities for the Common Good:

"The masses must not only take a deeper interest in political questions, but they must make the politics of the country. The

William Guthrie Spence, the founder of the Australian Workers Union (AWU).

welfare of the people must be raised to the first place—must be the uppermost and foremost consideration. How best to secure the good of all without injury to any should be the aim—not commercial supremacy, not cheap production regardless of the human misery following, but rather the broadest justice, the widest extension of human happiness, and the attainment of the highest intellectual and moral standard of civilised nations should be our aim....Let each remember that man had failed before because each carelessly left to some other the work of the Common Good. We must reverse that. Each must take his or her share. With unity above all as our watchword, the Common Good our aim, we will soon find common ground of agreement as to the way in which the goal should be reached. The best start we can give to our children is the certainty of better conditions; the sweetest memory of us to them the fact that we did so."

Fittingly, Spence was a key member of King O'Malley's "torpedo brigade", which organised the Labor caucus in Parliament to vote for O'Malley's Commonwealth Bank. And, as O'Malley said on the floor of Parliament, in motivating the adoption of his national bank:

"We are legislating for the countless multitudes of future generations, who may either bless or curse us....We are in favour of protecting, not only the manufacturer, but also the man who works for him. We wish to protect the oppressed and down-trodden of the earth....This means control of justice or injustice.... Such power is an attribute of sovereignty, and ought to belong to none but the sovereign people exercised through His Majesty's Parliament and Government in the interests of the whole people."

As Spence used to say, "Let us Agitate, Educate, and Organise", and through that process let us make O'Malley's dream come true, and make Australia, once again, the "Lucky Country" for which our forebears struggled so mightily.

What you can do:
  • Make copies of the petition on the next page, and collect as many signatures as you can.
  • Fax or mail each copy of the filled petition sheets to your local federal MP, and send a copy to the CEC. (Contact details for House of Representatives MPs are available at www.cecaust.com.au, or by calling 1-800 636 432).
  • For more information contact the Citizens Electoral Council. Ph: 1-800 636 432. Write: PO Box 376 Coburg Vic 3058. Email: cec@cecaust.com.au. For regular updates, see the CEC website: www.cecaust.com.au.

An Urgent Call for a New National Bank

We, the undersigned, are sick to death of the misery and destruction which economic rationalism has wreaked on this country since it was adopted beginning 1983 by the Hawke/Keating governments, and continued by the Howard governments. Except for a handful of the very wealthy, these policies have been a disaster for virtually all Australians, including local government bodies, trade unions, Aborigines, ethnic groups, immigrants, students and teachers, healthcare providers, the rural sector, small business, the poor, the unemployed, the aged and disabled, and many other average, struggling Australians. Known as "globalisation", these policies have also produced an international economic crisis, with potential dire consequences for Australia.

Therefore, we urgently demand that the Parliament begin immediate moves toward the near-term establishment of a new national bank, with the kind of broad-ranging powers necessary to bring our callous private banks into line, and to initiate a recovery of our industries, our agriculture, our environment, and of our social and physical infrastructure, in order to provide the chance for a happy, optimistic future for all Australians, of whatever creed, colour, or country of origin. Such was the dream of the courageous founder of our original Commonwealth Bank, King O'Malley; it is now urgent that we make that dream a reality.

(Please print clearly)

Name Title/Occupation Town State Email/Phone











When you have completed this petition as far as you can, please fax or mail it to your federal MP, and fax or mail the original or a copy to the CEC, P.O. Box 376, Coburg, Vic. 3058. Fax: 03 9354 0166. To obtain the fax number of your MP, call the CEC on 1-800-636-432 and request a Parliamentarians Information Sheet, or ask our staff.


Citizens Electoral Council © 2008
Best viewed at 1024x768.
Please provide technical feedback to webadmin@cecaust.com.au
All electoral content is authorised by National Secretary, Craig Isherwood, 595 Sydney Rd, Coburg VIC 3058.