This took a while to put together, effectively editing around 10,000 words of article that included both scanning mistakes and the occasional mistake in the original articles. I’ve cut the centerpiece interview (posted here), and some literature from the National Front and Country Party given that they really don’t tell you anything not in the respective articles on each organisation. You can find the issue this feature comes from here. A special thanks to the current editors of the Salient for granting permission to republish all this stuff from the NZ Electronic Text Collection archive.
Salient looks at New Zealand’s Far Right
When the history of New Zealand politics in the 1960’s comes to be written the far right groups and organisations referred to in this SALIENT feature will be lucky to rate a footnote. Yet these organisations are unique examples of attempts to start broadly-based right-wing movements and as such merit attention and analysis.
There is, perhaps, a more important reason why our attention should be drawn to the policies of the extreme right-wing. These policies are of especial interest because they provide us with valuable insights into the kind of unlovely thinking which provides a basis for the policies of more ‘moderate’ right wing political parties such as the National Party and, less importantly, the Social Credit Political League. (One feels that it is increasingly difficult to resist including the New Zealand Labour Party amongst the parties of the right-wing but that’s a point that should be argued another time, perhaps).
The three groups dealt with at some length in the next few pages are the Nazi Party, the National Front and the Country Party. Shorter articles have been included on the Democratic Society, a breakaway Social Credit faction, the Co-Resistance Movement, the League of United Empire Loyalists and Australian fascist Eric Butler. The only serious omissions are a discussion of the 1963 Liberal Party and of the NZ Rhodesia Society and allied groups.
Some of the difficulty involved in penetrating the Rhodesia groups may be evident to readers when we explain that head of the Wellington effort is well-known campus right-winger Jim Mitchell. Mr Mitchell was kind enough to supply us with some material for use in this issue. It all too clearly bore the mark of having been edited for left-wing consumption. We do have in our possession, however, a copy of the “Candour League of Rhodesia” publication RHODESIA AND WORLD REPORT (Vol. 3, No. 1—July, 1968) which was distributed “for information” by the Aid Rhodesia Movement, P.O. Box 7070, Christchurch. The first two pages of this magazine are taken up with an article entitled The convulsions of a dying civilisation. The article was written by Eric D. Butler, described in the magazine as the “National Director. Australian League of Rights”. Mr Butler talks of a “national upsurge of support for the honest words uttered by Mr Powell” and “the basic character of the Anglo-Saxon, which has clearly demonstrated itself in the Rhodesian stand”. Something of Mr Butler’s political creed is suggested in the brief article on him which appears towards the end of this feature. The Aid Rhodesia/Friends of Rhodesia groups indict themselves through their choice of such bedfellows.
In the case of the three major groups dealt with here, we have tried, as far as possible, to let them speak for themselves. The interview with Nazi Leader Colin Ansell is the first to be published. We obtained it only after a patient stalking through Otahuhu, Panmure and, finally, Otara. If any readers would like to obtain further information on the Party we would recommend that they write to Mr Ansell. We found him most co-operative and would like to express our thanks to him for his assistance.
[I’ve cut the remainder of the introduction because it simply outlines the following articles.]
FRONTING UP TO THE
“There still resides in the British people, albeit hidden under the visible surface of contemporary softness and spiritual decay, those fine qualities of courage, steadfastness, and endurance which have enabled Britons to thrive as a proud breed of men throughout the centuries.”
This extract, from an article entitled “New Zealand’s British Destiny” in COUNTER ATTACK (“published in support of the New Zealand National Front”), perhaps conveys the essence of National Front ideology. The National Front was formed almost two years ago as an amalgam of a number of small nationalistic organisations such as the League of Empire Loyalists. According to the New Zealand National Secretary B.B. Thompson, the Front is “as yet small in numbers”. The New Zealand development follows the growth of the parent British body which has the stated aim of rebuilding a new British World System, based upon Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia and Eire.
As might be expected in the light of this aim, the Front has often been described as racist. (“There is an old Anglo-Saxon word that is fittingly synonymous with moderation. It is the word GUTLESSNESS”—CANDOUR). If regarding negroes as the heathen force of darkness and Anglo-Saxons as angels of light (Rhodesia and South Africa being the last non-gutless bastions of honour and civilisation), constitutes racialism then the suggestion that the Front is a racist organisation would be correct. The Front’s publications would have us believe that Commonwealth countries, unlike South Africa and Rhodesia, “our kith and kin”, are beset by a chronic decadence that is hiding the true qualities that in other circumstances would further British destiny.
The New Zealand Front takes its tone from its British counterpart. The two principal evils of international communism and international finance preoccupy National Front thought. Wall Street, it is maintained, is the birthplace of an international conspiracy which has as its aim the submergence of the British Empire. Further, Wall Street is in league with international communism and liberal internationalism. Communists, fellow travellers, liberals and idealists (“the ideal is the enemy of the real”—SPEARHEAD) are often unwitting pawns in this one-world power game and are possessed of the sort of weakness that is likely to poison the tea in British pots.
As an example of the machinations of world finance, international National Front “prophet and patriarch” A.K. Chesterton (to quote a reprint in his magazine CANDOUR—”a speaker of great talent, a man of great culture and remarkable author and journalist”—”A.K.” is also the beneficiary of the A.K. Chesterton seventieth birthday fund) maintains that de Gaulle and Pompidou were, and are, puppets of the “Rothschild freres” who are, of course, pro-Soviet.
Other conspirators are the BBC (a subversive organisation dedicated to undermining the sort of patriotism that would inspire a mother to say “If by his death my son could serve England I would not lift a finger to bring him back.”—CANDOUR) and Colin Davis who, on following Sir Malcolm Sargent as Master of the Proms, celebrated his promotion by “decreeing that the Proms would no longer terminate with the singing of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory.” The BBC is also suspect for “advocating the recent changes in the law against homosexuality.”
National Front publications are imbued with a certain Old Testament flavour: “The death of Brian Jones, the infamous rock and roll star,” wrote Avril Walters, CANDOUR columnist, “is not unjust . . .” Miss Walters also had “the feeling that if Harold Wilson is consigned to hell at some, one hopes, not too distant date the Devil will have a dickens of a job holding on to his position.” The Front’s publications seem at times to follow a British Israelist line. Nowhere, it is true, can one find the assertion that the British people are one of the twelve lost tribes of Israel. Nor is it baldly stated that God’s chosen reside exclusively between Lands End and John O’Groats (with small outposts on the Dark Continent) but much is made of the destiny of the Anglo-Saxon people. Lengthy reference is made to the manifest and innate superiority of Britons. These assertions are constantly justified by reference to the inferior nature of other races and ominous conspiracies such as World Jewry.
It would be easy to dismiss the National Front as an unimportant and unattractive minority group more suited to a world of brass rubbings, cricket and cucumber sandwiches than to modern politics. However, there is every indication, judging by the technical standard and sheer volume of its publications, that the Front, in the United Kingdom at least, is surprisingly strong and becoming stronger. The New Zealand Front appears more uncertain and self-conscious than its strident British counterpart but there is evidence to suggest that it is more than a pale imitation. Much is made, in the Front’s publicity here, of the danger of closer involvement in Asian affairs. This will result in “our present culture vanishing under an Asiatic tide”.
- To replace what is known as ‘The Commonwealth” by a modern British world system which, while ensuring the sovereign independence of each nation, would work for the closest co-operation between the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Rhodesia, and in which, if they so desired, the Republics of South Africa and Ireland would each occupy an honoured place.
- To permit the association with this new world system of approved Afro-Asian countries on terms acceptable to all the foundation members.
- To work to achieve for this new world system adequate economic and agricultural self-sufficiency and the financial and military strength needed to guarantee this British world system its freedom both from Communist domination and from coercion by the power of the international money-lending houses and their financial and political agencies.
- To work with the British National Front and affiliated bodies to help in the promotion within non-Communist Europe and elsewhere suitable alliances which would replace involvement in treaty organisations destructive of national sovereignty, and would resist hostile interference by the United Nations and similar organisations.
- To give unremitting support to British and other European communities overseas in their maintenance of civilisation in lands threatened with reversion to barbarism.
- To eradicate the present malaise of liberal internationalism and to imbue New Zealand’s people with pride in our past and future.
- To preserve our British way of life and to prevent the emergence of a race problem by ensuring that New Zealand accepts as immigrants only persons of selected European stock.
The League of Empire Loyalists was one of the groups which united to form the National Front. The following extracts were taken from a booklet entitled New Zealand’s Asian Destiny, distributed by the New Zealand League. The booklet was written by Mr J.F.L. Hartley. Mr Hartley is described by the ubiquitous A.K. Chesterton in his introduction to the booklet as “a leader with a good head, a loyal heart, and a lucid and brilliant pen.”
Coming of Captain Cook
He came in the spring, when the honey-scent of manuka was on the hills, and the kowhai was a golden glory in the valleys. In the magic of sunset perhaps he heard the distant toll of the bell-bird, liquid, rich, talismanic. Was Destiny his companion as he stood beneath Union Jack to watch the approaching shore? Ah, wild, lovely land of mountain and forest, of lakes and rivers—what was your destiny on that historic day in 1769? What predetermined events had decided your ultimate lot, and what power had fore-ordained them? What invincible necessity fired British seamen—fearless vancouriers of the pioneers—thus to brave the great unknown?
On a day in spring, I stood beneath a statue, supernal in a flowered square, and I pondered on the changes in these islands since he, whose image was fixed in stone, felled giant trees in Dusky Sound. Nearly 200 years—was that long ago? The stumps were there for all to see, long after I was born. Asian destiny—? In fancy I listened to a restless voice, sharpened as with faint alarm: “I am Cook. I was the first to come. My task—read my orders—was to seek, to find, this land. You must not yield. The British are scattered about the earth, yet there is but one British nation, one destiny. Do not yield …”
The time is not yet when Asians dare invade our shores. We must fear, and resist, our own fifth-columnists of Asian ambitions, the “Asian destiny” prophets, the salesmen of Eastern cultures, the race-mixers, urgers of the Danegeld, advocates of disarmament, one-worlders, wreckers of Empire and British tradition—these we need fear, for they spread the virus that weakens the will to resist subversion, and they brainwash our minds for the acceptance of an Asian future.
The Democratic Society
The Democratic Society was founded in 1965 by Wellington businessman Fairlie Curry, and grew out of an earlier body, the Anti-Communist League, which had become defunct. Curry, who stood for the National Party in the Island Bay electorate in 1960 and 1963, said at the time of the Democratic Society’s formation that he believed that well-organised groups of political extremists, whose aim was to supplant the present democratic system with totalitarian government, were working in New Zealand. “Members of these groups have infiltrated the Public Service, local government, and the trade unions”, he said.
The Society campaigned for members through press advertisements, meetings, leaflets and public statements. On 27 November 1965 they staged their first demonstration. About 20 members, with an old truck, placards and a loudspeaker, demonstrated against a Vietnam protest outside Parliament. The following February, the Society organised a further counter-demonstration, this time on the occasion of the visit of US Vice-President Humphrey. Key man in this protest was a young Wellington publisher, Bill Horne, whose suburban giveaway METROPOLITAN espoused a virulently right-wing political line. This protest took on a rather unpleasant note, and at one time nearly degenerated into a fight. Shortly after this Horne broke with the Society and left Wellington, his newspaper and a nightclub venture having both failed leaving substantial losses.
The Democratic Society faded from the protest scene a little at about this time. On its own figures, its supporters numbered about 100, and its active membership was from 50 to 60. At its 1966 annual general meeting 27 attended.
The Society then turned its attention to press statements, pamphlets, and meetings. TRUTH and South Pacific News Service (which supplies feature to New Zealand provincial dailies) gave the Society sympathetic coverage. Said TRUTH‘s Kevin Sinclair: “Fairlie Curry is a tough man with a tough assignment. He has declared war on Communist infiltration in New Zealand. And it is a war he expects to win.” Said South Pacific’s John Newport “A short, stocky, balding army veteran is at war again—this time against the Vietniks and the spreading threat of communism in this country.”
The publicity was good—but it was no match for performance. A further counter-demonstration announced for President Johnson’s visit drew wide press coverage—but was canceled when Curry realised that embarrassingly little support was forthcoming. He later admitted that the publicity given was out of proportion to the Society’s size.
A pamphlet Communism and the Churches was produced and distributed. Then, in August 1966, the Society promoted a public meeting in Wellington to be addressed by Canada’s leading spokesman of the right, Ron Gostik. Mr Gostik, whose position closely parallels that of Eric Butler in Australia, was to speak on Vietnam. On arrival he proved to have Mr Butler in tow, and the two addressed the Society’s meeting. Supporters and opponents were there in equal numbers, and the discussion was fierce.
After this the Society faded completely. It was not radical enough to enjoy the support of the ultra-right (Curry and other Society members were at pains to dissociate themselves from Butler’s background when it later became known), and too dependent on a philosophy of opposition to left-wing ideas. Many who might have been expected to support its Vietnam policy found expression of their views through the National Party, and Curry continued his loose association with that Party throughout the period of his involvement in the Democratic Society. And, of course, he stood as National Party candidate for Island Bay in 1969.
Meanwhile, back in the country
The Country Party was formed in November 1968 to “moderate the excesses of party politics in New Zealand’s two-party system.”
The Party’s leader, Cliff Emeny, has long been involved in fringe group politics. He’s 50 years of age, lives in Stratford with his wife and six children and has operated a life insurance agency since 1963, when an accident put an end to his farming career. Mr Emeny was a prominent member of the Liberal Party effort of 1963 and is President of the New Zealand Free Enterprise Society, under whose auspices the Country Party’s inaugural meeting in Hamilton was held.
The Party’s principles are fairly clearly expressed in the TV and radio election addresses by Mr Emeny printed on this page. Robin Bromby in a 1968 DOMINION article suggested that the Party’s philosophy is based on the “Arch-Conservatism of the 1930’s.” Mr Emeny, in reply, said “we are exactly the opposite, our policies are based on the most modern studies of practical free enterprise, studies that so far have not penetrated the hide-bound socialist researches, teachings and actions of New Zealand bureaucracy and political leadership.” (DOMINION—14 December, 1968).
Mr Emeny is not, therefore, happy to have anyone point out that his Party is, as Mr Bromby would have it, thirty or forty years out of date. He might, if pressed, confess that the laissez faire politics of the nineteenth century hold certain attractions for him. THE PRESS, in an editorial, suggested that in fact the Country Party’s policies constituted nineteenth century liberalism. In the 1969 election campaign, however, he and his fellow Country Party members were anxious to present the Party’s policies as a distinct and new alternative to the bureaucratism and socialism of National and Labour.
A close reading of the Country Party’s, platform as Mr Emeny outlined it in his 1969 election speeches will reveal distinct differences between this Party and the two political groups which have been dealt with extensively in the preceding pages. These are essentially, however, differences in method rather than emphasis: the National Front and the Nazi Party are groups of the radical right; the Country Party is a loose coalition of extremely conservative groupings.
The differences in emphasis are there to be sure—the Nazi Party and the National Front are, prima facie, racist groups. The Country Party, on the other hand, achieved its main strength (infinitesmal in comparative terms but significant in relation to the poverty of its ideas) through its specific attachment to rural interests—something no ultra-conservative group has done for a number of years. This particular emphasis in the Party’s policies (and, of course, in its name) caused some concern to supporters of the National Party who feared that the Country Party would split the vote in rural areas and permit a Labour victory. As a correspondent to THE PRESS (21 December, 1969) wrote: “If (the Country Party) . . . does contest the seats as stated, the votes taken from the National Party could result in a Labour victory, something the organisers of the Country Party would regret.”
Leader writers in New Zealand’s exclusively right-wing daily press were generally able to maintain a gently derisive tone towards the Country Party. “Could New Zealand afford to return to the days of cottage industry where life began and ended at the farm gate?” asked an EVENING POST editorial. The POST chose to construe the Country Party as one exclusively concerned with maintaining “sectional interests”—namely, those of the farming community—and resisted congratulating Mr Emeny and his bucolic colleagues for their promotion of “free enterprise” (something which, in the light of the News Media Ownership Act at least, one would expect the POST to hold dear).
Under its present leadership, one could not expect the Country Party to make very much progress. There is perhaps a case for suggesting that a Country Party that bore less of the mark of an ultra-Right grouping might, as secondary industries provide an increasingly significant part of New Zealand’s economic strength, find a place in the political sun here. However, it is precisely those characteristics which earn the Country Party its rightful place in this discussion in SALIENT of the far Right that will ensure that the present Country Party will never achieve Parliamentary representation. These characteristics are the premises which—once the nuances of emphasis (who or what are we afraid of?) and quibbles over methods (to smash the enemy or to merely force him to retire?) are removed—the Country Party shares with the Nazi Party and the National Front.
Mr Emeny’s restrained political speeches suggest some of the premises Country Party policies share with the radical Right. A fear of conspiracists and power groups which so often pervades right-wing thinking is evident, for example, in Mr Emeny’s reference to “business and professional people” on whom “Government and private monopoly” are “closing in . . . everywhere.” Mr Emeny slips easily into the use of the noun “Government” without the definite article—a usage promoted by members of the National Cabinet to attach an aura of respectability and permanence to the collection of politicians which is at present steering this ship of fools. For Mr Emeny, “Government” is very much the omnipotent and omnipresent institution which the incumbents of political office would have us believe it is.
If the Government or bureaucracy or monopolies or whatever other monster it is that controls our destinies in fact has the power Mr Emeny believes it possesses, by the same token ‘the people’ are impotent. Mr Emeny’s meaning in the constantly iterated phrase “forgotten people” is not entirely that intended in Mr Nixon’s (and John Hayes’) use of the term “silent majority”. Mr Emeny is almost certainly aware of the appeal of such a phrase but, more importantly, he seems clearly to believe that the “forgotten people who don’t want to be wards of the state and the playthings of politicians” really do exist. Mr Emeny therefore establishes a tautology which neatly sustains itself through a series of references to their (Government, monopolies, bureaucrats) strength on the one hand and our (the forgotten people) weakness on the other.
The feeling of impotence suggested by this theme in Country Party policy can, of course, be found in the policies of the Nazi Party and the National Front. For each of these groups, the response to the injection of Asian Hordes, the machinations of World Jewry, the Red Peril and the Great Big Melting Pot which is being stirred by the Negro Race is to lash out. The frustration of the Radical Right often expresses itself in policies of violent reaction: execute dope-peddlers, criminals, homosexuals; deport aliens; incarcerate women in the home where they belong and so on. Ultra-conservative groups such as the Country Party, however, express their fears and frustrations in a more muted way. Their plea is for a return to a better way of life—to a political system where the individual is paramount, to the pre-Welfare State.
The Country Party has, however, expressed itself on one issue—corporal punishment—in terms which were even more radical than those of Nazi Party leader Colin Ansell. Mr T.M.F. Taylor, the Party’s President (Mr Emeny is the Leader of the Party—the precise differentiation in role is not clear from the material we have to hand on the Party) wrote to TRUTH (23 September, 1969) saying “My reasons for supporting the reintroduction of the birch are like TRUTH‘s—simple and straightforward. Law and order is (sic) sustained by one of two types of control—either by personal ethical compulsion not to break the law, or by force . . .” It would be interesting to prod the Country Party’s leaders into statements of policy on such subjects as treatment of out-groups like the mentally ill, the blind, the disabled and so on, censorship, religious principles, and international relations. This might produce further evidence of a radicalism in the Country Party’s ‘philosophy’ which might more closely group it with the Nazi Party and the National Front.
The immediate political future of the Country Party is not clear. Its formal structure (for what that structure is worth) will almost certainly collapse within a very few years. The sentiments which at present provide its core, however, will emerge again as the basis of yet another Democratic Party, or another Liberal Party, or possibly even an Economic Euthanic Party. The Country Party’s present leadership, however, does not lack optimism. Vice-President A.J. Ambury of Hamilton, who contested the Waikato electorate (and polled 378 votes) said after the 1969 General Election; “We had only hoped for 10,000 votes, and we got 7,000.” He said he was more than satisfied with the Country Party’s showing. The Party, he said, “will certainly be contesting the next election—and more seats.”
Social Credit’s rebels
On the far right fringe of the New Zealand political scene, there are many themes linking different groups—Rhodesia, the tours of Eric Butler and literature from the John Birch Society, for example. One of the most unusual links, however, is the Social Credit theory of C.H. Douglas.
To quote Eric Butler: “C.H. Douglas was an excellent example of the best products of Western Christian Civilisation as developed in the British context. . . In America today we see in all its stark reality just how an irresponsible political voting system can be used to legalise the destruction of a nation. Douglas saw the difficulty of obtaining a challenge against the Money Power and its revolutionary policies through a voting system which the politicians used to bribe the electors to vote themselves benefits at the expense of their neighbours. Responsible voting is a first priority if there is to be responsible government. The drive to get increasing numbers of American Negroes on the electoral rolls has been part of the strategy of destroying America from within…
“Those who grasped what Douglas offered have a special responsibility to keep alive and flourishing through these troubled days, that knowledge and understanding which alone can bring to life a new Civilisation out of the ashes of the one now being consumed by the fires of revolution.”
This invocation of Social Credit’s only prophet is surprising to New Zealand ears only because in this country the Social Credit movement has escaped from the right wing heritage of the British, Australian, and, to a lesser extent, Canadian movements. The British Social Credit Secretariat is pledged to defeat the Communist Conspiracy, and the Australian Social Creditors have backed this. In 1964 the British group announced: “There can be no slightest doubt that the John Birch Society is the spearhead of the attack on the (Communist) Conspiracy. But their efforts will be enhanced by the support of as much educated opinion as can be mobilised throughout the world. And there is probably no other body of people than Social Crediters better able to mobilise that opinion. We are an international movement, while the John Birch Society, because of its necessary and dedicated concentration on the immediate objective, is not.”
The rallying cry of this manifesto was “No Co-Existence”. In New Zealand it struck few sympathetic chords; indeed, since the Labour flirtation with Social Credit in the 1930’s, the Party in this country has had an almost socialist tinge.
However a small body, the New Zealand Social Credit Association, does espouse the Butler line. This group includes persons purged from the Social Credit Political League some years ago for their political views, and at times the political Party has been at pains to dissociate itself from them. The Association claims to be the successor to the old Social Credit Association which went out of existence in 1953 so that the Political League could be formed.
Some literature has been published by these breakaways, and a couple have stood for Parliament on their own account as independents, never getting more than a couple of hundred votes. In the context of the right wing world of British nations, however, it is this reactionary form of Douglas Credit which is the true representative of the international movement.
The Co-Resistance Movement
No account of New Zealand’s ultra-right would be complete without a mention of Dunedin’s curious “Co-Resistance” movement. This group, which under various names has been in existence for over twelve years, has consistently espoused the policy of the American John Birch Society.
In 1959, under the name “Christian Campaign for Freedom”, the group’s leading light, Mr Jack Simon, led a campaign against fluoridating Dunedin’s water supply. Mr Simon asserted that fluoridation was “Communism via the Water Tap”. Political scientist Austin Mitchell interviewed the group’s organiser and was told that the main object was to “combat Zionism”, and that fluoridation was attacked mainly because of the infringement of liberty involved.
A monthly magazine, for some unknown reason called WEATHERBYS, was published by the Campaign and Austin Mitchell noted that, although regular subscribers numbered about fifty, one thousand copies of each issue were printed, most of them being distributed free. The tone of the periodical can be indicated by a quote from the January 1959 issue: “When we look over the current scene we see clearly the workings of the diabolic mind; integration of races, fluoridation of water, confiscatory taxation, ‘foreign aid’, the U.N.O., labour tyranny, forced unionism …”
By 1965 the movement had become “Co-Resistance”, and the Group actively pushed such books as The Politician by John Birch Society founder Robert Welch (which asserts that Eisenhower was a Communist), and The Blue Book of the John Birch Society (which proves that most other people are Communist too). Co-Resistance sent some of this literature to an Otago University staff member, who in their view was a Communist, and more than fifty students took up the invitation to attend the Group’s next meeting. As only four people from Co-Resistance attended, the meeting was something of a farce, and the movement at that stage apparently lost interest in its plan to combat the communist hotbed that was Otago University.
Mr Jack Simon and Co-Resistance are with us still—though the latest announced name is “The Informed Christian Patriots Association”. Informed Christian Patriots can obtain further information from P.O. Box 285, Dunedin.
Eric D. Butler
Who is Eric D. Butler? This man, the National Director of the Australian League of Rights, is a familiar figure at Aid Rhodesia and other right wing meetings in New Zealand. He has organised petrol tankers for Ian Smith, declared that “Rhodesia sees New Zealand as its main hope for an ally”, and stumped backblock Australia to warn of the “Red Peril”. His political career is remarkably consistent. Before the Second World War he wrote a book called The International Jew which accused the Jews of being responsible for the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Depression, and the rise of Hitler. After the war he wrote another book, “The Great Lie” in which he claimed that Hitler’s murder of 6,000,000 Jews was a Jewish invention and that the Jews had actually always co-operated with Adolph. During the war his activities were investigated by the Australian Government, the investigation report stating that his “activities were prejudicial to the war effort”.
In recent years Mr Butler has mellowed a little, and appears to have sought a more responsible image. But his League of Rights has continued to disseminate claims of a Communist conspiracy. One claim is that the Fabian Society and the London School of Economics are centres of operation for the International Jewish-Communist conspiracy. Mr Butler today claims that he no longer agrees with everything he has published—”Some of my best friends are Jews”, he has said. But his record speaks for itself. He has distributed anti-semitic and pro-fascist literature written by Sir Oswald Mosley, the British Fascist, and Lincoln Rockwell of the American Nazi Party. A typical literature stall at one of his meetings some years ago included anti-fluoridation literature published by his League of Rights and imported anti-semitic, John Birch Society, and anti-negro publications.
In 1965 Melbourne journalist Ken Gott compiled a list of Butler’s policies and some quotations from his paper NEW TIMES. Published as Voices of Hate, this pamphlet quoted Butler as expressing views which were anti-semitic, anti-fluoridation, anti-Salk Vaccine (the Christian way is chiropractice!), anti-artificial fertilisers, anti-United Nations, anti-Roosevelt, anti-Churchill, anti-Labour, anti-Common Market, pro-Social Credit and pro-Racism.
Some of the quotes Gott collected were: “Winston Churchill’s policies are largely responsible for the present plight of the world”; “While it is certain that there was an enormous amount of brutality in German prison camps, it is also certain that much of the evidence about the ovens and other methods of disposing of the Jews was deliberately invented to exaggerate the number of Jews murdered in order to make it easier for the political Zionists to try and justify their own murderous and totalitarian policies”; and “Roosevelt was a Jewish stooge”.
It is tempting to discount Mr Butler as a flamboyant but unimportant individual. In recent years, however, his views have moderated and with the Rhodesia issue he has obtained a position of some influence in Australia and New Zealand. Strangely, he seems to be taken more lightly in South Africa, where one usually reliable source says the Vorster government regards him with a mixture of suspicion and embarrassment. In Rhodesia, however, he enjoys popularity and is frequently quoted in material published by the Rhodesian regime as an international commentator of some note.