Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Global private banking mafia political assassination of one of New Zealand's greatest heroes.

Global private banking mafia political assassination of one of New Zealand's greatest heroes. 
It is a disgrace that known white collar criminals have been given knighthoods while John A Lee has largely been written out of neoliberal dominated revised modern New Zealand history.

SIMPLE ON A SOAPBOX
Written by former New Zealand Labour Government MP - John A Lee
Published in 1963

A quick preview of excerpts from a few pages;

From Pg 215 – “I did not want to only fight Hitler, who was himself a result of an evil economy, but to fight as well the economic conditions which would continue to sprout Hitlers.”

Pg 162 – My reason for telling the truth about the Old Man was not any wish to be a hero. I have never wanted to be one. Whenever I have heard young children recite:
“For how can men die better than facing fearful foes,” I have always mentally interjected, “ In bed, of old age, at peace.” I remember the day I won my D.C.M. At Messines. The line was held up, men went to earth. I jumped up. It was the only thing to do. No doubt an odd one had jumped up before me and had fallen with a gut full of machine-gun bullets. I jumped up because forward was the only way. As I jumped up to run I heard a voice, despite the thunder of the guns, say, “There goes a fellow for the V.C.” an observation that had not the slightest bearing on my conduct. I would not have risked a finger for twenty V.C.s. What I did was merely commonsense.

Pg 68 – I am sure that much of Labour’s success is a consequence of good or bad times. Labour was good for business after Nationalist bad business. The average Labour MP did want to restore purchasing power to the masses and that was in itself a fruitful idea. But there were no ideas as to how to change or gradually transform the economic system so that increased production could spell expanding incomes and greater leisure and fewer depressions by breaking the cursed cycle of capitalist inflation-deflation. For half a century Labour in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand had talked of socialising ‘the system’ but when the moment came for modest doses of the socialism for which the electorate had granted a mandate Labour either did not know or where there was knowledge, did not have the courage to make changes.

Pg 77 – A few days later the Prime Minister sent for me again. Nash had come up with a proposition. “We will make you the Under-Secretary in charge of housing. You will handle housing business as though you were a Minister. You will present housing to Cabinet, you will deal with housing business in Parliament. Walter will be your Minister, but he will be going to England by the time you get started and it will be up to you. We will introduce legislation the moment Parliament settles down. No one will get in your way.”

Will money be available from the Reserve Bank?” I asked.

This was a contentious Party issue. With tens of thousands of men on relief work the Labour Party, Nash and Fraser apart, believed that the funds of the Reserve Bank should be used for essential capital works until available men, machinery and materials were being fully employed. We wanted to undo the politically enforced Banker’s deflation. Nash wanted to stabalise deflation. We did not want to create money when men, materials and machinery were being fully engaged; at that point we believed the cost of works should be met out of revenue. But we were not prepared to create debt as long as goods, machinery and men were idle. That was the moment to use public credit.

Money will be made available from the Reserve Bank.” The Prime Minister made the promise.

Pg 90 – Although the power to underwrite and arrange fresh borrowings has been availed of rather than the power to make new issues, except where the issue is an overdraft, such as has been arranged for the dairy industry account, one definite issue has been arranged for. The Government has instructed the Reserve Bank to make five million pounds worth of credit available for housing purposes. These funds will be drawn upon by the Housing Account of the State Advances Corporation. All the funds so advanced will be used to create new assets in the form of houses and a straight out issue of money for the creation of such assets was considered justifiable. The instruction to the Reserve Bank, according to the Hon. Mr. Nash’s statement to Parliament, specifically prohibits the Reserve Bank from negotiating the sale of any portion of this issue, so that the whole issue is to be new money upon which the interest earned will belong in its entirety to the State. And the houses, of course, will belong to the State.

Main body of excerpts;

Pg 20 …..In industrial school I had known a bellyful of absolutism—absolute obedience, absolute religion eight times a day, hymns and bible-reading and the English Prayer Book until I knew half the Bible by heart, hymns by the hundred.
In that world of God versus rationalist argument, of evolution versus creation, socialism and syndicalism versus liberalism or conservatism, I gained a brand of socialism devoid of religious awe, that knew no Karl Marx, no pope or Marxian testaments. So later I always laughed irreverently when a Labour premier and his cabinet cavorted as though they were political Holy Father and the Twelve Apostles, as though a policy were a catechism alterable by annual vote at Labour Conference.
"Comrade, do you believe in the socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange?"
Yes, I did. But what we intended to do socially became, at an early age, more important to me than any article of faith. Later I was to discover that there were Labour "fundamentalists" who
preached the full gospel but denounced as a palliative each move towards" its realisation. My sceptical mill-mates caused me to try to adjust my philosophy to everyday social needs instead of indulging in dreams of eternal socialist bliss. How would socialism benefit them, they wanted to know.
Gradually I came to point out that machine society could not be divided up, that the machine age made social unity indispensable. The product of the machine had to be socially distributed or invested or the system would be wrecked by under-consumption crises. Opposition in argument forces the intelligence to shear away mental wool. I never felt that “in the beginning was Karl Marx and his word was God" and hence, later, that Stalin was Karl Marx's vicar on earth, or that the Labour prime minister was infallible. All words to me were open to challenge, down to the latest phrase introduced into a party programme by card vote. In those days however, Labour had only soap-boxers, evangelists. That the Labour hierarchy was an infallible repository of party doctrine I was not to learn until I reached manhood.
New Zealand was an amazing land. The bulk of the population......

Pg 21..... was still composed of immigrant pioneers and social heretics, the malcontents and the unadapted of Britain. Untrammelled by tradition and uncontrolled by vested interest we were establishing old age pensions, socialised railways, votes for women, state housing, land settlement, state insurance and state money-lending. As I came politically alive New Zealand was the political forcing house of the world. "Eight hours' work, eight hours' play, eight hours' rest and eight bob a day" was the rhyme of dungareed men. World sociologists were writing about us, coming to see us.
No passports were necessary to arrive in New Zealand or to depart. Shearers followed the golden fleece from North Queensland to New South Wales to Victoria and then across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. Men chased the yellowing harvest of oats and wheat from end to end of New Zealand as summer moved south. The yellow alluvial gold had brought a horde of adventurers to this land which was still frontier, geographically and politically. How political compared to our citizens of today were many of those frontiersmen!

Pg 24 ….....I was politically cradled and reared amidst dispute, nonconformism, the clash of idea and personality. A man had to know why he held an opinion. The fire was undying then, but now the undying fire has been banked, damped down, the way to M.P. ship has become kotow, the cultivation of trade union leaders who wield multiple votes at party conferences, saying `yes' whenever boss Labour orders. How did it happen that an `establishment' emerged from the soap-box Babel ? How did `confusion of tongues' get made over into rigid conformism? How did the Labour temple oust Labour principle and purpose? How did the revolutionary soap-box become an absolutist pulpit?
I had been a man in experience, a child in reading and controversy. Physically a child of my time I now became a mental.....

Pg 25 …... child of my time. I did not become a socialist because I wanted a job but because for humane reasons I believed socialist policies were needed in a machine age.
I never looked on socialist economic adjustment as likely to produce a new heaven, dominated by a holy Labour prime minister. I had known enough of all-powerful authority in industrial school. Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Voltaire, Robert Blatchford, Rationalist Press reprints and other fourpenny and sixpenny books and novels made me a heretic in capitalist society, not a socialist conformist. I was a socialist full of irreverence. I could laugh at the dirty heels and toes of the I.W.W. orator while others grew furious. I learned to state a case in that conflict of will and idea, not by learning a catechism by rote but by knowing my case and being able to phrase that case.
"Comrade, do you believe in the socialisation of the means of production, distribution and
exchange ?"
That question used to be asked with religious zeal by party followers who never had an inkling of what the first step towards socialisation should be, and used to be answered by folk who accepted the fundamentalist socialist catechism without giving a thought to what action should follow.
No, I was never a fundamentalist. I wanted measures of socialisation for human value, not to fit human beings into a new Socialist tractarian strait jacket.
I was starting to express myself at union and political meetings when war broke out in 1914. The Labour movement in New Zealand went over to pacifism.
In due course I went to World War One, not full of patriotism but rather of curiosity. I was no impassioned hero but I emerged without a left arm and with. the D.C.M., a more determined socialist than ever and unable to believe that the world would have been better if the Empire had followed pacifist Labour and had abandoned Europe to the German war lords.
In a British hospital for a year and a half I started to address meetings of wounded soldiers, to attend `Hands off Russia' meetings in London, to go to huge Labour gatherings and listen to Saint Snowden and Saint Ramsay MacDonald.

Pg 26 - Soon I could face the largest audience myself with confidence.
I returned to New Zealand from World War One on the Peace Treaty was signed. I left the ship, walked to the land Trades Hall and joined the Labour Party before I my first civilian suit. The secretary was Joe Savage, the Prime Minister. I paid my half-crown and expected to be directed to some field of activity. No doubt I was expected to become one of the half-crown shareholders who are never heard of subsequently.
Determined to do my part in making the world fit for heroes and pacifists—to live in I attended an electoral council in uniform. (It took me about three days to collect my pay and put on `civvies'.) I was vocal and caught the ear of a candidate.
"Take my chair next Sunday, Mr. Lee."
"Where ?"
"On the waterfront."
So was I catapulted out of the army onto the soap-box.
I was at once a success. I drew big audiences. Some of the was due to a new voice, a new presence, some to the fact nature has endowed me with a resonant voice and carrying power and industry has fashioned a capacity to express myself.
Overnight I became the official patriot of the Labour Party. The country was tired of the war government but people suspicious of a Labour Party which had been far more vocal about the wrongs of the conscientious objector than zealous in of the rights of the soldier. In that atmosphere a wounded decorated soldier was a first class Labour shock-trooper.
"Jack, stand for Waitemata," Secretary Savage urged me, Waitemata being the one Auckland electorate in 1919 without a Labour candidate.
"I have a business to build."
"There is no candidate more suitable," they urged.
I resisted and became President of the Labour Party in land instead.

Pg 27 - When one of the Auckland seats became vacant a year later the Labour Party sent Messrs. Savage, Fraser and Parry from Wellington to persuade me. The Liberal Party was as yet more powerful than Labour in Parliament. But Labour was coming up, Liberal going down.
"It is important that we should at least come second and the Liberal Candidate last. The effect on the next election will be vast."
"I do not want a paid parliamentary job. Besides, as a lad I received a few convictions for minor offences."
"Even so," said Savage, "we'll take a risk on your past. We need you. I'll back you out of my own pocket."
"If I stand, i'll win." I had a prophetic moment as I added, "and some day, when it's too late to do much else, i'll get expelled for believing in our policy and not in a Labour Boss." (At that moment expulsions were occurring monthly in the Australian Labour Party.)
"Nevertheless," said Savage, "you owe it to the movement. You are the only possible winner." He mentioned some of the other candidates.
"I'll ask my wife and if she is willing I will go with you. I'll risk my livelihood."
My wife was very willing. But it was not as simple as that. The moment my hat was in the ring I started to develop enemies amongst the alternative candidates.
"Five minutes in the Party and he is made a candidate. I've been thirty years on the soap-box and I'm passed over."
When I won a selection ballot which confirmed me as candidate the obstacles were still not resolved. A pacifist member of the National Executive protested against my selection because I had been a uniformed minion of the capitalist class during the war."
I stood at the by-election and failed by a few hundred votes. Later, at my second attempt in 1922, I was elected.

Pg 28 - There followed a decade as an Opposition member, my parliamentary apprenticeship. Then Labour won New Zealand.
Prime Minister Savage's arrival in Wellington after the 1935 election was the arrival of a conqueror. Thousands greeted him at the railway station. Tens of thousands moved with him along the road to Parliament House. The hundred thousand unemployed, or half-employed, the half bankrupt nation, thought.,.. he was the millenium incarnate, and with reason. The economic ice was breaking.
"They think I am God,"Joe Savage said to me.
"as you don't think that all will be well old man " I thought irreverently.
He had a splendid press. Until the election the press had done its utmost to defeat Labour. Once Labour was successful, he was starred as an outstanding moderate; Godman was promised aid, to help dish the extreme elements. I was reputed to be an extreme element.
I had ghosted his speeches, prepared his press hand-outs and had actually written his Message to New Zealand. I knew that people did not vote for policies, they voted for human beings they believed likely to give effect to policies. I thought that in choosing a Prime Minister we had appointed a democratic chairman of the Labour members in Parliament; I did not realise that the chairman of caucus would now become apolitical boss, half votes removed from caucus control because of his claim to represent the voters. Savage did not accept any responsibility towards his fellow M.P.s.
Zero multiplied by zero equals zero in mathematics. But in politics zero amplified by half-a-million votes is half-a-million times more zero. My diary of two years earlier had said of Savage:, Honest plodder, leads by following. Believes socialism can.
be installed by borrowing the funds of capitalist finance at five per cent to buy out private enterprise. The ideal democrat, he advances with the herd; an ideal leader, he has a sense of beyond-the-road-bend, a foresight which keeps him ahead of his followers. If politics develop with leisureliness he will set up committees to resolve difficulties with sets of categorical platitudes.

Pg 29 - "Now then" is his battle cry as he spits on his hands to think. In crisis he will cross his hands on his navel and know internal chaos until opportunity has gone. A press rumour suggests he burns the midnight oil. Actually he reads little and beds down at 9 p.m. when he can. He states a case for Labour in mechanistic terms—"The market can never be bigger than the available purchasing power." He never makes a case for humanising production, distribution. He will expand gullet intake to keep pace with the machine; bellies will be expanded to keep the exits of the machines free. Whatever is produced must go on being produced even if the human family needs two bellies: instead of one in order to consume it. He never gets excited about a clump of gorse on a headland, or about golden broom spilling down a hill. Achievement of tangibles is his goal. His entertainment is radio "soap opera." He shrinks from a woman's hand—with no ability to sin, how could he ride a whirlwind? His mind is not in tune with the beatings of a heart but with digestive and bowel functions. He has never been able to convert the young but he has been able to convince the Tories that Labour is safe. He may become famous by being dragged at Labour's heels.
With my pen I did more than any man in New Zealand to make him Prime Minister. He was the Father Christmas symbol I helped to fix in the mind of the unemployed. And yet, as he chose his cabinet, he had an idea that I would be a snake in Eden. Later, a high dignitary of the Roman Catholic Church claimed that he was the force who caused Prime Minister Savage to queer my pitch. My attitude to the Spanish War, my book Children of the Poor, made me unpalatable to the Church. I doubt whether the dignitary did queer my pitch. I think it was just a case of mutual aid among hierarchs as I was in good standing with the Auckland Bishop for whom I had much respect and affection.
Never did a prime minister enjoy so much goodwill as he approached Parliament. In 1935 when the Tories confessed themselves unable to find work in a land where half the labour force was unemployed, where half the farmers and half the businesses were bordering on bankruptcy, we presented a policy of work for all; decent pensions, guaranteed farm prices, home- …..

Pg 30 …...building, public as against private control of finance. We made policy but his were the lips which made the pontifical pronouncements. Prime Minister Savage became the embodiment of the Party: a semi-deity. The warrior as Chieftain God, described in Fraser's Golden Bough is characteristic, too, of modern politics. But thousands of years ago the godman, when he could no longer lead in battIe was bumped off, whereas modern political godhead persists as long as the leader has a good political secretary or press, or the support of those who wield a card vote at Conference. His selection may be due to a rational act, but the maintenance of his subsequent position has much of religious devotion about it.
Joe Savage's phrase "Now then" became the battle cry of the Left, the hope of the helpless. In Hollywood's silent days a magnate once said that he "could make a star out of a monkey." There are moments in a nation's life when a politician bereft of ideas can, by refusing to take a position on any question until he knows where the majority stands, become a statesman. Also, a leader, provided he affirms the right principles, can in practice out manoeuvre or oppose all he affirms.
My own part in establishing the political hierarchy was not small. I addressed as many meetings - and larger ones - as any member of the Party. I polled the largest majority ever polled in New Zealand. I wrote every word of the explanation of the Labour policy adopted in 1933 and reaffirmed in 1934, Labour's New Testament as it were. I controlled the preparation of the Party's Speaker's Notes, and in the largest city produced 100,000 copies of a paper containing articles written by but signed by each of the Labour MP's or candidate. I produced two pamphLets the Party sent to every House in New Zealand I wrote the Prime Minister's Message to the People of New Zealand. I gave him most of his third person hand -outs for is victory tour.
Surely I deserved some of the credit for our success?

Pg 34 …..Fraser: and Nash were to run Prime Minister Savage, and therefore the Labour Government. They would save New Zealand from irresponsibility, from the Lees, as it were, fundamental to the last syllable in socialist talk, evasive to the last consonant in socialist action.
Paddy Webb was the third member of the `run Savage' trinity. He was Joe Savage's physical and political counterpart. They had arrived in New Zealand after working together in their young Australian manhood.
Paddy Webb was plump and confident, known personally to tens of thousands of people. He had a genius for geniality. He had been a pioneer Labour M.P. raising a lonely voice for socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange without really attempting to understand what that transforming formula meant. He was young, when elected and Labour was then so unpopular that, to the faithful, a Labour M.P. became a Labour saint.

Pg 35 …........"You had better do a little back-scratching, jack" a new member warned me as we gathered in, Wellington after the electoral........

Pg 36 …..victory and waited for a caucus meeting of the Labour M.P.s.
"Bit late now," I said. In spite of the help I had given the Prime Minister in the election I had no illusions about his love for me.
In New Zealand and Australia Labour cabinets are appointed by caucus. Caucus vote interprets conference policy, or is supposed to do so and in fact does so until it has elected a cabinet, from which point onwards caucus contains a master group.
Now, in 1935, the Labour Prime Minister, elected against a background of unemployment and leading a party determined to create full employment and to pay reasonable pensions, to safeguard bankrupt businessmen and farmers, was New Zealand's dictator and could please himself. He could dispense with formality. He knew his power, and when a weak man tastes power things Happen. We were now twice as large a parliamentary party as before. This increased the Prime Minister's power, at least until members came to know one another and to realise what each would fight for (apart from the policy each was publicly pledged to support).
I knew Savage did not want me. He had not had a word of communication with me since victory night and I knew he was meeting others.
But he was on top and to the man in the street he appeared to be the moving spirit. In the struggle for victory a party must present top man as top man in intellect, in honesty, in courage, and top man gradually comes to believe that as prime minister he has all the virtues and wisdom, that he is just and courageous—that is unless he has within him an ironical streak. But few people able to laugh at themselves ever become prime ministers.
The conservative press played a wise game. Up until the election it had tried to defeat Labour; now, wisely, it would subvert Labour by helping the Prime Minister to defeat his party. He would leak his ideas to the press and the press would promise him support if he kept his extremists in check.
Nevertheless, I had the nerve to believe I should be in Cabinet, which shows what a simple country lad I was. I had been sent to key electorates to lift the tide and at the same time I had spoken at the largest meetings ever held in New Zealand and polled New......

Pg 37 …... Zealand's record majority for a constituency, so that I was a vote-getter as well as an organiser. I had also written three books Children of the Poor, The Hunted and Civilian into Soldier.
Although in Auckland I had won the Catholic vote, the high Catholic dignitary told Savage I should not be in Cabinet, which pleased the Prime Minister, because he had similar ideas. I was as keen to be in Cabinet as anyone else because I knew there would be a conflict over policy and that those nearest the heart would exercise most leverage. Perhaps, being an ordinary human with an average man's egotism, I thought Cabinet rank was my due. That idea may have been foolish but it was not sinful.
Simple country lads can no more get into cabinets than Lucifer can be accommodated in heaven. The whole Labour monolith and every other monolith would collapse if those who resisted brainwashing were put into a position to thumb their noses at the tribal deity from the inside. Ridiculous though it was I was too much caught up in Labour policy to work out the inevitable laws of the political godmanship.
Fraser, who was in line for the prime ministerial succession and who opposed me in caucus on many a policy matter, but who had enough sense to want to consolidate the Party at the moment of victory, had warned me a year earlier that if I fought Savage in caucus while we were still the parliamentary Opposition Savage would pay me out when he had power.
"Years ago,” Fraser told me, "I prevented Savage from being chosen as mayoral candidate in Auckland and he withdrew from all activity and sulked for a couple of years."
But Savage's hostility to me did not seem material. There would be a caucus vote and he would have to endure me whether he wanted me or not.
And the simple country lad that was myself dared to send the Prime Minister a note not calculated to advance my circumstances. I was sure that Nash as minister of finance would bury party policy and resist every act of socialisation, that Nash was more orthodox in financial matters than Philip Snowden had been in I England. I admired his enormous industry but knew he had no real political dynamism or tactical sense and I never believed that hard work alone was enough. Nash could never guess what......

Pg 38 …...was around the bend and was content to wallow in mellifluous platitudes.
"Dear Joe," I wrote to Mr. Savage (that itself was a mistake he was now half-a-million votes away from being `Dear Joe'),
Dear Joe,
Do not make Walter Nash Minister of Finance. If you do we shall make no progress. Give him half the administrative portfolios and he will give a splendid account of himself, but if he has the action portfolios he will always be counting the figures when we should be advancing. He will make a great quarter-master general, he will account for every tin of jam, but if you make him field-marshal he will be counting the jam whenever opportunity to advance offers, and the opportunity will go by.
`Dear Joe' had made up his mind to lean on Walter Nash and Fraser so my habit of saying what I thought, with more regard to policy than to persons, was not calculated to win friends and influence people. But then I had never heard of Dale Carnegie.

Pg 39 - The Prime Minister met member after member before the first meeting of caucus was held. His purpose was to get everyone to whom he promised an appointment to support his desire for a free hand in making all appointments. With twenty new M.P.s unversed in the habits of caucus to support them the twelve prospective members of Cabinet could be sure of a majority in caucus.
According to Peter Fraser he and Nash had misgivings.
"If a Cabinet is announced that does not include Lee there will be trouble. We'll have to give him some appointment."
Savage discounted the idea. Nash told him (so Fraser later informed me) that he was endangering Party unity by leaving me out. I do not know if this was true. Savage had no position for me; he wanted to put me in the waste-bin. The result of his sour unfairness, as it turned out, was to place me in his lap. It was not until later that I learned what had transpired, not until Peter Fraser, anxious to free himself of responsibility, talked to me.
Meanwhile caucus met.
There were speeches. Speaker after speaker, especially those who knew they were favoured for Cabinet rank, stood to assure the Prime Minister that the election victory had been his personally, that without him Labour could not have won. I did not engage in flattery of the Godman. I knew that 100,000 unemployed, bankrupt farmers and businessmen had made Labour's victory a certainty regardless of who the leader was. I knew that the Savage personality was a corporate creation, a propagandist myth, that he was a woolly-minded, weak man accepted as leader because caucus thought he would do their bidding. By way of propaganda I had borne more responsibility for the creation of the myth of the old man's personality than he did himself.

Pg 40 - Joe Savage accepted the flattery amazingly. He had a glutton's appetite for back patting. Musical honours were accorded to him by caucus.
When the singing and cheers had subsided, business started.
"First. business" said Joe Savage "is the question of Cabinet." "Mr. Chairman." Rex Masons solicitor,was on his feet, about the only time he ever took the lead in caucus.
"Mr Mason."
It was all cut and dried: Caucus did not have a chance, nor was it given time to consider.
"I move that the Prime Minister be given a free hand in the selection of Cabinet. No one did more to win New Zealand." And much more of a like nature. Caucus listened in silence. The man we had made into a figurehead was in his heaven; there was nothing we could do.
I saw that I was undone and outdone.
All those who knew they were to be appointed supported Rex Mason. And all those who believed that caucus should select its own team were silent. They knew that for the moment they were out-generalled, that the new M.P.s would support the Mason resolution and repent at leisure. They knew that in losing power over the selection of Cabinet we were abandoning control over policy.
"Johnny boy," I said to myself, "this is where Michael Joseph Savage pays off his old caucus defeats."
There was nothing I could do about it. I realised the importance of having a footing in Cabinet but to be defeated at the "victory" caucus, which I surely would be if I moved a resolution to give caucus the power of selecting cabinet, would not help. With about twenty new M.P.s ready to toe the line I knew defeat was certain. The resolution was carried unanimously. "God" was declared omnipotent, omniscient.
"If members will stay around for discussion where a messenger can find them, I'll send for them as the day goes on," said the Prime Minister. Those who knew they were sure of selection waited around cheerfully; those who were certain of exclusion awaited the axe.

Pg 41 - And yet I was sent for late in the day. Member after member of caucus had obeyed the Prime Minister's summons, enough to complete Cabinet. Was I going to be the only one sent for to be told that he wasn't invited?
Peter Fraser and Walter Nash, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, if Fraser is to be believed, argued over my fate. According to Peter Fraser, Nash advocated my appointment.
"If you leave Jack Lee out Caucus will be as strong as Cabinet," Peter Fraser told me he had argued, which seemed to me rather a strange over-valuation of my power. I wonder if he did?
The argument went on but the Old Man was adamant. He urged against me the opposition of the Roman Catholic dignitary, my convictions for a few small offences as a youth, the fact that he did not like me. But Fraser and Nash were wise, if what Fraser told me was the truth. They wanted me attached in some way to Cabinet, wanted to put me to work.
"But Cabinet is complete now."
"Bring down legislation providing for the office of parliamentary under-secretary. Lee will be of immense value to you. Make him your parliamentary under-secretary. I could work with him splendidly."
According to Fraser, Walter Nash said just that.
The Prime Minister wriggled and sweated; the others insisted. 'They wanted harmony.
"It will not do not to provide for Jack Lee."
I had no idea that an argument of any sort was occurring or had occurred, until Fraser talked to me a few days later. As I waited I was convinced I had been excluded. I underestimated my strength. Exclusion, after having been decided upon, seemed too raw. Savage did not have the courage of his own vindictiveness.
"The Prime Minister wants to see you," came the message towards the end of the day. I hurried to the appointment. This was my first visit to the Prime Minister since the election night, although he had relied on me completely before, even authorising me to make emergency statements in his name if anything untoward occurred during his tour. He had left me signatures on blank.....

Pg 42.....paper for the purpose, surely a sign of confidence. I hurried to his room, entered, shook hands, sat down, waited. The Old Man paused, fidgeted, his chin gave the quiver it always did when he was nervous.
"Well, Jack, you don't know what a task I've been having." That was a good negative start.
"I have an idea."
"One man," said the Prime Minister, "is much like another. And in New Zealand we have to pay attention to geography and choose men from various parts of the country."
I suppose I nodded.
"I haven't been able to put you in the Cabinet but I want you to be my parliamentary under-secretary."
"There is no such position in New Zealand."
"We'll create the position. I want you to work with me."
So there it was. In his anxiety to get rid of me completely, he had saddled himself with me completely. How farcical politics can be behind the cut and thrust of policy and person !
The Old Man seemed to be aware that something had to be done to rectify what he had left undone.
"I can assure you I shall share my salary with you in the meantime." Since ministers' salaries were already supposed to be pooled and shared with the rank and file that meant nothing. "I'll get you your office and a secretary and give you certain duties."
"Until all this is outlined in legislation it means nothing," I objected.
The Old Man's chin was quivering. Certainly I was not going to settle or be settled for a meaningless phrase.
"I'll go back to Auckland with the rest of the boys. Forget any appointment for me until you have provided for the place by legislation."
"No. I don't want that. I want to announce an appointment as I announce the cabinet.
"I'm not interested."
"Look, you will be in cabinet alongside of me."
"You mean I'll sit in cabinet and have a voice ?"
"Yes," he said. The Old Man's scheme of exclusion had come
undone.

Pg 43 - I knew I would accept that offer even if there were no office, no emoluments. The reason I wanted to be in cabinet was that it was there that decisions would be made, there that conflicts over policy would be resolved.
"Will you make a statement in caucus to that effect ?" "Yes. Leave it to me."
"I will not oppose it in the meanwhile."
"It's the best I could do."
But what he was doing he was doing under pressure. I retreated and awaited caucus.
Peter Fraser searched me out and begged me to accept. He said Walter Nash had spent much time trying to persuade the Prime Minister and had said that he, Nash, would work with me if I were made the Prime Minister's under-secretary. "Impossible," I thought. "I'll be Walter's chief goad."
Fraser told Dan Sullivan, about to be Minister of Industries and Commerce, to come and see me and persuade me to accept. because the job would soon be made an important one.
"I thought you would be in the first four selected," said Dan honestly. "You'll soon make yourself indispensable."
"No chance Dan," I said. "If I am `yes-man' to Joe Savage I'll
soon be his right hand man, I know. He'll want me to prepare his statements. But that is impossible. There may be a conflict of policy between Joe and myself. He'll soon want to get rid of his right hand man. Besides, he doesn't want me."
"No. But he knows he has to take you. Tell me, Jack, what went wrong? Why were you not in the first four?"
"Search me."
"You'll accept ?"
"At this moment I shall not refuse if Savage says I'll be in cabinet alongside of him. We shall see."
Mark Fagan, who was to be leader of the Upper House, came to see me.
"How did it happen, Jack ? I picked you after the Prime Minister, Peter Fraser, and Walter Nash." Mark had been asked to use his persuasions before the caucus meeting. "Take it, Jack, it will work out. You'll be next on the list."
"We'll see."

Pg 44 - My friend William Barnard, about to become first Labour Speaker, came to see me.
"Look," he said, believing what he said. "I cannot think of anything better. With you alongside Joe Savage, Walter Nash will not have the same influence. You'll do a 'great job. Take it and see how it works out. You worked with him during the election."
"Bill," I replied, "when you mix petrol and air under pressure and apply a spark you get an explosion. Joe cannot work with me even if compelled to pretend he can. But I will not resist in tonight's caucus. There are a lot of new members who do not know how our group forced a financial policy on Savage and Nash. I do not want to get off-side with these new M.P.s. I'll have to wait until an issue arises and then they will back either Savage or me according to whom they believe to be right. I'll shut up tonight."
At caucus that night the new cabinet was warmly greeted. Ironically, many M.P.s stood on their feet and congratulated Savage on appointing Lee to be his personal assistant, and were loud in praise of my abilities. I could see the twitching uneasiness of the Old Man at each mention of my name. To me the whole matter became a grim joke.
Cabinet was announced to the press. Some newspapers applauded the creation of a parliamentary under-secretaryship to the Prime Minister. I was photographed with Cabinet although I was not present when Cabinet was sworn in and photographed. It was agreed I would attend all Cabinet committees at which the business of the Prime Minister's Department was being discussed and that legislative provision to this end would be made subsequently.
But I had no illusions. "I'll go home and come back in a week when you get settled down," I said to the Prime Minister.
I went home to Auckland and wherever I went was congratulated. The farce had commenced and had to be played out. It was up to me to show willingness; failure would then be the fault of the Prime Minister. The Auckland Star for months car- tooned Prime Minister Savage as Don Quixote and me as Sancho Panza.

Pg 46 - I had fought my way to Parliament as a young man and was for three parliaments the youngest M.P. By age I belonged to the men who had seen service in World War One.....

Pg 47 ........The joiners and careerists came crowding in for positions even as we paused for the Christmas holidays. James Roberts, Party chairman, became important indeed. Big in muscle, but feeble in advocacy of Labour policy, he had been President of the Watersiders' Federation. In the difficult years he had been a Labour Conference non-entity; as union after union joined he became Conference boss. His Alliance of Labour had opposed even motherhood endowment. The introduction of the system of card votes was not far away, it would enable this man who had never contested a seat to become for 12 years the conference pope.
Arthur Cook had for years seen his union, the New Zealand Workers', carry resolutions at their annual conference to affiliate with the Labour Party and yet for years, as its secretary, he had prevented it from taking such action. He would soon be the paid boss of all the thousands of men who would be employed in public works by the Labour Government. He would have a union and a stipend once more. He was assured that an act of........

Pg 48 …........parliament would be passed to make trade unionism compulsory. Later, in return for the complete recognition of his union, he was to consent to the Labour Government's assuming the right to veto the choice by his fellows on public works of any man selected by them as job organiser. Now he agreed to affiliate his tens of thousands of workers. So yet another man who had done all he could to impede Labour became a power within the party able to discipline M.P.s......
......Legislation to compel all workers to join a union was to cause a fearful scramble for living bodies since each member represented a fee. There was never in history a gold rush like it. The...

Pg 49 ….snarling disputes of the body snatchers were to disturb the Labour Movement for a few years until everyone was registered, ticketed, regimented. By then unionism would be dead, for it would exist no loner on its organising power but on its right to enlist the services of commercial debt-collecting agency for the obligatory payment of dues.
Overnite, while we were still unaware of what was happening, the Labour monolith that was to spell death to the real Labour movement was being created.Compulsory registered unions would send delegates to dominate party organisations hitherto largely composed of devoted enthusiasts. The people who had refused to contribute money or to help in the long thrust upward would claim the right to rule because they suddenly paid most of the affiliation fees: suddenly our virile movement was undermined. The card vote take-over of Labour outdoes the takeover bids of capitalism. It is one of history's great grabs.
Before long the card vote would come. Branches of the Labour Party would in time be denied the right to communicate with one another on matters of policy except through the National Executive, which could refuse. Conference would adopt rules forbidding M.P.s or party members to publish political material without the consent of the National Executive. Democratic centralism (which is not democratic at all)) would replace the democracy which had made Labour great. Soon we would have a prime minister who was a party Fuhrer supported in all decisions by a group of placeholders able to control a movement to which few of them had given any service.......

Pg 52 - Maybe it was inevitable that a Savage-Lee conflict should arise. The Prime Minister represented an old unadventurous, uimaginative Labour period, whereas I came to political maturity during World War One and later the great depression. I am sure Savage always believed that by administration alone, with few changes in the law Labour could alter the nature of government.
In the days when the depression was approaching I had advocated a socialist bank and government credit issues. While men an mills were idle in tens of thousands during gluts of unconsumed materials I deplored the borrow our way out of the depression talk of some of the old Labour M.P.s and refuted their arguments. It would be time enough to borrow when goods were in short supply, when mills and factories were working overtime, I maintained.
Ten years before any other politician in New Zealand I was a advocating exchange control and
import selection which have now become permanent features of our economic life.
State use of the people's credit seemed to me to be the socialist answer to poverty amidst plenty, the control of social investment by direction and the granting of government credits. All this is now accepted but when I first advocated it, it was heretical even in Labour circles. Nash and Savage were followers of Snowden.
Frank Langstone, M.P. for Waimarino, and I became the two protagonists of this policy. Our speeches in Parliament aimed at converting the parliamentary Labour Party and carrying it with us.
Savage continued to believe we could borrow our way out of depression. He resented what Langstone and I were doing and could scarcely be civil in his fury at our advocacy of unorthodox methods.

Pg 53 - During a budget debate in the depth of the depression Savage, Nash, Parry and McCombs had tabled a resolution in caucus.
They wanted the Labour Opposition in Parliament to move that a certain sum of money be borrowed on the security of the unemployment fund and used to alleviate distress.
The time had arrived for a challenge. I became very active and lobbied every Labour M.P. I ensured a big caucus attendance. We would move, as an alternative, that credits be advanced by the Government-owned Reserve Bank so that we could invest our materials and idle man-power surplus in socially owned construction. We could see no reason at that moment for borrowing at a rate of interest. Surely the time had arrived for an issue of credit. Australian Labour was talking`issue'; in Britain tracts on money reform were flowing from Labour pens. In a world of plenty the dispossessed had no money. Even Roosevelt, later, talked our language. We thought the moment had come for the people to claim rights of issue for their own bank. The goods existed, why not create credits?
Caucus when it met, divided in a bitter debate in which Savage organised the advocates of borrowing and I the faction in favour of the State issue of credit. Caucus was adjourned four times. I think every member insisted on speaking. At the third meeting, Harry Holland ,then Leader of the Party, espoused our cause. I saw M.P.s taking their coats off to one another in that caucus, so bitter did the conflict become. The Savage-Parry-Nash-Fraser-McCombs resolution went down to a humiliating defeat, only Fred Jones of Dunedin South supporting the resolution. Nearly thirty Labour M.P.s voted for a credit issue including Harry Holland himself. We moved accordingly in Parliament.
Out of that debate had come a new finance policy in which, I am convinced, Nash never believed. In 1935 the Labour Party affirmed that the Government should have sole right over the issue and control of new credit. But in the meantime Holland had died. Savage, the oldest surviving private and deputy, had become Labour Leader and was on the road to the prime ministership. He never forgave me the humiliating defeat I had organised.
Prior to that caucus Savage used to tell everyone, both publicly.......

Pg 54 …..and privately, that I would be one of the first chosen in a Labour cabinet. After that defeat I knew that only a caucus vote would compel Savage to accept me. He became unfriendly from that day on.
Many apparently woolly and benevolent folk are capable of sustained malevolence when crossed. Fraser knew his man when he told me that when he had prevented Savage from becoming a candidate for the mayoralty of Auckland Savage had sulked and hated him for years.
I was not concerned about Savage's feeling, nor was Langstone. We were both concerned with the Party's adopting a progressive policy. We were to discover that recalcitrant men do not carry out bold and imaginative programmes.

In July 1962 the leader of the Labour Party, the Rt. Hon. W. Nash, made a lengthy statement in which he said : "Consistent with the needs of a sound economy, the State should create and use credit at the cost of issue for purposes of approved capital development. We are satisfied that the use of Reserve Bank Credit, within the limits set out is not only justified, but has already contributed much towards the Nation's economic well-being."
Thus, 27 years too late, Nash accepted the policy on which Labour was elected in 1935.............

Pg 58 – Factory production had become unprofitable. I wanted to see money issued for essential works until production flowed once more. I did not want to take over factories. I did want us to take over banking and the issue of credit. I did want us to use our credit to finance work so long as unemployment existed. I objected to New Zealand being made bankrupt because prices had fallen overseas. We should maintain our own price level and with it solvency. This attitude to price was indeed the genesis to our guaranteed price scheme. Twenty other voices in caucus urged the same thing I did.
But alone, perhaps, I sensed that if we issued internal credits and did not establish exchange control and import selection our credits would create demand for imports in excess of our London funds and create a financial crisis which would bring the Labour Government to its knees when it set out to renew London loans. To me exchange control and import selections, so that we could control the flow of credits and imports and maintain a reserve, was absolutely essential to socialist financial policy.
Pg 68 – I am sure that much of Labour’s success is a consequence of good or bad times. Labour was good for business after Nationalist bad business. The average Labour MP did want to restore purchasing power to the masses and that was in itself a fruitful idea. But there were no ideas as to how to change or gradually transform the economic system so that increased production could spell expanding incomes and greater leisure and fewer depressions by breaking the cursed cycle of capitalist inflation-deflation. For half a century Labour in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand had talked of socialising ‘the system’ but when the moment came for modest doses of the socialism for which the electorate had granted a mandate Labour either did not know or where there was knowledge, did not have the courage to make changes.
Pg 77 – A few days later the Prime Minister sent for me again. Nash had come up with a proposition. “We will make you the Under-Secretary in charge of housing. You will handle housing business as though you were a Minister. You will present housing to Cabinet, you will deal with housing business in Parliament. Walter will be your Minister, but he will be going to England by the time you get started and it will be up to you. We will introduce legislation the moment Parliament settles down. No one will get in your way.”
Will money be available from the Reserve Bank?” I asked.
This was a contentious Party issue. With tens of thousands of men on relief work the Labour Party, Nash and Fraser apart, believed that the funds of the Reserve Bank should be used for essential capital works until available men, machinery and materials were being fully employed. We wanted to undo the politically enforced Banker’s deflation. Nash wanted to stabilise deflation. We did not want to create money when men, materials and machinery were being fully engaged; at that point we believed the cost of works should be met out of revenue. But we were not prepared to create debt as long as goods, machinery and men were idle. That was the moment to use public credit.
Money will be made available from the Reserve Bank.” The Prime Minister made the promise.
Pg 90 – Although the power to underwrite and arrange fresh borrowings has been availed of rather than the power to make new issues, except where the issue is an overdraft, such as has been arranged for the dairy industry account, one definite issue has been arranged for. The Government has instructed the Reserve Bank to make five million pounds worth of credit available for housing purposes. These funds will be drawn upon by the Housing Account of the State Advances Corporation. All the funds so advanced will be used to create new assets in the form of houses and a straight out issue of money for the creation of such assets was considered justifiable. The instruction to the Reserve Bank, according to the Hon. Mr. Nash’s statement to Parliament, specifically prohibits the Reserve Bank from negotiating the sale of any portion of this issue, so that the whole issue is to be new money upon which the interest earned will belong in its entirety to the State. And the houses, of course, will belong to the State.
Pg 91 – In the halfway house of socialism-capitalism the evils of both systems are likely to afflict us if we are not careful. Labour must stimulate the production of such quantities of goods as are necessary to New Zealand’s welfare at an even higher standard. Capitalism cares only that the transaction yields a cash profit. To use a money machine to only create capital works and leave consumption goods to private finance is dangerous. Hence at some stage Labour must give effect to the Prime Ministers intention of making credit available to secondary industry. Production that may not be profitable at the overdraft rates of the trading banks may be so socially desirable as to necessitate freeing it from the profit system so that quantities can flow to the extent required by the nation.

Pg 133 - As the 1928-35 economic crisis receded the electorate remained pronouncedly conscious of monetary theory, of rates of interest and of development by State credit rather than by recourse to higher borrowing rates. The British Labour movement had the same lively awareness. G. D. H. Cole, Arthur Henderson and many other socialists who rejected the Douglas Credit mythology had become genuine social creditors. I distinguish between social credit and mystical Douglas Social Credit. The clamour for more intelligent use by the State of its own resources and for lower interest rates continued across the world, in the wake of the depression, until it was submerged in the clamour of the Second World War.
Our caucus resolution not only ordered exchange control but also that there should be no increase in the interest rate without the consent of caucus. But we did not trust the Old Man or Nash. Labour movements the world over had not recovered from Ramsay MacDonald's and Philip Snowden's determination to place the gold value of the pound above a life-time's loyalty to Labour (even though the gold standard was abandoned a week later).
During the election the Old Man at his vast evangelic meetings had made emotional affirmations, between the cheers, of his determination to use the "internal credit of the people" for public works, indeed for "loan-free public works", and had repeated assurances that Labour intended to reduce interest rates for public development.
But from the moment the M.P.s returned to their homes inspired news paragraphs started to suggest a return to orthodoxy to deal with our exchange crisis, a greater rate of interest to attract funk deposits, and maybe a lesser use of credit in New Zealand, a policy which contradicted everything Labour had........

Pg 134.... said about money since 1928. All this was easy for Walter Nash to swallow, but not for the rest of us. We knew that, sentimentally, the Old Man was with us, that he always talked our way, but we knew that in fact he would defend whatever brief Walter Nash put into his mouth. Any suggestion of a credit squeeze was abhorrent to us.

Pg 178 – Preparations were being made for the 1940 Conference; branches were appointing delegates in record numbers. I could count my friends by the hundred. Branches were three to one behind me (apart from areas where Catholic Action groups had intervened because of the rumour that I opposed the Old Man’s conversion). They sent me unsolicited promises of support.Dr. McMillan thought my article a good one and printed 1,000 copies of Psychopathology in Politics which he intended to distribute to Conference.
Some members of the National Executive, behind my back, grew active. Up till then there had been no card vote in the Labour party of the type that existed in Britain. Unions were allowed at Conference a number of votes proportionate to their membership. To this end their leading delegates were provided, at the opening of Conference, with a card showing the number of votes each could poll on behalf of his union. But full voting power could only be exercised if all the union’s branches were represented at Conference by delegates. Now a move was started to allow union presidents and secretaries to poll the full vote of a federation without such representation and without evidence that its members had been consulted.
James Roberts and David Wilson brought forward a proposal to allow the full card vote in such circumstances. The Party’s constitution clearly provided that alterations to the constitution had to be notified to branches by prior remit. 
Roberts and Wilson proposed to amend the rules by providing for the card vote in the Executive Report with which Conference opened. Endorsement of the Report would automatically amount to acceptance of the new provision. This was clearly a means of amending the constitution never contemplated. I knew that the jury was being…..
Pg 179 ……..loaded against me before Conference, but I was powerless. A member of the Labour party cannot apply to a Supreme Court for an injunction to prevent an illegal alteration of the rules, even when he knows the change is being made in order to hang him.
“They altered the rules regarding the composition of the jury after your trial was started,” a judge of the Supreme Court was to say to me later.As Conference drew near, so did Savage’s death while the Standard still assured Party members that he was in full charge of business. The daily press, however, was beginning to suggest that the Prime Minister’s condition was critical. Some of my following began to desert me. One member had written telling me he thought Psychopathology in Politics was one of the best things I had done and hoping that I would not “run away from its truth”. He went to earth as fast as political heels would carry him. It had taken him a lifetime to become an M.P., so who am I to judge him ?Nor did he ever raise his voice publicly afterwards, although he sent me many private and friendly communications. I do not blame him. The card-vote magnates were to be powerful in possession of tens of thousands of unconsulted votes of their members many of them conscripted into their unions by the compulsory legislation.
Intransigent as ever, Dr. McMillan wired from Dunedin that he had been informed that the Prime Minister’s life could only last a matter of days or even hours, and that an attempt would be made to end my political life.As Savage showed signs of dying before conference ended, Fraser made up his mind that I had to be expelled before Savage died.
Expulsion from the Labour Party is much like excommunication from the Communist Party or the Mediaeval church. The world is invited to spit upon the sinner. He has passed beyond the portals of decent treatment.

Pg 162 – My reason for telling the truth about the Old Man was not any wish to be a hero. I have never wanted to be one. Whenever I have heard young children recite:
“For how can men die better than facing fearful foes,” I have always mentally interjected, “ In bed, of old age, at peace.” I remember the day I won my D.C.M. At Messines. The line was held up, men went to earth. I jumped up. It was the only thing to do. No doubt an odd one had jumped up before me and had fallen with a gut full of machine-gun bullets. I jumped up because forward was the only way. As I jumped up to run I heard a voice, despite the thunder of the guns, say, “There goes a fellow for the V.C.” an observation that had not the slightest bearing on my conduct. I would not have risked a finger for twenty V.C.s. What I did was merely commonsense.

Pg 215 - “I did not only want to fight Hitler, who was himself the result of an evil economy, but to fight as well the economic conditions which would continue to sprout Hitlers.”
Pg 275 – If capitalists are still afraid of Labour as a conspiracy to overturn the profit system let them sleep in peace! The trade union magnates plan big unions and want power within their organisations. They do not inspire the Labour Party to action. They are only hangers on. They have rich appetites, they are more like the cartoonist Edgar Dysons fat man than the capitalists themselves. The idea that they are capable of a revolutionary conspiracy is unbelievably funny. Union secretaries are the new conservative class; they hate agitation. They love unions so big that the controllers are beyond reach of the rank and file, safe from criticism.

Pg 276 – Is Labour a conspiracy? Labour these days accepts the existing system. The only case that Labour puts forward is about how tax proceeds shall be shared. The present important task of Labour, and I am not belittling it, is to humanise the capitalist system, not to socialise or control it. Most of the M.Ps these days know nothing of capitalism or socialism. They have never read a tract on the capitalist crisis. Their loyalty is not to an idea, but to machine, to a job as an M.P.

Pg 215 - “I did not only want to fight Hitler, who was himself the result of an evil economy, but to fight as well the economic conditions which would continue to sprout Hitlers.”


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