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Thursday, 14 May 1942

Mr MORGAN - Much good work has been done by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited and similar organizations. There is an unfortunate tendency, however, to set up cartels by concentrating our war industries into fewer manufacturing concerns. The right honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Menzies), when Prime Minister, visited Great ^Britain and on his return announced a prospectus for the war effort. That prospectus has been followed in part by the Minister for War Organization of Industry. We were told that in Great Britain many of the smaller manufacturing concerns had been frozen for the duration of the war. It is safe to say that if they have been frozen for the duration, the last has been heard of them. In that country alone between 3,000 and 4,000 small concerns were placed in cold storage, and that seems to be the tendency here. Recently I referred to the electroplating industry and said that steps were being taken to concentrate 100 firms engaged in electroplating, mostly in connexion with war industry, into five large concerns. It would have meant setting up in the industry a virtual monopoly which probably would persist after the war. We all know from our experience how the cartels have brought about the present unfortunate world-wide conflict. Large concerns operating in Germany financed the Nazis into power because they realized that the people of Germany were moving towards a democratic form of government. In the same way, industrial magnates in Italy financed Mussolini in his march on Rome because it appeared to them that the people of Italy were veering towards a form of socialism. Similarly, in Japan, where a democratic form of government appeared to be developing since the end of the Great War. Under the influence of the large cartels operating in that country, the present leaders, who have linked up with the Axis and brought Japan into the war, were placed in power.

Mr Archie Cameron - Surely the honorable member does not believe that about Japan?

Mr MORGAN - Similar influences have been operating in almost every democratic country at present engaged in the war. Recently it was announced in the newspapers that the Gestapo's long arm had reached into Congress in the United States of America. A Sydney newspaper published the following statement : -

The " long arm " of the Gestapo forced George Hill, secretary of Representative Hamilton Fish (leading Isolationist) to lie last autumn to a grand jury investigating German propaganda, Prosecutor William Maloney declared in Washington District Court to-day.

Presenting the Government's summation at Hill's trial on two perjury charges, the prosecutor declared -

Hill is an important cog in the most vicious and effective propaganda machine the world has ever seen. It is so diabolically clever it was able to use the Halls of Congress to spread its lies and half-truths to divide and conquer us like France and Norway.

Key Men Smashed.

The United States Treasury has ousted and barred from the premises the five leading German-born executives of the General Aniline Corporation. This corporation is the American subsidiary of the giant German dye trust I.G. Farbenindistries. An official statement says the ousted executives have " prosonified for years Nazi domination over the company ". It adds: "Additional corrective actions will be forthcoming ".

I.G. Farbenindistries for years has not only organized Nazi economic influence throughout the world, but has carried out industrial and military espionage under cover of harmless commercial activity.

Following that article, there were disclosures during an inquiry in the United States of America in relation to the Standard Oil Company. I quote another newspaper report -

Standard Oil and other big business corporations are again under fire.

Irving Lipkowitz, a Justice Department spokesman, alleges that Standard Oil's own files disprove the company's claim that its association with the German I.G. Farben benefited the United States. "United States patents issued to I.G. Farben were manipulated with disconcerting frequency to hamper rather than to stimulate production in the United States " the spokesman said.

The Justice Department told the Senate Patents Committee that the Britishdominated Dutch Shell Company co-operated with the Germans in breaking the British blockade after the outbreak of war. Shell did not break off negotiations with I.G. Farben until the day Queen Wilhelmina fled Holland.

The newspaper extracts which I have read indicate how certain influences have been operating against the democracies in other parts of the world. Similar tendencies are now in evidence in this country. I have referred previously to the Aluminium Trust which has spread its tentacles to this country. The records of the Registrar-General in Sydney show that, prior to the outbreak of the war, that concern, known as the British Aluminium Company, was linked up with I.G. Farbenindistries, Germany. After the war started, the name was altered and the shareholding interests of the German concern were deleted from the records of the company. Have those interests vanished into thin air or have arrangements been made similar to those arrived at under the cartels in other parts of the world, where, it has been shown, certain arrangements have been made in relation to the post-war position ? The disclosures in regard to the Standard Oil Company show that at the time the United States of America came into the war the Standard Oil Company was negotiating a post-war plan for trading with Japan through the Mitsui interests. Similar arrangements applied to machine tools. It was disclosed in this House re cently that zinc and lead were being shipped to Japan just prior to that country entering the war, because there was no arrangement with that country for the exchange of machine tools. Obviously a reciprocal agreement should have been made.

The influences of the major oil companies are still being felt in Australia. Some time ago the United States Government offered Australia financial assistance under the lease-lend legislation. When it appeared that steps would be taken by the authorities handling the matter on behalf of Australia to endeavour to obtain lubricating oils under the lease-lend arrangement, certain of the major oil companies went to considerable pains to stop the proposal. A representative of the oil companies visited the United States armed with credentials from the government in office at that time. He made every effort to induce the lease-lend authorities to prevent lubricating oil from being imported to Australia under the arrangement, and asked that the oils should come in through the major oil companies, and be paid for in the usual way. Where is the patriotism of the shareholders in those companies? Lubricating oil was costing Australia millions of pounds, but the major oil companies were so patriotic, and were so concerned for the interests of Australia, that they made every endeavour to prevent the oil from coming to this country under the lease-lend arrangement. They did not cease when their efforts in the United States were unsuccessful, because the companies endeavoured to use their influence through local authorities here. I am pleased to say that the present government took a definite stand, with the result that lubricating oil does come into Australia under the lease-lend agreement, despite the efforts of the major oil companies.

Many shale oil concerns and other organizations are anxious to produce synthetic petrol for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth, but certain influences are endeavouring to prevent an extension of those operations. I have continually endeavoured to induce the Government to utilize for the extension of our war industries small factories which are at present idle in New South Wales.

Mr Barnard - New South Wales is not the only State in which there are idle factories.

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