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Bert Kelly, One More Nail (Adelaide: Brolga Books, 1978), ch. 7, pp. 74-84.

I returned to Australia in April, 1961, having been a Member of Parliament since November 1958 without having struck a real blow for tariff reform as my father was quick to point out. I pleaded that the other things I was doing were useful as well as more exciting, and much more in keeping with my past experience. After all, I knew a lot about farming and all too little about tariffs, and I also had an uneasy feeling that learning about tariffs was not only going to be hard work but it was going to be dull too.

In 1961 only a few odd people worried about tariffs. Although the farmers would not admit it, there was a lot of fat in farming so we were able to carry the extra burden that the tariff imposed on us as exporters. And secondary industry had the protection of import licencing which had been necessary to protect our currency position which had been so serious. And secondary industry people were usually confident that, if they could make it, there wouldn’t really be much difficulty in selling it. So with competition so limited and the domestic opportunities so easy, it is not surprising that there was not much interest in the cause of tariff reform. “Why worry?” was the natural reaction — “Things are going along O.K., and there is nothing to worry about. If any industry is in trouble we can afford  to give it some more protection, so what are the theorists worrying about with their moaning about the cost of protection? If there is a cost, which we deny, the export industry can afford to carry it.”

So it was not surprising that there were only a few academics who were interested in having a lower tariff system. The most authoritative of these was Dr Max Corden of A.N.U. And most of the journalists had long put tariffs into the too uninteresting baskets. A shining exception was Alan Wood who wrote for the Australian Financial Review, and to a lesser extent Max Newton, who was for a time a power in the newspaper world.

And there was then almost no political interest in tariff reform. I had expected that the Country Party would have been interested but they were completely under the domination of the Minister for Trade, Mr McEwen who had been and still was, the main architect of our policy of protection at almost any price. And if the Liberals, the other part of the coalition government, had any ideas of their own, they were careful not to speak about them. And the Labor Party had not had a thought about tariffs for years, except to think that if fairly high tariffs were helpful, even higher tariffs would, no doubt, be even more helpful. In short, there was no political interest in lower tariffs.

It was into this pleasant pool of apathy, that the new Member for Wakefield, with the clover burrs still in his hair, was about to launch himself, pushed from behind by his father and the ghost of Charles Hawker. It is true that I had a somewhat hazy idea that the tariff was hurting my farmers and as farming was the only aspect of the economy I really understood, I had an uneasy feeling that something should be done about reducing tariffs. But I must admit now that I didn’t really understand the problem, nor was I quite certain why I was as worried as I appeared to be.

But one thing I did know and that was it wasn’t sensible to get into the tariff battle unless I knew far more about the subject than I did, so for the next few years I immersed myself in the wretched subject. Now, when we have the services of a research assistant as well as a secretary, and when Members are also serviced by the research section of the Parliamentary Library, the work we then got through would have been creditable. But to do it as we did, almost alone, seems almost impossible. I was very fortunate in having a wonderful secretary, Mrs Heley who was not only hard working and competent, but she had also been reared as a single taxer, so had a fanatical belief in the rightness of our cause.

It is true that my understanding of the damage done by high tariffs was rather limited. I understood, of course, that the farmer had to pay the price for a tariff on headers of weedicides or something that the farmer used. And I had taken the next step in understanding the problems; I knew that the farmer, if he was an exporter, eventually paid the price for a tariff on something he didn’t use. For instance, the farmer would eventually have to pay the cost of a tariff imposed on brassieres, even though neither he nor his wife used brassieres. The increased cost of these garments would eventually get built into the cost of living and then into wages. Other sections of the economy would pass on the increased costs to other sections until the burden came to the chap at the end of the line, the exporter who had no one on whom he could unload his burden. He could, of course, rightly claim that his costs too had been increased, but his overseas client who was buying his wheat would be unmoved by this plea. “How very sad,” he would say, “but I can get my wheat at the old price from Canada.”

Although the fact that the exporter pays the price for tariff protection in the end is recognised by economists, farmers and their organisations seem to have more difficulty in understanding that they are being raped. This must be the explanation for their apathy, which, in turn, would explain the indifference of their representatives in Parliament about the weight of the tariff burden. The fact that I, at least, understood that simple economic fact, set me to some extent apart from my colleagues, and made me more impatient with them than I should have been.

Still, I admit my knowing that the exporter paid the price for tariff protection was a very narrow view of the problem. But my horizons widened gradually. The first change came when I began to get a reputation for being interested in the subject and manufacturers whose position had been damaged by high duties imposed on their raw materials began coming to me asking for help in getting these duties reduced. Mostly they were careful to ring me up rather than write because they didn’t want to get into trouble with their industry organisations or with their fellow manufacturers. It would have been more helpful if they had been prepared to say in public what they said in private. But at least I began to learn what every student of economics knew, that tariff duties impose burdens on user industries as well as exporters, though in most cases these user industries can pass their burden along to some other sector in the end.

However, the way the tariff issue developed must wait awhile. In 1961-2 I was first trying to understand the problem and then trying to get Parliament to take some interest, and this wasn’t easy. To say that my message was received with indifference would be an understatement of immense proportions. I used to be able to empty the House quicker than any other Member, and believe me, the competition was not negligible. Lorna, bless her heart, used to be so sorry for me that she used to come over to Canberra if she knew I had a series of tariff speeches looming. She would then sit doggedly in the Speaker’s Gallery (there was never a great demand for seats while I was speaking) and it was some comfort to know that she was there. On one such occasion she was sitting there alone when the then Member for Lawson, Mr Failes, a member of the Country Party, came wandering into the House accompanied by one of his constituents who was a real bushie of the old school who had been brought up to know that tariffs really mattered. They sat down by Lorna and Mr Failes immediately lapsed into his usual somnulent state. But his constituent, sitting next to Lorna, started to listen to what I was saying. I was quite excited to have someone besides Lorna actually listen to my message so I put a bit of beef into it. Suddenly the bushie could stand it no longer as he dug Failes in the ribs and said “Listen to this bloke, Laurie, he’s actually talking sense.” But Laurie Failes, unhappy at being woken in this way, grunted and then said so that Lorna could hear all to clearly, “Perhaps he is but we do get awful sick of him.”

So it wasn’t easy to get the House interested in tariffs. One of the reasons for this was that I was, and am, a dull speaker about any subject, but on a dull subject like tariffs I was unsurpassed. I used to try desperately to improve my performance and here again, Lorna used to help as well as she could. On one of her visits to Canberra, after I had performed particularly badly, she suggested that it would be a good idea if we put in a bit of time practising. So that night, in our modest room at the Kurrajong Hotel, we arranged that I would read over a speech that I had to make the next day and she would listen to it, time me and criticise me. So she got in to her cot and I read my speech through with more than usual feeling. When I had finished I asked, “How long, dear?” There was no answer, she was fast asleep already!

But I did have some lucky breaks. One was that the Minister for Trade, Mr McEwen couldn’t help losing his temper with me. I could understand this because he had been getting how own way about tariffs for years and it must have been irritating to have this almost incoherent farmer taking him on in rather an irreverent way. He used to get very cross with me in the Party Meetings but this was in private. But on one occasion he lost his temper with me in the House, and his helped me no end. In November 1962 I asked him a loaded but innocent looking question about the independence of the Tariff Board which I thought was under challenge by the way the Government was treating it. The Hansard record only gives the text of Mr McEwen’s reply, but there was no mistaking the venom of his tone when he almost lost control of himself towards the end of the answer. I tried to look greatly hurt but I was well content because I knew that Mr McEwen had drawn attention to my cause in a way I could not have done.

I followed this question with another. It again dealt with the vital question of the independence of the Tariff Board. But, remembering Mr McEwen’s bitter attack on me the last time, I began by saying that this question was without notice but with trepidation. As Mr McEwen stood up to answer, Charlie Adermann sitting alongside him, pulled him by the coat tails, and whispered, “Steady, Jack, steady.” This did not pass unnoticed in the press gallery, so I found that tariffs were gradually getting in the public eye.

Then Mr Anderson, the secretary of the Association Chamber of Manufacturers, which then as now was the leader of the protection at any price lobby, used to attack me and this was a great help, particularly as there was sometimes a personal bite to what he said. I was very grateful for his assistance because he was keeping my cause and me before the public eye in a way I could not have done on my own. I rang him up on his retirement and thanked him for all his help. I still don’t know if he thought I was in earnest.

But shortly an event occurred that put tariffs on the front page of every paper in the country. The Chairman of the Tariff Board at that time was Sir Leslie Melville, a very distinguished economist. I have mentioned previously that I had been concerned because I felt that the true independence of the Board was under threat by the treatment meted out to it by the Government. Evidently Sir Leslie Melville was concerned also.

We must pause here and see why it was important that the Tariff Board of those days, and the Industries Assistance Commission (I.A.C.) of today should not only be, but also should appear to be, truly independent. I have the same anxiety about the independence of the I.A.C. now as I had about the Tariff Board then. Both bodies should be seen to be independent because, once tariffs are thought to be a pawn in the political process, once factories located in particular electorates can be seen to be getting particular tariff advantages by leaning on particular politicians, particularly Ministers, then all objectivity in tariff making would be lost. This was the reason that Mr Bruce appointed the Tariff Board in the 1920’s. If it were expertise only that was required, the Government could have built up the Department of Trade to supply it. But then the tariff making process would be clearly seen to be under the direction of the Minister, with endless opportunities for “pork-barrelling”. This is why I was so concerned when Mr McEwen said that the Tariff Board was expected to keep within its sights statements as made from time to time by Ministers. What kind of independence would they have then?

In November 1962 Sir Leslie Melville announced that he was resigning but he did not say why though some of us had a pretty good idea. I raised the matter briefly in the Party meeting on November 7th but there was not enough time to discuss the matter property but I was told by Sir Robert Menzies that I could continue the discussion at the Party meeting next week. I knew then that I had a real battle on my hands and that it would be wise if I stayed in Canberra for the weekend and did some homework, knowing as I did that bearding Mr McEwen in his den was likely to be a rather messy business, with a lot of blood splattered on the walls.

So I staying in Canberra and on Friday I rang Alan Carmody, later the head of the Prime Minister’s Department, but then one of the top men in Trade. The matter we were discussing was not related to the Melville affair but after we had disposed of the first subject Carmody volunteered the information that Sir Leslie Melville was going to make a statement over the weekend saying when he was resigning. When I asked what was the reason Carmody replied that Sir Leslie evidently felt that the independence of the Board was in jeopardy so he must resign. I thanked Carmody for his information and retired to my sister’s home in Canberra to gird my loins for battle and to be handy to a radio so that I could catch the full text of Sir Leslie’s press statement.

However, there was no such statement, so on Monday I rang Carmody and expressed my disappointment that Sir Leslie’s statement had not appeared. He said that he too was surprised and could not understand why. But he knew, and I knew that he knew, that very strong pressure had been brought to bear on Sir Leslie to prevent him saying what I had been told was in his press release. I then told Carmody that at least I had the satisfaction of knowing why Sir Leslie had resigned. Then I added the rider that when the matter was resumed in the Party meeting on Wednesday and when Mr McEwen said that no one knew why Sir Leslie resigned I would be able to pipe up from the back of the room, “I know and I can tell you who told me.” “You wouldn’t do it, Bert, you would not be such a sod surely.” I replied that I feared I would find the temptation to get McEwen and him with the one barrel was almost irresistible. Then I left him to sweat it out.

One the Tuesday I showed the then Member for Deakin, Frank Davis, what I had prepared for Wednesday’s Party meeting. Frank was a wise old bird who had come through the mangle with Menzies in the days of the U.A.P. I do not usually write out what I was going to say at Party meetings, but in this case I felt that the occasion was justified. Frank read what I had written with obvious distaste and then advised me not to go on with it. “Now look here, Frank,” I protested, “I didn’t show it to you to find out whether I should go on with it or not. I showed it to you seeking your help to strengthen it, not cutting its plurry throat.” “Well, I still say, don’t go on with it, not when we only have a majority of one as we have now.” But I insisted on my right to continue and we parted on that basis.

The Party meeting the next day was a queer mixed up affair. I opened up and then was getting a surprising amount of support from all around the room when Menzies got to his his feet and fell on me from his Olympian height. This was quite unusual, because he always used to let the Ministers fight their own battles, particularly those as good with their fists as McEwen. Having demolished me he invited McEwen to finish me off. McEwen started off by saying in a challenging way that no one knew why Sir Leslie Melville resigned, and I bit back my answer. Perhaps I was wrong, perhaps I should have been more ruthless and not so much of a gentleman.

As we went out of the Party meeting that day I said to Frank Davis that I thought that Menzies had been a bit rough intervening as and when he did. “I reckon I had enough support in the room to really worry McEwen until the Old Man got into the act. I wonder why he did it?” I said. “Ask me that question in six months time,” David muttered out of the side of his mouth. (He mostly spoke out of the side of his mouth. I think it was a relic of his stockbuying days.)

So six months to the day I bailed Davis up and he told me the story. Because of their past close associations and because he was a wise old bird, there was a very close relationship between Davis and Menzies, so Davis always had easy access to the Old Man. So when he had read what I had prepared for the Party meeting and when I had declined to accept his advice to withdraw from the fray, he had gone to see the Prime Minister, told him what I was up to and what I was going to say and advised the P.M. to get me early. I suppose he was justified in behaving that way because we then only had a majority of one and the great big rock I was about to give the boat would have been a bit awkward. I guess it was a case of the game being more than the player of the game and the ship being more than the crew.

Learning from experience, the next time I had an awkward problem such as this to handle, I took it round to Menzies to get his advice. I had in my possession a newspaper cutting which was a report of an election meeting at Wangaratta which fair city contains the textile factory of Bruck Mills. Mr McEwen was supporting Mr Holten, the Country Party candidate and in the course of his remarks was reported as saying, “As long as I am Minister for Trade, Brucks will be all right.” This was an example of how tariff matters should not be handled and why it was so important to have a truly independent Tariff Board. I left this quotation with the Prime Minister, making sure that I had a spare copy for myself. You can see that I was learning. The P.M. read it, grunted and then told me to leave it with him. Three weeks later I was summoned into the presence. He was seated at his big desk, looking very grumpy. He handed the cutting back and said, “Use it when and how you like, my boy, I am sick of the sod.”

I did not wait to find out how McEwen had got under his skin. I just grabbed the cutting and left before he changed his mind. Then we had a debate on the subject and everyone thought I was awful rocking the boat by quoting the paragraph, and I couldn’t tell that I had the P.M.’s blessing, but I did tell Davis.

Some people say that Menzies was intolerant and impatient of lesser people who disagreed with him. I certainly did not find him so; I found him both helpful and understanding though of course he would clobber you properly if necessary. And the Leader of the Opposition, Arthur Caldwell, was helpful also. During one tariff debate, after almost every one on both sides of the House had had a piece of me, Arthur called me over and said, “I don’t agree with what you are saying, Bert, but I will defend your right to say it. Don’t let them frighten you.”

There were other people who were helpful. Ministers would pass me in the corridors and after a quick look around to see that no one was watching, they would urge me to keep going even if it killed me because I was doing more good than I knew. And on one occasion after I was extra sorry for myself because I felt I was getting nowhere, a Minister called me into his office and showed me two Cabinet papers, one written before and one after a Party room debate on tariffs. There was certainly a great difference between the two documents. So perhaps it was worthwhile, but it was awful hard work, kicking uphill and against the wind all the time.

(in order of appearance on
  1. Bert Kelly on his journalism
  2. Move for a body of Modest Members
  3. Modest Members Association
  4. Bert Kelly's Maiden Parliamentary Speech
  5. Government Intervention
  6. 1976 Monday Conference transcript featuring Bert Kelly
  7. Bert Kelly, Hayek and Mencken on the virtues of farmers
  8. Sound economics calls for quiet from government
  9. Petrol for Farmers
  10. Some Sacred Cows
  11. Experiences in Parliament
  12. Spending your Money
  13. Is Taxmania a politician fetish?
  14. Too many car men in the feather bed
  15. The Kangaroo Population Bomb
  16. How Bert Kelly repays a free feed
  17. Reining in the human rights horse
  18. Modest column #898
  19. Chicken-hearted feathered friends strange bedfellows on a feather bed?
  20. Who needs literary licence?
  21. A touch of Fred's anarchy
  22. Helping the farmers help themselves
  23. Standing on the shoulders of the downtrodden
  24. Supply and Demand
  25. Bert Kelly responds to claims he is arrogant and uncredentialed
  26. Politics: it's a very confusing business
  27. The best featherbeds run on rails
  28. Bert Kelly on Disaster Relief
  29. Bert Kelly Wants to Secede
  30. Blinded by their tears
  31. Anti-freedom pro-tobacco industry lobby harmed Australia
  32. Under Labor, is working hard foolish?
  33. An Idiot's Guide to Interventionism
  34. Is free priceless healthcare worthless?
  35. Can government kiss it better?
  36. Bert Kelly Destroys the Side Benefits Argument for Government
  37. Bert Kelly gets his head around big-headed bird-brained politics
  38. First Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  39. Second Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  40. Third Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  41. Fourth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  42. Fifth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  43. Sixth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  44. Bert Kelly on the 2011 Budget and Australia's Pathetic Journalists and Politicians
  45. Bert Kelly, Bastard or Simple Sod?
  46. Liberal Backbencher Hits Govt. Over Import Restrictions
  47. Bert Kelly feels a dam coming on at each election
  48. Bert Kelly Enters Parliament
  49. Why take in one another's washing?
  50. Bert Kelly breaks the law, disrespects government and enjoys it
  51. Gillard's galley-powered waterskiing
  52. State Premiers are always asking for more taxing powers
  53. Can price control really work?
  54. Should we put up with socialism?
  55. We're quick to get sick of socialism
  56. Time the protection racket ended
  57. Can't pull the wool over Farmer Fred
  58. People not Politics
  59. Bert Kelly admits he should have had less faith in politicians
  60. The inspirational incentivising Dear Leader Gough Whitlam
  61. Labor: a girl who couldn't say no
  62. Why leading businessmen carry black briefcases
  63. Ludwig von Mises on page 3 of AFR
  64. Bert Kelly's empowering feminism
  65. Another shot at motor car madness
  66. Mavis wants the Modest Member to dedicate his book to her
  67. What if the whole country is swindled?
  68. Moss Cass: "Flood plains are for floods"
  69. A worm's eye view
  70. Eccles returns to haunt us
  71. How to grip a politician's ear
  72. It's hard to digest this economic cake
  73. Time to Butcher "Aussie Beef"
  74. Cold water on government-instigated irrigation schemes
  75. Hooray for Ord River Dam!
  76. Tariffs paid by exporters
  77. The problem of principles v popularity
  78. If you support State Quotas, where will your logic take you?
  79. Against guidance by government
  80. A socialist in Liberal clothing
  81. Never ask the government to help
  82. Don't listen to economists!
  83. Bert Kelly's revolutionary strategy
  84. Welfare state incentivises bludging and being thrown out of work
  85. It all sounds like bloody politics to Fred
  86. Mavis wants me to get in for my chop
  87. Whitlam's July 1973 25% tariff cut
  88. Bert Kelly on Import Quotas
  89. Good directions when government backseat driving, like reversing down wrong side of road
  90. Barriers to imports are barriers to exports
  91. "I was right" — but he's off to hospital ...
  92. Kicking the multinationals is too easy
  93. Bert Kelly reviews The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop
  94. Bert Kelly reviews We Were There
  95. Tariffs get the fork-tongue treatment
  96. Bert Kelly reduces government to its absurdities
  97. Politician sacrifices his ... honesty
  98. It's all a matter of principle
  99. Bert Kelly Destroys the Infant Industry Argument
  100. Bert Kelly Untangles Tariff Torment
  101. Bert Kelly resorts to prayer
  102. Eccles keeps our nose hard down on the tariff grindstone
  103. "Don't you believe in protecting us against imports from cheap labour countries?"
  104. Even if lucky, we needn't be stupid
  105. Great "freedom of choice" mystery
  106. Small government's growth problem
  107. I like my kind acts to get a mention in the press
  108. A Modest Member rakes the embers
  109. Tariffs Introduced
  110. More About Tariffs
  111. Sacred cow kicker into print
  112. Bert Kelly's 1984 two-article quote-collection on Aboriginal policies
  113. Modest Member must not give up
  114. Traditional Wheat Farming is Our Birthright and Heritage and Must be Protected!
  115. Tariff-cut nonsense lives on
  116. Bert Kelly brilliantly defends "theoretical academics"
  117. The high cost of protection
  118. Generosity creates problems
  119. The Society of Modest Members
  120. Is this an illogical, soft, complicated, unfocussed and unsuccessful attempt to communicate the case for markets?
  121. Modesty ablaze
  122. Case for ministers staying home
  123. The unusual self-evident simplicity of the Modest Members Society
  124. Animal lib the new scourge of the bush
  125. The Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Krill
  126. modest members society
  127. Repeal economic laws, force people to buy new cars and enforce tariffs against overseas tennis players
  128. Thoughts on how to kill dinosaurs
  129. Let's try the chill winds
  130. Taking the Right's road
  131. Bert Kelly: "I did not try often or hard enough"
  132. Bert Kelly "lacked ... guts and wisdom"
  133. A look at life without tariffs
  134. The Gospel according to Bert
  135. Tiny note on Bert Kelly's column in The Bulletin in 1985
  136. Why costs can't be guaranteed
  137. Hitting out with a halo
  138. Paying farmers not to grow crops will save on subsidies, revenge tariffs, etc
  139. "The Modest Farmer joins us" | "How The Modest Farmer came to be"
  140. Bert Kelly Destroys the Freeloading Justifies Government Argument
  141. Industrial Relations Club shovellers
  142. From Shann to Stone
  143. Government Intervention
    Government Interference
  144. A sojourn in the real world
  145. The tariff wind swings
  146. Bigger Cake = Bigger Slices
  147. Bert Kelly on the Political Process
  148. A charabanc called protection
  149. Taken for a ride - to nowhere
  150. Down hill, in circles, all the way
  151. Economic facts and figures are statistics who should speak out
  152. Any cons arguing small business bad but big government good?
  153. Relationships with the Liberal Party
  154. Tariffs = High Prices + World War
  155. Bert Kelly's Family History
  156. Bert Kelly's Pre-Parliament Life
  157. What the MP could say to the Bishop
  158. Why Bert Kelly was not even more publicly outspoken
  160. How to stand aside when it's time to be counted
  161. How the Modest Member went back to being a Modest Farmer
  162. My pearls of wisdom were dull beyond belief
  163. Bert Kelly on Political Football
  164. Undigested morsels in Fraser spew
  165. Bert Kelly on LSD
  166. Bert Kelly reflects on the Australian car industry in 1992
  167. Bert Kelly wants reprinted Shann's Economic History of Australia
  168. If tariffs are opposed here then why not there?
  169. The emperor has no textiles, clothing and footwear sense
  170. Ross Gittins Wins Bert Kelly Award
  171. Interesting 1964 Bert Kelly speech: he says he is not a free trader and that he supports protection!
  172. This is the wall the Right built
  173. The Impertinent Society: Cheeky MPs take Mr Anthony at his word
  174. Tariff Protection in Australia (1970)
  175. Has Santa socked it to car makers?
  176. Is the Budget a cargo cult?
  177. Will we end up subsidising one another?
  178. Keeping the bucket of worms alive
  179. Can we get off the stomach-churning head-spinning tariff merry-go-round?
  180. Do we want our money to fly?
  181. Can a bear be sure of a feed?
  182. How to impress your MP -
    ambush him
  183. The time for being nice to our MPs has gone ...
  184. Don't feel sorry for him -
    hang on to his ear
  185. Trade wars can easily end up on a battlefield
  186. Tariffs Create Unemployment
  187. Bert Kelly recommends Ayn Rand
  188. Bert Kelly on Alf Rattigan's Industry Assistance: The Inside Story
  189. Bert Kelly's Satirical Prophecy: Minister for Meteorology (tick) and High Protectionist Policies to Result in War Yet Again (?)
  190. Bert Kelly in 1972 on Foreign Ownership of Australian Farmland and Warren Truss, Barnaby Joyce and Bill Heffernan in 2012
  191. Bert Kelly baits Welfare State Tiger
  192. Why does Govt wear two faces?
  193. Parliament a place for pragmatists
  194. Of Sugar Wells and Think-Tanks
  195. Bert Kelly: "I must take some of the blame"
  196. Bert Kelly on dumping duties
  197. The Govt's helping hand often hurts
  198. Unbuckling the hobbles on the motor industry
  199. A Modest Farmer looks at the Problems of Structural Change
  200. Government Fails Spectacularly
  201. Know your proper place if you want the quiet life
  202. Bert Kelly on political speech writers
  203. Having your cake and eating it
  204. Perish the thawed!
  205. Hooray for Northern Development!
  206. Politicians can resist everything except pressure
  207. The silly image of our MPs
  208. Bert Kelly Question Time highlights
  209. Modest Farmer sees his ideas take hold
  210. Should facts stand in the way of a good story?
  211. Fondling one another's glass haloes
  212. What is the sense in making the effort to look after yourself?
  213. Fred's Feeling: Counterpatriotic country contrarian
  214. Handouts for big boys only
  215. Mavis trying to buy a hand loom
  216. Bad news for bearers of bad news
  217. Is it time to get aboard the tariff band-waggon?
  218. Why farmers resent tariff protection for motor makers
  219. A sordid use of scare tactics
  220. Goods vs services
  221. Tariffs are hilariously counterproductive
  222. The dilemmas of Aboriginal Affairs
  223. Bert Kelly on decentralisation
  224. Inflation breeds moral decay
  225. Who envies equality?
  226. Growth – malignant or benign?
  227. Government wiser than Magna Carta
  228. Bert Kelly on looking to politicians for moral leadership
  229. Max Newton: Maverick in Exile
  230. Whitlam & co on the Dismissal
  231. 25% Tariff Cut
  232. Bert Kelly on pensions
  233. The plotting powers of Mavis nag martyr to snag compo
  234. The backseat drivers of the Pilbara
  235. Mr Clunies-Ross of the Cocos Islands should rule Australia
  236. They get the wind up when it changes
  237. Why the Big Green Lie survives
  238. Ross McLean in 1982: "Malcolm! Why don't we try good government? It might be popular."
  239. Bert Kelly on the importance of exchange rate movements
  240. Bert Kelly shows how to attack
  241. Bert Kelly vs Bert Kelly vs Bert Kelly
  242. Industrial relations dinosaur, Bruce, chews his cud
  243. Hooray for "firmly entrenched"!
  244. Respect your dinosaurs
  245. What if something is "deeply ingrained" yet harmful?
  246. A case for ministerial inertia
  247. Why politicians don't like the truth
  248. Punemployment: people are neither numbers nor puzzle pieces; the platitude attitude
  249. Our great open spaces ... an empty blessing
  250. Heart in right place but head missing
  251. Ominous dark clouds are gathering
  252. Proverb vs proverb
  253. Better to be popular than right
  254. Crying in the wilderness
  255. Ivory tower needs thumping
  256. Bert Kelly asks, "How can you believe in free enterprise and government intervention at the same time?"
  257. Politicians get undeserved praise, why not undeserved blame too?
  258. Feet in a bucket of champagne
  259. Rural Problems
  260. Health cover needs a $30 excess clause
  261. Unholy state of taxation
  262. Boring economics worth a smile
  263. The Libido for the Miserable
  264. Agricultural Development and Tariffs
  265. Fred's too poor to have principles
  266. Eccles Law of the constant wage share
  267. "He whom the gods would destroy ..."
  268. Low tariff torch burnt Eccles' fingers
  269. A cow of a car — with dual horns
  270. Tariffs: when to wean infant BHP?
  271. Keep any government as far as possible from farming
  272. The Playford charade is out of date
  273. Bert Kelly: the odd man out who's now in
  274. Dries must resist giving up struggle as going gets tough
  275. How a well meaning Government can be so stupid
  276. The icing on the economic cake
  277. Sir Roderick Carnegie's foreword to Bert Kelly's Economics Made Easy
  278. The Vale of Popularity and the Protection Procession
  279. Politics 101: Pay Lip Service to Capitalism and Shoot the Messenger
  280. Bert Kelly makes politicians eat their own words on tariffs, then says, "We cannot be blamed for treating the statements of our statesmen with cynical contempt"
  281. Bert Kelly on Free Enterprise
  282. Cartoons of protected industry, the welfare teat and the nanny state
  283. Bert Kelly on the theory of constant shares and the Fabian Society
  284. Bert Kelly vs Doug Anthony
  285. You're lucky if you escape being helped by government
  286. Bert Kelly on Small Farmers
  287. Bert Kelly on Apathy
  288. Bert Kelly in 1967 on "problems of government and things like that"
  289. The last "Dave's Diary"
  290. Bert Kelly vs The Australian on tariffs in 1977
  291. Bounties or Tariffs, Someone Pays
  292. Geriatric companies without a minder
  293. A free marketeer wary of free trade
  294. Nixon's puzzling profession of faith
  295. "Ford ... seems to spend more time bending its knees than its back"
  296. Clyde Cameron's weak ways with wise words
  297. Why flaunt what others flout?
  298. Bert Kelly yearns for Tim Flannery's powers of prediction
  299. Looking after yourself is silly
  300. Bert Kelly masterpiece on drought, fire, flood and other natural disaster relief schemes
  301. Government can take credit for our car industry mess
  302. Car makers want the 4wd driven deeper into tariff bog
  303. Why our MP is no longer prone to a good sob story
  304. Auto industry is in a straitjacket
  305. Bert Kelly on market predictions
  306. Why should dryland farmers subsidise irrigation farmers?
  307. How much should government decrease incentive for independence from government?
  308. Clarkson crowned Deputy Government Whip
  309. Bert Kelly to blame for soaring government healthcare costs
  310. 1959 return of Dave's Diary
  311. Bert Kelly in 1966 on developing northern Australia
  312. Successful government intervention can [sic] occur
  313. Vernon Report upholds Clarkson
  314. Quiet Man Makes An Impact
  315. Should it be compulsory to buy footwear and clothing?
  316. To save Australian clothing industry women must all wear same uniform
  317. Don't confuse plucking heart strings with plucking harp strings
  318. Speech only for public
  319. Catchy Tariff Circus Extravaganza
  320. Bert Kelly in 1985 on cars yet again
  321. Hurrah for the Gang of Five
  322. Thoughts on a verse about Balfour
  323. Bert Kelly pep talk to politicians
  324. Government intervention = Agony postponed but death brought nearer
  325. Recipe for disaster: Freeze!
  326. Recipe for government intervention: Gather winners and scatter losers
  327. Recipe for industry destruction: Blanket market signals
  328. Mavis writes!
  329. Bert Kelly's empiricism is not kneejerk reaction kind
  330. The $2,000 song of the shirt worker
  331. Subsiding only small farmers means subsiding the big banks
  332. Difficult to be fast on your feet when you've got your ear to the ground
  333. It would surprise people to see how sensible MPs behave if they think they are not being watched
  334. Bert Kelly on "this land of limitless resources" and "great open spaces"
  335. Growing bananas at the South Pole
  336. Car components tariff protection under fire
  337. Why carry a $300m car subsidy?
  338. Tariff feather beds for the foreign giants
  339. Bert Kelly says end compulsory voting to stop donkey vote
  340. Perhaps being smart and insured isn't all luck
  341. You gets your tariff, you pays a price
  342. More funds to train Olympians?
  343. Fire in their guts and wind in ours
  344. Should free universal healthcare include pets?
  345. Sound advice from a modest farmer
  346. A tottering monument to intervention
  347. Cunning meets wisdom
  348. Competition, Aussie-style: Who's the bigger parasite?
  349. Australians are proud patriotic parasites, says Bert Kelly
  350. Taxpayer-funded sport is cheating
  351. Being loved by all is not always a good thing
  352. Welfare State Destroys Society
  353. 1980 Bert Kelly feather bed series
  354. The White Mice Marketing Board
  355. Government intervention and advice can be harmful, even when right, even for those it tries to help
  356. One small step on the compulsory voting landmine
  357. The free & compulsory education sacred cows have no clothes
  358. Holding a loaded wallet to an economist's head
  359. Political No Man's Land
  360. Only blind greed demands both equality and prosperity
  361. A cow that sucks itself — that's us!
  362. Foot-dragging on lifting tariff drag
  363. Nip the bud of incentive; mock community spirit into submission
  364. Bert Kelly questions why miners pay royalties to the Crown
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