Editorial [Maxwell Newton], The Australian, October 21, 1964, p. 10.

There were many deplorable aspects of the Prime Minister’s decision to promise a limited form of State aid before the 1963 elections.

It was a sharp break with traditional practice, interrupting the pattern of secular education and opening the way for major changes in the financing of Australian education.

Like some other recent actions of the Prime Minister, including the airlines case, it represents a sudden change in traditional policy preceded by little or no discussion.

But no doubt many people in the community are prepared to countenance the breaking down of secular State education tradition in order to see some improvement in the low, often appalling, standards of Catholic schools — starved as they are of funds and professional teaching talent.

In other words, many Australians were probably prepared to countenance Sir Robert’s blatant electoral bribery for the sake of doing something for the one quarter of Australian children getting substandard education at Catholic schools.

So there may be some sort of argument for State aid on the grounds of social relief, of improving for Catholic children the inferior opportunities to which they are condemned — albeit through their parents’ religious conviction, which is strictly their own affair and for which they should surely be asked to pay the bill themselves.

But when it comes to extending aid in any form to the greater public schools in our capital cities, surely the whole argument for State aid becomes nonsense.

The parents of children who go to schools like Sydney Grammar, Wesley College, Hale School or Geelong Grammar send their children there because they can afford to give them a privileged education.

The issue of religious principle hardly comes into the question. The parents aim to lift their children out of the ruck by giving them some additional privilege.

Whether this is a very sensible thing for parents to do can be left aside for the time being.

The fact is that the greater public schools are a means whereby parents with the money can attempt to give their children a privileged education.

Why should the mass of Australian taxpayers be expected to make a contribution to the financing of these schools?

What possible argument is there to justify this?

The argument for giving a helping hand to underprivileged Catholics is surely weak enough and can really only be justified on the basis of saving Catholic children from the consequences of their parents’ religious conviction.

But who can justify subsidies from the taxpayers to help solve the financial problems of places like Geelong Grammar?

Only a Government with little understanding of social principles could think of such an inequitable proposal.

The dissidents in the Sydney Anglican Synod were therefore entirely correct in agitating against acceptance of State aid for Anglican schools.

It is not to be wondered that the Methodists and Presbyterians are also going through a period of difficulty in agreeing to accept the Commonwealth offer of aid.

If they have any shame at all they must reject it.

Their own sense of decency should surely oblige them to reject it.

How do you justify State subsidies to the parents of children who are literally queuing up for years for the chance to pay the fees asked by Australia’s greater public schools?

How can the churches behind these schools calm their Christian consciences or steady their trembling hands held out for Commonwealth gold?

Of course, the aid for science laboratories is not the first privilege accorded by the present Government to the parents of privileged children.

The Government allows parents to deduct up to £150 per child per annum for education fees, uniforms and the like.

Knowing that the parents of greater public school pupils are already receiving such socially unjustifiable subsidies from the rest of the community, how can the churches controlling most of these schools — the Anglicans, Methodists and Presbyterians — possibly reconcile with their Christian teaching the acceptance of further handouts?

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Advance Australia fascist: The forces that make Australia a fascist country
  2. The Economic Guerrillas: A lecture in honour of Maxwell Newton
  3. Maxwell Newton Audio at Mises.org
  4. Max Newton on Video at first Mises Institute Conference (1983)
  5. Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
  6. Max Newton stars in Ron Paul video
  7. Bunny of the Welfare State
  8. The Crumbling Oligarchies
  9. Is Australia So Bad That It Can't Get Worse?
  10. Max Newton: Cauldron-Journalist
  11. Max Newton: a muckraker makes good
  12. An open letter to Bob Hawke, B. Litt., Oxon; from Maxwell Newton, B. A., Cantab.: In black and white
  13. Welfare Creates Poverty
  14. Welfare State a National Disgrace
  15. A "spy" replies
  16. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  17. Josh Frydenberg vs Maxwell Newton on Sir Robert Menzies
  18. The traumatic birth of a daily
  19. The Bulletin on Maxwell Newton as Workers Party national spokesman on economics and politics
  20. Menzies: A Legacy of Lies and Legislation Limiting Liberalism
  21. Max Newton: Maverick in Exile
  22. King Leonard of Hutt River Declares Defensive Just War Against Australia the Aggressor
  23. Crying in the wilderness
  24. State aid and the privileged
  25. Maxwell Newton on Reg Ansett
  26. How to stop Labor running wild
  27. 1975 Max Newton-Ash Long interview on the Workers Party
  28. The Working Journalist in Public Administration
  29. Max Newton: controversy is an asset
  30. Maxwell Newton chapter of Clyde Packer's No Return Ticket (1984)
  31. The "irresponsible" way is the only way
  32. Maxwell Newton on Moral Hazard
  33. Maxwell Newton on Handout America and unbridled Welfare Mania in 1980 New York Post
  34. Tony Dear on Paul Krutulis, the Workers Party and murder
  35. Max Newton on the gold standard
  36. Maxwell Newton on ideas for cutting government waste
  37. Maxwell Newton on Bureaucracy
  38. Maxwell Newton measures bullshit tertiary schooling
  39. Australia's biggest newspaper insider on manipulating the media
  40. Never put your faith in politicians
  41. Profiting from propaganda
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