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With thanks to the Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge.
More info on Gina Rinehart and Lang Hancock can be found at
GinaRinehart.info and LangHancock.info.

August 3, 1977

Mrs. M. Thatcher,
Leader of the Opposition,
House of Commons,
LONDON. U.K.

Dear Mrs. Thatcher,

When my daughter and I first met you, which was shortly after the appointment of Malcolm Fraser as Prime Minister, you were a little taken back at my sorry belief that Malcolm Fraser had missed out.

The Fraser administration has done so many things which I am sure run counter to the way that Malcolm thinks privately. Therefore I thought it might be of some small help, in the difficult task that confronts you, if I were to recount some of the problems that the present Australian Government has failed to overcome.

You seemed surprised when we told you that Malcolm Fraser had not reduced the cost of government. True he promised to get stuck into big government. Unfortunately he has not. It is bigger than ever and still growing.

With the greatest majority of our history, signifying the full support of the Australian nation to radically depart from the drastic practises of the Whitlam administration, he had the greatest opportunity that has ever been given to any Prime Minister to put a check on government squandering and so stop the ever spiralling internal price structure in Australia which is rapidly pricing us out of world markets. Instead he has followed blindly in the Whitlam path.

In his policy speech of November 27, 1975, Mr. Fraser slammed the Whitlam Government for giving us “more and more dependence on government, more and more regulations, more forms, more controls, more bureaucracy.”

He promised: “A great many improvements in administrative efficiency can and will be made.”

Let’s look at government and the bureaucracy at all levels, starting at the top with Mr. Fraser’s own appointed administration.

By promoting his own cronies Mr. Fraser boosted his ministry to 26 — only one fewer that Mr. Whitlam’s 27 — initially costing the taxpayer another $100,000 in salaries for the minister and extra staff.

If efficiency is what the Prime Minister admires, he should streamline his ministry down to 19, because at least seven departments overlap and are wasteful.

Looking even wider, we have another 117 ministers in the six State administrations among a host of 571 elected legislative assemblymen and councillors.

With 13 elected chambers — and mini-assemblies in the two territories — we remain the most over-governed and heavily bureaucratised nation in the Western world.

Incidentally, the ratio of politicians to people in the States varies from one in 49,839 in N.S.W. down to one in only 11,640 in Tasmania.

Talking of ratio, nearly a third of all working Australians are now public servants, according to figures released during the week by the Bureau of Statistics. The total is 1,459,800 — 30,900 more than when the Fraser Government came to power.

Of these, 388,500 work for the Federal Government, either in department or offshoots like Telecom, the Post Office, the Commonwealth Bank, etc.: 388,500 work for State governments and 123,700 for local government.

The armed forces are not included in this bureaucracy. And here’s an interesting thing: for the 70,200 men and women in the navy, army and air force, the Department of Defence hires a back-up force of 28,252, civil servants in the department.

The army of public servants throughout the land keeps on growing.

The above is only one aspect of the disappointing nature of Malcolm’s administration. I feel that his gravest errors are in not combating at Day One the instruments of socialism and nationalisation that have been gradually built up by various governments over the last 20 years. It is now too late. The bureaucracy has asserted its ascendancy over the new administration.

I have written this letter, not with the purpose of denigrating Fraser, but in the hope that the pitfalls that he has obviously fallen into are able to be avoided more skillfully by your goodself when you become Prime Minister.

With kindest regards from Gina and myself.

Yours sincerely.

[Signed]
LANG HANCOCK

-=-=-=-=-

August 1, 1978

Mrs. Margaret Thatcher,
Leader of the Opposition,
House of Commons,
LONDON, SW1A 0AA. U.K.

Dear Mrs. Thatcher,

Further to our recent conversation I hope the example of Malcolm following in Whitlam’s footsteps, resulting in Australia having a growth-rate of one-fifth that of Singapore, is a shining example of what not to do when you become Prime Minister.

Gina and I hope the British people have enough common sense to elevate you to the position of Prime Minister as we believe that Britain’s only hope of salvation lies in your hands.

Had time permitted, I would have raised with you the subject of the present world depression which, I believe, can be cured by the OPEC countries putting pressure on the American Government to abandon its restrictive energy regulations.

Kindest regards,

[Signed]
LANG HANCOCK

Enclosed with that letter was this one-pager titled, “WORLD DEPRESSION?”

Theoretically, one barrel of oil above world demand means a price slump. One barrel of oil less means a price rise.

In practice, when USA turned from an exporter of energy to an importer of oil, the way was open for OPEC to engineer a staggering price hike which caused an imbalance of the world’s major industrial nations’ foreign exchange holdings. In other words, by using up to four times their normal amount of foreign exchange to purchase their oil requirements, their capacity to buy good from other nations was reduced accordingly, thus bringing about a general slump in world trade — hence our present depression.

To add to the world’s troubles, a build-up of enormous funds of money in Arab hands which was not re-cycled gainfully has made the world’s withdrawal from depression very prolonged.

Worried as they are by the declining value of their funds when receiving payment in the rapidly devaluing US$, one would have thought that the OPEC countries would have launched their muscle on the American Government to rectify the position by insisting that they do away with the root cause of the United States energy crisis, namely the restrictive interference of the bureaucracy on energy sources when acted upon by the environmentalists.

The U.S. environmentalists were able to delay the building of the Alaska Pipeline by five years; stop the drilling of the North Atlantic sea board in search of oil; stretch out the schedule of building nuclear power plants from 3 to 10 years; drastically reduce the development and output of coalmines; and increase the consumption of oil for motor cars by having all sorts of exhaust emission controls instigated.

The problem is how the deal with the Middle East. Obviously it cannot be done on a government to government departmental basis because the more enlightened of the Arabs are the first to point out that it has taken them 5,000 years to perfect bureaucracy; something which Australian Government are fast approaching after only 200 years of experience.

I suggest a highly personal summit discussion between Margaret Thatcher as British Prime Minister, Crown Price Fahd of Saudi and the Shah of Iran could be a good starting point.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
  2. Hancock's Australia
  3. Hancock on Government Help
  4. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 1
  5. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 2
  6. Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
  7. Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
  8. Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
  9. Jump on the Joh bandwagon
  10. John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
  11. Governments — like a red rag to a Rogue Bull
  12. Lang Hancock's Pilbara-Queensland Railway Proposal
  13. Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
  14. Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
  15. New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
  16. Small and Big Business Should Oppose Government, says Lang Hancock
  17. A Condensed Case for Secession
  18. Hancock gets tough over uranium mining
  19. Hancock's threat to secede and faith in Whitlam
  20. PM's sky-high promise to Lang
  21. Lang Hancock: "a catherine-wheel of novel suggestions"
  22. Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
  23. The spread of Canberra-ism
  24. Govt should sell the ABC, says Lang Hancock
  25. 1971 Monday Conference transcript featuring Lang Hancock
  26. Aborigines, Bjelke and the freedom of the press
  27. The code of Lang Hancock
  28. Why not starve the taxation monster?
  29. Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
  30. Party Promises to Abolish Tax
  31. Right-wing plot
  32. "The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them." - Lang Hancock
  33. WA's NCP commits suicide
  34. "You can't live off a sacred site"
  35. Hancock: King of the Pilbara
  36. Bludgers need not apply
  37. New party formed "to slash controls"
  38. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  39. Workers Party is born as foe of government
  40. Government seen by new party as evil
  41. Ron Manners on Lang Hancock
  42. Does Canberra leave us any alternative to secession?
  43. Bury Hancock Week
  44. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  45. Lang Hancock on Australia Today
  46. Hancock and Wright
  47. Lang Hancock on Environmentalists
  48. Friends of free enterprise treated to financial tete-a-tete: Lang does the talking but Gina pulls the strings
  49. Lang Hancock, Stump Jumper
  50. Lang Hancock: giant of the western iron age
  51. The Treasury needs a hatchet man
  52. We Mine to Live
  53. Get the "econuts" off our backs
  54. 1971 Lang Hancock-Jonathan Aitken interview for Land of Fortune (short)
  55. Gina Rinehart, Secessionist
  56. 1982 NYT Lang Hancock profile
  57. Enter Rio Tinto
  58. Hamersley and Tom Price
  59. News in the West
  60. Positive review of Hancock speech
  61. Lang Hancock International Press Institute General Assembly speech, Canberra, 1978
  62. Australia's slide to socialism
  63. The Great Claim Robbery
  64. Why WA must go it alone
  65. Lang Hancock in 1976 on Public Picnics and Human Blights
  66. MILLIONAIRE PUTS MONEY BEHIND SECESSIONISTS
  67. Resource Management in Australia: Is it possible?
  68. The gospel of WA secession according to Lang Hancock
  69. Crystal Balls Need Polishing
  70. Minerals - politicians' playthings?
  71. John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
  72. Boston Tea Party 1986 style, hosted by Lang Hancock and Bob Ansett
  73. Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
  74. Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
  75. Tactics change by Hancock
  76. Lang Hancock complains to Margaret Thatcher about Malcolm Fraser
  77. 'Phony crisis' seen as 'child of politics'
  78. Lang Hancock on nuclear energy
  79. Lang Hancock beats the left at their own game on civil liberties
  80. Lang Hancock's Favourite Books
  81. 1977 Lang Hancock Canberoo poem
  82. Hancock's playing very hard to get
  83. Hancock proposes a free-trade zone
  84. An Open Letter to Sir Charles Court
  85. John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
  86. Lang Hancock in 1984 solves Australian politics
  87. Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
  88. Lang Hancock asks what happened to Australia's rugged individualism?
  89. Precis of Ludwig Plan for North-West
  90. Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
  91. Lang Hancock's March 1983 attempt to enlist "former presidents of nations and heads of giant companies" to save Australia
  92. Lang Hancock asks us to think how easily environmentalists are manipulated for political purposes
  93. Invest in free enterprise
  94. Democracy is dead in Australia and Lang Hancock's education
  95. Lang Hancock Incites Civil Disobedience
  96. Hancock sounds call to battle Canberra
  97. Mining policy a threat
  98. Over Whitlam's head
  99. Lang Hancock suggests that newspapers don't give space to politicians unconditionally
  100. Lang Hancock on saving Australia from socialism
  101. Secede or sink
  102. Australia can learn from Thatcher
  103. John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
  104. How Lang Hancock would fix the economy
  105. Lang Hancock: victim of retrospective legislation
  106. Lang Hancock supports Joh for PM
  107. Hancock seeks miners' tax haven in the north
  108. The Ord River Dam
  109. Why Lang Hancock invested in Australia's film industry
  110. Lang Hancock's 1983 letters to The Australian: Lang's precedent for Steve Jobs, renaming the Lucky Country to the Constipated Country, and more
  111. Australia's biggest newspaper insider on manipulating the media
  112. 1980 Lang Hancock-Australian Penthouse Interview
  113. Canberra: bastion of bureaucracy
  114. Pilbara can be the Ruhr for South-East Asia
  115. 1982 Lang Hancock-John Harper Nelson Interview
  116. Australian elections are one of the greatest con games in history
  117. Our leaders are powerless
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