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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32. No. 25. October 9, 1969

Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

The Labour Party's explicit foreign policy objectives, immediate withdrawal from Vietnam, a short time limit on the retention of forces in Malaya, coupled with attempts to assist peaceful integration in that country are aimed in this direction. However, foreign policy cannot succeed, unless based on a firm economy. On the economic front the Labour Party sees as the greatest danger, at present, the attempts being made to remove the issues involved from the scrutiny of the public. This tendency has had considerable impetus in this year's Budget, with the consolidation of several classes of expenditure, concealing the purposes for which they are intended and also in the formation of the present National Development Council. In the name of "efficiency" the conservatives are attempting to categorise the economy into exclusive fields of responsibility. Each person will have competence in a diminishing area while at the top a small, self perpetuating clique of business "giants", bureaucrats and pliable politicians take all the really important decisions.

Labour is opposed to this conservative conception of planning. Any plan must be fully discussed and understood before it is implemented and open to critical scrutiny at all stages. It must be a consultative process as well as indicative. From the most humble worker on the shop floor, through every level of management, those whose lives will be changed by decisions must have the right to be consulted beforehand and each through his union or professional association to negotiate in detail with management. Without this process of scruting, political changes through the ballot box become meaningless.