Honest History E-newsletter No. 60, 19 September 2019

ISSN: 2202-5561 ©

Heritage Guardians campaign against the unnecessary and ill-considered $498m extensions to the Australian War Memorial: contact your federal MP and ask them to oppose this project

New on the Honest History website

The War Memorial’s Mitchell ‘garage’, political manipulation of history, The Mountains of Mourne, Paul Daley on how the War Memorial demeans our history, Ernst Willheim on Witness K and Bernard Collaery

PLUS these book reviews

Richard Broinowski on Tom Gilling’s book Project Rainfall (about Pine Gap), Alison Broinowski on Brian Toohey’s Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State, John McLeod on Jared Davidson’s Dead Letters, on censorship in Great War New Zealand, Derek Abbott on Geoffrey Blainey’s early memoir, Before I Forget

From the Honest History vault: Oh, to be in Washington in the Fall …

At a time (this week) when yet another Australian Prime Minister traipses off to Washington HQ we thought it might be useful to point to an earlier piece of ours on such journeys. Read the piece in full to find answers to these questions:

  • Which Australian PM promised to be ‘all the way with LBJ’?
  • To which US President did an Australian PM say ‘we will go Waltzing Matilda with you’?
  • Which Australian PM said of the US, ‘I believe you can do anything still’?
  • Which Australian PM said, ‘we of Australia are proud to call ourselves your junior partner’?
  • Who out of John Howard and Bob Hawke said, ‘America has no better friend in the world than Australia’?

The post includes links to videos of some of the speeches.

Meanwhile, David Smith of the University of Sydney had this to say in The Conversation earlier this week:

‘Morrison is likely to reaffirm this commitment [to freedom of navigation and a rules-based international order] in Washington, without getting into discussions about why Trump withdrew from an agreement that his own intelligence agencies said was working. The recent demise of John Bolton as national security adviser will hopefully make it less likely that Australia faces any questions about deeper military involvement in the Gulf.’

Perhaps it’s not quite ‘all the way’ today, then. But, as Smith concludes, there is still the point that 64 per cent of respondents in the Lowy Institute 2019 poll agree that Australia ‘should remain close to the United States under President Donald Trump’.