Our Neighbor Down Under
The material in Australia,
Our Neighbor “Down Under” gives an interesting account of social
and historical facts about Australia. In proportion to its population, Australia
has made large contributions to the war.
is an important base for our military operations. Thousands of Americans have
thus learned to know a region hitherto completely removed from their experience.
Many American soldiers have developed close personal ties with the people “down
under.” Added to these facts, the postwar importance of the Pacific area
looms larger in the minds of Americans than was dreamed of by most of us before
1941. As a result discussion of questions that concern the Pacific and our neighbors
in the Southwest Pacific should be of genuine interest to soldier groups.
to use this pamphlet
Into this small pamphlet
has been compressed much pertinent information about Australia. In planning one
or more discussions based upon this information, you may find the following suggestions
helpful. You are of course quite free to adopt any other procedures that may appeal
to you as more practical.
careful study of the pamphlet, select a major question that offers a basis for
discussion. Choose one such question for each meeting to be planned. If you use
a small committee to shape your discussion program, this is where the committee
can assist you. Some possible discussion topics are:
the “doctrine of trusteeship” be applied to islands of the Pacific?
the Australian “living wage” work in the United States?
Australia attract American immigrants after the war?
In your five or ten minute introductory talk, plan to give reasons for discussing
the chosen subject together with such information from this pamphlet as forms
essential background for the discussion. If, for example, you are to discuss the
doctrine of trusteeship, you would need to indicate how Australia administered
the Dependency of Papua (page 47) and suggest questions which would develop the
differences between this colonial policy and that of other colonial powers. To
introduce the subject of the Australian living wage you will find good material
under the heading, “The Basic Wage” (page 45). Scattered through the
whole text are facts about climate, population, agriculture, industry, and labor
in Australia; from these facts you should be able to select major points essential
to introducing a discussion about immigration to Australia.
Prepare a series of questions which you will ask during the discussion (if someone
doesn’t anticipate you). A few ideas for such questions are given below
under “Questions for Discussion.”
Reproduce such tables from the text as are appropriate to your subject. Reproductions
may be made on a blackboard or on large sheets of paper. Be sure to have the tables
made so that they are legible to persons sitting at the rear of the audience.
If possible, make one or more copies of this pamphlet available for advance reading
by men who will attend your meetings. Put the copies in whatever central reading
room is most accessible. Men in possession of background facts will carry on a
more effective discussion than those who lack facts.
You should have a copy of EM 1, G. I. Roundtable: Guide for Discussion Leaders.
This pamphlet contains much helpful information on how to organize and conduct
informal discussions, panel discussions, forums, symposiums, and debates.
Should the Australian
“doctrine of trusteeship” be applied to Pacific dependencies? Is this
doctrine in line with U. S. policies? With Dutch policies? With British policies?
French? Portuguese? Would all dependent peoples in the South and Southwest Pacific
develop well under trusteeship? If some would not, why wouldn’t they? Should
responsibility for the dependent lands be divided between various United Nations
or be discharged jointly by them? Is it right for Australia and New Zealand to
have a share in establishing policies for dependencies within what they consider
their “zone of defense”?
the Australian “living wage” work in the United States? How does Australian
wage regulation differ from similar laws in the United States? Can you suggest
reasons for the difference? Have the reasons something to do with the relative
strength of the labor movement in the two countries? How do our living standards
differ? How does the Australian “basic wage” compare with our “minimum
wage”? What is the attitude toward wages for women in our two countries?
Are wage adjustments based on an index number satisfactory? How are salaries for
white-collar workers regulated in Australia?
Australia attract immigrants from America after the war? What would make Americans
want to go there? Employment opportunities? Living conditions? Australian government
policies to promote the economic welfare of its people? Have the Australians had
success in solving their land problem? Would the strength of labor in government
attract American immigrants? Would the national policy for a “White Australia”
be a consideration? Have the personal ties developed between some Americans and
Australians encouraged immigration? Is it likely that Australians may wish to
come to America? Is it possible that, Americans’ lack of interest in Australia
has been because America has itself been a “frontier” country? What
about northern Australia as a possible postwar frontier?
Suggestions for Further Reading