Although the letter from George Caruana (September AD2000) on the subject of State Aid for our schools is misleading, I am grateful for the opportunity to set the record straight. Mr Caruana claims that in 1962-63 the State Labor Government in NSW gave assistance for science blocks. The facts are these.
In June 1962, the ALP State Conference decided to provide assistance for science blocks. However, in July 1963, the Left-dominated Labor Federal Executive quashed the proposal, censuring and humiliating the NSW Labor Executive for contradicting Labor Federal policy.
In November 1963, Liberal PM Robert Menzies included in his election policy funding for science blocks in Independent and Catholic schools. He considered, correctly, that this would gain him the vital Democratic Labor Party preferences which he needed to stay in office.
Mr Caruana also makes the amazing claim that Dr Jim Cairns was a supporter of State Aid. But he was leader of the Left wing of the ALP which was always bitterly opposed to State Aid, or anything which would benefit the Catholic Church.
The people to whom Catholic education has reason to be everlastingly grateful are the leaders and supporters of the much misrepresented and much reviled Democratic Labor Party which constantly fought for State Aid.
Bob Santamaria of the National Civic Council also lobbied strongly and skilfully during this period, and his support was invaluable.
ALAN A. HOYSTED