From when Bert Kelly arrived in Federal Parliament as the Member for Wakefield in 1958 until he left Parliament in 1977, he led a long and often bitter campaign against protectionism, first against a very powerful Deputy Prime Minister and Country Party Leader in John ‘Black Jack’ McEwen and also against the deeply held and strongly defended populism of the day. Bert was opposed to protectionism because it was, he said, ‘economically foolish and morally wrong’. It was foolish he said, because it forced consumers to pay more for goods than they otherwise would thereby reducing consumers’ buying opportunities for other goods. It protected declining industries and obstructed emerging ones. It was morally wrong because it created situations in which governments granted favours to some, who were greatly enriched, at the expense of others who were impoverished – including third world countries desperate to sell their goods into Australia and lift their people out of poverty.
Free Trade Agreement with Israel – Senator Bob Day
Building Walls – Bob Day, The Spectator
The Slayer of Protectionism – Bob Day, The Spectator