Courtesy Reuters

Not long after I returned to Sydney in 1954, I met a friend I had not seen for five years. After a meagre offering of cordialities, he said: "How long do you give us? I give us three years." When I asked him what he was talking about he said that he expected that China would conquer Southeast Asia by 1957 and that Australia would become a Chinese dependency shortly after. He speculated for a while about who the members of Australia's first Quisling government would be. . . .

The feeling that one morning we shall wake up to find that we are no

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