FOR PRESS: P.M.NO. 40/1965 PREMIERS' CONFERENCE STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT. HON. SIR ROBERT MENZIES
Period of Service: 19/12/1949 to 26/01/1966
Release Date: 22/04/1965
Release Type: Media Release
Transcript ID: 1101
Document: Original Transcript (PDF 84.1 KB)
FOR PRESS: P. M. No, 1+ g0! 1962~._
Statement by the Prime Minister. the Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Menzies.
It should be understood that todayts meeting with
the Premiers was recognised by all of us as a preliminary meetings
We will assemble again on June 1st to arrive at definite
conclusions about the agreement which is to succeed the last one
made in 1959 to regulate the financial assistance arrangements
which have operated since that time.
Today's meeting was, therefore, exploratory. The
Commonwealth welcomed it because we thought it most desirable that
we should be put in possession of the views of the various State
Premiers both critical and constructive, so that we might have an
opportunity of giving them proper study before June.
I would like to repeat what I said in the Conference,
i. e. that I have never known a better meeting, Every contribution
was thoughtful extremely well-prepared and lucid, Nobody resorted
to Party political arguments. Everybody felt that we were
disoussing problems of great importance not only to the States but to
the Commonwealth-problems which we would all wish to solve in a
co-operative fashiion, due regard being paid to the reasonable needs
of the Commonwealth which, as we pointed out are not diminishing,
This was, I thought, recognised all round. tiobody would deny that
having regard to such rapidly growing items as defence expenditure
and the limitations of the current loan market, the Commonwealth
Government has quite a budgetary task ahead of itc Similarly, in
a growing community, the States have great responsibilities and
have a natural eagerness for progress.
We have agreed to meet again at the beginning of June.
I have indicated to the States that some days before June 10 days
if possible we will arrange to have discussions on the official
level between Commonwealth and State Treasury officers. In the
meantime, as I said to the Premiers we will give the most careful
attention to what has been said by Lhem because like them, we
desire to have some sound conclusions arrived a before the
financial year ends, This is the sixth year of the 1959 agreement
and therefore presents the necessary opportunity to consider the
terms and duration of a new agreement.
As I said to the Premiers, in expressing my appreciati. on
of the way in which they had put their respective arguments, I f
cannot attempt to anticipate what our answers may be; but I am sure
that the tone and temper of today's discussions will help us very
considerably. CANBERRA* 22nd April 1965.