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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 1210

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, SIR ROBERT MENZIES, IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON 8TH DECEMBER 1965 - RHODESIA

Photo of Menzies, Robert

Menzies, Robert

Period of Service: 19/12/1949 to 26/01/1966

More information about Menzies, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 08/12/1965

Release Type: Statement in Parliament

Transcript ID: 1210

STATEmeNT BY THE PRIfE MINISTER, SIR ROBERT
iV IL116, iN T1M HUME U? I | i. 1 i \ TATI VI2X U
8TH DECEMBER, 1965
RHODESIA
I wish to inform the House of measures in the financial
and economic fieldwvhich the Government has decided to take
against the illegal administration in Rhodesia. These measures
are additional to those that I announced on 16th November.
They are taken in the belief that peaceful measures are
preTerable to military measures ana that, in order to minimise
the ultimate damage to Rhodesia, the sooner the sanctions
become effective and normal constitutional administration is
resumed, the better for that country.
This is not an easy decision to take because sanctions
can hurt very deeply. Of course, sanctions are designed to
impose disabilities, but a system of sanctions which stops
short of being effective could easily go on operating for a
long long time, creating irritations, not solving the roblem
and perhaps provoking extreme action on the part of other
people. Therefore we have come to the conclusion that, falling
in line with the U. K. and various other countries we should
to some extent intensify our economic measures. In what I say
it must always, of course, be remembered that our trade with
Rhodesia is a small one not quite œ 2 million worth of imports
altogether annually.
In relation to financial measures, we will recognise
the Board of the Reserve Bank of Rhodesia, which the British
Government has appointed to replace the previous Board. T1e
will recognise it as the only proper authority. Following from
this decision, it may be necessary for us to consider introducing
restrictions in respect of financial transactions between
Australia and Rhodesian residents comparable with the restrictions
introduced by Britain. Also, we have decided to suspend the
money order service between Australia and Rhodesia.
In relation to economic measures, it will be recalled
that we have already placed a ban on the importation of tobacco
from Rhodesia. e now propose to prohibit also the importation
of ferro-alloys chrome-ore and asbestos. The ban on imports of
tobacco meant tat approximately three-quarters of our total
imports from Rhodesia were suspended. The inclusion of ferroalloys,
chrome ore and asbestos will mean that we have prohibited
imports from ' Rhodesia affecting more than 90 per cent. of the
total. The British have banned approximately 95 per cent. cf
their imports from Rhodesia.
Honourable members will, of course, recognise that in a
relatively small field these measures are severe. However, the
unhappy situation with which-weare'alinP is of grave proportions,
involving as it does not only the cessation of lawful rule in
Rhodesia but also the arousing of emotions in Africa and elsewhere.
In all these matters it is our hope that the result of the
me3sures now being applied by this and other countries will mean
a return to sanity ana negotiation and that Rhodesia will see
reason and find a return Yo a legal and constructive relationship
with the British Government.

Transcript 1210