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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 1800

OPENING OF THE PHILIP MORRIS FACTORY MOORABBIN, VICTORIA - SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER, MR JOHN GORTON

Photo of Gorton, John

Gorton, John

Period of Service: 10/01/1968 to 10/03/1971

More information about Gorton, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/03/1968

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 1800

OPENING OF THE PHILIP MORRIS FACTORY
MCORABBIN, VICTORIA March 1968
Speech by the Prime Minister, Mr. John Gorton
Thank you very much, Arthur. I say " Arthur" because it
is true we have known each other for very many years, and indeed not
closely, or he wouldn't be able to say with such conviction so many nice
things, but intermittently and fairly closely during all that period of time.
I am here to make a very brief speech and to declare open
the factory and to declare open whatever It Is that is behind that curtain.
( Laughter). I daresay that you, as I, are going to be quite Interested to
see what it is the little bits that I can see look as if somebody round
Sydney Harbour may be wondering what's happened to the Opera House.
And if so we won't let them know where they are.
It is quite true, Sir, as you said In the course of telling
those assembled what it was that I'd said to myself, and in the course of
doing that saying a number of things that I was otherwise going to say to
them, that we do, as a Government, have a 42 per cent or 424 per cent
Interest or whatever it is, I'll have to ask the Treasurer in the profits
of this company. But, of course, that's not the whole story, Sir, as you
know, because we also have an Interest in the dividends paid to the
Individuals and the wages paid to the employees and all these other
Incidental matters such as excise which helps the wheels of Government
to go around. So it Is really quite important quite important to us, quite
important to Australia, and we do see here, I think, an example of growth
but not only an example of growth, an example of growth made In the way
in which we in Australia would wish it to be made. Because here is an
example of development as a result of the inflow of overseas capital which
we need If we are to develop as quickly as we must. But also an example
where an inflow of that overseas capital married itself with Australian
capital so that a third of the capital Is owned by Australians and the benefits
that flow from It go to those equity holders as well.
And this Is an ideal situation. Well it might be nicer if It
was 50 per cent, but still it's a good situation that here comes the
requirements for development, here is an example where Australians can
take part in that development, here is an example where jobs flow from it,
employment flows from it, dividends flow from it and all the other things
of which I have spoken.
And we, I think, can be a little proud or we can be proud
of the achievements of others when we realise, as I am told is a fact,
that this new extension is the most modern tobacco factory if that's
the word, tobacco packing plant in the world bar none. Now, this Is
really something, and I am Informed that this Is In fact so. I can't tell
you how many million cigarettes a month it can make because I'm not
allowed to, but it's an enormous number of cigarettes.
When you come to think of it, of course, I suppose the
credit for all this really goes back to some completely unknown American
Red Indian, because you remember that's where they first discovered
tobacco and that's where Raleigh got It from. You may remember somebody
threw a pall of water over him when he first started to smoke because they
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thought he was on fire when he got back to England and If he had really
put Raleigh out with that pail of water, there would not have been a tobacco
factory and there wouldn't have been the interest that we've got here.
But can I say this as well. That not only do the things of
which I have spoken become evident here financially, and to assist in a
secondary industry employment but they stem down the line too, to create,
or help to create, help to expand a primary Industry in Australia because
the tobacco-growing industry benefits too from what Is happening here and
will benefit, of course, from the five-year extension of the tobacco
stabilisation plan which has just been announced and with the additional
quotas for Australian tobacco leaf which will be going up to 284 million
pounds. Now, these things one stands on a platform and talks about
but in one's mind, and In your mind, think of the people on the banks, the
red shore banks of the Murray, or wherever It may be, In small farms
wresting a living from that land and being helped to prosper and to grow
by the kind of secondary expansion we see here. The whole of Australia
benefits from it. That I think, Sir, Is all that I should say. I do congratulate
all concerned with the development of this factory. I know what was It
you had when you started was it 3. 4 million capital somewhere around
3.4. million capital, of which one-third is American. I'm not quite sure
what's happened since but I think there's been a bonus Issue and I'm not
sure there hasn't been a split and this again points up the benefit of having
an Australian equity interest in a factory of that kind $ 11 million
today. Wlell, I do hope that before very long I will be able to, at your
request, come and open another extension and you will be able to say
million today because I'll know that that growth is partly a growth for
Australians as well as abroad.

Transcript 1800