PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 1886


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: 14/06/1968

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 1886

Mr. President, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:-
It would, for any Australian Prime Minister, at any time, be a
special privilege to be a host to the President of the Republic of Indonesia. But
on this occasion there is perhaps a doubly special pleasure because quite soon,
I think perhaps tomorrow, you begin a series of fairs and carnivals in Djakarta
to celebrate the 44 1st anniversary of the foundation of this city. It is therefore
doubly pleasant that I should have quite inadvertently so timed this visit that it
coincides with this celebration.
It is perhaps salutary to someone from Australia to consider this
Wand to consider that this city, in which we are tonight, was founded 250 years
0before the nation which I represent was founded in my country. This long stretch
of history behind you was reinforced to me last night by the cultural exhibition
Swhich you so kindly presented and which was from the various parts of this
Vgreat archipelago. You showed dances stretching back three, four, five hundred
years and which we for our part cannot match. Our own national existence has
been shorter than has been the existence of this city though we do draw from
centuries past, a culture from Great Britdin that we must turn and will turn to
our own ends as people from other nations come and make a new nation in
Australia'. But it is a double privilege to have you as the guest of honour,
for we in Australia have a keen awareness of the leadership which you are giving
Sto this nation in difficult times; a keen awareness of the problems which you
Wwith courage and imagination are seeking in these times to overcome. We wish
you all success in these endeavours, not only for your own sake but for our own
sake too and for those of other neighbouring countries. For if you achieve success
in the task which you have set yourself, then our future will be the easier, so
will the future of other neighbouring countries: so will the future of the region
as a whole. In this great and difficult task which you have before you we will,
as far as our nation is concerned, be helpful as far as we are able, considering
the commitments at home and abroad which we have.
Sir, what we can do will depend on many factors, but I do assure
you that we will try as a nation to play that part in helping to fulfil the dreams
you have for -the future of your nation and the dreams we have for the future of
the whole of the region to which we are contiguous, of which perhaps ultimately
we will be an important part. Sir, you will know that just recently we have
taken a decision in Australia to double next year the amount of aid which last
year we provided to Indonesia and it is a matter of special pride that this was
one of the first decisions made by the Australian Government since I became
Prime Minister of my country. But that is, in the context of the problems
facing you, a small contribution. We will, besides that, stand behind you in
the councils of the world to seek to see that other greater countries, not
contributing more per head perhaps, but contributing more in total, enjoin
with you and ourselves in the goal you have set.
We are glad to have large numbers of your students studying in
our country, and we hope that when they return, as they do return, to their
homeland, the result of their studies will be shown in technological progress,
in administrative progress, in the general assistance to you in your governmental
activities which through such training we hope to give. / 2

00 0

And you will know that, regarding investment in this country, the
first main conference in Indonesia of private firms and private individuals took
place in August of last year and had, as its origin in Australia, a large number
of Australia's leading businessmen and industrialists who came to Djakarta at
that time to participate and who, as regards many of them, have pursued their
interests since then. In some cases, in turn, investment will follow. In other
cases, investment might not follow but technical assistance, technological
assistance, will be there for the asking and we feel that it is possible that in the
context of the Indonesian economy, the technical assistance which we can provide
may be, and I say only may be, more significant and more appropriate than the
technical assistance of some greater complexes of some greater countries,
because it may be that at our stage of development, and at your stage of.
development, this technical assistance will be better than it might be from some
mighty complex of a power country.
But this iimportant as it is, must go side by side with agricultural
Simprovements which I know is close to your hearts. Is it impossible to increase
Vfood production in Indonesia? If it is possible to double the production per hectare
of land, for example, of rice, then that must be a basic requirement for future
progress in any direction because the production of food in sufficient quantities,
to ensure that food is sold without an increase in price must be the basis on which
all other building takes place and we would be interested, Sir, in seeking to try
and play a part in that should you regard that as a large priority in the many other
activities in which you are engaged.
I do not wish to traverse the whole field of co-operation between
our two nations. I think we have made some advance in the cultural agreement
signed between our two countries: one which provides for exchange of scientific
knowledge for bringing closer together the academics in our country and in yours:
for bringing to our own nation those cultural heritages which you have: for
Sbringing for the Indonesian people that which we can do to entertain them. These
Vmust, in the long run, build up to a better understanding between our two peoples
and indeed, Sir, it is my belief that the signing of such an agreement will give
added impetus to an interest already evident but not as evident as it should be
in Australia to the studying of Indonesian language, of Indonesian history, of
Indonesian culture, and this I believe will take place in our country in the future.
That step has been a part of the past between Indonesia and
Australia that I think is a part of the vision of the future between Indonesia and
Australia but there are tensions in the whole of the area in which you find
yourselves geographically and we find ourselves geographically, and I would hope
that it would be possible in the course of the future, the near future, to see that
these intentions were as far as possible damped down and that you and we and all
the other nations in this area could at least say to each other that we respect and
honour the territorial boundaries of each nation and will not, under any
circumstances, seek to upset them. This is, Sir, just a matter of damping
down the tensions: if it happened it would be good, and if after it happened or
while it was happening we could, together, seek to improve, however slowly,
but constantly the living standards of the individuals in each country, then we
would be laying a real foundation for what is possible if the men and the women
of each nation in this area, under the leadership provided to them, are prepared
to make it possible, and because I think that you, Sir, are prepared to make it
possible and because I think you are aiming at making it possible. T1hat is the
third reason why tonight I have such a sense of privilege in having you beside
me in the Indonesian capital, and in asking all those gathered here to rise and
drink with me to the President of the Republic of Indonesia.

Transcript 1886