PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 195

SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT. HON. R.G. MENZIES C.H. J.C. M.P. AT BENDIGO ON TUESDAY, THE 12TH JULY, 1960

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: 12/07/1960

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 195

0 PECH BY THE PRIME MINIjTTR TH RTI HON.
R. G. IMNZI3, C. H C. M. P. AT DENDIGO ON TUJDAY, THE
12TH JULY, 9j60
Sir, Senator, candidate nnd ladies and gentlemen:
I always know that there is an election on when I come
here -because they always send me here. Sometimes I see the same
faces; and sometimes I don't. But tonight I am delighted t' 4 find
what, in my experience, must be a record attendance, supporting a
record candidate. ( Applause)
S Some of those who have been listening in tonight will have
h d him for a few minutes at the end of his speech. I nm sorry
that they couldn't have heard him longer, because I think that
anybody who sees him, hears him and, as you do, knows him and his
work and his quality, must agree that Bendigo has . n opportunity
of the first quality in this by-election.
I am of course very sorry, personally, that there is a
by-election, because it is by-election that has been brought about
by the death of political opponent who wv:, almost a lifelong
personal friend of mine Percy Cl-rey: mpn I knew very well in
what I might c-ll my " respectable" d;-ys when I prlctised in the
vicinity of the Arbitration Court, mostly for the Unions ( Laughter).
And f: om that time on I knew Percy Clarey and I admired him very
much. He was a man of character and quality and I know that a. great
number of people in the Bendigo Electorate came to have such a regard
S for him th-t they may have voted for him though that would not
normally represent their political view.
\: ell he has gone, " las. He is a great loss to his Party
and a great loss to his friends. But now you must fill the vacancy.
Your choice is not between somebody new and the memory of somebody
who hhs gone. Your choice is between the candidates whose names
will be on the ballot paper on S turdy. And . I -m bound to sny
that if either of the other c'ndidCtes is within coo-ee of this one,
you must be the richest electorate in the whole of the Commonwealth
of Austr-li I know thnt my geni. l -nd unpredictable frind, Arthur
Calwell, ( L-ughter) spends gre.-t number of his wciking hours working
out rather sharp little observ-tions worth heaidline picturesque-

V 2.
-nd hc loves nothiing botter th-n to desciribe people on the other side
in 2. r-!* t'hor gr otcsque f-iuhion. And therefore I -ra -ccustomefd to
being, told tbh-' t I i-i ltired old-Vell if I oim, thit is
very good reason , or sending m-y friend Snoll in so that ho c:-n diE;
mu in tho ribs occasionally 2 nd wiake me up. And if I am not -and
of course Arthur dosen't really thinik thnat' I am .4then this is 7.
splendid ppportunity of putting in a-longside of me into thisPalmont
a man whose contribution * L'oou r joint iwis dom must be; of great
v'-luo to the Commone.-ilth. This is araire c-, ndida-tc.
I toll you I know -if you won't give me s) wcy on this mit-tor-
I'm n bit of -in expert on c-ndid-, tcs, I have supported_ smo terriblo
candidates in my time. ( L-ughtor, Applaiuse) They w--ore on theo right
O side, but in the wrong vway, if you follow me, And so when I find a
cindid-te who in the homely phrmeu is Ic :> kcr' of a cndidaite I
-Im delightod. And tonight I h', ivu never boen more dcliehted ( ApPlbuso)
Now you h ye boen hea. ring from thu other spoakers tonight
something vory -Qcur-itu indeed ibout some of the things th~ lt h-) vQ
gone on inside Austr-li-, I h-ye, of' aourso, ha& L some sm-ll h-ind
in the things th-t hatve gone on inside Austr-. li7 not tha-. t politicians
do ev.-rything7.. But it is good politicia n who know's , hat to
do anL hen to do it and w-* hen to kccup out andl not butt in, Now
that I think T'erh-. i-, s, ha-s b(-on the summxwr y o-our political1 2nd
government activities. c haven'? t told every ma,-n how he ought to do
his job. lea-ve tha t to the socia list oxports. Ye_ Yxi ve a
sneaking idea th-. t most of you underst-nd your business bottur thn
we 6. o. \ ih-. t h', vo to do is to try to crcente sort of economic
clim: nte, economic xo-' thur, in which you c n get on w. ith your job and
bring about the best results. And th-. t requires though I s-y it
myself -a consider-ble . mount of knowledge -n o- wisdom. And iwei ho-c tu'h-t -t the end of 10 yea:, rs or getting on now
tow-rds 11 ye-irs, vo c-, n 7t lu~ ist leek our fellow ci-tizens of
Austrili-in the eye and say tha t ' Iwe 1-v-Nn't let you down". And I
think even our enemies might except in their more profcselo. ua1
moments be disposed -to grco with th-: t.

Of course it is not the business of an Opposition to see
anything gopd in what a Government does. That is understandable.
And if I were the Leader of the Opposition today, leading this
collection of bits and pieces with my Deputy leader cpntradicting
almost everything I said, every time he opened his mouth with
internecine disputes going on around every corner if I were in
that happy position that my friend Arthur Calwell is in, I would,
I think, enjoy myself.( Laughter) You see I would have no responsibility,
because I wouldn't get into office anyhow. And so I
could be quite free and speak at large.
The other day to give you a si: ple example he ':. ent up
to the Northern Territory and the Northern Territory is, of course,
a very important place and presents an i!. iportant problem. It was
a problem when he was a Einister in the Labour Government. But now
that we are there and he has no liklihood of having his Promissory
Notes taken up. because, he knows that he won't win with his Party
behind him, or around him, or somewhere, ( Laughter) he said that
we ought to be spending on the Northern Territory œ 60m. a year.
A good round sum œ 60m. a year. So I thought I had better find
out what he did about that when he had his last chance which
ended in 1949. Well I have no doubt that he was as eloquent then
as he is now and he's very eloquent and I find that the total
amount of money spent by his Government in the Northern Territory
in their last full year 1948/ 49 was œ 2,750,000. And my
wretched Government neglects the Northern Territory in such a
shocking way that in our last complete year we spent over
( Applause) Well, you know, I daresay th;: t as they looked at it ft
that time they thought œ 2-4m. was a round sum ; ind pretty ? ood I'm
not saying that it wasn't. 7' ut I think that if I had assumed this
post -f perpetual Opposition Leader as he has, I would at least not
be condemning œ 15i. if I happened to remember that I h. d spent onesixth
of that amount. And so I just mention that as throwing a
humourous light on politics which is otherwise, of course I've
warned Mr. Snell a very dull occupation. ( Laughter) If it weren't

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for your good-natured co-operation this would be a dull meeting.
Politics is like that. And you want to remiember it.
But I wanted to talk to you in particular tonight, not
about these local matters in the direct sense, but about some of
the things that are going on outside Australia and which I have
had some high responsibilities for discussing at first hand in otr
parts of the world. They are not academic. What is . oing on in
the world today will determine the whole issue of peace and war.
Therefore we have a vital interest in it. And our interest beco * es
more and more important in Australia. " ic have 10 million people.
We have, numerically, the greatest Corn'unist power of the lot
China just up north of us. It is estimated by people who know
about these things that by the end of this century Communist China
will have in round figurz-es a thousand million people far more
than the Soviet Union and by the end of the century no doubt with
considerable industrial expansion, with a considerable growth in
skill and subject to what may happen in the field of disarmament
the most tremendous forces. And between them and us we have Laos,
full of disturbances; Cambodia, living ill-at-ease with Thailand.
We have Thailand, anxious. We have North Vict Nam in the hands of
the Communists and South Viet Nam under a very gallant little
President, holding its own, trying to establish its own way of
living. Malaya come to freedom and Independence under 7] ritish
Administration; Singapore, troubled, uneasy. And Indonesia, with
all its political storms, and problems, and indeed, with still a
civil war on its hands.
These geographical considerations are very grc. t, cnorrmo-s.
And we don't do anything )-ood about them by ignorino. their existence.
We must remember these thihns and it is iLcc. ubc as a Government,
have understood about these thinros that ' e took a leading hand in
establishing the South-East Asian Treaty with the United States,
Great Britain, Prance, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, all
gathered together.
In Washington the other day I attended the Annual Meeting
of the Ministers in this Organization. This is something that is
growing, something which, partly because it establishes a sense of
conmmunity. and partly becuuse it attracts the powerful support of

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United States, is one of the great items in the future seourity
of Australia. But in the meantime we are not thinking so much in this
world about the Chinese. 1We have occasion to, The people in Formosa
have occasion to. The people in Iaos and Caibodia and Thailand,
they have occasion to. But in the great nations in the world the
discussion, very naturally and inevitably, has been going on about
the relations between the Soviet World and the free world, the 6ossibilities
of a settlement, the pos. ibility of reducing tension and
thereby, of reducing armaments. These are enormmus problems. And
if any Australian thought they had nothing to do with a general
election or a by-election in Australia, he would be making a cardinal
error. And if I, as the leader of the Government of this country,
ignored them, addressing a great audience of this kind, I would be
unfit for my responsibilities.
I was in London when the celebrated event of the Summit
occurred. We had had a Prime Ministers' Conference. We had discussed
with Mr. Macmillan on the kind of thing that might arise at the
Summit, and gave our general views on the iatter. There was a high
degree of unanimity among the Prime Ministers there and they were
Prime Ministers, as you know, from all over the world. Well they
went over to attend the Summit, a Meeting worked for by Harold
Macmillan, wirked for successfully as we all thought and we all
know what happened Khrushchev arrived and he just wiped it all
out with insults and contumely. Very odd, that, when you consider
that a year before he was the man who was saying, " Let us have a
meeting at the Su,! mit". You remember that this was one of their
great pieces of Communist propaganda " We are the people who want
a meeting at the Sunumit; we are the people who want peace". They
have Peace movements and these preposterous Peace parades which
their Fifth Columnists in Australia carry on. " Peace, Peace" they
cry, when there is no peace. ind therefgre one would have supposed
that the Master of the Co1m* unist world would Iave arrived and said:
" Right, let us sit down together; let us strive here. o for peace".
And instead of that he threw it all away. He said " iNo conference".
And why? Because an aeroplane, a United States aeroplane, had

been found. flying over Russia and therefore, enga: ing in " spying".
And you know how offended a Communist would be to think of anybody
being a spy. ( Laughter).
Why did he seize the opportunity? Because he W. . s indignant
about spying? Nonsense! Nonsense! For every intelligen-tagent
employed by any of the free countries i'll warrant he employs a
hundred. Nobody has the faintest doubt about it. Anyhow I am
always very glad to know what is going on inside the country of a
potential enemy. I think it is of great and vital importance to
the free world thLt we should know where they have their points from
which they can deliver a nuclear and blasting attack on Great Britain
or on the United States itself. What a lot of humbug is talked in
this world, putting this thing in a sort ) f " 0h, itts very unfortunate".
Of course he wasn't troubled about that. W ihat troubled him
* was that he knew it wasn't the first it couldn't have been but it
was the first they had seen and it was the first that they had
persuaded or brought down and it was brought down 1,000 miles * side
the Russian Frontier. That is what troubled him. Because you see
that meant that everything he had been saying to the Russian people
about: " We're not vulnerable to counter-att,' ck; we have much better
nuclear weapons; don't worry about these people: they would have to
send theirs by aircraft and we could shoot them down". Well it is a
bit awkward for that theory when one, the first one, not the first to
go but the first to be caught, was a thousand miles inside the
frontier. Tha. t demonstrated at once that the nuclear deterrent and
we all know that in the hands of the free world it is a deterrent
not a weapon of offence was and is an effective one. That is what
annoyed him. And that is what annoyed those around him. And I have
no doubt it annoyed a great number of his own people.
So, his reaction was to become violent and protesting and
denouncing and, as you know, he has carried on ever since like a
bully, like a crude bully a very, very able man behaving like a
crude bully. This is a tragedy for the world. Disarmament?
What did we expcct tq Zet out of a Su . nit ? reetinrg?
What do you suppose that the fair-mindad people who went there,

Mlacmil a and De Gau le and Elsenho'er, -rhat do you suppose they
. anted to get from a SuW-nit Meeting? lot just a general chitterchatter
about this or that: one or two things that might have
bro. ght some hope to the uorld, some hope to ordinary men and women
who are the victims of international tension and rill be the mass
victims of . ar, they are the Teople whose i terests matter. And
everyone of the four men should have been there thinking of
hundreds of mil ions of ordinary raen and vomen and determined to
achieve some result, something that would relieve the tensLons: A
temporary arra-gement about Berlin f you like, I thought might be
quite possible. Not a final settlement but something that postponed
the argument, let thin: gs settle a bit. An Agreement about nuclear
tests? . hy they had had a Confererce in Geneva lasting a long time
and the gap w. h . ch began like that got narrower and narro ' er until I
saw no reason whatever why a Meeting at the Summit should not close
t. at gap and dispose of that problem and give to all of us our first
ray of hope about the conduct of the Comunist powers.
All thrown away; all . cejected: " Go away; I will not confer
with you. I do not rant to have a settlement about nuclear tests".
And a few reeks later hen the disarmament conference resudies in
Geneva and the free world is on the very point of tabling concrete
proposals in that great fLe d, the Soviet representative, on ir. struc.
tion, wal: s out and brirgs the conference to an end.
^ P Now, th.. s s not to be overlooked e are not going to
have talks about Berlin; re are not go: g to have talks about nuclear
tests; we are n-t going to have talks about disarmament. We who
wanted to talk nor no longer wa't to talk.' This is one of the
climacteric events in modern history. And the next thing that
happens is that, pursuing the same technique, stirring up something
here or thre, the probicg operations of , rhat has been called the
Cold 4ar, we open our papers one daT and we see that Fidel Castro of
Cuba I . ould not have thought him one of the world's great statesmen,
but impudent and greatly e couraged by what happened in the case of
Colonel Nasser, for example a little matter of which I knor somethi.
g cocks a. snoop at the United States of America, steals
hundreds of milliors of pounds w. orth nf other people's property and

the next thing that happens s: t is al. right-we, the Soviet
Union, wil1 lo after you: ', re will provide you with oil: we ', rill
get our hard in. vIe Iil1 produce what : e will describe as " economic
aid" and by e couiraging jou to say u-speakable things against the
sreat free nations of the world, re wil' bind you to us
These are pretty ser. ous considerations. ' retti serious*
that is the understatement of all time.
N -v I just turn from that to say one more thing, to go
back a little, about China.
You know some of us have been regarded by some others in
the Commonwealth as attaching undue importance to the Communist threat.
I think that my very good friend, Mr. Nehru, has, though he has not
sa. d it he is much too courteous to do that but I think that more
than once he has thou ht that I had too fixed a mind on the question
of the Soviet Union for example. But do not think he would say
that today about China. I am sure that he would not. He of al-the
great leaders in Asia, has been the one who has sought to interpret
fairly and generously what has gone on inside Communist China. He
has maintairned his full. diplomatic relations with Communist China.
He has had a lot of direct personal contact writh the leaders, Mao
Tse-tung and Chou En-lai and all of them. 1 would have thought
that they iould regard him as a man who had been, so to speak,
an honest broker, in these matters. And what has happened? His
own Chinese frontier has been violated, fol owing on the incidences
of Tibet. Al the disturbances along his frontier: Scores of
thousands of refugees from Tibet drive: into his own country; all the
surging troubles around the North of Nepal and the province of
Ladakh and those other places on the ultimate north, north east of
india. He has been made to understand something, by hard experience,
of the arrogance and aggressive'ess of the Communist, whether he is
in the Soviet Union or in Chion or in o. e of the score of countries
which have been taken into captivity by them.
No-, SLr, why do I occupy your time talking about those
things? i4el, I talk about them, of course, because they are vastly

important to us. There might have been a time in the history of
Australia when people thought thp. t we could live by ourselves and
to ourselves. Nobody believes that today. Does anybody believe
that, wrapped in o,-r own virtve -nd isolated in our own splendour,
we can just go along untouched by hostile hands? Of course not.
The very thought of it is unreal and ridiculous.
e have our security involved in the security of the
entire free world, in that of the United States and of Cn,-de rnd our
other comrade countries of the Common'wealth: Greet ' ritEin, right
there in the very cockpit of any conflict; the whole of The , est of
Europe. Our security is bound upwith theirs. This is no dr,. for
narrow conceptions, for narro-mindedness, for p', rochrlism. on these
things. This is the day for the broad Lnd secrpin'-conceptjnn of
where we stand in the world. And in crse vov think that perhaps thct
is blowing a little hard on behalf of /' ustralia, let me tell you with
great pride, that our voice, in spite of the limits to our numbers,
our voice is a very respectable and respected voice in the councils
of the free nations of the world. ( Applause)
Now before I conclude I would just like to say something
about how all that has its counterpart inside Australia. I
have never pretended, nor v. oul. d anybody else, that as a political
Sparty, the Australian Co.;: unists a;-ount to very much. They have contributed
a pretty high number of lost deposits to the revenues of the
country. Of course the people of Australia von't pvt then into
parliament. Of course the people of Australia will never consc'o'sly,
in large numbers support a collection of people whose action-s are
treasonable in the highest degree. Of course they on't. e rn
decent, honest, sensible people in Australia.
Therefore t'-ey do 7 little shop \: indo stuf-on r1. nn. ng
a candidate that's only shop c'i:-Caond it is r little ch-nce -Por a
bit of propaganda. ' here they do their wor,-is elsevrhere. nd the
whole history of the industrial ovelient in Australia in recent years
has been the history of an attempt, som: etimes successful and sometimes
unsuccessful, by the Communists to get control of Union offices.
Everybody knows about this. Even my friend Arthur Calwell,
who, I think I think 1 must have been away at the time denied

that there was a Unity Ticket problem, has been brought to
believe that there might be one. ( Laughter).
But I am not interested in the convolutions in the mind of
these apologists for Unity Tickets. Al' i want to point out to you
is that whatever the technique is that ' s to be employed, the
Communist significance in Australia rests upon their chance of
securing control, or an effective voice, in key trade unions. It
does not require very much imagination to know that if the Communists
achieved the position of leadership in the electric power generat-on
field in the State of Victoria, equal to that which Jim hiealy has
achieved in the ' L. terside Workers' Federation, then a Communist
decLsion could black out this State just as well qs sealing up the
ports of the State. This is what they ; re after. Do not run aiay
with the idea that these are amiable theorists. These people are,
a d always have been, the Fifth Column for Communist aggress. on
proceeding from the great contries. They go there; they do their
refresher courses; they have their ._ nstruct . ons. And the whole idea
is.: Let us insert ourselves into Union office.
Nor we, some little time back, kno ring that the rank and
file Trade Unionist in Australia is a patriot and willi not have
an/ thing to do with Fifth Columns or people of this kind, instituted
a vastly improved secret ballot law rhich enabled smal] l groups the
industrial groups themselves were able to play a great part in it
to get a secret ballot where the ordinary Union ballot looked as if
it had been fLxed or rigged. And as a result of that legislation
designdd to free people from these Communist manoeuvres and give
them an opportunity of chal'e-ging elections that were improperly
conducted, was voted against by every member of the Labour party at
Canberra. But when it went into operation the results of it * ere
astonishingly good. Comnunist offici. l after Communist official
found himself rejected at the polls. And then the Australian Labour
Party, or what is left of it, said: " This will not do", th. s ias
under its previous leadership " This wil' not do. Of course we
hate the Communists but we do not to fall ov. t with them too
much". A.: d so theystarted inside their own ranks, not a pro-Communist

11.
movement but a viole t movement against the industrial groups.
Because they know that if they could destroy them or their influence,
then some of these eminent Com.: unists would begin to come back as
they have begun to come back into Unton office.
That is the -ihole pnint about Unity tickets: the shabby
statements that have been made, these miserable unconv. incing denials
are all exploded if you lo k at a Unity ticket. B-It that is only a
symptom. The true disease is that the Australian Labour Party is
utterly unaware of the Com; ainist infiltration techniques or, being
aware, is quite indiffere. t as to whether they succeed or not.
Ladies and Gentlemen I could stand up here and talk to you
for a couple of hours about many of the problems of the world and
perhaps, with a bit of luck, I might interest you on them because I
have seen a good deal in relation to them, as you know, in recent
times. But rcally at a time like this, at a period in the world's
history when I think there . re gr. at dangers Cuba is a symptem of
a danger; it is a symptom of hor people like thot can think they can
disregard the ancient homes of freedom, the great poiers of the
world, disregard them, fli in their f. ces, treat them with contempt.
That kind of state of affairs in the world is explosive, A big dog
may taku an awful lot from r. little dog, but not for always. This is
explosive matter. It is a matter in which re must, ourselves, be
prepared to give th-greatest moral and other support to those
nations whose stand in the ;, orld and rhose strength in the world are
vital to our security. And, in the samc way, this is the time :. hen
we must realise, as alwa/ s I think, that if our own Government has
been able to stand firmly, to be recognised around the free world
as being wrorthy of trust and co-operation, then this by-election
presents you with an opportun. ty of saying: " At any rate we have
confidence in this Government. ' Ie rill not weaken it by any vote
of ours".
. Ae

Transcript 195