PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 202

EXTRACTS FROM THE SPEECH OF THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT. HON. R.G. MENZIES AT THE 71ST ANNUAL ASSOCIATION DAY BANQUET OF THE COMMERCIAL TRAVELLERS' ASSOCIATION OF NEW SOUTH WALES, ON 13TH AUGUST 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: 13/08/1960

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 202

EXTRACTS FROM THE SPEECH OF THE PRIME MINISTER,
THE RT. HON. R. G. MENZIES AT THE 71ST ANNUAL
ASSOCI ATION DAY BANQUET OF JHE COiMEiRCIAL
TRAVELLERS' ASSOCIAfION OF NE. J SOUTH IJALES, ON
H AUGUST 1360
I rould just like to say three things to you.
First of all, I have already said, and I believe it
is true, you represent one of the freshest elements in the
nation competition. Competitive enterprise: a state of
affairs in which a man's skill and personality will produce
better results than in the case of a man without skill and
without personality. That, I think, is very -ood. The
competitive element is one of the great secrets of stability in
the country. I hesitate to think what wjould happen in this
marvellous country of ours if we all played the same tune, we
all had the same minds. I do not think Australia would present
to the world, under those circumstances, the same magnificent
and exciting field for interest to the rest of the world as it
does as a result of your labours and those for whom you toil.
The second thing that I wanted to say is that the
work you do, and I hope it will long continue, is a contributor
to the stability in the nation. So do not forget this stL~-v1
in this country. Not a dull stability, not a sort of half-dea
state of affairs, but a lively, bustling stability, if you can
imagine such a thing, is of tremendous importance to us in
regard to the rest of the world.
I have travelled, as I said to you before, a roat d
and I meet people wherever I go who have considerable interest in
this country. Wherever they may be in the United States or
Great Britain these people are vastly interested in this
country, not just because Fidel Castro has been naughty in Cuba.
No. Not just because some old source of repository of inrestment
has become politically crazy; not only for these reasons, but
because in the long run people will make the investments of
their fortunes in a country which they reoard as stable and
sensible. Stability and sensibility are not monopoly of mind;
nog, is it a party matter. It is where people, whatever their
politics may be, have a sense of responsibility, are fair, w~ here
they treat people fairly .: nd more and more they are looking to
Australia as a source of inspiration to them and a place in
which they can invest their capital. Some people are becoming
very anxious and are looking at , very dollar, every Swiss franc
invested in Australia as piling up obligations for the future.
I think it is a very limited way in which to look at it,
because all these investments from overseas have tended, I om
happy to say, so far to create industries, to create employment
and to create production and bring us more into the field in
wihich we will be -ble to sell manufactured and processed goods to
the rest of the world. It has been of tremendous importance to
us. Only the other day, metaphorically speaking, my own
Government decided to terminate Import Licensing. I do not
need to go into the reasons for that, but, of course, one of the
chief reasons for this is that the overseas balance has been in
a healthy state, and it is all for the good of Australia that we
should have more goods and services in this country,
But if -eo wore to ablish Import Licensing and nothing
more happened, then the demand for imports would become so great
that our overseas balance would run down, and . ec might find
ourselves, at some time in the futuro, a little oe. barrassed, by
a fall in our overseas balance, . hich is vitally important to the
well being of Australia. At that moment we say ' yes, but one of
the great elements to preserve our balances and to keep us
healthy overseas, is the most remarkable influx of private
investment in Australia ;. nd this has become one of the g-rat
factors in our economy. I am putting on one side the money

2.
Governments may borrow institutionally overseas from the World
Bank or from the Export Import Bank, There has been now for
years an influx of private capital investments on private account
and for private purchases in Australia something exceeding a
hundred million pounds a year and I want you gentlemen to say
to yourselves: where would we be without it9 Weo have the most
remarkable increase in population; we have the most remarkable
tasks to perform to further the development of Australia, which,
if it succeeds, will give ample accommodation to all the
people who may be born here or wh. may come here.
If we did not have that inflow of capital from
overseas, we would be chronically short of capital for our own
development. Let us have that clearly ih our minds and,
therefore, one of the things you have to bear in mind, is that
you must help to create Government, of course, can do a
little, but by no moans everything you must create, or help to
create, a climate in Australia which will encourage the flow in
this country of capital of Irhich we are short and which, added
to the capital ro generate, will enable us to go along and
develop our country. And you won't got this investment unless
you have a sense of stability in the minds of people who are
concerned.
O So you see I started with you, your contribution to
stability, the contribution of stability for overseas investment.
And the final stage is this: that we are not at any time a
remarkably safe couhtry. We have ten million people, and we
have all sorts of turbulent and aggressive movements going
round in the world. Only the other day a 24 year-old man
executed a coup in Laos, one of the countries under the umbrella
of the South East Asia Treaty Orgnnization, an Organization which
is vital as the ANZAS Pact to our international security. We
must at all times so conduct our own affairs as to inspire the
confidence of other people and therefore, their friendship and
their interest in this country. Now I won't olaborate on those
things, because there are six other speakers, but you see my
sequence the kind of , iork you do in relation to stability and
what stability does in its relation. to investment and the
O provision of the capital required in this country.
The principal investor, Great Britain, and the United
States of America look at us as a country in which they have
invested, in which they are deeply interested, to whose dovelopmont
they are making a grat contributioh. And that has, I
believe, much to do with the security of Australia. The
security of Australia is not only deor to us who are grown up.
it is even more dear to our children and our grandchildren and
the whole future of a nation, which I am quite determined in my
own mind, is destined to be one of the great and proud, and free,
and responsible, and contributing nations of the world.
That, somewhat tediously expressed at rather more
length than I would hive wished explains why when I come here
to the Commercial Travellers' Association, I fool I am among
people who are at the very grass roots of these groat propositions,
which mean so much to me.

Transcript 202