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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2158

MR WHITLAM'S SUPPORT OF MATAUNGAN ASSOCIATION - STATEMENT 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: 13/01/1970

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2158

FOR PRESS: P. M. No. 5/ 1970
MR. WHITLAM'S SUPPORT OF MATAUNGAN ASSOCIATION
Statement by the Prime Minister, Mr. John Gorton
Mr. Whitlam has reached new heights of arrogance.
He went to speak to the Mataungan Association a
section of the Tolai people who had used violence, who were refusing
to pay taxes, who were refusing to abide by a legally elected council.
He told them according to newsmen whom he admits " faithfully
reported" him that he admired this Association, its expression,
and its spokesmen and was impressed by the patriotic fervour with
which they expressed their feelings.
If he does not feel that this supported and encouraged
that organisation he must be the only one who doesn't. Certainly the
responsible leading natives of New Guinea, who told him to go home
and stop fermenting trouble, don't agree with him. I fear he has
increased the risk of violence in the area.
If any apology is required it should come from Mr.
Whitlam to the Australian people for stating he had undertaken this
journey on their behalf, and suggesting he was their spokesman, when
the Australian people had so recently refused him the right either to
govern them or to speak for them.
CANBERRA 13 January 1970

Transcript 2158