PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3190

GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS

Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/03/1974

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 3190

EMBARGO: 8.00PM THURSDAY 14 MARCH 1974
GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS
SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER,
THE HON. E. G. WHITLAM, M. P.,
TO THE FIFTH NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF
THE INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS IN AUSTRALIA,
WENTWORTH HOTEL, SYDNEY,
14 MARCH 1974
I HOPE YOU WILL NOT THINK IT TOO PROVOCATIVE OF ME
IF I BEGIN MY ADDRESS TO THIS DISTINGUISHED COMPANY OF
CAPITALISTS BY QUOTING THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO.
THE LAST TIME I SPOKE TO SUCH A LARGE AND POWERFUL
GATHERING OF BUSINESSMEN WAS IN MELBOURNE LAST YEAR
AT A SEMINAR WITH THE INTRIGUING TITLE OF " FUTURE SHOCK".
I LEARNT MY LESSON ON THAT OCCASION: WHERE BUSINESSMEN
ARE CONCERNED, IF YOU CAN'T BEAT ' EM, SHOCK ' EM.
So I COMMEND TO YOU THE FOLLOWING QUOTATION

-2-
THE BOURGEOISIE, DURING ITS RULE OF SCARCE ONE
HUNDRED YEARS, HAS CREATED MORE MASSIVE AND MORE
COLOSSAL PRODUCTIVE FORCES THAN HAVE ALL PRECEDING
GENERATIONS TOGETHER, SUBJECTION OF NATURE'S
FORCES TO MAN, MACHINERY, APPLICATION OF CHEMISTRY
TO INDUSTRY AND AGRICULTURE, STEAM NAVIGATION,
RAILWAYS, ELECTRIC TELEGRAPHS, CLEARING OF WHOLE
CONTINENTS FOR CULTIVATION, CANALIZATION OF RIVERS,
WHOLE POPULATIONS CONJURED OUT OF THE GROUND
WHAT EARLIER CENTURY HAD EVEN A PRESENTIMENT THAT
SUCH PRODUCTIVE FORCES SLUMBERED IN THE LAP OF
SOCIAL LABOUR?
THAT FINE TRIBUTE TO CAPITALISM WAS PAID BY MARX
AND ENGELS OVER A CENTURY AGO. A SYSTEM THAT CAN EVOKE
SUCH PRAISE FROM ITS WORST ENEMIES CANNOT BE TOO BAD.
TODAY, VERY FEW OF US HAVE MUCH TIME FOR MARXIST THEORIES,
BUT WE HAVE TO ADMIT THAT THE AUTHORS OF THOSE WORDS
PERCEIVED VERY CLEARLY THE ENORMOUS POWER AND PRODUCTIVE
POTENTIAL OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE, AND OF COURSE THEIR
REMARKS HAVE INFINITELY GREATER FORCE TODAY, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY, HARNESSED AND DIRECTED BY PRIVATE CAPITAL,
HAVE BEEN THE MAINSPRING OF ADVANCED WESTERN SOCIETY,
WITH ALL ITS RICH BLESSINGS FOR MANKIND; AND THE
" SUBJECTION OF NATURE'S FORCES TO MAN" HAS PROGRESSED SO
RAPIDLY THAT THE ISSUES IT RAISES ARE NO LONGER THOSE OF
ECONOMICS OR SOCIAL JUSTICE ALONE, THEY CALL IN QUESTION
THE VERY SURVIVAL OF OUR CIVILIZATION, / 3

3-
IBEGIN ON THIS SOMEWHAT PORTENTOUS NOTE BECAUSEI
BELIEVE THAT IT IS IN THE CONTEXT OF SUCH URGENT CONTEMPORARY
REALITIES THAT WE MUST LOOK AT THE ROLE OF THE MODERN COMPANY,
AND THE PART IT PLAYS IN SHAPING THE KIND OF SOCIETY WE DESir,:.,
IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, DESPITE MARX AND DESPITE MALTHUS,
NO ONE FORESAW THE ENORMOUS PRESSURES AND COMPLEXITIES THAT
WOULD OVERTAKE THE MIXED, FREE ENTERPRISE ECONOMY OF THE
PRESENT DAY. OVER-POPULATION WAS STILL A MATHEMATICAL
ABSTRACTION. THE DEPLETION OF THE EARTH'S RAW MATERIALS AND
NATURAL RESOURCES HAD BARELY BEGUN. THE PRESERVATION OF NATIONAL
INTEGRITY AND INDEPENDENCE WERE IDEALISTIC THEORIES LARGELY
IRRELEVANT IN A WORLD COLONIZED B~ Y EUROPEAN POWERS. THE
RESPONSIBILITY OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE TO THE PUBLIC INTEREST,
THE GROWTH OF AUTOMATION, THE NEED FOR MANPOWER AND TRAINING
POLICIES THAT TAKE ACCOUNT OF GROW4ING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES,
THE TECHNICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESSES OF THE MODERN CONSUMER
SOCIETY ALL THESE THINGS WERE UNKNOWN, AND ALL OF THEM
PRESENT CHALLENGES TO THE MODERN INDUSTrRIALIST UNDREAMT : OF
IN PAST GENERATIONS.
As IN SO MANY AREAS OF CONTEMPORARY LIFE, THE GREAT.
ACTIVE PRINCIPLE OF MODERN BUSINESS IS CHANGE; THE INEVITABIILITY
OF CHANGE AND THE NEED TO ADAPT TO CHANGE.-AND THIS CHANGE
NOT SOMETHING IMPOSED FROM ABOVE BY GOVERNMENTS; IT ARISES
FROM DEEP SOCIAL AND HUMAN FORCES TO WHICH GOVERNMENTS M'UST
ADAPT JUST AS MUCH AS BUSINESSMEN. ITS IMPLICATIONS MUST BE
FACED BY GOVERNMENTS AND PRIVATE ENTERPRISE ALIKE.
WE AR-E ALLIES, WE ARE PARTNERS, IN THAT TASK. 1 4

-4-
A FEW FIGURES WILL DEMONSTRATE THE SCALE OF THE
CHALLENGE BEFORE US* AND HOW RAPIDLY EVEN RECENT PREDICTIONS
SEEM LIKELY TO BE INVALIDATED BEFORE THE END OF THIS CENTURY.
ABOUT 150 YEARS AGO 80% OF THE POPULATION HAD TO WORK THE
LAND IN ORDER TO PROVIDE ENOUGH FOOD FOR ALL. ( THIS IS
STILL THE PROPORTION IN CHINA.) TODAY IN THE UNITED
STATES ABOUT 5% OF THE LABOUR FORCE PRODUCE MORE THAN
ENOUGH FOOD FOR ALL AMERICANS AND FOR MILLIONS OF PEOPLE
ABROAD. A REASONABLE PROJECTION INDICATES THAT BY 1980
IT WILL REQUIRE ONLY 2.5% OF THE WORKFORCE IN THE WESTERN
WORLD TO PRODUCE THE FOOD WE NEED. THE SAME TREND IS
APPARENT IN OTHER PRODUCTION INDUSTRIES. THE CONTAINERIZATION
OF FREIGHTI THE MECHANIZATION OF MINING, THE DEVELOPMENT OF
COMPUTERS ALL THESE TRENDS ARE AFFECTING THE COMPOSITION
OF THE WORKFORCE AND THE LIVES OF ORDINARY PEOPLE.
IN THE U. S. A. MANUAL WORKERS NOW MAKE UP ABOUT ONE
THIRD OF THE LABOUR FORCES AND IN THE EUROPEAN INDUSTRIAL
COUNTRIES ABOUT ONE HALF. THE PROPORTION IS STEADILY
SINKING IN ALL INDUSTRIAL NATIONS. BY-THE END OF THE
CENTURY TECHNOLOGY COULD BRING ABOUT AS DRAMATIC A
REDUCTION IN ALL LABOUR AS WE HAVE ALREADY EXPERIENCED
IN AGRICULTURE. AT THE SAME TIME THE RESOURCES OF THE
WORLD ARE BEING DEPLETED AT A RATE THAT MAY LEAVE SOME
BASIC METALS EXHAUSTED WITHIN 30 YEARS.

THIS IS THE CHALLENGE FOR GOVERNMENTS. THIS IS THE
CHALLENGE FOR ALL THOSE IN CONTROL OF OUR GREAT INDUSTRIES
AND PUBLIC COMPANIES. I THINK BUSINESSMEN ARE ALREADY
BEGINNING TO RECOGNISE CHANGES AND ADAPT TO THEM. VERY FEW
DIRECTORS OR BOARDS OF COMPANIES TODAY WOULD REGARD THEIR
RESPONSIBILITY AS BEING SOLELY TO THE INTERESTS OF THEIR
OWN COMPANY OR ITS SHAREHOLDERS, REGARDLESS OF THE INTERESTS
OF SOCIETY. MANY OF YOU IN THIS ROOM ARE DIRECTORS NOT
OF ONE COMPANY BUT OF TWO OR SEVERAL COMPANIES; YOUR EXPERTISE
AND EXPERIENCE CAN BE APPLIED ACROSS A WIDE RANGE, IN A
MULTITUDE OF INDUSTRIES, SINCE YOU RECOGNISE THAT THE BUSINESS
WORLD IS A DIVERSE AND DYNAMIC COMMUNITY IN WHICH MANY PUBLIC
AND PRIVATE INTERESTS, EVEN NATIONAL INTERESTS, ARE
REPRESENTED. THERE ARE TWO LESSONS WE MUST DRAW FROM THIS. ONE IS
THAT BOARDS OF DIRECTORS CAN NO LONGER BE REGARDED AS
DYNASTIES OR SELF-PERPETUATING ELITES. THE BIGGEST AND MORE
SUCCESSFUL CORPORATIONS ARE OFTEN THOSE WHICH DRAW DIRECTORS
FROM OTHER ORGANISATIONS, BRINGING TOGETHER FRESH TALF'" TS
AND NEW IDEAS. AND THE SECOND LESSON IS THAT DIRECTORS OF LARGI
COMPANIES MUST BE HELD PUBLICLY ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR DECISIONS
IF COMPANIES TAKE DECISIONS THAT AFFECT NOT JUS-f THE14SELVE
OR THEIR CLIENTS BUT A WIDER COMMUNITY -TO SAY NOTHING OF
THE NATIONAL ECONOMY WE MUST EXPECT THEM TO EXPLAIN AND
JUSTIFY THOSE DECISIONS.

-6
WE DO NOT EXPECT THEM TO PRESENT A MONOLITHIC FRONT, ANY
MORE THAN WE EXPECT THE MODERN POLITICAL PARTY TO PRESENT
A MONOLITHIC FRONT; IREGRET THAT THERE IS STILL A TENDENCY
IN AUSTRALIA TO REGARD UNITY.-OR IN A NARROWER SENSEI
UNANIMITY AS MORE VIRTUOUS IN A'POLITICAL PARTY THAN
INTEGRITY OR VIGOUR OR THE FREE FLOW OF IDEAS.
CONTENTION, EVEN DISSENSION, ARE NEEDED IN THE
BOARDROOM JUST AS MUCH AS IN PUBLIC LIFE, FOR IT IS ONLY
THROUGH CONTENTION AND FREE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS THAT WE CAN
REACH INFORMED AND MATURE JUDGEMENTS. YOU WILL ALL BE
FAMILIAR WITH A RECENT INCIDENT INVOLVING A DIRECTOR
OF THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. I SHALL
HAVL MURkL TO SAY L-ArLfl AL3) LJ ' 11iL A. 1. ID. C., BUT LET ME SAY
THIS MUCH NOW: 11Y CHIEF REGRET ABOUT SIR JOHN DUNLOP'S
RESIGNATION WAS NOT SO MUCH THAT THE A. I. D. C. LOST A
RESPECTED PROTAGONIST FROM THE BOARD OF THE BANK OF NEW SOUTH
WALES, BUT RATHER THAT THE OLDEST AND ONE OF THE GREATEST
PUBLIC COMPANIES IN AUSTRALIA COULD FIND* NO ROOM IN ITS
BOARDROOM FOR A DISSENTING VOICE. I BELIEVE THAT PRIVATE
COMPANIES HAVE NO LESS AN OBL. IGATION THAN DEMOCRATIC
GOVERNMENTS TO JUSTIFY THEMSELVES IN PUBLIC. ONE OF THE
GREAT VALUES OF THE PRICES JUSTIFICATION TRIBUNAL, WHICH
THIS GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHED, IS THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME WE
RECOGNISED AND ENACTED THE PRINCIPLE THAT PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE TO PUBLIC OPINION FOR DECISIONS THAT
AFFECT THE PUBLIC INTEREST. " OPEN GOVERNMENT" I IS NOT ENOUGH;
It
WE ALSO NEED OPEN BUSINESS a s s17

-7-
THE TRUTH IS THAT COMPANIES NOW HAVE TO OPERATE
MUCH MORE CLOSELY WITH GOVERNMENTS IN EVERY WAY, THIS IS
CERTAINLY TRUE OF THE GREAT INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS,
BUT IT IS NO LESS TRUE OF COMPANIES OPERATING WITHIN
NATIONAL BOUNDARIES, IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE, HOWEVER, TO
REGARD THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN ITS RELATIONS WITH THE
PRIVATE SECTOR AS ONE MERELY OF RESTRAINT OR CONTROL,
TRUE ENOUGH, A SOCIETY IN WHICH EVERYBODY DOES WHAT HE
LIKES IS INCONCEIVABLE, ANY SORT OF HIGHLY DEVELOPED
ORGANISATION IMPOSES UNAVOIDABLE CONSTRAINTS ON THE DRIVES
OF THE INDIVIDUAL, YET I PREFER TO REGARD GOVERNMENT
AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR AS COLLABORATORS RATHER IHAN
RIVALS, THEY WORK BEST WHEN THEY WORK TOGETHER,

-8-
THE UNIVERSAL TREND IN THE MODERN WORLD IS TOWARDS
MORE INTIMATE AND MORE INTRICATE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN
GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE ENTERPRISE. IN JAPAN, FOR EXAMPLE,
THIS RELATIONSHIP IS INSTITUTIONALIZED IN A NETWORK OF
OFFICIAL CONTACTS BETWEEN INDUSTRY AND GOVERNMENT; THE POLICIES
OF ONE ARE FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES THE POLICIES OF THE
OTHER. IN THE SCANDANAVIAN COUNTRIES, NOTABLY IN SWEDEN,
WHERE STATE SUPERVISION OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS PERHAPS
MOST RIGID, GOVERNMENTS AND FREE ENTERPRISE CO-OPERATE TO A
MARKED DEGREE; ENORMOUS STRIDES TOWARDS A SUPER-WELFARE
STATE HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT ANY NATIONALIZATION OF
MAJOR INDUSTRIES, INDEED THOSE INDUSTRIES ARE AMONG THE MOST
EFFICIENT AND PROSPEROUS IN THE WORLD. IN THE UNITED STATES,
WHICH HAS FOR LONG ENFORCED THE MOST RIGOROUS ANTI-TRUST
LAWS OF ANY COUNTRY IN THE FREE WORLD, WE HAVE SEEN IN RECENT
YEARS GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION IN THE PRICES AND INCOMES
MECHANISM TO A DEGREE THAT NO ONE WOULD HAVE CONTEMPLATED
EVEN 10 YEARS AGO. IN OUR OWN REGION, WE HAVE THE RECENT
EXAMPLE OF TWO GREAT AUSTRALIAN COMPANIES, l. P, AND C. S. R.,
MAKING TRADE AGREEMENTS WITH CHINA. I NEED HARDLY LABOUR
THE POINT THAT THE OLD RIGID CONCEPTS OF FREE tENTERPRISE, ThiE
OLD-FASHIONED RIVALRIES BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS, T" E
NOTION THAT GOVERNMENTS AND BUSINESSMEN ARE NATURAL ENEMIES
WORKING IN SEPARATE COMPARTMENTSARE DEAD AND BURIED. ,. 1,1/ 9

8A
I CAN GIVE YOU A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE WAY MY OWN
GOVERNMENT HAS BROKEN THROUGH SOME OF THE RIGID IDEOLOGICAL
BARRIERS THAT SURROUNDED ECONOMIC AND MONETARY POLICY,
IT CONCERNS THE BANKS. FOR A LONG TIME IT WAS ACCEPTED
THAT A LABOR GOVERNMENT SHOULD AVOID TOO MUCH USE OF MARKET
FORCES IN GOVERNING THE ECONOMY. YET THE FACT IS THAT NO
PREVIOUS AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT HAS USED THE MECHANISM OF THE
MONEY MARKET MORE THOROUGHLY AND MORE SUCCESSFULLY AS A BASIC
TOOL OF ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT, WE HAVE ELEVATED THE STATUS
AND IMPORTANCE OF THE TRADING BANKS IN AUSTRALIA TO A POSITION
THEY HAVE NOT ENJOYED FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS. WE DID THIS BY
REMOVING THE CEILING ON BANK INTEREST RATES FOR NEGOTIABLE
CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT. IN THAT WAY WE ENABLED THE BANKS
TO COMPETE VIGOROUSLY FOR FUNDS ON THE MONEY MARKET.
fNSTEAD OF BEING THE FIRST INSTITUTIONS TO FEEL THE EFFECTS
OF NECESSARY MONETARY RESTRICTIONS, THE BANKS ARE THE
BENEFICIARIES; OTHER INSTITUTIONS ARE FORCED TO COMPETE
WITH THEM. I SUGGEST THAT THE EXTRAORDINARY SUCCESS OF OUR
FEBRUARY LOAN, WHICH ATTRACTED $ 509 MILLION IN CASH SUBSCRIPTIONS,
IS EVIDENCE OF THE NEW ROLE WE HAVE GIVEN TO THE BANKS.
THE PRIVATE BANKS FOR SO LONG ANATHEMA TO LABOR GOVERNMENTS
ARE BACK ON TOP, I WELCOME THE FACT, THEY ARE GREAT IIISTITUTIONS
MY ONLY REGRET IS THAT I HAVE YET TO HEAR ANY ACKNOWLEDGFMENT
FROM THEM OF THE FACT THAT A LABOR GOVERNMENT HAS RESTORED THEIR
-POSITION AS THE-DOMINANT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS IN THIS COUNTRY.
I AM AFRAID THAT IT IS ONLY WHEN COMPLAINTS ARE BEING HEARD
THAT YOU CAN BANK ON THE WAILS. / 9

-9-
WHATEVER THE BANKS MAY THINKI PUT IT TO YOU
THAT THERE ARE NOW CLOSER CONTACTS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND
BUSINESS IN THIS COUNTRY THAN EVER BEFORE AND THEY ARE
GENUINE CONTACTS, NOT TOKEN GESTURES, NOT WINDOW DRESSING.
WHAT WE HAVE TRIED TO DO -AND SUCCEEDED IN DOING IS DRAW
BUSINESSMEN OF THE HIGHEST CALIBRE INTO THE PROCESSES OF
DECISION MAKING AND POLICY FORMATION. THERE ARE LEADING
BUSINESSMEN ON MANY OF THE EXPERT AND INDEPENDENT BODIES
WE HAVE SET UP TO ADVISE THE GOVERNMENT ON POLICY MATTERS.
NOW YOU MAY THINK THAT IS A FAIRLY OBVIOUS THING TO DO,
BUT IT WAS NOT A PRACTICE THAT COMMENDED ITSELF TO OUR
PREDECESSORS. CONSIDER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE VERNON COMMITTEE,
WHICH WAS APPOINTED BY SIR ROBERT MENZIES IN FEBRUARY 1963
TO REPORT ON FUTURE GUIDELINES FOR ECONOMIC POLICY, ITS
REPORT WAS DELIVERED IN MAY 1965, IT WAS TABLED IN AUGUST
1966, IN OTHER WORDS, IT WAS SUPPRESSED BY THE PREVIOUS
GOVERNMENT FOR 15 MONTHS; ITS ADVICE WAS IGNORED.
I TAKE PRIDE IN THE FACT THAT THE FOUR SURVIVING
MEMBERS OF THAT COMMITTEE HAVE ALL RENDERED DISTINGUISHED SERVICE
TO THIS GOVERNMENT AND TO THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE SIR JAMES
VERNON AS HEAD OF THE INQUIRY INTO THE POST OFFICE,
SIR JOHN CRAWFORD, AUTHOR OF THE REPCRT ON WHICH THE
INDUSTRIES ASSISTANCE COMMISSION WAS BASED; PROFESSOR PETER
KARMELI HEAD OF THE INTERIM SCHOOLS COMMITTEE AND AUTHOR OF
THE REPORT INTO EDUCATIONAL NEEDS; AND MR, KENNETH MYERI
A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF THE NATIONAL LIBRARY.

10
WE HAVE ASKED MANY OTHER PROMINENT BUSINESSMEN TO
PARTICIPATE IN INQUIRIES INTO ASPECTS OF GOVERNMENT POLICY,
IMENTION A FEW: MR. R. KINGSFORD-SMITH, CHAIRMAN AND
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF HAWKER DE HAVILLAND, A MEMBER OF A
WORKING GROUP TO STUDY THE AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY; MR. K. S. HEDLEY,
A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL SUPERANNUATION COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY;
MR. N. M. GOW, A MEMBER OF THE TECHNICAL AND FURTHER EDUCATION
COMMITTEE; MR. D. YENKEN AND MR. KEITH'VALLANCEI MEMBERS OF THE
TASK FORCE ON THE NATIONAL ESTATE; MR. JACK HANNES,* MANAGING
DIRECTOR OF HANIMEX CORPORATION LIMITED, A MEMBER OF THE
INTERIM COMMISSION ON CONSUMER STANDARDS; MR. G. POLITES,
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF THE AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF EMPLOYERS
FEDERATIONS, AND SIR THOMAS WARDLE OF PERTH, MEMBERS OF THE
NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT. SIR THOMAS
WARDLE IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE INTERIM ADVISORY BOARD OF THE
DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE AGENCY. WE HAVE APPOINTED FOUR NOTED
BUSINESSMEN MR. L. R. DUDLEY, MR. G. P. HAMPEL, MR, GEORGE
JOHNSON, AND MR. C. H. GRACE TO THE INDUSTRIES ASSISTANCE
COMMISSION. WE HAVE REAPPOINTED SIR BRIAN MASsy-GREENE AS A
DIREC-TOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH BANKING CORPORATION AND AS A
MEMBER OF THE-MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES ADVISORY COUNCIL.
OF COURSE I CANNOT UNDERTAKE THAT ALL THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF
THESE BODIES WILL BE ACCEPTED BY THE GOVERNMENT, BUT THEIR
MEMBERS CAN BE ASSURED OF THIS: THEIR ADVICE WILL BE PUBLISHED
AND PUBLISHED PROMPTLY. IT-WILL NOT BE SUPPRESSED OR FORGOTTEN.
IT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO A CLIMATE OF OPEN PUBLIC DEBATE. IT ' A ILL
BECOME PART OF THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS. SO LET US HEAR NO
MORE ABOUT LACK OF CONSULTATION. No OTHER GOVERNMENT IN
FRAMING ITS POLICIES HAS DRAWN SO WIDELY AND REWARDINGLY ON
THE SERVICES OF BUSINESSMEN.

11
IWANT TO DEAL IN A MOMENT WITH THREE PARTICULAR ASPECTS
OF GOVERNMENT POLICY WHICH CONCERN You. BUT FIRST, I HAVE ONE
MORE GENERAL OBSERVATION, ASK YOU TO REMEMBER THAT A GREAT
DEAL OF WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS ATTEMPTING TO DO HAS ALREADY
BEEN ATTEMPTED AND ACHIEVED IN OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES IN SOME
CASES, MANY DECADES AGO. SOME OF YOU MAY RECALL THAT LAST
NOVEMBER, BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL CONDUCTED A SEMINAR IN CANBERRA
AT WHICH THE POLICIES OF THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT WERE EXAMINED
FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY.
WE WERE HONOURED ON THAT OCCASION BY THE PRESENCE OF MRiORVILLE
FREEMAN, WHO SERVED WITH DISTINCTION IN THE KENNEDY AND JOHNSON
ADMINISTRATIONS AND WHOSE NAME IS RESPECTED THROUGHOUT THE
BUSINESS WORLD. LET ME READ TO YOU SOME OF THE CONCLUSIONS REACHED
By BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL ABOUT THE POLICIES OF THIS GOVERNMENT.
IF I WERE-WRITING THE REPORT MYSELF I MIGHT EXPRESS THESE VIEWS
WITH RATHER MORE ENTHUSIASM, BUT THEIR GENERAL DRIFT WILL BE
CLEAR TO You. BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL SAID THIS:
MANY OF ITS PROGRAMS ( THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAMS)
WILL MERELY BRING AUSTRALIAN LEGISLATION AND PRACTICES
INTO LINE WITH THOSE IN FORCE IN THE U. S. AND WESTERN
EUROPE. ITS SOCIAL SECURITY REFORMS ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE
IN FORCE IN MANY WEST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES FOR SOME YEARS;
ITS NEW ANTITRUST LAWS ARE MODELLED ON THOSE OF THE U. S.,
WITHOUT BEING SO SEVERE AS THE U. S, LAWS; ITS PROPOSED
SECURITIES EXCHANGE COMMISSION WILL ALSO BE MODELLED ON
U. S. LINES, BUT ITS REGULATIONS WILL BE LESS COMPLEX;
SIMILARLY, IF THE GOVERNMENT PROCEEDS WITH PROGRAMS FOR
WORKER PARTICIPATION IN MANAGEMENT, THESE WILL-BE MODELLED
ON SWEDISH AND WEST GERMAN PRACTICES.

12-
WHILE THE GOVERNMENT HAS INTRODUCED SOME ECONOMIC
PLANNING, THIS IS LESS RIGOROUS THAN EVEN THE
PLANNING OF THE UK GOVERNMENT TODAY, THE MAIN
EXPRESSION OF THE GOVERNMENT'S NEW THRUST WILL BE
IN GREATER EXPENDITURE ON SOCIAL SERVICES, AND IN
GREATER REGULATION OF BUSINESS, RATHER THAN IN
STATE OWNERSHIP,
THE REPORT THEN MAKES SOME MODERATELY KIND REFERENCES
TO ME AND SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES, THE " KEY FIGURES" IN THE
GOVERNMENT, IT SAYS, ARE " PRAGMATIC MODERATES WHO EMPHASISED THAT
THEY WELCOMED AND ENCOURAGED CONTINUED OUTSIDE INVESTMENT
IN AUSTRALIA, ALTHOUGH SUBJECT TO CERTAIN NEW GUIDELINES,,,,"
THE REPORT GOES ON:
ALL AUSTRALIAN POLITICAL PARTIES AND THE BUSINESS
COMMUNITY AGREE THAT POPULAR SENTIMENT DEMANDED AN
END OF THE OPEN DOOR POLICY TOWARD FOREIGN INVESTMENT
WHICH PREVAILED UNTIL LATE 1972; THE FIRST STEPS
TO END THAT POLICY WERE IN FACT TAKEN BY THE
PREVIOUS LIBERAL-COUNTRY PARTY GOVERNMENT,
FINALLY, WITH SINGULAR SHREWDNESS AND GOOD
JUDGMENTI THE REPORT CONCLUDES: " IT IS LIKELY THAT THE
WHIITLAM GOVERNMENT WILL REMAIN IN POWER FOR SOME TIME TO COME,"
I MUST SAY THAT I HAVE A VERY HIGH OPINION OF BUSINESS
INTERNATIONAL, I HOPE THAT OPINION IS SHARED BY ALL OF YOU,
RADICAL WE MAY BE, DETERMINED WE MAY BE, VIGOROUS WE CERTAINLY
ARE; BUT THERE IS NOTHING IN OUR POLICIES TOWARDS BUSINESS
THAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED NOVEL, IMPETUOUS OR UNPRECEDENTED IN
ANY OTHER WESTERN COUNTRY, ,/ 13 1

13
IN OUR APPROACH TO BUSINESS WE HAVE THREE BASIC
OBJECTIVES. WE WANT TO ENSURE, FIRST OF ALL, THAT
THE PRIVATE SECTOR REMAINS BUOYANT, PROSPEROUS AND
EFFICIENT. WE WANT TO ENSURE THAT AS FAR AS POSSIBLE
THE OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL OF AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRIES AND
RESOURCES REMAIN IN AUSTRALIAN HANDS, AND WE WANT TO
ENSURE THAT THE AFFAIRS OF AUSTRALIAN COMPANIES, AND
THE SECURITIES INDUSTRY ITSELF, ARE SUBJECT TO FAIR AND
REASONABLE LAWS, APPLIED UNIFORMLY ACROSS THE NATION IN
THE INTERESTS OF INVESTORS, CONSUMERS, SHAREHOLDERS,
BUSINESSMEN AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE.
LET ME DEAL WITH THE LAST POINT FIRST. THE GOVERNMENT
IS PLEDGED TO LEGISLATE FOR A NATIONWIDE COMPANIES ACT.
THE QUEST FOR UNIFORM COMPANY LAW IN AUSTRALIA HAS BEEN A
LONG AND SORRY STORY OF FRUSTRATION AND DISAPPOINTMENT
YOU WILL REMEMBER THAT A MEETING OF ATTORNEYS-GENERAL
IN 1959 RESULTED EVENTUALLY IN THE PRODUCTION OF A MODEL
DRAFT BILL IN 1960, Now WHILE THAT INITIATIVE LED TO
CERTAIN REFORMS IN COMPANY LAW AND TO A MUCH GREATER
MEASURE OF UNIFORMITY, CONSIDERABLE DIFFERENCES REMAINED
IN THE LAWS BETWEEN DIFFERENT STATES. THEY WILL ONLY BE
REMOVED BY NATIONAL LEGISLATION. FOR MORE THAN 60 YEARS,
HOWEVER, ATTEMPTS AT A UNIFORM COMPANY LAW WERE HAMPERED BY A
HIGH COURT DECISION IN 1909, THE COURT GAV. E A HIGHLY RESTRICTIVE
INTERPRETATION OF THE CORPORATIONS POWER OF THE COMMONWEALTH
UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. THAT DECISION WAS EVENTUALLY OVERRULED
BY A UNANIMOUS JUDGEMENT OF THE COURT IN SEPTEMBER 1971.
THE WAY WAS THEN OPEN FOR LEGISLATION ON A NATIONWIDE SCALE. ./ 14

14
WE HAVE HAD ONE STRIKING DEMONSTRATION OF THE
OBSTACLES TO UNIFORMITY WHEN LAWS OF THIS KIND ARE LEFT
TO THE STATES, IN THE EARLY 1960s, FOLLOWING THE FAILURE
OF CERTAIN PUBLIC BORROWING CORPORATIONS, VICTORIA INTRODUCED
A COMPANIES ( PUBLIC BORROWINGS) ACT WHICH CAME. INTO OPERATION
ON 1 FEBRUARY 1964. NEW SOUTH WALES AND QUEENSLAND FOLLOWED
IN JULY 1964, SOUTH AUSTRALIA AND WESTERN AUSTRALIA IN
JANUARY 1965 AND TASMANIA IN JANUARY 1967, THUS IT TOOK
NEARLY THREE YEARS BEFORE ALL AUSTRALIANS HAD THE PROTECTION
OF THIS LEGISLATION, WHILE DIRECTORS, LAWYERS AND ACCOUNTANTS
SOUGHT TO KEEP TRACK OF DIFFERENT LAWS FROM PLACE TO PLACE,
YET A NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, SEIZED WITH THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS
REFORM, COULD HAVE DONE THE JOB AT ONCE,
ONE OF THE FEARS THAT IS SOMETIMES EXPRESSED ABOUT
NATIONA LEGISLATION IS THAT IT WILL SOMEHOW BECOME A VEHICLE
FOR SOCIAL REFORM RATHER THAN REMAIN A MERE PIECE OF ENABLING
LEGISLATION, I DO NOT SEE WHY WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF
SOCIAL RLFURIM, WE TAKE ALTOGETHER TOO NARROW A VIEW OF COMPANY
LAW IF WE INSIST THAT IT CONFINE ITSELF TO THE TECHNICALITIES
OF ADMINISTRATION, AGAIN, IT IS TOO NARROW A VIEW TO INSIST
THAT ONLY DIRECTORS, SHAREHOLDERS AND CREDITORS HAVE AN
INTEREST IN THE ACTIVITIES OF A COMPANY, NO LAW IS DEVOID CF
SOCIAL CONTENT, THE RECENT BRITISH WHITE PAPER ON COMPANY
LAW REFORM SAID THIS:

15
" A BOARD OF DIRECTORS HAS TO RECONCILE SEVERAL
INTERESTS, OF WHICH PROFIT IS THE MAIN BUT
CANNOT BE THE ONLY ONE. ANY COMPANY MUST
BEHAVE AS A RESPONSIBLE PART OF THE SOCIETY
IN WHICH IT EXISTS. THIS REQUIRES COMPANY
DIRECTORS, ON BEHALF OF THE SHAREHOLDERS,
TO DISCHARGE THEIR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
AS WELL AS TO PROTECT THEIR LEGITIMATE INTERESTS."
IACCEPT THAT VIEW. ICOMMEND IT TO YOU. IN AUSTRALIA
WE WILL IN DUE COURSE HAVE COMPANY LEGISLATION WITH A
SIMILAR SOCIAL CONTENT. ONLY AN AUSTRALIAN CANUTE WOULD
ATTEMPT TO STEM THAT TIDE. TO RESIST THE INTRODUCTION OF
NATIONAL COMPANIES LEGISLATION BECAUSE OF ITS POSSIBLE
SOCIAL. CONfFNT IS TO BE BLIND TO THE DYNAMICS OF LAW AND
THE NEEDS OF TilE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC.
WE SEE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SECURITIES AND
EXCHANGE COMMISSION AS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF OUR DRIVE FOR
UNIFORM CUMFANY LAW. IREMIND YOU THAT OUR OPPONENTS ARE
AS FULLY COMMITTED AS WE ARE TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A
COMM ISS IuN, WE STILL AWAIT THE REPORT OF THE SENATE
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMITTEE, WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED
IN MARCH 1970. IN THE MEANTIME, HOWEVER, CABINET HAS
AUTHORISED THE ATTioRNEY-GENERAL TO PREPARE LEGISLATION
FOR A c~~ i~ INAND THAT WORK IS GOING FORWARD WITH
ALL POSSIBLE SPEED, 16

16
I TURN NOW TO ONE OF THE GREAT AND ABIDING
THEMES OF MY GOVERNMENT'S PHILOSOPHY. I HAVE SAID
THAT ONE OF OUR PRINCIPAL OBJECTIVES IS TO MAXIMISE
AUSTRALIAN OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL OF OUR INDUSTRIES
AND RESOURCES. AS YOU KNOW, THE GREAT INSTRUMENTS
WE ARE DEVELOPING FOR THAT PURPOSE ARE THE AUSTRALIAN
INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND THE ASSOCIATED
NATIONAL INVESTMENT FUND, WHEN I SAY THAT THESE ARE
OUR OBJECTIVES, OUR POLICIES, IT IS IMPORTANT TO
REMEMBER THIS: THEY WERE INTRODUCED AND DEVELOPED
IN RESPONSE TO A CLEAR AND UNEQUIVOCAL PUBLIC DEMAND.
THERE WAS NO MISTAKING THAT DEMAND. THERE ARE CERTAIN
ISSUES IN POLITICS, CERTAIN CURRENTS OF POPULAR FEELING,
THAT IMPINGE ON THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF ALL PARTIES AND
HELP SHAF. A CONSENSUS OF THOUGHT AND ACTION.
OUR OPPONEivTS RECOGNISED THOSE PRESSURES. THEY KNEW
AS WELL AS ' E DID THAT THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE WERE NO
LONGER WILLING TO SEE THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY FALL
INCREASINGLY INTO FOREIGN HANDS. THEY ESTABLISHED
THE WE IN TURN HAVE RESOLVED TO EXPAND AND
STRENGTHEN IT. THE A. I. D. C. WAS BORN OUT OF A
REALISATION THAT THERE IS A NEED FOR A SPECIALISED
INSTITUTION CAPABLE OF MOBILISING AND CHANNELLING CAPITAL
OFTEN IN LARGE AMOUNTS INTO NATIONALLY IMPORTANT
INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT BY COMPANIES OWNED AND CONTROLLED
IN AUSTRAL. IA. OUR PROPOSALS WILL REMOVE UNREALISTIC
RESTRICTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN PLACED ON THE CORPORATION SINCE
ITS INCEPTION, THEY WILL ENABLE IT TO CARRY OUT MORE
THOROUGHLY AND MORE EFFICIENTLY THE TASK EXPECTED OF IT.

17
IN ALL THE CRITICISM I HAVE HEARD OF THE CORPORATION
AND THE NATIONAL INVESTMENT FUND, I HAVE YET TO HEAR
ANY SERIOUS CRITICISM OF THEIR FUNDAMENTAL OBJECTIVE.
THERE IS, AFTER ALL, NOTHING SURPRISING) NOTHING NARROW
OR XENOPHOBIC, IN THE DEMAND FOR GREATER AUSTRALIAN
PARTICIPATION IN THE CONTROL OF OUR ECONOMIC DESTINY.
SO IF I TAKE TIME TO DEAL WITH YOUR ANXIETIES AND
CRITICISMS, LET IT NOT BE THOUGHT THAT I AM ON THE
DEFENSIVE. NOT ONLY DO I BELIEVE IN MY HEART THAT OUR
PROPOSALS ARE RIGHT AND OVERDUE: I BELIEVE THAT YOU,
AS GOOD AUSTRALIANS, AS BUSINESSMEN OF PRIDE AND INTEGRITY,
BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN HEARTS IN THE NEED FOR THESE REFORMS.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT OUR PROPOSALS ARE
AS MUCH CONCERNED WITH MAXIMISING INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT
GENERALLY AS THEY ARE WITH MAXIMISING AUSTRALIAN OWNERSHIP
AND CONTROL IN THAT DEVELOPMENT. A. I. D. C. IS ONLY ONE OF
MANY INSTITUTIONS THAT CAN AND DO PROVIDE DEVELOPMENT
FINANCE. SIR ALAN WESTERMAN, THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
OF MADE THIS POINT SUCCINCTLY IN A SUBMISSION
TO THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN OWNERSHIP AND
CONTROL, SIR ALAN SAID:
" I DO NOT SEE THE BASIC QUESTION AS BEING
WHETHER A. I. D. C. OR SOME ALTERNATIVE MECHANISM
IS 7HE BEST WAY TO FINANCE DEVELOPMENT AND
GET MORE AUSTRALIAN PARTICIPATION IN IT.
I DO NOT BELIEVE FOR A MOMENT THAT A. I. D. C.
COULD DO THAT JOB ALONE. THERE ARE A VARIETY
OF GOVERNMENTAL POLICY MEASURES AND INSTITUTIONS
THAT DO OR COULD HAVE A ROLE

18
To ME THE REAL QUESTION IS WHETHER
THERE IS A ROLE FOR A SPECIAL KIND OF
INSTITUTION SUCH As A. I. D. C. WHICH, DIRECTED
NOT JUST TOWARDS NORMAL SHAREHOLDERS I OBJECTIVES
FOR A PARTICULAR PROJECT BUT TO THE WIDER
NATIONAL OBJECTIVES SET FOR IT, WOULD ACTIVELY
PURSUE THOSE OBJECTIVES ( AND-ONLY THOSE OBJECTIVES)
THROUGH ITS OWN COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS AND
NEGOTIATIONS IN THE MARKET PLACE. IT HAS ALREADY
BEEN ACCEPTED BY PARLIAMENT AND I BELIEVE THE
COMMUNITY GENERALLY THAT A. I. D. C. IS TO HAVE
THAT ROLE. IF THIS IS SO I WOULD HOPE THERE SHOULD
BE NO OBJECTION TO IT BEING PROPERLY EQUIPPED FOR
THE JOB."
THE POINT IS MADE BY SOME CRITICS THAT THE EXPAN SION
OF A. I. D. C. WILL LEAD TO INCREASED COMPETITION AMONG
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FOR AVAILABLE DOMESTIC SAVINGS,
RESULTING IN HIGHER INTEREST RATES AND A DIVERSION OF
FUNDS FROM ESTABLISHED INSTITUTIONS SUCH AS SAVINGS
BANKS, BUILDING SOCIETIES AND LIFE OFFICES. NOW AS FAR
AS I AM AWARE, THERE IS NOTHING IN ECONOMIC THEORY WHICH
SAYS THAT THE ADVENT OF A NEW FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARY, OR
THE EXPANSION OF AN ESTABLISHED ONE, WILL PUSH UP INTEREST
RATES, IN FACT, IF NEW SAVINGS ARE GENERATED AND FUNDS
DIVERTED FROM INDIVIDUALS WHO MIGHT OTHERWISE HAVE INVESTED
DIRECT, IT MAY HELP TO REDUCE THE AVERAGE COST OF MONEY IN
THE COMMUNITY. WE BELIEVE THAT INTENSIFIED COMPETITION FOR
FUNDS Ar,, ONG FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES WILL MAKE THESE INSTITUTIONS
MORE COST-CONSCIOUS AND INNOVATIVE, AND THAT IN TURN WILL
REDUCE THE MARGINS BETWEEN THEIR BORROWING AND LENDING RATES.

19
IT IS THE GOVERNMENT'S INTENTION THAT THE ADDITIONAL
FUNDS CHANNELLED INTO RESOURCE-DEVELOPMENT AND INDUSTRIAL
PROJECTS SHOULD BE DIVERTED ULTIMATELY FROM LESS ESSENTIAL
PURPOSES, SUCH AS HIGH-RISE CITY BUILDINGS, RATHER THAN
FROM HOME-BUYING OR PUBLIC AUTHORITY S-PENDINGa
ANOTHER POINT MADE BY OUR CRITICS IS THAT THE NEW
A. I. D. C. AND THE N. I. F. WILL BE ATTEMPTING TO SATISFY
NEEDS WHICH ESTABLISHED INSTITUTIONS ARE ALREADY SATISFYING
ADEQUATELY. MY ANSWER IS THAT ESTABLISHED INSTITUTIONS
HAVE NO OBLIGATION AND EVEN LESS INCLINATION TO
PURSUE NATIONAL POLICY OBJECTIVES SINGLE-MINDEDLY AND
PURPOSEFULLY. AI. I), C. WAS ESTABLISHED TO HELP FINANCE
NATIONALLY DESIRABLE INDUSTRIAL AND MINERAL DEVELOPMENT;
TO PROMOTE MAXIMUM PRACTICABLE AUSTRALIAN PARTICIPATION
IN IMPORTANT ENTERPRISES, AND TO HELP FIL L
GAPS IN THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL MARKET. THE INEW L-LGISLATION
WILL ENABLE THE CORPORATION TO FULFIL THESE NATIONAL
RESPONSIBILITIES MORE EFFECTIVELY. REMEMBER, IF ANY
AUSTRALIAN INVESTOR WANTS TO BUY A SHARE DIRECT IN A
LISTED PUBLIC COMPANY, THERE IS NOTHING IN OUR PROPOSALS
TO STOP HIM OR TO AUTHORISE A. I. DIC. TO FORCE HIM TO
INVEST THROUGH THE INSTEAD. THE TROUBLE IS THAT
IT IS NOT ALWAYS PluSSIolL E AUSTRfALIANS TO. INVEST IN
FOREIGN-OPERATED ENTERPRISES, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE SET
UP AS SUBSIDIARY PRIVATE COMPANIES OR EVEN AS BRANCHES OF
THE OVERSEAS CONGLOMERATE.

20
AND EVEN WHERE IT IS POSSIBLE TO INVEST, UNLESS THE
INDIVIDUAL HOLDING IS A VERY BIG ONE IT WILL COMMAND
NO EFFECTIVE SAY WHATEVER IN SEEING IHA~ lI E COMPANY
FOLLOWS POLICIES IN THE INTERESTS OF AUSTRALIA.
IN SHORT, IT HAS LITTLE OR NOTHING TO DO WITH A. I. DoCs
OBJECTIVES$ IN AN4Y CASE, IT IS NOT THE JOB OF A. I. DsCs TO DISPLACE
AUSTRALIAN EQUITY INV'ESTMENT OF THAT KIND. IT IS DESIGNED
TO ADD TO IT, BY DISPLACING SOME OF WHAT WOULD OTHERWISE
BE FOREIGN INVESTMENT. IT SHOULD THUS BE ABLE TO DO A LOT
TO STRENGTHEN THE AUSTRALIAN SAY IN THE DIRECTION OF
DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES. THERE IS
CERTAINLY NOTHING IN OUR PROPnFA. S TH~ AT * VvLL. DEP~ IRIVE N. I. F.
BONDHOLDERS, PROTECTED AS THEY ARE BY A SUPERVISORY COUNCIL,
FROM ANY OF THE PRACTICAL BENEFITS OF OWNERSHIP THAT THEY
WOULD ENJOY BY SMALL IPORTFOLIO'I HOLDINGS OF SHARES LET
ALONE FROM INVESTMENT VIA A UNIT TRUST OR INVESTMENT
COMPANY OR A LIFE OR PENSION FUND. FAR FROM DIVERTING
EQUITY FUNDS FROM STOCK EXCHANGES, OUR PROPOSALS WILL
CREATE A NEW EQUITY INSTRUMENT ( THE INVESTMENT BONDS)
TRADED ON THE EXCHANGES, AND RAISE FUNDS FOR EQUITY
INVESTMENT FROM MANY ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO WOULD NEVER
THINK OF INVESTING THROUGH THE STOCK EXCHANGE.

21
WHEN THE A. I. D. C. WAS FIRST PROPOSED BY SIR JOHN
MCEWENI IT WAS REGARDED IN SOME QUARTERS AS A DANGEROUSLY
RADICAL CREATION, SOME MEMBERS OF THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT
SAW IT AS A SACRED DUTY TO FIGHT THE AIDC, AS PART OF
THEIR HOLY CRUSADE AGAINST SOCIALISM, I BELIEVE BUSINESSMEN
TODAY ARE OUTGROWING THESE INSTINCTIVE PREJUDICES; YOU ARE
SHREWD ENOUGH TO JUDGE ANY GOVERNMENT MEASURE ON REALISTIC
AND FACTUAL GROUNDS, THE FACT IS THAT THE SAME PEOPLE WHO
COMPLAIN TODAY ABOUT " NATIONALIZATION BY STEALTH MADE THE
SAME CHARGE AGAINST THE MENZIES GOVERNMENT'S BANKING
LEGISLATION IN 1957, WHAT IS STEALTHY OR FURTIVE ABOUT
OUR PROPOSALS? I HAVE BEEN ADVOCATING THEM PUBLICLY FOR YEARS,
THEY HAVE BEEN OPENLY DEBATED INSIDE AND OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT,
OUR INTENTIONS ARE CLEARLY EXPRESSED IN THE LEGISLATION,
THE WHOLE OF AIDC,' s ACTIVITIES ARE SUBJECT TO AUDIT,
ITS ACTIVITIES CAN BE SCRUTINISED BY THE PARLIAMENT,
IF MY YEARS IN PUBLIC LIFE HAVE TAUGHT ME ONE THING,
IF THE EXPERIENCE OF WESTERN GOVERNMENTS IN ECONOMIC
MANAGEMENT HAS PROVED ANYTHING IN RECENT YEARS, IT IS
SIMPLY THAT THERE ARE NO LONGER ANY CLEAR-CUT OR USEFUL
DISTINCTIONS TO BE DRAWN BETWEEN FREE ENTERPRISE POLICIES ON THE
ONE HAND AND INTERVENTIONIST POLICIES ON THE OTHER, FOR ALL
THEIR SLO3ANS AND CATCHCRIES, POLITICAL PARTIES OF ALL SHADES1
IN ALL COUNTRIES, NOW ACCEPT THAT DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENTS
MUST CO-OPERATE WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN THE RUNNING OF
A MIXED ECONOMY, / 22

22
BOTH SIDES HAVE A COMMON CONCERN, A SIMPLE CONCERN
TO ENSURE THAT THE SYSTEM WORKS, WHO IS DOCTRINAIRE
ON THESE ISSUES? WE WHO SEEK CO-OPERATION, OR THOSE WHO
INSIST THAT NO CO-OPERATION IS POSSIBLE? WHO ARE THE DOGMATISTS
AND REACTIONARIES? WE WHO ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY OF CHANGE,
OR THOSE WHO FEAR CHANGE OF ANY KIND? WHO ARE THE IDEOLOGUES?
WE WHO REMAIN FLEXIBLE, CANDID IN OUR AIMS, PRAGMATIC IN OU7
APPROACH, OR THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT THE ENORMOUS PROBLEMS OF
MODERN INDUSTRIAL ECONOMIES, AND THE THREAT THEY POSE TO
SOCIAL HARMONY AND JUSTICE, WILL BE SOLVED BY 19TH CENTURY
SLOGANS OF LAISSEZ-FAIRE CAPITALISM? ONCE IT MIGHT HAVE
BEEN POSSIBLE TO HOPE THAT THE CHALLENGES OF AUTOMATION,
OF POPULATION, OF RESOURCES DIPLOMACY, OF INFLATION,
OF POLLUTION, OF NATIONAL OWNERSHIP, WOULD SOMEHOW SOLVE
THEMSELVES IF LEFT ALONE, NO ONE BELIEVES THAT NOW,
THE PROBLEMS ARE INESCAPABLE; AND IF THERE IS ANY
CONSOLATION IN FACING SUCH TESTING AND UNCERTAIN TIMES,
IT IS IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE GREAT CREATIVE EPOCHS IN
HUMAN AFFAIRS HAVE BEEN EPOCHS OF CHANGE AND TRIAL,

Transcript 3190