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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 344

PRESS CONFERENCE GIVEN BY THE PRIME MINISTER THE RT. HON. R.G. MENZIES, IN SYDNEY 4 P.M. JULY, 12TH, 1961

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: 12/07/1961

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 344

PRESS CONFEliNCE GIVEN BY THE PRIME MINISTER,
THE RT. HON. R. 3. MENZIES, IN SYDNEY 4 P. M.
JULY. 12TH. 1961
PRIME MINISTER: I think it might perhaps be a good idea you have
all had the communique, or your principals have if I
just said something about the background of this matter;
in fact, if it does not sound too tedious, something
about the history of the matter, because it is some
years now since the Common Market was established in
Europe by the six powers, that is to say, Germany, France,
Italy and the Benelux powers we sometimes call it the
Treaty of Rome. But one of the essential elements in it
is that over a period of years they are aimed at internal
free trade and a common external customs tariff.
When the Common Market was established, when the
negotiations were in hand, Great Britain did not decide
to go in; she had remained out, as a matter of judgment
Since then she has established a European Free Trade
Association which includes six other European countries,
including the Scandinavian countries. Now, she has not
decided that was made clear to us by Mr. Sandys she
has not decided to , o in or to negotiate her way in, but
she has been rethinking the matter; and a decision as to
whether they should negotiate to go in will be taken one
way or the other after Mr. Sandys returns to London, and
after other Ministers who have been visiting other
Commonwealth countries have returned to London.
So the whole thing is quite tentative at the present
time. And I think it is proper to say, because there is
a little misunderstanding about it, that Mr. Sandys did
not come out to ask us to say " Yes" to go into the Common
Market, or to approve of Great Britain negotiating to go
into the Common Market, because Great Britain herself has
not yet taken a decision. What he was really doing was
informing us of the various considerntions that were
operating in the minds of the British Government. And we
welcomed this because although consultation in principle
has been accepted now for the last two or three years,
this was in fact the first occasion when we have had any
close ministerial discussion about the matter in principl
And we therefore welcomed his visit and we enjoyed it.
That would explain to you why, in the course of the
communique we have said " This is a matter for Great
Britain to decide", which it clearly is. It is Great
Britain that may or may not go into the Common Markot;
it is not Australia or New Zealand. Therefore a
decision for Great Britain. That being so we have no
status to object or to do anything else about it except
to exchange our ideas and do what we can to protect our
own interests. And a good deal of our discussion took
place in relation to the w. rays and means of protecting our
own interests should the United Kingdom decide to
negotiate for entry to the Conmon Market.
The reason for that is very clear, of course.
Suppose Great Britain . rent into the Common Market
unconditionally I mean on exactly the sane footing as
Germany or France or Italy or the rest then, in due
course, perhaps over a period of seven or eijht years,
there should be internal free trade. And if Great Britain
went in, it is reasonable to assuno some of the
Scandinavian countries : uald go in, including for
example, Denmark. And if Great Britain went in
unconditionally and I repeat, that is to say on the
same footing as the others then Danish butter would

find free entry into the United Kingdom, but Australian
butter and Now Zealand butter would be net by the common
tariff barrier and would throfore pay duty, which would
seen to us to be rather an unhappy result for an industry
which is substantial in Australia but probably vital
in Now Zealand as an export industry.
And in the same way wheat from France, France being
a great wheat producer, woud move into England duty
free while wheat from Australia would lose its present
advantage of going in without duty.
Dried fruits very important in various areas of
Australia would lose their preferences, because they
would be all subject to the common tariff barrier. But
dried fruits from say Greece Greece having already
decided to be an associate member of the Common Market
would move in duty free.
These of course, are tremendously grave matters for
us, not natters to be disposed of merely in a sentimental
way. They have very grave implications for our own
business. And one of the things that we set out to do
was to establish that these particular interests were not
to be overlooked in any negotiations. That is why you
will have noticed in the course of the communique that
in any such negotiations various Australian export
industries would be involved and Australia should be in a
position to negotiate direct on Australia's ochalf when
dutails and arrangements affecting items of Australian
trade wore being discussed.
dhat that means is that we did not feel that the
case for our export primary industries could be put by
anybody as well as by Australia, because we are familiar
with the problem. Therefore it was not enoughi to be
consulted in the distance; it was essential thrt in case
the British Governiont decided to ne3otiate rnd I
repeat it has not yet decided in case it decided to
negotiate, then we would be, so to speak, in the room, and
taking a hand in the discussion when wheat woul. be
debated, or dried fruit, or butter, or whatever these
corumodities might be.
Of course the United Kingdom cannot guarantee that
that would be so because if it decides to negotiate it
will negotiate with the six nations of the Common Market
as a group, and if they say " No, nobody else is going to
be in the actual n. eootiation", then that, no doubt, will
be conclusive. But I am sure that so far as Great
Britain is concerned, if it does decide to negotiate, it
will do all it can to secure our presence and our
participation when those particular matters are under
consideration. That, I think, will explain why it is that we have
observed a fairly cautious position in these discussions,
not making ourselves a party to a decision it is not
our decision to make but doing all that we can to
protect our own loeitimate interests should the decision
be taken. And that, I an sure, is what the people of
Australia would expect us to do.
I do n-t think there is any trouble about that, so
far as our friends in the United Kingdom are concerned.
I think that represented in the long run a corinon and
cheerfully accepted view of the position.

But there is one matter, difference of opinion
that enmrges that I would like to say sorething about,
and that is the difference on the political implications.
The Treaty of Rome is, in its torns, an economic treaty.
It covers a variety of matters. I have mentioned two of
the great ones, internal free trade and common external
tariff. It also provides for machinery for common
working standards, for social services. It really covers
a groat deal of the economic field in these countries;
and, of course, if Great Britain becomes a eomber it will
correspondingly cover a great deal of the same field in
Great Britain.
de think, and indeed we think that the Coimon Market
countries think, that the political implications of this
are very great. Indeed I think it is one of the proper
objects of the exercise. They did not engage in the
Treatu yf Rome just because of tariffs and trade;
but they were contenplating that as
time went on because of all this common ground, they
would become more and more of a political unity, not
necessarily one nation, not necessarily a fodeortion in
the sense that we understand it, but sonmthing of what I
will call broadly, a political unity, a get together
politically, with a growing tendency to have cormnon
policies, to thrash then out. So that in the result you
would have these European nations together constituting
more people than the United States of JAmrica and
therefore representing what might loosely be described as
a third power in the world.
That is a view strongly held by a number of
European statesmen. I offer no cormxent on it. But we
think that the political tendencies in the Conuon Market
must be in that direction. How far it will go is
anybody's guess.
And under those circumstancos we simply observe in
point of fact, that we do not think the position as
between Great Britain and the other Conmonwealth
countries in the political field remains unaltered. It
is very difficult for no to believe that Great Britain,
intimately involved in European politics, for the first
time this is not the old 19th century balance of power
business it is very hard to believe that her position
in relation to the Commonwalth countries, when we meet
at Prime Ministers' Conferences, would remain so
individual and detached as it is today.
Now I am not saying that is good, bad or
indifferent; neither my colleaguesnor I sit in judjient
on that matter. But we record our view that the
Commonwealth will not quite be the sane. Mr. Sandys
felt, and no do. ubt with groat conviction, that none of
these things would aff-ct the Conmonwealth relationship.
Well, we think it will.
Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends
on a choice th: at it is no) t for us to make the choice
between Great Britain effectively participating in a
powerful European group of nations in the international
political field, but with a looser association with the
Comonwealth, or a Great 3Britain refraining from the
European Association and ul intaining her full contact
with the Commonwalth.

I see, and my colleagues see, great nerit,
politically, in a European association. We hardly need
to be persuaded that it has ; reat importance. But we
simply recird our view and we are bound to record that
view that this will lead to a loosening of the Conronwealth
relations. That nay be a price worth paying for
the European association; I an not endeavouring to sit
in judjnent on that. Indeed, only tine will provide an
answer to it.
So that the difference is a difference of opinion;
it does not represent any vital matter. Indeed, it is
very agreeable to me that in a natter in which Great
Britain has tremendous interest some of her people, at
any rate -without attributing a judl4ent to their Cabinetthought
that for Great Britain to be in the Cornon Market
representing an enlarged hone market of about 250 million
people, would greatly increase her copetitive position,
her competitive capacity in the world. That is a very
le,: itimate argument. Ther-are, of course, arguments
the other way, that British industry will be subject
before long, to the full blast of continental competition
in Great Britain itself. And I an relieved to know that
I certainly do not have to decide that matter.
But allowing for all these things, the remarkable
thing about the discussion and about the corm. unique is
not that it exhibits so many differences but that it
exhibits so few. The one difference that I have
referred to is the difference of opinion. And that is,
of course, a matter of historic judgiont. We are all
entitled to our own views on that. I used to think I
knew a lot about the Commonwealth I an not so sure now.
But all that is a matter of judgment. As for the rust,
it has been agreed by then that so far as they can bring
it about we will have every opportunity to defend these
interests of ours if they Jecide to go into the
negotiation. It has been a very interesting experienco. We have
had close debates, as you night have gathered, not from
the speculative stories that appear, but from the sheer
amount of time that we have occupied in the course of
them. Would anybody like to put a question ' o me? I
am sorry to have spoken so long.
QUESTION: Was there any indication of what the time-table
night be, the decision-making process?
PRIME MINISTER: I think only in this sense, that the six countries
of the Cormon Market have not yet net to discuss
agricultural policy and they are liable to * lo that
before the end of the year. A'nd I think tihre is a
German election in the next two or three months. If
negotiations were to be engaged in it r: ight be more
useful to engage in then before the aricultural policy
talks, while the whole thing is fluid. That is the one
thing that suggests that there will not be too much
delay before a decision is taken.
QUESTION: Can you tell us what present nati: ns in the Group,
if any, entered on a conditional basis?
PRIME MINISTER: The original six cmebers are all in under the pure
terns of the Treaty of Rome. There are two countries
that have either acceded or are about to, not as full
members but as associate members Greece and Turkey
and if they do, they will come in on conditions I do
Y

not carry then in nind but they will be allowed to cone
in as associate ro. mbors because they are not highly
industrialised countries. But there is no possibility
of Great Britain coning in as an associate reomber
because she is a very highly industrialised country.
Therefore whatever conditions she might establish will
have to be established by way of derogation fron the
Treaty of Rome and securing the full agreement of the
other six nations.
QUESTION: What would you consider, yourself, to be the
biggest danger to Australia by Great Britain joining the
Common Market? Would it be a weakening of political
ties with Great Britain, or just hardship?
PRIME MINISTER: I think you have oversimplified that question.) uare
speaking of joining the Ccnmon Market without conditions?
PRESSMAN: Yes.
PRIME MINISTER: If she joined the Conmon Market without conditions
that would represent a tremendous blow to our export
trade running into millions of pounds. It would
represent for Now Zealand I do not want to speak for
them here an almost fatal blow having regard to the
size of the dairy product industry throughout the
country. But whether it would mean the destruction of
this trade or the substantial nodification of it there
c. n be no doubt it would impose a great hardship before
very long on half a dozen of our priary industries of
some significance. That is assuming they went in
unconditionally. But I do not think they will o3 in
unconditionally. I think Great Britain is determined
to do overything she can to get conditions which will
give, at any rate, some measure of protection to the
ComLonwealth trade. It may not be 100 percent; but some
substantial measure. She has made that clear to us.
But she will then, of course, have an awkward docision
to make, because if, having gone into negotiations she
finds there is nothing doing, that it has to be
unconditional, then she nay feel compelled to withdraw
from the negotiations and abandon the whole thing, give
up what she otherwise feels to be economic advantages; or
alternatively, cone to the grin choice about our own
Cormonwealth trade. But we will not anticipate that yet.
QUESTION: You have explained that the A'ustralian Cabinet did
not think the case of Australian exports could be put by
anybody as well as ourselves. I wonder whether that
implies the British Government felt it would like to put
the case of our exports on our behalf?
PRIME MINISTER: No it does not imply that. The nmoment we raised
this matter they areeod at once that after all our own
people, whose business it is, whose interest it is,
naturally can put that case in the most c. mplete way.
There was no suggestion they wanted to put it on our
behalf.
QUESTION: Do you think there is a genuine risk to the present
political structure of the Coruaonwealth if Britain were
to join the Common Market unconditionally?
PRIME MINISTERI Yes, that is what we have s. id. This is not a risk
of break-up. But what we say is that it would represent
in our opinion in due course, a real modification in the
present Cornonwealth relations.

QUESTION: What major effects do you think there would be on
the political economy?
PRIME MINISTER: I would not guess. All I say is there would be some.
QUESTION: Does the Australian Government intend to apply for
membership of the Common Market?
PRIME MINISTER: I think I an in enough trouble now with the
Australian manufacturers, but if you are going to suggest
Australia should get into a common free trade area I will
have to take to the bush.
QUESTION: You talk about the fact that some people in the
United Kingdom Cabinet look to their market for their
market for their produce and you suggested that there
mig. ht equally be the possibility of greater cnopetition
if the United Kingdom... Do you find any difforence betwea
the view that our own Government took about advantages
and disadvantages with the United Kingdom Government
econor. ically within the Common Market and what they were
thinking?
PRIME MINISTER: I do not think we were thinking along identical
lines, no. It is very hard to judge. We are dealing
with one Minister, although he is a very distinguished
visitor, a distinguished Minister. He, I think, was
* I hope I can say this without putting things into his
mouth pretty conscious of the economic advantages; we
on the other hand tended to think they night be overestimated
and the econorc dadvantages might turn out to
be rather greater. But we are not judging that from
this distance. They are pretty old, as a country; I
think that we will leave that decision to then.
QUESTION: Australia has insisted on the right to negotiate
direct with Common Market countries if Britain j; ins.
What form will those ne . otiations take and what would be
their objective?
PRIME MINISTER: I an sorry, I thought I had explained that. Before
Britain decides to enter the Co. mmon Market she will
negotiate. Thus there are two decisions to be made.
First, a decision to negotiate. W4hen she joos in to
noeotiation one of the things she will rant to discover
is what terms and conditions can be got in relation to
Comm: onwealth trade, the existing pattern of Co= nnonwealth
trade, and preferences.
It is at that stage when these matters are being
discussed that we would wish to be present to defend our
own interests or present our own interests. Whether we
can be, or not, will depend upon Great Britain,
If, when the negotiations are over, the osition is
such that Great Britain has to reconsider the : whole
matter she will then decide whether or not to go into the
Common Market on such terms as nay have boon arranged in
the noeotiation, or unconditionally, if no terms have
been arranged. That will be a major decision she will
have to take and she will take that after the stage of
no otiation has been concluded. And I dare say at the
time I am sure at that time when all the negotiations
are over I do not imagine for one monent that she
would arrive at that great crucial decision without some
form of consultation with the Cornonwealth, either
through a top level conference or otherwise.

QUESTION: Having in nind the economic and political facts of
life in Europe do you entertain any real hope that we can
arrive at conditions that will be acceptable to Australia?
PRIME MINISTER: I be to be excused from answering that question. I
feel all they want is the best chance they can get if
they decide to noctiate.
QUESTION: Whatever Britain does about the Cornnon Market do you
feel Australians will have to depend more on Asia in the
future for markets than Europe?
PRIME MINISTER: I think I would prefer to see this present exercise
through before raising ny sights too high.
QUESTION: The Australian Government has said that it is not
entitled to raise any objections to the opening of
negotiations but it does not approve of the opening of
negotiations.
PRIME MINISTER: Do not twist it in that way. What I said was we
were not entitled to object because this was a matter
for the decision of the United Kingdom, not for us; that
* this was not to be interpreted as an approval. That is
a different natter.
QUESTION: Sone people wonder why we could not approve of the
mere opening of nojotiations as distinct from deciding,
Ssince having detormined on the course negotiations w-uld
take the opening of it had to be rather explicitly said
to be not approved, by the phrasing of the connunique.
PRIME MINISTER: I have already given ny reasons for that. I would
not have thou.: ht there was ruch nysteiy about it. I an
not in the habit of objecting to something that is not
within my jurisdiction.
QUESTION: Having in nind the views stated about the effect on
Connonwealth trade do you think the effects to Australia
would be greater politically or econonically?
PRIME MINISTE: Both, if the contingency occurred. But I still say
that I do not think it will.
QUESTION: You said if Britain joined unconditionally it wuld
be a trenendous blow. The figure of œ 170n. has already
been quoted. Does the Governnont agree that that is the
maximun?
PRIME MINISTER: Do not ask nm about the figuros. My colleague Mr.
McEwen, has a press talk arranged on this matter ana will
be able to give precise figures in relation to precise
industries, because they were all to be under analysis.
I do not carry those in ny nind. But I know it is very
substantial and I know that overall that total has been
referred to.
QUESTION: Will you be puttin; in train any feelers to European
countries as to whether they would take Austialian products?
PRIME MINISTER: We will not feel inhibited fron doing wthat we would
normally do. The Trade Department normally has a few
discussions going on with various countries either to
renew trade treaties or something of that kind. I would
not regard the Department of Trade as being prohibited by
these discussions from following the course they would
otherwise follow on these natters.
CANBERRA, 13th July, 1961.

PRESS CONFERENCE GIVEN BY THE PRIME MINISTER,
THE RT. HON. R. G. MENZIES, IN SYDNEY 4 P. M.
JULY, 12TH, 1961
PRIME MINISTEi: I think it might perhaps be a good idea you have
all had the communique, or your principals have if I
just said something about the background of this matter;
in fact, if it does not sound too tedious, something
about the history of the matter, because it is some
years now since the Common Market was established in
Europe by the six powers, that is to say, Germany, France,
Italy and the Benelux powers we sometimes call it the
Treaty of Rome. But one of the essential elements in it
is that over a period of years they are aimed at internal
free trade and a common external customs tariff.
When the Common Market was established, when the
negotiations were in hand, Great Britain did not decide
to go in; she had remained out, as a matter of judgment
Since then she has established a European Free Trade
Association which includes six other European countries,
including the Scandinavian countries. Now, she has not
decided that was made clear to us by Mr. Sandys she
has not decided to -o in or to negotiate her way in, but
she has been rethinking the matter; and a decision as to
whether they should negotiate to go in will be taken one
way or the other after Mr. Sandys returns to London, and
after other Ministers who have been visiting other
Commonwealth countries have returned to London.
So the whole thing is quite tentative at the present
time. And I think it is proper to say, because there is
a little misunderstanding about it that Mr. Sandys did
not come out to ask us to say " Yes? to go into the Common
Market, or to approve of Great Britain negotiating to go
into the Common Market, because Great Britain herself has
not yet taken a decision. What he was really doing was
informing us of the various considerations that were
operating in the minds of the British Government. And we
welcomed this because although consultation in principle
has been accepted now for the last two or three years,
this was in fact the first occasion when we have had any
close ministerial discussion about the matter in principb.
And we therefore welcomed his visit and we enjoyed it.
That would explain to you why, in the course of the
communique we have said " This is a matter for Great
Britain to decide", which it clearly is. It is Great
Britain that may or may not go into the Common M4crkot;
it is not Australia or New Zealand. Therefore a
decision for Great Britain. That being so we have no
status to object or to do anything else about it except
to exchange our ideas and do what we can to protect our
own interests. And a good deal of our discussion took
place in relation to the . rays and means of protecting our
own interests should the United Kingdom decide to
negotiate for entry to the Cormmon Market.
The reason for that is very clear, of course.
Suppose Great Britain . rent into the Cormmon Market
unconditionally I mean on exactly the :; ame footing as
Germany or France or Italy or the rest then, in due
course, perhaps over a period of seven or eijht years,
there should be internal free trade. And if Groat Britain
wont in, it is reasonable to assume sone of the
Scandinavian countries w: ould go in, including for
example, Denmark. And if Great Britain wen in
unconditionally and I repeat, that is to say on the
same footing as the others then Danish butter would

find free entry into the United Kingdom, but Australian
butter and Now Zealand butter would be met by the common
tariff barrier and would threfore pay duty, which would
seem to us to be rather an unhappy result for an industry
which is substantial in Australia but probably vital
in New Zealand as an export industry.
And in the same way wheat from France, France being
a groat wheat producer, wou. d move into England duty
free while wheat from Australia would lose its present
advantage of going in without duty.
Dried fruits very important in various areas of
Australia would lose their preferences, because they
would be all subject to the common tariff barrier. But
dried fruits from say Greece Greece having already
decided to be an associate member of the Common Market
would move in duty free.
These of course, are tremendously grave matters for
us, not natters to be disposed of merely in a sentimental
way. They have very grave implications for our own
business. And one of the things that we set out to do
was to establish that these particular interests were not
to be overlooked in any negotiations. That is why you
will have noticed in the course of the commuunique that
in any such negotiations various Australian axport
industries would be involved and Australia should be in a
position to negotiate direct on Australia's oehalf when
datails and arrangements affecting items of Australian
trade were being discussed.
dhat that means is that we did not feel that the
case for our export primary industries could be put by
anybody as well as by Australia, because we are familiar
with the problem. Therefore it was not enough to be
consulted in the distance; it was essential thi. t in case
the British Government decided to negotiate and I
repeat it has not yet decided in case it decided to
negotiate, then we would be, so to speak, in the room, and
taking a hand in the discussion when wheat wouli be
debated, or dried fruit, or butter, or whatever these
comrtodities might be.
Of course the United Kingdom cannot guarantee that
that would be so because if it decides to neootiate it
will negotiate with the six nations of the Common Market
as a group, and if they say " No, nobody else is going to
be in the actual negotiation", then that, no doubt, will
be conclusive. But I am sure that so far as Great
Britain is concerned, if it does decide to negotiate, it
will do all it can to secure our presence and our
participation when those particular matters are under
consideration. That, I think, will explain why it is that we have
observed a fairly cautious position in those discussions,
not making ourselves a party to a decision it is not
our decision to make but doing all that we can to
protect our own legitimate interests should the decision
be taken. And that, I am sure, is what the people of
Australia would expect us to do.
I do njt think there is any trouble about that, so
far as our friends in the United Kingdom are concerned.
I think that represented in the long run a common and
cheerfully accepted view of the position.

But there is one matter, a difference of opinion
that enmrges, that I would like to say something abou,
and that is the difference on the political implications.
The Treaty of Rome is, in its torms, an economic treaty.
It covers a variety of natters. I have mentioned two of
the great ones, internal free trade and common external
trriff. It also provides for machinery for common
working standards, for social services. It really covers
a groat deal of the econonic field in these countries;
and, of course, if Great Britain becomes a nomber it will
correspondingly cover a great deal of the same field in
Great Britain.
ve think, and indeed we think that the Connon Market
countries think, that the political implications of this
are very great. Indeed I think it is one of the proper
objects of the exercise. They did not engage in the
Treatu yf Rone just because of tariffs and trade;
but they were contemplating that as
time went on because of all this comnon ground, they
would become more and more of a political unity, not
necessarily one nation, not necessarily a federation in
the sense that we understand it, but sonething of what I
will call broadly, a political unity, a get together
politically, with a growing tendency to have cornon
policies, to thrash then out. So that in the result you
would have these European nations togethor constituting
more people than the United States of A( orica and
therefore representing what night loosely be described as
a third power in the world.
That is a view strongly held by a nunber of
European statesmen. I offer no cor. mcnt on it. But we
think that the political tendencies in the Connon Market
must be in that diroetion. How far it will go is
anybody's guess.
And under those circumstancos we sirply observe in
point of fact, that we do not think the position as
between Great Britain and the other Connionwealth
countries in the political field remains unaltered. It
is very difficult f-r no to believe that Great Britain,
intimately involved in European politics, for the first
tine this is not the old 19th century balance of power
business it is very hard tj believe that her position
in relation to the Connonwalth countries, when we neet
at Prime Ministers' Conferences, would rem. ain so
individual and detached as it is today.
Now I an not saying that is good, bad or
indifferont; neither ny colleaguesnor I sit in judjnent
on that matter. But we record our view that the
Commonwealth will not quite be the sane. Mr. Sandys
felt, and no doubt with groat conviction that none of
these things would affect the Comnonwealth relationship.
Well, we think it will.
Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends
on a choice that it is n. t for us to make the choice
between Great Britain effJectively participating in a
powerful European group of nations in the international
political field, but with a looser association with the
C: o onweoalth, or a Gre. t Britain refraining fron the
European Association and maintaining her full contact
with the Crnononwealth.

I see, and my colleagues see, great merit,
politically, in a European association. * Ve hardly need
to be persuaded that it has rreat importance. But we
simply record our view and we are bound to record that
view that this will lead to a loosening of the Commonwealth
relations. That nay be a price worth paying for
the European association; I an not endeavouring to sit
in judjgent on that. Indeed, only tine will provide an
answer to it.
So that the difference is a difference of opinion;
it does not represent any vital natter. Indeed, it is
very agreeable to ne that in a natter in which Great
Britain has troe. ondous interest some of her people, at
any rate without attributing a jud. pont to their Cabinctthought
that for Great Britain to be in the Connon Market
representing an enlarged home market of about 250 million
people, would greatly increase her competitive position,
her competitive capacity in the world. That is a very
legitimate argument. There. are, of course, arguments
the other way, that British industry will be subject
before long, to the full blast of continental competition
in Great Britain itself. And I an relieved to know that
I certainly do not have to decide that matter.
But allowing for all those things, the remarkable
thing about the discussion and about the cor. m-unique is
not that it exhibits so many differences but that it
exhibits so few. The one difference that I have
referred to is the difference of opinion. And that is,
of course, a matter of historic jud.. iont. We are all
entitled to our own views on that. I used to think I
knew a lot about the Commonwealth I an not so sure now.
But all that is a matter of judj ent. As for the rest,
it has been agreod by them that so far as they can bring
it about we will have every opportunity to defend these
interests of ours if they decide to go into the
negotiation. It has been a very intoresting experience. iWe have
had close debates, as you might have gathered, not from
the speculative stories that appear, but from the sheer
amount of time that we have occupied in the course of
them. Would anybody like to put a question ' o mn? I
am sorry to have spoken so long.
QUESTION: Was there any indication of what the time-table
night be, the decision-naking process?
PRIME MINISTER: I think only in this sense, that the six countries
of the Cormon Market have not yet met to discuss
agricultural policy and they are liable to Io that
before the end of the year. And I think there is a
German election in the next two or three months. If
nugotiations were to be engaged in it might be more
useful to engage in them before the aricultural policy
talks, while the whole thing is fluid. That is the one
thing that suggests that there will not be too much
delay before a decision is taken.
QUESTION: Can you tell us what present nations in the Group,
if any, entered on a conditional basis?
PRIME MINISTER: The original six members are all in under the pure
terns of the Treaty of Rome. There are two countries
that have either acceded or are about to, not as full
members but as associate members Greece and Turkey
and if they do, they will come in on conditions I do

not carry them in nind but they will be allowed to cone
in as associate members because they are not highly
industrialisod countries. But there is no possibility
of Great Britain coning in as an associate aomber
because she is a very highly industrialised country.
Therefore whatever conditions she might establish will
have to be established by way of derogation from the
Treaty of Rome and securing the full agreement of the
other six nations.
QUESTION: What would you consider, yourself, to be the
biggest danger to Australia by Great Britain joining the
Common Market? Would it be a weakening of political
ties with Great Britain, or just hardship?
PRIME MINISTER: I think you have oversimplified that question. ouare
speaking of joining the Ccmron Market without conditions?
PRESSMAN: Yes.
PRIME MINISTER: If she joined the Corlnon Market without conditions
that would represent a tremendous blow to our export
trade running into millions of pounds. It would
represent for New Zealand I do not want to speak for
them here an almost fatal blow having regard to the
size of the dairy product industry throughout the
country. But whether it would mean the destruction of
this trade or the substantial modification of it there
cp. n be no doubt it would impose a great hardship before
very long on half a dozen of our primary industries of
some significance. That is assuming they went in
unconditionally. But I do not think they will go in
unconditionally. I think Great Britain is determined
to do everything she can to get conditions which will
give, at any rate, sone measure of protection to the
Commonwealth trade. It may not be 100 percent; but some
substantial measure. She has made that clear to us.
But she will then, of course, have an awkward decision
to make, because if, having gone into negotiations she
finds there is nothing doing, that it has to be
unconditional, then she may feel compelled to withdraw
from the no tiations and abandon the whole thing, give
up what she otherwise feels to be economic advantages; or
alternatively, cone to the grin choice about our own
Conmonwealth trade. But we will not anticipate that yet.
QUESTION: You have explained that the Australian Cabinet did
not think the case of Australian exports could be put by
anybody as well as ourselves. I wonder whether that
implies the British Govecrnment felt it would like to put
the case of our exports on our behalf?
PRIME MINISTER: No, it does not imply that. The moment we raised
this matter they agreed at once that after all our own
people, whose business it is, whose interest it is,
naturally can put that case in the most c) i: pletc way.
There was no suggestion they wanted to put it on our
behalf.
QUESTION: Do you think there is a genuine risk to the present
political structure of the Cor-u-nonwealth if Britain were
to join the Common Market unconditionally?
PRIME MINISTERi Yes, that is what wo have said. This is not a risk
of break-up. But what we say is that it would represent
in our opinion in due course, a real nodification in the
present Corronwealth relations.

QUESTION: What major effects do you think there would be on
the political econony?
PRIME MINISTER: I would not guess. All I say is there would be some.
QUESTION: Does the Australian Government intend to apply for
membership of the Comnon Market?
PRIME MINISTER: I think I an in enough trouble now with the
Australian manufacturers, but if you are going to suggest
Australia should get into a cormon free trade area I will
have to take to the bush.
QUESTION: You talk about the fact that sone people in the
United Kingdom Cabinet look to their market for their
market for their produce and you suggested that there
night equally be the possibility of greater cnlpetition
if the United Kingdom.. Do you find any difforence betwem
the view that our own Governrent took about advantages
and disadvantages with the United Kingdom Government
economically within the Conmon Market and what they were
thinking?
* PRIME MINISTER: I do not think we were thinking along identical
lines, no. It is very hard to judge. We are dealing
with one Minister, although he is a very distinguished
visitor, a distinguished Minister. He, I think, was
I hope I can say this without putting things into his
mouth pretty conscious of the economic advantages; we
on the other hand tended to think they might be overestimated
and the econonrdc dvantages might turn out to
be rather greater. But we are not judging that from
this distance. They are pretty old, as a country; I
think that we will leave that decision to then.
QUESTION: Australia has insisted on the right to negotiate
direct with Conrmon Market countries if Britain joins.
What form will those ne ; otiations take and what would be
their objective?
PRIME MINISTER: I am sorry, I thought I had explained that. Before
Britain decides to enter the Common Market she will
neootiate. Thus there are two decisions to be made.
First, a decision to negotiate. LJhen she _ oes in to
neootiation one of the things she will rant to discover
is what terms and conditions can be got in relation to
Commonwealth trade, the existing patteon of Commonwealth
trade, and preferences.
It is at that stage when these matters are being
discussed that we would wish to be present to defend our
owm interestsor prosent our own interests. Whcther we
can be, or not, will depend upon Great Britaino
If, when the negotiations are over, the -sition is
such that Great Britain has to reconsider the whole
matter she will then decide whether or not to go into the
Common Market on such terns as may have been arranged in
the negotiation, or unconditionally, if no torms have
been arranged. That will be a major decision she will
have to take and she will take that after the stage of
negotiation has been concluded. And I dare say at the
time I am sure at that time when all the negotiations
are over I do not imagine for one morent that she
would arrive at that great crucial decision without some
form of consultation with the Commonwealth, either
through a top level conference or otherwise.

QUESTION: Having in nind the economic and political facts of
life in Europe do you entertain any real hope that we can
arrive at condi'tions that will be acceptable to Australia?
PRIME MINISTER: I boeg to be excused from answering that question. I
feel all they want is the best chance they can get if
they decide to negotiate.
QUESTION: Whatever Britain does about the Cor. non Market do you
feel Australians will have to depend more on Asia in the
future for markets than Europe?
PRIME MINISTER: I think I would prefer to see this present exorcise
through before raising ry sights too high.
QUESTION: The Australian Government has said that it is not
entitled to raise any objections to the opening of
negotiations but it does not approve of the opening of
negotiations.
PRIME MINISTER: Do not twist it in that way. What I said was we
were not entitled to object because this was a matter
for the decision of the United Kingdom, not for us; that
this was not to be interpreted as an approval. That is
a different matter.
QUESTION: Sone people wonder why we could not approve of the
mere opening of njotiations as distinct fron deciding,
since having determined on the course negotiations would
take the opening of it had to be rather explicitly said
to be not approved, by the phrasing of the cormunique.
PRIME MINISTER: I have already given ny reasons for that. I would
not have thought there was much nystery about it. I am
not in the habit of objecting to sonething that is not
within my jurisdiction.
QUESTION: Having in nind the views stated about the effect on
Cornonwealth trade do you think the effects to Australia
would be greater politically or econonically?
PRIME MINISTEiR: Both, if the contingency occurred. But I still say
that I do not think it will.
QUESTION: You said if Britain joined unconditionally it wuld
be a tremendous blow. The figure of œ 170m. has already
been quoted. Does the Governnent agree that that is the
naximun?
PRIME MINISTER: Do not ask me about the figures. My colleague Mr.
McEwen, has a press talk arranged on this natter and will
be able to give precise figures in relation to precise
industries, because they were all to be under analysis.
I do not carry those in ny nind. But I know it is very
substantial and I know that overall that total has been
referred to.
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTE
CANBERR, Will you be putting in train any feelers ' o European
countries as to whether they would take Austialian products?
ER: We will not fool inhibited fron doing what we would
normally do. The Trade Department normally has a few
discussions going on with various countries either to
renew trade treaties or something of that kind. I would
not regard the Department of Trade as being prohibited by
these discussions from following the course they would
otherwise follow on these matters.
13th July, 1961.

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