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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3565

PRIME MINISTER'S VISIT TO IRELAND: PRESS CONFERENCE

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: 23/12/1974

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 3565

DI1 P'AR I MNIN I 01 I l iS
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U N C L A S S I F I E D
PRIME MINISTER'S VISIT TO IRELAND: PRESS CONFERENCE.
FOR MRS DWYER ( ASSISTANT PRESS SECRETARY)
FOLLOWING IS TEXT OF THE PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS CONFERENCE
IN DUBLIN AFTERNOON OF 23 DECEMBER:
BEGINS:
Q. I UNDERSTAND MR PRIME MINISTER THAT YOU DISCUSSED WITH THE
TAOISEACH THE TRADE BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND IRELAND, BOTH OF THEM,
WITH THE EEC. ' NOW YOU APPARENTLY EXPRESSED SOME PARTICULAR
INTEREST IN MEAT AND SUGAR. IN WHAT WAY WOULD IRELAND BE ABLE
TO ASSIST THIS IN THE EEC CONTEXT?
THE TAOISEACH DID POINT OUT TO ME THE GRATIFYING INCREASE
IN SALES BY IRELAND TO AUSTRALIA. WE ARE NATURALLY ALSO CONCERNED
WITH THE CONTRIBUTION THAT CAN BE MADE BY IRELAND AS ONE OF THE
NINE IN THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY. AUSTRALIA WAS FOUNDED BY
THE... BY TWO OF THE THREE NEW MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY, BRITAIN
AND IRELAND, AND WE BELIEVE THAT THOSE TWO NEW MEMBERS WILL
UNDERSTAND THE LINKS BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND WESTERN EUROPE AND HOPEFULi
BE SYMPATHETIC TOWARDS THEM. THE COMMUNITY IS ONE OF THE
THREE BIG ECONOMIC GROUPINGS WITH WHICH AUSTRALIA HAS TRADE,
THE OTHER TWO BEING, OF. COURSE, JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES.
Q. LAURIE OAKES, MELBOURNE SUN: PRIME MINISTER, WE'RE TOLD
TIAT WHEN YOU SPOKE TO THE IRISH PRIME MINISTER TODAY YOU.
DISCUSSED THE SITUATION IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND PRESUMABLY IT
IS NOT WITHOUT RELEVANCE THAT THE BOMBS WERE GETTING GRADUALLY
CLOSER TO YOUR HOTEL BEFORE THE TRUCE CAME INTO EFFECT AT
MIDNIGHT. CAN YOU GIVE US YOUR VIEWS ON THE SITUATION IN
NORTHrERN IRELAND?
THE BOMBS WERE FOR THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION,
NOT FOR PRIME MINISTER. NATURALLY, SERIOUSLY, THOSE WITH ME, AND
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I TO0, WERE VERY ANXIOUS TO HEAR WHAT THE TAOISEACH HAD TO SAY
ABOUT THE POSITION IN IRELAND. I AM TALKING ABOUT THE WHOLE
ISLAND. AND IT WAS VALUABLE FOR US TO HAVE HIS ASSESSMENT AND
HIS ANALYSIS OF THE POSSIBILITIES. HE HAS, OF COURSE, WRITTEN
AND SPOKEN ON THIS MATTER, AND I HAVE A PUBLICATION, A BOOK,
OF HIS ON THIS SUBJECT.
Q. MR WHITLAM, TOM MCLOUGHLIN, IRISH TELEVISION: IF I COULD
GET BACK JUST TO THE PURPOSE OF YOUR VISIT. I UNDERSTAND YOU
WILL BE VISITING OTHER EEC COUNTRIES. WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU
LOOKING FOR? WE ARE VISITING SEVEN OF THE NINE, ALL EXCEPT DENMARK
AND LUXEMBOURG. WE WANT TO REAFFIRM THE TIES BETWEEN AUSTRALIA
AND WESTERN EUROPE. THESE ARE HISTORIC, CULTURAL, AS WELL AS
BEING COMMERCIAL. I HAVE BEEN ASKED A QUESTION ALREADY ABOUT
THE COMMERCIAL TIES AND THESE ARE OF VERY GREAT SIGNIFICANCE.
MANY OF THE PRODUCTS WHICH AUSTRALIA HAS TRADITIONALLY
EXPORTED ARE NOW IN SOME JEOPARDY BECAUSE THEY WERE EXPORTED
TO ENGLAND, AND ENGLAND CAN NOW IMPORT THEM ONLY WITHIN THE
EEC CONTEXT. THERE ARE OTHER PRODUCTS IN THE AGRICULTURAL,
PASTORAL FIELD, WHERE THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE MAY WELL BE
INTERESTED IN HAVING SUCH A SECURE HIGH QUALITY AND RELATIVELY
CHEAP SOURCE OF SUPPLY AS AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA IS INTERESTED
IN SEEING THAT THERE ARE LONG-TERM ARRANGEMENTS FOR ANY SUCH
PRODUCTS. IN ADDITION TO THAT, AUSTRALIA IS A VERY WELL-ENDOWED
COUNTRY IN RESPECT TO ENERGY RESOURCES AND IN BRUSSELS A WEEK
AGO I WAS DISCUSSING WITH THE COMMISSION THE POSSIBILITY OF
DEVELOPING THESE RESOURCES IN AUSTRALIA AND ESTABLISHING A LONGTERM
MARKET FOR THEM WITH THE COMMUNITY. IN PARTICULAR, OF COURSE,
URANIUM AND COAL.
Q. HAS BRITAIN'S ENTRY INTO THE EEC CAUSED YOU VERY SERIOUS
ECONOMIC PROBLEMS IN AUSTRALIA?
AUSTRALIA HAS ADJUSTED TO THEM. IN 1962 WHEN PRIME
MINISTER MC MILLAN FIRST APPLIED TO JOIN... FIRST SOUGHT BRITAIN'S
ADMISSION TO THE COMMUNITY ABOUT 20 PERCENT OF AUSTRALIAOS EXPORTS
WENT TO BRITAIN. NOW IT. IS BARELY 6 PER CENT. AUSTRALIA HAS
ADJUSTED HER EXPORT PATTERN VERY GREATLY IN THE INTERIM. JAPAN
IS NOW TiE LARGEST COMMERCIAL PARTNER OF AUSTRALIA.
Q. ARE YOU HOPEFUL THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO COME TO SOME LONGTERM
TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE EEC?
NOT OVERALL. WE ARE THINKING. OF VARIOUS COMMODITIES
AND LONG TERM ARRANGEMENTSFOR-THOSE COMMODITIES. WE ARE GOING
TO HAVE REGULAR CONSULTATIONS BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND. THE COMMISSION
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fHE FIRST ONES WILL BE IN THE MIDDLE OF 1975 -WE EXPECT.
0. YOUR COMMUNIQUE MENTIONS ESPECIALLY BEEF AND SUGAR. I AM
SURE YOU ARE AWARE THAT WE EXPORT BOTH AND THAT WE HAVE BEEN
HAVING DIFFICULTIES, LIKE YOURSELF, IN RELATION TO BEEF. CAN YOU
THEREFORE TELL ME WHAT RESPONSE YOU HAD IN YOUR TALKS TODAY ON
THOSE TWO ITEMS?
IRELAND HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VERY LARGE EXPORTER OF BEEF
TO BRITAIN, AND WOULD I EXPECT BE A LARGE EXPORTER OF BEEF TO THE
COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE. THERE ARE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY
WHICH WOULD ALSO DEPEND ON THE BEEF MARKET IN THE COMMUNITY AS
A WHOLE SUCH AS DENMARK, AND THE LOW COUNTRIES. THE FDIFFICULTY
HAS ARISEN IN THE LAST YEAR, WHERE SO MANY PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT
: THE MARKET FOR IMPORTS IN THE COMMUNITY WOULD BE MUCH LARGER AND
WOULD CONTINUE MUCH LARGER THAN IS NOW LIKELY TO BE THE-CASE.
UT NEVERTHELESS THERE IS LIKELY TO-BE A MARKET FOR IMPORTS FROM
COUNTRIES NOT IN THE MARKET, AND AUSTRALIA IS I. NTERESTED IN
INVESTIGATING THOSE POSSIBILITIES ON A LONG-TERM BASIS. WE WANT
TO SEE THAT IF WE GUARANTEE OR MAKE ANY INVESTMENTS IN PROVIDING
FACILITIES FOR THOSE EXPORTS THAT WE CAN GET A RETURN ON THOSE
FACILITIES. I DON'T WANT YOU TO THINK THAT IRELAND'S AND AUSTRALIA'S
INTERESTS ARE TOTALLY OPPOSED TO EACH OTHER. CLEARLY
WE OBVIOUSLY ARE RIVALS IN AN EXTENT AND IRELAND WOULD HAVE
FIRST CLAIM. BUT IT IS VERY LIKELY THAT THE COMMUNITY WILL NEED
FROM SEASON TO SEASON MORE BEEF THAN IT CAN ITSELF PRODUCE, AND
AUSTRALIA WOULD CLEARLY BE A SUITABLE SUPPLIER BECAUSE OF PRICE
AND QUALITY.
Q'. Q D'ARCY OF 0-10 NETWORK: PRIME MINISTER, MY QUESTIONN
FOLLOWS ONE ASKED BY LAURIE OAKES EARLIER ON. WITHOUT ASKING
YOU TO COMMENT ON THE INTERNAL PROBLEMS OF ANY PARTICULAR
COUNTRY SIR, COULD I ASK YOU WHAT YOUR ATTITUDE IS GENERALLY
STOWARDS TERRORISM, ESPECIALLY OF THE TYPE THAT IS SEEN IN
RECENT DAYS? WELL OBVIOUSLY MY GOVERNMENT, LIKE EVERY GOVERNMENT
MUST DO ALL IT CAN TO STAMP OUT TERRORISM, TO IDENTIFY-THE PEOPLE
THAT ARE LIKELY TO PERPETRATE IT.
Q. MR PRIME MINISTER JUST TO CLARIFY YOUR ANSWER ON BEEF, DO
YOU WISH TO SEE AN END TO THE EEC BEEF EMBARGO OR NOT?
A TOTAL EMBARGO, CERTAINLY, OF COURSE. -I WOULD THINK
THAT OVER THE YEARS IT IS UNLIKELY THAT THE MOST AFFLUENT
PARTS OF THE WORLD, SUCH AS NORTH AMERICA AND WESTERN EUROPE AND
THE SOVIET UNION WILL BE SELF-CONTAINED IN BEEF. AUSTRALIA,
CLIMATICALLY AND BECAUSE OF HER AREA, CAN PRODUCE BEEF VERY
ADVANTAGEOUSLY. / 4 N

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Q. DID YOU FIND MR PRIME MINISTER THAT MR COSGRAVE AGREED WITH
THAT POINT OF-VIEW.?
OH, WELL. WE DIDN'T GO INTO ANY DETAILS ON THESE MATTERS,
OBVIOUSLY WE-HAD A GENERAL DISCUSSION ON THESE MATTERS,.. AND. IT--
WAS VERY USEFUL FOR US TO . HAVETHE VIEW OF . IREL. AND -SI-NCE' IT' HAS
BEEN A VERY GREAT EXPORTER OF BEEF TO COUNTRIES WHICH. ARE NOW INTHE
MARKET.
Q. DID HE GIVE YOU ANY ASSURANCES?
NO, NO OF COURSE NOT, AND T. HEY WEREN'T SOUGHT.
NO, I'LL FINISH THE QUESTION..... REGARDING IRELAND'S
ATTITUDE TO PERHAPS AUSTRALIAN SALES OF SUGAR TO THE COMMON
MARKET. NO, THERE WAS SCARCELY ANY THERE WAS SOME DISCUSSION
ON THIS WITH THE TAOISEACH AND HIS MINISTERS, BUT NO, NO DETAIL
DISCUSSION LIKE THAT.
Q. PRIME MINISTER, GLENNON, IRISH INDEPDENDENT: IT IS REPORTED
HERE TH-AT OUR MINISTER OF LABOUR FAILED TO KEEP SOME APPOINTMENTS
. MADE BY YOUR GOVERNMENT WHEN HE WAS ON A VISIT TC AUSTRALIA SOME
WEEKS AGO. DID THIS QUESTION COME UP IN ANY WAY BETWEEN YOURSELF
AND THE TAOISEACH?
NO, IN NO WAY WHATEVER. NO WAY WHATEVER. MR O'LEARY WAS
A GUEST OF THF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT WHILE HE WAS IN AUSTRALIA.
IN PARTICULAR, HE SAW MY MINISTER FOR LABOUR. THAT IS THE
-IRISH MINISTER FOR LABOUR SAW THE AUSTRALIAN MINISTER FOR LABOUR.
AND I KNOW THAT MY MINISTER APPRECIATED THE EXCHANGE OF VIEWS.
FURTHERMORE, THE IRISH MINISTER FOR LABOUR, MR 0' LEARY ALSO
VISITED PAPUA NEW GUINEA. AND HIS VIEWS, HIS ASSESSMENT THERE
WERE HELPFUL TO MY GOVERNMENT.
Q. PRIME MINISTER. A QUESTION MOSTLY OF INTEREST TO AUSTRALIAN
READERS. FOLLOWING YOUR LONDON PRESS CONFERENCE AND YOUR COMMENTS
ON G. M. H. COULD I ASK YOU IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THE G. M. H.
DECISION TO SACK WORKERS IN AUSTRALIA WAS ONE IMPOSED ON THE
AUSTRALIAN COMPANY FROM DETROIT?
I DON'T KNOW.
Q. PRIME MINISTER, HAVING SAMPLED THE IRISH HOSPITALITY.....
P. M. WHAT, IS THAT SO OBVIOUS? / 5

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Q. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF GUINNESS STOUT? DO YOU THINK THAT
IT RATES WITH FOSTER'S LAWGER? I P
I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THEY WERE... THEY WERE DIFFERENT LAC
SUBSTANCES. I WOULDN'T HAVE THOUGHT THERE WAS ANY SIMILARITY
BETWEEN IRISH STOUT AND IRISH BEER. STILL LESS BETWEEN IRISH
STOUT AND AUSTRALIAN BEER. I MEAN, I.. TE THE TAOISEACH'SEK AGO SOME
LUNCHEON TOOK PLACE IN A MONUMENT TO IRISHB E STODL ETNHO
VEAGH HOUSE. A MONUMENT TO GUINNESS PATRIOTISM AND
HOSPITALITY AND THE RESPONSE WHICH THE IRISH PEOPLE OVER THEIC
CENTURIES HAVE MADE TO THAT PRODUCT. A MAGNIFICENT PLACE,
EXCELLENT HOSPITAL IT Y. YEAR
Q. PRIME MINISTER HIGHFIELD, ABC. WAS THERE ANY DISCUSSION
BETWEEN YOURSELF AND THE IRISH AUTHORITIES ON THE QUESTION OF
AUSTRALIAN SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM HERE? SEVERAL WEEK AGO SOWMEIT
WEAPONS WERE FOUND WHICH WERE ALLEGED TO BE STOLEN FROME
AUSTRALIAN ARMY STORESE R I I
P. I M: NEVER MENTIONED.
Q. YOUR EXCELLENCY. HAVING IN MIND THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE WHICH
IS FORECAST FOR THESE ISLANDS IN THE NEXT YEAR WOULD YOU
ENCOURAGE MORE EMMIGRATION FROM THESE ISLANDS TO AUSTRALIA IN
THE NEXT SAY TWO. OR THREE YEARS? WL H B
IRISH MIGRANTS HAVE BEEN VERY NUMEROUS TO AUSTRALIA,
AND I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THERE WILL CONTINUE TO BE A SIGNIFICANT
AND A VALUABLE MIGRATION FROM IRELAND TO AUSTRALIA. AUSTRALIAN....
MIGRATION TO AUSTRALIA WILL NOW DEPEND PRINCIPALLY ON PEOPLE IN
AUSTRALIA WHO NOMINATE CLOSE RELATIVES AS INDIVIDUALS. IT WILL
NOT BE OFFICIAL SPONSORSHIP SO MUCH AS INDIVIDUAL SPONSORSHIP.,
YOU MUST HAVE A JOB TO GO TO AND PARTICULARLY, OF COURSE, YOU
OUGHT TO BE A CLOSE RELATIVE. AND THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE IN
AUSTRALIA WHO HAVE CLOSE RELATIVES IN IRELAND. NEVERTHELESS,
I WOULD EXPECT THAT MIGRATION WILL NOT BE AS COPIOUS AS IT WAS,
SAY, TWENTY YEARS AGO. THERE IS NOT THE SAME SCOPE TO EMPLOY
MIGRANTS IN AUSTRALIA AS THERE USED TO BE AND AT THE SAME TIME
THE INTEGRATION OF EUROPE AS A WHOLE WILL MEAN, I EXPECT, THAT
FEWER PEOPLE WILL BE LEAVING EUROPE FOR OTHER CONTINENTS.
Q. PRIME MINISTER. AFTER EIGHT MONTHS IT IS FAIRLY CLEAR
THAT MR GAIR THRIVES ON THE DIPLOMATIC LIFE. CAN YOU TELL US
WHEN HIS TERM ENDS AT THE END OF THREE YEARS WILL HE BE OFFERED
ANOTHER DIPLOMATIC POST?
I'LL CONSIDER THAT IN MY NEXT GOVERNMENT.
Q. DID THE TAOISEACH ACCEPT YOUR INVITATION.... / 6

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INWARD CABLEGRAM 6-O. DU308
PARDON?
Q. DID THE TAOISEACH ACCEPT YOUR INVITATION TO GO TO AUSTRALIA.
-"-AND. IF HE DID WHEN IS HE GOING?
AH WELL., I BELIEVE THAT THE TAOISEACH IS SERIOUSLY
CONSIDERING THE POSSIBILITY OF VISITING AUSTRALIA. MIND YOU
AUSTRALIANS ARE NOT IN A VERY STRONG POSITION TO PRESS THE
PRIME MINISTER OF IRELAND TO VISIT AUSTRALIA, BECAUSE IT'S
33 YEARS AND MORE SINCE AN AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER LAST
VISIT-ED IRELAND. HOWEVER, I DON'T SUPPOSE THERE'S EVER
BEEN A VISIT BY AN IRISH PRIME MINISTER TO. AUSTRALIA. I WOULD
-TIN( K IT WOUL-D BE VERY APPROPRIATE IT WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY BE
VE-RY WARMLY RECEIVED, IF A TAOISEACH WERE TO VISIT AUSTRALIA,
LECUSE AUSTRALIA HAS PEEN ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL IRISH COLONIES.
THE ONLY LARGER ONES WOULD BE THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA.
Q. MR WHITLAM. POWER, IRISH INDPENDENT: DO YOU SEE YOURSELF
COMING BACK FOR A LONGER VISIT TO IRELAND? THIS IS YOUR SECOND
TIME HERE ISN'T IT AND EACH TIME IT WAS ONLY FOR A ONE-DAY VISIT?
P. M. NO IT'S MY FOURTH TIME I'VE BEEN HERE. THIS IS THE
FOURTH TIME I'VE VISITED IRELAND. I CAME HERE IN 1962, 1967
AND IN JANUARY 1972. FOR A MAN WHO HASN'T GOT A DROP OF
IRISH BLOOD IN HIS VEINS, I'M A FAIRLY REGULAR VISITOR.
IN-TERJECTION: AMBASSADOR GAIR.. YOU'RE AN R. C. A REGULAR CUSTOMER.
P. M. AM AN ADHERENT I AM AN ADHERENT OF THE
CHURCH OF IRELAND. I AM A SEPARATED BROTHER.
AMBASSADOR GAIR: WE'RE PRAYING FOR YOU EVERY DAY.
THE..-. I'VE COME TO KNOW THE LEADING MEMBERS OF THE IRISH
GOVERNMENT AND THE IRISH OPPOSITION ON THESE VISITS AND SEVERAL
OF THEM HAVE VISITED AUSTRALIA. MR COSTELLO AND MR O'LEARY OF
COURSE HAVE BEEN THERE THIS YEAR. SO IT IS VERY EASY FOR ME
TO PICK UP A CONVERSATION WITH MR LYNCH OR MR COSGRAVE BECAUSE
I'VE HAD SEVERAL -CONVERSATIONS WITH THEM OVER THE YEARS.
Q. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF HAVING AN EXTENDED HOLIDAY HERE AT
SOME STAGE? I THINK IT WOULD BE VERY PLEASANT.
INTERJEC'i ON: AMBASSADOR GAIR. I'VE INVITED HIM TO COME OVER.
Q. MR WHITLAM CAN YO TELL ME YOUR COMMINIQUE REFERS TO THE
FACT THAT YOU DISCUSSED WITH THE TAOISEACH THE SUMMIT MEETINGS
OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENT IN PARIS. CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THAT A
/ 7

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LITTLE BIT? YOU SHOULD GET THAT FROM THE TAOISEACH HIMSELF. BUT HE..
YOU KNOW, THERE'S NO POINT IN ME, AT SECOND HAND, GIVING THE
ACCOUNT WHICH HE'S ABLE SO WELL TO GIVE SINCE HE AND DR FITZGERALD
PARTICIPATED IN THEM. I'M... I'LL BE VERY GLAD TO HEAR THROUGH
THE AMBASELADOR AND OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTH WHEN MR... DR
FITZGiEH. ALD WILL BE PRESIDING.
Q. 1 JL. T WASN'T TOO CLEAR WHAT THIS REFERENCE WAS. I UNDERSTAND
NOW.
Polo: ARE VERY INIERESTED, NATURALLY, IN HAVING THE IRISH
ASSESLMUhT OF TRENDS IN THE COMMUNITY.
Q. MR UHITLAM, ARE YOU MISSING THE AUSTRALIAN CHRISTMAS?
P. M. Oh, I DON'T MIND CHRISTMAS IN THE BRITISH ISLES...
CHRISTMAS IS I'M AMONG FRIENDS HERE... BOSOM OF MY FAMILY.
ENDS. RINI" :' INISTER
REI I ISTER
FOREIC: N AFFAIRS
MIN AND DEPT DEFENCE
JIO
MIN AND DEPT LABOR AND IMMIGRATION ( C)
MIN AND DEPT OVERSEAS TRADE
MIN AND DEPT MINERALS AND ENERGY
TREAShRER AND TREASURY
PMS PRESS OFFICE
PMS PRIVATE OFFICE
AIS ( C)
PM AND C
MR B JOHNS ( PM AND C)
MR MENADUE
ADAA ( C)
MIN1 AND DEPT AGRICULTURE R. GRIFFITr
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Transcript 3565