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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 395

POLICY SPEECH BY THE PRIME NINISTER, THE RT. HON. R.G MENZIES AT THE CITY HALL, KEW WEDNESDY, 15 THE NOVEMBER, 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: 15/11/1961

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 395

61/ 082
^ 4 POLICY SPEECH
by
TTE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT. HON. R. G. MENZIES
at
THE CITY HALL KEW
;, EDNESDAf. A H NOVEMBR. 1961
On December 9, though you will be voting for individual
candidates, the end result will be that you choose a Government
-for the natl ' n.
I do not propose to put before you a long list of
promises. After 12 years the A. L. P. can easily make a series of
brand new offers without saying where the new hundreds of
millions are to come frkim; though they will, of course-come
from you. For Governments have no money to spend excep6 that
which has been earned and paid over, by tax or loan, by the men
and women of Australia.
But we are a government whose policies and ideas have
been for 12 years put into practice. For us to come along now
with a string of new promises would excite your ridicule. You
could well say: " You have had years to do these things. Why
didn't you think of them before?"
We offer you good government. The essential quality
of good government is that it should have sound and intelligible
principles, that it should pursue great national and social
objectives with resoluteness, that it should be able to meet the
storms that arise from time , o time with a proper sense of
navigation, that it should have cohesion in its own ranks and a
strong sense of mutual loyalty.
If a government has these qualities it will deal with
such matters as social services, medical benefits, repatriation
provisions in a liberal and just spirit. You vi 11 remember the
tremendous improvements in such matters which we have initiated
and carried through. Very few of them were ever mentioned by us
in a Policy Speech.
TonightI will lay before you a statement of principles
and ideas which have been followed and, in our belief, ought to
continue to be followed for the good of Australia.
I could speak to you for hours on the national and
social achievements of the last decade. The overwhelming majoriy
of Australians have benefitted from them, and will remember them.
I will not take your time tonight in reciting them. My brief
reference to them is made merely to provide the foundation for
my main purpose, which is to clarify the basic nature of the
continuing policies which have contributed powerfully to these
results. I say " continuing policies", because the one great
promise you will find in this speech is that these policies will
go on, ever strengthening the present and building for the
future. There can never be anything static about a policy of
national development; that would be a contradiction in terms.
That is why, tonight, -ihen I refer to the past, it is the living
past, leading inevitably to the living future. It is not enough
for us as a Government or as a nation, to say: " We have livedJ"
Je must feel the excitement of living and working and planning
and building.

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We are not-opposed tc the dismal doctrines of
socialism for merely theoretical reasons. rJe are for
competitive free enterprise because it is dynamic; because it
tackles new problems and creates new industries and makes
progress and profit by efficiency and the spirit of adventure.
Governments can do much to create an economic climate
in which things will grow. Within the limits of social justice
and national necessity, private citizens ought to be encouraged
to get on with the job free of the threat that if they succeed
too well some Social. it theorists will want to take them over,
de need to have a mental picture of the kind of
Australia want to see in another ten or twenty years; a
nation strong, respected, and friendly, and free; with a much
greater population, well-housed and fed and clothed and happy;
a producing nation drawing from the good earth a powerful
contribution to the materials which human beings need; a great
trading nation with such markets abroad for the products of
Australian fields and factories that her international solvency
is steady and secure; a well-ordered, because a self-ordered
country with responsible , overnment, a country in which
extremists and the promotors of division and hatred die for want
of material to sustain them.
It is because of one vision that wie have one total
policy; not a thing of shreds and patches and cash promises for
next week or next month, but a single conception of which what
we have done was an expression, and what we aim to do is a
continuing projection.
Let me illustrate this, After we had announced our
economic measures of November last, I indicated that we were not
confusing stability with stagnation; that although we auld not
in 1961 find large additional sums of money for works, we
wanted to confer with the States for the planning of new
enterprises which would-increase export trade and the national
: realth. Thereafter we began negotiations with several State
Governments on large and complex matters. It would have been
simple enough to pursue a time-table which would have enabled me,
tonight, to make some dramatic announcements in relation to
national works to be carried out during the term of the next
Parliament. But we prefer ( as you do) performance to promise,
Accordingly, during the last few weeks of Parliament, we completed
some large negotiations and secured authorising legislation
relating to The modernisation and re-building of the Mt. Isa-
Townsville-Collinsville railway in North Queensland.
This will enable a most remarkable development in
mining, particularly copper, in Mt. Isa, a development
on which the ompany itself will spend over œ 40m. and
which therefore represents the kind of mutual
co-operation between government and private enterprise
to which our policies are directed. It will add
scores of millions to our exports. It will be the
greatest specific development in Queensland, that area
so full of possibilities, for many years. It will be
of great value to Northern development generally, de
have voluntarily contracted to find initial capital to
the extent of
The mechanical improvement of coal ports normally a
purely State responsibility in New South Jales and
Queensland. This will permit of greatly increased
exports of coal. The work to be done at Newcastle,

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Balmain, Port Kembla and Gladstone is being
substantially assist d from Commonwealth funds.
The equipment of the Broken Hill-Port Pirie ralway,
chiefly in South Australia, with modern rolling stock
and diesel locomotives. We have, by an agreement with
South Australia, agreed to find the initial capital for
this important work.
The establishment in Western Australia of an iron and
steel industry which should open a dramatic new era of
Western d~~ jlopment. Great iron ore deposits will be
opened up at Koolyanobbing, west of Kalgoorlie, to
ripply an iron and steel works to be built at Kwinana.
A tandard gauge railway will be built from Kalgoorlie
to Kwinana through Perth.
The overall cost of this immense scheme i. s
estimated at œ 42m. of which the Commonwealth will
initially find
In addition to the œ fm. which we had already found for
the development of the iorthern part of ' estern
Australia, we agreed to find additional money for
export beef roads. We have just secured Parliamentary
approval for the provision of œ 5m. to the State of
Queensland for similar purposes.
Here we have, going on over the next few years, a
total expenditure by Governments and the companies
concerned of the better part of œ 200m. of which the
Commonwealth Government is financing œ 70m. The most
satisfying aspect of all the negotiations has been the
forward-looking enthusiasm of all parties with no
pessimists to be found. The announcement, in an
election speech, of such a programme, coming on top of
the scores of millions to be spent on such enterpriscs
as the -reat Snowy Mountains hydro-electric and
irrigation headworks scheme, would indeed be
sensational and arresting. I hope it will be no less
so because we have not thought fit to let it rest in
promise, but have already assured its performance,
And let it be remembered that such works are themselves
the means for future works and development and consequent
enterprise, for many years to come.
Thus, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, though its planned
production of electric power is perhaps best known, will provide,
for New South Jales, Victoria and South Australia, increased
water storages and supplies for irrigation and general purposes,
The irrigation future of the Murray and the Murrumbidgee areas
will be assured. For South Australia, wator is particularly
important. The Snowy Scheme is here of great value. But, with
the growth of that State, new problems of water may well arise
in the next few years Accordingly, the question of another great
Murray storage at Chowilla, near the South Australian border, has
been examined by the River Murray Caters Commission. This would
create the greatest single water-storage in Australia and would
produce benefits to all three States. I have already announced
that, when a detailed scheme has been agreed upon, the
Commonwealth will find a quarter of the total cost, at present
estimated at œ l14m, or
ie will, within our financial capacity, antinue to be
interested in works which will add to Australia's producti've
capacity for the earning of export income or the saving of
imports.

Some of the matters I have referred to are part of a
* pattern-of Northern Australian development. : e believe that for
the sake of our national future we must develop and use the
North. believe that its possibilities, particularly in
minerals ( the search for which we will continue actively to
encourage), and in cattle, are enormous. By co-operation between
State Governments, Territorial authorities, the Commonwealth
Government, and those engaged in industry, national growth in
the North should be a great feature of our next decade of
development. In Australia, of all continents, water supply, storage
and use are of paramount importance. The Commonweal~ h Government
has conducte, active research into water resources both in the
Northern Territory, rhere valuable results have been achieved,
and in the Snowy Mountains, through the Authority. . le think that
the time has arrived for the co-ordination of methods of research
and the pooling of the important information which can be
obtained. Already much good work is being done in various
States. I propose to ' like up with the Premiers and with the
lerritorial authorities * he idea of establishing a Jater
Resources Council so that the highest level of basic information
on our Australian water resources can be secured and made
available. In mineral development, our Department of National
Development haF given notable leadership.
Back in 1950 Australia was importing coal: today it
is a substantial exporter. The story of uranium is, I hope,
well known, crowned as it is by the work of the Atomic Energy
Commission, whose research and productive activities enjoy world
repute. Great resources of bauxite have been uncovered. Great
alumina and aluminium enterprises are in the making.
Selectively permitted exports of iron ore are leading to the
discovery of new deposits. le are encouraging, in the most
practical ways, the search for oil, sustained by optimism. In
our time, scores of millions of pounds have been invested in oil
refineries, which have achieved an export capacity, and are in
fact earning substantial export income. . ho would have
contemplated this a few years ago.' Nothing can prevent the most
amazing developments in the next decade so long as we avoid the
dead hand of reactionary socialism. These are great days for
men of enterprise, who know : rhere they want to go, and are
prepared to battle to get there.
I can imagi-ne somebody saying that this talk of
building for tomorrow is inconsistent with our policies of
November 1960, Those policies were designed not to impede
progress, but to remove impediments to progress.
An inflationary boom increases the cost of delelopmental
works, makes it more difficult to raise loan moneys for
essential works, raises the costs of our export commodities
encourages land speculation nd other forms of gambling, and
discourages savings and investment.
My government was not prepared to permit a boom to
roar on to the inevitable burst, Te felt that it should be
quelled, and a normal state of affairs restored. e knew that
this would be unpleasant for some, but we believed that our
actions would protect many more people against a collapse, and
that the progress of national development would in consequence
go on more soundly and steadily,

What were -the facts?
1. The boom was evidenced by rising prices-and shortages
of labour. In 1960 the Consumer Price Index rose by
no less than 4.5% a greater increase than during the
preceding three years taken together. In justice to
those on fixed incomes and to the exporting industries
which cannot pass on cost increases to their customers,
action had to be taken. Our measures, unpleasant in
themselves, have succeeded. During this year the
increase in the Consumer Price Index first slowed down
and then stopped. The September figures recently
published showed an actual fall in the Index., 4e have,
a-at the present time, met and defeated inflation.
2. Our overseas reserves were running down at a
disturbing rate. If that process had been allGoed to
continue, Australia would not have been abLe to pay for
her imports. Our economic measures gradually :* ut back
the volume of imports, so that our overseas iLn. nds at
the end of 19t-61 were much greater than t!; ey wre a
year before. For the September 1961 quarte ( normally
a slack season for exports) exports exceeded imports
by no less than œ 36m. So the second problem was
successfully dealt with,
3. The third problem concerned the financing of public
works in the States. These are of immense importance
for the whole basis of industrial and community living.
water, power, roads, schools, hospitals, and a host of
other things. Under modern procedures created by my
own Government, the States get the whole of the
Government Loan raisings plus whatever the difference
may be between those raisings and the approved
programme the difference being financed by the
( Common: ealth. The greater the shortage which the
Commonwealth has to find, the greater the burden upon
the taxpayers, and therefore the slower the rate of
national progress. An inflationary boom is an
adverse element in the public loan market, where
people invest fixed sums of money at fixed rates of
interest, The effect of our policies was shown in the
latest Commonwealth Loan, which was heavily oversubscribed.
These were all great results. As we achieved them, we
reduced the emergency measures. The last survivor, the
restrictions upon Bank Credit, came to an end, for all practical
purposes, two weeks ago.
The most discussed by-product of our policies has been
come temporary unemployment.
The employment position has, for some months, been
steadily improving, and should continue to do so. Indeed, the
latest official reports show a further marked reduction in those
registered for employment, and a real increase in registered
vacancies. It is a painful business to stop an inflationary boom.
Some who have profited by the boom lose some of their business or
profits. Some of their employees have to seek other employment.
For the men and women so rendered temporarily unenployesd we
have a profound sympathy. In spite of aggestions in some
quarters, we have never forgotten or under-estimated their
personal problem. Percentage statistics are of no comfort to
them, though such statistics must be taken into account by
governments responsible for the overall economic state of the

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nation.. But we are continually concerned with the position-of
the individual citizen. That concern is our greatest reason for
political existence. Our special financial provisions in recent
months show that our objective is the useful employment of all
who are willing and able to work. ie can point with pride. to the
fact that there has never been a period of 12 years in the
history of Australia when employment was so high, when so much
development occurred, and wrhen true living standards rose so much.
Our opponents magnify the employment problem for
election purposes, It will be for you to decide whether you
believe that business prosperity, employment opportunities,
capital investment, national growth and international trade will
be greater -ider a Socialist administration.
I said " socialist" and I mean it. The A. L. P. will
" pipe down" on it for the next three weeks. They do not want
you to remember that the Socialist policy, in action, would
bring about such confusion in private industry, and such
distrust in the minds of investors, both overseas and at home,
that unemployment would increase heavily and the national
progress would be halted. This is no theory on my part. Only in
June 1961, one Labour Member, the brightest feather in the
A. L. P's left wing, already an elected member of Labour's front
bench, had this to say
" How can economic power be transferred? This is the real
question. Broadly, the answer is by controls, by public
enterprise, and by nationalisation."
My troubled opponent, the Leader of the Opposition,
cries for Constitutional amendments which will enable this
objective to be achieved.
The truth is that our opponents are professional
pessimists. We believe that the national economy is healthy, that
there is no reason for pessimism, and that the greatest enemies
of future progress are those who prophesy disaster and try to
persuade you that a depression is just anund the corner. Such
foolish people are not those who have built Australia or who have
a proper understanding of its future.
Australia is one of the 10 leading trading nations. ; e
generate a great demand for imports, most of which are materials
and plant for local manufacturing, : 4e pay for these by our
exports and other moneys secured abroad. Because of our major
dependence on primary exports, our balances of payments tend to
vary sharply with world prices or seasonal conditions at home.
Such variations sometimes give rise to Government measures which
you, and we, find irritating and disturbing.
Yet such problems will continue to occur unless we can
increase our exports and diversify their character, with a
growing emphasis upon manufactured and processed goods, the
prices of which do not, as a rule, fluctuate wildly,
Agricultural and pastoral products will for years continue to
predominate in our export earnings; we will do all in our power
to stimulate their efforts; but until -we increase and vary our
exports we will have periodical balance of payment troubles,
Je created a special Department of Irade five years
ago. It has already achieved remarkable success.

At-the Commonwealth Conference at Montreal my colleague
Mr.-McEwen, gave outstanding leadership in moves to persuade the
great industrial countries to join in schemes for stabilising
the world prices of export commodities such as wheat and sugar
and other bulk commodities of which Australia is not an exporter.
These efforts were strongly reinforced by Mr. Holt on his recent
important mission abroad. Je will continue our efforts in the
commodities field, and can see signs of progress.
Meanwhile, our policy of export expansion continues.
We have expanded ouir Trade Commissioner services, opening
successful new posts in over 20 new places in all continents.
Tne Trade publicity vote has increased 60 times. de have
instituted . Lie Export Payments Insurance Corporation, which
already insures transactions into no less than 120 countries. We
have provided substantial tax incentives to the export of
manufactures. Je have organised and are organising major trade
or survey missions. Studies by the Export Development Council and by trade
consultants suggest that there are promising prospects for
increasing exports by establishing Australian warehouses in
selected markets overseas. The Government will examine, in
conjunction with interested exporters, whether practical metods
can be devised to enable these additional export facilities to
be developed. The -overnarent will of course continue its policy of
protecting economic and efficient Australian industry through the
Australian Tariff Board.
However, we do not regard the present tariff system as
static. During 1960 the Government created means for providing
temporary tariffs for industries which might otherwise be
seriously damaged pending normal review and report by the Tariff
Board. It will also examine possible ways of overcoming the
particular difficulties of certain Australian industries where
production efficiency and a reasonable cost level require the
maintenance of a continuing high volume of output.
In all these dynamic processes, re rely upon the
encouragement of individual effort and investment. True, we
continue to be participants in great programmes of public works.
3ut such programmes do not restrict private enterprise; on the
contrary, they provide the essentials without which private
enterprise could not expand.
Jhat does the Labour Party offer you in exchange for
these principles and ideas?
It wants to solve balance of payment problems, not by
increasing our export earnings but by licensing imports. That
system, which is applicable only when balance of payments
problems render it unavoidable, is in its nature arbitrary and
bureaucratic. The Labour Party would also, it appears, use
arbitrary import licensing to afford temporary protection to
industries threatened by imports. Je prefer the scientific
fixing of tariffs by the system to which I have referred.
Labour has already made it clear, by its astonishing
list of financial . romises, that it believes in inflationary
finance, for which wo will all pay,, It exhibits hostility to
capital investment from overseas, and even to Government
borrowing abroad. Such a crazy policy ignores the needs of a
growing country with a limited population.

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The record private capital inflow of recent years has
greatly-helped industrial expansion.. and employment. But we -mus t
not get into the habit of depending upon it to correct a
deficiency of exports. , Je must develop our own country and its
resources as fast as we can. must have stable government.
Investment from overseas will be attracted by stable government
and a sound economy, but could easily dry up if w. e produced an
unstable government and wild financial measures.
Je are sometimes chided by our opponents for having no
" independent foroi: i olicy". If this means that australia ought
to become a " neutral" or " unaligned" power, offering advice to
all and owing obligations to none, then my government rejects it
out of hana. We have great responsibilities for the safety and
future of Australia, and intend to discharge them.
But if the accusation means that, while looking to the
great democratic powers for help and protection, we should not
accept loyal engagements with them we equally reject the
conception. International arrangements for mutual defence give
rise to duties as well Es rights; we must be partners, not
passive dependents. It is for these reasons that my own
government, with no audible approval by the Opposition, has
pursued a foreign policy of the most constructive kind. 4e have
actively promoted, and become parties to the ANZUS PACT with the
U. S. A. and New Zealand; to SEATO, with Great Britain, U. S. A.,
France, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand, and the Philippines.
These have added positive elements to whatever protection is
afforded by our membership of the United Nations.
I really wish that we knew where the A. L. P. stands on
these matters. Take what we are doing in Defence, where our
forces and equipment, added to a massive Research and
Development programme in such matters as guided missiles, are at
the greatest peak of preparation we have ever seen in time of
peace. Labour would substantially reduce the Defence vote. i
regard adequate defence prevision as a vital element in foreign
policy. We cannot live comfortably without such agreements of
mutual security and protection as ANZUS and SE-D?, to say nothing
of our oldest, most durable, and most tested association with
Great Britain and the other 3ritish countries. We will not only
honour our obligations; we will preserve our capacity to do so.
For some years to come. c overseas problems will have
immense significance for Australia.
Communist threats and aggression are more violent than
at any other time since the dar. The arrogance and wickedness of
the recent Soviet nuclear and thermo-nuclear explosions has
produced an atmosphere of crisis and danger. It seems certain
that these acts are deliberate attempts at terrorising both the
WIest and the newernations of Africa and Asia, and by threat
extending the ColmmunisL zone of influence in those continents.
Much coolness :: nd firmness will be required of Great
Britain, the and the dlestern European powers with those
others like Australia, who are their friends and allies.
This is certainly no time to choose to have the voice
of Australia expressed by a Party as divided, as pushed around by
its left win;, as ambiguous even about Communist Unity Tickets in
Union elections, as the present A. L. P.
There are grave threats to the peace in South-.-st
Asia, with Laos in a state of Communist inspired civil war and
South Vietnam undr almost open Communist attack. One Co-mmunist
victory would lead to another, and we could w! ell become isolated

9.
unless we maintain the strong and effective alliances in S. E. A. T. O
and A. N. Z. U. S. to which I have referred. Yet I cannot recall the
Labour Party saying a good ord about either.
There is also the great matter of the proposed entry of
Great Britain into the European Common Market, involving
negotiations in which the trading positbn of many Australian
industries is deeply involved. I have already explained the
Government's views in some detail in Parliament and elsewhere,
All I need say tonight is that we h-ve had oxpert officials in
London, in close conference with the United Kingdom for some
time; that we have Cabinet Committee and an official committee
regularly meeting in Australia; that I myself am in regular
communicatin with Mr. Macmillan; that we are seeking to
establish wa;. and means of securing an Australian voice on
appropriate occasions when our special interests are involved,
The time will certainly come, nobody c-n say how soon, when
Australian Ministers will need to go abroad to battle for the
Australian export industries and lend weight to the efforts of
our British friends. We are not novices. We are not unknown to
the leaders of other coLatries or their senior adviscrs, We
have, we hope, achieved some special capacity to influence
overseas thought and decision.
You will decide whether you wrant to dismiss us from
these matters and entrust them to our opponents.
As a Government, and as two Parliamentary parties, we
have a membership more closely identified with rural industry
than our opponents can hope to have. Of all the members of the
House of Representatives who represent rural electorates over
three quarters sit in or behind the present Government.
We have strongly supported rising rural production.
During our term the sheep population has risen by 40 millions.
Wool production has increased 50%, meat by 33%, sugar by
Farm life has been assisted by our provision for a
special depreciation allowance of 20% per annum on farm
employees' housing. IWhei this provision ends in June 1962, we
propose to renew it for a further period of five years.
Wj'e will, of course, continue orderly marketing and
stabilisation schemes in such industries as wheat, dairying,
dried fruits, canned fruits, and e'gs. We have extended the
present Sugar Agreement until May 1962, and will, when returned,
negotiate another agreement with the Queensland Government. Je
will negotiate further agreements with the Dairying Industry and
the Wheat Industry. In Wool, we await the report of the Special
Committee. Our guaran'ee to Cotton continues until 1963, when we
will be prepared to consider an extension on terms to be
negotiated. The Government will support an efficient tobacco
growing industry. The objective of the policy will be to provide
a market related to Australian demand and a satisfactory price to
growers for Australian-grown leaf of a quality acceptable to
Australian smokers.
. e have had much to do with research schemes in wool,
wheat, dairying, tobacco, beef and barley, and will devote
increasing attention to extension services folloahg upon
research. Our provision for C. S. I. R. O. has risen from œ 1.7m.
in 1949 to œ 8.6m. in 1961-62.

I want to add something about the Commonwealth
Development Bank. This was established to provide finance for
the purpose of primary production and for the establishment or
development of industrial undertakings, particularly small
undertakings. It was to deal with cases ( such as those in which
long-term finance was needed) in which bank finance would not
other': ise be normally available. Particular attention was to be
paid to the personal prospects of the borrower. Especially in
the country, the function of the Development Bank is important as
an addition to ordinary banking facilities. In our recent Budget
we provided it with. an additional œ fn. of capital. From time to
time we will take steps to review its capital position so that
adequate funds may be available to it for its special but very
important fI-ction.
It is not always realised that, as a result of:
increasing tax reimbursements for years, followed by
the new and improved tax reimbursement formula
unanimously adopted at the Premiers' Conference of
1959, the substantial aid amounting to hundreds of
millions over recen% years given by the Commonwealth
out of its Budget to the S3ates Works programmes, and
the large special grants made to Western Australia and
Tasmania,
the States are being greatly and increasingly assisted to find
capital and current expenditure for primary and secondary
education. State expenditure on these matters ( which are State
matters) is large and rising.
The Coimmonwealth Government has, in addition,
voluntarily made many millions available for Universities,
under the advice of the Universities Committee which we set up
for this purpose. -We have also established a Special Committee
to advise on the future of tertiary education in all its forms.
Another Cormmittee, on medical training in teaching hospitals,
has just made a report which we will study when the new
Parliament has been elected. We have als. o assisted by a large
provision of Commonwealth Scholarships and by educational tax
deductions which are of great value to parents.
Not one of us would wish to be thought unaware of the
enormous importance of improved education in a country which is
building for a great future. gg: re at deal is being done; far
more than seemed possible only a few years ago. Beyond doubt,
much more will need to be done as the years go on. My own
Government, while quite opposed to any notion of transferring
educational authority to the Commonwealth, has quite a unique
record in Commonwealth assistance to education. No action, you
will perhaps allow me to add, has given me personally a more
lively satisfaction. The Government will continue its sympathetic and
pr. actical interest to the limits of its capacity.
I have already made a brief reference to our record on
Social Services. The-e will be plenty of time during the
campaign to dwell upon dramatic improvements in the Means Test,
the great Scheme for Homes for the Aged, Medical and
Pharmaceutical and Hospital Benefits,

11.
But I do want to mention one specific matter. For
years the Australian law has teen that, to qualify for anl age
pension a person, whether Australian-born or not, must have
lived in Australia continuously for 20 years.
The great stream of migration since the Jar, so
valuable to Australia, has produced its own problems. One of
them has been that it is felt by elderly migrants, who have
worked and paid taxes in Australia for long periods falling
short of 20 years, that it is unreasonable that they should not
qualify for age pension. , Je have examined this matter. lWe
attach great impor': 2e-e to family migration, since it helps
assimilation in the new country. de will legislate to reduce
the 20 yea-s'period to 10. Naturalisation will, of course,
continue to ' e a condition for those coming from foreign
countries. Under the existing system of voting for the Senate,
no government can hope for a large majority in that House, and
every government may well be, from time to time, in a Senate
minority even though hLndsomely returned in the ouse of
Representatives. Yet the Senate has great powers. It can throw
out a Budget, or refuse Supply; it can refuse to pass any
legislation. If, therefore, you re-elect my government, but
after July 1st, 1962, when the new Senators come in, the
Government does not have a majority in the Senate, the nation's
legislation and finances will be at the mercy of the very
Opposition which you would have rejected in the House of
Representatives The only way to avoid such an absurdity is to give us
a majority in both Houses. If you do not, or if you vote
informally for the Senate you will find that, instead of
electing my own Government for three years, you will have
elected it effectively for six months only. When in December
1949 you sent us back into office in such a spectacular way. ve
faces a hostile Senate. It took eighteen months of frustrationl
and a Double Dissolution, before a legislative proposal approved
by you could pass both Houses and go on to the Statute book.
Your vote for the Senate is, therefore, vitale
I have dwelt upon matters of high policy which await
your decision. But a national election is not only a contest of
policies. It is a contest of people.
Under us, as your repeated choice, Australia has,
beyond question, developed and prospered. Its growth over the
last decade has been phenomenal, as nobody can fairly deny.
Abroad, its credit stands higher than ever before in its history.
it attracts in remarkable degree the practical interest of
investors and industrialists. In into national councils, its
voice is heard and respected. Its geographical isolation has
been countered by growing and successful diplomatic contacts,
and by international agreements.
Can similar things be achieved by our divided and
disorganised opponents, lacking experience, judgment, and
standing? There may be some I find it hard to believe who
would wish to see our foreign policy, our trade relations, our
territorial responsibilities, our financial and economic affairs,
put into the hands of our opponents.! But the remarkable fact is
that, if elected, the Labour Ministers and Members of Parliament
will not, if they obey their own rules, be in charge of these I

12.
great affairs. They would have been elected by the people of
Australia, and should therefor? have a single and clear
responsibility to the people. 3ut the astonishing fact is that
their duty will be to a non-elected not elected by you)
outside body called the Federal Conference of the Australian
Labour Party. Rule 1 of the A. L. P's Federal Conference says:
" The Federal Conference of the Party shall be the supreme
governing authority and policy making body and its
decisions shall be binding upon all State Branches and
affiliates thereto, and upon the Federal and State
Parliamentar3 LTbour Parties and upon the Federal
Executive". I0 would almost seem that at this election you are not
in truth being asked by Labour to vote Mr. Calwell, and whoever
now either nominally or actually supports him in Opposition, into
power. You are being asked to hand over the international and
national policies of Australia to the obscure but powerful
gentlemen of the Federal Conference of the A. L. P! This is a
complete denial of Parl amentary Democracy. It provides the
final reason why we ask you to renew our mandate to go on
building a great nation for a groat people.

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