PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6886


Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/04/1986

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 6886

EWART: Mr Hawro, what do you really have to offer Australia
as a result of these talks?
PM: I have a capacity to say to them two things I think are important.
Firstly, that We have a commitment from the people of the United States
that the framework will be available for continued discussions by ua on
behalf of Australian farmers am to the implementation of elements of the
United States arm program where that implementation could impact adversely
on our interete. And secondly, I have the unqualified comitment of
the Piesident bœ the United States that the United States will take a
leading tole in the upcoming multilateral trade negotiations to put trade
in agriculturel products at the forefront of the agenda.
EWART: But that does really go that much beyond what John Dawkins was
assured during him recent visit here?
PM Yes, It b ilds upon the very valuable work that the John Dawkins did.
And aa I said before I left Australia the groundwork had been done and I
have nov buil that into a position where I have been able to talk with
the President and get the commitmant of the President. And that's a
commitment at the highest level.
EWART: But do you think the comnitment that the United States will try
and push for agriculture on the agenda at the next round of multilateral
trade negotia ions was perhaps something he intended doing anyway?
PMH: I think tiere is an enhanced perception by the United States of the
importance of this iesue not merely immediately for themselves and their
relation with the European Community but the importance for us and the
reat of the world. I think we have been able to add to their perception
of the importance of this.
EWART: But in reality, you can't alter the trade war between the
United States and the European Community, can you?
PM: I certainly can't wave a magic wand and say here is an end to the
trade war, t6at's true. But what I can do is to import into thair
consideratioqa a range of rational argument which takes it beyond the
immaediate coisidarations which I believe would serve to confirm the
view that an end has to be brought to this international trade war because
there must be an end to the situation where one. large group says, her.
is the subsidy. The other group sys here i. a bigger * ubsidy. The other

groups says here 1s a bigger one. That ultimately is destructive.
EWARTz But as th trade war is continuing, do you accept that the
T-ng term impact f1or Australian farmers remains fairly gloomy?
P1: I'm not the long term outlook is gloomy. I am just saying that
In the immediate sense it is gloomy and it can only be improved And have
some basis upon which you can have optimism. For the longar term future
if action is begun to be taken this year to get the negotiations to have
agriculture on the agenda, what has happened in the past is that you have
had a different sit of rules and virtually no sanctions against people are
involved in the bhidies and exports of agricultural products against the
very strict anct ons which apply to manufactured goods. Now, manufactured
goods have to be qonsidered in the same way as they have been, but
agricultural trade has to be put into the same category. So, under the
rules of GATT the same saactions apply. I think we, by our efforts, are
adding our additional impetus to the understanding that that has got to be
EWART: Turning n~ v to Libya, why at your news conferenc were you refucing
to spell out whatar the American action on Libya was justified?
PM: Well, that is your interpretation. What I have said is I am not going
to get into the bvsiness I put it as a squalid auction of saying where
am I on some support meter. I, and Bill Hayden, from the very beginning
on Tuesday of thif week, have tried to analyse the situation on the basis
of trying to point to where we go in the future and what could happen in the
future. And we h# ve the position where some have chosen to interpret it in
one way and othrs in the opposite. I am not going to get into that
auction. We havei said that force in international relations is not
acceptable, partifularly the use of terrorism, and that the essential
condition for bripging an end to this concept is the repudiation by Libya
of the direction export and control of terrorism against innocent civilians.
And on that basis in the United Nations we have tried to point to possible
ways in the future to the resolution of this matter. Now, that La what we
are going to continue to do. You can try as much as you like to say, use
a word or not a w rd, but, as I say, it's a squalid exercise.
EWART: The Uni t! P States Administration is describing Australia's response
as strongly supportive and that is the way it is going to be reported in the
media here. Does. that concern you at all?
PM: I am not concerned about interpretations that are put on. There has been
an opposite interpretation by Mr Howard. As I have said. different interpretations
by other people. What I am about is tn state the position. We have done it
consistently in Canberra, in New York. and in Waehingtoh.
EWART: Why do you think the Administration would be making that
description, thoqgh?
PH1: You will have to ask the Administration. / 3

RW. RT: Well, do yu think the UnitedStates action has done anything to stop
internati mal terrorism?
PM: Well, I think it should have made clear to those who are involved in
it that as far as : he United States is concerned theft patience is not
unlimited. I mean they've taken a clear stand there. There Is some
evidence of dissension to the point of fighting amongst elaments of the armed
forces in Libya. t may have involved some undermining of Gaddefi's
position, I don't nov. But, again. I'm not really going to $ et into that
speculation. My j b as Prime Minister, and Bill Hayden's job as 7oreign
Minister, in to tr7 and use our best endevours to particularly through
our membership ofhe Security Council to try and find a way in which
there can be some negotiation or its equivalent, In this matter.
EWART: lis there been any response to your call to the United States
to publicise its evidence concerning Libyan terrorist activities?
PM: No, no posit2ve response. I have put the came. I acknowledge end
accept that the Uited States has to make its decision in the light of the
obvious advantage that there would be in the publication of this evidence
against, on the ofher hand, their concern at the exposure of their
intelligence capaities. It would be presumptuous for me to tell them what
they ought to do. That is ultimately their decision. What I can do as
a concerned person is to point to, what I consider would be the advantages
of publication.
EWART: What are those advantages?
PM: Well, clearl' there are those who are saying that this is a fabrication.
It Is not authenttc and it can't be compelling. Now, all I can say Isa
I have seen the eyidence, I have had the briefing. I fi-nd the material
authentic. I fin; it compelling. A

Transcript 6886