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Transcript 7959


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: 14/03/1990

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 7959

14 MARCH 1990
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, Andrew Peacock and John Hoewson
are saying that you and Treasurer Keating panicked over
interest rates yesterday.
PM: If there's any sign of panic in this election, it's not
on our side of politics. The panic . is confined to the
conservativos as well. it might be. What has happened is
s~ uiply that t~ he Treasurer, Paul Knating and Prime Minister
Hawkti havR stated the obvious and that is that their Government
has put in place the economic structure and policoies which
can enable interest rates to come down. Welve.. stated'the
obvious, an obvious which has been confirmed sinc( A I spoke
yesterday within the banking industry.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, despite your generous
endorsement of Mr Keating this morning, apparently he hasn't
made it into Mr Howard's war Cabinet.
PM: Well, what is significant of course is first the
assumption by Mr Howard that he would be Prime Minister.
The people in Australia have shown that they don't trust the
conservatives in time of war. They were in office at the
start of the last war and they got thrown out because they
weren't competent and John Curtin-, which is appropxriat-H
to say here in Fremantle, John Curtin, the Member for
Fremantle, became the Prime Minister of Australia in time
of war because the conservatives weren't up to thejob. So
that's the first thing to say about. the as-suJIption of Johnr
Hfiward. The second thing of course to say about it is the
very interesting omission from his own side of politics.
Where is Andrew? I mean, he's certainly giving very
considerable emphasis now ' to what he said last year. There
is no trust between Mr Howard and Mr Peacock and he thinks
that much of the man who is offering to be Prime Minister
of Austral. ia, Mr Howard wouldn't put him in his hypothetical
Cabinet. If you ever wanted an indication of the depth of
distrust, bitterness and hatred within the coalition and
within the Liberal Party itself, John Howard's underlined
it again.

JOURNALIST: Would you have eithe. r of them in your war Cabinet*?
PM% In war the situation would be, and of course that is
entirely hypothetical because we are living, as I've said
bef ore, '. ia-rimo re optimistic -time than ever before, there's
not. going to be war. But if I could have a hypothetical
answer to your question, it would be that the people of
Australia would want, as they've had before, that is~ Labor
in power in war as in peace. The only GovrrinIt which hdL;
ever been called upon with trust by the Australiazi people
i. n the time of conflict and we've never let theml down.
JOURNALIST; Mr Hawke, you said earlier thai. you had o
intention of stepping aside if Labor's re-elected, but isrn't.
it the reality is you could be pushed out?
PM: Dear oh dear, where did this fellow come from~? Whert; M
did you come from?
JOURNALIST: Well, Canberra, the same place as you did.
PM: Did you? Well, you must have been, you must. have bF-etn
hol~ ed up somewhere in Canberra. Where's this push going to
come from? There's never been such unity behind a leader
and a Prime Minister as there is behind Bob Hawke. I mean,
yoG& Ave had a good drinX last night, olcL boy. What did you
give him, what did you giv4Awellows?
PM: Yes.
JOURNALIST: The question of polls, Labor is, you know, in
front in most of the polls that we've seen. Are you worried
that this might lead to complacency on the part of some voters
that there'll be a stronger protest vote than otherwise
there would?
S PM: No, I want to make the obvious comment. It's almost
banal to make it, but I do make it. It's the one on the
24th that does count. I would be dishonest if I didn't say
that, you know, I'd rather be in front in the polls than behind
Obviously I would. I think people will make their
Judgements on the issues and on the way the campaign's gone
and on that basis I feel, feel confident of the right
dimision without being cocky or complacent about it.
JOURNALIST: What's your reaction to the West Australian
Democrats' backf lip?

PM: Well you might notice if you read the transci-ipt of
yesterday I indicated that this might happen. It just
seemed to nit-if you did an initellectual analysis of it, it
was at) uns~ ustainable decision and I think that that
awialysis that I did for you in the Press conference
yesterday has been proven corroct.
ends -4-TnTAL-P. 03

Transcript 7959