PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 810


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: 15/09/1963

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 810

FOR PEESS~ P. M. No. r73/ 1961
Statement by the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Menzies
" Australia welcomes the new Federation of Malaysia
which comes into being tomorrow. We wish it well in every
way and believe that it will contribute to the welfare and
prosperity of its people. The joining together of the -three
former British territories of Singapore, Sarawak and North
Borneo ( or Sabah as it is now to be called) with the independent
Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia represents a population
increase for the new Federation of 3,000,000 people and the
addition of a wide diversity of economic resources and skills.
Malaya has made great progress since it received independence
in August, 1957 and has shown its ability to build a free and
prosperous nation, I am confident that the accretion of the
three new states will give great scope for development to all
of them. I have attempted to sum up my own views and what
I think are the views of all Australians in the following
message which I am sending to the Prime Minister Designate
of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, todaytWe
in Australia have expressed a clear and
continuing conviction that the establishment of
Malaysia would be a welcome and progressive development
in the history of South East Asia. Events of this
magnitude do not take place without frictions and
hazards. You and the other representative leaders
of the constituent elements of Malaysia have
maintained your dedication and belief in what you
believe to be best for your peoples. Now Malaysia
has been brought into existence as a throat to none
and a positive factor for stability and progress.
The contacts and associations between our
Governments and peoples have been many and close,,
They have been marked by feelings of mutual goodwill
and, on our part, by respect for and appreciation of
your achievements in the few short years since
indepondence. The main features which distinguish
the performonce wise and tolerant government,
free institutions and policies of economic growth
and social development provide a good augury for the
future of the new and wider Federation,'
Sir Robert said he also wished to comment on the
report issued by the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
U Thant, on thne findings of his representatives concerning the
wishes of the peoples of Sarawak and Sabah ( North Borneo) with
regard to the inclusion of their territories in Malaysia.
The Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction that
the United Nations Secretary-General had confirmed in such
unmistakable terms what the Australian Government had believed
to be true, namely, that the substantial majority of the peoples
of the territories of Sabah and Sarawak were in favour of Malaysia.
Both in public statemonts and in diplomatic exchanges the Australian
Government had expressed their conviction that this wa-s the case. / 2

The Prime Minister recalled how the role of the
United Nations Secretary-General in the affair had originated.
The Foreign Ministers of Indonesia and the Philippines at their
meeting in Manila in June told the Malayan representatives that
" they would welcome the formation of Malaysia provided the
support of the people of the Borneo territories is ascertained
by an independent and impartial authority, the Secretary-General
of the United Nations or his representative." Later the
Heads of Goverrmient of Indonesia, Malaya and the Philippines,
meeting in Manila laid down the torms under which they would
request U Thant o carry out this task of ascertainment.
This task has now been fully discharged.
The Prime Minister went on to say that the
Malayan Government as well as the Governments of Britain and
the Borneo territories had done everything that might reasonably
be expected to gain acceptance of Malaysia by its neighbours.
The Secretary-GeneralTs findings were regarded by the Australian
Government as deciding this question beyond further argument.
It was obvious that his representatives had
discharged their functions with great care and sense of
responsibility and the Australian Government strongly hoped
that the findings would be accepted by the Governments concerned.
The Australian Minister for External Affairs, Sir
Garfield Barwick, had made abundantly clear to Indonesian leaders,
during the last few days, Australia's position on these matters.
CANBERRA, September, 1963.

Transcript 810