PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 1340


Photo of Holt, Harold

Holt, Harold

Period of Service: 26/01/1966 to 19/12/1967

More information about Holt, Harold on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 30/06/1966

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 1340

Presideat ( Mr. Booth):
Gentlemen, it may interest you to know that at this
very hour in Canberra the Secretary of State, Mr. Dean Rusk,
is addressing the Press Club of Canberra.
I would like to introduce the distinguished guests at
this table. On my left, His Excellency, iMr. John Keith iraller,
the Australian Ambassador.
On my right, our very own, the Honourable Edward Clark,
United States Ambassador to Australia.
On my left, Sir John Bunting, Permanent Head of the
Prime Minister's Department.
On my right, Sir Lawrence icIntyre, the Deputy Secretary
of the Department of External Affairs of Australia.
On my left, the Honourable Robert Furlonger, the Minister
of Australia. On my'right, the Honourable John I. c Naughton, Assistant
Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs.
On my left, a most iL: portant man, f. r. Tony Eggleton, the
Prime Minister's Press Secretary.
On my right, the Honourable Ray Farrell, Co; uIissioner of
Immaigration and Naturalization.
His job is the one that our distinguished guest used to
hold in Australia. On my left, an old friend, the Honourable Claude Pepper
of Florida. On my right, the Honourable William Battle, former
American Ambassador to Australia now with the State Department.
On my left, a distinguished member of this club, Press
Attache to the Australian Embassy, Mr. John Malone.
Gentlemen, the nation, the city, and especially the
National Press Club we are proud to have as our guest of honour
a distinguished statesman from down under. His country is a most
remarkable one. It is almost the exact size as ours. It has
everything going for it that ours has great cities, vast
stretches of farm land, mountains, prairies, and it is all tended
and brought to bloom and fruition by fewer than twenty million
people. HOLT Twelve.
Twelve, I'm told. I was giving them a few. ( laughter).
Australia is a land where an A1. erican at least this one
feels more at home than in any other country but his own. Our
guest became Prime " inister of Australia last January. He
succeeded a veritable legend, Sir Robert 1ienzies, who was Prime
Minister for a generation. And, incidentally, who also spoke
from this platform.

Our guest is the leader of the majority Liberal Party
in Australia. That is the party to belong to just now. But
he knows this country and city well, having participated in
many , orld Bank and other financial meetings here.
But he is not all business by any means. He is a
skilful skinciver and spearfisherman, who enjoys water ski-ing
and power boating. He is a familiar figure at the Melbourne
race track and he goes the right way with top hat and tails.
How good he is at picking the horses his biographers don't say.
He is here today representing his coilntry, the faithful
ally of the United States, through thick and thin, good times
and bad. Gentlemen, the distinguished Prime Mlinister of Australia,
the Right Honourable Harold Holt.
MR. HOLT: ir. President Booth, Your Excellencies, Distinguished
Guests, Gentlemen of the National Press Club, and other types
not otherwise included;
This all makes me feel very good. In the first place it
is, as most of you have discovered, regarded by most of the
politicians of the world as something of a status symbol to have
the National Press Club. These things are taking a well defined
pattern at these times. If you can get your photo in'Timd' or
" Newsweek" or matters of that sort, well, you arc well on your
way to recognition. I have only had my photo, I think, twice in
" Time On one occasion I was sitting along side David
Rockefeller, who is rather better knovm here than I am. And on
the other occasion I appeared with three of ry delightful
daughters-in-law in their bikinis. A nd I got more international
recognition from that than in my thirty years in public life.
( laughter). Indeed, as I came across the United States, I was a
little chastened because, although I was shown every courtesy
and attention at the splendid hotel in San
Francisco, they kept addressing me as M1r. Ambassador. When I
went up to my room some generous friend had sent along a couple
of bottles of hooch but it was addressed correctly to me by
name so there was no argument as to the possessor, but it
described me as the Prime Miniister of Canada. ( laughter). Then
we got on the aircraft to co! te across to w'ashington auiwe
hadn't been off the ground very long when a somewhat worried
looking captain of the aircraft came along and he saw me
lounging in the front seat with a sweater on, by this stage, and
my collar loosened and my tie a bit askew and he said, " I am
looking for the Prime Minister of Australia. But unfortunately,"
he said, " I don't know his name." ( laughter). So, gentlemen,
my eg3 needed a bit of building by the time I got to ashington.
And thank you very much for asking me here. I see around me a
lot of friends. Some I have made at earlier times, some whc
apparently have just come along for the very nice lunch.

On my right you will see a man who can usually be
distinguished by the " Yellow Roses of Texas" in his buttonhole,
your distinguished Amibassador to mW country, iir. Edward Clark.
Now, I am not without hope that by the time he ends his term of
duty with us we will have persuaded him to remain permanently.
I think he finds rather larger areas of land to be cultivated
there than in Texas. It's a little cheaper and the oil has yet
to be found. And, of course, we have around the room others whose
friendship I have valued over the years in which I was engaged
in the rather esoteric mysteries of' the Secretaryship of Finance.
But today I want to speak principally to you about the
sort of view that we have developed from the part of the world
in which I live about what has beco,.-e the major external issue
in this country and indeed in other parts of the world the
issue of Viet Nam. And I think it would assist a clearer
understanding for us all if v could turn our eyes away for a
week or two from, the daily episodic reportings to consider the
environment, the general situation, the total picture which
relates to Viet Nan and its place in Asia generally. Benause
from much of the criticism that I have been reading, the woods
seem to have been lost sight of as people inspect the trees. And
if we want to assess the value of our participation in South
Viet Nam, then I believe those who criticize must broaden their
horizons and sue wvhat has been achieved by resistance to
communism in South Last Asia and study in turn what this will mean
to the Asia of tomorrow. The military operations would then
fall into place as marking the continuing challenge of communisia
in Asia. The stakes, gentlemen, are very large, and that is why
three successive presidents of this great country, m-den who
should have at their fingertips information, informed advice to
an extent and of a , juality which very few other people could
hope to match, even the best informed of us. And in the exercise
of their country's heavy resoonsibility of free . orld leadership,
they have firmly decided, one succeeding the other, that the
i-ilitary po,. er and economic strength of the mightiest nation in
human history must be brought into the scale to preserveafœ eedom
and hope and progress in the countries of Asia. There/ a illion
people a billion and half people, rather east of Suez, and
their number grows appreciably each year. In India alone the
population increases to an extent equivalent to the total
population of my country -rhich, IVr. President, despite our best
efforts and a very active Immigration programme, has only
advanced to about eleven and a half million. 1, whleya rt lifted
for a momcnt when you said twenty million. ( laughter). That is
-where we hope to get. and get with other goals in sight.
But, gentle-men, they are people of quality. Je are very proud
of our Australian people.
But the one and a half billion people east of Suez may
have doubled their number by the end of this century. And Asia
has become a dynamic theatre of social ferment and revolutionary
economic change. In this region and I contrast it, as I say
this, with the continent of Africa there are countries rich
in resources with ancient civilizations, but some have been slow
to adapt themselves to the possibilities of -doiern techniques.

Most of these countries are going through dramatic processes
of change, varying greatly in kind. You get, for example, the
modern industrialization which has occurred in Japan and, on
the other hand, the regimentation of the coru,, unist administration
in China of the 700 million people of that country. The only
major military power on the mainland of Asia is communist China.
No country Li Asia bould feel itself secure from the threat of
communist aggression but for the power and resolution of the
United States of America. And so we might fairly ask the critics
who don't like what is going on in South Viet Nam, do they want
a world in which a communist dominated Asia forms a major part?
That is a fair question. They may feel that the issue can end
in South Viet Nam. None of us who live in that area of the world,
and I speak as one who has in the course of this year not only
been to South Viet Nam but through several of the countries of
Asia. I come to you as one who opened on 1Monday morning in
Canberra the conference of SEATO powers. And on the preceding
weekend I was able to have talks there with Michael Stewart, Dean
Rusk, and the Foreign Mi: isters of all these SEATO countries
attending that conference.
And they are under no doubt as to the fact that a
continuing threat exists. They welco e what have been quite
favourable developments in the course of the past twelve years.
And there are very hopeful developments em-erging in A'sia. But
without American strength in ! sia then we might as well hand it
over to cormmunism of the Chinese brand.
ve in , ustralia share the views of your lead,. rs, and I
would hope and believe of millions of your fellow Americans, that
a critical battle is being fought in South Viet Nam for the
future of mankind. This conflict symbolizes the challenge of
communism in Asia and is the current , major expression of it. ,. e
have tried to see alL this in the perspective of history. -7e are
inclined in Australia to see things perhaps in direct simple
terms. But you are not necessarily i-Aore likely to be wrong on
that account. I think you can over-complicate the situation
to a point where, as I say, you lose sight of the woods because
your are concentrating too much on the detail. And there is
plenty of detail, of course, to be seen in South Viet Nam, in
the complex, dificult situation. And that is why the communists
are there, because it is difficult, it is complex. It is not
easy to produce national unity which would make the task of
defending the country and building it up again so much easier.
But we work with the conditions as we find them. And the issue
is still clear enough in our eyes. In these simple direct terms
we saw our role in world war I and world II. de were a cocintry
of only seven million people in those times, and i'ustralia
sustained nearly half a million casualties in those two world
wars. I think I speak correctly when I say that in the first
world war we lost more men killed than the United States itself.
And tha is how we saw the communist challenge in Berlin and in
Cuba. We fought it with you in Korea and we joiridwith British
and other Corinonwealth forces in fighting it in Malaya. He see
South Viet Nam in the same context, a crucial struggle for human

Never forget that the United States has not only put troops
into Asia, it has also put heart. And I speak for one of the
countries in the region which has felt heart, encouragement,
and strength froin the knowledge that the resistance that could
be made would oe backed in strength by the United States.
Reienber, that as far back as 1954, President hisenhower
decided to exteid both economic and military aid tc South Viet
Nam, to enable the development of a strong, viable state. And
during the next five years So-th Viet Nam made economic and
social progress which some observers described as miraculous.
And that progress was not halted by the South Vietnamese themselves.
It was halted by a campaign of subversion, of terror,
of infiltration, and finally of organized military aggression.
Remeiiber also what your country has done to help the
economic and social growth of countries such as Korea, Taiwan,
and Thail* nd. It stands ready to assist and suppo't co-operative
programxes for economic development in Asia. Your goal and ours
is for peace and a better life for all who are willing to live
at peace with th-ir neighbours.
The United States is working and building for these
objectives. ' e have heard a lot of discussion and debate about
the so-called Domino Theory. ; ell, those of us who take the
view from down under believe that, thanks to the assistance of
this country, the Domino Theory is working in reverse.
' ve believe that because the United States is in Asia,
other people arc encouraged to stay there and help the emerging
young Asian countries to work out their own future without fear
and without the persisting monaoe of a philosophy which Mlao
Tse-Tung says grows out of the barrel of a gun.
It is in our judgment shortsighted for' the industrialized
nations of the Lest to believe that they can contract out of the
problems, the troubles and agonies of Asia. The challenge thrown
down by communism in Viet Nam is a challenge not only to So. tth
Viet Nan, it is a challenge to the whole free world.
Lcl-t me say something about peace in Viet Nam. Peace in
A sia. Peace 11 ove the world. I'e have been nauseated by the
propaganda which describes the free world as imperialistic and
the coimunist world is benevolent and humanitarian. The converse
is demonstrably true. No man has worked harder for peace in
Viet Nam than your President, and he is not alone in this. Most
of the world supports him. Only Hanoi and Peking will not have
peace. , Jhat they want is surrender and a victory far
totalitarian communism.
, e believe in the kind of peace that carries with it
the right of small nations to grow and develop in their owm way.
ie believe in a living kind of peace. The comunists offer the
peace of the grave.
The Aerican decisions I see as turning points in history
were the Marshall Aid Programme, which opened a new vista for
human welfare, and the other was the decision to give military
support and aid to South Korea. iIhere would we have been had
America turned its back at that critical time upon support far
South Korea?

There would have been undoubtedly today a Korea entirely
dominated by the comm-unists. And forces would have been
released at that early stage which would have pressed on the
other weak countries south of China itself.
But thanks to the United States' strength, Asia is
stirring. , e are at the dawning, I believe, of an exciting new
phase in human affairs. And I speak as one who has talked in
these recent years, and more particularly in recent months, with
leaders of countries such as those to be found in Malaysia, in
Thailand, in Taiwan, in Korea, in other parts of South East Asia.
There is a mood for co-operation. With Japan, for example, a
country which has produced the most remarkable industrial
expansion of iroiern times.
Our own trade with Japan today is running at about four
and a half times the dimension of the early 1950' s. And Australia
and Japan are both withholding from consumption more of their
gross national product than any other countries to be found in the
world about 28 per cent in the case of Australia, which compares
with 17 or 18 per cent in this country and the United Kingdom.
And so we are, we believe, at an exciting phase of
development in human history. Here are countries which have never
found either the i ill nor the means to co-operate, except under
the force of oppression, down through the earlier centuries.
India, another country which has gone through a
signifioant re-orientatior.. of thinking and movement. In
Indonesia, one of the richest countries of the world potentially,
a hundred million people which today find themselves in
administrative and economic chaos, but with resources so
potentially strong that a decade of capable administration and
management could make them one of the strong economic powers in
Asia of the future. And here is how this great country, and we
say it with gratitude and appreciation, because where else do
the countries of South East Asia and ultimately of Asia turn,
except to the strength and generosity of this country,
until enlightenment, perhaps, brings greater support from other
countries who would, one would have thought, from the generosity
extended to them, when their reconstruction was a matter of
necessity in the post-war years, one would have thought that they
would have joined gladly in this task of defending liberty and
progress in this troubled area of the world.
Jell, thanks, I repeat, to the United States, Asia is
stirring. And we are ourselves with optimism facing the future
ahead of us. ;, hat the United States has done is, we believe, of
epochal significance. It represents the engagement of the
riches and opportunities of the world with the revolution and
potential of Asia. It is quite impossible, of course, to assess
let alone overestimate the value and the sheer magnitude
that the service rendered by the American Government and people
on behalf of individual liberty, human dignity, and national
self-respect throughout the world since the second world war.
There has been nothing in history to approach the totality of
American generosity and enlightenment as expressed in a unique
combination of economic and financial assistance to the needy,
military protection to the weak, and dedication to the cause
of freedom everywhere.

oe need to remind ourselves of all this from time to
time. It is all too often forgotten by individuals and
beneficiary nations under the passing stresses and irritations
of international life. I wonder where estern Europe would
stand today had it not been for the Marshall Plan and the American
contribution to NATO. And nowhere, perhaps, has there been a
better example of Aerican reso-lution and patience than in Viet
Nam. We are convinced that it has put fresh hope into those
Asian countries that are at the same time jealous of their
independence and depressed by the harsh realities of living
close to communist China.
So far from inviting a mounting chorus of protest, the
American 6xample has encouraged some of these countries to come
in with military help for the people of South Viet Nam. First
the Republic of Korea and now Thailand and the Philippines. I
am convinced that others of them, while constrained to preserve
a posture of aloofness and even disapproval for public purposes,
are privately thankful for what the United States is doing
The results of all this are to be seen everywhere. The
successful holding operation in Viet Nam has brought time for
a re-appraisal in Indonesia, as I have mentioned, of the prospeet
of the harsh and sterile realities of comnunism, and with it the
promise of an end to Indonesia's confrontation of Malaysia.
There has been the recent meeting of free nations in
Seoul, the first such meeting held by them, out of which has
come a new regional grouping to be knovm as ASPAC. The Foreign
Mfinister of South Viet Nan was present at our SEATO ieeting in
Canberra and this meeting was concerned not primarily with
matters of defence and security, but with opportunities for
political, economic, social, and cultural co-operation, looking
towards the future, free from the shadow of aggression and war.
The military forces of all the countries engaged hpve as
a major part of their task the Civic Action and Rural
Development Prvgrammes, a totally new concept that military
forces have brought to their responsibility in military
operations. !., hat better testimony could there be to the
fruitfulness of American aid and allied policies and actions
in South Viet Nam.
Let me end with a tribute to the steadfastness of the
United States' aims and objectives in that country, and to the
courage and fortitude of all of those military and civilian
alike, who are carrying them through difficult and frustrating
conditions. V'qe are grateful for the resolution, clarity cf
purpose of your President and his Administration.
As I said last night, it is a ggod thing that this
administration has the defence in depth from so many ablenmn,
all firmly and resolutely determined to see this thing through.
Their efforts have the full support of the Australian Government,
of the substantial majority of our people. And I express our
appreciation and our gratitude for them.

NR. BOOTIH: Mvr. Prime Mi_, ister, you have several hundred sharp
newsmnen here. They have asked some hard questions arnd some
easy ones. Let me say again that I do not write the questions
sir. I merely ask them. And the first question. Sir, we are
not used to having our policies so enthusiastically supported.
( laughter). ( applause).
12ll. HOLT: a7ell, frankly, currently, not is our eyes. And that is
rnot simply a blind acceptance of everything that the United
States cares to produce. It is because the Australian people
and the American people are inheritors together of~ a great
democratic tradition. We think very much alike on the problems
which affect the world. I'We have great principles held in coiaion.
And I believe that we can be appreciative that there is a champion
to defend those principles of the strength which you hold.
As we grow in our own strength and determined we are
to go on with our growth then I hope we shall be making an
increatingly strong contribution to our common causes, whether
it be in the field of military effort, of international aid, or
of co-operation for other useful international purposes. But
currently the only problehis between us are SOI:!-e rather some
trade problems the 25 cents a pound. on -wool and a few other
odds and ends like that. ( laughter). In the international
foreign affairs field we see the situation very closely with
your ox'in outlook. ( applause).
! IR. B'O'OTIH: Sir, what is the nature of the problems iiwhich devolve
upon Australia because of the changing British stance East of
11R. HOLT: Well, 11. r. Chairman, as explained to me by the Primie
Minister of the United Kingdom, the situation remains unchanged
froin the understanding ,-; hich was discussed with us by the Min,-ister
for . efence, Mr. Healy, earlier this year in Canberra, and then
subsequently foniiing part of the defence review which he made to
the House of Com-,.. ons.
Mr. Harold " l-ilson has reaffirmed that position quite
recently in public statement and in the text of the speech which
he made to his own party m-, em-bers.
Now. wie are currently concerned, of course, with the end
of confrontation situation. But confrontation has not yet ended
formally. We hope things will work out satisfactorily. But, of
course, there have been in the past times when all that looked
promising in Indonesia didn't work out quite the way that we had
hoped. We are m,, ore optimistic at this time. But we have ahead
of us a consideration of where we all stand once that situation
has satisfactorily ended.
Now the United Kingdom has made it clear that it will
stay on in the military force and presence in Singapore and I
would think with other Commi~ onwealth forces in Malaysia for an
indefinite time ahead. In what strength remains to be made hown,
but we are more concerned to have the British presence there as
a moderating and stabilizing influence than with the question of
just how -, anv people there are.

W1e pursued, in Australia,. in company with the British,
both in Australia and the United Kingdomn, a study of possible
alternative base situations in-Australia if a situation
developed in which the United Kingdom could not effectively
maintain its force. in the bases where they at present are
stationed. But we would hope and we would believe that this decision
having been made is welcaned by the countries of the area
conc~ erned, that Great Britain will, as far ahead as we can see,
maintain a presence East of Suez in almost certainly the same
areas where they are at present held.
MR. BOOTH: Thank you, sir. In the light of Australia's maembership
of the recently created ASPAC, w., ould you say that Australia is
now going to get closer and more co-operation with its Asian
neighbours than was the case in the past?
vM. HOLT: Mr. President, that I believe is undoubtedly so. This
was a welcome development for as and no less welcome was the
warmth with which Australia Luid New Zealand were accepted into
the cor-pany of A sian countries. have cone to know sevexral
of them of course, closely, either through our SEATO cooperation
or in the case of those outside SEATO, in trade
developments of recent time.
And this is a symptomr, I believe, of the emerging
spirit of co-operation, of hope in Asia. There are potentialities
for trade which become quite exciting as new resources are
opened up and as better technical trade co-operation, machinery
is developed between us. This aspect, emergence, and the earlier
meeting of the Education Ministers at Bankok, the useful meeting
of SEATO which has just been held, the As ian Development Bank as
a new institution servicing the area, the undertaking which
President Johnson has given that there will be a billion-dollar
programme of development in the area if co-operation can be
successfully developed all these things are hopeful symptoms.
Hanging over all is the menacing cloud of colm-unism
which we must dispel. But subject to that I believe that, the
Asia of the next fifty years cannot only make great forward
strides, contributing notably to human welfare and progress, but
that it can appreciably improve the standards of the people of
the world as a consequence of this economic growth.
MKR. BOOITH: Thank you. 11r. Prime Minister,/ 0? e our colleagues asked
for your comment on the prospects for increased Australian
economic co-operation with Japan in, first, the development of
Australian mineral resources and, secondly, the general
development of South East Asia.
KR. HOLT: M1r. President, you are being very kind. There must be
a tough one or two stuck in that pack that you have there.
( laughter). . fof course, as I indicated earlier, have had a
remarkable growth of trade with Japan. It has multiplied by
four and a half timies, as I have said, since the early fifties.
But, even at that, wie believe wie are really just at the early
launching point of the trade between the two countries.

Let me illustrate this for you b. .': hat is hap. ening with
respect to iron ore. are at the present time developing
great deposits in one part of .: estern Australia. It has been
estimated that there are 15,000 million to 18,000 million or
should I say billion, to make the figures miore intelligible
or 18 billion tons of good quality iron ore. And contracts
are currently held for somewhere in the neighbourhood of dollars
billion for the supply of this ore to Japan. That is just
one item which is only in the early stages. These are the initial
contracts which have been secured.
In some instances we shall require Japanese in association
with our ov. n and of that of other investing countries, most
notably the United States itself, particularly since soime strength
has been ijposed in the United Kingdon on further investment from
there. But we see, as I described it the other day, Mr. President,
the Australia of today is the sort of Pandora's box of mineral
wealth. There is hardly a week or a month which passes without
so,. e new mineral discovery of consequence coming to our notice.
And there are quite responsible people who predict that within a
measurable period of years our export inco... e from minerals will
exceed our export income from our traditional staple export, wool.
Now this should be not only a source of tremendous strength to us
but would assist in avoiding the sort of fluctuations in the
Australian economy which conditions of drought or lower world
prices for our primary product have brought to us.
We face a future in which Japan will figure prominently
and there is a very good basis for co-operation developing in the
trade field between the two countries.
KR. BOOTH: Kr. Prime Miinister, in my introductory remarks I am
afraid I gave my American colleagues more credit than they
deserved for the increase in population in your country. But
there are two questions in that area. To what extent did American
servicemen contribute to your population increase? ( laughter).
And do you favor any changes in your Immigration policy so as to
attract additional population from neighbouring Asian countries?
MR. HOLT: Mr. President, so far as I can gather, the American
forces were notably active but not notably productive. ( laughter).
( applause).
MR. BOOTH: The second, I am not sure you need to answer it after that
answer, sir. ( laughter. But do you favour any changes in your
Immigration policies/ s to attract additional population from
neighbouri . g Asian countries?
MR. HOLT: . iell, . uhrr esident, the sting was in the tail, of
course. have/ stablished Immigration policy but it has been
reviewed frcm time to time. And it is operating, I think, not
unsatisfactorily at the present time. I made a few liberalizations
myself, of not very extensive kinds, but at least they
were :. oves which I ino; gave considrable pleasure in the
countries of Asia. One -was to establish the same period of
naturalization for non-Europeans as well as for buropeans. -, e
do admit for a number of purposes people fro::, Asia and those who
have had a period of residence of five years or more can aply
for naturalization.

Any non--European who iarries an Australian spouse, a male or a
f~ male, as the case may be, beco;-mes eligible for citiz3nship
of the country and the children of that mArriage, of course,
enjoy full Australian citizenship.
We have at the present time well over 11,000 Asian
students in our vaLous schools and universities. And i know
that the governments of the countries from which these students
come do not favour any change in our iruaigration policy which
would have the effect of enabling a considerable proportion of
these or sone significant number of these to remain in Australia
rather than to go back to the country which needs their skilled
servizes so very much.
But these are matters which can be talked over quite
calmly and sensibly between us. It is well recognized that the
Australian policy is based on the desirability of maintaining
a homogeneu population that can integrate one element with
another. are currently, of course, attracting migrants from
many countries of Europe and we have quite a task at this period
of our history in successfully integrating. And I think we have
been doing it successfully and the people from so many other
countries who have to develop familiarity with the Australian
scene. But as our position in Asia increases from time to timae,
no doubt, there will be a desirability to have skilled people.
Special projects will call for soze presence of executives or
even a labour shortage could produce some need for a modifieation,
temporary or otherwise.
These things, I repeat, are all capable of being
handled within the ambit of the programme. There is some
flexibility given to the department for the permanent admission
of people who have special distinctions and skills. And it may
interest you to know that the permanent condactor of the Sydney
Symphony Orchestra is a very delightful person who an
American negro. And so there it in. ic are able/ t ese ways,
I think, to administer our programiae with humanity and with
good serse.
1R. BOCCM. Pr. Prime Ei ister, there is as much interest in
Indonesia a number of questions. I think I shall ask them all
at once so that you can expostulate generally on your feeling
about Indonesia because tine presses us.
Q. The first is. Please, a word about Indonesian
development from the Prime liinister, of a country once fearful
of Sukarno's expansionism. And the next one. hat is your
view of Indonesia's greatest present need? And third. In what
way can or sho. d oestern countries assist economic rehabilitation
in Indonesia, especially how should Australia? And
fourth, Considering the recent changes in the
Indonesian GovernLat, how would you characterize present
Indonesian-Australian relations?

MR. HOLT: izj. President, if I tried to answer in general terms
I think it will cover the questions which are raised.
14e in Australia have always attached great importance
to friendly relations, co-operative relations with our
nearest neighbour, Indonesia, which is literally only a matter
of minutes flying time, at least, these days from the
No: othern mainland of our country. And even througi the period
in which Australian troops have been engaging Indonesian troops
on the border of Borneo, we have kept a line of friendly contact
going with them. Now the extent of the communist purge which
has occurred in Indonesia has yet to be either evaluated in
numbers or in consequence. I have here estimates which have
ranged from low field, 300,000, to high field, about a million,
of the figures of those who were liquidated in the communist
purge. And I think one can reasonably assume from that there
has been a re-orientation of policy in Indonesia.
Now while we may not ourselves approve of the methods,
at least if Indonesia is turning towards more co-operative
relationships with those of us who are in the free world camp,
then I think that can greatly improve the general prospect of
stability and progress in South East Asia generally. And the
country, as I said earlier, is tremendously rich in resources.
T know from discussions I have had with some of the entrepreneurs
from your country that provided they could see a period of
stability ahead and faithful dealing froma the government, then
they would be encouraged to make substantial investment of the
developmental kind in that country.
The future of Indonesian international policy is not
so clearly to be seen. Quite certainly, it wouldn't be linking
up with that of cori. unist China. I should think it would
probably seek or pursue a nonaligned role. But there has oeen
over recent times such a display of friendship from Indonesia to
Thailand, for example, and the talks regarding the ending of
confrontation with Malaysia were conducted in such a friendly
atmosphere that ' ie are hopeful that at no distant point of time,
providing we go ahead with developments like ASPAC for cooperative
economiic purposes in the region, that Indonesia would
find itself attracted to membership of such company.
But it is a hopeful sign and I should have put it on the
score earlier of the things which the United States is playing,
that its policy in South East Asia has secured. If there had not
been a resolute, continuing presence of United States strength
in South Viet Nan, we would never, in my judgment, have secured
the outcome which has occurred in recent time in Indonesia.
MR. BOO Mr. Prime Minister, we have had these wide-ranging
questions of viorld import. But there are plenty of us in this
audience who write for newspapers in tovns such as Fargo, North
Dakota, in the great plains of Canada, Topeka, Kansas, . here
wheat is big, sir do you feel that the world price of wheat is
being held down by the operation of the United States export
MI. HOLT: vell, I would like to turn that one over to my
colleague, Deputy Prime 1, lLister John chwen, the Leader of the
Country P; arty in the coalition government which I have the
honour to lead.

I an sure that John ;. ould say that the price of wheat
is too low. I don't know how many causes he would ascribe to
this, but anything any of you gentlemen can do to assure not
only a better price for wheat but for sugar and a few other of
these basic primary commodities, will be greatly welcomed by
the Holt Government in Australia. ( laughter). ( applause).
MR. BOOTH: There are many other great questions that I wish we
could ask, but we can't because, as you see, time presses us,
Ihen I introduced this table I purposely failed to introduce a
distinguished member of this club : who sits here. , ie have a
little ceremony coming up. Roy Macartney, who is a member of
this club, known to most of you out there, greatly admired and
loved, is the correspondent of the Melbourne Age of Melbourne,
Australia. Not only is he a great reporter, he is a great tennis
player, And he has just won the National Press Club tennis
championship. And I shall ask Mr. Macartney to come to this
place and the Prime Minister of Australia . ill award him the
trophy. Mr. Macartney.
MvR. HOLT: Mr. Roy Macartney, I offer congratulations not only from
myself, which is purely a personal matter, but froim the rmembers
of this club for this notable achievement marking yet another
Australian triumph in the field of tennis. It couldn't have been
more timely, gentlemen, because for the first time in living
memory there is no Australian in the quarter finals at . iimbledon.
And so Roy, you have kept the tennis reputation of Australia
high. I don't know how you've managed it with all these
penetrating dispatches that I have been reading back home from
your pen. But it just shows that the versatility of the
Australian abroadis something which has to be seen to be believed.
I now present to you this trophy. I don't know whether it is
do you have to win it three years too?-
iMR. BOOTH: No, it is his.
HOLT: ® Ie. l l, here you are. And unless he finds out by some
other process the editor of your paper will not discover this
rather this rather uncomfortable secret, as I imagine it to be.
Gentlemen, I am sure we all join . n applauding a great Australian
athlete, I give you Mr. Roy Macartney.
MR. MACARTUEY: Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister. It is quite
a handsome trophy. It would have been more decorative, perhaps,
if it was one of your swimming companions. Thank you very much.
R. BOOTH: It just shows how snart these Australians are. The
Prime Minister anticipated my last question but he may have some
notion after having just presented this trophy. Mr. Prime
Minister, what is your government doing about getting one of
your players into the finals at iiibledon?
KR. HOLT: dell, I think . e will demand a replay or else submit it
to the United Nations, something of that sort, vr. President.
MR. BOOTH: Thank you, sir.
MR. HOLT: Thank you very much.

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