PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 1663


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: 16/09/1967

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 1663

44 OCT 1967 -4
16th S1"* EPTEMBER, 1967
Speech by the Prime Minister, Mr. Harold Holt
Colonel Murdochi Mr. Premier and Mrs. Brand; Mr. Ambassador;
Fellow M. 1inisters of the Commonwealth Government and State
lvinisters; Eembers of the Par-.-liaments of the Commonwealth
and of the 6tate.; Distinguished Forces representatives of
the Australian and United States Forces and so very many
Distinguished Guests around me; Ladies and Gentlemen; Boys
and Girls: I really, despite that rather imposing introduction,
have a relatively minor part to play in this particular ceremony,
because very properly this is the occasion in which the 1Premier
of the State is the star both attraction and personality.
But having come so many miles and speaking for so many of our
fellow Australians, I know the Premier will allow me to indulge
myself for a few minutes with you, the more particularly as I
think that what I feel or have to say is not without some
continuing advantage for the State which he so ably represents.
It is not very often that I have the opportunity to
come to an official opening in the North WJest of Australia.
This is only my second visit in a long public lifetime. I
hope that thanks to the facilities which an improving V. I. P.
fleet provide for me I'll be here more often. But it has been
several years in between visits and in ' 60 or ' 61 I made my
first, and there was nothing, of course, of this development
here then, nothing of the development which I have been witnessing
in the last few days at Xambalda, at 14' ount Tom Price, at Dampier,
even Port Hedland was in those days not a very exciting port
for one to visit. Eut over these few days of this week I have
developed a new feeling of encouragement and inspiration about
the future of this country, and it is to people like yourselves,
to a Government such as that led by Mr. Brand with his team of
able Ministers, that the rest of Australia which depends so
largely upon the efforts of people who live more remotely from
the great capital cities, who accept their remoteness cheerfully,
who put up with hardships and conditions which would not be
accepted in many instances by those in the capital cities, that
so much of our prosperity and growing national strength have
become due. And so I say first a word of appreciation to you
all. There is a disposition, perhaps, to think of Australia's
pioneering stage as an era of the past. But anybody who has
been around the areas of this State that I have visited in
recent days, is made very conscious that there is a new pioneering
spirit abroad and one which is enriching the nation, strengthening
its capacity to grow in so many different directions. I only
wish that those who are critical of the participation of people
from other countries and after all when you dwell on it
most of that participation comes from the United Kingdom and
the United States, two countries with which we have a great
feeling, of warmth, of kinship and a friendship and whose
ability to merge successfully with us has become a matter of
experience beyond challenge. But if they could sense, as I
have sensed, the growing national strength arising from these
developments, the way in which Australian industry, Australian
enterprise, the technical skills of our country have been
promoted as a result of this process of development, stimulated
by people with, in some instances, a larger vision and a larger
courage in the developmental field thian we have shown ourselves
and contributing from their knowledge and experience to what
we can put to good advantage here in Australia.

Now, in this particular tow,, n of Exmouth, you have a
quite unusual combination. I have been speaking of development
whera we are dealing in matters that come to us from a primaeval
past, the mineral resources which have been down for untold
centuries of time but here in Lxmouth you are reaching out to
the modernity of an outer space era and yet combining it in
circumstances in which you have had to do a pioneering job in
this township itself. For 1Vr. Premier it is no novel experience
to attend an opening of some new area of significance in his
State. To me it is a quite exciting and comparatively rare
event, and I rejoice to be with you here today and take part
in these celebrations because dotted around the State, particularly
the northern part of this State of W.* estern Australia, are names
which were formerly unknown or non-existent but which have now
become part of Australia's story of development and from which
Australia, and an increasingly large body of admiring observers
outside this country, can derive some interest and some satisfaction.
I understand, Mr. *." remier, that my principal task
today is to plant a time capsule. Somebody gave me a list of
the items contained in this capsule. I hasten to add that I
did not make the selection myself but I've no doubt it is of
a discriminating kind ana' for those who are able to open the
capsule at some future point of time, I hope they will derive
both inspiration and interest from our quite energetic endeavours
that have been made to bring this fine township into existence.
It will spell out the history oZf the towln and of the communications
station, the plans of the town and station, it will contain a
letter of good-will from ths Commanding Offficer and from the Civil
Commissioner and to Captain Friedman and to Colonel Iiurdoch
Colonel Murdoch being of course so directly responsible for
the welfare of the town itself. We are delighted to know that
they are going to be immortalized in this way. There will be
the names of the residents I hope they have all earned a
place and will behave themselves in the future to merit it
including the schoolchildren, although we would not want to
curb their normal ebullience or exuberance. There will be
copies of today's newspapers. I suspect that mostly they
will contain leading articles criticising the Commonwealth
Government for not doing enough in one direction or another.
There will be a copy of the WVestern Australian telephone
directory and by the time this capsule is opened, we, will
probably need a battery of telephone books like they have in
New York. There will be private letters from residents to
descendants, seeds of local plants with planting directions
and some shells which will probably be rare in 100 hundred
years' time. So altogether those who open up this capsule
should find much to interest them.
But the final comment I wish to make is that here in
this township we have an embodiment of the partnership between
our two democracies the greatest democracy in size, in power
and economic strength the world has aver known, the United States,
and our own young, thrusting, thriving democracy which we in
our confidence and in our ambition believe will have a major
role to play in this area of the world and perhaps by a force
of our own example with the kind of life we can build together
as a people, provide some encouragement and example for others
who are struggling to achieve the standards which it has been
our good fortune already in Australia to attain.
This is a symbol of a friendship between two peoples
of common heritage of similar ideas in so many aspocts of life,
particularly in the great principles of human freedom, of justice
under the law, of democratic institutions, and of a desire to
live peacefully with our neii-hb ours, thrive and prosper together,
and a willingness to contribute from our own good fortune to

assist others to better standards in the future. And this
quite small township measured in terms of the capital cities
of the nation, embodies that partnership, it maintains a
spirit which I hope in times of difficulty and they will
arise even between two friendly nations will remind us that
here is a part of Australia where our countrymen have shown
they can live together in happiness and to mutual advantage.
May Exmouth long continue to symbolize the Australian/
American alliance and all that our friendship the one with the
other can stand for in relation to the peace, progress and
prosperity of the world.

Transcript 1663