PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 1882


Photo of Gorton, John

Gorton, John

Period of Service: 10/01/1968 to 10/03/1971

More information about Gorton, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/06/1968

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 1882

Mr. President, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:-
Thank you, Sir, for your kind welcome and warm remarks about the
relations between our two countries. My visit to Indonesia in the course of my
first visit as Prime Minister to this area reflects the close concern and interest
which the Government and people of Australia have in your country. This
interest is not new found.
Australians are proud to have extended the hand of friendship to Indonesians
in the earlier days of the struggle for independence. Vie are even prouder, Sir,
that you accepted that friendship and paid us the honour of nominating us as
your representative at the United Nations negotiations at that time. It was in
those days that a firm basis evas laid for an enduring and neighbourly relationship.
Those early days of close co-operation were followed in due course by events
that were less happy. But through all these times of differences and confrontation
Australia's interest in Indonesia did not slacken.
For example, during all that time our aid programme continued and your
students remained at their studies at our universities, It was also possible at
that time to reach agreement on the marking of our common border in Irian, In
all our dealings during those, difficult times we sought to indicate that we were
fully conscious of the need to preserve as wide an area of co-operation as possible
and continue to work towards a confident and productive relationship. I believe
that you shared this aim and looked forward with us to the time when the full
warmth of our relations could be restored. And that time has come. It is a
matter of the highest satisfaction to me and to all Australians that relations have
now been fully restored and indeed, as I think, lifted to new levels.
The Australian Minister for External Affairs, Mr. Hasluck, has visited
Indonesia three times in the last sixteen months. Your Foreign Minister has just
concluded a visit to Australia. There have been numerous visits by other
Ministers between our two countries in the last two years. At the Parliamentary
level we had a Parliamentary Delegation here last year and your Parliamentary
Delegation has just returned from Australia. Large numbers of individual members
of the Australian Parliament from both sides of the House have come here on
visits both official and private. Our Air Force Commanders have exchanged
visits. We have Army officers training in each other's country. Units of the
Australian Navy have been most courteously received in recent visits in Indonesia.
This is quite a satisfying list. But in itself it does not fully convey the
; armth of the relations established, the growing frankness of the exchanges that
we have and the desire to seek out even more ways of helping each other overcome
our individual and our shared problems. It is this spirit and not just the fact that
there have been these meetings which is so important and which ensures that we
shall go forward along the course of mutual help and interest with trust and respect.
None of this that I have said is surprising to me, nor, Your Excellency, from
what you have said, is it surprising to you. Nothing is more natural than that
Australia and Indonesia, situated as they are and occupying the places they do
in the political and economic life in this part of the world, should be the best
of friends with a common interest in developing good neighbourly relations.
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For whatever happens in this part of the world affects us both, not always
equally, but surely nonetheless. d'e look out on the same vista of international
affairs from the samne geographical situation, and we give thought to the same
questions, and cope with similar problems. The conclusions we arrive at, the
actions we take, are not always going to be the same. VWe each have our
particular traditions, and linkcs, and interests which togrether with the facts of
geography, determine those individual conclusions and actions. But, in many
cases those conclusions will be the same, and when they are not it is important
that we both have a clear understanding of the reasons for any diversion of
approach. And I think there is already ample evidence that this is a realistic
aim and that this can, and will, be achieved.
So I believe, Your Excellency, that our two countries must go forward
tether. I believe also that each of our two countries recognises that. I believe
that not only our two countries but the other neighbouring countries in the region
must also go forward with us. And I believe finally that we shall accomplish
this goal, God w., illing, to our mutual benefit, prosperity and to the service of
the independence of each one of our countries and of those other neighbouring
countries in the region.
Ladies and gentlemen, would you join me in drinking a toast to the
President of the Republic of Indonesia.

Transcript 1882