PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 200

FAO HUNGER CAMPAIGN

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: 05/08/1960

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 200

FAO Hunger campaign
parliamentary Committee on i4ew~ GIuinea
Guinea
Clyde Caferon
Congo
Genorali ssembly
Constitutional Commfittee
,. estrictive tradie pr Ictices etc.
Imports Blue Str'eak Rocket London Minister
Dutch vrarslips
Visit by Dr. 3oekarno
Flioor in King's Hall
Empire Games in Perth vitit by ER
Fighiter for RAAF
Visit by King of Thailand
American Presidential Election
Crimes Act

QUESTION:
PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTION:
PRIME MINISTER;
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER: PRESS CONFERENCE GIVEN BY THE PRIME MINISTER
THE RT. HONo R. G. MENZILS AT CANBERRA ON
FRIDAY, 5TH AUGUST, 1960, AT 10.30 A. M.
Any decision yet Sir, on Australia's contribution
to the Hunger C. mnoaign Food and
Agricultural Organisation; I think you mentioned
earlier in the year you would consider some
contribution. I cannot answer that off-hand. I have a
vague idea something has happened about it, but
it is not clear in my mind. I will find out.
Mr. Ca3lwell has suggested a Parliamentary
Committee on Now Guinea, Sir a joint committee
to investigate the position there.
Yes, I noticed that. I thought that perhaps
when he comes back and when we are in touch with
each other, I ; ight have a word with him about
that just to see the shape of what he has in
mind. It will need, of course, to be discussed
with the Cbinet then.
Hzve you any other observations on New
Guinea at the moment, Sir, that you can make?
I don't think so. Except that since there
has been a lot of artifically created confusion
about our policy with allegations of differences
between my policy and Mr. Hasluck's there
being no differences whatever he and I have
in hand the preparation of a short statement of
policy which we will submit to the Cabinet
with the idea of making it available quite early
in the forthcoming session.
For debate, Sir?
I won't have any objection to it being
debated.. I think that will be useful. Nor will
there be any novelty in the statement, because as
I say there are no differences about it.
Will the statement by the one, Sir, in
which the target dates will be set?
No. This will be one on the broad policy
that we have in relation to the Territory of
Papua and New Guinea.
There have been suggestions, Mr. Menzies,
of discrimination between the natives and whites
in New Guinea. W4ould you care to
I have seen them only in one or two sections of
the newspapers, particularly in one newspaper
which spares no pains to create the impression
that these discriminations exist in Australia.
How about Mr. Clyde Cameron's activities;
Well, I would have to rely on hearsay if I
said what I would like to say about them. Get
/ 2

QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER:
PRESSMAN: PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME MINISTERQUESTION:
PRIME MINISTER:
QUESTIONPRIME MINISTER: 2
that down accurately that's a good sentence.
Do you wish to elaborate further on that
No. What sections of the Press are you referring
to, seriously?
Oh, now, come, come. What's the next
question? Anything on the Congo, Sir?
No nothing more.
It looks pretty sticky.
Yes. Well it is a fine example of an unprepared
country getting self-government.
Does it pose any lesson for New Guinea, Sir?
It does not I think, have any particular
bearing on that. The British colonial policy has
always been somewhat different from the colonial
policy of some other countries, and the whole
idea has been to prepare the idigenous populations
for ultimate self-government by steady stages so
that they don't find themselves plunged into
responsibilities that they are not trained to
discharge. That is thc. tragedy of the Congo:
this is going back to tribal warfare, very largely.
You said a month ago, Sir, that the Prime
Ministers had decided about the question of
technical economic aid for the African countries.
Has that take-n on any specific form?
Not yet.
Are wc contemplating doing anything for the
Congo? The Congo is in thu hands of the United
Nations and I have no doubt that they are examining
both the economic as. woll as the military
aspects of it. it is a tremendous problem.
Incidentally a lot of white people have been
killed in the Congo, as well as many others.
Has Australia received any request from the United
Nations to supply any troops at all for the Congo?
No. Unless there is some Staff Officer or
somebody from some other force, but you had butter
ask Mr. Townley about that. But " troops" in the
sense that you me: an it, No.
Will we be sending a Minister to the General
Assembly this year, Sir,
I do not know. I have not settled the team
yet. But I think that having regard to certain
developments you know certain problems that
are current it will be necessary to send a
Minister. / 3
S.

IL 3
QJESTION: PRIE " INIoTER
QUESTION
PRIBE } IISTER
QUESTION' PRIE LI. I3TER:
CJESTION:
PRIME MINI ISTER
QUESTION: PRI1E MIISTER:
QUESTION; PRIME HIISTER:
PRI-E MII' ISTER
Q: ULSTION
PRI-E VINISTER Will you go yourself, Sir?
No.
Could you give mc a lead on who will go?
No, I cannot.
Is there anything you can tell us -bout
legislation for the cci-. ng jession, Sirs
No. You h-' d better ask the Attorney-
General bout that:; he can answer those questions.
Or Kolt H-olt would know what he is contemplating
in the legislative programme. I
Haven't discussed anything with him yet.
Kr. i'enzies, assuming your Government is
going to bring down a balanced budget, will many
people get hurt in the process'
You may make no assumption whatever about I.
the Budget except that it is not yet disclosed.
Is it going to be a good one, Sir?
What's the next question? ( Laughter)
The Constitutional Committee? What is
the progress that has been made on that, Sir,
since your return' Have you given any consideration
to it? Has Sir Garfield'
We have had no Cabinet on it. He is
examining it, and so am I. But I don't think
you need anticipate any legislation in this
Session. Anything further on the restrictive trade
practices and monopolies mentioned in the
Governor-General's speech earlier this year,
Sir' Well I cannot answer that off hand. I have
not got around to that: we have had other
matters in Cabinet. If anything is to be said
about that it will no doubt be said in the course
of this Session.
Imports are running at a level which is
alarming manufacturers again, Sir. Do you think
that there is any...
It is to be anticipated that there will
be some fall in our overseas reserves in the
course of the financial year. That was
contemplated at the time Import Licensing
was, in substance, lifted That is not to say
that it is contemplated that that is a process
which goes on indefinitely. It seemded to the
Government to be clear that the first effect
of raising import restrictions would be to
produce a quickened demand for imports which
might form a sort of hump in the import graPi
But the whole policy has been based on the
assumption that there will be some decline in
overseas reserves.

L
QUESTION PRIME . I*. ITER!
QUESTIO1: PRIJTE EIIISTER*
PUET ION
P. IlkE MIilSTER:
QUESTION! PRIIE UIilISTER
QUESTION
PRIME MINISTER:
UESTION:
PRIME MI1TISTER:
U. LF-STION:
PRIME FLiSTER:
QLJESTIO\: You do not see anything for concern in the
situation, Sir?
1o. There is nothing unexpected about it.
ire you satisfied, Sir, wlith the capital
ihflow that occurred in the last year and this
one. I aimi, and I do not see any reason why it
should not continue.
Is the width of that import huirp, Sir,
a bit wider that Cabinet m:-ay have first anticipated
back in Scberuary2
I do not think so, no.
The Director of the . Associated Chan* bers of
1anufacturers suggests th-t australia ray be
flooded with second-hand cars from the United
States as a result of thec removal of import
restrictions. Has th. t bccn brought to your
notice r. Kenzies'
No. Unless there is something quite
uncommon, I would not necessarily know about it.
You might ask r. lcEwen about that.
Sir, it has been reported from London that
Britain will send a inister to Australia to
discuss the posqsible development of the Blue
Streak Rocket as a space research vehicle,
Sir, could you give us any indication of the
tiing of those talks or "' Yut us in" on the
Blue Streak. I am at present in communication with 1r.
Macmillan about it, and I think it is quite clear
that he is going to send a Minister, probably
with so: 1c expert people. But as to ' when' and
' wlhat work' ought to be done in advance, well
those are ;-atters that we are discussing by
conmunication with each other. As to who the
: inister will be, I do not know, but I expect
that he will be a fairly senior Minister.
Sir, have you reached any decision on the
programme for Australian Space research put
forward by the Academy of Science'
No, there is nothing I can say ibout that.
It was anrounced in the Cor-rmons, Sir, in
respect of th. is visit that Britain was completing
and would shortly send to you a technical
appraisal on the prospects of space research
here. Have you received it yet?
e have had some papers from them, but we
anticipatE that we will have more before we
arrive at any conclusions with the visitors.
Sir, the Iindonesian Government, thl-rough
its inbassy hcre, has made some rather strong
statements on the visit of the Dutch warships
to lest 1\ ew Guinea. Does the Australian
Government have any risgivings at all about the
20OO0G

PRII-E , MINISTER:
QUESTIOL: PhIE IhISTER:
QUESTION: PRI ME MINiISTER
QUESTION: PRIME MIiNISTER:
QUESTION: PRl E MINISTER:
QTUESTION: PRIME MIi,' ISTER: presence of the Dutch warships going to ' lest
New Guinea? We think the Dutch have a perfect right
to send a warship there if they wish to. It
would. be a very strange thing if our attitude
was that the Dutch were not to maintain a
posture of defence in respect of Jest New
Guinea. At the very best their forces in West
New Guinea are a tiny fraction of the forces
available to Indonesia. I am perfectly certain
th.. t the Dutch are not proposing to do anything
provocative, nor will their warships, I am
perfectly certain, enter Indonesian waters.
There is no reason why the Dutch should be
provocative. Anything, Sir, about the visit by Dr.
Soekarno? No. The next nove, I think, is at their
end. But it does not appear to be on the cards
this year. Lasn't there an announcement from Djakarta,
Sir, shortly before you returned that it had
been cancelled? That could not have been right, because it
had never been made, so it could not be
cancelled. Let us put it this way, then, Sir:
Yes: but he had never said he would..
I remember hearing about that but it was just
" tosh". You do not cancel an arrangement if
you have not made one. The position is that
I invited him to come. I said I thought there
would be advantages in it and that I thought he
would find it a very useful journey just as I
had found my journey through Indonesia-and that i
contact with our own Ambassador if his people
could fix a convenient date for his visit, we
would be delighted. fell he has not been able to.
That will stand for next year
Yes. It is an open invitation. But that
earlier story rather suggests that he, having
agreed to come, has now decided. not to come.
WJell that is quite wrong: he has not broken
any arrangement, because no arrangement was made.
Sir, there has been some surprise expressed
at the re-construction of the floor in King's
Hall. Did the Cabinet authorise it?
This is not a Cabinet matter. Presumably
the Parliamentary authorities who have a vote
for repairs and maintenance arranged this. It
certainly did not ever come before me or the
C:. hinet. B': t then, it would not. I suppose it
will be just as slippery as the old one: we
will all have to practise walking with bended
knees and rubber heels. You can tell a Canberra
man anywhere in the world by his gait.

6
QUESTION PRIME IINISTER:
QUEST IN:
PRIIE MINISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME ISTER:
QUEST 10:
PRI: LE FI'ISTER:
QUESTION PRIME " INISTER:
QUESTION: PRIME FINiISTER
QUESTION PRIME MIiiISTER:
PRESS AN
PRIME ' MIN. ISTER:
QUESTION:
PAIIE II ISTER:
QUESTIONPRIME MINISTER How long do you expect Kr. H olt to be
away, Sir' I think it is during the Budget
3ession. I think probably about six weeks;; but you
had better ash him that.
Who will be acting Treasurer, then, Sir
I will.
' Jill you be rather loaded down, Sir, with
External Affairs, tooc
Oh, I am not without experince of these
things. Any indication, : ir, of ho; long you will
maintain the Foreign Affairs portfolio.
No. So far I an doing rather well, I
think. ( Laughter)
Do you expect to go travelling on it, Sir?
No, thank you. Somebody else can do that.
Sir, it has been announced officially that
the Queen and Prince Philip will be going to
India next year and the next year the Empire
Games will be held in Perth. Has the West
Australian Premier had any talks with you about
a Royal Visit for 1962.
Yes. Can you say what the result of it is, Sir?
Io. I never make any statements about
those things. I think it is fairly ' notorious'
that he did have a word with me about it.
I-there anything more we can say, or
advance anything further, Sir?
No, you just engage in your usual guess
work. Oh! No' I never do that, Sir.
He is under new man: agement: he has given
up guessing. Could you say whether a visit is actually
being arranged.
I cannot say anything about it.
When do you think you will be in a position
to say something, Sir?
I do not know.
Can we take it that you have not wiped the
suggestion, Sir?
You can take nothing. You cannot get a
headline out of this.

Transcript 200