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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2125

1969 FEDERAL ELECTION TALK GIVEN BY THE PRIME MINISTER, MR. JOHN COTRON. OVER ABC NETWORK ON FRIDAY 10 OCTOBER

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: 10/10/1969

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 2125

EMBARGO: 7. 15 p. m. 10 October RADIO TALK NO. 1
1969 FEDERAL ELECTION
TALK GIVEN BY THE PRIME MINISTER, MR. JOHN GORTON,
OVER ABC NETWORK ON FRIDAY 10 OCTOBER
Proper defence is the foundation on which any nation'ss
security is built. If we are to run our own affairs in our own Australian way
if we are in the future to be subjected neither to attack nor the threat of
attack then defence is essential. It is the more essential to us now we
are becoming increasingly isolated, and the adequate defence of Australia
demands two approaches. One is that we should build up, over the years ahead, our
own defence forces; that we should have a standing Army of at least its
present size backed by a modern C. M. F. that our Navy should grow;
that our Air Force should have the best aircraft obtainable; that, in short,
we should look to our own efforts for our own defence.
The second is that we should retain and strengthen the
alliances we have; that we should play our part in such alliances,
particularly with the United States, and should be prepared to give, as
well as expect to receive, help.
You know that we, of the Liberal Party coalition, will
maintain and strengthen our own forces. But you have been told by the
Opposition that they will not. They have undertaken to abolish National
Service training, thereby reducing our Army by a third.
They have undertaken not to acquire the F 111 strike
aircraft, even though the Air Force advice is that Australia needs this
aircraft and that it is the best strike aircraft in the world today.
They have undertaken to equip the Navy not with what the
Navy wants but with a few patrol boats only.
So under Labor, our own defences would deteriorate just
when they should be improving. This is bad enough but even more
disastrous would be the effect of Labor's policies on our alliances. o. / 2

-2-
They propose to withdraw at once from Vietnam unilaterally,
just at the time when President Nixon is calling for steadfastness, so that
the enemy will negotiate a peace giving the South Vietnamese a choice of
government. I can think of nothing more calculated to damage our standing
or to drive America into isolationism.
They propose to withdraw all our forces from Malaysia/
Singapore and, in practice, to wash our hands of helping in the military
defence of the region to our North. Again, there could be nothing more
calculated to deter Britain and the United States coming to the help of that
region, the destiny of which affects our destiny, in case of attack.
They propose to quibble and cavil and renegotiate the question
of defence bases in Australia, even though these bases are for common
defence, to help our defence, as well as that of the United States.
So their proposals boil down to reducing and rendering
less effective our own defence forces and to taking international action
which will weaken ANZUS, strengthen isolationism in the United States,
deter Britain from helping Malaysia/ Singapore and damage severely our
own standing. We will do none of these things. The Labor Party undertakes
to do them all. This is perhaps the greatest issue for you to decide on
October I hope and believe that for our nation's future security you
will decide our policies are best for Australia and for Australia's future.
Note: This talk will be broadcast by the ABC National Network at
7. 15 p. m. ( EST).

Transcript 2125