PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 219


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: 21/09/1960

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 219

P. M. No. 34/ 1960
Joint Statement by Mr. Menzies and Mr. Thorneycroft
The United Kingdom Minister for Aviation, the Rt.
Hon. Peter Thorneycroft, has had discussions in Canberra
with members of the Australian Cabinet on the general question
of conducting space research from Woomera with particular
reference to the use of Blue Streak for the launching of
satellites for communications and other purposes. The talks
have been purely and necessarily exploratory; for no decision
about proceeding with this matter has yet been reached by the
United Kingdom Government. The United Kingdom Government has
not at this stage been seeking firm commitments and
consequently no commitment direct or indirect has been
accepted. The subject matter is vast and no proposals could be
formulated with precision at this stage.
The purpose of Mr. Thorneycroft's visit was to give
the Australian Ministers an account of the way in which the
United Kingdom Government has so far viewed the possibilities.
The discussions which ensued were concerned also with
the feasibility which has been established of a space research
programme based on ! oomera and with seeking to get some
picture of the eventual application of such activity.
Australian Ministers have been greatly assisted by
the information and ideas laid before them by Mr. Thorneycroft
and his advisers, and various aspects of the matter have been
closely examined. A good deal of the discussion has directed
itself to the very important issue of priorities having regard
to the developmental problems which confront Australian
Governments. Mr. Thorneycroft has come first to Australia because
of the close association of the two countries in other projects
but he proposes to visit other countries in relation to these
matters and, should occasion arise, further exchanges between
the United Kingdom and Australia will occur.
During his stay in Australia Mr. Thorneycroft has
made a visit to ioomera to inspect the Range facilities. He
has also taken the opportunity to review with the relevant
Australian Ministers the progress of the weapon development
programme at Woomera. Irrespective of any decision which may
be made about Blue Streak, there is a considerable load of
work on the remaining weapon development. Talks have taken
place about the planning of this work and also about the still
further improvement of the arrangements for joint Australian/
United Kingdom co-operation during the formative stages of new
weapon projects.
21st September, 1960.

Transcript 219