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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2203

DR CAIRNS CALL FOR DEMONSTRATIONS - COMMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, MR JOHN GORTON

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: 26/03/1970

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2203

FOR PRESS P. M. No 42 / 973
DR. CAIRNS' CALL FOR DEMONCSTRATIONS
Comment by the Prime Minister, M. John Gorton
Dr. Cairns is a leading member of the Labor Party and a
member of the Executive of the Parliamentary Labor Party in Canberra.
The Victorian President of that Party recently chaired a
meeting which called on Australian Troops, fighting the Communists
in Vietnam, to mutiny.
Now Dr. Cairns, in alliance with the Communist Party, calls
for the streets of Melbourne to be taken over, for all traffic to be halted
and all business stopped, as a protest against Australian troops fighting
Communists in Vietnam.
He threatens that if the Police seek to maintain order, and to
protect the rights of citizens going about their lawful occasions, he and
his followers will become violent.
The significance of this is not that the call for anarchy was
made, for the call is likely to have negligible effect.
The significance is that it comes from a man who is a Shadow
Minister in Labor's Shadow Cabinet.
The question to be asked is whether this policy of anarchy,
of the use of force to gain ends which could not be gained through the
ballot box, is the Labor Party's policy. We know it is the policy of a
significant sector of the Labor Party but is it the policy of the Party
as a whole? Mr. Whitlam owes it to Australians to clear this matter up.
I hope that Australians will treat this excursion into storm
trooper tactics with disdain and disgust.
CANBERRA 26 March 1970

Transcript 2203