PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2390


Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 22/03/1971

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2390

FOR PRESS PM No. 36/ 1971
The Prime M/ inister, Mr. William McMahon, said today that the year
1971 would be observed in Australia as International Year for Action to Combat
Racism and Racial Discrimination.
Mr. McMahon said:
" The General Assembly of the United Nations designated the year 1971
as International Year for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination
in the same way. as it had designated 1968 as Human Rights Year and 1965 as
International Co-operation Year.
" Australian subscribes fully to the purpose of this Year which is to
achieve significant progress in eliminating all forms and manifestations of
racial discrimination. We voted in support of this resolution at the General
Assembly and we are taking steps to observe it.
Mr McMahon added " My Government abhors racism which is not
acceptable to the Australian way of life."
Mr McMahon said he was pleased that a number of non-governmental
organisations intcrested in the Year had decided to set up a National Committee
to organise a programme to observe it. The Commonwealth had made a grant
of $ 12, 000 to the Committee to assist it with its programme. He had been informed
that a major part of the Committee's work would be educational. This he felt
was most important. Education through teaching and the mass media was one
of the most powerful weapons to combat prejudice based on ignorance.
Mr McMahon added that the Government was already a party to some of
the conventions bearing upon the elimination of racial discrimination, such as
the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the
1956 Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions
and Practices Similar to Slavery and the UNESCO Convention against
Discrimination in Education. Australia had also signed the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the
question of ratification of that Convention was being carefully examined.
Mr McMahon concluded by wishing the Committee a successful Year.
He was hopeful that Australia and Australians would be able to make an effective
contribution to the objectives of the Year.
CAkNBERRA 29 March 1971

Transcript 2390