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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2423


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: 25/05/1971

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2423

FOR PRESS: PM No. 57/ 1971
Statement bjy te Prime Minister, Mr. W illiam McMahon
" I am pleased to announce that. Australia has-been invited-to
accede to the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development E. C. the Prime Mfinister, the Rt. Honourable William Mcl\ ahon,
said today. " The Government has decided that Australia should accept the
invitation and hence become a full member of 0. E. C. D. Mx. McMahon added that
these formalities would be completed on 7th June during the course of the 0. E. C. D.
Ministerial Council Meeting to be held at the Organisation's headquarters in Paris.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry, the Honourable
J. D. Anthony, will lead the Australian delegation to the meeting.
Mr. McMahon described the 0. E. C. which includes among its members
the major industrialised countries, as one of the most important consultative bodies
in the world today on economic and related matters He said the decision to join
0. E. C. D. represented a significant step in Australia's foreign economic relations. In
addition to its main function of consultation on financial and economic policies, the
Organisation considers such matters as science policy, manpower questions and a
range of social issues.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs will have the general administrative
responsibility for 0. E. C. D. but other Ministers and Departments will of course
have the principal interest and responsibility for those activities of direct concern to
them. ," Australia will, I am certain, benefit considerably from participating in the
Organisation's activities and looks forward to close involvement in the work of the
Organisation", Mr. McMahon said. " The invitation to join the Organisation can be
justly regarded as clear -recognition of Australia's economic standing and of the
valuable contribution Australia can make on major international economic questions."
The Prime Minister recalled that the 0. E. C. D. was established in 1961 to
succeed the former Organisation for European Economic Co-operation E. E. C.)
whose functions were revised and extended in various ways and whose membership
was expanded to include the United States and Canada, and later Japan and F inlandi.
Thbe broad aims of the 0. E. C. D. are to promote policies conducive to balanced
economic growth of its member countries, to contribute to sound development in
developing countries and to contribute to the expansion of world trade. With these
objectives in mind, regular consultations take place within the 0. E. C. D. at both
Ministerial and senior official levels in all major fields of economic activity. Its
22 members account for over 60% 0 of the world's trade and industrial production, and
provide over 90% 0 of the aid granted from all sources to developing countries. e a / 2

Mr. McMahon said that Australia had already been participating in part of
the Organisation' s activities since February 1966 when Australia joined the
Development Assistance Committee A. Australia had derived considerable
advantage and understanding from the contacts with other aid-giving countries which
membership of the D. A. C. afforded, and had been able to contribute to the D. A. C.
the benefits of Australia's experience in the aid field.
Mr. McMahon said that at the 0. E. C. D. Ministerial Council on 7th-Sth June
Mr. Anthony viuld be assisted by representatives of the Departments of Foreign
Affairs, the Treasury, and Trade and Industry. The delegation would include
Australia's Am-bassador designate to the 0. E. C. D. Sir Ronald Walker, C. B. E.
Sir Ronald would head a permanent delegation to 0. E. C. D. which Australia mould
establish-in Parts in June.~

Transcript 2423