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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2438

BRITAIN AND THE EEC - STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, MR WILLIAM MCMAHON

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: 30/06/1971

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2438

FOR PRESS PM. NO. 67/ 1971
BRITAIN AND THE E. E. C.
Statement by the Prime Minister, Mr William McMahon
The Prime Minister ( Mr McMahon) said that a decision by
Britain to join the European Economic Community would create special
problems for a number of important Australian industries. It would also call
for adjustments in Australian trading arrangements with Europe and an
increasicng emphasis on the development of new markets.
" We have always recognised th-qt the decision to join the
Community was one for Britain herself", M/ r McMahon said, " but, at the sametime,
we have consistently pressed for recognition of, and consideration for,
Australia's substantial trading interests with Britain.
" As it became more apparent that the Six would be willing to
admit Britain, Australia made further representations to ensure that there
would be, in respect of her own trade with Britain, a reasonable transitional
period in which any necessary adjustments~ required by Britain's entry could
be made. " The Government decided that the Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Anthony, should go to Britain and
to the member countries of the Community, to bring personally before them the
case which Australia had been pressing through Ministerial and diplomatic
channels and in other ways over an extended period. Our purpose was to
ensure that, in the crucial stage of the negotiations between Britain and the Si,,
Australia's case would be received and appreciated at the highest level.
" Mr Anthony has pressed Australia's case strenuously in the
face of formidable difficulties. The Government commends the effort he has
made on behalf of Australia and the industries and communities concerned,"
Mr McMahon said. " It is a matter for regret that Britain has not pressed our case
with the Six to an o~ utcome satisfactory to us.
' The Governmen-t will seek to maintain, as far as possible, its
trade with Britain and the countries of Europe. At the same time, it will continue
and increase efforts to develop new markets throughout the rest of the world.
" I am informed that some time will elapse before the full impact
of any decision by Britain to enter the Common Mairket is felt by those industries
and communities in Australia li kely to be affected. However, the Government
will, in the meantime, be giving urgent and close attention to the problems which
will be posed in these areas by such a development and to ways and means of
meeting them."
CANBERRA, June 1971

Transcript 2438