PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript - 24586

Address to the USA Independence Day Reception, US Embassy, Canberra

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 30/06/2015

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 24586

Thank you so much, John.

It is marvellous to be here in such a throng with the Diplomatic Corps, with my parliamentary colleagues and with friends of America.

It is an honour to mark the Declaration of Independence 239 years ago and to cherish the friendship between the United States of America and Australia.

Almost from the beginning, the destinies of our two countries have been intertwined.

They were intertwined in the 1770s when the English government sought a new penal colony because America was no longer available.

They were intertwined when the fathers of our Federation looked at the deliberations of America’s founding fathers, and they have been intertwined as we have both sought to build our own shining cities on a hill.

We are natural partners because America's values – democracy, the rule of law, individual freedom and opportunity – are Australia’s values, too.

We have fought together in the Great War, in World War II, in Korea, in Vietnam and, more recently, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Indeed, General Pershing’s doughboys first went into battle with the Australians at Le Hamel on 4th July 1918 under the command of General Sir John Monash.

Our destinies are intertwined today, particularly as we meet the scourge of ISIL, or Daesh, which threatens the freedom and the safety of all peoples.

At West Point last year, President Obama said that America could not be the world’s policeman on its own.

Australia, like America, seeks to defend our interests, our citizens, our values and our friends.

America will have more important friends.

Occasionally, America will have more useful friends.

But America will never have a more dependable friend than Australia.

My message, on this anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, is that America is not alone.

America has been able to exercise world leadership because it is the only country in the world that has been prepared to take risks for its values as well as for its interests.

America was, is, and will be the indispensable nation – the one reliable bulwark against a world where might is right.

You have been, in President Kennedy's words, “ready to pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

Our own Prime Minister, John Gorton, said about 40 years ago, “I wonder if anybody ever thought what the situation for the comparatively small nations in the world would be if there were not in existence the United States, if there were not this giant country prepared to make so many sacrifices for others.”

So, as we approach this 239th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, as we honour that light that was lit then and which burns bright around the world today, as it always has, American leadership is as necessary as ever and in providing it, you won’t just have Australia's gratitude, you will have our support as well.

So, Ambassador, thank you to you and to Curtis for your hospitality and, on this day, may I repeat with you: May God bless America. May God bless Australia. May God keep our countries and our world safe and free.

[ends]

Transcript - 24586