PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2614


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: 09/06/1972

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 2614

Speech by the Prime M4inister, the RPt Hion.
William McMahon, CHI, HP.
Prime Minister, Excellencies, and Distinguished Guests:
It is a privilege to be the guest of the Singapore Covernment
and to return once more to a city I have visited many times, but not
until now as Prime > ninister of Australia.
As you said, Mr Lee, I was last here as Foreign Minister in
1971 for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. On that
occasion, I was impressed by the admirable way Singapore rlayed host
to our Commonwealth colleagues and if you will permit me to say so,
Mr Lee, I admired your masterly handling of the proceedings as Chairman.
When Australians come to Singapore, Prime M~ inister, they do not
feel they walk among strangers. -They know they are among friends.
It is in that spirit I am he~ re tonight.
There arc bonds between our countries which I value and some
are the subject of ? olitical differences in Australia. But, as I said
this morning when we snoke together in private, it is not my intention
to export domestic ' olitical controversy.
The matters that concern us both, are, I bolieve, fundamental
in the social sense as thay affect relations between people and of
practical importance in our common effort to advance the fortunes of
our countries and do all-we can to secure peace and orogress in the
region. I speak for -a country that haz great natural resources but
which for a large part is a harsh, dry land which wo have tamed and
learnt to live with, and developed a society, getting on now to be
some two hundred years old.

You, Sir, load n cou. 1, tr, 1 t-: Lat has not the natural re-, sources9
we posscss. But you,. too, . heve.-t ump'v 1 and : 11, vc >-uilt up a
progressiv: e cnv. rornent,. w.-iose1 Uaorn_-e Iave culture: s cgoinq back to
ancienttis Th: sre are differences of magnitude of our haistories. But
thari-are also forco which . believe bring us togather -tnd which
today fund us with commofl intere, ts in South-East Psia at a time of
challenge and chalige.
You, Mr Primrt ? iinister. lavc spokan of the momentous nolitical
changes in the world in l.-: 3t eighteen Tronths, and I agree -oith
vou that we must not rush to firm conclusions as a result cf whlat has
take -n place, or as you so aptly said, to ' start changing our friends'.
It is about our frieridshin, Mr_ Le*, that I want to say something
tonig.' ht, becauso both know that all is not politics in lift, and
there are meeting poin-ts for our peopic in many ways w-hichl can lead
to rarc fulfilimonts in human relations.
1 ither counitry can iive aloƱ p in th. I-o * latc y-aar3 of thetwantit
-th century. For our nart, the twin determinants of goograony
and hi: 5tory are involving us increasingly in South1--East ASiaC.
Geogranhy-l -ias nlacced us on the-southeorn rirm of that area.
As to hi-stor6tihe fall of Singapore in 1942 was a dramatic
catalyst for the future dovcelonrient of Singapore and for Australia
also. For your part, in the past 30 yzars, and more rapidly in tho
nast sevcn years, you have moved wita ' vigour and rnurnose to a
prosD2. rous, ordarlyi, 1,! ell-deav--_ 1:) red and indopendlent State in Asia,
with links to our rEuroncarn civiLlisation of e: nduring strength. You
have displaycd ruggod self-disciLpline, a vitality and an enthusiasm
of a remarkable order.
Teisonc thing ' iThi , cl. i irhprossos itself on me iwhene-ver your
cofu nSriy qarre cmesto ttention whether in the news or in
our minds. It i~ the w% Tcltho f goodw-. ill which auto-maetically extends
to i~-as if by nature.
I wonder whether, assit hzro tonight, ralise tha full
lengthA. ; 1-p-th and breadLth of th-at goodwill, or of the-optortunities
for co-omnration between us whicii -flow fro. it.
Wo k now, you cis an illluminating clemr: m-t in t. he. . society of Asia.
We know you also for* your en--tiusi. asm and -, uccess in youir dcevelooment
in many important directions. For instanco, in your exciting urban
ronew-al and in the tall buildings, I saw. reaching for the Sky as I
drove in from the air-Dort yetra. In all this the-re is a quality
in your country for ave,: ryone to se
A, i f I may, I would like to nnalyse-thie quality I speak of
a littl-a further. i't comr7s nartly, of courzse-, from your noople. Blut
there_ is ano-th1er sourcz! Icadc. er9hip.
In this your own innatc ca-pacity and instinct stand out. They
hFav,--1had very much to do '' ihthe: succcs: 3 of your country. You seck
quality in your society, as w.: do in ours. And in pursuit of -this
you havc bucen practical and far--eig You have bcen innovators and
pragrm:,.' Singaqorc:.

havo comov here on t'iis viit consciou3 that alreadyawbo
mutual in'r~; and cozn: tacts has broi: ght our ocetvstogetier. In
termns of rsc-_ curi;-! y : k p: art-or in t'i, ri _ vL!-owcr Dcf'encc Arran geiftcnts
with Singapoere, Falaysia, N" w ealarnd and Britain.
Under the arrangemonts, Austrealia hnas Uni1 -ts of it s thr-aC
services in Singapore. One Purpose of my visit has boen to sec
un11its of thcse: serviccs on thc ground ' or th. 2 first time.
As my tnl7.: s h(-ere today c-rnfiraod, thi--' ower De-fencO
Arranqernents, includinq the comoosition and disposition of ur forces,
continu..-to be r-garded as irrnortant by both our oenels hey
ar working l.
Y:-et me illustrato cur contacts a li~ ttle further in other ways.
I lh_-orvc in mind the relationshin that is now w e2. l -estab . sm-lod in
educatio~ ral mattar3 by thi facilitie _ s vue hav_ 130-o % ot e offer your
studcrits, and t. e incrca-3ing interchlange. o' ur University
administrators ardl scholars.
Wa have too j oi4 hancs pca 1rp rojec-3 being develonad
unde-r t'uhe; 7. ustr; 7l1ian--Asian Ti: riisCo-on'orratior Scheme. I am
conficnt, Primc 1-inist: c-r, tl the-,-futuro--7iils1 the veo I lt
of incrcasing links botwerc'n oi.-! Universitie. s, and mrorn-. go no(, rally
among the,-Universiti-as of ther rc7rf. nn.
! wI oul-3 al17o mentlon.. in the o tcx f'nwh each other
bettc-r t: ne growth in touri-, M ctio our -two com: itrics. We are
cro th-e t. h-resh; Iold new : Ln-. to Wha,. t T bealievc will br~ anweao
lowc-r farcs for air travzel. Thio il opoan " moagic casements" on naew
lands for thousands of our eien. This, too, will_ w7ork] its
ministry on our socictics.
No man, it is said, tav,',! s eith imopunity. A~ nd in, this
env~ ironmznt of South -East Aitravel communmLcatas ao'xtdill, creates
understanding, and has, of nccssity becausc! we live a riractical
wo~ l~, significant commercial ~ is
Prim X-inister, -oe in TAu7t1ralia-res-. c) ct Siliqalore as a trader.
We value your market '. and xxa r glad to s& e, it grow. st thy: same
tiim. 7 cCf, l eIdwgee~ t"-a-t tl-balan-0e runs3 h~ aviiv in our favour.
Liko yoA. we support and follow a pclicy of libzeral, multilat-ral
trarlc. But we7k h., ooe it will 5epossible th; f. utura for yo-u to
hav morz opportunities0 in our mnurk,_: t.
Finally, Prime M~ in-Lt r, I must refer tk. o wh-at I believe was a
most su,_ ccessful export to ; Au--ra. lia. I have h. iad enthus-. astic reports
of the1-great success at t hd. e, laidca Festival in lrhof the Singapore
Cultural Trc'uno. The, Trounc was acclaimcti in Autaibecause it
was exciting, colourful and original. 7tL was good for cultural
relations. PAnd it--uas F. r-,. Tiin -Ior that in cultural exchanges, which
wo must encourage, we havc-. a rilch fertilisation of our friendship.
Prime Ministaor, I lndc my% T, .. arty arxe glad to bna here. I h-Ave
had an istructiva and, I constructive day wijth you and your
Senior 1-+ L. nisters. I havc! 1hcl a fasci. natIri afternoon at Jurong. And
in my dis: cussion_-s and in my '. ravols, I 1have seen examples of thos,
mnany qualitios in Sinqenorie to ~~ ac erwitnos:; to-night'.&

I I salute the " Lion City" of the twentieth century. And I say
to you, Sir, and all assembled here that Australia values Singapore's
friendship. We extend to each other our friendship and trust in full
measure. And we believe that our friendship and trust will have a
long life and be a rewarding one for all of us, and to the region
where cur destinies belong.
I thank you.

Transcript 2614