PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2620


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: 12/06/1972

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 2620

Speech by the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon.
William McMahon, M. P. 12 JUNE 1972
Mr Prime Minister, Mr Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished Guests
I want, immediately, to say how pleased I am to be here again.
And to express my appreciation of the welcome you have given me. I
have been here before and I have a vivid recollection of my visit
during the emergency in the early fifties. It is good to be back.
And thank you, Sir, for your generous hosnitality tonight.
In such an atmosphere we find a happy combination of dignity
and informality, and that kind of onen-hearted friendship we associate
with Malaysia and its peonle.
Prime Minsiter, Australia and Malaysia are old friends. You
mentioned this as the basis of our close and continuing co-Aperation
in important fields of activity. I endorse most strongly what you
have said. We have had many years of shared experience in both war and peace,
and our association has solid foundations because of our membership
of the Commonwealth, the similarity of our institutions, and our common
security, economic and social interests.
But there is more to our relations than past history. It is
commonplace to say that we are facing an uncertain world. The future
is always unpredictable not the least in South-East Asia, in the
centre of which Malaysia lives and to which Australia is so closely
bound. I belive we have the same objectives as we face these uncertainties
We are indeoendent countries, each following policies which seem to us
best adapted to securing our national objectives. Both of us want
the countries of the region to be free and independent, sturdily based,
stable and self= reliant, and socially nrogressive. Both of us wish
to see them free from external threat and interference. We want them
to live in harmony, and to grow in prosperity.

Against this background, Prime Minister, I am glad the opportunity
has been presented to discuss these matters of common interest with you.
I valued our private talks this morning, which I found refreshing,
informative and helpful.
For Australia, Sir, our national interest is clear and 3asily
understood. We are not a great nower, though not a small one We
pose no threat to our neighbours and have neither the aspiration nor
the capacity to impose our views on them.
We in Australia believe, Sir, that peace in Asia is indivisible.
We look to a negotiated settlement in Vietnam which will permit the
people of the South to determine their own future. Beyond that we
look towards an accommodation with China based on mutual resnect and
without preconditions.
And we look to the day when internal subversion and insurgency
will not be supported by external powers a situation in which a
stable, tolerant, outward-looking Australia can continue to play a
co-operative and helpful role in the South-East Asian region.
Our desire, our logical and permanent interest is to have stable,
reliable and prosperous neighbours with whom we may maintain close
relations of mutual understanding, respect and friendship. We want
our association with each other to reflect the deen community of
interest between ourselves and our friends.
In seeking these things I believe we can build an even closer
relationshin between Australia and Aalaysia. It is also well recognised
that, to achieve freedom, security, social justice and sustained
progress in the region, will be a long and difficult task.
The first requirement will be national strength in all its
forms for that is the best deterrent to external interference.
The second requirement willbe to develop co-operation between regional
states. Malaysia has made a significant contribution to regional
co-operation especially through its initiative in launching ASEAN,
It has shown leadership in working for closer contacts between
South-East Asian countries, and helping to develop an enlightened
community of interest. We in Australia welcome these developments and
wish your success.
t this point, Prime Minister, I want to pay tribute to your own
personal leadership in the imaginative policies which Malaysia has
been pursuing, not only inthe international field, but also in
domestic affairs, notably through the Second Malaysia Plan.
Among statesmen your name stands high. We respect you, Sir,
and Malaysia for the vigorous independent spirit you show.
Your country is master of its own house and destiny, progressive
in its ideas and resolute in its performance.
Your proposal forthe neutralisation of South-East Asia under
effective international guarantees is an important initiative. We
see this proposal as clear evidence of your desire to work towards
a free and indeoendent South-East Asia, undeterred by the complexities
which inevitably are involved in such an understaking. / 3

Time will show the best way to secure stability and peace,
and Australia is always ready to discuss measures to help achieve
those objectives.
I am gratified that in our talks this morning we agreed that
there are no * problems between us. Defence co-operation between
Australia and Malaysia is on a sound footing. We agreed that the
Five Power Defence Arrangments are the framework within which we
co-operate closely and are of value to us both.
I was delighted to have your assurance, Prime Minister, that
the presence of Australian forces, both land and air is welcome. The
arrangements are working smoothly and we are happy about them. We
also agreed that the presence of Australian air force units continues
to be of value to us both.
It goes without saying that Australia will at all times honour
its obligations. Prime Minister, there are other significant links between
Australia and Malaysia which are forged by mutual national interests.
The trade between our two countries has grown over recent years
and we look forward to steady progress in the future, and Australian
companies are learning more about Malaysia as a field of investment
especially through joint ventures.
You said, Prime Minister, that Malaysia would " welcome
Australia as partners in your development efforts This idea of
partnership is very close to our hearts in our won development Where
foreign investment is concerned. And so, Sir, we hope to see
increased activity in Malaysia by Australian companies in partnership
with yours. There is, I know, considerable and growing interest by
Australian companies in this prospect.
In the area of Government-to-Government economic co-operation
we have, of course, longstanding and active programmes through the
Colombo Plan. and through direct bilateral arrangements.
We are ready to contribute, ac'cording to your own wishes, and
our own capacity, towards the success of the Second Malaysia Plan.
We have always been willing to do what we can to assist Malaysia in
technical expertise.
To these specific links we add other associations, which may
in time p~ rove to be the most imnortant of all. I refer to the education
of the young people -both countries on the ways, history and culture
of each other's homeland, and to the development of cultural relations.
This reflects the great interest Australians are now showing
in their neighbours There are many facets of this interest.
But certainly a strong and stimulating influence has been the
large number, now over 5,000 of Malaysians students in Australia.
To this I add the increasing number of businessmen and tourists
moving between our countries. Thisj helps to promote understanding
' between our people and yours in human terms and has, of course, direct
-Dractical benefit. ./ 4

For it is 7* hen the friendships of Government are backed by
friendships among the people that we get a relationship of enduring
value, and rich in the-benefits it conveys to all.
I believe, Sir, Malaysia and Australia should always walk the
ways f Deace together.
I believe that the ideals we share are those that unite. And
that in giving them free expression, each according to our national
responsibilities and resources, we can help to build a better world.
I thank you, Prime Minister, for the honour you do my country
tonight. TAnd now I should like to propose a toast to your health
and to the friendship of our two countries.

Transcript 2620