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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3594


Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/01/1975

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 3594

Joint Communique issued at the conclusion of the visit by the Prime
Minister of Australia to the USSR on 16 January 1975
At the invitation of the Soviet Government the
Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. E. G.
Whitlam, paid an official visit to the USSR from
12to 16 January 1975.
During his stay in the Soviet Union Mr Whitlam
and his party visited Moscow and Leningrad.
They had an opportunity to see how the Soviet
people live and work, as well as to acquaint
themselves with their achievements in the fields
of economics, science, education and culture.
The Prime Minister of Australia laid wreaths at
the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Moscow
and at the Piskarovskoye Memorial Cemetery in
The Prime Minister and his party were everywhere
accorded a warm welcome and generous
The Prime Minister of Australia, E. G. Whitlam,
was received by the Chairman of the Presidium
of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, N. V. Podgorny.
In the talks which took place between the
Chairman of the Soviet of Ministers of the
USSR, A. N. Kosygin, the First Deputy Chairman
of the Soviet of Ministers, K. T. Mazurov
and the Prime Minister of Australia, E. G.
Whitlam, there took part:
On the Soviet side-the First Deputy Minister
of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, V. V. Kuznetsov;
the First Deputy Minister of Foreign
Trade of the USSR, M. R. Kuzmin; and other
officials. On the Australian side-the Special Minister
of State, the Hon. L. F. Bowen; the Ambassador
of Australia to the USSR, Sir
James Plimsoll; the Secretary of the Department
of Minerals and Energy, Sir Lenox
Hewitt; the Secretary of the Department of
Overseas Trade, Mr D. H. McKay; the
Deputy Secretary of the Department of
Foreign Affairs, Mr R. A. Woolcott; and the Deputy Secretary of the Department of the
Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr G. J. Yeend.
During the talks which were held in a businesslike
atmosphere and in a spirit of mutual understanding,
the parties had a constructive
exchange of opinions on major international
issues of mutual interest as well as on matters
concerning Soviet-Australian relations and the
prospects of their development.
Both sides noted that the positions of the Soviet
Union and Australia coincided or were close on
a number of important international problems.
They noted the significant developments which
had taken place in recent years towards
strengthening international peace and cooperation
and consolidating the spirit of detente
in international relations.
Both sides agreed to make every effort to ensure
that relaxation of tension spread to all regions of
the world and that the steady progress towards
detente became irreversible.
Both parties noted the importance of the agreements
and arrangements concluded between
the USSR and the USA, directed at the further
improvement of the international climate and,
above all, the importance of the agreements on
the prevention of a nuclear war and the limitation
of strategic arms.
The Soviet Union and Australia note with satisfaction
the considerable advances towards
strengthening security and developing peaceful
co-operation in Europe and express their hope
that the Conference on Security and Cooperation
in Europe will be successfully
concluded in the near future.
The Soviet Union and Australia attach great
importance to strengthening peace and stability
in Asia and expressed their determination to
contribute in every possible way to relaxing
tensions further, to ensuring security and to
creating conditions for making Asia a continent

extent of your interests. Such power, such
interests, bring with them great responsibilities.
Australia looks to the superpowers to maintain
the utmost mutual restraint in their relations
with each other and towards other nations. On
such restraint peace and progress ultimately
depend. We look to you for responsible leadership
and action to meet the urgent global problems
of human need and suffering. Thus we
hope, for example, that the Soviet Union and
the United States will co-operate in an adequate
international system of grain reserves to
alleviate the uncertainties and shortages of
supplies in world food resources.
The other great area of responsibility which
attaches to the great powers is the nuclear arms
race and the increasing risk of the proliferation
of nuclear weapons. I expressed Australia's
deep concern on these vital issues, and outlined
some positive steps which the international
community could take to meet these challenges,
in my address to the last session of the
United Nations General Assembly. Statements
by many other leaders reflected the same grave
apprehensions and concern. My Government
has declared its commitment to practical and
effective international disarmament measures.
We have ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty
and subsequently concluded the Mandatory
Safeguards Agreement with the International
Atomic Energy Agency. Yet we observe some
flagging of international concern over the
consequences of nuclear proliferation. We are
disappointed by the lack of universal support in
our own and other regions for the Non-
Proliferation Treaty, which we consider the
essential foundation for a safer world. Perhaps
we have lived in the shadow of mutual destruction
for so long that we have become accustomed
to it. Can we dare to be complacent about
our very survival?
Since raising our concern for these issues at the
United Nations I have visited each of the three
depository powers of the Non-Proliferation
Treaty. In Washington three months ago, in
London in December, and now here in Moscow.
I have made the same point. We look to the depository
states to maintain international interest
in the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to promote
and enlarge its membership. In this year of the
NPT Review Conference we see a special opportunity to revitalise the commitments undertaken
in this treaty, to strengthen the basis of
peace and awaken us from the nightmare of a
world in which nuclear weapons are widespread.
I was glad to note that in the historic
Vladivostok communique of 24 November,
Comrade Brezhnev and President Ford stressed
the importance of increasing the effectiveness
of the Treaty. We therefore look confidently to
the Soviet Union for constructive leadership on
this issue, not only by virtue of your special position
in relation to the Treaty, but because of
your important role as Co-Chairman of the Conference
of the Committee on Disarmament.
Mr President, I have spoken frankly on matters
of great consequence to us all. Nothing less
would have been appropriate to the dignity of
this unique occasion. Nothing less would adequately
have reflected the true nature of our
relations. These relations are now-though unhappily
they have not always been-characterised
by greater frankness, by greater realism,
by greater seriousness, by greater understanding.
My visit will serve to strengthen this understanding
and bring our peoples much closer
together. For example, I shall be signing agreements
between the Soviet Union and Australia
on science and technology and on cultural
exchanges. We have much to learn from you in
the scientific and technical fields, you I hope
may have something to learn from us. We
warmly welcome the prospect of a Cultural
Agreement between us. Australians deeply
respect and admire the culture of the Soviet
people-the glorious fruits of which I have seen
and heard at first hand during my present visit
to the Soviet Union.
In these and other ways we shall develop the
range of contacts between us. A world in which
states, regardless of their different social systems,
can communicate their views ano
interests clearly and confidently is a world more
amenable to peaceful change and peaceable
policies. I regard the relations between our
countries as a constructive element in the creation
of such a world. I regard my visit to your
country, and the warm hospitality you have extended
to me and my party, as an important
contribution to the strengthening of friendship
between the Soviet and Australian peoples.

of peace through the co-operative efforts of the
states of the region.-
Both sides emphasised the necessity of strict
observance by all parties of the Paris Agreement
on ending the war and restoring peace in Viet-
Nam. They welcomed concrete measures to
implement the Agreement on restoring peace
and achieving national accord in Laos and
expressed themselves in favour of a just settlement
of the Cambodian problem with full consideration
of the national interests and legitimate
rights of the people of Cambodia without
any outside interference.
The parties noted that on the sub-continent of
South Asia progress has been made in the normalisation
of the situation in this region, which
corresponds to the interests of consolidating
peace and security, and establishing true good
neigh bourliness in South Asia.
Both sides expressed their readiness to participate,
together with all interested states on an equal basis, in seeking a favourable solution to
the problem of making the Indian Ocean an area
of peace in accordance with the principals of in
ternational law.
In the course of the exchange of opinions on the
situation in the Middle East, the parties
emphasised the necessity to achieve as soon as
possible a just and stable settlement in that
region on the basis of the relevant resolutions of
the United Nations Security Council, including
realising the legitimate national rights of the
Arab people of Palestine, as well as on the basis
of ensuring the security and independence of all
states of the region.
The parties express their hope that the Geneva
Peace Conference on the Middle East will
resume its work as soon as possible.
The Soviet Union and Australia proceed from
the assumption that the cessation of the arms
race, the achievement of general and complete
disarmament covering both nuclear and conventional
weapons, under strict and effective
MrWhitlam and Mr Kosygin sign the Scientific and Cultural Agreements

international control, would be of paramount
importance for a fundamental improvement of
the international situation.
They believe that the convocation of a world
disarmament conference may contribute to the
practical solution of the pressing problems of
disarmament. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to the
Treaty on the Non -Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons and their determination to work for its
effective and universal implementation.
They share the opinion that it is necessary to
agree as soon as possible on the full ban of all
tests of nuclear weapons by all states, and also
on the ban on chemical weapons.
The Soviet Union and Australia attach great
importance to the conclusion of a convention on
the prohibition of action to influence the
environment and climate for military and any
other purposes incompatible with the maintenance
of international security, human wellbeing
and health.
The parties noted that their positions on the
main issues of the law of the sea were close.
Considering the conference on the law of the
sea to be of great importance they expressed
themselves in favour of adopting constructive
decisions in this field on an international basis
with due regard for the interest of all states.
Both sides declared their resolution to promote
the increased effectiveness of the United
Nations on the basis of strict observance of its
They believe that the main eff orts of the United
Nations must be directed to promoting the con
solidation of the relaxation of international tension,
to strengthening international peace and
security, and to the development of fruitful cooperation
among states.
During the talks, questions of Soviet -Australian
relations were thoroughly discussed.
Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the
favourable development of relations between
the USSR and Australia in recent years and
reaffirmed their determination to widen further
mutually advantageous co-operation on the
basis of the principles of peaceful co-existence, respect for sovereignty, non -interference in
internal affairs, equal and mutually beneficial
The parties attach great importance to expanding
contacts between state and political leaders
of both countries.
They underlined the usefulness of further political
consultations at various levels on matters
concerning both bilateral relations and international
problems of mutual interest.
It was agreed to continue this practice in future.
The parties consider that there are favourable
possibilities to increase the volume of trade and
the range of goods to be exchanged in both di.-
rections to mutual advantage.
The two sides acknowledged the advantages
which have flowed from the Trade Agreement
signed in 1973.
They noted particularly the part which the
mixed Commission, set up under that Agreement,
is playing in developing trade and economic
relations between the two countries.
The parties exchanged views on prospects for
the development of co-operation in other fields,
including agriculture, energy and mineral
resources, fisheries, maritime navigation, air
communications and also in the field of Antarctic
and world ocean studies.
During the visit, the parties signed an Agreement
on scientific and technical co-operation.
They noted that preliminary steps had alreedy
been taken towards identifying particular areas
in which co-operation would be developed
under the Agreement.
A series of mutual visits by scientists of both
countries was already in progress.
The parties also signed an Agreement on cultural
co-operation between the two countries
which will establish a sound foundation for
further development of Soviet -Australian ties in
the fields of culture, education and sports.
The Soviet and Australian sides noted with sat
isfaction that the talks and discussions which
took place during the visit of Prime Minister
Whitlamn to the Soviet Union were useful and
would make a considerable contribution to the

The Prime Minister with the Mayor of Bonn. Mr Kraemer.

further development of friendly relations between
the Soviet Union and Australia.
On behalf of the Australian Government, Prime
Minister Whitlam invited the Chairman of the
Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, Mr A.
N. Kosygin, to make an official visit to Australia.
The invitation was accepted with satisfaction at
a time to be agreed upon.

Transcript 3594