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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4087

TEXT OF THE PRIME MINISTER'S ADDRESS AT THE OPENING OF THE AUSTRALIAN-AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FESTIVAL

Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 26/03/1976

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 4087

PRIME MINISTER P76/ 58 i
FOR PRESS MARCH 26. 1976
TEXT OF THE PRIME MINISTER'S ADDRESS AT THlE OPENING OF THE
AUSTRALIAN-AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FESTIVALThe
American revolution 200 years ago marked a tremendous victory
for men and women who wanted to be free free to control the
affairs of their own country and their own lives.
Men and women around the world fighting for freedom still look to
the United States because of that revolution as an inspiration.
Men such as Alexander Solzenitsyn remind us that freedom is still
an idea with the power to inspire men to greatness, still a potent
idea for change on behalf of human dignity.
In the two hundred years since the American revolution Americans
have used their freedom to build through generations of pioneering
work and effort the most prosperous country in the world.
America has used her prosperity to undertake the most generous
programmes of aid in the history of the world from the great
aid programmes to the Soviet Union after the First World War,
through Marshall Aid to its present programmes, the United States
has been a force for decency and humanity in the world.
America's freedom has not come cheaply. It has been defended many
times in war. It has been tested many times at home. Few nations
have been so open to scrutiny, so self-critical, as the United States.
Abuses which in other less open societies would remain hidden from
the world have been ferreted out and held up to exposure by citizens
relentless in their pursuit of human dignity-, arid by a free press
with a great tradition of journalism. Time and again Americans
have been shocked it seems by what they have learned about
themselves facts they could only have learned because they are
free. Invariably, it seems Americans have moved slviftly to right
the wrongs and eradicate abuses.
Dictatorships and police states have, of course, used the information
revealed by a free press as weapons to attack arid discredit the
United States. It is as well to remind ourselves that the free
society of the United States existed long before those Governments
came into being. It will long survive them.
Australia shares and is proud to share close bonds of friendship
with the United States.
Australia's development as a nation is part of the same great
movement of people from Europe that gave birth to the United States.
Inevitably, we have shared many experiences during that history
in peace as well as in war, since that day in 1792 when the first
American ship to visit Australia '' The Philadelphia"' sailed
into Port Jackson.
In those days American traders apparently made a good living by
selling spirits to the Australian colonists. As a revolutionary
country they appear to have exported a revolutionary spirit.
Their own revolution, as I recall, was fought on tea. Our first rebellion
was fought on rum.

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During the nineteenth century Australians and Americans showed a
striking willingness to help each other in the search for gold.
In 1849-50 many thousands left Sydney for California in the search
for gold. The Australians efforts were not entirely appreciated
arid the rapid emigration from Australia was halted by a vigorous
" Sydney Coves Go Home" movement anid by the discovery of gold in
Australia. Between 1851-56 10,000 people came to Australia from
the United States, thus repaying us in full measure for our
interest in American gold.
Marny famous names in Australian history came from or via the United
States: George Chaffey the pioneer of irrigation in Australia;
J. C. Williamson -who became in his day perhaps the
leading theatrical entreprener
of the British Empire;
King O'Malley one of our most colorful politicians;
Walter Burley Griffin-the designer of our National Capital
The Founding Fathers of the Australian Federation of course, looked
to the United States for help in drawing up the Australian Constitution.
From the United States, we borrowed the idea of Federalism itself,
arid the concepts of a Senate and a High Court to intrepret the
Constitution. The American Senate is, of course, more powerful
than ours though the Australian. Senate is not without some
useful powers.
It must be understood that between countries which have such beliefs
in common there will inevitably grow up links that are different
that are deeper and more enduring than would develop between
nations of quite disparate traditions.
Defence links we have with the United States are based on our own
independent assessment that we have interests in common with the
United States that we can advance by joining closely together.
There may have been some doubts in recent times whether Australia
had departed from her state as an aligned nation. Let me state
unequivocally, that Australia is an aligned nation we are arn ally
of the United States and will remain so.
Because we are an ally of the United States, that does not mean that
we support every American action in the world.
But being an ally does imply that the major objectives of both
countries are similar the defence of free societies where men
and women can choose their own destinies.
An important part of our role as an ally is that we should form
our own independent judgements and speak frankly to the United States
about our concerns where they exist. But when we do disagree,
our views will be expressed in proper terms, arid in the proper
way, and not shouted across the seas.
Being an ally does not mean that we caninot form very close relations
with other countries. We will speak with all countries, seek
cooperative relations with all countries, regardless of ideology.
We have close anid friendly relations with Indonesia and olther
countries in south East Asia. Our decisions affect their I'utiure
and their decisions, our future. Great power politics affect us
both. We will seek to strengthen anid build on these relationships. / 3

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Being an ally means that Australia has an important role to play as
an independent and responsible voice in international affairs.
Irrational and unreasoned criticism does nothing to help the United
States in performing its critically important role in securing
world peace. I fear that it has sometimes deterred the United
States from doing what needs to be done.
As the world's greatest free power an immense responsibility falls
on the United States, a responsibility not just to provide an
effective counter in the balance of world power, but a responsibility
to provide a lead to the democratic peoples of the world.
A great power like the United States cannot expect to be loved and
won't be loved. What any great power should look for is to be
respected. The vital thing is that the United States should do
those things which only the world's greatest free country can do.
If it fails to do this, not only American security but the security
of all of us will be at risk.
The important thing is not what people in other countries say, but
whether the United States is prepared to do those things which are
necessary for the stability and security of the world.
As a democracy, as a free country, our alliance with the United
States is accompanied by a warm friendship.
It gives me very great pleasure to ask you ladies and gentlemen
to rise and drink with me the toast: " To continuing friendship
between the two nations".

Transcript 4087