PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4719


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: 23/05/1978

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 4719

The question has arisen as to the way in which, as a nation,
we might best mark and commemorate, now and for posterity,
the great contribution of the late Sir Robert Gordon Menzies
to the nation.
There has already been enthusiastic and helpful discussion on
this by some public figures and by some newspapers, and I am
indebted to them.
A preparatory Committee has already begun work, directed to the
creation of a special appeal and fund to be known as the
Sir Robert Menzies Trust and I am happy to announce to the
House the general direction and scope of the arrangements that
are in mind.
The Appeal will be established on an Australia-wide basis and
the funds resulting will be applied to objectives of a practical
and continuing kind within the particular interests of
Sir Robert Menzies. He had no static view of Australia and he
would wish, as those who contibute will, that the funds should
be spent in terms of future benefit to Australia.
The objectives are still to be finally determined but it can be
said already that the fund will be desianed to assist
Australians of all ages but especially the young, to obtain in
serious and worthwhile directions, academic training or practical
experience or opportunities to compete which they might otherwise
be unable to obtain.
Some of the particular interests identified with Sir Robert
Menzies and which might therefore be drawn within the purposes
of the fund are the law, with particular reference to
constitutional matters and Federal/ State relationships.; studies
concerned with Austrlaia ' s role within the British Commonwealth
and with Australia/ Britain relations; studies of Australia and
the United States; studies of relations between Australia and
the Pacific N~ ations.
Another possibility which would have been of interest to
Sir Robert Menzies and from which major benefit would accrue is
to bring to Australia, for public meetings or special consultations,
speakers of distinction or young persons of promise and interest
to us.

And there are two other matters at least, one is the development
of skills in the use of the English language, since we all know
he loved the English tongue. The other is sport of many kinds
because as he watched it and took interest, it gave him a
particular and agreeable relaxation and companionship.
Although much more discussion will be needed, I am able to
say now that the Appeal and the fund will be under the
authority of a National Comittee and a series of State
Committees. It is my honour to have been asked to accept the office
of National President. Leading Australians will be invited
to accept office with me in connection with the Trust. It will
be necessary, in addition,. to have a strong and operative
executive National Committe-e and a series of State executive
committees. I am pleased to announce that Sir William Vines has accepted office
as Head of the National Committee with the title of National
General Chairman. Sir William Vines has a high record of
achievement in Australian commercial and agricultural
communities and of service to Government, both Commonwealth and
State, involving all political parties over a long period. He
will be assisted as Deputy National General Chairman by
Sir Walter Leonard.
The other members of the Executive Committee will be similarly
distinguished people, representative of the States as well as the
Commonwealth, and, it is hoped, form a variety of callings and
backgrounds. To assist this Committee, a distinguished public
servant and close confidant of Sir Robert's for many years-
Sir John Bunting will be co-ordinator.
Sir Robert Menzies was the Leader of one political party.
But he was, at the same time, a representative and a Leader
of all the people. He sought to serve the whole communityas
the fund now in mind will do and in fact must do.

Transcript 4719