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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 517


Photo of Menzies, Robert

Menzies, Robert

Period of Service: 19/12/1949 to 26/01/1966

More information about Menzies, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 23/05/1962

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 517

23FIL MY. 1962 AT 4
PRIME MINIST-17-Th ere are one or two ma tters, perhr-aps, th~ at I should
mention to you -toc get them out of thie w~ ay. During my
absence, of courso, Mr. Mcm X'i! en rill be actinrg Prime
Minister, Mr. 3Bury will be acting for Downer. r
Freeth will be acting for the ' Attorney-General during his
absence and Mr. Mc*. wen uiill act as Minister for External
Affairs, assisted, of course, as at present by Senator
Gorton. The P,'-inister for Defence -aill be aThsent for a
short period something like a y-eek in June and when lie
is away Senator Paltridg-e will act for him.
Sir G-ar-field 3&-rvick I think, Will be in a position
later today to make a sta-emnt about 2hailand and th~ e
provision of an A ustralian force, but T : 111l leave that to
him. He 1. s worlin-g on thtat.
Jo o~ ealso had undi_' r cons id= ration the matter of a
visit by the iling and Queen of Thailandl to Auistralia. The
Govornor-GUeno_, ral, on bohalf of the Govern: 1ent, extendad an
invitation and that has been accepted, in principle, Lis we
may say. The dat-ails of theo ) ro-remno are being worked out
and the e:, xact dates being orkad out bacause I am
anxi4ous that thoy should not conflict with the absence
from Pustralia in S._-ptum& bor of s , nior jpe) opl, 1 in the
Governmont, it i3 e:' pocte-d that theoy . rfill make-the visit
to Australia, is a'lso tb. uhto each of the
St,, tcs, but t. A~ will be: ani-ouncod soon ras the details
havo boon cleared. with them.
: c do no., t ' know that therei-is anything part cuil" rly
to be sa id aboat my i--urney., but I will, porhiaps,
s= mmerise--a f points and if you hiva some,(, r: ucstion that
you wart -to risc then you can.. ask mo..
In tLha first place. I thi~ nk it is prop-r to sa y that
s p,-c ula: tioL cn Tft,. cli I have reoad in sorfe, English papers about
L4r. Macmillan be-ing ibLarrass, 2d by ivy visit could ha,. rdly
b' 0 mnora wrocng. iflr. Macmillan and I cond-uct corr-espondecnce
with oachi othe.. r and., 2 -r a-s you ca,-n on papor, discuss
some Of the10 COMT00omT. aith probe1_-ms, Ha has, for some time,
boon vory kaeen on mny raki: Jn2g In special . aisit at about this
tire so tlaat can discuss those thir1, s more fully -and
informall~ y in a pe-rsontal w--ay. Any ida tnat he is to be
e~ nb'rrasedcan be dismiss; d.
i~ er Nr. Mc~ 2rnfs vi* sit, 1 thought, was i. mmensely
vaL'~ ablo. Jo,-do not yot know, of course, * rhat results will
followil beca'useD thle orobloms are 3xtrcmelIy diffficult ones.
.3ut I do know this, and 1 have sa-, id it before, that I do
not kcnow of anny Tian in politics i~ n Alustr, -lia who has
quite theo same arasp of tho detn-Lils of our export
cormmodity problems. has had a gr!. ea deal to do with
th. em,. Ho has been blke to spooak o-v r3 a; s with great
authority nnd nothing that I say will be dosigned to
subtr-nct in any way fro~ iiahnwhatih. -as been putting. My
A~ kis to supplomcont it, and p, rhnps direct my own
c. ttontion to some rn:-rc, , on.: ral proble. ms tha. t wil have to
be. determi-ned.
I taink-it is us,.. Ul to rmnJ the history of this
Common Market Iohtanr it Jas originnlly
ustablislacd by the Jfran-ty of Gcme, 2ret i3rito-in chnose to
r oma_-in OUIt. L. Ta on., only in last tw o years,
discussionL; aros a s yh1-acr Cruc-t 3ritain icight
decide o to to-c n bat, until cc', r-mp-; 1o1' ivel-y recently,
tiais was : v'son th. 2 footing th-t ' gricultural products,
if T mray u& se t! 7a-t omrhnivy rene: t to be in,
whidch meant tta r & dUel-: of our :., xoorts wold, of
course, r.-main UantOuched.

Lator en it b,.: came quito cleaor tha.-t they could not hoo
to co into tic, Coa~ on Mrket un] ass 2igricul tural products
i-, roro inl, h! avin-rgr to the iiwjoc'tanca) of ai,-ricultural
P~ tC inth sfix Europa. an 4-_ t Se. ' he ro by the time
Mr. -Sandys visiLad us it bec. amei clear? tvh. t there would
need to be a grcot deal of work done on the side of
-) rlcultruail products i~ f our . ntora-sts wore-to be
rasonably providud. for, Thorñ 1tor on, .2. s you know, the
3ritish, Govcrnme~ nt docided. to Apply to -go in; that was
the next thiing, we being to. Ld thiat tihe principle of
consult. a2tion i.; ould obser1-ved. -, wThion I wias in England
last year I sa cur d ' U-e _: doption of the proposition thnt
you could not urork ouit principles vory usefully until you
aed had -i ; ood close look, at the c ommoditic. s affocted and
th-at thare ought to be consul. tations.,
Now on that ma-tter th-e Astralian Govejrnme~ nt took the
view that we ou--ght ioa ena constructively, in detailed
talks on the cofamoditic s coneor-nod. 1-icn I say
" 1constructivel~ y" T man th-at insteaod of simply saying
" Loek avac-otin position cnd we will n~ ot discuss
anythiJn g else but its muraintenanco", we would be quite
willing to exploye those mnactars t11o see whethor good
reulssatisf-actor-Y re sults, might . eclcidu vbey sorme
alternative me,. thod at_-, riative to those now oxisting0
ThL4 i a's aihrogl constructive, 1way ofI7 goi. ngabu
thing s and--as yo-u knLrowi wa ' ifvc ii ad for 1-,. nt! s so: i-a : iery
top lino offici. als eDnga-ging in talntonyi no
on th-ioffca levelL but also in the_-continental
coun~ trie0s cKffctod-, all thiat culminating in Dr.
Jese ~ ans elabora to st-aeont in re lation to coimm-Odi ties
qui-. o, recently at . Drussols.
Noew-at th-1is st: go it seeme-Ld to rio to v, ry
dsrleth-at ' Mr. sho-uld go ove. rseas. It is quito
rue thai ta t del Df t'no discussion ha-d b-oo-n
occur: ng on the-a fici_-. 1,*, vol ' Utw.: British-Ministers led
by their chief noegotiator, 7ir. He-th, were in consulta tion
on rninistcril-i 1bidr in 2iaropo-. and I folt, and Mr.
iicvicn fclt,~ th-t thL is a, : ood ti-me, for h ir to go in
o rd er tD iJnn h1aes oa tion to a se~ ries of comr-, odities,
wha, our intcr osts whaMt the, dlangers woro that we
can, whe-1t the C. Oa uus i* rs of ce-rta-in pre fernces,
pferticul. arly hceefitn particular intorsts in
Austra liLa ndso S1, Laront and 7. s I haesaid he
s01 rhm had ei: etftmo with them-,,. HO put tile case
w,, ith the usual ri-ourt-f-rc~, and -) Dint.
But f2 av noew, rea,.-chod anoth_% r strigo, a furlth-or
S t-1i c This is L-c-) ntinuing process because during June
and July Ifee,: l quite) rt-_ n that -inds b-ith in London
and on the Contil. e: nt will binte_ crystall-ise. 1 o e
rmea-, n tirt thec wh. oJl picture ail. merge nc-ssarly. It
'>; uld not at o nce. Eltut in relratio n to this. coir:;._ dity, or
tthat, there-will ten., d to be3 a cr, staJlis-21tion of ideas.
Once i; deas begin to crystallis.-in that fa-shiion, c; ritain
bro ad principles bcgin to emrg . as a re-sult. -C may find
it-mor difficlilt late.---r en to erC.-iSO thei influe nce whichl
is rotpu , crfl. J,. w-ho mi-nds noe not yet nodeo up. Ila h:-ve
always mcld" -fr et p: Lflt tthfa t. LeA as be c-. rnsulted
b-for2:,-: inds or oe p hat is whly i oj. n~ bocause
I thnink: thi-s is -; od tirno. July:;, of caursc., is not ait
all pr-ictic. al -yr mp . LJ. nt oi: L viao-r bec: nuso wer rill. bo
workin.:, n the, budg-t. June is thei .; otiruz prid
11--rA'f as a, tac-r of tin thSses be higbi-y

Most -of n-. y tCaLks, i. f course, I will havo in London
with Mr. M-a:-LIn nd wiith thtogeio are porircipally
conc 9rned. li4ku Mr H -th and IrBt~ r Minis tor for
Agricultur., But) 1 an It bo ppo s in g to t-' ake ascries of
C--ZDd tics ann o trough thL:: i' as if I er gvin, an
i: e-itation of M-0. McEwmn. I hiope I wvill1 know : 1ll about
tLor,, but that r_; nt be businecss. My prime business
Will be -to discuss tE~ e broad Principles and there are
any broxad principles that iill ii-vc to be talked out,
The r a has boon a good dal of argument go) ing on about
prefronieltracde-peeeta trade which oporetes
bothn vays -in the,. British C,) mmnonuealh. Thrwil I
think, have to be good deal of talk a--bcut ono asp . ct of
thie n: attcr thiat hias not utr per ha ps, been oquately
ca. nsidored and thant is the political consequence of
Britain entering 4into thCoaon 1h. art kt will be the
political effe--ct in k2ur:, p.,' A : 41at will be the now
rela-Itionshiip bot-weeun Groat Britain a: ind the -L'ur:) pean
countrics? V14ll th., is that Gre: at Britain will
t'aere1-afte-r be a c~ nstituient stato in -Sarope? Will it be a
7uropoonn Fodora--tion' J it be a Confederati-on? Will it,
in efcaan that Jinstcad o-f' theo hist. ric balance of
poweor policy, withl. Grea: t 3ritain st:-nding outside Europa
and exeIrcising hoe be. 1ancing influance, it will be a new
state -of affairs in whaich '-eat Britain is a European
power or( 3 or less inte2 grated into a nau. 2uropean
structureu? These--! ro tro,,; nd-ously . Inport-. nt 2_. eattors for
us. They ar rmnosyipratfor Gree-t Britain,
of cours,_ and for 2n, de pp rob~ ably fa. r the~~.
western world.
Then in addititon to that'-, of courses1 there,-i. s the
consequentialI csr betou tiae off. 2, ct of this en GrCeat
3ritainl s relaItion to tft Cralnwalh Thae CononwOalth
has nowv becone, s so vrrdioerda di n its = natonmy,
thatI thnkfrDr ' he point of view of the Prir~ o Minister
o f this country I ~ J1 ' be-p rimar ily c ) n c arred _ nbout whiat
. ill be the o-f-*. Ict upon theo politicanl altosbetween
Groat BrI-tain a~ nd ustra'Lia-, how far tho present
nwa'Lth ,7, DIti-, nshAp th-lat wc e-njo,, y will be affected
010o way or tae othier, As ycou knowl so-ae senior British
Ministers consi1(. er tbnt C', rcQiL'-3ritain. s entry into th1e
Earopea-n Ccia-unity w.. ill stien then the Co: aIneat nd
the.: y hold tha1 t vi( . T very ' 3tron~ ly. Miy Own vie0w h-is always
b~ on tha t it will tend to ~ eknthe Corin: nwuyalth, But
t'hcre i s not -ucha Point in discussing thiat at long range.
Tha-t is why Imt). t to sit do3wn wihteeon the se: rnatters
in T. ondon. I do) not. knew yet whe ther I -ail I have
occasion to Zo, for exmlto Paris Dr to 3oflz2 A great
dea.. L will depend upon triu nature, of thetlks T will have,
in London. It doesn't taelong to get to theseo places
anyhow. 1 willc baclk vi-, tlioe United Stlatos of
nr i ca.. Ter is ntigto bo g-aineld by calling in nt
Canada o: ccaIusa thec [ LLinevnins araen e-lection. But
of co) uroe; eae-rtas nve been ead fo~ r to see
PreSident 1\', nnody aa.-d Mr. Yvask e-nd othe~ r senior illor~ bers of
the Adm-_ ini* st'r" : in in tvc. sh-; ngt~ n on the wa, ak
I -Aill be tak-in-Mr. 3unti. ng-te rit-ieod, o f n--y
-, eni.-r of fice,-r in Jendae: to be Qb. L to nJ -3p inmyt-rifirng
wbo--n a there. Dr7. is oigto WI~ cv'hn,-ton to
cond-uct corca di. 2cussions a_-nJ , r-Ll rrive in London a
few days bcfuoL'e 1 leave, Lea-Den. iJn r) idor to-. Put noT in the
pictar--: end p tL_ qUI~ p eC Ior Iv; Y discussions in
shin , tfn on imy wyh; a.-aaI~ -cm1ior Exte) rnal
Affa-i rs cffic -r in 1Lonu n so 6: not noeed to tak_! e
scxu ebzdy thlore, _ 9ut Trearsury of-ficejr is go: in, He
ran't ac-lAyeging, ,, ith bte will i-eet raeo in
Lond on-

I ight as -oe1l 1Confess to you that I oi-. g-oing to
give yel ee-n with my -daughiter and her family in
GeTneva to froshe-In my ind and rccup y spir-itg
QU E S ' IT0 1 Sir, you ho0P2, in your tv,: lks withi Prosident
Kennedy to soften the A-, arican attitude towards trade
PRIM1 MNIL ' Tell ono is alw. aYs h-ipef'ul. You knowr on this miatter
of preferencks: this is 2': most article of faith in the
United States; this is a doc-trine. No prefe rence s. And
although the Unitcd State , s pr._ rood the Havana Charter and
subsequently GATT the, best that could bc got at that time
w~ as that there, -rould be no new p-, ferncos but that
existing nes would be pr,.; scrved. The-y aiways ' nave boon
very opposed to this. ie, on the ce) ntro+ ry, have always
said, as we are well Dntitlod to., that if you have a
c: u,-unity of)' 180 ilinpeople em.-braced in a saries of
econom--ic acti vi tie. s in stats, and they enjoy complete
internal. free( trade, 9 they cmn hardly say thiat the re is
something e~ ssentially Ovi in anothe[ Ir ro~ up of comrmunities
who happen to be tho1 BritisL' C:) mo~ onwealth, iving
pre~ ferences cno t-OrlDtlar, -or, as I think it says in Holy
Jrit, " in brotherly love-proferr,. in.; ocie another". Same0
thing. Howo-\ fer:, I ha-ve hamd ta-Lk.-s abo ut thiis thiing, before
t,) d-ayq of course with my Anerican friends a-nd we bo-th
roniain quit3 intransigent on the n~ attor. But I don't wvant
to,-, e t bogged IdoAwn on w'ords, bc. usc you can ) cca. sioDnally
find yourself at c2Iplote arrs' leng; tl b,. causo the re is a
pharase, there is ex,-prussi o) n used, , te talk about
preifr(, ncos, vory properly, This is part of the pattern
of our econora~ ic life. Perh1aps I ni ght say " Lot us forget
z-. bo-ut the words and discuss in substance-. . what kind of
benefits Coanomelhcountries, in pr-rticular Australia,
enj ) y aiad w'-hat they give, end hoi: w theo Unitod States nighit
be able to soften the impact of change. If yo) u have some
alternative 1, hich you do nAt call prefe2rences but which
give us some c.). mp. Jnsatijng odvacntage then let us ha-ve it."
My exp--rienco has boon thiat if y: Du areafter a
ihi] W to put all those things on onen side a-nd sit djivm
roun~ d the tLebl. c so--y " Ihaoout this", ft.. ihat about
that", you occasi~ nally ca n geot soewc'e ach side
pre serving hi~ s principles, in theoDry, but modifying then a
little in Dractice. That, aftr -l-i1neo1t9gra
things aeu~ round table cmnforoncos, pa-rticularly botween
friends. '., Then I sa-, y that, do) n't be unde: r any
m is.-ppr oens ion: Mr. Mc~ w,-en has spon up manfully on this
question of pre-fere-nces and I not i-mo: dify a word ho ha-s
said. 3ut he know, and I 1cnw, that we must now. get to
the ne,: xt phase of se ~ gwhat pro: ctical, results wre can get.
QUETIO: Cldyoutel us Sr, r to what extnt you intend to
h.-v. e cnsultatiens e-n JTOst Now Guinea and S.-uth East Asia
and that kind of thling?
PRIivC MINISTEh_ UJll I have no set plan in y m-, ind, of co) urse but
yo,) u may take it f'~ r rfnted1 th'at wvhen I a-_ 1 there I % ill be
having discussi: ons a-bout theo position in 03Luth * 2ast Asia.
In point of fact the first week-ond Ia= in London I an
going to spend wxith tile Ford ign Soc--tary him-self -at his
because thole ar quite difficult que3stions there on
whaich vie ws -D not al',. ays coincide. I . I.. uld lieto see
wrhether I c; ulln't establish the) -re. atest possible coraI,' n
ba-sis .) ne GuIrea4 ' T'ai. 7, nd, and V~ iet Nain.
QUESTITON: Will the-is. e . iscussi~ ns iainto Britain's ruL-oured
Q1ortr frAS~~ hEs fs io. It boean rurmourod1 that
Bti i. pulling out of S-; uthi-oast Asia,~

PRIME MINISTE' 1k': I ha ve not hoeard theu, nor doj I think thera is any
substance in then-. 3ut if teois I w-iill find -) ut aond
lot know.
QUESTION: Do) y,. u regard the Indonosian :, tt;-. cks ) n Dutch New
Guinon. as C, bre-ach tne -, ssur--, nc~ s Yivcn by Dr. Soekarno
arnd Dr. Subandrio?
PRI*:, 1,4INISTEf,: I think so. If th-Jy do_ no) t ropresent the use of
force I do not Krl.) w ujbiat _, Lso they do, It is a r.. ost
unhiappy busi noss.
QUESTION: In thxe li-ht this bre. ach of fiaith how do yo) u foei
about thr~ ir assur-' nce that they will ii t lay claim. to
Eastern Nei.; Guinea?
PRIME MINIST7LR: I think that that is a que) stio) n I Y. light Leave -on one
side. I will trect it as a Kypothetical one.
QUE2JTION,': fr-Mr. lMcEwen r-turnod f om his Conmio: n MIarket talks
he said ho was neithur o. ptimistic pessimistic.
PRIME MIPTIST12L,: I think]-thiat is a pretty fa-ir st~ atoeh. ent. The
difficultics of this thing are eno. rmous. It them a
f~ eic rs t, th-h~ u the Trea_-ty o) f B-no. They have roade
a few protDcojls and n. o d . ubt they will imke som) ie roore. I
Lan not pessinistic. I have no reaso-n to think that we
cannot got sxoehero thiis n: atteL_ but ilhothor we will
get as far we an is a quo; stio--n on the knoes of the
Gods, or, if n-t onm the kneeks _ f the Gods, -on the knees
of people -other than urevswhen it can'Eis to the point.
our job is to treat thlis year as a yeir in which. there has
boen evory cffort, c c-tnn.' Ut look back at the e3nd of this
year, we cannot'c finishi this year, without being able to
say we hiave done all wo uld. WIe must keep up the
pressure,-of our casu until . o411 stageYs of this business are
conc. luced.
)' TITON Is '-ho general improssi.-n in favo) ur o-, f Britain
r-.-rsisting in hecr applic-ti-on to join the Coi--mon Market?
I-1 e nW. I ill kno) w roewhen I ye bean
t h. ere. That is 2 mat. t er on irhicn yo-, u do,. nAt WOnt to 1trve
soenc elssopini.; n, I k1now those people and uill get
a pretty fair idoc2-.
Will tne British Eima,_ rc! ycm note omnMre
PRIME MINISTER: That had nt occurred to meri. am a dyed in the
wool monarchist.
QUESTION: 11ill yo: u raise tho quost-in la roya-l tour of
PRIME MINISTER: You never kno) w. If I answer " Yes" it will be-come so.
If I answer " Nco" it will not. Y) u h bet tor leave that
QUES T10N: There, have beer rupo) rts thnat the G ) ve-rni., ont will
cnmside r ostablisli(, ant o) f a bo--dy such ais the Fodiral
1". uiton C--issi n. i the Unlited States to-handle
allocation of frcoquerncics for roilio and tele2visi-on?
PRIME iMINIST2R2 I do, no) t bezo.-usc I do not kno) w anything about
t hi s I tugtit wea rutmour upon a, ruir:.-ur. N.) t hin g
was ever s: aid by ime, me, .: bo-ut it,

4 0
QUESTION: Ar' 2 thoro likely to be any discussions on trae with
Cjrjr-unist China?
PRIME II STE:; M I I do not kcnow. YLu follw it is it ps. If they want
to raise some point on that no doubt they ; All and I ; ill
be very willing to discuss that.
QUESTION: There hls boun a ropoit that the United States xwishes
to establish tracking stations at Manus and Brika Islands.
Ara y. ou able to soy anything about this?
PRIME MINISTER: I have not heard about it. I have heard sug-estions
on this but n-t ask r.; e because I tn not the authority
on it. This niight be wTll off as far as I knox'. If it
was that kind of thaing no doubt Mr. Fa. irhall ., rill say
something about it.
QUEf-STION: Have you r. Jceivod a letter from Mr. Rylah c~ nplaining
about the tornis of rof, 2reoco fLr the Post Office Inquiry
in Victoria?
PRIME MINISTER: Yes I h--ao receiv: d lettcr. I h3iav passed it on
to) the Aerrny-Ganarai and the Postmaster-General to) have
a loo : k at it. I o not thiink they oiero va--ry formiidabl e
QUESTION: Dos this r. ian t w~ ilrle b. alterations?
PRIME MINISTB,: I d not know. This is f--r the Attorney-Genoral.
Do not ask no.
QUESTION: iill Mlr. Holt be attending the Commo-i:) nwe-, alth Finance
HinistorsI Cnferuncc?
PRIME MiISTIL DD not ask!: t St b Thact is an awfully
long way off. All I knmw is tat perhaps the House will
be up has that not bDen -nn. unced?
With the compli,= nts of
Press Secretary to Prine Minister.
C. C1' X RA
23rd May, 1962.

Transcript 517