PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5358

OLYMPIC GAMES

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: 23/05/1980

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5358

PRIME MIN~ ISTER
FOR MEDIA FRIDAY 23 1980
OLYM4PIC GAMES
The Government has learned with regret that the Executive of
the Australian Olympic Federation, in exercising its own
independence of government, has rejected the strong advice of
the Australian Government and today decided to send an
Australian team to Moscow.
In recent days, the Executive has been kept closely in touch
with the view of the Government and with latest developm~ ents..
The Government had indicated that an effective boycott is already
in place with the United States, Canada and West Germany, amongst
countries determined to stay away from Moscow.
The decisions of these countries have been taken against
the background of the continued Soviet invasion and repression
of the people of Afghanistan, of the build-up of Soviet
strategic facilities in Afghanistan,' with certain consequences
for the reach of Soviet military power over the Middle East and
the Indian Ocean.
The Government had stressed to the Executive of the Olympic
Federation that the decision being made today was not one
involving sport and sport alone. It was one involving the
future of all Australians, especially of young Australians.
I pray that those Olympians who do go to Moscow will not pay the
price that many of those who went to the Berlin Olympics paid
once the World: War started in 1939.
I prray, that the Soviet Union will not interpret this and other
decisions of Olympic Federations as a weakening of Western will,
as Nazi Germany did in 1936.
The Government has repeatedly stated that the highest interests
of national security are involved; that the Western world is
now, with all the energy and determination that it can command,
seeking to prevent the early years of the 80' s slipping
inevitably to global conflict as di4d the later years of the 1930' s.
The Executive of the Australian Olympic Federation had an*-.
opportunity to contribute to that paramount objective by placing
Australia first. It is with profound regret that I recognise
that they did not take that opportunity. 000---

Transcript 5358