PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6480


Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

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

Release Date: 21/09/1984

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 6480

LAWS: Prime Minister. Good Morning and welcome.
PRIME MINISTE~ R: Good Morning John. Thank you.
LAVS: Settle down to a cup of coffee.
LAWS:-Wasn't the best day in the world yesterday eh?
PRIME MINISTER: No. not an experience likIe that.
LAWS: I don't think it's an experience that anybody would like to
go through. I must say that I felt great empathy with you
yesterday having had a similar experience at the hands of others,
and when your family and your children are involved it's pretty
tough to handle.
PRIM4E MINISTER: Yes and you know particularly %,. hen people just
cai know exactly what's involved and you've got to just carry that.
W~ hat Il'Ve-wanted to concenitrate on since I'Ve been in Government;,
and what I want to concentrate on i6 running-the country and turning
Australia around. That's what the important issues are about. Blut
when something like this arises in a matter on which you have tthp
deepest posszible feelings as I do about * th + e issue of drugs, as I
said in my statement, that in one area in which I have to ctruggle
to be rational when I contemplate what I would like to do to
anyone who is involved In drug traffitking. It is just Impossible
to, when you've got intimate eocperiences about this sort of thing,
it produces that sort of situation and it's not something I'm
ashamed of. It's just there. But what I vant to concentrate on,
as I always have, is the important questions of, as~ I s'ay, of
getting this country running, trying to get people back to workr, get
Inflation down.
LAWIS: I wonder if pe-o; pl really,-realiso-howv strongly you do feel
about drugs. ItIG not som-pthin~ g thaZ-you've been open~ y public
about before.
P. 21N) E ?. UNISTER: IVell hUhiud1t~ scene-s I'veD tried to be involved
Odyssey I ' vo given my' suppoirt ther:.. Dut thei-e & Arc-deeply pzcni
thin-.-, in volved. that on--cz-n' t c. o to. ' eyocxiinc -scte
exq) parience of tho and you i~ oithe tr" Cgcdy that's involved
John, it just fivcs youi 6 eptTA of r m;* p ioa rcAbout the 6rug! trade
that unless you Sc., c It l. ethat fir. t hand you c an't no oii unurr; tand and that 1s -, what h-vt*. rei; i-4a deeply the z-ccust1Ol

H61* I ON1tL_ NED I F LI PI SON SER I CE , S'D 2 2Z' 51571R P2
that I would protect people involved in that sort Of business
where in fact, as I say, I have to try and control my rationality
in terms of contemplating what I'd do to anyone that was involved
in it.
LAWIS: Yes, and irrespective of what Costigan ultimately shows,
irrespective of who Costigan may ultimately point to anybody
it wouldn't matter who it was or what it was, you would still
carry the same repulsion to that sort of activity as you woiqld
friend, foe or otherwise;'
PRIME MINISTER: Absolutely John. As I said in my stitement
yesterday: let the cards fall where they my. Whether I know or
don't know, whatever the station in life of the persontpersons
who may through proper processes be brought to book, then not only
no sympathy but you will find this Prime Minister insisting that
it be taken through to the. end.
LAWS: Do you believe that Costigan will show anything worthwhile
in that regard7
PRIME MINISTER: Well it's~ difficult for me to make the conclusion.
All I can say is that in areas of tax avoidance industry Frank
Costigan made a monumental ccritrihution to thE! welfare of this
country. Now there are references in the drug area which he has
handed across to the National Crimes Authority. It's for the
National Crimes Authority now, 014n their examination. and the
inter-governmental committee in their examination to imake the
decision, and I simply thinkt it's not fair for me to either of
those authorities or to any individuals who may be involved for meto
see ex~ ternally timpose my judgement. The only think that I want.
to say John is that I will be insisting not that it will need it
because the National Crimes Authority is composed of three competent
and dedicated me ' n but the absolute insistence that every
investigation that possib). y~ can be made must be made.
LAWS: It seems to mne the Opposition's main thrust has been
allegedly that you cust short Costigan.
PRIME MINISTER: Vell that's timply not the case. Both Mr. Fraser
and myself, both our Governmentshave hade the position that th.) e
work of -the Costigan Royal Commiss,, ion would be subsumed into the
N~ ational Crimes Authority. We have, as a Govern= msnt, almost
doubled the resources available to the Cost. igan crime commission
so that they would have everything available to thenm. We ' ve
extended the time. It is true that Mr. Costigan would have liked
m~ ore time but he spoke with Mr. Young earlier t: his year in the
light of the correspondence between us, and the timetablo. was agreedriot
for finishing tho work of the Costigar, orirr* e commission but
arranging the transition of it to the NFational * Crimes Authority. I
thinl yational Crim'-s Authority you have in M~ r. Justice Stewrxrt a pe_ rSon
who is Tielely reco-nised and respe cted for his capacities-in this
area, And you have the two others, yer and M~ r. Bingham, % who
were unanitnously eridorsncI by all the Governm: nt-s of Australia, afl( 3
that's one of the importauT: things if you are c. oing to male a
I ationzl Crimes Authority z'ork. You have got to have the.
cooperation of the States nnld the State police forces. So vwe
belevetha th sot o th~ iU that was said . John, by fledlich it)
thle special Prosecutors rcpok-t e nr'ly thir, yoar puts tcorcL,
and I referred to this yesl erday: hce talkted ubout the dc-bate as tCo
bow t he 1Natiori CrimeI Au t or ity t. Jiould bQ_ con3. stituted that thcrn
vic. rc diffferent elcir, nts in It. Tlicre was the elcimo: nt of making surc

NATIO~ rPs L't_, IS1O~ iNv SERU ICE. SVD) 2Z31171 p.. 4
PRIME MINISTER: Absolttly ba~ eless. As far as T am concerned
I want the Costigan Report puiblished.. They rre going on and saying
will I publish the Costigan R~ eport. I want it published, and the
only considerations which must apply, and which have applied und-er
their Government with the previous report that they received from
Costigan the majority of which were either not published at all
or were published with deletions that's what happened under
their Government and rightly so because what Roy * al Commissions are
concerned about if they are invest igat ing these sorts of things is
that what they find in their reportings, where it's going to lead
to further* prosecutions,. you shouldn't publish which will inhibit
the capaity of the ongoing Authority to pursue their investigatiocns
and bring people to justice on the one hand, and on the other hand,
the civil liberties of individuals who may te* proved to be innocent.
So there is a constraint upon nams, but let me make it clear that
if those constraints are recommenided.-by Mr. Commissioner Costigan
or the National Crimes -Athority who will see the report, or the
Attorney-Geeral's Department or hMr.* Temby, if then there are those
deletions of names for reasons recomax-nded by those who have to
udnertake the inquiry M~ r. Peacock as Leader of the . Opposition will
be given the unabridged report. there is no question of hiding
anything. The Leader of the Opposition will get the full report
but there may be, because of the instructions of Mr. Costigan and
those concerned, be a deletion of names for the public interest
so that
LAWS: But that's normal procedure.
PRIME MdINISTER: That's exactly all the previous Costigan reports
that went to the previous Government they were either not publis.-jed
at all or there were, on the strict recommendation of those
concerned, the deletion of parts which, if published, could hinder
future inquiries and prosecutions.
LAWS: Now Andrew Peacock must have been aware of that.
LAWS: W~ hy did he then endeavour to make something unpleasant from
PRIME MAINISTER: A very simple answer you ask yourself how far
Mr. Peacock or the Opposition has addressed Itself to the economy
in the last 12 months. 71e sit on that front bench and wait in vain
for questions about the ec -onomy because the performance of this
Government has been--r so outstanding. 1 ': e've achieved a turnaround
from where they had this economy in recession to the point now
vzhore w,. e've achieved in tho lasc year the strongest economic growith
of any country in the western w,, orld -the hightest and a situation
where w,, e've created a quarter of' a million ncew jobs against toe -i
quarter of a million that were loz Government; where we've more th. n halved the inflation rat--; where
we've brought interest, ravtes downi; wimhre retacil sales are now
moving upwards; whiere private Invectn' 2nt is piching up; rhere Y ~ c
deregulated the fina-ncial s; ector to giv'e great competition in tz
banking system which %-. ill ' 00 Of tienefit to the people. Now these
are the things that wel'v n; OUC Whi'ch in everyday terms raean that
Australia is becoming stcosdily bettcr place for all Austrnl. 44. ns,
JyLl; J itltle wonder thnat g-t ino U& tOA in that area. So ; h'
do desperate r,: n do when the y can't attach You, they can't ird
any cracks in your p erfo: 2UmvnCO-in the rXunning OIL the economy
do.-perafe won do desperate thingf3.

I. I4iTXONAFL-MEDIAi LIt" ISON . RIEr" 22~~ 1F.,
LAWIS: But why is it i" ve not ' eard of it happeoning anywhere else
in the world you're far morre wordly than 1: an* maybe you have.
PRIME MINISTER: I don't know about that John.
LAUS: The denigration of a human being simply because he's
successful seema to be the easy out in Australia. It doesn't
matter in what area, the tall poppy has got to be struck down, and
in the dirtiest way with accusations of drugs and hidden money
and unpleasantries. Why does it happen in Australia.
PRIME MINISTER: Well it seems to be a part of the pattern of
conservative politics here of no & ontgo issues. You remember
in the earlier days -the attack upon the Labor Party was not upon
policies it was the commy can kick the commy can -now that's
gone out of fashion. Perhaps people-are a bit more sophisticate.
now because they undersfgand the truth of Australian politics and
it looke a bit silly attacking Hawke as a cormunist sympathiser.
So you can't attacl. Labor leaders on the basis of tney are coinmy
sympathisers or something like that. So instead of commies it's
crooks now. Now I said yesterday John and I repeat it here on your
program, I understand the' rough and tumble of politics, I engage in
it, but I have consistently said from the day I entered the
. Parliament that I would never say anything in the Parliament that
I wasn't prepared to say outside and X have religiously adhered
to that.. Now it seems to me that ther,? are limits and the
Australian people expect limits to thi~ s rough and tumble of
debate and Mr. Peacock has gone beyond that limit when he calls me
a crook and that I associate with criminals. and that I'm direceted
by criminals and that in the conten~ t whbere he knows that the major
area that's involved in these investigations is drugs. Now to
accuse the Prime Minister of this country of being-directed by
criminals to try and protect those engaged in the drug traf fic*,
as I said yesterday, that's not the gutter of' politics, that is
the sewer.
LAWS: They now say, the Opposition, today that you've dished out
plenty and obviously you can't take it. I think John Howard said
you had a glass jaw when it came to this sort of thing.
PRIME MINISTER: Well I don't believe I've got a glass jaw but Irn
not in the businers of defending my emotions and rpy character ist ics.
I'm inade the way I am for better or, for wiorse. Thore are son(-,
aupects of may rL. keup that at times embarrass me but I've al%,. ays
been one John who felt, whether Wt5 in regard to yourself or any
other aspect of life, thnrp's not much point spending time
wishing that something else may have been difierent b--cau-e
that is the iyost fruitless exercise in humiin existence to waste
time-on trying to undo things th-at can't be-undone. Vhat people In
life must do, if they arc commiltted to public life, is to try arid
concentrate their energ. ies, 3 upon chiangiing thin,-s and imnproving thirg. s
that can be changed and can be-improved. !\ Tow I Just draw this
distinction which I would hope John Hc\ w. ard woild tanderstand
I will criticioe arid I'l1 be a toug-h criticise:-r of my opponents,
or of roiy friends : Tor thatl matter, it' -7 think -they bave acted
improparly, un'wisely -but 1 don't think thbat the wholoe of ny
record would display any ocsonin) ,. hich I hav'e without
fondtinquestioncd the b-, z-ic chjavacter of pmrson and I Just
ta). c thle view John that tl'ero iL, no fouler a~ n that can b-2 made
upon -Inyone than to say % iItnhso ctccr Jiminals and is di.-: cted
by criminals to protect cinasrticilkr lit 11n respect of tile
drul, trt6o-. I mw-ean I jukt an' tink of -a ny moure re pulsivc

unacceptable attack and if I respond with emotion to that attackZso
be it and particularly in the circumstances ih which I find
myself placed.
LAWS: You said that there are facen. s of yot'r makeup that somextiAmes
. embarrass you.
PRIME MINISTER: It just seems to be in my nature that my emotions
show more easily perhaps than a lot of people in public life. Now
it's always been the case. There is nothing that I can do about
it. I wish obviously that the makeup was different at timea* It
can be somewhat embarrassing. I'm not exporessing shame or any
of tbat sort, of thing. but obviously there is a degree of
embarrassment about it. I accept thlt. B3ut as I say I don't
waste time thinking about it, I want to get on with as I have
since the day I became Prime Miniister I want to get on ' with the
commitment of trying to make Australia a better place. I believe
that we have an enormous number of runs on the board already John.
I want to keep accumulating and piling thbose runs up on the bo: ard
for Australia.-
LAWS: I said to you earlier and I said it yesterday and I said
it this morning and I'd' say it again, a mnan who becomes Prir.:. !! iniste7
of a country is * a man wiho requires a modicum of ego, you don?' t
become Prime Minister Unless you are pretty sure of yourself.
:' nIME MINISTER: Yes I accept that.
LAWS: And I think thFat for a man to be prepared to throw aside his
opinion of himself in order to express an opinibn tha-t he has for
people that be loves takes a great deal of character, more
character than % pe-rbaps a lot of people realise.
LAWIS: And I hope your family give you the love that they should
give you and the love you deserve w! hen you' re prepared to throw your
owin ego out the door in order to defend-. them.
PRUIE M~ INISTER: There is no lack of love In that direction, it's
very much a two-way relationship.
LAW7S: Vhat did your wife say when you got home last night?
PRILRE MINISTER: Uazel is on her way back from Western Australi.
and we've only been able to trAlk on the phone John. She'll ha
joining = o here in Sydney later on this afternoon. We ' ve got a
lot to talkc abcut, Sho, more tLan anyone in the world vr~ derst-a-s
the nature of the e, 7pe), ience that I referred to, and I ' in loc; 1, i1g
fort'ard so uch to being able to tall: with her. She you know,
totally supportive as you'd. expect, f-nd I'm just looking forwi.. ard
to seeing her again.
LAW7S: And giviNg her a big
PRIE INYRSTiER: ( aghs) YCes, O".-actly.
LAWS: Oka,-y, I shan't hoo,, p you t. ny longer. I thank you. ve).-y
for fulfilling the obiaio htyou dzidn ' t hav'c to fulfi-i
cozn2 and tp, 11 to mce thi. 3 i~ orni-, a-f te a. pretty tough dayye K'
! IeSlt1Ri: t vras tot,.-IL Job'n, yea, but you'veoLc.~
enough to sFay ( 3omn gec: 701us thinr, L-d it's liot a mutual yCu"

in one anothers pockets', but theie is ro one I respect more in this
area of communications than y-urself and I'm . ery pleased to be
LAWS: Hope things are good for the faiaily. I hope I see you soon.
PRIE MINISTER: Thanks very much John.
ENDS 000o000---

Transcript 6480