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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 9680


Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 02/08/1995

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 9680

TEL: 2 RAug .954: 06 No .012 P. 01
2 AUGUST 1995
J: Prime Minister, Fred Daly died today.
PM: Yes. I was very sad about that Fred was a great Labor person, a
great soldier, a great supporter of the Labor faith. He carre to the
Parliament in 1943, he saw the last years of the War, he was in the
Chifley Government, and, of course, he was a Minister in the Whitlam
Government. And he was one of those people who kept the
continuity between Labor Governments you know, the link between
Curtin and Chifley, to Whitlam, and then on to the rest of us. And
throughout his retirement, of course, he encouraged other Australians
to understand the Parliament, and the Government, but most
especially the Labor Party. I know his family will be very distressed
at his loss, as will many-Labor people.
J: Prime Minister, what are you saying about your other Labor colleague
in Western Australia?
PM: Just that he's the clown we have in Western Australia. John H-oward
has a circus over there...
J: What would you like to see done?
PM: I object to people speaking to racist, anti-Semitic organisations like
the League of Rights. And he has persisted in doing this, and it
reflects poorly on'the Labor Party, and I have made that position
clear in the past.
J: ( inaudible) spoken to ' Campbell lately?
PM: No.

TEL: 2. Ru9.95 4: 06 No. 012 P. 02
J: Have you taken his comments about you personally?
PM: Its been on before you know this is not the first time.
J: Can you intervene?
PM: I have got a Party that has got mature structures. I don't have to
scurry away like John Howard did from Perth. You know, I saw
John Howard in Sydney at the Miss Saigon show the premiere on
Saturday night, and I said ' Clark Kent must have grabbed you from
behind a curtain how did you get here on time?". He must have left
that Western Australian conference at such a speed, leaving what
Reg Withers calls a civil war behind him. You see, what's on in the
Western Australian Liberal Party is something akin to what was on in
the Labor Party in the 1950s it's a major party split. This is not an
altercation this is a major party row a major split. And that, I think.
Is a real burden for the Liberal Party that in one of its States they
are completely at war.
J: Are you concerned Graeme Campbell has taken attention away from
the Liberal split?
PMV: I think that the Liberal split is so great that it will take more than even
Graeme Campbell's eccentricities to divert attention away from it.
J: But it must be a burden to you?
PM: I am terribly burdened here this morning. I'm just broken-hearted
just grief-stricken.
J: Are you concerned over the escalating diplomatic row with France?
PM; I'm concerned to see that the French understand the Australian
protest, and they are starting to register that now. And the recall of
the Abassador is, I think, recognition of the fact that the
Government's protest and indeed, the protest of all Australians has
been registered in France. Now, it's effecting now French business
with the region, it is affecting French standing in the region, and the
French don't like it. But we don't like their capricious decision to
continue to detonate nuclear weapons.
J: Is there any problem in this protest excluding a company? is it
breaking the law for political reasons?
PM: No. You can't... mean, what offends us about France is that it is a
u" 11iUU1rdcy. * TOU expect. aemocracies to Denave Dexter inan artronting
smaller nations, and doing it particularly in this way outside it's own
metropolitan area. So, I think, this sort of admonition is the price the
French are going to have to wear.

TEL: 2. Ru9.95 4: 06 No. 012 P. 01'
J: Prime Minister, do you have any expectations the French will
PM. I'm not sure I'm not sure what they will do. But there is a lot of
reaction as well in Europe, and now North America as well, about the
French decision, and we saw President Chirac in the European
Parliament being affronted by a protgM rdI-ink we are going to
see more of that.
J: Are you concerned that Australia won't have a French Ambassador
PMV: he's been recalled I don't know how long he has been recalled for.
J: Are there going to be further protests by Australia?
PM; We will be registering as we have now as the Labor Party has all
through the 1 980s, we registered our opposition to nuclear testing in
the Pacific, and we will keep it up.
J ( inaudible). . price we are going to have to pay?
PM: I'm not sure what the French will do.
J: They have indicated now they are considering their options?
PM: Okay. But I mean, let them be judged by what they do.
J: ( inaudible).. . will there be consideration now of sending a ( frigate)?
IPM: You send a frigate if you want, . you send a Naval ship for Naval
business, And I don't want to see an Australian Naval ship be turned
away by a French frigate with our tail between our legs. I mean, if
you send a Naval frigate out there, you would send it out there to do
Naval things. Now, I don't think the Australian community want an
Australian ship firing on a French ship, so therefore we won't be
sending a frigate.
J: Senator Ray has hinted that further action against
companies... .( inaudible)...?
PM:. We will be doing more. But I think we are continuing to see what we
might best do to continue to register our protest, and that's obviously
because this Is going to be a rolling matter, we will be considering
these things in that context.
J: Are you worried about the slide in the latest polls?

TEL: 2. Ruy. 95 4: 06 No. 012 P. 04~
PMV: Oh well I mean there is only ohe poll that matters, that is on election
J: Prime Minister, what are the things Australia could do about it?
PM; Well there is a heap of things and we have mentioned some of them
before. But there is no point here, I don't think, running through them
J. Mr Keating what is it like to be back in Queensland?
PM: I Oh I don't know whether you should say that. I mean the Labor Party
has won. There's that story about Eddie Ward. He walked out of the
ballot room and they said " How did you go? He said, " I walked in".
" What was your majority?" " One." So I mean the fact is who is the
Premier Vpyjn Goss. And I think that the strength that the Goss
Government has brought to the Queensland economy is going to be
well recognised over time and to Its society and certainly with the
Federal Government. Queensland has been one of the great growth
States of Australia and that is coming off the policies of two
Labor Governments. And I mean I think this is what is going to matter
In the end. That is, where the recognition will be.
J: Don't you have to turn Queensland around before you..
PM; I I have never accepted Federal implications.
J: Not necessarily out of Queensland, but as it stands?
PM: The greatest Federal implication in Queensland is there is a Federal
Press Gallery which must find a Federal implication in every matter
that is, the Federal implication.
J: So you are rejecting the notion that you are on the nose here. in
PM: Well the thing is I could have answered all these questions in the
same way, put In the same cycle, at the last Parliament and, I think,
you know, the questioners got their answer on polling day.
J: When are you going to call an election?
PM: Well I have answered that question on umpteen occasions.
J: farmers...
PM:. Whether it is translated Jntd votes, or not, I don't think is singularly
Important. What is important is whether the rural community, whether
the farm community, farming families in Australia, can maintain their
viability through a period of prolonged drought. I mean I think that is

T4E: 0L6.: 925N. o R. u0 12
the thing which the Graingrowers, Ian ._ Mc~ arlane, under his
leadership, and others have s hUo the ederalGovernment and as
I have said, we have now got around $ 600 million coming into this
program. We have got 5,500 farm families getting income support and
it Is. I think, I hope in areas of particularly exceptional drought
circumstances holding the rural community together. I hope that Is
the case. If we get follow up rains, I mean nothing will break the
drought better than rain, not income from the Federal Government.
But the Government Is there to do its part. To help the farm
community in general and graingrowers keep their families together
and keep their farms together through this period of prolonged
drought, which is now quite exceptional five years in some cases. So
I am hoping It helps and that we get the follow-up rains. I think this is
the sort of partnership that matters. It Is not a case of simply listening.
I made the point, good governments listened and bad governments
listened. But itIs what is actually done. I think what we saw here was
a large change In policy which is working, which was put together
cooperatively by rural organisations and the Federal Government, the
Labor Government. And I am very pleased about it and very proud of
ends TEL 2 Rug .95

Transcript 9680