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Transcript of doorstop interview: RAAF Fairbairn: 17 November 1993: APEC; Mabo



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PRIME MINISTER

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P J KEATING, MP DEPARTURE DOORSTOP, SEATTLE, RAAF FAIRBAIRN 17 NOVEMBER 1993

E&OE PROOF COPY

J: Mr Keating are you surprised that Warren Christopher has been using APEC as some form of .....

PM: Well America has got $300 billion of its trade in the Pacific and $200 billion in the Atlantic. The $200 billion is growing slowly, the $300 billion is growing rapidly. So, I think he is just pointing it out. He is really saying to Europeans don't be so pre-occupied with yourselves to think that America doesn't have any other options.

J: Do you take that as a good sign that someone like Warren Christopher is taking APEC this seriously on the ...?

PM: APEC is a very big thing, a very big historic thing. It is focussing America's interests in the Asia-Pacific and making it clear that it does have options and Europeans shouldn't be so smug about their policies.

J: What are you hoping for Australia out of the meeting in Seattle?

PM: Well the fact that we are even there. The fact that the thing is on. This is the most historic meeting I think any Australian Prime Minister has been to, certainly since the war. That is, that a grouping of half the world, the leaders of half the world's production, China, Japan, the

United States, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, I mean it is an enormous thing.

J: Are you confident that Australia will come away with some great benefits?

PM: I think we will come away with adding our weight, as we already have, to the creation of APEC and some more authority to its work.

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTAR Y LIBRARY MICAH

J: Mr Keating, what do you think of Richard Court's warning that a

division between the Commonwealth and Western Australia over Mabo could lead to the break up of the federation?

PM: Break up of what?

J: The federation.

PM: Don't believe any of that malarkey. That is just nonsense. The fact is the National Farmers' Federation has even deserted Mr Richard Court today, and Dr Hewson. This is going to be a real test for the Liberal Party, whether the moderate sensible liberal thinking people of the

Party have a place, or whether the new right romper stompers run the game inside the Liberal Party. Mabo is a real conscience test for the Liberal Party, and you can see where one relatively conservative organisation, the NFF, has gone and it has left them right behind.

Thank you.