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Referendum Issues



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^ P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

a ί H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

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COM M ONW EALTH PA R L IA M EN T O F F IC E S 4 0 0 F U N D E R S S T R E E T M E L B O U R N E . VICTORIA 3 0 0 0

. TEL. 6 2 2 S 2 I .

THE HON. MALCOLM FRASER, M.P

PRESS RELEASE

22nd February, 1974.

In this morning's "Sun", Mr. Gordon Barton, National Convenor of the Australia Party, would appear to '

have broken a confidence in reporting the alleged substance of a private conversation. That in itself

says something about the ethics of the Australia Party.

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I am sick and tired of people outside the Liberal Party trying to suggest that the Liberal Party is divided into factions and that there is a conflict within the Party between those alleged to be on the

right or left of Liberal Party politics.

This is an old device designed to weaken and damage

the Liberal Party, designed to destroy our capability of forming a cohesive force that alone enables us to form a Government, as we believe in the best

interests of a progressive and dynamic Australia.

The tactic will not succeed. We are all working with

Mr. Bill Snedden in the strongest and most effective way for the overthrow of a Government that we believe

is quite disastrous for Australia. That is a firm and implacable resolution which all members of the

Liberal Party hold.

Mr. Barton's alleged report, together with a resolution

shortly to be debated at the Liberal Party State Council, both raise the question of relationship between

the Liberal Party and the Australia Party.

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I would have preferred to keep my remarks to the State

Council, but today's report makes it necessary to set

forward my views on the Australia Party now.

I am principally concerned with the great issues of

defence and foreign policy where the Liberal Party has always stood for cooperative arrangements with

other like-minded countries which best secure our .

independence. This is a great issue Of principle, in which the policies of the Australia Party and of the

Liberal. Party are irreconcilable.

The words of the Liberal Party resolution ask us to .

establish a cooperative foundation in electoral and

policy matters with the Australia Party. That is

not possible because major principles and fundamental policies are utterly opposed. . .

— Our—de-f enee—and—fe-r-e-ign- -po-l-i ey—involve s -pa rt-i c-ipa t i on

in regional defence arrangements, particularly with ■ the United States and the United Kingdom and in the Five Power arrangements.

We believe in the articles of the ANZUS Treaty which

require us to work jointly with the United States to

preserve our mutual security and which, at the same time, require us singly to do what we can to preserve and

secure our independence and freedom. The Australia Party is oppose^ to these policies.

The Australia Party is against stationing any Australian forces overseas. It would not support any military,

activity beyond our shores unless it was a United

Nations decision. The Australia Party wants immediate

withdrawal from SEATO and ANZUS - not even the. Labor

Party would go that far. Their policy is entirely

isolationist and involves the complete repudiation

of old friends.

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The crucial base in the North West Cape would not have been established under their policy. These

are fundamental differences.

To implement such policies would involve a complete

break with past and present Liberal attitudes. It

would involve the end of cooperation with near neighbours to the North, with Britain, and with

America, under .ANZUS. .

Continued cooperation with like-minded countries to

our north and with America and Britain is incontestably right for Australia.

How can there be any cooperative foundation on policy

matters when there is such a deep-seeded difference on this issue? ...._____ ____=___ . - . = ^__

In recent times, we have been reminded of the

unsettled world. In the Middle East; in Chinese gunboat diplomacy; in the expulsion of Solzhenitsyn. The general attitudes of the Soviet and of China have not changed.

These arguments will be put to the State Council when

it meets and I hope it rejects the resolution firmly

as did the Young Liberals at their National Convention when it met in Melbourne two or three Weeks ago.

At a time of the leader's choosing, our new platform

and policies will be progressively announced. They will indicate that we are applying the principles of our Party to the needs of 1974 and beyond.

For example, our new industrial platform and policy

for which I have some responsibility, will indicate

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that we believe a new relationship needs.to be

established between employees and employers in relation to what happens on the shop floor.

We are working with Mr. Snedden to reestablish sane

and responsible Government in Australia. This is

the overwhelming cry of a majority of Australians. We cannot do it if fundamental principles and .

policies are compromised for the expediency of

support from a Party committed to making us

change our policies and committed to views so alien to our interests. .