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Prime Minister's letter to the Treasurer and Treasurer's reply



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M RS W A R W IC K Jfe* v

:·'?> -.-7.- J-t-Λ ·. .

I " ' * ; ' ' - y ' ·· 'y-;: r " M KRMZ ;

-Ύ·*Ζ

Pr im e M in i s'» to

Canberra

18 November, 1977,

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I received your letter today and 1 can understand the very great issues that must have weighed in your mind in coming to the decision contained in your letter* , i

It grieves me greatly that you have Kelt the necessity to write such a fetter- 1 recognise the over-riding interest you place on the continuation of the government that you have served so well and.so ablyf and with such strength over two difficult years *

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I believe that the letter you have written comes from a person who is determined to act with that sense of integrity on which so much of our public system depends, but which the public so often does not find, in people in public places» You have acted

selflessly and hpnourably in offering to stand aside as 'treasurer and Minister for Finance. In plain terms, you have put the interests of your country and your party ahead of your own at a time of deep personal distress and in circumstances of

unusual difficulty because of your hospitalisation*

I accept the view that you have put to me that this matter must be resolved. I also accept your view with extreme sadness that the proper course is for you to stand aside b u t , in so doing, T want to r e - a f f i m my confidence in you. It is si matter of

great regret that you have relinquished your portfolios at a time when the positive results of the economic policy you have so ably administered are becoming apparent-1 appreciate the extent to which your action is directed towards

the maintenance of the complete integrity of the Government* In a quieter non-election atmosphere 1 believe these matters can be properly resolved to meet this objective in a manner satisfactory to me as Prime - Minister and to rny commitment to the Australian public, and which will enable your return to

the Ministry as Treasurer,

I warmly look forward to that time.

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IB Hovewher. H i / ? .

Hy d e a r P rim e M in is t e r , .

I w r i t e t o l e t you know t>? rsy v e ry g re a t ixm cern a t th e unfounded

a lle g a t io n s t h a t have baen ewtUt In recent cays aiiout th e fIn a n e .Is 1

in t e r e s t s o f m y s e lf and my t is h lly .

As' you must tm d e rs ta n d , 1 have been pet-MwiaHy d is tre s s e d by I he innuendos o m i s h e a rs th a t have beat» dlrxeV ed nr/ w ife an if

m y s e lf „ Thu s it u a t io n b&v teven a l \ the store d lf C f c u lt in v ie w

o f my h o s p it a l 1 s a tlo n o ye r th e pest· e ig h t days d u rin g w h ith tipse

i have , f o r th e most f i e r i , been under s e d a tio n o f scsss for@,

I s h o u ld a 1 so stimt lo b th e v r o r r le i w h Ith i have f o r th e s a fe ty

o f my fm u ly who have boon ί ho ta rg e t o f death th ro a ts o r H m g

ire m ί he & \ i ega 11 on?; i p w h ic h .!, havn re fe rre d , .

1 want t o & In th e e ie e ro M o f te rn s f hist I have* h r a i l

I i mas Of: te d w it h p r o p r ie t y Ohil d isch a rg e d rsy M in i s te r Ι θ ΐ d u tie s

in a rt-s p -o n s ih lfr and p ro p e r ovmner. 1 know o f n o tM n g t h a t

w o u ld c a l l in t o q u e s tio n i»y in t e g r i t y . In p a r t 1 c o lo r i have

84 no tim e u se d , o r sought, t o u s^i » y M in is te r ie # p o s-iH e ft a s

a iiifu-ms o f f u r t h e r in g ih e f in a n c ia l in te r e s ts o f m y s e lf o r nry

i a*y Π y > At e l l fi& o f. I have Issued uxpl l e f t 1 fis t r u c tio n s to

th o s e o f my f I n d ic ia ) and le g a l a d v is e rs th a t have a c te d f o r

me t h a t o n y U n d e rta k in g s e n te re d in f o by @e o r on my bcd)#i f

must be s c ru p u lo u s In t h e ir a d h e re n ts to le g a l and ctsfsserci&l

s ta n d a rd s .

T h e re has unquest fo n a b ly been a Very determ ined e f f o r t by o u r

ρκι 1 ί t i ex> I o p p o n e n ts end by seam sect Ions o f five m edia t o c a r r y .

(mi· an " e x e c u tio n w ith o u t t r i a l " based cm 1 nnuendo and h u t on

any s p e c i f i c o r f a c tu a l 1 y based nhyrga. Such charges· as have

ht.tm made have Η&ά th e p r o te c tio n o f P a rlia m e n ta ry p r iv ile g e

and, in my own vi&W , htaount t o b gross abuse o f th a t co n c e p t.

. * ,/2

Ho one h sb br o u g h t f o r w a r d op e n ly , end w i t h o u t the p r o t e c t i o n o f

p v i v i le g e , any civs r g e o r a l l e g a t i o n t h a t cos in doubt on my I n t e g r i t y

o r on t h a t o f my fomi1>\ 1 make I t c l e a r t h s t in r e f e r r i n g t o t h s

media i e n t i r e l y n t c e p t t h e p u b l i c <$U1 ic>Btion which i t has t o . p r o b e

t h e s e m a t t e r s w i t h o u t f e a r o r f a v o u r /$nd 1 take the v ie w t h a t ,

i n g e n e r a l , l have no cause f o r comp 1 s i n t from t h i s q u a r t e r .

.* ’

1 have o f ho t i m e w i t h h e l d from you the n a t u r e o f my p e c u n ia ry

I n t e r e s t s and I t has at a l l times been open t o you t o seek f u r t h e r

i n f o m a t i o n f r o w me o r t o l e t me know t h a t n.y statement o f a f f a i r s

was not- c o n s i s t e n t , In yo ur view, w i t h my M i n i s t e r i a l re spews i h i 11 t i e s .

h t accordance w i t h your l e t t e r t o me o f 13 Jnnusry 19'/ο con c e rn \n g

t h e ίn a t t e r o f p u b l i c d ut y and p r i v a t e I n t e r e s t s of M i n i s t e r s , i w r o t e

t o you on 10 Fe br ua ry 1 y"/6, · {n t h a t l e t t e r i ' .

!nd i ceiled t h a t I h e l d no di r e c t o r s h i p s in p u b l i c o r p r i v a t e r.cknpnnles;

had no s h a r e h o l d i n g s o r b e n e f i c i a l i n t e r e s t s in s u t b o t h e r t h a n t h o "

1616 o r d i n a r y Shares in Aldus L t d , b e n e f i c i a l l y owned by my m ot h er ;

r e c e i v e d no income frem pe.rs(?h^f e x e r t i o n ot h e r {hen t h a t l a i d ’

down AS roy remmerist io n as a M i n i s t e r and Remix-, r or Par) i ament, ond

r e c e i v e d no sponsored t r a v e l . 1 de cl ar ed t i m my r e s id e n c e h>

Den 1 storm Avenue, Mount E1i z a , was owned j o i n t l y by my w i f e end "

m y s e l f .

In my l e t t e r i 91 so Informed you o f my f a m i l y ' s i n t e r e s t in t h e

D o r o t h y l , Lynch T r u s t , o f which i am n o t a tenaf i c l a r y o r t r u s t e e ;

t h a t t h e muhagemant o f t h e whole of t h e T r u s t 1;; Huhiness a c t i v h . l u s

war. c a r r i e d o u t by I r i s h Young t Duthwaite through t h r e e p r i v a t e

companies wh 1 c h " t~Mamed} " " t h a t I had not a t any t $me been a share·.*· h o l d e r in th o s e companies; t h a t the companies ! business tompr.isod

p a r t i c i p a t i o n in a j o i n t v e n t u r e conce rnIhg & pa rc el o f r e s i d e n t i a l

l o n d a t B a l n o r r i n q , and t h a t i t was ,=ny under,standing t h a t th e rem ai nd er

o f t i l l s itihd would bo s o l d by 30 June 1976.

You w i l l a l s o r e c a l l t h a t , in con cl udi ng my l e t t e r , i i n d i c a t e d t h a t

l knew o f ho p r i v a t e I n te re s t s ; t h a t might reasonably he h e l d t o he i n .

c o n f l i c t w i t h my p u b l i c duty any t h a t i would be pleased t o d i s c u s s

my' s t a t e m e n t o f a f f a i r s w i t h you should you ;,o wish.

{ s u b s e q u e n t ! y com pli ed w i t h your l e t t e r o f 10 bepfember lf)7& I n wh ic h

you osketi t h a t M i n i s t e r s r e v ie w t h e i r s t a tc m ci tlso f pecur.ltiry i n t e r e s t s

o t s i x m o n t h l y i n t e r v a l s t o in c lu d e s i g n i f i c a n t changes.

C u r l i e r t h i s week ! I n s t r u c t e d my accountants I r i s h Young C Outhwa ito

t o p r e p a r e a sta te m en t f o r me in r e l a t i o n t o the f i n a n c i a l i n i e v o s t n o f

m y s e l f and my f a m i l y . Mai 1esons were r e t a i n e d f o p r o v id e an Independent

a n a l y s i s o f t h e t r a n s a c t i o n s . , -At t h o t tim e i o i s o gave u n q u a l i f i e d

a u t h o r i t y t o I r i s h Young £ Ouihwa!te t o r e le a se any I n f o r m a t i o n in

r e l a t i o n t o t h e f i n a n c i a l i n t e r e s t s o f myst-H and tny f a m i l y i n t h e .

e v e n t t h a t t h e y wished t o tniske a p u b l i c statement-

;./s

- 3 ·

As a r e s u l t o i t h e s e a c t i o n s two days ago I r i s h Young L O u t h w a l t e

I s s u e d ?> s t a t e m e n t i n He Ϊ bourn O'. That st atement s a i d , i n t e r t i i t a ,

t h a t t h e p a r t n s t i v were no t aware o f any I rasmaci ion t h a t , i n t h e i r

o p i n i o n , c a s t doubt on t h e i n t e g r i t y of m y s e l f , my w i f e , o r a n y o i l i e r

fbcrifibors o f my f a mi l y . Y e s t e r da y 1 ' r e c e i v e d a d v i c e s 'from I vi«,h Young

t O u t h w a i t e and f r o m Ha l l e s o n s f o l l o w i n g t he Ι ηί , ί t'UC t I Out i s s u e d t o

l h v$n «3 day e a r l i e r by me. ! i n s t r u c t e d Ha) I {-sons l υ να i i e d i r e c t t o

yo n c o n f i r m i n g t i i e a d v i c e r e c e i v e d by ire, i tun a d v i s e d i hut t h i s was.

v o t e d a x e d t o you a t 5* 3 0 jsn t oday end a copy i s n l ! ached f o r y o u r

r e c o r d s . 1 have now exumsned those a d v i c e s , 1 am s a t i s f i e d , w i t h o u t

a n y qua ! 1 f s c o t I o n whsl so e v e r, t h a t no i n s t a n c e ν ' i mpi opi i e t y on rhy

b e h a l f , o r o n be ha i f o f members o f my fs$»Hy, i s c a n t o i hc.d in t h e

l e t t e r s , w r i t t e n t o me y e s t e r d a y by t hose f i r m s . i ha v e , however, o f f e r

i h e most c a r e f u l t h ou g h t deci ded t h a t f w i l t not f o r w a r d t o you, o r

r e l e a s e p u b l i c l y , t h es e p a r t i c u l a r l e t t e r s . i t i s q u i l t ; c l e a r t o tne t h a t

p u b l i c a t i o n o f f u r t h e r m a t e r i a l i n t he pr esen t p o l i t i c a l c l i m a t e , '

n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g t h a t no p a r i o f St c o n t a i n s any e h u i y e o f i m p r o p r i e t y

a g a i n s t me, c o u l d o n l y l e a d t o c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h e c u r r e n t a t t a c k s or,

me. i have s t a t e d tP t h i s l e t t e r my f i r m b e l i e f in i h e i n t e g r i t y o f

my own a c t i o n s , a f t e r c a r e f u l s t udy. fi nd t h o u g h t , and l ;>-n p r e p a r e d

t o s t a n d on my own word. t do, however, propose. t o r e lt - e se c o p i e s o f

t h e l e t t e r sent d i r e c t l y t o you t oday by Bi*)U·sons because I b e l i e v e

t h a t i t s t erms s h o u l d be ΰ m a t t e r o f public- r e c o r d at t h i s r i m e .

I .now w i s h t o I n f o m you i hst f in t h e I n t e r e s t s (if my P a r t y and t h e .

c o l l e a g u e s w i t h w I k ® $ have served over many y e a r s , i am p r e p a r e d t o

S t and a s i d e as “t r e a s u r e r I n t h e pr esent Covem-i nuit. i do not make

t h i s d e c i s i o n l i g h t l y . i t i s e p a i n f u l dec.it, ion fc>r me p v r s o n a H y ,

e s p e c i a l l y g i v e n my v i e w t h a t i have ser ved t he n a t i o n anti s u c c e s s i v e

L i b e r a l Lord N a t i o n a l C o u nt r y F a t l y b o y e m o e n t :> w i t h l o y a l l y and w i t h

d e d i c a t i o n .

I am p r e p s r e d t o v e s t on t h e r e co r d t h a t i have u s i t i h t 1 sited as y

H - i h l s f e r , i c a n n o t - o v e r l o o k t he W i d e r n a t i o n a l I n t e r e s t i n f a v o u r

o f my own p e r s o n a l p o s i t i o n o r , indeed, t he f e e l i n g s o f my f a m i l y .

I t o n l y r e ma i n s f o r me t o w i sh you and my co) longues we I 1 d u r i n g

t h e c r i t i c a l t h r e e weeks b e f o r e u s , i om c o n f i d e n t t h a t my a c t i o n

I n s t on d i n g a s i d e as T r e a s u r e r w i l l pi event t he A u s t r a l i a n p e o p l e

g o i n g t o ( he jk > 1 1 on q u i t e i h e wrong issue*. ami in n p oi s ono us

a t ia a s p l t e r e , .

Youri, s i n c e r e } y ,

. (PHILI IF LYHCH)

The R t. I t a u HaU.olm F r a s e r , C.H ., H , P , t

Frime H i n t f t t e r , ^

Far 1 i ament House, CANBCftHA. 2COD