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Text of letter to Mr Grange. Australian Olympic Committee



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Text-of letter from Prime Minister to Mr. G r a n g e , Australian Olympic Committee

1 am writing to ; > . < ■ ! v.i se you officially of the

Covernrocnt * c views on the holding of tin.- XK.T.X Olympic Games

in Moscow, .

Yon will tc aware that the Government takes a most

serious view of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan an3 regards

.it as

Jt til so. believes that the great majority of -Australians would want

thei.^ Government to express in strong terms- our complete opposition

fco the actions of the Soviet Government.

if he Covernment considers that one - of the most telling

ways in which the opposi Lion of A u s t r a l i a .and other independent-

nations to the Soviet notions can be expressed^ parfcicularly to

the people oi the U.S.S.R, is by an effective boycott ojE the- 1980

Olympic Gaines in Moscov? by the Olympic Comma ΐ tecs of those nations

.Gtar.cp Olympic Conufti t tee urging it in con se 11 a v i on with

Olympic Commit Lee that if Soviet: troops do not xo.'l Xy

Vii thdra.v? f γοπι hfphanistsn v,ex thin the next month,

llo^caw w.· 11 become an unsvJLt.cibli·: site for a icst.iw>l

mea n t to celebrate peace and goodwill. In the event

that Soviet troops did not v?ithdyav.' that time

he -ortjord" the t),S .O .C « i:o propo.se: that the Games be

. · Our Government raker a similar view and J am

writing on its behalf to a;sk tbv$ t the Austro lion Olympic

Cosynittee goir» wiL); li,S,0,C. a.no other bgtlorml Olympic

CO/ereit'tces to express to the X r= t c:r η a t i o; > a 1 Olympic

Committee the strong view ttiafc .11" ..Soviet troops do not

vo! their so f;S suggested/ Moscow v i A1 become unsuitable as

a Vsitre and that the Games sbTovhfd be tra.nsf or red to another

: . _ . ■

site or sites or be crmcel led £ ox this year . '

It is U«e Government1 ? - belie f that, the buy trail ;ro

.fully understand its rei ve ha nee to propose such a SvT.ious

course but it is quite κΛίΓίΰίjrrei that, ir» the event nt

the continued occupation of Jifghanistan by t he U

sri effective boycott o : the Gtimes will bring home to the

Russian Covermrier.t and people perhaps in a way no

other .'step could, the great seriousness in the eyes of

independent Nations of the steps the U . -S, S - R . Isas taken

X would also 3 ike to assure you of the Government *s

confinuen support of the principles underlying the Olympic

G a m e s . This year the Covernra'ent has agreed to contribute

$700,000 to the Olympic appeal bt- . g a cheque for fcbe. balance

Of $500,000 will be handed over later this week - Whatever

• \ , . ' ·

h a p p e n s it i s · t h e earn e s t wisi) of the Govex'rexxenfc that these

p u r s u e their e x c e l l e n c e in sport and en g a g e in p e a c e f u l

c o m p e t i t i o n v?ifh the a t h l e t e s of o ther c o u n t r i e s . If is

d i f f i c u l t to d o this in a c o u n t r y w h e r e the· Government, or

t h a t c o u n t r y lias so r e c e n t l y violated, i he bssxc principles

upon whi c h the peace end fjiXidvri.ll of nn irons depends

It is equally our earnest wish that all possible steps

be taken to preserve and enhance the Olympic ideal, and the

Australian Olympic Committee can be sure of the Government's

full support for its endeavours to that end. Olympic Committees

around the world will no doubt be studying with great

seriousness all the options available·. One option, particularly

for the longer term, would be a permenent site in Greece ·

for the Olympic Games. If that were the desired outcome,

this Government would support it, including with an appropriate

financial contribution.