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Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs meet members of the National Executive of the Australian Olympic Federation



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P R I M E M I N I S T E R

FOR PRESS FRIDAY, 15 FEBRUARY, 1980

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

The P rim e M i n i s t e r , t h e M i n i s t e r f o r Home A f f a i r s , and t h e

members o f t h e N a t i o n a l E x e c u ti v e o f t h e A u s t r a l i a n O lym pic

F e d e r a t i o n , m et to d a y t o d i s c u s s t h e q u e s t i o n o f A u s t r a l i a ' s

p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e O lym pic Games, and t o c r e a t e an

o p p o r t u n i t y f o r an ex ch a n g e o f v ie w s i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e

P rim e M i n i s t e r ' s s t a t e m e n t t h a t t h e G overnm ent w i l l re m a in

s t r o n g l y o p p o se d t o t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n of. an A u s t r a l i a n team

i n t h e O lym pic Games i n Moscow.

The P rim e M i n i s t e r and M i n i s t e r f o r Home A f f a i r s e x p l a i n e d

t h a t t h e G overnm ent h ad g iv e n f u r t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o t h e

G o v e rn m e n t's a t t i t u d e . t o t h e h o l d i n g o f t h e O lym pic Games

i n Moscow i n t h e l i g h t o f the· v ie w s e x p r e s s e d and d i s c u s s i o n s

h e l d by t h e Prim e M i n i s t e r i n t h e c o u r s e o f h i s r e c e n t v i s i t

to. t h e U n ite d S t a t e s and E u ro p e . The G o v e rn m e n t's p o s i t i o n

t h a t i t w ould be i n a p p r o p r i a t e f o r t h e Games t o be h e l d in

Msocow was co n v ey ed b o th i n t h e d i s c u s s i o n s t h i s m o rn in g

and i n a l e t t e r t o t h e F e d e r a t i o n , a copy o f w h ich i s a t t a c h e d

t o t h i s r e l e a s e .

The P rim e M i n i s t e r , and M i n i s t e r f o r Home A f f a i r s e x p r e s s e d

t h e v ie w t h a t , a s a m a tte r , o f p r i n c i p l e , an A u s t r a l i a n team

s h o u l d n o t p a r t i c i p a t e , f o r r e a s o n s t h a t w ere d i s c u s s e d v e r y

f u l l y a t t h e m e e tin g .

The A u s t r a l i a n . O lym pic F e d e r a t i o n e x p l a i n e d t h a t t h e y w ere

c o n c e r n e d a s . t o w h e th e r a w i t h d r a w a l by A u s t r a l i a o r a .

num ber o f n a t i o n s w ould c o n s t i t u t e an e f f e c t i v e b o y c o t t ,

and t h e P r e s i d e n t o f t h e O lym pic F e d e r a t i o n d i d n o t f e e l

t h a t A u s t r a l i a s h o u ld w ith d ra w u n l e s s i t was e s t a b l i s h e d

b ey o n d r e a s o n a b l e d o u b t t h a t an e f f e c t i v e b o y c o t t w ould

t a k e p l a c e .

The members o f t h e A u s t r a l i a n O lym pic F e d e r a t i o n E x e c u ti v e

e x p l a i n e d t o t h e P rim e M i n i s t e r t h a t any d e c i s i o n f o r t h e

w i t h d r a w a l o f t h e A u s t r a l i a n team c o u ld o n ly be made by a

f u l l c o n f e r e n c e o f t h e F e d e r a t i o n , t h e members o f w h ic h

w ould c o m p ris e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f a l l t h e n a t i o n a l c o n t r o l l i n g

U nions o f s p o r t s p r i n t e d i n t h e Games Program m e, and t h e

S t a t e O lym pic C o u n c i l s . The n e x t s c h e d u l e d c o n f e r e n c e , w h ich

t a k e s i n t o a c c o u n t team n o m i n a t i o n s , and o t h e r f a c t o r s , i s t o

b e h e l d on 19 A p r i l a n d , b e c a u s e o f t h e r u l e s , i t c o u ld

n o t be h e l d b e f o r e t h a t t im e .

. . . / 2

- 2

A l l p a r t i c i p a n t s f o u n d t h e d i s c u s s i o n s t h i s m o rn in g

c o n s t r u c t i v e a n d u s e f u l . The G o v ern m en t h a s t a k e n n o t e o f t h e

p o i n t s made by t h e F e d e r a t i o n . F o r i t s p a r t , t h e F e d e r a t i o n

h a s i n d i c a t e d t h a t i t w i l l b e w a t c h i n g f u t u r e d e v e l o p m e n t s

v e r y c l o s e l y a n d w i l l b e g i v i n g s e r i o u s c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o t h e

v ie w s t h a t t h e G o v ern m en t h a s p u t .

— 0 0 0—

Prime M'm&tcR

Canberra

Dcai* Mr. G r a n g e ,

I r e f e r t o my l e t t e r o f 22 J a n u a r y l a s t and t o Mr. f t t ^ i e y ' s

l e t t e r o f 5 F e b r u a r y r e g a r d i n g t h e h o l d i n g o f t h e XXII

O ly m p ic Games i n Moscow. t

You w i l l lie a w a re t h a t s i n c e 22 J a n u a r y , I h a v e h a d

d i s c u s s i o n s i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s and E u r o p e w i t h t h e

l e a d e r s o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , U n i t e d Kingdom , W est Germany

anti P r a n c e r e g a r d i n g t h e S o v i e t i n v a s i o n o f A f g h a n i s t a n

a n d i t s s e r i o u s e f f e c t s o n w o r l d p e a c e , i n p a r t , t h o s e

d i s c u s s i o n s h a v e c o v e r e d t h e b o y c o t t n w f — t h e O ly m p ic Games

i n Moscow. -

On my r e t u r n , T T e p o r t e d t o C a b i n e t e rr-t he r e s u l t o f t h o s e

d i s c u s s i o n s a n d C a b i n e t g a v e f u r t h e r , c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o i t s

a t t i t u d e t o h o l d i n g t h e Games i n Moscow.

T h e G o v e rn m e n t h a s s t r o n g l y r e a f f i r m e d t h e v ie w e x p r e s s e d

I n my l e t t e r o f 22 J a n u a r y t h a t . i f S o v i e t t r o o p s do n o t

w i t h d r a w fr o m A f g h a n i s t a n — e » p r o p o s e d by P r e s i d e n t Ca r t e r ,

Moscow w ill" b e an u n s u i t a b l e s i t e f o r t h e Games. The

G o v e rn m e n t i s a l s o s t r o n g l y o f t h e v ie w t h a t i t w ould n o t

b e i n t h e — n a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t , o f A u s t r a l i a f o r A u s t r a l i a n s

t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n Games h e l d i n Moscow and t h e r e f o r e a s k s

t h a t , i n t h e e v e n t o f t h e S o v i e t n o t w i t h d r a w i n g from

A f g h a n i s t a n , n o A u s t r a l i a n te a m be s e n t t o Moscow. ____

F o r i f an A u s t r a l i a n te a m w ere t o g o , t h e y w o u ld be u s e d

o o l i t i c a l l y by t h e S o v i e t u n i o n - w h a t e v e r o u r a t h l e t e s

d i d o r s a i d i n Moscow. The S o v i e t G overnm ent w ould r e p r e s e n t " "

t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f A u s t r a l i a n mid o t h e r a t h l e t e s a s a

p o l i t i c a l t r i u m p h f o r t h e S o v i e t U n io n . I n d e e d , t h e S o v i e t

U n io n h a s now b e e n d e s c r i b i n g t h e h o l d i n g o f t h e Games i n 1

Moscow a s " c o n v i n c i n g p r o o f o f t h e u n i v e r s a l r e c o g n i t i o n -

o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l impor t a n c e an d c o r r e c t n e s s o f t h e c o u r s e ' -

o f o u r c o u n t r y ' s f o r e i g n p o l i c y , " t h e v a s t c o n t r i b u t i o n o f

t h e S o v i e t U nion t o t h e s t r u g g l e f o r p e a c e " . I t i s t h u s t h e

S o v i e t U n io n w h ie h i s i n s i s t i n g , n o t j u s t on m ix in g s p o r t : ·

a n d p o l i t i c s , b u t t h a t s p o r t i s ' p o l i t i c s . A u s t r a l i a a n d -

A u s t r a l i a n s s h o u l d n o t b e p a r t y t o t h i s v i o l a t i o n o f t h e ·

O ly m p ic i d e a l . .

2

- 2-

Be f o r e yovL-Come t o a f i n a l _ » i c w # X .w o u ld l i k e y o u t o a sk

y o u r s e l v e s w h a t , i n y o u r v i e w , w o u ld h e s u f f i c i e n t c a u s e

f o r t h e Games t o b e m oved, o r h a v e A u s t r a l i a n s n o t a t t e n d ,

I s i t t h a t an i n v a s i o n a n - A f g h a n i s t a n i s n o t a s u f f i c i e n t

i n v a s i o n ? Have t h e S o v i e t s n o t u s e d e n o u g h t r o o p s t o g i v e

s u f f i c i e n t c a u s e ? O r i s t h e p o p u l a t i o n o f A f g h a n i s t a n t o o

s m a l l f o r i t t o m a t t e r e n o ugh? .Bow many Sovic_L _troops .would

n e e d t o b e u s e d i n t h a t i n v a s i o n , o c c u p a t i o n and s u p p r e s s i o n

b e f o r e Moscow, .in y o u r v ie w , w ould become an i n a p p r o p r i a t e

s i t e ? i f t h e i n v a s i o n w e re o f a c o u n t r y c l o s e r t o A u s t r a l i a ,

o r c l o s e r t o E u r o p e # w o u ld t h a t a l t e r y o u r ju d g m e n t? 1 a sk

t h e s e q u e s t i o n s b e c a u s e 1 am s u r e you w i l l a g r e e w i t h r o e ·.'·/,

t h a t a t some p o i n t , an i n v a s i o n , o c c u p a t i o n and s u p p r e s s i o n _____

o f a p e o p l e w o u ld be s u f f i c i e n t c a u s e fox- an abandonm ent

o f t h e Gam es. '·· ' ;

1 h o p e t h a t t h e A u s t r a l i a n O lym pic F e d e r a t i o n w i l l r e f l e c t on"

a l l t h i s , and go on t o a s k t h e m s e lv e s w h e t h e r , w i t h t h e b e n e f i t -

o f h i n d s i g h t , any O ly m p ic o f f i c i a l s o r a t h l e t e s w o u ld have ,

gone to B e r l i n - i n —1936 h a d th e y known ■ t7TS~propag

t h a t t h e r e c a n b e o n l y one. a n s w e r , and t h a t t h e A u s t r a l i a n

people 'share tha-t— b e l i e f r ------ - — · /-.

At t h e same t i m e , t h e A u s t r a l i a n Government- i s v e r y s y m p a t h e t i c ;

t o t h e predicaiimfrfe i n w h ic h o u r a t h l e t e s — f i n d t h e m s e l v e s , . . · - .

t h r o u g h n o f a u l t o f t h e i r own. W ith t h i s i n m in d , t h e , ,

Government, i s , a s you know, p u r s u i n g i n i t i a t i v e s w i t h t h e , / .

U n i t e d s t a t e s . # .l a n d ’ot-he#·- G overnm ents w>h^ -s ha-re a s i m i l a r A./' " ;

v ie w , t o p r o v i d e an a l t e r n a t i v e s i t e f o r t h e x x l l O lym piad v .

o r , i f t h e O lym pic Games a r e n o t m oved, t o p r o v i d e a s i t e o r ’ .

s i t e s f o r games w h e re h i g h - l e v e l i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o m p e t i t i o n c a n —-—

be h a d w i t h t h e a t h l e t e s o f o t h e r l i k e - m i n d e d n a t i o n s , The

G overnm ent i s p r e p a r e d t o make a s u b s t a n t i a l f i n a n c i a l c o n t r i b u t i o n

. i n o r d e r to . e n s u r e t h a t s u c h c o m p e t i t i o n w ould be a v a i l a b l e . ___X,·

• ' " = ■ ' ■ . ■ . - ' . . ■ · · . . - : " · · ■ . .

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SOUTH YARBA VIC. 3141.

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