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Prime Minister's press conference - Bonn, 17 January 1975



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©Î’ΡΑΒΙΓΙΜΒΒίΙΊΓ Î’©ÎšÎ’Ο@ΒΟ &PP&OG3S

N E W S R E L E A S E

NQ D A T E

D.16 22 January 1975

PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS CONFERENCE - BOM - 17 JANUARY 1975

The follow ing i s the text of the Prime M inister's Press. Conference, Bonn, Friday 17 January.

Ladies and Gentlemens On behalf of the Chairman of the Bundespressekonferenz and on behalf of the Federal Press O ffic e , i t i s my personal honour and my p rivilege to present to you, the Prime M inister of A ustralia, Mr Whitlam.

Mr Whitlam:

Q. Did you have an appointment with Mr Brezhnev in Moscow? I f you did, could you say what was discussed? I f not, were you given any explanation why not?

A. No appointment with Mr Brezhnev had been arranged. Each day there was a message given to me from Mr Brezhnev. I was told on the second day that he had a cold and was out of town.

Q. . Following your talks with the Soviet leaders, what prospects .

do you fe e l there are for a Zone of Peace in the Indian Ocean?

A. The Soviet leaders sta te that they would lik e a Zone of Peace

in the Indian Ocean. They also add that they would lik e a Zone of Peace in every one of the world's oceans. You w ill know that Australia and, I b eliev e, every other country around the Indian Oeean has voted at the United Nations General Assembly in favour of such proposals which have

come, o rig in a lly , from Sri Lanka and Malaysia, and more recently from Pakistan and. Iran. There might have been other sources as w ell.

Q. Inaudible question but referred to the Prime M inister's attitu de to the United States' use of Diego Garcia as a base in the Indian Ocean? t'.!

A. A ustralia, lik e every other country bordering the Indian Ocean or situated in the Indian Ocean, has objected to the development of Diego Garcia. Australia and, I b eliev e, every other country in the Indian Ocean and around i t , has deplored the p o s s ib ility of an increase in

forces by the two super powers - the United States and the Soviet Union. They have a ll sought to elim inate any p o s s ib ility of confrontation between them. Some of you mightn't be.aware that I was asked a question previously on th is by an Australian correspondent who would have had the te x t. But, of

course, the correspondent who just asked th is question and others too might

n o t have th e t e x t o f th e Communique which Mr K osygin and I is s u e d

y e s te rd a y on t h i s s u b j e c t e I t s ta te s ? "Both s id e s e x p re ss t h e i r

re a d in e s s to p a r t i c i p a t e to g e th e r w ith a l l i n t e r e s t e d s t a t e s on an equal

b a s is i n se e k in g a fa v o u ra b le s o lu tio n to th e problem o f making th e

In d ia n Ocean an a re a o f peace i n accordance w ith th e p r in c ip le s of

i n t e r n a t i o n a l law ."

Q. Do you b e lie v e th e a ss u ra n c e s given t o you by Mr Kosygin t h a t

R u ssia does n o t have any b a se s i n th e In d ia n Ocean?

A0 Mr K osygin d id s t a t e t h a t and I have no comment to make on i t .

Q. 'This m orning you had a t a l k w ith th e F e d e ra l C h a n c e llo r. Did

you d is c u s s economic problem s and p a r t i c u l a r l y th e q u e stio n of A u s t r a l i a 's

supply o f uranium to th e F e d e ra l R epublic of Germany?

A. The B undeskanzler and I d is c u s s e d many economic m a t t e r s . O bviously,

Germany's economic e x p e rie n c e i s o f g re a t s ig n if ic a n c e t o any w e ste rn country

b e ca u se th e F e d e ra l R e p u b lic ’ s su cc e ss has been by f a r th e g r e a t e s t ,

eco n o m ically , o f a l l w e ste rn c o u n tr ie s . We a id d is c u s s th e su pply of uranium

t o European c o u n tr ie s . A lso, of" c o u rse , we discussed, th e supply of b e e f t c

European c o u n tr ie s . We d is c u s s e d th e .g e n e r a l q u e stio n of what com m odities, prim ary and m in e ra l, can be su p p lie d by A u s tr a lis t o European c o u n tr ie s and

th e g e n e ra l term s of which such s u p p lie s could ta k e p la c e . T h is was th e

sev e n th v i s i t t h a t my c o lle a g u e s and I have made t o member -c o u n trie s o f th e

European Economic Community. In each case we have found some embarrassment o v er th e f a c t t h a t th e Community, a. p u rsu a n t to th e C .A .P ., h as cut o f f im p o rts

of meat from A u s t r a lia . Nobody h as j u s t i f i e d t h a t e x c lu s io n o f A u s tra lia n

meat from th e European m arket = I t i s t r u e , we h a v e n 't v i s i t e d Denmark and

Luxembourg. We d o n 't know t h e i r v iew s. 1t i s p o s s ib le t h a t Luxembourg a r$

Denmark c o n tro l th e C.A.P. I n every c o u n try , how ever, we d id f in d a v ery

g re a t i n t e r e s t i n th e su pply o f uranium and c o a l b ecau se th e Community

r e q u ir e s energy s o u r c e s . A u s tr a lia has c o n s id e ra b le energy s o u rc e s .

A u s tr a lia n s , q u ite le g itim a te ly 1 b e lie v e , want t c develop th o s e energy

so u rc e s as f a r as p o s s ib le i n t h e i r own c o u n try . So, q u ite c l e a r l y , th e r e

w ere many m a tte rs t h a t we were a b le to d iscu ss? th e B undeslcanzler and. I .

We d i d n 't g e t around t o a n o th e r s u b je c t which I suppose would be o f i n t e r e s t

h e re . I'm t o l d th e r e i s n o t enough su g ar a v a il a b le f o r consum ption in th e

Community. A u s tr a lia would be a b le t o supply su g a r t o th e Community. But,,

i n t h i s c a s e , th e Community says? "Oh n o, w e 'l l in c r e a s e th e p ro d u c tio n o f

our own s u g a r .” The wonders o f th e C.A.P. n e v e r c ea se to amaze me.

Q. W hile you w ere i n Moscow, Prim e M in is te r , th e T rad e Agreement betw een .

th e TJ.S. and th e S o v ie t Union was c a n c e lle d by th e S o v ie t U nion. Would

you c o n s id e r t h i s to be a fundam ental change o f c o u rse on th e p a rt of S o v iet

p o lic y o r would you c o n s id e r t h i s to be a k in d o f tem porary em barrassm ent?

A. I do n o t b e lie v e t h a t t h i s r e p r e s e n ts any fundam ental change of

c o u rse by th e S o v ie t Union a t a l l . The whole o f t h i s q u e stio n was d is c u s s e d

w ith u s by Mr K osygin on Tuesday a fte rn o o n . He s tr e s s e d b o th b e f o r e , d u rin g ,

and ’a f t e r th e d is c u s s io n s o f t h i s ite m , t h a t th e S o v ie t Union was com m itted

to r e in f o r c in g th e p o lic y o f d e te n te w ith U n ited S ta te s and, i n f a c t , betw een

3 .

a l l c o u n tr ie s . Ί am c o n fid e n t t h a t t h a t i s s e t t l e d S o v ie t p o lic y . At th e

same tim e , i t 7/as q u ite c l e a r to us t h a t th e S o v ie t Union would n o t accept

th e Jack so n Amendment which th e U n ited S ta te s S en ate a tta c h e d to ' th e '

A d m in is tra tio n Agreement betw een th e U nited S ta te s and th e S o v ie t U nion. To u s e an A u s tr a lia n p h ra se : i t was c le a r t o u s l a s t Tuesday a fte rn o o n ,

t h a t th e S o v ie t Union would n o t cop t h i s amendment.

Q. D uring your d is c u s s io n s w ith H e ir Schmidt t h i s m orning, were

any o th e r problem s d isc u sse d ?

A. T h ere vtere some p o l i t i c a l o r d ip lo m a tic m a tte rs v/hich we d is c u s s e d '

o f i n t e r e s t to o u r two c o u n tr ie s , o f c o u rse .

Q. Did you g e t th e im p re ssio n t h a t r e p o r ts o f Mr B re z h n e v 's .

i l l n e s s were a s ig n o f a power re a lig n m e n t i n th e K rem lin were in a c c u r a te ,

o r d id you see some s ig n s in d i c a t i n g th a t th e y v/ere c o rre c t?

A. 1 am n o t going t o s p e c u la te on such m a tte r s . I 'v e a lre a d y to ld

you a l l I know.

Q. As a r e s u l t o f y our v i s i t t o West Germany, w i l l we now see

in c re a s e d uramium e x p o rts to West Germany?

A. We've n e v e r made any e x p o rts to West Germany y e t and I d o n 't b e lie v e

t h a t West Germany h as sought t o buy any u ran iu m . B ut, i n March o r maybe

a t' th e end o f F e b ru a ry , th e r e w i l l be a v i s i t by B r i t i s h and v ery l i k e l y

a s s o c ia te d Dutch and German o f f i c i a l s to A u s tr a lia to d is c u s s t h i s q u e stio n

o f enrichm ent o f A u s tra lia n uranium i n A u s tr a lia . T h is i s p u rs u a n t to an

arrangem ent which was made betw een A u s tr a lia and Jap an i n November f o r a f e a s i b i l i t y stu d y i n t o t h i s v e ry q u e s tio n . I have j u s t been rem inded by

o u r S t a a t s s e k r e t a r f u r M in e ra l!e n und E hergie t h a t th e r e have been some

approaches by German companies to buy uranium from A u s t r a lia . But no s a le s have been made. That i s , no c o n tr a c ts were made u n d e r th e e a r l i e r A u s tra lia n

Government o r by th e p re s e n t Government.

Q, Prim e M in is te r , Bonn marks th e end o f y o u r European v i s i t .

Summing up, S i r , what do you th in k you have ach iev ed i n th e v a rio u s

c o u n trie s ? Has th e r e been one p o in t o f i n t e r e s t t h a t European le a d e r s

c o l l e c t i v e l y have had i n A u s tra lia ?

A. T h is h as been my f i r s t v i s i t to th e F e d e ra l R epublic as

Prim e M in is te r and, except f o r a v i s i t I made some 20 months ago to B r i t a i n ,

i t h as been th e f i r s t v i s i t I have made as Prim e M in is te r to te n Itaropean

c o u n tr ie s . My c o lle a g u e , Mr L io n el Bowen, who, a s you know, i s th e

M in is te r a s s i s t i n g th e Prim e M in is te r , a ls o v i s i t e d M alta w h ile I had t o go

back t o A u s tr a lia i n c o n n ec tio n w ith th e Darwin Cyclone D is a s te r . I n th e

e le v e n c o u n tr ie s we have v i s i t e d , th e r e has been a more com prehensive and

th o ro u g h p r e s e n ta tio n o f th e A u s tr a lia n p o in t of view t h a t h a s e v e r ta k e n

p la c e a t any tim e i n th e p a s t. I t i s v ery c l e a r to u s in each c o u n try th a t

by making a com prehensive v i s i t o f t h i s c h a r a c te r th e i n t e r e s t i n every

c o u n try was enhanced i n every c a s e . There was a n t i c i p a t i o n and review of

what v/e had done a lre a d y i n th e e a r l i e r v i s i t s o r t h a t we would be do in g i n

• »· · 4 /

th e v i s i t s which s t i l l had t o ta k e p la c e . T here can be no Q uestion

t h a t by making a com prehensive v i s i t o f t h i s c h a r a c te r a t Head of

Government l e v e l , one a c h ie v e s a c o n c e n tra tio n o f i n t e r e s t i n every co u n try

v i s i t e d . I n every c a s e , o f c o u rs e , we have v i s i t e d th e Head o f S ta te ,

th e Head o f G overnment, and s e n io r M in is te r s and s e n io r S e c re ta ry -G e n e ra ls and D ire c to r-G e n e r a ls , and i t i s q u ite c l e a r to u s t h a t A u s tr a lia means

m ore, i t ' s m o r e 's ig n i f ic a n t, to each o f th e s e c o u n tr ie s th a n was th e case

b e f o r e . We a r e , o f c o u rs e , v e ry a p p r e c ia tiv e o f th e re c e p tio n we have had

i n each c a s e , b u t we b e lie v e A u s tr a lia now i s know and. u n d e rsto o d b e t t e r '

th a n had e v e r been th e c ase b e f o r e .

■ "Thank you v e ry much, Prim e M in is te r ."