PM Transcripts - Prime Ministers of Australia


Prime Minister - Whitlam, Gough

Media Release - 22 January 1973


The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. E. G. Whitlam,
visited New Zealand from 20 to 23 January at the invitation
of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Hon. Norman Kirk.
The two Prime Ministers had lengthy and intimate
discussions on a wide range of issues.
The Prime Ministers noted that their first meeting
since they came into office took place on the 29th
anniversary of the signing of the Australian-New Zealand
Agreement of 1944 the ANZAC Pact. Although they
recognised that parts of that Agreement had been overtaken
by events and were less relevant to contemporary
needs, the Prime Ministers felt that close consultation
and collaboration between Australia and New Zealand
were needed in 1973 as they had been in 1944.
The Prime Ministers recognised that a habit of
consultation and exchanges had developed between the
two countries based on the 1944 Agreement. They took
the opportunity to reaffirm the principles of that
Agreement. They indicated their intention to work for
the closest possible consultation and collaboration on
all matters political, economic, defence, social and
cultural which affected their joint interests,
particularly in the South Pacific region.
To this end the Prime Ministers agreed to make
every effort to revitalise and further to strengthen
the habit of consultation by means of more frequent
exchanges between Ministers and regular meetings of
officials on both sides of the Tasman. The Prime
Ministers agreed that they themselves should meet
informally at least once a year for an overall review
of relations between Australia and New Zealand.
Economic Particular attention was paid by the Prime Ministers
to the broad principles which should underlie the growing
economic relations between Australia and New Zealand.
Agreement was reached on the need to broaden the range
of consultations on economic matters between both
countries and it was decided that officials of both
countries would jointly undertake a comprehensive
reappraisal of the scope for increased economic cooperation
as soon as possible.
The Prime Ministers noted that the New Zealand/
Australia Free Trade Agreement ( NAFTA) of 1965 had been
an important instrument in contribuiting to a growth in
trade. However, the objectives of the'Agreement / should

should not be seen as directed solely to trade expansion
but through trade expansion to furthering the economic
and social development of the two countries and the
use of their resources. The implementation of policies
of the two Labour Governments would provide the opportunity
for both countries to take a new look at how progre'ss in
bilateral trade under NAFTA might become more rapid and
effective. The development of NAFTA will be thoroughly
reviewed at a Ministerial meeting to be held shortly in
Wellington. The preferential tariff arrangements between the
two countries were considered in the light of the
imminent termination of their trade agreements with
Britain. Agreement was reached that negotiations will
proceed about the retention of preferences on a mutually
beneficial basis.
The Prime Ministers discussed the impact of the
enlarged European Communities on the trading interests
of the two countries. It was -agreed that this development
underlined the need for Aust-.-alia. and No1w Zealand to work
together in the economic sphere. Th1is nee:, d particularly
apparent in the case of primary products where the two
countries would encourage their marketing organisations
to cooperate to the fullest oxtenit possible.
The Prime Ministers~ noted the good work being done
by the Australia/ New Zealand Joinz Dairy Cormittee.
They agreed on the importance of close cooperation in
this sector to imeet changes in the world trading patterns
arising in particular from the enlargement1-of the European
Communities. The two Prime Ministers agreed that the successful
completion of the coming GATT round of multilateral
trade negotiations, particularly in the field of
agricultural trade, was of the greatest importance and
that the two countries would work together to this end.
DefenceCooperation The two Prime Ministers noted that there had been
close cooperation in defence between Australia and
New Zealand ever since World War II, and that it had
developed in recent years. They agreed on the importance
of continuing, and where practicable furthering, this
cooperation, and of assisting each other whenever
possible in such fields as personnel, facilities and
courses of training, operational and technical matters,
and the supply of defence equipment. They noted that
studies were being made of the strategic basis of
defence cooperation, and that the Australia-New Zealand
Consultative Conmmittee on Defence Cooperation would
report to the two Governments on this question among
other s. / Travel

Travel The Prime Ministers agreed that citizens of each
country and citizens of other Commonwealth countries who
have resident status in either Australia or New Zealand
should henceforth be able to travel between Australia
and New Zealand, for permanent or temporary stay, without
passports or visas. Talks between immigration officials
of the two countries regarding practical arrangements
for the implementation of the new policy would take
place as soon as possible.
The two Prime Ministers also discussed a number of
international. questions of concern to both Now Zealand
and Australia, on which their two Governments intend to
work together as closely as possible.
South Pacific Affairs
The two Prime Ministers recalled the developments
of the last 25 years in the South Pacific, many of
which owed a good deal to the impetus of the ANZAC Pact
of 1944. They expressed satisfaction that the South
Pacific Conference now meets annually to approve the
work progranate of the South Pacific Commission and that
in recent years both Australia and New Zealand have
been represented at sessions of the Conference by
Ministers. The Conission had been strengthened by
Western Samoa, Nauru and Fiji becoming full members.
They attached particular value to the South Pacific
Forum, which offered the Heads of* Government of the
independent and self-governing states of the Pacific
an opportunity to explore common problems, to consider
priorities, and to plan cooperative programmes on a
practical basis. Already it had demonstrated its
usefulness to the governments concerned.
Both Prime Ministers were planning to attend an
early meeting of the Forum. They were very much
looking forward to this opportunity of meeting their
colleagues, the leaders of the Island states.
Advantage was seen in developing contacts between
Parliamentarians in the area, and enabling them to take
a wider role in the consultative and planning processes.
One possibility which was canvassed was to include
Members of Parliament in delegations attending the
South Pacific Conference, as was the Australian practice.
The Prime Ministers pledged that their Governments
would continue to work to the best of their ability
for the progress and advancement of the people of the
/ Paci f ic

Pacific, guided always by the wishes and aspirations of
the people of the area and their leaders.
The Prime Minister of Australia gave an account
of recent constitutional and economic developments in
Papua New Guinea and forecast an early advance to full
self-government, to be followed by independence. The
Prime Minioter of New Zealand acknowl edged the importance
of these developments for New Zealand, and, as earnest
of the goodwill of the'people of New Zealand, indicated
that his Government wa8 disposed to establish a diplomatic
mission in Port Moresby at an appropriate time.-
The Prime Minister of New Zealand said that he was
glad to report that Niue would soon be fully selfgoverning.
A delegation from the Niue I-ouse of Assembly
was expected inWellington in a few weeks for constitutional
talks. Race Relations
The Prime Ministers reaffirmied their belief in the
equality of every citizen in a multi-racial society and
the right of all to the enjoyment of equal opportunities.
Policies of racial discrimination such as apartheid
are directly contrary to the provisions of the United
Nations Charter. They are abho-rent and cannot be
accepted by the international coanunity. The P'rime
Ministers agreed that their two countries would strive
to implement measures, national and international, which
would help to bring to aneri all such discriminatory
policies. Asian and Pacific Region
The two Prime Ministers made it clear that New
Zealand and Australia stood ready to work with other
countries in the Asian and Pacific region to achieve
for their peoples the benefits of peace, progress and
cooperation. They recalled that since their Governments came to
power Australia and New Zealand had both recognised and
established diplomatic relations with the People's
Republic of China, and they indicated that both were
anxious to develop friendly cooperation with that country.
The Prime Ministers also recalled that, while New Zealand
and Australia had withdrawn their remaining forces from
South Vietnam, both Governments had made it clear that
they are prepared to take their parts in an international
rehabilitation programme throughout Indo-China. They
welcomed the progress that had recently been made in the
Paris peace talks and expressed the hope that agreement
would be reached soon on a settlement fair to all.
/ The

The two Prime Ministers agreed'that the essential
objective was to end the war and the terrible suffering%
it had caused.
Recognising that changes in the relationships
between the great powers aind the ending of the war in
Indo-China were bound to affect other countries in
South East Asia, the two Prime Ministers acknowledged
the importance of maintaining stability and confidence
in the area while the countries there were adjusting to
the new situation. The P~ rime Ministers noted that
Australia and New. Zealand forces were in Singapore and
Malaysia by agreement with the Governments of those
countries. They discusSed the future disposition of
their forces: they, would each consult with their
partners in the Five Power Defence Arrangements.
They also expressed willingness to discuss with countries
in the area what forms of assistance from No1w Zealand and
Australia would be most appropriate and helpful.
The two Prime Ministers expressed understanding and.
support for the desire of the membcers of ASEAN to limit
outside interference in the affairs of South East Asia,
and sympathy for their efforts to make the area a zone
of peace, freedom and neutrality.
The two Prime Ministers agreed that effective
cooperation in the fields of economic and social
development, trade, cultural exchanges and political
consultations was at leaot as important as joint efforts
in the defence field in promoting the peaceful progress
of the region. The Prime Ministers expressed their
intention to work with their Asian and Pacific neighbours
in making adjustmants to existing arrangements and seeking
new forms of cooperation that took full account of the
present realities of the situation in Asia and the
Pacific. They offered to join in appropriate efforts
to bring the countries of the Asian and Pacific region
together in a new collective endeavour to promote the
wellbeing of their peoples.
The United States
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the intention of
both their Governments to maintain friendly relations
with the United States in a spirit of mutual respect
and trust. They noted that the ANZUS Treaty symbolised
a community of interest and outlook among the three
partners that extended to many fields other than defence.
By strengthening the security of Australia and New
Zealand, the Treaty helps to create a climate that
enables the two countries to work with their neighbours
and to contribute to the peaceful progress of the Asian
and Pacific region in general. There had been occasions
on which the policies of the three Governments had
/ diverged

diverged, and, as they were all sovereign independent
states, there might well be other occasions in the
future. But such instances need not and should not
disturb the friendly ties among the three countries, or
their far-ranging cooperation in practical matters.
Nuclear Weapons Testingl
The Prime Ministers accorded high priority to the
problem posed by continued nuclear weapons testing.
They emphasised that their opposition extended to all
forms of nuclear weapons testing by whatever nation and
reaffirmed the objectives of a suspension of all such
testing and the conclusion of a comprehensive test ban
treaty. They appealed in particular to France to appreciate
the special degree of concern which the toesting of
nuclear weapons in the South Pacific causes throuqhtout
the region. They recalled that an overwheilming majority
in the United Nations had already acknowledged the
legitimate nature of this widespread concern. The
Prime Ministers declared their Governments' intention,
failing such an aszurance, to work together to oppose
the tests by all appropriate means and to consult closely
w ith other countries in the region.
Wellington, New Zealand.
22 January 1973