PM Transcripts - Prime Ministers of Australia

OPENING OF THE MONARO SHOPPING MALL. CANBERRA ON (5TH MARCH . 1963 ) SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER , THE RT . HON. R.G MENZIES

Prime Minister - Menzies, Robert

Speech - 06 March 1963

VIEW ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPT: OPENING OF THE MONARO SHOPPING MALL. CANBERRA ON (5TH MARCH . 1963 )  SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER , THE RT . HON. R.G MENZIES View original scan of this transcript



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OPENING OF THE MONARO SHOPPING MALL, CANBERRA
ON ' H MARCH2 ,, 1963
Speech by the Prime Mini~ g, the-Rt. Hon. R. G. Menzies
Sir, Your 3xcellencies and Ladies and Gentlemen
This is a marvellous place, but thu. acoustics are
contemptible, ( Laughter) I have been sitting behind Mr,
Dusseldorp this morning and I have heard very little of what
he said. I have had to judge its character by looking at the
eager faces in front of me but I did hear one thing Sir,
very, very clearly and thai was that profound cbservation of
yours that every minute we talked, business was being lost
( Laughter) and therefore I won't talk very long. I must say
that the next time that I have a political meeting, I won't
have it in a building where they have escalators and strange
noises to be heard all around you. ( Laughter)
Sir, it is a long time since I came to Canberra.
Many of you won't recall it, I was a very very respectable
Attorney-General. Since then I have declined in grace and
in favour. But at that time, twenty-nine years ago, the
population of Canberra was about 6,000. Only thirteen or
fourteen years ago, although the population had grown, I think
I am right in saying that there had not been a new shop built
in Canberra for a long time. Since then the development has
been quite fantastic. People have realised more and mo~ re that
we can't have a city of 60,000 which is going to be, so the
pundits tell me, 100,000 in a few years' time, and a quarter of
a million before very long after that growing at this pace
without establishing tremendous demands for shopping facilities,
for schools, for a host of matters required for a full civic
life. And in a city like Canberra, the people are entitled
to have the last word in shopping facilities,, And believe
me, in this place, I think they have them. In fact, I regard
the whole purpose of the displays I've seen here todayas
practically immoral, Your wife goes along innocently thinking
that she is Just a spectator, and everything is so engagingly
displayed tha t she comes home, having spent a lot more money
than her husband can afford. This is what I call wonderful,
immoral, tempting and very satisfactory. ( Laughter)
I congratulate everybody concerned in evolving this
place. I have driven around it two or three times in the making
of it. I am most impressed. I had no idea of the enormous
space inside this building. When somebody said, " Well, there
will be sixty shops apart from these big ones," I found it
difficult to believe but I find they are all quite roomy airy,
adequate shops. This is in a marvellous position and this is
a marvellous community service.
Now the only other thing I want to take up with
you seriously is what this place is to be called, because I
looked in at television the other night and it was called the
Monaro Mall ( mawl). I didn't believe it. I said, " Everybody
knows it is a 4nal" but then I looked it up in the Oxford
Dictionary, and it turned out I was wrong. ( Laughter) But
I want to make it clear that there are three ways of pronouncing
this word " mall' and, of course the other famous
street in London which is always referrea to by fine old Anglo-
Indians retired as " Pell Mell". Take your choice -" Imaw.",
or In fact, another dictionary I looked up quite
09* 000./ 2


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recently gave it a fourth pronunciation "~ moll" ( Laughter)
Well, I have elected in favour of " tmall'. But it is a free
country and as far as I am concerned, you may call it what you
like. All I know is that it is a jolly good place and it is
going to be of great advantage to the citizens of Canberra*
It represents a wonderful piece of co-operative enterprise and
is one more contribution made to this city by Mr. Dusseldorp
who, after all, in 1951 was arriving in Australia for the
first tim e* This is an astonishing record and I congratulate
you on it and thank you for it. ( Applause)
And now, time marches on, You are all requested
as the doors are opened to observe the queue not to knock over
the fittings and not to remove any small portable articles.
( Laughter) I have the greatest pleasure in the world in
declaring the Mall open,