Foreign Policy: Whitlam’s Washington Address

During the first year of his government, Whitlam was not only Prime Minister but also Minister for Foreign Affairs.

This speech, an address to the National Press Club, in Washington, provides an overview of Whitlam’s foreign policy principles, as well as his view of Australia’s position within the ANZUS alliance.

Text of an address by the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Gough Whitlam, to the National Press Club, Washington.

It is an honour for me to be asked to address representatives of the world’s greatest and most free press in the capital of the world’s greatest and most free democracy.

The strength of each is the strength of both.

In accepting your invitation I pay tribute to the manifest and enduring strength of both.

It’s been suggested that your chief interest today is to hear something about the changes in Australia’s policies as a result of the change in the Australian Government, changes affecting our international relations and particularly the relations between Australia and the United States. [Read more…]

Australia Day 1973: Whitlam Announces Search For New Anthem

Australia Day 1973 passed almost unnoticed, according to one radio news report, but Whitlam used his 53rd day as prime minister to announce a search for a new national anthem.

Whitlam’s announcement of a replacement for God Save the Queen came in his Australia Day address. He said: “We feel it is essential that Australians have an Anthem that fittingly embodies our national aspirations and reflects our status as an independent nation. We need an Anthem that uniquely identifies our country abroad, and recalls vividly to ourselves the distinctive qualities of Australian life and the character and traditions of our nation. These aims are particularly important to the Labor Government which I lead. It has been one of tile central ambitions of my administration to foster a fresh and distinctive reputation for Australia overseas, and to encourage in our domestic affairs a greater spirit of shared purpose and national unity. My Government does not believe that our present National Anthem is adequate for these purposes.”

Whitlam announced a competition for the new anthem, culminating in a public vote and a prize of $5000.00 to the winner. [Read more…]