Shortly after his arrival in Britain on Thursday (19 December). Australia's Prime Minister, Mr. Gough?
Shortly after his arrival in Britain on Thursday (19 December). Australia's Prime Minister, Mr. Gough Whitlam, speaking at a luncheon in the Mansion House in London, tried to allay fears that his country was turning against Britain. A transcript of part of his speech is as follows:
The roving Australian leader arrived in London fresh from talks with Common Market officials in Belgium, where he discussed Australia's trading relations with the nine-member European Economic Community. He made it clear that Australia wanted Britain to remain a member of the Community, and expressed hopes that this would encourage the Common Market to adopt a more outward-looking approach to the international economic scene.
Mr. Whitlam's European visit has roused strong criticism at home. Inflation is running at over 20 per cent in Australia and unemployment is expected to reach almost 400,000 next year. His critics feel that Mr. Whitlam should be at home to concentrate on domestic problems at this time of inflationary wage-settlements, slumping investment and continuing strikes.
During his two-day stay, the Australian leader is holding a series of discussions with Prime Minister Harold Wilson. They are expected to discuss trade and economic relations between the two countries.