Shortly after his arrival in Britain on Thursday (19 December). Australia's Prime Minister, Mr. Gough?
GV PAN Witlam entering Mansion House
GV Ensignia and audience applauding
GV ZOOM IN AND SCU Whitlam speaking
GV PULL OUT TO LV Houses of Parliament
SV PAN FROM Policeman to No. 10 Downing Street
SV AND CU Whitlam and Wilson
WHITLAM: "Those who see in some of our recent actions concerning Britain, a manifestation of some strident new nationalism or anti-British feeling, have completely misread our intentions and mistaken the mood of our people. What Australia is trying to do is to establish an independent identity in the world, and especially in her own region. We've grown up. Our actions are in no way anti-British. They're simply pro-Australian. I speak to you frankly because I know there can never be any question about the enduring strength of Australia's ties with Britain and the British people. The west majority of our people are of British stock. We wish to build on British institutions. I believe that our understanding and affection will deepen rather than diminish as Australia assumes her rightful place as a proud and independent nation with a distinctive role and a distinctive voice in her region, and in the world at large."
Initials CL/0259 CL/0309
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Background: 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.