Australia's new Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, said in Canberra on Monday (15 December) that Australians had rejected the kind of Labour Government provided by Gough Whitlam, but that the new government would accept some of its social reforms.
CU Malcolm Fraser being interviewed by BBC reporter David Dimbleby
(MUTE) then reporter asks question (3 shots)
REPORTER: "Do you feel that the Australian people have been bitterly divided by the election campaign that was fought here, which was quite different from any campaign before?"
MR. FRASER: "No I don't think so. In campaigns there are always different issues which move different people, there are some that feel strongly about the constitutional issue. There are more, and many traditional Labour supporters, who feel strongly about the economic issues and who deserted the Labour Party in their thousands and can no longer identify with the kind of Labour Government Mr. Whitlam provided."
REPORTER: "To what state do you think his defeat was due to the economy and to what extent due to inefficient and muddled government?"
MR. FRASER: "Well the state of the economy is due so much to this inefficient and muddled government."
REPORTER: "Do you see your victory by Australia of the kind of social democrat welfare policies that, for instance, that we've seen in Britain and other European countries?"
MR. FRASER: "There was certainly rejection in many areas that Mr. Whitlam is wanting to pursue, but not a rejection of all of them because reforms are accepted. Rejection of the totality approach and one of the marks of the election, I think, was turning away from an all embracing government .. an all powerful central government to a government who will help people to be independent and to do things for themselves."
Australia's new Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, told BBC reporter David Dimbleby, on Monday, that the Australian people had rejected Gough Whitlam's style of Labour Government in Saturday's general election. The election result gave Mr. Fraser and the Liberal/National Country Party coalition a landslide victory and the biggest parliamentary majority in Australia's history. However, despite the rejection of Labour, Mr. Fraser said some of the former government's social reforms would be accepted.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This film is serviced with parts of an interview with Mr. Fraser done by BBC Panorama reporter, David Dimbleby. A transcript follows:
REPORTER: DAVID DIMBLEBY
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Australia's new Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, said in Canberra on Monday (15 December) that Australians had rejected the kind of Labour Government provided by Gough Whitlam, but that the new government would accept some of its social reforms.
Mr. Fraser was made caretaker Prime Minister of his country after the sacking of Mr. Whitlam last month and his appointment was confirmed when the Liberal/National Country Party Coalition won a landslide victory in the general elections on Saturday (13 December).
The coalition won the largest parliamentary majority in Australia's history and the violent suing against the Labour Party could leave the Liberal/Country Parties with a 57 seat advantage in the Lower House.
Mr. Fraser told the B.B.C.'s David Dimbleby that thousands of Labour supporters had deserted the party because of economic issues.
He also said that voters also turned away from Mr. Whitlam's "all embracing ... all powerful central government" to a government that would help people to be "independent and to do things for themselves".