Jimmy Carter photo

Visit of Prime Minister J. Malcolm Fraser of Australia Remarks of the President and the Prime Minister at the Welcoming Ceremony.

June 22, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. It's a great honor for me today on behalf of the American people to welcome to the White House and to our Capital City the Prime Minister of Australia, John Fraser. We've had warm and valued ties with the great nation of Australia for many years.

We share a common background in history and our form of life. We also share with them something of a frontier spirit, a willingness to venture into new concepts and new ideas, new lands, at the same time to develop a harmonious interrelationship among our diverse people who have come from many other countries, at the same time preserve the strength and independence of our own Nation and our own government.

As we have tried to do in our sphere of influence, Australia has also accomplished a sense of leadership to set an example of freedom, liberty, a commitment to the democratic processes; at the same time to preserve peace and to show a genuine concern for neighbors who are less fortunate than are we.

Australia is a leader in the British Commonwealth. They are also a leader in the continent of Asia and also, of course, in the Western Pacific.

We have strong treaty ties to Australia and to New Zealand. And we look with great sense of gratitude and commitment to the maintenance of these ties, which are unshakable and which have been of long standing and which, of course, will be permanent in the future.

When our nations have been endangered because of war, our people have stood shoulder to shoulder. Four times in this century alone we have shared with the great people of Australia a common commitment to fight when necessary to preserve a permanent peace.

These ties have strengthened our resolve to communicate with one another, to consult with one another, and to share the future with one another.

We now are exploring new ways to preserve the peace. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Fraser, Australia has laid down the strictest possible regulations to protect the world from the further proliferation of atomic explosives.

They are setting an example for us and other nations to emulate. And our own Nation's commitments to nonproliferation will certainly be strengthened and enhanced by the fine example that has been set by Prime Minister Fraser and his own government in Australia.

This is a morning which brings honor to our country, a chance to have this great leader visit us.

As we leave this platform and go into the detailed discussions of the future of our two countries, it's with a sense of assurance that because of our past friendships and sharing of challenge and opportunity that the future will bind us even closer to one another.

Prime Minister Fraser, you are welcome to the United States.

THE PRIME MINISTER. Mr. President, I would like to thank you very much indeed for your warmth and for your welcome this morning. It is indeed a great pleasure to be in Washington again.

Mr. President, you have recognized and stated clearly the need for the democracies to consult more closely and work in cooperation, one with the other, and to show unity and strength of purpose. I think we all have to realize the need for increased communication, increased cooperation between democracies.

Confidence in ourselves and the values we share and the capacity and strength of free people is essential if progress is to be made in resolving problems faced by mankind. These problems are of urgent and fundamental importance to all of us. We are faced by the inability of many countries to escape from poverty, growing world concern over the availability of energy resources, the denial of fundamental freedoms to many people in many countries.

The continued potential for conflict and the possibility of nuclear proliferation and arms races are problems to which you have just referred again. These problems demand greater attention--for too long, words have been a substitute for effective action. We have to act, I believe now, with a sense of urgency and with a sense of determination.

Millions of people throughout the world want progress in the resolution of these problems. This was reflected clearly in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference which I've just attended in London.

Mr. President, as a near neighbor to many developing countries, as a significant source of many important commodities, as a country with an unswerving faith in democracy, Australia is determined to play her part in making progress towards these ends.

Mr. President, you have shown that you are determined to use the strength and influence of the United States to bring about a more secure and equitable world, a world in which poorer nations' economic development has accelerated, in which deprivation is confronted and the pernicious doctrine of one race's superiority over another is banished for all time.

There are many obstacles on the way to achieving these objectives. It is always the case that the more important the goal, the greater the barrier to achieving it. But the barriers to achieving a better world might well be insuperable if the greatest democratic power were not playing an active and enlightened international role in leading towards a better result.

Mr. President, therefore, I believe your Presidency has excited men's imagination because it has appealed to the idealism of free people, because it has focused attention and concern on issues which have not previously attracted the urgent attention that they require, and because of the stressful need for consultation and cooperation amongst the world's democracies. Free men, therefore, can have renewed faith in realizing the aspirations that we share.

Mr. President, on behalf of my wife and myself, the Australian party, may I thank you again for the warmth of your welcome.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you very much, John.

Note: The President spoke at 11:10 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of Prime Minister J. Malcolm Fraser of Australia Remarks of the President and the Prime Minister at the Welcoming Ceremony. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243919

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives