Election Speeches

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Arthur Calwell – 1961

Deeply conscious of the grave challenge of the future, Labor presents its well considered programme. We bear the same shield as did Scullin, Curtin and Chifley. We walk in their tradition. We are men of one allegiance only. We have never changed our name. We represent the Australian Labor Party, which is Australian because it is Labor, and Labor because it is Australian. Our flag is the Australian flag which we have never sullied and which we have never raised in an unworthy cause.

November 16th, 1961

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Frank Tudor – 1919

The Government had done nothing to deal with industrial unrest. Immediately Labour was returned to power it would deal with the root of all the trouble by seeing that the people of this country were not exploited by unscrupulous men who made the necessities of life so difficult to obtain.

November 5th, 1919

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William McMahon – 1972

Let me now speak about the Australia of today. It is a country of the young. Every second Australian is under 29. This means that most of the problems of our country are those of growth… The growing up of so many young Australians, better educated, more independently-minded, national in outlook, and determined to play a more independent role in world affairs.

November 14th, 1972

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John Gorton – 1969

We believe a nation not only expresses itself through its material achievements, but also through its participation in, and its development of, the arts.

We believe that it is time Australia developed its own film industry and we shall, in our next period of government, establish an Australian Film and Television Development Corporation to administer a Film and Television fund which will invest in, and make loans to, film and television producers for the making of quality films and programmes in Australia with a significant Australian content, and otherwise to encourage the production and distribution overseas of Australian-made films of high quality.

October 9th, 1969

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Robert Menzies – 1955

Despite their alleged misery, the people of Australia, during our six years, have almost doubled the number of their motor cars. There is today one motor vehicle (private and commercial) for every 4½ people. Washing machines, domestic refrigerators, household appliances tell the same story.

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Ben Chifley – 1946

Australia is about to enter upon the greatest era in her history, this country of ours has come through two world wars and weathered the miseries and hardships of a depression, all in the space of a little over 30 years. Today Australia has become the great bastion of the British-speaking race south of the Equator. Strategically arid economically, our country has assumed a position in the Pacific on behalf of the British Commonwealth of Nations of such importance that development and responsibility go hand in hand.

September 2nd, 1946

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Billy Hughes – 1919

But what of the future? The burning blasts of war have shrivelled, blackened, and destroyed the world we once knew. Old landmarks have disappeared. The nations of the earth panting from the struggle, impoversihed by the unprecedented destruction of wealth, are confronted with a new set of financial, national, and industrial circumstances. Humanity has indulged in a terrible orgy of destruction; it must pay the price. We must enter on a long period of reconstruction—wherein captial will be scarce, interest high, wages and materials costly.

October 30th, 1919

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Ben Chifley – 1949

We affirm for every man the right to receive a fair return for his labour, enterprise and initiative. But we do say that it is the duty and the responsibility of the community, and particularly those more fortunately placed, to see that our less fortunate fellow-citizens are protected from those shafts of fate which leave them helpless and without hope. That is the objective for which we are striving. It is, as I have said before, the beacon, the light on the hill, to which our eyes are always turned and to which our efforts are always directed.

We work and fight, not for personal gain, but that our fellow-citizens may labour under good and ever-improving standards and conditions, free from want, insecurity and misery.

November 14th, 1949

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Malcolm Fraser – 1980

Liberal policies are designed to enable Australians to live free and independent lives in a secure nation. They are policies to promote the enterprise and initiative which will enable people to secure their own future through the rewards of their own efforts. They are also policies of compassion and concern for those in need.

September 30th, 1980

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Matthew Charlton – 1925

Australian Labor stands for the establishment and expansion of industry in all its forms. Industry furnishes an ever increasing local market for the consumption of local products. Tariff protection is one of the methods by which national economic expansion can be secured. Labor endorses not only protection at the customs but every method whereby the self-sustaining power of the nation can be extended.

October 9th, 1925

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