Election Speeches

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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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Robert Menzies – 1949

Communism in Australia is an alien and destructive pest. If elected, we shall outlaw it. The Communist Party will be declared subversive and unlawful, and dissolved. A receiver will be appointed to deal with its assets. Subject to appeal, the Attorney-General will be em-powered to declare other bodies substantially Communist; to follow the party into any new form and attach illegality to that new association.

November 10th, 1949

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Robert Menzies – 1946

I want to say to Australia that if we are to grow to our full strength, we must not sit at home huddling about ourselves the garments of mere safety. We must go out to develop Australia’s resources and increase the national wealth so that there may be available for all our people standards of living and of achievement which seemed impossible a generation ago. We need to avoid a purely defensive conservatism of mind.

August 20th, 1946

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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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Ben Chifley – 1951

The Labor Party pledges itself to take every measure necessary to halt the present disastrous inflation. To do that, a programme is required to stabilise the Australian economy.

March 28th, 1951

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Herbert Evatt – 1958

On July 14th last Professor Oliphant made a plea for the suspension of nuclear tests. He argued that nuclear tests should be stopped because of the possible danger to world health. He emphasised that the full significance of strontium 90 one of the potentially dangerous isotopes from the fall-out of nuclear tests were not yet known. He, therefore, contended that nuclear tests should stop because of the two possible views about the effects of radiation from tests–one that it was harmful and one was that it was not. The decision made should be the one that is on the side of safety.

November 22nd, 1958

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Arthur Calwell – 1963

No man can place barriers to the future greatness of Australia, nor limits to the achievements of its people. Its destiny should be both great and glorious. The young people about whom I have spoken will be the artificers of that destiny. So let us all go forward in that great crusade to set our country aloft in the blaze of the sun.

November 6th, 1963

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Robert Menzies – 1951

I will in the course of this speech have much to say about the damage which Communism does to industry and production. But tremendously important as this is. it is a symptom only. The real disease of Communism is deeper and more deadly, and unless we attack it by all possible means, it will infect the whole of our community life.

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Robert Menzies – 1954

We believe in the individual, in his freedom, in his ambition, in his dignity. If he becomes submerged in the mass, and loses his personal significance, we have tyranny. And because of this, we believe in free enterprise; not enterprise free of social obligation, but free enterprise in the sense that it embraces free choice, reward for effort and skill, encouragement to grow and be self-reliant, and strong.

May 5th, 1954

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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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