Election Speeches

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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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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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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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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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John Curtin – 1937

The real decision which the people of Australia are called upon to make at this election is one of values. The Labor Party declares that the immediate task of statesmanship is to overcome the forces which are undermining the moral, social and economic foundations of civilisation.

It affirms that the level of social well-being is the crucial test of economic policy and that peace is an idle dream without social justice between nations and between individuals.

September 20th, 1937

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Andrew Fisher – 1913

During our period of office, we have seen increases in wealth in trade, in the areas of crops, in banking assets and banking deposits in savings, bank deposits in the number of depositors, in marriages, in births and in immigration. We have built, manned and equipped an Australian navy with our own money, and established an effective defence force.

March 31st, 1913

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Andrew Peacock – 1984

By 1988 I want to see an Australia where we can all look forward with confidence, not just to the next six months but to the next decade. That future is there for us – to reach it we don’t need to ask Government to do more and more for us. We need to give people the opportunity to reach that future for themselves.

November 15th, 1984

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Malcolm Fraser – 1975

This election has been caused by the dismissal of two acting Prime Ministers for deceiving the Parliament. This election has been caused by a Prime Minister who refused to face the people, who tried to rule without Parliament, who defied a fundamental principle of our Constitution, and who finally forced the Governor-General to dismiss him; the man who took Australia the first significant step on the road to dictatorship.

November 27th, 1975

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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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