Election Speeches

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Billy Hughes – 1917

This is no time for kid gloves or beating about the bush. It is the time for plain speaking. It is a fight to a finish. It is no time for mealy-mouthed speaking. We must say what we believe in this fight. You must do your duty the same as the men who are fighting your battles, and if you do it half as well we shall win the greatest victory ever known in Australia.

March 27th, 1917

defence economy immigration trade

John Curtin – 1940

The country is at war.

The Commonwealth of Australia entered this war, not of any act of itself, but because Germany, pursuing a ruthless policy of aggression, forced war on the British Commonwealth of Nations. The entire guilt lies with Germany.

August 28th, 1940

defence communications and technology infrastructure social security

Robert Menzies – 1940

The real question today is whether our system of life and government, the system which enables us to strive in our way for a better and fuller civic life, is to survive. It is in deadly peril. The energies of all of us must be devoted to its defence. Nobody looks forward more than I do, when this war has been won, to the period of re-construction, to the attacking of human problems frequently too long deferred.

September 2nd, 1940

defence economy trade agriculture industrial relations

Arthur Fadden – 1943

We can smash the Axis, we can win this war, we can build for the future, we can ensure a sound and prosperous nation, only if we have sane, efficient and stable government. The Australia Party and the United Country Party promise to give you a 100 per cent. war effort.

In four words, our policy for the nation and the individual is — VICTORY, LIBERTY, SECURITY, PROSPERITY.

July 22nd, 1943

agriculture defence economy government administration industrial relations infrastructure social security socialism

Frank Tudor – 1917

Care must therefore be exercised in the recording of votes for the two parties. It remains for you to say whether you will have what has been aptly termed the triple fusion–the wreckage of the Deakin party, the wreckage of the Cook party, and the wreckage of the Hughes party–returned to power in the country, or whether you will remain true and vote solidly for the Australian Labor Party.

March 29th, 1917

agriculture defence federal-state relations trade

James Scullin – 1929

Tonight we open what is probably the most momentous campaign in the history of this country since Federation. For nearly 30 years Australia has been writing history as a nation, and no one will deny that one of the proudest pages in our book of nationhood is that which deals with the building up of our Federal system of arbitration.

September 30th, 1929

economy federation industrial relations

Paul Keating – 1996

We are very much aware that the great progress we have made in the last three years—the unprecedented economic growth, the low inflation, the lowest level of strikes since 1940, the huge growth in jobs, the growth in exports and productivity—has not translated automatically into material benefits, or a greater sense of security among many Australians. But that is not an argument for throwing out the policies which have given us strikingly good results.

February 14th, 1996

arts communications and technology economy education employment environment foreign affairs health Indigenous affairs industrial relations social security

John Howard – 1996

It is with an immense amount of personal pride and also an enormous amount of humility that I bring together today the essential argument as to why, after 13 long and difficult years, this nation of ours needs emphatically a change of government.

February 18th, 1996

economy family social security environment industrial relations