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Sir Robert Menzies, Freeman Of The City Of Kew, Warns Of Community Greed

In one of last public speeches, Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister and founder of the Liberal Party, warned against unbridled greed in the community.

Menzies spoke on August 11, 1974 at a ceremony awarding him the Freedom of the City of Kew, in the heart of his old electorate of Kooyong, in Melbourne.

Menzies was 79. It was one of his final public appearances before his death in May 1978.

The speech came just days after the historic first Joint Sitting of the House of Representatives and Senate, following the 1974 double dissolution election which had seen the re-election of the Whitlam Labor government. It also came two days after the Watergate scandal had caused the resignation of US President Richard Nixon.

The speech provides a fascinating insight into Menzies’s thinking, his speech-making style and sense of humour.

  • Listen to the Freedom of the City award ceremony (11m)
  • Listen to Menzies’s speech (17m)

Front page article from The Age, Monday, August 12, 1974.

The Age

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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