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Archives for 1995

National Identity: John Howard Headland Speech

This is the text of John Howard’s Headland speech on National Identity, one of a series given by the Leader of the Opposition during 1995.

A Reflection on the National Identity Debate

John HowardToday I want to talk about our national identity and the shared values and history that have shaped it. National identity used to be a subject on which there was a broad measure of agreement between the major parties. But the Keating Government is attempting to redefine national identity in a crudely self-serving way.

And in doing so, the Keating Government is living proof of the Orwellian dictum that those who seek to control the future first try to control the past by distorting it for their own particular narrow purpose.

Now is the time to reply: to puncture that hot air balloon. As the debate has become grossly politicised, it’s been accompanied by a negative, simplistic rewriting of history. That too needs to be shown for what it is. [Read more…]

Fair Australia: John Howard Headland Speech

“Fair Australia” is one of a series of Headland Speeches given by the Leader of the Opposition, John Howard, during 1995.

The Address was given to the Australian Council of Social Service.



Thank you for the chance to address the 1995 ACOSS Congress, where your theme, “Social Justice: Fact, Fiction and the Future”, gives me an opportunity to outline the Coalition’s view of a Fair Australia, explode some myths and deal with some important specific policy issues.

ACOSS plays a very important community role in raising public policy issues relevant to the needs and aspirations of the disadvantaged in our community.

The people in this room are an important part of the glue which holds our society together. We won’t always agree on every detail of social policy, but we will always have this in common: a desire to provide greater security and fairness for those in need. [Read more…]

International Treaties: Their Impact On Australia

This is the full text of a Keynote Address by Senator the Hon Gareth Evans QC, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the International Treaties Conference, Canberra, 4 September 1995.

Speech by Gareth Evans to the International Treaties Conference.

EvansThis conference on international treaties is certainly timely. Australia’s involvement in treaty making is currently being examined in a number of forums; there is now a Senate Committee looking at the operation of the external affairs power in the Constitution; and there is legislation currently before the Parliament dealing with the effect of treaties on administrative decision making. I think there can be no doubt that treaties do have an important and developing influence on many aspects of Australian society and I want to examine their impact in a little detail. But first I think it would be useful to spend a few moments in considering what treaties actually are, and perhaps more importantly, what they are not. I feel constrained to do so because of the misinformation, some of it quite deliberately spread, which has clouded the whole issue of treaty-making over the last couple of years. [Read more…]

Howard: Response To Keating’s Republic Proposal

This is Federal Opposition Leader John Howard’s response to Paul Keating’s proposal for an Australian republic by the year 2001.

Broadcast on national television, the speech was in response to the previous day’s announcement by the Prime Minister, Paul Keating, that the government planned to move Australia towards becoming a republic.

Text of John Howard’s speech to the House of Representatives.

John HowardMr Speaker, the opposition welcomes the statement made last night by the Prime Minister (Mr Keating) about the government’s proposals to put a referendum to the Australian people inviting them to create a federal republic by the year 2001. The outlining of the government’s proposals, in a sense, ends the phoney war stage of the debate about Australia’s constitutional future and presents to the Australian people the option and the model desired by the government.

I want to say first, on behalf of the coalition, that this is an important debate. Although the question of the constitutional structure of Australia is not something that weighs heavily upon Australians as they go about their daily lives, although the question of whether or not Australia becomes a republic will have no bearing on our standard of living and our capacity to economically penetrate the fast growing Asia-Pacific region, nonetheless, the constitutional future of our nation is a matter of great importance. I believe it should be treated in an important, sober and, to the maximum extent possible, non-political fashion. [Read more…]

Keating: An Australian Republic – The Way Forward

by Paul Keating, Prime Minister of Australia

This is the text of Prime Minister Paul Keating’s address to the House of Representatives, announcing the government’s commitment to the establishment of an Australian federal republic by 2001.

Listen to Keating’s Speech (30m – transcript below)

Watch Keating (30m):

Listen to John Howard’s comments on the announcement:


The Australian, Thursday, June 8, 1995

Transcript of Paul Keating’s Republic speech in the House of Representatives, June 7, 1995.

It is the Government’s view that Australia’s Head of State should be an Australian and that Australia should become a republic by the year 2001. Tonight I shall describe the means by which we believe this ought to be done. [Read more…]

Gough Whitlam On A Republic And Blocking Supply

This an an audio clip of Gough Whitlam commenting on the republic issue and the Senate’s power to block Supply.

Whitlam was dismissed by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, on November 11, 1975. [Read more…]

The Role of Government: John Howard 1995 Headland Speech

The Role of Government is one of a series of “headland speeches” delivered by John Howard, leader of the Liberal Opposition, in 1995.



John HowardIt gives me a great sense of pleasure and pride to deliver this inaugural Lecture in the Menzies Research Centre’s 1995 National Lecture Series.

This is one of a number of headland speeches I am delivering covering a wide area of government activity. Tonight I want to examine the role of government itself in a modern Australia.

The Liberal tradition has always held that ideas are not political ends in themselves, but the basis for developing practical policies that work for the common good.

The Menzies Research Centre has an important role to play in contributing to that tradition.

It has been established to promote ideas for public policy based on greater individual freedom and dignity, fairer and more competitive enterprise, limited and more accountable government, and a more genuine sense of national community. [Read more…]

Former President George Bush Resigns From The NRA

Former President George HW Bush has resigned his life membership of the National Rifle Association.

In a stinging letter to the NRA, Bush objects to the recent attacks on federal agents by Wayne LaPierre.

Former President George H. W. Bush’s resignation letter to the National Rifle Association.

Dear Mr. Washington,

I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as “jack-booted thugs.” To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as “wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms” wanting to “attack law abiding citizens” is a vicious slander on good people. [Read more…]

Post-War By-Election Swings to Labour Greater Than 10%

The table belows shows swings to the UK Labour Party greater than 10% since 1945.

Date Constituency Swing %
15/12/94 Dudley West -29.12
9/6/94 Dagenham -23.06
9/6/94 Barking -21.96
22/3/90 Mid Staffordshire -21.33
9/6/94 Eastleigh -16.68
17/6/71 Hayes and Harlington -16.54
9/6/94 Newham North East -16.30
8/11/90 Bradford North -15.78
4/7/85 Brecon and Radnor -14.93
9/6/94 Bradford South -14.12
12/2/58 Rochdale -13.96
15/8/63 Stratford -13.74
4/5/61 Bristol South East -13.23
13/3/80 Southend East -12.87
6/6/62 Middlesbrough West -12.70
16/5/91 Monmouth -12.59
6/5/93 Newbury -12.53
11/6/64 Liverpool Scotland -12.50
4/5/89 Vale of Glamorgan -12.35
7/3/57 Warwick and Leamington -12.22
13/3/62 Blackpool North -12.21
23/9/71 Widnes -11.46
14/3/62 Middlesbrough East -11.37
29/7/93 Christchurch -11.37
8/11/90 Bootle -11.18
13/4/72 Merthyr Tydfil -11.15
4/5/72 Southwark -11.05
15/12/88 Epping Forest -10.93
10/4/86 Fulham -10.80
17/4/62 Derby North -10.68
12/9/57 Gloucester -10.48
15/11/45 Bournemouth -10.29
4/7/63 West Bromwich -10.15
27/5/71 Bromsgrove -10.08


Federal Parliamentary Sitting Days – 1994

This table shows the number of days the Federal Parliament sat in 1994.

It also also shows the number of sitting hours and the average length of sitting days.

Source: Parliamentary Patter, No. 24, March 1995, page 8, published by the Parliamentary Education Office.

Federal Parliamentary Statistics 1994
House of Representatives
Number of Sitting Days 68
Hours of Sitting 604
Average Length of Sitting Day 9 hours 20 minutes
Number of Sitting Days 80
Hours of Sitting 628
Average Length of Sitting Day 7 hours 50 minutes
Number of Bills Passed in Both Houses 167