fifty years ago May 23, 1968 Archives

Indira Gandhi’s talks in Canberra

Development of trade can best be promoted in conditions of international civility and peace, in which Australia can act as a bridge between East and West, the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi said here [Canberra] to-day [May 22]. Speaking at a luncheon given by the Australian Premier, Mr. John Gorton, Mrs. Gandhi said that India would welcome Indo-Australian co-operation and that she was grateful for the assistance rendered by Australia to India during times of difficulty. Mrs. Gandhi later told a Press conference that her talk, lasting two hours with Mr. Gorton and other Ministers to-day had been “most useful” and could “well mark the beginning of new relations between our two countries”. In her luncheon speech, Mrs. Gandhi said that drought and border conflicts had severely strained Indian resources, but the nation was now on the move and would make up lost time. Welcoming Mrs. Gandhi, Mr. Gorton spoke of India’s struggle for political freedom from an alien power and the challenge of increasing the economic welfare of the nation without sacrificing beliefs. The leader of the Australian Opposition, Mr. E.G. Whitlam, said India represented a transience of power and a permanence of spirit that provided a hope for democracies throughout the world. The luncheon came in the middle of a busy day for Mrs. Gandhi. This morning she called on Mr. Gorton for talks with him and his Cabinet, after laying a wreath on the Stone of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial.

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