Diary of a Labour Man: 1917 - 1945

Full text Prime Minister


"Men and women of Australia,

The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Menzies) and the Leader of the Country party (Mr. Fadden) join with me to-night in a final talk to you as the Third Victory Loan of £100,000,000 nears the closing date. What I have to say to you will be brief.

"For the world to-day, there is coming near a great relief. Nazi Germany is in the death throes. The colossal weight of allied courage, resources and money have all but crushed the enemy in Europe. For that, we can offer heartfelt thanks and can hope and pray that Divine Providence will shorten the ordeal for gallant men driving hard into the last pockets of German resistance.

"When the allied commanders can say that resistance in Europe is no longer of dimensions capable of serious worry, then the forces of the United Nations can be brought fully into play against Japan. The task of crushing the fanatical foe in the Pacific is complex. Japan's geographical situation alone presents a problem. For example, although America has been fighting in the Pacific for over three years and great success has been achieved, the main strength of Japan has not been met. So far, United States ground forces have been in contact with less than 30 per cent. of the Japanese Army. The situation in China is a constant source of worry to the Allies. The loss of an American air base in China necessitated the destruction of .buildings and installations that had cost 70,000,000 dollars to build. The Japanese grip on oil and rubber in the Netherlands East Indies and Malaya is a serious menace to allied plans. The cost of war in the Pacific increases by reason of the very successes achieved. Supply lines stretch out farther. Costly installations of what had been the former front line have to be abandoned and new construction carried out as the advance moves forward.

"They are but a few examples of the complexity of war in the Pacific. They will serve to bring home to you the grim struggle that must be waged before Japan is completely crushed.

"British, American, Dutch and French forces in this theatre have greatly changed the picture since Australians and a comparatively small force of Americans stemmed the Japanese tide which had rolled on to within a few miles of Port Moresby. But the very strength of the massive forces now gathered places on Australia a terrific strain. It is a strain in terms of money. It is a strain in terms of resources, such as food, which is unceasing. It is a strain which this nation has carried magnificently for over five years. The world knows of your efforts. In a report made to Parliament only two days ago, it was shown that only Britain had organized to a greater degree of war, comparatively, than Australia, of all the United Nations.

"I ask that the men and women of Australia shall carry on for just a little longer, for what Mr. Churchill, in referring to the European struggle, termed ‘one more heave’. In money, that ‘one more heave’ means filling the £100,000,000 loan by 27th April, 1945. I ask you, however, to fill it by 25th April, 1945, which is Anzac Day, a day that is sacredly Australia's, and a day, now, that has taken on a new significance. For it is on that day that the United Nations Conference on International Organization opens at San Francisco. The hopes of the world are centred on the outcome of that conference.

I ask that, on that day, Australians will signal their appreciation of the importance of that gathering to all mankind by filling the Australian war loan. Good-night, and God bless you."