Prime Minister – Speech, State Dinner – The Rose Garden, The White House – Friday 20 September 2019
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
SPEECH, STATE DINNER
THE ROSE GARDEN, THE WHITE HOUSE
FRIDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2019
PRIME MINISTER: Well he got me, Dame Mary, my great, great aunt would be very, very proud.
Mr. President, First Lady Mrs. Trump, thank you so much Mrs. Trump for the amazing night you’ve created for us here.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends, Jenny and I are truly grateful for this wonderful honour and the hospitality that you Mr. President the First Lady have extended to us and to our country.
As we join you here tonight, in the home, your home, and that of the American Presidency.
This of course was once the home of President Teddy Roosevelt who I’ve always greatly admired. He was also a New Yorker, he was also unconventional.
He was no captive of the establishment. He was also accomplished. Indeed some might say a maverick. He was his own man. He was a do-er and above all he was inspired by the great character of the American people. There is nothing he believed his nation could not do.
And this is the heart of American greatness. Mr. President, your belief in America and its people echoes this great spirit of that great president.
And it’s backed up by your life’s experience and the passion and work of your Presidency.
And Mrs. Trump, your kindness, warmth, and quiet grace in the welcome to Jenny and I and especially here tonight has been very special. And as Jen has said, very sweet.
General Washington once said it is infinitely better to have a few good men than many indifferent ones. But the same is true of the friendship of nations.
Australia will never be accused of a indifference in our friendship to the United States.
And tonight Mr. President we are reminded that the United States feels the same way especially under your leadership.
I’ve noticed tonight the Marines who are on duty tonight, and I thank you for your service. But not just to the United States but to our alliance as well.
In 1943 the US Marine 1st Division was engaged in the first ever large scale U.S. offensive against the Japanese at Guadalcanal. At the same time Australian forces were in New Guinea also locked in the fiercest of some battles against the Japanese.
We both prevailed each doing our bit. Each carrying our own weight.
When the US Marine 1st Division arrived in Melbourne after six months of heavy fighting they were welcomed with a rendition of the Australian fake anthem Waltzing Matilda.
More than 75 years later the first division still plays Waltzing Matilda whenever they ship out.
It’s true Mr President, we have been in a lot of battles. But we have also stood together to realise the dividend of peace. Prosperity that comes from our embrace of enterprise and free markets and the rule of law. Our great immigration societies, education, liberal democracy and a commitment to the fulfilment of human potential.
This has been importantly included in our work together to expand the frontiers of science, technologies, and exploration.
To reach into space as we first did together 50 years ago.
When you launched, and we kept Apollo 11 in contact through the honeysuckle project, with earth and we beamed those most famous of images of all time to an enthralled and inspired humanity.
Events that no doubt inspired a young Andy Thomas from Adelaide who’s with us here tonight to launch into space on the Endeavour. Almost 30 years later. And now we hope to do this again under the vision of your Presidency, Mr President.
Our generation and our times call this great republic and our great Commonwealth to live up to the calling of young free nations to continually point the way to freedom.
In Australia we are reminded of this friendship by the great spire with the eagle atop that looks out across our nation’s capital in Canberra.
And earlier today we gifted a bronze statue of Les ‘Bull’ Alan, an Australian soldier carrying a wounded Marine off the battlefield on steep slopes in New Guinea in 1943 for is gallantry he was awarded the US Silver Star and the Military Medal whilst fighting alongside US troops.
Mr President we would be honoured if you would permit Australia as a gift to erect a life-sized memorial of this image here in Washington, at a place of your choosing, as a constant reminder of our dedication to our American friends and the bonds we have formed.
But for now ladies and gentlemen please join me in a toast.
To 100 years of mateship, and to 100 more.
To the people of these United States to the President and his magnificent First Lady.
And may God bless America.