On 1 September 1951, Australia and the United States declared to the world that we shared a common destiny.
From the ashes of a world war, in the tumult of a cold war, our nations resolved to unite their fortunes, come what may.
For the officials who signed the ANZUS Treaty on that day, it was less about making something new than putting into words what was already an unshakeable bond: forged in war, deepened in peace, held in place by the shared ideals of liberty, prosperity and opportunity.
They signed the Treaty in San Francisco: before them was the Golden Gate Bridge, and beyond it, the blue Pacific. A bare six years before, the Pacific had been engulfed in a global conflict. Having borne witness to this catastrophe, and their own costly victory, our respective leaders pledged themselves to protect this ocean, and uphold peace, safety, and the rights of peoples to live free of fear.
We stand together, and on this anniversary, re-affirm the self-evident truths we share: democracy and the ballot box, the rule of law and freedom of association, human dignity and freedom of expression, and free economies and free peoples.
For seven decades, this has been the bedrock of our Alliance – without doubt Australia’s most significant strategic relationship.
Twenty years ago, on another September day, America was attacked. Within days of its 50th anniversary, Australia invoked the ANZUS Treaty for the first and only time. We proved that, as President Lyndon Johnson once said, we would stand side by side ‘in sunshine and in sorrow.’
As we mark the 70th anniversary of ANZUS in 2021, our relationship is as strong, as broad, as rich, and as full of promise as it was in the days of Menzies and Truman. I’m inspired by how much we can and will do: in trade, technology, and strategy, in securing the Indo-Pacific, and in preserving a global order that favours freedom.
Many presidents and prime ministers have tried to put into words what calls and holds our two nations together. I believe Menzies came closest when he said that we were warmed by the same inner fires.
Australia and the United States are knitted together by our history and our geography, bound by our past and our prospects but it is those inner fires – our unyielding belief in peace, prosperity and freedom – that have warmed and fueled our enduring Alliance all these years, and will continue to do so in the years ahead.
Long may our Alliance and our free peoples flourish.
The Honourable Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia