Archives for August 1974

Whitlam’s National Broadcast On The Budget And Inflation

In the lead-up to the 1974 Federal Budget, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam made a nationally televised Address to the Nation.

Whitlam explained that the Budget was one month later than normal, due to the May election and the subsequent Joint Sitting of the Parliament.

He was anxious to allay concerns about inflation, which had risen to double digit figures. He claimed that that the war on demand inflation was being won and that the government would “proceed soberly but steadily with the programs which you have twice endorsed”, including childcare.

Whitlam said: “In the fight against inflation, we shall not be using the weapon of mass unemployment in the way that previous governments have sometimes chosen to do.” [Read more…]

Joint Sitting Of Parliament: Whitlam’s Opening Speech

Following the May 1974 double dissolution election, the Senate continued to reject six pieces of legislation. Under Section 57 of the Constitution, a joint sitting was held to resolve the deadlock.

The legislation sought to establish the Medibank universal health insurance scheme which is now known as Medicare. Another bill aimed to establish one-vote-one-value in electoral distributions. Another provided for Senate representation for the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, whilst the final bill established the Petroleum and Minerals Authority.

This is Whitlam’s opening speech to the Joint Sitting. He specifically deals with the introduction of one-vote-one-value in electoral distributions through establishing a maximum 10% variation in voter numbers in House of Representatives seats. [Read more…]

Historic Joint Sitting Of The Australian Parliament

The Joint Sitting of the Australian Parliament that followed the May 1974 Federal Election was a historic occasion.

The Joint Sitting, the first and only ever held, took place over two days, August 6 and 7, 1974.

Gough Whitlam described the sitting as “a last resort to enable the democratic will of the Australian people to prevail over blind obstruction”.

Joint Sitting [Read more…]