Archives for July 1975

Whitlam’s Press Conference Following Cairns Sacking And Loans Affair Sitting

This prime ministerial press conference took place in the aftermath of the special one-day sitting on the Loans Affair and the sacking of Dr. Jim Cairns.

Whitlam took a number of questions on the Loans Affair and the possibility of public servants being called before the Senate to answer questions. [Read more…]

Bruce Petty Loans Affair Cartoon

As criticism of the Loans Affair rained down on Gough Whitlam, Bruce Petty looked at the credibility of European criticism.

The cartoon appeared in The Australian.

The Australian

PM’s Birthday Blast

Gough Whitlam turned 59 on July 11, 1975.

He was besieged by the Loans Affair and facing a perilous by-election in the Tasmanian seat of Bass. Facing a difficult state election, South Australia’s Labor Premier, Don Dunstan, was distancing himself from his federal counterparts.

Having dismissed Dr. Jim Cairns, Whitlam was under pressure from within the ALP.

The Melbourne Herald reported Whitlam’s birthday.

Melbourne Herald

Loans Affair: Special One-Day Sitting

Gough Whitlam recalled the House of Representatives from its winter recess for a one-day sitting to debate the Overseas Loans Affair.

The sitting took place on July 9, 1975, two days before Whitlam’s 59th birthday.

Proceedings began with condolences for Queensland ALP Senate Bert Milliner, who had died on June 30. Milliner’s death allowed Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen to further alter the balance of power in the Senate by appointment of a non-Labor replacement. [Read more…]

Parliament Recalled To Debate Loans Affair

On July 9, 1975, the House of Representatives was recalled for a special one-day sitting to debate the Overseas Loans Affair.

The Age had more documents and an editorial saying it was a time of national trial.

The Australian reported on attempts (ultimately successful) by the South Australia’s Labor Premier, Don Dunstan, to distance himself from the Whitlam government in an attempt to win his state election.

The Melbourne Sun covered the activities of Philip Cairns, son of the former Treasurer, Dr. Jim Cairns, who had been sacked the week before. [Read more…]

Tanner Cartoon: Bass By-Election

This cartoon by Les Tanner appeared in The Age on July 1, 1975.

It followed Labor’s defeat in the Bass by-election on June 28.

Tanner

[Cartoon published by kind permission of the Les Tanner Estate]


The by-election was caused by the resignation of Lance Barnard, who had held the seat since 1954. Following the 1974 federal election, Barnard was replaced as deputy ALP leader and deputy prime minister by Dr. Jim Cairns. Whitlam appointed Barnard as Ambassador to Norway, Finland and Sweden.

The ALP suffered a two-party-preferred swing of 14.3% in the by-election and lost the seat to the Liberal Party’s Kevin Newman by 60.3% to 39.7%. The Labor candidate, John Macrostie, polled just 36.5% of the primary vote, a drop of 17.5%.

The by-election was evidence of severe voter dissatisfaction with the Whitlam government. It is widely regarded as contributing to Fraser’s decision to block the budget in October 1975.