Fraser’s Acceptance Of A Caretaker Commission

Following Kerr’s dismissal of Whitlam, Fraser agreed to a number of conditions in return for being commissioned as prime minister.

The most important of these were his commitments to securing the passage of Supply and the recommendation of a double dissolution of the Parliament. He also agreed that his government would act as a caretaker government until elections were held.

Fraser was sworn in as prime minister at approximately 1.30pm.

Letter from Malcolm Fraser to Sir John Kerr on November 11, 1975.

Your Excellency,

You have intimated to me that it is Your Excellency’s pleasure that I should act as your Chief Adviser and Head of the Government.

In accepting your commission I confirm that I have given you an assurance that I shall immediately seek to secure the passage of the Appropriation Bills which are at present before the Senate, thus ensuring supply for the carrying on of the Public Service in all its branches. I further confirm that, upon the granting of supply, I shall immediately recommend to Your Excellency the dissolution of both Houses of the Parliament.

My government will act as a caretaker government and will make no appointments or dismissals or inititate new policies before a general election is held.

Yours sincerely,
(sgnd J. M. Fraser)

His Excellency the Honourable Sir John Kerr,
A.C., K.C.M.G., K.St.J., Q.C.

11 November 1975

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