Kerr’s Proclamation Dissolving Parliament

At 4.45pm on November 11, 1975, nearly four hours after Whitlam’s dismissal, the Governor-General’s Official Secretary, David Smith, read this proclamation on the steps of Parliament House.

This audio clip of Smith and Whitlam is the first ever broadcast by the ABC shortly after 5pm on November 11. It starts at the end of Smith’s reading of the proclamation and includes Whitlam’s famous words about Kerr and Fraser.

  • Listen to Smith and Whitlam

David Smith and Gough Whitlam

PROCLAMATION
By His Excellency, the
Governor-General of Australia

WHEREAS by section 57 of the Constitution it is provided that if the House of Representatives passes any proposed law, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the House of Representatives, in the same of the next session, again passes the proposed law with or without any amendments which have been made, suggested, or agreed to by the Senate and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, the Governor-General may dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives simultaneously:

ANDWHEREAS the conditions upon which the Governor-General is empowered by that section of the Constitution to dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives simultaneously have been fulfilled in respect of the several proposed laws intitled –

  • Health Insurance Levy Act 1974
  • Health Insurance Levy Assessment Act 1974
  • Income Tax (International Agreements) Act 1974
  • Minerals (Submerged Lands) Act 1974
  • Minerals (Submerged Lands) (Royalty) Act 1974
  • National Health Act 1974
  • Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1974
  • Conciliation and Arbitration Act (No. 2) 1974
  • National Investment Fund Act 1974
  • Electoral Laws Amendment Act 1974
  • Electoral Act 1975
  • Privy Council Appeals Abolition Act 1975
  • Superior Court of Australia Act 1974
  • Electoral Re-distribution (New South Wales) Act 1975
  • Electoral Re-distribution (Queensland) Act 1975
  • Electoral Re-distribution (South Australia) Act 1975
  • Electoral Re-distribution (Tasmania) Act 1975
  • Electoral Re-distribution (Victoria) Act 1975
  • Broadcasting and Television Act (No. 2) 1974
  • Television and Stations Licence Fees Act 1974
  • Broadcasting Stations Licence Fees Act 1974

NOWTHEREFORE, I Sir John Robert Kerr, the Governor-General of Australia, do by this my Proclamation dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives.

(L.S.) Given under my Hand and the Great Seal of Australia on 11 November 1975.

By His Excellency’s Command,
MALCOLM FRASER
Prime Minister

JOHN R. KERR
Governor-General

God Save The Queen!

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