On the verge of celebrating the 30th anniversary of his election as Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam has given an interview to the ALP Senate leader, John Faulkner, in which he says that he would never have appointed Sir John Kerr as Governor-General had he known of Kerr’s drinking problem.
Whitlam also defended his government’s economic record, pointing out that unemployment and interest rates were lower under his government than under Hawke’s or Keating’s.
The interview will be shown on SBS television.
This is the text of the article in The Australian newspaper:
Gough’s genius was economic, too
By Mike Steketee, National affairs editor
Never one to be modest about his achievements, Gough Whitlam’s latest boast is that he was a better economic manager than Labor successors Bob Hawke and Paul Keating.
That will come as a surprise to many who remember economic policy was a disaster under the government Mr Whitlam led between 1972 and 1975.
But, says the 86-year-old – despite the readiness of Mr Hawke and Mr Keating to criticise him – unemployment, interest rates and the budget deficit were all lower in his time. [Read more…]